Happy days are here again. Christmas beckons and it’s festive season that sets the European football on a high too. This is the time in the year, where despite no action on the field, the off field happenings never let the excitement lessen.
During the period, Europe’s half-yearly transfers better known as "Winter transfers" take place, and despite this one being smaller in magnitude than the summer transfers, it is no less tempestuous in nature.
What adds to the thrill of this transfer period is the fact that most leagues in Europe usually reach the half-way mark at the end of December, and the winter additions and removals prove to be very crucial in shaping the remainder course of the season.
More than the actual transfers, it is the rumours that prevail around them, hold the fans’ attention right through and add an element of spice in the bigger picture.
The rumours generally pop up out of nowhere and tend not to have a validated source. Media in Europe too processes their news heavily on the hearsays, and despite the fact that half the world knows they count for nothing, they can’t help themselves but read and talk about it.
As they rightly say, “A groundless rumour often covers a lot of ground,” and much like every year, this season too, it is very much evident with the word of mouth being sprayed all around Europe regarding the transfers.
Often at the end of successful deals, the players come out all praises for their new clubs, mostly with the stereotypes such as, “It was always my dream to play here. The atmosphere here is electrifying and the fans are just amazing. The club has a very rich history and I feel at home here.”
Following the transfers are the stories of controversial fall outs that the players reveal they had with their previous manager. Such news creates a stir amongst the fan base of the player’s current as well as previous club and adds to the intensity of their clash the next time they face each other.
All this, no matter how clichéd it has gotten over the years, does not really seem wearing out. The factor of rumour even today carries its own place among others in the world of football, and this slideshow precisely intends to focus on five most ridiculous rumours surrounding the winter transfers for the current season in European football.
Current club: Manchester United
Linked with a move to: Real Madrid
Anticipated price: 21 Million Pounds and Lassana Diara
Javier Hernandes, aka Chicharito, has not exactly been phenomenal for Manchester United, since this summer, as many expected him to be though. One could equate the lesser number of chances to start as a reason for his failure to hog the limelight.
However, as ridiculous as it may sound, there is a buzz in Europe about Jose Mourinho being interested in the young Mexican, seeking a replacement for injured Gonzalo Higuain. How Lassana Diara would fit the bill as a return favour to Manchester United is something only the sensationalism seeking media may explain.
Chances for a deal: Not in this life.
Current club: Manchester City
Linked with a move to: Real Madrid
Wasn’t somebody feeling home sick few days back? Well, either Carlos Tevez has dumped all the nostalgia he felt for Buenos Aires or he believes Madrid is in Argentina.
The current Manchester City skipper has reportedly had a fall out with the management at Eastlands and is seeking a parting with the club.
While there is a particular clique in media that testifies the Argentine’s wrath at City, there are many who believe he is trying to do a Wayne Rooney and thereby bag a more lucrative deal.
Whatever the case may be, one must wonder what he would do at Santiago Bernabeu. Agreed Mr. Mourinho, Higuain is not in the best shape of fitness but ever heard of a certain Karim Benzema?
Chances for a deal: Oh, it should not surprise anyone if tomorrow Tevez shares his desire to come back to Old Trafford.
Current club: Arsenal
Linked with a move to: Juventus (You may laugh.)
For some time now, Juventus fans have been furious with a prolonged indifferent form of their Brazilian striker Amauri (Wait, isn’t he Italian too?) but looks like the Old Lady from Turin is in a mood to replace Amauri by another Amauri-esque striker, if not worse.
The Danish has played in various roles at Emirates. To name a few, a conventional poacher, a centre forward, a left forward but needless to say, has miserably failed in no matter whatever he tried.
Juventus on the other hand, are currently leading the Serie A charts in terms of goals scored and but an interest in Bendtner would make one’s head spin.
In Vincenzo Iaquinta, the Bianconerri already possess a striker who assures to miss all the sitters in the world. Amauri certainly is the last person to think of sharing attacking line with the legendary Alessandro Del Piero, but replacing him with Bendtner is like adding to the joke quotient of an already farcical attack.
Chances for a deal: Let’s hope Luigi Del Neri has preserved some sanity for himself.
Current club: Manchester United
Linked with a move to: Internazionale Milano FC
Anticipated price: Care to ask?
It’s all right. We understand English media’s obsession with both Wayne Rooney and Fabio Capello. It is also very much taken that Rafa Benitez is demanded to be taken in for a serious sentence by scores of Inter die-hards.
It would still not go over the board to report Fabio Capello’s return to Italy, with due consideration to his troubles with the English national team, but attaching Wayne Rooney’s name with the troubled Inter only for the sake of it is entirely bizarre.
A moonstruck possibility drawn by the media out of their sheer fantasies is nevertheless providing a heavy dose of laughter amongst the football fraternity.
Apparently, Wayne Rooney has already managed to capture enough attention from the media earlier this season with his own antics but drawing him on the board again would prove to be a little too much to handle.
Chances for a deal: Only if Rafa Benitez becomes the manager of Barcelona.
Current club: FC Barcelona
Linked with a move to: Manchester City (Feel like dying?)
Anticipated price: 100 Million Euros (Ever heard of Arabs?)
The world is not going to end in 2012 because Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Please do not ask me to spell that again) would not have yet been done with his shopping by then.
The rich man from the Middle East has alleviated City’s squandering capacities so ridiculously high that the moment transfer news pops up, one can assume the name of Manchester City in the list of possible destination clubs.
The latest in the hit list of the Citizens is the Spanish genius and a heavy contender for the Ballon D’Or honour—Andres Iniesta.
Now, let us get this one straight. It is one thing to persuade James Milner for the lure of few more pounds and another to expect a La Masia product who bleeds the Catalan colours to follow the suit.
It would not surprise many to learn the Sheikh might have assumed the love for Yaya Toure would drive Iniesta to wear the sky blue jersey. Apologies for being the bearer of the bad news Mr. Sheikh, but you seem to have assumed a little too much here.
Chances for a deal: I am sure you do not want me to say this!