Transfer Rumours: Soccer News From Europe As The Window Is Set to Re-Open
Whether you call it football or soccer, Europe's transfer window is set to re-open on January 1. It's akin to baseball's July 31 trade deadline, if players could be traded from teams in, say, 50 different countries.
With that, there will likely be a rash of signings and moves...and countless more rumors (or rumours, depending on where you're from) about potential offers from major clubs or star players heading to another team or nation.
Today, I'll be running through as many as possible of the transfer rumors surrounding big-name players and major clubs in the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy, the German Bundesliga, Ligue 1 in France and other leagues around Europe.
So stick with me, won't you? It should be entertaining.
Once the boy wonder of British soccer, Michael Owen has most recently spent an unremarkable season and a half with Manchester United, but his time at Old Trafford appears to be near its end.
With his Red Devils contract up at the end of the season, Owen is likely to be shown the door either then or perhaps during the January transfer window, when Aston Villa and skipper Gerard Houllier are likely to be the first in line to add the 31-year-old striker.
With Dimitar Berbatov's rebirth and the impressive start to "El Chicharito" Javier Hernandez's United career—not to mention youngsters Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck (returning from a season-long loan to Sunderland) vying for time on the pitch—Owen is seen as an excess.
But with a club like Villa, Owen could get more playing time. And though he's unlikely to approach the stardom he was once tipped for earlier in his career, it'd be nice to give him the opportunity to play out his career, rather than riding it out on the bench.
Liverpool is desperate to add some low-money scoring...but would they stoop so low as to pick up a former castoff?
According to a story in the Daily Mail, Djibril Cisse was spotted having lunch on Monday with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, fueling rumors that Cisse could be set for a return to the Reds.
Cisse, who is currently with Greek side Panathinaikos and who played two seasons with Liverpool from 2004-06, ate with Gerrard "at the city centre San Carlo restaurant."
Cisse's time with Liverpool was marred by a broken leg that caused him to miss a considerable amount of time. He still scored 13 goals in 49 appearances for the Reds.
But now that he's 29, could the more seasoned player make a difference up front for manager Roy Hodgson? With Liverpool still hovering in the bottom half of the table, no move should be off the table.
As reported by featured columnist Callum D'Souza, Arsenal head man Arsene Wenger looks likely to be eyeing Blackburn central defender Christopher Samba once the transfer window opens back up on Jan. 1.
The 6-foot-4, 26-year-old Samba would fit in nicely on the Gunners' back line, especially with the injury to Thomas Vermaelen. had reportedly requested a transfer when former Rovers boss Sam Allardyce was sacked, but new manager Steve Kean thinks Samba has changed his tune.
"I'm convinced he will be fit for Sunderland [on Jan. 1]," he recently told ESPNsoccernet, "and I am delighted to say he does not want to hand in that transfer request. He is happy to see how things develop in the transfer market and he is starting to think about staying at the club, which is a bonus for us.''
"I never felt there was a rebellion or that anyone didn't want to play," Kean went on to say. "I think for Chris, what was said was if another club came in for him then he would look at it. He might have been misquoted. He assured me he never said he wanted to leave. He didn't put in a written or verbal transfer request and I am very encouraged.''