World Football: Ranking the Top 10 Transfer Rumors of the Week
Another week, another crop of rumors in the football market. One would think the rumors would die once January ended. Yet once January ended, the focus just turned to the potential transfers this summer.
Some of these are past rumors that refuse to die, and some are new ones just gaining momentum. Let's take a look at the newest chapter in the ongoing transfer rumor saga.
Jens Lehman to Arsenal
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Arsenal's goalkeeper issues have gotten so bad that they are likely going to lure Lehman out of retirement. A retired Lehman is apparently better than a fresh Manuel Almunia.
Granted, Lehman may not actually be placed on the team, and if he is, he may only serve as a back up to Almunia. But given the interest from Arsenal, it looks as though Lehman will not only have a chance to be on the squad but also one at the starting XI.
It's doubtful Lehman would bother to come out of retirement just to sit on the bench.
Will Lehman be part of the starting XI for Arsenal? Most likely.
Will it be enough or make any sort of impact on Arsenal to propel them to the top of the table? We'll find out.
Kaka to Anywhere That Isn't Real Madrid
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The Kaka rumor refuses to die. When a rumor lasts this long one has to think that there might be some truth to the source of the rumor.
A Kaka departure wouldn't be too surprising. He has never seemed to fit in at Real. He never seemed too happy or at least as happy as he was with Milan. He is struggling with injury which always hurts the morale.
Mourinho says that he doesn't want Kaka to go, but the team is getting by just fine without him.
It will be in the club's best interests to get rid of his contract, and it will be in Kaka's best interest to find another team and try to regain his previous form.
Nani to Serie A
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Nani is the latest victim of the transfer mill. Reports are surfacing that he would like to explore the Serie A market this summer.
Perhaps he feels the Premier League is too rough and he would like to preserve his ankles and make a move before any serious damage is done. Granted, I think that most Tottenham players would argue that AC Milan and the Serie A are not soft.
Nani may not actually be interested in a move. He may just feel unappreciated and is hoping for a larger paycheck from Manchester United. The talk could just be posturing in advance of contract negotiations. It would be hard to believe that he would want to leave United.
Then again, maybe he just started the rumor when he heard the continued rumors about this next player.
Ashley Young to Manchester United
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The Nani move may actually be a reality if this move happens. Nani may have heard about United's interest in Young and is just lining up some options should he feel like he needs to move.
United tried to get Young from Aston Villa prior to the close of the January transfer window. They have renewed their interest and pursuit of Young.
Assuming the interest remains through the summer, it will be hard to see Young anywhere but at Old Trafford next season. United is quite the upgrade from Aston Villa, and Young, along with most players, would likely jump at the opportunity to make the move.
Manuel Neuer to United or Arsenal
Neuer had an impressive performance this past week against Valencia in the Champions League. He surely attracted the attention of many clubs, particularly those with aging keepers or goalkeeper issues.
Manchester United has already expressed interest, which makes sense given the fact that Edwin van der Sar has indicated that he will be retiring. Many keepers will likely vie to replace Van der Sar this summer.
Reports are currently surfacing that the front runner for United is Atletico Madrid's keeper David De Gea.
Even if Neuer doesn't end up at United, he will likely find a new home this summer.
As mentioned in an earlier slide, Arsenal's keeper issues are so bad that they are contemplating bringing Jens Lehman out of retirement. The Lehman project will likely only last a couple months and in the summer they will once again need to address the keeper issue and be looking for a permanent replacement. Neuer will probably be at the top of the list for Arsenal.
David Beckham to the Premier League
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Beckham is back in the news. A week passed without any headlines, and he needed to do something to get his name in the papers.
Instead of focusing on the start of the Galaxy's season, Beckham is plotting his return to England. One has to wonder why he ever even left.
Of course, any transfer for Beckham won't take place before November, when the Galaxy's season ends. He tried to go on loan to Tottenham this past offseason, but the Galaxy would not allow it.
Everyone has known that Beckham has wanted to be in Europe these past five years. These rumors just confirm what everyone already believed.
Bottom line is that Galaxy fans would be wise to invest in a Landon Donovan jersey and not a Beckham one as Donovan is the future of the club and will be there for the next few season.
Beckham fans should look into Tottenham jerseys.
Arjen Robben to AC Milan
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Rumors are starting that Robben wants out of Bayern Munich. Early rumors are linking the Dutch superstar with AC Milan.
Bayern's club president has quickly come out and said that Robben is not for sale at any price. As we all know in the football world, that statement means nothing. Just a couple weeks ago we heard the same thing about Fernando Torres.
If a player wants to leave, his wish will likely be granted. But the club ownership will usually be smart about it and demand a premium.
It's uncertain if that is the case with Robben. But Robben has never seemed too happy at Bayern, and he has been plagued with injury all season. Bayern can easily get by without him, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't and won't make some good money when selling him.
Dani Alves to the Premier League
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It's hard to get an accurate reading on the Alves situation. He will be negotiating his contract with Barcelona this summer. Surely the club wants to keep him, and Alves, like every player, would likely want to stay with Barcelona.
But while Alves continues to insist he wants to remain with Barcelona, he is also acting like a neglected girlfriend and complaining that Barcelona isn't treating him well. Alves has voiced him opinion several times and the situation could get much worse before it gets better.
Barcelona thrives on team chemistry. They pay their players well, but the team is always more important than the individual. Most teams will preach that, but few clubs will stand by it. Barcelona will surely make Alves an offer. But if it isn't what Alves wants, Barcelona will ship him off before they offer him a premium.
Perhaps Alves will be satisfied with the offer. But considering the fact that there is already so much discussion about the negotiations that have yet to take place, it is likely that one side will leave the negotiations unhappy, and it likely won't be Barcelona.
Javier Mascherano to Juventus
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This rumor started last week but continues to grow. Mascherano has yet to secure a starting spot at Barcelona, and it is doubtful that he will want to spend another season on the bench.
The only thing that could prevent a move to Juventus would be an offer from another club. Juventus would be a great place to play and surely Mascherano would find a spot in the starting XI. But if another club came along that was in the Champions League, like Inter or AC Milan, they could present a more enticing offer than Juventus.
Pepe Reina to Chelsea or Arsenal
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Reina continues to proclaim his love for Liverpool while also hinting at the fact that he loves them so much he might just leave.
Could Reina team up with Fernando Torres at Chelsea? It doesn't appear that Chelsea is looking to replace Cech, but surely Reina would like to play for a contender.
Which is why Arsenal is intriguing. They need a long term solution at keeper. If Reina is willing to leave Anfield and if he wants to play for a contender and Champions League team, then Arsenal would be a great landing spot.