David Beckham and 10 Other Winter Transfer Rumours That Could Change Title Races
Despite the fact that "silly season" is meant to be well and truly over, it would appear that many of our fellow sportswriters are so desperate to fill column inches that they are continuing to pump out transfer rumours on a daily basis.
Most of these rumours are never likely to become a reality, and some are simply laughable.
However, they do keep us entertained when football gets us down between September and January, and some of them do get the imagination working on just how the signing would affect the set up of a team.
In this article I'm going to take a look at 11 transfer rumours that concern top of the table clubs across the European leagues, and give my thoughts on how, if the rumour became a reality, the deal could potentially affect whichever title race the team signing the player is involved in.
I am not saying that any of these rumours will become reality, nor am I saying that the sources are reliable. I am simply giving my thoughts on 11 rumours that I found somewhat interesting and how they might affect title races.
I hope you enjoy. If you do enjoy, please have a read of this.
Marek Hamsik to Manchester United
Marek Hamsik has been linked to pretty much every top team in Europe over the last three years or so. The latest reports have Manchester United considering a £30million move for the Slovakian star.
Most media sources spend the summer linking United with Wesley Sneijder as Sir Alex Ferguson looked to replace the retired Paul Scholes at the heart of the United midfield. I've long been of the opinion that Sneijder would be a terrible signing for United.
Sneijder needs to play as an attacking midfielder, rather than an attacking central midfielder which is what United require. He needs to play that more advanced role to display his talents to the best of his ability, and would be out of his depth in a Premier League midfield battle from a physical point of view.
Hamsik is a much more suitable signing for United in that role and is, in my opinion, perfectly suited to life in the Premier League. He's a fantastic all-around player who's more than happy to do his share of the legwork while also excelling at the attacking side of things.
United's central midfield would be greatly improved with Hamsik placed alongside Anderson, although it's not been too shabby thus far this season it must be said.
It's pretty clear to most people that the Premier League is going to be a three-horse race with United, Chelsea and City vying for the title, and the addition of a player like Hamsik could really swing things in United's favour were they to pull this deal off in January.
This deal would also have a huge effect on the title race in Serie A, where Napoli appear to be genuine title contenders and likely would struggle to make a run at the title without Hamsik.
Robin Van Persie to Manchester City
Apparently Arsenal captain has grown so disillusioned with the ongoings at the Gunners that he has decided to hold of talks over a new contract until he sees some ambition from Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board.
At the same time, Carlos Tevez's time at Manchester City seems to be coming to an end, following claims from City manager Roberto Mancini that he refused to enter City's midweek loss to Bayern Munich as a late substitute.
Two plus two often equals five in the world of football, and there are some reports that City may be monitoring Van Persie's situation at Arsenal.
If Tevez goes in January, I think they will definitely look to replace him with another top class striker and Van Persie is certainly that.
The thoughts of a Van Persie-Kun Aguero strikeforce is mouthwatering if you're a City fan and terrifying if you're a fan of any team scheduled to face them any time soon. As good as Edin Dzeko is, Robin Van Persie is better.
Regardless of whether City "need" Van Persie or not, there's no question he would be a fantastic signing and would improve City's starting 11.
And, quite frankly, if their starting 11 gets any better I simply don't see anyone challenging them for the title this season unless United and Chelsea add some big recruits of their own.
Carlos Tevez to God Only Knows
As I mentioned on the previous slide, it appears Carlos Tevez is on his way out of Manchester City the minute the transfer window opens in January after the incident in midweek.
Personally, I don't know if he refused to play or not, but I really don't think he did. Tevez is a true professional and I've never seen him give less than his all at any of the five clubs he's played for, or his national team.
Tevez's name has been linked with too many clubs to list and it's really impossible to tell where he might end up. AC Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool and Anzhi Makhachkala are just five clubs who have been linked to the player.
Whereever he goes, he will impact a title race because he's a world class player.
Say what you will, but Tevez is a top tier player who will make an impact anywhere he goes.
He played a huge part in success for Manchester United while he was there, he single-handedly saved West Ham from relegation while there, he helped Manchester City win the FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League last season, and won league titles with both Boca Juniors and Corinthians.
Personally, I would love him at Liverpool. Luis Suarez is crying out for a top-class partner and Tevez is just that.
Dirk Kuyt and everyone who understands the game of football can see that Kuyt is currently Liverpool's best option to partner Suarez, regardless of Andy Carroll's ridiculous pricetag.
If he goes to Liverpool, he won't impact the title race this season but should swing the battle for fourth in the Reds favour and would be a massive player for them next season.
Whether or not City would sell within the Premier League all depends on how badly they want rid of him.
Tevez has in the past been linked with Liverpool and has also spoken of a wish to play for them.
Gary Cahill to Chelsea
Please ignore the "Welcome to LFC" heading on the video.
Don't you just love when those on Youtube decide to preempt all transfers by welcoming them to their clubs and then look extremely silly when the move never happens.
Anyway, Chelsea are the latest top club to be linked with Gary Cahil,l and in my opinion, that's a very sensible rumour.
Chelsea needs another central defender because David Luiz is struggling for consistency, John Terry's already limited pace is rapidly deteriorating and Branislav Ivanovic is more suited to playing at right back.
Cahill would, in my view, slot in alongside Terry in the short term, and form a long-term partnership with Luiz at the heart of the Chelsea defence.
Chelsea's defence has been a bit of a weak point for them this season, but I believe that Cahill would fix that problem and return them to being the best defensive team in the Premier League.
A strong defence goes a long way towards helping winning titles, and Cahill's signing could give Chelsea that extra little bit they need to give Andre Villas-Boas a Premier League title in his debut season as Chelsea manager.
Leandro Damiao to Liverpool or Tottenham
OK, so this one is not going to affect a title race because neither Liverpool nor Tottenham have any chance of winning the Premier League this season.
It would, however, affect the battle for fourth place in the Premier League which is the best either of these teams can hope for.
Spurs were linked with Damiao for most of the summer and according to some reports are preparing a January bid for him. In the last week or so Liverpool have also been linked with a January move for the Brazilian sensation who looks to be a born goal scorer.
Liverpool have more need for Damiao as they are in desperate need of a truly top-class player to partner Luis Suarez, and although my preference would be a move for Tevez—as alluded to in a previous slide—I would be delighted with Damiao, who reminds me a lot of Alexandre Pato who is my dream partner for Suarez.
Spurs have signed Adebayor on loan and with Defoe alongside him, they seem set up front. That being said, Harry Redknapp is still Harry Redknapp and it would be no surprise to see him make a move for the Brazilian frontman.
If these reports are true, and both teams are interested, the winner of this transfer tussle will land themselves a top-class striker, and probably a place in next years Champions League.
Milos Krasic to AC Milan
Strengthening your own ranks while weakening the opposition by taking away their best player is a time-honoured tradition in Italy, and reports suggest that AC Milan may be set to do just that by making a move for Juventus' best player, Milos Krasic.
The double whammy effect of this move is exactly what Milan need right now, in my opinion. Krasic would give Milan one thing they lack: real wide and drive from midfield.
A gifted player, he's capable of playing on either flank or through the middle and can provide the type of service that the likes of Ibrahimovic and Pato can thrive on.
Milan need a kick start, as they are going to find it harder to defend their title than they did to win it, especially in the face of a challenge from a much improved Napoli, Krasic could give them that kickstart.
Jan Vertonghen to Inter Milan
It's no secret that Inter's defence isn't exactly their strongest aspect right now.
They're being linked with a plethora of defenders, but the one the interested me the most was the report linking them with Ajax's Belgian star, Jan Vertonghen.
Vertonghen is not only a great defender, he's a great leader and with Inter having a bit of a nightmare at the back, he could be the ideal remedy to their woes.
Liverpool are apparently the favourites to sign Vertonghen, but Inter will certainly have the money and the clout to rival them for his signing.
A strong defence equals a strong Inter. A strong Inter equals title contenders.
Sami Khedira to Bayern Munich
Sami Khedira has not been first choice at Real Madrid thus far this season, and after Jose Mourinho publicly blamed him for Real's defeat to Levante, his time at the Spanish giants could be coming to an end.
Bayern Munich, along with Chelsea and AC Milan, are being linked with the German international.
I think the link to Bayern is an interesting one as they already possess one of the very best midfielders in world football.
Khedira and Bastian Schweinstiger have combined wonderfully for the German National team, and if Bayern were to add him to their already strong midfield ranks, I think they'd be striking the perfect balance.
Bayern are favourites for the Bundesliga this year, as they are every year, and the signing of Khedira could really give them a step up on their rivals.
Truth be told, if he were to sign for any of the three clubs he's being linked with, he would give them a big boost in their title challenge.
Eden Hazard to Real Madrid
Arguably the best young talent in world football, Eden Hazard has been linked with just about every top club in Europe, and then some.
Madrid have a fantastic team, there's no denying it.
However, they do seem to be missing something in their quest to top Barcelona and reclaim their throne as the No. 1 team in Spain, and Europe.
Hazard has the type of ability that could make that something special, which would bring them to Barca's level and possibly beyond.
His presence would take a lot of the pressure off Ronaldo, as he can do the wide work Ronaldo is often forced into, leaving the Portuguese superstar free to pursue his main hobby—scoring goals for fun.
Alvaro Negredo to Rubin Kazan
The Russian Premier League often tends to be won by the team with the most money.
CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg and Rubin Kazan have each won two titles over the last six years and all three have invested heavily in players.
Going into this season those three team would have expected to be the three favourites for the title again. Anzhi Makhachkala launched themselves firmly into the discussion with their big summer spending spree, which brought them, among others, Samuel Eto'o and Balazs Dzsudzsak.
While some were predicting that Anzhi would stroll to the title this season, results have not gone as expected, and they've recently sacked their manager.
CSKA, Zenit and Kazan will all be aware that they must spend again to keep up with the upstarts, and Rubin appear to be eyeing a move for Alvaro Negredo, if reports are to be believed.
They apparently face competition from AC Milan and Spurs, but I doubt AC have any real interest and I think Spurs are just keeping tabs in case they miss out on Leandro Damiao.
Negredo is a fantastic striker, a born goalscorer and a player who would be an international regular for any country other than Spain.
He would be a huge signing for Rubin if they can pull it off and he would go a long way towards helping them regain their title.
David Beckham to Paris St. Germain
PSG spent a whole heap of money in the summer, as their new owners tried to reestablish the team as the top dogs in French football.
Thus far results have been mixed and PSG seem to be missing someone who can link the midfield to the attack.
Reports suggest that director of football, Leonardo, feels that English superstar David Beckham might be that missing link and that he has had preliminary discussions with Beckham and will go back for more talks come January.
Beckham is not the player he once was, but he's still definitely capable of doing well in Ligue 1.
His passing and deadball skills are still there and he would bring a wealth of experience to PSG.
He's also the most wellknown player in world football and would sell an incredible amount of jerseys and give PSG global exposure, so this is a deal that makes sense on a footballing and economic basis.