World Football's 16 Biggest Transfer Rumours Right Now

Peter Webster@@petercwebsterContributor IIIJanuary 26, 2012

World Football's 16 Biggest Transfer Rumours Right Now

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    The January transfer window has entered its final week, and as far as things go, it's been pretty quiet all over the world.

    There's been plenty of gossip and speculation around, but firm bids have been rare and shock free thus far.

    Whether that's likely to change or not over the next few days is anybody's guess. Only those who control the purse strings know if there's going to be some upset supporters crying over the loss of their star player.

    Having said that, they could be crying with happiness if an overrated bench warmer nets them a few million in profit too.

    So that brings us here, to the top 16 world football transfer rumours of modern times.

    Some are like bad smells that don't go away; some are as fresh as a daisy.

    Enjoy.

Luis Suarez

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    Real Madrid and Inter Milan are reported to be interested in Liverpool's star man Luis Suarez, according to the Daily Mail.

    Rumours that the Liverpool owners fear Suarez could become negative press for the club are the catalyst for this particular story.

    Suarez is still serving part of his eight-match ban from the Patrice Evra racism row, which occurred in October 2011.

    Liverpool will certainly be hoping that Madrid and Inter don't make an offer, because they don't have any kind of goalscoring replacement currently able to fill the void it would create.

Carlos Tevez

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    Will he move? Where will he go? Paris St Germain? AC Milan? Inter Milan?

    It seems nobody can strike a deal for the talented Argentinean Carlos Tevez from Manchester City.

    Reports surfaced recently on Setanta.com about how much money Tevez has missed out on since going AWOL from his Lancashire club, which gives you an idea as to why so many other clubs are failing to agree terms with either the player or Manchester City.

    At this rate, we could well be seeing Tevez take early retirement if he wants to get out of his contract with the English club.

Neymar

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    Neymar is considered the next big thing to come out of Brazil, but a lot of people think he doesn't have the pedigree to make it in a better league than the one he currently plays in for Santos.

    Barcelona and Real Madrid are two big teams that have been linked with the funky-haired Brazilian, but now that he's signed a contract until 2014, he has suggested he's going nowhere, according to Canada.com.

    Either that, or the club are just ensuring they get their money's worth through a tightly-written contract.

Marek Hamsik

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    Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik has formed a good partnership with Edinson Cavani at Napoli, which has put him in the spotlight for a big move.

    According to Metro, it seems Hamsik's agent has declared that a move to Chelsea, Real Madrid or Barcelona would be preferable to the player, and they are all clubs with the financial backing to pull off such a deal.

    No offers are believed to have been forthcoming yet, which should mean Hamsik will remain at Napoli for the time being.

Hulk

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    FC Porto have slapped an £84 million price tag on their star forward Hulk, which has put off a lot of suitors for now, according to the Daily Mail.

    The Brazilian looks set to stay in Portugal until at least the summer time, but then I wouldn't be surprised if we saw him in a Chelsea shirt.

    Chelsea's Roman Abramovich has the money to make the deal happen, and he may decide to offload Fernando Torres on the cheap in a make-weight deal.

    Stranger things have happened, and the Russian isn't known for his patience. Just ask Carlo Ancelotti.

Eden Hazard

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    Lille winger Eden Hazard has been touted by many top clubs over the last year and was linked with the likes of Chelsea in the summer, according to The Week.

    There are still plenty of stories banding around that suggest a January deal could still happen, but summer is a more likely movement date for the Belgian.

    Lille president stated last year that £40 million would be the cost to Hazard from his club, and that's not a figure that everybody can afford.

Edinson Cavani

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    Napoli striker Edinson Cavani has been linked strongly with Manchester City since the end of 2011, according to the Guardian, but there has been no official word from either camp regarding direct contact.

    With time running out in the January transfer window, it seems a summer move might be more likely, but there is still time for some January shocks.

    Fellow Napoli player Marik Hamsik also features on this list, which means Napoli must be doing something right with their performances to have players so highly thought of.

Lucas Moura

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    Sao Paulo's Lucas Moura may be the subject of Inter Milan interest, according to goal.com, now that that their attempt to sign Carlos Tevez has fallen through.

    Moura had previously been a target for Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool if you believe The Mirror.

    Just over a week ago, tribalfootball.com reported that Barcelona had also entered the race, which gives you an idea of the Brazilian's reputation throughout Europe. 

Maxi Lopez

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    AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani has apparently stated that Milan will definitely sign either Carlos Tevez or Maxi Lopez in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail.

    With the talks for Tevez seemingly breaking down, it looks as though Milan will now turn their attention to Fulham target Lopez.

    This article also speculates that Fiorentina have already made a bid for the Argentinean, and that Fulham need to stump up £6.5 million if they want a chance of signing the player.

Luka Modric

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    Luke Modric was reportedly subject of a £30 million bid from Chelsea earlier in the season, which was rejected by Tottenham, but now reports are surfacing that Manchester United may break the bank to sign the Croatian midfielder in a £50 million deal, according to the Daily Mail.

    Manchester United are struggling for midfield numbers and have had a hard time replacing the retired Paul Scholes. So much so in fact, that they asked the player to come out of retirement at age 37 to keep playing for the club.

    Scholes has accepted.

Willian

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    Despite Andreas Villas Boas cooling talk about any bids for Willian, Sky Sports revealed the very next day that Shakhtar Donestsk had rejected a bid by the London club for their star player.

    The bid was in the region of £16.7 million, whereas Shakhtar are believed to be holding out for closer to £29 million.

    If Chelsea return with an improved offer for the Brazilian, it would certainly be the biggest English transfer in January 2012 by some distance.

Gareth Bale

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    Tottenham Hotspur have apparently slapped a £150 million price tag on winger Gareth Bale after reported interest from oil rich Manchester City.

    The totalfootballmadness.com report goes on to suggest that Bale has a £50 million buy-out clause in his contract, which makes any £150 million reference rather ridiculous.

    Cristiano Ronaldo cost Real Madrid £80 million from Manchester United, which should put the Bale price into perspective.

Kaka

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    Kaka may not have hit the dizzying heights at Real Madrid that he once achieved with AC Milan, but the Brazilian midfield playmaker is still something special when he turns it on.

    The French Revolution currently occurring at Paris St. Germain has seen manager Carlo Ancelotti linked with all manner of players recently, according to footballtransferleague.co.uk—and as I'm sure you've now figured out, Kaka is one of them.

    Leonardo, the PSG director of football has moved to quell the speculation and denies making any contact over his former colleague, according to Sky Sports.

Frank Lampard

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    The Guardian have been discussing whether Frank Lampard's proposed move to Paris St. Germain is a viable one after PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly made enquiries about the England midfielder.

    Strong rumours have been circulating that Lampard and Chelsea coach Andrea Villas Boas have had a falling out, which could sway Lampard's decision.

    Lampard has been dropped in several key games for Chelsea this season and is 33 years of age.

Thiago Motta

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    Staying with Carlo Ancelotti's side,  Inter Milan's Thiago Motta has suggested he could become a PSG player before the Janaury window closes, as his current deal has yet to be extended with the Serie A club.

    According to soccernews.com, Motta said to reporters:

    I spoke with the president and the club, we clarified a lot of things, now we have to see.

    Paris is a big city, there’s still eight days until the end of the transfer market so anything can happen, we will see, I don’t know but at the moment I feel good here.

    I have to thank Moratti and Preziosi, who have helped relaunch my career after such a difficult time, but let’s see. I have not decided anything yet.

Arsene Wenger

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    In a transfer of a different kind, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been linked with the manager's job at Real Madrid, according to the Guardian.

    Not that there's one currently available mind you.

    Wenger has caught some abuse of late following his decision to substitute Alex Oxlade Chamberlain for out of sorts Andrei Arshavin in the recent league game against Manchester United, and Real coach Joe Mourinho was roundly booed for an apparent dressing room spat with Sergio Ramos.

    Mourinho is known for not staying anywhere too long and has long been rumoured to replace Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson once the Scotsman finally retires.

Afterthoughts

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    What constitutes a big transfer in the eyes of the public?

    Is it the profile of a player who is considered to be up there with the best of the best in his position? Or perhaps it merely boils down to the figure involved between two clubs.

    Maybe it's a combination of the two.

    Whatever your views on "big" transfers, there will always be a divide over whether a fee is too much for a player.

    In the modern age, players are so overpriced, it's a wonder how most football teams stay afloat—inevitably, of course, some of them don't.

    The Premier League has moved to make clubs more self-sustainable, which eventually should bring transfer prices down to a more reasonable level across the board—hopefully their move to do this hasn't come too late.

    Thanks for reading, and check out 16 Players You'd Let Marry Your Daughter, if you want to read something a little lighthearted.

    On Twitter? Follow me @petercwebster, where I post all my B/R content.

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