It would not be an incorrect analogy to think of the Barclay’s Premier League as a marketplace. Players are continually bought and sold and even loaned out! These ‘transfers’ often involve big money and attract a lot of eyeballs. After all, football is a game of frenzy and fans have their loyalties to players and teams. No wonder then, rolls of newsprint and hours of broadcast space are spent on analyzing every transfer that might shift the scales one way or the other.
So here’s a mixed bag of transfers that are most certainly true and others that are still in the grapevine:
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he has no plans to sell forward Andrey Arshavin in the January transfer window.
Verdict: Really? But he’s not very good any more, Arsène! His transfer eccentricity is still alive and well.
Alex McLeish would love to sign Robbie Keane permanently after the forward’s winning double at former club Wolves.
Verdict: Birmingham or LA? Constantly sunny weather or The Bullring? Red Hot Chili Peppers or UB40? Actually, don’t answer that last one. Still, surely Keane will stay with Becks and co?
Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean believes they can keep hold of David Hoilett and Christopher Samba as the transfer window reaches its final days.
Verdict: Hoilett, maybe. Samba has “deadline day exit” written all over him in the Sky Sports News font.
Owen Coyle may make a move for French striker Sebastien Le Toux, who currently plays for Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer.
Verdict: On trial at the club, so presumably he’s Bolton’s if they want him.
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has launched a £20million bid for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Willian.
Verdict: Fits the young and creative bill. May require a bigger bid, given how loaded Shakhtar are.
Verdict: David Moyes will be happy to freshen things up in the forward line, as goals have dried up recently for his side.
Maxi Lopez is reported to have agreed terms for a transfer to Fulham, but AC Milan are hoping to hijack the deal.
Verdict: You’d fancy AC Milan in that fight really, wouldn’t you?
Liverpool are reportedly in talks with Real Madrid ahead of a bid to sign midfielder Esteban Granero.
Verdict: Sure. Liverpool love signing midfielders.
Manchester City must find a world-record £150million fee to lure Gareth Bale from Tottenham.
Verdict: They’ve got the money, but they’ve also got those dreaded Financial Fair Play rules to worry about.
Luka Modric is now Manchester United’s No 1 transfer target for the summer, but it will take a £50million bid from United to land the 26 year old to Old Trafford.
Verdict: Probably depends on Spurs’ league position. If, as they just might, they finish above United why would Modric leave? If they implode and finish lower than fourth he’ll be off.
Alan Pardew has turned his attention to Watford defender Adrian Mariappa after long-term target James Tomkins signed a new contract at West Ham.
Verdict: Mariappa won’t be at Vicarage Road for long if Newcastle make a suitable offer.
Norwich City have rejected an approach from Rangers for captain Grant Holt.
Verdict: Silly bid. Holt’s in the form of his life and loving life at Carrow Road.
Queens Park Rangers
Mark Hughes has targeted Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic but knows a bid of more than £7m is required to persuade Ibrox owner Craig Whyte to start negotiating.
Verdict: Rangers are desperate for a striker, but Jelavic has caught the eye of several clubs that are better placed in the league.
Tony Pulis has told Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones to forget about enjoying a multi-million pound pay day at Saudi side Al-Hilal.
Verdict: When the man with the waterproof jacket and baseball cap says no, you don’t argue with him.
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill has his eyes on Valencia striker Aritz Aduriz.
Verdict: Value from abroad would make a nice change for Sunderland rather than paying inflated fees for UK-based players.
Brendan Rodgers insists no Swansea City star will be sold this month — unless they receive a £30 million offer.
Verdict: Sounds like someone’s got a severe case of the Premier Leagues. Would he really not take £29m for Angel Rangel?
Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka is wanted on loan by Serie A side Roma.
Verdict: Looks likely to leave Spurs, but West Ham are also interested.
West Bromwich Albion
Roy Hodgson is planning a raid on his former club Fulham for Brede Hangeland and Damien Duff.
Verdict: Good luck with that, Roy.
Roberto Martinez admits he needs to bolster his squad in the transfer window if they are to have any chance of survival.
Verdict: It’s like he’s only just realised…
Mick McCarthy has admitted that he is concerned Steven Fletcher’s good form will attract interest from a bigger club, but says Wolves do not need to sell.
Verdict: Wolves may not need to sell, but if the big guns came calling Fletcher would be off.
Only a fool would see these transfers as mere mathematical additions and subtractions. The football world knows that it is these very transfers that can often make or break entire games. The best we can do for now is just sit back and watch the new line-up take shape. And of course, comment!