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Transfer gossip: Lot of hot air and very little substance

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Editor's Pick 22 Jul 2013, 13:04 IST
4.35K

The Wayne Rooney transfer saga promises to drag on like a TV soap opera

Ah! Hot air balloons, things of beauty!

The hot air balloon is the oldest successful flight technology available to man, and it’s one that allows us to fly high above the skies, giving one a sense of elevation that one does not get when one’s feet are on the ground.

If you’re a football fan, every summer you get bombarded with plenty of these hot air balloons. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the annual round of  summer transfer gossip!

Taking an imaginary flight in the realms of the footballing stratosphere with leading players and their agents making a beeline for the next big money move, and the fans’ wildest fantasies being plucked out of their imagination and used as cannon fodder in the endless stream of transfer-related tattle that floods our internet space and takes much of our waking time – that is the transfer gossip machine at its best, where most of the information that comes along is gibberish.

There’s a reason why the news from the gossip mill is called transfer dope; it is aimed to have precisely that effect – to get the fans hooked on to it, eager and waiting for the next shot of news and then the next and one more thereafter, until such a stage when the fan can no longer live without a shot of transfer news.

With only a handful of teams competing for top honours each season, the transfer window represents the clubs’ chance of making key transfer signings and getting the fans fired up.

Edinson Cavani, formerly of Napoli and now with French champions Paris Saint Germain, was one of the big fishes in this year’s summer transfer market.

Chelsea and Real Madrid made the early running on the Uruguayan, but sometime in the middle of all the speculation emerged a report, straight out of the blue, which claimed that Manchester United were in the race to sign the forward; this came out when just the previous evening another paper had reported that Chelsea were on the verge of completing the signing of Cavani.

Manchester United fans, over the last three years or so, have been assured that their team has been close to sealing the transfer of ___________ (fill in the blank with one of Wesley Sneijder, Kevin Strootman, Lucas Moura or Thiago Alcantara), only to still be stuck with the likes of Tom Cleverley and Anderson in midfield and being forced to recall a veteran out of retirement a couple of seasons ago.

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