The rumour mill has not stopped working overtime, since the transfer window opened. Some of the rumours that sprouted up in the first two weeks of January were turned into reality, while others were negated by players or officials. Lionel Messi was heavily linked with a £200 million transfer to Chelsea or Manchester City. However, the air was cleared, when Lionel Messi silenced all the transfer talks about him at the Ballon d’Or ceremony. Few major done deals of the transfer season so far are – Wilfried Bony to Manchester City, Xherdan Shaqiri and Lukas Podolski to Inter Milan, Yaya Sanogo to Crystal Palace, Fernando Torres to AC Milan.The third week of the transfer season has already startled football fans by linking reputed clubs with top players. Let’s take a look at the rumours that are doing the rounds today, with clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Tottenham being heavily linked.
#1 Chelsea and Manchester United
Chelsea are eyeing Florentina striker Juan Cuadrado and are willing to shun Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah to fund the deal. However, Schurrle has insisted that he will fight for his first team oppurtunity at the Stamford Bridge. So far, Schurrle has been subbed on a number of occasions, after failing to impress Jose Mourinho.
Manchester United are looking forward to signing Radamel Falcao permanently to launch a swap deal bid for Edinson Cavani. According to the French paper L’Equipe, Louis van Gaal will pay the £43 million transfer fee as agreed in the terms of Falcao’s loan deal and then use him to lure the PSG striker.
Chelsea to seal Raphael Varane deal as soon as Kurt Zouma heads for the exit. Mourinho is keen on beating Van Gaal to the signature of Varane as the Blues are all set to loan Kurt Zouma to Inter Milan. Roberto Mancini had expressed his interest in signing Zouma for six months on a loan deal.
#2 Arsenal and Liverpool
Arsenal are keen on signing Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote and recently released a bid of £9m. The Ivorian is said to have demanded a fee of £80,000 per week and a three year deal. Tiote is currently at the African Cup of Nations and Arsenal are negotiating deal with his representatives.
Liverpool are willing to go all out to sign Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema. The Reds have reportedly released an audacious bid of £38.1 million for the striker. Brendan Rodgers had approached the striker in summer, but the deal ended up collapsing. Liverpool and Rodgers are hopeful that they can sign him this time.
Arsenal confident of signing Gabriel Paulista as Villarreal boss reveals that the defender could leave at the end of January. The Brazilian centre back admitted, over the weekend that he would be open to the idea of a transfer to Arsenal. Villareal boss Marcelino said on a Spanish radio, “If both Gabriel and the club believe that his sale to Arsenal is the best for all parties, we will accept.”
#3 Barcelona and Real Madrid
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is reportedly negotiating a new contract with the Spanish club. The Spaniard was previously linked to a transfer move with Arsenal. It is being suggested that Busquets’ buy-out clause is likely to increase, which was earlier €150 million. It would take a fortune for Arsenal to sign the player, if the reports are true.
Real Madrid tempted to off-load defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi in order to purchase the services of Lucas Silva. Athletic Bilbao have presented a £20 million bid for Illarramendi. Meanwhile, Lucas Silva revealed his interest to play for the La Liga giants. He said, “'I dream of Real Madrid. I'm ready to play there, whether it's now or in June.”
#4 Manchester City and Tottenham
Manchester City are confident over landing Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus, before other European clubs. The 25 year old is reported to have a release clause of €25 million, which will be activated at the end of the season. City boss Manuel Pellegrini seems to be lining a bumper fee of £200,000 a week to lure the player to the Etihad.
Tottenham are interested in signing Cagliari’s Godfred Donsah, but it seems they will recieve resistance from the Italian club boss Gianfranco Zola. The 18-year old Ghanaian has scored once and assisted one in 10 appearences. He was signed by Cagliari last summer for a fee of £2.2 million from Hellas Verona.
Tottenham plan to sign Everton’s Kevin Mirallas through a swap deal invoving Aaron Lennon plus cash. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is keen on signing the Belgian winger, who has 18 months left on his contract at Goodison Park. However, Everton will need a serious amount of money to even consider parting ways with Mirallas.
Everton are reportedly interested in signing Sevilla midfielder Stephane Mbia on a free transfer. The former QPR player seems to be searching for an oppurtunity to return to the Premier League. The Toffees are monitoring his situation and could be ready to sign him in the winter transfer window.
Paul Lambert has reportedly ruled out transfer of Christian Benteke in the January transfer window. He said that the player is fine at Aston Villa and there is no way he will be out in the market. However, Darren Bent managed to leave Villa and join Derby on loan this month.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis offers a fresh bid of £4.5 million to Wigan Athletic for winger Callum McManaman. Wigan are expecting a bid of £6 million for the player, but West Brom are hopeful to settle the deal with their new bid. The bid is understood to be £3.5 million plus an additional £1 million.