Saturday 24 February 2018 / 08:56 PM

Rumour – The Summer Of Almosts

The season is almost upon us, and although you might think most club’s transfer business is finished, there’s still a surprising amount of transfer activity going on. The transfer window doesn’t slam shut until September 2nd, so there are a few more weeks for clubs to get players in the door. More time for transfers = more time for rumours:

Sagas of the summer to stay?

Media outlets all over the globe are reporting that the three big summer transfer sagas of the summer (Rooney to Chelsea, Bale to Real Madrid and Suarez to anywhere) are all close to dead. Given that most people thought that all 3 players were certain to go this will no doubt come as a bit of a shock to most. Let’s deal with them in turn:

It is believed that the top brass at Manchester United have decided that it would be a decidedly silly idea to allow Wayne Rooney to leave and join arch rivals Chelsea; something that seems like a fairly sensible realisation to us. United have apparently told Chelsea that they are unwilling to accept any bid and that Wayne Rooney is not for sale at any price. Rooney is said to be steadfast in his determination to leave the Premier League champions, but the word from the top is that he will not be allowed to leave Old Trafford, no matter what the circumstances are.

A few days ago it seemed like only a matter of time before Gareth Bale was a Real Madrid player, but Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti threw a spanner in the works this week when he reportedly informed Madrid president Florentino Perez that he didn’t see Bale as an integral part of his plans for the coming season. It is also suggested that many of the Real dressing room are not at all keen on Bale arriving in Spain, and with Daniel Levy unwilling to accept anything under £81m for the Welshman, the chances of Bale heading to Madrid – this summer at least – seem slim.

And so to Luis Suarez. According to the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador, Suarez has indicated that he is prepared to stay at Liverpool for now, and says that it is the ‘affection’ of the fans that has made him decide to say. Whether or not that source is in any way reliable remains to be seen, but with Arsenal unwilling to increase their bid for the striker, the chances of Suarez staying at Anfield for the immediate future appear to have increased.

Mourinho to benefit from Anzhi madness


The news that Manchester United are absolutely 100% not going to sell Wayne Rooney is likely to have dismayed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese Special One apparently relying on United’s stance on the Rooney situation softening.

With the Rooney deal seemingly dead in the water – or at least on the shelf for now – it seems Mourinho is now looking at alternatives to fill his void up front. As we reported last week, mega rich Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala have decided to place all of their players up for sale, which means that Samuel Eto’o – who excelled under Mourinho at Inter Milan – could well be available for as little as £5m. Mourinho is reportedly still hoping that the Rooney deal could be a goer, but is very interested in the Cameroonian. One difficulty may be Eto’o’s wages – with the striker currently earning something like £50000 a day at Anzhi – but if the player was prepared to take a wage cut, this one could definitely be a goer.

 Willian to join compatriot Coutinho at Anfield

Another club who could stand to benefit from the bizarre situation at Anzhi is Liverpool, who are apparently very interested in Brazilian winger Willian. Willian has been placed up for sale with the rest of the Anzhi squad, and Liverpool are believed to be at an advanced stage of negotiations with the Russian club.

Willian – who only joined Anzhi in January – is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs, with both Chelsea and Tottenham both interested in the wide man, but it is thought that Liverpool are in pole position to sign the player. The Liverpool owners are very keen to ensure that the negativity surrounding Anfield as a result of the Luis Suarez is eradicated, and are believed to be willing to spend big to land the Brazilian and bring a feel-good factor back to Merseyside.

Moyes turns his attention to Ozil


David Moyes has struggled to get players through the door in his United tenure so far, and after failing to procure Thiago and Fabregas, it seems that the Scot has now turned his attention to the Real Madrid playmaker Mezut Ozil.

The potential fee for Ozil is rumoured to be around £40m; a price that United would be prepared to pay to ensure that Moyes’ first season is a success. However, the move seems a rather odd one given that the German plays in an advanced attacking role – the same sort of role usually occupied by Japanese star Shinji Kagawa as well as Wayne Rooney. A common consensus among United fans seems to be that that sort of money would be more wisely invested in a box-to-box midfielder.

For his part, Ozil is apparently willing to join the Red Devils if an agreement is reached between Real Madrid and Tottenham, paving the way for Gareth Bale to join the Galaticos.

Pepe to become a Citizen of Manchester


With Real Madrid reportedly keen to raise the funds required to lure Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu, it’s been rumoured that they are now prepared to sell central defender Pepe – if a club comes in with the right amount.

Manchester City are apparently keen to land the centre back and after one of their mainstay central defenders Matija Nastasic was injured in a preseason friendly, the Citizens are apparently keen to get the job done sooner rather than later. Before any deal can take place, the clubs must agree a price, and this is perhaps the stumbling block to any potential deal. Madrid are thought to want £30m for the 30-year old, with City’s valuation much closer to £20m. If negotiations can help the two clubs arrive at a figure that suits them both, then this one could well happen.

And a few more:

  • Chelsea’s David Luiz may still join Barcelona if Jose Mourinho can’t guarantee him first-team football
  • Arsenal are closing in on a deal to land Bayern Munich’s Luiz Gustavo for £14m
  • Barcelona target Daniel Agger is apparently keen to join the Spanish champions if a bid is accepted
  • Udinese’s Vydra could be on his way to West Brom
  • Kevin Doyle may be on his way to Hull – but only if he takes a 50% paycut

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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