The World Cup will dominate the world’s football focus this summer but that doesn’t mean the usual wheeling and dealing of the transfer market won’t be in full force. Last summer saw the high profile departure of Christiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid and Emmanuel Adebayor trading in the red of Arsenal for the blue of Manchester City. At this point in the season transfer rumors come thick and fast with many “stories” turning out to be little more than speculation. Here’s a roundup of some of the rumors for some of the biggest stars in the world and where they may end up within the Premier League.
A quick disclaimer, some of these rumors are a little old or slightly ludicrous but the main point of this post is to generate discussion.
Franck Ribéry: The Bayern Munich midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Bundesliga for years now so these rumors are nothing new. This time Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid are interested in the Frenchman. Ribéry, who is currently dealing with a public relations crisis due to being asked to testify in relation to a Paris prostitution ring, has promised to make a decision on his future by April 24. Chelsea seems to be the least likely of the three clubs for Ribéry to end up in and can the Blues really handle another player enveloped in a sex scandal?
Gianluigi Buffon: The Juventus keeper’s possible departure has been in the news for a few weeks now but his likely destination appears to be Manchester. There was a post yesterday discussing where the best fit for Buffon would be so I won’t rehash old material but Buffon in the EPL is an interesting proposition indeed.
Cesc Fabregas: The Arsenal captain is sidelined for the rest of the season following his Champion’s League clash with Barcelona at the Emirates back in March. Rumors have been swirling ever since that game about Fabregas’ possible return to Barcelona, his boyhood club. Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood told ESPN Soccernet last week that Barcelona made assurances they would not try to sign the Spanish striker during the summer but Barcelona claims they made no such assurances. Over the past few days Real Madrid, who are always looking to compete with Barcelona over big-name talent, have rumored to be interested in Fabregas as well.
Sergio Aguero: The Athletico Madrid striker has expressed interest in a move to Chelsea during the off-season. No reports have confirmed that Chelsea has recipricated interest in Aguero but the Argentine has been a hotly sought after commodity for the past few seasons so one must think there is some interest at Stamford Bridge.
Joe Cole: The Chelsea/England midfielder has been linked with a move to Manchester City for a four-year, £40 million contract, making him the highest payed player in the Premiership. Manchester United has also shown interest but if City’s offer is as high as reported United will stand no shot in a bidding war.
Landon Donovan: The American forward has impressed the English public with an impressive loan stint at Everton over the winter. The Toffees attempted to extend his loan deal to the end of the season by Donovan was recalled by the L.A. Galaxy. Rumors swirled back in March about the possibility of Chelsea making a £10 million offer but that relies heavily on the future of Joe Cole.
Craig Bellamy: Never one to mince words, whether it be about John Terry or his views on his colleagues, the Manchester City forward may not be with the club next season due to reported clashes with Roberto Mancini. No word yet on his possible destination but The Independent is reporting City is having difficulty convincing Bellamy to stay.
Kevin Doyle: This is slightly less glamorous than some of the other rumors but Everton is reportedly interested in the young striker from Wolves. It will probably take a bid of £10 million or more by the Toffees to lure to Irish International.
There will always be the rush for some the higher-payed players for the relegated sides. Players such as Jimmy Bullard, Jozy Altidore, Steven Fletcher and David James may become available during the off-season. There are also clubs in desperate need of improvement, like a goalkeeper for Arsenal, a second striker for Manchester United and every position for Liverpool. There will be plenty of twists and turns once the EPL season wraps up next month. So have fun in the comments section discussing where you think these players should go, rumors I have may have missed or who your favorite club should be pursuing.