Well the season is over and to be completely honest, life sucks. After the Champions League final we as a people are going to be deprived of a steady source of meaningful football until August. What am I supposed to do with all this free time I’ll have on the weekends now? I guess I could do some work around the house (fat chance), spend time with my family (HA!) or start working out more on the weekends (good luck with that one).

In all honesty the summer break, no matter how brief it may be, is the worst time of year for a soccer fan, especially in a non Euro/World Cup Year. There is literally nothing aside from the odd summer tour and random friendlies, which are nothing more than glorified training ground exercises. The only thing that keeps me going during this barren period (aside from hard liquor) are these magical little articles that populate the blogosphere known as Transfer Rumors. When you think about it, Transfer Rumors are no different than the god awful celebrity gossip that takes up the other 95% of Twitter that isn’t used by soccer. So while we may make fun of our significant others for getting excited because Kim Kardashian is going to ruin her child’s life by giving it a god awful name, I have no doubt they’re making fun of us for getting excited over the fact that Alvaro Negredo is going to West Ham. Trust me, they’re judging you.

But it’s those Transfer Rumors that sustain us throughout the summer. You know you’ve seen a rumor about a player coming to your team, immediately gone to FIFA and put that player on your team. Just to see how it would work out when you get FIFA 14. We’ve all done it. But because football media is so full of journalists, bloggers and Twitter experts, it’s tough to weed out what’s credible and what’s just absolute horse crap. So the following is a breakdown of how much weight you should probably put into the rumors you may see during the summer. It’s a system that I’ve painstakingly developed to help myself determine how much weight I should put into a rumor. The rumors will be measured by the amount of “Shreeves” (That’s probably metric, not sure) it weighs. The higher the Shreeves, the less likely I am to believe it. So without further adieu, let’s fire up the scale, start breaking down and weighing these rumors.

The Untouchables:

Weight: 100 Shreeves

There are really only two untouchables in the world of football and we all know who these two are. Any rumor you see involving Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are going to be full of Shreeves. We all know the reasons why and even though there were rumors that Ronaldo was unhappy at Real Madrid, he’s not leaving anytime soon. These players are worth more than whole leagues and have no reason to leave the clubs they’re at because their brands are directly linked to them.

The Big Names:

Weight: 90 Shreeves

Here we enter the most plentiful of rumors. The players whose mere inclusion in any rumor merits a click just to see which team they’re being linked with this hour. We’re talking Falcao, Cavani, etc. In the past month alone Radamel Falcao has been sold to Manchester United, AS Monaco, Chelsea and Manchester City, with Cavani being the runner up prize to the teams who weren’t able to land the primo big name. We’ve all seen the articles. “If *insert team here* want to challenge for the title, they HAVE to get *insert player*”. The fact of the matter is that any team (other than QPR) that got one of these players would challenge for some form of silverware in whichever league they end up in. Then you factor in the prices that are being thrown around and there are a number of top echelon teams that can afford to bring them in. Generally you want to take any and all rumors regarding these players with a grain of salt until one of them is holding up a shirt.

They’re Super Rich So They’ll Buy Everyone:

Weight: 70 Shreeves

It seems like every year there is a new super rich club that has an insane number of players being linked to them solely because they have money to spend. In recent times we’ve seen teams like Anzhi and PSG as the new Super Rich team. Fitting into that role this season is AS Monaco. So far we’ve seen Dmitry Rybolovlev’s billions linked to a quarter of the Colombian National team on top of the likes of Rooney, Tevez, Nasri, Dani Alves and Andy Carroll (seriously, Andy Carroll to Monaco was a thing. Look it up if you don’t believe me). These are the easiest rumors to start mainly because in most cases, teams like Monaco can afford to pay outrageous transfer fees. So literally everyone is in play, every outcast, every upset footballer, every top player at his position. These are tough rumors to decipher because teams like Monaco want to make a big splash and we’ve seen players like Samuel Eto’o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic make this move before. Which is why it is so hard to tell what can be real and what is just fodder and why blogs thrive on teams like this because inevitably someone will bite and go to Monaco (though you can almost guarantee it won’t be an Englishman). PSG has done the best job so far of actually buying the big names that they’ve been linked to so let’s sit back and see if Monaco can replicate their spending spree.

The Neverending Story:

Weight: 50 Shreeves

There are certain players that are constantly linked with one team over and over and over again. Most recently Spurs have been on the end of a few of these, mainly with their sagas involving Leandro Damaio and Joao Moutinho. Every transfer window these two players are constantly linked with Spurs and yet nothing ever seems to materialize, despite how close they’ve reportedly been to signing both of the players. When looking at rumors like these you have to realize that there is some form of mutual attraction or else the rumors wouldn’t persist. But for whatever reason when the two parties get to the final hurdle someone ends up face planting while the rest of the field passes them by as they are left whimpering on the ground wondering what could have been. In the end if one of these sagas does have a happy ending, it’s usually because one side caved for one reason or another (usually wages, looking at you Levy). If you really want to judge these rumors properly, you need to look at the team that they’re linked to. If it’s a team that typically ends up getting what it wants (if you believe the Andre Schurrle deal to Chelsea is in fact done) then generally there’s a good chance that player will end up with that club eventually.

Decent Player, Decent Club, Why Not:

Weight: 35 Shreeves

These are the non flashy, not necessarily big name rumors that will generate clicks. Generally because these rumors aren’t as sexy, they usually tend to turn out the way that it is predicted. Basically with rumors like this you’re talking the likes of Steven Fletcher to Sunderland. A team filling a need with a good player, but it’s not going to be getting worldwide headlines when the deal is done.

The Prospect:

Weight: 10 Shreeves

Generally when you see a player you’ve never heard of from a lower division team you’ve never heard of linked to a club, it’s because that club has done its homework. These are less rumors and more of an insight into who and how teams scout their players. Granted not everyone of these rumors ends up happening, but if you’re a fan of the club you usually have a good sense about whether your team is in on a player like this or not.

So there you have it, a quick guide on transfer rumors to help you get through the summer. Don’t let the amount of Shreeves that is designated to a rumor put you off. If we know anything, the football world is full of Shreeves, in fact it’s over flowing with Shreeves. But as we all know the transfer market is an extremely volatile place where anything can happen. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go add Schurrle and Falcao to Chelsea.