Thursday, 12 December 2013

Football transfer rumours: Wayne Rooney to Chelsea?

This photograph is not a mock-up, even though Wayne Rooney appears to have black hands in it. Photograph: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images

The Mirror has superimposed a photo of Wayne Rooney's head on to a Chelsea player's body to illustrate its story that the London club plan to renew their efforts to sign the Manchester United striker this summer. Helpfully stating that the picture is a "mock-up" for the benefit of anybody who might not know that Rooney has (a) never celebrated a goal while wearing full Chelsea kit and (b) not got the hands and neck of a black man, the story goes on to state that Chelsea are on "red alert" to renew their efforts to bring him to Stamford Bridge, having apparently discovered that zero progress has been made between the player and his club as far as a new contract is concerned.

David Moyes is reported to have sent a team of emissaries to Italy to discuss a deal that would see the versatile Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarín head to Old Trafford in January. Internazionale are prepared to sell Guarín, who would be available for approximately £15m, can play in a variety of positions, and is eligible to participate in the Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur want to bring the Atlético Madrid midfielder Koke to White Hart Lane, but they may have to participate in a tug of war with Manchester United. The Premier League champions have been scouting the 21-year-old and David Moyes was at the Vicente Calderón Stadium on Wednesday night to watch him score in his side's 2-0 Champions League win over Porto. With Milan and Atlético's city rivals Real also interested in the £15m-rated player, competition for his signature is likely to be fierce.

Manchester United scouts are also keeping their beady eyes on Sporting Lisbon's 21-year-old Portuguese international midfielder William Carvalho, while Hull City are prepared to rescue the 28-year-old Swedish midfielder Seb Larsson from his Sunderland hell; specifically the hell of having to play for Premier League propper-uppers Sunderland each week.

Expect the scramble to turn the head of the 19-year-old St Étienne defender Kurt Zouma to hot up now that the Ligue 1 player's manager has conceded he may have to cash in his prize asset during the January transfer window. He is unlikely to be short of customers with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Monaco all believed to have been keeping tabs on the French youth international. "As coach I always want to keep my good players, but there are obligations before the summer because there are budgets to do," said Christophe Gaultier. "I know that three clubs are following Kurt very closely. Will they make offers when the window opens? Anything is possible."

Real Sociedad's winger Antoine Griezmann hails from France and is wanted by Arsenal, while West Ham's manager Sam Allardyce has decided the problem of his team's paucity of goals could be solved by bringing the Seattle Sounders striker Obafemi Martins, 72, to the Boleyn Ground on loan.

Perhaps having given the Premier League table a cursory glance, Wesley Sneijder has decided he has no interest in signing for Manchester United and is happy enough in Turkey, playing for Galatasaray. The Dutch midfielder and Didier Drogba certainly looked content as a pigs in muck as they rolled around in the slushy bog that passed for the pitch of the Turk Telecom Arena on Wednesday afternoon, when Sneijder mugged an Old Lady from Turin to send the Turkish side through to the last 16 and eliminate Juventus from the Champions League.

And expect the West Brom manager Steve Clarke's demeanour to be even more dour and hangdog than usual now that he's been told he'll have no money to spend in the January transfer window. Bah!

The Guardian

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