Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Paul Pogba to Real Madrid?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 13, 2014

Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Paul Pogba to Real Madrid?

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    Bleacher Report presents a power ranking of the 20 hottest transfer rumours, news and signings.

    So, how will these 20 transfer window rumours be ranked? The rumours will be ranked according to name recognition.

    The less identifiable the rumoured player is, the lower the rumour will be ranked and vice versa.

20. Brek Shea

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    Stoke City's Brek Shea has had his loan spell with Barnsley cut short after an altercation with a fan, per NBC Sports.

    Shea was contrite in the aftermath as he tweeted: "I did not intend to offend the Barnsley fans who have shown tremendous support for the team."

    He averaged 14.1 passes per game at Barnsley and did not score or assist a single goal in eight Championship games, so he clearly is not Premier League quality. 

    He should seriously contemplate about moving to an Eredivisie club, as the attack-driven Dutch league can revamp his career. 

19. Richairo Zivkovic

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    Groningen's 17-year-old centre-forward Richairo Zivkovic has agreed to move to Ajax for €2.5 [about £2.1] million, per De Telegraaf (h/t Michael Bell at Football-Oranje.com).

    Zivkovic is still a working in progress and he has made a shrewd choice to sign with Ajax, a club famous for helping prospects transition into stars. 

    His arrival at the club is not good news for Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who needs to up his game or face losing his starting position to Zivkovic next season. 

18. Bobby Zamora

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    Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp declared that centre-forward Bobby Zamora will leave the club in the summer transfer window. 

    "Bobby's [time is] up in the summer," Redknapp said to the Fulham Chronicle (via Graeme Bailey of Sky Sports). "He's looking to the future, but he’s been a good player and may play a part before the end of the season."

    Zamora has yet to score in the Championship this season and has spent most of the campaign watching Charlie Austin score.

    Even with Austin currently recuperating from shoulder surgery, per Joe Strange at the Daily MailZamora has not made inroads, drifting in and out of the matchday squad. 

17. William Carvalho

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    There are conflicting reports over Manchester United's interest in Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.

    United have begun negotiations with Carvalho, per ESPN.

    However, quoting a source from Sporting, A Bola (via talkSPORT) has rubbished the claims: "There are no official talks with Manchester United about the eventual hiring of William Carvalho."

    Keep an eye out for Carvalho, since he could impress at the FIFA World Cup for Portugal.  

16. Marko Marin

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    Chelsea's Sevilla loanee Marko Marin prefers to stay with the Spanish club than return to the Blues.

    "If both Sevilla and me are happy to stay I can stay here forever," Marin said, per Estadio Deportivo (h/t Nick Lustig at the Daily Star). "We'll see what happens in the summer."

    Marin has gone from being a squad filler at Chelsea to a role player at Sevilla, which is an upgrade but still not career-fulfilling, considering he was once Germany's golden boy. 

    He has made more substitute appearances (seven) than starts (five) for Sevilla in La Liga. 

    When he has started, he has generally operated centrally. 

15. Jack Rodwell

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    One of Everton manager Roberto Martinez's summer transfer targets is Manchester City backup midfielder Jack Rodwell, per Andy Hunter at the Guardian

    Rodwell can play regular football for less money at Everton, or he can train, watch the first-team play and get paid an obscene amount to be on City's squad list. 

    In two seasons at City so far, he has started seven Premier League games. To think Rodwell was once set to be a star for the England national team. 

    Rodwell played five seasons at Everton previously.  

14. Alvaro Morata

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    Manchester United are expected to make a push to sign Real Madrid centre-forward Alvaro Morata, per Pablo Polo at Marca

    Now this move would only make sense if Robin van Persie forces a move away from United, so in that scenario, signing Morata is logical.

    The inevitable worry with a talent like Morata is Real may try to insert clauses which enable them to buy him back, should he transition into an elite No. 9. 

    How do United counteract that scenario?

    Sign him when he is a free agent, so next year (2015, per Marca), assuming Morata does not extend his contract at Real. 

13. Loic Remy

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    Queens Park Rangers' Newcastle United loanee Loic Remy will not extend his loan into a permanent deal, going by what he has said. 

    "Without being pretentious, I might be able to play for a bigger club, a top-five European club," Remy said, per France Football (h/t Damian Spellman at the Independent). "I will be part of a very large club. I'm sure of what I can do. I can still be much better."

    Remy is Newcastle's primary attacking weapon in the Premier League this season, scoring the most goals (13) and averaging the most shots per game (3.6). 

12. Yann Sommer and 11. Marc-Andre ter Stegen

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    Borussia Monchengladbach revealed that Marc-Andre ter Stegen will leave for a "foreign club" and will be replaced by Yann Sommer from Basel, per Sky Sports

    The "foreign club" is expected to be Barcelona, as Ter Stegen will succeed outgoing Victor Valdes, per Pilar Suarez of Goal.com

    It would be wise for Barca to sign a German footballer, preferably one from Gladbach, to accompany Ter Stegen.

    Sommer's transition into life at Gladbach will be made smoother, as former Basel teammate and fellow Swiss international Granit Xhaka is a mainstay in the starting XI. 

10. Thibaut Courtois

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    The father of Chelsea's Atletico Madrid loanee Thibaut Courtois is adamant that speculation linking his son to Real Madrid is nefarious. 

    "It's an attempt to destabilise Atletico," Thierry Courtois said, per La Derniere Heure (h/t Kristof Terreur at Sky Sports). "There hasn't been any contact with Real. Our negotiations with Chelsea still have to start. And Chelsea would never let him go that way [only] when his contract has expired."

    Courtois is the future Chelsea No. 1, so management need to phase Petr Cech out.

    If the Blues' management is unwilling to do so, then sell Courtois with his transfer stock at its highest. 

9. Alex Song

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    Barcelona central midfielder Alex Song said his next destination will be the Premier League, per beIN Sports (h/t Tom Conn at Inside Spanish Football). 

    Song went from being one of the most incisive passers in Europe (11 league assists in his last season with Arsenal) to a Denilson-type passer for Barca. 

    Surely Barca would have expected more penetrative passing from Song, who averages only 0.3 key passes (a pass that leads to a shot) per game. 

    It is quizzical timing for Song to say this. Does he want to leave?

8. Pepe Reina

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    A clause in the contract of Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, currently on loan at Napoli, means he can leave the Reds for £4 million, per Dominic King at the Daily Mail

    Reina has been hit-or-miss for Napoli.

    While he made six saves in a 1-0 win over Roma, he conceded two goals via errors in a 4-2 win over Chievo Verona and was disastrous in a 3-0 defeat to Atalanta. 

7. Oscar

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    Paris Saint-Germain are planning a £41.5 million bid for Chelsea central attacking midfielder Oscar, per Jason Burt at the Telegraph.

    Wait, so Chelsea sell Juan Mata to Manchester United, indicating that Blues management and Jose Mourinho were Team Oscar. 

    Why would Chelsea then sell Oscar?

    It makes no sense, especially for £41.5 million, which is loose change for PSG. 

    The French club are bankrolled by the Qatar Investment Authority, per ESPN FC, and the group hold about $170 (£102) billion in assets, per the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute

    PSG need to come back with £100 million, and Chelsea may consider the offer. 

6. Victor Valdes

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    In an interview with Pete Jenson at the Daily Mail, outgoing Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has hinted that he could sign with a Premier League club in the summer transfer window.

    "I've always identified with your [English] football, the way the supporters live the game and the respect they show the players," Valdes said. "It is one of the biggest leagues in the world, with the best clubs in the world and, without doubt, it’s a very good option for me."

    Valdes plays the game on edge, so he would relish the up-tempo and adversarial nature of the Premier League. 

    One of the reasons why he wants out is the psychological toll playing for Barca has had on him, per Sid Lowe at the Guardian: "A year at Barcelona is like two anywhere else. Mentally it's exhausting. I've finished games where I've hardly touched the ball yet I've got to the dressing room dead."

    Valdes made two important saves to deny Manchester City centre-forward Edin Dzeko from scoring in Barca's 2-1 win over Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg. 

    Earlier in the season, Valdes made nine saves, including a penalty save in a 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

    While he has had moments of indecision, Valdes post-announcement has been excellent in large part this season. 

5. Paul Pogba

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    Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that he wants to sign Juventus central midfielder Paul Pogba.

    "He's a very complete midfielder," Ancelotti said, per RMC Sport (h/t Sky Sports). "Sign him? Why not. He's one of the best young midfielders alongside [Marco] Verratti and Isco."

    This is Ancelotti's way of trying to unsettle Pogba, who averages 2.7 tackles per game, scored six goals and created five in Serie A this season. 

    Juve lost Zinedine Zidane to Real in 2001. Could the Bianconeri also lose Pogba?

4. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

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    There is no substantive offer for Manchester United centre-forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez to move to Inter yet, according to his agent Eduardo Hernandez. 

    "I have no news of Inter and Manchester United have not let me know anything about a possible offer," Hernandez said, per Calciomercato.it (h/t Simone Bargellini at Sky Sports). "The same goes for the other teams that have been linked to my client, to date there is nothing concrete."

    Chicharito has only started four Premier League games this season, which does not accurately depict what he can offer to United. 

    He is a world-class goal poacher, who can also create for his teammates. 

    He should be playing meaningful minutes every week for United, a team that are sixth in the Premier League. 

3. Lukas Podolski

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    Arsenal left attacking midfielder Lukas Podolski revealed that claims of him being included in a packaged deal to sign Schalke left attacking midfielder Julian Draxler are not true. 

    "I am in contact with Julian [Draxler]. He is a great guy. But we haven't spoken about any transfer," Podolski said, per Thomas Zocher at Sky Sports. "I only know that a swap deal involving me and him was never a consideration."

    If Podolski were to return to the Bundesliga, he would not be playing on the left flank; instead he would be the main man up front, as he was at Koln.

    Schalke have Adam Szalai and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as centre-forward options, so Podolski saying he was "never a consideration" for Schalke checks out. 


2. Robin van Persie

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    Though Robin van Persie is growing increasingly agitated at Manchester United, Arsenal will not re-sign the Dutchman should he come grovelling back to Arsene Wenger, per John Cross at the Mirror

    Van Persie gave United fans a glimpse of the Feyenoord and early Arsenal Van Persie in a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion: petulant, unfocused and looking for a way out via a red card. 

    United manager David Moyes had to sub Van Persie off following several blatantly mistimed and borderline thuggish tackles, per John Percy at the Telegraph.

    Van Persie needs to quit sulking.

1. Samuel Eto'o

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    Recent comments made by Chelsea centre-forward Samuel Eto'o suggest he has no problems with manager Jose Mourinho, which means a contract extension could be a possibility. 

    "I am happy here [at Chelsea]. My age is not important. I work the same like Oscar or Eden Hazard," Eto'o said, per Simon Johnson at the London Evening Standard. "I have more experience and this is good for the team."

    Eto'o has scored a combined nine goals in Premier League and UEFA Champions League play for Chelsea this season. 

    Statistics via WhoScored