Ranking the 25 Hottest Transfer Rumours from Week of August 25
Which team will Radamel Falcao move to? Xabi Alonso is leaving Real Madrid for which Bundesliga team? Will Arturo Vidal move to Manchester United? Edinson Cavani is rumoured to join which Premier League club?
Instead of scouring the Internet for the latest football transfer gossip, Bleacher Report makes your life easier by providing you with a weekly power ranking of the 25 hottest transfer rumours in one slideshow.
Whether it is the Bundesliga, Eredivisie, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Serie A, alternative European leagues or non-European leagues, this slideshow will be inclusive.
These 25 players will be subjectively ranked via name recognition.
25. James Troisi
Juventus → Zulte Waregem, per John Greco at Football Federation Australia
It is always an eye-opener to see Australian footballers, who have honed their game in Europe, come back to the A-League.
James Troisi's technique, his first touch, his turn of pace and his vision is top class.
When he plays in a developing competition (A-League was founded in 2004), he looks like a world-class forward.
That is why Juventus have "full ownership" of Troisi's playing rights.
He is stuck in an awkward situation.
Too good to be wasting his time in Australia, yet not good enough to be a regular starter in an elite European competition.
Maybe Troisi has found his happy medium with Zulte Waregem in the Belgian Pro League.
24. Patrick Bamford
Chelsea → Wolverhampton Wanderers, per the Daily Express and the Daily Star (via Sky Sports)
Chelsea prospect Patrick Bamford could be on the move again.
He has been linked with a loan move to Wolverhampton having spent loan spells at Milton Keynes Dons and Derby County.
If Bamford had the chance for a do-over, he would either stay with Nottingham Forest or sign with another club not named Chelsea.
His development has been hindered because his recent years have been nomadic.
23. James McArthur
Wigan Athletic → Leicester City, per BBC Radio Leicester (via BBC Sport)
Wigan will lose influential midfielder James McArthur to Leicester City, a club that is committed to signing players with experience in England.
- Leonardo Ulloa: scored 14 goals in the Championship for Brighton and Hove Albion last season.
- Marc Albrighton: pacey winger formerly of Aston Villa.
- Matthew Upson: seasoned professional who was an English international.
McArthur played three seasons in the Premier League for Wigan.
He is a tough-tackling midfielder who also acts as a passing outlet in midfield.
22. Andy King
Leicester City → Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion, per Peter O'Rourke at Sky Sports
Premier League teams are chasing Andy King's signature right until transfer deadline day.
Stepping up to the Premier League, he has been a pleasant surprise for Leicester City.
His first touch is brilliant, he passes like a Spaniard, his movement off the ball is smart, and he works hard to win back the ball (four tackles and three interceptions in two games).
21. Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik
Rennes → West Ham United, per Simon Jones at the Mail Online
West Ham "are in talks" with Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik.
He is a solid passer, firm tackler and has upside as a 25-year-old. He was once a transfer target for AC Milan.
Considering Mexer's positive first impressions, Rennes would be inclined to let Kana-Biyik leave, especially when he has had disciplinary problems.
Rennes' starting pair would be Sylvain Armand and Mexer, and the back-up would be up-and-coming 20-year-old Cedric Hountondji.
20. Virgil van Dijk
Celtic → Sunderland, per Gary Jacob and George Caulkin of The Times (subscription required)
Celtic centre-back Virgil van Dijk is a Sunderland transfer target.
Last season in the UEFA Champions League, he showed he could sweep up play against high-calibre teams.
He intercepted 16 passes while only giving away five free-kicks.
When he was at Groningen, he was a threat to score like former Groningen centre-back Andreas Granqvist.
19. Nikola Zigic
Free Agent → Arsenal, per Sport (h/t Jure Bohoric at Sky Sports)
Somewhere in Wolfsburg, Nicklas Bendtner is shaking his head in disgust.
Yes, Nikola Zigic is a free agent and would be a stop-plug. But this is not 2001, when he was scoring goals at the rate of Stjepan Bobek.
Zigic was serviceable for Birmingham City, and there is no upside in bringing him.
Arsenal should just give Joel Campbell or Yaya Sanogo a chance.
18. Abel Hernandez
Palermo → Hull City, per Sky Sports
Early in Abel Hernandez's Palermo career, he would come off the bench and make decisive plays.
He once scored a 95th minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Cagliari. There was also a six-minute brace in a 3-2 win over Roma.
At one point, he was one of the most promising young players in Europe.
Excellent in the air and a confident penalty taker, Hernandez would be a great addition for Hull.
17. Martin Odegaard
Stromsgodset → Liverpool and every major European club, per Matt Barlow at the Daily Mail
Martin Odegaard made his international debut for Norway as a 15-year-old and broke Tormod Kjellsen's record which stood for 104 years, per The Telegraph and Reuters.
No, that is not a typo.
Kjellsen became Norway's youngest-ever international in 1910, so Odegaard accomplished a remarkable feat to break the record.
Having never watched Odegaard, I can only relate him to Australian teenage prodigy Daniel De Silva.
He made his professional debut for Perth Glory as a 15-year-old.
De Silva, 17, is now on the books of Roma, but he will continue playing for Glory.
Odegaard must be a freakishly talented player.
Not only is he a regular at Stromsgodset, the third-best team in the Tippeligaen, but he also started for the Norway national team.
Liverpool have an advantage because Odegaard and his father are big Liverpool supporters, per Marcus Christenson of The Guardian.
That said, Odegaard should resist a move abroad for the next five years.
Playing professional football at Stromsgodset is better for his development than playing reserve football at a major club against players who might not even make the pros.
16. Wilfried Zaha
Manchester United → Crystal Palace, per Sky Sports
You know what will make Wilfried Zaha's situation even worse?
He is an Arsenal supporter, per The Sun (h/t Nick Pearce at the Daily Telegraph).
At least if he joined Arsenal and warmed the benches, he could say in 20 years' time: "I was on the books of my boyhood club."
Whereas, there is no emotional connection to United, which suggests he was told a load of porkies during the negotiation process.
His United career has been bizarre.
He has been afforded no leeway.
When he was on loan at Cardiff City, he easily got past opposing players, but his end product let him down (no goals, one assist in 12 Premier League games).
15. William Carvalho
Sporting Lisbon → Manchester United, per Ian Ladyman at the Daily Mail
The William Carvalho transfer rumours will just not go away. Since March, United have been attempting to sign William to no avail.
He is one of Portugal's best young players and participated at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Are Sporting willing to lose another good player in the transfer window?
- Eric Dier → Tottenham Hotspur
- Marcos Rojo → Manchester United
14. Marco van Ginkel
Chelsea → AC Milan, per Dominic Fifield at The Guardian
"To meet the maximum contingent of 17 [foreign players] for the Premier League" Marco van Ginkel will be the sacrificial lamb.
Injuries have curtailed his ability to make a positive impression at Chelsea.
If he leaves for Milan, it is unfortunate for the Blues because he is a midfielder with world-class potential.
13. Alessio Cerci
Torino → Arsenal, per Simon Jones at the Daily Mail
Arsenal "have enquired about" Alessio Cerci.
Cerci can start as a winger, but he's electric as a deep-lying forward playing behind a centre-forward. That is why he and Ciro Immobile combined brilliantly together last season.
Technically, Cerci is good enough for Arsenal, but the Gunners need a No. 9.
12. Toby Alderweireld
Atletico Madrid → Sevilla, per Het Nieuwsblad (h/t Football Espana)
Unable to displace Diego Godin or Miranda, Toby Alderweireld is seeking a club that can offer him regular starts.
Having sold Federico Fazio to Tottenham Hotspur, Sevilla could be that team.
Alderweireld only played 10 La Liga games for Atleti last season. When he was at Ajax, he was a strong presence at the back and a dependable defender.
11. Lewis Holtby
Tottenham Hotspur → Hamburg, per Hamburger Abendblatt (h/t Thomas Zocher at Sky Sports)
Hamburg director Dietmar Beiersdorfer confirmed the club will make a move for Lewis Holtby.
The only time Holtby has been a regular starter in the Premier League was during his loan spell at Fulham when he started 11 of 13 league games.
He has been a bit-part player at Spurs.
He can be a quality No. 10 and has the engine to be a box-to-box midfielder.
10. Ricardo Alvarez
Inter Milan → Sunderland, per Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football Italia)
Ricardo Alvarez, one of the biggest enigmas to play in Serie A, is set to grace the Premier League.
Alvarez is a world-class technician capable of making game-winning plays. Yet, he has never scored 10 goals or registered 10 assists in a Serie A season.
The closest he came was last season with eight assists.
He is injury-prone, inconsistent and seemingly will never live up to his talent.
Sunderland are gambling that Alvarez can turn it around.
9. Daley Blind
Ajax → Manchester United, per De Telegraaf (h/t Jamie Jackson of The Guardian)
Another left-sided player? Really?
How is United manager Louis van Gaal going to fit Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo in the same team?
If United do sign Blind, he will not be playing at left-back in a 4-3-3 or left wing-back in a 3-4-1-2.
Van Gaal will probably convert him into a full-time central midfielder because Blind is a brilliant passer and a great tackler.
Either that or Blind becomes another Phil Jones-like utility player.
In that case, it is not smart to pay "absolute top price" for Blind.
8. Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Borussia Dortmund → Arsenal, per Gianluca Di Marzio
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger finally lodged a bid for a top centre-back.
If Sokratis Papastathopoulos is signed, it suggests Calum Chambers will be used in a utility role (right-back, centre-back, holding midfielder).
Sokratis is a world-class centre-back who valiantly led by example when Dortmund went through an injury crisis last season.
7. Xherdan Shaqiri
Bayern Munich → Atletico Madrid, per Manolete at AS
Increasingly frustrated by an impact sub role at Bayern Munich, Xherdan Shaqiri will consider his options because Europe's elite clubs are targeting him.
While he may start more games at Atleti than Bayern, he is not guaranteed a starting position, like he is for the Swiss national team.
He should consider signing for a smaller club if he wants to be a week-in, week-out starter.
Until then, he needs to wait for his chance and then play like a superstar to ensure he stays in the starting XI.
6. Fernando Torres
Chelsea → AC Milan, per BBC Sport
Fernando Torres is slated to be Mario Balotelli's replacement at Milan.
Torres' acceleration, his first touch, poise in front of goal and confidence cease to exist. He needs a change of scenery because he has been abysmal at Chelsea.
He is further exposed in the uptempo Premier League, so the slower pace of Serie A may suit him. If Torres fails in Serie A, then he should consider playing in Major League Soccer or the A-League.
5. Lukas Podolski
Arsenal → Juventus and Napoli, per TuttoMercatoWeb.it (h/t Press Association, via The Guardian)
Lukas Podolski's agent Ali Pektas confirmed Juventus and Napoli had yet to lodge an official bid for his client.
"There has been no approach from either of those clubs," Pektas said. "I don't know if he will go to Italy in this transfer window. I can't say anything for sure."
Olivier Giroud's long-term injury may tempt Podolski into staying.
Wenger has no intentions of letting Podolski leave, per ESPN.co.uk.
4. Edinson Cavani
Paris Saint-Germain → Arsenal, per Anthony Chapman at the Daily Express
Olivier Giroud's broken leg will force Arsenal to launch a €62.8/£50 million bid for Edinson Cavani.
Not only is the transfer fee exorbitant for a 27-year-old with no re-sell value, it goes against Wenger's tendencies.
He is more likely to:
- Give an extended run to Alexis as a deep-lying forward.
- Ask Campbell and/or Sanogo to step up.
- Spend a portion of the purported £50 million No. 9 budget on a younger centre-forward, say, for example: Lyon's 23-year-old Alexandre Lacazette.
Assuming Podolski stays at Arsenal, then he is the obvious Giroud replacement.
3. Arturo Vidal
Juventus → Manchester United, per Miguel Delaney at ESPN FC
Van Gaal's top-heavy United squad will finally receive defensive reinforcement if the club sign Arturo Vidal for an absurd amount of money.
United spent €75/£59.7 million on Angel Di Maria, so expect a similar fee for Vidal.
Vidal scored and created a combined 16 goals in Serie A while completing 140 tackles last season.
2. Xabi Alonso
Real Madrid → Bayern Munich, per Marca
Barring a last minute collapse, Bayern will complete the signing of Xabi Alonso.
One of the pre-eminent passers of his generation, Alonso bolsters Bayern's already stacked squad.
While he is class, the signing is profligate:
- Not a like-for-like replacement for Javi Martinez who interchanged from midfield to defence.
- David Alaba deserves more time readjusting from left-back to central midfield.
- Sebastian Rode is a luxury squad midfielder for Bayern. What is the point of his signing if he is not given a chance to fill in?
- Gianluca Gaudino, 17, completed 97 percent of his passes against Wolfsburg. Signing Alonso hinders Gaudino's development.
1. Radamel Falcao
Monaco → Real Madrid, per Le 10 Sport (h/t AS)
The Di Maria windfall increases the chances of Real signing Falcao.
Falcao has scored 30 goals or more in all competitions in four of his five seasons.
Aside from him suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury this year, Real do not need Falcao.
But since he is a big name, Real president Florentino Perez is only thinking about shirt sales.
Statistics via WhoScored.