With the 2012/13 football season drawing to a close, the rumour mill is already in full swing as many fans turn their attention towards possible player movements this summer. As we all know, for every transfer rumour that comes into fruition there are another twenty that don’t; you can’t always trust what you read online or in the papers. However, they still undoubtedly spark excitement inside every football fan, therefore I will be evaluating some of the past week’s most significant rumours.
Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester United
This morning, The Express reported that Ilkay Gundogan is a target for Manchester United this summer as they look to bolster their midfield before next season. With Borussia Dortmund taking over the headlines in recent weeks, it is no surprise to see another one of their players’ futures being questioned, following the news that Mario Gotze will be departing for Bayern Munich this summer, and rumours that Robert Lewandowski would be joining him.
The deal would be fantastic for United; Gundogan is still only 22, and plays the box-to-box midfield role as well as anybody has done this season. Comparisons to Claudio Marchisio and Xabi Alonso are understandable, but Gundogan’s athleticism makes him an all-round performer, who would be a great asset to any team.
However, Fergie has today revealed that he only expects to bring in one or two new faces this summer, and suggested that he will be keeping faith in his younger members of the team instead of replacing them. Unfortunately for United fans, it is likely that the rumour has little substance to it, and is based on speculation as a result of his impressive performances on the European stages over the past few weeks, much like the rumours that Lewandowski has agreed to join Bayern.
Marouane Fellaini to Real Madrid
The Daily Mail claimed yesterday that Real Madrid are keen on the Belgian, and will look to him as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, who looks set to leave the club this summer. A clause in Fellaini’s contract means that an offer of £22m from a club participating in the Champions League must be accepted, and Real are reportedly interested in triggering this clause.
Barcelona look set to wrap up the Liga BBVA title in the next couple of weeks, and following their Champions League exit, Real have had another forgettable season by their high standards. It is no surprise that they are looking to strengthen their side ahead of next season. Everton meanwhile face a struggle for a place in the Europa League, and should they miss out, a player of Fellaini’s calibre would surely owe it to himself to look elsewhere for European football. With David Moyes’ contract expiring at the end of the season, there is an air of uncertainty around Goodison Park, and I would not be surprised to see him make the switch to the Bernabeu this summer.
David Luiz to Barcelona
Another rumour posted by the Mail, involving another Afro-clad Premier League star, David Luiz. However this one seems less credible than the Fellaini rumour, even more so considering that it has only surfaced in the wake of his fantastic strike against Basel last night.
The article cites “managerial unrest” at Stamford Bridge as a reason for Luiz to make the switch to the Catalan club, however as they also reported this morning, the arrival of Jose Mourinho looks imminent, and this would be no reason for the Brazilian to pack his bags; if anything it would be an incentive for him to stay. This one looks like a non-starter.