It doesn’t seem that long ago that the transfer window slammed shut at 11pm on 1st September. Managers across Europe are now starting to take a look at their squads before the month-long window opens for business again in January. Many teams have overachieved while others have struggled, and with some bosses missing players with long-term injuries they’re likely to be forced to get the cheque book out to rescue their seasons.
Yes, while us fans are standing on the terraces crying out for the manager to sign a ball-winning midfielder or a prolific striker to finish off the chances you keep missing. Managers are looking beyond the 23 players they have at their disposal and considering who they can bring in to fight off relegation, challenge for Europe or to battle for the title.
The transfer window brings about all kinds of rumours in the newspapers and on the social media sites about which player might be joining a club or leaving, or who is unhappy at the amount of game-time they’re getting with their current clubs, and it certainly makes for great reading – but some of these stories are no more than rumours. After all, until we see the player signing on the dotted line, holding up the scarf and wearing the shirt, we never really know. Here are just a few of the best rumours to have surfaced so far this winter:
Andres Iniesta – Barcelona to Manchester United
It’s not exactly a secret that Manchester United’s current squad isn’t the best they’ve ever had, yet they are still the reigning Premier League champions. All kinds of midfielders have been linked with moves to Old Trafford in the past few years and David Moyes famously missed out on many during the summer transfer window in what was a disastrous start to his Old Trafford managerial career. If he can manage to pull this one off, however, all will be forgotten. Spanish ace Andres Iniesta is part of the Barcelona mercurial trio that includes Xavi and Lionel Messi, but rumours are coming out of Spain insisting he’s far from happy with the current management structure, and Moyes could make the Spaniard his first marquee signing.
Radamel Falcao – Monaco to Chelsea
Chelsea have struggled in front of goal so far this season, and with only Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba to choose from after letting Romelu Lukaku join Everton on loan, Jose Mourinho is looking to add some extra firepower at Stamford Bridge. Colombian Falcao only joined Monaco in the summer from Atletico Madrid, but Mourinho could be set to spend an estimated £65m to bring him to Chelsea.
Iker Casillas – Real Madrid to Manchester City
The Spanish goalkeeper was the first choice at the Bernabeu until last season, and captained his country to European Championship and World Cup glory. However, departed boss Jose Mourinho took him out of the side towards the end of his final season in charge and Casillas has been unable to get the gloves back under Carlo Ancelotti. Manchester City have just dropped number one Joe Hart after a string of high-profile errors with Costel Pantilimon taking over, but Manuel Pellegrini is likely to want someone he can trust, and Casillas might just decide he can’t be sitting on the bench at this stage of his career.