If there is one thing I hate in life, it is the January blues. New year’s eve was decent, Christmas was better, but then what do we have to face? Nothing other than returning to work and crud weather. Sometimes I feel like in January football is all have to cling on to. We have two rounds of FA Cup football, plenty of Premier League action and not an international in sight. But, most of all, I take comfort in the fact that I can pick up a newspaper, go online or check my Twitter and read endless transfer gossip!
Let’s be honest, most of this gossip is a load of rubbish. The papers cannot wait to start churning out stories that will increase paper sales and online hits, and the January transfer window is a golden opportunity for them. I have to admit that I lap up such fantasy, I dream about a big name that could be arriving, think about how it will boost my team’s chances of success in the second half of the season and, ultimately, their final league position.
There is a downside, though…papers cannot help but cling on to old stories and regurgitate them for the world to see and Twitter to debate, and three of these stories are starting to do my head in. Welcome to the type of transfer story that can only be described as a saga.
We will take a look at three of the top sagas, look at how they started and where they are at now, before we predict whether they are worth any more column inches and mass debate this month. Let’s take a look…
Transfer saga 1 – Loic Remy – Marseille to ?????????
Loic Remy is one player that has seemed destined for the Premier League for what seems like forever. Rumours about the arrival of Loic Remy to our shores started around this time last year with the French international being linked with a move to Spurs. Speculation mounted and old ‘Arry even commented that Remy had caught his eye, although we are not sure which one. The carousel rumbled through to the summer, with links to Bayern Munich and Chelsea also emerging, but Spurs looked to still be favourites until, of course, ‘Arry got the boot.
After Harry Redknapp found himself back in the world of management and ready to wheel and deal, this was an obvious link, especially since QPR had done business with Marseille over Joey Barton. Regardless of the validity of the rumour, it turns out Remy didn’t fancy joining a side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and I can see the logic considering Marseille are joint 1st in Ligue 1 on points and played in group stage of the Europa League.
Newcastle are another club heavily linked with the signing of Remy, a rumour that has intensified in the wake of Demba Ba’s departure to Chelsea. The Magpies are a more likely destination, but with a price tag of around £15m on his head, will Alan Pardew get his man?
Definitely not a manager known for his spending sprees, Arsene Wenger has admitted that Loic Remy has caught his eye. Arsenal’s finances are such that a £10m move wouldn’t represent a stumbling block, but is an all French front-line the way forward for the Gunners?
Verdict: Newcastle seems logical and they do like shopping in Ligue 1, but whether than can afford Remy is another matter. This saga could rumble on…doh!
Transfer saga 2 – Wesley Sneijder – Inter Milan to ?????????
Wesley Sneijder … do your eyes hurt to read his name, do you grimace at the mention of the diminutive Dutchman. My eyes are bleeding as I write this, believe me. Wesley Sneijder has no doubt been admired by several Premier League sides over the years, and many of us have wondered why little Wes is still knocking around in the depths of Italian football. This is the point when it comes to Sneijder, top players playing in Serie A, no longer makes sense. Throw into the mix a greedy and cryptic agent, plus a dash of social media and you have the recipe for a saga.
A move to Manchester United kickstarted the rumours regarding the Dutchman’s future, as the former Ajax playmaker seemed destined to join Sir Alex Ferguson’s troops, but over the last 18 months United have abandoned their pursue, opting instead to sign another Dutchman, as they have been replaced by a plethora of other clubs in the race to the Inter man. Manchester City and Chelsea were also mentioned as possible destinations when the rumour gathered momentum,while Tottenham have joined the party at a later stage and QPR being the latest – and frankly laughable – link. Now it seems Galatasaray are in pole position for the midfield maestro and I for one hope it happens so we can put this to bed.
Verdict: His time in Italy looks over, his agent is tired of speculation, Turkey is calling with a sack of money…Wesley will soon be on his way, but it won’t be to the Premier League.
Transfer saga 3 – Leandro Damiao – Internacional to ?????????
It is amazing to think that the press have been able to make Leandro Damiao one of the most recognisable football names on the planet. So intense has the speculation been, the young Brazilian striker is now almost a household name in English football, despite having graced the turfs on these shores only at the London Olympics. Up and down the country, football fans are checking Damiao out on the latest versions of computer games FIFA and Football Manager to see how good he really is (yes, baffling as it might sound,some people are convinced this is a totally reliable method).There is no doubt Damiao is a good player, but would have he been quite as popular if it wasn’t for the constant rumours about a transfer to England? In the words of Kevin McCallister (Home Alone) “I don’t think so”.
This transfer saga has developed into a joke, one that has lost most of its appeal if your allegiances lie within N17. What do you get when you cross a Premier League side short on strikers with a Premier League club ready to lose a striker to the African Nations Cup? Tottenham and Leandro Damiao, that’s what. It seems the papers couldn’t wait to tell their readers that Damiao’s alleged move to Spurs is back on, but this time Heurelho Gomes is thrown in to the deal for good measure. Whatever will they think of next?
Verdict: Leandro Damiao is obviously a talent, but the third party ownership, coupled with him dismissing a January move in November seem to make this one look increasing unlikely…but you never know and it could be an opportune time to get him.
Let us know if you think any of this lot will make a move to the Premier League in our comments section below. Follow the latest transfer news on our Twitter feed or like us on Facebook for all the latest banter.