Luka Modric to Manchester United
Real Madrid signed Asier Illaramendi for an eye-watering fee this morning. That means that the club are serious about overhauling their midfield, and will probably want to make sure the player becomes first-choice, having paid so much. And that means that someone's got to take the fall. Fingers have been pointed towards Luka Modric, who was perceived to have had a disappointing time in Spain, and United are read to cash in after missing out the first time.
So, what's the issue? Well, Xabi Alonso is arguably the more likely fall-guy, and Modric will be playing under a new manager and getting a new chance. Madrid are hardly likely to bin him after one season, and he improved towards the end of the year. Oh, and the source for this is the Daily Star. Until this appears in more reliable outlets or we have some sort of hint from one of the parties involved, this isn't a goer.
Odds: Doesn't look remotely likely at the moment.
It's been a busy couple of days in Rooney news - first, he flew home from Manchester United's pre-season tour with a suspicious injury (later insisted as genuine by reliable hacks), then José Mourinho elected to talk about him in today's press conference, complimenting the player. David Moyes responded by reiterating that he's not for sale, but the feeling is increasingly that if Chelsea are serious about getting him then United will be prepared to do business.
The offers haven't exactly been flooding in from elsewhere, and if nobody else is able to make a move, then United are probably not going to reject any bid for more than about £30m that may come from the Blues. Of course, plenty of clubs will be interested in Rooney, and there's a lot of time for one of them to throw their hat into the ring. This is a long way from done, but it certainly looks to be on the cards.
Odds: Could very well happen. About 50/50.
Christian Eriksen to Liverpool
Having missed out on Henrik Mkhitaryan, Liverpool will now send a clear message to Eriksen: You're the one we wanted all along! Second-choice? Pfft! Henrik Mick - Mike - McTar- never heard of him!
Anyway, it seems that Liverpool are reasonably confident of signing him, and it's getting very close, according to the Metro (not usually a very reliable source but this appears to be backed up by suggestions elsewhere.) The problem is they'll have competition from other clubs - bizarrely, Tottenham are said to have entered the race, but the more serious competition comes from Roma.
Liverpool probably have a better shout of convincing someone to join them ahead of Roma than they did with Dortmund, so this is probably more likely than Mkhitaryan. The two clubs are of more or less equal standing, so this is about 50/50.
Odds: Half a chance he'll choose Liverpool, half a chance he'll choose Roma. Would be a surprise if Tottenham were even interested.
A strange one, coming courtesy of Grant Wahl, who cites "informed speculation" about Dempsey being offered to Aston Villa as part of a deal for Christian Benteke. Nobody else is suggesting this, and Villa are unlikely to pay Dempsey's wages, so it's hard to see a deal coming off.
We're not sure what 'informed speculation' is, but we'll take a guess (or an 'informed speculation') and say that it's probably a case of "Spurs have a forward they don't need, Villa will need a forward if they sell Benteke." It's a decent deal for Villa, but they're unlikely to want to pay out those sort of wages, even if Dempsey may be willing to take a slight cut if he wants to get games.
Odds: Difficult to see this one being on the table.
Geoffrey Kondogbia to Arsenal
Manchester United had been heavily-linked with a move for the Sevilla youngster earlier in the window, and while they're still probably interested, today Arsenal are the name suggested. The gigantic Frenchman would be ideal for both clubs, and if United, as suggested, are set to miss out on Thiago, they may redouble their efforts to make a midfield signing, even if he is a very different player.
That means that it could be a straight fight between the two. Ordinarily, there would only be one winner, but Arsenal appear to be ready to spend big this summer, so this could be a close thing. At the moment, however, there's nothing to suggest either club is in the lead.
Odds: Could well be set for the Premier League, but too early to call at the moment.