Transfer nonsense filter: Thiago-Rooney swap? Suarez to Arsenal?

Alex Grimm

Assessing the likelihood of the latest transfer rumours, including a swap deal between Barcelona and Manchester United involving Thiago, Wayne Rooney and David Villa. Also, Luis Suarez could head to Arsenal.

Thiago Alcantara and David Villa to Manchester United, Wayne Rooney to Barcelona

According to a report in Catalan sports daily Sport, Barcelona will make a bid for Wayne Rooney, with David Villa, Thiago Alcantara and 4m euros heading in the other direction.

This isn't quite as crazy as it sounds - the club are obviously very worried about losing Thiago to United already, and want to get rid of David Villa (with Tottenham playing a typically long game over a deal for the striker). As for Rooney, the transfer would be a hugely popular one with Barcelona supporters (seriously), with the current president coming under huge criticism. Even Villa might be a good fit for United, offering something a bit different and providing a much-needed wide option.

However, United might not necessarily want Villa. They need to upgrade elsewhere much more urgently, and even Thiago and Villa being off the books won't add up to Rooney's wages. There's also the question of whether Rooney would want a move abroad, even if we take for granted the (likely) assumption that United are prepared to listen to any offers. Add in the notion of the rarity of swap deals, and this looks very unlikely. Parts or all of this deal could come to pass, but in the same transfer? Difficult to see.

Odds: Of the three moves in this one transfer, Thiago is very likely, Rooney is foreseeable, and Villa is... unseemly. All happening in one move? Very unlikely.

Luis Suarez to Arsenal

The news that Arsenal had made a £30m bid for Luis Suarez and had it turned down by Liverpool was a big shock, and although there is now some dispute in the UK press as to whether it actually took place (the Mirror state it was merely an enquiry), everybody seems agreed that the Gunners are seriously interested.

When this happens, either the buying club ups their bid or the player tries to force a move through. Liverpool are believed to want closer to £50m for Suarez, but it's hard to see them getting that. Despite the impression of the club paying hard-ball, they'd be insane to reject anything north of, ooh, £35m, and we'd be shocked if a bid of that size came in and Suarez was still a Liverpool player when the window closes.

The likelihood of Arsenal paying too much more is questionable, and it could be a ruse to try and force Real Madrid's hand regarding Gonzalo Higuain. Rejecting it makes sense for Liverpool - they get to coax out another, increased bid, while waiting to see if any better offers come in from the likes of Madrid. This is still unlikely, but it's not as completely mindblowing as it would have been a very short time ago.

Odds: Unlikely, but we haven't seen the last of this.

Nani to Tottenham Hotspur

Nani has been linked with a host of clubs this window, and United have already rejected one bid from Galatasaray, but now it seems that Tottenham and Roma are going to be the clubs fighting it out for his signature.

The Spurs move is reported via an Italian source, Corriere dello Sport, so should be taken with a pinch of salt, but the Rome-based newspaper has little interest in claiming another club are about to scupper Roma's bid if it isn't true. The move obviously makes sense for Spurs, too. Wages are likely to be the decisive factor, with Roma's offer reported to be decent but probably not the best the winger could attract.

This is foreseeable, because all three parties are probably very willing to get a deal done here. But with no corresponding reports in the English press, Roma are still probably favourites to secure his signature right now.

Odds: Certainly likely to leave, but Roma still probably in the lead right now.

Andrea Ranocchia to Manchester United

United have been linked with a host of Italian players all of a sudden - Antonio Candreva, Marco Verratti, Claudio Marchisio, and now Andrea Ranocchia.

It's hard to see how this move makes much sense at all - United don't need new centre-backs, and Ranocchia hardly set the world aflame last season. If the Red Devils are going to improve that area of their squad, it's questionable whether they'd move for such an error-prone centre-back, considering he's unlikely to get a solid run in the first-team.

All the reports of this deal seem to come from Italy, and none of them look particularly reliable. Add in the fact that this would be a pretty crazy move, and it's hard to see where all this is coming from.

Odds: Very unlikely to happen.

Daniele de Rossi to Chelsea

This move has sort of come out of nowhere, with the transfer fees being suggested alarmingly low. Wages were obviously going to be the key sticking point here, but it's likely that Chelsea would see the sense in paying a considerable contract to the Roma enforcer.

The real question is why Roma would let him go now. It doesn't seem a particularly good time for him to leave the club, and it's hard to see them demanding anything less than a premium for their local hero. We're waiting on further reports on this transfer to really assess it, and at the moment it seems somewhat speculative.

Odds: Hard to see happening, but it doesn't seem to have been completely made up.

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