With this summer’s pre-season fixtures tantalisingly close and managers looking to avoid a last-minute scramble ahead of the new season, the transfer rumour mill has shown no sign of letting up over the past seven days.
Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed their intention to challenge Europe’s elite this year with a £47 million double bid for AC Milan pair Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, and a move for Tottenham's Luka Modric could be next.
Andy Carroll may be forced out of Liverpool after Brendan Rodgers admitted he would consider a loan move for the striker, while Jan Vertonghen's switch to Tottenham and Ji Sung-Park's transfer to QPR have both been confirmed.
Now, in the latest edition of Goal.com's weekly feature, we take a look at the best, worst and ridiculous of this week's transfer rumours.
Modric next target in PSG raid
Despite being on course to tie up a £47m double-deal for AC Milan duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Paris Saint-German appear to be far from finished in their pursuit of Europe's top talent, with a bid for Tottenham's Luka Modric touted, according to various reports.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti made no attempt to hide his admiration for the "high quality" Croatian on Thursday, and the Ligue 1 side could be set to battle it out with Real Madrid to land the midfielder.
Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas admitted he was eager to push through Modric's sale earlier this week, and while the 26-year-old is believed to prefer a switch to Madrid or Manchester United, the financial strength of PSG may limit the player's options.
And the Oscar goes to... Chelsea!
Andre Villas-Boas may have fired a shot across the bows aimed at Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich this week, but the Blues look to have emerged victorious against their former coach in the battle for Brazilian starlet Oscar.
The Portuguese boss, who took over the reins at Tottenham last week, is believed to have been keen on the exciting Internacional attacker, but as exclusively revealed by Goal.com, Chelsea look to have pipped their London rivals to the post with a £20m bid.
It's not all bad news at White Hart Lane, however, with the club finally completing the transfer of Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen, and Spurs also eyeing a move for Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho.
Andy not handy for Rodgers
Following Brendan Rodgers' admission earlier this week that he will not rule out a possible Liverpool exit for £35m striker Andy Carroll, the big Geordie has been linked with a host of clubs in the past seven days.
A potential move to AC Milan was touted last week, but unfortunately for the 23-year-old he is set for less glamorous climbs if we are to believe the latest reports doing the rounds.
According to The Sun, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is hoping to land Carroll on a season-long loan deal with a view to a £15m permanent move – meaning a loss of £20m for Liverpool, while The Mirror suggest Fulham will offer up Clint Dempsey in order to lure the striker to Craven Cottage.
However, The Independent claims a dramatic £10m move to Newcastle, the club Carroll left for Anfield just 18 months ago, could be on the cards. Such a move is likely to depend on the future of Magpies forward Demba Ba, while Liverpool will unlikely allow the player to leave for such a low fee.
Off Hu-go to Fulham
Fulham have completed the signing of Hugo Rodallega on a free transfer after the Colombian’s contract with former club Wigan expired at the beginning of this month.
The 26-year-old had also been linked to Everton, yet, as reported by The Independent on Thursday, the striker's wage demands of £70,000 proved a stumbling block for David Moyes – particularly after a return of just two goals in 21 appearances last season.
With a three-year contract at Craven Cottage subject to a work permit, the west Londoners will hope he can recapture his form of previous campaigns, especially if they have bowed down to the player's financial ultimatum.
Barca eye Cabaye
Barcelona could make a shock swoop for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye, with The Sun claiming the Liga giants are set to launch an £8m move for the France international.
The Catalans had been linked with the midfielder’s compatriot Yann M'Vila but are now turning their attentions to Cabaye, and will hope they can secure a cut-price deal for the 26-year-old who shone at Euro 2012 despite his nation's poor campaign.
Yet having just joined the Magpies from Lille last summer in a deal worth £4.3m, only a significantly improved offer will persuade Alan Pardew to entertain the idea of allowing Cabaye to leave Sports Direct Arena.
VDV too pricey for Hamburg
Rafael van der Vaart looks to be heading for a possible Tottenham exit in the current transfer window, and a return to Hamburg has appeared likely throughout the summer, particularly with sporting director Frank Arnesen admitting the club were keen on a deal last weekend.
That was until Thursday, however, with both Arnesen and manager Thorsten Fink conceding the Dutch international's transfer fee represented a major stumbling block despite the player's "perfect fit" for the Bundesliga outfit.Yet a move still has not been ruled out completely, and with Van der Vaart admitting he still "loves" his former club, it is unlikely to be the last we hear of the 29-year-old's proposed switch to Imtech Arena.
Gazza to bail out Rangers
Paul Gascoigne is eyeing a return from the footballing wilderness (at the age of 45) to troubled Scottish side Rangers, as revealed by The Sun on Tuesday.
The ex-England international claimed there is "no better time to play for Rangers than right now", with the Glasgow side set to begin life in the Scottish Third Division following their expulsion from the SPL.And with Ally McCoist's first-team squad dwindling to single figures due to the club's financial woes, the appearance of Gazza in a blue shirt may not be as implausible as it first seemed, but still, quite ridiculous.
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