WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Saido Berahino of WBA during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns on December 26, 2014 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

32 Flags rates the legitimacy of this weeks transfer rumors: 12/31/15 edition

With the new year approaching, so too is the January transfer window and the rumor mill is starting to heat up. Of course not all rumors should be taken seriously. We’ll be running this blog throughout the month highlighting the top rumors and letting you know if they have merit or not. 

We’re just a few days away from the start of the January transfer window and the rumor mill is kicking into overdrive. While January can be a difficult time to get transfers done, there is still a fair share of great January transfers that have been made, as well as some awful ones. Many people expect this to be a busy transfer window with many of the big clubs looking to take advantage of the wide open title race. It’s important to remember that many of these reports are unconfirmed, so the question becomes which reports are valid and which ones sound nice, but aren’t likely to happen.

 

The Mirror is reporting that Basel holding midfielder Mohamed Elneny is set to complete a £5 million move to Arsenal in the coming days. According to the report, the 23 year old midfielder was in London just a few days after Christmas to complete a medical and the paperwork. 

We’ll start off with one that sounds like a done deal mainly because it makes sense. Elneny is a bright midfielder with a big future ahead of him and fits a need for Arsenal. Gunners fans have been begging Arsene Wenger to go out and buy a new holding midfielder for years now and Elneny could be the perfect fit. At 23, he’s still getting better but he also isn’t going to be thrown to the wolves. The young midfielder would be brought in to provide Arsenal with much needed depth, which will also allow the Egyptian International some time to settle in to life in the Premier League.

 

To keep things with Arsenal, Spanish site Don Bolon is reporting that star Alexis Sanchez has pleaded with Arsene Wenger to sign Mexican International Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen. 

ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 04:  Javier Hernandez of Bayer 04 Leverkusen celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between AS Roma and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Olimpico Stadium on November 4, 2015 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

ROME, ITALY – NOVEMBER 04: Javier Hernandez of Bayer 04 Leverkusen celebrates after scoring the team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between AS Roma and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Olimpico Stadium on November 4, 2015 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Many Premier League clubs have been rumored to be interested in Hernandez so this report is most likely accurate. However that doesn’t mean Arsenal are going to sign Hernandez mainly because the deal doesn’t make sense for either party. Hernandez is cup-tied to Leverkusen in the Champions League, making him ineligible to play for Arsenal.

As for Hernandez, joining Arsenal doesn’t make any sense. Hernandez has spent years trying to shed the “Super Sub” label that had been placed on him. This season at Leverkusen, he’s been given the chance to start and he’s showing that he can in fact score goals as a starter and not just coming off the bench. So why would he go to Arsenal where he would be put right back on the bench behind Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, who are both having great seasons.

 

The Daily Mail report that Tottenham will attempt to use Andros Townsend as a potential swap deal to try and sign West Brom’s Saido Berahino. 

You know when something is too good to be true? That’s exactly what this deal is for Tottenham. They get rid of unused winger Andros Townsend and add yet another dynamic 22 year old English striker who can score goals at the Premier League level. Berahino’s arrival would provide Harry Kane with both competition and the chance to be rested every once in a while.

Unfortunately for Tottenham, I just don’t see this happening. West Brom are adamant they want more than what Tottenham are willing to pay for the striker. From Berahino’s point of view, Spurs are currently doing well with a one striker system, and there’s no way Berahino is unseating Kane as the club’s number one striker. Berahino had one of the best seasons in England last year, there are plenty of teams that could use his talent, why willingly accept a role at Spurs that will see you mostly be used for squad rotation?

 

Liverpool are prepared to bid £23.5 million for West Brom striker Saido Berahino according to The Liverpool Echo

Jurgen Klopp needs to make a splash to revitalize both Liverpool and their fans. When star striker Daniel Sturridge is out injured, which is often, Liverpool doesn’t really have a second option as it’s clear Christian Benteke isn’t really the right fit for Klopp’s system. Berahino would be a great addition to a Liverpool side that can play with both one or two strikers upon Sturridge’s return. If Berahino leaves West Brom this January, and it’s likely he does, he’s far more likely to go to Liverpool than to Tottenham.

 

QPR striker Charlie Austn has confirmed he will stay with Queens Park Rangers until his contract expires this summer. 

The most amazing part about this is that after scoring 18 Premier League goals last year Charlie Austin is still somehow with QPR despite being relegated. How did not one Premier League club that’s in the need of more goals sign him last summer? Austin has nine goals in the Championship this season, but with his proven ability to score goals even for bad Premier League sides, it’s hard not to see a top flight club scooping him up in January as Austin’s goals could be the difference between staying up or being relegated. As much as Austin wants to remain loyal, when a Premier League club comes in offering money, it’s hard to see QPR not selling the striker.

 

ESPN has reported that Borussia Dortmund center back Nevon Subotic could be sold for a cut-price fee with Liverpool being the likely suiters. 

ANDERLECHT, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 01:  Nathan Kabasele of Anderlecht battles with Neven Subotic of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between RSC Anderlecht and Borussia Dortmund at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on October 1, 2014 in Anderlecht, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

ANDERLECHT, BELGIUM – OCTOBER 01: Nathan Kabasele of Anderlecht battles with Neven Subotic of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between RSC Anderlecht and Borussia Dortmund at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on October 1, 2014 in Anderlecht, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

One of the first things Jurgen Klopp said when he took over at Liverpool was that he would not be raiding his former club, Borussia Dortmund, for players. Now he’s immediately linked with a Dortmund player. This deal wouldn’t exactly be Klopp breaking his word. When he said he wouldn’t be stealing players he primarily meant Dortmund’s stars such as Marco Reus, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and Ikay Gundogan. Subotic on the other hand is a defender who has been out of favor with new manager Thomas Tuchel right from the start. Subotic is desperate to leave to seek out first team football and a reunion with a manager who is very fond of him makes all the sense in the world.

Pauly Kwestel

About Pauly Kwestel

Pauly is a Producer for WFAN in New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has been writing about the beautiful game since 2010 and can be followed on twitter @pkwestelWFAN

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