Today's tell-all tears a hole, the old familiar sting
Like an irritating drunk boring anyone within range with the same story over and over again, this morning's Rumour Mill brings you news of Edinson Cavani's imminent move to Manchester City. Or Real Madrid. Or Barcelona. Or Chelsea. In one of those deliberately bland interviews footballers give when they're away on international duty, the Napoli striker has given the oral equivalent of a giant shoulder-shrug into a journalist's dictaphone and the subsequent quotes have been interpreted by others to generate all manner of cobblers.
"Football is a business," said Cavani to Uruguay's answer to the Observer, El Observador. "In Napoli I am fine as I have the love of the fans, but in football you never know where you play in the future. Much also depends on the club and the decisions of the president." These utterly banal statements of the obvious concerning the uncertainty of the player's future have done little to put a stop to gossip linking him with a move to one of the few clubs that can afford his £70m buy-out clause, although it's ructions in his private life that could ultimately have a greater say in his fate. In Napoli, a 22-year-old student named Stefania Fummo has begun legal action against assorted media outlets for peddling rumours that she is having an affair with the married Cavani, insisting such stories are "absolutely false and defamatory". Should Cavani end up leaving Napoli, the Serie A side will attempt to replace him with Manchester City's Bosnian totem pole Edin Dzeko or his Bayern Munich equivalent Mario Gómez.
In far less salacious title-tattle, the Fiorentina striker and long-term Arsenal target Stevan Jovetic is wanted by Juventus, Manchester City, Milan and their city rivals Internazionale. Gooners will be able to see what they'll be missing out on when the versatile 23-year-old lines up for Montenegro against England in Podgorica tomorrow night. In slightly more comforting news for Arsenal fans, their club is reported to be interested in signing yet another teenager with a French name: the Sierra Leone-born England Under-21 international defender/midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, 18, who is currently on loan at Watford from his parent club Chelsea.
Meanwhile in Spain, the newspaper Sport says the unsettled Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero is being lined up to replace David Villa at Barcelona, should the Spanish striker reject the offer of a new contract from his Camp Nou overlords and move to pastures new. According to this morning's Mirror, Barcelona are also interested in securing the services of the Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany, but only if their efforts to sign up the Borussia Dortmund centre-half Mats Hummels end in failure.
Having beaten Glenn Murray and Thomas Ince to the Championship Player of the Year gong at last night's Football League Awards, the Watford loanee Matej Vydra is likely to attract come hither looks from a dizzying array of high-profile clubs. On loan at Vicarage Road from Udinese, the Czech Republic striker is already the focus of interest at Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur but Gianfranco Zola wants to keep him at Watford while the Serie A side are reported to be keen on bringing him back to the Stadio Friuli.
And finally, West Ham will begin talks with Vitesse Arnhem this week, with chitter-chat about the current cold snap, their shiny new stadium in London's East End and the possibility of purchasing the Dutch club's £15m-rated Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony among the pleasantries likely to be exchanged.