Today's rumours are alive and well
The Mill can confirm that Pope Boniface VIII is dead. Not exactly breaking news, since it happened 710 years ago today, the unloved pontiff succumbing to injuries sustained after being struck by a mailed fist (ie a fist clad in chainmail, not some booby-trapped parcel). It gives the Mill no pleasure to confirm that Johann Albrecht Adelgrief is also no longer of this world – again, we're a little late to this, as the German's demise was sealed on this day 377 years ago.
We can pinpoint with remarkable accuracy the time when things started to go downhill for poor Albrecht: it was at the precise moment that he proclaimed himself a prophet and announced that seven angels had visited him and passed on strict orders to banish evil from the world and scourge monarchs with iron rods. No terrestrial ruler bothered issuing counterorders: they just executed him.
All of which may help Lothar Matthäus feel better today. The most capped player in German history was alarmed and appalled to learn that, after authorities were unable to contact him in relation to an alimony payment to his former wife, he was officially classified as "deceased". See how easily rumours are spread, folks? "This is outrageous," he bawled at Bild. "Everyone can see that I am alive, whether on TV or on the pitch," added Matthäus, who has long complained about being ignored for jobs in his homeland. Perhaps now he will get a knock on the door from would-be employers. Or his ex-wife's lawyers.
Fernando Llorente, meanwhile, can look forward to a visit from Arsène Wenger. Buoyed by the success of Mesut Özil, the Arsenal manager is getting the hang of this transfer lark and reckons January would be an ideal time to bring in a striker to lighten Olivier Giroud's load – so Arsenal will move for Llorente, who is currently on bench duty at Juventus as Carlos Tevez tears up Serie A.
Mind you, Arsenal may try to get the Spaniard on loan only, as their longer-term target remains Luis Suárez. Tevez, meanwhile, has been advising Juventus to head to Manchester and bring him back a souvenir in the shape of Nemanja Vidic. He may have to settle for Fulham's Pajtim Kasami instead.
Roberto Mancini always wants something to remind him of his time in Manchester. So he's going to buy either another scarf or Antonio Valencia, whichever will prove more useful at Galatasaray.
Meanwhile, rather than spend the international break hoping that England crash out of the World Cup so that Roy Hodgson dominates the Manager Clown of the Moment features for the foreseeable future, David Moyes is mulling over transfer targets for Manchester United to miss in January. "Impostors" are believed to be already on their way to mutter obliquely about a swoop for Derby County's teenage schemer Will Hughes.
Newcastle United are kidding themselves that Micah Richards could join them in January. And Alvaro Pereira's people are suspected of circulating stories about Paris St-Germain sniffing around the Internazionale left-back, all in a bid to flush out offers from Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur, who are keen on the Uruguayan.