The transfer war chest is one of football's most elusive objects. Everybody manager wants one, many are promised one, yet very few ever get their hands on one. They are jealously guarded by the shadowy forces that control them and as far as the Mill knows, no one outside a club's inner sanctum has ever seen one. That is, until now.
Yes, the Mill has been granted exclusive access to one Premier League war chest. It's surprisingly large, about the size of a fridge freezer or two front-loading washing machines. It appears to be made of reclaimed teak stained the colour of conkers, but in each corner sits an exquisite sapphire. Along one side there is a carving of … yes, I'm pretty sure that's the face of Herbert Chapman. This can only mean one thing – it's a war chest for Arsène Wenger. Now before security catches up with us let's take a peep inside …
Holy moly, there must be a least £35m in there. And look, there's also a scrap of paper. This must be Wenger's shopping list. Oh, disappointingly there's only one name on it, that of Atlético Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and the word "Falcao" is underlined in red pen with "SPLASH IT ALL" scrawled in huge letters next to it. Not sure what that could all mean.
Also in January, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will, depending on which source you believe, get a £25m war chest all of his very own to splash on Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo, or a tupperware box containing £4.58 in loose change with which to tempt Fulham to part with Brede Hangeland.
Roberto Mancini, like Bowser, wants rid of Mario, but unlike the pixelated king of the Koopas, he's not going to use a variety of turtles, fish and maniacal fruit in order to get the job done. Instead, he'll simply mention Balotelli's availability to Serie A's big boys and let them fight amongst themselves for his signature.
Juventus won't be among their number though, as the Old Lady of Turin want the Old Man of the Ivory Coast instead. Didier Drogba's contractual situation in China is still about as clear as the washing up water after a couple of sinkfuls of pots, but Juve are at the front of the queue should the former Chelsea man break free of Shenhua's shackles.
The Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo is on David Moyes's January shopping list. Much like Everton he's occasionally lumbering, occasionally majestic and available to buy for the right price. Unlike Everton he's won something recently – the Paraguayan player of the year award in 2009.
Sunderland are going to let dangerously-close-to-uber-flop Connor Wickham head back to the Championship on loan to whoever can afford his wages.
Also in the Championship, it's Tim Sherwood v Alan Shearer for the Blackburn job, while Mick McCarthy will take over at Bolton if Wanderers decide to ditch Owen Coyle. And after scoring twice again at the weekend Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is a target for Tottenham, Fulham, Wigan, Sunderland, Uncle Tom Cobleigh, Uncle Tom Cobleigh's wife, all Uncle Tom Cobleigh's wife's friends, their families, their families' servants, their families' servants' tennis partners, and some chap I bumped into the other day called Bernard.