With all the fancy-dan top four types occupied with the Champions League group stages the Mill thought it might give some of the lesser lights a chance to enter the transfer speculation scrum. Who do Stoke want in January? Who? We must know!

Alas – continental travel isn't enough to put those transfer hungry, talent spotting bloodhounds off the scent. Even as Manchester City were losing to Bayern Manuel Pellegrini's head was full of thoughts of other young, thrusting German stars; namely Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus.

However, they won't have it all their own way in the chase for the bequiffed Deutschlander, Still glowing from the success of his last big-money import Arsène Wenger would like to add Reus to the growing German contingent at Arsenal.

But to want is not enough. Dortmund won't be giving in without a fight. 'Marco feels very comfortable at Dortmund and we feel comfortable with him,' squealed Dortmund CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke 'He has an even closer relationship with the club and the city than Mario Götze did and I expect him to stay.' And Götze is still tearing it up for Dortmund, right? Oh...

At least Dortmund can reconcile themselves with the homecoming of another former hero. Even as Manchester United were drawing in Donetsk, David Moyes's head was full of thoughts of a young, thrusting Japanese star. He's ready to ship Shinji Kagawa back to his former club in Germany. The Scot will replace him by bringing Barcelona's Alex Song back to England.

But look here, little Liverpool – not even in the Europa League – want some of the action. They're interested in signing Javier Pastore from PSG; the French billionaire's play thing having tired of their £37m bauble.

Ah. But it's only the result of a big four inspired transfer merry-go-round. Chelsea want Real Madrid's Karim Benzema to solve their striking crisis, which will hand Real Madrid the funds to make a £41m move for Luis Suárez, who still pines for pastures fresh, giving Liverpool the money to move for Pastore. Chelsea will then be ready to release Romelu Lukaku from his bonds – with Juventus hopeful of securing the Belgian's signature.

Misery all round on Merseyside then – and it's all because of those pesky top four troublemakers.

But here we are at last - some action for Stoke. Dieumerci Mbokani is unhappy with life in Kyiv. The DR Congo striker said: 'I am not happy at the moment with the squad turnover, I like to play my football week in, week out, to have my rhythm. If it does not change I will ask to be transferred away from here, there was a big club in England after me'

Stoke are that club – with West Brom also in the running for the Dynamo Kiev star.

Slightly underwhelming perhaps, but Titus Bramble is still looking for a club – come on, someone must interested...? Anyone? Bruce? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller...?