A Brumour is a breaking rumour

You may not have noticed but it is January 2018. And what does January bring? No, not just millions of people returning to their place of work slightly fatter, more broke and probably depressed. It brings the opening of the transfer window!

No longer completely rumour based is Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool and we are delighted to be able to scratch that one off the list. The move has happened, he’s even scored and Liverpool have recouped double their outlay by sacking off one of the Fab Four to Barcelona. The question is, will they be able to replace their Pete Best with a Ringo Starr? Who will be brought in to replace Philippe Coutinho?

The smart money is on Liverpool overpaying for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar who has been wandering around Ligue One like the puppy who has seen all his siblings find new homes and he is left on his tod. Arsenal, of course, will be linked to the French international and will probably bid very late and not enough. But would reinvesting £100m of the Coutinho money be money well spent? Possibly not.

Those hipsters that like to follow European football and draw up some “5 future stars” to watch lists probably have some wonderful players that they think Liverpool should go after, and if they do we will tell you all about them.

It’s not just players that are rumour bound today – oh no, managers as well with Stoke City in the market for a new gaffer having finally got shot of Mark Hughes having waited long enough for him to have been knocked out of the FA Cup by a lower level club and therefore seeing his reputation get further tainted. Martin O’Neill is being linked as is Derby County’s Gary Rowett. I’d take it Gary, before Derby sack you for failing to win the Championship in your first full season in charge. Personally, I’m putting a shout in for Lee Johnson of Bristol City but that will never happen.

Everton have been busy already, signing Turkish striker Cenk Tosun, described as “the best in Europe” by Sam Allardyce who then muttered “at his price” quietly under his breath. £27m is what he has cost so he had better be decent. Everton got half of that back by selling Ross Barkley down to Chelsea because, frankly, Chelsea needed another English midfielder as they have absolutely none out on loan or coming through their academy.

Chelsea’s transfer activity is always somewhat curious, but signing Barkley when they have the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek on their books can only be beaten by them being linked to Andy Carroll. Clearly, the sight of Alvaro Morata being shocking in front of goal recently and the news that Diego Costa has scored two in two for Atletico on his return has got the Blues panicking so much that Carroll makes more sense than Tammy Abraham, say.

Gareth Bale was in the goals for Real Madrid last night and his reward is to be linked, once more, to Jose Mourinho and Manchester United. Poor guy, he’s not asked to do any defending by Zidane.