Here are a few rumors we've been ignoring over the past 24-48 hours or so. Yes, they are that silly and/or come from silly sources. But now there's three of them, so we might as well do a round-up. Something to chat about before the game today.
First up, RicRod.
The 23-year-old left back has been wanted by Europe's leading lights for the better part of his professional career, ever since he broke onto the scene with FC Zurich and earned himself a £7.5m move to the Bundesliga as a teenager. He's been with Wolfsburg ever since, but has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and all the other usual suspects just about every summer and winter. Still, he's stayed. Even this summer, when he's supposedly told Wolfsburg supremo Klaus Allofs that he wants to leave, he's stayed.
Now, with Chelsea a bit short on full backs again, signing Ricardo Rodriguez would be a sensible move, to be sure. He's perhaps not the strongest defensive left back you've ever seen, but he's certainly better than Baba (faint praise, that) and he's fairly tremendous going forward and has the dictionary definition of a cultured left foot. Trouble is, the rumor of a £22m bid is a) a bit too low/good to be true and b) is from the Mirror, which is about as bad as it gets outside of the Metro.
Next, another Rodriguez, (Silent) James (no relation).
This one's peddled by Barcelona-centric Sport, who tend to be pretty unreliable with Barcelona rumors, let alone rumors concerning their chief rivals Real Madrid. But here it is anyway: Chelsea are "in negotiations" with Real and James over a £70m move.
We've heard a variation of this earlier this week, and the reaction now is the same as then: LOL. Unless this is a swap involving Fàbregas, which wouldn't necessarily make it more realistic or feasible, but at least would make for some amazing headlines and possibly a pig's head or two.
Lastly, we have Romelu Lukaku.
According to, again, the Mirror — not only are they one of the most inaccurate rumor merchants, they are by far the most prolific in generating rumors (almost as many as The Sun and the Mail combined) — Lukaku has changed his mind for the 17th time this summer, and is ready to commit his future to Everton. As soon as he gets that new contract offer of course, which, it would appear, has been the goal of this whole summer episode all along. So well done Mino Raiola, and well done Chelsea for not spending money where we really don't need to at the moment.
Update: contract offer received.
(Before you ask, the Koulibaly thing is spinning its wheels, too. Rumors of bids ranging from €40-60m to £60m+ are mixed in with rumors of rejected bids of the same amount. Or more. Or less. Or some such. It's all a bit silly at this point, even for Silly Season.)
Can we start the football?