Manchester United to loan Danny Welbeck to Spurs?

Danny Welbeck and Danny Rose in an England U21 training session - Michael Steele

This actually isn't such a bad idea... until you look at the source.

Dispatches from #batcountry is a daily series at Cartilage Free Captain where we examine ridiculous transfer rumors found on the internet and tell you why you shouldn't believe them. Why #batcountry? Because our own author The Sleeper's Sleep wrote a brilliant article last summer comparing the Silly Season™ to a scene from Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It seemed appropriate.

This is astounding, and amazing, and LOL-worthy. SportsDirect News has come out with perhaps the transfer scoop of the year thus far, announcing that Manchester United could loan striker Danny Welbeck to Spurs next season. The 22-year old United striker is well down the pecking order at Old Trafford, competing with Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, and Javier Hernandez. United are also reportedly making mewling come-hither noises towards Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski as well.

And this rumor actually makes sense in a lot of ways. Spurs need a striker. Welbeck is a talented young footballer who can play on the left side of midfield or up top as a center forward. He'd fit well into a Spurs formation that is desperate for finishing, and it's looking like he's not going to get the minutes he needs to continue developing at United this season. A loan would be cheaper than buying a new striker, and smacks of a typical Levy deal. The Cartilage Free Captain consensus is: sign him up!

But hmmmm. SportsDirect... SportsDirect... where have I heard that before?

Oh yeah, SportsDirect Arena! The former current former name of Newcastle United's stadium. And SportsDirect.com? Why, it's a giant e-commerce website that's part of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's empire. It sells shoes and other athletic apparel. And apparently breaks transfer rumors.

So. The first inkling of a Welbeck-to-Spurs loan comes not from one of the red-tops, or even a random journalist twitter account, but an online shoe store run by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. Suspicious Uncle Menno is suspicious.

Hey, stranger stories have been broken by stranger sources. But until you start reading about this in the Guardian or the BBC, assume it emerged whole from the wilds of #batcountry and take it in with a very healthy dose of LOL.

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