The January transfer window is one that usually has maybe a few small moves and, occasionally, one colossal move and then everyone remembers that the season is six months old and we should be more worried about watching football than anything else. Still, transfer rumors are rumors and this one gave me a headache trying to dig it out completely.
Our proverbial Alice trying to get to Spursland in this case is Keisuke Honda, who lashed out during a meeting with the press about how unhappy he is with A.C. Milan. There are quotes, so Bat Country box #1 will remain unchecked!
Honda said: "There is no point in blaming the players. Milan have used countless players over the past few years, and this year €100m (£75m) was spent.
"There are a lot of players who play international football, and they still can't perform for Milan. If we don't learn from this, it means that we are far from rebuilding this club.
"Looking at the past few years, I think it is clear this club cannot start over unless a lot of money is spent, like PSG or Manchester City."
Funny enough, that's pretty much the entire article and it's now established that Milan has a very unhappy Japanese International. The problem, though, is that among these quotes there is no real indication that he's saying he wants to leave San Siro. That comes in the first part of the article:
And according to reports in Italy, Premier League pair Everton and Tottenham are hoping to sign the frustrated set-piece specialist when the transfer window reopens.
In the article, each of the clubs named have a link attached to them, but they just link back to the Express' team page for each club. There's no article for either of those. It does talk about "reports in Italy" though, and that stems from an article that appeared in Gazzetta World, talking about the same thing: Honda's upset and wants out.
His departure is expected to be a mere formality at this point, with the Rossoneri awaiting offers for the Japanese international in the coming winter break.
Speculation has linked Tottenham with a bid for the former CSKA Moscow playmaker, although both Everton and Valencia are also interested, according to The Daily Star.
Alright, so Gazzetta World are claiming that The Daily Star are saying that Tottenham, Everton, and Valencia are all in this January to get Honda.
This is where the rabbit hole hits a dead end, though: The Daily Star has nothing on this story at all. I spent a good chunk of time going through their sport section looking for anything. A general search for Honda's name comes up with no recent articles. The last article written with Keisuke Honda's name? That was written in August, and it had just one simple excerpt at the end of an article talking about Roberto Martinez being upset with a terrible tackle.
So, to summarize, we have The Express, who linked back to Everton and Tottenham but with no stories for either but mentioned Italian reports. Those were from Gazzetta, who are mentioning The Daily Star, who has absolutely nothing about this story.
Assuming that any of this means something, Honda is a decent player. He's apparently upset with Milan and wants to get the hell out of dodge this winter. The question, though, is would he fit into the system at White Hart Lane? He's 29 years old and he would definitely not be starting in front of Eriksen, Lamela, or Son. He's a set piece specialist, but Spurs already have the Danish god blasting free kicks into the net. Everton would at least make some semblance of sense, but Tottenham? It doesn't add up. The only reason this doesn't get the #BatCountry stamp is because it's obvious Honda is upset and he's talked to the press about it. Beyond that? The rumor doesn't pass the smell test.