You want a stupid early transfer rumor that nonetheless has just a grain of plausibility behind it? Try this one out for size: the Mirror is linking Manchester City with a summer move for Tottenham Hotspur's left back Danny Rose.
But Dustin, you shout at your computer or mobile screen, surely that's just made-up red-top transfer rumor garbage! And yes, it probably is. But there are a few things going for it that make this insane, #batcountry, out-of-thin-air rumor actually a thing that could happen.
Gael Clichy isn't that good anymore.
City's current first-choice left back, Gael Clichy, is getting up there in years (he's 29) and frankly, he's no longer very good. In the times lately when he's taken the field for City, his performances have left a lot to be desired. Even Match of the Day host (and former Spurs player) Gary Lineker took a shot at him after Sunday's Manchester derby:
'Clichy can't defend' is becoming a football cliché.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 12, 2015
Aleksandr Kolarov could head back to Italy.
City's other left back, Aleksandr Kolarov, has admitted that he's unsettled in Manchester and has longed for a return to Italy; City purchased him from Lazio back in 2010. It's thought that Manuel Pellegrini would even consider letting him go despite his contract not expiring until 2017. He's linked with both Roma and Inter Milan, both of which would pay good money for him.
City desperately need homegrown English players.
This is the big one. City's left backs are aging, and they're also in pretty desperate need of homegrown English players to comply with UEFA regulations. Danny Rose fits both criteria: he's young, decent, and English, and he would fill a potential position of need if Kolarov is allowed to depart for an Italian club. Are there other left backs that are better than Danny Rose? Surely. But Manchester United won't sell Luke Shaw to their big rivals, Leighton Baines is now on the wrong side of 30, and any foreign left back they'd purchase wouldn't help them with their "English problem."
City have stupid money.
Tottenham Hotspur apparently have rated Rose at £10m, but this is Daniel Levy. Between his negotiations, City's position as a Premier League rival, the new TV contract money, the English player premium, and Pochettino's admiration of Rose, City will have to pay through the nose to get him. I'd think there's no way that he goes for less than £15m, and really, as well as he's played for Spurs this year, I'm willing to bet that Levy would steeple his fingers and mutter "Excellent" if he were to get that kind of money for Danny Rose. Also, Spurs have a very capable back-up in Ben Davies, so it's possible they wouldn't even miss him all that much.
Now, look: this is the Mirror, and it's still a gloriously dumb rumor. Do I seriously think this could happen? Nope! But the strange thing about this rumor in particular is that things are set up so that it's actually not out of the realm of possibility. Left back isn't exactly the area where we all anticipate Spurs making a move this window, but at least in theory the stars are all aligned for this to be something that could actually happen. We'll have to see if it actually has legs.