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TRIBAL TRENDS - TRANSFERS: Man Utd, Real Madrid eyeing Neymar deal?; Chelsea plot Alex Sandro bid?; Why Liverpool won't sign Aubameyang?;

Get excited football fans. The time is here. The time when your club has the opportunity to make a deal that could change their season.

It could be the difference between relegation and survival; between being champions and runners-up; between qualifying for the Champions League or Europa League.

And with the amount of rumours swirling around at this time of year, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher the truth.

Not to worry however, because here at Tribalfootball, we have broken down the week's hottest transfer rumours, and informed you whether to believe the paper talk or not.

Alex Sandro - Juventus

Interested: Chelsea

Most of them time it's difficult to gauge fact from folly in the transfer market world. But the mutual interest between Chelsea and Alex Sandro has always appeared to be true.

With the usually anti-climatic January transfer window fast approaching, TMW has claimed that the Brazilian has reneged on his commitment to sign an extension with his current club, Juventus.

The Italian publication says Sandro will available after the 2018 World Cup. Spicy stuff, I must admit.

Chelsea went after Sandro extremely hard in the summer. Eventually they failed because the 26-year-old reiterated his desire to remain in Turin.

Whether Sandro didn't want to join the Blues due to concerns about playing time, or for any other reason, is anyone's guess.

For Antonio Conte, the pitch to Roman Abramovich to shell some funds for Sandro would be simple.

Dear Mr. Abramovich,

You want me to chase down Manchester City and take us further into the Champions League.

I cannot do that with one left-back.

If Abramovich doesn't get persuaded, his wallet clearly isn't as big as his desire to make Chelsea competitive at the tail-end of this season. And if that's the case, they should just pack up and go home right now.

Verdict: Time to make a splash

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang - Borussia Dortmund

Interested: Liverpool

The Sunday Express claims Liverpool are preparing to buy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

If you'd come to me six months ago with this rumour, I would have said 'Go for it Jurgen!'. Now, not so much.

Back then, we didn't know Philippe Coutinho would remain at Anfield. And we certainly weren't sure Mohamad Salah was going to be the Premier League's leading goalscorer.

When they're all fit and firing, the current attacking quarter for Liverpool is simply frightening.

There is also extra baggage that comes with Aubameyang. Rumours of discontent towards the Gabon international from his Dortmund teammates have been rife this season.

His poor attitude has seemingly booked his exit from the Bundesliga club. But to where?

You can cross Liverpool off your list.

Verdict: There are for more pressing issues *cough* defence…

David Luiz - Chelsea

Interested: Real Madrid

The Daily Express have reported Chelsea are willing to sell David Luiz to Real Madrid.

The enigmatic Brazilian has fallen out of favour with Antonio Conte, replaced by the impressive Andreas Christensen.

But Chelsea can't afford to part with Luiz. As mentioned before, they are still competing on four fronts and they need all the help they can muster.

And besides, it's not like Luiz isn't capable of working his way back into Antonio Conte's good books. He just has to look at Cesc Fabregas to know redemption is possible - if he wants it.

And that'll be where the difference lies. On the man himself. If Luiz sulks and trails his feet, Conte may very well find someone to replace him.

Verdict: It's all on you David

Joao Mario - Inter Milan

Interested: Manchester United

Italian publication Corriere dello Sport have sensationally claimed Inter Milan have proposed a swap deal with Manchester United.

The Serie A club have offered United their midfielder Joao Mario in a straight swap for Juan Mata.

The report states that Jose Mourinho immediately rejected the proposal. But he returned shortly after with an offer of his own. Replace Mata with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and we've got a deal.

It's understandable to see Mkhitaryan's name suggested as his drop in form over the past few months has raised alarm bells for Mourinho.

But the Armenian is a talismanic player. On his day, he can win matches off his own boot. A quality that Joao Mario, frankly, doesn't possess.

Times are tough at the moment for Mkhitaryan. But swapping him from Joao Mario would be a bad piece of business for United.

Interested: You've got to be smarter than that United

Neymar - PSG

Interested: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City

The Daily Mail has reported that PSG attacker Neymar may leave at the end of the season. The same Neymar that PSG paid Barcelona £200million for only four months ago.

So is there any merit to the speculation?

Ligue 1 has so far proved to be a doddle for the Brazilian. He has scored nine goals in 12 league appearances and PSG currently sit nine points clear at the top of the table.

Neymar's objective of winning the Champions League is on track as PSG topped their group with a +21 goal difference.

After his world-record transfer in the summer, the 'that'll never happen' chain of thought was completely destroyed. There is every chance Neymar could leave again in the summer.

Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United are all reportedly interested in the 25-year-old.

The real question is: How much will he cost?

Verdict: Stranger things have happened

Andrew Maclean
About the author

Andrew Maclean

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