Benteke may be the target of a January move, but don't hold your breath

Mark Thompson

I'd like everyone to welcome back the nightmare rumour that refuses to die. Hello, old friend!

Well, here we go again. According to reports in the Daily Star (exclusive reports at that), Tottenham are ready to swoop in with a £28 million bid for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke during the January transfer window. It's the transfer rumour that will never, ever, die. The idea here is as follows: Spurs would like themselves a shiny new striker, they once were thought to be after Benteke, Benteke is still good, so obviously they are after him again.

And hey, let's be honest: there's at least a little bit of logic to this rumour. Spurs really could use another attacking option. Andros Townsend looks quite good, and Roberto Soldado hasn't been terrible, but given their schedule and ambition, it'd be great for Andre Villas-Boas to have another option up front. Fresh from the sale of Gareth Bale, Tottenham are flush with cash. Aston Villa have enough striking depth to seemingly have a starting XI that consists of Brad Guzan and ten attacking options (the vaunted 0-0-10 formation).

So yeah, all of the part are there. But you know what? All of the parts are there for this to be true for a number of other teams, too. As pointed out in the Birmingham Mail, there are Benteke rumours everywhere. He's going to Italy! Arsenal want him! Liverpool want him! Your mum wouldn't mind having him around the house to help with the chores!

But there's a common link in these rumours: there's no sourcing. We've got absolutely no reason to believe that Benteke is headed out in January. Aston Villa have shown no interest in dealing him, and we've seen no real confirmation that other clubs are willing to pony up - in the January window - what Villa would inevitably ask. All of these rumours follow the same basic formula: "Team X would like more attacking power*, Team X has money, Benteke is a good striker, Team X will bid for Benteke." QED.

*As an aside: EVERY TEAM would like to acquire better strikers. So really, we can almost take out this first step.

So will we hear rumours? Absolutely. But until I actually see anything that is substantiated, I'm sticking stubbornly to the belief that Christian Benteke will still be playing for Paul Lambert when February rolls around. As we enter silly season (did we ever leave it?), keep sources in mind when you're reading rumour articles. It's really easy to make up a rumour that is plausible, and so pretty much everyone does it. Don't panic about Benteke now. Just because the idea is plausible doesn't mean that it's going to happen.

And don't worry. If substantiated rumours about Benteke start popping up, you'll know. His movement during January would be one of - if not the - biggest stories in football.

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