We are well into January – so it is time for the latest incarnation of the silly season. If you want an indication of just how ridiculous the transfer rumour mill can be at this time of year, look at the manufactured interest in Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney.
News of a ‘possible bid’ for the Scottish playmaker from Newcastle United spread like wildfire around the internet last night. On the face of it, interest in Cairney is plausible. He looks classy on the ball and, in a side as comfortable in possession as Fulham have become, has plenty of time and space to showcase his talent. But, where’s the evidence of a concrete offer for the 26 year-old’s services?
The Mirror printed the rumour that Newcastle, Brighton and Hove Albion and Norwich City – all striving for promotion from the Championship, like Fulham – were interested in signing Cairney in Sunday’s newspaper. I’m sure they all would be. That allowed a Newcastle site to suggest that Newcastle’s ‘official media partner’ were keen on signing Cairney. And we’re off to the races. Only a few minutes ago, Paul Warburton – of Get West London Sport – wrote an article suggesting that Fulham ‘want £10m for Cairney,’ with no actual facts behind the unsupported supposition.
As it happens, Slavisa Jokanovic has been quick to rule out the prospect of Cairney leaving Craven Cottage. He first did so after the captain’s virtuoso performance during Fulham’s win at Griffin Park back in November – and he was quite categorical after the FA Cup success in Cardiff yesterday afternoon:
Tom [Cairney] is so important to us. He makes us tick and shows how he can do damage to teams. I’m going to guarantee he’s going to stay with us.
The player himself finished 2016 with a post on social media saying that, unlike most of us, the past year had been the best of his life. Settled in London, starring in an upwardly mobile side and enjoying life off the pitch. Sorry if that spoils your next splash, lads.