I have a stated policy of not mentioning ridiculous transfer rumours, but there's no harm in making fun of the most insane ones. So here's my attempt at dissecting two bits of transfer speculation surrounding Barcelona.
I'll start with the persistent reports linking Boca Juniors striker and occasional Argentinean international Rodrigo Palacio with Barcelona. The strongest basis for these claims seems to be the fact that a couple of Barca technical directors were invited to watch the derby between River Plate and Boca Juniors. What some reporters seem to have missed is the fact that those directors were invited by River. On top of that, reports of meetings between Barca president Laporta and Boca suits have yet to be proven.
This next bit is the part I really want to make fun of, though. One report I read - I won't say which website produced this gem of investigative reporting - claimed that Barca were looking to sign Palacio to eventually replace Deco. This would make slightly more sense if Palacio was anything like a playmaker, which as you'll have noticed in the last paragraph, he is definitely not.
So that's that. Now, the Ronaldinho to AC Milan rumours are slightly more tricky. Maybe he will go there someday - I can't see why, but people sometimes make decisions only they understand. The way the sporting media have gone about trying to play up this 'transfer' is comical, to say the least. Their latest ploy seems to be trying to claim Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi having lunch with Ronaldinho's brother and agent is proof that the transfer is on. This would seem damning at first glance, right up until the point one realises that Roberto de Assis also happens to represent Milan's new signing Ricardo Oliveira. Not too strange to see the club chairman having dinner with the agent who represents one of his players, is it?
(Spain-Argentina report to come, when I get my objectivity back.)