for the England international. There were sagas involving Lucas Moura, who eventually opted for PSG when they arrived late to the table with a stunning bid, and Eden Hazard, who decided to tease fans about his future on Twitter. After so much talk of a duel between United and City, the Belgian chose to join Chelsea following the Champions League win that elevated the Blues back into Europe's premier competition.
Similarly, Moussa Dembele joined Tottenham after spending much of the summer being linked with United and Chelsea while Dimitar Berbatov was touted for other clubs as far back as January. The Bulgarian really racked up the list of potential destinations and, while rumours of QPR and West Ham were getting closer in geographical terms, Fulham had barely been mentioned when they snapped him up with a day or so left of the window.
So many column inches were wasted although the extensive coverage of the Olympics stemmed the flow of speculation this year - even if United were linked with an average of 22 different players each month. Nonetheless, there were some impressively correct calls. Paul Pogba was said to be Juventus-bound for some time and Diario de Noticias showed the value of a good source by revealing Fabio would join QPR and Rafael was to sign a new deal through an exclusive interview with the twins' agent Cassano Pereira.
To address the balance, there were some stories that seemed outlandish at the time and, while it's difficult to rule anything out in today's game, it was hard to see Ashley Cole signing for United and Javier Hernandez and Rafael being seriously targeted by Chelsea. One popular tabloid boldly predicted on 8 June that Luka Modric would sign for the Reds after the Euros before Real Madrid emerged as clear favourites and finally snapped up the Tottenham playmaker, while another daily picked up on Twitter gossip to suggest Kaka had been offered to Sir Alex.
So, love it or hate it, we find it difficult to ignore transfer speculation. The next time you read something you believe to be plucked from thin air,