We've seen numerous players connected to the Seattle Sounders (to varying degrees legitimacy) with big names such as Didier Drogba, Diego Forlan, Djibril Cisse and Prince Tagoe standing out as some of the most recognizable. Aside from Tagoe, in whose case it appears there was some legitimate mutual interest, most of these links were at best tenuous and with few rumors currently making the rounds and no announcement likely to be forthcoming any time soon, what better way to keep the fires stoked than to weave a few rumors out of whole cloth and then take the next logical step and point out the reasons said rumors are a terrible idea? It's the two worst parts of silly season in one convenient stop!
Leighton Baines, Left Back, Everton (English Premier League)
Why It Makes Sense: Baines is a long under-appreciated player who at the age of 26 is finally beginning to get his due after a fantastic season. Though Tyson Wahl has been a pleasant surprise for the Sounders this season, left back is still a position of poor depth that could benefit from an upgrade. A solid defensive player with a dangerous cross and excellent set-piece delivery, Baines would be a decent bet to battle for time with Wahl immediately and at the very least provide an upgrade over Leo Gonzalez in US Open Cup and Concacaf Champions League play.
Why It Will Never Work: Baines is known to have a fear of flying, which could prove a difficult hill to climb given the MLS travel schedule. It's also possible that a player with such a fear would have trouble with yachting as well. Arsenal and Liverpool have both shown interest in Baines, and a potential bidding war would be beneath Seattle. Mostly, at 26 Baines is slightly older than the Sounders should be pursuing if they are serious about building for the future.
Ever Banega, Central Midfielder, Valencia CF (La Liga)
Why It Makes Sense: The Sounders current system makes the use of a creative attacking central mid somewhat redundant, but systems can be shifted to integrate talented players and Banega is clearly a talented player. There's no sense that Valencia are looking to move him, but that shouldn't stop a club with real ambition from getting their man.
Why It Will Never Work: Doesn't score a lot of goals, so he clearly has a terrible work ethic.
Guillaume Hoarau, Striker, Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1)
Why It Makes Sense: Seattle's most glaring need is for a target forward with clinical finishing ability, and the 6'3" Hoarau provides both in spades. Contracted at PSG through 2013, the Sounders massive financial resources are clearly sufficient to pry away a player a mere two years from becoming a free.
Why It Will Never Work: Was sent off for diving against Lille in PSG's final home game of the season; players like that have no business wearing the rave green.
Nigel Reo-Coker, Available On Free Transfer
Why It Makes Sense: Most recently with English Premier League club Aston Villa, Reo-Coker is a tenacious box-to-box midfielder in the Brad Evans mold-only perhaps slightly better. With Evans injury struggles, the Sounders could do with some depth in the central midfield and Reo-Coker wouldn't require a transfer fee, leaving the Sounders ample room to pursue other targets.
Why It Will Never Work: If a team that spent nearly a month in the EPL's relegation zone don't want him, why would we think he's good enough for the Sounders?
Cristiano Ronaldo, Striker, Real Madrid (La Liga)
Why It Makes Sense: One of the most gifted scorers in the game today, Ronaldo might not be the target forward most Sounders fans would like to see but it's a certainty that he'd provide a bit of added danger in the attack. Lethal from both the run of play and from set pieces, Ronaldo is just the kind of player the Sounders need to put them over the top in their quest to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Why It Would Never Work: Well known for his ego, Ronaldo outspokenly considers himself to be one of the best players in the world. Despite his obvious talent, no one is bigger than Seattle Sounders FC and such a me-first, primadonna attitude would do far more harm than good to the club. Players like Ronaldo may perform at high levels in Europe, but MLS is a different animal and it's tough to imagine Ronaldo being able to adjust.
Editor's note: Yes, these rumors are all pulled from thin-air for entertainment purposes only. For real transfer rumors, head over to SB Nation's Sounder at Heart.