Forget football, it’s the rumours that are coming home. It’s been quiet. A little too quiet. But the rumour rater is stirring. It’s been a while. The rumour pages have been empty. There’s been little to snack on. Little to get excited about. But the night is darkest before the dawn. And the rumours are brightest before the pre-season. And the rumour rater is back. We are risen. We are stirring.

Ronaldo Vieira

We like Ronaldo. Both fat and Portugese. We like Vieira. This is a good rumour. We also don’t like Leeds. But we know that Ronaldo Vieira is good. A Benfica youth player via Leeds, he’s already a key player for Peter Ridsdale’s Leeds. We know he can score goals and we know he can make goals. He’s strong, he’s composed, he’s got a long way to go in this game. We think he would be a brilliant signing. Leeds fans are unhappy. Let them be. The rumour rater thinks this could be a bit like the Bobby Reid transfer. We didn’t believe that right away. More fool us.

Oumar Niasse

We hear Cardiff are interested in Niasse. We know Cardiff need a new striker. We have some strikers but we need more. Niasse. He’s not really had a decent chance at Everton. A victim of several manager changes. Yet he still looks good. A hat trick in pre-season, a few crucial goals for Everton. We like the look of him. We have big strikers. We don’t need another big one. We need a smaller one. A loan deal, most certainly, and won we’d like to see happen.

Vlad Chiriches

We are not sure if Cardiff need a new defender. But we are not allowed to think about anything other than rumours. Vlad Chiriches is a Romanian defender who used to play for Tottenham. He now plays for Napoli. Cardiff City used to have a Romanian defender but he didn’t play much. We hear Stoke are interested too. He might be expensive – £13m or more – and we don’t know if Cardiff want to pay that for a defender who might not be better than they already have.

Fran Sol

The Rumour Rater was up late one evening, revelling in the pre-season win over Tavistock when we saw a retweet. Fran Sol, it said. Fran Sol has rejected a move to Cardiff. Fran Sol is a player who plays for the second William – Willem II  – in Holland. Fran Sol is a man from Madrid who has played for Real Madrid C and Villareal. But he’s mainly played for Willem II. We had heard of him briefly but only when Morrison said Thanks, Sol and we thought we heard something else. He has a good scoring record in Holland and we think he might be a nice signing. But we don’t see this one happening. We see Fran going Sol the way to Spain.

Emre Akbaba

One tweet is all it takes. To fall into the rumour rater. We’ve searched high and low for rumours and we did the best we could. If it’s not one Turkish midfielder, it’s another. We think some agents are just playing games to drum up interest. Capped a few times for the Turkish national side, Emre plays for Alanyaspor and plays as a midfielder. We don’t know much more than this other than we might sign him for £10m. Conveniently the amount of money Warnock has left over.

Matt Phillips

We were shocked. Shocked to hear that Matt Phillps is only 27. The Rumour Rater feels like Matt Phillips has been around for years. He’s played against Cardiff for years. For Blackpool. For QPR. For others. And we know that Cardiff have bid for him before. We think Phillips is good. But do Cardiff need him? Surely signing Josh Murphy and re-signing Hoilett is enough? We can’t comment. We don’t know tactics. Just rumours. We think it feels very Cardiff. A Warnock player. A player who would bring pace. Cardiff would be up against Newcastle for the signing. We think he would go to Newcastle as a first choice. But we would like him at Cardiff.