July 29 – already tired of the OlympicsBy Alberta Gooner | July 9th, 2012 | Category: Daily Links, English Premier League, Featured Posts, Lead Article, Rumors, Soccer | 46 comments
A bleary day in my part of the world so let’s look at news and rumours from around the world of football.
Let’s start in the noisier part of greater Salford, where Paul Wilson suggests the Middleastlanders spending sprees of the past are inhibiting their pursuit of Robin van Iscariot.
Nick Miller doesn’t understand why some supporters delight more delight in the failures of their rivals than the successes of their own clubs. It’s something I’ve never really understood myself. There’s a difference between banter or playful gestures like this quite brilliant sign smuggled into the lesser lights-FSG friendly and, for example, cheering for Gareth Bale’s ankle to be broken. It’s a little like Spuds supporters cheering the news that Jack Wilshere won’t be back until October at the earliest. They really should be far more concerned about reports that Luka Modric’s deal to FC Franco is done, with 35m in readies returning to Lahdan.
Talking of transfer gossip, let’s peek into the rumour mill, shall we?
Robin van Persie is demanding the same wages as Wayne Rooney, thought to be around £220,000 per week, before he agrees to join Manchester United. (Sunday Express) Rivals Manchester City are not prepared to match that, however, and are thought to have limited their offer to £150,000 per week. (Sunday Mirror)
Ah, so now we know the size of his ambition. Juventus is apparently bemused by his salary demands and has withdrawn from the race for his services.
Newcastle could be back as favourites to sign Liverpool striker Andy Carroll after the 23-year-old revealed he would only leave Anfield to play European football. (talkSPORT) But Newcastle will only move for their former striker if the £7m escape clause is triggered in the contract of Demba Ba, 27. (Sunday Mirror)
Carroll reportedly turned down the chance to join the east-end pornographers because he wants European football rather than a relegation battle. Fair enough but the bar codes are going to have to inch up their offer to rival the 17m bid reportedly lodged by the bongo merchants.
Southampton are thought to have enquired about bringing Arsenal’s Theo Walcott back to St Mary’s. (Sunday Mirror)
Hahahaha. I can’t decide whether this is a practical joke and whom decided to pull it. Was it a bored club official, journo or an agent? Was either a wager or alcohol in floating this? I’m guessing both.
Meanwhile, the Gunners expect to complete the £15m transfer of Malaga midfielder Santi Cazorla, 27, by Tuesday. (Daily Mail)
That’s Joe Allen money. lol Seriously, Holloway Road Properties will probably have to bump up their offer to secure the Spanish schemer. The Observer suggested the bid was 16m and HRP is close to securing a loan deal for FC Franco playmker Nuri Sahin.
West Brom boss Steve Clarke has confirmed that striker Shane Long, 25, is not for sale after reported interest from Reading. (Birmingham Mail)
Not really surprised by the interest or Albion’s reaction.
The agent who orchestrated the move to take striker Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal to Manchester City believes the 28-year-old is “unlikely” to move to Tottenham. (talkSPORT)
So the clubs have apparently agreed a fee of roughly 5m to bring back Adebayor to the less successful part of north Lahdan after feeder club Holloway Road shipped him north for 25m a couple of summers back. The hold-up is the Massive are willing top up Adebayor’s 170k/weekly wages by 100k/week for just two years and Ade wants a four-year deal. This busts Spurs’ wage scale and adds 10m to the cost of the transfer.Welcome to Ade, Spurs. Enjoy.
Manchester United will assess Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama during the Champions League qualifiers, while the Scottish champions are also aware of interest from Fulham, Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City. (Sunday Mail)
There’s definite interest from a lot of clubs in the Kenyan. Manager Neil Lennon named him as captain and switched him to his preferred role in midfield rather than playing him as a defender in yesterday’s match. Moreover Scottish journo Duncan Castles reports Holloway Road are making a bid after Steve Rowley, Pat Rice and Francis Cagigao all scouted him. Haven’t seen much of him myself but he appears to tick all the right boxes for Wenger in terms of athleticism, technique, off-field behaviour and price. This suggests the move for Yann M’Vila is definitely off. Arsenal definitely need options in that area of the park so it’s pleasing news. It’s an area of need for Beetface so it will be interesting to see how this one develops. We’ve beaten them to the Ox and Aaron Ramsey while they’ve pipped us for Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
July 27 – the FA’s carpet bomb
To London, where the opening ceremony of the Olympics is about to kick . . . what’s this? John Terry is being charged by the FA?
Wow, the timing of that press release is pretty incredible. It’s known in my line of work as “carpet bombing”, which essentially is a crass attempt to bury bad news by issuing a release at an inconvenient time for reporters to chase the story. And what with the world’s truth troops gathered around Wembley to find out what role Becks and the Queen will play in tonight’s Olympic ceremony, it’s pretty transparent. At least the FA are nothing if not consistent, having issued the announcement that they were charging Luis Suarez on New Year’s Eve. In the afternoon. Which is a great way to piss off journos and pretty much ensures they will kick you square in the swingers in print every single chance they get. Because it’s not like the Three Lions’ performance in qualifying or tournaments or the behaviour of players has ever caused the FA any grief with the press? Slapheads.
Earlier in the day, Joorabchian FC acquired another player for JT to racially abuse by signing Canadian (fingers crossed on that) wide boy Junior Hoilett from Factory Farm FC, who will now attempt to negotiate a “training fee” with Sparky. Given that Beetface once paid Erin Go Bragh FC around 3m in readymades for David Bellion in a similar situation, Venky’s reported demand of 6m seems downright reasonable, which is why it will almost certainly go to arbitration.
Sticking in London, Franco FC have apparently agreed to loan out Nuri Sahin, with house organ Marca suggesting he’s bound for Islington. This might explain Wenger’s reluctance to pursue M’Vila. OTOH, he could be bound for the lesser lights as a makeweight for Luka Modric. Sahin shone as the schemer in Borussia Dortmund’s midfield during their 2010/11 campaign and decamped to the Bernebeu, where he was promptly landed deep inside the omelet maker’s patntry, rarely making an appearance. I sort of feel for the lad because other young players have seen their careers stall under his tutelage. He really saves us best work for mature players costing at least 20m, Kaka excepted. Hey, does the Iron Chef work with second-rate ingredients? Anyway, it will be very interesting to see where Sahin winds up. Fingers crossed the lad holds out for Champions League football!
Venturing north to greater Salford, Stuart James reads some ill omens into the decision by the Glazers to pull a stock flotation. I don’t think United will ever face a situation similar to Rangers, Portsmouth or Leeds United simply because their cash flow and revenue streams would be enough to see other investors step in. However, the numbers being bandied about are staggering and that’s coming from somebody who works in the oil business.
Matt Stanger looks at which players should be shipped out of the top eight Premier League clubs, but sadly, just restrains himself to one player per club. Who would you like to see leave your club? I know there’s more than one name on my list at Holloway Road Properties.
Next week is going to be a little bleak in terms of blog updates as I will be travelling to do some stakeholder consultations in the bush of northeastern Alberta with various Metis and First Nations. Hopefully the RvP drama will be sorted and JT will receive an eight-game ban for racist conduct and another 20 for being a right twat. Enjoy the week!
July 26 – playing the piano as fast as I can
“Don’t shoot me boys. I’m playing the piano as fast as I can.” Hans Kraay, the first head coach of the NASL’s Edmonton Drillers to the media.
Kraay was exasperated with the Edmonton media and larger soccer community when he threw up his hands at a press conference and gave the mother of all money quotes in response to badgering about the Drillers’ hapless attacking play.
It’s sort of how I’ve felt this week, manning the sump pump and bailing as fast as I can with intense media interest in the Chinese takeover of one of our owners. I come by my disdain for much of the media honestly and it was underscored with some of the, quite frankly, half-witted wittering that passed for beard-stroking punditry.
I raise this as both an excuse for not posting regular updates and as a segue into the daily links. To Lahdan town and the Olympics, where Matt Stanger lists the best players to watch at the IOC’s Soccerball tourney. One of those players on that list is Joe Allen, who is apparently interesting FSG. Stanger doesn’t think signing the Welsh midfielder will cure what ails Anfield. I tend to agree with him. First, 15m pounds? Really? That’s Yann M’Vila money or just shy of it and, I’m sorry, but that’s badly overpaying for a player with one good Premier League season under his belt. Second, Rodgers now has Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Joe Cole, Alberto Aquilani, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey on the books who can play central midfield. I’m all for improving but it means you are moving at least two of those names at a hefty discount. And I’m not sure how much Allen actually improves that area.
At least Rodgers is looking at buying players, though, something that Roberto Mancini took the opportunity to bitch about at the pre-match press conference prior to their friendly in Beijing with feeder club Holloway Road Properties. Some have taken this as a rift between Bobby and Brian Marwood. Others see Massive going through the motions to peel back their payroll to make “good faith” gestures towards (stifle sniggering) meeting UEFA’s FFP rules. Marwood has spend a slice of Abu Dhabi’s wellhead production by sensibly securing defensive colossus and club captain Vincent Kompany to a record six-year deal.
England’s original nouveau riche big spenders Rent Boyz, meanwhile, look like they’ll have to sell before buying again, which isn’t surprising given how much Roman has laid out for Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin. Perhaps the wheeler dealer can help him after he finishes fixing the mess that he had no part in creating at Pompey. Luke Moore provides the fan’s perspective on the meltdown on the south coast.
The Massive’s opponents, meanwhile, have apparently eschewed their normal prudence as Arsene Wenger has vowed to spend, spend, spend. It’s sort of a jarring change of direction: think Kim Kardashian heading up the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (see gossip below).
The Massive and Holloway Road will square off in Beijing and several clubs are touring in the Far East to win the hearts and minds of customers in that growing market. Mark Ogden and John Duerdin examine the phenomena of going east to raise cash in the summer.
And what do they raise that cash for? Well, to pay the Glazers’ “management fees” obviously and to buy players. Off to the rumour mills!
Arsenal have targeted £20m-rated Santi Cazorla, 27, as a central playmaker for next term – and are still chasing Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila, 22, and 17-year-old Caen forward M’Baye Niang. (Daily Mirror)
John Cross is as plugged into L’Arse as much as any journo, which is why I would give some weight to this story. The interest in Niang is already known and the club is preparing another bid. Carzola is unsettled but there’s serious questions about whether Malaga will sell even though the player is clearly unsettled. M’Vila is the interesting one. My sense is Wenger is waiting to see whether Rennes will drop their price and how Diaby holds up on the Asia tour before making his final decision.
AC Milan and Real Madrid are set to go head-to-head in a battle to sign Manchester City’s 24-year-old defender Micah Richards. (talkSPORT)
From the plausible to the ridiculous. I’ve banned other outlets for passing along less slapheaded rumours. Obviously Micah’s agent wants to secure him a pay raise and he’s using the halfwits at talkSPORT. But you’d think the guy would use realistic stalking horses. Idiot.
Chelsea could make their fourth big-money buy of the summer after Marseille revealed that Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta, 22, could leave the club. (talkSPORT)
Okay, this is better from the rant radio folks but hardly a new link. Rent Boyz are still going to have to get rid of some players, too.
Liverpool are likely to reject West Ham’s £17m bid for 23-year-old striker Andy Carroll. (Daily Mail)
People who I respect have suggested the east-end pornographers have made a bid for the Geordie. If that figure is true, you’d have to think they are in the ballpark and FSG have leaked it.
Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in signing 21-year-old defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama from Celtic. (Daily Mail)
Lots of observers of Scottish football have tipped the big Kenyan as a player whose succeess would continue south of Hadrian’s Wall. I cannot vouch for it myself but he would fill an area of need for both clubs and be one hell of a cheaper than mooted alternatives (M’Vila, Tiote, Martinez, De Rossi, etc.)
West Brom are rivalling Everton for 25-year-old Villarreal defender Cristian Zapata. (Daily Mail)
Zapata looked like the real deal at Udinese but badly out of his depth with the Yellow Submariners. Interesting to see David Moyes linked. If there’s a man who can coax the best out of Zapata, he’d be the guy.
July 24 – suspending disbelief and hailing Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill is my old 1976 Dodge Dart — the first proper car I ever owned. An unflashy, sturdy reliable workhorse who served his owner well and who was sold for his original purchase price. That’s exceedingly rare for a 32-year-old footballer but underscores the transfer genius of David Moyes, who stole him for 1.5m from Millwall in 2004 and the mindblowing stupidity/myopia of most other Premier League managers who would love to wring 56 goals and 226 appearances out of a midfielder that cost two or three times as much.
Cahill appears bound for the MLS rather than Australia’s A-league, but this suggests the wages and competition on offer in America are better than in Cahill’s homeland. Richard Jolly salutes the tough-minded Aussie.
They could have done with a fair few more Tim Cahills at Pompey, who are facing liquidation after Kanu and other players demanded payment for wages owed to them. While supporters have painted these players as greedy, Tom Young has some sympathy for them. Portsmouth is one of many cautionary tales that ought to be heeded by the likes of PSG.
Talking of Laurent Platini’s club, Matthieu Richard explains why the rest of Ligue 1 is in a lather about FFP’s new poster child.
Returning to yesterday’s theme, Gabriele Marcotti explains Beetface’s fealty to the Glazers.
Let’s take a quick peek into the rumour mills.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is worried he has lost the initiative in the race to sign Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, 28. (Daily Mail) And Mancini is furious with City’s bosses as Van Persie looks set to slip away from him. (Daily Mirror) Juventus are edging ahead in the race for Van Persie as they prepare a £20m bid to tempt him away from the Emirates Stadium. (Daily Telegraph)
It’s almost as if Garry Cook had never left the Middleastlands, eh? At least they’ve not accused Wenger of “bottling” it. THAT’S a privilege reserved for Arsenal supporters and they exercise it regularly. Anyway Wenger would probably rather endure a lengthy conversation with his wife about that French hip hop songstress who allegedly (CENSORED BY SOFABALL LEGAL DEPARTMENT) than sell another Judas to Abu Dhabi FC.
Spain winger Santi Cazorla, 27, has told Arsenal he is ready to join them from Malaga. (the Guardian)
This one is getting Holloway Road Properties aethetes in a proper lather. Reading in between the lines, Wenger has noticed a very good player is unhappy with his club and unleashed Dick Law to negotiate a wage package with the player, who has apparently been messed about by Malaga in a rather bizarre fashion. The club, though, are not interested in selling so I’ll file this in the ”maybe” folder.
Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman has given Aston Villa a week to sort out a deal to buy defender Ron Vlaar, 27. (Express and Star)
Ultimatums usually only get issued when money is an issue. And as my dear old dad used to say, “Money is the currency of whores, not the virtue of maidens.” You could easily replace whores with agents, BTW. Or journalists.
Manchester United are chasing River Plate’s Argentine midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano, 20, who Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both want to take on trial. (Daily Mirror)
No idea about the player but it has the ring of agent’s talk.
Departing United striker Dimitar Berbatov, 31, could be on his way to Russia after Zenit St Petersburg declared their interest. (talkSPORT)
I wonder whether Fergie now wishes Stockport Massive would have pipped them to the Bulgarian’s signing? At 31m, he’s the anti-Cahill.
Bayern Munich are set to make a move for Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong, 27, after the German side’s interest in Spain international Javi Martinez cooled. (talkSPORT)
He could fill the unlamented van Bommel role beside Schweinsteiger or Luis Gustavo, completing those five-yard sideways passes and kicking opponents.
Tottenham have joined Newcastle and Swansea in the race for former Liverpool and out-of-favour Hoffenheim winger Ryan Babel, 25. (talkSPORT) Fulham are also apparently considering a bid for Dutchman Babel. (Daily Mail)
The Dutch David Bentley is magnificent talent. It’s a shame the rap star didn’t focus full-time on his footballing. It would be interesting to see whether Jol could unlock the winger’s considerable gifts.
Zenit St Petersburg have joined the race to sign Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, 27, with Manchester City and Napoli also interested. (Daily Mail)
Not going to happen.
Nottingham Forest want to bring Jermaine Jenas, 29, back to the City Ground as they look to land the Tottenham midfielder. (Daily Mirror)
Wenger’s critics held up his failure to sign Jenas as “proof” of his bias against English players. Spurs signed him for 7m plus sign ons in 2005. He managed 155 appearances before being loaned out last year to Aston Villa. On the Cahill scale, that’s slapheaded stupidity.
July 23 – Beetface’s guide for proper supporters and Wengerian faith in Diaby
Beetface has won enough silverware to back claims that he’s the best manager of this or any other generation. He both qualifies as a proper legend and genius at a time when those terms are applied to people who have accomplished far less in the game. Which is pretty much everybody involved in the sport.
While you’d think Fergie’s accomplishments have placed him beyond reproach with red half of greater Salford, football’s most enpurpled knight of the realm has shown a wee bit of contempt for supporters who do not treat opinion as gospel. This presents a bit of a conundrum as the club’s current proprietors are about as welcome as an STD at an orgy with most supporters, who’ve been quite vocal in criticizing their leeching of the club’s record profits to service debt accured by the takeover of the club. Supporters clad in Norwich away kit who questioned Beetface’s statement that this state of affairs has not tied his hands in the transfer market were politely told they could (BAD WORD) off and support Chelsea. Fergie reiterated this stance in an interview over the weekend, leading the lads and lasses at United Rant to issue Fergie’s guide for proper supporters. Govern yourself accordingly, EWTT, NE Red Devil and anybody else in my audience who supports United, lest you find yourself on Fergie’s shit list.
Speaking of that roster of enemies, add two more names, Nick Miller and Ethan Dean-Richards, both of whom have the temerity to suggest adding RvP doesn’t really address United’s needs. “Youse are all a bunch of (colourful adjective) idiots” can be wheeled out of the quote vault at Carrington.
Yes, Beetface has a few hot buttons — ungrateful fans, idiotic journos, Irish racehorse owners – and one of his favourite people (to strangle), the charming, talented and highly ethical superagent Paul Stretford, is dispensing his advice to the new version of Rangers. Blue half of Glasgow, begin shuddering now.
Stretford, thank God, has no role in the RvP auction. In an ideal world, Holloway Road Properties would not sell their club captain anywhere within the greater Salford metro area. Of course, in this same fantasy place, our manager would not be relying on the fitness of Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere while dismissing the notion that he buy a central midfielder. Like, say Yann M’Vila.
Diaby’s ability isn’t in question but his fitness sure as hell is and Arsene’s rose-coloured view strikes me as repeating the same sort of insanity as last year, where we wound up overplaying Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Alex Song. It’s already clear Jack won’t see the field before October and Tomas Rosicky is out for eight to 10 weeks. While I’m sure Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong appreciate Arsene’s confidence, they’ve both battled fitness issues as well. Bringing in M’Vila could create roster headaches but competition for places is an expectation at a top club. And if Arsenal wants to be considered as such as opposed to the Massive’s farm team, Wenger must rethink his position. I guess we’ll see whether they hold up on tour. I don’t want to wish ill on any of our players but hopefully the problems surface now rather than early September.
Sticking in London, Tim Vickery looks at the strong Uruguay team contending for Olympic gold.
And staying on the Beeb’s web site, let’s peek into the rumour mills.
Manchester United have agreed a staggering £26m deal to sign Brazilian teenager Lucas Moura, 19, from Sao Paulo. (Daily Mirror)
Beetface has confirmed his interest but it seems a staggering amount of money for a youngster who is unlikely to be in the starting XI for the Selecao’s OLYMPIC side, let alone be a full-fledged international. It sounds like a negotiating ploy with the intent of trying to bid up Massimo Moratti, who is also apparently keen on the kid.
Holland international Ron Vlaar, 26, has accused Aston Villa of messing him about after pulling out of a £3.2m move from Feyenoord. (Daily Express)
There’s rumours of a clearout at Villa Park with high-salaried low performers from the MON being targeted. With so many defenders apparently on the “to cull” list (Dunne, Warnock, Collins), this link makes sense.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists defender Martin Skrtel, 27, is not for sale. (Daily Telegraph)
As one of last year’s standout defenders in the Premier League, the interest is obvious and so, too, should be the resolve of the club to hang on to another bargain Rafa buy.
Blackburn Rovers contract rebel Junior Hoilett, 22, will not be joining Queens Park Rangers unless the London club pay a fee of £6m – or propose a swap involving Jamie Mackie. (Daily Mirror)
There is so much stupid in this paragraph, it’s actually amusing. First, Hoilett is available on a free but the signing club will have to be a “training fee” that would go to a tribunal if the clubs cannot agree on a price. And that’s certainly what would happen if the (fingers crossed) Canadian international signs with the Londoners. And it will certainly be a lot less than 6m. This has all the hallmarks of more slapheaded Venky’s media hijnks. Isn’t it interesting to see where Hoilett is being linked these days after being mooted as a target for Holloway Road Properties and FSG in the early days of the transfer window. What’s less understandable is how Victor Moses can be seen as a plausible target for the Rent Boyz at 10m when Hoilett is available on a free and qualifies as a homegrown player.
Premier League new-boys Southampton want to sign Blackburn defender Scott Dann, 25. (Daily Mirror)
Fulham have swooped for Chelsea’s £18m-rated striker Romelu Lukaku, 19, on a season-long loan. (the Sun)
July 21 – a FSG-heavy Saturday night special
A productive day although I did catch snippets of both FSG’s draw with MLSE FC and Beetface’s kids draw with Ajax Cape Town in between taking my daughter’s cat to the vet for vaccinations (losing about a pint of blood getting the animal into the cat carrier). The kids and my wife are away at her annual family reunion and I thought it would be a great idea to take the bloody animal to the vet. It was about as dumbassed as Holloway Road Properties’ bright idea to let RvP run down his deal. Next year, my wife gets this chore and the accompanying bloodshed.
Talking of spilled blood, the auction for RvP is heating up with Juventus trying to pair up the Dutch hitman with United Colours of Benneton poster child Luis Suarez. Can’t see this myself as Wenger — ever the dreamer is apparently holding out for a 25m fee for his club captain. All in all, RvP appears to be trudging down that well-worn path broken by Paddy Vieira and followed by TH14, Hleb, Flamini, Cesc, Ade, Na$ri, Hleb and others out of Islington. About the only issue left to haggle appears to be destination and price.
As far as incomings, Wenger is apparently running the rule over Ganso, which surprises me slightly. On the other hand, the Rent Boyz will apparently sign Oscar — described by David Hynter as the brains of the Selecao’s Olympic team — so perhaps Arsene feels a need to keep up with the and nab his own Brazilian playmaker, or — far more likely — just lazy summer window tattle invented by a bored agent and a reporter eager for a “scoop.”
If Luis Suarez does depart, it’s probably good that FSG has decided Brendan Rodgers doesn’t need to finish in the top four in his first year. On the other hand, his plan to loan out Raheem Sterling seems a little hasty as the winger stood out against MLSE FC. If he wants to rid himself of some useless overpaid baggage, he might want to find a sucker new home for Joe Cole based on what he didn’t produce at Skydome, which was any hint of an end product.
Staying on Merseyside, tactics expert Michael Cox profiles Fabio Borini and hails him as an excellent addition to Mr. Rodgers’ neighbourhood. Jonathan Wilson believes Rodgers should end Andy Carroll’s misery on Merseyside and move the big striker.
Nick Miller recommends a transfer buy to fix what ails the top eight clubs in England. Lass Diarra for Arsenal is actually not a bad idea, assuming Wenger has gone cold on M’Vila. It’s also one hell of a lot more plausible than Bastian Schweinsteiger going to the Middleastlands.
Returning to one of my hobbyhorses, Ben Lyttleton and Miller look at the latest moves at QSI FC and wonder how they’ll meet FFP regulations, something I’m sure their new executive Laurent Platini will be working on.
Let’s take a trip to the rumour mills.
Nicklas Bendtner is set to leave Arsenal this week, with the 24-year-old Danish striker a £7.5m target for both AC Milan and Galatasaray. (Sunday Mirror)
News to gladden the heart and both destinations are entirely plausible. The price seems a touch high but, hey, no complaints.
Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu, 18, is on the radars of Liverpool and QPR. (Sunday People)
Lots of hype about him but you have to wonder why Catalan Aesthes would be willing to part with him. There’s a reason why they sold Gio dos Santos as the lesser lights discovered.
Ryo Miyaichi, 19, could be set for first-team opportunities at Arsenal after Ajax manager Frank de Boer admitted defeat in his pursuit for the youngster. (Goal.com)
This is one reason why I don’t put much stock in the Santi Carzola rumours making the rounds. Miyaichi impressed at Bolton and I’m sure he’s one of the kids who will be watched carefully by Wenger, Bould and company in the pre-season friendlies.
Everton are on the brink of re-signing Steven Pienaar, 30, from Tottenham. (Caughtoffside.com)
A move that makes sense for all parties involved.
Manager Michael Laudrup has revealed he won’t stand in the way of Joe Allen, 22, should the player wish to leave Swansea. (talkSPORT)
If FSG come up with the 10m asking price, I’m sure the Swans won’t stand in his way.
Ambitious QPR are making a £6m move for Celtic’s South Korean midfield star Ki Sung-Yeung, 23. (Sunday People)
No idea about the player but I do wonder how much they are going to invest after spending heavily in January.
July 20 – Beetface’s 50 shades of enpurplement
Well today’s top story appears to be Beetface’s bid for a 28-year-old striker with injury problems, which was publicly knocked back by Holloway Road Properties. It’s interesting because RvP certainly doesn’t fit the profile of a United signing with his age limiting his sell-on value. And with the walking cautionary tale that is 31m Dimitar Berbatov, I had initially dismissed it as a hoax until Fergie emerged with a full-throated response on MUTV.
It’s laughable that Beetface would take offense knowing that HRP would be loathe to let RvP go to a rival. And I suspect they knew it, too, which suggests the bid was derisory. It did function as a sop to their supporters and a signal to RvP’s agents to keep them in mind if Arsenal follow through and hold him to his contract, which I suspect is what they hope unfolds because there’s no hope they will meet HRP’s reported asking price of 20m. On the pitch, Jamie Jackson views it as an exercise in finding value as opposed to meeting United’s current needs.
Speaking of value, Forbes has reprinted Zach Slaton’s argument of why Arsenal must spend 120m to have an equal shot of competing for the league with the Massive, Rent Boyz and Beetface.
Gotta roll — have a meeting but I might return this afternoon with some gossip. Otherwise I’ll try to do an update on the weekend.
July 19 – reluctantly saluting an abdicating King
While I enjoy a bit of jocular banter about the lesser lights, I’ve never fully bought into the tribalism that infects some of the discourse between supporters of the norf Lahnan rivals. Which is to say even though I wanted us to kick them like they pissed on the rug, I couldn’t help but admire some of the footballers who donned that donned the toilet paper white shirt with the chicken crest on the breast. When you saw Gazza produce this goal, it hurt but you had to respect the quality of the player. And over the years, Ledley King stood as tall as any of the lesser lights in my estimation over the past 25 years.
The constant injuries will shape his legacy and feature prominnently in the obits by Sarah Winterburn, Dominic Fitfield and Jeremy Wilson. But even with the nagging fitness issues, his class was obvious to the likes of Fabio Capello, who picked him even though he was half-fit.
Yes, he won’t have the England caps or the medals to rank with Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and John Terry, but anybody with a clue about the game would consider him as their equal — at the very least. A much better distributor than Big Sol, better at reading the game than rioferdy5 and five yards quicker than JT, he possessed the technique, tactical acumen and athelticism to play at any club in the world. Really, the only other centre half with similar tools was Jonathan Woodgate, whose career was similarly blighted by injury. Woodgate did get a chance to test himself in Spain whereas King chose to remain loyal to his boyhood club. That’s rare and admirable as I’m sure there would have been a fair few clubs who would have looked at him before the fitness issues began piling up.
From class to crass, let’s turn to John Terry (who was rumoured to have said something very offensive to Ledley King) and the aftermath of his acquittal. Jonathan Wilson suggests the FA must act (thanks to rabiddeathmoose for this piece).
Wilson also writes about the size of the challenge facing Fabio Capello with reinvigorating Russia’s national team.
Graham Ruthven looks at football’s crown prince Michel Platini and sees some troubling signs as heir to Sepp Blatter’s presidency. Isn’t it interesting that his kid is involved with the PSG “project” that seems to flout the FFP regulations that he’s set out?
Moving to Merseyside, where Matt Stanger sees Luis Suarez’s public dance through the grassy knolls as a distraction for a club badly in need of focus. This wins today’s Stating The Obvious punditry award.
Antonio Labbate weighs whether Agnelli FC should buy RvP or Stevan Jovetic.
July 18 – Terry’s acquittal creates a headache for the FA
I know this is late but I couldn’t let John Terry’s acquittal pass without comment, especially after seeing some of the more dumbassed reactions from Fleet Street, footballers and the wider world.
As Nick Miller points out, the courts have a much higher burden of proof than the FA’s disciplinary panel, who found Luis Suarez guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra. This puts the FA in a bind because of the similarities between what Terry and Suarez were alleged to have said. While the verdict gives the FA an excuse, using it to avoid punishing Terry will almost certainly leave the red side of Merseyside rightly aggrieved. It will also send an interesting message to black footballers about how complaints of racial abuse are addressed. Very few have commented — this Guardian story only obtained comment from Fitz Hall and Cameron Jerome — while relying on comments from retired players, a former basketball player and anti-racism campaigners. The media didn’t have any problems soliciting comments from retired footballers in sharing their experiences of racial abuse but I wonder if what Sol Campbell and Stan Collymore went through 10 to 15 years ago is the same as what black footballers experience today. Clark Carlisle, the PFA chairman, former Preston defender and one of the brightest people in the sport, has claimed he’s never personally experienced racism in his career and was appalled by what he heard come out of the Terry trial. It’s a point echoed by Daniel Taylor – football’s reputation took a battering over the crude “banter” that become part of the testimony.
For my part, I think the FA need to charge Terry and give him a similar sentence to what was handed down to Suarez. I also think they need to instruct players that the kind of verbal abuse being used on the pitch is going to start to be punished.
To the City of Lights, where Quatar FC has made a big splash. Andy Brassell explains their determination while The Swiss Ramble assess their business plan, which is so ridiculously over the line with FFP regulations, it will be amusing to hear their explanation to M. Platini and company.
On the flip side, Gabriele Marcotti explains why AC Berlusconi were willing to part with their two best players. Signing Marcotti is the best move ESPN has made in some time.
Tim Stannard forecasts the moves by Quatar FC will set dominos tumbling, which will eventually see FC Franco bring in Luka Modric. And if the omelet maker does come balling to the more riotous side of north London, Matt Stanger thinks the lesser lights should sell their talisman.
And because I’ve got the day off, sort of, let’s hit the Fleet Street sewing circle.
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has made Micah Richards one of his main targets and is planning a £20m bid for the Manchester City defender. (Daily Star)
The only possible rationale for the Massive to sell is to clear the deck of Richards’ salary but selling a young, reasonably cheap player who qualifies as a homegrown doesn’t make sense, even by the comically slapheaded standards employed at the Middleastlands. So I suspect this is Richards’ agent engaging in some monkeyshines.
New Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is hoping to beat Chelsea to the signing of Brazilian striker Hulk from Porto. (Daily Mail) Just like Hulk, midfielder Oscar has arrived in London with the Brazil Olympic squad and will have a medical ahead of his £25m move from Internacional to Chelsea. (Daily Mail)
Every single account I’ve heard suggests Porto must substantially drop their 35m euro or so asking price for Hulk and there’s no reason for them to do so since the player extended his deal with the club to 2016. This bears all the hallmarks of a slow news day story with the hook that Hulk is coming to the Olympic games.
Dimitar Berbatov could join AC Milan or Juventus, according to the Manchester United striker’s agent.(talkSPORT)
This would knock out two of the more likely destinations for RvP while tying the Massive’s hands in getting rid of Dzeko and Tevez to allow them to bid for HRP’s wantaway captain. Beetface is an evil genius.
Manchester United have failed with a £29.8m bid for Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas Moura, 19, according to the Brazilian club. (Daily Mirror)
Hahahaha. Can you see the Glazers signing off on THAT deal? Seriously, the Daily Mail must try harder. I’ve heard Inter has gone in with a bid and obviously somebody at Sao Paolo sees Beetface as a convenient stalking horse to get Moratti to nudge up his bid.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told Andy Carroll’s advisors that the striker can leave the club, with Newcastle believed to be preparing a new bid of £16m. (The Sun)
Floating a transfer trial balloon via the Sun is not a smart career move for any manager on Merseyside so this didn’t come from the FSG camp or Rodgers. I’m inclined to think it’s the bar codes trying to unsettle the player.
Arsenal will tell Robin van Persie that he will not be permitted to leave the Emirates this summer, forcing him to see out the last 12 months of his contract. (the Times)
I did read the story. My take on it is the club is determined not to sell him to either greater Salford outfit and RvP has apparently turned down Juventus’ 8m euro salary package.
New Watford manager Gianfranco Zola wants Italian legends Filippo Inzaghi, 38, and Alessandro Del Piero, 37, who are both free agents. (Daily Mirror)
This goes entirely against the grain of what the Pozzo has gone at Udinese and Granada. Slapheaded silliness at its finest from the Mirror.
Barcelona could move for Liverpool defender Daniel Agger after being priced out of a move for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez, 23. (Daily Mail)
They’ve also been linked with Koscielny. My guess is Catalan Aesthes is reaching out to different agents to let Martinez’s agent and Bilbao know they have alternative targets.
France striker Bafetimbi Gomis, 26, will reject a move to Tottenham in order to stay with Lyon. (talkSPORT)
Lyon supporters are distraught over this, I’m sure. Actually, that’s a touch harsh. Gomis is a decent enough striker but this deal doesn’t really make much sense unless the negotiations collapse with Adebayor and the Massive over his wage subsidy.
Fulham have opened talks to sign Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, 19, on loan. (Daily Mirror)
I wonder how the kid feels about his dream move to the west-end chavs a year on. It’s also ironic that the Rent Boyz are willing to loan them to their bitter local rivals at Michael Jackson FC.
Manchester City defender Kolo Toure could price himself out of a move to Saudi club Al Hilal with a request for £50,000 a week after tax and a rent-free home, two cars, paid-for flights and the captaincy. (Daily Mirror)
More clearing of payroll by the Middleastlanders. PSG supporters, this is a preview of what you will have to do in two years.
Lokomotiv Moscow are looking to thwart Tottenham’s bid to sign striker Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City after making an £8m move for the striker. (Daily Telegraph)
And his move has not even been completed to the lesser lights and the neogiations have already started on where he moves next. I’m sort of torn about wanting to see him finish out his natural cycle of flaming out in north London and pissing off their supporters or having the Ruskies hijack that deal.
Liverpool are on the verge of signing USA striker Clint Dempsey after agreeing a £10m fee with Fulham. (Daily Mail)
The most reliable sources are suggesting there’s interest but nothing imminent on this deal.
Defender Scott Dann could join Ajax on loan following Blackburn’s relegation to the Championship. Reading and Southampton have been put off by the centre-back’s £6m price tag. (Daily Mail)
Included for comic relief as Dann was one of the players shopped by more desperate Arsenal supporters as a solution for our defensive woes. He’s finding his level but we’re stuck listening to their moaning a year later. Ugh.
July 12 – Filthy lucre Thursday and the spread of myopia in football
Who knew that myopia could prove as contagious as pinkeye when it comes to spreading between leading figures in the footballing world? Because Sepp Blatter appears to have contracted the same debilitating occasional blindness that afflicts Professeur “I did not see the incident” when it comes to backhanders being paid to his mentor Joao Havelange and fellow traveller Ricardo Teixeira by ISL. What’s funny is anybody with a shred of principle would have done the honourable thing and either stepped down or undertaking a thorough housecleaning in football’s governing body. Sadly, there’s precious few — if any — of those in the upper reaches of FIFA.
Of course, the whole kickback report shocked the hell of me. Not that high-ranking executives were actually doing it, mind you, but the fact their venality and stupidity allowed them to be caught so easily. Rob Hughes was not surprised.
In other filthy lucre news, David Conn looks at the large questions looming over the new version of Rangers. Who should be a cautionary tale to the likes of PSG, who apparently haven’t worked out how this whole UEFA FFP thing works and are comtemplating an insane raid on AC Berlusconi for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva for 62m euros. It will be interesting to see how UEFA handles this one as well as the potential knock-on effects. This move can’t please defender Mamadou Sahko, whom Wenger has tracked for a very long time. It could also provide Milan with the means to launch a bid for RvP.
With the summer window open, most supporters are crossing their fingers and hoping their club splashes out for new players. But as Sarah Winterburn points out through the medium of a forgotten XI, transfers are not necessarily panceas for curing what ails a club.
Talking of challenges to conventional wisdom, Daniel Storey wonders how much the lack of UEFA license holders is actually holding back the next generation of English footballers?
More depressing news for Darren Fletcher, who is continuing to battle a disease that could prematurely end his career. It would be a real shame as the Scot has made phenomenal strides. I’ll admit I had thought he was the new Phil Neville but he’s proven me wrong and I hope his doctors are able to find a cure for what is ailing him.
Let’s eavesdrop on the Fleet Street sewing circle, shall we?
Liverpool are ready to make a £25m loss on striker Andy Carroll this summer, with former club Newcastle preparing a £10m bid to bring him back to the North East. (Independent) Sam Allardyce has been given the green light to start talks about taking Carroll, 23, to West Ham on a season-long loan. (the Sun) Fulham boss Martin Jol is to offer Clint Dempsey as he makes a move to take Carroll on loan from under the noses of AC Milan and West Ham. (Daily Mirror)
The market on Carroll gossip is thick and fast. Cannot see him moving back to the bar codes at that price unless 7m Demba Ba is being thrown into the mix (more on him later). The rumours involving Michael Jackson FC are interesting because Dempsey would tick several boxes for FSG on and off the field. With those kinds of deals on offer, it’s hard to see how the east-end pornographers are going to get into the auction.
New Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas wants Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho as a possible replacement for Luka Modric. Modric is expected to leave White Hart Lane this summer and Spurs are ready to bring in Moutinho, who shone at Euro 2012 for Portugal. (talkSPORT)
It makes sense if the price is right for both Moutinho and Modric, who is being publicly shopped.
Alan Pardew has assured Demba Ba, 27, that he is central to his plans and that he will play him in the more central role that the striker craves. (Daily Mirror)
I’ll never forget Pardew dismissing Arsenal making the Champions League final by saying it wasn’t a triumph for English football. The irony of Pardew relying on foreign players for his success on the Geordie Shore never fails to amuse. Hypocrite.
Aleksander Kolarov is heading for showdown talks with Roberto Mancini over his Manchester City future. The 26-year-old Serbian is concerned about his lack of Premier League starts. (Daily Star)
The Massive outbid Franco FC for his services and overpaid badly. He’ll be tough to shift off the books.
Porto striker Hulk has denied he is close to signing a deal to join Chelsea. The 25-year-old, who is part of the Brazil squad for this summer’s Olympics, is happy to remain in Portugal. (talkSPORT)
This rumoured transfer has died right down, largely due to Porto’s asking price.
West Brom and Aston Villa both want Rennes midfielder Tongo Doumbia this summer. (Daily Express)
He’s rated about 3m and if he proves to be as good as Youssouf Mulumbu, whichever club signs him will have a very useful player.
Brighton have opened talks with Arsenal over a loan move for teenage defender Ignasi Miquel, but they face competition from Barcelona’s B team. (talkSPORT)
This is a big year for Miquel, who needs to prove he can step into the first-team squad at the Emirates.
Tottenham forward Rafael van der Vaart could be on his way to join a club in the United Arab Emirates after seeing a move to Hamburg fall through. (Daily Mail)
It’s probably a little early for van der Vaart to enter the “money-bagging” phase of his career but it’s obviously his call.
Everton are turning their attentions elsewhere after Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega, 26, demanded £70,000 a week in wages. (Daily Star)
If true, this would explain a lack of interest on the part of most clubs. I wonder what Junior Hoilett is asking for.
Queens Park Rangers believe they have won the race to sign Celtic’s Ki Sung-Yueng, with reports from Seoul claiming that a fee of £7m has been agreed between the clubs but with personal terms still to be agreed. (The Herald)
Kia’s main manager Sparky Hughes strikes again.
Scotland international Allan McGregor is holding off signing for Besiktas as he retains hopes of winning a move to the English top-flight while leaving Rangers, but his hopes could be dashed because of fears the 6ft goalkeeper is not tall enough. (Daily Express)
It didn’t seem to hurt Michel Vorm last year, did it? Iker Casillas is also six feet tall so I’m sure this is more about McGregor’s agent whipping up interest to secure better terms than an issue of height.
July 11 – free of references to mommy porn and John Terry
After yesterday’s transparent attempt to kick up page views with a gratuitous reference to a hugely popular novel, I’ve been ordered to ”stay on topic”, “keep it clean” and “avoid talking about twats.” Which means, sadly, no more updates from the John Terry racism trial.
Far more unsettling and troubling is former Southampton captain Claus Lundekvam’s admissions that he organized bets with other players. Max Bentley explains why the game’s authorities must thoroughly investigate Lundekvam’s claims.
Nick Miller looks at what changes need to be made by Brendan Rodgers at Anfield in order to recreate the stylish tiki-taka played by his Swansea side.
Michael Moruzzi explains why Giampaulo Pozzo would add unfashionable Watford to his portfolio of clubs. I’ll be following their progress with interest this season.
What the hell — let’s visit the rumour mill.
Tottenham are close to a deal to sign France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from Lyon – but they will need to raise their offer by £3m to about £15m. (the Times)
I can understand the interest on the part of both clubs but this one promises to drag on all summer as Daniel Levy and Jean-Michel Aulas are two of the toughest negotiators in football.
Liverpool are prepared to accept a £20m loss on striker Andy Carroll this summer. However, with little optimism at Anfield that he could command even a price of £15m, a loan deal for the 23-year-old remains most likely. (Independent) West Ham hope midfielder Kevin Nolan – a close friend of Andy Carroll’s – can persuade the Liverpool striker to move to Upton Park on loan (Daily Mirror) But England striker Carroll will oppose attempts to send him out on loan next season as he would rather fight for his place at Anfield and prove he has the ability to play in a Brendan Rodgers side. (Daily Telegraph)
Bombardier Allardyce loves a big target man and Carroll represents an upgrade over Carlton Cole. It also gives Carroll a platform to showcase his potential so FSG can shop him. OTOH, I’d question whether the east end pornographers could underwrite Randy Andy’s weekly wage packet — reportedly 70k. I’d probably like to see it happen just to read the police reports from the club’s Christmas party. Between Carroll and firearms enthusiast Ravel Morrison, that gathering definitely would have some potential grab headlines and excite the legal system.
Midfielder Yaya Toure has rejected a shock return to Barcelona and pledged his future to Manchester City. But the Blues could still lose Toure’s fellow midfielder David Silva, with Real Madrid refusing to give up hope of signing the Spanish international. (Daily Star)
Toure is on 220k/week so it’s not shocking that he’s staying at the Middleastlands. And the Massive can afford to spit in the omelet maker’s eye over David Silva, something I’m sure Roberto Mancini would love to do.
Barcelona are considering a move for Newcastle’s 26-year-old French international midfielder Yohan Cabaye. (the Sun)
Catalan Aesthes let Seydou Keita move to China so there is an opening. Still, it would surprise me to see them go for Cabaye. Tubby Ashley would want a hefty premium on the 4.3m he paid to meet the midfielder’s release clause at Lille last summer.
Hamburg are weighing up a move for forward Rafael van der Vaart, 29, as Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas prepares to sanction the sale of the Netherlands international. (London Evening Standard)
I’d imagine Gylfi Sigurdsson was signed with the idea that he’d move on, but the fee and wages could be a touch rich for Hamburg.
Former Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega, 26, is close to signing for Fulham on a free transfer despite interest from Everton. (Daily Mirror)
AC Berlusconi is pretty astute at acquiring top talent at knockdown prices from clubs desperate to offload expensive malcontents (Ibrahimovic, Robinho). Which in theory should make them bidders for RvP except HRP plays hardball on fees while Stockport Massive have consistently demonstrated they possess more money than brains (see Cook, Garry, public statements of).
Newcastle target Vurnon Anita has been told he can leave Ajax this summer – if the Magpies pay the Dutch champions £8m. (Newcastle Chronicle) However, Newcastle are only willing to pay Ajax £6m for Anita, who is desperate for the clubs to come to an agreement. (Daily Star)
Obviously Graham Carr has seen him play a lot more than me and his record as a talentspotter is pretty damn good. I’m wondering if Dutch and French clubs are catching on to the bar codes game and sticking to higher prices given all the laudatory press about their previous “bargains”.
Wolves pair Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis can leave the relegated club – but only for “once-in-a-lifetime offers”. (Express & Star)
Crueler men than me would suggest 50 training cones and a full set of pinnies. I’d describe a once-in-lifetime offer as the supermodel from the Fiat commericials offering to re-create 50 Shades of (EDITOR: ENOUGH!!!) rather than some dumbassed club overpaying for two marginal Premier League players.
Hull boss Steve Bruce could raid old club Sunderland for midfielders Ahmed Elmohamady and David Meyler. (Sunderland Echo)
I’m shocked another club would give Bruce a chance after the shambles on Wearside. And it appears he’s making the same mistakes, too.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is ready to let defender Nathaniel Chalobah, 17, go out on loan to the Championship after impressing for England at the European under-19 finals. (Daily Mirror)
Chalobah’s assured performances are generating the same kind of breathless hype accorded to Josh McEachern.
July 10 – 50 Shades of John Terry and a rumoured run on Brazilians
While riding the bus down with the team for a weekend of games in Edmonton earlier this summer, four of the moms were whispering excited and giggling a few rows behind me. Being curious, bored and brave (a truly terrible combination, as it turns out), I wandered back to where they were sitting and asked what was causing the excitement. Cue blushes. It turns out one of them had brought along 50 Shades of Grey and they were discussing it with the intense and animated vigour reserved by football supporters about whom their club should buy in the summer window. Having been apprised of both its “mommy porn” content and its huge popularity as a sort of a Harry Potter for suburban housefraus, I was immediately — and rightly — mocked and ridiculed for being hopelessly out of touch and largely clueless about what’s au courant in literature by them as well as a few of the dads on the trip, who killed themselves laughing as I went to search for a plot summary on Wikipedia. What. A. Dumbass.
Given the x-rated nature of the book, I couldn’t help but wonder what these mothers would make of Rent Boyz captain John Terry if Christian Grey makes them swoon. According the plot summary, Grey is a rich, bored industrialist who enjoys tying up and spanking women. So a bit of a twisted git but compared to JT? Well, I could recite the whole history but Daniel Taylor’s summary of the first day of the trial (WARNING — repeated use of a very bad word that starts with the letter ‘c’ and generally causes women on this side of the pond to turn 50 shades of purple) is a compelling case that, yes, JT is an even bigger twat.
I’ve actually come around to the idea that we should sell him this summer as a way of controlling where he goes. Which is to say to no clubs in England. I recognize that might limit his transfer fee but do we really need extra cash that Wenger isn’t going to spend, especially when he already has 50m at his disposal?
If he did choose to enter the market, he’d probably want to avoid Brazil as there seems to be a long queue of English clubs in the queue shopping for midfielders. The west-end chavs have apparently beaten out Spurs for Internacional’s Oscar whilst Beetface has returned to the land of samba with 30m in readies for Sao Paolo wunderkid Lucas Moura, who is quite highly rated by people whose acumen deserves respect. Although Chris Atkins points to Ganso as a cautionary tale for investing too much too soon in Brazilian starlets, I can’t help but think this kid fits the new profile for a Fergie signing, young enough to mould, technically outstanding and phenomenally talented. Oh and South American rather than British. Fergie doesn’t shop in the same places he did in the early 1990s. Learning to adapt is why he’s still around.
About the only other interesting tattle is Brendan Rodgers will apparently make Andy Carroll available on loan, which leads me to wonder whether Arsene might be willing to take a punt on him. He’s better than Chamakh and, assuming Carroll has taken Fabio Capello’s advice about his lifestyle to heart, he’d make an interesting reclamation project at the right price, particularly if RvP is sold. Wenger has spoken glowingly about Carroll’s potential in the past. Would he be worth a punt, fellow gooners? Your thoughts are always welcome.
July 9 – when banter goes bad and other cautionary tales
Ah, the lazy, hazy days of summer, when the news cycle slows and the sporting press turns its attention to tennis, cricket, baseball, golf and other sports that I don’t give a shit about. And no, that’s not an invitation to debate their merits as athletic endeavours. I simply don’t care about them. I always love how some people in my office moan that soccer is boring and then proceed to give an enthusiastic shot-by-shot retelling of the final round of the Masters or some other stupid golf tournament. As an activity, golf can be a lot of fun but I’d rather staple my palm to my forehead than spend a sunny Sunday afternoon watching Tiger battle Phil or whomever.
Anyway, thank God for the start of the John Terry racism trial. Even though the testimony on the opening day appears to be pretty standard “water is wet” sort of revelations, I’m sure most football fans — well, right-thinking ones — are quite excited to see him squirm before getting smote by the full force of the English courts. And I’m pretty sure Luis Suarez and FSG legalists will be interested to see what the FA decide to do after the court renders its verdict. As will rioferdy5, Wayne Bridge and Woy. Is tarring and feathering still allowed under common law? Just curious.
Beyond JT, there’s a ton of ACTUAL news as opposed to the agent-inspired monkeyshines that usually feed the summer news cycle. Park Ji-Sung departs greater Salford for QPR, ending what may be one of the more musical creative tributes composed by Newton Heath supporters. At the Middleastlands, Abu Dhabi FC rewards Roberto Mancini with a massive new contract after stellar work by his agent to whip up some interest from the Russian Federation to serve as a stalking horse. They also managed to loan Wayne Bridge to Brighton but will continue to pay 68k of his 80k salary. Just another reminder of the brilliance of Sparky Hughes with a big budget in the transfer market. Genius and that’s not even mentioning Roque Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor, Jo, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Sticking in greater Salford, the Swiss Ramble looks at the Glazers’ share offering in New York along with how football’s most beloved owners are trying to pitch investors during a depressed market. It’s the usual insightful excellence from Mr. O’Connor and well worth a read (WARNING: May induce United supporters to look for knockoff Norwich City kits).
As far as all other transfer business goes, here’s an updated look by the good folks at Football365 of the summer’s transfer activity and rumours involving all Premier League teams.
There’s nothing similiar for other leagues that I could find, but Inter has continued the purge by dumping Julio Cesar for Udinese’s Samir Handanovic. Massimo Moratti is clearly taking UEFA FFP very seriously and it will be interesting to see if his budget-tightening forces the Massive and Rent Boyz — who started off with much heavier losses — to take a tougher approach on their books.
You could argue the Rent Boyz already did some of this work by allowing Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou — who signed a four-year deal with Lille on the weekend — to walk on frees but they just dropped 38m on Eden Hazard and agreed to pay him more than 110k/week. And when your starting position is a 67m pound loss, it must cause Moratti to wonder why Rent Boyz would pay 6.5m for Maicon and expect to stay in the good graces of the regulators.
I’m certain Rent Boyz market behaviour grates Arsene Wenger, whose prudence is apparently hurting the club according to chinless pseudo-economist Paul Wilson. It’s embarrassing the Observer — supposedly one of the more thoughtful journals of record — would publish such witless drivel, especially when a red top as downmarket as the Daily Mail provides the platform for Des Kelly to make an entirely sensible case of why the club must trust Wenger. Bobby McMahon, meanwhile, explains why RvP’s situation is a touch different than Our Wayne’s contract brinksmanship with Beetface a couple years back.
Bah, enough news. Let’s indulge in a little transfer tattle with the BBC’s rumour mill.
Bayer Leverkusen have turned down an offer from Chelsea for 21-year-old striker Andre Schurrle. (The Guardian)
OK, this is getting serious. The Rent Boyz appear to have a coherent strategy that involves scouting and buying good young players rather than hiring a superagent to pimp broker deals at inflated prices. It’s a disturbing trend. In my limited viewing of him, Schurrle looks like a very good player, with polished technique and great instincts.
Alan Pardew insists he is doing everything he can to keep striker Demba Ba, 27, at Newcastle. (talkSPORT)
By playing him out of position for the second half of the season? Look Ba arrived on a free and has a dodgy knee. If somebody even comes close to Ba’s reported 7m buyout clause, do you really think Tubby Ashley is going hang on to him? He’s already bought his replacement in Cisse. He’s looking less and less like a dumbass, particularly since he got rid of his Alan Smith hero shirt.
Spurs are considering making a £5m bid for 22-year-old Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge. (Footy Latest)
Presumably because he was certainly a favourite of the tactics elf during his time with the west-end chavs.
Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup is trying to sign Bristol City’s 24-year-old Ghanaian winger Albert Adomah, but it could cost around £3m to do so. (The Mirror)
Adomah was linked with Arsenal a few windows ago but I’ve never seen him play.
Liverpool are understood to have had a bid rejected for 25-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero. (Daily Mail)
I had heard they went in for Gaston Ramirez. In a related note, I’m told FSG’s youth player Suso looked outstanding for Spain’s u-19s.
AC Milan are said to be considering a loan move rather than a permanent transfer for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, 23. (The Sun)
I see they are slowly starting to back away from this rumour very slowly and reluctantly rather than kicking out the door like it pissed on the rug. Which is how it SHOULD be treated.
Fiorentina have made a fresh bid for 28-year-old striker Marouane Chamakh, who looks set to leave Arsenal after two unsuccessful seasons. (Daily Mail)
Pretty much confirmed by Le Boss and there’s no small relief among the shareholders at Holloway Road Properties at finding a sucker buyer for the non-scoring Moroccan striker. With the Carlos Vela transfer to Real Sociedad nearly finished (bar haggling over the percentage of his sell-on fee – HRP want an eye-watering 60 per cent from any future sale) and Nicklas Bendtner in advanced negotiations with Malaga, it pretty much leaves Squillaci and Arshavin to shift (although I’m quite certain Wenger will entertain any enquiries about Park Chu Young’s availability).
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez wants Chicago Fire’s Guatemalan winger Marco Pappa, 24, to replace Chelsea target Victor Moses. (The Mirror)
Any MLS watchers who can give the blog a rundown on Pappa?
But Arsenal are said to be poised to make a move for Moses, 21, after uncertainty over the winger’s future.
Did we ban Metro or not? May be but let’s just highlight this here for a second. Why the hell would Arsenal spend 10m on winger with a year to go on his deal when Junior Hoilett is available on a free? Now I happen to think Hoilett is a better player but even Moses’ biggest one-eyed supporter David Whelan — who has more than a passing interest in pushing up the player’s price point — would concede Hoilett is in the same bracket as Moses. So while the Rent Boyz would be more than capable of that sort of slapheaded dumbassery, Wenger wouldn’t. Which is why this story sets off all kinds of bullshit detectors for me.
Norwich are offering striker James Vaughan, 23, to Birmingham to help land central defender Curtis Davies, 27. (The Mirror)
MON’s biggest mistake could be back in the Premier League. And to think some pundits pointed to Davies as an example of Wenger’s ”stubborness” in refusing to sign a promising young ”British” defender.
Southampton want to sign Crystal Palace’s highly-rated, 19-year-old winger Wilfried Zaha. (The Sun)
Zaha has been linked to pretty much every Premier League club and a few Continental ones, likely by his indefatigable agent, but this one makes sense.