soccernet blog
On The Move
January 31, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/31/2009

And you thought you'd heard it all with Carlton Cole and Dirk Kuyt linked to Juventus? Well the world's best clubs are obviously scraping the barrel as Julian Faubert has moved to Real Madrid.

The 'versatile' Frenchman is apparently the answer to Madrid's right-sided dilemma and can be picked up for about 100-times less than a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, and might yet vie for the prestigious 'most injured player at the Bernabeu' award with Arjen Robben.

Soccernet has the story, but we can't quite believe it.

January 30, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/30/2009

Although Andrei Arshavin's on-off transfer from Zenit St Petersburg to Arsenal was on earlier on Friday it's now off again, or at least not concluded, according Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Speaking at his Friday press conference the Frenchman denied Sky Sports' claim that Arsenal had successfully applied for a work permit for the 27-year-old Russian playmaker, or agreed to pay a £15m transfer fee.

Asked if the clubs had settled on a acceptable sum Wenger said: "No, and we have not applied for a work permit yet for Arshavin. At the moment, we have no agreement with anybody for any transfer."

Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/30/2009

Arsenal have successfully applied for a work permit for Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin so it would seem reasonable to assume that Zenit St Petersburg have received the £15m bid they were demanding.

The Gunners' previous offer of £12m, with £3m in conditional add-ons, was rejected because the Russian club wanted all the cash up front but, according to Sky Sports, the on/off/on/off/on/off deal is back on and close to completion.

Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/30/2009

Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce may have ruled out the sale of Roque Santa Cruz because he would have no time to find a replacement but that has not stopped the UK press from keeping the deal alive by manufacturing a number of possible swap deals.

Although Manchester City have been the long term suitors of the Paraguay striker, Tottenham Hotspur are about to gazump the deal by offering striker Darren Bent as part of the deal to lure the forward to White Hart Lane, according to The Times.

This conveniently overlooks the fact the Santa Cruz himself wants to be re-united with former Rovers manager Mark Hughes at Manchester City and the Eastlands club are set to launch a final bid of £18.5m, after an offer of £16m was rejected, according to The Guardian.

January 29, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/29/2009

After 29 days of the transfer window Newcastle finally look like they're going to spend some of Mike Ashley's money, on Bolton skipper Kevin Nolan.

Despite having lost some £2bn of his own personal fortune, Ashley is ready to offer £4m for the combative midfielder - adding to the number of ‘combative’ stars on the Magpies’ books which already includes the likes of Joey Barton and Alan Smith. A gallery of rogues if ever we’ve seen one.

Posted by Jon Carter on 01/29/2009

Surely the oddest transfer of the window. Few would have seen Matt Derbyshire swapping the pies of East Lancashire for the souvlaki and taramasalata on offer at Greek champions Olympiakos.

The Blackburn striker has headed to Piraeus on a six-month loan, as his small build and poaching skills are obviously not wanted by Sam Allarydce at this moment in time.

Posted by John Brewin on 01/29/2009

Let's start with the crisis clubs. Arshavin news to follow. And Beckham too.

Just when it could not get any worse for Newcastle. Not only is Mike Ashley back in the stands and Michael Owen and Joey Barton back on the treatment table but Shay Given seems almost certain to be a Manchester City player at some time before Saturday. Soccernet says so too.

What's worse is that Everton have failed to sign Alan Smith. So say the Daily Telegraph. Looks like Ashley can continue the cost-cutting by wearing his Alan Smith number 17 in the stands. At away grounds of course.

Posted by Phil Holland on 01/29/2009

Manchester City are about to sign Roque Santa Cruz.

Well alright, they could be, particularly if you read between the lines, add two and two together, get five and then attribute heaps of significance to Blackburn Rovers' approach for Zenit St Petersburg striker Pavel Pogrebnyak.

On Wednesday evening Zenit revealed that Rovers' valuation of the 25-year-old is a gnat's whisker away from their own and said: "If they send us the offer officially in time, we will contact Pogrebnyak and will persuade him to go to England".

January 28, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/28/2009

David Beckham dominates the headlines once more as his on-off-on-off permanent switch to AC Milan starts to wear thin.

The Armani wearing, Spice Boy may have occupied pride of place on the Soccernet website for a few days now, but did that really mean he had to trot out the old ''it would be a dream'' phrase?

Honestly, with all these footballers ''dreaming'' about moves to other clubs, it's a wonder any of them are awake long enough to actually kick a ball.

Posted by Jon Carter on 01/28/2009

Tottenham may not be finished in the transfer window, as Wednesday's rumours finds them linked with a number of new players including Robbie Keane, Stephen Appiah and Fred.

The 'Arry bandwagon rolls on. This is the man who has been described as a 'wheeler-dealer' but has since spent vast wads of Daniel Levy's cash to try and bolster his faltering squad. And is not done yet.

If Spurs sold Jermain Defoe to Portsmouth for £7.5m, and bought him back for £15m; that means the sale of Keane for £20.3m to Liverpool will cost them £40.6m to get back. Don't bet against it, say the Independent.

January 27, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 01/27/2009

Sporting Lisbon's highly-rated Miguel Veloso has previously been linked with a move to Arsenal and Manchester United, so imagine his disappointment when Bolton Wanderers emerged as the favourites to sign him.

The defensive midfielder, who understandably insists he is happy where he is, thank you very much, is subject to the covetous attentions of Bolton boss Gary Megson who is ready to spend £12m on the 22-year-old.

But there could be hope for Veloso with The Sun reporting that the player's agent claims Manchester City are also keen.

Posted by Phil Holland on 01/27/2009

Tuesday brings fresh reports of the unexplained phenomenon known as the Tottenham Boomerang Effect raising its head.

It has been suggested in The Guardian that Liverpool’s Robbie Keane is being lured back to Spurs, just six months after joining Liverpool.

This development follows less than 24 hours after Pascal Chimbonda felt compelled to pack his gloves and return to Spurs just six months after moving to Sunderland and in the same month that Jermain Defoe was returned to sender.

January 26, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/26/2009

It would seem that Andrei Arshavin's tediously protracted transfer from Zenit St Petersburg to Arsenal is only a "final decision" away from completion, according to the Russian playmaker.

But as that final decision appears to be whether or not the Russian Premier League club will accept £12m for their £18m-rated forward the conclusion might be a "no". It all depends if Zenit receive any other offers for their want-away 27-year-old.

Meanwhile, Chelsea winger Florent Malouda, who has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge under three successive managers (Avram Grant, Jose Mourinho and Luiz Felipe Scolari) might be on his way to Juventus.

Posted by Dale Johnson on 01/26/2009

The Soccernet office was full of guffaws and giggling on Monday when news broke that Juventus were preparing a bid for West Ham United sharp-shooter Carlton Cole.

Watch out Serie A, you don't know what's coming.

But hang on! Hold your horses! Claudio Ranieri has not gone stark raving bonkers just yet. Ok, he may know good old Carlton from their Chelsea days but Juve have denied all knowledge of such an outrageous transfer.

Posted by Dale Johnson on 01/26/2009

With just a week to go before the transfer window slams shut there will be more scurrilous rumours abound, and Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is helping to throw cats among pigeons.

After leaving Robbie Keane out of his 18-man squad (yes, 18) speculation over the Irish striker's future has intensified. But surely Rafa can't sell without buying?

Most of the papers are hinting the £19m man (cough) will be off. Especially after he didn't even go to the Merseyside derby after being left out of the squad, Check out The Daily Mail. Still, there's always David Ngog.

January 25, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 01/25/2009

Och aye the noo! Welcome to a Burns Night special of our round-up of the transfer tittle tattle filling the pages of the sassenachs' newspapers. Barry!

We could start with a Scottish rumour. It's a good 'un too. Wee Gordon Strachan has attempted a raid on League 1 side Peterborough. Their prolific strike force of Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Aaron McLean were on Celtic's radar until Posh's director of football Barry Fry revealed to the Daily Record that the asking price for a triple swoop would be £15million. Good old Barry Fry. With a bit of Darren Ferguson thrown in for good measure. Gordy never did get on with his auld man.

Back south of the border: When writing this blog it is very difficult to avoid two words; Manchester and City. In many ways the Blues are the only show in town in this transfer window as other clubs try to hold on to what they have or flog their crown jewels.

January 24, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 01/24/2009

Jose Mourinho has finally lost the plot. He's been making eyes at Didier Drogba (fair enough) and Jermaine Jenas, writes Chris Murphy

Yes, that's right folks. Jermaine Jenas could be on his way to Inter Milan. Harry Redknapp must be laughing his head off and offering to drive the workshy midfielder to the Lombardian capital himself. Quite what The Special One sees in The Perrenially Disappointing One I don't know. But he could be soon gracing Serie A with his misplaced passing and curious inability to score in front of an open goal.

Redknapp is still scouring the Premier League for a club willing to sell him a decent forward in exchange for Darren Bent. But Sunderland don't want to part with Kenwyne Jones or West Ham with Carlton Cole. Maybe if Harry offered his missus (who, of course, would have converted Bent's gilt-edged chance against Portsmouth) as an additional makeweight he could clinch a deal.

January 23, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/23/2009

Jimmy Bullard: One time England favourite, fishing fanatic and now a certified money-grabber of the highest proportion after his £5m club-record move to Hull City went through.

The reason? Not that Bullard has been impressed by the Tigers' form this season, or that he thinks Phil Brown can develop his career so that he can eventually supplant Steven Gerrard in Fabio Capello's England side; but that Hull are willing to offer him a whopping contract, while Fulham just weren't.

Posted by Jon Carter on 01/23/2009

It didn't take them long. Down in the dumps over their failed pursuit of Kaka, Man City have jumped right back on the horse again with speculation linking them to Didier Drogba and Miguel Veloso.

A double-your-money deal for Drogba (try saying that fast) appears to be in the offing according to the Sun. Giving the Ivorian a whopping £180,000 a week to throw a strop and chuck coins at people.

Veloso, meanwhile, would command a fee of £19m and, having just spent £17m on a different promising defensive midfielder in Nigel De Jong, City evidently want to play a unique 1-5-4 formation with five central midfielders to sure up their 'soft centre'.

January 22, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/22/2009

Arsenal may have trouble holding onto Cesc Fabregas and Arsene Wenger over the summer, but the one player most Gunners fans wouldn't mind seeing the back of is staying. And being offered a new deal according to the Sun.

Emmanuel Eboue, abused by his own fans, has attracted the interest of Atletico Madrid who are willing to spend money on the Ivorian. Arsenal aren't keen though, preferring to concentrate their attentions on bringing the likes of Gervinho and Matthew Upson into the club.

Posted by Phil Holland on 01/22/2009

West Ham fans can rest easy after Gianfranco Zola insisted that Julien Faubert will be the last important player to be sold.

With the club facing an uncertain financial future there had been fears of a firesale at Upton Park, with Zola being forced to sell key players.

But it seems that Matthew Upson, Rob Green, Lucas Neill and Scott Parker remain safe. At least for now; with Craig Bellamy's £14m fee having swelled the Hammers’ coffers the pressure is off.

Posted by Phil Holland on 01/22/2009

Another day, another raft of almost entirely unsubstantiated rumours linking Manchester City to some of the most expensive players in the world.

Thursday sees the Eastlands club consigning Kaka to the dustbin of broken dreams and turning their attention to Theirry Henry and Didier Drogba, according to, well, everyone: The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Independent...

You never know, perhaps City will next be linked with an audacious move for Barrack Obama.

January 21, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 01/21/2009

Licking their wounds after the Kaka Katastrophe, Manchester City got back on the horse they fell off when they paid a rumoured £17m for Nigel De Jong. Not exactly cheap at the price for a defensive midfielder but then they do have money/oil to burn. Of course, that won't be that.

Mancunian boxer Ricky Hatton, licking his wounds after his megafight with Manny Pacquiao was called off, has his own wishlist for his beloved Blues. "After Kaka, there's [Lionel] Messi and [Fernando] Torres - although I don't think he'll leave Liverpool," Hatton told the Daily Mail. "But you can't attract the best players in the world if you're sixth-bottom of the Premier League."

After those brass tacks, Hatton, whose hero is Mancunian gagsmith Bernard Manning, cracked his own funny when he said of the club's Abu Dhabi owners: "At the minute, I feel like giving them the money back. Since the money came in, the fans have had these huge expectations and it's all gone a little bit t*** up."

Posted by Jon Carter on 01/21/2009

Inter have moved to quash speculation that defender Marco Materazzi is on the way to Tottenham Hotspur, while the club have all but signed Wigan's Wilson Palacios.

The one-time Everton stopper, who was sent off four times during his Goodison career, has struggled with injury this season, but Spurs should really be concentrating on a striker or two instead of the Italian Zidane baiter.

They've also been told, says the Telegraph, that Carlo Cudicini is not for sale. Which does not leave them with many options between the sticks.

Posted by Jon Carter on 01/21/2009

For a change it's not Kaka who leads the rumours of the day, but instead his Brazilian team-mate Robinho gets a go in the spotlight having left a Man City training camp and is now linked with Chelsea, say The Sun.

The Blues have decided not to try and match City's spending this January, but could return to pick up the striker if he chooses to cut his losses and give up on his career at Eastlands. Maybe they'll have a use for those 'Robinho #?' Chelsea shirts after all.

January 20, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 01/20/2009

As ever this month, there is only one place to start when it comes to transfer tittle tattle. Manchester City fans look away now, your club is back in the stocks with the rest of football getting ready to throw rotten tomatoes.

Kaka has turned down the Citizens (Source: everyone). Why? The Daily Star say City were not allowed to talk to the player, a line backed up by grandiosely titled executive chairman Garry Cook, ever the smooth operator, who told Sky Sports, that Milan had "bottled it", which will be a lot of use when it comes to pulling off his latest megadeal.

January 19, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/19/2009

The Kaka story continues to rumble on, but while £107m may seem a lot for one of the world's best, how have Man City been conned into paying £14m for Craig Bellamy?

The striker was left out of West Ham's game at the weekend because he ''wasn't in the right frame of mind'' (which begs the question when he is actually is), but the real issue is why so many clubs are fighting over him?

Tottenham Hotspur appear to have seen sense after giving up the Bellamy-chasing and are now looking towards Wilson Palacios for their £14m fix instead, according to the Daily Mail.

January 18, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 01/18/2009

As usual, the British press is always right, on the ball and getting to the heart of the matter. Which is why half of them say Kaka has signed for Manchester City and half say the move is off.

The Sunday Express claims it's done and dusted. But other papers are not so sure. The Sunday Mirror has an exclusive claiming AC Milan think he will turn City down.

January 17, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 01/17/2009

Let's steer clear of some Brazilian bloke who will become a millionaire every two weeks and find something more interesting, like The Daily Mail's claim that Manchester United will hijack Tottenham's bid to sign Wilson Palacios from Wigan Athletic.

Of course, some claim Manchester City will hijack the hijack. Oh, and they want Marco Materazzi too, says The Daily Mirror.

But there is some sensational transfer talk over at Manchester City (oh, the shock) as ever inventive Sun reports that they are about to launch another big bid, this time for Chelsea and England skipper John Terry.

January 16, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 01/16/2009

How stubborn are West Ham? The Upton Park club have now turned down fresh bids from both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur for club-collecting Welsh striker Craig Bellamy.

Inter Milan face a challenge from Chelsea according to the Daily Star who report that the Blues are keen to offer Carlos Tevez a loving new home, seeing Carlito as Didier Drogba's heir.

Oh, and in case you’ve been living under a stone, Kaka has been given permission to talk to Man City about a £107m move.

January 15, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/15/2009

Kaka is the man in demand as every daily in the world is running a story about his proposed move to Manchester City. On or off? No-one seems to know.

AC Milan, however, seem unwilling to sell the Brazilian and now The Telegraph (among others) claims the deal is dead.

City may be making eyes at someone else, but it's Milan who are linked with the first move. Anyone for a Danish defender at £7.5 million?

January 14, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 01/14/2009

It's all over the place on Tuesday, and if you believe the rumours then Kaka will be wearing the blue of Manchester City by the end of the month for a fee of £100 million on a salary of around £250,000-a-week.

Nice work if you can get it. Check out Soccernet and any of the nationals you care to visit.

Back on planet earth, Tottenham Hotspur are eager to sign Inter Milan bad boy Adriano on loan for the rest of the season but appear to have failed to dump goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and Gareth Bale in a swap for AC Milan's reserve stopper Christian Abbiati. That's according to The Daily Mail.

January 13, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/13/2009

Rafa Benitez will extend his vicious war with Sir Alex Ferguson into the transfer market as Liverpool go head to head with Manchester United in a battle to sign Brazilian defender Anderson, claims The Sun. Benitez has been tracking the Fluminense centre-half for months but Ferguson could swoop with a £3million bid.

Manchester City have sent chief executive Gary Cook and chief operating officer Paul Aldridge to Italy to broker a world record breaking deal for AC Milan star Kaka, according to the Daily Express. It is understood City are prepared to wait until the summer to land the Brazilian if they can persuade the Serie A club to part with him - but they want to do business now.

January 12, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 01/12/2009

For each day of the January transfer window we bring you the latest transfer news in our brand new On The Move blog so check back here every day to get your fix of fact, rumours and gossip.

It may come as little surprise that Manchester City dominate the rumour mill on this Monday morning. The cash-rich Blues have money and it's burning a hole in their pockets, it's just that no-one seems to want to do a deal with them.

While the Roque Santa Cruz saga rumbles on - weekend reports had Blackburn demanding starlet Daniel Sturridge as part of the deal - with an end not yet looking in sight there is talk of fresh move for Craig Bellamy for what looks like a whopping £12m or so say The Independent. City's misfiring strikeforce is in need of a rethink and it seems that Benjani may go back to Portsmouth for £6m if you believe The Sun, who also say that young but injury prone midfielder Michael Johnson could be heading to the South coast.

January 11, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/11/2009

Manchester City are set to hijack Arsenal's deal for Andrei Arshavin after agreeing an £18million deal with Zenit St Petersburg, according to the Sunday Mirror. The 27-year-old striker flew into London last week amid speculation he was poised to join the Gunners; but City have stormed into pole position.

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday claim that Arsenal are poised to increase their bid for Arshavin to £12million after Zenit rejected their initial £10 million offer.

January 10, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/10/2009

The main transfer story of the day comes from the Daily Express, who claim that Michael Owen has a 'gentleman’s agreement' with Manchester City to sign for the richest club in the world this summer. The newspaper claims Owen has held talks with City officials, including manager Mark Hughes, in the last few weeks and told them he will join the Abu Dhabi-owned club, on the condition that they remain in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, City have apparently failed with a £14million bid for Olympique Marseille star Taye Taiwo, according to The Sun. And now manager Mark Hughes is ready to offer £19 million Brazilian striker Jo in part exchange for the versatile 23-year-old Nigerian ace.

January 9, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 01/09/2009

Manchester City's position as the richest club in the world is being exploited by Blackburn Rovers who are holding the Eastlands outfit to ransom over the sale of Roque Santa Cruz.

The Guardian reports that the Paraguayan striker is now demanding a move after Rovers rejected an £18m bid on Thursday.

January 8, 2009
Posted by Jen Chang on 01/08/2009

With his forward line depleted by injury, it's thought that Everton manager David Moyes has turned his attention to U.S. teen striker Jozy Altidore, who's currently plying his trade with Villarreal.

However, Moyes' bid to take Altidore on loan was reportedly turned down by the Primera Liga side who feel that Altidore is best served remaining in Spain for the duration of the season as he continues to adjust to life in Europe.

Posted by Dale Johnson on 01/08/2009

For each day of the January transfer window we will be bringing you the latest transfer news in our brand new On The Move blog so check back here every day to get your fix of fact, rumours and gossip.

Two Arsenal players are interesting Barcelona, according to The Daily Star, with the Catalan giants ready to launch an astonishing £45 million raid for Francesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie.

While Real Madrid have long been linked with a move for Fabregas it now seems their fierce La Liga rivals are ready to join the hunt.

January 7, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 01/07/2009

For each day of the January transfer window we will be bringing you the latest transfer news in our brand new On The Move blog so check back here every day to get your fix of fact, rumours and gossip.

The future of Carlos Tevez is the subject of most tabloid talk on Tuesday as the Argentine's agent, Kia Joorabchian, refused to say he would be staying at United next season.

With Real Madrid ready to drop their interest in Cristiano Ronaldo to chase Tevez for a cut price £25 million fee (The Sun) could another United player be heading to Spain?

January 6, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 01/06/2009

For each day of the January transfer window we will be bringing you the latest transfer news in our brand new On The Move blog so check back here every day to get your fix of fact, rumours and gossip.

Our inaugural transfer rumour mill starts with Manchester City, where else?

Having signed Wayne Bridge from Chelsea on Sunday City boss Mark Hughes declared on Monday that he wanted to bring in five more signings during the January transfer window and that gave Tuesday's newspapers licence to run riot with speculation.