August 31, 2009
Considering we're so close to the end of the transfer window there speculation in the press isn't exactly exciting.
We start off with Spurs, and stories that they will move to sign the last two decent players on Portsmouth's books.
However, the Daily Mirror says signing David James may not be that simple, as there is also interest from Sunderland and Stoke City.
The Daily Mail expects Spurs to bid for Niko Krancjar as well, with a combined fee of £8m suggested.
While two may be going out, the Daily Mail reckons that Paul Hart will complete a deal for Aston Villa left-back Nicky Shorey while Man City's Tal Ben Haim is also a target.
Could Aston Villa strengthen by tomorrow? The Daily Mail claims Martin O'Neill will move for either Matthew Upson or James Collins from West Ham.
Arsenal have been linked with Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh all summer, though it did look as though West Ham had struck a deal to sign the player. But the Daily Mirror now thinks Arsene Wenger will make one last attempt to sign him, and Patrick Vieira as well.
We were all shocked yesterday to learn that John Terry is set for a bumper new contract. Who'd have thought it? The Sun reports he will become the highest paid player in the country and pocket a cool £8million-a-year. Nice work.
Everton are very much in need of new faces if they are to have success this season, with defenders top of the wanted list. The Daily Mirror, though, thinks their move for Holland right-back Johnny Heitinga is in trouble, because the Atletico Madrid player wants too much cash.
And Everton could move for a player dubbed the best goalkeeper in the Championship. Despite The Sun's report, we don't see how sitting on the bench would aid the career of Coventry's Keiren Westwood.
The Sun also reports that Moyes is ready to wield the axe following Everton's suspect start to the campaign.
Martin Petrov has found himself squeezed out at Manchester City amidst all the new star names. And the Daily Star believes that Stoke City are ready to offer him first team football, through Tottenham could also make a move.
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has declared his interest in managing Great Britain (or England) at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. We think it would be a great move. Check out the Daily Mirror.
The Football Association looks set to clamp down on players who goad opposition supporters after scoring a goal, following Junior Stanislas' dubious antics against Millwall last week and some repeat performances at the weekend. Check out The Sun.
Bolton have been woefully short of goals this season, and to rectify this the Daily Mail claims boss Gary Megson will look to sign Nantes’ Croatia striker Ivan Klasnic on a season-long loan deal. However, they face competition from Sunderland.
The Daily Mail reports that Wolves are closing in on Rapid Vienna’s Austria striker Stefan Maierhofer after tabling a £2m bid.
Still with Wolves, and The Sun thinks they are battling with West Ham for giant Valencia striker Nikola Zigic.
Hull City, meanwhile, are on the brink of signing Benjani from Manchester City, according to the Daily Mail.
But Hull look set to lose star defender Michael Turner to Sunderland, which would be a huge blow. In a strange twist it seems Sunderland will offer Frazier Campbell, who they only signed last month, in a part exchange worth £9m. Check out the Daily Star.
The Sun reports that Blackburn have turned down a bid from Olympiakos for midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen.
And finally... The Sun reports that Barnsley have made Tony Adams their number one choice as their new manager. Oh dear,,,
August 30, 2009
The Sunday papers have all led with the same story this weekend. Arsene Wenger ''kicking the bottle'', ''losing it'' and even attempting to re-enact a scene from Fawlty Towers after being sent off against Manchester United.
The Sunday Mirror have the Frenchman most ''frustrated'' about the Gunners' defeat, especially as it involved a penalty where the goalkeeper brought down a striker [we wondered why the TV cameras kept showing Eduardo sat on the bench].
The same paper think that Wenger is set to make one final attempt to sign Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh; but the News of the World think he'll go for a 15-year-old who has been likened to Lionel Messi instead. That ought to give them the edge over United next year...
United, meanwhile, appear to be done in terms of transfer business but that hasn't stopped various tabloids splashing stories about them. The Sunday Mirror seems to think City star midfielder (who has been with the club since age 14) would somehow want to swap Eastlands for Old Trafford.
He's far too busy running up and down hills and learning to channel his negative energy through martial arts for any thoughts about a transfer, say the Mail on Sunday.
Much more likely is Portsmouth's capture of out-of-favour duo Michael Johnson, from City, and Nicky Shorey, from Villa. The People have this nugget and reckon that the pair could arrive on loan as the south coast club struggle for cash.
They will also probably sign Manchester City's Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim as replacement for Sylvain Distin, who has joined Everton.
The News of the World also claim that Pompey will cash in on David James. Not content with Carlo Cudicini, apparently 'Arry Redknapp wants to rebuild his entire FA Cup winning side and bring in the ageing 'keeper too.
The Sunday Express know that Richard Dunne is on his way to Villa, but they claim that it was only because City paid out a £6m fee to the defender (to cover the cost of the testimonial that he would have had) that the deal went through. Quite a gesture if true.
Another gesture comes from Chelsea as they have apparently given captain John Terry a new deal worth £40m, with the England man picking up £160,000 a week. That's in the NOTW.
Meanwhile, while there are stories that an American consortium is closing in on a deal to buy Newcastle United and they are set to restore Geordie legend Alan Shearer to the manager's office, Jose Enrique reckons that the club are ''crazy'' and not even Jose Mourinho (who loves a challenge) would want to come and manage them.
August 29, 2009
You would have thought that the arrival of your former manager would help you in your search for first-team football. But evidently Andrei Shevchenko has fallen off the radar so much that even Carlo Ancelotti can't see him.
The Chelsea striker hasn't exactly hit the heights since he joined the club for £30m as one of the world's best strikers. And the Times claim that his former club Dynamo Kiev are pretty much the only ones interested in taking him out of Stamford Bridge. How the mighty have fallen.
David Bentley wasn't exactly mighty, but he did have a pretty good spell while at Blackburn before his move to Tottenham ruined his career. The Daily Mirror reckon that Everton could tie up a loan deal for the troubled midfielder, although he will have to get the bus to Goodison himself if he wants to seal the deal.
The Toffees are also in the market for a new defender and the same paper claims David Moyes has landed Dutch international Johnny Heitinga from Atletico Madrid in a £5.7m swoop.
The Daily Mail, however, have some bad news for Everton, as their bid for Valencia midfielder Ever Banega has hit a hitch because his club cannot find a replacement.
Celtic look like a team on the ropes after their Champions League exit meant they'll probably have to sell some players to come up with some cash and Wigan could take advantage by bidding for Scott McDonald, say the Daily Record.
The problem? His agent wants him to go on loan first so that if he does well, his value will go ''through the roof''. Not exactly great financial planning.
Arsene Wenger is splashed across a few pages in the tabloids with his comments about a ''witch-hunt'' for his diving striker Eduardo. The Sun have the story of the Arsenal boss raging: "It is a witch hunt. What else is it? If you take all the games in Europe every week I will give you 10 cases where UEFA can charge a player.'' No doubt there's a broomstick involved somewhere too.
And finally we all know Ledley King is a bit of a mess (and we're not talking about when he's trying to get into a club). But his knees are so bad, say the Daily Mail, that he can only cycle and do 20 minutes of training before a game. Might want to give up the old football game and try your hand at the Tour de France, Led.
August 28, 2009
There was a frenzied afternoon of transfer activity on Thursday afternoon and the transfer theme continues in Friday morning's newspapers.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp's penchant for signing former players is set to continue as he plots to land Sulley Muntari from Inter Milan, according to The Sun. The Ghana international used to play under 'Arry at Portsmouth and Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas will be used as bait the land his former player.
Redknapp might also be able to raise some funds by flogging Jamie O'Hara to Birmingham City. The Daily Mail claim that manager Alex McLeish is tracking the Spurs midfielder as an alternative should their £2.5m move for Sporting Gijon's Michel fall through.
The Times report that Everton boss David Moyes is eager to spend the £22m he received from the sale of Joleon Lescott on Atlético Madrid's Dutch right-back Johnny Heitinga and Celtic's Scotland midfielder Scott Brown.
The Guardian claim that Carlo Ancelotti is considering a move for the £4m-rated Feyenoord playmaker Jonathan de Guzman, on the recommendation of Chelsea's sporting director, Frank Arnesen.
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is hunting Kosice's £2m-rated Slovakian striker Jan Novak as injury has robbed him of the services of Andy Johnson, according to The Mirror.
And finally... the Daily Star report that Alan Shearer wants Cardiff City's £6m-rated striker Michael Chopra to mark his return as Newcastle United boss - should Barry Moat's takeover at St James's Park go through.
August 27, 2009
Football's condemnation of the violent clashes that marred West Ham United's Carling Cup clash with Millwall continues in Thursday's newspapers with some of the Hammers' former managers and players speaking out.
Harry Redknapp used his column in The Sun to explain how the trouble made him feel sick to the very pit of his stomach and insisted that West Ham and Millwall must never meet again in cup competitions.
Daily Mail columnist Jeff Powell called for the authorities to "cage these ugly beasts! Then throw away the kid gloves or the animals will savage and destroy our game."
Meanwhile, West Ham striker Carlton Cole has told the Daily Telegraph of the despicable monkey chants that added a new level of nastiness to the mayhem at Upton Park on Tuesday night.
On the pitch, Celtic star Massimo Donati has urged UEFA to ban Arsenal striker Eduardo after he appeared to dive to win a controversial penalty in Arsenal's 3-1 Champions League play-off win at the Emirates.
"If it is clear on television then UEFA must act against Eduardo and ban him. I think he should get a two-match suspension," Donati told the Daily Mail.
In transfer news the Daily Mirror report that Tottenham Hotspur's unhappy striker Roman Pavlyuchenko is heading back to Spartak Moscow in a £10m deal - which is £3.8m less than Spurs paid for the Russian striker last summer.
The Times claim that Andriy Shevchenko’s future at Chelsea appears to be over after the Ukraine striker was told he won't be named in the club's squad for the group stage of the Champions League. Dynamo Kiev and Zenit St Petersburg would both like to take him on loan.
David Moyes is closing in on signing Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin to replace £22m Joleon Lescott, according to the Daily Express. Lescott Joined Manchester City on Wednesday.
August 26, 2009
Those scenes of insurrection at West Ham's Carling Cup defeat of Millwall understandably dominate the UK press on this Wednesday morning. And they've made the front pages too.
"Bloody disgrace" roars The Sun before going off with old favourite "Scum". "All hell's broken loose" proclaims the Daily Mail. "West Ham set for massive punishment" predicts the Daily Mirror. "Upton Park rampage sees fan stabbed" reports the Daily Express, marking the saddest incident of a ludicrous night down at Upton Park. The ramifications are sure to follow for some time yet though with plenty of arrests to be made reporting restrictions may soon apply. All of the above publications feature pictures of a bunch of drunken idiots "larging it", as the modern-day vernacular seems to have it.
Right, on to the football. Plenty of speculation surrounding Roman Pavlyuchenko, who, the Mail says, has derailed Spurs' flying start to the season by demanding a transfer. Not that's he actually played much and it has seemed that Harry Redknapp has had his eye on flogging him but it's one way of looking at it.
Harry, meanwhile, has stirred the pot with his take on Sol Campbell's move to Notts County, for which the England defender is getting paid £10m over five years says the Times. Redknapp, in the Mirror, says that fan power stopped him bringing Sol, who he worked with at Portsmouth, back to Spurs.
The completion of the Joleon Lescott deal is a relief to us all and speculation around Everton's next targets is rife. The Guardian says Sylvain Distin is wanted by David Moyes, who also signed Diniyar Bilyaletdinov on Tuesday and hailed him as the Russian Kevin Sheedy. For those of you who don't know, that's a left-sided player with a gift for a pass and a hard shot.
And the Daily Star takes a flier on Manchester United signing Arjen Robben from Real Madrid for £20m which seems somewhat unlikely.
August 25, 2009
So Liverpool lost twice during the whole of 2008-09. Now they've lost twice in three games and Rafael Benitez has had a few choice words to say to his top, under-performing, players.
'Naff Raff' as the Sun have labelled him, hit out at the mistakes by his players, saying ''Lucas scored an own goal but Gerrard gave away a penalty - and each player will have to analyse a lot of things.'' Although we're a little worried as he appears to view Lucas as a 'star'.
With Liverpool slipping down the table, Manchester United might hope that nobody noticed their recent defeat to Burnley - especially after hammering Wigan. But there's bad news, as the Daily Mirror say that Anderson has been told he can quit Old Trafford after a furious bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson. Could we be set for another Tevez saga?
Thankfully, Nemanja Vidic has played down speculation he will move to Barcelona after some tricky quotes from his agent last week. The Sun have more uplifting news for Fergie, as he said: "I've never said anything about Barcelona, or Real Madrid or AC Milan - or any club.'' A lesson learned there.
Arsene Wenger is quietly going about his business, and has no defeats to get in the way just yet. The Daily Mail reckon he's after another midfielder - at a cut price fee of course - and will sign Saint-Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi, with Cesc Fabregas facing three weeks out after aggravating a hamstring injury.
Chelsea's Frank Arsenen is on the scout for new players, but instead of picking out the next 15-year-old gem - like he's supposed to be doing - he's on the trail of Benfica trio Angel Di Maria, David Luiz and Fabio Coentrao. The Sun have this news, but does anyone feel like Frank just decided to turn up to one Portuguese league match, then presented his findings?
The Daily Star reckon Everton are fuming at yet more delays for Joleon Lescott's move to Man City. An 11th hour hitch won't help relations between the two clubs after it took them all summer to come up with the £24m the Toffees wanted, leaving them in the lurch before the transfer window closes next week.
Meanwhile, the Guardian report that West Ham have been rocked by another tragedy - following the stabbing of Calum Davenport - as midfielder Jack Collison's father has been killed in a motorcycle accident, while he was on his way to watch the weekend's game.
August 24, 2009
Football takes a back seat in today's papers as the whole of England goes barmy about their Ashes win over Australia. Head over to our friends at Cricinfo for news of that, while we round up what news there is from the world of football.
We all remember that Tottenham had only two points when Harry Redknapp took over. Well, now they're doing quite nicely thanks very much and the Sun bring us the news that Jermain Defoe is leading the side to their best start in 49 years. Something else for 'Arry to 'arp on about.
Transfer news is not dead yet and, with Joleon Lescott's move to Manchester City, Everton will be kicked into overdrive. The Daily Mail reckon Lescott isn't even out of the club yet, but David Moyes has already lined up a £10m splash on Lokomotiv Moscow's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
The Daily Express think that Lescott will have to ''fight for his place'' at City though. Even if we're pretty sure Richard Dunne might just step down to accomodate him.
City may also tie up a move for Brazilian full-back Silvinho on a free transfer, after the ex-Arsenal star was released by treble winners Barcelona at the end of the season.
Portsmouth could use a few players and Aruna Dindane could yet arrive in a £4m deal, after an unusual deal in which the Premier League agreed to cover the fee with Pompey's television cash if the club fails to pay Lens on time.
The Sun also has boss Paul Hart saying that a mystery consortium fronted by chief executive Peter Storrie should be in power soon. So that'll solve all their problems.
Meanwhile, the Sun bring us news that Wigan's Hugo Rodallega is still furious at Nemanja Vidic for his face-flick at the weekend. We've heard rumours the United defender is considering hiring ref Howard Webb full-time as a personal bodyguard.
August 23, 2009
The Joleon Lescott saga appears to be drawing to a cloase... or so we thought.
The Sunday Mirror today claims that Everton are to report Mark Hughes' club to the FA for making an illegal approach to the central defender - and will demand points are docked.
The paper reports that Everton have complied a dossier to present to the powers that be.
An amazing story in the News of the World, which claims Chelsea were involved in a huge punch up during a friendly game at their training ground. The game was "abandoned after just 35 minutes amid amazing scenes. Players, coaches and officials from Chelsea's reserve team and United Arab Emirates side Al Alhi traded blows for five minutes."
Seriously, read this story - it's a classic!
Plenty of rumours about the future of Cesc Fabregas this summer, but now the News of the World has an EXCLUSIVE that the Gunners are to open contract talks to tie their skipper to the club.
Arsene Wenger may be happy with his squad, but Andrei Arshavin thinks the club still need to strengthen to be true challengers. There's an interview in the Sunday Times.
One Arsenal target, Brede Hangeland, could now be staying at Fulham. He says in the News of the World that he does not plan to leave Craven Cottage during this window.
The News of the World says that Wayne Rooney will be offered a staggering contract to make him one of the best paid players in the league.
Harry Redknapp has certainly splashed the cash in the past seven months, and now the Sunday Mirror claims he will spend more by plucking Joe Cole from Chelsea. Will the former Hammers be reunited? The People disagrees, reporting a new contract for the player.
The News of the World links Spurs with Celtic stars Aiden McGeady and Scott Brown.
And if they are coming in, then the News of the World thinks that Jermaine Jenas could be on his way out. It is claimed that Martin O'Neill wants to take him Aston Villa for £12m.
But it's different at Chelsea, with Carlo Ancelotti telling the Mail on Sunday that there will be no more new faces at the Bridge. The People disagrees, claiming the Blues will spend £42m on Sergio Aguero.
There were rumours last week, again, that Rafael Benitez was about to walk out of Liverpool as he struggled to get funds for transfers. Now Rafa has again denied it, telling the Sunday Mirror: "I can tell everyone that my commitment to the club is still there."
Disappointing news from Upton Park surrounding one-time England international Dean Ashton. The Sunday Mirror reveals that Dean Ashton is set to announce his retirement from the game, aged just 26, due to a degenerative ankle problem.
Could Nicky Butt be heading back to the Premier League? The News of the World says that Burnley are interested.
The fire sale looks set to continue at Portsmouth, with now their only remaining good player on the market. Pompey are ready to take £8m from anyone will to pay, says the Sunday Mirror.
The Mail on Sunday claims that Pompey are now having to restructure debts to players and agents.
But Portsmouth could be set to had a contract to Henri Camara, says the News of the World.
The News of the World tips Hull City to splash out £4m on Leicester City's Matty Fryatt.
August 22, 2009
Just another nine days to go before the transfer market shuts, and maybe it will take that long to get an end to the Joleon Lescott transfer saga.
The Daily Mail today reports that Everton and Manchester City have finally agreed a £22m deal. We can't see it being that simple...
Mark Hughes also reveals in The Sun that he does not care about the club's critics.
In other Everton news, the Daily Mail says they will sign Spartak Moscow winger Vladimir Bystrov.
Arsene Wenger is never one to have a good moan, is he? Now the Daily Mail reports he is blaming Fabio Capello for Theo Walcott's back injury which will keep him out for a few weeks. Why? Because he played at the Under-21 Euros two months ago. Hmm...
Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos is now being linked with Fulham. That's in the Daily Express.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has gone on a startling tirade just two games into the season, slamming an early season fixture pile-up. Seriously... read it in the Daily Express.
Have you heard of Dave Whelan? Probably not because the Wigan chairman is never in the press... Now Whelan is bleating on about how he should have bought Manchester United in 1989, so OT could be DW. It's in the Daily Mail.
We were even more entertained by Whelan's claim that new boss Roberto Martinez (played two, won one, lost one) could one day manage Europe's biggest clubs such as Real Madrid or Barcelona. It's in the Daily Mirror.
The Daily Mail also reveals a story which claims Wayne Rooney will have to wait for his chance to wear the captain's armband at Man United. Sir Alex is quoted.
And words of wisdom from Dimitar Berbatov in The Sun, with the striker declaring that Wayne Rooney was always a better player than Cristiano Ronaldo. We're not convinced.
The remarkable story of Sol Campbell signing for Notts County gathers pace after the former England international turned up at Meadow Lane on Friday. It's on! Campbell is snapped in The Sun.
Ryan Babel is something of an enigma at Liverpool. So superb for Holland yet rubbish at Anfield. And now, the Daily Mail carries quotes from Rafael Benitez which suggest time is running out for the forward player to impress.
Arsenal defender Gael Clichy has declared to the Daily Mirror that Arsenal have what it takes to win the league.
Could Andriy Shevchenko have a future with Chelsea. We struggle to see it, but the Daily Mirror quotes Carlo Ancelotti as saying he could turn his nightmare around.
Hull chairman Paul Duffen has hit back after the Tigers were accused of being a joke club. Alvaro Negredo chose Sevilla over Hull this week (who can blame him) adding to the catalogue of player snubs this summer. Duffen says it was Real who pulled the plug on Negredo as he goes on the defensive in The Sun.
Another funny story in the Daily Mail, as they claim that Portsmouth a) have money to spend and b) another player actually wants to sign for the troubled club. They reckon Pompey will prepare for relegation by splashing £1.8m on Championship fodder Tommy Smith of Watford.
The Daily Mail says that West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola will be hoping to add two new faces to his squad in the next week. Livorno's Alessandro Diamanti and fellow striker Marouane Chamakh of Bordeaux are expected to boost the ranks.
The Daily Mirror again links Blackburn's Stephen Warnock with a move to Aston Villa. The Daily Express claims that Villa will have a £20m kitty to spend before the window shuts.
The Daily Mail reports that Wolves are close to signing Amdy Faye from Stoke City.
And The Sun says that Carson Yeung will have to borrow £57m if he is to buy Birmingham City. Buying clubs with debt? In this climate? Hmm.
August 21, 2009
With the Ashes series reaching its climax - the best coverage on Cricinfo of course - and Usain Bolt smashing every record in sight, the football is taking something of a backseat in the English press. After all, it was the Europa League on Thursday....joking apart, what nuggets can we find?
Well, he hinted at it the other day but Harry Redknapp is moving in on David James. So say the Daily Mirror to no-one's particular surprise. £2m is the fee linked and Heurelho Gomes has what looks like a serious injury.
Serial charmer Ashley Cole has signed a new deal at Chelsea, say The Sun to make him the world's best-paid full-back. It seems there was no near-crashing of his car or accusations of his club "taking the p***" in the negotiations.
Much coverage given to Frank Lampard's comments, given at a charity event at Wembley, that Manchester United could only replace Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi. That's given its fullest and most balanced account in The Guardian.
Everton appear to be preparing for life after Joleon Lescott with the Daily Mirror reporting that the Toffees have made a 'late move' for Sylvain Distin. Aston Villa are also keen though and have failed with a bid of £3m.
After missing out on Alvaro Negredo, scorer of 19 goals in La Liga last season, Hull boss Phil Brown has turned his attention to David Nugent, scorer of only three goals in 31 games for Portsmouth. That is according to The Sun anyway.
Finally, according to The Times, West Ham are confident of signing Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh after tabling an offer of £7m with a 20 percent sell-on clause.
August 20, 2009
Despite rumours that Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is caught up in another battle with the Anfield board, Thursday's newspapers are full of transfer targets for the Reds.
The Times report that Benitez is ready to make an offer for £10m-rated Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, but they do file it under the heading "long shots" and given Liverpool's apparent financial problems the move looks unlikely.
It is much more likely that Liverpool will sign 30-year-old Greek centre-back Sotirios Kyrgiakos from AEK Athens for £1.5m.
In today's instalment of the Joleon Lescott transfer saga Everton boss David Moyes will demand £30m from Manchester City for his want-away defender. The Daily Mail claim that City's improved offer of £22m, after failing with recent bids of £15m and £18m, will be rejected.
The Guardian concur and report that Moyes will not reduce Lescott's price tag despite dropping the Everton defender from Thursday night's home Europa League qualifier with a scathing condemnation of the player's "poor attitude".
If the Lescott deal does fall through Man City have lined up a swoop for West Ham United defender Matthew Upson, but the Daily Mirror claim Aston Villa are lining up £12m offer to pinch the Hammers star. Money worries at Upton Park may see the 30-year-old sold quickly to balance the books.
Meanwhile, Portsmouth are hoping to sign Cameroon midfielder Modeste M'Bami, who has been training with the club, on a two-year deal, according to The Sun.
August 19, 2009
Most of the back pages today are Arsenal-related as the Gunners pulled off an important win at the cauldron that is Parkhead, in their Champions League qualifier.
Two lucky goals, but a fairly comfortable performance and the Sun have William Gallas celebrating his deflection to the headline ''They think it's Gall over''.
The Daily Mail would rather focus on Arsene Wenger's pop at the Hoops for trying to rough up his players; but the Daily Star think the Gunners are better off without their two lost stars.
The Scottish angle comes from the Daily Record and has quotes from Celtic boss Tony Mowbray claiming that his side did not deserve to lose the goals. But they are also interested in the fact that Harry Redknapp was scouting Scott Brown and could yet complete a deal for the midfielder before September.
In other news, the Sun have picked up on a story we had on Monday night - the flagrant touting by Nemanja Vidic's agent. Basically he claims that the Serbian defender wants to go to Barcelona (what a signing that would be if they could net him) and things ''are complicated.'' Although we don't see it happening this season.
The paper have done somewhat better by bringing us the actual news that Liverpool have signed a Greek defender. AEK Athens centre-half Sotiris Kyrgiakos, 30, will join for around £2m and act as backup to Jamie Carragher and whichever other centre-half is fit at the time.
All of which seems to make the Daily Mail's story that the Reds are about to swoop for Ryan Shawcross rather pointless. Stoke manager Tony Pulis is determined to retain the services of highly-rated defender and it looks like he might do, as Rafa has turned his attention elsewhere.
Oh and the sale of Xabi Alonso was a mistake. And who do we have to thank for this piece of information. Why the Daily Express, and Dean Whitehead, of course.
Newcastle are back in the news after getting their first win of the Championship season. Suddenly someone is all interested in buying the club and the Independent seem to think it's Tyneside businessman Barry Moat.
And finally, you always wondered what made Manchester United so fired up for every game. Well, it's down to Patrice Evra. According to the Sun the defender is responsible for pumping out the tunes pre-match and keeping everyone happy. Just watch out when you play Liverpool, eh Pat.
August 18, 2009
Now, we've heard Chelsea say they don't think they need to spend before the transfer window closes in a couple of weeks, but The Sun has different ideas.
Hot property Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid has been on the radar of Premier League clubs for some time, and now it is thought Chelsea are hoping to complete a £50m deal for the striker.
However, the paper reports that the clock is ticking with Aguero set to play in the Champions League on Wednesday in a play-off against Panathinaikos, which would rule him out of the Chelsea side who are already without Didier Drogba for four games. However, Chelsea say their limit is £42m. The world's gone mad.
Manchester City continue to lead the way in the transfer market, and they now appear to have beaten off interest from Chelsea in wonderkid Rafael de Souza Rodolfo, or Penaro to his friends. It says in The Sun that Robinho has proved to be the deciding factor as the 16-year-old was lured to Eastlands.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes the European Super League will be a reality sooner rather than later, in fact in the next 10 years.
He said in The Sun: "I see more a European League developing over time rather than one team going out of the country.
"The national leagues will survive but maybe in 10 years you will have a European League."
After the opening day defeat to Tottenham, Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez may well have been considering where to bolster his squad ahead of a long campaign. But it seems he will be thwarted with the Daily Mirror claiming that he will be given just £1.5m to spend. It'll hardly buy someone's laces in the current climate.
It's not getting any better for Liverpool, either, with the Daily Mirror reporting that Albert Riera is set to return to Spain after just one season. And it's those usual suspects doing the bidding, with Real Madrid and Barcelona linked.
Could we really see two Rooneys in the Premier League? The Daily Mirror reports that Macclesfield’s 18-year-old starlet, younger brother John, is a target for Blackburn and Bolton.
Hull are desperate to sign £12m Alvaro Negredo from Real Madrid, though may have made a mistake in inviting him over to the city for talks. Best to get him to sign first! However, The Sun says that Real Zaragoza are hoping to win the race as he wants to stay in Spain.
The Sun reveals that Birmingham City will clinch a deal for Sporting Gijon's Michel. The midfielder will move for £3m.
There was a time when Julio Baptista was on the wanted list of the world's biggest clubs. Now he's wanted by West Ham United. The Daily Mirror says the Brazilian, now with AS Roma, is on the shortlist along with Eidur Gudjohnsen and Marouane Chamakh.
The Daily Mail reports that Gianfranco Zola is happy for £5m James Collins to leave for Stoke.
Remember Sol Campbell? He's currently kicking around the streets looking for a club after making the bold decision to leave beleaguered Portsmouth. But talk about frying pans and fire, he's going to sign for Newcastle for a paltry £15,000-a-week. Well, that's what The Sun says. Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror claims that Fabricio Coloccini is a target for Espanyol.
And The Sun claims that somehow Portsmouth are going to sign a player. And a player actually wants to sign for them. However, it's only Bolton misfit Dan Shittu. The Daily Mirror thinks fellow Bolton player Gavin McCann will also sign.
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill looks ready to strengthen his rear-guard after the opening day horror show against Wigan, with the Daily Mirror tipping a £6m bid for Middlesbrough defender David Wheater.
And looking further up the field, the Daily Mail tips O'Neill to move for David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas as Spurs look to fund a deal for Celtic's Scott Brown.
Afonso Alves has proved to be one of the biggest flops of recent years after Middlesbrough spent £12m for little return in goals. Now it seems he could return to the comfort of the Eredivise, with Ajax leading the way. Read about it in the Daily Mirror.
Fulham will make an improved bid for powerful Almeria striker Kala Uche this week, so says the Daily Mirror. And the same paper believes Wigan will make the first move to sign Crystal Palace's highly-rated yougster Victor Moses.
Remember Nathan Ellington? Yes, the striker who has never cut it in the top flight. Well, he's been offered to Blackburn Rovers by Watford, but they want Paul Gallagher, who shone in the Championship last season, in return. It's in The Sun.
Tottenham defender Dorian Dervite is desperate to quit the club and return to France as he cannot get into the team. We think about 95% of Premier League watchers will never have heard of him, No great loss, then. Check out The Sun.
August 17, 2009
Bold words indeed from Birmingham manager Alex McLeish. He's compared Wayne Rooney to Zinedine Zidane and Michel Platini. Clearly he was impressed yesterday.
McLeish said in The Sun: "He is a huge talent and a natural footballer. You get the Zidanes and Platinis of this world and I've seen them over the years and it's just natural."
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp must be wondering if his team are really good, or if Liverpool are not as good as they used to be. Good old 'Arry was a little surprised that he beat Liverpool so easily.
He said in The Sun: "Last season we beat Liverpool 2-1 here but they absolutely destroyed us. How we won that game I have no idea. We were battered. It was a totally different story this time around, though, and we could easily have been two-up by half-time."
Rafa, unsurprisingly, was not happy and, oh yes, he's had a bit of a rant. Good old Benitez thinks his team was robbed at White Hart Lane, even though they were rubbish.
He said in the Daily Star: He said: “Everybody could see it was especially a penalty on Voronin. It was so clear. Unbelievable. With this referee, I knew another one was impossible.
“But we had a meeting the other day and we were told we can’t talk about the referee.”
The Sun, meanwhile, links Liverpool with a £10m bid for central defender Fernando Amorebieta of Athletic Bilbao. We think they should look further forward.
Just hours after David James admitted the players fear financial meltdown at Portsmouth, the talk is that Soulaiman Al Fahim's takeover will collapse leaving the club in limbo. The Daily Mirror thinks he hasn't got the cash.
It could all get a bit messy at Upton Park with talk of the club having to sell its best players to balance the books. This, apparently, has angered Gianfranco Zola and the Daily Mirror thinks the boss will walk if the board sells its best players without his permission.
Carlton Cole, Mark Noble, Matthew Upson, Robert Green and Scott Parker are all said to be up for grabs.
The Daily Mirror also quotes the little Italian as saying he does not want to sell Upson.
West Ham fans are probably a little miffed to hear that defender James Collins, who played so well at the end of last season, is up for sale. But, according to The Sun, he will this week join Stoke for £5m.
Stoke are also, for some reason, said to be interested in Middlesbrough crock Robert Huth but, according to the Daily Mirror, they've been told they must pay more than an initial bid of £2.5m.
More transfer talk from the Daily Mail. The paper says that Tottenham are interested in Man City's Martin Petrov and Sunderland's Kieran Richardson. However, he must sell to buy.
And finally, our favourite story of the morning comes from the Daily Mirror. Burnley owner Brendan Flood has revealed that a celebrity Burnley fan is none other than Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi - and looked at investing in the club!
August 16, 2009
No prizes for guessing the lead story in most newspapers reporting of the opening day of the Premier League season. Yes, Everton’s 6-1 demolition by Arsenal has sent shockwaves across Her Majesty’s press corps with an added twist and leads most of the backpages. However, there is another juggernaut in town.
Seems to be a bit of diversionary tactics taking place here because the tabs have twisted the Toffees coming unstuck into the Joleon Lescott saga. Mark Hughes has weighed in to make David Moyes even more unhappy.
The News of the World says that Hughes is at war with David Moyes after the Everton boss was accused of making the bids for Joleon Lescott public. Over at The People it is said that Hughes has insisted Manchester City's pursuit of Lescott is still on. Though he may be prepared to pay less after Saturday’s late game.
More Hughes in the Sunday Express: they say he has claimed that people are willing Manchester City to fail. Surely not? Even more Hughes in the Daily Star: he wants to end David Bentley's Tottenham nightmare.
That transfer snippet - thinnish on the ground what with actual football being played - is joined by the The People’s idea that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is weighing up a shock move to take Ryan Shawcross back to Old Trafford from Stoke City.
On the subject of transfers, Portsmouth, a club with enough trouble as it is, are becoming embroiled in a row after chief exec Peter Storrie accused Tottenham of tapping up Peter Crouch in the News of the World. The Sunday Telegraph runs the same story but casts it thus: Storrie believes illegal approaches to transfer targets are rife in football and that "all managers tap up" in direct contravention of Premier League legislation.
Worrying times at West Ham too, say the Sunday Mirror, who think that Gianfranco Zola is threatening to walk out on the club.
August 15, 2009
The curtain is ready to be pulled up and the season is just hours away. Does that mean we’re lacking in gossip? Not a bit of it. Well, maybe a bit less than usual but some nonetheless.
Joleon Lescott has been the subject of this summer’s drawn-out saga. We have one every year - think Rooney, Berbatov and Gareth Barry last year. David Moyes is still not happy, say The Daily Mail. The Scot says that Mark Hughes has been underhand and has blown his chance of landing the defender. We shall see.
Maybe though, Moyes has resigned himself to losing Lescott. He’s linked with Spartak Moscow winger Vladimir Bystrov, 25, a loan deal for Valencia's Argentine midfielder Ever Banega, 21 and defender Isaac Vorsah of Hoffenheim. The last of those shows Moyes may have been getting his retaliation in early.
Flagrant speculation time. Chelsea are prepared to pay £42m for Sergio Aguero, say The Sun who also say that Liverpool want Aston Villa’s James Milner, which looks like being a costly one from here.
Villa are closely linked with sizzled Spur David Bentley according to The Times. Over at The Sun, there is talk of Harry Redknapp saying that Bentley does have a future at White Hart Lane.
August 14, 2009
Yes! It's the story all Newcastle fans have been waiting for! Mike Ashley is leav.... nope, not that.... Joe Kinnear is coming back to manage the club.
Following all the rumours about David O'Leary taking charge, the Daily Express today runs an EXCLUSIVE that JFK will be back in his swivel chair on Monday morning.
All Magpies dreams have come true.
Fernando Torres is talking big as the new season is upon us. He's claiming that Liverpool have absolutely no problem beating their top four rivals, and is more concerned by Tottenham.
"We have no problem beating Manchester United or Chelsea but it is games like Sunday's at Tottenham where we need to show our real title intentions," he said in The Sun.
"Tottenham is not an easy place to go but these are games we must be winning if this is to finally be our year."
Today's Manchester City/Joleon Lescott update comes from the Daily Mirror. That paper says that City have brought in negotiators Kia Joorabchian and Pini Zahavi to make sure the deal goes through. It all sounds so lovely.
And with Everton linked with an £8m bid for Newcastle's Steven Taylor in the Daily Star, it could be that they are moving in for a replacement.
Everton have pulled out of the race for Arsenal's Philippe Senderos, according to the Daily Mail, with Sunderland ready to step in.
Nice words from David Dunn in the Daily Star ahead of Blackburn's date with City.
The midfielder said: “It’s important we do our best and kick lumps out of them – fairly of course."
Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson may have said he will not spend again this summer, but that hasn't stopped the press linking him with players. Today it is Atletico Madrid's Sergio Aguero.
The Sun thinks scouts have been watching the £30m-rated forward. Well, so have we.
The Indepedent runs a story about United picking up another young kid from the continent. The paper claims that there will be an official complaint to UEFA from the Serie A club Fiorentina over United's move for national Under-16 captain Michele Fornasier.
It may be bold, it may be deluded, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger thinks his little kids can, against all the odds, win the Premier League. And that's why he snubbed the chance to manage Real Madrid.
"To talk of winning the League is an audacious statement but I built this team and I want to deliver with this team," he said in The Sun. "At 22 or 23 a team is mature enough to deliver."
Arsenal have been linked with Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh all summer, but now the Daily Mail thinks West Ham are ready to come in and steal him - all because they will offer the French club half of any future transfer fee.
It seems like Joey Barton may be proving his true worth to Newcastle once again. The Sun has quotes from their usual "insider" claiming that the bad boy has slammed goalkeeper Steve Harper for, well, being rubbish.
A source said: "Barton told Steve in front of the other lads that he was making it easy for opponents by staying on his line and that they knew it was his weakness.
"It did not go down well. He acts like a goalkeeping coach telling Harps how to do his job. In training, he has also been walking round asking 'Which one of you is getting dropped so I play this weekend'?"
What a nice lad.
On Thursday we heard than an unnamed club had bid £4m for Newcastle United's Damien Duff, well The Sun claims that the club in question is Fulham. The Independent says Everton have bid too.
And Blackburn are desperate to sign former Real Madrid player Michel Salgado, but the Daily Mirror says there is a row about cash at Ewood Park.
Tuncay has been linked with many clubs this summer, but the Daily Mirror says he wants to move back to Turkey with Fenerbahce. But he will only sign for them on loan to avoid doing national service!
Good news for Birmingham fans! Manager Alex McLeish has said in the Daily Mirror that they are not good enough to stay up.
“To be honest, we are not equipped for the Premier League as things stand now,” he confessed.
The Daily Mail reports that Wigan still plan to sign Mohamed Diame from Rayo Vallecano - even though he has a heart defect which was picked up in his medical.
August 13, 2009
Fabio Capello is on most of the back pages today, as he reacts to England's two awful errors to gift the Dutch team a couple of goals in the first half in Amsterdam.
The Sun reckon Fab was furious at the lack of proper defending, with the headline reading 'Dam fools'; but quotes from the Italian show he wasn't that angry after all: "I was really calm, really calm. You have to understand what you have to do,'' he insisted.
Someone who was definately calm was Jermain Defoe. 'Jermain man', as the Daily Mail have him, came off the bench to save the day - still doesn't mean he'll start for Spurs this season though.
As bad as England fans may have it, head over to the Daily Record for news of Scotland's 4-0 defeat by Norway. The first comment sums it all up really: ''effin shocking...terrible choice of players.''
Meanwhile, away from the international scene, Steven Gerrard (still recovering from that nasty groin injury which kept him out of the England game, but means he should be fine for Liverpool this weekend) has turned his attention to the Premier League - not for the first time.
He told the Sun that Manchester City can push all the way to the title this season if they gel. "They're definitely going to be gunning for that top four,'' he added.
Liverpool fans, fear not, as the departure of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid might have upset the balance of the midfield, but Lucas is there to sort things out. The unpopular Brazilian is in the Daily Express today, claiming that he can step into the Spaniard's shoes with ease. Although he also had to fend off rumours that he would be interested in a move back to Brazil with Corinthians.
Also in the same paper, Chelsea are poised to make midfielder Nemanja Matic their fourth signing of the summer in a £5m deal. Chelsea have been watching Matic, a Serbia Under-21 player, for months and regard the talented playmaker as one for the future.
The Blues will offload Michael Mancienne to Wolves on loan, allowing him regular football to push for a place in Fabio Capello’s squad for next summer’s World Cup finals. The Times think he'll sign a new four-year deal at Stamford Bridge, and then move out on loan. Odd.
Arsenal have ruled themselves out of a move for Marouane Chamakh, which has sparked interest from other 'big clubs' such as West Ham and Fulham. The Daily Mirror have this, but will he be allowed to move?
The Gunners may not be bringing anyone in, but that's probably because they are trying to keep players at the club instead. The Sun claim that Barcelona are weighing up an offer for Cesc Fabregas and have until Tuesday (the Champions League qualifiers) to up their bid to around £40m.
Over at Tottenham, Harry Redknapp is ignoring all calls to sign more defenders and is, instead, going for Crystal Palace star Victor Moses. The Daily Star think Redknapp will use his friendship with Eagles boss Neil Warnock to steal a march on his rivals in the race for the England Under-19 international - but he could cost £5m.
And finally, perhaps it has become clear why Rio Ferdinand was so lazy against Holland. He had his mind on other things: namely the fact that the film he funded with Ashley Cole - Dead Man Running, starring 50 Cent - was getting its first screening in Central London. Gripping stuff, we bet.
August 12, 2009
Chelsea have been pretty quiet thus far in the transfer window, so news that one of their best performing players from last season could be leaving seems a little odd.
Jose Bosingwa has been linked with a move away from the club, despite the fact that the Blues failed to land Glen Johnson before he chose to head to Anfield, and Bayern Munich are keen. The Daily Mail reckon that £!5m is enough to tempt Roman into a sale, although there's no talk of a replacement at the Bridge.
In other Chelsea news, with Carlo Ancelotti's arrival, it appears that Andriy Shevchenko will see out the final year of his contract after rejecting a move to former club Dynamo Kiev, that's in the Daily Star.
They missed out on Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi, according to the Sun. But a big name could yet arrive at the Bridge before the window closes.
AC Milan could move for David Beckham again, but the Daily Mail are not the first, or the last, to link the England midfielder with a move to Italy before the World Cup begins.
Manchester City, meanwhile, are still pushing Joleon Lescott for a move, say the Times. The Everton defender has handed in a written transfer request, so all they need to do is persuade David Moyes that he can let him go. Not easy.
Aston Villa are keen to push for the Champions League next season, despite losing Gareth Barry. They are bolstering their side with a few squad players, but Blackburn aren't happy that one of those is Stephen Warnock. The Daily Mirror say that Rovers want an amazing £12m for him.
The Guardian think that £12m is much better spent towards Tottenham midfielders David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas.
Tall defenders are on the shopping list for Arsene Wenger, so 6ft 4in Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic could be lined up, say the Daily Mail. £12m is a popular figure today, but Fulham are adamant that Brede Hangeland won't go unless Arsenal shatter the club's £12m record for a departing player, so the Gunners will need more cash.
And finally, Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has long harboured a wish to play for England (at least since Iker Casillas has been nailing down the first-team spot for Spain anyway), but the Sun carry the news that Fabio Capello has KO'd the idea anyway. Good thing too, given the national side have a host of young keepers who should be ahead of him in the queue.
Capello said: "He is Spanish. He is Spanish and plays for Arsenal. I know who my World Cup keeper will be." Although it would be nice if he let everyone else know.
August 11, 2009
At the weekend Chelsea were supposed to be chasing £45m AC Milan starlet Alexandre Pato but today the Blues are after Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, according to the UK press.
The Sun report that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will fly to Germany to make a £40million raid for the France winger and has already made contact with Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness.
A senior Bayern source said: "Uli was taken by surprise by the phone call but was very honest and courteous with Mr Abramovich. We are still resolved to keep Ribery but Hoeness agreed to meet with Abramovich in Germany to discuss any offer."
Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce is up to his old tricks of recruiting faded veterans from around Europe and has made a shock move for Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado, according to the Daily Mirror.
The tough 33-year-old right back, capped 53 times by his country, arrived in Lancashire for talks about a shock free transfer move on Monday.
The Daily Mail claim that Everton defender Joleon Lescott is finally bound for Manchester City after the Eastlands club made a final offer of £20m, plus add-ons. The transfer will be completed in the next 36 hours, apparently.
Sven Goran Eriksson's Notts County are lining up a sensational move to sign former England centre-back Sol Campbell, who is out of contract at Portsmouth, according to the Daily Star.
The former Portsmouth defender is wanted by his old England manager to spearhead County's promotion charge from League Two.
The Daily Express report that Arsenal have been told they will have to pay £15m for Fulham’s Norway captain Brede Hangeland.
Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger has said that the highly rated defender Hangeland, 28, is top of his list to replace Kolo Toure, sold a week ago to Manchester City. Arsenal want to do a deal in the next 48 hours.
Rafael Benitez has told The Guardian that he has no concerns over Javier Mascherano's commitment to Liverpool, despite denying the Argentina captain a move to Barcelona.
"I am confident he is 100% focused. The last week has changed a lot," the Liverpool manager said.
And finally... The Times report that David O'Leary could be the new manager of Newcastle United by this weekend unless bidders offer definitive proof to Mike Ashley that they have enough money to purchase the League Championship club.
August 10, 2009
The season hasn't even kicked off yet, but Rafael Benitez seems to be making excuses for failing to win the title. And to add to that, Sir Alex Ferguson is already lambasting officials.
Yes, everyone is too expensive or Liverpool are simply being asked to pay too high a price for players. This comes after Hull reportedly told the Reds they wanted £12m for defender Michael Turner.
"We are working hard with the players we have and the money we have," moaned Rafa in The Sun. "It is always difficult to compete in the Premier League with clubs who have more money."
The Daily Express links Liverpool with Stoke's Ryan Shawcross as he can't afford anyone else. A £5m fee is mooted.
Sir Alex, meanwhile, reckons Michael Ballack should have been sent off for his elbow block on Patrice Evra, just before Frank Lampard fired in Chelsea's second at Wembley.
Ferguson stormed in the Daily Express: “If the referee sees that challenge properly, it’s a red card. Ballack has clearly elbowed him. He’s in line and had a clear view, so Ballack was lucky.
“He should have seen it. The referee has made a rod for his own back. He had stopped the game twice already, when Nani was down and when Ballack was down. The least he should have done is stop the game."
Manchester United's (!) Michael Owen may not have done much in the Community Shield, but the pint-sized striker still reckons he could be in the England squad in South Africa next summer. He might have had a dodgy week, but you can't blame the lad for trying. It's in The Sun.
There's lots of talk about Manchester City breaking into the top four but Arsene Wenger, the man most at threat from City and their millions, is confident they pose no threat. "Manchester City at the moment look like they have a great squad quality-wise, but sometimes when you buy more than three players you take a technical gamble," he said in the Daily Mirror.
And a worrying story in The Times. Could Barcelona be in for skipper Cesc Fabregas?
Talking of Man City, the Daily Express believes that Mark Hughes will turn to West Ham's Matthew Upson should he fail to sign either Joleon Lescott or Sylvain Distin.
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has ruled out signing Ashley Young from Aston Villa. He told the Daily Mirror that Villa won't let him go.
And 'Arry may have lost out to Villa again, with the Daily Mail reporting that Tuncay will move to Martin O'Neill's side for £7m, snubbing Spurs in the process.
Sol Campbell is clubless right now, the Daily Express thinks he may resurface at Birmingham City.
Wolves, also new in the Premier League, are linked with a £1.7m offer for giant Austrian striker Stefan Maierhofer in the Daily Express.
Another day, another chance for Alan Shearer to lament the demise of his beloved Newcastle. It must be even more depressing to hear the rumours that David O'Leary is going to be offered a three year contract.
"While other clubs have been preparing, while others have been bringing in players they feel will get them out of this league, Newcastle have stood still and are static," he said in The Sun. "They are going into it with their hands tied, not a nice situation for anyone."
The Daily Mail discusses Newcastle's new approach for O'Leary.
And our favourite story of the day comes from the Daily Mirror. Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock has said he will only sign single footballers in future as he cannot get married players to move to the south coast.
"We can get the players but we can't convince the wives," he moaned. "They don't want to be so far away from their families but I guess that's something we've got to live with."
August 9, 2009
There have been some crazy transfer deals this summer and Chelsea are set to continue the trend, if Sunday’s newspaper reports are to be believed.
The News of The World claim that Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti will pay an astonishing £45m for Alexandre Pato and then loan him back to AC Milan for a year.
A Stamford Bridge insider said: "Ancelotti's so keen to capture Pato that he will pay a club record fee and still allow the kid to stay at Milan for another season. That tells you how highly he values him."
The Blues have also tabled a last-ditch British record £40m bid for Bayern Munich playmaker Franck Ribery, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Over at Old Trafford Manchester United are lining up Everton boss David Moyes to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, when he finally quits, after winning the support of several senior Old Trafford board members.
People Sport reports that powerful factions within United's hierarchy, including Sir Bobby Charlton, have already decided that when Fergie retires - possibly as soon as next summer - the Everton boss should take over.
Manchester City will have to break the British transfer record to get the Everton defender Joleon Lescott, according to the Daily Star on Sunday. And want-away Lescott has been told that even if he writes out a transfer request he won't get a move without the cash coming in.
The Mail on Sunday claim the West Ham United are set to sell England defender Matthew Upson as they need to raise £10m to ward off creditors.
Rafael Benítez has confirmed his interest in signing Michael Turner from Hull City after Liverpool's defensive problems mounted at home to Atlético Madrid on Saturday, reports The Observer.
The Liverpool manager has fitness doubts over all three of his first-choice centre-halves ahead of their opening Premier League game at Tottenham on Sunday, after Jamie Carragher limped out of the 2-1 defeat with a twisted ankle.
August 8, 2009
Michael Owen may have earned himself a high-profile move to Manchester United but he has not yet fought his way back into Fabio Capello's England squad.
The 29-year-old is set to be omitted from the manager's final selection for Wednesday's friendly in Holland after being included in the provisional 32-man squad, according to The Sun.
After wasting a hatful of chances in United's midweek friendly against Valencia he is set for the axe.
However, all is not lost. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped his new recruit to win his place in the England World Cup 2006. But, speaking to The Mirror, warned Owen that he won't survive at international level based on past glories.
Fergie is also backing striker Wayne Rooney to shine now that Cristiano Ronaldo has left Old Trafford.
"I don't think the responsibility of getting more goals will affect Wayne at all," the United boss told the Daily Telegraph. "He's got the mental strength. He's proved that time and time again.
Elsewhere, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is ready to make a double swoop for Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin and Wigan Athletic midfielder Lee Cattermole, according to The Times.
"We’ll see if anything develops," Bruce said.
The Independent report that the agent of Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni believes his client is close to joining Italian countryman Gianfranco Zola at West Ham United.
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis is eager to bolster his attack by signing Everton striker James Vaughan, according to the Daily Express. Pulis is hoping the 21-year-old will be tempted by the chance to re-launch his career after a series of injury-scarred seasons at Goodison Park.
Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has told the Daily Star it will be a more humble Toon side on view than the one which crashed through the Premier League trapdoor three months ago.
August 7, 2009
With the football season two days away from its traditional curtain raiser at Wembley - the Community Shield, you'd have thought that transfer business would be near completion. Not a bit of it, a certain TV broadcaster has begun a countdown clock to August 31's deadline day closing.
So, speculation is still in session. Manchester United's spending was over according to Sir Alex Ferguson yet The Times suggests that the Red Devils are looking for another attacking option in either Valencia's David Silva or Bayern Munich's rather costly Franck Ribery.
Meanwhile, their opponents on Sunday, Chelsea, are holding off Real Madrid's £18m interest in defender Alex, according to The Times again. Perhaps Real were looking to fund that via the sale of Wesley Sneijder to Aston Villa, a move mentioned in The Guardian.
Arsenal meanwhile, need a defender and Fulham's Brede Hangeland is most heavily linked in several papers, including The Guardian. Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has been readying the ground for that.
Manchester City are due to make a final offer for Joleon Lescott, say the Daily Mirror, but this time it's final at £22m.
Lee Cattermole has been linked with Liverpool throughout the summer and the Daily Mail is doing a "2+2" sum here by saying Wigan's imminent signing of Rayo Vallecano midfielder Mohamed Diame and his team-mate, defender Antonio Amaya have opened the way for the young Englishman to exit, though Sunderland, Spurs and Everton are all in the chase as well as Rafa Benitez, who may yet have a midfield place to fill if these comments in The Sun are correct.
Lucas Leiva says he will quit Liverpool and head home if he does not get more game time, which may be a relief to many a Liverpool fan. Liverpool meanwhile, are due to announce a new sponsorship deal with banking giants Standard Chartered to replace Carlsberg say The Daily Mail.
August 6, 2009
Just a couple of days after asking to leave Everton, The Sun believes Joleon Lescott's move to Manchester City is now a done deal.
And it's even being suggested that the England international could be unveiled at City's open day on Thursday afternoon. The fee could be a cool £22m.
Robinho is certainly excited by what's happening at Eastlands, as he believes there is "no difference between City and Real Madrid or the Brazilian national team". Er.... read it in The Sun.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail claims that Barcelona are in for Vincent Kompany as he is to be pushed out at Eastlands. They've given up on Manchester United's Johnny Evans.
Despite AC Milan yesterday insisting that Andrea Pirlo is not for sale, it seems that Chelsea have not given up hope of signing the midfielder. It's in the Daily Star.
Now, just when it looked like Tomas Rosicky was finally going to play for Arsenal again.... he isn't. The Czech midfielder, who has been out for 18 months, is now going to be on the sidelines for another six weeks after injuring his hamstring in training. It's in The Sun.
But there is sign of signings at the Emirates. The Daily Mail claims Arsenal have upped their offer for Marouane Chamakh to £7.5m. The paper also reports that the Gunners bid for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar but the player will sign for AC Milan.
Liverpool look set to sign Alberto Aquilani from AS Roma, but the Daily Mail reveals that the Italian comes with a health warning due to his injury past.
The Daily Mail says that Michael Owen has blown his big chance to impress in front of England coach Fabio Capello after missing a load of chances against Valencia.
The Sun reveals that Croatian star Nikola Kalinic will finally move to the Premier League today, joining Blackburn for £6m from Hadjuk Split.
And after signing Darren Bent, the Daily Star says Sunderland will sign Lucas Neill on wages of £3m-a-year. That's £60,000-a-week. For Lucas Neill.
Kalinic had been linked with Pompey but they are more interested in selling, and The Sun reports that goalkeeper David James could make the long trek to play for Sunderland with Antti Niemi going to Fratton Park.
And the turmoil continues with the Daily Mirror reporting that David Nugent is set to offloaded after brawling with team-mate Marc Wilson. That will leave Pompey with 0 strikers. Bring on the new season!
Tottenham are tracking midfielder Moussa Sissoko but Toulouse reportedly want £3m more than the £12m offered. Read the Daily Mirror. And Roma hope to beat Spurs to Huntelaar which is in the same paper.
The Daily Mail links Tottenham with a £2m bid for Sheffield Wednesday's Mark Beevers.
Douoble takeover talk now, starting with West Ham. The Sun is reporting that US tycoon Clark Hunt is lining up a £120m deal to buy the club. The Hammers always seem to be for sale, but could they be changing hands again?
And the hilarity at Newcastle surely cannot be coming to an end? The Sun says that businessman Barry Moat is in pole position to finally take the club out of the clutches of Mike Ashley.
August 5, 2009
Another morning, another celebration in soccernet towers that we can put another drawn out transfer saga to bed. The Telegraph pitch it right by declaring we can all "move on" now Xabi Alonso is about to become a Real Madrid player, for the princely sum of £30m.
The Independent report either Roma's Alberto Aquilani or Steven Defour, of Standard Liege are being lined up to fill Anfield's Alonso-shaped hole, though they may face competition from Everton for the latter. Of course, they know all about signing midfielder's from Belgium's leading club after last summer's purchase of Marouane Fellaini.
As ever, The Sun are quick off the mark to fill the void now the Alonso affair is all but sealed. They say AC Milan executives emerged from a meeting yesterday intent on capturing Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas. They are willing to splash £31m, but given Xabi went for £30m, one thinks they may have to up that. A lot.
The same rag has it that Harry Redknapp is getting increasingly desperate in his attempt to solve Tottenham's defensive crisis. A £10m deal for Blackburn's Christopher Samba is the latest to be mooted.
Tony Pulis fancies taking injury prone Everton striker James Vaughan to Stoke on a season-long loan, according to the Daily Mail, while The Sun says Dider Drogba has signed a new three-year deal at Chelsea worth over £100,000 a week.
Away from transfers for a minute and Portsmouth have registered the first Premier League bout of infighting, before the season has even begun. The Mirror would have us believe that during a post-drinking-session bust-up striker David Nugent was "allegedly hit across the legs with a lump of wood by defender Marc Wilson".
And to finish on another potentially violent episode, Sir Alex Ferguson has unleashed the first round of mind games in Rafa Benitez's general direction. He reckons Chelsea are Manchester United's main title rivals telling The Guardian "Liverpool have just had probably their best season for 20 years, finished up with 86 points and still finished four adrift. It will be hard for them to match that, let alone improve. Other teams will read Liverpool better." And so it begins....
August 4, 2009
I had thought of cutting and pasting our blog from ten days ago and just replacing the name John Terry with Joleon Lescott but then that would be lazy wouldn't it? Anyway, brace yourself for more posturing from cash-rich Manchester City, defiance from the soon-to-be-raided manager and a confused player caught in the middle.
According to the Daily Mirror, Lescott is to write to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and ask very politely if he can go to Moneybags FC, having already told David Moyes he wants out of Everton. It seems no man can resist the opportunity to treble one's meagre earnings (£30,000 a week).
But, according to The Sun, City will draw a line under their pursuit of Lescott if they can't prize him away from Goodison Park by the end of the week - and do us all a favour in the process.
That bastion of hard news - the Daily Star - says Lescott is going nowhere, after Moyes told him in no uncertain terms his future lies on Merseyside. But just in case, the Toffees boss is eyeing up a move for Arsenal's Philippe Senderos should Kenwright cave in and accept £30m for the defender.
Another centre-half in demand is Newcastle's Sebastien Bassong. He is set to hand in his own transfer request at the beleaguered Toon so he can engineer a switch to Manchester City or Spurs. That's in the Daily Mirror.
The Sun reports Arsenal are close to signing Chelsea's Solomon for £8m, while the Daily Express shocks everybody by informing us Darren Bent is set to sign for Sunderland today. Well, I never.
And it wouldn't be a transfer blog without a brief mention of Xabi Alonso would it? The Guardian would have us believe Real still haven't stumped up the required £30m, and that Roma's Alberto Aquilani is on strict orders that it will only be one in, one out at Anfield.
However, the Daily Mail reckon Rafa Benitez may fancy Standard Liege midfielder Steven Defour instead.
And to finish, The Sun say Hull will set their sights on Pascal Chimbonda should Phil Brown fail to secure Habib Beye's services from Newcastle, while The Independent reports Amr Zaki could pitch up at Portsmouth.
August 3, 2009
Chelsea are finally ready to splash the cash according to today's tales from the tabloids. Roman Abramovich may finally have loosened the purse strings and the Daily Mail suggests that the Blues hope to sign AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo, Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery and Atletico Madrid's Sergio Aguero, which may cost more than that to these eyes.
A note of caution sounded by the Daily Telegraph who say that they may miss out on Ribery as well as their interest in Xabi Alonso, which comes as news to us here. Only Real Madrid have a prayer there, surely.
One way of funding such a spree is the link made with a potential £10m sale of Joe Cole to Tottenham, where the midfielder can link with Harry Redknapp, the man who gave him his debut at West Ham. That link is made in The Guardian.
Talking of reunions, the Patrick Vieira return to Arsenal looks on, if you read the Daily Express. The former Gunners captain will cost £750,000 from Inter Milan, who seem to want to sell.
Another continuing line is the lengthy chase for Joleon Lescott by Manchester City. £20m is the price they'll now pay though we at Soccernet hear that Everton are holding out for £30m. City have a back-up plan; called Sebastian Bassong. So say the Daily Mirror. Another Newcastle defender in Habib Beye is wanted by Hull City but they are not prepared to pay £4m, according to The Times.
August 2, 2009
Do you trust Sir Alex Ferguson when he tells you something? Well, the papers have probably got their fingers burned one too many times and are now totally sure that he'll spend some of the Ronaldo cash before the end of the season, despite saying he won't.
Three papers. Three different potential transfer targets . And we'll start with the News of the World who think that Valencia's David Silva is the man to fill the United midfield with some proven quality.
The People are pretty sure it's teammate David Villa they're after, although they might just make an enquiry about Silva too.
And lastly, the Sunday Express claim that Fergie hasn't had enough of small, powerful Argentine strikers just yet and will spend £35m on bringing in Sergio Aguero.
One player who won't be joining for sure is Gremio's Douglas Costa, as the News of the World claim his private life - i.e. his party lifestyle and the fact he is frequently late for training - has scuppered any hopes of a move from the famously hard to please Fergie.
Could all this speculation have anything to do with the fact that Valencia travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday and Aguero is currently in England for the Emirates Cup? Or are the tabloids just a little unhappy that Manchester United haven't been in the gossip column for a while?
Away from United, Sunderland and Tottenham are not exactly seeing eye to eye over Darren Bent. The People say Spurs want to extract an extra £1m out of the deal - although £14m still looks like a good price for a striker who has not won round his critics yet.
The same paper has also linked the Black Cats with a double transfer swoop for Tottenham's David Bentley and Michael Dawson.
The News of the World thinks Harry Redknapp won't mind offloading a few names, certainly not if he can get in Mark van Bommel. After missing out on Paddy Vieira, he still wants a leader in the centre of the park.
Chelsea are closing on a move for Rafael van der Vaart if they miss out on Andrea Pirlo and it could be on loan as they are having trouble agreeing a price for the Dutchman.
Rounding up the rest of today's gossip, we've picked most of it up from the People. Arsenal are closing in on 23-year-old PSV midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, while Fulham want to sign Gunners striker Carlos Vela on loan; Blackburn and Portsmouth want to sign Manchester City striker Benjani (who we think still plays football) and Newcastle defender Habib Beye is also wanted by the Rovers, Villa and Hull.
And it's full of full-backs as Valencia right-back Miguel could be on his way to Everton; Blackburn left-back Stephen Warnock is subject to interest from Villa and Hoffenheim full-back Andreas Beck is wanted by Bolton and Fiorentina.
And finally, the News of the World loves a good financial analysis. So they have a story about how City's wage bill is now over £100m a year.
Robinho (£160,000 a week), Emmanuel Adebayor (£150,000), Carlos Tevez (£150,000), Gareth Barry (£120,000) and Toure (£120,000) are the top earners - while owner Sheikh Mansour has half a billion pounds worth of commitment in wages alone over the next four years. Nice work if you can get it.
August 1, 2009
The papers are full to the brim with tributes to Sir Bobby Robson, who passed away yesterday. The former Ipswich, Newcastle and England boss has touched many in the game with his warm heart and fighting spirit and we have an obituary to a true legend of the sport, among many others.
Bobby would want us to carry on as usual, so once you've read the tributes - including some from former players Gary Lineker and Gazza - we'll continue to round-up the paper gossip.
Not content with a new £16m centre-back in Kolo Toure, Manchester City have also been chasing Joleon Lescott in recent weeks. Everton will stand firm for as long as they can, but surely they can't hold out for much longer.
The Daily Mail say that the Toffees will get a £22m 'take it or leave it' offer for the England defender and that the Eastlands club are lining up Newcastle's Sebastien Bassong or Alex of Chelsea if it is rejected.
The Independent seem sure that Lescott is going to stay, by reporting that even if City bid £30m then the transfer will still be turned down; but the Daily Mirror think the Toffees have made a bid for Arsenal's Philippe Senderos, so he could be on his way.
Now, we all know Xabi Alonso is probably on his way to Spain to seal his move to Real Madrid, but the Daily Mail report that Liverpool could come up with a replacement in the form of Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani.
The Sun seem to think that any money from the sale of Alonso will go towards David Villa - despite the player's insistance he'll be staying and the rejection of bids for the striker being upwards of £45m!
The Daily Mirror say that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has a list of targets, including: Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh (£6m), St Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi (£6m) and Roma forward Mirko Vucinic (£15m). While he hasn't ruled out a move for Paddy Vieira.
The Daily Mirror are also claiming that Robinho tried his best to persuade Mark Hughes not to sell Elano. But evidently didn't try hard enough.
And finally, some incredible news from the Daily Mail. You may think that the biggest waste of money at Man City this summer has been on a player, but you would be wrong. It is reported that they spent a massive £2m on updating their website - and it has to be seen to be believed. Let's just say the fee paid is not the only thing that is massive!