Premier League – Transfer Talk: Euro Heaven
Euro 2008 is manna from heaven to football scouts, who get to spend weeks running the rule over the best players the continent has to offer.
So it comes as no surprise to hear the familiar sound of the rumour mill whirring into well-lubricated action as the tournament reaches its half-way stage.
First up, Germany’s scoring sensation Lukas Podolski, who claims Tottenham are interested in acquiring his services. But ever the true professional, the Bayern Munich man refuses to talk about his future until after his involvement in the tournament is over. Other than to say Spurs’ attention to him is “very interesting”, that is.
You may not have heard of him before Netherlands started their European Championship campaign, but Orlando Engelaar is fast becoming a well known name, and not only because it trips nicely off the tongue. The six foot six FC Twente midfielder, aware that Steve McClaren is still a contender to be his new boss in Holland next season, could be tempted to move elsewhere, with Everton reportedly ready to swoop.
Chelsea‘s reported interest in Fernando Torres was cheeky at best, downright arrogant at worst, but the Reds are clearly not interested. Owner Tom Hicks has insisted that his second most prized asset is not for sale, not even for a record £50 million.
And Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor will not be going anywhere this summer, according to boss Arsene Wenger. Milan need to take note – and put that huge crate of tea bags back in the San Siro cellar.
Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow striker Jo‘s move to Manchester City has caught a snag – a similar one to that which complicated matters in the Carlos Tevez saga last summer. The Brazil ace is owned by the same company that owned Tevez – Kia Joorabchian’s MSI – and with Premier League rules outlawing third-party ownership, his move to England already seems fraught with complications.
Better news for City fans now – skipper Richard Dunne may well have been on the verge of quitting Eastlands following the shoddy treatment of Sven-Goran Eriksson, but the arrival of Mark Hughes appears to have made the stopper change his mind. Or maybe it was the double-your-money, £56,000-a-week offer tabled by Thaksin Shinawatra.
Elsewhere, it doesn’t take a genius to work out the repercussions of Steve Sidwell‘s imminent move to Aston Villa which has now paved the way for Liverpool to seal a deal for Gareth Barry. The £20 million price tag is still a concern for Rafa Benitez, but a £15 million bid could be accepted later in the week.
In other transfer tittle-tattle, Premier League new boys Hull City have had a £2 million bid for Peter Halmosi rejected by Plymouth, but may turn their attentions to Leytonstone-born Turkey international Colin Kazim-Ricards (aka Kazim Kazim) instead.
Brazil striker Luis Fabiano is set to snub the overtures of Manchester United after targeting a move to Serie A outfit Roma.
And finally, Sunderland and Middlesbrough are set to be disappointed in their pursuit of Stephen Quinn who Sheffield United are reluctant to let go, West Brom are making eyes at Lyon’s former Portsmouth flop Milan Baros and Pompey are ready to offer former Birmingham striker Mauro Zarate a chance to stay in England.
The Two Ronnies
It looks like Alex Ferguson won’t have to carry out his threat of walking out on Manchester United if Cristiano Ronaldo is sold to Real Madrid behind his back – a source close to the Glazer family has said “there is no way” the forward will be sold, even if he puts in a transfer request.
And Manchester City’s pursuit of Ronaldinho could well be hijacked by MLS outfit LA Galaxy. Dave Becks’ current club are lining up a £20 million bid for the surplus to requirements Barcelona ace, who is seen as the perfect way to attract interest in the league from the South American market.