Premier League – Transfer Talk: Say no go


Several newspapers are reporting that Manchester United‘s cheeky move for Thierry Henry has been blocked by Barcelona.

Football Thierry Henry Barcelona - 0

With United frustrated in their attempts to buy Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham, Henry emerged as a target in Sir Alex Ferguson’s quest for a striker. United are so confident that they will add a big name to their squad before the transfer window shuts that they postponed their team photo by more than two weeks, until August 27.

But the Daily Star insists that Henry will stay the Camp Nou, and that outcast Samuel Eto’o could also stay after impressing in pre-season. The Independent also poured scorn on the rumours, adding that “sources close to the player indicated that he has no intention of joining United”.

That news would no doubt please Arsenal fans, who would baulk at their former hero wearing the red of Manchester. One Gunner who will probably be going north is Justin Hoyte, with Middlesbrough submitting a £3 million “take-it-or-leave-it” bid for the right-back (Daily Star). Steve Finnan and Moritz Volz remain back-up targets.

The Daily Mirror leads with Manchester United’s interest in Valencia winger David Silva, saying Fergie is set to submit an improved bid for the Spain man after seeing a £20m offer rejected. The only problem is that the player himself is suspicious of the rainy delights of the North West, despite all the moolah on offer.

That paper also reckons that Chelsea are going to increase their own bid for Real Madrid forward Robinho. A £19.7m offer was rebuffed last week, but the Blues will go in with £25m as they seek to increase the Portuguese-speaking contingent at Stamford Bridge.

The Sun reported that Spanish has-been Diego Tristan could be set for a shock move to one of Newcastle, West Ham or Bolton. The 32-year-old former Spain international’s career has nose-dived since he left Deportivo in 2006, and he has only scored one league goal in two seasons with Mallorca and Italian side Livorno.

They also, less surprisingly, hinted that Portsmouth are set to sign Ghana and Fenerbahce midfielder Stephen Appiah as a replacement for compatriot Sulley Muntari – although the former Juventus player has a long-standing knee complaint that could make passing a rigorous Premier League medical quite tough.

Aston Villa‘s move for Rangers defender Carlos Cuellar could finally see Steven Davis complete his permanent move to the Glasgow club (Guardian). Fulham want close to £4m for Davis, but Rangers are cash-strapped and the reported £7.8m they will receive for Cuellar will help fund a bid.

Roy Keane seemingly doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “no”, as he prepares another bid for Everton defender Leighton Baines (The Sun, Daily Star). The former Wigan man rejected the Black Cats when he joined the Toffees last season, although injury and the inspired decision to move Joleon Lescott to left-back have limited Baines’s first-team opportunities. He would cost around £6m.

Rennes and Cameroon midfielder Stephane M‘Bia is desperate to join the Toffees, telling Sky Sports from the Olympics in Beijing: “The offer from Everton is too good to refuse. But I cannot leave on bad terms, despite the lure of the Premier League – I am caught in the middle. It is not easy when everyone has been so kind to you.”

Blackburn Rovers reject Segundo Castillo could end up in the Premier League after all (Daily Mirror). Red Star Belgrade’s Ecuador international played at the 2006 World Cup and was furious that he arrived at Rovers to find out that Paul Ince wanted him on a trial basis – he thought he’d been offered a three-year deal. That relationship swiftly ended, and Steve Bruce has acted on advice from Luis Antonio Valencia to swoop for the midfielder.

Blackburn’s own problems show no sign of clearing up, with under-fire boss Ince accusing bigger clubs of unsettling his players (Daily Mail). “Clubs are trying to unsettle some of my players,” he said. “The door is shut, the players can’t go, full stop.”

Newcastle and Manchester City have been sniffing around Stephen Warnock and Roque Santa Cruz respectively, while Sunderland and Galatasary are reportedly keen on Benni McCarthy.

We reported yesterday that Stoke were looking at Chelsea misfit Claudio Pizarro, but that his wages and hire fee would total around £4m. Well Hull agree that’s it’s a touch too much, with boss Phil Brown saying: “We’ve made contact with Chelsea with regards to Claudio – it’s a very expensive option.”

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi has begged Toon to be reasonable in their demands, after his move to the Potters stalled over money (Daily Star). “I hope it will not be the case that I get priced out of a move,” he said. “If the club don’t want me, they know that I’ve been a faithful servant, so, in a perfect world, being allowed to leave for a reasonable price would happen.”

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