Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou continues his guest-coverage of the Premier League Transfer Window. The season may have started, but still the transfer rumours abound. Today’s gossip also includes news from Manchester City, West Ham, Celtic, Real Madrid, Reading and Toulouse.
Jose Mourinho will make a Â£27million swoop to bring Ricardo Quaresma to Chelsea – as soon as Arjen Robben joins Real Madrid (New of the World). There have also been mutterings that Martin Jol may be interested in the Portuguese winger (various), and of course Liverpool were one of the first to show an interest in the 23-year old Porto star earlier in the summer (The Times).
It is very doubtful that anyone but Chelsea could stump up that kind of cash, especially when you consider how much both Jol and Rafa Benitez have already splashed out in recent weeks. Mourinho has been pretty quiet on the transfer front and his hopes of signing Daniel Alves seemto be ongoing saga of epic proportions.
Given Tottenhamâ€™s poor showing against Sunderland and the lack of creativity in a midfield that is missing injured winger Aaron Lennon greatly, I am sure the gruff Dutchman would love Quaresma but it seems highly unlikely that deal will go through. Liverpool did not exactly set the world alight in their win at Aston Villa and once again had to count on captain marvellous Stevie G to steer them to victory. Rafa has enough quality in his midfield locker to not have to consider such a costly purchase.
Another player who has been the subject of interest from multiple Premier League sides is Johan Elmander, and the Toulouse striker is back in the news again. Apparently he is going to use his side’s Champions League qualifier against Liverpool as an opportunity to show just what he can do in the hope that this will lead Manchester City or West Ham to actually make an offer for the tall Swede (tribalfootball.com). Of course, the opposite could be true and he could have a nightmare on the pitch and expel all dreams of a move to the Premier League. Weâ€™ll be watching Johan, so donâ€™t choke!
Arsenal see Celtic’s Artur Boruc as Jens Lehmann’s long-term successor (Sunday People). Now this would be a good move for Arsene, especially given Jens clanger today against Fulham. I am a big admirer of the Polish keeper, who has been tremendous for Gordon Strachanâ€™s side during the last two campaigns. The accomplished stopper has attracted controversy whilst in Glasgow and this may play a part in his future plans. He is currently injured and Celtic seem to have a more than competent replacement in Scottish keeper Mark Brown, but I am sure the Bhoys won’t be keen to see their number one leave for the Premier League.
Manchester United are planning to hijack Chelsea’s Â£20million raid for Sevilla‘s Brazilian defender Daniel Alves (Sunday Express). Sir Alex is eyeing up a world-class replacement for ageing Gary Neville and Alves fits that bill. And I guess the added incentive of annoying Jose in the process is a big bonus. The La Liga side have reportedly turned down offers from west London to the tune of approx Â£24m and will be looking to milk the full-back for as much money as possible. The question I would ask is will the Glazers stump up more cash on top of the huge amount already invested in getting Nani, Anderson, Tevez, Hargreaves et al?
Arsene Wenger has threatened Real Madrid with legal action over an illegal approach to Cesc Fabregas (News of the World). The La Liga Champions’ attempts to unsettle the inspirational Arsenal midfielder were about as subtle as a sledgehammer. But unless any team really gets punished for making illegal approaches or tapping up players, then this practice will carry on regardless. The media is being used very skilfully by some clubs who play the system well in order to get the message out that a certain player would be just what they need.
Any legal action that Wenger takes will more than likely amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrists, but on a positive note, Cesc has shown just how loyal he is to the Gunners’ cause by making it perfectly clear he is not interested in a career away from the Emirates.
Leroy Lita has rejected a new contract offer from Reading (Sunday Mirror). If this is true, then it is not a big surprise, but it is a big disappointment. It seems that once again loyalty counts for nothing in the cut-throat Premier League world. Two years ago, Reading took a chance on the striker when they shelled out Â£1m to take him from Bristol City. They have shaped him into the talent he is now, and his name has even been mentioned in potential England squads.
Now it seems Leroy wants out and a shot at the big time with one of the more established Premier League outfits. I can only hope Steve Coppellâ€™s side are adequately compensated and that the Royals do not lose Nicky Shorey as well.