Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou continues his guest coverage of the Premier League transfer window. Today’s transfer rumour mill also features news from Newcastle, Leicester City, Portsmouth, Manchester United, Blackburn, Bolton, West Brom – and Cardiff’s Fowler-Hasselbaink ‘dream team’.
Tottenham boss Martin Jol has joined the race for Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart (The Sun). The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been a big hit in the Bundesliga, scoring freely for SV. But it may be the right time for the former Ajax player to try his hand in one of the top leagues in Europe and right now the Premier League is the place to be.
Should he choose Spurs, Van der Vaart he would no doubt secure regular first-team football, something he would not be so sure of at any of the top four. Given BMJ’s comparative lack of creativity in the midfield, he would be a perfect solution, so go on Martin – itâ€™s time to go Dutch.
According to the Daily Mail, Portsmouth have offered Â£10m for West Ham target Nicolas Anelka. Given Boltonâ€™s expected poor start to the season, the French striker will be itching to leave for pastures new and if he isnâ€™t allowed to go he will simply sulk. So if I were Sammy Lee, I would cash in whilst he can.
Pompey impressed me greatly against Manchester United and going forward Benjani, Utaka and David Nugent are clearly a handful, so I am not sure where the French international will fit in to that package. West Ham similarly have a few decent strikers already in their locker but I feel the addition of the former Arsenal hitman would benefit the Hammers greatly. Let the bidding war commence!
Arsenal and Manchester United are keeping tabs on Toulouse midfield prospect Moussa Sissoko (various). By all accounts the teenager is a hot prospect, although it was hard to tell from his brief display against Liverpool. At such a young age, it can be risky spending big on such an unknown quantity and something tells me that his employers may want to cash in on Moussa. It is unlike Arsene Wenger to invest in young French players but I still rate the Gunners favourites to make the capture.
Martin Jol’s future may be in the balance after he had crisis talks with chairman Daniel Levy about Tottenham’s losing start (The Independent). The next four games will be crucial for the fortunes of both Spurs and their under-fire boss. Jol cannot afford to come away without points from matches against Derby and Fulham and they will have to avoid humiliation by Manchester United and Arsenal in order for White Hart Lane support to not turn en masse against their boss. To be fair, Jol has been a big success at the helm and I am sure that true fans know that part of following a club is taking the rough with the smooth and it is far too early to consider sacking the boss.
More bad news for the north London outfit. Striker Dimitar Berbatov may need surgery on a groin injury, putting him out for six weeks (The Sun). It never rains but it pours – why couldnâ€™t it be Anthony Gardner who got the injury?
Newcastle midfielder Nolberto Solano is considering a move to Portsmouth (The Sun), so another player has a choice between West Ham and Pompey. Nobby wants to be near his family; they live in London, West Ham is in London (in case you didnâ€™t know), so ergo you would expect the Peruvian to opt for Upton Park.
Blackburn are planning contract talks with Morten Gamst Pedersen to trump any potential interest from Arsenal (The Sun). Will it be enough or will the free-scoring midfielder decide to try his luck away from Ewood Park? I think he may find the lure of the Champions League too much to resist.
Liverpool have signed 17-year-old keeper Peter Gulacsi from MTK Budapest on a one-year loan, according to reports in Hungary (The Independent). I consider myself to have a pretty excellent width of knowledge when it comes to football (you may disagree), but even I am not going to try to fool you with my background knowledge of Mr Gulasci. It would seem odd that Rafa would be after signing a keeper on loan for one season; they have just loaned out Scott Carson and purchased Charles-Hubert Itandje from Lens, so I fail to see the need to have another player on the ever-increasing squad list.
West Brom have told Tottenham they will have to shell out Â£10m if they want to land defender Curtis Davies (The Sun). With Spurs’ current problems, with Ledley King out, Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul not fully fit, the Baggies could probably demand Â£20m and still get the cash from a side in need of defensive stability.
Kieron Dyer is set to move to West Ham after Newcastle finally accepted a Â£6m bid (Daily Mail)â€¦but why, oh why, is Alan Curbishley buying him? Anyone got any ideas?
It seems Peter Crouch is something of joker, learning now to laugh off Rafaâ€™s Liverpool rotation policy rather than take it personally when he is left out of the occasional game (tribalfootball.com). The giant spider of a striker said: “I gave up a year and a half ago trying to second-guess his teams. You can never tell which team he’s going to play. I was disappointed not to be involved in the first game but the manager’s proved he does like to rotate.” And he added: ”I’m sure there will be changes again when we play Chelsea.â€
Benitez does indeed like to mix it up, which makes sense when you are more than likely to compete in 50-plus games in a season, and Crouch clearly sees the funny side. Considering the Liverpool boss resurrected his career by bringing him to Anfield in the first place, I think Peter should be content to sit the odd game out.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is heading for Cardiff City after his move to Leicester fell through (The Sun). As Charlton found out to their cost (quite literally) last season, the former Leeds and Chelsea man doesnâ€™t have much left in the locker. However, Dave Jones may see Robbie Fowler alongside the former Dutch international as some kind of â€˜dreamâ€™ team. Five or more years ago, they would have proved a feared partnership but now they may simply help to sell replica shirts.