Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou continues his coverage of the Premier League rumour mill. Portsmouth and Sevilla also in the hunt for Le Sulk, Ramos in the frame to depose Jol, Heinze in limbo and West Brom demanding daft money from Aston Villa for Davies.
The Incredible Sulk is apparently near to fleeing plummeting Bolton. The Trotters look ready to sell unhappy Nicolas Anelka for Â£12 million. Interested parties for the Frenchmanâ€™s signature include Manchester United (The People), West Ham, Portsmouth and Sevilla (various). Anelka is a troublesome character, but he also has talent and can be a 20-goals-a-season man between bouts of moaning. That’s the kind of firepower Sir Alex Ferguson desperately needs following injuries to three of his strike force, leaving him with just Carlos Tevez up front, unless you count John Oâ€™Shea as an attacking option, which, incredibly, Fergie has attempted already this term.
West Ham could also do with the striker â€“ Anelka would be a marked improvement on current personnel, with the exception of Dean Ashton, who is still yet to return to full fitness. Is Â£12m too much? Not in todayâ€™s market. It’s down to who would be willing to take a chance on the French International and all the baggage that comes with him. Alan Curbishley already has Lee Bowyer and Craig Bellamy on his books and seems a glutton for punishment. But would Hammers or United fans like to see Anelka in their colours?
Tottenham are being linked with a sensational move for Villarrealâ€™s Argentinian midfield ace Juan Riquelme (various). This could be the coup of the season. The former Barcelona man could give Spurs some much-needed creativity, being able to play with ease in any position across the midfield and behind the strikers. He is one of those players who always seems to have time on the ball, although he may find things a little more hectic in the Premier League.
It seems a 4-0 win isnâ€™t enough to scare off the rumour mongers. Spurs boss Martin Jol fears he is being knifed in the back in the back at White Hart Lane (The Sun). The Dutchman is apparently cracking under the strain of a whispering campaign and launched an F-word storm after their win over Derby (various). Jol was also quoted as saying: “People talked us up before the start of the season and that’s why it took only four days to bring us down again. The board never told me personally that we have to break into the top four. I am good at statistics. We had no back-to-back losses last year for the first time in 55 years. My record is good so leave me be.”
Other papers claim the Dutchman has demanded a meeting with Daniel Levy after the club held talks with Sevilla coach Juande Ramos (Daily Mirror), which sounds ludicrous. If Levy had approached Ramos then surely Jol would just walk away immediately after such an underhand attempt to undermine his status. Expect Jol to be White Hart Lane boss for some time to come.
Manchester United rebel Gabriel Heinze will have crunch talks about his future but is still determined to go to Liverpool (Daily Mirror). Time is fast running out for the full-back â€“ the transfer window is closing soon and he still finds himself at a club who show no signs of bringing him back into the first team. It may be that a move abroad would be the simple solution as a switch to Anfield seems as far away as ever.
Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill is set to abandon his move for West Brom’s Curtis Davies after being told he will cost a staggering Â£15m (various). Are the Baggies asking for too much, or will another club step into the transfer circus and hand over the cash? Spurs, I feel, will feel compelled to make the investment, even if Villa are scared off.
Sunderland boss Roy Keane is making a Â£5million bid for Middlesbrough’s former Black Cat Julio Arca (Daily Mirror). This move makes perfect sense to me, should Southgate be willing to sell that is. The talented Argentinian, who has graduated from full-back to attacking midfielder, was a cult hero during his six-year spell at Sunderland and the 26-year-old still has a lot to offer, I am sure he would jump at the chance to return to the Stadium of Light to be part of Roy Keaneâ€™s squad.