Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou provides occasional guest coverage of the Premier League transfer window.Â
Ricardo Quaresma was a player most British football fans were unaware of before the summer silly season. Now every man, woman and child seems to have an opinion on the Porto and Portugal winger. He was discussed to death in pubs, bars and strip-clubs from Gravesend to Timbuktu – but then he kind of disappeared off the tabloid radar. Now you’ll be glad to know he’s back with a vengeance.
The Sun reckons Chelsea hope to sign Quaresma from Jose Mourinho’s former club and, depending on who you believe, Liverpool, Spurs and West Ham also want to get involved in the panic bidding (various).
Now, either Ricardo has one persistent agent who really wants his cut of the transfer, which is rumoured to be in the extortionate Â£20-Â£25m bracket, or newspapers and websites are just getting lazy and fuelling the transfer-window gossip machine to death.
Do I think Quaresma will leave Porto? Yes. Do I think that he will come to the Premier League? Again a hesitant yes. Who do I think has any chance of actually buying him . . . Chelsea. Having said that, the Blues hardly need another winger – unless they want to replicate the Arjen Robben syndrome, where you bring in as many players as possible to fill a position and then sell the one who gets annoyed first at a great profit.
Another player experiencing a similar syndrome is Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, who may have been guaranteed some first-team starts according to some journalists. However, that hasn’t stopped more teams stating an interest in the talented England international.
Portsmouth will try to sign Defoe if they fail to lure Nicolas Anelka from Bolton (The Times). But the race is on as he is also wanted by Chelsea and Aston Villa (Daily Telegraph).
Whether Spurs let JD go is one thing, but they sure as hell will not want him counting down his contract and doing a Sol. It may be a good idea, therefore, to cash in while they can. Martin Jol clearly sees the former Hammer as fourth choice at present and therefore expendable. Personally I fancy he may end up at Manchester United.
Pompey are doing all they can to land a striker and have targeted Barcelona‘s Eidur Gudjohnsen (various) â€“ as have many other teams. Would the Barca player take such a drastic step and sign for a club who are aiming for the UEFA Cup when he will surely want Champions League football? Therefore I fancy Man United again. Not that they will get both Gudjohnsen and Defoe but they do need another striker and these two seem two well worth adding to their rapidly-thinning striking options.
Everton boss David Moyes is about to offer Â£5m for Fenerbahce star Stephen Appiah (Daily Record). Moyes spoke to the Ghanaian’s agents yesterday and is keen to pick up a midfielder after being so cruelly used and abused by their last target Manuel Fernandes.
However, Everton will face stiff opposition from Arsene Wenger as he is thought to have the former Juventus man high on his Arsenal wish-list. Sure to be a big hit in the Premier League, the strong and fleet-footed Appiah will have his pick of clubs but only if his Turkish employers let him leave, which apparently is easier said than done.
Aston Villa have agreed a Â£9m deal for West Brom defender Curtis Davies with the move initially being on a season-long loan (various). Will this be the end of this saga? I think not!
Derby have turned their attentions to Wigan striker Henri Camara after missing out on David Nugent (Daily Mirror). Having successfully helped to relegate former sides Southampton and Wolves, Camara may not be the best player to assist in a relegation battle. Mind you, he did at least keep the Latics up last term and Billy Davies would hope the Senegalese player would not achieve a dubious hat-trick of failures with the Rams.
Sunderland‘s injury problems will lead them to sign midfielder Thomas Gravesen on loan from Celtic (Daily Star). Roy Keane has been busy this week bringing in Ian Harte, Kenwyne Jones and Danny Higginbotham to help strengthen his Black Cats squad. That said, Gravesen could do a good job at the Stadium of Light, or he could continue his to perform poorly as he has at Celtic Park.
Sheffield United are planning a double raid on Bolton to land Ivan Campo and Stelios Giannakopoulos (various). Not two players I would immediately associate with a side trying to get back into the Premier League – but two who could battle and forage for the Bladesâ€™ cause.
Read more Everton transfer rumours on the Everton section.