Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou reviews all the ridiculous transfer rumours and brings you the picks of the bunch.
There are lies, damn lies, and football transfer rumours – but don’t shoot the messenger! I am only reporting the ridiculous stories cooked up by the press and giving my take on these half-baked ideas, which sometimes, just sometimes, prove to be on the money.
With that caveat in place, we start with a host of Arsenal players supposedly leaving the Emirates for pastures new.
Cesc Fabregas is linked with a move to Barcelona on average once every two days, and no matter how many times Arsene Wenger and the player himself rule out such a move, tabloids and the Spanish club still seem to want the speculation to continue.
Apparently the latest move would set the Catalan giants back a cool £50m (Daily Mirror). However, not satisfied with just one Gunners midfielder, now you can add Belarusian Alexander Hleb to the list – his move would apparently cost in the region of £15m, but of course the figure is as irrelevant as the rumour itself. These moves aren’t going to happen, not for a few years at least!
Another Arsenal midfielder attracting attention is soon to be out of contract Mathieu Flamini who seems to be very close to a move to Juventus (Tuttosport), if you believe what you read. This is one story that could actually be a possibility as Flamini left Marseille in similar circumstances, but I am sure that Wenger is keen to sign up the French international to a new contract as soon as possible. It would be very odd for the 23-year-old to leave the Emirates, having successfully supplanted Gilberto Silva in the first team. Watch this space.
Subject of further speculation today are Gunners’ duo Theo Walcott and Denilson, who were yesterday reportedly linked with a move to AC Milan. Now these self same players are linked with moves to, yes, you’ve guessed it, Barcelona! (various). Unless Frank Rijkaard is trying to form some kind of parallel universe Arsenal XI in the Catalan region, I would be very surprised if these last two moves are anything more than hot air. Still, you never know – Arsenal may be tempted to part with them if they can get £25m for the pair.
Liverpool are finding themselves off the title pace once again and the last thing they need is to lose Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano. The player has said he wants to stay at Anfield, but the worry for Liverpool fans is that Man City, Man United, as well as Italian trio Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan are circling like hungry sharks and seem more willing to come up with the asking price (various).
It’s a bizarre situation with Mascherano starring for the Reds, but not owned by them. £17m is the valuation, and even if it does mean selling first, Rafa Benitez simply must secure his signature. Mascherano has insisted that he will play for no other English club, which is good news – I am not sure how well Anfield fans would take him wearing a Red Devils jersey.
Spurs are said to be back in the market for £10m Toulouse striker Johan Elmander – who was linked with a move to White Hart Lane throughout the summer. Elmander has made it clear he wants a move to the Premier League and is also being tracked by Man City, Everton and West Ham (Daily Telegraph)
Another target for Tottenham boss Juande Ramos – and another of director of football Damien Comolli’s prize picks – is Macedonia striker Goran Pandev, currently at Lazio, who has claimed he wants to move to England and names Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham as his preferred destinations (The Sun). I fancy the Pandev deal may come about, but frankly I think that the Swede Elmander is vastly over-rated.
Read more Tottenham gossip on the Tottenham section.