Today’s Transfer Rumour roundup is guest written by Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou. All the latest gossip; Manchester United stand firm on Heinze to Liverpool, but there’s lots of movement around Newcastle, Real Madrid, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Rangers.
Antonio Cassano, the Real Madrid striker, has been linked with West Ham, Spurs [Ed: Apparently not!] and Bolton (The Times), interesting news indeed. The 25-year-old hit man was a hot property a year ago when his performances for Roma secured him a big money move to La Liga.
However he had a tough time of it last season, faltering on the pitch and floundering off it. His attitude has been called into question and club president Roman Calderon is frustrated enough to issue a “come and get him” call. So what are you waiting for? It would be an expensive gamble to take in my view. He has the talent but has fallen out of the spotlight and may be keen to let his boots, rather than his mouth, do the talking.
On the subject of awkward talent that may be too risky to touch, West Ham are furiously trying to revive their interest in Newcastle’s Kieron Dyer by offering Â£6m up front (Daily Star) which, given United’s supposed money worries (which seems to run paradoxically to the huge amounts of money they keep spending on players, Jose Enrique being the latest), could seal the deal.
However The Sun sees it differently. They are saying that Alan Curbishley and the Iceman have told Newcastle they will not be held to ransom over Dyer. Of the two stories I would opt for the latter, simply because following the long running Carlos Tevez contract saga, surely the last thing Upton Park needs so close to a new season is another transfer headache.
Gabriel Heinze apparently told Sir Alex Ferguson on Monday he wants to move to Liverpool â€“ only to be told that it would never happen (Various). I get the impression that when Sir Alex says “never” he means it! Time to get the mediators in. The chances of Heinze ever walking on to any football field in a Red Devils shirt are diminishing by the day, and it seems equally unlikely that Fergie will give in easily to the Argentineâ€™s demands for a move to Anfield.
What we need is a team to come along and solve the problem, pick up Gabby from Manchester United for a fee, play him for a few months and then simply sell him on to Rafa Benitez in the January transfer window. Maybe this is too simplistic and may be covered by the small print clause. But it might just work!
Real Madrid’s Â£40m bid to sign both Michael Ballack and Arjen Robben has collapsed (Daily Express).Funny, I am sure the last time I read about this deal the figure was nearer Â£30m. Maybe thatâ€™s why the deal collapsed, but apparently the real stumbling block comes in the form of wages. Ballack has told Chelsea he will only join Real if they help pay for his switch to Spain. Real are offering him only Â£91k-a-week, and both Madrid and Ballack want the Blues to come up with the rest of his whopping Â£120k a week wages (Daily Star).
Is this a joke? Chelsea are better off keeping Ballack, paying him his wages, and letting him occasionally play Carling Cup football. Judging by the media, which is not the best way to form an opinion I agree, it seems the German wants to leave Stamford Bridge and give La Liga a go. Well surely if he wants it so bad he can take a hit and settle for the â€˜paltryâ€™ salary.
Arsenal players are “too small” (tribalfootball.com). So sayâ€™s Charltonâ€™s injury prone flop-ridden former winger Dennis Rommedahl who reckons: “There will be bigger and stronger teams who will also be technical but more physical. They will beat Arsenal.” That was just after his Ajax side lost to their tiny opponents on their home turf.
In the “Get it over and done with” rumour category, the transfer, or lack thereof, of Curtis Davies looms large. Aston Villa have now launched an Â£8m bid for the West Brom defender (Daily Star) and apparently the want-away youngster is seeking talks with chairman Jeremy Peace after it was claimed both Aston Villa and Spurs have tabled bids for him (Daily Mirror).
Aging Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell is in line for a shock England recall for the crucial September Euro 2008 qualifiers (Daily Star). Somewhat reborn in a Portsmouth shirt (not literally), Sol has been out of the international picture since his sub appearance against Sweden at Germany 2006. I think he could do a good job filling the gap left by injured defenders John Terry, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate, but I would be surprised if Steve McClaren came up with this clever idea, because if he did, it would probably be the first clever idea of his managerial career. Instead, expect clown of a footballer Wes Brown to be used as a temporary centre back instead!
Craig Gordon was shown around the Stadium of Light on Monday as Sunderland look to head off competition from Aston Villa for the Hearts goalkeeper (Daily Mail). Odd, because I have also read that he had been shown around Villa Park. Maybe he is planning to compile a “being shown around football grounds prior to imminent transfer” guide?
Rangers boss Walter Smith believes UEFA are one more offensive chant away from having Ibrox Park shut down (Daily Record), Without wishing to appear England or indeed in this case Scotland-centric, it does seem that teams from the aforementioned countries do tend to get a bit of a beating when it comes to bad press from UEFA.
Football violence is definitely on the rise again, but misbehaviour is more evident on the continent, especially racially motivated abuse which is seemingly immune from serious punishment by Europeâ€™s footballing governing body.