Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou continues his guest coverage of the Premiership Transfer Window. With only two days to go to the big kick-off rumours and gossip aplenty, news of lots of last-minute shopping from Manchester City, Newcastle, Bolton, Sunderland, Fulham and Rangers.
Alan Curbishley must be in some kind of Dreamland. After 15 years of skimping and saving and trying to balance the Charlton books, it seems he now has a seemingly endless supply of cash and it’s almost as though he is playing real-life fantasy football!
His West Ham side hope to complete a deal to land Eidur Gudjohnsen before the end of the month after agreeing a Â£6.7m fee forÂ with Barcelona (Various). Resisting the urge to use clichÃ©s such as â€˜The Iceman Comethâ€™ (oops too late!), I would reiterate what a great signing this could be for the Upton Park side. I think the fact that a player of Gudjohnsenâ€™s quality is keen to move to East Londonâ€™s second best side (Come on you Oâ€™s, joke!) shows just how things are looking up for the Hammers, and unlike the false promise that surrounded the arrival of the two Argentinians last season, this revolution seems to be more firmly based.
And the Hammers have not given up on signing Nicky Shorey, but Reading will not sell until they have found a replacement (Various). It’s just a shame that Curbs already sold off Paul Konchesky because he could have formed a make-weight in the deal to the Royals, or on second thoughts maybe that wouldnâ€™t have helped matters!
Let’s move briefly away from London (only briefly mind) as we have a wealth of other Hammers’ issues to deal with. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is interested in Real Madrid’s Brazilian full-back Cicinho (The Sun). I am a fan of the right-sided Madrid player, but the new Bernabeau suprermo, Bernd Schuster, prefers to use the aging and in my highly overrated Spaniard Michel Salgado. Apparently any move would more than likely be a loan one and the former Sao Paulo star is reportedly more interested in joining the mass Brazilian presence in Serie A. Well worth trying to nab though, Rafa.
Back to Upton Park and to a player whose move to Green Street may have been hijacked somewhat by Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson who has held talks with Real Madrid over a move for striker Antonio Cassano (The Sun). SGE seems to be intent on forming his own squad at City and one that bears little resemblance to the one that Stuart â€˜Mr Passionâ€™ Pearce formed. And maybe thatâ€™s not a bad thing. The Swedeâ€™s reputation and the Thai owner’s money are working wonders, and Eastlands is eagerly awaiting the big kick-off and will be expecting great things. Cassano is a quality player but may have been living on the reputation of one great season for Roma for a bit too long now.
West Ham could, however, land Palermo’s Mark Bresciano after his move to Manchester City fell through (The Times). The tough-tackling Aussie midfielder with an eye for goal would be a steady, if unspectacular, purchase that would presumably not break the bank. The Melbourne man has been instrumental in Palermoâ€™s rise in Serie A and aided the Eagles as they trounced the Hammers in the UEFA Cup. In short he is the kind of player who could revel in the Premier League.
Now we move on to a pair of rumours that surely contradict each other, by no means a rarity. Apparently Aston Villa have edged out Manchester City to the season-long loan signing of Liverpool keeper Scott Carson (Various) but are also set to make a Â£3m bid for Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen after Sunderland beat them to Craig Gordon’s signature (Daily Star). Surely both these rumours cannot be true.
Martin Oâ€™Neilâ€™s current custodian, Thomas Sorensen, is a big favourite at Villa Park and although he has dropped some clangers he is by no means the worst keeper in the Premier League (talking of which, why not post a comment below as to who you would put top of that list). It seems highly unlikely that both Carson and Jaaskelainen would be happy to sit on the bench, both are quality stoppers and among the best in the country. Whoever they do capture they are still sure to be smarting from missing out on Gordon.
Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is ready to make a Â£4m bid for Fulham midfielder Papa Bouba Diop (Daily Mirror). Worth every penny, if not a hell of a lot more, the â€˜Wardbrobeâ€™ is a big man with the ability to make a big impact at St James’ Park. If Fulham are willing to sell, which would be a surprise, then the Senegalese battler is just the kind of player that suits the way Big Sam likes to play.
Rangers are close to landing Lens striker Daniel Cousin after the French club said he no longer has to play in their home matches (Daily Record). Now this is an odd situation. He has come in for a lot of criticism from home fans and the situation is so bad that Lens have given the Gabonese international the odd choice of playing in the away fixtures so as to avoid the grief that he has received at home. Apparently his own fans booed him when he was taking a penalty. So Rangers fans, if Cousin does arrive in Glasgow, be kind to him, heâ€™s been through a lot.