Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou continues his guest coverage of the Premier League transfer window. Lots more news on the rumour mill today – including Chelsea closing in on Alves, Derby fury at the Hammers, Newcastle after three and Sunderland’s Keano WAG-ging his tongue.
West Ham have resurrected a Â£6m deal for Newcastle‘s Kieron Dyer and he is expected to complete the move within days (Daily Express). It’s off, it’s on, make your minds up, guys!
There have been a variety of excuses by both sides as to the reason this deal went sour last time – from West Ham jumping the gun, to Newcastle demanding more cash and even rumours that Dyer failed a medical. Anyway, if it’s back on, that only brings the next debate into focus and that is, why didÂ West Ham want to buy the troublesome and consistently inconsistent attacking midfielder in the first place? If I was Alan Curbishley I wouldn’t touch the deal with the proverbial barge-pole, but then I am not a Premier League football manager, not even close to being one, so maybe I am ill-informed.
Martin Jol is apparently third favourite with most bookmakers to be the first Premier League manager to be relieved of his duties (Eurosport & goal.com). He’s dropped from 40-1 to just 9-1 in four days – but surely the Dutchman is not going just yet? Spurs face Derby at home next and then three tricky matches – at Manchester United and Fulham and then the much-anticipated north London derby at home to Arsenal. Should the unthinkable occur and Tottenham are still without a win by the time the whistle blows for full-time against the Gunners, then I think there may be a managerial sacking in the offing at White Hart Lane.
Presumably the St James’ Park cash crisis has relented as Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is supposedly in talks with several targets for his fast-improving side. First off, we have Barcelona‘s Brazilian full-back Juliano Belletti, who is in talks with a view to a Â£3m move (Daily Mail). Then we have a proposed Â£4m bid for Everton‘s Phil Neville (various) and finally claims that Bolton have reluctantly agreed to sell Senegal defender Abdoulaye Faye to Big Sam for Â£2m (Daily Star).
Odd that the Â£8m the Toon board were after for Dyer would just about pay for all of these players. I say odd but I mean crazy! All three targets are worthy additions to the squad, not spectacular but then Big Sam has probably been steered clear of the huge-money moves, given the relative disappointments from the likes of Michael Owen and Albert Luque. Allardyce has already spent close to Â£25m, but could probably do with one of the trio to give his squad even more depth. Of the three, I would opt for Faye.
Blackburn boss Mark Hughes has told Arsenal Â£8m is not enough to sign winger Morten Gamst Pedersen (The Sun). In fact, the Rovers boss has said outright he wouldn’t sell the player, according to other sources. It’s so hard to know what to believe. I am sure Hughes doesn’t want to sell, but everything changes if the Norwegian expresses a desire to leave and then the whole process of negotiations begins, which I am sure it will do. Expect this potential move to sit on the back-burner and maybe become a more viable reality in January, when both sides are more aware of what the season holds.
Liverpool‘s Jamie Carragher has rejected a plea from Steve McClaren to reconsider his international future (Daily Mail). Having been snubbed by the worst England manager in human history, Jamie C is unlikely to forgive and forget. The good news for the Anfield defender and the whole country as a whole must come when the former Boro boss is surely unceremoniously ditched by the FA when the powers-that-be finally recover from the brainstorm that led them to make the original appointment.
The Sun assures us that Chelsea are close to completing a Â£24.5m deal for Sevilla defender Daniel Alves. The fact is Jose has been close to signing Alves for as long as Arjen Robben has been close to joining Real Madrid, i.e. a long time! The odds of both these deals being completed before August ends is still high but they’d bet a get a move on!
Derby could report West Ham to the Football Association for allegedly ‘tapping up’ Giles Barnes (The Times). If the Rams pursue the matter, we will no doubt see the full force of the FA as they slap the Hammers on the wrist for being ‘naughty boys’. Tapping up is a serious offence, but let’s face it, everyone uses the tactic from Chelsea to Manchester United downwards. It will continue to happen until the FA gets tough.
Sunderland boss Roy Keane has hit out at footballers’ wives and girlfriends (WAGS) because he believes they are making today’s players “weak and soft” (various). Never one to mince his words or shirk a challenge as a player, Keane is not going to change now he is a football boss – and good on him. I think he is saying what a lot of people are thinking; that money is ruling the game, that ambition is measured in wages rather than trophies. The WAG culture is part of the whole financial crisis that football will lead itself into if it is not careful and the former Manchester United hard-man has hit the nail on the head with as much ferocity and heart as he did whilst foraging in the Old Trafford midfield.
Wigan striker Emile Heskey may earn a ‘shock’ recall for England’s friendly against Germany on August 22 (Daily Star) This has to be a joke – Steve McClaren is inept, we all know that, but is he now clinically insane? I could name a dozen forwards, I am sure any football fan could, who should be ahead of Emile in the queue, some of whom are not injured.
I would even consider James Beattie and Jonathan Stead to still be higher in the pecking order, and maybeÂ Andy Cole as well. I could go on and on. Why don’t readers tell me if (a) Heskey is still good enough to wear an England shirt or (b) if he has EVER been good enough to play for his country and (c) which footballers, living ones that is, should be considered ahead of the 29-year-old battleaxe.