A pesky new swarm of transfer rumours has buzzed into the Sportingo office, and we’ve bagged them all for Caught Offside including Chelsea’s Avram Grant wanting a bulging pick-and-mix bag of players in January. The goodies the Blues boss is after include £2.5m Hertha Berlin striker Marko Pantelic if Didier Drogba and Saloman Kalou swan off to the African Cup of Nations (The Guardian) – or maybe Sevilla’s Daniel Alves (Daily Star).
Tottenham boss Juande Ramos is also being linked with Alves and his Sevilla teammate Freddie Kanoute, even though Ramos himself has issued several denials (The Guardian)
After introducing slightly dodgy-sounding Greco-Roman wresting to the Manchester City training schedule, Sven-Goran Eriksson is carrying on the ‘Alves-hued’ tint to these rumours. He’s thinking of packing in plans to buy Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves and using the dosh on Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Marat Izmailov instead. Meanwhile, keeper Andreas Isaksson is set to walk out if he doesn’t get back into the City side (Daily Mirror, The Sun).
Arsene Wenger has been a tad slack. Normally the Arsenal boss will uncover and uproot youngsters from exotic enclaves of the footballing world; now he has set his sights on Aston Villa, and specifically their striker Gabby Agbonlahor – with a fee of £15m being mooted (Daily Express).
But while Martin O’Neill furiously repels Arsene’s advances, he has problems with one of his goalkeepers; Thomas Sorensen is a tad flummoxed as to why he has been frozen out (various). Especially as Scott Carson, ready to burst into England duty today, is set to make his move to Villa Park from Liverpool permanent for £10m (Daily Star).
Peter Crouch is set to dig his heels in and see out his contract at Liverpool unless Rafa drops the rather inflated £15m price tag which is scaring any potential January suitors off faster than you can say ‘lanky bench-warmer’ (Daily Mail). And Rafa’s problems don’t end there – Mali midfielder Momo Sissoko wants to have a word withthe boss about his future at the club and the fact that he seems to be drifting down the pecking order (Daily Mail).
After signing up Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta in the summer, and getting Andy Johnson to pen a new contract a few weeks ago, Everton now want James McFadden to sign on the dotted line, hoping that this will get rid of the transfer rumours following him around (various). But a new summer contract hasn’t stopped Arteta telling all and sundry about how nice Athletico Madrid are as a team (The Guardian).
Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas is slightly dumbfounded at being linked with Tottenham, and claims no knowledge of any move. The fee mooted – £28million! (El Mundo)
And last but not least, Inter Milan have joined the increasingly long queue that has formed outside the Reebok Stadium, with everyone from Manchester United and Arsenal to Fenerbahce eager to ‘’have a word’’ with Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen (The Independent).