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Transfer Rumours: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Newcastle, Reading, Tottenham, West Ham

More rumours courtesy of Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou.

Big guns fight over Dutch wonderkid, Andriy Shevchenko tug-of-war and Nicky Shorey holding out for Manchester United or Newcastle – money and facts are no object with the latest tittle-tattle from the football rumour, news and gossip factory.

Given Arsenal’s extra financial clout derived from increased capacity and income at the Emirates it now seems that they are being forced into bidding over the odds for players they want to bring in during the transfer window. We at Sportingo subscribe to the theory that you can’t believe all you read in the papers – if you did then Arsenal must be close to assembling the largest squad in footballing history! But here’s the latest lip-smackin’ rumours …

Apparently, Arsenal scouts watching PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Afellay over the weekend were so impressed that they are considering smashing their transfer record to purchase the 21-year-old Dutch international with Moroccan roots (Algemeen Dagblad and Daily Telegraph). A bidding war is now on the cards as Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also keen on the creative midfielder who has helped his side to three successive Dutch league titles.

A price tag of £20m seems a little steep, but then in today’s market that could be considered a bargain, and given the cash rich nature of the north London club PSV will be keen to milk their young talent for as much as possible.

Get ready for the next rumour because it is one that I am finding hard to believe myself! Both Spurs and Man United are considering making a move for Chelsea’s misfiring £30m striker Andriy Shevchenko who could be offloaded for around £12m (The Sun). I know, it’s pretty incredible isn’t it?

No one can deny that in his pomp the Ukrainian was one of the best players on the planet, but surely nobody is going to pay that kind of money for someone who has been rubbish since he swapped Milan for London. Need I remind both interested clubs that his current strike rate would make John O’Shea embarrassed. The 31-year-old Sheva has taken part in 62 matches for the Stamford Bridge outfit and has scored just 17 times. Only five of these were in the Premier League and two were against Wycombe Wanderers and another couple came against Nottingham Forest and Norwich, I rest my case.

If either of these sides purchase Shevchenko I will personally eat a mongoose!

Need I remind White Hart Lane fans of the last time a similar fee was paid for a Ukraine ‘star’? No, I didn’t think so. Surely Spurs and United fans do not want this to happen!

Rumours abound that long-term West Ham target Nicky Shorey will ignore overtures from Upton Park and hold out until his contract expires in six months, as Steve Sidwell did, and then attempt to secure a move to either Man United or Newcastle (The Mirror). Apparently, the former O’s left-back would prefer Old Trafford over St James’ Park – no disrespect to the Toon faithful, but this is an exercise in stating the bleeding obvious if ever I saw it.

Steve Coppell – who is said to be close to quitting the Royals himself – will be disappointed at losing out financially on a player they helped turn into a star, but I guess it’s a two-way street as a player is entitled to cash in on himself.

Would Sir Alex take the English international? He would be a fool not to if he doesn’t have to pay anything, not least because the talented full back is an assist machine!



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