Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou gives us his daily take on the murky puddle that are football transfer rumours.
It’s all go in the transfer rumours news gossip and rumour mill – Crouch heads Rafa’s Anfield clearout; Defoe, Berbatov and Bent up for grabs; N’Zogbia wanted by Wenger while Manchester City Everton, Fulham, Bolton, Aston Villa, and Sunderland join queue for Pompey ace.
Rafa Benitez has been told in no uncertain terms that he must sell big in order to keep his job (various). The Spaniard wants funds in January and at the end of the season and this issue has been the fulcrum of the recent spats between the manager and the Liverpool’s American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Now it appears that a great many players will be leaving either next month or in the summer.
Here is a quick list of those on their way out and where they might be heading and, most importantly, the reported sums involved.
Scott Carson – £10m to Aston Villa
This seems to be a deal that suits all parties, but can Liverpool really expect to get such a high sum for the England international. He is a great keeper, don’t get me wrong, but is he better than Craig Gordon, who went to Sunderland for £9m earlier this year? I don’t think so.
Danny Guthrie – £6m to Bolton, Spurs or Man City
The youngster has been impressive on loan at the Reebok but he faces stiff competition to get into the Anfield reckoning so a move is more than likely to happen sooner rather than later, and much like Carson, Benitez loses little by offloading a squad player for hard cash.
Momo Sissoko – £6m to Juventus
Wildly inconsistent, the Mali international has become a target for the the boo boys at Liverpool. It is probably time the 22-year-old left for a new challenge as he simply doesn’t cut the mustard
John Arne Riise – £8m to Aston Villa
Another player Martin O’Neill wants to take off Rafa’s hands, the popular Norwegian has been back in top form of late after an uncertain start to the season. Great going forward and a long-serving stalwart who has played more than 300 matches for the Reds. Surely one who has to stay.
Peter Crouch – £10m to Man City, Portsmouth or Newcastle
Crouch’s fate is well publicised. Last season’s top scorer finds himself woefully short of first-team starts –just three in the Premier League thus far. He seems to want to fight for his place but it could prove a thankless task and with a contract offer on the table still not signed it seems that the lanky striker’s days at Anfield are numbered.
Spurs boss Juande Ramos has apparently set his sights on many new players in recent weeks, some real and some creations of bored tabloids hacks. The latest target is a familiar one – the much touted Ricardo Quaresma (various). Supposedly a target of just about every major club in the world, Porto’s Quaresma is apparently set on a move to White Hart Lane. But he will cost Daniel Levy and Co. a cool £20m, which means Ramos having to sell off at least one of either Jermain Defoe, Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov to bring in the spending money.
Arsenal came up against strong opposition last night from a previously struggling Newcastle side and the performance of Charles N’Zogbia has re-awoken rumours from a few months back that the Gunners are interested in nicking the talented youngster for around £8m (The Mirror).
The 21-year-old wide man has been more consistent of late and has become something of a regular under Sam Allardyce, with bags of potential and a playing style that is in keeping with the way Arsene Wenger likes his side to play. Still, I can’t see this one happening any time soon as Arsenal seem to be covered in his position, but it’s a good sign for the youngster and shows that his performances are of a high standard.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has told Matt Taylor he can leave Fratton Park (The Independent). This news has alerted many interested parties, most notably long-term admirers West Ham and Celtic. At 26, the former Luton man has a lot to offer. Man City, Fulham, Everton and Sunderland are reportedly also interested.