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TRANSFER RUMOURS Part 2: Aston Villa, Rangers, West Ham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona, Liverpool and Everton

The second batch of rumours from Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou.

More rumour and gossip, some of them mind-boggling, being churned out as opening time approaches. Aston Villa have been targeted and Rangers, West Ham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona, Liverpool and Everton are also feature in this news bulletin.

It appears that Manchester United’s interest in Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor is driving the price up for the impressive youngster and therefore if Arsene Wenger is going to get his man he will have to break the bank and make a £15 million bid (Daily Express).

The Villa winger has been in great form this season and has become a target for many top clubs, and apparently Sir Alex Ferguson has been keeping a close eye on the Birmingham-born forward. Martin O’Neill has repeatedly claimed that no amount of money will see his side sell off their prized possession, but in reality if the England Under-21 international feels his future lies away from Villa Park then there isn’t a lot they could do, as keeping a want-away player on your books would be counter productive.

Who would Agbonlahor opt for? That is a tough one. United need strikers, but it would be hard for the Villa man to edge out either Wayne Rooney or Carlos Tevez for a regular starting spot. At Arsenal he might have more luck, especially if Robin van Persie remains on the sidelines.

Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson is desperate to keep Liverpool at bay as they move in on hugely talented teen midfielder Michael Johnson (The People). Rafa Benitez enquired about the 19-year-old in the summer but plans are afoot for a £12m bid either in January or more likely next summer to bring in the former Everton schoolboy.

Some would argue that Liverpool already have a mountain of midfield talent on their books. However the capture of a player of such potential as Johnson, would be quite a coup. Other clubs are sure to be sniffing around and Sven will have difficulty holding onto the youngster especially if the Blues starts to fall away down the table.

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo may be on his way to the Nou Camp to replace Brazilian Ronaldinho (DiarioSport). Apparently club president Juan Laporta sees the Portuguese youngster as the perfect purchase and would invest the £25m reportedly coming in from the Ronaldinho sale to coax Sir Alex to sell his prized possession.

I would be amazed if this rumour came to fruition especially when you consider just how important the 22-year-old has become at Old Trafford. One could only speculate how much it would cost for Barcelona to get their man. Surely it would be far in excess of the £25m quoted for the Brazilian’s move to the Premier League. I think we can stick this story in to the never going to happen basket!

Rangers striker Kris Boyd seems to be on the Premier League radar at present with many English sides keen to bring the striker south of the border (various). Favourites to land the front man at present appears to be Birmingham City with former Scotland manager Alex McLeish keen to snap up the player he originally signed for the Ibrox club when he was in charge at Rangers.

The 24-year-old’s strike rate, even in SPL terms, is quite incredible. In 64 starts he has managed 54 goals. West Ham, Manchester City and Everton are also keeping tabs on the former Kilmarnock man. However as the other sides cannot guarantee him Champions League football maybe he would better off staying with Walter Smith’s side!


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