A roundup of today’s (and last night’s) football and transfer news.
There’s still no end to the Owen Hargreaves saga, as Bayern Munich continue to resist Manchester United’s overtures. Bayern Munich issued a statement on their official website which read something like this:
“Bayern has not held negotiations with Manchester United.
Furthermore, the club does not intend entering transfer negotiations regarding Owen Hargreaves.
Bayern Munich has officially requested Manchester United to cease pursuing its interest in Owen Hargreaves.”
We’ve heard such things a lot this season, and it really must be galling for a big club like Munich to lose out on their midfielders like this. They are partially to blame as well, as they should have strengthened their midfield by now especially since they knew that Ballack and Ze Roberto were leaving so long ago, and that Manchester United were interested in Hargreaves since before the World Cup.
As things stand, we have 10 more days to the transfer deadline, and Manchester United are willing to pay as much as necessary to convince Bayern to part with Hargreaves. It comes down the same thing again – can Bayern convince Hargreaves to stay? If they can’t, I’m hoping to see a new midfielder at Old Trafford very soon.
I don’t know how much can read into this, but Hargreaves was dropped from the Bayern Munich squad which beat VFL Bochum 2-1 yesterday. Draw your own conclusions here.
Could Mark Hughes (Blackburn) really manage Manchester United? His status as a former United player will hold him in good stead, but will he be good enough to continue the work Sir Alex Ferguson has done? One 6th-place finish does not make you worthy of United, I’m afraid.
There are rumours that Martin O’Neill (Aston Villa) might be interested in signing Phil Bardsley from Manchester United – considering how good Bardsley was in pre-season and that he has been groomed as Gary Neville’s successor, I doubt that Manchester United would be interested in even listening to such an offer.
The Telegraph reports that the FA will not overturn Rooney’s ban, despite his threat to withdraw from sponsor activities. Oh well…
Update: An article on Evra published in the Guardian in January 2006. A good read.
Liverpool will be without Jamie Carragher and John Arne Riise for the next two weeks – meaning that the Macabi Haifa tie in Kieve just got a little bit harder. Liverpool lead 2-1 from the home leg, and an early goal would really lift the chances for Haifa to dump Liverpool out of the Champions League. Not likely, but still possible.
I wonder what Liverpool fans make of Steven Gerrard’s book and its serialisation in NOTW. It’s not a literary masterpiece, he’s trialled for Manchester United and oh – he turned down the chance to player for Manchester United because had been brought up to hate them.
Sure you guys love that bit, but I’m interested in finding out whether anyone has actually bought and read the damn thing.
Nothing has changed, despite what Roeder has said recently. According the manager, Newcastle United are entering negotiations with a ‘particular club’ in order to secure a striker that has ‘searing pace’. The only problem is – we heard the same thing when Newcastle United were after Dirk Kuyt.
I really hope that Newcastle are able to sign Obafemi Martins (the player Newcastle have been linked with most). It is also possible that they could go for Collins John (the Fulham striker). Newcastle United need two new strikers, and at least one more defender as well. If they can get these players, they will be challenging for Europe once again this season. If they can’t, they are in for a tough, tough season.
Newcastle United are also the subject of possible takeover talks.
Lampard is happy enough with what he has achieved at Chelsea to see himself playing at Stamford Bridge for a long time. He’s not the sharpest footballer (even allowing for the really dumb ones) so I wouldn’t read too much into it except that Lampard is with Chelsea because they are blindingly successful and look to continue being so in the near future.
There were rumours on Sunday about Arsenal looking to involve Gallas in the Ashley Cole deal, and eventually it might come down to the wages Arsenal are willing to offer Gallas (considering that he isn’t happy with the improved deal Chelsea have put on the table). Chelsea are close to completing the deal for Boulahrouz, so they do have backup.
If Chelsea were to lose Gallas, they would arguably be a weaker defensive side than we have seen in the last two years. Cole, assuming he is swapped with Gallas, is an excellent left-back but Carvalho is fallible, Boulahrouz is not world-class and Ferriera doesn’t give much encouragement either. Chelsea will still be the strongest squad in the Premiership (and possibly in Europe) though.