Finally, we have some signings, because it can get a little boring talking about speculation sometimes.
Reports indicate that Chelsea have beaten Manchester United and Juventus to the signature of Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic. Chelsea have agreed a 8.9 million GBP deal with Lokomotiv Moscow for the 23-year old, who looked to be headed for Manchester United, then for Italy, and now it looks like he’ll be in blue pretty soon.
Everton have signed promising defender Dan Gosling from Plymouth Argyle for a deal worth up 1.5 million GBP. The 17-year old made his debut for Plymouth at the age of 16 and had already become a regular in the squad. Gosling has also represented England in the most recent U-17 European Championships and the U-17 World Cup in South Korea.
One of South America’s hottest young talents is on his way to Europe – but his destination might be a little surprising. Just last week, Argentine hotshot Ever Banega looked set for a 15 million euro move to Juventus, but now he is heading to Valencia to be a part of Ronald Koeman’s rebuilding efforts there, with the 19-year old midfielder set to take his medical and sign his contract on Friday, which will finalize a reported 13.5 million euro deal.
Bayern Munich appear to be on the verge of signing Lazio striker Goran Pandev, according to comments made by the Macedonian star to Gazzetta dello Sport. “The negotiations are near completion,” said the Macedonian. “As soon as everything is decided I’ll move to Bayern. There is also interest from Liverpool and Valencia but the Germans have made the greatest effort.” The move is reportedly a 22 million euro deal, which would greatly benefit Lazio, as they’re in serious financial straits right now.
Football365.com mentioned that Pandev is up for a move to Tottenham, but judging by those comments, he only has Munich on his mind.
With Pandev seemingly on his way to Bayern, that means Lukas Podolski is likely on his way out, may it be in January or in the summer. Podolski has seen his opportunities dwindle with Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose ahead of him in Ottmar Hitzfeld’s pecking order, and this latest development has prompted the 22-year old to comment that he and Bayern need to have some serious discussions about his future soon. This could be good news to Werder Bremen, who were in for him in the summer.
A day after Torino entered the race for Manchester City striker Rolando Bianchi, their 300-pound sister jumped on as well, as Juventus are now in the fray, according to tuttomercatoweb.com.
Bundesliga side Hamburg SV have signed Belgian defender Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe from Anderlecht. Odjidja-Ofoe is a Belgian U-21 international, and he’ll join former teammate Vincent Kompany in the HSV backline.
Time for your daily Nicolas Anelka news – apparently Gary Megson has no idea that Chelsea are in for the striker, or he’s in denial. ‘In terms of Chelsea making contact I am not aware of that or any other club making contact. ‘I am aware of the speculation and have seen the article. But Nic did say if nothing happens he is happy at Bolton.
‘It is something and nothing. We will just keep going and try to deal with the speculation that surrounds him.’
Maybe he needs to talk to Anelka himself, who said that reps from both clubs were discussing a move. Hmmm…
Derby are making a couple of signings in the hopes of pulling themselves out of the Premiership cellar. Argentine striker Emmanuel Villa is the first, coming from Mexican side UAG Tecos. The other could be former Newcastle and Portsmouth winger Laurent Robert, who will be coming in for a trial with the Rams after Levante cancelled his contract.
Fulham, who are also in need of some additions in their hopes of avoiding the drop, and they appear to have their eyes on Watford’s Marlon King, who scored his 100th career goal on New Year’s Day in the Hornets’ triumph over Southampton. However, Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd has said that there’ve been no approaches and that he doesn’t expect there to be. Give it time Aidy, there are four weeks left in January.
And lastly, for the most recent bit of news, Rangers defender Alan Hutton has turned down a move to Tottenham. The move would’ve put 8 million GBP in Rangers’ pockets, but the end decision was Hutton’s, and the 23-year old Scotland international put the kibosh on the deal.
A few other tidbits before I go – Chelsea defender Wayne Bridge could be on his way to Liverpool in a 6 million GBP deal…Palermo striker Amauri says he doesn’t intend to leave his current club in January, despite interest from both Juventus and AC Milan…Borussia Dortmund have scheduled a press conference for Friday, and there’s a chance it could be to confirm the signing of Arsenal’s Jens Lehmann; however, Arsene Wenger says the little-used keeper will be called upon for Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Burnley…Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino is putting his foot down, saying striker Adrian Mutu and goalkeeper Sebastian Frey won’t be going anywhere, with the Viola contending for a Champions League place, one point behind Udinese for fourth…In Dimitar Berbatov news, +30 million GBP or bust if you want him, so, in other words, stop shopping him around, Emil Dantchev.