Things are quickly turning from bad to worse to full-on intolerable with Barcelona and Ronaldinho, the rumors of him leaving the club for AC Milan are picking up speed. Ronaldinho hasn’t been in World Player of the Year form this season, and he’s falling further and further out of Frank Rijkaard’s good graces, with a recent reported blow-up from manager to player on the latter’s lack of effort potentially being the breaking point.
You’d like to think that, instead of letting him continue to sulk on the sidelines and allow the situation get to the point of no return before too long, Barca would do the smart thing for both sides involved, and take the big money to let someone else have to worry about him.
As for who they could go after if they choose to cash in on their falling star, according to Sport.es, Arsenal’s Alexander Hleb is high on Barcelona’s want-list. Hleb has been in fine form for Arsenal thus far this season, and all indications are that he’s quite happy where he is, so now that he’s fully making good on Arsenal’s investment in him, Barcelona might have to pry him from Arsene’s hands with the jaws of life (get it?).
Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt have beaten out Juventus (how many times will you hear that one?) for the signing of highly-rated Czech forward Martin Fenin. The 20-year old Fenin, who currently plays for FK Teplice, starred in the Under-20 World Cup this summer, scoring three goals, and that caught the eye of several top clubs, including Arsenal and Liverpool. But, it came down to Juventus, who offered 2.9 million GBP, and Frankfurt, who offered 4.3 million, the club owner’s daughter and the chance to make an immediate impact, with playmaker Albert Streit being offloaded to Schalke six months in advance.
Speaking of Juventus targets, I’ve mentioned their interest in Liverpool’s out-of-favor Momo Sissoko, but the Bianconeri are reportedly looking at another Liverpool midfielder as well, as a representative from the club was sent to Anfield to inquire about Xabi Alonso’s availability, along with Sissoko’s.
Juventus are courting quite a few midfielders right now, and you can add another one to the list that already includes Sissoko, Alonso, Diego, and Van der Vaart-o, as Arsenal’s Gilberto is supposedly Claudio Ranieri’s number one target above them all, according to Corriere dello Sport. Silva hasn’t been a big part of Arsene Wenger’s plans this season with Mathieu Flamini being ahead of the 31-year old Brazilian in the pecking order, and with the Gunners having more young midfield talent in their ranks, the time appears right for Gilberto to move. If he does, he would likely be the cheapest option out of their current targets, thus making him all the more attractive.
Speaking of Van der Vaart, he is openly lobbying for a move to Juventus, but will he get it? Chelsea have their eye on him as well, and if turns into a bidding war and not a matter of where the player wants to go, well, you know how things usually turn out when it’s Chelsea vs. someone else in a cash-splashing battle. But, the Old Lady’s got plenty of money stashed away in her dresser, so they may not be too concerned about Chelsea’s entrance into the fray.
With defense currently a concern for Tottenham, Juande Ramos is looking at reinforcement options, and one of them appears to be Middlesbrough’s Jonathan Woodgate. Woodgate seems to have put his injury issues behind him, and with him being a vital part of Boro’s push for safety, Gareth Southgate might be reluctant to let him get away, especially within the same league.
Boro likely wouldn’t let him go for less than what they paid for him, Ramos might have to do some selling to do some buying, and one player who could go is striker Darren Bent. Bent has scored five goals this season for Tottenham since his big-money move from Charlton, but has been in and out of the starting lineup, and he could be on his way to West Ham, who he turned down this summer in favor of Tottenham. Best of all for Alan Curbishley, he could get Bent for much cheaper than he would have in the summer, as reports say a bid of 10 million could reunite Bent with his former manager from his time at Charlton.
Tottenham also have Chris Gunter in their sites, and the Cardiff full-back moving to Tottenham is more of a certainty than any other transfer news mentioned so far in this article (except maybe for that club owner’s daughter bit). Gunter’s done his medical and now Cardiff are trying to figure out how to make shitloads of money off him so they can go into January with money to burn (on Premier League rejects, one thinks, but who knows?).