In case you’ve missed anything over the last two days, here we go with the important stuff.
Robbie Savage has completed his 1.5 million GBP move from Blackburn to Derby, but it’s certainly not without silence. But, instead of a comment towards his former club, Savage’s words were for Sunderland, who lost out because, to sum up his comments, the Black Cats made a half-assed approach for him, and Paul Jewell and the Rams not only fluffed his pillow, but they tucked him in and told him a bedtime story (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in case you were curious).
Savage, certainly not low on the self-confidence (and is quite the snappy dresser apparently), also said that because Sunderland didn’t tickle his pickle enough, that they’ve blown their chance at staying up.
Savage is the third confirmed signing for the Rams in January, and soon the number will be five, as Hossam Ghaly should have his exit from Tottenham finalized before the weekend. And, Jewell will have addressed his need for a new keeper when Rangers keeper Roy Carroll completes his move back to England, which should also happen in the next couple of days.
The number could also increase by one more, as Derby are also being linked with Australian striker Mile Sterjovski, currently on the books at Turkish side Genclerbirligi OFTAS.
If Sunderland didn’t try hard enough with Savage, they’re certainly making up for it with their pursuit of Reading’s Stephen Hunt. The Black Cats have lodged bids of 2.5, 3, and 4.5 million GBP, with all three bids being unsuccessful. Steve Coppell doesn’t intend to sell, and frankly, despite the Roy Keane-Ireland factor, it wouldn’t make much sense for the 26-year old to leave safety for relegation strugglers.
Aston Villa is reportedly weighing up a 15 million GBP move for Tottenham duo Pascal Chimbonda and Jermain Defoe. Both don’t appear to have much of a future in London, so there doesn’t seem to be any reason for Juande Ramos to stand in the way of either leaving Tottenham.
Fulham have been knocked back in their attempts to lure Watford’s Marlon King, as the Hornets rejected a 4 million GBP offer for him, but Roy Hodgson is closing in on the signing of one player, 19-year old Brazilian defender Leyrielton, who’s currently playing for Goias.
Arsenal’s Jens Lehmann has reportedly agreed to terms with Borussia Dortmund, but when, or even if, he will join the club is unknown, as Lehmann has ‘personal matters’ to iron out, according to Dortmund spokesman Joseph Schneck. If Lehmann hasn’t made a concrete decision by now, and he hasn’t, the chances of him leaving Arsenal in January aren’t very good, in my opinion. But hey, I’m not a betting man for a reason. According to Lehmann in an interview with Kicker, he only wants a short-term deal so that he can decide on his future in the summer, and he is also reportedly trying to consider his family and the ramifications of him moving back to Germany, so he has a lot to think about before he gives Dortmund a final answer.
Valencia’s Manuel Fernandes is set for a return to Everton, where he had a loan spell last season. The Toffees wanted to sign Fernandes on a permanent deal after his successful spell last term, but he opted for the big-time in Spain, where things haven’t been so rosy for the 21-year old midfielder, on and off of the pitch, as he hasn’t been a regular in the lineup, and he also had a run-in with the law after a nightclub incident last month.
Fernandes might need to take Paul Robinson out for a good time when he gets back to England, because the keeper’s future at Tottenham doesn’t look too bright. According to that oh-so-reliable news source that shares the name with that big bright thing in the sky, Robinson didn’t react too favorably to Juande Ramos dropping him for Tottenham’s Carling Cup semifinal tie against Arsenal, and as a result, his fate is all but sealed. We’ll see what happens, but this one does bear watching. If he does leave, it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to be linked with Chelsea, considering the injury issues that Petr Cech has been dealing with.
Ghanian defender Daniel Opare has reportedly caught the eye of Real Madrid and Liverpool. The 17-year old’s stock is pretty high after a standout performance in the U-17 World Cup last year, where he was named best defender. He’ll be in the hosts’ squad for the African Cup of Nations, but while that’s going on, his representatives could be busy settling up his future, as Real Madrid are reported to be in pole position for Opare. One of his representatives, Jones Abu Alhassan, has said that a deal could be finalized with the player’s current club, Ashanti Gold, by the end of the month.
Swedish striker Johan Elmander is said to be a target of several clubs, with Real Madrid, Tottenham, and you guessed it, Manchester City, set to battle it out for the Toulouse man, who has scored 10 times in Ligue 1.
After rampant speculation in the past few weeks, it appears Maniche has finally gotten what he wants, as Inter Milan have secured a deal with Atletico Madrid to take the midfielder on loan for the rest of the season, with an opportunity of signing him for 6 million euros in the summer.
But wait, there’s a twist! With Patrick Vieira and Dejan Stankovic set to return from injury soon, there doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to bring Maniche in, so there’s a chance that the deal may not happen. That doubt may be strengthened by the fact that Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has said he’s received no offer for him. The saga continues…
While his replacement is busy making a great impression in his new home, Valencia’s David Albelda is looking to move on with his life and his career, as he’s in talks with Atletico Madrid over a move. Because he’s played more than five games for Valencia, any move wouldn’t officially happen until the end of the season, unless the club decides to cancel his contract, which, considering how messy the situation seems to have gotten, would be the right step, but not one that Valencia seem intent on doing.
Everton and Tottenham are among the clubs who are reportedly interested in him, if an immediate move is in the cards. But, if he does secure an end-of-season move to Atletico, he could be loaned to one of those clubs so that he can get regular football in before Euro 2008.
And now, for the latest on Afonso Alves. The Times and the Independent are saying he’s set to go to Middlesbrough in a club-record 12 million GBP deal, the latter saying that Stewart Downing will be sold to help finance the move, Goal.com (via the Brazilian media) are reporting that AZ Alkmaar are back in for the striker, after an 18 million euro deal fell through days ago. But, if Alves does wind up going to AZ, Middlesbrough have a fallback option in Lyon’s Fred, who as I mentioned in my last transfer roundup, is also being linked with Tottenham, West Ham, and PSG. But, straight from the horse’s mouth, Gareth Southgate says that Middlesbrough haven’t put in bids for either.
Oh, and Nic Anelka REALLY wants to go to Chelsea, but you knew that already.