Today’s transfer roundup starts with transfer-related news, but not a big rumor. Instead, I give two thumbs-up to Real Madrid’s Wesley Sneijder for looking out for his brother’s best interests, as he stepped in to prevent Real from making an offer to former club Ajax for his brother Rodney, a promising youth team player.
It’s not because he’s trying to sabotage the club’s signing of players, but he doesn’t want his brother making such a move until he’s ready and has broken into the first team at Ajax.
As some of my acquaintances say, good lookin’ out, Wesley.
Anyway, onto the rumors and such, because that’s what we’re all here for.
Rafa Benitez had a lot to say on Thursday, concerning two of his current players, and one that he hopes to be his in the near future.
Peter Crouch’s future likely lies away from Liverpool, but whoever nabs him might have to shell out 15 million pounds, according to Rafa. So, Peter, if you want be in the starting XI regularly, it’s going to cost someone.
Rafa also said that Harry Kewell will exit at the end of the season after five injury-riddled seasons at Liverpool.
As for the player that he wants to be his, Benitez said that he’s already spoken with Martin O’Neill about a move for Gareth Barry, but that talks won’t resume until the end of the season. Guess who’s getting a call on Monday then?
Rumor(s) Rating: 4 – Crouch does have a decent scoring rate when he gets a run out, but is 15 million a fair price? As for Kewell – IF he’s healthy, he’s still got plenty to offer, and would make an excellent low-risk, high-reward free signing. And Barry, well, it’s only a matter of time…
With the futures of several Manchester City players in doubt due to the turmoil surrounding Sven-Goran Eriksson, other clubs are scrambling to take advantage. I mentioned Micah Richards the other day, and another young talent drawing interest is midfielder Michael Johnson, who Arsenal, and now Tottenham, are interested in luring away from Eastlands.
Johnson has three years left on a contract that currently earns him 12,000 pounds per week, and it looks like the 20-year old could cost 1,000 times that (12 million, if you didn’t feel like doing the math in your head) if someone comes in for him.
Rumor Rating: 2 – It’s still way too early to make a judgment on what’s going to happen to the likes of Richards, Richard Dunne, and Johnson. The biggest domino has to fall first, or the ax, rather.
Milan’s Gennaro ‘Rino’ Gattuso has been in the rumors lately, and could very well be on his way to Germany to link up with Italy teammate Luca Toni at Bayern Munich. Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer is reportedly an admirer of Gattuso, and the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions are supposedly set to offer the 30-year old a big-money contract (6 million euros a year).
Rumor Rating: 3 – The speculation is getting hotter and hotter on Gattuso, and it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to exit. For now though, it’s time to play the waiting game.
In something more concrete (maybe) involving AC Milan and Bayern Munich, the Rossoneri have reportedly offered defender Massimo Oddo to the German giants, along with Barcelona.
Rumor Rating: 4 – This one’s a little more concrete than the Gattuso bits, even though Oddo’s only been at Milan for a season and a half. But, if they’re shopping him around right now, it shouldn’t be long before there’s a buyer.
Juventus could be making a couple of Bosman signings soon. According to Goal.com’s confidential sources, Fiorentina defender Tomas Ujfalusi has made a verbal agreement to sign with Juventus, while the Bianconeri are set to sit down with Middlesbrough’s Mark Schwarzer on Monday to sign him on as Gianluigi Buffon’s #2.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Schwarzer’s signing seems a little more inevitable than Ujfalusi’s at this point, but I don’t think Ujfalusi will be far behind in joining Schwarzer and Olof Mellberg in Turin.
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United could be weighing up a bid for Ajax star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who just wrapped up another fantastic season in the Eredivisie. The 24-year old could be available for 16 million, which would be less than half of what Dimitar Berbatov would cost United.
Rumor Rating: 3 – The last time United signed a Dutch striker, it worked out pretty well (for a while at least). He’d certainly be a cheaper (and younger) alternative to Berbatov.
According to a Schalke executive, the Champions League quarterfinalists have been offered Fiorentina’s Adrian Mutu.
Rumor Rating: 1 – Anything can happen, but it’d be at least a little curious for Fiorentina to sell Mutu, their top option up front, at this point. If it did happen, it’d be a great move for Schalke, as a pairing of Mutu and Kevin Kuranyi could be just what they need to nab that elusive Bundesliga title.
One final bit – the Daily Mail says that Emmanuel Adebayor is demanding 80,000 pounds a week or he’ll quit. That raise would be more than double his current wage of 35,000 pounds per week (which he signed on the dotted line for only last summer). Don’t be greedy and/or stupid, Emmanuel…
Enjoy your Friday – don’t go too crazy, because you need to be conscious and coherent enough to chime in and chip in with comments and rumors! I’ll be back tomorrow, same time, same place.