Well folks, another week has flown by, and it’s already Friday again. But, before you call it a week and do whatever it is you do on the weekends, check out today’s roundup of transfer news and rumors.
Tottenham have beaten Benfica to the signature of Espanyol’s Luis Garcia (no, not the one that used to play for Liverpool) and should complete a £9.5m move next week. The 27-year old striker scored 14 goals and was provided on many more for Espanyol last season.
Rumor Rating: 5 – If Berbatov, Keane, and Bent all stay, it’d be hard for Garcia to find a regular place, but with one or two of the three very likely headed elsewhere, it’s the right move to make.
The Daily Mail says that Inter are set to up their bid for Frank Lampard to £10m in an effort to get Chelsea to budge. Inter have had bids of £6.9m and £7.95m rejected, but they’ll be hoping the third bid is the charm.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Inter seem to be as adamant about getting Lampard as Chelsea are to hold on to him, so maybe their persistence will pay off.
Zenit St. Petersburg have reportedly rejected a £19m bid for Andrei Arshavin from an English club. The club is rumored to be either Arsenal or Chelsea, but Manchester United have also been linked with Arshavin, whose value has been raised to £24m by Zenit, who won’t mind cashing in on their prized asset–for the right price.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Barcelona still may come in for him, but with the spending that they’ve done (and they look to be putting another £15m on Alexander Hleb), they may be out of the picture. I don’t envision Arsenal putting £24m on someone right now, unless he was really, really, really worth it. That leaves Manchester United and Chelsea. Take your pick.
Liverpool have snapped up another promising prospect, as they’ve picked up Dutch forward Vincent Lucas Weijl from AZ Alkmaar. The Reds recently completed the signing of another 17-year old forward in Danish starlet Nikola Saric.
Rumor Rating: 5 – They’re certainly building well for the future, but they need to get a move on and pick up some pieces for the present.
Aston Villa and Manchester City could be fighting it out for Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel, who is available after being told his future is no longer secure. The 37-year old American keeper is set to be the subject of a £2.5m bid from Villa, which should set off a counter-bid from former boss Mark Hughes.
Rumor Rating: 5 – At 37, Friedel is still playing at a high level, so he could be Villa’s inexpensive answer to their goalkeeper concerns, or if he goes to City, he could give Joe Hart ample time to develop without a great deal of pressure being on him.
Blackburn are chasing Red Star Belgrade’s Ecuadorian star Segundo Castillo. According to the Mirror, the two clubs have been working on a deal for the past few days for the 26-year old midfielder, who is rated at £6m. Castillo has 30 caps for his country (2 goals), and has been at Red Star since 2006.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Castillo could provide a solid scoring punch from midfield, as he’s scored eight goals in each of his first two seasons at Red Star.
Everton are interested in Galatasaray defensive midfielder Mehmet Topal.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Topal just signed a new five-year deal with Galatasaray earlier this year, so the club might be a little reluctant to let him go, as he looks to be one of their many young building blocks for the future, along with the likes of Arda Turan.
Watford have accepted a £1.5m bid from Rangers for Danny Shittu. Watford rejected a £1.2m offer earlier in the week, but Rangers came back with an offer that was good enough to get their man.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Rangers don’t have a ton of money to spend on transfers, so getting a veteran defender who has top-level experience (Premier League and international with Nigeria) like Shittu for £1.5m is a good buy for Walter Smith.
Coventry City are set to snap up Wolves striker Freddy Eastwood for £1m. Eastwood had a poor first season at Wolves after a £1.5m move from Southend, and the 24-year old Wales international is on his way out after being transfer-listed at the end of the season.
Rumor Rating: 5 – After lighting up at Southend for three seasons, Eastwood scored only four goals (three league, one cup) for Wolves and made only 10 league starts. But, a change of scenery and a pairing with Michael Mifsud could be just what Eastwood needs to find his scoring touch again.
Inter are set to complete a â‚¬13m deal for Roma’s Mancini in the next few days. The 27-year old Brazilian is set to sign a four-year deal with his new club, and will make a cool â‚¬3.8m per season.
Rumor Rating: 5 – It’s never a good thing to sell one of your key players to a main title rival. But, with his deal set to expire next year and the chances of him signing a new contract being slim to none, it was better to sell him and get a decent fee rather than to lose him for nothing.
Marseille fans are working their hardest to raise £22m to buy back Didier Drogba, who their club sold to Chelsea four years ago for nearly £24m. A fan has set up a collection asking fans to pledge one, two, or five euros, and so far, nearly 5,000 euros have been raised.
Rumor Rating: 5 – You certainly can’t fault them for trying. With any luck, the club might pick up the cause. Who knows, if Drogba still has a soft spot for the club he spent only one season at, he may put a few million up himself.
Rennes are closing in on a deal for Udinese’s Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan. The 22-year old has been on Udinese’s books since 2003, and he has an impressive 13 goals in 27 international appearances for his country.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Rennes are getting a quality young talent in Gyan, who scored the fastest goal in the 2006 World Cup and has been linked with the likes of AC Milan in the past.
Marko Basa may well be costing himself a move to PSG, as the Le Mans man agreed personal terms with his potential new employer, but then got a little greedy and asked for a bonus.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Christmas is still five months away, Marko. Be patient.
Well, that’s it for the day in rumors. Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean I’m off, as I’ll be back tomorrow and Sunday with all of the latest news and rumors, so until then, chime in with your thoughts, chip in with your own tidbits, and I’ll be back tomorrow.