If you’re looking for super-senasational rumors in today’s roundup, there aren’t any, but there are some juicy bits. So, I’ll keep the intro short and get to the news and rumors.
Bolton have clinched the signing of Birmingham midfielder Fabrice Muamba in a deal worth more than 5 million pounds.
Rumor Rating: 5 – The 20-year old Muamba, who broke into England’s U-21 side last year, will be a key player right off the bat for Gary Megson.
Aston Villa could be set to snap up Steve Sidwell in a 5 million pound deal. The fee is all but agreed upon, so only personal terms have to be hashed out.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Who’s Steve Sidwell? I kid, I kid. After getting Sidwell on a free just last year, Chelsea are set to make a profit of 2.5 million, as half of the fee will go to Reading, Sidwell’s former club.
The Daily Mail says that Newcastle could put forth a 5 million pound bid for Rangers defender Carlos Cuellar.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Walter Smith may not want to sell Cuellar, who had a terrific debut season in Scotland, but the offer would bring in some valuable transfer funds.
Wigan sent scouts to Euro 2008 to watch Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic against Poland. The 28-year old Klasnic, who has had two kidney transplants, is available on a free transfer after not agreeing a new deal with Werder Bremen.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Klasnic picked a fine time to make a good impression, as he scored the only goal of the match to give Croatia a perfect record in the group stage.
Hull City could make a two million pound swoop for Plymouth’s Hungarian star Peter Halmosi, who has been a big hit for the club since arriving in January 2007. Phil Brown has opened talks with Plymouth, and a deal could be concluded soon.
Rumor Rating: 4 – The 28-year old midfielder netted nine times for Plymouth last season, and he has 18 caps for the Hungarian national team.
The Sun says that Birmingham could make a move for Portsmouth midfielder Sean Davis, who they barely missed out on the winter window.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Davis, who has been told he can leave, could cost only a cool million, so Alex McLeish won’t have to splash too much cash on the 28-year old.
Leicester defender Gareth McAuley could be on his way back up to the Championship after the relegated club agreed a 1.5 million pound fee for the 28-year old Northern Ireland international.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Ipswich has been after McAuley for a while, and after having a couple of bids rejected in January, their persistence has paid off.
Derby are trying to nab Stockport’s Liam Dickinson, but they’re going to have to open their pockets a little more. The Rams offered 250,000 pounds for Dickinson, whose 21 goals helped fire Stockport into League One, but that’s about 750,000 too low for the 22-year old.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Derby have the money to spend after selling Kenny Miller to Rangers for almost two million, and Dickinson might well be worth the investment.
Burnley’s Kyle Lafferty appears to be headed to one of the Old Firm sides, and at this point, it looks like Rangers has the advantage, as they’ve offered 3.5 million pounds plus midfielder Alan Gow for the 20-year old striker, who has five goals in 16 appearances for Northern Ireland.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Burnley is set to accept this bid, but it should alert Celtic into making a superior offer in order to get a player that they’ve been openly pursuing for a while.
Manchester City goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson could be a target for Atletico Madrid, who are in the market for a new keeper ahead of a run at Champions League and La Liga success.
Rumor Rating: 3 – If they want him, they might have to pursue a permanent deal, as Isaksson recently turned down a loan move to Galatasaray. Then again, maybe he just didn’t want to go to Turkey.
Jose Mourinho still refers to Chelsea as ‘his Chelsea,’ and soon enough, Frank Lampard could be ‘his Lampard’ again. Inter head man Massimo Moratti says that Lampard is the club’s #1 target, and the wheels could be in motion shortly.
Rumor Rating: 3 – With Lampard having not signed a new deal yet, Chelsea might not have a problem letting him go now so that they can still get a reasonable sum for him instead of risking losing him for nothing.
Juventus are interested in budding Croatian star Ivan Rakitic. The 20-year old Schalke 04 midfielder would likely cost at least 12 million euros, but that wouldn’t put Juve off.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Rakitic had an impressive debut season at Schalke, and that form has carried over into Euro 2008, where he’s started against both Germany and Poland.
Genoa may make a loan move for Freddy Adu, who could be looking for more regular first-team opportunities than he stands to get at Benfica next season.
Rumor Rating: 3 – A permanent move is out of the question, but Benfica wouldn’t be opposed to loaning him out in order to get him more top-flight experience.
Bayern Munich could soon make a big-money move for Vfb Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez, who finished second in the Bundesliga scoring charts last season behind Bayern’s Luca Toni.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Stuttgart’s asking price of 35 million euros could make Bayern think long and hard about making a move for the 22-year old, but if it did happen, it’d likely signal the end for Lukas Podolski in Munich.
Lyon have secured the services of highly-rated Lille midfielder Jean Makoun for 14 million euros.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Makoun was reportedly an Arsenal target shortly after the season ended, but he’s opted to stay in France and be a part of the ever-reloading Lyon powerhouse.
Well, that’s it for today–what do you think of today’s rumors? Chime in, chip in, and I’ll be back tomorrow!