Today we have key decisions for several clubs and players to make as Liverpool choose between two midfielders and lose to Arsenal in the ‘English’ stakes while the rest of the Europe is busy either protecting their players or trying to poach one off their rivals.
So far Liverpool and Juventus have not been able to agree on a price for Xabi Alonso, meaning that the Spanish midfielder faces the possibility of returning to Anfield. He’s already said that he’s OK with going back, although that’s more ‘covering your ass’ than ‘I’d love to go back.’ With Villa holding on to Gareth Barry for dear life (18m ought to do it), will he be able to play at Anfield next season?
Rumor Rating: 1 – The most likely scenario at this point is that both Alonso and Barry carry on for another year at their respective clubs before securing their desired transfers next summer.
Sticking with Liverpool, the most decorated club in the history of English football have signed Emmanuel Mendy from Murcia Deportivo and David Ngog from PSG.
Rumor Rating: 5 – For those who blame Arsenal for reducing the pool of English players in the Premier League, take a look at Liverpool. Apart from Gerrard (Carra retired instead of his ego), there’s not a single decent English player at Liverpool. Pennant and Crouch are / were backups at best. Not that the Gunners have a stash of young English starlets but I have more hope in Theo Walcott and the young crop of kids in Arsenal’s academy than Liverpool’s European kids.
Tottenham are ready to let Paul Robinson go to Blackburn as the Rovers send Brad Friedel to Aston Villa.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Ince can help Robinson regain his confidence for sure.
Arsenal are chasing Crystal Palace striker Victor Moses.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Moses is a promising young striker but Arsenal already have players like Walcott and Bendtner coming through. Unless Bendt is sold or Adebayor goes, I don’t see Moses coming in (at this stage he’d benefit more by spending time at Arsenal than being sent back out on loan).
Hull City are set to sign Tottenham’s Anthony Gardner on loan till January, with an option to make the deal permanent.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Almost a done deal, and good for all parties involved. Gardner gets playing time, Hull City get a decent defender and Spurs get to unload another unneeded squad member.
Inter are all set to sign Portsmouth’s Sulley Muntari for 12.7m.
Rumor Rating: 5 – The more I think about this, the more I like it. Muntari will give Inter quality in depth and he will develop as a player under one of the best man-managers in the game. Having said that, Mourinho’s transfers at Inter are going to be very interesting – he’s already made a public play for Lampard and you can expect him to go for more Premier League players considering that he’s familiar with many of them.
Hamburg claim to have rejected a bid by Real Madrid for Rafael Van der Vaart. He’s rumoured to be a backup candidate if Madrid don’t get Ronaldo.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Van der Vaart has the glamour and the missus, the only thing remaining to see is his temperament and whether he can take on the pressure and responsibility of playing for Madrid. Martin Jol has him down as his captain and personally I’d like to see him stick it out at HSV – they have the nucleus of a very talented side with de Jong and Kompany next to Van der Vaart, and can do well next season.
Bayern Munich have said that they might buy Mario Gomez next season.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Just a first salvo but Bayern have a history of bagging the best German players even if their careers go south after that (Podolski?) so them getting Gomez is a real possibility, what with Klose and Toni getting on in their years. Depends a lot on Klinsmann though.
That’s it for today folks – we’ll keep adding news as it breaks and we’ll be back tomorrow.