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Football Gossip: Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City



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Some transfer rumours and other sordid gossip from the dirty world of tabloids to pass your Sunday evening:

David Beckham to train with Arsenal in winter

David Beckham’s MLS season will be on old from November to April and what with him needed to stay match-fit to be considered for England, there have been reports that he could train with Arsenal during this time. Anything’s possible I suppose, but if Beckham was coming back to England to train, wouldn’t he make a move for Manchester United or Chelsea, teams where he could train with his England team-mates? A trip to Arsenal’s training grounds seems a bit pointless, and talk of him turning out for Arsenal in the league even more so.

And then there’s that loyalty to Manchester United that Becks always talks about – although considering the fact that everyone lies, I wouldn’t hold on too much to that. Becks will get a good bashing from Arsenal fans over this story, but when does he not get bashed? Even when Goldenballs is turning in those free-kicks with metronomic accuracy people criticise him for being a one-trick pony.

Chelsea to offload Ballack to Real Madrid in January

His wages are astronomical, he’s behind Lampard and Essien in the midfield pecking order, he’s injured and his first year was decidedly average for Chelsea (although I think he did well). Now he’s been left out of Chelsea’s Champions League group stages squad and tongues are wagging about the reasons why. Some say Chelsea are getting ready to sell Ballack, others say that the snub was to force Ballack into asking for a move.

And who else to link Ballack with but Real Madrid? To be fair, Ballack would be a good acquisition for Real Madrid however his wages will remain a stumbling block. Real already have Guti doing a good job in central midfield though, and Wesley Sneijder has had a sensational start for them. Ballack would have to contend with being rotated as he won’t be guaranteed a starting place – not an improvement from his Chelsea days but Real Madrid may be kinder to his club career than Chelsea.

But will Chelsea really sell him? I’ve written about this before so you should read that, but in short – Chelsea’s toughest game in the Champions League is the away game to Valencia (which Ballack will definitely miss through injury), and if they ease Ballack back into the side, it could be past November before he regains full match fitness. It’s unlikely that they’ll let Ballack go, but 8m and taking the wages off the tab could be a good incentive. Ballack is a hard worker and the fuss created over this apparent snub is a bit too much; Chelsea and Mourinho value Ballack so they’re not going to let him go this easily.

Real Madrid to give £850,000 to each player if they win the treble

What happened to honour and pride being good enough motivators? I’m just being jealous though – it’s an amazing prize (400k for the CL, 250k for the league, 200k for the domestic cup) and sure to give Real Madrid a good buzz in the media. However, as an actual motivator I doubt this will have much value – somehow I don’t imagine the Real Madrid players kicking it up a notch in the 90th minute of a 0-0 CL final just because of the extra 400k on offer.

Then again, I’m not a baller, so how the hell would I know?

In other Real Madrid news, they’re linked with a 8m swoop for Chelsea’s Ballack in the winter and Julio Baptista is also tipped to leave Real Madrid in January. Neither player is going to be sold unless they get some action on the pitch, so let’s hope both of them get some playing time (and in Baptista’s case, some confidence).

Manchester United and Manchester City after 18m Huntelaar

Both clubs needed a striker over the summer and didn’t bring one in, so it’s no surprise that they’re linked with Huntelaar again now. Ajax are reported to have put a 18m price tag on him, while Huntelaar himself is rumoured to want to leave Ajax.

I call bollocks – I don’t see Manchester United splashing out 18m in the winter unless someone leaves, and Manchester City’s prospects of signing Huntelaar are bleak unless they’re firmly in the top four come January 2008 (or at least in the top 6). Plus there’s the option of signing Nicolas Anelka, who’s not going to stay in Bolton for much longer, is he?

Manchester City will have Bojinov coming back in March, so their need for a striker would have lessened, and in any case Manchester City’s main need is for a central midfielder, not a striker. Manchester United will have Rooney and Saha (hopefully) fit by then and Anderson and Nani should also be in full flow and settled in for United, so why would they splash that much cash around?

Unlikely, this one.

Manchester United’s spiraling debt

This should be an interesting one – on Monday the Manchester United Supporters Trust is due to release a report highlighting how the club’s debt is out of control and that the club now has to pay more than 100m in interest every year. The Glazers have trashed the report but the rumours will persist until we actually see the report.

Next week should have more than just England vs Russia then. Good to know, and finally we’ll have a in-depth (if biased) look into United’s financial situation. I wonder why the mainstream media can’t be arsed to keep a track – must us fans do all the hard work?

Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea after Newcastle United’s Steve Taylor

Alf Taylor must be delirious at this point – his move to leak the news of their ‘rejection’ of the contract offered to Taylor by Newcastle has predictably sparked a storm in the media, with a host of clubs linked with Newcastle United for the young defender’s services.

Read more: Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea after Newcastle’s Steve Taylor.

Freddy Shepherd to launch a takeover bid for Leeds

The idea of Freddy and Bates dealing with each other is just too good of a joke to be ignored. Freddy has the money, Bates and Leeds need the money, and both are tough-talking sonsofbitches. It’s a match made in hell.

Barcelona sell 4m worth of Henry’s shirts

Barcelona have reportedly sold 70,000 replica shirts of Henry following his move from Arsenal to Barcelona. Just 70k? I would have thought that the club would have sold more, considering Henry’s standing and Barcelona’s fanbase. However, it’s just been a month or so, and 70k is still impressive.

Nothing like David Beckham’s money-spinning abilities though – the amount of money he made Real Madrid puts the Barcelona figures to a pale second-best.

Those are still good numbers though, at least now we have numbers to support our reasoning that Barcelona wanted Henry for the money 🙂

Other News

Tottenham are linked with a Corinthians kid (can he play left midfield?), Atletico Madrid are reputed to make a move for Liverpool’s Reina (no chance), and it’s a straight shoot between Kaka and Ronaldo for the Ballon D’Or (you can go to this thread and vote for your pick).