Football News Roundup – August 08 – Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham

Some ridiculous rumours are going around (especially ones involving Franc Ribery and William Gallas). This week should also see some transfer activity in the top 3 (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United).

Manchester United News

Manchester United may not be buying a striker this summer after it was made clear that Rossi would be staying at Old Trafford instead of moving out on loan. Ferguson is perhaps the only one who has faith in his current crop of strikers to score the goals we need to win the Premiership and to get into the knockout stages of the CL.

What we ARE doing is trying to finalise deals for Senna and Kuszczak. Senna is expected to cost around 4 mil, while Kuszczak could come for 3 mil.

Ben Foster could still go out on loan this summer if Kuszczak comes in, while Smith, who has made a remarkable recovery and could be fit to play for Manchester United before September starts, would be freed up to play up front if Senna joins.

What about Diarra, Tevez, Ribery etc? Not coming guys, not coming. In reality, the most likely capture of this lot would be Ribery, and that too if we were to sell Ronaldo. But that’s not happening.

Lee Martin has been linked to a possible loan move to the Rangers – it would be an excellent chance to develop the kid but I think pushing Martin up into Fletcher’s position as replacement midfielder would be a better idea.

Solskjaer‘s recall for Norway is going to annoy the hell out of Ferguson – however, like Keano, Solskjaer wants nothing more than to represent his country and that means putting his knee at risk. Oh well…

Arsenal News

The Guardian is claiming (quite vociferously) that Ribery is set to join Arsenal this week. I have serious doubts about this, as it was made clear earlier that Ribery wanted to stay in France (and thus go to Lyon), but footballers are very fickle and the French connection between Henry and Wenger on one end and Ribery on the other is too juicy a story not to run with. The price is mooted at 13.5 mil, and the key to this move would be Reyes moving on to Real Madrid.

The thing is, why would Capello take Reyes over Ribery? Real Madrid could easily outbid Arsenal over the right winger and while Madrid need a left-sided player, Ribery can play as an attacking midfielder or on the left as well.

Wenger’s ‘deadline’ for Cole is nothing more than a confirmation that the deal is expected to take place this week. It also means that Arsenal could be in for a flurry of activity, with two players going out and one player coming in, with a defender due before the end of the month.

The Arsenal-Gallas rumours are cute, but there’s no basis to them. The Guardian has linked Gallas to Real Madrid, but by this point they’d link anyone to Madrid, so there’s little to believe in that story. Unless someone bids for the player (like Arsenal, United, Madrid and Lyon have bid for Ribery), there won’t be any change to the situation.

Other News

Chelsea are rumoured to be interested in signing either Tevez or Obafemi Martins. Tevez is unsettled at the Corinthians after troubles with the crowds, while Martins is rumoured to have submitted a transfer request after Crespo’s arrival at Inter. Nothing concrete there, so no idle speculation except the fact that hearing Portsmouth linked with Martins was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Actually, scratch that, I read something worse yesterday:

Apparently, Tottenham have been linked with both Ribery and Gallas. The 13 mil initial payment they got for Carrick is sizeable enough to make bids for either player, but considering that both Ribery and Gallas have stated that they want to play in the Champions League…ok, screw that, who really, really thinks that either player would willingly come to Tottenham? Let me know in the comments.

Sol Campbell – he of Arsenal and Tottenham fame – has been heavily linked with Portsmouth amongst rumours that he’s undergone a medical for them. However, Manchester City may make a last-ditch attempt to sign him. Should be interesting to see where Campbell ends up, and good luck to his new club.

One last word on the Martins rumour – United would be far more likely to move for him, and he would be an excellent signing for us and would compete with Saha for the 2nd striker’s spot. We’re all dreaming, right?

The Guardian isn’t ALL trash – Kevin McCarra talks about the trend in football to put ridiculous price-tags on average players and ‘holding’ to that position for no good reason. A good read, here’s the link. Another good article this morning was Richard Williams’ piece on why O’Neill’s appointment at Villa Park could damage United’s chances of replacing Ferguson. I agree that O’Neill would make an excellent replacement, but people have been too quick to blame Ferguson. Oh well, more on this later.

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