A round-up of today’s news.
Lehmann, Eboue and Henry have all been nominated for UEFA club football awards – read more about this here.
There’s still no end to the Ashley Cole saga, while Reyes will return to London on Wednesday hoping to finalise his deal. Considering that Cole will be playing for England tomorrow night it could well be that Cole-gate is drawn out till the weekend.
Another statement from Chelsea regarding Gallas, and another confirmation that Chelsea do not wish to sell the player. In my view Chelsea are still hoping to convince Gallas to sign a contract extension, although just how they’ll manage it after the mess that has become of it is beyond me. It is still possible that Milan could bid for him towards the end of August and try to push through a quick deal, but that’s speculation.
It’s confirmed – Liverpool will play Maccabi Haifa in Kiev (as we reported last week on Soccerlens).
Liverpool are 2-1 up from the first leg (home), and while their progression seems academic Haifa will feel they are in with a chance, especially as they have an away goal to play with.
Around 10 to 15 mil rest on the result – making this a very lucrative tie to win for both teams.
David Beckham may have been thrown out of Manchester United for being a superstar, and thrown out of England for being too slow, but at Real Madrid they understand that he is still a cash cow and they want to milk him for what he’s worth.
The Sun reports that Madrid are set to offer Beckham a new contract till 2009, which will not increase his wages but give him a larger share of his image rights (i.e. sponsorship deals).
I for one am looking forward to the Becks-Ruud partnership for Real Madrid, and hopefully it will be good enough to help Real topple Barcelona.
Reyes, playing for Spain tonight in a friendly, is thanking Wenger for not playing him at Zagreb and basically agreeing to let him leave. The deal is expected to be finalised by Wednesday (when Reyes returns to London) and the only haggling point remains the price (quoted at 16 mil).
Jean-Alain Boumsong is joining Hamburg on a season-long loan with an option to make the move permanent in May. The move also hints at Roeder’s wish to bring in a new central defender to plug the Newcastle defence.
The rumours surrounding Obafemi’s age are picking up steam again, with some suggesting that Martins played alongside Celestine Babayaro (Newcastle’s 27-year old defender) in Nigeria’s youth setup. That would make Obafemi at least 27, and 21 as his official age currently is.
It’s not a new controversy, and it’s not bound to go away. Newcastle aren’t the only club interested in Martins, with Portsmouth and Valencia have been linked to Martins as well. I doubt that Martins will move, but if Inter lower their asking price (of 10 mil) Newcastle would love to snap up a striker as soon as possible.
Harry Redknapp – the man whose long list of credits now supposedly includes ‘rejecting’ Shevchenko after trials at West Ham (a bullshit story) – has signed Kanu for Portsmouth on a free transfer. If it wasn’t already, Portsmouth is now the number 1 vacation spot for football rejects with Sol Campbell and David James already present (and more rumoured to come).
Manchester City have signed Isaksson from Rennes for 2 mil.
Wigan have signed Luis Valencia (that promising Ecuador youngster from the World Cup) on a season-long loan from Villareal.
A must-read interview with Richard Scudamore (chief executive of the Premier League) by Donald McRae of The Guardian.
And Kevin McCarra writes about how Ferguson’s time as Manchester United is running out. Worth a read.