It’s time for idle speculation again. With the FA Cup finalists decided (almost) and the Champions League a week away, there’s little left to do except twiddle our thumbs and wait for uneventful midweek league matches.
I’d rather indulge in some idle speculation – today’s lucky transfer target is Franck Ribery, and the big four clubs from the Premiership playing in the Champions League next season are after him. Oh, and Tottenham too.
Marseille’s sporting director, Jose Anigo, has this to say:
“There is a deal between chairman Pape Diouf, Franck Ribery, myself and his agent. The agreement is a possibility to leave, but only if both the player and Marseille see the advantage of it.”
Anyway we could only talk above â‚¬20million (£13.6m). But if we reach Champions League, we want him to stay, and he knows it.”[Source: Sky Sports]
If Marseille qualify for the Champions League, you can rest assured that Ribery will cost around £20m. Even at £13.6m not many clubs can afford him, so let’s look at the usual suspects from the Premiership and plot Ribery’s chances.
Arsenal: The Gunners don’t have the cash to spend, so unless Arsenal are taken over by Kroenke Ribery isn’t going to Arsenal.
Chelsea: Lots of money but financial prudence and too many players already in the midfield would limit Ribery’s chances. He ‘could’ be used as a striker but that’s not doing his talents justice. No go, unless something drastic happens at Chelsea this summer.
Liverpool: Have the cash and would be looking for a winger who can give them that added impetus on both flanks. Plus Cisse is at Marseille so there’s the possibility of an exchange deal taking place. A fair chance if Ribery was to come to the Premiership.
Manchester United: Need a winger and Ribery has the experience United are looking for as well. Will have cash to spend despite the big move for Hargreaves (and Bale). Manchester United (along with Liverpool) could be favourites for picking Ribery up if he comes to the Premiership.
Tottenham: No Champions League football, no Tottenham. It’s harsh on Tottenham, because they are the ones who need a quality left-winger the most, but without Champions League football to offer Ribery (or Nani) won’t be coming to play for Tottenham. We spoke about this last summer as well, but people got pissed off. Of course, it could all turn around and bite me in the ass, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen.
Outside the Premiership: There’s a good chance that Ribery will move to Real Madrid, Serie A or Bayern Munich instead of the Premiership. There’s also a good chance that Ribery would stay at Marseille if they qualify for the Champions League.
Your Pick: Where do you think Ribery will be playing next season?