The Round-Up: Edin Dzeko Stranded At Heathrow, Arsenal Target Porto Goal Machine

Morning all. Throughout January Soccerlens are going to be bringing you a daily round-up of the morning’s various goings-on. Be it juicy morsels of spurious transfer gossip or real, actual bona fide news, rest assured, we’ll have it covered.

Here’s this morning’s batch.

Dzeko deal reaches terminal velocity…

After teetering on the edge of a £27 million transfer for the last week or so, Wolfsburg target man Edin Dzeko finally passed a routine medical at Eastlands yesterday morning, though the grossly over-rated Bosnian has apparently seen his imminent switch to Manchester City hit a bureaucratic snag which could stand to delay the move for up to four weeks.

According to The Sun, Dzeko flew into Britain clutching the wrong kind of VISA (the tabloid reckon that obtaining the correct papers may take up to 28 days) on Wednesday morning so, instead of travelling to Manchester to undergo his physical and watch City’s game with Arsenal as planned, the striker was stranded for several hours at Heathrow Airport before having to meet club officials at a half-way house in Watford to undergo his medical.

Poor sod. Although, having sat through the grating City-Arsenal dirgefest myself, I’d wager that Mr Dzeko probably got off lightly this time round.

Arsenal hankering for Colombian goal machine…

The Round-Up: Edin Dzeko Stranded At Heathrow, Arsenal Target Porto Goal MachineAnother quick one from this morning’s Sun. Word on the wire is that Arsenal are planning to renew their interest in Porto goal-whore Radamel Falcao, after giving up hope of signing the £18 million-rated Colombian striker last summer.

Which, all in all, seems a little on the rich side to me, especially considering the fact that this is Arsene ‘careful with those purse strings’ Wenger we’re talking about here.

As-proficient-a-goalscorer as Falcao may have proved himself to be over the past few seasons (he already has 18 in 24 games this campaign), I don’t envisage the ever-frugal Wenger breaking the habit of a lifetime at any point in the near future.

Man Utd sound out Julio Cesar as VDS’ replacement…

Several The Round-Up: Edin Dzeko Stranded At Heathrow, Arsenal Target Porto Goal Machineof the red tops are reporting that Manchester United are poised to lodge a £7 million for Inter Milan ‘keeper Julio Cesar as they continue in their quest to solicit replacements for their current custodian Edwin van der Sar.

The 40-year-old Dutch veteran is set to be put out to pasture at the end of the season and United are hoping that they will be able to capitalise on Cesar’s apparent love of the ‘sensational atmosphere’ of English football to land the experienced Brazilian stopper in the summer.

Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool days are numbered…

The Round-Up: Edin Dzeko Stranded At Heathrow, Arsenal Target Porto Goal MachineThe collective English media seem certain that Roy Hodgson is now on borrowed time at Anfield, with several outlets going as far as to suggest that Liverpool’s besieged boss went as far as saying goodbye to his player’s after Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat to Blackburn.

Several replacements are also being mooted this morning, with Porto rookie Andre Villas-Boas, former Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick, Frank Rijkaard, Owen Coyle and, of course, the ubiquitous Kenny Dalglish all being mentioned by name.

However, one-time target Marseille boss Didier Deschamps has formally ruled himself out of the race to inherit Woy’s chalice of sh*t, telling L’Equipe that he isn’t a ‘tramp’ and will therefore not be moving to Merseyside.

Replay no more…

The Round-Up: Edin Dzeko Stranded At Heathrow, Arsenal Target Porto Goal MachineAccording to the Guardian, the FA are mulling over plans to abolish FA Cup replays and introduce a ‘seeding’ system in a bid to ‘revive their ailing competition’:

“[Abolishing replays] would reduce fixture congestion and potentially make one-off matches, decided by penalties, more exciting.

The random nature of the draw is seen as one the Cup’s great selling points but so too is the prospect of ‘giant killing’.

Seeding might bring more shocks as more lower league teams would go up against bigger names, but would remove some of the romance.”

In short summation of my feelings toward to propositions: Seeding? No, definitely not. Abolish replays? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

The best of the rest:

Ipswich have called a press conference for 11am this morning at which they are expected to announce the sacking of beleaguered manager Roy Keane

Man City right-back Micah Richards has told the club he isn’t willing to sit on the bench and ‘bank his wages’ and will look for a January move away from Eastlands if he isn’t guaranteed first-team football…

Birmingham are close to agreeing a loan deal for Boca Juniors striker Pablo Mouche, though Parma are also said to be interested…

The Blues are also hopeful that a £7 million deal for Tottenham wastrel Robbie Keane can be struck before the weekend is out…

Sunderland’s Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan has had to postpone a trip home after being shocked to learn that Premier League doesn’t break off for the winter. Bless him…

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