Transfer Rumors: Arsenal, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus, QPR

Guess who’s back? That’s right, me and the transfer roundup.

The season’s winding down and the rumors are heating up, so you’ll be seeing me in this space regularly.

Anyway, on to the good stuff!

If Mathieu Flamini had wanted to be at Arsenal, he would’ve signed a new contract by now, wouldn’t he? Well, he has finally signed a contract, but it’s not with Arsenal. According to many news outlets, the 24-year old Frenchman was confirmed as an AC Milan player on Monday, with a four-year deal to suit up for the Rossoneri.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Done deal. Good riddance?

Meanwhile, AC Milan’s pursuit of Ronaldinho looks to be over, according to Milan exec Adriano Galliani, thanks to issues over the transfer fee. You can’t win ’em all, right?

Back to Flamini, who could Arsenal be looking at to replace him? It could be another France-based player, as the agent of Lille star Jean Makoun says the Gunners want his client. The report also mentions Tottenham as being interested in the 24-year old Cameroonian midfielder, but being able to play in the Champions League again could tip the scales. Would he be an upgrade over Flamini?

Rumor Rating: 3 – We’ll see how this one develops, but I think the chances of Makoun being in an Arsenal shirt are more than fair, if the price is right. You know that Arsenal don’t splash cash unless it’s truly worth it.

Sir Alex Ferguson has eyes for City’s prized possession, Micah Richards, and has the budding star on top of his summer list. He isn’t the only one, as Arsenal and Chelsea are also reportedly after the 19-year old It’d be a bitter pill to swallow for City fans, seeing another promising talent leave for a bigger club, especially their most-hated rivals.

Rumor Rating: 2 – Right back will be a priority for United in the summer, but Richards certainly won’t come cheap. Given his new deal, his age, and his importance to City’s push towards the top five/six, City might be reluctant to let him go. But, what happens with Sven-Goran Eriksson could play a factor in if Richards, Richard Dunne, or Michael Johnson stay or go.

Going back to Italy, Juventus are in the market for a #2 to Gianluigi Buffon, and they may have found one for ‘free,’ in Middlesbrough’s Mark Schwarzer, whose contract will run out in the summer.

Rumor Rating: 4 – It’s not a done deal, but we’ll know soon. With the likes of Bayern and Juve in for him, he might be tempted by the chance to finish his career with one of Europe’s elites.

One of the hottest rumors has been a potential move by Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry to Liverpool. Barry has been at Villa his entire senior career, and has risen to the ranks of Villa captain and current England regular. Martin O’Neill’s side is an up-and-comer in the Premier League, but that might not be enough to keep Barry around.

But, according to The Independent, the 27-year old is on his way to Merseyside, with Villa receiving cash and a player of their choice that isn’t named Peter Crouch.

Rumor Rating: 4 – O’Neill will do his best to hold on to Barry, but, he’s getting into the prime of his career, and how much longer will he be in such high demand? Liverpool won’t go away until they get him, but for the Reds’ sake, it needs to be tied up before another member of the big four have a chance to throw their hat into the ring.

Darren Bent could end his stay at White Hart Lane after one season, as the Tottenham man could become part of Kevin Keegan’s revival at Newcastle for 12 million pounds. The 24-year old is stuck behind Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov at Tottenham in the regular pecking order, so greener pastures might be beckoning. If the deal does get done, Spurs won’t have lost too, too much, after paying more than 16 million for him last summer.

Rumor Rating: 3 – 12 million wouldn’t be a huge price to pay, and if the reports are true, Newcastle are all too willing to make it happen. He might be better off in Newcastle, unless Berba leaves, and this will certainly stir the pot of speculation on that end. We’ll see how both situations play out.

Going outside of the UK, Real Madrid have reportedly been rebuffed in their move for Valencia striker David Villa, after their reported offer of 20 million euros plus Julio Baptista was rejected. Meanwhile, Barcelona are set to make a move for the 26-year old hitman, with their offer besting Real’s supposed offer by five million euros, and including a youth team player.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Will this be the start of a bidding war between the two La Liga rivals? Whatever happens, the sooner either of these two teams gets the deal done, the better, because if Villa tears it up at Euro 2008, his price will be driven up all the more.

In other news, Tottenham keeper Radek Cerny is set to move to QPR on a two-year deal, but that’s not the biggest rumor surrounding the Championship side (this is). Cerny has alternated starting duties with Paul Robinson since January, but hasn’t been offered a new contract.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Don’t get too excited yet, Paul – one goes out, and one will likely come in sometime before next season starts, so you’ll have a fight on your hands.

So, what do you think of today’s news? Is Flamini a twit, or do you not fault his ambition? Should Richards and Barry go for the bright lights and big time, or stay loyal to their current clubs? Would Bent be a good signing for Newcastle? Could QPR possibly land Zizou?

Chime in with your opinions, and if you have any rumors, big or small, post those as well!

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