Transfer Rumors (1 Sept 08): United expected to sign Berba, Aston Villa in for Ashton again, Newcastle sign Valencia midfielder on loan, and more

After hundreds (at least) of news bits over the last few months, we’re finally almost at the end of the summer transfer window. There’s a lot yet to happen on the final day of the window, but I’m here to get you caught up on all of the latest signings and speculation.


So, is Dimitar Berbatov going to sign for Manchester United today? The consensus seems to be that he will.

Rumor Rating: 4 – The deal should be done before too long. Certainly no point in Spurs keeping Berbatov, seeing as how his attitude won’t change the longer he stays. I suppose we’ll see though, right?

Big spenders Aston Villa are said to be ready to make a bid of more than £12m for West Ham striker Dean Ashton. Villa have already had a bid for Ashton rejected, but I suppose they’re not giving up just yet in a bid to further bolster an already strong front line.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Tottenham reportedly had a £15m bid turned down in August, so Villa’s attempts may well be futile. However, if they could swing a deal for him, it’d put their summer spending past the 60m mark.

Newcastle are set to take Valencia midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez on loan. The 26-year old Uruguayan international moved to Spain from Uruguayan side Danubio earlier this summer, but with opportunities likely limited for him there for the time being, he’s been allowed to move to England.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Gonzalez, who’ll be part of Uruguay’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers, put up solid goal numbers in his time with Danubio, so he could help make a difference in an area where Newcastle isn’t particularly strong right now.

Manchester City have completed the signing of Espanyol defender Pablo Zabaleta for £6.45m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – City have also signed Brazilian defender Glauber Berti on loan from German side Nurnberg, so Mark Hughes has moved smartly and quickly just in case Tottenham are successful in their pursuit of Vedran Corluka.

The Mirror says that West Ham are set to make an £8m bid for Arsenal defender Johan Djorou.

Rumor Rating: 3 – While the price might be more than enough to get Arsenal to sell, Arsene Wenger may prefer to hold on to Djorou to make sure he has no depth issues at the back.

The Sun says that Blackburn are trying to strike a deal for free agent striker Alvaro Recoba. The 32-year old Uruguayan was recently released by Inter after being at the club for much of the last decade-plus.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Monaco are also interested in Recoba’s services, so while there might need to be some urgency about getting a deal done to ward off that interest, since Recoba is a free agent, they don’t have to work within the constraints of the transfer deadline.

The Sun also says that Everton are set to complete a £3m deal for Newcastle’s Alan Smith.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Not sure if Saha and Smith are exactly what Everton supporters had in mind, but both could turn out to be solid, inexpensive captures.

Stoke have made a £5m bid for Cardiff winger Joe Ledley, and they’ve also made a £2m bid for a long-time target, Ipswich striker Jon Walters.

Rumor Rating: 3 – It could be that Stoke are the club who had their bid of that amount rejected by Cardiff over the weekend, as the club aren’t willing to part with another one of their top players at this time. However, they may fare a little better with Walters, though the sale of Alan Lee from Ipswich to Crystal Palace could work against Stoke.

Hull have signed defender Kamil Zayatte on loan from Swiss side Young Boys.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 23-year old Guinean international, who’s pretty versatile, was also a target for Everton and Newcastle, the latter of which he spent some time training with last week, so it’s a good move for the Tigers.


Espanyol have signed Monaco winger Nene and Anderlecht center back Nicolas Pareja.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Nene is a proven commodity in La Liga, having had success with Mallorca, Alaves, and Celta Vigo, and he will ably fill the hole left by the impending departure of Albert Riera to Liverpool, while Pareja is coming off an impressive showing for Argentina in the Olympics.

Deportivo are moving to sign Argentine defender Diego Colotto. Colotto, who plays for Mexican side Atlas, has been linked with the club for a while, and the Spanish side have finally made a move to get the deal done just in time.

Rumor Rating: 5 – As Depor and Newcastle worked to hammer out a deal for Fabricio Coloccini, Colotto seemed like the prime target to replace him, but it took a little while for things to materialize.


Ricardo Quaresma has signed for Inter in a deal that will see Portuguese midfielder Pele go to Porto. All told, the value of the deal could be more than €30m, as Inter will pay Porto €18.6m, with Pele valued at €6m, and there’s also another €6m more in bonuses.

Rumor Rating: 5 – While Jose Mourinho has his man, it’s definitely a big hit for Porto, but you could venture a guess that they have been planning for his departure for a while now and are prepared for life after him.


Hamburg SV have completed the signing of Brazilian playmaker Thiago Neves.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Despite selling two of their top players in Rafael Van der Vaart and Vincent Kompany, HSV might actually come out of the summer as a stronger team overall than before, as the purchases of two quality defenders (Marcell Jansen and Alex Silva), a playmaker in Neves, and a goal-getting forward in Mladen Petric. You’ve got to look at them as a serious contender for not only a Champions League spot, but the Bundesliga title.

Borussia Monchengladbach (bless you!) are set to sign American midfielder Michael Bradley.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Maybe not the destination that Bradley would have hoped for when he was attracting Premier League interest, but he does get a league upgrade and a chance to help M’Gladbach stay up in their first season back in the top flight.

Well, that’s it for another day in transfer news and rumors. I’ll be back tomorrow to give you the rundown on what should be a wild final day in transfer action, but until then, chime in with your thoughts on today’s tidbits, chip in with ones you’ve read and heard, and make sure you don’t miss any of the latest confirmed signings by checking out all of our updated summer transfer lists.

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