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Transfer Rumours (02 July 08): Newcastle sign Gutierrez, Liverpool offer 15m for Barry, Jo and Falcao to Manchester, Bent out of Tottenham and more



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There used to be a time when summer was for lounging in peace near a beach. Now, while Ronaldo does the beach thing (after scoring that many goals he deserves it), most of the footballing world is back to work, so hopefully we’ll see some transfer action sooner than later.

Today’s top rumours:

Liverpool have offered 15m for Gareth Barry, 3m short of Aston Villa’s asking price.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Liverpool are hoping that Barry can push this transfer through. I doubt that this is Liverpool’s final offer but it now comes down to whether Villa want to hold out till August and wring the extra mil or two out of Pool or take the money and invest in 2-3 new players.

Newcastle have signed Argentina winger Jonas Gutierrez from Real Mallorca on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Keegan has finally made his first summer signing. Hopefully he can also resolve the futures of Mssrs Owen, Barton, Taylor and Martins.

Manchester City are set to officially confirm Brazilian striker Jo as their record signing in a deal worth £18m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – This new Manchester City are making a big deal of their signings this summer – press conference for Jo, talking to the press about their interest in Ronaldinho when everyone and their dog knew they were bottom of the ladder where Ronny was concerned. Still, this is a good signing and hopefully City will be a much better team with him playing up front.

Everton are said to be poised to move for Pablo Aimar, the only stumbling block being the exact transfer budget Moyes has this summer.

Rumor Rating: 3 – On one hand, wasn’t he told the budget when he agreed to sign a new deal? On the other hand, they definitely need someone in central midfield and Aimar could be the spark to help them push on from 5th to 4th.

Robinho‘s agent claims that he has held talks with Chelsea’s representatives and that Chelsea are interested in bringing him to Stamford Bridge.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Star footballer thinks he worth more respect and more money than he’s getting at current club, club is tired of player’s agent whoring his client to other clubs, this one’s going to end soon and in Robinho’s favor unless they offer Robinho a new deal. If it were up to me I’d get them to do so, but he’s not as pretty as Ronaldo, is he?

Meanwhile, Ronaldinho has pitched himself to Chelsea as well, saying that it would be an honour to play for Scolari.

Rumor Rating: 2 – This isn’t fantasy football so someone’s going to have to go before Ronaldinho gets his starting spot. Having said that, Barcelona are hoping to make money on Ronaldinho (the buck-toothed wonder will sell a lot of shirts, you see) so the asking price is bound to be high and Milan are still in the hunt as well. We’ll see, but I doubt this one.

Juventus are back in for Xabi Alonso and will offer 16.5m for his services.

Rumor Rating: 4 – With Alonso it’s a case of when, not if, and although Juve may offer a player+cash deal, Liverpool want cold-hard cash that they can spend. I wonder if it’s Alonso agitating for a move…we’ll hear about it soon enough when he finally moves out of Anfield.

Manchester United are rumoured to be tracking River Plate striker Falcao.

Rumor Rating: 1 – Checking out, maybe. Interested in buying? I highly doubt it. The Daily Mirror seem to have run with this and turned it into a done deal. Falcao has been scoring for fun at River Plate but if he’s going to cost 15m United might look for European pedigree instead.

According to the Times, Arsenal have rejected a 24m bid for Adebayor from Barcelona.

Rumor Rating: 1 – The dog’s bollocks and then some. The story makes it sound that Arsenal are not interested in selling, which isn’t true because till now Adebayor has insisted that he wants more money or that he be allowed to go and Wenger is not going to force a player to stay (he let Henry and Cole go). Having said that, if he’s selling then he’s selling on his own terms, and my bet is that Wenger has asked for a player in exchange. Messi or Eto’o would be my bet. Don’t see the former happening, the later is possible but more of a worry than an expectation.

Did you hear about Aston Villa going for West Ham’s Robert Green?

Rumor Rating: 2 – If true, it’s unlikely to happen. West Ham aren’t going to sell for the money quoted (6m) and they can probably offer equal or better wages than Villa. Cudicini or any other backup keeper at a top four club would be a better option.

David Bentley has reported told his new boss that he wants to go, with Tottenham and Liverpool favourites to sign him.

Rumor Rating: 4 – This is Ince’s first test – can he get a player like Bentley to stay? And barring that, can he get enough money out of his sale to strengthen the squad? Bentley’s going, my money’s on Liverpool rather than Tottenham but a lot of it depends on what Ramos will do with Lennon and whether Liverpool have enough money to bring in more than Barry and a striker.

While Tottenham mull over their new continental riches, they are also considering an offer from Sunderland to take Darren Bent off their hands for 10m.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Could happen but with Defoe gone Bent is likely to see more action and there’s a chance that Berbatov will leave this summer, so it all comes down to whether Ramos trusts Bent enough or not. Personally I think he should be given another chance at Tottenham and he probably will be – barring that Sunderland would be a good place to go although 10m might be a few mil too low.

Werder Bremen midfielder Amaury Bischoff is all set to join Arsenal.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The lad’s quoted as saying: “I’ve been waiting for Arsene Wenger to return from the Euro 2008 final in Vienna, but I hope to sign in the next few days” – so I guess this one’s a done deal. Guess that’s the end of the Senna rumours, right?

According to the Sun, Carlos Queiroz has been offered the job as Portugal manager.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Don’t think it’s been ‘officially’ offered but I do believe that they’re considering him. Financially United can take care of Queiroz but will national pride come calling? Some people think it would also pave the way for Ronaldo to leave – I think Ronaldo’s leaving with or without Queiroz and am more concerned about the likes of Tevez, Nani, Anderson, Possebon and the two Brazilian fullbacks (Rafael and Fabio) – all youngsters who would be close to Queiroz.

Hatem Ben Arfa is finally a Marseille player after LFP (French national league) stepped in to arbitrate and confirmed that the agreement between Marseille and Lyon was valid.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Paving the way for Samir Nasri to leave?

That’s it for today guys. Sorry for the late roundup, we’ll be back tomorrow at our regular time.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.