Transfer Rumors (5 Jan 09): Ireland to Arsenal, Defoe to seal Tottenham return, Juve after Owen, and more

Usually I’m not one to look forward to Monday, but the start of a new week during transfer season usually means that there’s plenty to talk about.

Jermain Defoe has dominated the roundups recently, but now that he’s finally being sold (you can guess where), we’ll have to find a new flavor of the week. Maybe one of the many names in today’s roundup will be that man.

Arsene Wenger is hot on the trail of a new playmaker, and though Mikel Arteta is not for sale and Andrei Arshavin is too expensive, he may have found his man in Manchester City’s Stephen Ireland. As it happens, City really, really, really want Kolo Toure. See where I’m heading here? (News of the World)

Analysis: Ireland certainly fits what Arsene is looking for, and he’s still a fresh-faced fella at only 20. But will City be interested in selling someone who’s already one of their most influential players and is well on his way to being a star, when they really don’t have to? Not to mention he has fine taste in automobiles…

Could Arsenal lose Theo Walcott for only £400k in the summer of 2010? He’s only got 18 months left on his contract, and negotiations haven’t really kick-started yet. (The Mirror)

Analysis: Nothing to read into this one, not yet at least. I don’t see Arsenal letting a future star slip away for pennies.

Tottenham are set to sign Jermain Defoe in a deal in the region of £15m. The fee is below the figures Portsmouth reportedly wanted for Defoe, but the deal does include bonuses based on Spurs’ European qualification. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: It may be less than what they wanted, but it’s another solid profit for Portsmouth. Now let’s see them put their money to good use.

Will Stewart Downing be joining him? He’s handed in a transfer request as expected, but Middlesbrough are adamant about holding on to him. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: They really want to keep him, don’t they? Maybe he’s just trying to test their patience, but if Spurs make a suitable offer, let him go and give Adam Johnson his chance.

Aston Villa are looking for a new striker, and in their sights is Standard Liege hit-man Milan Jovanovic, who was named the 2007/08 Belgian Footballer of the Year after scoring 16 goals in Standard’s title-winning campaign. Villa have already tabled an offer of €12m for the Serbian star, but face competition from Vfb Stuttgart and potentially Sevilla. (Blic)

Analysis: And I thought they were only a midfielder factory…

Sunderland are hot on the trail of Marseille holding midfielder Modeste M’Bami, and the Black Cats could tie up a £6m deal for the Cameroonian. (The Sun)

Analysis: M’Bami has been linked with moves to England for a while, and he’s got extensive international (28 caps) and European (with Marseille and PSG) experience. He’s got a solid scoring rate for his country (7 goals), so he could make an impact on that front for Sunderland.


Juventus may have missed out on Defoe, but it looks like they’re intent on signing an English forward, as their attentions have now shifted to Michael Owen. (News of the World)

Analysis: I’d say he’d fancy a move to Juve over Genoa, though an Owen linkup with Diego Milito would be a sight to see.

AC Milan are prepared to offer £8.5m for Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, who recently rejected Liverpool’s contract offer of £75k per week. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Still a little low, but Liverpool’s hand may be forced by a clause that will allow Agger to leave for £7m at the end of the season.

Jose Mourinho doesn’t want Owen, but he does want Manchester City’s Jo, and he’ll offer up Adriano in a swap deal to get him. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Adriano comes with an extensive disclaimer, but if he really wants to be, he can be one of the best strikers in the world. But if he doesn’t, well, there’s a reason why Mourinho’s ready to let him go.


If Lukas Podolski is going to get his return to Cologne, it’ll have to happen soon. Otherwise, the likes of Roma could swoop in, or he could stay on the fringes at Bayern Munich for the rest of the season. (Setanta Sports)

Analysis: Cologne have the first option, and they’re in need of a scorer to go with Milivoje Novakovic, who has scored 10 of their 19 league goals. However, they have a €10m valuation to meet/come close to, and if they don’t, Roma will have no problems meeting it.

If you have a rumor that we missed, but you feel it’s newsworthy, post it in the comments, along with the link to the source.

Also, if you want to keep up with all of the latest confirmed transfers, check out our updated transfer lists.

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