It’s a pretty light day in transfer news and rumors, which is a little surprising seeing as how we’re in the thick of the week. But, there are still a good few tidbits to report on from around Europe.
Before I get started, I’d like to give well-wishes (and so should all of the readers out there) to the ailing Sir Bobby Robson, who looks to be losing his fight with cancer. Let’s all hope for a miracle, even if things are destined to go otherwise.
Well, even though it’s not news by now, it’s worth mentioning here. The Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid door has closed… well, for this summer, at least.
Rumor Rating: 1 – Well, did anyone expect anything less?
Liverpool may well need money to fund their remaining summer moves, but they’re not going to sell players for, er, peanuts to make it happen. After rejecting an offer for Xabi Alonso from Arsenal a few days ago, Liverpool have nipped Hamburg SV’s interest in Dirk Kuyt in the bud with a valuation of £16m for the Dutchman.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Hamburg got a nice little cash boost with the sale of Rafael Van der Vaart, but they’re not going to use it all and then some on one player. Besides, isn’t that valuation a little on the high side?
Newcastle are being linked with a £2m move for Toulouse defender Herita Ilunga. The 26-year old Congolese international moved to Toulouse from St. Etienne last year and was a regular fixture in the Toulouse starting XI.
Rumor Rating: 4 – With a price tag of only £2m, Ilunga would be an inexpensive addition, whether it’s just as a rotation player or as a regular starter.
That’s not the really important news for Newcastle, though, as they’re finally set to finalize a deal for Deportivo defender Fabricio Coloccini. The total price of the deal could end up being as high as £10m depending on incentives reached.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Great timing for Kevin Keegan, since Coloccini will get a chance to get at least a little bit acquainted with his new teammates before the start of the season.
Blackburn have signed another striker named Santa Cruz, namely Roque’s 18-year old brother Julio. The younger Santa Cruz has penned a three-year deal, coming from Paraguayan club Cerro Porteno to join big bro in the big time.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Don’t expect to see him in the first team for a little while yet, but maybe in the near future, there’ll be a partnership of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz up front. Either that, or Blackburn will still have at least one Santa Cruz if Roque leaves sometime soon.
Sunderland could make a £7m bid for Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy. The 30-year old striker is also wanted by Galatasaray, but with the Turkish champions reportedly put off by Blackburn’s asking price, Sunderland could be ahead in the chase.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Since Louis Saha looks to be dropping off of the radar thanks to his injury problems, McCarthy could be the answer. £7m would be a good price for a 30-year old striker who wasn’t in top form last season.
Aston Villa look set to beat Portsmouth for Reading left back Nicky Shorey in a £4.5m deal, and Martin O’Neill could also be closing in on the £5m signing of Middlesbrough right back Luke Young.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Defense was a bit of a weak spot for Villa last season, so making the back line a priority this summer is smart thinking. They already wrapped up a permanent deal for Curtis Davies, and adding Shorey and Young would go a long way in helping Villa’s defense get to where it needs to be in order for a run at the top four to be a realistic possibility.
According to the Daily Mail, West Ham are now the favorites to sign Marseille defender Gael Givet. Givet could cost only £1.75m, so that would be a small price to pay for an experienced defensive addition.
Rumor Rating: 5 – A move to England would give Givet the chance to match up against former Monaco teammate Patrice Evra, and he’d also run into a few members of the Porto squad that routed Monaco in the 2004 Champions League final (Ricardo Carvalho, Deco, Paulo Ferreira, to name the most notable).
Bolton have signed defender Danny Shittu from Watford for an undisclosed fee.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Shittu seemed all set for a move to Rangers last month, but that fell through before a deal was completed.
Ipswich have made a bid of £440k for Sheffield United defender Chris Armstrong.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Armstrong wasn’t a regular in Sheffield United’s starting lineup last term, so he may be allowed to go.
Wolves defender Rob Edwards has signed for Blackpool for an undisclosed fee. The 25-year old Wales international will immediately slot in as a key member of their push to stay with the pack in the Championship.
Rumor Rating: 5 – After (reluctantly) selling off Kaspars Gorkss to QPR, Blackpool needed to make a big defensive addition in time for the new season, and adding a seasoned international in Edwards is an excellent move.
Real Betis have signed midfielder Juanma Gomez from Levante for â‚¬1.5m. The 27-year old midfielder has signed a four-year deal with Betis.
Rumor Rating: 5 – All three of Betis’ signings this summer have been midfielders (Mehmet Aurelio from Fenerbahce and Achille Emana from Toulouse were the others), so it’s clear what area they wanted to address to help steer clear of the relegation zone in the upcoming season.
Roma, still in the hunt for attacking players, are now being linked with Freddie Ljunberg, who has been released by West Ham.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Ljunberg would be an iffy signing due to potential injury concerns, but he could be a high-reward – and cheap – acquisition.
Udinese have signed CSKA Sofia defender Nikola Vujadinovic. The 22-year old Montenegrin U-21 international has penned a five-year deal, and Udinese will pay CSKA â‚¬1m for his services.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Vujadinovic could play a key role in Udinese’s back line right off the bat, so he’ll get a chance to show if that million was a bargain, or if he should’ve taken the long-term contract with CSKA that he turned down in favor of leaving for Serie A.
Well, that’s it for transfer news and rumors for the day. Hopefully this space will be packed tomorrow, but until then, chime in with your thoughts on today’s rumors, chip in with ones that you’ve read and heard, and I’ll see you here tomorrow.