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Transfer Rumors (8 August 08): Chelsea make bid for Robinho, Aston Villa sign two defenders, Hamburg interested in another Liverpool forward, and more



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The weeks seem to be flying by these days, as we’re already at the end of another one. After a summer that has been both long and short at the same time, the seasons are set to begin soon in Europe’s top leagues (the SPL and Ligue 1 both get underway this weekend), and many clubs to get reinforcements snapped up before the action kicks off.

Today’s roundup is actually a little on the shorter side, but there’s plenty for you to get caught up on with the latest transfer headlines around Europe.


Chelsea have made an offer of £19.7m for Real Madrid’s Robinho. The offer isn’t much more than half of what Real value him at, but maybe it’ll get them to blink.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Robinho really, really wants this move to happen, though with their chances of signing Cristiano Ronaldo done for the summer, it looks like Real want the opposite after looking all too ready to let him go during the thick of the Ronaldo saga.

Aston Villa are set to unveil Nicky Shorey as their newest signing today, as they’re all set to wrap up a £3m deal for the Reading defender.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Villa are also set to unveil Boro’s Luke Young as well, and they’ve also made a £4m bid for Tottenham’s Younes Kaboul.

Another Reading player could be back in the Premier League before the start of the new season, as Sunderland are set to make a move for striker Kevin Doyle.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Doyle is coming off of a season in which he wasn’t his best, but the season before, he scored 13 league goals and was in the running for the PFA’s Young Player of the Year award. A move to Sunderland would allow the 24-year old Ireland international to become the latest member of an ever-growing Irish contingent at the club, and he’d also be a great pickup whether or not they secure either Benni McCarthy or Louis Saha.

After impressing during a trial at Blackburn, Lens midfielder Julien Sable could be on his way to the Premier League in a permanent move, which could cost £2.5m.

Rumor Rating: 4 – While Sable isn’t exactly the marquee signing that Blackburn fans might be wishing for, he does have a great deal of experience, having been a regular in the St. Etienne side since he was a teenager, playing well over 300 league matches before he moved to Lens last year.

Bolton’s Abdoulaye Meite is set to decide between West Brom and Hull, both of whom have had £2m bids for the Ivorian defender accepted.

Rumor Rating: 5 – So, how’s he going to decide? Coin flip? West Brom may be able to offer more money, judging by their summer spending, but Hull would be a great opportunity all the same.

Birmingham have signed striker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie on loan for a £1.5m fee.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Alex McLeish won’t be short of striking options for the new season, from Owusu-Abeyie, to James McFadden, to Kevin Phillips.


It looks like I may have to make a change to the La Liga transfers page, as Aldo Duscher’s move from Racing to Sevilla may not be set in stone just yet. Duscher looked all set to move to Sevilla, with terms agreed all around. But, another club (apparently Real Betis) have made a bid for his services, and coincidentally, Racing Santander’s president, who needs to sign off on the deal for it to become official, has become unreachable over the last few days.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Understandable that Racing may want the higher offer for their sake, but if they pull out of the deal with Sevilla, it could get really, really messy.


Lecce have completed the signing of Argentine striker Jose Ignacio Castillo from Pisa for a fee believed to be €2m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 33-year old has been tearing it up in Italy’s lower leagues for much of the decade, and he scored 21 league goals in helping newly-promoted Pisa reach the Serie B playoffs. This move to Serie A is a long time coming, really, as he had to bide his time for several seasons in Serie D until he was eligible to play in the higher divisions.


Hamburg SV could make a £7m move for Celtic striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who not only has one of the best names in the game, but can find the net on a regular basis. In two seasons at Celtic, the former PSV man has netted 38 times, including 20 last season.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Hamburg have money to spend after the sale of Rafael Van der Vaart, and they really need to add a real goal-getter to replace the production that Van der Vaart had in his time at the club. Celtic may well be inclined to sell, since the 7m would double what they paid for him two years ago.

After being knocked back in their short pursuit of Dirk Kuyt, Hamburg SV are after another, much cheaper Liverpool forward in Andriy Voronin. Voronin scored all of six goals for Liverpool last season, so he must be worth £1m per goal to Liverpool.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Voronin is definitely far more expendable than Kuyt, but still, it seems like Liverpool are intent on overvaluing players.


PSV have put a price tag of €15m on midfielder Ibrahim Afellay. Afellay is one of several midfielders that has drawn the interest of Roma, but PSV aren’t going to sell such a promising talent unless they get a sizable fee.

Rumor Rating: 3 – They may need to raise the price a little higher and put it out of Roma’s range.


Jose Antonio Reyes (remember him?) has moved from Atletico Madrid to Benfica on a season-long loan.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Considering that the return to Spain that he so desperately wanted hasn’t turned out like he’d hoped, I wonder if Jose is wishing he’d stayed in England and

Well, believe it or not, we’re already at the end of today’s roundup. I know it’s a little short, but I’ll be here through the weekend keeping you updated on all of the latest in transfers, from the reality to the rubbish.

Oh, and in case you need a laugh, just read this headline. Juvenile? Maybe. Funny? Certainly.