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Transfer Rumors (9 August 08): M’Bia claims strong Everton interest, Boro interested in Arsenal’s Hoyte, Saha to replace Zigic at Valencia, and more



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Since it’s Saturday, it’s a pretty short day in transfer news, but whether it’s 5 bits or 50, you know I’m going to be here to deliver them piping hot to you.


Rennes midfielder Stephane M’Bia claims he could be moving to Everton soon. The 22-year old, who’s currently with the Cameroon squad at the Olympics, has been a target for Everton this summer, and now says that the club have made an offer of more than £6m for him.

Rumor Rating: 5 – It’s been a very, very quiet summer for Everton in the market, but now that they’ve sold Andy Johnson to Fulham, things could pick up at least a little.

It looks like David Nugent has realized that regular first-team action in the Championship isn’t so bad after all, as Ipswich are set to complete a £5.5m deal for the Portsmouth ‘flop.’

Rumor Rating: 5 – Didn’t take long for him to change his mind from his previous statement that he wanted to stay at Pompey and fight for a place, and in the end, it’s best for him and the club, as he’ll get to play his way back to the Prem, whether with Ipswich or with someone else, and Portsmouth will get some good funds for him.

Portsmouth could be set to net £2.5m more soon as well, as Celtic have made a bid of that amount for midfielder Sean Davis, who, like Nugent, is very much available. On a related note, Celtic could also sign AC Milan defender Dario Simic soon as well.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Portsmouth did miss out on Nicky Shorey, but now that they’re set to get a decent amount of extra funds, they could still be able to secure Younes Kaboul before Aston Villa does.

Stoke City are closing in on completing a loan deal for Valencia striker Nikola Zigic.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Getting on loan is a lot better than the £7/8m they were linked with paying for a permanent deal, but if he is as good as can be, he’ll be well worth a permanent deal.

Stoke seem to be making the front line their biggest priority this summer, as along with Zigic, they’re also looking at Algerian forward Rafik Djebbour, who is also a target for Blackburn and West Brom.

Rumor Rating: 4 – The 24-year old, who had a breakout season for Greek side Panionios last season, has also drawn interest from Olympiakos and Benfica, but he’s set to be in England this weekend to talk with the interested clubs.

Plymouth have agreed a deal with Manchester United to take defender Craig Cathcart on loan. The 19-year old is set to be with the Championship side for six months.

Rumor Rating: 5 – It’ll be pretty valuable experience for Cathcart, who’s a pretty promising prospect. An impressive spell at Plymouth could hasten his chances to get into the crowded first-team frame at United.


Real Betis are interested in making a loan move for Nery Castillo, who’s currently on loan at Manchester City from Shakhtar Donetsk. Betis have made an offer of €2m for the Mexican star, with a view of buying him for €10m at the end of next season.

Rumor Rating: 5 – There’s the small issue of canceling the loan deal with City (a deal that Castillo paid a good part of the fee for), but given the impression, or lack thereof, that Castillo made in Manchester, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Valencia are being linked with a surprise move for Manchester United’s Louis Saha.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Valencia may well try to work down his asking price or go for a loan deal, but it could happen.

Well, that’s it for the day in transfer news and rumors. I’ll be back with all the latest tomorrow, but until then, chime in with your thoughts on today’s tidbits, chip in with ones that you’ve read and heard, and do check out the updated summer transfer lists.