There’s a wealth of action on the pitch to turn your attention to today, but there’s still plenty to catch up on in transfer news and rumors.
It appears that Manchester City have won the race for West Ham’s Craig Bellamy, as reports say City’s £10m-plus offer (which includes bonuses) will be enough to persuade West Ham to sell and beat out Tottenham. (Daily Mirror)
Analysis: West Ham have been pretty reluctant to sell thus far, but their resolve might be broken with financial issues looking ready to engulf them.
Meanwhile, they’ve also apparently agreed a summer deal ‘in principle’ for Michael Owen, to the tune of around £90k a week. (Daily Express)
Analysis: Considering Owen said he wouldn’t decide on his future until the end of the season, I’m not putting much stock into this one unless something official comes from Owen himself.
Darren Bent is reportedly ready to leave Tottenham after things up front became a little more crowded with the return of Jermain Defoe, and could still get more crowded yet if Spurs sign another striker as expected. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Well that article certainly doesn’t shed a positive light on him, does it? Unfortunate for him to be the odd man out, but someone’s got to be, right? Combine the assumption that Defoe likely wouldn’t have returned without some assurances, Roman Pavyluchenko’s gradual improvement, and the fact that the goals have dried up for Bent after a hot start, and it doesn’t look good for Darren.
Newcastle could soon agree a loan deal for former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise, who could help solve the Magpies’ left back woes. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Rome is nice, but I imagine Riise will be looking forward to getting back to the Premier League.
Portsmouth are looking towards Valencia for a couple of midfield reinforcements, as they’re close to signing former Arsenal midfielder Edu (The Mirror) and have also made a £6m bid for former Everton man Manuel Fernandes (The Sun).
Analysis: The Premier League experience that both players have will come in handy, and Tony Adams won’t have to spend a lot of money to get some quality additions to his squad.
Stoke City could soon tie up a deal with Sheffield United for former Southampton and Everton striker James Beattie, though reports of a £2.5m deal being agreed are not true. (Clubcall)
Analysis: After dropping down a level after leaving Everton, Beattie’s shown he’s still got it by scoring 33 goals in a season and a half at Sheffield United. He’s still got the goods, and he should be able to provide Stoke at least a few goals even if they don’t stay up.
Lazio could face stiff competition for on-loan striker Mauro Zarate from Manchester City, who are considering a £30m move for the Argentine sensation. (Setanta Sports)
Analysis: Lazio still have a couple of payments to make on Zarate before he’s theirs, but unless some unforeseen complications arise (or Al-Sadd get pound signs in their eyes and go for the bigger offer), they should have nothing to worry about.
If you have a juicy rumor that we may have missed, post it in the comments, along with the link to the source if possible.
And if you want to keep up with all of the latest confirmed transfers, check out our updated January 2009 transfer lists.