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Transfer Rumors (10 July 08): Arsenal to finally part with Hleb, Liverpool’s Crouch pens Portsmouth deal, Chelsea offload Sidwell, and more



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There’s a lot to pack in to today’s roundup, and a few of the running transfer sagas from the summer are being settled, which could get some other moves in motion.

It looks like Alexander Hleb is finally set for his move to Barcelona, as multiple reports are saying that Barca could soon officially seal a deal that’s in the region of £15m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – That’s one down, hopefully.

Another extended saga should come to an end shortly, as Peter Crouch has reportedly agreed terms with Portsmouth, which puts his £11m move all the closer to completion.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Unfortunately for Rafa, it looks like Xabi Alonso will be staying, which could hurt his buying power for the remainder of the summer. However, this move could help making the Barry transfer finally get done.

Aston Villa have finally sealed a £5m deal for Chelsea’s Steve Sidwell. Sidwell is set to receive a sizable part of the transfer fee, as he’s taking a large pay cut from the £65k per week that he received for being a bit-part player for a season at Chelsea.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Three in one day–how about that?

With things still uncertain in regards to Emmanuel Adebayor, Arsenal could be weighing up some striking options, and one of them could be Colombian star Falcao, who Manchester Untied are also interested in.

Rumor Rating: 3 – The Sun says that Arsenal could be making an £8m bid for the 22-year old, but River Plate value him higher.

After signing Sidwell, Villa are also in line to make an £11m pound move for Valencia defender Miguel to finally solidify the right back position.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Scoring wasn’t an issue for Villa last season, but defense was (51 goals allowed) at times, so this’ll be money well spent.

Manchester City are reportedly close to signing defender Tal Ben-Haim in a £5m deal by the end of the week. Like Sidwell, Ben-Haim moved to Chelsea last summer and promptly didn’t feature much.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Ben-Haim wasn’t a good fit at Chelsea, but he’ll likely fare much better at City.

Fulham are set to pay £6.5m for a double swoop of West Ham duo Bobby Zamora and John Paintsil in an effort to boost their attack and defense.

Rumor Rating: 5 – There are question marks about the moves and the fee. Are Zamora’s best days behind him? He can still find the net regularly if he’s healthy, but he missed most of last season due to tendonitis. As for Paintsil, he is an integral part of Ghana’s national team, but he’s been a minimal part of West Ham’s squad in his two seasons there.

Stoke and Hull are doing all they can to improve their hopes of staying in the Premier League for more than one season, and both are racing to sign Portsmouth’s David Nugent to bolster their strike force.

Ipswich are nearing a deal for Greek striker Angelos Charisteas after agreeing a £2.25m fee with German club Nurnberg for the tall goal-getter.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Charisteas hasn’t ever been a prolific scorer on club level, but he has 19 goals for his country, with his biggest one accounting for the lone tally of the Euro 2004 final against Portugal to give the Greeks a shock title.

Burnley could soon sign Manchester United midfielder Chris Eagles. Eagles has yet to really make an impact at United, and they’ve given the all-clear for a deal to happen.

Rumor Rating: 5 – By being active in the market this summer, Burnley are putting themselves in a good position to make a run for at least a playoff spot in the Championship next season.


After missing out on Mark Schwarzer, Juventus are still in the market for a backup to Gianluigi Buffon, and two names that are now on their shortlist are Fulham’s Antti Niemi and Red Bull Salzburg’s Timo Ochs.

Rumor Rating: 5 – It’s highly unlikely that Buffon’s backup will see a great deal of time in net, but Juventus will likely select carefully because you never know what might happen, and if you want a backup, you want one who can step in and do the job.

Sampdoria have wrapped up the signing of Piacenza midfielder Marco Padalino, and they could make two more additions to the midfield in coming days in Parma’s Daniele Dessena and Juventus’ Sergio Almiron.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Sampdoria have been busy in the summer, and have done well to strengthen their chances of securing a Champions League place next season.

Bologna have signed Corinthians defender Coelho on a one-year loan deal, with an option to make the deal permanent afterwards. Coelho was heavily linked with Celtic in December, but that didn’t materialize into a move.

Rumor Rating: 5 – You have to watch out for his elbows if he’s in your vicinity, as he received a 120-day ban (reduced to five matches) for elbowing Cruzeiro’s Kerlon. Maybe he just doesn’t take kindly to tricksters is all…


Nice have found their replacement for the departed Hugo Lloris (now with Lyon), snapping up another promising young keeper by signing Colombian David Ospina on a four-year deal. Nice will pay two million euros for the 19-year old, who is already well-established in the Colombian senior national team, with 10 caps already to his credit.

Rumor Rating: 5 – That fee should prove to be a bargain if Ospina continues to develop as he has thus far.


Former Bolton youngster Kevin Wolze has inked a three-year deal with Wolfsburg after leaving Bolton. The 18-year old midfielder was reportedly homesick after the death of a close relative and decided to move to his hometown club.

Rumor Rating: 5 – You can understand his need to move back home, though Bolton is seeking compensation for his move.


FC Groningen have signed Wigan’s Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist on a four-year deal. Granqvist didn’t settle in his one year at Wigan, but according to his comments, the move to Holland will suit him much better. He said, “I am a player who likes to build the play up, rather than going for the long pass. I am still young and I want to improve. I believe Groningen is the club that will allow me to do that.”

Rumor Rating: 5 – Defense was one of Groningen’s weaknesses last term as they just missed out on a UEFA Cup spot (lost in a playoff), so adding the 23-year old is a good addition for them.

Well, that’s it for the day’s news and rumors. Chime in with your thoughts on today’s tidbits, chip in with ones you’ve dug up, and I’ll be back tomorrow.