Hear that? That’s the ‘ching ching’ that Valencia’s bigwigs are dreaming about after David Villa’s hat trick for Spain on Tuesday. There’s no Villa rumors in today’s roundup, but I’m sure there will be soon.
So, it’s official: Aaron Ramsey will be moving from Cardiff to Arsenal in the next couple of days. Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale hoped the youngster would have chosen Manchester United since they offered a loan-back option, but alas, he and Sir Alex Ferguson both will have to rue the fact that Fergie didn’t have a face-to-face meeting with the Ramseys, while Arsene Wenger did.
Rumor Rating: 5 – I’m a United guy, but kudos to Arsene, and good luck to Ramsey. We’ll be seeing him in the Carling Cup sometime next season, aye? He will have a chance to make an impact in the first team right off the bat, so he may not take the usual Arsenal youth development route.
Aston Villa are reportedly holding out for 14 million pounds for Gareth Barry, and it looks like they’ll get it and then some, as the Daily Mirror is saying that Liverpool will make a 15 million pound bid, with another 3 million in add-ons.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Well, that should be enough to get him, shouldn’t it? Let’s get it done already! If they refuse this bid, are they just getting greedy or just trying to piss Rafa Benitez off?
Tottenham could enter the race for Blackburn’s Roque Santa Cruz, who’s reportedly a prime target for Manchester United.
Rumor Rating: 3 – There’s still nothing on Dimitar Berbatov’s future as of yet, but Santa Cruz seems likely to be an option for Juande Ramos only if Berbatov does move soon.
Spurs are also set to wrap up a 6 million pound move for West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand, as they smartly work on shoring up their defense.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Ferdinand will add experience to Tottenham’s back line and compete for regular first-team opportunities, and he can also show Juande Ramos how to be hip, or to break one.
One man who doesn’t look set to be part of Tottenham’s defensive rotation next season is Pascal Chimbonda, who has been told he can leave Spurs for 2 million pounds.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Chimbonda was linked with a move away from White Hart Lane in the winter window when the club signed Jonathan Woodgate and Alan Hutton, but with him officially on the market, the Daily Mail says that Fulham, Rangers, and Aston Villa could go after him.
Chelsea’s Khalid Boulahrouz is a target for Marseille, who spent last season on loan at Sevilla.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Chelsea may not object to Boulahrouz leaving, though the new manager might want to assess all of the squad’s members before making any decisions on who stays and who goes.
Newcastle have off-loaded defender David Rozenhal to Lazio for good, and they should recoup the 2.9 million pounds that they paid PSG for him last summer.
Rumor Rating: 5 – After he went on loan to Lazio only a few months after his arrival at Newcastle, it was unlikely he was going to be a part of Kevin Keegan’s future plans.
However, Joey Barton has refused a pay cut, so it looks like he’s going to be looking for a new team when he gets out of lockup.
Rumor Rating: 5 – All the better for Newcastle that he’ll likely be leaving, but if I were him, I’d think twice about refusing a pay cut when they’re offering him a lifeline despite his inability to stay out of trouble.
Juventus could be lining up a move for Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger, with former Chelsea and Lyon man Tiago likely part of a cash-plus-player offer.
Rumor Rating: 2 – It would take a lot of money for Bayern to think about selling Schweinsteiger, who’s one of their prized possessions.
Schalke 04 have signed PSV’s Jefferson Farfan for a fee believed to be around 10 million euros.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Farfan says he wanted to leave Holland for a more competitive league, but uncompetitive league or not, he’s coming off a single-digit goal tally after netting more than 20 in each of the previous two seasons.
Well, that’s it for today. Santa Cruz for Tottenham or Manchester United? Should Barton take the pay cut, or will some other team take a chance on him? Do Juventus have a realistic chance at capturing Schweinsteiger?
Chime in, chip in, and I’ll be back tomorrow!
Oh, before I forget, in case you’re curious about the rating system for the rumors, I should explain it (thanks to SpiralArchitect for inquiring about it):
1 – Nearly impossible/extremely laughable
2 – Highly unlikely, but can’t be written off
3 – One to watch, could go either way
4 – Great chance at being a reality
5 – Player will likely be moving somewhere very soon, or is already signed on somewhere
Hope that clears any confusion up!