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Transfer Rumors (14 July 08): Manchester City make offer for Ronaldinho, Berbatov out, Santa Cruz in at Tottenham, Shevchenko to Sampdoria, and more



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There’s plenty to report on in today’s roundup, so without giving you much of an intro, I’ll get right to the good stuff. Enjoy!


Barcelona have confirmed that Manchester City have put in an offer of £22m for Ronaldinho. There have been reports that they’ve actually won the race to sign him, but those reports are being touted as bogus.

Rumor Rating: 4 – If it becomes a bidding war, City stand a good chance of winning. Does that sound strange?

So, have Tottenham already done a deal with Manchester United for Dimitar Berbatov? There are reports that say they have agreed a £24m deal for him with United, but they’re waiting to find a replacement before the deal is finalized. On the other hand, contradicting reports say that Spurs are holding out for £25m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Specifics, specifics. It shouldn’t be long before he’s a United man. Is he worth the £24/25m? Let’s hope so.

On a related note, the agent of Atletico Madrid hotshot Sergio Aguero says that a leading English team not named Chelsea have put in a bid for the Argentine wonderboy.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Process of elimination time! Arsenal – they could be in for him, but his value would seem to be out of their usual buying range. Liverpool – could they afford him right now? United – besides Chelsea, they would seem to be the team likeliest to put in the bid, so that’s my guess.

If United do go ahead and sign Berbatov, who will Tottenham replace him with? Another guy who’s been linked with United, Blackburn’s Roque Santa Cruz.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Blackburn aren’t interested in selling off their key players unless it’s for big money, but if Spurs do send Berba to United, they’d easily be able to pony up the £15m or so it’d take to get Santa Cruz.

The Andriy Shevchenko to Sampdoria rumors are heating up, and the club are saying that he’d be happy to sign him on a loan deal, if they are able to afford his wages.

Rumor Rating: 4 – There’s a good chance this move happens, even if Sheva has to take a pay cut to make it happen.

The Independent says that Portsmouth are set to make a £10m bid for Chelsea’s Shaun Wright-Phillips, looking to continue to their big spending after signing Peter Crouch last week. Pompey could also still be in the running for another playmaker, Monaco’s Jeremy Menez, but Monaco reportedly want £12m for the 21-year old.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Portsmouth are shaping up to be a pretty exciting side to watch next season. They weren’t consistent with the goals last season, but by adding more in the way of scorers and providers, that should change.

According to News of the World, Aston Villa are interested in Lorient midfielder Nicolas Marin. The 27-year old Marin could give Martin O’Neill the chance to put Gabriel Agbonlahor up front more often, instead of having him out on the wing.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Marin would seem to be a pretty inexpensive option to fill their needs in that area. He did spend much of last season coming off of the sub’s bench after beginning the campaign as a regular starter, but even so, there must be a good reason why Martin O’Neill is interested in him.

Sunderland are interested in Tottenham midfielder Steed Malbranque. Malbranque’s agent says that Sunderland are the only club to inquire about Malbranque, who could be available for £4m or more.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Malbranque’s been a solid performer in his two seasons at Tottenham, but with Juande Ramos making a lot of moves, he’s expendable.

Everton striker Andy Johnson only has eyes for Fulham, which will disappoint Wigan and Sunderland. Johnson is all but headed out of Goodison Park, with a £10m+ price on his head, and it looks like the former Crystal Palace star wants to go back to the capital, where he scored 85 goals for Palace in four seasons before moving to Everton.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The big question is if Fulham are going to pony up the £10m they need to get him. They already had a bid of £5m rejected, so we’ll see. Meanwhile, News of the World says that West Ham have bid £11m for AJ, so…

Wigan may not be too disappointed about Johnson wanting to go to Fulham, as they’re finally set to sign Egyptian striker Amr Zaki after finally working out a deal with Egyptian club Al-Zamalek. The deal will be a one-year loan deal with an option to sign permanently at the end of the campaign, and Wigan will pay £1.25m with a further £900k in bonuses and add-ons.

Rumor Rating: 5 – If Zaki scores 10 league goals next season, Zamalek will receive £500k, so there’s something at stake in the move for everyone involved.


Getafe have signed Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero on a permanent deal, with the 21-year old midfielder inking a five-year deal. Granero was on loan at the club last season, and he was a big part of their European success last season, scoring several goals and assisting on many more.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Even though Granero has signed a long-term deal, Real have the option to buy him back at some point.


According to Brazilian club Flamengo, former AC Milan striker Ronaldo is going to sign with the club once he fully recovers from the serious knee injury that he suffered in February.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Well, if a return to Brazil is the same elixir as it was for Adriano, it could be the right move for him to make.

If Portsmouth are to be able to afford Shaun Wright-Phillips, it could require selling off one of their key players, and it could be midfielder Sulley Muntari, who could be off to Juventus in a £12m deal. Muntari arrived from Udinese for only £5m last summer, but the Ghanaian was one of the biggest reasons why Pompey will be playing in Europe next season.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Juventus have been trying their hardest to add that talismanic presence to their midfield, and Muntari could prove to be it.

Inter have signed young striker Stefano Giacomelli from Serie C1 side Foligno. The deal is a loan deal with an option to buy permanently.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 18-year old is one of the top young talents in the Italian lower leagues, and he’s already part of Italy’s U-19 team.

Sampdoria are looking to sign Lazio captain Luciano Zauri to strengthen the left side of the defense.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Zauri is coming off of a poor season, and Lazio officially put him up for sale recently, so there shouldn’t be a lot standing in the way of Samp signing the former Atalanta man.

Well, that’s it for the day in transfer news. What do you think of today’s rumors? Ronnie to City – good idea? Should United go for Berbatov or Aguero? Will Portsmouth’s big spending pay off in Champions League football?

Chime in with your thoughts, chip in with rumors that you’ve heard and read, and I’ll be back with all the latest tomorrow.