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Transfer Rumors (16 June 08): Villa to snub Chelsea, Arsenal play hardball over Hleb, Spurs sign African starlet, and more

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Ambition–without it, where would this transfer roundup be? Thanks to all of the players and clubs who have it, we’ve got plenty to present you everyday.

We start today’s roundup with a player who’s aiming for the highest level, and to do it, he may well have to leave his current club to do it.

I’ve broken down the rumors country by country to profile all of the leagues that we feature in our summer transfer pages, as we’ve added La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and the Championship to the Premier League page that we already had going on SL.

Enjoy, and I hope you like the sleeker, more organized roundup.


David Bentley has finally come out and said that he wants to quit Blackburn in order to find Champions League football, which he apparently doesn’t feel he will get at Ewood Park.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Well, you can’t fault his ambition, eh? He could get what he wants immediately with Liverpool, but he could also take his chances with Manchester City and Tottenham, who are both trying to build towards it.

Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie is healthy, and he could also be a little more wealthy soon, as the Daily Mail is linking him with a move to Inter Milan. Van Persie recently said that Arsenal need to splash the cash a little more when it comes to wages.

Rumor Rating: 2 – I don’t see him leaving at this point, but we’ll see.

Four goals in two games at Euro 2008 has David Villa’s stock soaring, and even though Valencia have said he’s not for sale at the moment, his performances are only serving to ignite the rumors. Chelsea are being linked with a swoop for him, but he’s apparently not interested in such a move.

Rumor Rating: 1 – I think Valencia will still sell him if the right offer comes in. He’s apparently told friends that he’d prefer a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona, so if that’s the case, Real might be the best bet, as Barcelona have already spent a lot thus far.

Chelsea are still reportedly after Villa’s international strike partner, as the Fernando Torres to Chelsea rumors just won’t go away. The News of the World says that Chelsea will offer Liverpool 40 million pounds for him.

Rumor Rating: 1 – Persistent, aren’t they?

Manchester United are reportedly set to make a bid for Dimitar Berbatov, but if they want to land him, they may have to include goalkeeper Ben Foster in the deal.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Like I said, less expensive options available, but anyhow. United may want to hold on to Foster, unless Spurs are willing to take a loan deal, but we’ll see what happens.

Tottenham have signed Congolese striker Paul-Jose Mpoku from Belgian side Standard Liege.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 16-year old Mpoku impressed in trials at Spurs last season, and he’ll be one to watch for the future.

Sunderland are looking ever the ambitious side and could make a club-record 10 million pound move for Celtic’s young attacker Aiden McGeady.

Rumor Rating: 3 – McGeady’s coming off of a terrific season for Celtic, and at just 22, the Ireland international has a world of potential.

According to The Sun, Portsmouth could wrap up an 8 million pound deal for Peter Crouch, and they could also snap up Nolberto Solano, who was recently released by West Ham.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Money shouldn’t be a problem in financing the Crouch deal, but you’ll have to keep reading to see why.

Hull City could make a 2 million pound bid for Celtic’s Lee Naylor, who spent all of his career in England with Wolves before making the move to Scotland in 2006.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Naylor has been a key part of Celtic’s success the last couple of seasons, but he might be looking to put himself back in the frame for England consideration by moving back to the Premier League.

Coventry City have agreed a fee with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar over Iceland international Aron Gunnarsson.

Rumor Rating: 4 – The 19-year old midfielder made his international debut in February, and he should have a chance at regular first-team action right off the bat with the Sky Blues.


Barcelona could very well end their pursuit of Alexander Hleb very soon if Arsenal continue to play hardball. The sticking point is apparently the asking price, as Arsenal want 20 million euros, which is more than Barca want to offer.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Arsenal have taken the hard line when it comes to Hleb and Adebayor, and for good reason. They could be willing to part with one or both, but it’d have to be on their terms, not the target club’s or the player’s.

Espanyol’s Albert Riera, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool, has not had any offers come in as of yet, and neither has goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.

Rumor Rating: 3 – If Liverpool sign James Milner, as it looks like they will, Riera could be out of the picture.

Valencia could try to steal Mallorca’s Fernando Navarro from the grasp of Sevilla, in the hopes that Mallorca could go for a player swap instead of the cash + player deal put forward by Sevilla

Rumor Rating: 3 – Navarro’s agent has already held talks with Valencia’s sporting director, so we’ll see where this goes.


Roma are reportedly interested in Portsmouth’s Niko Kranjcar, who is coming off of a fine season in helping Pompey win the FA Cup.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Harry Redknapp would be reluctant to sell, but if Roma offer 15 million pounds, that could help fund some key moves that could improve their chances of pushing for a Champions League spot soon.


Bayer Leverkusen have reportedly signed Ivory Coast international defender Constant Djakpa for 1.4 million euros from Romanian side Pandurri.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Well, Bayer must hope that Constant is a constant thorn in the side of opposing attackers for many years to come.

Vfb Stuttgart could be set to off-load goalkeeper Raphael Schafer to his old club Nurnberg after only a season, as Schafer didn’t quite live up to their expectations.

Rumor Rating: 5 – After the arrival of Jens Lehmann, Stuttgart are all too eager to let go of Schafer, and they might be willing to let him go for a cut-price fee to the relegated club, who can only hope that his wage demands aren’t excessive.


Nice striker Bakari Kone, brother of Sevilla’s Arouna, could make a move to Marseille soon, as the diminutive Ivorian striker has reportedly agreed a four-year contract with the club.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Kone, who scored 14 goals for Nice last season, has been linked with a move to England in the past, is also being linked with Atletico Madrid, who could swoop in and nab him if Marseille are put off by an asking price of 12 million euros.

Well, that’s it for today. What do you think of today’s rumors? Where will Bentley land? Do Chelsea have a chance at all for Torres and Villa? Are Arsenal being too stubborn?

Chime in, chip in, and I’ll be back tomorrow!

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