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Transfer Rumors (17 June 09): Liverpool close on Portsmouth’s Johnson, Man United to land Wigan’s Valencia by the weekend, Manchester City near deal for Blackburn’s Santa Cruz, and more



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Did you know that a player’s teeth could cause a transfer to collapse? I didn’t, but apparently that’s the case with potential AC Milan signing Aly Cissokho, who could be set to remain with Porto after a problem with his teeth came up in his medical.

If that happens, that’ll be one name to subtract from our confirmed summer transfers lists, but if things go according to today’s transfer news and rumors, we could have several names to add over the next few days.


Liverpool’s Johnson Bid Accepted

Liverpool could be set to a seal a deal for Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson in the coming days after their bid of £18.5m was accepted. (The Guardian)

Analysis: With Rafa’s amount of available transfer funds being anyone’s guess, does this mean that he’s going to have to sell more than a few rotation and fringe players in order to make another big-money signing?

United To Complete Valencia Deal Soon

Bayern Munich may be trying to make a late run to steal Antonio Valencia from Manchester United’s clutches, but it appears that United could land the £16m Wigan winger by the weekend. (The Mirror)

Analysis: No surprises here.

United To Sign Barca Keeper Next Summer?

With Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes locked in a contract stalemate with Barcelona, Manchester United have (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Considering Valdes’ wage demands, this doesn’t seem like too realistic of a possibility unless he significantly drops them.

Chelsea To Bid For Ibrahimovic

Chelsea could be set to officially throw their hat into the Zlatan Ibrahimovic ring, as a £30m bid for the Inter Milan forward could be in the cards. (The Mirror)

Analysis: That’s a lot lower than Inter’s valuation of Ibrahimovic, but if reports from this week are true, a bid of any amount might not make much of a difference, as he could be set to stay at Inter for family reasons.

Arsenal In Talks For Hitzlsperger

Former Aston Villa star Thomas Hitzlsperger could be on his way back to the Premier League, as Arsenal are in for the VfB Stuttgart midfielder. (The Sun)

Analysis: Hitzlsperger made a big impression during his time at Aston Villa, but he’s really flourished at Stuttgart over the last few seasons, and to be able to land him for an extremely doable price of £5m would be a fantastic deal.

Gunners In For Melo

Another midfield target for Arsenal is Fiorentina star Felipe Melo. Arsenal have been after Melo for some time now, and they could be set to make a £15m bid for the Brazilian, who’s also a target for Inter Milan but reportedly prefers a move to Arsenal. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Melo picked up 17 yellow cards and three red cards last season at Fiorentina, and his physical style would not only fit in the Premier League, but it’d also bring some much-needed fire into Arsenal’s ranks. £15m would also represent a sizable profit for Fiorentina, who bought him for a little less than half that last summer.

City Close On Santa Cruz?

Manchester City could finally be set to sign Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, with a £17m deal expected to be completed within the next day. (The Mirror)

Analysis: It’s about time, right? Blackburn should be pretty happy about getting that much for Santa Cruz, considering how much his value (should have) dropped with how things went for him last season.

Porto Forwards In Demand

Manchester City and Tottenham are both interested in FC Porto striker Lisandro Lopez (Tribal Football).

However, he’s not the only Porto forward drawing Premier League interest. The representative for Hulk has claimed that Porto have rejected a bid for his client (Sky Sports), and there are also reports that Manchester United could be considering a bid for the 22-year-old, who’s valued at £35m (Tribal Football).

Analysis: Lopez has proven his quality over the last couple of seasons in Portugal and in Europe, scoring 44 goals in all competitions, and he could certainly succeed in the Premier League, as could Hulk, though that valuation might scare off United and anyone else for the time being.

Tottenham Bid For Real Madrid Trio

Tottenham’s chase for Ruud van Nistelrooy may be in limbo, but Spurs are very much in the midst of chasing three of his Real Madrid teammates. Club chairman Daniel Levy is in talks with Real over Arjen Robben, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Gabriel Heinze, who could come to White Hart Lane in a £36m deal. (The Mirror)

Analysis: With the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, and AC Milan all potentially being options for Robben, it’s no surprise that Robben’s father is so pessimistic (that’s putting it nicely) about his son joining Tottenham. Out of the three, Heinze’s the most realistic possibility, though Huntelaar could be as well, depending on whether or not interest comes in from other prominent clubs (including United, who have been linked with Huntelaar for quite a while).

Bentley In Talks With Villa, Drenthe To Follow?

Tottenham’s David Bentley has revealed that he’s in talks with Aston Villa (Sky Sports), and the former Blackburn star could be joined at Villa Park by Real Madrid outcast Royston Drenthe, who could be the subject of a £4m bid from Villa (The Mirror).

Analysis: Villa might face a battle for Drenthe with Panathinaikos, who could be set to offer Real Madrid a lot more money and also have Champions League football to offer Drenthe. The lure of the Premier League could prove to be a better draw for Drenthe, but it could all come down to who offers more first-team opportunities, as he no doubt harbors hopes of being a part of the Dutch squad for next year’s World Cup.

West Ham Land Inter Duo?

West Ham are set to make a double loan swoop for Inter Milan duo Luis Jimenez and Mancini. (Various)

Analysis: According to The Sun, the deals are already done, but even if there are still some loose ends to be tied up, this is certainly good business for Gianfranco Zola to land two quality talents without having to spend a lot of money (right now, at least).

Birmingham Agree Fee For Johnson

Birmingham have agreed a fee of £5m with Cardiff for defender Roger Johnson (The Mirror), and Alex McLeish could also soon be reunited with Barry Ferguson (BBC Sport).

Analysis: Birmingham have certainly been the most active of the promoted sides thus far, and with the moves that they’ve made, I like their chances of being able to stay up and make a Stoke City-like splash next season.


The Latest On David Villa

Valencia striker David Villa has apparently made his decision about where he will play next season, but who will it be? Only he and his agent know, but he certainly has his pick of options.

The Spain star has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool, and it looked like he was bound for Real, but they may be pulling out of the running due to his high valuation (Sky Sports).

It’s been stated that his preference would be to stay in Spain, which would seem to favor Barcelona, but Valencia are reportedly interested in hearing what United and Chelsea have to offer. However, a blow to both of those hopefuls could be that if he does move to the Premier League, he’d only do it to join up with former Valencia manager Rafa Benitez at Liverpool.

Analysis: The best offers may well come from Barcelona and United (and maybe Chelsea, though their low-ish offer for Ibrahimovic makes me think otherwise), and if it comes down to those two, I’d have to favor Barcelona, given his preferences. But, if Rafa can somehow persuade Tom Hicks and George Gillett to pony up the funds for the betterment of the club (and in the end, their pockets as well), then Liverpool may well be in with a shout. That appears to be a slim possibility, but you never know…

Real To Bid For De Rossi

Real Madrid are ready to make a bid for Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi. (Tribal Football)

Analysis: De Rossi doesn’t seem keen on leaving Roma, and the same can be said about Roma and their desire (or lack thereof, rather) to sell him, so Real Madrid will likely have to go to Plan C, after being rebuffed for Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso as well.

Barcelona Bid For Robinho & Reina

Barcelona are planning to make a £35m bid for Manchester City star Robinho. (The Mirror)

(Daily Mail)

Analysis: Could City bite on the Robinho offer? He did cause a few headaches for Mark Hughes last season, and the club could figure that making a small profit on him and making good use of it in the market could be better than going through more headaches next season. But, with him poised to be a big part of City’s ambitions next season and beyond, they may be willing to deal with the headaches.

As for Reina, I’m sure it’s nothing personal against Rafa, but I’m sure he wishes that they could just take ‘no’ for an answer for both like Real Madrid seem to have done for Xabi Alonso (for the time being, at least).

Frey To Replace Valdes At Barca?

With Victor Valdes potentially on his way out of Barcelona either this summer or next, Barca could be targeting Fiorentina keeper Sebastien Frey as his replacement. (Goal.com)

Analysis: Fiorentina will undoubtedly be reluctant to part with Frey, who’s been a key piece of their rise over the last few seasons. However, after spending the last decade in Italy, he could be tempted by the chance for a new challenge.


Roma Eye Pogatetz

Roma are interested in Middlesbrough defender Emmanuel Pogatetz. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: It’d be a blow for Middlesbrough to lose Pogatetz, but an offer from Roma would certainly be hard to turn down.

Napoli To Land De Ceglie

Napoli are set to continue their busy summer by completing a co-ownership deal with Juventus for promising defender Paolo de Ceglie. (Tribal Football)

Analysis: More good business by Napoli, signing one of Italy’s most promising young talents in de Ceglie, who’s also been linked in swap moves to Udinese and Liverpool this summer.


Crouch To Join German Champions?

Yesterday, it was Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov being linked with VfL Wolfsburg. Now it’s Portsmouth’s Peter Crouch, who’s being linked with the German champions after being spotted at a concert near Wolfsburg’s stadium. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: What’s next? Emmanuel Adebayor spotted wearing lederhosen and driving a shiny new Volkswagen around the streets of Wolfsburg?