Transfer Rumors (17 July 08): Hleb moves to Barcelona, Liverpool to put in improved offer for Keane, Newcastle lose out on Aimar, and more

The transfer sagas are slowly but surely working themselves out. Ronaldinho is set for a new chapter in his career, and just as he’s leaving Barcelona, a new face is headed to the Nou Camp. That’s the highlight of today’s roundup, but there’s a lot more to talk about as well, from Liverpool to Lazio.


Alexander Hleb has finally gotten his wish, as he has officially moved from Arsenal to Barcelona for an initial £12m. Arsenal could receive as much as £13.5m depending on how well Barca does while Hleb’s there.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Well, it had been expected for some time, even though things looked to be on the verge of breaking down at one point. Wonder if he’s brought his earplugs with him?


Liverpool are expected to make an offer for Robbie Keane sometime in the next day or so, which they hope will be good enough to seal a deal for the Irish striker.

Rumor Rating: 5 – That may well be it for their bigger summer signings, unless Xabi Alonso does end up leaving at some point.

The Premier League’s big boys are being linked with a move for Juventus starlet Sebastian Giovinco. The diminutive 21-year old attacker is currently mired in a contract dispute with Juve, and Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool are being linked with a swoop for him in case things don’t get resolved.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Giovinco is rated as one of Italy’s top prospects, and in May, he was named MVP of the prestigious Toulon tournament in France, where he helped lead Italy’s U-21s to the title.

Newcastle made a late run at trying to get Real Zaragoza playmaker Pablo Aimar, but in the end, Aimar is set to sign for Benfica in a 7.5m euro deal.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The former Valencia star will be reunited with former Valencia coach Quique Flores, and he’ll get to play in the UEFA Cup.

Newcastle are reportedly ready to offer Damien Duff to West Ham in exchange for defender Anton Ferdinand.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Ferdinand seem all set to go to Tottenham last month, but West Ham’s £8m valuation of Rio’s little bro was apparently more than they and Aston Villa wanted to pay.

Blackburn have made a late push for Scott Carson, lodging a bid to rival West Brom and Stoke’s bids of £4m, which were accepted. With Brad Friedel off to Aston Villa, and Paul Ince reportedly not interested in Paul Robinson, Carson has emerged as an option to step in as the new #1 at Ewood Park.

Rumor Rating: 5 – At this point, you’d think that Blackburn might win out because they c ould likely offer Carson more than either of the newly-promoted sides could.

Olivier Kapo has, as expected, completed his move from Birmingham to Wigan. The 27-year old signed a three-year deal to reunite with Steve Bruce, who brought him to Birmingham from Juventus last summer.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Birmingham have gotten a bit to spend with the sales of Fabrice Muamba and now Kapo, and they used £1m of it to buy Marcus Bent from Charlton.

Wigan have also reportedly made a £4m bid for Middlesbrough midfielder and England U-21 international Lee Cattermole. Cattermole made his Boro debut at 17, and while he hasn’t become a full-timer in Boro’s starting XI yet, he has made regular appearances over the last couple of seasons.

Rumor Rating: 2 – The 20-year old is one of several young, talented midfielders in Boro’s squad, and with him set to have a key role in the side next season, ti doesn’t seem likely that Gareth Southgate would want to let him go, at least not for just £4m.

Hull City have further bolstered their squad by signing three more players, taking their total for the summer to [] by signing Plymouth’s Peter Halmosi, Middlesbrough’s George Boateng, and former Fulham goalkeeper Tony Warner.

Rumor Rating: 5 – With Hull and West Brom making a lot of signings this summer, Stoke have some catching up to do.

Just as one prolific Egyptian striker moves to England, another one follows right behind him. Days after Al-Zamalek confirmed that Amr Zaki would be moving to Wigan, international teammate and former club rival Emad Moteab has moved from Al-Ahly to Bristol City for a club-record £1.5m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Bristol City were one of the lower-scoring sides in the Championship last season (54 goals in 46 matches), so the addition of Moteab, who averaged a little more than a goal every other match in his time with Al-Ahly and almost the same ratio internationally (22 goals/47 games), could prove to be one that helps them get promoted to the Premier League after losing out in the playoff final to Hull City last season.

Norwich have made a bid for former Arsenal and Derby striker Arturo Lupoli. The 21-year old, who has played for Italy at every level up to U-21, moved from Arsenal to Fiorentina last summer, but he spent part of last season on loan at Serie B side Treviso.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Fiorentina seem keen to keep Lupoli and only loan him out for the time being, so there’s a good chance Norwich will have to settle for that.


Treviso attacker and Italy U-21 international Andrea Russotto is set to sign for Napoli. Russotto, who was a product of Lazio’s youth system, has been with Treviso since 2005.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Russotto will be a part of Italy’s Olympic squad next month, so that will be a chance for the world to see his talents.

Lazio have beaten Everton to the signature of Lille defender Stephan Lichtsteiner for 1.8m euros. The 24-year old Swiss international was heavily linked with Everton recently, but Lazio have swooped in, and Lichtsteiner is set to sign a four-year deal with the club.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Amusing how the transfer dominoes fall – West Ham are moving for Lazio’s Valon Behrami, and as a result, their Premier League foes miss out on Lichtsteiner.

Well, that’s it for the day in transfers. What do you think of today’s tidbits? Hleb to Barcelona – goodbye and good riddance?

Chime in, chip in, and I’ll be back tomorrow – and make sure you check out the summer transfer lists!

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