Transfer Rumors (18 July 08): Eto’o to Uzbekistan (not a joke!), Tottenham to offload four, Manchester United in for England U-21 keeper, and more

You can’t always believe everything you read, but sometimes it’s not as crazy as it seems. That’s what kicks off today’s roundup, which includes news from Toulouse to, well, you’ll find out in a second.


Uzbekistani club Kuruvchi recently posted a story on their site about Samuel Eto’o coming to play for them.

Believe it or not, there’s actually some truth to it. While Eto’o hasn’t signed on with the club – who are tops in the Uzbek Premier League and will play Iranian side Saipa F.C. in the quarters of the Asian Champions League in September – he is considering their offer, along with several others.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Now talk about a transfer coup. When healthy, Eto’o is a top-class striker and could play for just about any club that he wants, including one in Uzbekistan, apparently.


Portsmouth have rejected a bid of 12m from Monaco for Niko Kranjcar, and had some rather interesting comments to say about the bid and Monaco itself.

“Monaco have come in for Niko and offered around £12million for him. We wouldn’t sell him and he didn’t want to go anyway so that was the end of that one.

“No disrespect, but why would he want to go there anyway? They get 6,000 people watching them.

“You go there on a weekend and it’s a unique experience, people aren’t interested in the football. They all go out on the Saturday night and get dressed up for dinner, not to watch football.”

Rumor Rating: 1 – Well that’s that, then? He also said that there won’t be any selling of Sulley Muntari to Juventus, so I assume they have more than enough money in the coffers to go for Shaun Wright-Phillips and others without having to sell off the likes of Kranjcar and Muntari.

The Sun says that Sir Alex Ferguson is looking to do a deal with son and Peterborough manager Darren and land promising young keeper Joe Lewis for £3m and keeper Tom Heaton (who’s set to go on loan at Cardiff).

Rumor Rating: 3 – If United do land Lewis, two of England’s top keeping prospects for the future will be in Manchester, with City’s Joe Hart on the blue side.

Sunderland have reportedly lodged bids for Tottenham quartet Steed Malbranque, Pascal Chimbonda, Younes Kaboul, and Teemu Tainio. The first three have been linked with moves lately, with Malbranque already being linked with a move to Sunderland.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Juande Ramos likely won’t object to any of these players leaving, and according to the Daily Mail, a £23m fee has been agreed.

Sunderland are also interested in Borussia Dortmund striker Mladen Petric. The 27-year old Croatian international only moved to Germany last season, where he scored 16 goals. He also scored seven goals for Croatia in Euro 2008 qualifying, including (England fans, feel free to scroll down) the goal that spelled the end of England’s Euro 2008 hopes.

Rumor Rating: 3 – The Sun says that Roy Keane hopes he can get Petric for about £5m, but Dortmund could seek more, or not be willing to sell at all.

West Ham have beaten the likes of Lazio and Inter to the signature of Hungarian starlet Balint Bajner from Romanian side Liberty Oradea. The 17-year old forward is the youngest member of Hungary’s U-19 squad for the ongoing UEFA U-19 championships, which also includes Liverpool youngsters Krisztian Nemeth, Andras Simon, and Peter Gulacsi.

Rumor Rating: 5 – In his trial at West Ham, Bajner had two goals and two assists in a 5-1 rout of Preston. Impressive, no? With the young talent that Hungary seems to be producing (which also includes Newcastle winter signing Tamas Kadar and Sampdoria’s Vladimir Koman), they may be a side to watch for in a few years.

Fulham are close to completing a deal for Rosenborg defender Fredrik Stoor in the next few days. The Swede has been a Fulham target for a while, and after lengthy negotiations, the end appears to be in sight.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Two defensive reinforcements in a week is a good move for the Cottagers. A defender could be headed out of Craven Cottage as well, as Moritz Volz has been offered to La Liga side Racing Santander.

Plymouth have signed former Arsenal and Reading keeper Graham Stack and former Rushden & Diamonds Yala Bolaise from Maltese club Floriana.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Bolasie is a cousin of current Olympiakos forward Tresor Lomana Lua Lua, who made a name for himself in the lower leagues at Colchester before playing for Newcastle and Portsmouth.

Wolves have bid £1.75m for Sheffield Wednesday’s young center back Mark Beevers. Beevers, who made his debut for the England U-19s earlier this year, was voted as Sheffield Wednesday’s Fans’ Player of the Year last season.

Rumor Rating: 2 – It doesn’t seem likely that Wednesday would sell one of their top prospects and someone who’s already a key player to a Championship rival.

Derby are closing in on the £1.75m signing of striker Rob Hulse from Sheffield United, and they’re also in the running for another striker in Wigan’s Marlon King.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Hull might have the edge for King, who’s set to leave Wigan after only arriving from Watford in January, as he scored only one goal in 15 appearances for the Latics. Hull have put in a £3m bid for a permanent deal, while Derby have offered £1m for a loan deal.


Marseille may finally wrap up a deal for Nice striker Bakari Kone, as the Ivorian hit-man said that things are ‘heading down a good road.’

Rumor Rating: 5 – Djibril Cisse and Mamadou Niang combined for 42 goals last season, but with Cisse’s injury history and him being linked with moves elsewhere, it doesn’t hurt to add another good scoring option. If Cisse does stay, Marseille shouldn’t have a problem scoring goals next season.

In other Ligue 1 striker news, Toulouse are set to sign Schalke’s Soren Larsen in a deal worth a little over €3m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 26-year old Danish international, who has been at Schalke since 2005, will replace Johan Elmander, who recently signed for Bolton.


Feyenoord are moving in on Newcastle reserve keeper Tim Krul. The Holland U-21 international is behind Shay Given and Steve Harper in the Newcastle pecking order, and spent last season on loan at Scottish side Falkirk.

Rumor Rating: 3 – He could yet have a future at Newcastle, as he’s still only 20, and Given (32) and Harper (33) are both getting up in years. However, Feyenoord could offer him a return to familiarity, and he could potentially break into the first team quicker there than he may at Newcastle.

Well, that’s it for the day in transfer news. What do you think of today’s tidbits? Samuel Eto’o snubbing the big boys for a move to Uzbekistan – would it be a good move, or would it be sheer lunacy? Portsmouth not selling to buy – could they be a serious challenger for a Champions League spot next season?

Chime in with your thoughts on today’s news and rumors, chip in with bits you’ve heard and read, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

Also, don’t forget to check out the updated summer transfer lists, because I say so!

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