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Transfer Rumors (19 June 08): Arsenal agree terms with Nasri, Spurs chase Albelda and Podolski, Demel to Newcastle, and more



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It’s a pretty loaded day in transfer news and rumors, as there are several signings to report, and there are a few more that could be official in the coming days.


According to BBC Sport, Arsenal have all but tied up Marseille’s Samir Nasri, as the 20-year old midfielder has reportedly agreed a four-year deal.

Rumor Rating: 5 – France’s elimination may have been a big help in helping the deal get wrapped up a lot quicker and keeping other clubs from stealing Nasri from under Arsenal’s noses.

AC Milan have dropped out of the race to sign Ronaldinho, clearing the way for Manchester City to swoop in with a contract offer of 9.5 million pounds per season, which would make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.

Rumor Rating: 3 – City will still have to splash out at least 20 million for the fee, on top of whatever they’ll be paying him. Is he worth it at this point?

Chelsea and Tottenham are interested in signing Valencia’s David Albelda, who should be given his release from the club later this month. The 30-year old midfielder was frozen out of Ronald Koeman’s plans last season, and even with Koeman now gone, Albelda is still set to leave.

Rumor Rating: 4 – It looked like things were going to end anything but nicely for Albelda at Valencia, but now the club look set to let him leave quietly.

According to the Daily Mirror, Everton are interested in a move for Dutch international Orlando Engelaar, and the Toffees have already made contact with his club FC Twente.

Rumor Rating: 3 – With Twente set to play in the Champions League next season, Engelaar could wait, but he’s soon turning 29, so he may feel it’s time to make a big move.

Portsmouth are interested in making a loan deal for Argentine striker Mauro Zarate, who had an impressive loan spell at Birmingham in the second half of last season.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Zarate, who’s owned by Qatari club Al-Sadd, is valued at 20 million pounds, so a permanent deal might be out of the question, but a loan deal could definitely be in the works, especially if things continue to stay quiet on the Peter Crouch front.

Middlesbrough have agreed a 4.5 million pound fee with PSG for midfielder Didier Digard.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Newcastle are also interested in the 21-year old, but Boro have the inside track on Digard, who they will reportedly offer 15,000 pounds per week.

Newcastle are set to offload striker Shola Ameobi to Norwich for 3.5 million pounds.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Ameobi rejected a move to stay in the top flight with Stoke, but the chance to link up with former Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder might have sealed the deal for him.

The Magpies are being linked with Hamburg SV defender Guy Demel, and while the Ivory Coast international is flattered by the interest, any potential move will have to wait until he returns from international duty.

Rumor Rating: 4 – England isn’t unfamiliar to Demel, but hopefully his second experience will last longer than his first, as he was at Arsenal for one season (2000-01) before leaving for Borussia Dortmund.

Birmingham are interested in signing Czech striker Jan Koller, who could be available on the cheap after Nurnberg were relegated from the Bundesliga.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Birmingham have a fight on their hands, however, as Russian side Krylia Sovetov Samara are also interested in the 35-year old.

Ipswich have signed Leicester defender Gareth McAuley for an undisclosed fee.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 28-year old Northern Ireland international has signed a three-year deal with the club in order to stay in the Championship and help Ipswich fight for a return to the top flight.

Coventry City have signed Carlisle goalkeeper Keiren Westwood for 750,000 pounds.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Coventry have been busy in the transfer market thus far, signing Westwood and midfielders Gillaume Beuzelin and Aron Gunnarsson..


Ambitious Almeria have pulled off quite the coup, signing promising Argentine attacker Pablo Piatti from Estudiantes for a club-record transfer fee. The 19-year old Piatti has signed a seven-year deal with the club.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Almeria reportedly beat the likes of Juventus and Manchester City for Piatti, and it could prove to be quite the capture, as Piatti packs a lot of talent into his 5’4 frame.

Sevilla have completed a double swoop, signing Mallorca’s Fernando Navarro and Genoa’s Abdoulay Konko.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Both signings will bolster a defense that struggled last season and took a further hit with the sale of Daniel Alves

If Barcelona want Sao Paulo playmaker Hernanes, they’re going to have to pony up 25 million euros, as Sao Paulo president Juvenal Juvencio said that the club won’t consider talking for anything less than that price, even though the player’s agent said he was told 11 mil would be enough.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Sao Paulo sold the likes of Kaka and Julio Baptista for cheap, but it looks like they’re not about to do the same with Hernanes. We’ll see if Barca can get them to back down at all, or if they stand by their valuation.


Roma have completed the signing of Liverpool’s John Arne Riise for four million pounds.

Rumor Rating: 5 – With the signing of Andrea Dossena, Riise’s role was likely going to be limited, so a move is best for him.

Bari defender Nicola Belmonte is the object of interest from Lazio, and the interest is mutual, as the 21-year old says he’d be interested in a move to the Stadio Olimpico.

Rumor Rating: 3 – As it happens, he says he’d love to emulate former Lazio star Alessandro Nesta, which certainly isn’t a bad example to follow.


Lukas Podolski’s future is up in the air, but he’s not short of potential options if Bayern Munich let him go. Tottenham are interested in the 22-year old striker, and so are Juventus.

Rumor Rating: 4 – I don’t see Podolski staying at Bayern, especially if they sign a new striker. Both of these teams could prove to be good options for Podolski, though they might each be dependent on if Tottenham sell Dimitar Berbatov or Juve offload David Trezeguet.

Hertha Berlin defender Josip Simunic, the player who was given not one, not two, but three yellow cards by Graham Poll in a game in the 2006 World Cup, is an object of interest from Fulham. The 30-year old Croatian international is interested in a move, and he says there could be news in a few weeks.

Rumor Rating: Well, at least Poll’s not refereeing anymore, right? That would no doubt prove to be an interesting encounter.


Toulouse have completed the signing of Rennes midfielder Etienne Didot for €3m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 24-year old Didot had played his entire senior career for Rennes, making his debut for the club in 2002 and becoming captain in 2007.

Barcelona are reportedly open to offers for French defender Eric Abidal, which could see old club Lyon look to bring him back to France only a year after selling him to Barca.

Rumor Rating: 3 – What I’m wondering is how much Barcelona will want for Abidal, because if Lyon do make a move, they could very well pay more to get him back than they received (15m euros) for him last summer. Just a little funny, no?

Well, we’re finally at the end–what do you think of today’s rumors? Chime in, chip in, and I’ll be back tomorrow!