We’re into the final stretch of the January transfer window, and while signings have been relatively light up to this point, we’ll be seeing a lot more confirmed deals (and probably just as much speculation) over the next few days.
You can’t go that long in any transfer window these days without a Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid rumor, and today’s goodie is that Ronaldo has signed a long-term, £91m deal with Real. (The Times)
Analysis: No coincidence that such things come up after Ronaldo starts scoring again. Moving on…
Chelsea and Manchester City may enter the race for Carlos Tevez, if he doesn’t wind up agreeing a permanent deal with Manchester United. (The Times)
Analysis: All Carlos has to do is keep finding the net during and after Wayne Rooney’s absence, and Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Inter, and everyone else can forget about signing him.
Andrei Arshavin is almost, almost, almost a Gunner finally, as he’s been granted a work permit for his move to Arsenal, and he’s agreed to pay part of the £15m transfer fee. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Ah, but Or is he…
Arsene Wenger could have a little extra spending money by selling Kolo Toure to Manchester City, but he may want Micah Richards to be included in a swap deal (The Mirror). But, as it happens, he may be set to settle for a £15m deal that includes Richard Dunne (Daily Mail).
Analysis: City really fancy Toure, but do they fancy him enough to let Richards go? I’m sure Micah wouldn’t have any complaints if they did, but we’ll see.
Manchester City have had an improved, £18.5m offer for Blackburn star Roque Santa Cruz rejected. (The Times)
Analysis: If Blackburn weren’t striking out with finding a replacement, then this deal would likely still be on. I don’t know how keen Sam Allardyce would be on doing a cash + Darren Bent swap with Tottenham, but I just thought I’d throw that out there.
And apparently, so would Tottenham, because they have put forth exactly that offer. (Tribalfootball)
Analysis: The big question for Blackburn is this: Sell him for cash and a player who , or keep him until the summer, have someone pay his release fee, and have plenty of time and money to find a replacement?
Santa Cruz looks like option #1 for Harry Redknapp, since Liverpool have told Tottenham that if they want Robbie Keane back, they’ll have to stump up a refund to the tune of £20.3m, the fee that was agreed on when Keane moved from White Hart Lane to Anfield in the summer. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: The amusing thing for me here is that they haven’t even paid Tottenham all of the money that they owe them for Keane. I guess the other half would be hush money, eh?
Even though they haven’t agreed to sell Santa Cruz yet, Blackburn are going about as if their plans are to do so. They’ve struck out on a few targets from abroad, but now a bid for Portsmouth’s Peter Crouch could be in the works. (The Mirror)
Analysis: This one doesn’t seem likely, but it may be considered for financial reasons.
In the meantime though, Blackburn have completed a £2m deal to bring El-Hadji Diouf from Sunderland. (The Times)
Analysis: Diouf had a lot of success during his time at Bolton when Allardyce was at the helm, so maybe a reunion will help him rediscover his old form after a forgettable half season at Sunderland.
Newcastle have pulled off the surprise signing of Bolton captain Kevin Nolan for £4.5m. And before anymore Bolton fans get on Gary Megson, he seems to be as knowledgeable about it as most of the rest of us. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Considering that Bolton are in the same battle for survival that Newcastle are, I really question this one.
Fulham are closing in on a loan deal for Derby midfielder Giles Barnes. (BBC Sport)
Analysis: Barnes got a lot of attention with some impressive displays in last season’s disastrous Premier League campaign before sustaining a knee injury last February that kept him out for much of this season. But, he’s a promising young player with Premier League experience, and if he can remain healthy through this loan spell, this could be a low-risk, high-reward move for Fulham.
Atletico Madrid are lining up a rather audacious bid for Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Nice try, but no.
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has agreed a five-year contract with Fiorentina, but the deal isn’t a certainty yet, as Chelsea may decide not to proceed with the deal. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: With Ricardo Carvalho out and John Terry’s propensity for getting injured as well, Big Phil could see Ivanovic as an important squad member for the remainder of the season.
Monaco are interested in Manchester City midfielder Gelson Fernandes. (Tribalfootball)
Analysis: Fernandes wants regular first-team football, and he’ll have a better chance of getting it at Monaco for the short and long term than he would at City.
If you’ve spotted a juicy rumor that we’ve missed, post it in the comments along with a link to the source.
And if you want to keep up with all of the latest confirmed transfers from several of Europe’s top leagues, check out our updated January 2009 transfer lists.