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Transfer Rumors (30 August 08): Bayern bid for Berbatov?, United offload Saha to Everton, Liverpool’s Riera deal almost done, and more



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We’re into the final weekend of the summer transfer window, and it’s sure to be a wild weekend. Well, maybe. Whatever the case may be, I’m back to give you the latest transfer news and rumors, and there is something to report on with Dimitar Berbatov, but I don’t know if it’s what Sir Alex Ferguson wants to hear.


While Manchester United seem to be taking their dear sweet time with finding a new striker, their prime target could be the subject of a bid from Bayern Munich.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Given Tottenham’s valuation, I don’t think Bayern is a serious option, since he’d seem to be out of their price range. He did enjoy a highly successful spell in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen before moving to Germany, but a return at this point might not be in the cards.

Meanwhile, United have finally found someone to take Louis Saha off of their hands. And the winner is… Everton!

Rumor Rating: 5 – Certainly a gamble for Everton, but they do need some quality depth up front, and as I’ve said repeatedly, if Saha is healthy, he can bang in the goals. Big if, yes, but possible.

Liverpool are closing in on an £8m deal for Espanyol winger Albert Riera, as there are only a couple of loose ends to tie up on the £8m move.

Rumor Rating: 5 – For all of the perceived tight-assedness by Liverpool’s owners, they’ve spent more than Manchester United and Arsenal have this summer combined, and minus the purchase of Robinho, more than Chelsea as well.

Meanwhile, one of his teammates is also set to move to England, as Manchester City are set to sign defender Pablo Zabaleta for £6.4m, the buy-out clause for the Argentine international.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Now, if only Tottenham rekindled their interest in Luis Garcia….

Aston Villa have completed a deal for Newcastle midfielder James Milner. The 22-year old finally joins Villa after having missed out on a 3m move two years ago following a successful loan spell there in the 2005-06 season.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Well, all’s well that ends well. Newcastle get a lot more for him than they would have then, and Villa get a much more developed player.

Villa have also been linked to Standard Liege midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The versatile 20-year old is rated at £5m, and he already has 10 caps for the Belgian national team.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Newcastle also have an interest in Fellaini, who represented his country at the Olympics and impressed in Standard’s Champions League qualifiers against Liverpool.

Despite being currently laid up due to a knee injury, Leicester defender Joe Mattock is still drawing plenty of suitors as the summer window comes to a close, with Leicester having turned down two bids for the highly-rated 18-year old.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Leicester would love to hold on to their prized prospect, but if this report is to be believed, the England U-21 international is set for a £3.5m move to Sunderland.

Sunderland midfielder Dickson Etuhu is set to complete a £2m move to Fulham.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Roy Keane did want him to stay, but the Nigerian international was dispensable with all of the moves that have been made this summer, and the chance to be closer to his family proved to be a factor in Etuhu’s decision.

Stoke have signed Reading defender Ibrahim Sonko for a fee of £2m. The deal could wind up being worth as much as £2.25m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Given how much Stoke have been chasing extra scoring options this summer, maybe Tony Pulis actually signed him based on his headed brace against Plymouth a couple of weeks ago rather than his defensive abilities.

West Brom may or may not be rounding out their summer spending by signing NEC Nijmegen defender Jonas Olsson in an £800k deal. The 25-year old Swede is set to sign sometime before the end of the weekend, though he could still play in NEC’s season opener on Saturday.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The deal could rise by another £360k depending on performance-related bonuses, and more than the financial stuffs, moving to the Premier League will allow Olsson the opportunity to get his first cap for the Swedish senior national side.


There were reports that Inter were supposed to announce the €20m signing of Ricardo Quaresma on Friday, but alas, those reports proved to be incorrect.

Rumor Rating: 5 – If not today, then maybe tomorrow, and if not then, then panic sets in, and when panic sets in, well, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but they need to get the deal wrapped up, certainly.

Juventus are reportedly set to sign Barcelona youth product Iago Falque on a free transfer. The 18-year old left winger drew interest from several other top European clubs, but Juve have won the race to sign him.

Rumor Rating: 5 – In case you’d like to see his skills on display, he has a site, which you can check out here. Kid’s got some skills.


Twente are set to sign Kenneth Perez on a two-year deal. The 34-year old Perez had his contract terminated by Ajax earlier this week, but quickly found a new home within the Eredivisie.

Rumor Rating: 5 – It’s a good signing for Twente, as Perez will provide a lot for his new club, not only in the experience category, but also in terms of providing a quality scoring option behind Blaise Kufo.

Well, that’s it for another day in transfer news and rumors. I’ll be back tomorrow, of course, to bring you all the latest truth and speculation, but until then, chime in with your thoughts on today’s tidbits, chip in with bits you’ve read and heard, and make sure you check out the updated summer transfer lists.