Transfer Rumors (31 Jan 09): Manchester United to counter Real Madrid’s offer for Wigan’s Valencia, Portsmouth move for Tottenham flop Dos Santos, and more

With the end of the transfer window and a weekend full of action on the pitch so close together, many a manager no doubt sweated through Saturday, and many will do so on Sunday, hoping that unforeseen injuries crop up to force a last-minute rush into the market.

There are many unfinished deals yet, and there are probably also a few surprise in store before the clock strikes five on Monday evening.

Who could be going where, and who’s going nowhere? Keep on reading to find out.


The race to sign Antonio Valencia is on in earnest. After Real Madrid came in with an offer of £9m to loan Valencia for 18 months with a view to pay £9m more for a permanent deal, Manchester United, who have the first option on the Wigan winger, are working feverishly to counter Real’s bid. (The Mirror)

Analysis: As I said yesterday, they likely would’ve preferred this battle wait until the summer, but the time is now if they want him. (Update: He’s turned down Real, so…)

Portsmouth have made a bid of £7m for Tottenham’s Giovani dos Santos, who has been an invisible man at Spurs since his £4.7m summer move from Barcelona. (Portsmouth News)

Analysis: Dos Santos made a fair amount of appearances for Tottenham in the first few months of the season when Juande Ramos was still in charge, but he only made his first appearance under Harry Redknapp last weekend against Manchester United in the FA Cup, which is a pretty good indication that he might be better off trying his hand elsewhere.

Everton have come up empty in their search for a new striker this month, but they certainly haven’t had a shortage of targets. The latest one is Rennes striker Asamoah Gyan, who’s rated at £8m but is yet another player Everton are looking at as a loan option. (The Sun)

Analysis: Rennes likely won’t stand in the way of letting him go, since he’s made only one league start in his debut season at the club.

Charles N’Zogbia looks set to finally get his wish to leave Newcastle, as the Magpies have agreed a fee with Wigan for him. (Sporting Life)

Analysis: I’m sure there’s one Newcastle fan out there who doesn’t want to see N’Zogbia leave. There has to be, right?

Leeds have told Fulham to more than double their offer for Fabian Delph to £6m after a £2.5m offer for their midfield sensation was turned down. (The Mirror)

Analysis: If they actually intend to sell him for £6m, that best be £6m up front with incentives and bonuses o’plenty and a sell-on fee. I know you can’t stunt someone’s development and ambition, and £6m for someone in League One is a pretty sizable sum, but it seems a little low unless there’s a lot more to the deal.

West Ham have signed Spartak Moscow midfielder Radoslav Kovac on loan for the rest of the season. (Sporting Life)

Analysis: Kovac won’t be counted on to be a star, but he will provide some helpful depth as West Ham attempt to consolidate a place in the top half of the table.

Bolton didn’t miss Kevin Nolan at all on Saturday as they scored a vital win over Tottenham in a 3-2 thriller at the Reebok, but they’re looking to strengthen their midfield nonetheless. Bids of £2m have been made for Portsmouth midfielder Sean Davis and Cardiff midfielder Joe Ledley, and a £3.5m bid could be made for Reading midfielder James Harper, whose potential move to Middlesbrough has fallen through. (The Mirror)

Analysis: They’ll likely need to triple their bid if they want a chance at Ledley, while Reading may be looking for a little more for Harper.

And Gary Megson has not quite given up on Miguel Veloso just yet, as Bolton’s bid for the Portuguese star has been upped to £14m.

Analysis: That’s still well below Sporting’s valuation of Veloso. Can they find another few million from somewhere? They might be better off trying to spend that money on a number of reinforcements, not all on one, but like I’ve said before, it doesn’t hurt to try to get someone of his caliber in your ranks.

Sunderland are chasing Liverpool’s Sami Hyypia and Manchester City’s Tal Ben Haim as he looks to bolster his back line. (The Times)

Analysis: Hyypia may be 35, but he’s still making regular starts for Liverpool, so Rafa Benitez may not be keen on letting him go. Ben Haim, however, is a much more realistic option, since his future at Manchester City already looks pretty bleak.

Motherwell striker Chris Porter has chosen helping Derby stave off relegation to League One over helping Cardiff fight for promotion to the Premier League, as the Wigan native is returning to England in a £400k deal. (Sporting Life)

Analysis: Derby have one of the lowest goal totals in the Championship, so signing a proven goal-getter like Porter will be big for their push to stay up.


So what does being a flop at a mid-table Premier League club earn you? If you’re West Ham defender Julien Faubert, it’s the loan move of all loan moves, one to Real Madrid. (The Mirror)

Analysis: I don’t think Faubert will be too upset about trading London for Madrid, but all the same, West Ham won’t be upset about it either.

If you’ve spotted a juicy rumor that we’ve missed, post it in the comments with a link to the source.

And if you want to keep up with the latest confirmed transfers from several of Europe’s top leagues, check out the updated January 2009 transfer lists.

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