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Transfer Rumours (28 June 08): Arsenal and Liverpool tap up youngsters, Newcastle after Manchester United defender, Chelsea to lose Lampard but gain Arshavin and more



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Once the Euros wrap up tomorrow, you can expect a flurry of transfer activity to start happening across Europe starting 1st July. We’ll be there to cover everything (everything important, at least), but today there’s precious little to go on apart from some footballers confirming their lack of intelligence and some managers confirming that they’d pay too much for absolutely nothing.

Manchester City are reported to have finalised a record 19m deal for CSKA striker Jo, subject to a work permit.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The CSKA president has confirmed this report, so he’s definitely moving. He should do well under Mark Hughes.

Tottenham will need to apply for special dispensation for new signing Heurelho Gomes, but there shouldn’t be any problems.

Rumor Rating: 5 – He hasn’t played the necessary amount of international games but if Anderson can get his permit after a handful of games in Portugal, Gomes can get his after his several seasons with PSV and his 17 international appearances.

Cristiano Ronaldo stalkers have found something to keep them occupied as the key parties relax away from football and refuse to give the press any transfer goodness. They’ve found his new girlfriend, Nereida Gallardo. The good people on SL Forum have unearthed some fine images of the latest WAG, but you can very quickly see that he hasn’t gone for the looks.

Oh, and there are some rumours that Ronaldo is unhappy with Real Madrid’s constant comments to the press and wants to stay at United.

And some say Madrid will ask him to take a pay cut…

Rumor Rating: 1 – Nereida is plain but has the right assets and we sure don’t mind, but Gemma’s better. Oh, wait, the rumours? Seriously now…

Liverpool have offloaded reserve keeper Charles Itandje to Galatasaray for two million pounds, which could affect Scott Carson’s chances of leaving Anfield permanently anytime soon, unless Liverpool can line up a replacement.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Carson’s not going to want to be a backup at Liverpool when he can be a #1 elsewhere in the Premier League, but as long as the club keep his value a little higher than someone wants to pay, he may not be going anywhere.

Football France reports that Frank Lampard is set to join Inter Milan and that a deal has been agreed.

Rumor Rating: 2 – How many times does a player have to say that he wants to stay at the club? He wants his contributions to be rewarded and frankly, Lampard deserves to be on the same payscale as Ballack and Terry. Chelsea have denied that they’ve received any offer from Inter and while a move to Inter would be good for Lampard (new challenge, etc), I doubt he’ll go unless Chelsea seriously botch this up.

Arsenal and Liverpool are close to bagging their quota of this year’s under-age footballers, with Arsenal set to sign Oguzhan Ozyakup from Eredivisie’s AZ Alkmaar when the midfielder turns 16 in September and Liverpool signing Nikola Saric from Danish club Herfloge on a 3-year deal.

Rumor Rating: 3 – The Liverpool move has been talked about for a few days and Arsenal have a history of securing young talent out of thin air so neither of these surprise me. They could still not go through though, hence the 3 instead of a 4 or 5.

The Sun reports that Newcastle United will be making a move for Manchester United defender Jonny Evans.

Rumor Rating: 1 – I doubt that Evans will leave United, but if he does, Sunderland are front of the queue to get him and they have the money (and the offer of making him first-choice central defender) to get him.

Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun insists that he’s happy to stay at Anfield and isn’t interested in the various offers for him.

Rumor Rating: 5 – And why wouldn’t he be? All the offers he’s getting are from non Champions League clubs. He’s earning a fair bit and playing at the top level, so what if he doesn’t start every game?

The Daily Telegraph thinks that Roman Abramovich has personally intervened to ask Andrei Arshavin to consider playing for Chelsea.

Rumor Rating: 1 – Despite popular opinion Mr Abramovich does not meddle in Russian team affairs. Plus Chelsea will need to sell 2-3 of their 5 strikers before bringing in another one (unless they plan to play him on the wing, in which case he’d fit if Malouda or SWP were to leave).

Manchester United have released 5 reserve team players: Michael Barnes, Sean Evans and Michael Lea, plus Ritchie Jones and Kieran Lee.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Talented kids so it’s a disappointment that United couldn’t sell them or give them more of a chance in the senior team. Kieran Lee goes to Oldham, the rest should get snapped up by clubs quickly.

Bolton Wanderers have signed Swedish striker Johan Elmander from Tolouse for 10m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The money from the Anelka sale comes handy – he’s probably on less wages too, and should be a good addition to the Bolton squad. Bolton will also send Norwegian Daniel Braaten to Toulouse.

Everton are reportedly lining up a two million pound swoop for Leicester’s young defender Joe Mattock.

Rumor Rating: 4 – Mattock, who only turned 18 on May 15, has already made four appearances for England’s Under-21s, and he was a regular in Leicester’s lineup last season, making more than 30 appearances, with all but a handful as starts.

Middlesbrough and Sunderland are locked in a battle to bring former Southampton star James Beattie back to the Premier League. Beattie scored 22 goals for Sheffield United last season, and the 30-year old could be available for seven million pounds.

Rumor Rating: 3 – After things stuttered for Beattie between 2004-07, the move to Sheffield has really gotten his career back on track, and he’s proved that he still has the same eye for goal that made him a star on the south coast.

QPR have signed Genoa midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma on loan for next season, and the move could be made permanent for 2.37 million pounds.

Rumor Rating: 5 – QPR reportedly beat several Serie A clubs for Ledesma’s signing, so it’s a great move for the club.

Swiss star Hakan Yakin is reportedly considering offers from England and Qatar. The 31-year old Yakin, who plays for Young Boys in Switzerland, scored all three of his team’s goals in Euro 2008.

Rumor Rating: 3 – Yakin has an escape clause in his contract that allows him to move to a foreign club, so making a move won’t be a problem for him.

Lillian Thuram may not be moving from Barcelona to PSG, but it could be a blessing in disguise. Thuram failed his medical due to the discovery of the same heart issue that took his brother’s life. From here, he’ll take tests in the near future to determine whether he should continue playing, or if he should retire.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Thuram’s won almost everything he possibly could, so it might be best now to hang it up and focus on his health, even if he is cleared to play further.

Emmanuel Adebayor is a moron. I’m sorry to say this, but the man has no sense of how to tell the truth and more importantly, when to say it. One moment he’s talking about ‘staying at Arsenal’ and the next hour he’s talking about ‘sitting down with people’ and coming to a decision ‘next week’.

He wants more money, that much we’ve known since last year when his agent stupidly lied about Manchester United being interested in him and Adebayor talked about how he deserved a better contract. He’s already on good money and no other European club is offering him or Hleb more than what they’re getting from Arsenal (mainly because of the high transfer fees Arsenal are demanding but also because these players are not worth 70k / week on the basis of their recent performances).

Get your act together, Ade, and stop embarrassing the club that’s given you your chance to play at the very top level.

That’s about it for today folks, a big thanks to Eddie for popping in and adding his list of rumours to the roundup. We’ll be back on Monday or Tuesday. If something important happens, Graham will break the news here.

And you can read all (and make predictions) about the Euro 08 final here.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.