The Round-Up: Messi Cleans Up, Man Utd Fancy Tea And Busquets

Morning all. Throughout January Soccerlens are going to be bringing you a daily round-up of the morning’s various goings-on. Be it juicy morsels of spurious transfer gossip or real, actual bona fide news, rest assured, we’ll have it covered.

Here’s this morning’s batch.

Messi cleans up…

After scoring an astonishing 60 goals for club and country in 2010, Lionel Messi has rather unsurprisingly been named the inaugural (it’s the first time FIFA’s Player of the Year gong has been with amalgamated with France Football’s trinket) winner of the Ballon d’Or at a glitzy gala bash in Zurich.

Messi was given the nod ahead of his Barcelona team-mates and World Cup winners Xavi and Andres Iniesta, and was typically humble when accepting the prestigious award:

“To be honest, I didn’t expect to win today, but it was already great to be here next to my two friends. To win it makes it even more special.

I want to share with all of my friends, my family, all the Barcelonistas and the Argentinians.”

Here here.

Tea and Busquets…

Due to their relative paucity of options in central midfield, Manchester United are rumoured to be considering lodging a cheeky £25 million bid for Barcelona’s erstwhile holding man Sergio Busquets before the January window closes.

Busquets is currently mired in a contract wrangle with the Barca hierarchy, after making it known that he feels entitled to a considerable pay hike given his increasingly prominent role at the Camp Nou.

With Argentine clogger Javier Mascherano waiting in the wings to step into his breach, and the summer signing of Cesc Fabregas now deemed to be a foregone conclusion, Barca may…may just be enticed into cashing in on the 22-year-old anchor should a bid materialise from Old Trafford over the next few weeks.

All the money in the world…

Napoli have told Manchester City to forget about trying to sign striker Edinson Cavani any time soon, which is a little rich seeing as though, being on a season-long loan from Palermo, he doesn’t actually belong to the Partenopei.

Anywho, after watching Cavani bag his 18th, 19th and 20th goals of the season against Juventus over the weekend, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentis is understandably keen to hold on to the Uruguayan hitman:

“I wouldn’t even sell him for €50 million. I would say ‘no’ if Manchester City wanted him.”

I suspect an offer of around €50 million may change all that though.

Spurs dare to dream…

Tottenham are reported to be in advanced talks with Phil Neville – yep, you heard that right…Philip John Neville – over a move to White Hart Lane.

With an offer of £1.5 million and a last chance to play Champions League football on the table, 33-year-old Neville is said to be eager to effectively end his career at Spurs, though Everton boss David Moyes is thought to trying to engineer a player exchange clause into the deal that would see either David Bentley, Roman Pavlyuchenko or Vedran Corluka moving to Goodison in return.

Babel-ing on…

The FA have seen fit to charge Liverpool winger Ryan Babel with ‘improper behaviour’ for posting a mocked-up picture of Howard Webb sporting a Manchester United shirt to his Twitter account after the contraversial referee handed United an ill-gained, first-minute penalty when the two sides met in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.

The bloody killjoys.

Babel later apologised for his heinous act of high treason, but the FA have shown no remorse and given him until 16:00 BST on Thursday to respond to the charges.

The best of the rest…

  • If word is to be believed, Kenny Dalglish is being seriously considered as a leading candidate to take the Liverpool hotseat on a permanent basis…
  • Liverpool have also been given the ‘green light’ to try and prise £17 million-rated striker Alvaro Negredo from beneath Sevilla’s wing by the player himself…
  • Brazilian side Flamengo have confirmed the signing of Ronaldinho from AC Milan on a lucrative, four-year deal…
  • Fulham have told Man City outcast Shaun Wright-Phillips that he will have to take a considerable wage drop if he wishes to join the Cottagers this month…
  • Speaking of City outcasts, Wayne Bridge is on the verge of joining West Ham on loan, though the former England left-back’s huge wages remain a sticking point…
Tottenham Still Hopeful Over Beckham Debacle
How The Mighty Have Fallen Off Their Perch


  1. Usman usey 12 January, 2011
  2. Daniel 12 January, 2011
  3. Duncan Agyapong 12 January, 2011
  4. Rishard 12 January, 2011