I’m back, and ready to disappoint a lot of people again.
If you dislike Tottenham and Portsmouth, you can selectively scroll around for the non-Tottenham and Portsmouth bits, because I may as well warn you – there are quite a few today.
I will be starting with something related to neither, but, as I said above, it’s disappointment time, so step right up Birmingham!
Everton don’t look too willing to part with James McFadden, with Yakubu away for the African Cup of Nations, unless they get the right price for him and line someone else up just that quickly. The ever-persistent Birmingham are still trying to lure the Scotland international to the Midlands, but 3 million GBP isn’t going to do it. Alex McLeish had a 2.5 million GBP bid, and raised it by 500,000 for another go, but Everton still aren’t biting. Third time be the charm? If it’s going to be, they’re likely going to have to put another 2 million on the bid.
They’re also going to have to step it up to get Hibs defender David Murphy, as the SPL side turned down a second bid from Birmingham for the 23-year old.
They could strike out on another player as well, if they don’t make the offer that Aston Villa wants for center back Gary Cahill, as McLeish wants to sign him on loan, but Aston Villa are looking to sell the England U-21 international.
Tottenham and PSG both sent sizable bids in for Lyon striker Fred, but the out-of-favor Brazilian has rejected both, according to L’Equipe. With Tottenham having the unbreakable duo of Berbatov and Keane up front, with Defoe and the little-used Darren Bent on the bench, it wouldn’t make much sense for Fred to go to Spurs, and as for PSG, well, they’re near the bottom in Ligue 1.
While he made mention of those two offers, there was no mention of the offer from Portsmouth, which either means he’s either silently considering it, he doesn’t know about the bid, or he didn’t know that they’re a football club. If it’s the last one, score one for Tottenham – Edgar Davids may not think you’re that big of a club, but hey, you’re bigger than Portsmouth!
It wouldn’t be a reach for Manchester United to go after him (or Defoe for that matter), because Saha looks set to be out for a while. He’d be available for around 10 million euros or more, which is a reasonable price for a guy who’s 24 and a pretty proven goalscorer. But, he wasn’t allowed to get off scot-free for returning from his winter break at Lyon, and he certainly wouldn’t escape the wrath of the mighty SAF at United if he tried that in Manchester.
Pompey, fresh off the news that Harry Redknapp isn’t going anywhere, or to Newcastle, at least, is looking for multiple reinforcements with several influential Africans away in Ghana, and to aid their push for a European place. And instead of battling with Tottenham, they’re going to Spurs for this one, in the aforementioned Jermain Defoe, who Redknapp worked with at West Ham. Defoe, who has also been linked with Aston Villa, could be available for around 8 million GBP. Bargain or no?
Back to the two sides battling for players, as both have made bids for former Chelsea man Tiago, according to the Corriere dello Sport. According to the report, Tottenham have made a 7.5 million GBP bid, with Portsmouth making the higher bid, an offer of 8 million.
Juventus are set to decide whether or not they want to offload another midfielder they just bought in the summer, as Sergio Almiron’s future is to be decided in the next day or so, with Monaco the potential destination. If he does go to France, it’ll be a loan deal until the end of the season, with the option to buy the player permanently afterwards.
I’m not done with Tottenham just yet, as they are quite the busy little bees, or at least the news is making them out to be. They were reported to have made a bid for Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing, but Gareth Southgate has refuted those claims, as he has with just about any other transfer-related speculation this month.
However, they do appear set to sign Espanyol defender Daniel Jarque, as the Times reports that the 25-year old flew to London on Sunday night to complete his medical and dot the I’s and cross the T’s.
Then again, they might not be, as the La Liga high-flyers are saying that Jarque is nowhere near London, as he’s been in Barcelona the entire time and was getting X-rays on his injured toe Monday morning.
From one potential future Tottenham defender to a former one, as Erik Edman, now with Rennes, could be set for a move back to the Premiership, as the club’s general manager Pierre Dreossi says that two or three English clubs have made offers for the 29-year old Swede, whose contract runs out at the end of the summer. If Rennes does cash in on him right now, Reading or Birmingham could be his future home.
Goal-hungry Fulham are looking hard for a striker, and after getting knocked back in their bid for Watford’s Marlon King, they’re reportedly looking towards Spain, namely at Valencia outcast Nikola Zigic. The Serbian star arrived at Valencia only in the summer, but doesn’t appear to fit in Ronald Koeman’s plans (who does?), and could be on his way out. The Cottagers have also been linked with David Albelda, which would be quite the coup.
Annnnnnnnnnnnd now, for the final run-through – Blackburn have their eye on former Portsmouth and Newcastle midfielder Amdy Faye, who’s currently on loan at Rangers from Charlton, as a replacement for Robbie Savage…Stoke have paid a club-record 1.2 million GBP to make defender Leon Cort’s loan move from Crystal Palace a permanent one; the deal will also pay Palace 200,000 more if Stoke get promoted (they currently lie 4th in the Championship)…Aberdeen defender Michael Hart looks set for Preston, after he turned down a 200,000 GBP move to Plymouth; if Preston can’t pony up enough cash right now, he’ll make the move in the summer…Watford’s Al Bangura will be allowed to stay in the UK for the time being after he was granted a work permit…
Who wants to take odds on Rafa Benitez moving to Newcastle?