If at first you don’t succeed, pull out the checkbook and try again.
That’s the situation Chelsea are in right now, after having their offer for Nicolas Anelka rejected by Bolton. As for what the offer was, the reports don’t say, but I can confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that whatever it was, it wasn’t enough.
Then again, Bolton could be trying to do Chelsea a favor and take a lower price for Anelka. Right…
Sometimes people forget (or don’t care) that footballers have feelings, too, just for the sake of filling a news space, but Dimitar Berbatov reminds us that he does, commenting to Bulgarian TV that he’s none too pleased about all of the speculation linking him with a move.
‘It’s getting absurd,’ the 26-year-old told Bulgarian Nova TV. ‘I’m fed up of seeing my name in the papers all the time. I think the papers went too far.
‘It’s obvious that the speculation will continue to the end but I wish the press would leave me alone. I just want to play my game.
‘The worst thing is that I see ‘my’ quotes which I’ve never said and it’s something that makes me feel bad.’
A lot of that anger/frustration/annoyance might not only be directed at the media, but also at his agent, who has reportedly been helping to stir the pot. I think it might be time to give his agent the same treatment he gives to the ball on regular occasions.
It appears that Berba could have a new teammate in the next few days as well.
It’s not often that you hear of a club trying to push a player towards a move, unless he’s a disruption, but it appears that’s the case with Rangers and defender Alan Hutton.
Spurs sent in an 8 million GBP offer for the 23-year old last week, but Hutton rejected the move. However, Goal.com reports that Rangers chairman David Murray met with Hutton on Monday and told him to reconsider the offer.
The article states that Hutton could double his salary by moving to London, and he could also have a little extra money in his pocket from his club, as the article claims that Rangers are so intent on making the deal happen that they’re prepared to pay him off to do so.
Also according to the article, Hutton’s rejection of the move was supposedly not just based on loyalty, but also in hopes that Manchester United would make a move for him.
Like sands through the hourglass, so goes the January transfer window…
It appears that Dortmund fans are looking to make Jens Lehmann’s decision for him, as there have been a few protests from club supporters that don’t want the keeper to rejoin his old club from Arsenal.
In such case, I wonder what the fans’ alternative is. Considering that their first-choice keeper is sidelined for the next few months due to injury, and that their club is 10th in the Bundesliga and has given up the second most goals in the league, they might need to be welcoming him with open arms.
Looks like the purse strings are loosening a little for Rafa, oddly enough just when the speculation about his job has started to heat up once again. Benitez’s prayers for a center back might be answered soon, as Zenit St. Petersburg’s Martin Skrtel may be joining the club in a 7 million GBP deal. The Slovakian international has reportedly drawn interest from the likes of Valencia, Newcastle, Tottenham, and Everton, but with Liverpool having made an offer (according to the reports from Skrtel’s native country), the Reds are set to win the race for his signature.
Liverpool could get a little extra money for further transfers by dealing want-away midfielder Momo Sissoko, which, according to tuttomercatoweb.com, is looking all the more likely, as Inter appear to be in pole position to sign the 22-year old Malian.
The Corriere dello Sport says that AC Milan will try to fix their keeper issues by going after Fiorentina’s Sebastien Frey in a part-exchange deal for former Parma teammate Alberto Gilardino. Frey has been in good form for the Viola this season, as they’ve given up only 16 goals in 17 league games and are challenging for fourth in Serie A. As for Gilardino, he hasn’t found the net as frequently as some would have expected him to from his Parma days, but being reunited with former Parma boss Cesare Prandelli could be just the right move for both player and club, as Gila could fill the shoes of the departed Luca Toni and form a deadly partnership with Adrian Mutu.
Hossam Ghaly is putting club before country, or more specifically, his future before country, as he’s going to miss Egypt’s African Cup of Nations campaign in order to complete a loan move from Tottenham to Derby. Ghaly hasn’t suited up for Spurs since the end of last season, when he pulled off his shirt and threw it to the ground in anger after being subbed against Blackburn.
The 26-year old midfielder moaned his way out of summer move to Birmingham, complaining about Steve Bruce making him run too much, and promptly getting kicked out of a training session and forcing Bruce to call off the deal. So, needless to say, he’ll need to be on his best, or at least better, behavior if he wants to have a successful future in England.
In other signing news, Honduran international Wilson Palacios looks to be on his way from Birmingham to Wigan. The 1 million pound move will reunite the 23-year old with his former manager, Steve Bruce. Bruce appears to have capitalized upon the fact that Birmingham never signed Palacios on a permanent deal from Honduran club Olimpia, swooping in and agreeing a deal with the club for the versatile player.
Fulham could be set to snap up Falkirk striker Pedro Moutinho. The 28-year old has had a solid season with Falkirk, scoring seven goals thus far, and with his contract set to expire this summer, could be available for a pretty low fee.
Reading are going to snap up Czech international Marek Matejovsky from Czech club Mlada Boleslav. The 28-year old midfielder, who is set to sign a three and a half year deal, is a regular from the Czech national team.
Portsmouth have signed Swiss striker Danijel Subotic from FC Basel, with the 18-year old signing a three and a half year deal to move to Fratton Park.
Oh, and Didier Drogba wants to leave Chelsea. It won’t be in January though, so don’t go buying up any AC Milan shirts with Drogba on them until the summer.
Also see: Premier League January 2008 Transfers.