It’s been a busy month with far more speculation than actual moves, but with only a few days left in the January transfer window, you can expect to see a lot of movin’, shakin’, and possibly shankin’ in the next few days.
The biggest news of Monday, however, is Jonathan’s Woodgate move, and instead of a return to Newcastle, Woody’s headed to Tottenham, in a deal likely in the region of about 7 million pounds. That means that Middlesbrough don’t really make a profit from selling him, but they don’t stand to lose anything either. And, for Tottenham, Woodgate’s arrival will definitely bolster their defense.
Spurs’ defense could also receive another quality addition, as Rangers’ Alan Hutton finally seems to be warming to the idea of playing for Tottenham. The right back flew to London over the weekend to chit chat with his potential soon-to-be employers.
Oh, yay, the agents are chirping again. Stewart Downing’s mouthpiece, Ian Elliott, says that Downing doesn’t plan on signing a new deal with the club, with his current contract set to run out in two years.
‘Stewart’s made his position quite clear to all parties at Middlesbrough – the chairman, chief executive and Gareth Southgate in private, so we are surprised by comments released by the manager saying that he has been informed he is staying and has accepted the situation.
‘Indeed, he has two years left on his current contract. If he has to see out the remaining two years, then so be it.
‘We would point out that the previous offer from the club has been rejected out of hand.
‘We will not enter into any further negotiations and the player will see out the two years and option his rights under freedom of contract at the end of it.
‘If the club value the player at £12million, why didn’t they make an offer reflecting that?
‘Whilst this situation is not about money or contract now, the contract previously offered does not reflect that of a player at that value.’
Fair point, if they do value him that highly, then pay him as such, or sell him to someone who will, regardless of if he actually deserves it.
After a couple of body blows, the news that Afonso Alves should soon be in a Boro uniform should come as comfort to Gareth Southgate. All of the personal ends should be tied up within the next day or two, and though his work permit is likely going to be rejected, as he hasn’t played enough games for his country, he should win on appeal and be set to play come the weekend.
Speaking of strikers, because that’s what these roundups usually focus on (unintentionally), The People reports that Arsenal are set to snap up Caen striker Yoan Gouffran in the summer in a deal worth 5 million pounds. After being named Ligue 2 Player of the Year last season, Gouffran has been a part of Caen’s push for a European place in Ligue 1, and also has 13 U-21 caps for the French U-21 team.
Manchester City have entered the race for CSKA’s Brazilian striker Jo. He was headed for a move to Valencia, but that move has come to a standstill with Los Che’s offer a little short of the mark. However, 15 million pounds shouldn’t be an issue for City, and if they do pony up the proper amount, that could push Valencia into meeting the necessary asking price, and then some.
City may be proceeding with caution, however, considering how well Rolando Bianchi (8.8 million) and Georgios Samaras (6 million) worked out.
That’s a nice segue into a tidbit about Samaras, who might be on his way to Rangers. The club, who are likely anticipating Daniel Cousin’s move to Fulham going through before the window closes, have reportedly put in an offer of 2.75 million for Samaras for the 22-year old, who is also said to be a target of Bolton, Middlesbrough, Espanyol.
Blackburn were looking to sign Bulgarian striker Valeri Domovchiyski (the guy in the picture) after bringing him in on trial this month, but it looks like Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin are going to snap up the 21-year old, who has lit up the Bulgarian leagues in the past couple of seasons with Levski Sofia. If Domovchiyski becomes the next Berbatov, Mark Hughes is going to be kicking himself, or someone else.
Reading have signed Malian winger Jimmy Kebe from Lens, with the 24-year old winger penning a two and a half year deal with the Royals. Kebe scored five goals this season for Ligue 2 side US Boulogne, where he had been on loan.
The race for Aston Villa defender Gary Cahill is heating up. Birmingham were most linked with the 22-year old for the last few weeks, but Bolton appeared to get in pole position after Villa accepted a bid in the range of 4.5 to 5 million pounds. However, Birmingham and Sunderland have both matched that, according to Sportinglife.com, so now it’s time to draw straws and see who comes out the winner.
Aston Villa have entered the hunt for U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan. The 23-year old Chivas USA shot-stopper, who was the MLS’ top keeper last season, spent a few days training with Celtic, who have made an offer for him. However, Villa’s offer is said to be $4 million, double Celtic’s offer. Either way, the promising keeper should walk into a good situation, as he stands to replace Artur Boruc or Scott Carson, depending on which destination he chooses.
And, lastly, Juventus have signed former Birmingham target Guglielmo Stendardo on loan in order to bolster their defense in the short-term, and Lazio have signed Dinamo Bucharest’s Stefan Radu on loan to replace Stendardo.
The whole Olof Mellberg situation has been worked out as well. Villa aren’t going to let him go until the end of the season, which is just fine with Juve, as they’ve tied up a deal for him to come in the summer.