I’m back to give you the latest transfer headlines from around Europe, and there’s a lot to discuss in today’s roundup, from Liverpool to Lyon.
Everton are set to make a four million pound bid for Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher in the coming days.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Fletcher may not want to move from a good situation at United, but a move to Everton would likely allow him the opportunity to play a lot more regularly than he currently does in United’s crowded midfield.
On another Everton-related note, Wigan have joined Sunderland in the race for striker Andrew Johnson. Wigan are prepared to pay up to 10 million pounds, but Johnson’s price tag is reportedly 12 million.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Interesting…two English, part-time starting strikers going for at least 10 million pounds.
Newcastle could make a bid of five million pounds to Chelsea for midfielder Steve Sidwell, who looked to be on his way to Aston Villa, but that move has slowed down recently.
Rumor Rating: 3 – That move could spell the end of Joey Barton’s time at Newcastle, which might not be a moment too soon.
Bolton and Blackburn are both interested in Sporting’s Montenegrin midfielder Simon Vukcevic. The 22-year old moved from Russian side FC Saturn last summer and made a big impact in his first season in Portugal, scoring 12 goals in 32 appearances, including one in a 1-1 draw at Bolton in the UEFA Cup quarterfinals.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Considering the impact that Vukcevic had in his first season and that he’s only 22 and has a very bright future ahead, I’d think Sporting might want more than the 5 million pounds that have been mentioned in reports.
Hull could be lining up a 1.4 million pound move for QPR midfielder Martin Rowlands.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Rowlands has had some injury issues in recent seasons, but he can find the net regularly from midfield. He’s spent his entire career below the top flight, and while he’s already in the frame for the Ireland national team, the 29-year old may find a move to the Premier League in his best interests.
Meanwhile, Sunderland could be trying to get in the way of Hull’s signing of George Boateng, as they’ve matched the offer of 2 million pounds that Hull had accepted by Middlesbrough and could offer the 32-year old midfielder a 30,000 pounds per week contract.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Well, as long as he hasn’t signed on the dotted line for anyone, he’s up for grabs.
Birmingham are set to snap up Kevin Phillips soon, but the Blues could be looking to further strengthen their strike force, as Alex McLeish is interested in Reading’s Dave Kitson.
Rumor Rating: 3 – It would seem a little curious for Reading to sell Kitson to a fellow promotion chaser, but we’ll see.
Andy Cole has signed a one-year deal with Nottingham Forest. There’s some sentimentality behind it, as his late grandfather was a big Forest supporter and always wanted his grandson to play for the club.
Rumor Rating: 5 – He doesn’t score goals like he used to, but he’s still got a few left in him and can be an impact player, as he showed in a loan spell at Burnley last season, scoring six goals in 13 appearances.
Southampton have signed Tottenham reserve keeper Tommy Forecast for an undisclosed fee.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Mostly sunny, or is there a chance of showers ahead?
Could Zenit St. Petersburg actually hold on to their star? It seemed like Andrei Arshavin was all set to leave Russia for greener pastures after Euro 2008, but if he does leave, it won’t be for his dream destination of Barcelona. Zenit and Barcelona have ended negotiations after failing to agree on a transfer fee, so for the time being, Arshavin is still a Zenit player.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Considering that Arshavin may be the key to them being more than just a brief hit on the European stage, Zenit might look to hold on to him for a little while, or at least get as big of a transfer fee for him as possible.
Pascal Chimbonda is set to leave Tottenham for Valencia in an eight million pound move, after agreeing personal terms with the club last week.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Chimbonda has also been linked with a reunion with Martin Jol at Hamburg SV, but it looks like Spurs are set to cash in and make a decent profit on their 4.5 million investment from two years ago by shipping him to Spain.
Villareal have signed Mallorca midfielder Ariel Ibagaza for 1.5 million euros. The 31-year old Argentine has been in Spain since 1998, with two spells at Mallorca and one at Atletico Madrid.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Ibagaza may not be a regular starter for Villareal, but he will add a lot of experience to their domestic and continental causes over the next couple of seasons.
Just as they’re set to end their pursuit of Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso, Juventus could be set to sign Seville’s Christian Poulsen to fill that hole in midfield that they’ve been trying to fill with a number of names.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Poulsen’s release clause is 10 million euros, which is a good amount less than what they’d have had to pay for Alonso.
Fiorentina have signed Brazilian forward Jefferson. The 20-year old has signed a five-year contract after leaving Brazilian club Parana.
Rumor Rating: 5 – On a related note, Adrian Mutu will be staying in Florence, according to his agent.
Veteran Brazilian midfielder Mineiro has left Hertha Berlin after rejecting a new deal at the club
Rumor Rating: 5 – The 32-year old, whose real name is Carlos Luciano da Silva, has 25 caps for Brazil and played for his country at Copa America in 2007, is being linked with Wolfsburg.
Le Mans defender Marko Basa is set to seal an 8 million euro move to PSG this week, and soon enough, a 9 million euro deal for his teammate, midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, should be completed.
Rumor Rating: 5 – PSG are desperately trying to move up from the bottom of Ligue 1 back to , and these two will be key pieces in making that happen.
Lyon director Bernard Lacombe says that it doesn’t seem likely that club captain Juninho will move to Liverpool this summer.
Rumor Rating: 1 – Lyon spent a lot of money on young Nice star Ederson, who may be the future of their midfield. But, his Brazilian compatriot, who has been a key part of the club’s seven straight Ligue 1 titles, still very much has a place in the side.
Rennes defender John Mensah, who has been heavily linked to Wigan this summer, could be a target for Lyon, as a replacement for Sebastien Squillaci, who should be on his way to Sevilla soon.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Lyon do a pretty good job of keeping France’s best players in France, and Mensah is one of the top defenders in Ligue 1.
Well, that’s it for today’s rumors. I know there aren’t any ‘major’ ones in the bunch, but there’s plenty of fat for you to chew on until I return tomorrow. Until then, you can do your part by chipping in with rumors that you’ve read and giving your opinion on today’s rumors.