With the summer transfer season nearing its end in less than 24 hours, you can expect plenty of wild speculation emanating from sources credible and not.
So then, while it’s surprising to see former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves (remember him?) in a shock link with a move to Manchester City, it’s not surprising either.
There was plenty of concrete news on Tuesday, with several clubs scrambling to finalize moves before time runs out, and we’ve got all of the top headlines covered below. What will the final day of the window hold? We can only imagine, but be sure to fasten your seatbelt, and make sure you check out our summer transfer lists, which will be updated on a regular basis throughout the day.
Chelsea In Failed Meireles Bid
From the cheeky rumor bin, today’s winner is Chelsea, who offered Liverpool around £7m and former Liverpool squad player Yossi Benayoun for midfielder Raul Meireles. As one could assume, the bid was rejected.
Not to say that Benayoun was a failure at Liverpool as it was put in this report, but I’m not sure what would possess Chelsea to think that Liverpool would want him back. Or that they’d want to sell a key player to a rival for a place in the top four for what would represent a loss on their investment.
But it was worth a try, right?
Arsenal Land Park, Close On Mertesacker
Whether or not it’s more reaction than action, Arsenal aren’t sitting idly by as the deadline nears. Along landing AS Monaco forward/South Korea captain Park Chu-Young, the Gunners are close to bolstering their back line with two experienced internationals.
Last night, it was reported that Arsenal had agreed a £6.2m (€7m) deal for Fenerbahce left back Andre Santos, and Tuesday saw the Gunners close in on Werder Bremen and Germany defender Per Mertesacker. According to reports, a fee of around £10m has been agreed, and the 26-year-old is believed to have already passed a medical and agreed a contract with his new club.
These deals might not be the cure-all for what currently ails Arsenal, but they’re a boost. Park will provide some welcome depth up front, and the two new defensive additions should immediately slot into starting roles. Mertesacker, at 6’6”, will not only provide an imposing physical presence at the back, but he brings a lot to the table in terms of having played in and won big games on the biggest stage, which will make him a valuable asset to a team that has had trouble doing that in recent years.
And could there be more to come? It appears that Arsenal have also enquired about Fiorentina star Juan Manuel Vargas. Arsenal’s final tally may lack the marquee, ready-made star Premier League signings that were made by their rivals, but they’ll have met some needs, so it’s a step in the right direction.
Liverpool Sign Coates
After what seemed like an eternity, Liverpool have finally sealed the deal for highly-touted Uruguayan center back Sebastian Coates, as the 20-year-old was granted a work permit on Tuesday.
If there was one truly weak area for Liverpool coming into the season, it was at the back, and they’ve done well to address that with the signings of Coates and Jose Enrique.
Parker Requests Spurs Move
It’s going to go into the last day of the window, but it looks like it’s all but a certainty that Scott Parker will leave West Ham for Tottenham, as the England midfielder submitted an official transfer request on Tuesday.
Understandably, West Ham have done all they could to try to get Parker to stay, but even they can’t begrudge Parker a chance to make an immediate return to the Premier League and thereby have the best opportunity possible to play in a major tournament for his country before it’s too late.
Parker may not be the only England international to sign for Spurs on deadline day, as Bolton defender Gary Cahill is firmly in their sights. The latest reports indicate that the two sides were in discussions on Tuesday, with Sebastian Bassong having been offered to Bolton as part of the deal. Bolton will try to get as much as possible for him, but I expect this one to go through when it’s all said and done.
Fulham Agree Ruiz Deal
As much as the supposed Hargreaves to City link was one that anyone likely didn’t see coming, whether as an unfounded rumor or truth, it could be said that Fulham’s £10.6m move for FC Twente star Bryan Ruiz is as well, given how quiet the Cottagers have been this summer.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because not having your transfer business out in the open, especially for a talent like Ruiz, makes it a lot easier to get a deal done without having to be concerned about other suitors coming in and stealing him at the last minute.
The deal for the 26-year-old Costa Rica international certainly fills a need for Martin Jol’s side. Fulham have managed only one goal and one point in three Premier League games, and the addition of someone like Ruiz, who can both score and create on a regular basis, is a significant boost to their chances of a solid Premier League finish and another nice run in the Europa League.
And In Other News…
– QPR could be set to land defender Anton Ferdinand, as they were in talks with Sunderland on Tuesday.
– Rangers rejected a £6.5m bid from Leicester City for striker Nikica Jelavic.
– Juventus are close to a deal for Hamburg SV star Eljero Elia, as the Dutch international winger has traveled to Turin for his medical.
– After it appeared that the move was dead, AS Roma will indeed sign Simon Kjaer from Wolfsburg, with the Danish left back initially signing on loan for a fee of €3m.
– Promoted Ligue 1 side Evian Thonon Gaillard have agreed a fee with Liverpool for midfielder Christian Poulsen.