Today’s word of the day is contradiction. In the world of speculation, you’ll often see one report say one thing, and another say something completely opposite. That’s the case with a few of today’s rumors, which involve a few big names that may or may not be moving.
So, is Gareth Barry finally getting his long-awaited move to Liverpool? The Daily Mail says so, as Liverpool have reportedly reached a deal for Barry that will see them pay £17.5m in cash and defender Steve Finnan.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Just as the Mail is saying one thing, the Mirror and others say another, as they report that Villa are saying that Liverpool have missed the deadline to sign Barry (by all of 15 minutes). I guess we’ll see who’s telling the truth before long, eh?
Also from the world of protracted transfer sagas, could Andrei Arshavin finally be on his way to England? Tottenham are set to unveil David Bentley today, and Arshavin is set to arrive in London in the next few days for negotiations over a deal.
Rumor Rating: 4 – While the Mail and others seem to be optimistic about the deal happening, The Sun nicely points out the down side, noting the one major snag in the deal going through: agreeing on a fee. There’s a big gap between what Zenit want and what Tottenham have been willing to offer so far, and someone’s going to have to give to make Andrei happy.
Arsenal have made their third signing of the summer, picking up Portugal U-21 international Amaury Bischoff from Werder Bremen.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Who? He may be an unfamiliar name right now, but give it time. Bischoff didn’t really break into Werder Bremen’s first team in his time there, but Arsene’s not one to buy frivolously, so while he may not be an immediate impact signing like Nasri, keep a lookout for him for the future.
Sunderland have signed a third Tottenham player, clinching a deal for midfielder Steed Malbranque. Malbranque has penned a four-year deal with the Black Cats, following Teemu Tainio and Pascal Chimbonda to the Stadium of Light.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Unfortunately for Roy Keane, he won’t get all four surplus Spurs players that he wanted, as it appears Younes Kaboul is headed to Portsmouth.
Manchester City have completed a £5m deal for Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim. The former Bolton defender is back in the northwest after signing a four-year deal with City.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Even though things didn’t quite work out for him at Chelsea, he’ll be a quality addition to a backline that already includes Richard Dunne and Micah Richards.
Fulham have sealed the signing of Swedish defender Fredrik Stoor from Norwegian side Rosenborg. The 24-year old Stoor has signed a four-year deal with the Cottagers.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Fulham weren’t very good for the majority of last season when it came to scoring goals (38 in 38 matches), but they were even worse when it came to giving them up (60 in 38 matches). Sure, they saved themselves in the end, but Roy Hodgson wants to avoid a relegation battle, and the summer investments that he’s made are hopefully enough to make it happen.
West Brom are set to complete a £2m deal for Charlton defender Madjid Bougherra. The 26-year old Algerian international has been at Charlton since January 2007 after moving from Sheffield Wednesday, and he’s also been a target of La Liga side Real Betis.
Rumor Rating: 5 – It’ll actually be a loss for the Addicks, given that they paid £2.5m for Bougherra when they bought him from Wednesday.
Stoke have signed former Aston Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen on a free transfer.
Rumor Rating: 5 – There’s been no word on the Marton Fulop front, but whatever happens, Sorensen is a good fallback option.
Manchester United enemy #1, aka Ramon Calderon, says that Real Madrid could sign Hamburg SV’s Rafael Van der Vaart this weekend.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Losing Van der Vaart would be a pretty big blow to a club that could challenge for a Champions League place this season, but Van der Vaart’s departure is pretty inevitable. But, for a fee of â‚¬10m (the fee that has reportedly been agreed)? Seems a little low, even though it’ll be almost double the â‚¬5.5m HSV bought him for in 2005.
Lyon are set to complete a deal for Monaco striker Frederic Piquionne. The 29-year old scored seven goals last season for Monaco, and he’s set to sign a four-year deal worth 5m.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Lyon have been interested in Piquionne for a long time before he moved to Monaco in January 2007, but instead of allowing him to move to Lyon, St. Etienne sold him to Monaco.
Veteran midfielder Petit has left Benfica and signed with newly-promoted Bundesliga side Cologne. The 31-year old retired from international football after Euro 2008, and after playing his entire career in Portugal, he’s testing the waters abroad.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Petit, who has signed a two-year deal with an option for a third year, had a pretty glittering career in Portugal (2001 Portuguese Footballer of the Year, 2006 Portuguese Golden Boot), and he was actually linked to Manchester United and Lyon a couple of years ago.
Benfica are set to make another big summer capture in the coming days, as they are close to completing a deal for Espanyol striker Luis Garcia. Benfica signed Pablo Aimar recently, and now they’re splashing out what could be â‚¬12m for the 27-year old, who was briefly a Tottenham target.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Benfica barely missed out on the Champions League last season (finishing 4th in the Portuguese top flight), but their summer purchases show their intent to both go deep in the UEFA Cup and knock Porto off of their perch.
Ajax are in the process of trying to complete a deal for Twente defender Robbie Wielaert. Ajax had an offer of â‚¬2m rejected, but Twente has reportedly allowed the 29-year old to talk to Ajax about personal terms.
Rumor Rating: 5 – After basically outscoring teams last season didn’t work out well for Ajax, Marco Van Basten is making it a priority to shore up the defense, having already added Barcelona’s Oleguer and now going for the experienced Wielaert.
Well, that’s it for today’s news and rumors. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t believe everything you read, because that’d lead to a lot of confusion.
Maybe tomorrow will really clear up some of today’s bits, but we’ll just have to wait until then to see if that happens. Until then, chime in with your thoughts on today’s bits, chip in with ones that you’ve heard and read, and hey, check out the now-updated (for the most part) summer transfer lists.