There’s precious little to talk about today – most of it hyperbole and conjecture, with the usual scramble across Europe for strikers and desperate pimping of stars no one wants to buy.
Andrei Arshavin has his 15 minutes of fame – the Russian was reported by BBC Radio Live yesterday to have agreed to join Chelsea, and this morning the Daily Mirror claims that Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg have agreed a deal for Arshavin and that he is now traveling to London for talks.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Arshavin has yet to test himself against the finest defenders in Europe (Andre Ooijer doesn’t count) and he’s already pimped himself to both the Premier League and La Liga. Whether he’s actually traveling to London or not is a different story, but if he’s going to come to the Premier League, Chelsea are one of the clubs able to afford his high wage demands and match his ambitions.
On the other hand, The Sun claims that Arsenal are closest to signing Arshavin.
Rumor Rating: 1 – Don’t see Wenger buying Arshavin, not with the interest and the price Zenit are going to ask for him.
AC Milan have complained about Emmanuel Adebayor‘s asking price, saying that 50m Euros is too much.
Rumor Rating: 2 – He’s worth around what Darren Bent is worth and Bent was expensive at 25m Euros last summer. 50 is way too much and Milan could get Ronaldinho and maybe someone like Huntelaar or Gomez instead of Adebayor for that amount and still have some left over for a young fullback or two.
How much will it take Chelsea to keep Frank Lampard? The Daily Star reckons 140k / week.
Rumor Rating: 1 – There’s no way they’re going to offer him that much money. I’m certain that he’ll get an improved offer but I doubt that he’ll get the contract length he’s after and after Deco’s arrival there’s a very good chance Chelsea will aim to cash in on him – not that he’d fetch a fortune…
Along with Lampard Chelsea are set to offload Didier Drogba (Milan anyone?) and Florent Malouda.
Rumor Rating: 2 – I don’t see why Scolari would get rid of Drogba as long as the player wanted to stick around, and while Malouda has only shown flashes of brilliance Chelsea are going to find it hard to find a buyer willing to pay what they bought him for.
Liverpool striker Peter Crouch – the one who’s being offered to everyone – will be the target of an improved 10m from Portsmouth.
Rumor Rating: 4 – It’s a matter of time before Harry gets his man – I wonder if Abigail will leave him now that he’s not in the Champions League? I’m just wondering…
Swiss striker Hakin Yakin and Reading’s ambitious striker Dave Kitson have both been linked to Fulham as the London club deals with a lack of fit options up front.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Yakin would bring a lot of experience and quality to the side and Kitson has shown in 2 seasons that he can, if given the chance, be a decent backup striker in the Premier League. Kitson’s aching for a move but personally I’d prefer to see Yakin make the plunge.
Harry Redknapp was recently asked if Shaun Wright-Phillips would be a good buy for Portsmouth. He said the obvious – that SWP would do great at Pompey – and now people are wondering if Harry will make a move for SWP or not this summer, what with Chelsea’s new manager and incoming players.
Rumor Rating: 1 – If Chelsea were looking to sell, wouldn’t SWP want to go for a top-4 Premier League club or barring that, stay in London? Liverpool / Tottenham seem like more likely destinations than Portsmouth (who wouldn’t be able to afford SWP if the Spurs or the Reds get involved), assuming that SWP is on his way out, which I really doubt.
Newly promoted Hull City are trying to shore up their squad with Premier-League quality players. So far they’ve tried to get Frazier Campbell back from United with little luck (although that might change in the next month), Celtic defender Bobo Blade has apparently turned down a move to the Tigers and Hull are also interested in taking Georgios Samaras from Manchester City on loan.
Rumor Rating: 4 – No offense, but Samaras is not going to save you from relegation. Having said that, getting in young kids like Frazier Campbell and putting together a team that plays to win and fights hard for each point will go a long way towards securing Premier League status.
Mr Trapattoni thinks that Robbie Keane will benefit from a move to Liverpool.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Of course he will – a player of his quality should be in the Champions League. What’s interesting is that Keane himself hasn’t issued any ‘denials’ but with Tottenham determined to hold on to him and able to raise their asking price to 15m (he’s worth at least that much) there’s little chance Liverpool will get their man.
Apart from David Bentley, Blackburn are also set to lose Christopher Samba to Manchester City and Roque Santa Cruz to a big-four Premier League club.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Both Samba and Cruz would go for different reasons – Samba because of Hughes and Cruz to play in the Champions League again. Still I expect both of them to be at Ewood Park next season. Not Bentley though…
That’s it for today – we’ll report any breaking news here if it happens but expect things to stay quiet this week as the stars involved in Euro 2008 are all yet to make their way back to pre-season.