Great match yesterday as Turkey played Germany off the park but had their luck run out on them. Still, one of the standout teams in the tournament and Fatih Terim is a wanted man across Europe now.
On to today’s rumours and transfer gossip:
Rumours abound that Arsenal are lining up Peter Crouch as a possible replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor if, as expected, the Togolese striker moves on to greener pastures.
Rumor Rating: 1 – You’re having a laugh! Crouch is not good enough to be a Liverpool starter, so how is he going to be picked by Wenger for Arsenal? That’s before you consider Wenger’s interest in other strikers (younger and technically superior to Crouch), and way before you consider that Eduardo and potentially Theo Walcott are both better than Peter Crouch.
Sticking with Arsenal, there’s only one reason that this speculation about Adebayor and Hleb keeps popping up and that’s because both players want more money. It might have to do with the fact that they consider themselves to be as important to Arsenal as Gallas / Fabregas, but as things stand they’re after better contracts and will jump if Arsenal can get the right money for them.
Wenger is also reported to have checked out Mario Gomez and Roque Santa Cruz.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Whatever for? Both players will get better offers from elsewhere if they were good enough to play for a top four Premier League side (read United). Sorry to say this, but Arsenal are probably going to either keep Adebayor or go without him next season. Still, both are players capable of playing at Arsenal.
According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham want to bring in Crouch and Yossi Benayoun and according to the Daily Mirror Tottenham want to offer Aaron Lennon + cash to Blackburn for David Bentley.
Rumor Rating: 2 – They both fit the same realm of rumours. Tottenham have better strikers than Crouch – yes, even if Berbatov leaves – and with Modric and Dos Santos and Malbranque, where will they fit Benayoun?
As for Lennon-Bentley – I have two words for you: Champions League!
Everton striker Andy Johnson is the center of much speculation, with both Sunderland (10m) and Wigan (8m) reported to have made offers.
Rumor Rating: 3 – Both teams need better strikers and could use Johnson as a foil for Jones / Heskey respectively, but surely he’s not worth that much, what with the wages he’ll ask for. Plus would he really want to leave considering the fact that Everton are closer to Champions League than either of the two clubs?
The Reading exodus (expected, in any case) continues, with striker Dave Kitson a target for Fulham and full-back Nickey Shorey a target for Portsmouth.
Rumor Rating: 4 – It’s a matter of time before the big stars leave – Shorey has never hid his ambitions of playing for a bigger club and Kitson is at least somewhat proven at the top level.
According to the Sun, Stoke are all set to complete a move for Tottenham’s Anthony Gardner.
Rumor Rating: 3 – You can’t always believe what the Sun says but Gardner is not wanted at Spurs so it’s only a matter of time before he moves out.
Time for the Cristiano Ronaldo update – the Sun reports that he will most certainly return to pre-season training (although remember, he’s not due to travel with the United squad to Africa) at Old Trafford after his holidays – presumably to get his operation done.
Rumor Rating: 5 – I expect him to come back, despite noises coming from Madrid that they want the transfer wrapped up in the first week of July. After that though, who knows?
Artur Boruc, hotly tipped to move to a ‘big’ European club, is unhappy at his 15m valuation by Celtic.
Rumor Rating: 1 – Boruc wants to move on from Celtic and play in the big leagues, but he’s 27 and on a 3-year contract. With that valuation he’s not going to move for another season at least, and after that him moving from Celtic will always depend on what offers he gets (is he good enough for Arsenal?).
Marcos Senna‘s agent says that Juventus want his client.
Rumor Rating: 2 – No disrespect to Senna’s abilities but I hope he knows that if he wasn’t considered good enough for United 2 years ago, he’s unlikely to be considered first-choice for Juve? And Villareal are unlikely to give in so easily considering that they’ve made the Champions League and already spent a lot to strengthen the squad for next season. I doubt Juve would pay top dollar for a 30+ midfielder.
Ronaldinho‘s brother says that he ‘wants to take the best player in the world to the best club in the world.’ And by that he means Ronaldinho going to Milan (in case you were wondering if he had started representing CR).
Rumor Rating: 4 – The main stumbling block, as with Adebayor to Milan, is that of price. Barcelona are asking more than Milan are offering, and in both cases there are rival clubs able to offer more (Barcelona in Ade’s case, Manchester City in Ronaldinho’s case). Milan have the means to get both, and certainly Ronaldinho would prefer Milan over City, but when will they agree on the price?
And lastly, there were some rumours yesterday that Newcastle wanted both Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon from Tottenham…
Rumor Rating: 3: – Seriously, since when was Tottenham to Newcastle a ‘good’ move? Seeing the way players have moved in the Premier League in the past few seasons, a move to Newcastle would be a step down for both players, but on the other hand it would be a chance to rebuild their careers under a good manager and probably earn a lot of money while doing so.
Today’s hot topics:
Transfer Column update:
Either myself or Eddie will return with the column tomorrow. Both of us will be away Saturday-Monday, so you’ll have Graham taking care of you over the weekend. The regular column may not be there but you’ll get instant updates the moment something important happens (transfers or news).