Friday, June 25, 2010

English Premier League: Transfer Targets and Rumours For Every Team

With the international transfer window about to open on July 1, English Premier League teams up and down the country have been busy negotiating deals with new players in an effort at either spicing things up or improving their current squads. Here we look at some of the rumours doing the rounds.


Everyone knows that the Gunners have a number of problem areas to fix. The spine remains Arsene Wenger's priority area and it is little wonder that there have been a number of stories linking Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer with a move.

Fulham's asking price has increased from the pitiful £1m that Wenger initially offered, and currently the money on the table sits at around £3.5m.

Having missed out on Chris Smalling, Wenger has now turned his attention towards Torino's Angelo Agbonna and possibly the underrated Johnny Heitinga of Everton. Centre half was always an important position to fill but will be more so after William Gallas 's latest links with Juventus and arch rivals Spurs.

The big story at the Emirates though, as always, is Cesc Fabregas 's proposed move to Barcelona...

Joe Cole would not be his direct replacement but it would now seem that Arsenal's only opposition to signing the gifted playmaker are their North London rivals, Spurs, and Liverpool.
If Cesc leaves, Arsenal will need significant investment to replace him.

Wolves' Kevin Doyle is a player who is ready for the nest step in his career. Arsene Wenger is a known admirer of the Irishman and an extra striker of his quality would be more than welcome at the Emirates. However, Everton and Spurs are monitoring him closely.
While the Gunners are monitoring Doyle, they are also negotiating with Marouane Chamakh so expect at least one of these strikers to come in at the least.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspur's Robbie Keane for a little over the last year. Last summer the talk was of a swap deal involving either Keane or David Bentley for Ashley Young.

This year the same Spurs players have been linked but this time the player been mooted for a swap is Gabriel Agbonlahor .

The move might suit O'Neill who has little money to invest and would gain two international class players in exchange for one.

The rumours linking James Milner with a move to either Manchester City or Manchester United continue to gain pace, more so after the Villa manager moved to sabotage Bolton's proposed move for released Man City winger Martin Petrov .

Birminham City
Alex McLeish has already pulled off a major coup by snapping up Nikola Zigic for just £6m and is now also being linked with Robbie Keane as Harry Redknapp looks to rid himself of his ex-captain following their breakdown in communications after last year's embarrassing Christmas party...

Aiden McGeady remains a distant target but with CSKA Moscow entering the fray it looks as if the Celtic winger might move abroad, even though a Premiership club would be his preferred destination.

Blackburn Rovers

Sam Allardyce will not have much money, if any, to spend this summer and his main priority will be the cheap addition of a physical striker and holding onto what he already has.

Aruna Dindane
 or James Beattie could be options that might appeal to Big Sam's style of play.


The new boys to the big time will find just how tough life is at the top when they begin trading...

As it stands Blackpool operate on a strict wages budget that sees every player reduce his wages to just £500 a week during the offseason.

They will be happy to set themselves up for financial security as the Seasiders are now guaranteed £50m over the next three years.

Hameur Bouazza
 has already left Bloomfield Road for Paris St. Germain and Ian Holloway will have to work overtime if he hopes to keep Charlie Adam at the club too.

Bolton Wanderers

Owen Coyle is on the lookout for a striker and if rumours are to be believed he has been very impressed with South Africa's Katiego Mphela . He is also believed to be monitoring Kris Boyd of Rangers fame and Aruna Dindane , although Franco Di Santo looks to be on his way to the Reebok too.

In perhaps one of the summer's most sensational transfer coups, Bolton are currently in the driving seat for Real Madrid pair Marcos Alonso and Rodrigo Moreno .

The duo face stiff opposition from Jose Mourinho though as the Real Madrid manager is believed to want the duo to join Benfica in part exchange for Angel De Maria .


Carlo Ancellotti has already released Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti, Ricardo Carvalho, and Joe Cole, as he bids to decrease the Blues' average age. In doing so he has also released as estimated £15m in wages alone, that he is now looking to reinvest with an enforced transfer kitty.

With UEFA rules changing in 2012/13, both Chelsea and Manchester City are expected to take significant strides over the next couple of seasons and they have already crossed swords over Valencia's David Silva and Benfica's David Luiz .

Chelsea are also expected to move for a striker as back-up to Didier Drogba, and continue to be linked with a big money move for Fernando Torres who, at 26, would be the ideal age to replace the 32-year-old Ivorian.

The Blues have also been linked with new German wunderkind Mesuit Ozil and Thomas Muller , but would have to stump up around £50m for the pair.


Money is always at a premium for David Moyes and it just shows how wasteful their near neighbours have been in the transfer market when Everton have offered Steven Pienaar £50,000 per week to become their highest paid player in an effort at staving off interest from Spurs.

Harry Redknapp is currently monitoring Kevin Doyle , as is David Moyes and Arsene Wenger. The Irish striker was hugely impressive for Wolves last year and played a big part in keeping them up, a move for the next stage of his career is now on the cards.

The Toffees are also monitoring Torino's Angelo Agbonna and one rumour doing the rounds is that Arsenal may step out of that particular transfer if Johnny Heitinga were to come available...

David Moyes is also monitoring Martin Petrov with interest and is debating as to whether to make a move or not.


Fulham are another side on the lookout for a striker, even though last year was arguably Bobby Zamora's career best.

Aston Villa's Steve Sidwell has been officially approached and talks will commence soon.
However, the biggest transfer rumour at Craven Cottage surrounds their manager, Roy Hodgson .
Liverpool are being linked daily, and should England collapse against Germany then Fabio Capello could find himself swiftly relieved of his duties, with Roy the favourite to replace him.
The problem for Liverpool is that Hodgson is holding out for the England job after being told that Capello will be sacked after the World Cup, that doesn't leave the Reds much room for manoeuvre with their own players never mind new signings.

The vultures are hovering...

Barcelona, Manchester City, and Chelsea all continue to be linked with a move for Fernando Torre , while Real Madrid seem the only suitors for Steven Gerrard's signature.

Javier Mascherano
 continues to link himself with a move to Inter Milan and Rafael Benitez and Barcelona while Yossi Benayoun is widely expected to join Chelsea as Joe Cole's replacement.

More bad news at Anfield has seen Serbia's Milan Jovanovic say he has not signed anything with the Reds after wide speculation that he had already signed on the dotted line.

Managers continue to be linked daily, from Roy Hodgson , who is available at a knock down £2.5m; to Manuel Pellegrini , who was sacked from Real Madrid in favour of Jose Mourinho; to Liverpool's very own Kenny Dalglish .

Whoever gets the job is receiving a poisoned chalice as the team will be an asset stripped of its world stars to prop up the club's growing debt, while the deal also has to be a short-term one to attract new investors. A Dalglish-Sammy Lee combination is a very real possibility.

Manchester City
While Liverpool and Manchester United suffer under the growing burden of debt, spendthrift Manchester City are being linked with all and sundry.

Currently they are battling it out with Chelsea for David Silva after Valencia accepted something in the region of £30m for the winger. The two clubs are also battling it out for Benfica's £20m rated central defender David Luiz .

The Citizens are also linked with just about every high profile player out there.
Fernando Torres is still a target, although City are only expected to bid around £45m for the player they almost bought for £80m last summer.

Palermo's Simon Kjaer is also a target even though Spurs have stolen a march on his signature and Steven Gerrard remains an outside bet if the player is reluctant to relocate to Madrid.

A £25m bid for Yaya Toure is also widely expected as Roberto Mancini begins his concerted charge for the league title.

Rumours continue to do the rounds about a £20m bid for James Milner. This move would also give Mancini the chance to offload some of his deadwood, namely Stephen Ireland , Roque Santa Cruz , and Jolean Lescott .

Manchester United

Javier Hernandez
 and Chris Smalling are two guaranteed signings at Old Trafford this summer after Sir Alex Ferguson moved very quickly to secure their signatures. Both appear to be some way off regular first team football and are seemingly for the future.

Which brings us back to the present...

The age of the Red Devils best performers continues to be a problem for Ferguson as he will be doing incredibly well to wring another good season from Paul Scholes , Ryan Giggs ,Gary Neville , and most worrying of all, Edwin van der Sar .

The United supremo should have replaced these players two to three seasons ago and it would appear to be indicative of the financial climate at Old Trafford that they are still around.

Perhaps in an effort at settling Chicharito, United are now being linked witha cut-price move for another Mexican striker, the £3m rated Pablo Barrera , although Harry Redknapp seems to be interested too.

Despite midfield being United's problem area the Red Devils continue to be linked with moves for strikers, a £22m bid for Luis Fabiano the latest to surface.

Tottenham Hotspur duo Wilson Palacios and Luka Modric are still being linked with transfers to Old Trafford, with players like Michael Carrick going in the other direction, but it would seem very unlikely given Spurs' Champions League ambitions.


Basically, Chris Hughton has to sell before he can buy.

His greatest asset in the Premier League is Steve Harper , but he seems intent on moving north of the border to Celtic. This would leave the Irishman chasing a Premier League quality keeper with only weeks to go.

The Magpies have had a £1m bid for Jloyd Samuel rejected by Owen Coyle and Bolton and it is rumoured that Hughton may approach Everton for Seamus Coleman on loan for the season.

Holding onto their best players will be a problem for Newcastle given their financial restrictions. 
Andy Carroll is currently rated at £5m and the money Hughton would gain from the transfer would definitely help his cause to strengthen his team but is selling your only real goal-scoring threat for just £5m a good deal?

Unless Hughton has a few free transfers who will accept low wages up his sleeves then the answer would have to be no.

Stoke City

One of the main suitors for Andy Carroll's signature are Stoke City. Tony Pulis has already a bid rejected for the Northern Ireland striker and looks to readying an improved offer.

James Beattie and Ibrahima Sonko will almost certainly leave the Britannia this summer. They were peripheral to Pulis' plans last year, particularly Beattie who hasn't played since being on the receiving end of a headbutt from Pulis over Christmas Party plans...

Thomas Sorensen
 is another player who may move on. Asmir Begovic took his position in goal towards the end of last season and duly impressed. The Dane would be great signing for Fulham should Arsenal follow through on their interest for Mark Schwarzer .


Steve Bruce will look to strengthen the squad that fell away so dramatically after a good early start to the season.

They are another in the string of admirers for Angelo Agbonna and Bruce really has to do something to block up his porous defence.

Robbie Keane
 is an option up front that would appeal to Bruce's sensibilities but it remains to be seen if the Irishman could link up with Darren Bent or Kenwyne Jones. Whichever way you look at it Bruce needs another forward to vary the Black Cats style of play and Keane fits that bill perfectly.

Left back is a problem area from Bruce and a proposed move for Schalke 04's Heiko Westermann fell through after the defender chose to stay.

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Redknapp is widely expected to make several signings in a bid to improve Spurs' Champions League ambitions, both in terms of the actual competition and the top four positions of the English Premier League.
He has been negotiating with Steven Pienaar and Everton for some time and hopes to have the deal wrapped up before the end of the transfer window.

Robbie Keane has been offered around every team in the league and is widely expected to go with Aston Villa, Birmingham, Sunderland, and Everton all eyeing each other to see who makes the first move.

Brazilian U-20 captain Sandro will join up with his new team mates on July 1st after 'Arry snapped up the highly impressive Internacional youth in January. He will bring some much needed strength to midfield with Jermaine Jenas , David Bentley , and Jamie O'Hara all likely to be offered around like their former captain.

Spurs came close to signing Simon Kjaer in January but baulked at his £100,000 per week wage demands. The initial fee agreed between the two clubs is still agreed upon with Kjaer and Spurs still willing to do business with each other.

Redknapp will have to move quickly though as Manchester City are the latest club to enter the race for the impressive Danish defender.

Harry Redknapp has also signalled that he may move away from his traditional 4-4-2 formation this season towards a more Champions League conventional 4-5-1. If that is the case then Spurs will need to sign a new striker as only Ronan Pavlyuchenko appears capable of playing the lone role. Klaus Jan Huntelaar is the name on everyone's lips, and he could be joined by his fellow Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart who wants to move from Real Madrid although Bayern Munich remain in the hotseat to pick up the play-maker.

West Ham

Avram Grant is another admirer of Angelo Agbonna's but the Hammers are the least likely destination of the Italian U-21.

Ghana's impressive Asamoah Gyan has expressed an interest in moving to the Premiership from Stade Rennais. The powerfully built striker would improve Grant's options exponentially and would be available for around £10m. They face stiff opposition from Sunderland for his signature though.

Grant is likely to use his Portsmouth experience to full effect and the likes of Jamie O'Hara ,Aruna Dindane , Kevin-Prince Boateng , and Nadir Belhadj would all be very welcome at the Boleyn Ground.

West Brom 

Roberto Di Mateo
 did a wonderful job to get West Brom promoted at his and their first attempt. The ex-Chelsea midfielders stock as a manager in the game has risen to the extent where it is highly unlikely whether he will be with the Baggies this time next year.

Cameroonian striker Pierre Webo is believed to be close to finalising a deal from Real Mallorca and would bring some much needed experience to the fold, but his stature in the game, or lack of, is indicative of the kind of players available to Di Mateo.

Loan deals look the Baggies' best option this year.

The club have widely accepted their faith as a yo-yo club and recognise that the monies gained from appearing in the Premiership combined with financial conservatism will set the club up for many years to come.

Wigan Athletic

Wigan's South American scouting system continues to unearth gems with the Latics on the verge of signing Mauro Boselli from Estudiantes for £6m.

The 25-year-old striker has netted 50 goals in his last two seasons for Estudiantes including being top scorer in the Copa Libertadores in 2009, the year Estudiantes lifted the trophy.

Landry N'Guemo
 also looks likely to sign for £2m from Nancy as Marinez looks to bulk up his midfield.

Arsenal are still monitoring James McCarthy's progress but are unlikely to bid for the player before next summer at the very earliest.


Mick McCarthy has already added Stephen Hunt's signature to his Wolves squad, although when you consider that the Irishman's last two clubs were relegated, he might not have been the prudent signing...

Aruna Dindane is also linked with Wolves too as McCarthy looks to ease the pressure on Kevin Doyle , but his biggest task will be holding onto the excellent striker.

Karl Sheppard of Galway United is a player that would immediately appeal to Mick McCarthy. The 19-year-old ex-Everton youth has been in rare form for Galway United this season, scoring four times in seven games and looks a really good prospect, just like Kevin Doyle did a few years ago at Cork City.