All the transfer speculation currently doing the rounds
By Matthew Cole
Sources in Italy say Juventus will shortly be signing Czech midfielder Marek Jankulovski from fellow Serie A club Udinese. Speculation has intensified as bianconeri manager Fabio Capello has made it clear that he wants his starting squad for the next campaign in place by Thursday. Juve general manager Luciano Moggi has agreed a fee for the 27 year-old midfielder, who is expected to discuss personal terms with the Turin club in the next few days.
Leicester manager Micky Adams has criticised Norwich City for what he called an underhand approach for striker James Scowcroft. The Canaries have dismissed Adams’ claim that they had tried to lure Scowcroft away from Leicester using the media to unsettle the player.
Responding to comments by Norwich boss Nigel Worthington – that he was keen to sign the 28 year-old former Ipswich Town forward – Adams said “I always thought Norwich City were a quality club and their manager was a quality manager, but I have been bitterly disappointed.”
Canaries chief executive Neil Doncaster said he had acted properly, having talked to the Foxes manager about Scowcroft’s availability and been given a price. “The approach for James Scowcroft was a proper one, entirely in accordance with Premiership rules,” he said. He added the club were still mulling over a deal for the striker.
Where Ray Parlour will start next season is still a mystery after the Arsenal midfielder admitted he might have to consider a move to guarantee first-team football. Middlesbrough, Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion have all been mentioned as long-term destinations for the 31 year-old former England international, with Norwich City thought to have offered a 12 month loan.
“At the moment I’m an Arsenal player, but to be honest I’ve got very little choice but to keep my options open,” said Parlour, who added he had not been told of any clubs expressing an interest in his future.
The midfielder wants a new deal at Arsenal with one-year left on his current contract, but his wage demands are thought to be unacceptable at Highbury. His ex-wife’s victory over her divorce settlement may encourage Parlour to keep looking for a better deal.
According to reports from Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid are prepared to slug it out for the signature of Real Mallorca’s Samuel Eto’o. It appears Mallorca have accepted offers from both clubs and it’s now up to them to convince the Cameroon international striker to make the Bernabeu or Nou Camp his home.
Both teams have offered Eto’o revised deals to tempt him, with Barca apparently guaranteeing first-team football and Madrid president Florentino Perez describing 23 year-old Eto’o as “a signing for the future” – with an interim loan to Atletico Madrid to prepare him for life with the galacticos.
Arsenal could face a tug-of-war for yet another of their star players with reports that Juventus are lining up a deal to tempt Sol Campbell to Italy. Last month’s failed attempt to bring Inter’s Fabio Cannavaro to the club has apparently prompted bianconeri boss Fabio Cappello to offer the England defender a £3m a year deal to leave Highbury. Campbell is 29 and has just a 12 months left on his current contract.
It’s thought that should Sol turn down the offer, Capello will turn his attention to Hamburger SV centre-back Tomas Ujfalusi. HSV have said they have no plans to let the 26 year-old Czech international go, Sport Director Dietmar Beiersdorfer saying, “Of course there is speculation, but I can’t imagine anyone coming in with an offer that we can’t refuse.”
New reports linking Rivaldo with a move to Bolton Wanderers have been rubbished by the club. Manager Sam Allardyce referred to the claims as absolute nonsense. Earlier in the summer it seemed the former Milan and Barcelona star would sign for the Trotters, but a deal could not be agreed.
The latest reports suggest the Brazilian has had a change of heart and could join Wanderers at their pre-season training in Portugal. More likely targets for the Bolton boss, who has a reputation as a career-saver, are thought to be three other midfielders – Brazil’s Emerson, Moroccan Hassan Kachloul and Frenchman Cyril Rool.
Patrick Vieira’s rumoured move to Real Madrid has prompted one of his club-mates to speak out. In response to reports that Vieira might join the Spanish giants this summer, Dennis Bergkamp has urged Arsenal to hold on to the French midfielder.
“You cannot replace such a player, I can’t name anyone in the world who is better than Patrick in that position,” said the Dutchman.
Meanwhile, Madrid midfielder Zinedine Zidane has denied he is the instigator of president Florentino Perez’ move for his international team-mate. On his website Zidane said “I spoke with the president because he asked me about Patrick. Saying who should be coming to the club is not my role.”
Fulham say they are close to signing Senegal midfielder Amdy Faye from fellow Premiership club Portsmouth. Cottagers boss Chris Coleman said there are just “a few things to iron out,” before the former Auxerre man joins the South London club.
“We’re not quite there with Amdy, there are one or two stumbling blocks I’m not prepared to discuss,” said Coleman. The 27 year-old is seen as a perfect replacement for the departed Sean Davis in the heart of Fulham’s midfield.
Speculation over Wayne Rooney’s future continues, with the Everton chairman saying the club will be revitalised whether or not the 18 year-old superstar leaves.
Bill Kenwright told Sky Television the transfer money would be a huge boost for the club and could wipe out an estimated £30m debt. “Wayne’s sale would revitalise the club’s finances, but a five-year deal would also revitalise us,” said Kenwright.
Rooney will sit down with Everton boss David Moyes this week, with the club hopeful he will sign a £50,000 a week contract that will make him Everton’s best paid player ever.
Kenwright explained the decision to offer the landmark deal.
“David Moyes said ‘look he’s the best player in the world and I want to support the best player in the world. I’d like him to become my captain and I think we should offer him the highest wage in our history.”
Patrick Kluivert could be a Newcastle United player by the end of the week- the Tyneside club are reported to be in intense negotiations with the Barcelona striker. The deal would bring the Dutch international to St. James Park with the Magpies paying no initial fee and Barca helping out with his wages. United would then have an option on purchasing Kluivert outright at the end of the season.
Porto chairman Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa is upset over Real Madrid’s attempts to sign star defender Ricardo Carvalho and has told them they have little hope in taking him away from the Portugese club.
Having already sold Deco to Barcelona and Paulo Ferreira to Chelsea, and lost manager Jose Mourinho to the London club – Porto are determined to keep Portugese international Carvalho.
“Porto isn’t having a sale and at the moment moving to Real Madrid would be a step down for him. They can’t force us to sell a player if we don’t want to,” said da Costa in the Spanish press.
Everton’s Swedish midfielder Tobias Linderoth may be returning to Scandinavia, with FC Copenhagen reportedly preparing a bid. It’s thought the Merseyside club will be looking for a fee in the order of £1.5m to part with Linderoth, who has two years of his contract remaining. The fee may be a sticking point for FCK, but the Swede has previously welcomed interest from the club.
The cash crisis at Lazio could force Argentine international Claudio Lopez out of the club, and a number of English clubs are said to be tracking him. Reports in Italy say that Blackburn, Bolton and Birmingham are heading the chase to sign the striker.
Blackburn are thought to be the most eager to secure Lopez’ services, as boss Graeme Souness looks to reinforce his strike force, with Dwight Yorke out of favour and Andy Cole having moved to Fulham. Italian sources indicate Rovers may make a move for the mercurial front-man later in the week, but they will have to dig deep to meet the Argentinian’s wage demands.
Brazilian international Emerson is still the subject of some speculation, even though his attorney insists he’s in negotiations with Juventus. The midfielder is refusing to play another season for Roma, and his club are apparently refusing to let him join Serie A rivals Juve, preferring a move to Real Madrid instead.
Emerson’s attorney, Gilmar Veloz, attempted to clarify the situation in Spanish paper Marca: “Emerson is proud to be linked with Real Madrid, but we have a lead with Juventus and only if they end negotiations can we discuss things with Real.”
James Beattie’s agent has admitted that the Southampton striker and Alan Shearer had talks about swapping clubs. Jon Smith told the Sun newspaper “When there was a change of manager at Southampton a move was briefly discussed, with Shearer going one way and Beattie going the other.” Beattie has reportedly expressed an interest if a striking position becomes available at Newcastle.
Nigerian attacker Nwankwo Kanu is the subject of a bidding war between two Premiership clubs. His agent, Paul Okoye, has revealed West Bromwich Albion are now ahead after they bettered the contract offered by Charlton Athletic.
“I believe Kanu, who is determined to stay in the Premiership, will go to the team who offers the best deal.” The former Arsenal star was released at the end of his contract by the London club.
Czech midfielder Marek Heinz is considering a move back to the Bundesliga. Borussia Monchengladbach have had their bid for the Banik Ostrava man accepted and Heinz is considering their offer.
“I don’t want to reject it straight away. It’s true I recently said I do not want to go back to Bundesliga, but I have to think about every aspect and every offer I receive.”
Former Monaco and Fulham manager Jean Tigana has emerged as one of the favourites to become the new Nigerian national manager. The Nigerian Football Association has drawn up a shortlist of six foreigners as they decide the fate of current manager Christian Chukwu. They intend to have the new man installed in time for their World Cup Qualifying match with Zimbabwe on September 5.
Greek captain Theodoros Zagorakis has been released by AEK Athens. The Greek club have reluctantly dropped Euro 2004’s player of the tournament because of financial problems. A spokesman for AEK revealed Zagorakis is being chased by a number of European clubs:
“He showed that he genuinely has the club’s best interests at heart and is free to take up any of the great offers from teams abroad.” Bologna, back in Serie A again this season, are thought to be favourites for the 32 year-old’s signature.
Israeli midfielder Yossi Shai Benayoun has been put on the transfer list by Racing Santander. The club, who escaped relegation from Spain’s Primera Division last year by a single point, seem keen to cash in on their prize asset. The news will come of interest to Tottenham and Liverpool, who have both been linked with the 25 year-old in the past, and to a number of Spanish clubs.