The latest transfer rumours doing the rounds
By Gary Edwards
Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has revealed that contract talks are continuing following his rejection of an offer of one-year extension.
Giggs said: “Talks are at an early stage. I still have 18 months to go on my contract, so there is no rush and no panic, we will just have to see how it goes.”
According to the agent of Santos midfielder Robinho, Chelsea are in pole position to land the 20-year-old who has been dubbed the “new Pele”.
Agent Wagner Rubiero told the News of the World: “Chelsea are the only team who have confirmed they are prepared to pay £14m.
“Rubinho is excited at the prospect of the move and we are trying to make sure everything is OK.”
He added: “We are following Chelsea very closely in order to give Robinho all the information, so he is not scared of going to a country so different to Brazil.
“Chelsea have made an offer and that is encouraging.”
However, the player himself seems intent on joining his fellow Brazillians Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo at Real Madrid, saying: “Real Madrid are the best club in the world,” he said. “Any footballer dreams about playing there and I am no different to any of them.
“It would be great to play for Real Madrid and I was very happy when I found out they were interested in me.”
The player admitted he is unaware how negotiations are progressing, and insists he will concentrate on the job at hand with current employers Santos until a transfer is finalised.
“I don’t have a lot of information about that,” he said. “My agent Wagner Ribeiro and my father are looking after that.
“I would rather remain calm and think about football.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has not ruled out giving veteran forward Dennis Bergkamp a new one-year deal.
Wenger said: “The case is quite simple. We always sit down together in April or May, and we have to consider his situation is a little bit special.
“It’s down to how he feels and how I will feel. We will have a frank discussion at the end of the season. But I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Everton manager David Moyes has refused to reveal whether striker Duncan Ferguson will be given a new deal at the end of the season.
Moyes told Sky Sports: “Duncan knows that he will get opportunities, but I don’t want to go into what will happen at the end of the season with him.
“He comes off the bench and contributes to the game every time and that was a real centre forward’s goal that won the game for us [against Fulham].
“Marcus Bent is in the team at the moment, but Duncan will play games from the start for us as well.
“None of the players can rest on their laurels and Duncan is there to put pressure on Marcus.
Aston Villa manager David O’Leary has said that there is ‘nothing to report’ on talks to extend midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger’s contract beyond the end of this season.
O’Leary said: “It’s in the hands of the club. I want him to stay but it is being handled by the people at Villa Park.
“Thomas has said that he wants to start more games but every player wants to do that.
“Thomas has been out because he has not been playing that well.”
PSV Eindhoven midfielder Mark van Bommel has said that he hopes to join Tottenham Hotspur in January.
He told Sky Sports: “I don’t rule out leaving in January, as my contract expires next summer.
“Tottenham are a very big club, a sleeping giant.
“I know [Martin] Jol and [Frank] Arnesen and they are very good people, so I hope something will happen.
“I am 27 and the time is right to move. I have achieved everything in Holland and need a new challenge.”
Manchester United may raid Goodison Park again in January with Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen the target. He is yet to agree to a new contract on Merseyside and was looking for a way out last summer but a move to Hamburg fell through.
His agent, former United right-back John Sivebaek, says new contract talks won’t be held until the New Year. He told Sky Sports: “Thomas is happy at Everton and would be prepared to stay. It is a little early for making decisions but we could look at the situation in the New Year if things carry on like this.”
Gravesen was spotted in Manchester on Sunday and didn’t baulk at a suggestion that he could end up at Old Trafford.
David Moyes is set to bolster his strike force by making Tottenham a transfer window bid for Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane.
Moyes is apparently going to offer £7million for the hit man who has, so far this season, been fairly inconsistent. While it is thought that Spurs don’t really want to sell the fans favourite, Martin Jol could be tempted by a large sum.
The Toffees have also been linked with Lazio star Paulo Negro who recently turned down the offer of a new contract with the Serie A giants.
Birmingham manager Steve Bruce hopes to complete the £250k deal to sign FC Lahti striker Njazi Kuqi.
Bruce told the PA: “We hope that we can tie up a deal but it would be unfair on the lad if we think he is going to be the immediate answer for us. He’s not.
“He is going to be someone we look to for the future. Maybe in a year or even six months time he could contribute for us.
“He is tremendous in the air, as good a header of the ball as I’ve seen in a long time, has a big physical presence and has decent feet as well.
“He’s Finland’s Under-21 player of the year, he’s someone we’ve looked at for the last 10 days and watched five or six times.
“He’s just broken into the Finnish national team and we hope that we can conclude a deal sometime next week.
“Representatives of his club are flying over to see our managing director Karren Brady.”
Norwich City ‘keeper Robert Green has dismissed speculation linking him with a £3m move to Middlesbrough.
Green told the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press: “It’s a story, that’s all it is, and I don’t read too much into stories like that.
“Some people like to write news and others like to stir it up. I don’t take any notice of stuff like that. If other people want to read it and come to a conclusion then that’s up to them.
“I’m contracted to Norwich and I expect to be here on 1 February. When you are a footballer you can’t keep thinking what if. You are where you are, and speculation is around all the time. You can’t take any notice of it.”
Bolton Wanderers defender Fernando Hierro has hinted that he might retire at the end of the season.
Hierro told Marca: “I am happy playing in Bolton after the pressure of the years at Real Madrid.
“Each day I am content by my move to England.
“It is very probable that this year is the last of my career.”
Sunderland reportedly watched Lincoln City midfielder Peter Gain during the Lincoln’s 3-0 win at Darlington on Saturday.
Lincoln City manager Keith Alexander said: “Peter has done well this season and has been an exceptional player for me, but many of my team could play at a higher level.
“When you’re doing well clubs are linked with your players, although a lot of it tends to be speculation.”
Aberdeen midfielder Markus Heikkinen has said that he is still undecided whether or not to stay at Pittodrie.
Heikkinen told The Press & Journal: “The manager has said he is keen for me to stay, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.
“If there was no chance of me staying, I wouldn’t even think about it.
“It is in my mind at the moment and I hope the manager will give me the time I need to make my decision.
Preston North End manager Billy Davies says he’s ‘very keen’ to turn defender John Curtis’ loan move from Portsmouth into a permanent one.
Davies told his club’s official website: “John’s pulled a hamstring but we’ll now sit down and try and do something.
“It’s something we’re very keen to do.”
He added: “We are in discussions with a number of people about a number of players and we are trying very hard to bring one or two new faces in.
“Who knows on John, all we can do is talk to the player, get sorted out with clubs but the injury doesn’t help.”