Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Transfer Rumours

It is that time of year again. The time of year when websites and back-pages are dominated by transfer rumours. When the on-the-field action stops it is inevitable that writers will have to fill the blank pages with stories of which players are going where.

Attempting to decipher fact from the vast amount of fiction becomes near impossible. Each newspaper, journalist or website reports different stories about the same player or club. It is clear at times that the writers are clutching at straws to make their quota. If Fernando Torres is seen wearing a blue t-shirt people will say he is destined to join Chelsea.

It seems that the perennial list of players go on a regular cycle of being linked with any club with cash to spend. Ribery, Fabregas, Gerrard, Torres, Angel Di Maria, Rooney and others will be connected with a new team every day of the week over the coming months. Thankfully David Villa can be taken of this list as it seems that his move to Barcelona is close to being completed for £34 million. When Ronaldo cost £80 million and Ibrahimovic set the Catalan club back around £40 million and Samuel Eto'o this deal taking Villa away from Valencia seems a steal, especially considering the number of clubs who were interesting in the Spanish striker.

At least every other year we have a major summer tournament that replaces the need to churn out the tenuous transfer rumours, if only for a few weeks. It seems that Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and now Manchester City are ready to bid for any player who comes with a high enough reputation. The majority of the stories that are printed will be proved to be nothing more than gossip-mongering but with the money that is flying around these days you never know. I thought nothing of rumours that Ronaldo was going to Madrid last summer as the story had been reprinted for the previous three years but the record breaking transfer fee proved me wrong.

Alex Ferguson has tried to separate his side from these stories as he has come out and said that Manchester United will not be active in the transfer window this summer. He insists that he will make do with the squad that he has even though this season seemed to make it clear that the team lacks sufficient quality and depth to challenge in all competitions. Rooney's 34 goals helped to paper over the cracks created by the loss of Ronaldo and Tevez and the ageing legs of Neville, Scholes and Giggs. With £700 million of debt the decision to stay out of the market will have certainly been somewhat forced upon Fergie but if the team fails to bring in some new faces then I would expect to see them struggle to get their hands on any silverware next season.

With no Champions League football for Liverpool next year the rumours surrounding Torres and Gerrard will be more regular than ever. According to the papers there are clubs lining up to tempt either of Liverpool's star duo away from Anfield. Carlton Cole is set to leave West Ham. Buffon wants a move to a Premiership club. Joe Cole is out of contract this summer. Ribery is on his way out of Germany and Fabregas looks destined to go to the Nou Camp. The list goes on and on. Papers print stories that managers and clubs deny. I often wonder if the writers pick the stories out of thin air or if they actually have any basis in reality.

We are only in the middle of May and the transfer window does not even open for another 42 days and yet it is already impossible to escape the endless reel of factually void transfer stories. It is a part of the game that wont go away but nevertheless it is tedious to see the back-pages and websites become the sporting version of Heat Magazine.

Thoughts, comments and opinions please...


  1. Do you think that the press are stirring up transfers knowing full well that most English clubs aren't in a position to spend big? Man City are going to bring in players, that is certain, but they are still planning on doing it at the expense of several senior players... with rumours that Bellamy might be on his way. I can quite easily see this transfer market revolving around Barca and Real, the clubs with actual spending power and reputation. Man City still lack that 2nd pull factor.

    As for the English clubs, those willing to spend money need to invest in home-grown players, that is the only way you can get value for money. Look at Rodwell, Gosling, Milner etc...

    On a side note, do you feel Spurs need to strengthen the squad and in what positions with Champions League football next term. Any possible suggestions?

  2. I think you are right that the English clubs will not be as active in this transfer window as they have been in the last few years and that youth will take priority over the big name players.

    As for Spurs, I do not think that they have any glarring weaknesses. They have good wingers, strikers, defenders and central midfielders as well as a quality keeper in Gomes. The problem is that although they have a lot good of players they do not have any great players. But I can't see them bringing any of these sorts of names in, they just don't have the money or status to lure great players to the team. Their best chance is to buy young and develop them themselves and being in the Champions League should certainly help with the development of the whole squad. They could do ok in the competition but will never go too far.

    How about you, do you think they have any gaps in their squad that they need to address? How do you see them fairing in next season's Champions League?

  3. I still believe that some english clubs could be active in this years transfer window. For example, if Liverpool do receive a generous offer from Manchester City for Stephen Gerrard and agree to it, could they possible look to strengthen their mediocre squad? With news of Torres heading to Stamford Bridge as well, if the blues do land a winning bid for the spanish striker, surely the sum for both these quality players should be enough for Liverpool to rebuild their squad. Although it is a long shot, could they also possibly look to set aside some of that money to ensure the departure of Rafael Benitez (if he decides not to leave) after a disastrous year for him and the club?

    The same situation applies to Arsenal. The idea of Fabregas leaving the club to join Barcelona would seem to bring a substantial sum of money to the club for Arsene Wenger to spend although we have seen over the years that his prudent nature stops him from buying expensive players with a good reputation.

    Without doubt however, the millionaire backed Chelsea and Manchester City are sure to spend extravagantly over the summer and this can only lead to stronger pushes to the Premier League title for both clubs.

  4. Chelsea and Manchester City could bring in players but I am not sure who they will get. They have the money but whether or not they get their targets is the question.

    You are right though Sacha. If the likes of Fabregas, Torres or Gerrard do leave their repesctive clubs then they will warrant huge transfer fees. How much of this is reinvested if they do go will be interesting. One thing is certain and that is that Arsenal and Liverpool need to spend this summer and doing so at the expense of their best players will not serve the clubs well.

    With the ridiculous price tags on the top draw players at the moment, could Wenger make a better squad with £40million but no Fabregas. Look at Ronaldo. People were saying that no player is worth that much but without him Man United lost their edge this season, masses of money cannot replace certain players in certain teams. Fabregas, Gerrard and Torres are examples of this, the team is built around them. Their best bet is to try keep hold of their best players and invest around them, but that is in an ideal world.


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