With a number of websites simply in place to write transfer rumours and gossip - and with the BBC gossip column growing each day – it’s becoming harder and harder for the everyday football fan to find the truth amongst the rumours. So to make life easier for you all – I thought I’d sift through some of the big rumours from the last week and talk you through my views on each one.
Andy Carroll (back) to Newcastle
The first thing to say here is that this obviously isn’t a new rumour. It’s a rumour that is in place because no one really knows what is going on and because his loan spell with West Ham is coming to an end. The press have asked the question about what is going to happen - to which Rodgers has turned round and basically said that the price he moved for wasn’t his fault and that he was under immense pressure because of the fee – which is completely fair (whilst at the same time having a little dig at his predecessors). Rodgers might well find a use for him at Liverpool – but with funds being tighter than before at Anfield – I would expect him to be sold. The Mirror has suggested that a fee of around £17m has been mentioned – but with Newcastle notorious for paying fees up front – and with Liverpool needing the cash for their own plans - I would expect the fee to be closer to £15m. Whatever happens though – it will be a transfer that Liverpool will want to forget.
Bored of writing “Valdes to Arsenal “stories – the Star this week decided to link Spanish legend Iker Casillas with a move to the Emirates after “falling out of favour” ( / being dropped for a few games) at Real Madrid. The story in itself even loses weight when the quote used from Casillas ("I want to be remembered as a player who wore the Real Madrid and Spain shirts, and gave his all for them") is traced back to the original article from Marca – when it shows that he has actually been asked about what he wants to do when he hangs up his boots and how he wants to be remembered. The story in itself is a prime example of the press taking a quote out of context and running with it. I’ve written more about the Arsenal goalkeeping position here but basically – next season Szczesny will still be number 1 at Arsenal.
The Express this week also linked Real Madrid’s forward Gonzalo Higuain with a move to Arsenal or Tottenham following another interview with Marca in which he says that he will consider his future at the end of the season. The “interested” clubs have been added by the British press – there is certainly no concrete information in the report to suggest that either club is going to be making a move. If Higuain is available at the end of the season (something that could well depend on whether Mourinho is still at the club) - expect every major club to be in the hunt for his signature (and that includes the ones funded by oil). When you take that information into account you quickly realise that there is no chance of Arsenal or Spurs getting anywhere near his signature. A cut price deal for QPR’s Remy though could well be of interest to both clubs.
Rooney to PSG
Various websites have reported that Wayne Rooney could look to leave United in the summer to move across the sea to PSG – a potential move that has excited mercenary footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic so much that he has (in essence) started begging for it to happen. Most of the articles have then continued to shoot themselves in the feet by suggesting that Rooney is unhappy with the increased competition at Old Trafford. If this is the case – what on earth would happen to him at PSG? Would he be expecting anything different? When have you known Rooney to back away from competition? The truth is that Rooney will only be leaving United if Ferguson wants him gone, or if the club receive an offer that is completely ridiculous (see fee for Ronaldo). End of story.
This is a very simple story to dissect. The Mirror claims that Begovic will be moving for £4m. He won’t be. He will be moving somewhere (thanks to the imminent arrival of Jack Butland) and it might even be to Fulham (although I thoroughly doubt it) - but it won’t be with that price tag. So I’m just going to ignore this story until it’s rewritten with a common sense approach. If Stoke sell Begovic for £4m I will be completely shocked. I’ll also laugh hysterically at Stoke for being completely incompetent.
According to the Metro – Vasco defender Dede is the top summer defensive target for Liverpool - who will apparently “battle it out” for his signature (according to the player’s agent) with AC Milan. That’s all well and good – but the story in itself is misleading – because the more you read – the more you realise that Dede will be signing for Milan and talk of Liverpool being interested is just in place to speed the process up. Liverpool will strengthen defensively – but I think that Ashley Williams is at the top of that list.
image: © Steenbergs