Sunderland & The A-Z Of The Footballing Summer So Far

This summer has been one of the longest football-less summers in recent memory, with endless transfer sagas filling the void in supporters lives.

Here we run through an A-Z of the biggest stories of the summer so far, and what's left to come.

A - Adam

Charlie Adam could be the signing of the summer for Liverpool, for a bargain £6.5 million. If he is as effective at Anfield as at Blackpool, the reds will be strong contenders.

B - Brown & O'Shea

Capturing Wes Brown and John O'Shea for £6 million may be among Steve Bruce's shrewedest signings of the summer. Other eye-catching Sunderland recruits include David Vaughan from Blackpool and wonderkid Connor Wickham from Ipswich.

C - Community Shield

Rio Ferdinand suggested replacing this match with a Premiership Allstar game, while it has merit, it won't match the intense rivalry that Manchester United and Manchester City will bring to this year's match, making a 'friendly' a 'must-win'.

D - Deadline Day

Clubs and agents have all summer to strike deals, yet countless leave big moves till the last day. Previous deadline movers include Torres, Carroll, Robinho and Van der Vaart, so watch this space on August 31.

E - Everton

How depressing it must be for Evertonians watching their cross city rivals splash the cash, while yet again, the Toffees are stuck not spending a penny. Even a free transfer or a loan would be nice. It is a club in major need of investment if it is to kick on.

F - Fabregas

As if there was any doubt, the Cesc Fabregas 'will-he, won't-he' saga over his transfer to Barcelona has again been relentless. A mystery injury kept him off Arsenal's tour, while Spanish papers have repeatedly stated he will sign 'in days'. The longer it drags on the better chance Arsenal have of keeping him.

G - Goalkeepers

A goalkeeping transfer merry go round has ensued this summer. Manchester United have De Gea, Spurs have signed Friedel, while Shay Given has freed himself from his shackles at Man City to sign for Villa. Ben Foster is hoping to move to West Brom, replacing Scott Carson who has moved abroad to Turkey.

H - Henderson

When Jordan Henderson moved to Liverpool for £20 million the knives came out decrying him as overrated. When he failed to perform at the under 21 championships, the critics twisted the knives in. He will have a point to prove, but will find himself rotated among Liverpool's congested midfield for this season.

I - Ingenuity

Each year there is a transfer deal which is too ingenious for words. This year its Barcelona 'selling' young starlet Bojan to Roma for £12 million. The catch- if Roma want to buy him permanently in two years time, they must up the bid to £40 million, but Barcelona also have a priority option to resign him for the amount they sold him for, if they wish. The boy now has a point to prove to clubs new and old.

J - Jones

Phil Jones became Manchester United's second signing when he was snapped up for £16.5 million. He will compete with Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans for a place in central defence alongside Vidic when Rio Ferdinand is, regularly, injured. He has been described as the future of United and England.

K - Kun Aguero

If this summer lacked a 'marquee' signing before, Sergio 'Kun' Aguero has provided it. Snapped up by Man City for £39 million, if Mancini can get him performing alongside Tevez and Dzeko, City could run away with the league.

L - Lukaku

A Belgian 'wonderkid' continuously linked with Chelsea, Arsenal, and Spurs, he has been hailed as the new Didier Drogba. Chelsea sticking with last season's strikeforce has put a move on hold, and Arsenal now look the most likely movers, he will be one to watch on deadline day.

M - Modric

Wantaway Luka Modric has provided Spurs fans with a topic for discussion this summer, with the club not making any signings, they are desperately trying to hang onto the players they have. Chelsea have had two bids rejected, while a transfer request was also shot down. This will run and run with Man United also lurking in the shadows.

N- Nasri

Samir Nasri, one of the most popular players at the Emirates last season, now finds himself one of the most disliked. Arsenal have said they are happy to keep him and let him leave on a free next season if he refuses to sign a new contract. The two Manchester clubs and Chelsea are both keen.

O - Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Southampton starlet issued a come-and-get-me plea to Premiership clubs last month, but there have been no takers so far. The Saints want at least £10 million for the teenager and clubs have balked. Arsenal are his mostly likely destination.

P - Pre-season

The footballers' most hated time of year is also difficult for fans. Most are deprived of being able to watch the team at close quarters, while clubs jet off on money spinning trips to China, Malaysia, or the USA. Results are also tricky to read, does Federico Macheda's double against an MLS team mean he has a hope of featuring for United this season ?

Q - QPR

The newly promoted club have had a summer of internal strife at boardroom level, but there is light at the other end of the tunnel. They have a new strikeforce of DJ Campbell and Jay Bothroyd who will cause trouble for defences and get in the goals. They have also resisted moves for star man Adel Taarabt, and the club have every chance of staying in the Premiership.

R - Roger Johnson

The ex-Birmingham man's move to Wolves for £7 million is also looking like one of the signs of the summer. Tipped to win caps for England, the price represents a bargain, especially when teammate Scott Dann is valued by Brum at over £13 million.

S - Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez inadvertently contributed to one of the most tedious transfer sags of the summer. The Chilean snubbed a move to both Manchester clubs, and signed for Barcelona for £23 million, rising to 35. How Guardiola will fit him into Barcelona's dream team is a problem a manager would love to have.

T - Tevez

The Argentinian has been trying to escape Man City since last December, but the club holds all the cards, demanding a £50 million price nobody is willing to pay. A move to former club Corinthians in Brazil fell through, and the likelihood is he will be left wearing City colours this season. His talents would be a loss to the Premiership.

U - Under-21s

A tournament which promised so much for the future of English football, and delivered familiar disappointment. Spain won it, with stars such as Juan Mata being linked to Arsenal. Martin Jol used it to scout players, the new Fulham boss signing Czech star Marcel Gecov and Switzerland's Pajtim Kasami.

V - Villas-Boas

The 'heir to Mourinho' from Porto has had a low-key start to life managing at Chelsea. No major signings, only serve to indicate that the club are biding their time. Modric is their number one target, coupled with Michael Essien's injury, shows that strengthening the midfield is the club's top priority.

W - Wesley Sneijder

The Dutchman is Manchester United's main target, despite Sir Alex Ferguson's denials. Chief executive David Gill has met with Inter officials, but no bid has yet been made. Rivals City signing Aguero may spur the Red Devils into action to replace Paul Scholes, while Inter admit they will sell at the right price.

X - Xavi

The best midfielder in the world has left Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger fuming, after 'tapping up' Cesc Fabregas. Not that his actions are new compared with antics of his fellow teammates over the past 12 months, but they were enough to make Wenger snap at a recent press conference, and continuted the bad blood between the two clubs.

Y - Young

Ashley Young's move to Manchester United is the right move for the player at the perfect time in his career. Champions League football is the challenge he needs, after excelling for England in recent international games. His ability to play on either flank and through the middle will be crucial to his success, as will his dead ball ability.

Z - Zamparini

Maurizio Zamparini is the chairman of Italian club Palermo and has spent months talking up one of the biggest transfers of the summer for star playmaker Javier Pastore. The Argentinian has been heavily linked with a £44 million move to Chelsea, but the rumour mill has it that PSG are preparing a French club record bid for the star, who had an underwhelming Copa America tournament, along with compatriot Lionel Messi.

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