Chelsea cry wolf over Manchester City’s “tapping-up” of John Terry as Spurs battle for Huntelaar, Young & Beckham

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “We have internal player lined up [for Adebayor]. If you look at the offensive players we have, we have Van Persie, we have Arshavin, Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner and Eduardo. We lost a great player but we have players coming through that play in the same position. The message is to trust the players we have. I will be able to spend it [the Adebayor fee] if we find the right players and we feel it is needed, but we are not in a hurry now.” – Arsene Wenger.

Runner-up: “I’m not going to say I was dragged down by Newcastle but there are footballers who play better in better teams. I just know it will be fantastic for me – I feel like I did eight years ago/ There are so many players on my wavelength – world-class players. I can see Wayne Rooney or Paul Scholes, as soon as they get the ball, looking for one of my runs… When you sign, there are that many things you think about. You think of the players that are alongside you, you think about playing at Old Trafford and the men who are going to create chances for you and then you wake up the next morning and think: ‘I could win the League or the Champions’ League.’ It just goes on and on and you become a very excited young man. And yes, I am still young.” – Michael Owen.

Today’s overview: Two weeks later and the fifth estate is still asking the same question. Will John Terry be joining the City revolution?

Definitely, says gossip-mongering Paul Smith, who barks “John Terry’s relationship with Chelsea is at breaking point… [Terry] has confided in close friends who now say the damage done is ‘irreparable.'”

By contrast, erring on the side of caution is t was equivalent to sending a nightwatchman in to bat” before letting slip that “it is understood Chelsea’s lawyers are looking at Hughes’ actions to assess whether they may constitute ‘tapping up.'” The tapping-up story is also jumped upon by the NOTW with Rob Beasley found spitting fire that “Chelsea are set to report Manchester City boss Mark Hughes to the Premier League for ‘tapping up’ John Terry. The Blues are furious that Hughes openly spoke about his pursuit of the England skipper – even spelling out why Terry should sign on at Eastlands.”

With Emmanuel Adebayor the latest star to join at Eastlands Nick Harris documents how all the new signings have come at a large cost. “City’s Middle Eastern owners are ready to spend more than a billion dollars (£610m) on transfer fees and wage commitments in their first year in control. The expenditure will be the biggest one-year spend on new players by any sports club in the world.”

Dangerously jumping the gun, Rory Smith lauds the array of talent Mark Hughes has brought to Eastlands. “City finally have a team fit to belong to the richest club in the world… Between them, they possess five Premier League titles, two Champions League winners’ medals, two Spanish titles, five Bundesliga championships and two Intercontinental Cups. City might not be able to buy trophies, but they can certainly purchase pedigree.”

So Arsenal have pocketed £25 million from the Adebayor deal. So they have money to burn, right? Gunners fans know what is coming…

Jeremy Wilson delivers the news that no Arsenal fan wants to hear that “Arsene Wenger believes that he can replace Emmanuel Adebayor with players from within his young Arsenal squad.” Such suggestions are rebuffed in the NOTW as Rob Shepherd links Marouane Chamakh to the Emirates as well as gossiping that “Arsenal are also eyeing Bosnian star Edin Dzeko of Wolfsburg and Senegalese Demba Ba.”

All hail Michael Owen. After 25 minutes in a Manchester United shirt and bagging the winner in a meaningless friendly and the papers are ready to toast Little Mickey.

Mark Ogden leads to excitable rally cries farting how Owen’s “popularity in the Far East is on a par with that of [Cristiano Ronaldo]… [and that Fabio] Capello will find it difficult to resist Owen’s claims if he continues to find the net as successfully as he did in Kuala Lumpur.” Also found gushing is Tim Rich. “Manchester United yesterday said hello to Owen in a way only football’s greatest global brand could, bathed in adulation as warm and clinging as the air above the Bukit Jalil stadium.”

For Spurs fans, the time has arrived to get excited over new signings.

According tobegun their aggressive pursuit of Aston Villa’s Ashley Young having had an opening £18m offer rejected, as well as noting “Redknapp broke away from Tottenham’s pre-season preparations last week to meet Real Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s representatives, with Tottenham ready to pay £18m for the Dutchman.” On Ashely Young, Spurs face competition, with Chris Bascombe reporting that Liverpool are poised to make a £20m bid for the forward.

In two separate articles, Spurs then find themselves part of two three-way battles for new signings. Steve Tongue scribbles that “Tottenham have joined Fulham and Sunderland in expressing an interest in Portsmouth’s England striker Peter Crouch, who is available for £12m,” while the EXCLUSIVE in the Mail on Sunday is that “Chelsea and Tottenham are preparing to offer David Beckham an escape route from the United States… [while] AC Milan are also keen to have Beckham back.”

And there are more scraps for players in the Star, Paul Hetherington bleating that Sunderland “are also chasing Bordeaux’s Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh – a target for Spurs, Arsenal and Blackburn,” and in a separate article Hetherington claims “Everton and West Ham are both keen on [Nedum] Onuoha, 22, who is rated at £5m, and Sunderland could also be interested.”

In other transfer tidbits, Andrew Bikey is linked to a £3m move to either Fulham or Stoke, Stoke are also said to be interested in Lomana LuaLua, while “Hull boss Phil Brown wants to take Manchester City striker Benjani on a season-long loan.”