Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “The difference between us and them is that we played football where as Milan thought they were on a film set as if they were in Hollywood. My job is to run a football club and not to make sure Victoria Beckham has the best suite in the hotel. I don’t know why Milan accepted all these demands. It was all just one big scene. Steven Spielberg was the only one missing.” – Bayern Munich’s general manager Uli Hoeness.
Runner-up: “Arsene Wenger is a cunning fox. In the morning he says Arshavin will play all the time at his club and during the day he says he doubts the capabilities of Andrei to play three games in a row at the highest level. This is a tactic to fool the competition.” – Andrei Arshavin’s agent Dennis Lachter.
Today’s overview: Confusion reigns today over Jermain Defoe’s transfer back to Spurs, with the latest reports casting doubts over whether the transfer has actually been concluded. Outside of that, transfer rumours are rife on day eight of the window, particularly in relation to West Ham and Newcastle, but aside from the speculation there are no concrete deals to speak of.
For the first time in a long time, Derby County are today making the headlines for all the right reasons. Henry Winter commented in his match report, “short of ploughing up the pitch to give it that authentic Baseball Ground feel and getting everyone to wear flares and tank-tops, Derby could not have done more to revive the spirit of the Seventies.” Changing the focus, Daniel Taylor rips into “the abysmal Paul Jewell, a man whose reign was so utterly Âembarrassing that he will surely never manage a decent-sized club again.”
Jermain Defoe’s transfer to Tottenham could be the subject of a bitter dispute according to David Hytner, with the striker’s former agent, Sky Andrew, ready to litigate over the role Defoe’s mother played as an unregistered adviser in the deal. And it gets worse for Spurs according to Neil Ashton, reporting “Pompey officials were stunned when Spurs went ahead with the ostentatious entrance just minutes before the Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Championship side Burnley. The two clubs have yet to reach an agreement over the size of the transfer fee and negotiations will continue today. Defoe’s contract has not yet been signed and the Barclays Premier League have not received the appropriate documentation.”
Amy Lawrence grapples with the rumours linking Jermaine Pennant with AC Milan. “How can it be right that a player who specialises in disappointing top-grade employers in England supposedly rejected the advances of Real Madrid and is now set to join Milan? If it were true, you would have to wonder if an exotic virus which football scouts are particularly susceptible to had spread from the Spanish capital to northern Italy.”
In other transfer news, Simon Williams reports that Rangers are prepared to sell Barry Ferguson to Newcastle for Â£3m, while Rob Stewart claims the Toon could be set to sell Joey Barton to Portsmouth. The exodus from Upton Park appears to be underway with Jeremy Wilson claiming “[Lee] Bowyer [is] holding talks with Birmingham to join on a nominal fee, while fees of Â£4 million from Stoke for Etherington and Â£3 million from Bolton for Davenport have also been agreed.” In a separate report, Michael Walker added that Luis Boa Morte is set to join Hull for Â£2m.
And the transfer speculation continues. Jon Ley links Spurs with Polonia Warsaw keeper Sebastian Przyrowski, the Daily Mail claim Everton and Middlesbrough are both chasing Newcastle’s Alan Smith although Shaun Custis announced that “Newcastle agreed to swap [Alan Smith] for Middlesbrough striker Mido.” Colin Young suggests the El-Hadji Diouf’s misery at the Stadium of Light could finally be ending with a Â£2m move to Blackburn.
Chelsea’s financial belt-tightening continues to be the order of the day, as Matt Hughes reports on Michael Ballack’s new contract negoatitions in which it is thought the German will received a “much lower basic salary, but with large bonuses based on the 32-year-oldâ€™s number of appearances, goals and the performance of the team.”