Chelsea make their move for Carlos Tevez

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “I think there still is a race barrier in this country. Look at how disproportionate it is in terms of the number of black ex-players who are not in management and the number of black ex-players who are older than myself who haven’t been offered a job. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is racist but there is that stereotypical view that some people have of black people and black managers in terms of their competence, which for me is different to racist abuse you might encounter walking down the street. There is a misconception over whether black ex-players can make successful managers.” – new Tranmere boss, John Barnes.

Runner-up: “The club should have supported me more, which did not happen. When a player plays, everything is beautiful but, when things do not run so well, there is no support. I believe my time at Chelsea has come to an end. I am happy such a big club as Inter is interested in me. It would be good to return to working with Jose Mourinho.” – Ricardo Carvalho.

Today’s overview: The transfer merry-go-round continues in earnest, with Chelsea set to pinch a striker off United, United set to move for a Brazilian to boost their forward line, while Spurs are prepared to let four players leave while bringing in one new recruit. But we start in South Africa and the Confederations Cup.

After watching the Brazil-Egypt match Mohamed Aboutrika, “arguably the best footballer on Earth not plying his trade in Europe or South America… the question remains: does staying in Egypt make him gutless and unambitious because he won’t measure himself against the world’s best on a regular basis? Or, in fact, should he be admired for remaining loyal to his homeland[?]”

Yet the bigger story emerging from the Brazil-Egypt  game surrounds English referee Howard Webb, who has found himself at the centre of a controversy this Tuesday after being accused of awarding Brazil a last minute penalty and red card based solely on TV replays. As explained by John Ashdown, “Webb, a Premier League referee, seemingly awarded the late spot-kick – which was a correct decision – on the advice of the fourth official, who may have seen a TV replay of the incident… the sending off came after a replay of the incident was beamed on monitors and the giant screen at Free State Stadium.”

It’s two in and five out at Chelsea this Tuesday.

Matt Lawton shouts an EXCLUSIVE in the Daily Mail linking Chelsea with a late bid for Carlos Tevez. “Carlo Ancelotti has made a dramatic attempt to win the race to sign Carlos Tevez by telephoning him personally. The new Chelsea manager called Tevez after obtaining the number from the striker’s Argentina colleague Hernan Crespo and stressed he sees him as an integral part of his plans.”

Several departures from West London are predicted by the Express’ Tony Banks. “Chelsea have offered misfit Andriy Shevchenko to Lyon and Monaco after another French side, Marseille, rejected a deal for Shevchenko, whose loan spell with AC Milan runs out at the end of this month. Middlesbrough are poised to make a bid for Blues youngster Scott Sinclair.”

Elsewhere, Stuart James reports that the Blues “hope the exits of Carvalho and Deco [to Inter Milan] will be followed by the return of Glen Johnson.” The Pompey full-back though is in demand with James Ducker writing “Liverpool had an offer of about £18.5 million for Glen Johnson accepted last night.” The Sun attempt to call a winner in the battle for Johnson barking “Liverpool have won the race to land Portsmouth’s £19million full-back Glen Johnson.”

The Portuguese pairing could be joined by young Franco di Santo in leaving Stanford Bridge, Andy Hunter penning that “Sam Allardyce has approached Chelsea about taking Franco Di Santo on loan next season as the Blackburn Rovers manager plans for life without Roque Santa Cruz.” Keeping with Rovers, the Daily Mail announce that “Manchester City have made a £15million offer for Blackburn’s Roque Santa Cruz… [while] Rovers are interested in Tottenham defender Pascal Chimbonda and Newcastle’s Nicky Butt, Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan.”

More Spurs squad members could be set to leave the Lane with Matt Law inking that “Jamie O’Hara is the latest Tottenham player to attract the interest of London rivals Fulham.” Over in The Sun Pat Sheehan announces that “David Bentley has admitted he is talking to Aston Villa in a bid to end his Tottenham agony.” Spicing up the Tottenham -Villa connection to the max, Darren Lewis bleats that “Spurs are ready to offer Aston Villa David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas – in a swap deal for Ashley Young.”

The Independent claim that “Manchester United are preparing a bid for Brazilian sensation Douglas Costa, according to his agent.” The Daily Mail also pay lip-service to the same short, writing “United are continuing to monitor teenage Gremio midfielder Douglas Costa.”

Following yesterday’s whispers that Cesc Fabregas would welcome a move to Barcelona, Howard Swains kills the story this Tuesday after the Gunners’ captain claimed he had been misquoted. Arsenal are then said to be in talks with Stuttgart midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger according to The Sun.

It looks like one-in, one-out at Upton Park as Jason Burt scribbled “West Ham United have received a firm enquiry from Manchester City about Matthew Upson as they were on Monday night in Milan to complete the signing of the Chilean striker Luis Jimenez.” The Hammers though continue to be linked with attackers, with the Daily Mail printing “West Ham have expressed an interest in Manchester City’s Ecuador striker Felipe Caicedo.”

Moving up to the Stadium of Light, the Daily Mail report “Sunderland are closing in on a £5m deal for Manchester City defender Richard Dunne.”

Finally, after swelling their squad with Kaka and Ronaldo, Sid Lowe announces how Real Madrid are aiming to offload up to nine players in the transfer window. “A fax has been sent from the Bernabéu that includes the names of the club’s Dutch players, as well as the former Manchester United full-back Gabriel Heinze. Robben and Van Nistelrooy are joined by their compatriots Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and Royston Drenthe. The defensive midfielder Mahamadou Diarra and the striker Javier Saviola have also been made available.”