Transfer Roundup: Newcastle United, Manchester City, Birmingham, Fulham, Bolton, Sunderland, Derby, Inter Milan, Lazio, Real Madrid, Valencia

Fulham’s glaring need for attacking improvements was quite evident in their FA Cup shootout defeat to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night, but Roy Hodgson may finally be getting his prayers answered. The Cottagers have signed American international striker Eddie Johnson from the Kansas City Wizards, with the 23-year old penning a three and a half year deal to be the latest American to ply his trade at Craven Cottage.

Fulham are also in talks with Rangers striker Daniel Cousin over a move after the SPL leaders accepted a 3 million pound offer for the Gabon striker.

The signing of Johnson and the imminent signing of Cousin may or may not spell the end of the club’s interest in Watford’s Marlon King. Contrary to reports, the holdup in King’s move to Fulham is not related to a failed medical, but to the fee, as the two clubs still haven’t come to an agreement there, with Watford looking for 5 million pounds.

Veteran Finnish star Jari Litmanen has also emerged as a potential option for Hodgson, as he has been training with the club recently. The 37-year old former Barcelona, Ajax, and Liverpool man was released by Swedish side Malmo last year, and could be set to link up with his former national team coach.

Derby have completed the signing of Australian attacker Mile Sterjovski after the 28-year old former Genclerbirligi player was granted a work permit on appeal. Sterjovski, who has 33 caps for the Socceroos, has signed an 18-month deal, and may be cleared in time to play in Derby’s FA Cup tie against Preston on the weekend.

Sunderland have signed Swedish striker Rade Prica from Danish side Aalborg for 2 million pounds. The 27-year old was the top scorer in the Danish top flight in the 2006-07 season with 19 goals, and had nine thus far in the 2007-08 season. Prica has signed a three and a half year deal with the club, and is Sunderland’s fourth signing of the January transfer window.

Add Jonathan Woodgate, John Arne Riise, and Dean Ashton to the list of players that Kevin Keegan is interested in. What’s the total now…3,273?

Newcastle have apparently made a concrete offer for Lazio star Goran Pandev, according to Mr. Pandev himself. The 24-year old Macedonian striker has been linked with the likes of Liverpool (need to get more out of their 13 strikers not named Torres), Real Madrid (don’t need more strikers), and Bayern Munich (don’t need more strikers). Pandev has scored 12 goals this season for Lazio, and has also scored a dozen in 35 appearances for the Macedonian national side.

If Lazio do sell Pandev, they already have his replacement signed, sealed, and delivered., as Manchester City’s Rolando Bianchi is done with his English experiment, and is back in his home country. The 24-year old striker scored five goals in 24 appearances for Manchester City, but much to Eriksson’s chagrain never really quite settled at Manchester City, and is going to be sleeping and playing a lot better back in familiar surroundings.

Staying with Lazio, Birmingham were looking to add reinforcement to their defense by bringing in Guglielmo Stendardo on loan, but thanks to the injury situation at the Roman club, Alex McLeish will have to go elsewhere.

Bolton are looking to snap up 3 million pound-rated Pascal Feinduono from Ligue 1 side St. Etienne. The 26-year old striker is currently with the Guinean team at the African Cup of Nations, but the club has already dispatched someone to go to Ghana and tie him up before the transfer window closes.

Valencia have been quite busy bringing in new blood to the Mestalla in January, and Ronald Koeman is still sniffing around for more. Los Che are set to bolster their front line by adding CSKA Moscow’s Brazilian star Jo Alves, having already agreed personal terms with the 20-year old striker.

The only thing that remains now is to agree a fee with the Russian club, who Jo has been with since 2005, and the fee will likely be 15 million euros, at the least.

Now that Real Madrid have finally gotten the hint (for now) that Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t about to leave Manchester United anytime soon (even though his mother reportedly wants him to end up there sooner or later), Real are reportedly looking at Porto’s Ricardo Quaresma as Plan B. Quaresma, who spent the 2003-04 season at Barcelona, was a summer target for Atletico Madrid, but they didn’t put the right offer on the table. The 24-year old attacker is valued around 30 million, which would be about three pennies for Real.

However, he may well not be moving this coming summer, or anytime in the near future, after he agreed a contract extension that ties him to Porto until 2011. But, contracts only mean so much in this day and age, don’t they?

After picking up one Atletico Madrid player in Maniche, Inter are looking at one more, though this one might be a little harder to get than Maniche was. 19-year old Argentine whiz kid Sergio ‘Fernando Who?’ Aguero, who has been a huge part of Atletico’s push for a Champions League place in La Liga, is on Inter’s wish list. He only came to Spain from Independiente in 2006 for 20 million euros, so considering his production in that time, Inter might need to offer double to get Atletico to even blink.

But, if Atletico are intent on hanging on to him like they did Fernando Torres, well, wait three or four years and try again Inter.

Oh, and Boro’s chances at signing Afonso Alves were given a boost by the Dutch FA ruling Heerenveen weren’t obligated to sell the Braziilian striker to AZ Alkmaar, but it’s too soon to tell if he’ll be on his way to Boro, because the KNVB still has more to sort out. And, when they do, I’ll make sure to let you know.

The Race for 4th Place: Liverpool v Everton v Manchester City v Aston Villa
07/08 Carling Cup Semi Second Leg: Everton 0(1) - 1(3) Chelsea - Cole cracker carries champions

One Response

  1. Juv3ntus466 24 January, 2008