Transfers Roundup (2 Sept 08): Manchester United nab Berbatov, Robinho signs for Manchester City, Liverpool land Riera, and more

There’s really only a couple (well, one to be specific) deals that many people followed on transfer deadline day, but while many looked to see if Dimitar Berbatov would sign for Manchester United and who Manchester City would nab with their newly-acquired mega-riches, many watched the window to see if someone would come through the door for their favorite club.

To say the least, a lot happened. I won’t recap it all, because that’d take way too long, and the updated summer transfer lists will let you know a lot, but I will give you the lowdown on plenty in our last summer transfer roundup. My my, how the summer has flown by….


It took forever for the official word to come through, but Tottenham agreed to grant Dimitar Berbatov his move to Manchester United for £30.75m plus striker Fraizer Campbell on loan.

Rumor Rating: 5 – a) Not selling Campbell permanently could work out well for United, depending on how he fares at Spurs, and as for Berba, well, all those who bought their Berbatov shirts in advance can finally exhale.

But guess what? It’s not even the most expensive (well, in cash spent) deal done on deadline day.

Coming into the day, you’d have thought that Berbatov would’ve dominated the headlines, and he did get plenty of attention, but lo and behold, it was the ‘other’ Manchester side that ended up stealing a lot of the spotlight, thanks to their takeover.

After making bids for Berbatov, David Villa, and Mario Gomez, and though those didn’t bring any results, City struck gold with a British-record £32.5m move for Robinho. That’s right, Manchester City have signed Robinho.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Quite the signing by City. You’d have expected Chelsea to make a late move for him, but believe it or not, I guess even they didn’t want to stump up the big money for him.

It was a busy day for Liverpool, as Rafa Benitez welcomed in Espanyol’s Albert Riera and young Brazilian striker Vitor Flora, and they also completed a permanent deal for Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

Meanwhile, Steve Finnan moved to Espanyol and also joining him in exiting Anfield was Andriy Voronin, who moved on loan to Hertha Berlin.

Rumor Rating: 5 – – video of Flora. One for the future?

For their Merseyside rivals Everton, it was a pretty up and down day – until the very, very end. While Everton finalized their deal for Manchester United’s Louis Saha, they missed out on Reading’s Stephen Hunt (£3.5m bid rejected) and Inter striker Victor Obinna (work permit denied).

But all’s well that ends well, as the Toffees (on paper) made up for a previously disappointing showing in the market by signing Standard Liege midfielder Marouane Fellaini for a club-record £15m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Since Fellaini’s not a ‘known’ name at this point, some might be concerned about the price paid for him, but the kid’s got potential, and Everton needed to make a significant signing to appease those who are concerned about the way that the season has started.

Tottenham, as expected, completed a deal for Manchester City defender Vedran Corluka, signing the Croatian right back for £8.5m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Spurs can never have enough defenders, certainly.

For a while on Monday, it looked like Newcastle were going to offload professional twit Joey Barton, but in the end, Barton stays, and coming into St. James’ Park is Uruguayan midfielder Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Gonzalez from Valencia.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Can I have some cheese with that Nacho? Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Also coming with Gonzalez is Deportivo striker Xisco, who joins former teammate Fabricio Coloccini on Tyneside for £5.7m. The 22-year old Spanish U-21 international scored nine goals for Deportivo last season.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Definitely a must-address area for Newcastle, so it’s a good move for the Magpies, for the present and the future. Hopefully he fares better at Newcastle than Albert Luque, who actually moved from Ajax to Malaga on deadline day.

Sunderland wrapped up a big summer by bringing defender George McCartney back to the club, signing him for 6m from West Ham.

Rumor Rating: 5 – McCartney had a successful time at West Ham, but apparently his wife didn’t settle down in the area, and that played a big part in his decision to return to his former club.

Blackburn didn’t really make a big deal on deadline day, but they did pick up Northampton goalkeeper Mark Bunn.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Bunn won’t get many games outside of the Carling Cup, I imagine, but he’ll provide good cover behind Paul Robinson.

Daniel Cousin finally has his Premier League move, as the Rangers striker signed for Hull. If you remember, Cousin was all lined up for a move to Fulham in January, but it fell through due to him having played for Lens at the start of their campaign before moving to Rangers.

Rumor Rating: 5 – His exit from Rangers couldn’t have gone better, as he netted against Celtic in Rangers’ victory at Parkhead on Sunday.

Stoke City were unsuccessful in trying to lure Cardiff’s young star Joe Ledley to the Britannia Stadium, as they had a £6m bid turned down.

However, the Potters did have a successful day, as they added some necessary defensive help by bringing back Danny Higginbotham from Sunderland and beefed up their midfield with the signings of Crystal Palace’s Tom Soares and Sheffield United’s Michael Tonge.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Soares is a pretty highly-rated prospect, while Tonge and Higginbotham both have valuable Premier League experience, so they should all help out Stoke’s push to stay up.


Brazilian waste of money striker Rafael Sobis has left Real Betis, and could reportedly be on his way to the United Arab Emirates, but it’s of no worry to Betis, who signed Real Zaragoza’s Sergio Garcia.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Garcia was linked with Tottenham as the window neared its close, but he opted to remain in Spain.

Former Premier League target Nikola Zigic has chosen to stay in Spain, as Valencia have loaned him out to Racing Santander.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Zigic’s form for Racing Santander in 2006/07 earned him a big-money move to Valencia, so moving back could help him find his scoring touch again after a disappointing campaign last term.


Not only did Zaragoza let go of Garcia on deadline day, but they also let go of Tottenham target Diego Milito, who spurned the Premier League for a return to Genoa.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Milito played at Genoa in the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons and did very well, scoring 33 goals and averaging better than a goal every two games, so both sides are no doubt excited about the reunion.

That may not be the biggest Serie A coup of the day though, as newly-promoted Chievo signed highly-rated Brazilian prospect Kerlon, he of the ‘seal dribble.’

Rumor Rating: 5 – Very impressive signing, indeed. Meanwhile, they’ve also signed Colombian defender Mario Yepes on a free from PSG.

Juventus have completed the signing of Barcelona youngster Iago Falque.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Barcelona can’t exactly appreciate the poaching of some of their talented youngster, but hey, that’s business for you.


Monaco have signed Korean striker Park Chu-Young from FC Seoul.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Hopefully Park can find his form in France, as he has a lot of potential, and the added firepower up front can only help Monaco’s prospects for moving up the table this season.


Like Shaun Maloney learned when he moved from Celtic to Aston Villa, Derek Riordan learned in his time at Celtic that a step up in stature isn’t always a step up in your career. So, the former Hibs hotshot is on his way back to Edinburgh to join up with his old club, and not a moment too soon.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Remember when he was a rising star? That star’s dimmed quite a bit with his rather unsuccessful two-year stint at Celtic, but he’s got his chance to reclaim the form that earned him the move to Celtic in the first place.

Well folks, it’s been a wild summer transfer window, and it certainly had a wild ending. For all of those who’ve kept up through the last few months as I’ve brought you the rumors daily (well, minus a few days), I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

And like I said, I didn’t cover every transfer from the manic Monday that marked the end of the summer transfer window, but you can find all the summers’ transfers here.

See you in January! Well, I’ll be around plenty between now and then, but you know what I mean….

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Manchester United sign Berbatov as Campbell goes to Tottenham


  1. name 2 September, 2008
  2. ashwin 2 September, 2008