Transfer Rumors (16 July 08): Ronaldinho picks Milan over Manchester, Liverpool to spend £20m on Keane, Newcastle in for de Jong, and more

Today’s roundup starts off in a different order than usual, but that’s because one of the most-talked about transfer sagas is finally, finally over.


Well, this isn’t a secret in the least, or breaking news, but Ronaldinho is officially set to sign for AC Milan. AC Milan’s offer is a lot less (£16.7m) than Manchester City’s offer (£25.5m), but in the end, Ronnie is going where most expected him to.

Rumor Rating: 5 – For a little while towards the end, it looked like City might get him, but I don’t think there are many that are surprised that he’s headed to Milan and not Manchester. Must be the weather, eh?


The Sun says that Liverpool is ready to splash £20m on Tottenham striker Robbie Keane this week. That would take Keane’s career transfer value to nearly £60m, though that first £38m came by the time he was 22, which believe it or not, was only six years ago (I swear I think he’s 35 sometimes, as long as it feels like he’s been around).

Rumor Rating: 3 – Hm…if Liverpool spend £20m on Keane, that means the way could be clear for Arsenal to go for Gareth Barry, unless £40m just dropped out of Tom Hicks and George Gillett’s wallets all of a sudden.

Also according to The Sun, Newcastle are in talks with Hamburg SV over a £3m deal for Nigel de Jong. The 23-year old, who can play in midfield and in defense, is another product of Ajax’s famed youth system, having started his career there before moving to Hamburg in 2006.

Rumor Rating: 5 – £3m is a good deal for a player who has a fair amount of international experience (24 caps, played for the Dutch team at Euro 2008) and is still relatively young.

Fulham have signed West Ham duo Bobby Zamora and John Paintsil for a combined £6.3m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The jury’s out on both of these players, but we’ll see before too long if they justify the fee that Fulham paid for them.

West Ham have agreed a deal with Lazio right back Valon Behrami. The 23-year old Swiss defender, also known as the ‘Swiss Beckham,’ has invoked the good ol’ Article 17, which will allow him to leave for much less than his £11m valuation.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Considering that Lazio could’ve used that £11m, I’d think they’re none too happy that they likely won’t get more than £3m (if that) for him.

Stoke are set to spend a club-record £4.5m to snag Reading striker Dave Kitson.

Rumor Rating: 5 – They’re also still in the hunt to sign Scott Carson in what could be a £4m deal, so the Potters could be spending big this week.

West Brom have completed the £1.4m signing of Slovakian defender Marek Cech from FC Porto. The 25-year old defender has signed a three-year deal with the club.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The Baggies have been the most active of the promoted sides, with Cech making their seventh signing so far. After being pretty poor in their last couple of spells in the Premier League, it looks like they’re doing their best to make sure they not only stay up, but do well.

Hull City are reportedly on the verge of signing Plymouth’s Peter Halmosi for £2m. The Tigers have been in for the Hungarian winger for quite a while, and it looks like he’s set to be all theirs shortly.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Like West Brom, Hull have been extremely active in the market so far, and they don’t seem to be done either, as George Boateng should be unveiled before long.


Lyon defender Sebastien Squillaci is set to sign for Sevilla. The 27-year old French international has been at Lyon since 2006, and he has been a key part of Lyon’s last two French titles.

Rumor Rating: 5 – With Squillaci headed to Spain, it appears that John Mensah is all set to come from Rennes to replace him in the back line.


Le Mans defender Marko Basa is in talks with Celtic after his potential move to PSG broke off. Basa looked all set for a big-money move to PSG, but that broke off because of reported financial differences.

Rumor Rating: 5 – In the end, Basa might be better off for not going to PSG, since Celtic are in the Champions League, and PSG, while they will be in the UEFA Cup, are coming off of a 16th-placed finish in Ligue 1.

Nancy’s Sebastien Puygrenier could be set for a €6.3m move to St. Etienne. The 26-year old defender could pen a four-year deal with his new club.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Puygrenier was a key part of Nancy’s stay near the top of the Ligue 1 table for much of last season and their eventual fourth-place finish.


Celtic have sealed a £1m deal for former Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras. After not making much of a mark since moving to City in January 2006, he went to Celtic on loan at the end of this year’s winter window and scored six goals, which was enough to earn a permanent deal.

Rumor Rating: 5 – It’s a bit of a loss in the pockets for Manchester City, but I’m sure both parties are happy that he’s out of Manchester permanently.

Along with signing Samaras and potentially signing Basa, Celtic could also be set to make another defensive addition by nabbing Auxerre’s Gabriel Tamas for £3.5m.

Rumor Rating: 5 – The 24-year old Romanian already has 35 caps for his country, with two goals, and he has also played for Galatasaray, Spartak Moscow, and Celta Vigo.

Arsenal’s Gilberto Silva looks set to join Greek side Panathinaikos in a £1m deal. The 31-year old Brazilian also drew interest from Everton, but apparently he had his heart set on a move to Greece.

Rumor Rating: 5 – Gilberto will go up against his compatriot Rivaldo, who’s still going strong at 36 with AEK Athens.

Well, that’s it for the day in transfer news. What do you think about today’s tidbits? Not surprised by Ronnie’s decision? Is Keane worth more than £20m?

Chime in with your thoughts, chip in with rumors that you’ve heard and read, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

Also, make sure you check out our updated summer transfer lists. We’ve got the updated transfers from the Premier League, Championship, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and the Bundesliga, so we’ve got the market (well, a lot of it, at least) cornered.

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