Transfer Rumors (17 Dec 08): Real to ink Diarra with Ron to follow, Juve after Liverpool duo, Wigan want Owen, and more

Today’s transfer roundup isn’t light on speculation involving big names and big clubs. Some of it’s nothing but filler and hot air, but somewhere in there is at least a little truth. Where is that truth? Well, read on to find it.

Real’s Ron Deal Back On?

Don’t shoot the messenger, but the summer’s hottest transfer rumor is back again, and according to El Mundo, Manchester United and Real Madrid have agreed a deal for Cristiano Ronaldo. Hm.

Analysis: I will believe it when I see an official statement from both clubs. Until then, it’s all just silly speculation to me.

Portsmouth Accept Real’s Diarra Bid

This one was reported yesterday as being close to being done, and today, Portsmouth confirmed that they have accepted a ‘substantial’ offer from Real Madrid for midfielder Lassana Diarra.

Analysis: I’d be dancing all the way to the bank with that cheque, whether it’s 18m or 24m. Diarra will be missed, but how well they spend the money they receive from Real could be the key to them making a quick return to Europe, this time through their league position.

Van der Vaart to Leave Real in June?

After missing out on Cristiano Ronaldo, Real signed Rafael Van der Vaart from Hamburg SV. It looked like quite the bargain buy, especially when VDV started the season on a tear, but he’s fallen off the map since. As a result, he’s being linked with the exit door already.

Analysis: Well, if the reports about Ronaldo are true, then there’s no reason to keep Van der Vaart around, is there? Well, if he can show the form that he’s certainly capable of, then there will be.

Juventus After Agger and Babel

Daniel Agger and Ryan Babel have both had their futures at Liverpool brought into question recently, for different reasons. In today’s reports, they’re being tipped to follow former teammate Momo Sissoko to Juventus.

Analysis: I don’t see Agger leaving in January or in the summer, but unless Babel starts finding his way into the Liverpool side more often over the rest of the season, I think the chances are good that he’ll be playing for someone else this time next season.

Wigan to Move for Owen?

Michael Owen is in the headlines a lot these days, isn’t he? He’s scoring goals again, he’s getting contract offers, and he’s being linked with a January move almost every few days now. Today’s interested party is Wigan, where he’d link up with a familiar face in Emile Heskey.

Analysis: This brings back memories of FIFA 2001 for me, when Owen was at the top of his game and Heskey was in his goalscoring prime. All that remains is bringing in Robbie Fowler to be the odd man out again…

Arsenal After Dutch Keeper

Ah yes, these are the best. Players who make me have to look at their name every time I type it. Today’s big winner is Vitesse Arnhem keeper Piet Velthuizen, who’s being linked with a move to Arsenal.

Analysis: Another one for the future for Arsene. How about a few for right now?

Liverpool and Manchester City Want Hull Defender Turner

Liverpool and Manchester City are interested in Hull defender Michael Turner, who has been quite the revelation in Hull’s impressive start to Premier League life.

Analysis: Hull chairman Paul Duffen has said that no key players will be leaving in January, and even though a big offer for someone they paid only 350k for could be tempting, with their prospects for a high finish (and potentially a place in the UEFA Cup) looking all the more promising with each impressive performance, selling Turner in January wouldn’t make much sense.

Bolton to Bid for Sunderland’s Richardson

According to the Daily Mirror, Bolton are planning a 6m bid for Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson.

Analysis: I don’t see this one happening, unless Bolton go a little higher. Richardson has been a regular for Sunderland this season, and as long as he stays healthy, he’ll be a key part of Sunderland’s push to stay away from the drop zone.

Napoli Deal for Subotic?

According to reports, Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic is set for a January move to Napoli. The 20-year-old defender has been extremely impressive in his first season at Dortmund, having already scored five goals to help Dortmund into sixth position in the Bundesliga at the halfway point of the season.

Analysis: I’d like to think that Dortmund wouldn’t want to sell him, considering the impact that he’s had in a short time. I know one thing though – if he keeps it up, Bob Bradley will need to get him into the U.S. national team before he gets snapped up by either Serbia or Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Already hankering for tomorrow’s transfer tidbits? Well, they’ll be here before long, so make sure you check back throughout the day to keep up with all of the latest transfer news and rumors from near and far.

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Wigan to reunite Owen and Heskey in January?