Transfer Rumors (30 July 08): Tottenham close on Bentley, Fulham in shock swoop for German star, Newcastle nab French defender, and more
There’s only one more month to go in the summer transfer window, and with seasons set to begin around Europe’s top leagues very soon, a lot of clubs are scrambling to get holes filled and squads solidified before the competitive action gets underway. So, there are some done deals to report in today’s roundup, and there are quite a few more that are set to be wrapped up – including a potential surprise or two.
Tottenham might be set to win the David Bentley sweepstakes, as they are currently in negotiations with Blackburn over the £17m rated winger, as confirmed by Blackburn chairman John Williams.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Bentley may not be the only Blackburn player Tottenham try to snag, as they could step up their interest in Roque Santa Cruz before long.
According to The Sun, Fulham are set to follow up their club-record signing of Andy Johnson with another club-record addition to their front line by getting VfB Stuttgart’s Mario Gomez for £15m. The 23-year old German international has also drawn serious interest from Arsenal, but the report says that he’s close to agreeing to personal terms with Fulham.
Rumor Rating: 3 – If Roy Hodgson could actually pull this off, it would be an extremely impressive coup for Fulham.
Newcastle are still waiting to see how things turn out with their pursuit of Deportivo defender Fabricio Coloccini, but they are reportedly set to seal a deal for one defender in Metz’s Sebastien Bassong.
Rumor Rating: 5 – The 22-year old Bassong, who’s a France U-21 international, had a week-long trial at Newcastle, and impressed enough to earn a move, which is set to cost Newcastle £1.8m.
Aston Villa have reportedly made a £9.5m bid for Real Madrid midfielder Ruben de la Red. De la Red has also been linked with Tottenham and Arsenal, but it looks like Villa have done wisely to make the first move and test the waters.
Rumor Rating: 5 – De la Red has been valued as high as £15m, so this initial bid may only make Real blink, but it could set off a small bidding war.
Villa, Manchester City, and Fulham are in the hunt for Croatian international midfielder Jerko Leko.
Rumor Rating: 4 – Whatever Monaco get for the versatile 28-year old, who has 54 caps for Croatia, it’ll be a profit, as they got him on a free transfer from Dynamo Kiev two years ago.
Manchester City have made a £6m bid for Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun.
Rumor Rating: 5 – West Ham are interested in buying Benayoun back, likely for more than the £4m they received for him last summer, but when it comes down to it, City would likely win in a bidding war. But, it’ll be money well spent, considering that Benayoun (hat trick in the FA Cup and in the Champions League last term) could really bag a lot of goals if he’s on top of his game.
Wigan have completed a £3.5m deal for Middlesbrough midfielder Lee Cattermole.
Rumor Rating: 5 – The 20-year old Cattermole wasn’t able to crack the starting lineup full-time at Boro, and his chances may have been limited this coming season with the arrival of a couple of new additions, but the England U-21 international could be a big hit with his new club in a short time.
Stoke have agreed a £3m fee with Sunderland for goalkeeper Marton Fulop, but time is running out for the Hungarian keeper to reach a deal with the Potters. By the time you read this, Fulop will have had to tied things up with his new club, or he’ll have to return to Sunderland, according to Roy Keane.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Fulop would be much better off in terms of playing time if he went to Stoke, but he may prefer to stay at Sunderland and play for a club on the up-and-up instead of being involved in a relegation battle as he could be with Stoke.
Birmingham are closing in on a loan deal for Spartak Moscow attacker Quincy Owusu-Abeye. The 21-year old Ghanaian international was on Arsenal’s books until 2006, before making a move to Russia.
Rumor Rating: 5 – The move will be a loan move with a view to a permanent £3.5m deal. Birmingham were actually interested in him last summer before he went on loan to Celta Vigo, so their interest is nothing new.
After pulling out of a £1.5m deal for Egyptian striker Emad Moteab last week, Bristol City are pulling out of a £1.5m deal for Coventry striker Michael Mifsud.
Rumor Rating: 1 – Well, if you don’t make the best impression with the manager right off the bat, then it’s better to nip it in the bud instead of letting things go bad down the road. Moteab and Mifsud are quality goalscorers and would have been big additions to a side who could use a good goal-bagger.
Getafe have agreed a â‚¬6m deal with Real Madrid for striker Roberto Soldado. Real were pushing for â‚¬8m, but the two sides finally agreed on the 6m fee that Getafe had reportedly offered initially.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Getafe will pay â‚¬4m up front and â‚¬2m from any fee they receive if/when they sell Soldado, so if Soldado can fully tap into the potential that he wasn’t able to show at Real, it’ll be a small price to pay.
Lyon have been linked with Samuel Eto’o recently, but it doesn’t appear that they’re going to make a concrete move for the Barcelona striker, not because they can’t afford him, but because his large salary could have a negative impact on the rest of the side.
Rumor Rating: 2 – Lyon have achieved the success they have by not spending exorbitantly, even though they have more than enough money to do so.
Turkish side Kocaelispor are reportedly set to sign Edgar Davids by the end of this week. According to the club’s chairman, the veteran Dutch midfielder has already agreed terms, but there are some loose ends yet to be tied up.
Rumor Rating: 5 – Though Davids, who played last season at Ajax after leaving Tottenham last year, is now 35, it’d be a big signing for the newly-promoted Kocaelispor, who were the champions of Turkey’s second division last term.
FC Dallas striker Kenny Cooper will not be moving to Cardiff City after all. The 23-year old looked set to move to Wales in a $4m deal last week, but he’ll have to wait to get his ticket back to Europe.
Rumor Rating: 2 – In the end, it may be better for Cooper to stay in Dallas for the time being. If he can finish out the season as hot as he’s been thus far, he should draw plenty of interest come the winter transfer window.
Well, that’s it for the day in transfer news and rumors. What do you think of today’s tidbits? Bentley to Spurs – will they be able to fulfill his ambitions for the highest level of European football? Gomez for Fulham – funny or for real?
I’ll be back tomorrow with all of the latest headlines, but until then, chime in with your thoughts on today’s bits, chip in with ones that you’ve read and heard, and do make sure to check out the summer transfer lists, which are in the process of being updated.