Transfer Rumors (6 July 09): Chelsea sign Zhirkov, Man United to sign French starlet Obertan, Man City to trump Inter for Bayern’s Lucio, and more

In the midst of looking up all of the latest transfer news and rumors on footballers big and small, I often come across a talented unknown or little-known being linked with a certain club.

Are they going to be the next [insert legend past or present here]? Some do, some don’t, it’s just the hit or miss nature of the game. There are a few young talents in this morning’s roundup that could go on to big things with big clubs, and all the same, they could be a colossal flop.

Remember, Youtube videos can be deceiving, but that doesn’t make them any less fun to watch – especially when they involve amazing goals like this one).


Chelsea Sign Zhirkov

Chelsea have signed CSKA Moscow star Yuri Zhirkov for £18m. (ESPN Soccernet)

Analysis: Will he be more Arshavin or more Pavlyuchenko? With that price tag, he won’t be sitting on the bench, so we’ll find out either way before too long.

United To Sign Obertan

Manchester United are set to complete a deal for highly-rated young Bordeaux winger Gabriel Obertan. The 20-year-old, who has eight caps for France’s U-21 squad, has also garnered interest from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and AC Milan. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: It’d appear that he’s more of a signing for the present than the future. If they do land him, I’d imagine they’ll loan him out somewhere he can gain regular appearances and continue his development. Looks to have a lot of potential though (judge for yourself here), so with regular first-team football under his belt, he could well make an impact at United in a few years’ time.

City Close On Lucio?

Manchester City are reportedly ahead of Inter Milan in the race to sign Bayern Munich defender Lucio. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: No real need to try to lure John Terry for 30-40m when they can get a proven, experienced defender like Lucio for a whole heck of a lot cheaper.

Fulham To Lose Hangeland?

Fulham defender Brede Hangeland has turned down the club’s offer to double his wages from £15k a week to £30k a week, fueling speculation that Hangeland could leave Craven Cottage. (The Mirror)

Analysis: Not exactly the best of news for Fulham fans. It’s safe to say that Hangeland could get a little more than £30k per week if he moved to Arsenal, who’ve been linked with him for some time, but it’s not time to panic or speculate about where he could go just yet.


Barcelona Turn To Forlan

If Barcelona are unsuccessful with their attempts to sign Valencia striker David Villa, they could turn to Atletico Madrid’s Diego Forlan. (Tribal Football)

Analysis: Forlan would likely come a little cheaper than Villa would, and he’d bring just as many goals. Then again, so would keeping Samuel Eto’o, but that one may be past the point of no return now.

Atletico Madrid After Gervinho

Atletico Madrid could make a €10m bid for Le Mans striker Gervinho. (Transfer Market Web)

Analysis: He’s young, he’s African, and he’s a striker, which automatically makes him the next [insert African star here]. All humor aside, if this little zig-zag schooling of the Rennes defense (see here) is something he’s capable of showing on a regular basis, then I say sign him up right now (and if you’re Le Mans, two words: sell-on fee).


Lyon To Land Kleber?

Lyon could be set to land Brazilian striker Kleber from Cruzeiro for €8m. (Transfer Market Web)

Analysis: He had a previous spell in Europe with Dynamo Kiev, with whom he earned Champions League experience, and he’s also been linked with Liverpool this summer, so he’s obviously not short on talent. And here’s a little Kleber video as proof.


Celtic Talks For Fortune

Former West Brom loan star Marc-Antoine Fortune is off to Glasgow for talks with Celtic. Nancy have reportedly accepted multiple £3.8m bids for Fortune, who appeared to be on the verge of a move to Hull City recently. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: Celtic have an edge here, thanks to new manager Tony Mowbray having worked with Fortune last season at West Brom. The opportunity to play in the Champions League doesn’t hurt either.

Daily Links

The 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup has gotten underway, and if you haven’t taken a gander at Soccerlens’ in-depth Gold Cup preview and predictions, you should do so. Also, if you’re looking to find out when the matches will be aired on TV, you can check out the complete Gold Cup TV listings at World Cup Blog.

Ever wondered what all those long acronyms like CONCACAF stand for? You can find that out and a whole lot more about the world’s football federations, all thanks to Martin Banks’ excellent work.

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