The transfer window is wide open and
flapping like a fishwife’s lips, with clubs swapping stars and deadweights as
the start of the 2012-13 EPL season edges closer and closer.
There are lies damn lies and transfer
rumours (as Benjamin Disraeli might have said).
Would you believe that; Tottenham are close
to signing France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for £15m, Hull City are
preparing to make an offer for Robin Van Persie, Barcelona are making a move on
Newcastle's 26-year-old French midfielder Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle are willing
to pay Dutch Champions Ajax £7m for Vurnon Anita, veteran Plymouthian Joseph
Herdman is being courted by promoted
Southampton, Frank Lampard is heading to LA, or AC Milan will take Manchester City’s “emotional” striker Carlos Tevez off the Champions’ hands? If
you sit in a bar / sauna / barber’s chair long enough you will be told that all
/ any of the above are stack of bibles, horse’s mouth, gospel truths. But,
let’s be sensible out there.
Title Tattle vs. Serious Stories
My secret squirrel spies tell me that
Liverpool are “made up, like” with the prospect of a loan deal (with AC Milan,
LA Galaxy, West Ham or even Newcastle) for the 23-year-old misfiring Andy
Carroll. There’s plenty of noise coming out of freshly promoted West Ham who hope that former
teammate (and babysitter) Kevin Nolan can persuade the Liverpool striker to
head to Upton Park on loan.
But, a young lady claiming to be an Anfield
ponytail groomer reckons the England striker would rather fight (for his place)
in Brendan Rodgers’ side. Other jungle drums coming out of the West tell me
that the Scousers are lining up an £8m move for Celtic's 23-year-old midfielder
Ki Sung-Yueng. Whatever happens with Carroll, Brendan Rodgers is a “sound”
16/1 to be the next manger to depart his post behind Steve Clarke, Sam
Allardyce, Nigel Adkins and Roberto Di Matteo. Should Carroll end up at West
Ham he would likely be scoring the type of goals that he scored at Newcastle
(alongside Nolan) which made him so attractive to Liverpool, but be it 'Pool or
Ham for Carroll, he’s at an unlikely 33/1 to be the season’s top scorer and
is 9/4 to not be a Liverpool player on the first day of the season.
back…and this time it’s Tottenham
Looking elsewhere for an interesting punt
offers up the second coming of the TLA that is AV-B! This time, to the other
(other) club in London. Spurs are the frustrated pretenders to a fourth place finish
and it looks as if Andre Villas-Boas has been ordered to swell his war chest
before he goes serious shopping.
The first statement from the AV-B camp is
that Luka Modric could be sold "for the right price'. Goodbyyyeeee!
Also Hamburg are in the frame for a move
for Spurs forward Rafael van der Vaart. It may not be a fire sale but AV-B is
clearing pegs as we’re already seen White Hart Lane taxis for Niko Kranjcar to
Dynamo Kiev and Vedran Corluka to Lokomotiv Moscow. Spurs’ incoming thus far
are Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson
for a combined fee of £18 million. Game (and trophy winning) goalkeepers do not
come cheap and news of a move for Lyon's Hugo Lloris is gathering momentum as
Villas-Boas targets a replacement for the 41-year-old Brad (seven years his
boss’s elder) Friedel. There’s also
noises to the effect that Arsenal’s Theo
Walcott, and Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho, are wanted to help forge a new Tottenham by the
former Porto boss. This bodes well for the ex-Chelsea manager as AV-B is a
whopping 20/1 to be the next manager to see an EPL P-45, strictly a spite bet
as Spurs face Newcastle, West Brom, Norwich, Reading and QPR in their first
five games (so should be sitting on a decent points tally from the off). Spurs
are an “interesting” 4/1 to be the top London club and 33/1 to win the league.
Meanwhile AV-B’s old club, Chelsea close in
on the International starlet Oscar (for a rumoured £20m). "Spurs simply
couldn't and wouldn't match with the moola Chelsea are talking about - in terms
of wages," a source close to the fruit machines in the Rising Sun
said. "Tottenham really wanted him,
but it’s that dirty Chelsea that are getting a star of the future," my
source continued. Chelsea are 1/5 on the soccer odds board on a top six finish (a dullard’s bet if ever
there was one) but are 13/8 on a top two finish (a Blue fools’ bet).
that might surprise you
The Mighty Whites of Fulham have signed
Cologne defender Sascha Riether on a season-long loan and the
Cottagers, who are worth a cheeky couple of quid on a decent finish, have the
option to make the deal permanent at the end of Riether's loan spell in London.
"Fulham is a good club, a big club with a big tradition and for me it's
great to be here," he said. There’s an overtly European feel to the new
arrivals at the windy club by the river as Fulham have also signed Croatian
striker Mladen Petric on a free transfer after his contract with Hamburg
expired. Petric previously played under Fulham boss Martin Jol during the
Dutchman's time in charge at Hamburg. Fulham remain a bit of an unknown
quantity with the bookies as they have them at 10/1 to be relegated , behind 10
other teams (harking at a mid-table finish). Fulham are currently a very
tempting 16/1 on a top six finish and a cheeky bit of my paper money is going
on that soccer pick.
Winner, losers, money back cash specials,
audacious moves and daylight robbery; football is back and exciting as ever –
before a ball has been kicked in anger.