Thursday, August 17, 2006

The window gets interesting

The transfer window has inevitably ramped itself into a frenzy as teams find a smaller pool of available players to choose from. The latest news is Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt undergoing a medical at Anfield, expected to finalize a deal with Liverpool on a suspected transfer fee of $15M.

Benitez had been looking at Kuyt since last season, obviously impressed by his 71 goals in 101 games for Feyenoord. It seemed his interest cooled after Kuyt's unimpressive World Cup, but given the additions of Jermaine Pennant and Craig Bellamy in attack, coupled with Mark Gonzalez in midfield, Liverpool looks set to compete against Chelsea for the title. Gone are the ineffective strikers of last year (Morientes and Cisse), and the above additions should see Liverpool spread wider on the pitch on attack.

Owen Hargreaves continues to push for talks between Bayern Munich and Manchester United. Felix Magath surely will do everything within his power at the German club to keep the English-Canadian midfielder, but it looks as though Hargreaves' interest in playing for Man Utd will mean he should be starting in midfield for the Red Devils. An estimated transfer fee of around $22M should cause fans to wonder why the club splashed out $24M for currently-injured Michael Carrick from Spurs. Could this spell the end for Marcos Senna making a move from Villareal to Old Trafford? Villareal have set a deadline of Friday if Man Utd is to make a move.

Real Madrid have seemingly cooled on Jose Antonio Reyes, claiming that the fate of the Spanish winger is in Arsenal's hands. Real Madrid president Roman Calderon says:

"Reyes will only come if Arsenal agree to our terms. I'm not going to pay one euro (more). I'm sorry for the kid if the deal doesn't go through, but we don't have any agreement to sign Reyes. Arsenal have the last word."

Poor kid. He probably shouldn't have kept bleating on about how much he wants to play for the Spanish giants. It's doubtful that Wenger would keep someone just to spite him, but it looks like Reyes only had two choices and he pretty much alienated himself away from one (Arsenal)

Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann seems assured that left-back Ashley Cole will leave Emirates Stadium to play for Chelsea. The Daily Mirror is reporting that Wenger will lower his asking price (believed to be around $34M), not for Chelsea, but possibly for Inter Milan.

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