Blackburn in sensational Spanish striker swoop, Remy in Tottenham plea, City swap Ireland for Milner, Arsenal continue keeper hunt and Blackpool set to strengthen
Fantasy League will be keeping you up to date with the latest transfer speculation from across the Premier League as the new season draws ever closer. Our crack team of investigative journalists have been working day and night to find out which players could soon be available to select for your fantasy team.
Arsenal have been warned off Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and may now switch their attentions to his team-mate Shay Given. There were also rumours over the weekend of an audacious multimillion pound bid for Liverpool stopper Jose Reina. Back-up keeper Lukasz Fabiansk is set to make way for any new arrival as Arsenal look to increase competition for places between the sticks.
Martin O'Neill is resigned to losing midfielder James Milner with the deal expected to be completed this week. Stephen Ireland is likely to be included as part of the transfer and reports suggest it is his wage demands that are holding things up. Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar is the latest name to be linked with a move to Villa Park, O'Neill is said to be monitoring the South African's situation and could table a bid. Villa have missed out on Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady because he has agreed to join Spartak Moscow.
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has distanced himself from rumours suggesting the Blues are interested in out-of-contract French defender William Gallas, with McLeish indicating he has no need to improve in that area. It has also been reported that talks with Juventus midfielder Mauro Camoranesi has reached an advanced stage and he is set to sign for an English club shortly.
Blackburn are lining up a surprise bid for Fenerbahce striker Daniel Guiza. The Spanish fringe international is valued at £5m and obtaining his signature would be a major coup for the Lancashire outfit. Jason Roberts has been officially transfer listed but additional player sales may be required to free up the funds needed to sign Guiza.
Blackpool are struggling to agree terms with free agent Marlon Harewood because he is holding out for more money than they are willing to offer. However, the Seasiders look set to complete the signing of French midfielder Ludovic Sylvestre pending a medical, which is taking place today, while Manchester United defender Craig Cathcart is also expected to join after a £500,000 bid was accepted.
Bolton could still get Jack Wilshere on loan if he demands a move away from Arsenal. The talented midfielder, who has just been named in the England squad, has told Arsene Wenger that he wants to be guaranteed first team football before the end of the month. The Trotters could also sign highly rated Oldham striker Tom Eaves, for around £250,000, after he was left out of their league opener against Tranmere.
Carlo Ancelotti could move to add depth to his goalkeeping line up by signing Asmir Begovic from Stoke. The Bosnian stopper impressed at Portsmouth last season and also qualifies as home-grown under Premier League squad rules, so is seen as an ideal back-up to Petr Cech. Meanwhile, the Blues' signing of Ramires hit a snag during negotiations with the Brazilian's part-owner Kia Joorabchian, but the club is hopeful of sealing the deal this week.
Everton are moving to scupper Peter Crouch's possible move to Liverpool with a counter-bid of their own. And in the second surprise transfer rumour of the day, Leon Osman has emerged as a transfer target for Italian side Palermo. Meanwhile, Aston Villa have become the latest in a long line of clubs to be linked with Steven Pienaar as the winger has still not penned a new contract at Goodison Park.
England aren’t the only nation losing players to international retirement, following Simon Davies’ announcement that he’d quit the Welsh team. Fulham prepared for the new season in style on Saturday, in-front of the watching Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, by thrashing German outfit Werder Bremen 5-1.
Liverpool could offer a return to the Premier League for former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb according to reports. Boss Roy Hodgson is also considering making a second bid for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad Jones. Meanwhile, Tottenham striker Peter Crouch has been linked with a return to Anfield. Finally, Chinese businessman Kenny Huang is set to make his interested in Liverpool official this week by making a formal offer.
Manchester City manager Robert Mancini is confident he will complete the signings of James Milner, from Aston Villa, and Mario Balotelli, from Inter Milan, on Thursday this week. Midfielder Stephen Ireland looks set to be included as part of the deal for Milner and his wage demands are currently holding up the deal.
Sir Alex Ferguson missed Manchester United’s open training session at Old Trafford on Saturday to watch Mezut Ozil face Fulham. The German World Cup star was playing at Craven Cottage for Werder Bremen and Ferguson’s presence has increased speculation about a possible transfer. However, Ferguson distanced himself from reports linking United with a move in the transfer market by saying he was happy with his squad following the 3-1 Community Shield victory over Chelsea.
Newcastle’s ongoing transfer battle with Marseille for Hatem Ben Afra has taken another twist, with a season-long loan now looking a possibility, but only if the clubs can agree a loan fee. Currently Newcastle are offering £500,000, while Marseille are holding out for the full million. Chris Hughton’s hopes of signing Danny Wellbeck on loan were dashed after he appeared to join Sunderland over the weekend.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has admitted the club are trying to sign five strikers, but are struggling in a difficult transfer market. The Potters manager said that they spoke to Nice front man Loic Remy, but a deal is unlikely, and thinks the confusion surrounding the new 25-man squad rule has reduced the amount of transfer activity. Stoke have again been linked with Carlton Cole and are planning an improved £10m offer.
John Mensah is set to touch down in Sunderland this week for another season-long loan from Lyon, with an option of a permanent deal for 2011. The move means that is is likely that fellow defender Matthew Kilgallon will be sent out on loan, with Middlesbrough most likely to secure the young Englishman's services.
Tottenham could offload Peter Crouch to Liverpool and sign Frenchman Loic Remy after the Nice striker issued a come and get me plea. Remy said that he wanted to join Spurs and was not interested in moving to Stoke, adding that Nice need the money and should lower their asking price. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp wants to sign three players, including Craig Bellamy although he’s not sure if Manchester City are willing to let him leave.
West Brom are to sign Nicky Shorey today from Aston Villa after a fee was agreed and his medical completed over the weekend, while Somen Tchoyi could also complete his move to the Hawthorns this week. Elsewhere, Moussa Dembele, Marc Wilson and Rochdale centre-back Craig Dawson are all being monitored by manager Roberto di Matteo.
Avram Grant has said that he wants to make more signings at West Ham before the transfer window closes. The new Hammers boss has already brought in five new faces, even though funds are tight at Upton Park, without selling any of the club’s high earners. Italian striker Alessandro Diamanti says he wants to stay at West Ham, despite interest from Brescia, Parma and Fiorentina.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is considering a bid for Swansea centre-back Ashley Williams to replace Titus Bramble, who left for Sunderland last month. Meanwhile, striker Jason Scotland could be on his way out of the club after a poor debut season in the top-flight. Scotland has been linked with a return to the Championship with Ipswich reportedly interested in the former Swansea man.
Wolves suffered a couple of minor injury set-backs over the weekend with Sam Vokes taken off on a stretcher not long into his Bristol City debut after his loan move last week, with a hamstring problem. Meanwhile, Kevin Doyle and Stephen Ward also picked up minor injuries. Mick McCarthy has ruled out a move for Michael Manciennce and will look for a new striker if Andy Keogh leaves.