January 9, 2009
Posted: 1312 GMT
Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.
Most of the UK's newspapers lead with news that Newcastle United's underrated winger Charles N'Zogbia has admitted that a host of clubs are vying for his signature, including Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur. But according to The Times and the Daily Telegraph N'Zogbia would prefer a move to Arsenal.
Meanwhile, over at Middle Eastlands, Sheikh Mansour's petro-billions continue to burn a hole in manger Mark Hughes's pocket. Manchester City's transfer dealings haven't seen much success with a combined £20 ($30.64) million bid for West Ham United's Scott Parker and Craig Bellamy falling on deaf ears.
But one player determined to join Manchester City, according to The Guardian, is a 'desperate' Roque Santa Cruz who has handed in a transfer request to Blackburn Rovers in an attempt to be reunited with his former manager. Any improvement on the £18 ($27.57) million bid currently on the table should see City clinch a deal for the Paraguayan hitman.
If they fail, the Abu Dhabi United Group may well dust down their Middle Eastern contacts book to snare young Argentine striker Mauro Zarate instead, according to the Daily Telegraph. Zarate, who is currently on loan at Lazio, has been a sensation in Serie A this season, scoring eight goals so far. But his registration is held by the Qatari club Al-Sadd, who will be prepared to let him go to whoever coughs up £30 ($45.95) million first.
Elsewhere, De Bild is convinced that City have been sniffing around Bayern Munich and Germany full back Philipp Lahm. Although his team mate, French wide man Franck Ribery, is going nowhere, apparently.
La Gazzetta dello Sport is getting very excited after it emerged that AC Milan has lodged a bid for Liverpool's unsettled Danish defender Daniel Agger. Injuries have given the Dane an extended run in the side but €8.5 ($11.63) million will be enough for the Rossoneri to get their man. One player who definitely won't be going to the San Siro is Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant after his club offered him a one-year contract extension to ward off puzzling interest from Europe's elite clubs, according to The Sun. Despite being a bit part player since his arrival at Anfield, both AC Milan and Real Madrid have enquired about the player after it emerged he was in the last year of his contract and could thus be picked up on the cheap. Liverpool's offer should end their interest, for now at least.
Marca, on the other hand, have tetchily reported that Real Madrid's bid to sign Wigan's Ecuadorian playmaker Antonio Valencia has hit the rocks after the Premiership club demanded an 'exorbitant' €15 ($20.52) million. Although Madrid won't dwell on that for too long following the news that, according to The Times, Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to join the club in principle. Again. His agent Jorge Mendes has reached a 'verbal agreement' with former Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to play at the Bernabeu. Perez hopes to use the agreement in his re-election campaign. And how has Sir Alex Ferguson comforted himself after hearing the news? By making what The Sun calls the 'most bizarre signing of the transfer window' by paying £100,000 to relegation threatened Stoke for defender Ritchie De Laet, who is yet to make his debut for the club despite being there for over a year. That should appease the Old Trafford faithful...
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