January 29th, 2009
09:32 AM ET

Ravenous Real Madrid still hungry to buy

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/29/alonso.jpg caption="Liverpool's Xabi Alonso is said to be Real Madrid's main target."]

The transfer window may be fast drawing to a close but Spanish giants Real Madrid are still on the hunt for some big January purchases.

Real, along with Manchester United are believed to be interested in Wigan's Antonio Valencia, but the English Premier League club has put a £18 million price on the midfielder, reports The Sun. After losing Emile Heskey, it seems they don't want to lose any more of their class players.

The Daily Mirror says Real Madrid are focusing most of their attention of Liverpool's Xabi Alonso, while there is also believed to be an interest in bringing Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, the Gunners' captain Cesc Fabregas and AC Milan star Kaka to the Bernabeu.

Back to the English Premier League, where The Sun reports that the Shay Given move to Manchester City will be completed today for an estimated £8.5m.

After making a big impact for Blackburn in Premier League action on Wednesday night, there's more talk today that Roque Santa Cruz will be the subject of a £20m Tottenham bid before the window closes.

One thing that has gone quiet is suggestions that Liverpool and Chelsea are about to be sold - though nothing has been ruled out. If you want to read about how Middle Eastern investment is changing English football go to Football Fanzone.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports that Chelsea are to sign AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Storari after Carlo Cuducini left for Tottenham, and the Daily Express says that in-form West Ham are interested in Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

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January 28th, 2009
11:46 AM ET

Beckham 'dreams' of Milan move

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

LONDON, England (CNN) – All the dancing, rumors, subterfuge, lies and (very) occasional actual transfers come to an end in but a few days time. But there's still time for a last minute flurry of activity with most of the juiciest action taking place at Manchester City and AC Milan.

First to Milan where attempts to sign David Beckham on a permanent deal are gathering pace. After announcing their interest in signing the midfielder earlier in the week, Sky Sports is reporting that AC Milan's vice chairman Adriano Galliani is deep in fractious negotiations with an unhappy LA Galaxy, warning that if no deal is struck this weekend then it never will.

"If Galaxy change ideas with Beckham then we will evaluate the situation and we will keep him," he said. "The player wants to stay with us, but he knows he has to return."

Even the Englishman has decided to get off the fence telling Il Corriere Della Sera that it would be "a dream" to move to the city full time. Still, Milan's football shirt manufacturers should be putting those bumper Beckham replica shirt orders on ice for a few days, just in case.

What do you think about the Beckham transfer saga?  Tell us on Football Fanzone.

La Gazzetta Dello Sport has had its hands full reporting on all the other (non-Beckham) transfer activity going on in Serie A. Cash rich UEFA Cup holders Zenit St Petersburg have put in a €10million bid for Juve's talented forward Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Which may add more grist to yesterday's frankly ludicrous transfer mill that West Ham United's in form striker Carlton Cole could be a target for The Old Lady. Their manager Claudio Ranieri used to coach Cole at Chelsea. It can't possibly be true, can it?

Over at Middle Eastlands this week's ongoing transfer saga revolves around Newcastle United's want away goalkeeper Shay Given who, The Times reports, is angry that a deal between the two clubs cannot be made. Oddly, Manchester City seem to be getting shy about throwing around their cash.

Initially the club offered just £3 (€3.24) million before making a final £5 (€5.39) million take-it-or-leave-it bid, far less than the £10 (€10.78) million originally mooted in the press. Which is quite frankly a derisory sum given that (a) Given is arguably currently the form goalkeeper in Europe and (b) Sunderland's Craig Gordon cost £9 (€9.71) million. £9MILLION! Still CNN can only thank Manchester City for their continued ability to stir controversy. Without them we'd have nothing to write about.

Elsewhere one of Europe's great enigmas might be moving to the Premiership after being linked with over a dozen clubs during every single transfer window over the past half decade. The Argentine striker Javier Saviola was (rightly) lauded as a potential world beater but poor form, perceived indifference and an inability to hold down a regular starting place at both Barcelona and Real Madrid has seen his stock fall faster than a suicidal Wall Street trader.

In fact, it has fallen so far that he is apparently considering a move to Portsmouth, according to The Express. But if you happen to be reading Marca, they insist that the current Real Madrid forward may well be used as a makeweight in the deal to take Wigan Athletic's Antonio Valencia to the Bernabeu. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place...

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January 26th, 2009
11:21 AM ET

Keane on the way out?

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com’s daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe’s sports pages.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/26/keane.jpg caption="Is Robbie Keane ready to leave Liverpool?"]

The future of Liverpool's £20 million man Robbie Keane is uncertain today after he was not at Anfield for his side's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Everton.

Various media are speculating that the Republic of Ireland international is hoping to leave Liverpool after he was replaced on the bench for Sunday's game by Frenchman David Ngog.

The Daily Mirror says Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given is all but signed for Manchester City in a £10m move, with officials reportedly meeting Monday to tie up the deal.

On Sunday, the News of the World reported that Arsenal are keen to sign Manchester City defender Micah Richards. Richards, an England international, could make the transfer for about £7m.

Another Manchester City star, Robinho, is apparently back in his club's town and scheduled to have talks with manager Mark Hughes after his controversial departure from the team's training camp in Tenerife, according to The Sun.

The Sun also reports that Portsmouth boss Tony Adams is set to announce a £4m offer to buy Joey Barton from Newcastle.

Sunderland's Pascal Chimbonda is believed to have settled his £3m return to Tottenham.

And in Italy there's no shortage of talk about David Beckham's possible desire to stay at AC Milan after he scored in the team's 4-1 Serie A win over Bologna at the weekend.

If you want to debate what David Beckham should do, whether players should be able to change countries, or tell us how much it costs to support your football team: tell us at Football Fanzone!

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January 23rd, 2009
01:21 PM ET

Beckham in Italy for long haul?

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com’s daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe’s sports pages.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/23/beckhamart.jpg caption="Having fun? Is David Beckham considering staying with AC Milan?"]

LONDON, England – In Italy there is renewed talk today that David Beckham may be considering leaving his L.A. Galaxy contract to stay at AC Milan.

Beckham is currently at the San Siro on a two-month loan deal, but Italy's Gazzetta Dello Sport reports that Beckham may want to stay as he has been making an effort to study Italian and is loving his time with the Rossoneri.

The paper suggests that Beckham may be willing to make the financial sacrifice of leaving the Galaxy to further his hopes of playing for England in the 2010 World Cup.

What do you think David Beckham should do? Tell us on Football Fanzone.

There's more talk about Chelsea striker Didier Drogba leaving for Manchester City today - and now we're getting down to figures.

According to The Sun, Manchester City have offered Drogba a £180,000 per week salary - which would double his current earnings at Chelsea.

While Drogba looks set to leave Stamford Bridge after an unhappy season so far, there's talk that owner Roman Abramovich could also be on his way out. The Daily Star reported that a group of German investors have compiled a £750m bid for the London club - which could tempt Abramovich given the current economic climate and the reported losses he has suffered.

Back on the pitch, the other major deal that is apparently closer to being realized is Arsenal's move for Andrei Arshavin. The Daily Mail says the deal should be completed within 48 hours after Arsenal put forward an improved £15m bid for the Zenit St Petersburg star.

In The Sun, Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is claiming he has secured the services of Wigan striker Emile Heskey. It's believed Aston Villa will pay £3m for Heskey.

In Portugal, Sporting Lisbon's midfielder Miguel Veloso is attracting the interest of Manchester City, who according to The Sun are offering £19m. Veloso has previously been a Manchester United target.

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January 22nd, 2009
10:21 AM ET

Drogba in, Robinho out?

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com’s daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe’s sports pages.

LONDON, England – The ripples from Kaka's rejection of Manchester City's advances continue to travel far and wide, with the world's media chewing over the detritus of the deal.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/22/art.drogba.gi.jpg caption="Didier Drogba: Set to become a City gent?"]

The Guardian asks whether the Abu Dhabi United Group's failure to sign Kaka sounds the death knell for future big name signings, whilst others conclude that the Gulf royal family has been taught a humiliating lesson in political maneuvering. Corriere dello Sera, for instance, has reported that Kaka lambasted City's delegation for not having a clue what was going on and failing to table a bid in their six hour meeting with his representatives.

So you would be forgiven for thinking City would lower their sights and ambitions. Not so. Thursday's papers brim with fresh targets to sooth City's hearts after their very public jilting with The Times reporting that Barcelona's Thierry Henry is again on the club's radar. After a difficult start to his time at the Catalan club Henry has begun to shine and has been instrumental in Barcelona's dominance in La Liga this season. But £10 ($13.89) million might just be enough to capture the Frenchman.

They may need the firepower. City's absent Brazilian international, Robinho, is being lined up by his former national team boss Luis Felipe Scolari at Chelsea. City would be foolish to sell their prolific striker, you may think, but according to The Sun Didier Drogba could well be heading in the other direction. Which, on the face of it, would keep both sets of fans happy.

One of Europe's hottest properties appears to have made his mind up as to where he will play for the rest of the season. German under-19 striker Savio Nsereko has been in rich form for Serie B team Brescia. So much so that Arsenal, Barcelona and West Ham have all been reported to be close to a deal to clinch his signature. But according to La Gazzetta dello Sport he will actually sign for Napoli instead.

Over in Spain, next summer's presidential election at Real Madrid sees the usual round of crazy promises being made by the various candidates. And they don't get any more outlandish than the claims of former president Florentino Perez. After already claiming to have a promise that Ronaldo will join him at the Bernabeu, El Mundo has reported that he has also apparently reached a secret deal with Silvio Berlusconi to take Kaka to Madrid whilst also securing the services of Arsenal's Arsene Wenger.

Which all seems rather far fetched. But with Wenger becoming increasingly frustrated with Arsenal's miserly transfer policy – the club's bid for Andrei Ashavin has hit the rocks after failing to meet Zenit St Petersburg's valuation, according to the Daily Mail – and Perez having a reputation for securing previously unthinkable transfers as he did by signing Luis Figo from arch rivals Barcelona, maybe it's worth taking notice.

If you want to read more football news and features, and have YOUR say, go to CNN's Football Fanzone.

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January 21st, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Unhappy Robinho seeks City exit

LONDON, England - Having missed out on one Brazilian, Manchester City could now be in danger of losing another one. Robinho, a big money summer signing from Real Madrid, is so disappointed at City's failure to land Kaka from AC Milan that he has fled to Brazil and is determined to leave the club whatever the consequences, according to the Sun.[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/21/art.robinho.gi.jpg caption="Could Robinho be on the brink of quitting Manchester City after just half a season?"]

The Brazilian's agents are reported to be looking to secure him a move before the end of the January transfer window - with Luis Felipe Scolari's Chelsea set to pounce if the player becomes available.

Meanwhile, Didier Drogba has dropped further hints of his desire to quit Chelsea after telling French newspaper La Provence that he has "unfinished" business at his former club Marseille.

"I still love this club and it will never change, whatever happens," Drogba said. "It's not necessarily the right moment for me to speak about a possible return... If something is made to happen, I don't know on which conditions, Marseille are going to have to contact Chelsea... I have not opened the door to a possible transfer, I've simply explained the situation."

Another player who could be deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge is French winger Florent Malouda - with Villarreal preparing a £9 million bid, according to the Daily Mirror.

Atletico Madrid have become the latest club to express an interest in Lyon's Fred with Marca reporting that the Spaniards are looking to sign the Brazilian striker when his contract expires in June. The French champions are looking at another Brazilian striker, former international Ricardo Oliveira, currently banging in the goals for Real Zaragoza, l'Equipe reports.

Finally, Arsenal continue to suffer frustration in their pursuit of Andrei Arshavin with Zenit St. Petersburg refusing to drop their £18 million valuation, the Daily Telegraph reports. The Gunners have bid £12 million for the Russian playmaker; Zenit could yet be persuaded to do business for £15 million the paper says.

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January 20th, 2009
11:41 AM ET

Manchester United and Arsenal closer to new signings

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/07/art.andrei.jpg caption="Manchester City may move into a bidding war with Arsenal for Russia playmaker Andrei Arshavin."]


After weeks of speculation, talks and unprecedented offers, Kaka has finally ruled out a move to Manchester City – meaning the football world can catch its breath and move forward.

At least you would hope so.

However, Gazetta dello Sport today suggests that Real Madrid could still launch a bid for the 26-year-old that may question his certainties about AC Milan more than a move to Manchester City would have.

Do you think Kaka made the right decision to stay at AC Milan? Have your say in the Football Fanzone debate.

With the Kaka saga at least over for City, and Craig Bellamy now in the bag, they are still looking for new blood at Eastlands, and The Sun reports that Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given is top on the target list. I guess for Given it's just a question of which relegation battle he fancies fighting.

The defending English Premier League champions Manchester United meanwhile are believed to be interested in Wigan's Antonio Valencia – according to the Daily Telegraph; while the Daily Mail says Sir Alex Ferguson wants to place a bid for French 16-year-old Yven Moyo.

The Times says Arsenal are one step closer to signing Zenit St Petersburg's Andrei Arshavin, however, it also reports Manchester City may now make a move for the Russian star. With the crazy money City have been throwing around so far, Arsene Wenger may be worried that City involvement will see Arshavin become too expensive.

Various media also report that Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has put a £40 million price tag on Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz. He clearly doesn't want to lose him as the relegation battle intensifies.

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January 19th, 2009
12:42 PM ET

Real Madrid in for Kaka?

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/19/bellamy.gi.jpg caption="City's new man? Craig Bellamy could soon swap Upton Park for Eastlands."]

Kaka, Kaka, Kaka. Everywhere you look it's wall to wall Kaka. His intentions again dominate the papers this weekend as representatives from the Abu Dhabi United Group fly to Milan with their big sack of cash. It is the second time Manchester City's owners have tried to talk the Brazilian's paymasters in to parting company with their prized asset. But with 'unnamed sources' constantly spinning, no one is actually sure what is going on. According to The Times, Kaka is seriously considering the £108 ($161) million offer, mainly because he was shocked that Milan considered selling him.

On the other hand The Observer has taken a different tack. The Rossoneri's fans staged a protest before Milan's victory against Fiorentina, a move which deeply moved him according to the newspaper. But, most interestingly, the paper alleges that the whole saga has been a ruse by Milan's owner, arch political manipulator Silvio Berlusconi. Apparently he has been hyping up a potential transfer – a source close to the Abu Dhabi United Group claimed that the £108 million figure was way off the mark – so that he can curry favor with Milan's fans when Manchester City's bid fails. Cunning.

Meanwhile, City are close to securing a more realistic target. West Ham United striker Craig Bellamy is in Manchester having a medical today, according to Guardian, after going on strike when his current club refused permission for him to speak to anyone else. But a bid of £12 ($17.59) million has convinced the East London club to part company with their troublesome hit man.

Any Kaka deal would obviously leave AC Milan awash with cash and the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that a number of long term Milan targets would be back on the radar again, including Arsenal's striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Chelsea's bustling midfielder Michael Essien. Apparently both players coule be dislodged from their current employers for £32 ($46.85) million each.

Over in France, L'Equipe is concerning itself with the transfer activity of shock title contenders Bordeaux. Despite the strong Euro making acquisitions from the UK more financially attractive, they have pulled out of a deal for West Ham's French International Julian 'TGV' Faubert as the fee was too high. Instead they will be concentrating on luring Nancy's young striker Issiar Dia. Their most pressing issue, however, is keeping hold of the Yoann 'the new Zidane' Gourcuff. The midfielder is on loan from AC Milan but has turned heads across Europe with some stunning goals and match winning performances.

All of which makes goings on at the usually transfer-crazy Real Madrid seem quite prosaic. The club has been watchfully observing the crazy goings on elsewhere with Marca instead focusing on the resignation of President Ramon Calderon for his involvement in an alleged voting scandal.

But they couldn't keep out of the action for long. The News of the World reported that Madrid tabled a late bid for, you guessed it, Kaka. According to reports, they are willing to match Manchester City's bid, but will offer much less in wages. What will he choose? A relegation dog fight with the second best team in Manchester? Or Champions League football with the biggest club side in the world? Hmm, tough one that....

Where should Kaka go: Manchester or Madrid? Have your say in the Football Fanzone debate.

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January 16th, 2009
10:49 AM ET

Kaka saga continues to twist and turn

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/16/kakabid.jpg caption="Keep it coming: Can Manchester City's bids for Kaka get any higher?"]

Kaka's exclamation that he wanted to "grow old at Milan" is looking more and more ridiculous.

Perhaps he was misquoted and what he actually said was: "I want to grow at least a week older at Milan."

The off-on-again saga of Manchester City's bid to drag him away from Milan and make him the world's highest paid player looks to be very much back on.

The Italian newspaper La Gazzetta said Friday that the talks were under way, after saying that City had contacted Kaka's father.

The British tabloid Sun newspaper, meanwhile, practically had Kaka with one foot on the plane, reporting City were ready to pay more than £243 million ($363 million) – £108 million ($161 million) each for AC Milan and Kaka and £27 million ($40 million) in commission to brokers and middle men.

It said under the deal Kaka would bank £13.28 million ($19 million) in salary a year after taking home a whopping £225,000 ($336,000) a week.

The fuss has all left a bitter taste in the mouth of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman and economics graduate, known for his parsimony in the transfer market, told Britain's Guardian newspaper that City were the "new Chelsea."

"I believe that if a club produces £100m through the way it manages itself, then it's not immoral to buy a player at any price," he said.

"It does not look real," he told The Guardian when talking about the Kaka bid.

"It's like an abstraction. It does not look in connection to today's world."

Wenger is applying his tight control of the purse strings as he continues to pursue the Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Andrei Arshavin and West Ham's Matthew Upson.

Indeed City's manoeuvres in the January window appear to be dominating the market, with Hamburg's Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong and Spanish club Espanyol's goalkeeper Carlos Kameni set to join, according to the Daily Mail.

Elsewhere in Europe, Real Madrid have renewed their interest in the Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant – but only on a loan as the way is paved for Cristiano Ronaldo to move from Manchester United next season, the Daily Mirror reported.

In France L'Equipe said the Caen striker Steve Savidan had piqued the interest of Lyon and Lazio are apparently interested in the Rangers striker Kris Boyd.

It's all small fry though, as football fans wait for the outcome of the Kaka cash and carry.

Do you think Manchester City can buy their way to success? Have your say in the Football Fanzone debate.

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January 15th, 2009
10:39 AM ET

City 'withdraw Kaka bid'

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of the latest rumors and gossip from Europe's sports pages.

LONDON, England - Manchester City have withdrawn a $150 million bid for Brazilian superstar Kaka, according to arabianbusiness.com.[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/14/kaka.jpg caption="Uncertainty hangs over Kaka's future at AC Milan. "]

A source close to the club's Abu Dhabi-based owners told the Web site: "The deal is off, and the offer is no longer on the table. The club is now pursuing another striker which it is very close to signing. Manchester City is about to unveil a new striker, but he is not called Kaka."

But Kaka could be interested in a move to Eastlands after all despite earlier claiming that he wanted to stay at Milan, according to press reports Thursday. Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport said that the 26-year-old's father was set to hold talks with City officials.

Meanwhile, the Sun claims Kaka could join City providing an exit clause in his contract would allow him to leave should the club fail to meet any of four key criteria: a) City qualify for the Champions League within two years; b) fellow Brazilian Robinho stays at Eastlands; c) Kaka's representatives retain sole ownership of the player's image rights; and d) City owner Sheikh Mansour continues to invest substantially in the club.

Kaka's agent, Diogo Kotscho, said: "If Manchester City come to an agreement with Milan we will talk to them - but it is not just about money. They have to show us that this is a project that we will be interested in."

Manchester United have joined the list of clubs interested in signing Wigan's Wilson Palacios, according to the Sun. Wigan have rejected £10 million from Tottenham for the Honduran midfielder, although the Mirror says Spurs will return with a £14 million offer.

The Times reports that AC Milan are close to clinching a £7.5 million deal for Liverpool's Daniel Agger. The Danish defender's agent is in Milan for lunch with club officials with Agger set to utilize an escape clause in his contract.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Milan have also reached an agreement to sign young Brazilian defender Felipe Mattioni from Gremio.

In Spain, Marca reports that Getafe goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri is on his way back to Argentina to join Boca Juniors in a euros 300,000 deal.

Back in the Premier League, the Mirror says Bolton have bid £5 million for Fulham's Jimmy Bullard. Bolton manager Gary Megson also wants Benfica striker Ariza Makukula on loan.

  • Is Kaka worth $726,000 a week? Have your say in the Football Fanzone debate.
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