January 14th, 2009
09:26 AM ET

City place $146 million bid 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/01/14/kaka.jpg caption="Reason to smile: AC Milan's Kaka is believed to be the subject of a $146 million bid from Manchester City."]

LONDON, England – There is just one story on the lips of every football fan, and just one story on the back pages of almost every paper today.

Various media are reporting that Manchester City have made a £100 million ($146 million) bid for AC Milan's Kaka. It's understood the deal would also see the Brazilian earn £500,000 ($730,000) per week in wages.

See how this salary compares to the U.S. President's here.

Rumors have been circulating since long before the transfer window opened that the Eastlands club was interested in the Brazilian attacking midfielder, who won the Ballon d'Or and Fifa World Player of the Year awards in 2007.

It seems now that Manchester City has finally made a move, with various media reporting that a City delegation have met with Milan officials and entered into talks, where the unprecedented bid has been put forward.

Should the bid proceed, it would more than double the current record price for a player which sits at £46m ($67m) when France legend Zinedine Zidane left Juventus for Real Madrid in 2001.

Though seemingly excessive, raising the money should not be too much of a bother for City owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is estimated to be worth about £15bn ($22bn).

It is likely City manager Mark Hughes will be eager to complete a major signing after having bids rejected for West Ham forward Craig Bellamy and Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, and only Chelsea's Wayne Bridge to show for January's transfer window so far.

As the dust settles, however, it seems that Kaka is less than keen and has distanced himself from a move. Mediaset, which is owned by Italian prime minister and AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, has quoted Kaka as saying that he will never leave Milan. At least not as a young man. "I want to grow old here and my objective for the future is to become this team's captain," he said, seemingly dashing Manchester City's hopes. "I have already refused important offers in the past." Sheikh Mansour might have a long wait if he wants to get his man.

Of course, there is some transfer activity outside of Manchester. Adriano – Inter's Brazilian striker who has a penchant for the odd night out – has been interesting Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur according to The Sun. Jose Mourinho has lost patience with the forward and is apparently now willing to sell. London should provide the hit man with plenty of going out opportunities.

Meanwhile The Guardian is reporting that Ghanaian free agent  Stephen Appiah, who has been on trial at Spurs, is to play in a specially arranged match to gauge whether he his fit enough for a contract at White Heart Lane.

Karim Benzema continues to excite Europe's sports editors after Lyon's president admitted that he will find it tough to hold on to his star man after two of the world's biggest clubs expressed an interest in signing the striker. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have enquired about his availability, according to Marca.

One player who definitely won't be playing in France next season is Didier Drogba. Most of Britain's back pages run with the news that the Ivorian striker is on his way out of Stamford Bridge after manager Luiz Felipe Scolari dropped him for tonight's FA Cup replay against Southend. Not so, reports L'Equipe, as Marseille have tried, and failed, to sign him. Apparently Chelsea refused to sell him at any cost.

Finally, it wouldn't be a proper transfer round up unless we featured yet more groveling from Newcastle United's want-away winger Charles N'Zogbia. The Frenchman has very publicly announced his desire to leave the club and asked Europe's top clubs to put in a bid for him, so far unsuccessfully. The latest recipient of his furtive glances are Lyon. "Lyon, make your move!" he shamelessly begged in French paper Aujourd'hui Sport. Tomorrow: N'Zogbia parades through Madrid wearing nothing but a Real shirt. Probably.  

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January 13th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

Diego for Juventus?

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/01/13/diego.jpg
caption="Werder Bremen's Brazilian, Diego, left, is attracting interest at Juventus."]

LONDON, England – We're almost half-way through January, and the transfer rumors are continuing to pick up speed.

Today, Juventus are preparing a raid to bring Werder Bremen's Brazilian playmaker Diego to the Stadio delle Alpi as a replacement for the ageing Pavel Nedved, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport.  It's understood Juve officials will head to Germany next week to discuss a possible 25 million euro deal for the unsettled 23-year-old.

Other alternatives for Juve could include Valencia winger David Silva, or Dutch mid-fielder Ryan Babel, who is at Liverpool.

Reports from Ecuador's El Comercio suggest that Real Madrid have officially offered Wigan Athletic 12 million euros and Javier Saviola in exchange for Antonio Valencia. The money and Saviola combined would meet the 17.5 million euros price asked by Wigan manager Steve Bruce.

The Daily Mirror reports Portsmouth are trying to snap up Argentine Javier Saviola from Real Madrid in an ambitious bid to fill Jermain Defoe's boots.

Also in the Daily Mirror, there are rumors that Manchester City is trying to sign Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.City boss Mark Hughes believes he can land the Chelsea second string for about £3million.

And Andre Arshavin is happy to change numbers if he moves to Arsenal, The Daily Telegraph reports.  "I would prefer my present No 10 but in the team where I hope to move it's not vacant. So I'm ready for any number they are going to offer me," Arshavin said.

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January 12th, 2009
12:38 PM ET

Benzema in, Tevez 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/01/12/benzema.jpg caption="Karim Benzema is reported to be attracting interest at Manchester United."]

LONDON, England – Poor Carlos Tevez. The Argentine striker has led something of a nomadic existence for the past three seasons as successive managers have struggled to work out where to play him. But it looks like Manchester United has finally lost their patience according to reports in France and England.

After Tevez's ill judged comments last week – criticizing Manchester United for not making his loan deal permanent – manager Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly started sending covetous glances towards Lyon and their young French striker Karim Benzema if L'Equipe, News of the World and, well, pretty much every other newspaper in Europe are to be believed.

It will take £40 ($59.79) million to land Lyon's most valuable asset. But Benzema himself, as reported by La Gazzetta Dello Sport, seems to be a little confused as to where he actually wants to go. "Milan make me dream. I also love Juve, Inter and Manchester United – the big clubs. What's important is to win." Real Madrid seems to be the most likely destination for the unloved Tevez.

L'Equipe's other big story is news that Lyon's distinctly un-Brazilian sounding Fred may well move back home, to Fluminense, for a mere £4.5 ($6.7) million, which would end Tottenham Hotspur's interest in the striker.

Elsewhere, the award for the second most blatant come-and-get-me-plea of the transfer window – Benzema takes the gold – goes to Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery. According to Bild, Ribery is openly flirting with Real Madrid. "I have four years on my contract here. But to promise? That is difficult," said the French winger, who is only in his second season at the German champions. "I am open to everything!" Who said loyalty in football is dead, eh?

Finally you can't have a transfer blog without reporting the crazy goings on over at Manchester City, who seem to be upsetting pretty much everyone by swinging around their huge sack of cash. Aside from the usual news (an improved bid for Craig Bellamy; a failed bid for Roque Santa Cruz, yawn) Marca has gleefully reported that pivotal Barcelona midfield Yaya Toure has had his head turned by a £6 ($8.96) million a year offer. But the big transfer story of the window seems to be shaping up in Russia with City and Arsenal engaging in a tug of love over Zenit St Petersburg's baby-faced midfielder Andrei Arshavin. According to the Sunday Mirror, a bid of £18 ($26.87) million has been lodged by City whilst Arsenal, allegedly Ashavin's club of choice, can only cough up a paltry £10 ($14.93) million. Arsenal will have to break their own transfer record if they want to get their man.

To have your say in CNN football debates and read our feature stories, go to CNN's Football Fanzone.

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January 9th, 2009
01:12 PM ET

N'Zogbia to Arsenal?

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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January 8th, 2009
11:22 AM ET

Barcelona target Arsenal pair

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

LONDON, England - Arsenal pair Cesc Fabegas and Robin van Persie could be set to follow former Gunners Thierry Henry and Alexander Hleb to Barcelona, according to the Daily Star.
[cnn-photo-caption image=
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/08/art.vanpersie.afp.gi.jpg caption="Robin van Persie, right, and Cesc Fabregas: Barcelona-bound?"]

The Spanish giants are preparing a euros 50 million summer swoop for the pair, the report said.

Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan are also chasing a pair of Arsenal midfielders - Emmanuel Eboue and Abou Diaby - according to the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph respectively.

Inter could also make a move for Sampdoria forward Antonio Cassano and are ready to pay up to euros 18 million if Genoa continue to reject their advances for Argentine forward Diego Milito, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports. But Tuttosport says Sampdoria have already agreed to sell Cassano to Juventus.

Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe says Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo has told him that he still wants to join him at the Bernabeu, As reports.

Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez is the subject of a three-way fight between English rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, according to Marca.

Also in the Premier League, Manchester City have made a formal inquiry for Blackburn's £15-million valued Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz, according to the Times.

Portsmouth want Newcastle's Joey Barton as a midfield replacement for Lassana Diarra following his departure to Real Madrid, the Daily Mirror says. Portsmouth are also considering Le Mans goalkeeper Yohann Pele as a longterm replacement for England No. 1 David James.

Newcastle, meanwhile, could make a move for Glasgow Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson, according to the Guardian.

At Tottenham, Lyon's Brazilian striker Fred has emerged as a possible target as Harry Redknapp seeks a strike partner for new signing Jermain Defoe, the Daily Mirror reports. Spurs are also seeking reinforcements at the opposite end with the Telegraph reporting the club's interest in Polonia Warsaw goalkeeper Sebastian Przyrowski.

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January 7th, 2009
11:10 AM ET

Arshavin close to Arsenal move

Stay up to date with all the comings and goings in the transfer window with CNN.com's daily wrap of all 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="Zenit St Petersburg and Russia forward Andrei Arshavin could be heading to Arsenal if wages are agreed."]

LONDON, England - Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin is poised to leave Zenit St. Petersburg in a £10 million move to English Premier League side Arsenal, the Daily Mirror reports.

Arshavin, one of the outstanding performers at Euro 2008, arrived in London Monday for talks with Arsenal representatives with a view to signing a three-year deal after Zenit conceded their initial £20 million asking price was unrealistic.

Arshavin's agent Dennis Lachter told the Mirror: "It's like that famous movie ‘show me the money.' It's just like that. The appetite of Zenit is huge. If they realize times have changed then the Andrei move could be very possible."

The Daily Star reports that Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia is the subject of massive demand this January. They say Fulham, Sunderland, Stoke City, Blackburn and Tottenham are all considering him as a defensive option for the latter half of the season.

West Ham are closing in on making a sale, The Times reports. It's believed Matthew Etherington could be headed for Stoke City, while the east London club is said to be considering a revised offer for Scott Parker from Manchester City. Any deal could include City's Michael Johnson joining the Hammers.

Carlos Tevez is still making headlines as The Sun says Manchester United are now prepared to offload the Argentinian striker to Real Madrid.

Tottenham have had a £14.5 million bid rejected for Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing, the Sun says. Aston Villa are in the hunt for Sporting Gijon defender Roberto Canella and could be ready to pay £10 million for the 20-year-old Spaniard.

It has also been widely reported that Premier League Bolton plan to trial to 31-year-old Brazilian winger Denilson, who was once the world's most expensive footballer.

Inter Milan are also in the news Wednesday as the Daily Mirror says the Italian club is offering Brazilian striker Adriano in a potential swap-deal for Manchester City's early season disappointment, Jo.

Also out of Italy, Franco Semioli, the Fiorentina winger who has represented his country on three occasions is said to have caught the eye of Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce.

French champions Lyon insist that highly sought after forward Karim Benzema isn't going anywhere, despite Real Madrid joining his list of suitors, according to L'Equipe.

Paris Saint Germain's 18-year-old French defender Mamadou Sakho, previously linked with Arsenal and Newcastle, is wanted by Juventus, L'Equipe reports. Juve have also joined the race to sign Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski, according to Tuttosport.

Ukrainian forward Andriy Voronin, currently on loan at Hertha Berlin after being deemed surplus to requirements by Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, has been targeted by Schalke, the Daily Mail reports.

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January 6th, 2009
10:57 AM ET

Tevez hints at United exit

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 United's under-used Argentine forward Carlos Tevez placed himself squarely in the shop window Tuesday by telling the Sun that he fears he will be forced to quit Old Trafford - and adding that he would love to join Real Madrid. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/art.tevez.afp.gi.jpg caption="Carlos Tevez has struggled for playing opportunities this season."]

"I love it at United and the fans are special to me but I also understand football," Tevez said. "If another club offered me the security of a five-year deal then I'd have to consider it."

England forward Jermain Defoe is set to return to Tottenham from Portsmouth in a deal worth £15 million ($22 million). The 26-year-old, who made the reverse move in last season's January transfer window, will undergo a medical at White Hart Lane on Tuesday, according to British newspaper reports.

The Guardian reports that Spurs are also interested in Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing and Ghanaian midfielder Stephen Appiah, while L'Equipe claims the London club also want Brazilian striker Fred.

Barcelona midfleder Yaya Toure is the latest player to be linked with a move to cash-rich Manchester City, according to Marca. The Spanish newspaper says City boss Mark Hughes is ready to pay 26 million euros for the Ivorian midfielder.

AC Milan have offered 8 million euros for Liverpool's Danish defender Daniel Agger, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports. The Rossoneri will turn their attention to Portsmouth's in-form defender Glen Johnson - valued at 9 million euros - if they fail to land Agger.

The Times says Milan are also set to agree pre-contract terms with Liverpool's out-of-favor winger Jermaine Pennant, whose current deal at Anfield expires at the end of the season.

Aston Villa hope to agree a £4 million deal for Wigan's England forward Emile Heskey to bolster their bid to secure a top four finish and Champions League football, the Daily Mirror reports.

German striker Lukas Podolski is set to join Hamburg from Bayern Munich in a swap deal that would send Croatian winger Ivica Olic in the other direction, according to Bild.

Podolski, a star for the German national team despite rarely getting a start at Bayern, had been linked with a return to hometown club Cologne, while Manchester City, Tottenham and Roma had also been tipped as potential suitors for the 8 million euro-valued goalscorer.

But Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Bild that French midfielder star Franck Ribery is going nowhere.

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