The 10 most enthralling transfer stories of the summer
Including this ongoing saga…
Make no mistake about it, the next couple of months are going to become transfer bonkers. With that in mind, after the jump, you’ll find some of the biggest stories of the summer. Potentially.
1. Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona
There’s all kinds of biblical talk about Prodigal Sons, but were the Barcelona boardroom to spend an afternoon actually reading the Gospel of Luke, they might notice that the Parable of The Prodigal Son doesn’t tell the story of a surplus-to-requirements footballer being sold to Arsenal by Barcelona.
In fact, if you want to get all biblical about it, there might be something to take from the commandment about not coveting thine neighbour’s man slave. Still, clumsy biblical references aside, this looks set to become the transfer story of the year.
A guinea says he’ll be lining up on the bench next to Krkic come the end of summer.
2. Fernando Torres to Chelsea
Without wanting to bang this drum too loudly, for fear of overkill, The Spoiler has it on really rather high authority that the whole Torres-to-Chelsea stuff has been in the bag for some time – even since before he battled Rooney for the title of Biggest Disappointment of All Time at the World Cup.
Unless Roy Hodgson can deliver a speech of Churchillian proportions, he’ll be off.
3. Steven Gerrard to Real Madrid
After the Chelsea soap opera of a few years ago, the Liverpool skipper might find the baying public feeling less venemous about another prospective move into the arms of Jose Mourinho.
The biggest difference being that back then he was a growing force, whereas now he’s dangerously close to becoming a spent one.
Confusing dinners of small plates of spicy sausage and a few garlic prawns on the side await the Gerrard family.
4. Ashley Cole to Real Madrid
The rise in popularity of Cheryl Cole has proven to be inversely proportional to that of her estranged husband, Ashley. So much so, that in a week where she tugged gently on the nation’s heart strings by contracting Malaria, Ashley got booed at a wedding.
He will definitely want out, it’s more a case of whether anyone can match Chelsea’s massive asking price.
The best case scenario for the unpopular left back would be to make for a sixth or seventh choice nightclub snog for girls affiliated with Cristiano Ronaldo’s midweek sex entourage. It’s in the balance.
5. Mario Balotelli to Manchester City (or United)
You’d assume that Balotelli would want out of Inter, after a season which found him having numerous stand up rows with his own fans, and even falling foul of Jose Mourinho, whose relationships with his players normally border on sensual love affairs.
Inter have said that he’s not for sale, but some coughing from the back of the room by a robed gentleman from Manchester could induce a very sudden rethink.
Nine quid says he goes to City.
6. Mesut Ozil to Arsenal
For all that has been great and good about the Arsenal side in recent years, they have never quite replaced Dennis Bergkamp. Perhaps Mesut Ozil could be the new Dennis?
Arsenal would reportedly be willing to pay around £20million for the Werder Bremen man, which probably means that Man City will barge into the room with all of the grace of a man lugging the bloodied head of Osama Bin Laden, chuck £40million on the table, and boom “keep the change!”.
How Arsene will want him.
7. Ibrahimovic to somewhere that isn’t Barcelona
No matter how good he believes himself to be, Ibrahimovic will presumably have watched Spain performing minus Torres at the World Cup, before it slowly dawned on him: Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Villa… hang on! They’re all in my team!
Now very much a square peg in a round hole, Barca will be keen to cash in on the rich man’s Peter Crouch – but where will he go?
Clue: Man City?
8. Javier Mascherano to Inter
There is something rather puppy-like, loyal, and obedient about Javier Mascherano, to the point where you can almost imagine Rafa Benitez whistling, and Mascherano running to him. Or the pair of them playing “fetch”.
All of which makes it totally unsurprising that the whisper on the street is that Benitez will be reunited with the pick of the litter, and Hodgson will be left with a gaping hole in the middle of the park.
You know who could fill that, Roy – old Danny Murphy (who, BTW, has been spotted loitering around Anfield).
9. Vidic to Real Madrid
When Vidic’s wife, who shares a name with the tennis star Ana Ivanovic, made some passing remark about how much she loathes everything about Manchester, the pair probably didn’t think that it would be repeatedly pulled out whenever talk turned to transfers.
Anyway, yes, in bullet point terms: she hates England, Spain is really nice, he’s great pals with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mourinho is feeling confident.
That tends to mean that it’s a done deal.
10. James Milner to Man City
There’s always one astronomical transfer that blows everyone’s minds, and, in years to come, everyone might have forgotten that City payed a preposterous £24million for Joleon Lescott in 2009, because just a year later they short circuited and splashed out £90million on James Milner!
Decent though he is, be honest, he’s hardly Zinedine Zidane.