Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Football transfer rumours: Rio Ferdinand to Chicago Fire or Spurs?


Today's rumours turned down the 30-strong yeti hunt

Rio Ferdinand
Cheer up, might never happen. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian
"We always enjoy going over to play in America. MLS is doing very well now and more and more people are aware of it over here. They've had some big players come over from Europe to play there as well like Becks, Freddie Ljungberg and Thierry Henry. The facilities are fantastic." The words, readers, of one Rio Gavin Ferdinand, spoken before Manchester United's latest tour of the States in July. And it looks like he may be given the opportunity to enjoy going over to play in America permanently, with Chicago Fire targeting the 33-year-old permacrocked bench-warmer to be the new David Beckham. The Mail report that Ferdinand "is known to be open-minded" about a move Stateside, but also that – if it does look like he's leaving Old Trafford next summer – Harry Redknapp will probably try to sign him as well.
Also on his way out of Old Trafford is Dimitar Berbatov, with Valencia "plotting a move to rescue him from his Manchester United nightmare", according to the Star. Returning to Salford, though, is Tom Cleverley's credibility – the Sun issue an apology to the United starlet after it turned out that the man who "begged a girl for sex after meeting her in a nightclub" merely "looked like" the young midfield ace.
Talking of Redknapp, as we were not too long ago, Rafael van der Vaart reckons he's an absolute fool. We're extrapolating here, of course. What he in fact says was: "If I have to chase after a full-back every time I can't play my own game to the best of my ability. You could see from the goal [against Arsenal] that my strength lies in the centre of midfield. I do what the manager asks me to but I hope this won't be a regular occurrence."
Talking of players who get all upset because of what their manager tells them to do, the latest comedy side to offer Carlos Tevez a route out of the Etihad Stadium is Dubai outfit Al Wasl, although they are slightly more credible than the rest because they have lots of money and Diego Maradona in the manager's hot seat.
And talking of players who are surely too good and too successful to go somewhere like that, according to the Sun Doncaster Rovers are planning a loan swoop for Real Madrid midfield ace Lassana Diarra. Dean Saunders also has a more realistic target in mind, in the shape of Newcastle's Dan Gosling. In other loan news, Nigel Clough wants to bring Aidan White to Derby from Leeds and Millwall want Swansea's Stephen Dobbie. One player already on loan in the Championship – Blackburn's Keith Andrews, currently excelling at Ipswich – has played himself into a possible January transfer to Swansea or Wigan, who also like the look of Bristol City's Albert Adomah.
The Dundee United starlet Scott Allan is the subject of a three-way Premier League gentle-pull-o-war, with Manchester United, Newcastle and now West Bromwich Albion all monitoring the 19-year-old midfielder, whose contract expires next summer. Equally teenaged and no less coveted is Leicester's versatile 18-year-old Jeffrey Schlupp, a target for Newcastle, Stoke and Liverpool.
Blackburn are primed to swoop for former Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill should Steve Kean fail to turn around the club's fortunes. Talking of Villa, Stiliyan Petrov genuinely reckons that Gabriel Agbonlahor is as good as Cristiano Ronaldo: "People talk about Ronaldo but when you look at the assets of Gabby, you can put him in the same bracket." And current Villa gaffer Alex McLeish wants OFK Beograd's 21-year-old striker Nemanja Milic, whose contract also expires next summer.

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