Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Football transfer rumours: André Villas-Boas to raid Barcelona?

André Villas-Boas
Chelsea's André Villas-Boas contemplates making a move for the Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto

"Does a struggling salesman start turning up on a bicycle? No, he turns up in a newer car. Perception, yeah? They got to trust me – I'm taking these guys into battle, yeah? And I'm doing my own stapling."
It seems Steve Bruce has been reading the David Brent guide to surviving in the workplace. The Sunderland manager, reports the Mirror, will meet the club owner Ellis Short this week and ask not only to keep his job but for more money to spend in January. His chief target is, funnily enough, a target man – Wolfsburg's Papiss Cissé, while Ahmed Mehmedi of FC Zurich and Tottenham's 6ft 2in Russian frustrationRoman Pavlyuchenko, also sit high on his shopping list.
Elsewhere in the north-east, Alan Pardew – having clearly missed what transpired at Middlesbrough when Gordon Strachan began raiding the aisles of the Lidl that is the SPL – wants to bring the Celtic captain Scott Brown to Newcastle. The Diouf-bothering midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and would cost only around £1.5m.
Also on Pardew's hit-list for the January sales is the Holland international left-back Erik Pieters, currently of PSV. Mike Ashley will have to rummage down the back of his settee to find £3m among the crisp crumbs and ring pulls.
Chelsea's scouts have earned their Going-To-Sicily-To-Watch-A-Football-Match badge after running the rule over Palermo's Josip Ilicic at the weekend. Palermo will demand around £25m for the Slovenian midfielder, who has also roused the interest of Internazionale. André Villas-Boas also fancies another raid on Barcelona's back-up – the 19-year-old midfielder Sergi Roberto would cost £5m.
One player not heading to Stamford Bridge, though, is the 15-year-old wonderkid Javier González, who rose to attention after scoring an improbable 20 goals in seven youth games at Laredo. Chelsea and Arsenal were apparently keen, but he'll join Real Madrid instead.
Paris St-Germain want the Makélélé role to be performed in their technical area after losing patience with Antoine Kombouaré. Claude himself is top of their shortlist, although the former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has already said "Non, merci" to their advances.
Leeds want to solve their goalkeeping troubles with the signing of 6ft 6in "German stopper" Thorsten Stuckmann from Preston. And Aidy Boothroyd is set to return to football as manager of Northampton Town.

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