Thursday, 10 November 2011

Football transfer rumours: David Villa to Liverpool?

Paolo Bandini,
Barcelona's David Villa
'David, how do you fancy playing alongside Andy Carroll? David? David? Oh, please don't cry …' Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters
Europe's sovereign debt crisis is spiralling out of control, the world is pitching dangerously towards irreversible climate change and the Daily Mail's website is leading (in a big way) with a story about two elephants who got stuck in the mud. The more things change, in other words, the more they stay the same – which is why the Mill isn't in the least bit surprised this morning to read that Sir Alex Ferguson plans to flog Nemanja Vidic to Real Madrid in the summer.
Sir Alex, you see, has previous for selling hair-averse centre-backs in the prime of their career and even if he has described letting Jaap Stam go too soon as one of his greatest mistakes, he isn't prepared to let that stand in the way of him making another one. Real Madrid have been sniffing around for some time and any reservations Ferguson had about such a sale will doubtless have been eased by the way his team coped so comfortably without their captain during the recent derby against Manchester City.
The one thing that might anger Ferguson more than being told he has made a mistake is the thought of Liverpool winning titles again, which is why he might also want to keep his eye on news that Kenny Dalglish's side have been linked with a move for David Villa. Reports in Spain have reportedly reported that the striker is unhappy at Barcelona and has fallen out with Lionel Messi. He won't come cheap, though, so it's a good thing Liverpool still have that £50m burning a hole in their pockets after the sale of Fernando Torres, eh? Oh.
Arsenal will be needing a new striker in the summer too, along with, most likely, some new goalposts, ball boys and door handles once Manchester City have stopped by for their annual summer asset-strip. The Gunners won't be getting Lille's Eden Hazard, though, and not only because the French club are still feeling a tiny bit miffed about the way the club thieved Park Chu-young from under their noses. Hazard has simply decided he'd rather follow Vidic to Madrid. Unless you believe the reports in Italy that say he's actually joining Inter.
Speaking of Arsenal, Andrey Arshavin has given the greatest hint yet that he has absolutely no plans for leaving the club. Ever. Unless someone richer comes along. "I met a man in Miami who said there is no difference where you live — it is important how much money is on your credit card," Arshavin is quoted as saying in the Sun. On his own personal website, meanwhile, Arshavin continues to deal with the issues that really matter. Asked whether he fears bears, Andrey replies: "On the contrary, I like bears."
Elsewhere, non-league club Dulwich Hamlet will presumably need a new stadium after literally every club in the world started sending scouts to keep an eye on teenage defender Michael Chambers, Carlo Ancelotti has been linked with the Paris St Germain job, and bizarrely lots of newspapers seem to believe that because Neymar signed a new contract at Santos, he is now definitely staying there. Oh, and the rebranding of St James' Park as Sports Direct Arena is all just an elaborate distraction to keep Newcastle fans from noticing Mike Ashley's dastardly plan to loan out Nile Ranger to Birmingham.

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