Sunday Newspaper Football Gossip

Every Sunday sees a story that makes you think ‘absolutely no chance’ and this week is no different.

It’s the turn of Paul Hetherington in the Daily Star this week, with their exclusive that Arsenal could be prepared to pay £20 Million for Liverpool’s want away (according to Daily Star) keeper Pepe Reina.

Not only are they considering the £20M transfer fee, they are also considering paying him the £110,000 a week that his agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon is believed to be asking Liverpool for in his new contract.

Any believers out there?

I have to say that I’m not one. In the past Arsene Wenger has stood by keepers of the (lack of) quality of Manuel Almunia when Shay Given was available for a lot less. So why now would he dump the up and coming Wojciech Szczesny – who looks far better than Almunia – and break his recent transfer policy for a keeper, who I would go as far as to say isn’t the best out there? Absolutely no chance for me.

If proof Reina isn’t the best was ever needed, as I’m writing this I’ve just watched Carlton Cole back pass a shot past him at his near post. It must be the first time in months that Rob Green hasn’t felt the biggest goal keeping clown on the pitch.

The People have an interesting story claiming that Manchester United made a £19 Million bid for Ashley Young during the January transfer window, they claim that Alex Ferguson will be back with another bid in the summer.

It’s obvious that United need some creativity in midfield with Giggs and Scholes nearing the end of their careers, and due to the fact that Ashley Young has so far refused to so sign a new contract at Villa, it has become a fairly well regarded view that he wants out. All this gives the story some credence.

I don’t think that Young necessarily wants out because he’s had enough of Villa or sees it as a sinking ship, I think it is more down to the fact that he has had his head turned to bigger and better things with recent speculation linking him with Spurs and Liverpool, and who could blame him.

I think it is a far more likely story than Arsene Wenger spending £20M on Pepe Reina.

Sunday Transfer Talk

As is usually the case on Sundays, the Newspapers are full of transfer rumours, some believable and some total madness.

A story that is appearing across the board and seems to be building a momentum of its own, is the Connor Wickham to Tottenham story. Just about every paper is reporting this one, most are claiming £10M is the figure, with the Mail on Sunday claiming the deal to be as high as £12M.

It is also reported that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are monitoring the situation. I can’t see Chelsea paying £10M for a youthful prospect, they have just shown they have little or no patience in waiting for youth with the £50M purchase of Torres.

Any Arsenal offer would probably fall well short of £10M, I’d have to imagine that the only way Ipswich would get that kind of money out of Arsene Wenger would be with outrageous target clauses included.

The Mail also claim that the two Manchester clubs are set to battle it out for Everton’s Jack Rodwell, his departure would surely tip David Moyes over the edge at Goodison Park.

The Sunday Mirror believe that Newcastle are planning a £10M bid for Carlton Cole, Geordie fans what do you think about that?

This is one of those bizarre transfer stories where it is hard to know who is getting the worst end of the deal. I doubt West Ham would except £10M for him, and I doubt that most Newcastle fans would want their club spending £10M on him.

The News of the World seems to be of the opinion that Alex Ferguson is going to abandon his recent transfer policy and smash the clubs transfer record with a bid of £35M for Luka Modric as a replacement for Paul Scholes.

It is fair enough to assume that Scholes will need replacing, but as we are not sure exactly who has decided how much the club has or has not spent recently, it’s hard to know if this is a real goer or not.

Ludicrous story of the day is also in the NOTW, with their claim that Robin Van Persie and Andrey Arshavin are Inter Milan targets in a double swoop worth £42m, Italian football isn’t exactly flush with cash at the moment so I can’t really believe this one for a minute.