Friday, 16 July 2010
The World Cup has ended - Spain have been crowned World champions and now it is time for silly season to get underway, as we are just weeks away from the new domestic seasons beginning in the major league across Europe. Wait, hang on a minute, it looks as if it has already begun – certainly since England departed from South Africa. And it looks as if the various hacks have been trying to beat each other for the most outrageous transfer rumour.
In the lead at the moment was one which I saw on Twitter (reliable more often than not) about two days ago, of James Beattie to Liverpool. Now we all know the current predicament that Liverpool are in (contrary to reports suggesting that Hodgson has £40m to spend) but are we really expected to believe that they would sink as low as Beattie – a player who hasn’t shown any sort of form since his days as Southampton? I didn’t think so.
One story that looks set to run and run and again and dominate this summer is the endless flirtations between Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas and Barcelona. Not for the first time, this story raised its head Pre-World Cup and with that now over the romance has begun to blossom again. Further fuel was added to the fire when his Spanish team-mates Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique of Barcelona decided to play a nasty prank of Fabregas by pulling a Barca jersey over his head during their post- World Cup celebrations.
Elsewhere, Ashley Cole could be heading for a swift exit from Chelsea to join his former manager Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. "From what I am hearing the signs look good," says the clubs goalkeeper Iker Casillas. "I have only briefly spoken to people at the club but I am confident that he can be a Real Madrid player next year.” If what Casillas has said is to be believed and somehow I doubt that he would lie, but it is silly season, so, who knows?
At Manchester City the transfer merry-go-round is in full swing, no speculation here – just concrete deals with City having already signed Aleksander Kolarov, David Silva, Jerome Boateng and Yaya Toure bring their collective spend to almost £80million. More and more names have been linked with the club with James Milner and Edin Dzeko being their main targets.
This is a time for us all not to believe everything we read in the papers or hear on Sky Sports News. I make a point of assuming every bit of transfer gossip at this time every year is just pure speculation until I see said player holding up the club scarf or shirt with his name on it. And with 30 days to go till the new Premier League season kick-offs – my advice is to take everything you hear with a pinch of salt.
Roll on deadline day because we all know that that is where things get even more interesting.