I read an interesting article today in the i newspaper sports section. It posed the question, what have these names got in common…

Coniah Boyce-Clarke, Ruben Dias, Bruno Fernandes, Gelson Fernandes, Kalidou Kalibahy, Nicolas Pepe, Adrien Rabot, Saul Niguez, Christian Eriksen, Kieran Trippier, Jan Obiak, Matthijs de Ligt, Paulo Dybala, Daniel James, Idrissa Gueye, Philippe Coutinho, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Wilfried Zaha, Thomas Meunier, Mauro Icardi, Moussa Dembele, Ben Godfrey, Nikola Milenkovic, Harry Maguire, Aaron Was-Bissaka, Patrick van Aanholt, Jadon Sancho, Gareth Bale, Toby Alderweireld, Joao Felix, Declan Rice, David Neres Campos, Kostas Manolas, Hakim Ziyech, Joao Cancelo, Marcos Llorente, Toni Kroos, Raphael Varane, Youro Tielemans, Robert Lewandowski, James Rodriguez, Keylor Navas, Lika Jovic, Jordan Pickford, Juande Ramos, Jack Grealish, Giovani lo Celso, Gianluigi Donnarumma and no doubt several others?

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Football lesson 1: never change the manager and chief executive at the same time


Big sigh…. A little while ago I wrote about my frustration at the sight of my club movingly glacially slowly in the transfer market. It was all a far cry from the old days when crafty Sir Alex and street smart chief executive David Gill got United’s transfer business done early and attracted some of the greatest players to Old Trafford. Well it’s a new regime at Man United these days as we all know and whilst everyone would  appreciate that David Moyes and new CE Edward Woodward are on a learning curve in their new roles, no-one could have foreseen how United’s transfer activity would descend into farce on deadline day. We even had to endure the sight of Man Utd being outspent and being seen as a more attractive option than….. Arsenal!!  Thank God SAF signed RVP last year. This time we’d have struggled to attract Nicklas Bendtner away. Sigh.

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football transfer sagas – it’s getting very boring

transfer_news_and_rumours_paWell it’s exactly 3 months since David Moyes was announced as the new Man Utd manager and in all that time he’s managed not to buy Cesc Fabregas, not done anything about Rooney and the very latest news is that he might be going back to Everton to buy Fellaini and Baines. I mean what exactly has changed in 12 bloody weeks? But it’s not just at Old Trafford that things seem to be moving at glacial pace. Has anything truly significant happened  with the transfers of Luis Suarez to Arsenal, David Luiz to Barcelona, and the most drawn out of of them all, Gareth Bales’ move to Real Madrid? The answer is no, even though they are all almost certain to happen and it’s getting bloody boring. I don’t know why it takes so long to resolve a purchase, because that’s all it is.  But I think I’ve got the answer.

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tevez in; smith out; shake it all about

I hate to tempt fate but it looks like the summer’s longest football saga is to end with Carlos the teeth Tevez joining Man U in next 24 hours. What’s more it looks like they’ve done a deal not a million miles away from the solution I proposed in an earlier posting – bloody cheek – where’s my cut Mr Gill?

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‘TRANSFERRERS’ starring keano

I reckon this is better than the latest Hollywood blockbuster – Roy Keane’s first spell at the transfer window. He’s made some lulu signings so far, probably paying a little over the odds but who cares eh! I guess everyone’s been given around £25m to ‘buy’ Premiership survival and Keano’s not been afraid to plough his way through it. He’s also been talking a lot to the press about what he will and won’t do in the window. Today he’s had a double dose of media interest. Firstly he was in the press this morning saying how disappointed he was that a) certain players were being offhand and that one target had failed to return his call and b) fellow managers had disappointed him by blabbing about him making enquiries of their players. I guess the other managers are talking up the price of their available players. Keano doesn’t like that it seems. It’s a big boy’s world out there Roy. Secondly, he’s got the spending bug again and apparently offered £9m for a Scottish goalie (Hearts’ Craig Gordon) which a) must be a world’s first and b) has been rejected. Blimey he must be good. Never a dull day at the Stadium of Light. It’s almost better than watching Harry Rednapp’s transfer activity.


tevez – sorted

No it’s not a news item I’m afraid. This story just rumbles on but I think I’ve got a solution if anyone’s interested. The problem is this:

– Tevez wants to leave West Ham and would be very happy moving to Man U.

– West Ham always knew it would end like this and presumably would be happy to see the back of him.

– Man U are negotiating with KJ the guy who actually seems to own Tevez’s economic rights.

– However West Ham promised the Prem League at an earlier hearing that they had resolved the issue over the players’ rights and although they didn’t present the evidence as such the impression was left that they owned the economic rights to Tevez and Mascherano.

– Because of this the PL sanctioned the loan move of Mascherano to Liverpool and allowed Tevez to play on for the final 3 matches of the season, in which he played a blinder and effectively won the last 3 games for WH, relegating Sheff Utd in the process.

– Now the Prem L are saying Man U have to deal with West Ham over the transfer even though every knows West Ham aren’t really in a position to do so. The PL are stuck; they can’t sanction the transfer as it stands as it would enable Sheff Utd to sue them for erroneously allowing Tevez to play on for West Ham. Likely damages £50M.

– If Man U pay West Ham a transfer fee KJ will sue West Ham for the loss of his economic rights. Likely damages £30M

– If Man U pay KJ the fee, the Prem League will charge Man U with tapping up the player and fine them punitively, poss £5 – 10M plus they don’t get Tevez.

So impasse and this week they’ll all toddle off to FIFA for resolution. Here’s a thought to resolve this quickly which depends on all the parties shaking hands discreetly of course.

– Man U pay West Ham the fee they’d negotiated with KJ to keep the PL happy. West Ham accepting the fact they weren’t expecting a fee pay KJ a ‘facility/consultancy’ fee for effecting the deal. It happens to be equal to the amount Man U paid them for the player less £1m for their troubles. KJ ends up with the same amount of money less a little bit (but better that than paying out for exorbitant legal fees). Man U get Tevez. PL are satisfied because Sheff U cannot sue. FIFA are happy because they don’t have to get involved.

Looks to me like a plan that might work. If all parties want to let me have a small consultancy for saving them huge amounts of time and litigation costs please get in touch. A 10 Q


Et tu Etuhu? Eh who?

I’ve got to admit that Roy Keane’s proving to be an enjoyable transfer wheeler-dealer. After the nearly £11m spent on Chopra and Richardson, he’s been more frugal on a lesser known prospect, Dickson Etuhu from Norwich. Not a lad I’ve come across to be honest but a super name. I’m still convinced he’ll be lining up a big name player to excite the Sunderland fans – despite his earlier protestations that he wouldn’t play that game. But I’d be keen to hear how season ticket sales are going so far. Will the commercial guys at the Stadium of Light be cooing over the pulling power of the latest 3 signings to stimulate ST sales? Ummm. So one more major signing at least I reckon. Tug of war with Boro for Alan Smith maybe or Robbie Keane perhaps. How about another raid on Old Trafford for OG Solksjaer and/or John O’Shea? Any rumours out there on Wearside?


keano captures kieron, crikey

Well It looks like Man U have netted around £5.5M for Kieron Richardson. Blimey, I’m not sure I’d hand over the company cheque book to Keano (see Keano’s on the vino) but no matter. It’s a very good deal for Man U who are starting to recoup a lot of their summer outlay. Can’t wait till Kieron introduces cousin Charley to those Maccams. It’ll be the most fun in Sunderland since Bob Stokoe was there. Next out of Old Trafford looks like Heinze to Real/Newcy B maybe for £6.5M and then Smith for £7M to Boro? The NE seems to be the exit route for Man U players at the moment. Another 4 or 5 young lads should leave for around £1m apiece. That’s £25M or so of transfer revenue in a week or so with possibly more to come from the fringe players. Gotta hand it to David Gill, he’s a good book balancer. But the squad seems immeasurably more youthful and exciting. Think Sunderland might have to snare some bigger fish to survive. But who do you reckon’s doing the best business on the balance of transfers this summer Liverpool (who’ve done a lot of trading), Wigan (a lot of buying), Portsmouth (lots of trade as usual for Harry), Spurs (who have spent a lot), West Ham (where the turnover in players has been mindboggling) or your team?