After having long been rumored to be after Dimitar Berbatov, Manchester United finally went to action, making a £20 million ($39.5 million) bid for the Tottenham Hotspur striker.
The 27-year-old has been an immediate hit since moving to England from Bayer Leverkusen two years ago. Berbatov has found the net 46 times for Tottenham in all competitions and has consistently been in top form. While it’s a very considerable bid, the North London club are believed to value Berbatov in excess of £25M. If the Red Devils do get their hands on Berbatov, that should take them out of the hunt for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, while it puts Tottenham (as they always are) in the market for a new forward.
Juventus capture Christian Poulsen
Two-time Danish Football Player of the Year Christian Poulsen in on the move to Serie A power Juventus after a successful two years at Sevilla. The Old Lady acquired the 28-year-old for a reasonable fee of €10 million. Poulsen was a staple in the Sevilla midfield as they became repeat winners of the UEFA Cup in 2007.
The back story in this is that Juventus have been rumored to be looking to add one of Poulsen and Xabi Alonso, but not both. This move effectively puts an end to the market on Alonso, as few other clubs can meet Rafa Benitez’s high asking price. With less funds to work with, it looks like other clubs may be taking over the driver seat in many of the English transfer. It’s always interesting to track how a move between one Spanish club and one Italian club can make an impact across Europe.
Beckham backs Casillas for Ballon d’Or
Ready for the good kind of soccer gossip? David Beckham, among others, has come out to back Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas for the 2008 Ballon d’Or award, awarded by France Football magazine to the player of the year. You probably don’t need reminding, but Casillas, considered by most one of the two or three best goalies in the world, had some pretty impressive credentials in 2008. Casillas was a key member of a Real Madrid squad that repeated as La Liga champions this past season, while he was invaluable as captain for Spain in their Euro 2008 triumph.
Beckham’s support is an interesting twist in what seems like a growing contingency that would prefer a Spaniard like Casillas or even Fernando Torres to win the Ballon d’Or over Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo. For most of the 2007-08 season, it seemed like a one-horse race for all the individual awards as Ronaldo dazzled en route to an impossible 42 goals playing primarily as a winger. Undoubtedly, Ronaldo has been hurt by a downright ordinary performance in Euro 2008 and you could also argue that his ongoing transfer saga hasn’t done anything positive for his image.
Should Manchester United do what it takes to capture Dimitar Berbatov? How does Christian Poulsen’s transfer affect your team’s transfer ambitions? Or, any Juventus fans out there, what do you guys think? Lastly, should Iker Casillas win the Ballon d’Or over Cristiano Ronaldo?
Share your thoughts below.