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Manchester City sold (and other transfer deadline craziness)


With the European transfer window set to close, the deadline day has been shaken up by the news that Manchester City has been sold by Thaksin Shinawatra to an Abu Dhabi investment group.

The result? Manchester City has promptly stepped up and made a $54 million bid for Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov, who had looked all set to join Manchester United.

That’s the biggest story so far in what promises to be a day filled with transfer intrigue. Here are some other stories to follow today:

Chelsea makes final Robinho bid

From the "You Reap what you Sow" department comes word that things between Chelsea and Real Madrid have gotten ugly regarding the potential transfer of Robinho to Chelsea. Real Madrid has rejected Chelsea’s bids for the Brazilian star and have come out accusing Chelsea of unsettling Robinho, who addressed Spanish media on Sunday to say that he wants to go to Chelsea and won’t change his mind.

You might recall Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon being pretty adamant about players being able to leave when they want to when discussing Cristiano Ronaldo. Apparently that doesn’t apply to Real Madrid players.

Here are some other transfers that have developed, or are developing:

Tottenham completes swoop for Pavlyuchenko and Corluka

Tottenham completed its reloading process on Monday by completing deals for Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and Croatian defender Vedran Corluka. The signings would seem to suggest that Berbatov will find his way out of town one way or another, but no transfer for the Bulgarian striker has been completed yet.

Quaresma heading to Inter Milan

Portuguese star Ricardo Quaresma is heading to Inter Milan after the Italian champions agreed to a deal with FC Porto that included $27.2 million and Portuguese under-20 midfielder Pele. It still remains to be seen of Jose Mourinho’s club will look for a central defender before the deadline to deal with the team’s rash of injuries in the back.

These are just some of the stories making headlines today. There should be plenty more happening in the next eight hours before the close of the deadline. Whether it is Oguchi Onyewu (who still hasn’t made a move despite growing rumors of a potential move to France) or Heath Pearce, or the completion or the death of potential Berbatov and Robinho transfers, we will look to bring you all the latest from the European transfer market later today.

For now, share your thoughts on these stories below.


  1. OK, if anyone had said at the beginning of the day that Robinho would be going to Manchester City I would have called them crazy. Seriously, Robinho to Manchester City.

  2. Berbatov was at Old Trafford for the physical, so looks like City will not be getting him. However, City and Madrid have just agreed to a fee of 40 mil Euros for ROBIHNO! Now they just need the player to sign. bids for Mario Gomez and David Villa are also out from City as we speak.

  3. Well, the bid from City was confirmed from a number of sources and that it was acceptable to Spurs. Also, it certainly appears that Berb is in Manchester.

    I DID miss the thrust of your point though. Thanks for clarifying.

    I do stand by my statement that he’s gone….but it’s not from a report.

  4. Mig, you sure about that? What’s your source? There are plenty of conflicting reports out there. Some have Berbatov already doing a physical for Man U. Anyway, my point was not that Berbatov is staying, but that he wasn’t going to go for Man U’s lowball bid. As I said, City’s bid may be too good to pass up, and of course if Man U meets it then the same goes for them.

  5. Joamiq: Berbatov is gone, Tottenham agreed to City’s terms. It’s only a matter of whether Berbatov accepts the deal and ManU may top the bid, or Berbatov may want to go there instead….but he is no longer a Spur within the next 4 hours.


  6. Reports from Spain have Manchester City bidding for Robinho (they have a lot of bids out, but will they actually land anyone???), and the rumor from Sky Sports have tabbed Portsmouth as the top 10 club from last season attempting to land Joey Barton from Newcastle.

  7. I’m just happy that Man City fans no longer have to tinge their excitement of their team’s success with the knowledge it was funded by a man such as Shinawatra.

  8. Oh, and as for the actual transfer news: I still don’t think that Spurs are going to sell Berbatov to United unless they are able to bring in another striker on top of Pavlyuchenko. He was Keane’s replacement. Pavlyuchenko and Bent alone leaves you too short up top. Now, City’s offer may be too good to refuse. But presumably the extra money in City’s bid could go towards increasing their offer for Arshavin, who I still think is they key to the Berbatov deal. There’s talk of the United youngster coming back in a player and cash deal for Berba, but I don’t think Spurs are going to see him as being a sufficient third striker.

    As for Tottenham’s defensive problems, I actually think they will be more or less solved when Hutton comes back. A backline of Bale, Woodgate, King, and Hutton is pretty strong. Corluka is first rate cover for King’s inevitable absences. And when King does play, Corluka may well be an upgrade in defensive mid. Jenas, Huddlestone, and Zokora just aren’t going to get it done if we have top four ambitions. Frankly, I think that our biggest concern is still up top – which is almost unthinkable to me given that it wasn’t so long ago that Berba, Keane, and Jermaine Defoe gave us one of the best, if not the best, strikeforces in the league.

  9. I’m actually very much with Dannyc on this one. I find it confusing to have transfer fees converted to dollars when they involve English teams and the offers are made in pounds. I really think the fees should reflect the value that the bidders see, not the value that Americans understand. Premiership teams make buying decisions based on the value of the pound, not the value of the dollar. When you convert fees to dollars, you introduce a distortion because fluctuations in the dollar do not affect the decision making of British bidders, but they do then affect how we Americans understand the bid. For example, say you’re looking at a 30 million pound bid two months ago and a 30 million pound bid today. If the pound has not changed in the last two months, they should be viewed as being equal. But if the dollar has become stronger recently, and you convert each figure to dollars at the time the bid is made, the 30 million pound offer today will seem like it’s less than the other one, when it’s not. Personally, I think transfer fees involving MLS should be in dollars, bids by British teams should be in pounds, and bids by other European teams should be in Euros. Otherwise you can’t properly compare bids.

    Of course, a perfect compromise would just be to report the bid in the currency in which it was made and then provide a dollar conversion in parentheses.

  10. Good point…that McCartney deal looks set to go. Although do you think the Hammers are going to get Ferreira? With Bosingwa and Belletti (and Essien if needed), Chelsea have plenty of cover at right back. Maybe Spector is a bit expendable.

  11. Mig,

    Personally I don’t buy it. Hammers don’t have enough defensive cover for me to believe that. Especially if McCartney is about to sign with Sunderland…

  12. Bit of a bummer for Spector if he goes down on load.

    Now we have a lull in transfer news although Inter confirmed the Quaresma transfer.

  13. Justin O wrote: “It’s 68,940,000,000 Mongolian Tugrig offer”.

    Holy crap! I never would have valued him over 55 billion Tugrig! 60 billion, tops!

  14. Sky Sports is reporting that Tottenham accepts Man City’s bid for Berbatov and Man City also puts in a last minute bid for David Villa and Mario Gomez

  15. James and JB, yes, you’re right they did have it in the news list on the front page, and also on the US page, thanks for pointing it out though.

    It was the link to todays deals that didn’t include it. I’m just cranky about certain aspects of Soccernet’s coverage.


  16. Ives,

    Totally understand why you left them off. Didn’t want to make it seem like I had some inside info, cause I have nothing close to that! So just explained the link…

  17. Q – “Danny, if I list every bid in American dollars why can’t readers compare fees?”

    A – Because they will become so consumed in their xenophobia they won’t be able to think straight?


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