The July 1 opening of football transfer season is rapidly approaching and with its impending arrival come swarms upon swarms of transfer rumours. But which ones are done deals and which ones are just mere smoke and ashes? Does it really matter? Half the fun is in the speculation. Here’s a break-down of some of the top transfer stories..
Ronaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldo. It seems like Cristiano Ronaldo is all anyone is talking about lately. Real Madrid wants him, and it now appears they are willing to pay out the nose for him. Recent rumours have them offering him a record breaking five year deal worth £300,000 a week. To make things more interesting, Ronaldo has said on more than one occasion that he wants to make the move to Spain. On the other hand, Manchester United says they won’t sell him «at any price». However, it has been said that everyone has their price. Only time will tell if Read Madrid is willing to pay United’s.
The seventeen-year-old midfielder is being courted by three premier league teams. Cardiff City appears to be willing to let him go for £5 million, but the young star is still trying to decide which move would be in his best interests. While many people would see Manchester United as the obvious choice, his value at the club is a bit of a question. They plan to sign him but then loan him directly back to Cardiff for a year. The message this sends is that they want to sign him while he is relatively cheap, but that they don’t necessarily have any intention of utilizing his skills any time soon. On the end of the spectrum, Everton and Arsenal appear to be offering him a spot on their first teams. It looks like the young Ramsey needs to choose between possibly benching for United or playing for someone else.
Valencia is having money issues and needs to unload their star striker at the cost of about £17 million. The key players in the battle over David Villa seem to be Arsenal and Tottenham. But just to complicate matters, Chelsea and Real Madrid have also expressed an interest in signing Villa. To make things more interesting, especially for the other teams, Villa has said that he would like to play for Arsenal, but he won’t make a decision until after Euro 2008. It’s a risky move on his part; a good showing at the tournament could increase his value, but less than stellar playing or an injury could hurt him in more ways than one.
If United was serious about not selling Ronaldo, Ronaldinho’s asking price of £200,000 a week would make him by far the highest paid player in the world. While his potential transfer to Manchester City doesn’t seem to have the drama of the other trades, it could still change the face of football by pushing prices to never before seen heights. And since no decision is agreeable to everyone, people are questioning whether or not Ronaldinho is really worth it. His performance this season was rife with injuries and time on the bench. Is acquiring Ronaldinho the best move for Manchester City’s new manager? It seems a risk he is either willing to take or one that he was given no choice about. Either way, for all appearances, Ronaldinho is probably making the move. Will any or all of them actually change clubs? Probably, but at this point, nothing is certain. While Villa and Ramsey will most likely be signed, the high end demands of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho make their transfers more important, but less likely. It will be an interesting year -football may well change forever.
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