To think that this madness will continue until August, it’s enough to do your head in! Who’s being chased by who, who’s staying, who’s definitely going, transfer fees resembling telephone numbers thrown around like confetti even though most football fans will have difficulty comprehending their enormity. Then of course there are the huge wages offered to tempt players some of whom are barely out of their teens. Little wonder that it’s known as the silly season.
The media absolutely loves it. Open any newspaper, log on to any football website, watch or listen to any of the sports shows on radio or television and you will see the evidence of it. If truth be told, you will probably also find that even though most fans will deny it, they cannot get enough of the gossip.
So who’s driving this madness? Journalists and editors are unlikely to invent fairytales out of thin air leaving only player agents and/or players themselves as the most likely culprits. Football managers may also be up to their necks in the mix as well, floating little titbits to see what reaction they get. That’s how their little game has always been played and the more money there is in football, the worse that charade will continue to get.
Just have a look at this past weekend to see all the rumours published about the possible comings and goings at Manchester United alone.
- Manchester United and Arsenal are battling to sign Everton central defender Phil Jagielka (Pictured above). Manager Sir Alex Ferguson wants to bolster his outfit as he plans to regain the Premier League title.
- Sir Alex is lining up a £36million double swoop for AC Milan striker Marco Borriello and Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra. The Manchester United boss wants his transfer business completed before the World Cup and will offer £16m for Borriello and £20m for Diarra.
- Arsenal are looking at their defensive options with William Gallas set to move on, while Ferguson is keen to add some experience with doubts persisting over Rio Ferdinand’s fitness.
- Manchester United have identified Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda as their replacement for Edwin van der Sar. The speculation is that a bid of £10 million would be enough to tempt the club to part ways with their keeper
- Argentine wonder kid Funes Mori is in the sights of Manchester United. The 19 year old striker has been in brilliant form for River Plate.
- Manchester United are lining up moves for Everton’s Jack Rodwell and Aston Villa’s James Milner.
- Manchester United will offer attacking midfielder Anderson plus €10m for Benfica 22 year old winger Angel di Maria. It’s the second time this season that Ferguson plots a move for di Maria after his failed bid to land him in December
- United manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks set to offer £20m for Ajax’s Uruguay striker Luis Suarez to his shortlist in a bid to find the perfect strike partner for Wayne Rooney.
- Manchester United are looking to improve their defensive options by making a £22m move for highly rated Juventus centre back Giorgio Chiellini. The 25 year old has become a crucial part of Italy’s national team
- Serbian striker Milos Krasic is wanted by Manchester United this summer. Krasic caught Ferguson’s eye when he faced the Reds in the Champions League
- Manchester United have given Real Madrid short shrift over their interest in fullback Patrice Evra. Real are desperate to find a quality left back for next season
- Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies is thought to be keen to secure a loan deal for versatile Manchester United youngster Corry Evans
- Ben Foster looks set to leave for Birmingham City in a £4 million deal this summer
- United have raised serious doubts about the futures of Dimitar Berbatov and Owen Hargreaves at Old Trafford
Then of course there are the usual suspects like Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema, David Silva, David Villa, Luka Modric, Rafael Van der Vaart, Hugo Lloris, Igor Akinfeevand, Gigi Buffon. The list is endless.
That’s a hell of a lot of players being mentioned to either move IN or OUT of Old Trafford before the start of next season and remember, that’s only what was reported on just ONE club on just ONE weekend. The whole exercise becomes almost farcical when Ferguson, the man who has been linked to all these transfer, was quoted in most of the same media outlets as saying ”We won’t be making wholesale changes. I’d like to make a couple of signings but the market is very narrow”. How’s that for a total contradiction to what the media is reporting?
It becomes clear that many of the stories are mere kite flying exercises by all concerned trying to boost their chances of tying up a favourable deal for themselves. You can rest assured however that this sort of fanciful gossip will continue to appear, day after day, simply because football fans can never get enough of these type of rumors about their clubs.
Do you expect Ferguson to make more than a couple of signings for the new season?