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Timmah!

January 2011 Transfer Window

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The international transfer window opens soon, and while there wasn't a lot of high-profile movement during the summer, there are already some rumors floating around for the winter.

As you've likely heard by now, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has demanded a transfer, and is threatening to quit the game altogether if he doesn't get his way. Citeh is balking, and is making a threat of their own: they'll sue Tevez if he bails on them.

Elsewhere, City is reportedly planning to pry away Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, and will encourage him to cross town by doubling his salary.

At the same time, United is allegedly planning a major bid for Aston Villa winger Ashley Young that would put £20 million in the Villan's pockets.

While they may lose Young, a reinforcement may be lined up: Celtic winger Aiden McGeady is currently on loan to Spartak Moscow, but the Irish international may be heading back to western Europe to try and help breathe some life back into Villa's mediocre season.

Marseilles will resume attempts to land Chelsea striker Didier Drogba; they tried back in the summer but were unable to complete a move.

On the domestic front, Wednesday brings the second stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, where teams will be able to select out-of-contract players from other teams. Last week's 1st stage only brought two moves, but there is expected to some this week. Prominent names on the list: Juan Pablo Angel, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, and former US Men's performers Frankie Hejduk, Josh Wolff, Jimmy Conrad and Cory Gibbs. Full list here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/mls-...-re-entry-draft

Reports are coming out that FC Koln goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon is on his way to the US. The Colombian international has reached an agreement with Philadelphia Union that is currently awaiting MLS approval.

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As suggested, there were a number of players chosen in today's MLS Re-Entry Draft 2nd Phase. Here's the list of players taken; all teams had choices in both rounds, and if you don't see a team listed, in means they passed on making selections. The player's former team is in parentheses:

First Round

D.C. United: Josh Wolff, forward (Kansas City)

Chivas USA: Jimmy Conrad, defender (Kansas City)

New England: Ryan Cochrane, defender (Houston)

Los Angeles: Juan Pablo Ángel, forward (New York)

Chicago Fire: Cory Gibbs, defender (New England)

Kansas City: Frankie Hejduk, defender (Columbus)

Seattle: Chris Seitz, goalkeeper (Philadelphia)

Columbus: Jeff Cunningham, forward (FC Dallas)

Los Angeles: Luke Sassano, midfielder (New York)

Colorado: Tyrone Marshall, defender (Seattle)

Second Round

New England: Fred, midfielder (Philadelphia)

The teams now have seven days to negotiate contracts with the players; my understanding is that Wolff and Conrad have already signed deals with their new teams. After the seven days, any unsigned players will be able to sign with a team on a first-come, first-serve basis, but the drafting team will retain right of refusal...kind of like Restricted Free Agency in the NFL.

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Add another prominent name to the Man City wish list: Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, who they would try to pry away by bidding €100 million. Barca's finances are kinda iffy right now, and Citeh is hoping to blow them away with an offer.

Arsenal have told goalkeeper Manuel Almunia that he is free to leave the team in January.

Liverpool is looking outside the country for reinforcements, and have identified Villarreal winger Santi Cazorla and Partizan Belgrade striker Cleo as targets.

An internet rumor has surfaced saying that Philadelphia Union are talking to out-of-favor Stoke City striker Eidur Gudjohnsen. It says he would sign a DP-sized deal to come here.

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Some nuggets for your Saturday....

Everton are interested in adding a striker, and could go after either Emmanuel Adebayor or Roque Santa Cruz, neither of whom are seeing PT with Man City.

Real Madrid are set to make a major bid for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale.

City and Arsenal are both interested in Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko.

Man United are being linked to a number of players: Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze, Shakthar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa (also being pursued by Chelsea and Arsenal) and Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Danny.

Zenit is in the market for a goalkeeper, and are believed to be targeting Chelsea's Petr Cech.

LA Galaxy's Edson Buddle has been on trial with Birmingham City, and the Blues are interested in signing him.

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Word is trickling out that Nottingham Forest has offered a contract to former Real Salt Lake striker Robbie Findley.

He had been on trial with EPL side Wolverhampton, but they hadn't yet gotten around to offering him a deal, and the Championship side pounced.

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Freddie Ljungberg is leaving MLS after a year-plus to go to Celtic for the remainder of the season. Ljungberg had finished the '10 season with Chicago after being traded from Seattle.

Meanwhile, reports out of England are that David Beckham will be allowed to go out on loan to a Premier League side, and he'll sign a new deal with a team in the next week. Beckham has said that he would only play for Man United if he were to return, but the Daily Mail is saying the clubs interested include Tottenham, West Ham, Sunderland, Newcastle, Blackburn and Everton.

Real Madrid will try once again to pry Cesc Fabregas away from Arsenal, and will offer £35 million for him.

Sir Alex has stated for the record that Man United will not be dipping into the transfer pool this January, but they would be willing to loan out Federico Macheda to get him some experience. He came from Italy, and has been linked to a small handful of clubs for a move, including Lazio and Roma.

Aston Villa have emphatically stated that Ashley Young and Stewart Downing aren't going anywhere. However, Villa is hopeful to add Colorado Rapids striker Omar Cummings, who is currently on trial with the Villans, through a loan deal that would keep him in England until the MLS season begins in March.

Newcastle is downplaying rumors that they will acquire Tottenham striker Robbie Keane on loan for the rest of the season.

New England Revolution are discussing a move with German side Fenerbache for attacking midfielder Alex de Souza, according to reports out of Turkey.

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There isn't a lot going on with the more prominent European names right now, so here's some articles about recent transfer-related goings-on in MLS...

Toronto is adopting the Dutch style of play ("Total Toronto"?) and signing a pair of Dutch players to implement it: http://www.mls-rumors.net/13585/2011/01/in...to-sign-jan-17/

Dwayne DeRosario was on trial with Celtic. Then he wasn't. Then he was "in training". But not yet: http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/blog.php?b=10684

With ManU publicly bowing out of the transfer process this month, BBC got so desperate for Football news on a lower level-dominated Tuesday that they headlined with a Becks update: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/e...rem/9331809.stm

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Man City landed Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko in a £27 million deal, and the deal is expected to the lead to the departure of previous high-priced acquisitions, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/t...ity/9336604.stm

David Bentley is going to be loaned to Birmingham for the remainder of the season by Tottenham, who are thought to be very close to completing a loan deal for David Beckham: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/...enham-loan.html

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LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle, who finished 2nd in MLS in goal scoring this past season, is on his way to Germany, with 2nd-level side FC Ingolsadt: http://theshinguardian.com/2011/01/09/sund...king-news-more/

The article points out that we can now see the valuation of MLS strikers in Europe with the signings of Buddle and, before him, Robbie Findley to 2nd-tier sides.

Also, David Beckham will go training with Tottenham for a month or so, but will not be on an official loan, and will not play in any matches for Spurs: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/beck...ill-train-spurs

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Man City are preparing to lose Roque Santa Cruz and Shaun Wright-Phillips this month, with RSC set to rejoin Blackburn (where he excelled), and SWP has been linked to Fulham, West Ham and Birmingham.

Real Madrid are being linked to a pair of strikers: Bayern Munich's Miroslav Klose and Emmanuel Adebayor, who has already been said to be on the way out of Man City.

Roberto Mancini of City has said that if Tottenham will listen to offers, they'll make a hard push for winger Gareth Bale.

Arsenal could lose a pair of struggling players in keeper Manuel Almunia and striker Andrei Arshavin, a recent prominent addition. Almunia is being linked to Galatasaray of Turkey and Arshavin's agent said he could go to Juventus.

Nuremburg midfielder Marek Mintal is reportedly in the US to talk contract details with Philadelphia Union after having been linked to Toronto. Union are also allegedly close to a loan deal for defender Carlos Valdez of Sante Fe in Colombia.

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Leicester City, in the English Championship division, have made an "audacious" bid to get a loan deal for New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry: http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/spor...il/article.html

Real Madrid and Spain defender Sergio Ramos is the focus of Arsenal and Man United (who had previously said they were staying out of the transfer fray); he carries an alleged price tag of £25 million. They're also expected to pursue Man City striker Carlos Tevez, after being denied Ruud van Nistelrooy by Hamburg.

As previously mentioned, Man City are eager to be rid of Emmanuel Adebayor, and the striker could be on the way back to Monaco for a mere £9 million. Another out-of-favor Citizen, Shaun Wright-Phillips, is being pursued by Fulham and Newcastle.

Darren Bent is set to leave Sunderland for Aston Villa, and the following will occur: the Black Cats will replace him with Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and Villa striker John Carew will leave for either West Ham or LA Galaxy. The Bent signing by AV is expected to be a club record, and depending on the source is for either £18 or £24 million.

CSKA Moscow and Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda appears headed to the EPL, with Arsenal and Aston Villa following Liverpool's lead.

Liverpool are also front and center for Ajax striker Luis Suarez, and are willing to go as far as £25 million for the Uruguayan.

Der Bild in Germany has reported that Liverpool winger Ryan Babel will go to the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim....while De Telegraaf in The Netherlands says he'll return home to play for Ajax.

Philadelphia Union have announced that a pair of new acquisitions will be presented tomorrow, and expectations are that it will be the previously discussion Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes. If you're in the area, it'll be at 12pm at Fado, located at 1500 Locust St. in Philly (doors open at 11:30am). Marek Mintal was in town over the weekend, and reportedly was checking out schools for his little boy. He's thought be to be weighing options and to make a decision later in the week. In the meantime, Union have also been linked to Deportes Tolima striker Jorge Perlaza. Who, if he were to sign up, would be the fifth Colombian to come to Philly.

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Darren Bent is set to leave Sunderland for Aston Villa, and the following will occur: the Black Cats will replace him with Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and Villa striker John Carew will leave for either West Ham or LA Galaxy. The Bent signing by AV is expected to be a club record, and depending on the source is for either £18 or £24 million.

If its £18, then I like the piece of business for Villa, for me Darren Bent is fairly underrated, doesn't get enough respect, He just scores bags and bags of goals year after year, dating back to his Charlton days. I think he has scored like 3rd most goals in the last 5 years in the EPL (one goal behind Drogba and one goal behind Rooney). I came across an interesting stat that Ashley Young, John Carew, Gabby Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey, and Nathan Delfouneso have a total of 7 goals this year, and Darren Bent has 8 (lol). I think Villa would have stayed up even without Bent, but he will give them a huge boost, if he saves them from relegation, that £18 will have paid itself back in the revenue from maintaining their premiership status.

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Ryan Babel wound up going to Hoffenheim, after public comments from Liverpool that he would stay.

Chelsea are thought to be within hours of securing Benfica central defender David Luiz for £26 million.

Man City is so desperate to unload Shaun Wright-Phillips, he will be allowed to leave on a free transfer.

Sunderland will replace Darren Bent with Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller.

Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam has asked to leave, and his being heavily pursued by Liverpool. Blackpool rejected a recent offer, and are reluctant to see their captain go.

South African WC hero Siphiwe Tshabalala will finish the current season at home with Kaizer Chiefs, and then will head to Nottingham Forest in the summer.

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On the same day that they completed the Luis Suarez signing for £23 million, Liverpool rejected the transfer request of Fernando Torres, who was allegedly the target of a Chelsea bid in the £35-40 million range. Various reports have the Blues following up with an offer that includes striker Daniel Sturridge, or upping the bid to as much as £60 million.

Meanwhile, Benfica is saying that their talks with Chelsea over striker David Luiz have broken down, something the Blues will neither confirm nor deny.

Manchester United want to replace Edwin Van der Sar with another Dutchman, Maarten Stekelenburg, but other reports have them pursuing Liverpool's Pepe Reina, Schalke's Manuel Neuer, Lyon's Hugo Lloris and Atletico Madrid's David De Gea.

West Brom Albion have landed striker Carlos Vela from Arsenal on a season-long loan deal.

Werder Bremen have made an undisclosed bid to Tottenham for midfielder Niko Kranjcar, but Spurs are reluctant to let him go.

Out-of-favor Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra is leaving Spain for Monaco, who are trying to shake things up.

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More rumors swirl around Fernando Torres...one report says he'll be able to go to Chelsea if they ante up £50 million, another says they would take less money if Nikolas Anelka were involved.

Aston Villa are believed to be on the verge of completing a season-long loan deal with Borussia Moenchengladbach for USA midfielder Michael Bradley. It's suspected that the move will clear the way for a loan deal between Villa and Newcastle involving Stephen Ireland, who will head to St. Andrews.

Tottenham will make a £26 million bid for Atletico Bibao's Fernando Llorente, and are believed to have submitted a bid to Manchester City for Shay Given.

Rangers have worked out a loan deal with Sunderland for striker David Healy, who will go to Scotland for the rest of the season.

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So, apparently Andy Carroll is worth more than David Villa (35 million pounds to 34.2 million pounds)?

I could have seen him going for like 22 or 23 million pounds, max. But, I guess he is 21, a good striker, big strong physical player, fantastic in the air, he can score with his left foot, he can score with his right, he can score from outside the box, sure he is quality, but not worth the 8th highest transfer fee in history.

On the other hand, I do think Liverpool made a decent piece of business signing Suarez from Ajax, at the price that Carroll should have went at, I have not seen too much of Suarez paly, but what I have seen from him has been great. There is a long list of strikers who torched the Eredivisie, that have failed to score for big clubs, but I think that Suarez is good enough to end that trend.

I also really like to see Michael Bradley now playing in the Premiership, I am excited to see Steve Sessegnon play for Sunderland, he is a guy that I really like to watch, but never got a chance to see him play much at PSG. And, Giampaolo Pazzini looks a good signing as he netted a brace as he brought Inter back from down 2-0 at home to Palermo.

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So, apparently Andy Carroll is worth more than David Villa (35 million pounds to 34.2 million pounds)?

I could have seen him going for like 22 or 23 million pounds, max. But, I guess he is 21, a good striker, big strong physical player, fantastic in the air, he can score with his left foot, he can score with his right, he can score from outside the box, sure he is quality, but not worth the 8th highest transfer fee in history.

I'm not sure Carroll has even been capped by England....has he? Carroll's going to have to score a good 15-20 a year going forward to justify that, IMO.

On the other hand, I do think Liverpool made a decent piece of business signing Suarez from Ajax, at the price that Carroll should have went at, I have not seen too much of Suarez paly, but what I have seen from him has been great. There is a long list of strikers who torched the Eredivisie, that have failed to score for big clubs, but I think that Suarez is good enough to end that trend.

I'm of the mind that the league is always better when Liverpool's in the mix. I have faith in Werner's group that they'll get the team back in the right direction, but spending so much on Carroll is a bit of an auspicious beginning.

I also really like to see Michael Bradley now playing in the Premiership, I am excited to see Steve Sessegnon play for Sunderland, he is a guy that I really like to watch, but never got a chance to see him play much at PSG. And, Giampaolo Pazzini looks a good signing as he netted a brace as he brought Inter back from down 2-0 at home to Palermo.

Bradley had a pretty quiet match when I saw him against Colombia back in October. He didn't really seem at all interested in being there, and he looked listless. Hopefully, the move to England will work out for him.

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I'm not sure Carroll has even been capped by England....has he? Carroll's going to have to score a good 15-20 a year going forward to justify that, IMO.

Yeah, I agree about Carroll, he needs to score 15+ and be involved in the build up to goals, hold the ball up, do everything, he basically needs to be a top 5 striker in the world. We will get a great look at the new additions and subtractions from Liverpool this sunday when they play Chelsea, I can't wait.

I'm of the mind that the league is always better when Liverpool's in the mix. I have faith in Werner's group that they'll get the team back in the right direction, but spending so much on Carroll is a bit of an auspicious beginning.

I would say that for me the league is more exciting when Liverpool is making a serious challenge for a title because they have not won one in a very long time, though they used to be dominant, or when Liverpool is struggling and fighting relegation, which was exciting for the first couple of months this season. But I agree that they are starting to turn it around and head in the right direction. But before they can win a title I think that it has to stop being "Steven Gerrard's team" because they have not won a single title since he has been there, he is getting older and his performances lately have been poor for his standards. I don't think Roy Hodgeson had the personality to deal with a character like Gerrard, or with the Liverpool fans, but Kenny Dalglish does seem to be a guy who can handle the egos. He will certainly have the respect of the ownership, fans, and players, so he will be given every chance to succeed and I think that he is the guy to turn that club around.

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