July 3, 2009

Transfer gossip: July 3

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Just when you thought transfer speculation could not get any more far-fetched, news circulates today that Michael Owen – man of many injuries, relegated from the English Premier League with Newcastle United and now out of contract, is having a medical with domestic champions Manchester United.
It seems the brochure Owen produced to garner interest from top-flight clubs has been a hit with Old Trafford supremo Alex Ferguson, who is keen to bring in a striker after losing out on both Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema.

The rumor has been reported widely by the British press. Do you think it is a good move for Manchester United? Add your comment below.

The Guardian call the potential move “astonishing” adding that Owen, who had recently been linked with Stoke City and Hull City had been “written off in many quarters as a has-been” but could complete one of the most “unexpected transfers” of the close season.

The Daily Telegraph confirms the rumor saying that despite his strong links with arch-rivals Liverpool, the 29-year-old would “welcome a move to United” because it would give him the chance to prove himself at Champions League level and also bolster his chances of regaining his place in England head coach Fabio Capello’s plans for the 2010 World Cup finals.

Elsewhere, The Times rams home the unexpected nature of the move by pointing out that Owen, who joined the ranks of the unemployed on Wednesday, when his contract at Newcastle expired, had been very concerned about a lack of interest in his signature after his former club Liverpool showed no desire to sign him, and Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce had said Owen was too injury prone.

Meanwhile, The Sun calls the move the “biggest gamble of Ferguson’s career.” The paper adds that the manager who “likes a flutter” considered signing the veteran striker in the January transfer window but has now thought again. Can he resurrect Owen’s career as he did with Eric Cantona, Laurent Blanc, Teddy Sheringham and Henrik Larsson? If Owen does sign it will be for a 50 percent pay cut according to the paper.

It looks like Fergie is keen to tie up another deal as well to ensure goals continue to flow next season. Sevilla’s 28-year-old Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano is on the shopping list for a fee of $26m, though the Red Devils will have to fight off competition from AC Milan who are keen to replace Kaka.
Daily Mirror

The rumors around Franck Ribery’s departure from Bayern Munich continue to do the rounds. After reporting the French winger’s intentions to leave the Bundesliga to join Real Madrid on Thursday L’Equipe have followed this today with news that Ribery left early from training with his teammates yesterday. Divorce seems likely the newspaper suggests and who are we to argue?

The transfer window that operates during the close season of the European football calendar is a period of fervent business in the buying and selling of some of the world’s most talented players. Goalmouth will keep you up-to-date with the latest spin from the transfer markets until deadline day of August 31.



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