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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

English Transfer Round-up : Babel, Bellamy, Tevez

So the transfer merry-go-round continues to spin, and Liverpool are certainly flexing their newly acquired financial muscles.

Liverpool are very intersted in Dutch U21 star Ryan Babel - but after acquiring Torres for £25m the size of their American bankroll is no secret now and the Reds have been told by Ajax it's going to cost them a further £13m (€20m).

There does seem to be some question about how much Babel will play at Liverpool - with strikers seeming to be joining from everywhere - and his agent Ms Winnie Haatrecht muttered words about ensuring playing time which will go down like a lead ballon with Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool have sold Craig Bellamy to West Ham for £7.5m, and Djibril Cisse to Marseille for £6m, but to balance the books a bit.

They have also gone for a couple of squad level players in acquiring a couple of makeweights in Yossi Benayoun (£4m from West Ham) and Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin on a free transfer from Beyer Leverkusen.

They look like Carling Cup material to me.

Carlos Tevez scaring the childrenMANCHESTER UNITED
Up at Old Trafford, it appears that Sir Alex Ferguson reads the blog as there are now calls for the FA and even FIFA to step in and try and sort out the tangled mess that is the Carlos Tevez financial dealings.

He's a real "ugly bug" in this latest picture - but a potential match winner. I know why Man United want him - but if he does play then I think the whole Sheffield United / West Ham debate is gonig to blow up again.

21-team Premier League anyone?

Robben mouths off againCHELSEA
Over at Chelsea - Arjen Robben does what he does best - mouths off a bit and plays the primadona - as he complains that he's not getting a 5-year deal for squillions of dollars.

One day soon Jose Mourinho is goingg to cut him loose but in the meantime the Blues have been busy getting French international Florent Malouda from Lyon for a £13.5m price tag.

That's the only spending Chelsea have done so far this season with Claudio Pizarro, Steve Sidwell and Tal Ben Haim all arriving on free transfers.

No sorry - it's just a bit of a runing joke for Gooners - Arsenal have not gone out and bought anyone to fill the gapping experience hole that they have. Sorry.

On the selling side there are rumours of Freddie Ljundberg being sold to Fiorentina (we'd be so lucky), and the new Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster praises Cesc Fabregas as a player he admires, saying: "He is one of the few players in his position that can carry a team."

Look but don't touch Bernd

Speaking of Schuster, I give him about 6 months in the role - as they'll surely finish well behind Barcelona next season - and that's enough to get the chop at the Bernabeu - they've gone through EIGHT coaches in 4 years now.

Schuster has got Argentine striker Javier Saviola on a free transfer after he was released by Barcelona - but the fact that Barca were happy to let him go to Madrid speaks volumes for their appraisal of the player.

OK that it. We'll there are plenty of minor transfers going on around - but you'll need to check out BBC Sport or SportingLife if you want all the details.

(I'll try and do a beer blog everyday over the summer)