France boss Paul O’Grady has blasted new West Ham signing Julien Faubert over his move to Upton Park. The Â£6 million winger joined from Bordeaux earlier this month after a move to Rangers fell through. His international manager says it was an ‘unspeakably stupid’ move. The France manager said: “I can’t understand Faubert’s decision to join West Ham. I struggle to understand why he has done it. It is a great pity when you are on the brink of the French national team.”
There are bound to be a few more twists to this year’s transfer season, especially if someone remembers where they put Carlos Tevez’s ownership papers, but new TV money and the arrival of more glory hunting billionaires means there’s been plenty of action.
Here’s what we think are the ten best deals done so far:
LA Galaxy have appointed themselves the footb… soccer ( I’ll get used to that some time) version of the Harlem Globetrotters. The MLS outift – who not so long ago were concerned about the effect of David Beckham jetting back to England for international games – have decided that a David Beckham Travelling Circus is the solution to their problems.
Arsene Wenger has been mesmerised by pendulum-like rat-tail Horror Hair of Argentinian striker Rodrigo Palacio and is preparing to make a Â£15 million move for him. The 25-year-old had been linked with a transfer to Barcelona, but they have since purchased a little-known striker by the name of Thierry Henry.
If anyone knows Pies would really like to find out what the answer is. Michael Chopra is the latest player to move for a ridiculous fee. Cardiff have flogged the 23-year-old striker to Roy Keane’s Sunderland for Â£5 million, and who can blame them. That is an extra nought on the figure they paid Newcastle for him last summer. Yes, he had a decent season and scored 22 goals but does that really mean he is worth Â£5 million?
Roma defender Cristian Chivu was put up for grabs on eBay after a fan got fed up of his on-off move to virtually any Champions League side who would give him the time of day. The Romanian is looking to move amid rumours that the Italian club could not offer the money he wanted in order to stay at Stadio Olimpico. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan were all said to be interested, but the news that Barca were having second thoughts led one Roma fan to take matter into his own hands.
That’s Ajax’s Ryan, not the mediocre Brad Pitt movie of the same name. Rafa ‘we’re working with wingers’ Benitez has reportedly got his man after an Â£11.5 million deal was agreed. The 20-year-old will finalise his move over the coming days.
Getafe may have just lost manager Bernd Schuster to Real Madrid, but apparently another guy with flowing locks and facial hair is still on their side. The mid-table La Liga outfit is causing a bit of a stir with its new advertising campaign, which features Jesus Christ on the cross, Moses in the wilderness and Adam in the Garden of Eden all rejecting God and claiming they would only sacrifice themselves for Getafe.
England’s crucial Euro ’08 qualifier against Russia on 17 October looks set to be played on an artificial pitch, at the Luzhniki Olympic stadium in Moscow. I guess the Russian FA is worried about a frozen pitch, and with good reason – Moscow in October can be colder than a witch’s tit.
Bakari who? you may well ask. Bakari Sagna, that’s who. He’s a 24-year-old right-back, signed by Arsene Wenger from Auxerre, for a reported Â£6-7m. Sagnaâ€™s arrival, on a five-year contract, may herald a move into midfield for the ever-likeable Emmanuel Eboue, particularly as Freddie Ljungberg looks set to leave the Gunners for Fiorentina.
We recently reported that Premiership legend and Scouse deity, Robbie Fowler, was having trouble finding a new club to ply his goal-poaching trade. Well, it seems all is not completely lost, as lowly League One club, Port Vale have made a cheeky attempt to sign his services.
That Harry Redknapp, he’s a canny operator and no mistake. Who’d have thought that David Nugent, a much-coveted England U-21 international, would have ended up at Fratton Park? Not Pies, that’s for sure.
Last night’s Copa America semi-final between Uruguay and Brazil was a tense enough affair. So pity the poor BBC journalist who dreamt he had sat through a tense 30-minute period of extra-time too. Copa America 2007 matches go straight to penalties without extra-time, and yet the BBC report claims a ‘tense’ spell of extra-time took place in which neither side could ‘conjure up a breakthrough’. I don’t think either side could be criticised for failing to find the net in someone else’s subconscious!
And about time tooâ€¦ so Chelsea have finally completed the signing of Florent Malouda from Lyon, on a four-year contract. The 27-year-old French international has moved to Stamford Bridge for an undisclosed fee. Malouda will join Chelsea in the US for their pre-season tour, which includes a match against LA Galaxy.
Japan coach Ivica Osim had his interpreter crying like a baby as he delivered a post-match rollicking following a 1-1 draw with Qatar in their Asian Cup opener. Celtic midfielder Shunsuka Nakamura revealed that Osim was not best pleased after his side conceded a late equaliser.
Cristiano Ronaldo was on hand to announce one of the new Seven Wonders of the World at a ceremony in Lisbon at the weekend. The Manchester United winger announced (after staring gormlesly into space for a few seconds) that Chichen Itza pyramid in Mexico had been selected.
Liverpool have apparently made a bid for Dutch U-21 star Ryan Babel. The Ajax forward is rated as the brightest young prospect in Dutch football by none other than Marco van Basten and has already been linked to Arsenal and Newcastle – whadyareckon?
Former German international Bernd Schuster is the latest man to be handed the poisoned chalice that is the Real Madrid coach’s job. The 48-year-old has left mid-table Getafe to take over at the Bernabeu, where winning the league gets you the sack.
It’ could be a tale of two chairmen if Carlos Tevez completes a move to Man Yoo later today â€“ apparently he’s completing a medical in Venezuela in a deal that could eventually be worth more than Â£30m.
Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi has begun legal proceedings against three British papers he claims libelled him after the 2006 World Cup final. The Inter Milan centre-back is seeking damages from The Sun, Daily Star and Daily Mail over their reports of insults he made to Zinedine Zidane.
Asamoah Gyan – the Ghana striker who made a big impression at the 2006 World Cup – is the latest footballer to be tempted into the recording studio. The Udinese player has recorded a track for the new album of Castro, dubbed ‘Ghana’s 50 Cent’.