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Latest news: 14/6/07


Chelsea have signed Tal Ben Haim on a four year contract. Another good signing for Chelsea; a player who will provide genuine strength in depth alongside Sidwell and Pizarro. While none of the three can expect to be first choice, the injuries last season would have seen Haim play dozens of games, while Shevchenko and Ballack would have seen Pizarro and Sidwell do likewise, so the three will all be delighted to get their chance at a club with the stature of Chelsea. Sam Allardyce will be desperately disappointed though as Newcastle had seemed favourites to sign the Israeli international. Sam will turn his attention elsewhere though and acknowledged that he found it very difficult to compete with the lure of Chelsea. Who knows though, next summer he may get his man….

One man he did get is Joey Barton whose long drawn-out transfer has finally gone through. Interestingly, Newcastle seemed to have made a new and improved £5.8million offer for Barton today. It was £300,000 Barton was looking for wasn’t it? So, we can only assume, Newcastle have just paid the ‘no claims bonus’ that Barton was holding out for then? So as well as offering him ludicrous amounts of money in wages, Newcastle are also stumping up to reward his ‘loyalty’ to Man City in not actively seeking a transfer. There you go lads, want your club to pay up, put a teammate in hospital, it’ll be them that will want you to leave and you’ll be entitled to a hell of a lot more money…..he’s possibly smarter than he looks….

It’s being reported tonight that Darren Bent has turned down a lucrative move to West Ham. It seems West Ham were the only club stupid enough to agree to pay £18million for Bent’s services so the real losers here are Charlton who can expect to recoup less than they would have if another party firms up their interest. Interesting that Bent would turn down huge wages, the chance to work under the man who signed him for Charlton and whom he clearly respects to be left in limbo. We can only assume it means a ‘bigger’ club has registered a genuine interest in the England striker. Spurs were being linked with Bent earlier in the day while Liverpool and Valencia (?) were also being tipped to make a move for Charlton’s top scorer for the past two seasons. Liverpool’s funds seem to be tied up in America, the Valencia link is a little bit silly (unless Villa is going to Charlton in a part-exchange deal..?) therefore we expect him to negotiate with Spurs, possibly with Defoe going the other way…..

It’s being reported tonight that Fabio Quagliarella’s agent has revealed that Man Utd lodged a bid of around £10million for the prolific striker less than a month ago and that the bid may still be on the table. The Sampdoria striker hit 13 goals in 35 league appearances for his club last season and recently scored two stunning goals in Italy’s 2-0 win over Lithuania. If you want to see some absolutely delicious strikes from the 23 year old follow this link:


(unfortunately you’ll have to listen to Chubawamba-I get knocked down at the same time, apologies!!)

Utd fans, already enjoying bragging about their recruits will have a field day with this one. This guy has scored some phenomenal goals recently and will add yet more flair to Utd’s already dazzling squad. It remains to be seen whether he can cut it in the Premiership however and the lack of Italian presence in the squad may act as a deterrent to the talented forward. Juventus have also reportedly offered £10million for his services so watch this space…..

Finally, as this gets published, England U21s have blown a two goal lead over pre-tournament favourites Italy in the Euro U21 Championships. Goals from David Nugent and Leroy Lita within minutes of each other in the first half saw England cruising to victory until Giorgio Chiellini and Alberto Aquilani levelled things for the Italians. Final score there 2-2 which leaves everything to play for. Serbia have now qualified top while England play Serbia in their last group game knowing a win will take them through to the semi-finals.

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