Friday, 29 August 2008

Transfer window: 95 hours to go

I can't wait until it's over. I am enjoying it - today was brilliant, and not just thanks to Joe Hart - but the transfer window isn't good for me. The amount of time I spend on Newsnow, Google News, Bluemoon, ManCityFans (not to mention Bluevibe and Citymancs) is obscene. I agree with what Patrick Barclay wrote in The Sunday Telegraph the other day; that the transfer window ought to shut before the season starts. Football fans have finite energy they can devote to thinking about their clubs, and to have to consider both the success of the team itself and potential changes to the squad is too much. So, with 95 hours to go, what else can we expect from the transfer window?

By far the most likely deal concerns Espanyol's Argentinian right back Pablo Zabaleta. He returned from winning his gold medal this week, and City submitted a bid of €8m (£6.3m) on Wednesday. This triggered his release clause, so if he wants to be playing at CoMS this season, he will be. Thursday's Catalan press said that Zabaleta would hold a press conference on Friday to discuss his future. Presuming this takes place, we should know whether he'll be coming or not by the end of today. But the odds look very much in favour of his joining City.

If this happens, it is being reported that Vedran Corluka may finally complete his move to Spurs. This is in Friday's Times 'Window Watch', and many match reports claim that Corluka's converted penalty would be his last kick for City. Whilst this may be the logical thing for journalists to suggest, I think scepticism is required for the time being. Remember how much media speculation and gossip there was when he didn't move to Spurs? I can see why it's an obvious presumption if and when we sign Zabaleta, but I'm yet to see anything to suggest it's not just conjecture.

The only other transfer seemingly on the cards is Thiago Neves. We've been heavily linked with him for a week or so, but it came out today that Hamburg was his most likely destination. Having signed SWP, our attacking midfield options look pretty strong at the moment, unless Hughes is planning on selling off Ireland. So this one looks unlikely.

Apart from that, nothing else seems likely yet. There is some talk of Michael Ball going to Sunderland, and something on Bluemoon tonight about Thierry Henry. But if the Kompany deal told you anything, it's that transfers can come along with no preceding rumours, and happen when you least expect it...

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