Sunday, 4 January 2009

Monday press round-up

  • Fascinating report from Ian Ladyman of the situation surrounding the club at the Nottingham Forest game. He writes that Hughes has lost faith in the squad, and no longer feels the need to lay into them privately. His distaste for Elano, Hamann and Ball as players infected by Eriksson's laziness - as well as Jô and Ben Haim, who arrived on his watch - is something I wrote about here. As far as Hughes is concerned, he can achieve nothing until there is a serious overhaul of the squad. Read it all here.
  • Fortunately for Hughes, it seems as if Sheikh Mansour is willing to grant him the funds to do this. Ladyman reports that in a meeting with Simon Pearce on last Tuesday he was given assurances that the money would be spent as he wished. Of course, it's possible that ADUG have changed their minds having seen the Forest fiasco. But if disappointing defeats to inferior oppositon were sufficient to get Hughes the sack, he would have been out some time ago.
  • Daniel Taylor, The Guardian's man close to City reports that deals for Scott Parker and Roque Santa Cruz are close to completion - probably this week and possibly by Wednesday. Fees are roughly agreed for both - £12million for Parker and £18m plus Tal Ben Haim for Roque Santa Cruz. Personal terms should not hold up either deal, given our paying Wayne Bridge six figures per week, according to Taylor. Defoe, Bellamy, Touré, and Given are mentioned as other targets, with Elano, Jô, Hamann, Vassell and Ball set to leave.
  • Taylor's story on Parker is corroborated by Sky Sports News, who understand that Parker will be a City player within 24 hours. A big offer from City has been enough for cash-strapped West Ham, and there have already been talks on personal terms. Parker is set to earn more than his current £70k/week, apparently.
  • Sam Wallace in The Independent says that our joint bid for Bellamy and Parker has been increased from £12m to £20m. If we're paying as much as £12m for Parker I imagine we'll need more than £8m for Bellamy. If we're getting Santa Cruz, Bellamy becomes less of a priority (particularly with Bozhinov set to return this month). But then we're not really in the position to turn down quality players.
  • Finally, Ian Ladyman on transfers. Has the same information as Daniel Taylor - not for the first time. Parker deal almost done, £12m. Hughes wants RSC this week as well, for £18m+TBH. Also wants to revive the Kolo Touré deal, if he can. If not, Alex. Given being looked at too.

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