A transfer gold rush

The 'Big Four' all ready to do business. An end to Berbatov saga is imminent while Chelsea boss still covets Robinho.
The Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov is poised to leave White Hart Lane and sign for Manchester United.
The Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov is poised to leave White Hart Lane and sign for Manchester United.

The Spurs manager Jaunde Ramos has called for an end to the Dimitar Berbatov transfer saga ahead of what promises to be a busy time for managers throughout Europe. Ramos wants the Bulgarian's protracted move to Manchester United to be sorted quickly as he homes in on his own targets, with Diego Forlan, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Andrei Arshavin linked.

"We need to get this matter resolved before the transfer deadline," he said. "If Berbatov goes, we will need time to sign a replacement. We want to have the best centre forward we can possibly get." The Premier League's "Big Four" could all be involved in last-minute deals before the transfer window closes on Sept 1. While United's Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to complete the capture of Berbatov, the Chelsea manager with Luiz Felipe Scolari wants to bolster his talented squad.

Having seen his side stifled by Wigan at the JJB Stadium with Deco's clever free-kick making the difference on Sunday, Scolari is keen to add the man he sees as the final piece in his jigsaw. The skilful Brazilian Robinho is the one he covets and despite Real Madrid's attempts to keep him and Scolari's reluctance to talk him up, a deal is still on the cards. Shaun Wright-Phillips could also be on his way out with his former club Manchester City keen to bring him back.

"When I am back at the club I will discuss these things," said the Chelsea coach, relieved after the battling second successive Premier League win. "Last week we only talked about Wigan but [now] I will talk about players. When I come [back] into the club I will discuss this or that, who comes, who goes." The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to bolster his midfield after his side's defeat at Fulham, but he could lose Philippe Senderos to AC Milan with a one-year loan deal with a view to a permanent move.

The Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez, preparing for a crucial Champions League final qualifier with Standard Liege tomorrow, is still chasing a left-sided player with Stewart Downing, Gareth Barry and Albert Riera in the frame. Espanyol claim two bids have been made for Riera, who also interests Everton, from English clubs, but the £12million-rated (Dh82m) Spaniard will not be sold cheaply. Daniel Sanchez Llibre, the club president, said: "We will not be selling any of our players for less than the amount that we believe they are worth."

The Manchester City manager Mark Hughes, lifted by Sunday's 3-0 win over West Ham, is looking for more quality despite worries over Thaksin Shinawatra's future as owner. The former Thailand Prime Minister is fighting corruption charges in his homeland and speculation has linked him with selling his shares. A buy-out from a mystery consortium in the Emirates was among the latest rumours. But Garry Cook, City's executive chairman, said that was not the case: "He [Shinawatra] is even more adamant now, because this is his love, and he wants to show people he is really committed. I asked the question as well as everyone else, 'Is the club for sale?' and he is quite adamant this club is not for sale and he is here for the long haul."

@Email:akhan@thenational.ae

Published: August 25, 2008 04:00 AM

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