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Unread 28-05-2010, 11:30 AM
fred tissue
Default Football transfer rumours: David Silva to Manchester City?

Today's utter nonsense has just been found, looking slightly dog-eared, behind the sofa

As Uefa rubber stamped draconian new rules that will bring to an end once and for all the age of uncontrolled transfer spending, the Premier League collectively drew breath, tightened its belt a couple of notches, decided it didn't feel very comfortable really, loosened it again and then sprinted to its fax machine to unleash another barrage of mind-altering offers to all corners of Europe.

Top of today's spending league, with absolute inevitability, is Manchester City, whose chief executive Garry Cook has just flown to Spain – on a private jet – to pester his opposite numbers. First he was off to Valencia, Roberto Mancini having made David Silva his No1 summer transfer target, replacing previous No1 transfer targets Fernando Torres and Edin Dzeko, who is also wanted by Tottenham. While in Iberia, however, Cook also popped into Madrid where he sounded out Atlético about their £51m-rated Argentinian fifth-choice frontman Sergio Agüero and chatted to Real Madrid about Rafael van der Vaart, Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuaín, who Real's general director Jorge Valdano not too promisingly described yesterday as "not transferable"

Also heading to Madrid airport is Simão. Liverpool want to make the 30-year-old Portuguese ace their latest left-wing flop and have an £8m cheque to prove it.

But on their way into Madrid, if José Mourinho gets his way, are England trio Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole. This despite a "source" telling the Sun about his dismay over Cheryl's divorce proceedings. "Ashley's a broken man, but he knows he has a vital role in the England campaign," said the source.

Blackburn want a striker and are trying to decide whether to sign James Beattie, Frédéric Piquionne or free agent Kris Boyd, who will definitely leave Rangers this summer. They'd better hurry up if they want the French former Portsmouth loanee, though, because West Ham have only gone and bid £3m for the lad, having had a £5m offer for Yakubu Aiyegbeni laughed off by Everton. In other striker news, Wolves will move for Sc***horpe's Gary Hooper if their bid for Burnley's Steven Fletcher somehow fails, which it won't.

Arsène Wenger has been promised that he can spend every penny of Cesc Fábregas's transfer fee if the midfielder moves. Good news, what with Lorient turning down their £4m offer for defender Laurent Koscielny and demanding at least twice as much for the 6ft 1in stopper.

In other defender news, Steve McClaren has identified Micah Richards as his dream first signing at Wolfsburg, while West Ham will make the first move for frustrated Aston Villa bench-warmer Curtis Davies, with a £5m bid soon to be launched. Liverpool and Spurs will watch developments with interest. And Wigan captain Mario Melchiot has realised his career's basically over and will therefore accept a lucrative contract with Qatari club Umm Salal.

Not strictly, or indeed loosely, a transfer rumour but you may be interested to know that over in Irdning England practised penalties yesterday, with Adam Johnson scoring three out of three to sit at the top of the class, and Joe Cole succeeding with just one out of four to be sent to the corner of the room with a silly conical hat on.
Simon Burnton

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