ONE PLAYER not on the move is England’s goalkeeper Paul Robinson. The 25-year-old ended weeks of speculation by signing a new seven year contract at Tottenham, which will tie him to the North London club until 2012. Robinson hopes that his decision will help cement his No. 1 spot between the posts for the World Cup Finals.
At Anfield, another epic saga that saw fans publicly burn a certain player’s shirt came to a happy conclusion. Only 24 hours after iconic captain Steven Gerrard had stated that he had played his last game for Liverpool, thus prompting a 45 million euro Chelsea bid, this 25-year-old made a stunning last minute U-turn and put pen to paper on a new four year 145,000 euro a week contract.
Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez looks to have abandoned plans to sign Real Madrid’s 32-year-old winger Luís Figo. Figo, who has one year left on his Real deal, was expected to leave the Bernabeu on a free transfer. But the Spanish club now appears to want a fee and Benitez said “It will be very difficult to sign Luís. That move is getting more and more complicated and we have told Madrid that we are now looking elsewhere for possibilities in that position.”
Champions League hero, Jerzy Dudek, will almost certainly have to make way for new arrival Jose Reina, and Everton were left with long faces after Mali midfielder Mohammed Sissoko was snatched from under their noses in a late 7.5 million euro swoop. The 20-year-old rejoins his former boss at Valencia, Rafael Benitez, as the Reds new 11 takes shape.
Hotheaded Wales international, Craig Bellamy, is another to return to his former manager. Following a huge bust-up with Newcastle’s Graeme Souness and a subsequent loan spell at Celtic, the gifted striker has completed a 7.5 million euro move to Blackburn and mentor, Mark Hughes. Portsmouth’s Yakubu has joined Middlesbrough for 11 million euros.
In Italy, international striker Christian Vieri has caused a sensation by crossing the city to join AC Milan from Inter, who have in turn signed Real Madrid’s Argentinean midfielder Solari.
Lastly, Benfica have once more lost out on a transfer target already believed to have been secured. Dortmund’s 24-year-old Brazilian forward, Ewerthon, has joined Zaragosa in Spain’s La Liga for a bargain 4.5 million euros instead.