Electronic gadgets, Chinawear and furnishings, and Sporting equipment
It’s never easy to decide whether a transfer rumour is worth taking seriously or not. Until now, that is! Thanks to the Fiver’s patented automatic ‘Sol Campbell Lucrative Move-o-Meter’, you can spot if a piece of gossip is a load of knackers from over 500ft. And it’s yours for only £59.99 plus VAT! Plus P&P.
“Sol is on his way to Internazionale, according to reports in the Italian press. The Gazzetta dello Sport said Campbell was spotted holding ‘lengthy talks’ with Inter officials yesterday, and the Corriere dello Sport said Inter were ‘very close’ to signing the 26-year-old on a three-year contract.” See, the Move-o-Meter has given this rumour a rating of £££££, and printed out a detailed analysis: “Aye, looks right promising, this one.”
OK, let’s try another. “Sol is not on his way to Internazionale. The Italians have only offered him 6.5bn lire a season, which works out at around £35,000 a week, significantly less than the £130,000-a-week figure Spurs claim he was demanding from them. Inter can’t offer Sol any Big Cup football, either. And to add to the uncertainty, current coach Marco Tardelli may give way to Valencia’s Hector Cuper.” Hmm, the Move-o-Meter rates this one at £££££ as well. What does the analysis say? “Yup, seems logical enough.”
Humph. What about this one? “Sol is on his way to Liverpool, who are about to offer him a £7m signing-on fee.” Wah! The display is still flashing £££££ and the printout says: “Could be a goer. Yeah, why not?” Oh, this is ridiculous. Right, we’ll give it one last chance. “Sol will be replaced at Spurs by Gareth Southgate. Glenn Hoddle is preparing a £6m bid for the Aston Villa defender.” Ah, that’s better, the display only has one £ on it this time. So why should we ignore this rumour? “Southgate? Want to leave Villa? Never in a month of Sundays, mate!”
OK, we’ll pay you to take the thing away.
WHERE IS HE WAS HE IS?
Another day, another 5,000 dollars for He Was He Is Emmanuel Petit. But what an interesting day it’s been. He woke up at 7am, and tested the strength of his ponytail by tying it to a metal pole and running as hard as he could. He then tested its flexibility by using it to whip small targets from a distance of 400 metres. Then he tested its shine by placing it in the line of direct sunlight and attempting to blind local cats. Then, and only then, did he slip on some clothes and sit down with Chelsea’s of Chelsea to discuss a potential £7m move from Barcelona to the trendy West London boutique.
But what exactly, you all clamour, is the situation? “The situation,” explains Colin Hutchison, Chelsea’s’s managing director (chinawear and furnishings), “is that we’ve had discussions with Barcelona about Emmanuel and we are hopeful of doing something with them. Talks are continuing with the club.” And off the record it appears that Chelsea’s have already agreed a verbal deal with the former Gunner. Barca also seem keen to do a deal, with their big-money deal for some chancer called Juan Riquelme still in the offing.
So He Was He Is will be He Is again. Which is nice, although signing a 30-year-old is not exactly in line with the boutique’s stated priority of bringing down the average age of their squad. And with Chelsea’s also in the hunt for the not entirely dissimilar (but entirely younger) Frank Lampard Jr, there may be another twist to the story yet. Like on tomorrow’s back pages for starters. We attempted to consult the oracle that is emmanuelpetit.com for more insight, but the newly flashed-up site didn’t work in English. Much like He Is in the Euro Vase final in fact.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There’s no change in the menu” – The Dutch FA claim to have proven that there was no nandrolone in their food supplements – as fed to Edgar Davids, Frank de Boer etc – leaving the red-faced Orangemen without an alibi. What price it’s the work of 12-footed lizards?
IT’S FAB RAV. HE’S WELL FAB!
It’s probably the understatement of all understatements to suggest that Fabrizio Ravenelli wasn’t exactly odds-on for the “most popular player” award during his time at Middlebsrough. After all, during his solitary season at the club he criticised the club’s training facilities, lambasted Bryan Robson, and whacked Neil Cox in the team hotel just hours before the 1997 Cup Final against Chelsea. But the Fiver prefers to remember the good times though, and you certainly can’t fault Fab Rav‘s record on the pitch: during his 14-month spell at the Riverside, he scored 33 goals in 52 appearances.
It’s that sort of scoring that has alerted the finally-tuned antenna of Leicester manager Peter Taylor, who today confirmed an interested in the Lazio striker. “There is a definite interest in Ravanelli,” Taylor confirmed to the club’s official website today. “I would put it no stronger than that at the moment. We have opened the lines of communication but any discussions are still very much in their infancy.”
Unfortunately, while the £2m price tag for the 32-year-old Ravenelli is certainly within Leicester’s reach, his reported £50,000-a-week wage demands almost certainly aren’t. “It’s no secret that we are looking for a striker of high calibre who can play at Premiership level,” he continued, glancing at the sorry and slumbering figures of Adi “Accolade” Akinbiyi and Trevor Benjamin. “But in this instance I think there would be too much money involved for it to happen.” Nevertheless, Taylor remains optimistic. “We have opened discussions along several avenues and we are quite hopeful that we will be able to announce something in the not too distant future.” Let’s hope so, and if one of those avenues takes Ravanelli to Filbert Street, then all the better. Just don’t tell Coxy.
THE RUMOUR MILL
Roberto Baggio is tipped for a reunion with his former Juventus team-mate Gianluca Vialli. The Divine Ponytail could be a surprise new signing for Watford.
Fulham are in talks to sign long-time Leeds target John-Arne Riise. His mum is still his agent, by the way.
Liverpool will make a bid for Coventry’s England Under-21 keeper Chris Kirkland this summer.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Former Hibernian striker Russell Latapy is considering a move to Bradford City – but agent Jim McArthur believes he is holding out for other offers. “It’s up to him now whether he signs for Bradford or not,” said McArthur. “They want him and they say they’re ready to discuss a deal. It’s up to him whether he fancies it, but at the moment he is just waiting for others to come in.”
Fiorentina have signed Lazio midfielder Dejan Stankovic in a £10m deal.
TONIGHT’S TV AND RADIO
ITV: Frankly Football (12am) “Like Tim Green in Thursday’s Fiver, I also viewed Glen Matlock‘s flat five or six years ago, but without knowing in advance the owner’s identity,” writes Dave Pierce.
Channel 5: Argentine Football (4am) “Once inside, Loyd Grossman would have found a few clues, however – a load of electric guitars and keyboards in the spare bedroom, a gold disc for Never Mind the Bollocks on the wall, etc. etc.
Sky Sports 1: Beach Soccer (10pm, 2am) “On leaving the Maida Vale des res, the girl from the estate agents who had accompanied me – clearly not slow on the uptake – enquired tentatively, ‘Was he someone famous?’ ‘Well,’ I replied, my pulse still racing with the excitement of it all, ‘I believe that was indeed Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols.’”
Asian Football Show (11pm) “’Oh,’ she grunted disappointedly, before adding, eyes brightening: ‘We did have Limahl‘s flat on our books a few months back.’”
British Eurosport: International U-21 Football (10.15pm) “As for Glen, he did very genially offer me a cup of tea and explain how much more reasonable the poll tax was that the rates, all in a typical anti-establishment rock star kind of way.”