Gary Cahill had been on his way to Chelsea for so long I had forgotten he was yet to arrive. It was a move everyone knew was going to happen, the cameras at Stamford Bridge at the weekend seemed permantely fixed on his beaming mug as he sat in the stands, presumably fancying his chances of ousting the skittish David Luiz from the line-up. His transfer was officially announced yesterday, with Cahill burbling about an opportunity that he could not turn down.
Cahill’s transfer, given that it’s been an open secret for a while, may not be the most exciting transfer news, but it may be the move that breaks the January transfer logjam – or, if you prefer a different metaphor, starts the transfer merry-go-round. Signings so far have been low-key (Gibson to Everton) or loan deals (Donovan to Everton, Henry to Arsenal, Keane to Villa, Frimpong to Wolves, Sigurdsson to Swanssea). Cahill’s £7m move is the biggest deal of the window so far and should get the merry-go-round spinning. Round and round it goes…
Bolton will need a replacement and have been heavily linked with FC Dallas’ US international Tim Ream and, interestingly, Crawley’s Kyle McFadzean. In turn Cahill’s arrival will speed up the exit of Alex, who is interesting Juventus and Palmeiras as well as, most strongly, QPR.
As well as Alex the new manager at Loftus Road has further targets in mind possibly including a few old boys – don’t be surprised if Bridge, Santa Cruz and Samba rock up at Loftus Road as Hughes opts for a “go with what you know” style transfer policy. Also in for Samba are Spurs, and if they get him and QPR miss out there’s a chance Sebastien Bassong could have his failed summer move across London resurrected. Redknapp’s boys don’t plan to stop at Samba and the jowly one has his eyes fixed on Loic Remy, but given Marseille seem to be asking for at least £15m he may have to trim the fat from Spurs’ bloated squad before he can fund the signing. ‘Arry’s not a wheeler dealer, of course, but if he wants to fund Remy he could sell Steven Pienaar to any one of QPR, Aston Villa or Everton, Gio Dos Santos (remember him?) to Bolton or Sevilla, Pavlychenko to anyone who wants him (probably back to Russia) and Defoe to British-player-loving Liverpool; who may offload oafish goal horse Andy Carroll back to Newcastle and try to pretend the whole thing never happened…
However it seems that Newcastle – quite rightly – don’t want to chuck wads of cash at Carroll and are looking at cheaper signings, having apparently had a bid of around two quid and a packet of crisps for Manchester United’s troubled youngster Ravel Morrison rebuffed. With the winger having rejected a new contract from United, the Magpies might get him if they up their bid, while the Old Trafford club may also let Dimitar Berbatov saunter coolly out of the gates and into the loving arms or Bayern Munich or his old club Bayer Leverkusen, and replace him with no one at all. United’s neighbours, meanwhile, hope to off-load Carlos Tevez to anyone stupid enough – take your pick from either Milan club or PSG as well as several fringe players probably to Mark Hughes and Dederick Boyata to Bolton on a permanent deal to help replace Gary Cahill. And we’re back where we started.
The transfer merry-go-round is speeding up, and there will be many more moves than the (possible) ones I’ve mentioned. Part of the fun is watching the domino effect that Cahill’s transfer has started and it will be interesting to see where it leaves us come the end of the month.
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