If you thought classic BBC sitcom Terry and June was a non-stop rollercoaster of laughs, tears and thought-provoking plots, wait until you see Harry and June because as soon as the transfer window gets into gear Harry Redknapp intends to keep us as entertained as any TV show featuring a bungling middle-class fire extinguisher salesman and his patient wife. And that’s saying something.
What it’s saying is this: Redknapp is going to revamp his team, starting with the goalkeeper. That entails tussling with Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion for the services of Brad Friedel, or perhaps trying to convince Shay Given to turn down Celtic and possibly liberating Ben Foster from Birmingham City. Redknapp wants to buy a couple of players from Birmingham, which may be why Spurs were so determined to relegate them on the season’s last day: Roger Johnson could be on his way to White Hart Lane. Wolverhampton Wanderers, meanwhile, are testing Craig Gardner‘s loyalty to his boyhood club.
St Andrew has been the patron saint of boring football this season, which may be why the other Birmingham players attracting interest from Premier League clubs are:
One player definitely on his way out of Tottenham this summer is Niko Kranjcar, who may be on his way to Wolfsburg. The Bundesliga club want the Croatian to replace their schemer Diego, who’s heading to either Liverpool or Chelsea, depending on which paper he reads. Sunderland are preparing a £10m bid for Peter Crouch – someone at the Stadium of Light clearly has a deep love of beanpole strikers but the Mill can’t quite figure out who that could be. Perhaps we should repeatedly launch the question at the club’s chairman from 80 yards?
Tottenham also want the Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones, the Lille forward Eden Hazard, the other Lille forward Gervinho, relegated midfielder scurrier Scott Parker … and by now you have probably figured out that the Mill could meet its word quota every day for the next three months solely by speculating about Spurs activity, so let’s all move on, shall we?
Chelsea. They have no manager but they do have a player wish list and we are told that at the top of that there list are the two most talked-about Belgian teenagers of our times. Given that neither Hazard nor Tintin are teenagers (actually, can we be sure of that? What age is the intrepid boy reporter?) the Mill reasons that Roman Abramovich is preparing swoops for Anderlecht phenomenon Romelu Lukaku and the Genk striker Kevin De Bruyne.
Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, will be invited to shuffle sideways in geographical terms but several floors downwards in football terms by taking up the reins of Queens Park Rangers. That spells bad news for Neil Warnock on the one hand, but on the other it’ll give him something else to moan about so he’ll probably be happy.
Liverpool, in addition to attempting to gazump most of Tottenham’s would-be signings, are going to lock horns with neighbours Everton over the signature of powerful Auxerre attacking midfielder Delvin Ndinga. Liverpool are also contemplating trying to revive the career of Lyon enigma Yoann Gourcuff, who fluctuates puzzlingly from being the new Zinédine Zidane to the new Bruno Cheyrou.
Finally, the Sun claims it knows the line-up that Sir Alex Ferguson will order to run around after Barcelona on Saturday. Apparently it’ll be the same one that started in Schalke, which notably means that Fabio will be chosen ahead of his brother Rafael. But who, really, will know?
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010