Football transfer rumours: Nuri Sahin to Liverpool?

LONDON. August 16. KAZINFORM "Ferguson makes Van Persie peace call to Wenger" screams the Daily Mail, immediately conjuring images of the noted diplomat inviting his French counterpart to get together over a hookah and chat leisurely about old times while resolving to let no brittle Dutch striker spoil a relationship built on mutual respect, Mikael Silvestre and shards of pizza.

"Ferguson's personal intervention into the proposed deal underlines the club's determination to sign the player," adds the Mail. What?! Ferguson's "peace call" may have had an ulterior motive!?

This could well be the least plausible story the Mail has ever published, including the one about the foreign benefits cheat who conspired with a treacherous homosexual to convert the White Cliffs of Dover to Islam or something. "It is understood the Arsenal manager repeated his insistence to Ferguson that the 29-year-old would not be allowed to leave for United for a penny under £30m - but the Gunners will listen to offers starting at £20m with add ons," adds the Mail, suggesting that unless those add-ons amount to an extra £10m up front the Arsenal manager should be known as Marvin, in ironic tribute to his unconvincing skills as a Hagler.

The Mill is not altogether sure why Sir Alex Ferguson thinks it is "mad" for PSG to spend nearly £40m on a 19-year-old (as he declared when the French club bought Lucas Moura) but that it makes perfect sense to splurge over £20m on a 29-year-old with a long injury history when you already have more strikers than you know what to do with. But Ferguson could rightly point out that the Mill's trophy cabinet is completely bare and, indeed, that the very act of the Mill buying a trophy cabinet was the epitome of dumb optimism. At that point the chastened Mill might pipe down and move on to discussing that nice Theo Walcott instead.

The Mill has a theory that if Theo weren't so nice, he'd be more popular. His air of middle-class poise and polish jars with the received idea that footballers should have had to fight their way out of slums with nothing but a spate of reducers and the gritty cunning of a Baker Street Irregular. Once this prejudice is activated, Walcott's natural speed is seen not as a quality to be admired but just another inherited perk that makes success come too easily to this well-spoken fraud. That's the Mill's explanation for why Walcott seems to be more harshly judged than any other player his age, but at this point we should point out that Milan, Chelsea and Liverpool do not appear to suffer from this reverse snobbery syndrome, since all of them want to sign Walcott, who has just one year to go on his contract, Kazinform has learnt from the Guardian.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Milan also feature on the list of clubs trying to sign Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin on loan. Liverpool, meanwhile, are hoping to loosen Fulham's grip on Clint Dempsey by chucking Charlie Adam into the goodie bag on offer in exchange for the American.

However Liverpool now face competition for Dempsey's signature from Everton, who are suddenly flush after accepting £15m for Jack Rodwell from Manchester City, who were supposed to getting all sensible on us. Everton are also trying to hijack Liverpool's attempts to prise Adam Johnson from City.

West Ham and Norwich are among the clubs whose ears pricked up with the news that Paul Lambert may consider Stephen Warnock surplus to requirements at Aston Villa.

Finally, Porto striker Hulk had such a fun time in London during the Olympics, Brazil's defeat notwithstanding, that he will spurn Zenit St Peterburg's advances and return to the city, hooking up with either Chelsea or Tottenham.


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