What recession? January transfer race picks up

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Down and out: Is Didier Drogba on his way to Manchester City?

Down and out: Is Didier Drogba on his way to Manchester City?

Britain’s in a recession? English football clubs don’t seem to have noticed as January business finally starts to pick up.

Manchester City, not content with already having secured the services of Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge and Nigel de Jong this month, have lined up a bid for wantaway Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. The offer to Chelsea is supposedly around the £15 million mark. City, now with clearly over £100m to spare, will be thinking that they may as well spend their pocket change on a proven Premier League goalscorer.

On top of that, The Times claims they have also been considering a bid for ex-Arsenal star, Thierry Henry. Barcelona will value the talismanic Frenchman at around £10 million, and City are contemplating whether Henry would be interested in a return to the Premier League – either in January or the summer. However, most would probably not expect to see Henry to return to England, especially seeing as the 31-year-old has recently begun to find form in Spain.

Arsenal, who are still in the hunt for £15 million Andrei Arshavin, have turned down bids for both Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner. Eboue was targeted by Athletico Madrid, and it was Bundesliga leaders, Hoffenheim, that were after the Danish 21-year-old.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Bullard has completed his transfer from Fulham to Hull City for a £5 million fee. Fulham manager, Roy Hodgson was understandably disappointed to see Bullard go: “It’s disappointing to lose Jimmy. The transfer fee that has been negotiated is suitable for a player of his age. I thank Jimmy for the year of work he did under me.”

Elsewhere, one of Kuwait’s wealthiest families is looking to buy Liverpool FC as the club’s American owners get ready to pack up and sell. The Al-Kharafi family, are planning a bid to buy the Merseyside club for around £500 million.

Also today, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been granted bail as he told a court he intends to plead not guilty to assault after being charged over a nightclub brawl back in December. The three men involved, including Gerrard, will reappear in court on March 20th.

Finally, it is looking increasingly likely that Wigan forward Emile Heskey will join Aston Villa before February 2nd. The fee is expected to be in the region of £3.5 million for the 31-year-old, who will surely boost Aston Villa’s strikeforce as they push forward in what has been an extraordinary season so far for Martin O’Neill’s men.

So plenty going on, and whilst the media continue to numbingly repeat the news of a recession in Britain, and all the doom and gloom that goes with it, football asks: what recession?


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