Thursday, May 25, 2006

Let's go buy Dirk Kuyt*

About time we did a rumours round-up, eh?

Naturally most interest is focused on who we'll be getting in to replace Shearer wear the number nine shirt. Roeder has publicly expressed his interest in 25-year-old Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt, announcing that he'll be watching the Dutch international closely in the World Cup.

Kuyt has quite a reputation in the Netherlands as a tall, powerful and potent centre forward, and he must be quite a player to edge the likes of Bayern Munich's Roy Makaay out of the squad.

On the plus side Kuyt has declared that he'd be keen on a move to St James' Park - but several other British clubs are reportedly interested in him too. We needn't worry about Everton, but Spurs would probably be an equally attractive proposition and if Liverpool have made enquiries, as has been reported, then we might well miss out.

Would it be such a bad idea to bid now? It looks like there'll be a bidding war, and a good performance in the World Cup will only inflate his value.

Other players rumoured to be on our wishlist include Charlton's Darren Bent and Chelsea's Shaun Wright-Phillips. Although Bent has had a phenomenal first season in the top flight, I'm not sure he'll be able to repeat it and it's also doubtful that he'd be an ideal partner for Michael Owen. As for Wright-Phillips, he's an excellent player who would improve the team - but a move on that front would seem to signal the end for fans' favourite Nobby Solano and also pave the way for James Milner to be allowed to leave for Villa (provided they can stump up the cash, that is - we shouldn't be letting him go on the cheap given the season he's just had). Swings and roundabouts.

The lack of defenders' names being bandied about suggests it's business as usual, disappointingly, but the Sun is reporting today that we've turned down the option of re-signing Jonathan Woodgate from Real Madrid.

On the departures front, it was disappointing to hear Roeder say that he would be happy to keep both Nicky Butt and Lee Bowyer. The latter is a target for West Ham, and I'd ship 'em both out without a second's thought.

* This is Paul's doing - and the pun only works if you know how to pronounce the name...


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