Tuesday, July 24, 2012

All Mod cons for Fat Sam?

Nothing much of note happening on the transfer front at St James' Park, but how's about we have a quick look around for moves of interest elsewhere?

Let's begin our round-up with Fat Sam's West Ham, who've shelled out a fee just shy of £5m for the services of Modibo Maiga. Lest you forget, the Mali striker came very close to joining us in August and January, even going on strike to try and force the move through, before failing a medical for a dodgy knee. He stayed at Sochaux, Papiss Cisse was recruited from the Bundesliga instead and the rest, as they're wont to say, is history. At the time, it was intriguing that we weren't prepared to take a risk on Maiga when a previous gamble on Demba Ba was paying off handsomely. Ba, of course, was snatched away from the Hammers when they were relegated - presumably they're hoping their new African striker has much the same impact as his predecessor.

Meanwhile, it looks as though Junior Hoilett will be escaping Blackburn for west London - as long as QPR decide to continue flashing the cash. Rovers are demanding a hefty compensation fee for the young Canadian (though I doubt they'll get anything like the £6m Steve Kean's chuntering on about), while the player himself is reportedly demanding £50,000 a week. That sort of figure would put him among our top earners, so that probably gives some indication as to why we've passed up the opportunity to sign him.

Another former target who has taken up residence elsewhere is Adrian Mariappa, the Watford defender opting to join Danny Guthrie at newly promoted Reading. That leaves our only confirmed central defensive target as FC Twente's Douglas, though Fulham and West Ham are both also keen. Perhaps we could take a look at another Eredivisie defender, Feyenoord's Ron Vlaar, who has expressed his frustration at being "messed about" by Aston Villa, who is clearly open to a move to the Premier League and who seems to be available for a tasty £3.2m.

In the Championship, two old boys have teamed up, with Darren Ambrose becoming Lee Clark's fourth signing for Birmingham. The midfielder, prised away from Crystal Palace for a nominal fee, will be among those charged with supplying ammunition for Peter Lovenkrands to tuck away.

And finally, the summer weather is here at last and one player who may well be enjoying life beside the seaside is ASBO, who is training with Football League newbies Fleetwood Town having been excluded from QPR's pre-season tour of Malaysia. How the mighty have fallen, eh? It wasn't that long ago he was being linked with Arsenal...

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