Reds miss out on two youngsters, allegedly compete with Arsenal for two more
Posted by nickogs20 on June 18, 2008
The transfer silly season is hotting up and, as ever, any player with an agent seeking to get his client a better deal or lucrative transfer is briefing any media outlet that cares to listen about interest from (among others) Manchester United. This is increasingly the case with youngsters as well, and with that in mind, this article comes with a free pinch of salt for every reader…
19 year old Argentine prospect Pablo Piatti has allegedly turned down approaches from United and Juventus to sign for Spanish side Almeria. Touted as, yawn, ‘the new Lionel Messi’ (anyone else noticed how ‘new Messi’ appears to have become the new ‘new Maradona’? Bit premature…), the Estudiantes forward was a member of Argentina’s victorious Under-20 World Cup squad last year and will be particularly notable to Football Manager fans. It should be noted that the only suggestion we were ever interested in acquiring Piatti has come from his new club Almeria, no doubt keen to hype up their new recruit and his decision to join them. More like a fistful of salt methinks.
More truth in this one – Standard Liege’s Jose-Paul Mpoku has turned us down in favour of joining Tottenham Hotspur. Mpoku’s one we’ve been known to have an interest in for a while but it seems Spurs’ interest was the one the 16 year-old became aware of first and the most serious. The Congolese-born Belgian national will move to White Hart Lane on a four year contract.
Onto those we may still sign (I emphasise ‘may’). Demetris Christofi and Mujanji Bia – ringing any bells? Me neither. Bia is a 19 year-old midfielder from DR Congo who plays in Belgium with Charleroi, and has intriguingly been compared to Franck Ribéry. Christofi is also 19 and plays for Omonoia Nicosia in his native Cyprus. The left-footed forward has only recently joined Omonoia but the club’s president has almost gleefully told the press that they would not stand in the player’s way should an offer come in for him (an offer that triples the £1m they spent on Christofi a month ago of course). Oh, and Arsenal are supposedly interested in both players as well. Can’t be emphasised enough that these are tribalfootball links – worth keeping an eye on though, you never know.
Just one other minor transfer snippet, concerning a former United academy player. David Jones, relegated with Derby last season, is apparently being lined up by Premier League newboys Stoke City for a return to the top division, where he would line-up alongside fellow United academy alumni Ryan Shawcross and Danny Pugh.