Transfer Rumours Round-Up - Let us wait till they're posing with a scarf!

Last updated : 30 November 2004 By Craig Hope (website editor)

With January fast approaching, rumours are afoot surrounding the arrival and departure of defenders, wingers and strikers alike.

Matthew Upson is the latest player to be linked with a move to St.James. A fee of £6 million is being touted according to the Daily Mirror. There is no doubt that Upson would improve our defence, but that doesn’t say too much given how weak our back line actually is.

Titus Bramble, arguably our best centre back, has been linked with a move to both Everton and Norwich City. I firmly believe that Souness will not sell Bramble although the speculated interest is no doubt genuine given the potential that Bramble possesses – let us hope that one day we witness at St.James Park the fulfilment of his much heralded promise.

Souness has distanced himself from an approach for John O’Shea – with rather worryingly Phil Neville now emerging as a more realistic target.

Sky Sports are reporting that we are tracking Norwegian international Brede Hangeland. The 24 year old American born defender is valued at £3 million and is also attracting interest of Spurs.

A move for our apparent long term target Jean Alain Boumsong could be met with resistance on dual fronts. Rangers appear unwilling to sell and have slapped a £10 million asking price on the defender they picked up for nothing from Auxerre during the summer. A transfer could also be thwarted by a FIFA ruling that states a player cannot be transferred twice in one season.

Elsewhere on the park, a move for Duff appears unlikely, Andy Reid of Notts Forrest or even the South American Mackem ‘Julio Arca’ appearing more realistic targets should Souness decide to all but end Laurent Robert’s Gallowgate days.

In attack there has been a surprising lack of tabloid speculation. However, had we a strong back four then no doubt the papers would be filled with headlines of the nature, ‘Kluivert unhappy on Tyneside’ or ‘Ameobi tracked by Moyes, O’Leary etc.’. Thankfully, our strikers are in the news at the moment for the right reasons – scoring goals and the subsequent competition that emerges from having four quality strikers vying for just two forward roles.

Anyhow, believe what you will on the transfer front – personally I refuse to get too excited until I see the player posing with a scarf aloft above his head on the steps of the Milburn Stand.

Here’s hoping that come May Big Al will be posing with something shinier than a scarf above his head.