Rumour mill speeding up

Last updated : 08 May 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Independent claim that we have opened talks with Nigeria international defender Isaac Okoronkwo whose contract at Shahktar Donetsk has now finished.

The World Cup star was on trial earlier in the season but Sir Bobby decided against persuing his interest in the player at that stage.

Meanwhile the Guardian reckons we’re interested in occasional England and Bayern Munich substitute Owen Hargreaves, with £6million the fee quoted.

Bayern President Franz Beckenbauer claims that Hargreaves is desperate to move to the Premiership to further his international prospects, but also warned potential buyers that he really isn’t that special!

The Daily Express would have you believe that we will battle Liverpool for £2.5million rated Southampton midfielder Fabrice Fernandes, which seems a little far fetched.

Meanwhile Spanish tabloids claim that Sir Bobby expressed an interest in talking to Netherlands international Phillip Cocu, who is being released by Barcelona at the end of the season.

And an old one has resurfaced with reports that our scouts have been watching Feyenoord, taking a particular interest in Australia international midfielder Brett Emerton and youngster Thomas Buffel.

Seem to remember that our relations with Feyenoord aren’t the best though after Freddy’s last attempt to sign Emerton.

No week would be complete without a couple of Portuguese players being linked and this time it’s the turn of Benfica midfielder Petit and Sporting Lisbon’s excellent young striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

He’s not the Ronaldo we really want but I reckon it’s as close as we are going to get!