Rumour round-up

Last updated : 27 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

In short, almost certainly not.

Sir Bobby has been true to his word and it seems that no-one will be arriving at St James’ Park until the summer at the earliest, despite the rumours about the futures of Alan Smith, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Michael Bridges.

The only new arrival rumour so far this week is Brazilian international midfielder Ricardinho, who Sky Sports (planetfootball) claim is close to clinching a move to United. However, as the only evidence they offer is from an agent who admits that the club aren’t certain who is representing the player, it all seems a little flimsy.

In the unlikely event of another international midfielder being on Sir Bobby’s shopping list, surely there is better value to be had in a proven Premiership performer keen to leave Old Trafford.

At the moment, there are more departure than arrival rumours doing the rounds, with a worrying one from Sky Sports News claiming that Birmingham are pondering making a serious offer for Nobby Solano.

The Blues have previously stated that Nicky Butt and Martin Taylor are the only two players they want to sign during the January transfer window, but with more clubs entering the race for Butt they could conceivably have some spare cash for another midfielder.

Note to Karren Brady: no, we don’t want Steve Bruce in part-exchange.

Meanwhile, Spurs have been linked with a £4million bid for Hugo Viana according to the Evening Standard, which seems a bit unlikely but would surely prove very tempting if true. The Portuguese midfielder is in many ways the sort of player who would go down well at White Hart Lane, where the fans seem to accept the odd moment of flair as being a decent performance, even if it is unaccompanied by tackling, running etc.

Finally, the Evening Chronicle has linked reserve team captain Bradley Orr with a loan move to the Nationwide League, with Burnley, Bradford City and Rotherham United all suggested as possible destinations. All of which sounds a pretty familiar story, as the 21-year-old was linked with a loan move to either Turf Moor or Valley Parade back in August.