Ins and Outs (and Nearly Ins and Nearly Outs)By: Daryl | December 15th, 2008
Been doing a lot of wheeling and dealing, Del Boy style.
The Newcastle board offered me a paltry £8.5m transfer budget, which felt even more paltry when I found out how much some of my summer transfer targets actually cost.
Not only do I have a lot less cash than expected, but players are a lot more expensive than my optimistic valuations had them figured. For example: Was hoping to pick up Boca’s £5.5m valued pacy striker Rodrigo Palacio for somewhere around £10m, max, but he just went to Man City for £24m. They have far too much money.
So here’s a list of my ins, outs and nearly ins and outs…
Mark Viduka and Nicky Butt, released on a free. Why’s that worth sharing? Because that’s £120,000 a week saved right there. Good riddance fellas.
Sebastian Bassong has joined PSG for £1.9m after being on loan there last season. I had him in the office to say sorry we had to let him go, and he looked at me quizzically. “I’m leaving the city of Newcastle to live in the city of Paris,” he said. “It is I who am sorry for you. Au revoir!”
Xisco to Wigan for £5m. The boy was brilliant on loan at Ajax. 13 goals in 16 games. But anyone can score in the Eredivisie these days and he was always dog poo for Newcastle. So – just like at Christmas – I’d rather have the money. Not looking forward to playing against him though, he could be the new Alan Smith.
Joey Barton to Portsmouth for £4.1m. Well, have him a chance. Mostly because I didn’t have any other mids. Occasionally he was brilliant, like a poor man’s Steven Gerrard. But more often he was just anonymous. No red cards or arrests or anything, so thought I’d get out while I was ahead. Cigar in eye incidents have dropped an impressive 100% since this deal went through.
Paul Ince really is a bad manager. Either that or there’s a bug on FM. But let’s go with the first one. I accepted Blackburn’s bid of £1m for Damien Duff, because I want rid of him. Duff rejected their contract offer because it wasn’t enough. Ince’s solution to this hurdle was to bid 1.7m. I accepted, Duff turned them down. So Ince bid £2.4m. I accepted, Duff turned them down. Now Rovers have bid £2.9m, which I accepted. Though I’m pretty sure Duff will turn them down again. Wonder how high Ince will go before someone tells him to get his coat?
The vultures are circling Martins, Pogrebnyak, Coloccini and Jonas. So all my good players basically. And Spurs asked about Danny Guthrie but I wanted to keep him.
There’s a big Belletti shaped hole in my midfield. Had him on loan last season and he was easily my best and most consistent centre mid. This year, Chelsea are accepting my loan bid again (though they’re asking for £750k for the season this time) but Belleti is saying no thanks. He’d rather be the new Winston Bogarde apparently. Might leave it til close to deadline and have another go though.
Hoping to fill the hole I had a £7m bid accepted for Palermo’s defensive mid Giulio Migliaccio, who’s pretty much got the lot (except English language skills). I offered him £40,000 a week, but he chose to go to Napoli and earn £28,500 a week instead. Has the pound really fallen in value against the euro that much?
An ideal Jonas replacement would have been Lautaro Acosta, who for some insane reason was unwanted at Sevilla. Apparently they don’t like brilliant Argentinian right wingers. My £6m bid was accepted, but he chose to go to PSV instead. Note to self: must qualify for Champions League.
Mehmet Ekici is only 19 and looks like he’ll be the German/Turkish Cesc Fabgregas. And I was this close [puts fingers really close together] to signing him. This close [does it again]. Bayern were letting him rot in their Bayern II team, so I bid £2.2m, his stated value. They negotiated for £2.4m, which I was glad to offer, only for them to reject and declare he wasn’t for sale. I looked for him again in the Bayern II team and he was gone. Turns out my bid alerted Bayern to the fact that they had the next Fabregas rotting in the reserves and now they’re going to use him. Gutted. Seriously.
Ins: (finally, the players I actually did sign)
I got into a bidding war with Scumderland (sorry, getting carried away with North-East rivalry here) over Javier Saviola. No way I was losing that. The £3.8m I ended up paying was about 1m more than I had planned, but still a bargain. And now I have genuine competition for places up front. Scored a lob on his Toon Army debut in a friendly match, so looking good.
Man City had no interest in extending Daniel Sturridge’s contract. With all the big money strikers they’re snapping up, they probably forgot the lad was there. So I crept into Eastlands in the dead of night and rescued the youngster on a free. Has been pretty dismal in pre-season, but it’s a marathon not a sprint, etcetera.
I also signed Wesley little brother Rodney Sneijder (check out those stats for an 18 year old) from Ajax for £850,000. At least I think I did. See, before the deal was finalised, Ajax sent him on a season long loan to FC Omniworld, which really is a real team in the second tier of Dutch football. Apparently Rodney will be joining me next summer, but I’m not sure if that transfer money has already been debited or if I need to make sure it’s available in 2010. Either way, I almost wish I could just fall asleep and wake up on the day we sign this kid. Wesley Sneijder is transfer listed at Real Madrid by the way, but I don’t have £27m to meet the asking price.
Last, and by absolutely no means least, I signed box to box French midfield man Clément Chantôme from PSG. For £12m. Now, I know what you’re thinking. They saw me coming, right? Well, maybe. And I feel a little dumb for blowing the majority of my kitty on a French midfielder I’d never even heard of before playing FM2009. But my team is/was desperately short of quality mids, especially after losing Belleti. And I needed a driving force in midfield, someone who can “go both ways” as they say. Box to box. And Chantôme seems to be the man for the job. Let’s hope I’m right, because £12m would be a lot to spend on a French flop.