It’s a short, sharp update offered this afternoon as the tension ramps up ahead of tomorrow’s big kick-off. Aston Villa hope to bring back on old face in Thomas Hitzlsperger, while Roy Hodgson believes in Owen Hargreaves’ fitness. Alan Pardew offers an olive branch to Joey Barton and Tony Pulis is looking for six new players as Stoke square up to Europe. Here we go, folks:
Jose Enrique is set to sign a four-year deal with Liverpool today. Kenny Dalglish’s search for a left-back looks to now be over and with one year left on his Newcastle contract, Enrique’s transfer is thought to be around the region of £6m. More importantly this could have been a very shrewd move by The Wait is Over who bought Enrique for £4.8m.
Alex McLeish has been linked with a move for Thomas Hitzlsperger. The Villa boss admitted yesterday he would need to trade players before making any further acquisitions but with the German available on a free, a return to Villa Park may not be out of the question. As Big Eck went on to say:
“Thomas’ name has been mentioned against a number of other players. If it came to a choice, we’d have to think about everything if we were able to get that choice. Maybe in midfield, in terms of experience, we are a little bit lacking.”
Roy Hodgson has offered Owen Hargreaves a contract at West Brom. The ex-Man United midfielder has seemingly proved his fitness to the Baggies boss and is now mulling over a move to the Hawthorns. Hodgson’s take on the situation is:
Look, we’ve done the test, we agree with you that the knee’s OK and you can play football. And of course if you’d like to come and play for us that would be lovely. But whether or not our offer is going to be interesting to him, that’s what I don’t know.
Stoke are in the market for six new signings, according to Tony Pulis . Speaking this morning, the Potters boss admitted he was looking to strengthen the club’s options up front before the end of August. With a bid in for Peter Crouch as well as Spurs team mate Wilson Palacios, it looks like being a busy three weeks ahead on the transfer front.
Both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri won’t feature tomorrow for Arsenal. The duo were left out of Arsenal’s squad for the trip to Newcastle by Arsene Wenger and their respective exits from the Emirates are edging closer by the day. Team Skin appeared to have gotten rid of Fabregas at the right time, as they bought Louis Saha last night.
It looks like Joey Barton may still have a part to play at Newcastle, after all. Only a week or so ago, there seemed no way back for the midfielder after the twitter debacle that saw him criticise the club, but Alan Pardew is willing to offer him a chance if Barton can prove he’s willing to give his all:
Joey will determine whether he stays. I’ve told Joey that he won’t play for me and I won’t include him unless I think he’s pulling for us. If Joey turns around to me and says that’s what he’s going to do, then he will. He’s in the process of weighing up what he needs to do.