All the league titles are decided, all the relegations are decided and there remains just a few play-off games and cup finals to be played. We are very close to entering the Summer madness of transfer speculation.
The media in England are obsessed with transfer speculation. Of course, after the national sideÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pitiful performances recently they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any major interest in EURO 2008. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to spend the tournament unsettling the top players by speculating about their futureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s.
Being obsessed with the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbig fourÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ at the top of the Premier League, that is where nearly of the rumour and counter rumour will be targeted. It has, of course, already started.
The man all the press men in the country are talking about is Cristiano Ronaldo. He was definitely staying at Manchester United, but then he was certain to leave for Real Madrid. Now, we just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know. Ronaldo himself isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t helping matters much with some contradictory and cryptic answers to questions.
Asked after the Champions League final on Wednesday where his future lay, Ronaldo told television reporters: “I stay.”
However, during a later radio interview, the Portuguese star said: “I don’t promise nothing. I don’t promise nothing to my mum, I don’t promise nothing to supporters. I want to stay but the future – no-one knows. I want to stay. We are going to see in the next two weeks, I don’t say I make a decision.”
Of course, Ronaldo canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be one hundred percent certain until a deal is thrashed out. If asked, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are you certain about your future?Ã¢â‚¬Â he cannot say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“yesÃ¢â‚¬Â. Nobody can.
If I were a betting man IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say that he is staying where he is. The Real Madrid President has made it clear that he is a target, but manager Berndt Schuster has said he has no intentions of making a move for him.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll just have to wait and see. That wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop the frenzied speculation however.
Next on the list at the moment are ChelseaÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.
“I have got to talk to the club. My contract has obviously been the last thing on my mind in the last six weeks but I will sit down and talk with them after the England games.” Lampard said after WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game.
If you believe the press, he has actually been wheeling and dealing behind the scenes to secure a move to Inter. His agent says he knows nothing about it, Lampard says he knows nothing about it and the Italian press donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to know anything about it either. Surely the story isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t made up is it? The English media wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do that would they?
Didier Drogba is a slightly different matter. He has made it clear that he wants to leave Chelsea. Although they will miss his goals and his awesome power when he is in the mood, Chelsea might not fight too hard to keep him. There is a lot of baggage with Drogba and his play-acting has become something of an embarrassment. His constant moaning about the club to overseas newspapers is also hardly conducive to harmonious relations.
If Jose Mourinho gets a top job, I would expect Drogba to be one of his first signings.
So there you are. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve now joined in the speculation. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m no better than the rest. However, I am simply expressing an opinion. That is a bit different to reporting in an Ã¢â‚¬ËœIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in the knowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ sort of way that something is definitely going to happen.
I have no idea who will be playing where next season and in reality, nor does anyone else. Negotiations are going on in private and agents are speaking publicly to try to increase the value of their clients. Clubs are creating Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwish listsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and players are trying to secure their futures.
It is all natural. Nobody is doing anything wrong, but the media speculation makes it all sound a little Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcloak and daggerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Like everything is being done for an immoral purpose.
I tend to look at Frank LampardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s situation as an example of where the press have got it wrong. In the past few weeks he has had to cope with his mother being seriously ill and then tragically dying. The personal anguish of that whole time from the diagnosis through the hospital stay, the horrible outcome and the funeral and family issues afterwards is something that many of us have experienced and would never want to experience again.
At the same time in his professional life he has been trying to stay fit and focused for a challenge on the league and the biggest club game of his entire distinguished career.
The press are suggesting that during this time, he has been trying to negotiate a deal with Inter. It is not likely. It is disrespectful to a loyal player who has been through a very difficult time.
I know we all love the gossip and speculation, but I wish we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
Anyway, I wonder who Watford are going to signÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
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