City sign up Tevez, swine flu hits
This was the week in which Manchester City finally signed Carlos Tevez and made their move for Emmanuel Adebayor, Micah Richards contracted swine flu while on holiday and there was some sad news for John Hartson.
City end interest in Samuel Eto'o - Friday, July 10
A potential deal for one of the world's best strikers collapsed on Friday as Manchester City got bored of waiting for Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o. And a good thing too. Player power has begun to control transfer dealings, so it was refreshing for a club [even cash-rich City] to take a stand over the drawn out process of signing him. A £200,000 a week offer evidently wasn't enough to tempt the Cameroonian into acting quickly, so he will have console himself with a two-year extension at the Nou Camp, on the same wages.
Richards gets swine flu, Aguirre banned - Saturday, July 11
It's hard to joke about swine flu given the global impact it currently holds, but Man City's Micah Richards is expecting the worst from his teammates when he returns from holiday. The England defender contracted the disease while on holiday in Cyprus and after initially thinking it was alcohol poisoning [doesn't that just say it all..] he realised the seriousness of his condition. Although he was still more bothered by the reactions of his mates on the training ground.
Meanwhile, Mexico coach Javier Aguirre is probably pleased not to have someone ask him about swine flu, but was less happy about getting a three match ban for his part in the Gold Cup melee against Panama. Having been seen to kick an opposition player while he was near the touchline, he can hardly complain though, as the match was delayed for 12 minutes to calm everyone down.
Nak is no Ronaldo, Lyon nab Lopez - Sunday, July 12
He might be happy to have snubbed a move to Japan in favour of one to Espanyol, but Shunsuke Nakamura was nearly crushed at the Spanish airport when he arrived in the country. Billed as a 'Galactico' signing, it was great to see the Japanese international provide a lesson in humbleness to some of his counterparts when told he was being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo. "I'm not a star," the 31-year-old told Sunday's Japanese media. "I will have to work twice as hard as everyone else.''
Lyon, meanwhile, were busy spending some of the cash they picked up for French striker Karim Benzema, as they splashed 24m euros on Lisandro Lopez from Porto. Later in the week they would also sign Michel Bastos from Lille, so the rebuilding process has well and truly started for the deposed French champs.
Toon tragedy, Hartson hell - Monday, July 13
Someone had to say it. Newcastle are ''dying a slow, painful death'' according to goalkeeper Steve Harper, who pulled no punches in his assessment of the club's problems. As the saga drags on over whether the Toon will sell the club, bring in Alan Shearer full-time or even have any players left by the start of the new Championship season, Harper urged for it all to end. And a few hundred thousand Magpies' fans will certainly agree.
On the same day, it was revealed that John Hartson is suffering from cancer. The former Celtic, Arsenal, West Ham and Coventry forward has been diagnosed with testicular cancer which has also spread to his brain and faces a tough battle to overcome it. Messages of support have come from all of his previous clubs, as well as cyclist Lance Armstrong who overcame the disease himself.
Tevez signs up, Vieira linked with Spurs - Tuesday, July 14
Manchester City gave notice of their intentions in the transfer market as they forked out £25m and a fair wage packet for Carlos Tevez. The Argentine was more focused on his old club, Manchester United, at his press conference though, as he refuted claims that he had shunned calls from Sir Alex Ferguson. "I was there for two years and Sir Alex never called or sent any text messages in that time,'' he said, while the rest of us giggled at the thought of Fergie hunched over his new phone typing: 'CARLOS. Y AV U NT CLD? PLS TXT BAK ASAP. SAF'. Wonder if all his texts are done 'shouting' in block capitals..
As mad a thought as that is, contemplate the other big news of the day: Patrick Vieira being linked with a move to Spurs. Spurs! The former Arsenal skipper is on his way out of Inter, probably on a free, but would he really be interested in signing for a club that surely still hates him? And for that matter, why are Spurs interested?
Romario arrested, Nancy boys call off tour - Wednesday, July 15
Brazilian legend Romario was in hot water on Wednesday as it emerged he had been arrested after failing to make alimony payments to first wife Monica Santoro for the two children they have together. The striker, who claims to have scored over 1,000 goals in his career, spent the night in a police cell and will appear before a judge next week. Local media report that he owes a nicely specific figure of between $12,250 to $46,000.
Swine flu was back in the news as French side Nancy decided that they would call a halt to plans for their pre-season trip to England for health reasons. The general consensus seems to be that they should toughen up and just do the tour, with more attention drawn to our rather amusing headline than any potential fears over their game against West Brom being called off.
Uli attacks Madrid, Brazilians attack each other - Thursday, July 16
When all else fails, get FIFA involved. Bayern chief Uli Hoeness made it quite clear that if Frank Ribery continues to be chased, quite publically, by Real Madrid, that he will tell on the Spanish club. A deadline for the issue to be resolved appears to have passed, despite the player making it clear he might just fancy a move; but Hoeness remains steadfast. "Madrid have lost respect," he told Spanish sports daily AS. Which leaves you wondering when they had respect in their transfer dealings to begin with.
And finally, a different kind of 'Flu' had problems of their own after sacking former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. They have just 10 points from 11 and lost 4-2 to Internacional in a game that saw four players sent off. However, it could be worse. They could be Santos, who sacked coach Wagner Mancini and then snatched a 3-3 draw at home to Gremio Barueri, before being pelted by eggs thrown by their irate supporters.