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Stoke's chance of landing Sissoko nosedive, while Foster to West Brom is a done deal - THE INSIDER
Published : 27 Jul 2011 15:53:18Rss feed
Simon Jones is Sportsmail's man on the inside of all the major transfer moves this summer. His column, published every weekday, offers an insight into the deals which will be done and those that won't - and why. A 5/5-rating means The Insider reckons it's a done deal; 0/5 means The Insider has his mortgage on it not happening. Don't miss your daily Insider instalment here. MICHEL BASTOSLyon to TottenhamTHE INSIDER says: 3/5 MOMO SISSOKOJuventus to Stoke THE INSIDER says: 1/5 TOTTENHAM managerHarry Redknapp really likes Bastos and has admired him for some time. However,the need to sign him has not been great as they have one of the best players inthe world in his position which is Gareth Bale. The problem is the chances ofBale staying beyond this season may be slim and the man behind him, BenoitAssou-Ekotto has been attracting attention from scouts at other top Europeanclubs who could probably better his wages. Bastos is 27, Brazilian and a veryaccomplished player who can perform equally well at left-back and leftmidfield. Tottenham have designs still on his compatriot Leandro Damiao ofInternacional and have been impressed by midfielder Sandro despite his recentinjury. The Brazilian blend is something that can work for them.But Bastos is not cheap with a ?12m price tag and Tottenham still need tooffload. They like Juan Mata, Emmanuel Adebayor, Mirko Vucinic,Ibrahim Afellay and Chris Samba among others and know they must drop their askingprice for players if they are to finally sell. Peter Crouch, RomanPavlyuchenko, Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane, David Bentley, Wilson Palacios andAlan Hutton are all available if a decent bid comes in. The trouble is, for some of those, if you are a Tottenhamplayer why would you necessarily want to move. You're based in a good city, ata good club with a good manager and have had just one blip in a decent threeyear spell - and that blip was finishing fifth. Shifting them wont be easy. TONY PULIS'S hopes oflanding the former Liverpool midfielder look to have nosedived. Sportsmailrevealed that Pulis was keen on the Mali international but like with most oftheir pursuits the wages were always going to be a problem. Sissoko earns around ?90,000-a-week in Italy and Stokehave baulked at paying half that for the likes of West Ham striker Carlton Coleand less for Birmingham's Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome. They have ambitiousplans and the signing of Jonathan Woodgate is still a step in the rightdirection despite his injury past. The problem on Sissoko is that Paris StGermain have now stepped in and they have plenty of cash thanks to their Qataribackers. New manager Leonardo has been linked with Palermo's Javier Pastore,Neymar of Santos and his midfield team-mate Ganso who has been heavily linkedwith Manchester United. However, like all astute managers while he wants flare,he also wants to provide a decent platform on which they can perform and seesthe steely presence of Sissoko as the priority ahead of the more expensivestars he has been linked with. He has also declared the need to find anothergoalkeeper soon and that could lead to a few players deemed surplus torequirements in England coming under scrutiny. Arsenal's Manuel Almunia and Manchester United's TomaszKuszczak have already been linked. Storari Marco of Juventus and Palermo'sSalvatore Sirigu are other contenders. BEN FOSTERBirmingham to West Bromwich THE INSIDER says: 4/5 MICHAEL JOHNSONManchester City to WolvesTHE INSIDER says: 2/5 THE deal flaggedup by Sportsmail initially is expected to go through later today. The28-year-old is set to move to the Hawthorns initially on loan, but the transferis likely to become permanent next summer in a deal worth around ?4million. Theformer England international will become Roy Hodgson's new No 1 in asignificant coup for Albion, who sold previous goalkeeper Scott Carson toTurkish club Bursaspor earlier this month. Albion considered alternatives including Shay Given nowof Aston Villa and Steve Harper of Newcastle. They bid for West Ham's RobertGreen but West Ham rejected their offer and now Birmingham's willingness tostrike a ?1m loan deal for Foster which also passes on his ?1.5m salary hasenabled them to move for their top target. Hodgson would like another left-backand is still keen on Reading's Shane Long. West Ham are the only club to havemade a bid for Long so far and that offer, thought to be around ?6m, has beenrebuffed so far. Liverpool have scouted him regularly but are not sure he isthe calibre of player they need and have alternatives to consider. Albion havediscussed Andy Johnson at Fulham and Carlton Cole at West Ham but the Fosterarrangement enables them to put more of their budget into buying a striker nowand the deal is expected to be a club record - if it is Long it will have to beas Reading want around ?8million for the Republic of Ireland international. WOLVESmanager Mick McCarthy has a few positions in mind. He would like anotherleft-back hence his decision to try for Hearts defender Lee Wallace before hemoved to Rangers and would like another midfielder who can be composed and tidyon the ball. He has asked about Liverpool's Jay Spearing but the 22-year-old isready to turn that opportunity down and see what else comes up between now andAugust 31 if indeed he can't gain a place in Liverpool's first team. That hasprompted McCarthy to consider Johnson at City. The 23-year-old was recognisedas one of the best up and coming midfielders in the country until he was doggedby injury with a double hernia, abdominal injuries and then a serious kneeinjury. There were also questions about his lifestyle off the pitch but he hasnow got himself close to fitness and is ready to get back to playing regularly.McCarthy is willing to take a chance on loan and a deal could be done. However,Leeds United, who Johnson supported as a boy, have shown interest and LeicesterCity with Johnson's old manager Sven Goran Eriksson in charge have alsoexpressed a desire to sign him. Leicester already have Darius Vassell, aretalking to Michael Ball and have held initial discussions with Gelson Fernandesbut they can also offer the financial package Manchester City want. Johnson mayconsider he will get more game time at the Walkers Stadium than at Molineux. Don't miss your daily instalment of The Insider every weekday through the transfer window here at MailOnline.
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