Manchester City sold (and other transfer deadline craziness)


With the European transfer window set to close, the deadline day has been shaken up by the news that Manchester City has been sold by Thaksin Shinawatra to an Abu Dhabi investment group.

The result? Manchester City has promptly stepped up and made a $54 million bid for Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov, who had looked all set to join Manchester United.

That’s the biggest story so far in what promises to be a day filled with transfer intrigue. Here are some other stories to follow today:

Chelsea makes final Robinho bid

From the "You Reap what you Sow" department comes word that things between Chelsea and Real Madrid have gotten ugly regarding the potential transfer of Robinho to Chelsea. Real Madrid has rejected Chelsea’s bids for the Brazilian star and have come out accusing Chelsea of unsettling Robinho, who addressed Spanish media on Sunday to say that he wants to go to Chelsea and won’t change his mind.

You might recall Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon being pretty adamant about players being able to leave when they want to when discussing Cristiano Ronaldo. Apparently that doesn’t apply to Real Madrid players.

Here are some other transfers that have developed, or are developing:

Tottenham completes swoop for Pavlyuchenko and Corluka

Tottenham completed its reloading process on Monday by completing deals for Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and Croatian defender Vedran Corluka. The signings would seem to suggest that Berbatov will find his way out of town one way or another, but no transfer for the Bulgarian striker has been completed yet.

Quaresma heading to Inter Milan

Portuguese star Ricardo Quaresma is heading to Inter Milan after the Italian champions agreed to a deal with FC Porto that included $27.2 million and Portuguese under-20 midfielder Pele. It still remains to be seen of Jose Mourinho’s club will look for a central defender before the deadline to deal with the team’s rash of injuries in the back.

These are just some of the stories making headlines today. There should be plenty more happening in the next eight hours before the close of the deadline. Whether it is Oguchi Onyewu (who still hasn’t made a move despite growing rumors of a potential move to France) or Heath Pearce, or the completion or the death of potential Berbatov and Robinho transfers, we will look to bring you all the latest from the European transfer market later today.

For now, share your thoughts on these stories below.

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77 Responses to Manchester City sold (and other transfer deadline craziness)

  1. cbr says:

    Wow. The new owners of Man City are not playing games

  2. metrostar 4 life says:

    Quaresma was by far my favorite Portuguese player he should be good at Inter

  3. Justin O says:

    BBC has the Berbatov bid up to 60 million USD now.

  4. Dannyc58 says:

    Why do people continue to mention the bids in USD? Its so annoying. Are you guys so xenophobic that you don’t want to acknowledge other currencies? So annoying.

  5. Jacob says:

    Because it’s slighty easier for us to comprehend, Danny

  6. Justin O says:

    Excuse the hell out of me Dannyc58. I do not live in the USA and I’m smply reporting what the BBC is telling me. Go bitch at them.

  7. Dannyc58 says:

    The BBC reported in something OTHER THAN British Pounds?

  8. Justin O says:

    Yes. I guess they aren’t “xenophobic” like I evidently am and are aware that they have a wide audience.

  9. Mig says:

    Danny, I think we use $US often because it’s bit easier for some folks to get a handle on. I don’t think it’s a big deal, or xenophobia but see it as the same thing as using yards/miles/lbs instead of metres, kilometers, kilograms.

    The Berbatov thing may truly represent a power shift in the Prem. Sir Alex simply does NOT get scooped on a transfer often (ever?) and with Man City winning two games convincingly, they may be the team threatening the top 4 instead of Tottenham or Villa as predicted. Plus, Man U let Saha go to Everton so they are decidedly thin at striker considering Rooney, while playing well, is struggling with the finishing.

    Good times as the shakeups will make this Prem season a bit more interesting.

  10. Charlie N. says:

    Danny—Chill out man

  11. jorge says:


    It is not that americans are xenophobic, it is due to the fact that this is an mostly american soccer site, american soccer fans, and dollars are really the only refernce I have. I and many others will agree that we don’t have time to pull out our calculaters and figure out how much 28M Euros is in dollars.

    Plus your probably someone who only calls it Futbol and hates those who call it soccer. If ture, then wouldn’t that make you xenophobic????

  12. Justin O says:

    Dannyc58 – It’s 68,940,000,000 Mongolian Tugrig offer if that’s what I have to do to ease your ridiculous sensibilities and reassure you that I’m not “xenophobic”.

  13. Dan (West Ham Fan) says:

    Manchester City have made a bid in excess of £30m to sign Spurs’ Dimitar Berbatov from under the noses of rivals United, BBC Sport understands.

    If its reporting elsewhere in USD, then my apologies.


    Anyway, Mig, I find it embarrasing. Can people not get an idea that £30m is a lot? Does everyone here need the Track & Field events converted to yards from meters too?

    You guys call them freedom fries as well?

  14. Dannyc58 says:

    Justin O,

    No, I expect people to post the currency of the actual one the bid was made in.

    I think thats a pretty fair and basic request.

  15. Dannyc58 says:


    So then can we put the USD equivalent in parenthesis next to it?

    Haha, I call it soccer.

  16. Dannyc58 says:

    Charlie, I’m good. Just find the conversion thing embarrassing juvenile.

  17. briguy says:

    “You reap what you sew”??? Doing some knitting, Ives? Ahem: I believe it’s “you reap what you sow”…

  18. Dannyc58 says:

    Posted by: Dan (West Ham Fan) | September 01, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    That was me, it wasn’t letting me post under Dannyc58, so I used another email address. Just want to give full dislcosure!

  19. Mig says:

    While I detest jingoistic, xenophobic attitudes in a lot of things, I can’t get on board with this one Danny.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.


  20. Dannyc58 says:


    Fair enough.

  21. Scott, PA says:

    Is this a transfer conversation or a currency conversation? I may start posting everything in $ just to get under Dannyc58’s skin. :) But seriously, let’s stay on the topic people.

  22. jorge says:

    Danny, I could go with that. Both money amounts, makes sense.

  23. Justin O says:

    Dannyc58 – or else they are xenbophobic? Do you even know what that word means? The BBC said 60 million USD, so I repeated that. I have no idea if the offer was made in USD, Euros, Pounds, or in livestock, and I do not really care. The BBC told me the USD equivalent and that’s what I repeated.

    You may think that throwing around the term “xenophobic” gives you some kind of intellectual, cosmopolitan aura, but I’m sure that I, and many others here, have lived/worked/traveled in more countries, and have friends from more different cultures, than you’ve probably even heard of. So next time maybe keep your thoughts to youself if all you have to contribute are highly offense and utterly baseless insults, OK?

  24. Dannyc58 says:

    Justin O,

    Its a trend on this website. I never pointed you out by name at any point.

    And its pretty safe to assume that one British Club, bidding on a player at another British Club will use GBP.

    Just for future reference 😉

  25. Mig says:

    SOOOO, regarding the transfers…how about the spurs? Do the russian striker and City defender fill in the blanks for them?

    I am NOT a Tottenham fan but I think with Ramos coaching and the roster they have, it is only a matter of time before things gel there.

  26. Dannyc58 says:


    I still think they have problems at the back. Friend of mine is a Sp*rs fan and thinks Corluka will play holding mid as well. (I have/had no idea he could play there, this kid knows his stuff though). I still think they need another striker, personally.

  27. Jacob says:

    So, if Gooch does move, is he cup tied?

  28. Justin O says:

    Dannyc58 – You made the comment immediately after I cited the 60 million figure. The xenophobic comment was clearly directed at me, though I’m glad you see the idiocy in the insult enough to try and deny it now.

  29. Modibo says:

    Hey, while we’re sniping at each other over currencies, who’s going to jump down Ives’s throat for writing “crazyiness” in the headline? Any takers?

  30. Dannyc58 says:

    Justin O,

    Ives quoted it that way too. He always quotes in USD, trust me, it was to the site in general. Don’t flatter yourself.

  31. Mig says:

    Hmmm, might be right on the problems at the back….although Ramos played a hyper defensive strategy at Stamford Bridge yesterday. The weight of defensive numbers was enough to strangle Chelsea’s offense. Ramos might just convert them from a free-wheeling bunch to a more tightly defensive unit which will hide their weakness in the back four.

    It will be interesting.

  32. Dannyc58 says:


    It will. And I definitely think Ramos is the right man for the job (unfortunately, hehe).

    Citeh are a scary club with money and Hughes leading them. The man was a genius with NO money. Ugh.

    I think Martin O’Neill is fantastic. Great great manager. But does anyone else think he’s paying silly money for all these British players?

  33. Sushant Rao says:

    While it’s not xenophobic for Ives’ readers to post transfer amounts in USD, I’d prefer to know the amounts in the actual currencies the bid was made. Reason? The decline of the dollar over the past couple of years.

    Case in point. Jozy was transferred for $10M USD earlier this year (roughly 1.5 USD per Euro). But, if the transfer had happened in 2006, it would have been $8M (roughly 1.2 USD per Euro).

    The point is that Villareal would have paid the same amount, 6.7M Euros, but the amount is bigger in USD, and thus we view Jozy as more important to them (that said, that much money was the most for an American anyway).

    Welcome to a world where the USD is losing much of it’s value (though it’s come back recently).

    I think we should note the transfer bid in the currency it was made and a USD amount as well for the benefit of this site’s readers (if both values are easily known).

    But, this is a minor quibble. I’d rather have the news than worry about the exact transfer amount.

  34. Mig says:

    O’Neil’s myopic preference for British players may end up biting him in the A$$.

    Anybody find it hysterical that the US site for Soccer, Espn’s Soccernet, does not list the Michael Bradley transfer in their list of deals? Typical…and sad.

  35. Ives says:

    Okay guys, I really had no idea this was an issue but I have always listed transfers in American dollars. Why? Because this is an American website read mostly by American fans (and a site with an American Voice as is the SBI credo). That being the case, I feel it’s easier for most readers to put transfers into perspective when they know the transfer value in their own terms. This isn’t about xenophobia, but about convenience to the majority of SBI readers.

    Not all (actually I would say not many) Americans know the currency conversion rates for dollars to pounds and euros. The rate of exchange is also in constant flux. I think the Pounds to dollars rate was almost 2-1 at one point earlier this summer (which definitely made converting much easier) but the dollar has grown stronger in the past month against the pound so the rate has changed. I can either make all my readers go searching for new conversion rates for every transfer story I write or I can do the work myself and give that to my readers.

  36. Dannyc58 says:


    I couldn’t tell you the exact rate either by any means. Personally, I think it makes it much more relevant when comparing sales/bids/purchases of players.

    £30 Million for Berba and £20 Million for Keano, as compared to £16.5 for Darren Bent, etc.

    I’m not saying (personally) to remove USD completely, but putting the currency the bid was actually made in I think its more relevant.

    For me its not about the current conversion ratio at all, its about comparing the deal historically which is why I am AGAINST USD conversion.

  37. il consigliere says:


    At least O’Niel was smart enough to buy American for his goalkeepers rather than English (He was supposed to be in for both Carson and Robinson)…LOL.

  38. brett says:

    Dannyc58- if that’s what it takes to set you off, i would advise taking some illegal narcotics in order to mellow out…

  39. il consigliere says:

    Sky Sports is reporting that Berbatov is in talks with United…

  40. Dannyc58 says:


    I like to argue (can’t deny it), and I am at work today since we need 24 hour coverage (boo hoo!).

    Its more boredom and an enjoyment of arguing. Not a great quality, but a truthful one…

  41. James says:

    I can’t stand ESPN but they did have the transfer as one of their headlines so it’s not like they’ve ignored Bradley’s move

  42. Dannyc58 says:

    Heard that Real came in with £36mm bid ($64.86mm)

  43. Tres says:

    Others have already said this, but for a U.S. site, U.S. currency is the most helpful.

    Ives was trained as a journalist. He thus understands that his job is to efficiently communicate information to his readers, not send them scrambling to figure out foreign currency conversions. Describing a money amount using a benchmark understood by most readers is the best way to do this.

    Also, quoting in U.S. dollars makes the amounts seem even bigger and more impressive. 😉

  44. James says:

    Dannyc glad to see I’m(I am) not the only one at work on Labor(Labour) Day. In case you are not from here that’s a holiday we celebrate in America(The States) where most people get a day off from work.

  45. Dannyc58 says:


    Yeah, I am just sitting here with newsnow up waiting on transfer info, probably would have done that at home anyway, lol.

    The Independent has the story on the Real Madrid bid, not letting me post it here though…

    Story on Real in with a bid…

  46. Ives says:

    Danny, if I list every bid in American dollars why can’t readers compare fees?

  47. JB says:

    Mig, it is on the US Soccer page on Soccernet. That is typically where news specifically regarding Yanks Abroad is put on the Soccernet site.

  48. mexicanbluefish says:

    yeah, interesting and neurotic conversation about how stupid we are and how the English want to make sure that we really understand that they are culturally superior… ok, you are gods. We’re sorry, our indian killing slave trading conquerers forgot to tell us how to use ‘whom’ and other latinate remnants of their conquerers.

    anyway, here’s hoping that Gooch goes somewhere, anywhere. It’s starting to seem like that guy you went to high school with who is STILL working at his high school job and who is STILL dating his high school girlfriend who is STILL working that be-ach flip.

  49. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The only issue with translating into dollars is that with the dollar weaker, the translated figures consequently seem more dramatic to us than they may in Europe. $54 million may sound more eye popping to an American than 30 million in Euros.

  50. Ives says:

    And Danny, I had a block on all web links in comments but have lifted it (for now).

  51. Justin O says:

    Q – “Danny, if I list every bid in American dollars why can’t readers compare fees?”

    A – Because they will become so consumed in their xenophobia they won’t be able to think straight?

  52. Dannyc58 says:


    Totally understand why you left them off. Didn’t want to make it seem like I had some inside info, cause I have nothing close to that! So just explained the link…

  53. Joel C says:

    Jonathan Spector is in line for a move to Nottingham Forest as they look for a right back

  54. CD says:

    I think the new owners of Manchester City will really enjoy beating Manchester United and the Glazers at every opportunity they can.

  55. Mig says:

    James and JB, yes, you’re right they did have it in the news list on the front page, and also on the US page, thanks for pointing it out though.

    It was the link to todays deals that didn’t include it. I’m just cranky about certain aspects of Soccernet’s coverage.


  56. il consigliere says:

    Sky Sports and Soccernet are reporting that Manchester City have bid for David Villa (Valencia) and Mario Gomez (Stuttgart).

  57. Andrew says:

    Sky Sports is reporting that Tottenham accepts Man City’s bid for Berbatov and Man City also puts in a last minute bid for David Villa and Mario Gomez

  58. JJH says:

    Justin O wrote: “It’s 68,940,000,000 Mongolian Tugrig offer”.

    Holy crap! I never would have valued him over 55 billion Tugrig! 60 billion, tops!

  59. Keith says:

    Actually, it was Blatter who called players “slaves”, not Calderon:

    link to

    Calderon has said some stupid things, but not that stupid.

  60. Mig says:

    Bit of a bummer for Spector if he goes down on load.

    Now we have a lull in transfer news although Inter confirmed the Quaresma transfer.

  61. Dannyc58 says:


    Personally I don’t buy it. Hammers don’t have enough defensive cover for me to believe that. Especially if McCartney is about to sign with Sunderland…

  62. Brandon says:

    Currency commentary aside… City is coming on strong. BLUE MOON!

  63. Mig says:

    Good point…that McCartney deal looks set to go. Although do you think the Hammers are going to get Ferreira? With Bosingwa and Belletti (and Essien if needed), Chelsea have plenty of cover at right back. Maybe Spector is a bit expendable.

  64. Joamiq says:

    I’m actually very much with Dannyc on this one. I find it confusing to have transfer fees converted to dollars when they involve English teams and the offers are made in pounds. I really think the fees should reflect the value that the bidders see, not the value that Americans understand. Premiership teams make buying decisions based on the value of the pound, not the value of the dollar. When you convert fees to dollars, you introduce a distortion because fluctuations in the dollar do not affect the decision making of British bidders, but they do then affect how we Americans understand the bid. For example, say you’re looking at a 30 million pound bid two months ago and a 30 million pound bid today. If the pound has not changed in the last two months, they should be viewed as being equal. But if the dollar has become stronger recently, and you convert each figure to dollars at the time the bid is made, the 30 million pound offer today will seem like it’s less than the other one, when it’s not. Personally, I think transfer fees involving MLS should be in dollars, bids by British teams should be in pounds, and bids by other European teams should be in Euros. Otherwise you can’t properly compare bids.

    Of course, a perfect compromise would just be to report the bid in the currency in which it was made and then provide a dollar conversion in parentheses.

  65. Joamiq says:

    Oh, and as for the actual transfer news: I still don’t think that Spurs are going to sell Berbatov to United unless they are able to bring in another striker on top of Pavlyuchenko. He was Keane’s replacement. Pavlyuchenko and Bent alone leaves you too short up top. Now, City’s offer may be too good to refuse. But presumably the extra money in City’s bid could go towards increasing their offer for Arshavin, who I still think is they key to the Berbatov deal. There’s talk of the United youngster coming back in a player and cash deal for Berba, but I don’t think Spurs are going to see him as being a sufficient third striker.

    As for Tottenham’s defensive problems, I actually think they will be more or less solved when Hutton comes back. A backline of Bale, Woodgate, King, and Hutton is pretty strong. Corluka is first rate cover for King’s inevitable absences. And when King does play, Corluka may well be an upgrade in defensive mid. Jenas, Huddlestone, and Zokora just aren’t going to get it done if we have top four ambitions. Frankly, I think that our biggest concern is still up top – which is almost unthinkable to me given that it wasn’t so long ago that Berba, Keane, and Jermaine Defoe gave us one of the best, if not the best, strikeforces in the league.

  66. Justin says:

    I’m just happy that Man City fans no longer have to tinge their excitement of their team’s success with the knowledge it was funded by a man such as Shinawatra.

  67. il consigliere says:

    Reports from Spain have Manchester City bidding for Robinho (they have a lot of bids out, but will they actually land anyone???), and the rumor from Sky Sports have tabbed Portsmouth as the top 10 club from last season attempting to land Joey Barton from Newcastle.

  68. Mig says:

    Joamiq: Berbatov is gone, Tottenham agreed to City’s terms. It’s only a matter of whether Berbatov accepts the deal and ManU may top the bid, or Berbatov may want to go there instead….but he is no longer a Spur within the next 4 hours.


  69. Justin says:

    If only every team could accept the bids at the same time…just to watch the new owners reaction.

  70. Mig says:

    lol. Now THAT would be entertaining.

  71. Joamiq says:

    Mig, you sure about that? What’s your source? There are plenty of conflicting reports out there. Some have Berbatov already doing a physical for Man U. Anyway, my point was not that Berbatov is staying, but that he wasn’t going to go for Man U’s lowball bid. As I said, City’s bid may be too good to pass up, and of course if Man U meets it then the same goes for them.

  72. Mig says:

    Well, the bid from City was confirmed from a number of sources and that it was acceptable to Spurs. Also, it certainly appears that Berb is in Manchester.

    I DID miss the thrust of your point though. Thanks for clarifying.

    I do stand by my statement that he’s gone….but it’s not from a report.

  73. Steve T. says:

    Berbatov was at Old Trafford for the physical, so looks like City will not be getting him. However, City and Madrid have just agreed to a fee of 40 mil Euros for ROBIHNO! Now they just need the player to sign. bids for Mario Gomez and David Villa are also out from City as we speak.

  74. JB says:

    OK, if anyone had said at the beginning of the day that Robinho would be going to Manchester City I would have called them crazy. Seriously, Robinho to Manchester City.

  75. DNOVOD says:

    Berbatov to ManU (Nr.9). Robinho to ManCity for 40 Mil :O

  76. Brandon says:

    BLUE MOON! It is a new era in Manchester…. on cloud 9 right now.