Biggest transfer fails; Arshavin might move

February 3rd, 2009 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS  

ArsenalHamburg, Feb 3 (DPA) A huge question mark remained over the one transfer that everybody was talking about, as the winter transfer period ended Monday.On the weekend, Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin flew from St Petersburg to London and underwent a medical examination at Arsenal, and the Premier League club is said to have agreed on a transfer fee with Zenit St Petersburg.

Contradictory news, however, covered the discussions over personal terms between the player and Arsenal. Some said that he had accepted an estimated 30-per-cent cut in salary and signed, while others said that he had flown back to Russia after talks had broken down.

The biggest transfer during the winter break also broke down, some 10 days before the deadline.

Brazilian international Kaka turned down a record-breaking transfer to Manchester City - said to be well in access of 100 million euros - saying that even though the money offered would make him the highest-paid player in the world, he had decided to follow his heart and stay with AC Milan.

Joining him at AC Milan was former England captain David Beckham, who joined the Serie A club on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, though his temporary employers have already indicated that they are very interested in making the move permanent.

The only other big-name player to move in Italy was Portuguese international Ricardo Quaresma, who went on loan from Inter Milan to Chelsea shortly before the transfer deadline.

The Portugal winger has been out of favour at the San Siro, despite being one of manager Jose Mourinho’s first signings after taking the job last summer.

He becomes the sixth Portuguese player in Chelsea’s squad and will be expected to add the attacking width that Chelsea are widely perceived to have been lacking this season.

Real Madrid were the only Spanish club to splash out big money in the winter transfer window this year.

None of the other big clubs have seen the necessity to do so - or have had the spare cash for it.

Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Villarreal and even Atletico Madrid, despite all their problems, have resisted the temptation to get the chequebooks out. Not since 1997, according to the Spanish media, has so little money changed hands in January.

Real, of course, splashed out almost 40 million euros ($51.26 million) on Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Lassana Diarra - and then found out that they could not register either for the Champions League, as they have already played this season in the UEFA Cup for Ajax and Portsmouth, respectively.

On Monday, Real decided to register Diarra, leaving Huntelaar out in the cold. Real have also taken French winger Julien Faubert on loan from English club West Ham United.

The only other signing of importance was Brazilian striker Ricardo Oliveira, whom struggling Betis have brought back to Seville by paying 9 million euros to second-division Zaragoza.

In England, several big-money transfers took place, with the big surprise being Robbie Keane’s return to Tottenham from Liverpool. The forward joined Liverpool from Spurs for 19 million pounds in August but didn’t settle on Merseyside.

Everton eased their striking worries by bringing in the Brazil international Jo on loan from Manchester City, while City bought Craig Bellamy, Irish international goalkeeper Shay Given and Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong.

City made De Jong’s Bundesliga club SV Hamburg an offer that they could not refuse and one that left them smiling all the way to the bank to cash their 20-million-euro cheque.

Hamburg used some of the money to lure Marcel Ndjeng, Tomas Ricon, Mickael Tavares, Michael Gravgaard, Albert Streit and Khalid Sinouh to northern Germany.

But while Hamburg, like most other clubs, signed quite a few players, there were less than a handful of high-profile transfers.

Germany international goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand ended a very disappointing spell with Valencia to return to Germany, where he signed for surprise Bundesliga leaders 1899 Hoffenheim, while US international Landon Donovan joined Bayern Munich on loan from the LA Galaxy.

Leaving the champions was French international Willi Sagnol, who announced his retirement from football as he could not recover from injury sufficiently to resume his career.

The transfer dealings in the Bundesliga - and in most other countries - shows quite clearly that the global recession has left its mark on football clubs, and only a handful are still in a position to sign players irrespective of the cost.

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