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Summer transfer window deadline day busters
Less than 24 hours remain before the summer Premier League transfer window shuts, but which name will we be talking about come Saturday morning?
We had the story of the £35 million striker who was wanted by his manager about as much as an Everton victory in a Merseyside derby. "I don't think we are in a position to have £35 million players as third choice strikers," Brendan Rodgers said of Andy Carroll on Thursday. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Andy has been a cover player for us in the opening two games."
As a result, Carroll hot-footed it to Sam Allardyce's West Ham before Sky Sports News' Jim White had time to announce "hold onto your hats".
However, Rodgers' quotes about Carroll were followed by another snippet, in which he said: "I'm not sure we are in a position to have ... wingers who might be on £6m a year."
Now, unless Raheem Sterling is a very wealthy young man, that surely brings either Stewart Downing or Joe Cole under the spotlight. And, given the fact Downing continues to be used by Rodgers while Cole sits in the stands, it would be safe to assume Cole is available for transfer. Did somebody say Tottenham?
If Daniel Sturridge does not opt for a Chelsea exit, it will either be because he has outrageous confidence in his own ability, or because he simply isn't very good at maths. With Fernando Torres the main man up front, and Chelsea boasting Juan Mata, Oscar, Marko Marin, Victor Moses and Eden Hazard as support options, Sturridge's game-time is going to be limited. One suspects Tottenham or Liverpool might snap up him up in a heartbeat - given his ability to play both centrally and out wide - if only Chelsea would drop the £25 million price tag.
Don't be surprised to hear big Jim suddenly utter the words: "If this is true..." and "Wouldn't this be a story..." in relation to Mr Sturridge over the coming hours.
Of course, Spurs' interest in Sturridge might be directly linked to the potential purchase of Shakhtar Donetsk magician Willian. Not to be confused with famous artist Will.I.Am, Willian nevertheless has the ability to make people party with the magic in his two feet. Andre Villas-Boas readily admits he is unlikely to sign the player, but could that be the classic cover-up before a last-ditch arrival? Don't expect this one to happen, but equally don't be surprised if Jim announces Willian has been "spotted at the airport".
If reports are to be believed, Sunderland are testing the resolve of Fulham to see if they can snare Mr Dempsey, which would make for a laughable move considering the forward recently insisted he wants to play European football. Dempsey is wanted by Liverpool - perhaps the more likely destination.
On the face of it, there is no obvious position for Dempsey to play in Rodgers' 4-3-3 formation, with Suarez the clear choice up front, and Steven Gerrard the undoubted supporting midfielder. But Rodgers has made it clear he doesn't want a £35 million striker on the bench, so maybe he'll settle for a £10 million man kicking his heels. "Stranger things have happened..." says Jim.
When the neutral surveys the Manchester City starting XI, the position of right-back most certainly stands out. Undoubtedly a loyal servant and excellent squad player, Pablo Zabaleta would make few world XIs picked by regulars down the local Fox and Duck.
One man who might is Inter Milan powerhouse Maicon, so good he requires only one name. Pacy, strong, great first touch and incredibly dangerous from 25 yards, the Brazilian would undoubtedly improve an already formidable City side. What are the chances Jim? "We face a race against time on this one..."
The move by QPR for Real Madrid's creative midfielder Esteban Granero came to fruition late on Thursday, completing one of the more eye-opening captures of the window. The Hoops are effectively replacing Shaun Derry with Granero... say no more.
Contrastingly, if Bendtner completes his expected switch to Juventus on deadline day, we may be casting disbelieving glances for an altogether different reason. Yes, Kevin-Prince Boateng proved a success at AC Milan, but are Juve really about to beckon in the post-Del Piero era with the introduction of Bendtner?
Will it happen? Well, you'll know if it becomes serious when Jim White announces that "Joey Barton has just tweeted me..."
There was a damning indictment of Edin Dzeko's time at Manchester City made during the recent 2-2 draw at Liverpool, when it was noted that the striker is the closest thing City have had to Niall Quinn. Maybe Arsene Wenger was an admirer of Quinny in his heyday; whatever the truth, it is reported that he may move for Dzeko before the deadline closes.
Roberto Mancini will never be as tactful as Brendan Rodgers by insisting he wants rid of the Bosnian, but he would likely be receptive to an approach if his employers will allow a replacement. Dzeko missed a game-clinching chance at Anfield, the type Robin van Persie would have gobbled up at Old Trafford, and that class divide might be the difference in the title race as the campaign advances.
Any news will likely be announced on City's official website, although don't begrudge big Jim stating: "I exclusively reveal..." moments later, whilst also confirming exclusively that Pele has retired.
The chances are that Theo Walcott will stay at Arsenal during this window, as announced recently by the Gunners themselves. However, that will not stop his name being linked to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City as the clock ticks down.
Expect regular sightings of a "nippy lad with a middle class accent" in the North West throughout transfer deadline day, with an excited Jim White no doubt announcing at some stage: "If you thought the Robin van Persie transfer was big..."
One of the least likely to happen, although we'll wait for a jobless Harry Redknapp to pull up in his car and reveal "I can't see it 'appening lads" before we completely rule it out.
Rafael van der Vaart
"Don't hold me to this..." announces Jim as he prepares to throw to a camera outside Spurs Lodge, "this just in..." followed by news of Rafael van der Vaart's switch to Hamburg. Van der Vaart loves playing for Spurs, but he also has emotional ties to Hamburg, and Villas-Boas may not see him as being key to his plans.
This is the type of transfer that will only happen if plenty of things go right for Spurs elsewhere. If two or three major targets (Willian, Loic Remy, Hugo Lloris perhaps) walk through the entrance door, Van der Vaart will likely be allowed to leave. "It's a revolving door at White Hart Lane isn't it?" concludes White on a busy final day.
We could be back to Joey Barton for updates on this one as QPR attempt to improve their defence with former Chelsea veteran Ricardo Carvalho. By this time "Twitter is in meltdown" according to Jim, who is labelling every transfer "sensational breaking news".
New capture Julio Cesar already claims it is his "dream" to win the league at QPR, something he no doubt had many sleepless nights over as a child on the Brazilian streets of Duque de Caxias. Well, Carvalho was no different as he donned his blue-and-white hoops on the pavements of Portugal, but will he seal the deal before big Jim announces that the window has "slammed shut" for another few months?