Although there was plenty of transfer activity yesterday, only Liverpool and Harry Kewell could honestly say they had anything to shake hands on.
Today the Australian will finally announce his £7m move to Liverpool from Leeds United after turning down last-ditch bids from Manchester United and Chelsea. The 24-year-old, who was also linked with Arsenal, is to make a statement on Australian television, and yesterday the Channel 9 News station ran a promo featuring Kewell saying: "I have been speaking with them [the club concerned] for over six months and everything just seems to be right for me to go there."
Kewell, who has turned his back on the offer of becoming the highest-paid player at Leeds on £48,000 per week, is understood to have agreed a £60,000-per-week, five-year package with Liverpool. The striker had secretly voiced his concerns about moving across the Pennines to Leeds' bitterest rivals at old Trafford, while he was also apparently unhappy at the way Beckham was treated by the club in relation to his move to Real Madrid.
Ronaldinho's immediate future was no closer to being settled after the Brazilian's representatives called off a meeting in Paris with officials from United at the last minute. Whether that was because Chelsea have decided to move on their previously declared interest in the World Cup winner remains to be seen, but they are still trying to secure the services of Real Madrid's Cameroon midfielder Geremi - but were told yesterday to come up with a new price of £11m.
According to reports, Chelsea have made an official approach to Arsenal about Thierry Henry and have put aside £50m to ensure they get their man. Arsenal, however, though they would not comment, are highly unlikely to be tempted even by the vast sums being talked about. And Henry is unlikely to be attracted by the move.
Arsenal also hope to resolve the futures of Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp in the near future. Reports over the weekend had suggested Vieira had tied up a new deal with the Gunners but the player denied that a deal had been done.
Vieira, the 27-year-old club captain - who joined from Milan for £3.5m in August 1996 and has played over 300 games - has all but pledged to have everything tied up before the Premiership resumes on 16 August. "Negotiations are going well, improving all the time, and I'm very hopeful things will be sorted out by the start of the season," he said.
Bergkamp's future seems less clear after his agent was reported to have said the player would remain at home in the Netherlands rather than report for pre-season training as the dispute over his new deal rumbles on.
"Dennis and I are very surprised and insulted by the way Arsenal have approached the situation. There is no way he will be there [at training]," his agent reportedly said. "We are still waiting to see if Arsenal will improve the offer."
But Arsenal say they expect to see the Dutchman when training resumes this week and an announcement on his contract negotiations is believed to be imminent.
* A second autopsy has shown that the Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foé died of natural causes of cardiac origin. An initial autopsy failed to determine the exact cause of death and the second has ruled out the likelihood that he had any stimulants in his body.
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