Football managers are like the boy who cried wolf – or was it Wolves? Or Wolfsburg? However many times they tell us their club does not need to sign anyone during a transfer window, we refuse to believe them. Hence the list of names below associated with clubs such as Chelsea and Tottenham, who have insisted they will not be going to market this month.
"I'd like to say for the last time, we don't buy nobody," Carlo Ancelotti insisted in mid-December. To emphasise that there was no cunning deception in his use of a double negative, he even threatened to run naked round the training ground if a new player arrived, which in the current climate risks a period in hospital as well as prison. Meanwhile Tottenham's Harry Redknapp, rarely a man to resist doing a deal, was talking about his four good centre-halves, his four strikers, three excellent central midfielders; and still being linked with players in all positions.
The little significant business done in the first half of the month has involved Michel and Maxi Rodriguez, and a couple of golden oldies in Patrick Vieira and Sol Campbell, Arsenal having confirmed the latter's return yesterday morning as the first player Arsène Wenger has ever brought back to the club.
Amr Zaki's agent claims he will be back in England too, on loan at Hull. In-form Birmingham still have some Hong Kong money burning a hole in their pocket and as new managers always like a couple of new players, Bolton and Burnley may become buyers shortly.
Players linked with and bought by Premier League clubs last week:
Arsenal Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux), Louis Saha (Everton), Sergio Canales (Racing Santander). Signed: Sol Campbell (unattached), Samuel Galindo (Real America).
Birmingham Stephen Hunt (Hull), Marc Janko (Salzburg), Aiden McGeady (Celtic), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham), Hugo Rodallega (Wigan). Signed: Eddy Gnahore (Manchester City), Michel (Sporting Gijon).
Blackburn Nigel Reo-Coker (Aston Villa), Gary O'Neil (Middlesbrough), Amr Zaki (Zamalek).
Bolton Jermaine Beckford (Leeds), Nigel Reo-Coker (Aston Villa), Andy Carroll (Newcastle), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal, loan), Guti (Real Madrid).
Chelsea Sergio Canales (Racing Santander), Marouane Fellaini (Everton), Angel di Maria (Benfica), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich), Simon Kjaer (Palermo).
Everton Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Samuel Galindo (Real America), Matt Kilgallon (Sheffield United), Philippe Senderos (Arsenal).
Fulham Kamil Glik (Gliwice), Stefano Okaka (Roma, loan).
Hull Kris Commons (Derby), Nigel Reo-Coker (Aston VIlla), Amr Zaki (Zamalek).
Liverpool Sergio Canales (Racing Santander), Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux), Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City), Louis Saha (Everton), Kenwyne Jones (Sunderland). Signed: Maxi Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid).
Manchester City Sergio Canales (Racing Santander), Younes Kaboul (Portsmouth), Victor Moses (Crystal Palace), Milos Krasic (CSKA Moscow), Simon Kjaer (Palermo), Mancini (Marseille).
Manchester United Angel di Maria (Benfica), Rolando (Porto).
Portsmouth Emad Moteab (Al-Ahly).
Stoke David James (Portsmouth, loan), Jan Mucha (Legia Warsaw), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid), Amr Zaki (Zamalek).
Sunderland Salvador Cabanas (Club America), Adam Johnson (Middlesbrough), Younes Kaboul (Portsmouth), Amr Zaki (Zamalek), Ryan Babel (Liverpool).
Tottenham Mathieu Flamini (Milan), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Jan Mucha (Legia Warsaw), Louis Saha (Everton), Sandro (Internacional), Javier Saviola (Benfica), Guti (Real Madrid).
West Ham Nuno Gomes (Benfica), Eidur Gudjohnsen (Monaco), Sergei Kornilenko (Zenit St Petersburg).
Wigan Aritz Aduriz (Mallorca), Joao Carlos (Genk), Nigel Reo-Coker (Aston Villa). Signed: Gary Caldwell (Celtic).
Wolves Jermaine Beckford (Leeds), Craig Gardner (Aston Villa), Stephen Hunt (Hull), Jamie O'Hara (Tottenham).