The Manchester United chief executive David Gill yesterday dismissed suggestions that Wayne Rooney could be sold by the club as "absolute garbage".
Rooney, who is currently out of action following the gash to his leg suffered against Fulham, has also denied that his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson has disintegrated to the extent that he could be sold over the course of the next year. Gill said: "He's definitely not for sale.
"He didn't start in one game on Saturday for various reasons. Alex picks the team and that's it. Whenever he's not played people try to drum up stories. I can categorically say there has been no discussion whatsoever. He's on a long-term contract with us. He's very integral to our team going forward. He's a great player, got a bad injury, will come back without a shadow of a doubt. He was angry about the story, quite rightly."
Dimitar Berbatov is moving to Fulham from United after turning down options in Italy. Martin Jol confirmed yesterday that the Bulgarian striker was having a medical with the club. "There were a lot of clubs interested in him but we were able and capable of getting him," Jol said. "He was on my list all the time. I tried to do something months ago and it didn't come off so I came back and it was the right moment for him to make his decision."
Queen's Park Rangers are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero. The west London club have agreed a £9m fee with the Spanish champions, and are now discussing personal terms. Granero played 28 games last year for Jose Mourinho's side, but has seen his route to the first team further impeded by the arrival of Luka Modric. Rangers are also waiting for international clearance and a work permit for Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Scott Sinclair and Richard Wright were having medicals at Manchester City last night as the Premier League champions continued adding players to aid their title defence. The imminent arrival of Sinclair is no real surprise, after the sale of winger Adam Johnson to Sunderland. City now have a replacement who should provide as much pace and width, having agreed a fee with Swansea City after they rejected City's earlier offer of £6.2m.
More surprising is City's recruitment of Wright. The former England goalkeeper will arrive as third-choice behind Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon after Stuart Taylor's recent departure to Reading. These two transfers should be completed today. Internazionale right-back Maicon was not thought to be as close to signing, while City were in negotiations last night with Milan officials over the sale of midfielder Nigel de Jong, who is in the last year of his contract.
Swansea City hope to replace Sinclair with Pablo Hernandez from Valencia. A third bid for the 27-year-old Spain international has been successful, and manager Michael Laudrup is thrilled at the prospect of his signing. "I managed Pablo in Getafe, he did fantastic for us," Laudrup said. "I am looking forward to having him here, he is a good player with right mentality." Swansea's Andrea Orlandi yesterday joined Brighton and Hove Albion while Burnley, Bristol City and Middlesbrough are all competing to sign Stephen Dobbie.
Arsenal are expecting the departure of two of their fringe strikers today. Nicklas Bendtner is likely to leave, and is close to a move to Juventus. He spent last season on loan at Sunderland. Arsène Wenger said yesterday Arsenal were "open to anything" regarding his future but had not yet reached any agreements. Park Chu-young is set to move to Spanish side Celta Vigo.
Jordan Rhodes had a medical at Blackburn Rovers last night ahead of an £8m move from Huddersfield Town. The 21-year-old striker scored 87 goals in 148 games for Huddersfield.Reuse content