Transfer News and Speculation: 28 July

Sporting Lisbon confirmed last night that they had turned down a €15m (£11.8m) bid from Everton for the Portugal international midfielder Joao Moutinho despite the player's protests that he wants a move to the Premier League.

Moutinho, 21, broke rank on Saturday after Sporting Lisbon's win over Blackburn Rovers in the Algarve Cup to say that he wanted out of the club. As club captain he has a €40m (£31.6m) release fee in his contract but a gentleman's agreement with Sporting that, after 15 June this year, he could leave for around €20m (£15.8m). Moutinho, who is represented by the Israeli agent Pini Zahavi, spoke about the move to Everton just as his manager Paulo Bento was saying in a press conference that he did not want the player to leave. "I want to leave, I know Everton have made an offer to Sporting which they have refused," Moutinho said. "I don't know if they are willing to raise the price. I hope there will be an agreement that will be good for everyone concerned." Everton have signed Steven Pienaar on a permanent deal from Borussia Dortmund for £2.5m. Andy Johnson's £10m move to Fulham is expected to go through this week but Spurs have proved reluctant to sell Darren Bent to Everton.

Wright-Phillips is happy, says Scolari

Chelsea Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said yesterday that Shaun Wright-Phillips, who has been linked with a number of teams, is content at the club.

"I have spoken to Shaun today at training and he is happy at Chelsea," Scolari said. "If he wants to leave the decision is not only for me but also for the board." Meanwhile, chief executive Peter Kenyon has insisted there are no further developments over their pursuit of Real Madrid striker Robinho.

Fabregas sees Real move in his future

Cesc Fabregas has hinted he is interested in a move to Real Madrid, but not this summer. Fabregas, told Marca: "I didn't tell Ramon Calderon [Madrid's president] no, I told him now wasn't the time to go to Madrid. That you are wanted by one of the biggest teams in history is important. To be four seasons without winning any titles would be too much for me," Fabregas added about Arsenal's lack of success.

What the papers say...

Michael Ballack is set to quit football when his current Chelsea contract expires in 2010.

Real Madrid are ready to step up their pursuit of Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas after they admit defeat in the Cristiano Ronaldo affair.

Arsène Wenger is heading for a row with his Arsenal board as they have not rejected out of hand a bid of £4m for the defender Philippe Senderos from Newcastle United. Instead they are holding out for an offer of £6m.

Manchester United are to pull the plug on trying to sign Tottenham's striker Dimitar Berbatov as he is too expensive.

Manchester United's summer spending will reach £56m this week when they complete the signing of Berbatov.

Stoke City are planning a £2m swoop for Wigan Athletic's midfielder Michael Brown.

Manchester United's Carlos Tevez is to quit football at the age of 28.

West Bromwich Albion are ready to make an improved £2m offer for the Bolton Wanderers defender Abdoulaye Meite.


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