Transfer News and Speculation: 4 August

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The Independent Football

Kenwyne Jones, Sunderland's injured centre-forward, will have an operation today on the knee he damaged playing for Trinidad & Tobago against England on 1 June, Roy Keane said yesterday. Keane said that Sunderland will know "within 24 hours" the scale of the problem, but Keane has already written off Jones' participation for the first two months of the season and acknowledged again the need to buy at least one new striker.

Sunderland have expressed an interest in Tottenham's Darren Bent, but the sale of Robbie Keane to Liverpool and Bent's prolific pre-season form for Spurs means that the Wearsiders are now looking elsewhere. Reading's Kevin Doyle remains a possible target. Keane confirmed that acquiring a new left-back is also a priority.

Keane's chairman Niall Quinn reiterated yesterday that the manager's contractual position is "relaxed", a position Keane agreed with. Keane signed a three-year deal in early September 2006 and discussions over an extension are already at an informal stage.

Keane has wanted investment and the Irish Drumaville consortium that owns the club has released close to £20m this summer on transfer fees alone, allowing Sunderland to buy again.

Van Basten blocks Huntelaar's exit

The Ajax manager, Marco van Basten, said yesterday that his coveted striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar will not be leaving the Amsterdam club this summer for Manchester United. "There is no chance," Van Basten said of the rumoured departure of his 24-year-old forward. Huntelaar, who scored 33 times for Ajax in 34 games last season, has been linked consistently with United. Van Basten was speaking at Sunderland's Stadium of Light after a 1-0 victory for his Dutch side. Huntelaar scored Ajax's goal in the 54th minute.

Celtic wait for Barça to release Crosas

Celtic are close to signing the Barcelona midfielder Marc Crosas, but reports of a £2m fee appear premature. Crosas' agent, Angel Castell, said there was work to do regarding the 20-year-old. "As of close of business on Friday, a deal was not done and I have had no confirmation since from Barcelona," Angel said. "Barcelona were thinking of a loan, but the player is keen on a transfer and is waiting to fly to Glasgow." Crosas made his Barça debut two years ago, but has only played once since. He played eight times on loan at Lyon last season.

What the papers say

Real Madrid are preparing a take-it-or-leave-it bid of £60m for the Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who will demand to be allowed to move to Spain when he returns to United training tomorrow.

Tottenham will have to pay £19m to sign Zenit St Petersburg's Russia striker Andrei Arshavin.

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari claims Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba will both sign new contracts at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal may still try to lure Aston Villa's Gareth Barry to north London, despite the midfielder's manager, Martin O'Neill, apparently admitting that the player is Liverpool-bound.

Everton are poised to launch a £3m bid for Manchester United's Scottish international midfielder Darren Fletcher.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson wants the Everton striker Andy Johnson to return to London, but not for the £10.5m asking price.

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes will raid his previous club Blackburn for £12m Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz.

*The weekend's COMPLETED MOVE

Carlos Villaneuva (Audax Italiano) to Blackburn: Season-long loan

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