O’Connor, Kapo, Flamini, De Ridder, Kingson, Okonkwo, Ridgewell, Kamara

I’ve got three blogs planned for today. But I’ve had blogs planned for the last few days and for one reason or another, they haven’t been done. Such a lot seems to have happened over the last few days, it’s pretty impossible to cover it all.

Today, I’ll try (with the strains of Tim Henman probably crashing out of Wimbledon at the second round stage in the background, hopefully that’ll be followed by an entertaining 20/20 game between England and the WIndies.)

Speaking of other sports, it’s been fairly easy to cope without football during the ’summer’ hasn’t it? The cricket’s been on, the U21’s have been on and the Brummies have made a return to Speedway. Not to mention the constant speculation over who’s going to be brought in and, more recently, who is going to be in charge come August.

It’s the transfers that I’m going to be focussing on in this blog. I’m going to attempt to swim in treacle and pull up as many articles as I can from the last few days concerning links to players, bids for players, players signing, players going. Basically, if it involves players, it should be here.

Garry O’Connor signs! – Several sources (Sky, mainly) had reported that O’Connor had already signed. I never personally believe such things until it’s reported on .com. If I remember correctly, Sky announced the Muamba signing from Arsenal a couple of weeks before he actually signed…

I think O’Connor could be a good signing. I’m a bit concerned about his slight lack of goals considering the level he’s played at but I honestly think that his potential could really explode into ability if he ends up in a situation that he’s happy with. Blues could provide that.

You can read more about O’Connor and see a short video of him scoring goals here.

Blues close to Kapo capture – He’s 26, destroyed Arsenal, almost signed for Manchester United, played for Juventus, got international caps with France. And he’s willing to sign for us – for 2 million quid!

It almost seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? From the research that I’ve done on the player, it seems as though he has all the talent but has lost his way in recent seasons. He’s been unsure of his place in Turin and has been shunted out on loan a couple of times. Again, like with O’Connor, it seems as though a home is all he needs to really flourish.

We need an attacking outlet from midfield and having him on board would give us options. It certainly puts into perspective the £5m quid that West Bromwich Albion are asking for Jason Koumas. Go ahead Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic… he’s all yours.

Hopefully we can tie this one up very soon. It seems to have happened quite quickly and the longer it goes on, the more clubs will be alerted. It’ll be a nervy wait, I feel.

Earlier in the week quotes attributed to Kapo appeared saying that he wants to join a club who are aiming higher than just survival in the top league. If he’s willing to sign, the board must’ve done a pretty good job in convincing him that our future plans are fairly ambitious.

Like I say, nervy wait.

Blues after Flamini – Colin Tattum has confirmed this story in the Mail and Blues have spoken to Arsenal “at length” about the player although several clubs are interested – including those that can offer him Champions League football. I fear that this one is a bit beyond us.

Still, the ambition is clearly there and the fact that Flamini isn’t willing to sit in the reserves at Arsenal speaks volumes and this is exactly the type of player that we should be going for. Hopefully if Flamini is willing to speak to us, the captures of Fabrice Muamba and Sebastian Larsson will play into our hands and give us an edge. Both would obviously give us a glowing reference.

A bit about Flamini : He is 23 years old and made his professional debut for Olympique Marseilles, aged 18. He went on to make 13 more appearances before signing a professional contract with Arsenal after Marseilles were unable to tie him down to a long contract due to his age (strange, I’ve never heard of that rule before?)

Flamini has gone on to make 72 appearances for the Gunners and has scored four goals. He has played in a number of positions including left back (argh!) and right winger although his favourite position is central midfield – he is primarily defensive and the official Arsenal site claims that “The young Frenchman is an industrious midfielder with a great engine, a big heart and good technical ability.”

Flamini made 32 appearances for the Gunners last season, scoring four goals. His last appearance came in a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on March 14th.

I’d dearly love to see a player of Flamini’s ability at St Andrew’s. I’d like the opinions of Arsenal fans on this one. From those that I remember speaking to when the move was first speculated about a few months ago, they seem to think that Flamini could do a cracking job at St Andrew’s although he isn’t quite up to scratch for what Arsenal are after.

That’s fine by me… if he’s anywhere near as good as Muamba, we’ll be laughing.

Blues talking to De Ridder -This one comes from Tribal but Colin Tattum has confirmed in the Mail that Blues have “held talks” with the Celta Vigo winger.

De Ridder is 23 years old and can play as either a winger on either side or an attacking midfielder. He has previously played for Ajax. He has previously been linked with Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur in England.

His club, Celta, were relegated at the end of the 2006/07 season and no doubt a move to a top league club could enhance De Ridder’s international ambitions.

Blues interested in ‘keeper – Whether this is to replace Maik Taylor or simply be third choice, it’s anyone’s guess. I’d say that we’ve probably given up on Carson from Liverpool now and this fella is the next target.

Tattum in the Mail claims we’ve “approached” Kingson about a move. He is 29 years old and has over forty caps for Ghana. His brother plays for Heart of Midlothian.

Blues in for Okonkwo? – No, actually.  He signed for German second division side FC Cologne yesterday.

Ridgewell waiting for Blues offer – Rehash of an old story. I’d still quite like us to sign him although it seems as though we’re suddenly going mad on attackers…!

Fulham to up ante for Kamara – Go for it, Fulham! You too, Middlesbrough. Like with Koumas, I’d be delighted if we didn’t get him considering the money that’s being talked about.

Blues interested in Abeyie – I haven’t seen the link anywhere else so I’ll let you do your own research on this one. If his name comes up again, I’ll find more out.

Until then, that’s your lot.

I must say, I’m impressed. David Sullivan stated that it would probably be quite quiet until July and so it’s proved. Now things are really beginning to kick into gear and if the players listed on this page are really the targets, I say the sooner we get them tied up, the better.

Next season could be an exciting time after all…

Latest Transfers News & Rumours

Are we finally beginning to see the wheels of solid transfer news grudgingly starting to turn? There’s been a lot of panic over the last two to three weeks about players we’re not bringing in, players we’re being linked to and even players that we’ve supposedly signed.

People aren’t happy with O’Connor because he’s only 4th or 5th choice (although I think he’ll be a cracking signing), and Parnaby isn’t good enough (let’s give him a chance!) We’re not going all out to sign the players that we need – A left back in the shape of West Ham United’s Paul Konchesky or Tuncay, who’s now gone to Middlesbrough. I’m still hoping against hope that we’ll end up being the mystery club who’s in for Nugent but it’s going to be Everton, Aston Villa or West Ham United, surely?

David Sullivan said a few weeks ago that things wouldn’t begin to happen until July. We’re almost there, let’s see what that brings. I’m going to pour over the news of the last couple of days and see exactly what’s been happening in relation to our wonderful club.

Nugent set to decide future – Where better to start than with Nugent? Sunderland look as though they’ll clinch his signing – and what a first signing it would be. I really rate Nugent. I think he’s got a massive future in the game and if a signing of this ilk is where Sunderland are aiming then they should do very well at Premiership level.

Like I said earlier, I’d dearly love us to be the other club involved but I just can’t see it, especially with us having now practically wrapped up a deal for Garry O’Connor.

Blues missed out on Chelsea loanee? – The Vital Watford page is the only place I can find this piece of information. Apparently we – and West Bromwich Albion – have missed out on loaning Chelsea’s young centre half Michael Mancienne. Mancienne has previously spent time on loan at Queens Park Rangers. He is yet to make an appearance for his parent club.

Whatever happened to Djourou of Arsenal?

Blues linked with Juventus midfielder – This link first appeared yesterday. There’s been a further development today and I’ll blog about that further down. Basically, Juve are willing to accept £2m for Kapo. He spent last season on loan at Levante in Spain. The stumbling block for Blues could be Kapo himself who has said:

My experience in Spain was positive but Levante were only fighting to avoid relegation and I desire a club with more aspirations.

In the long term, we do have bigger aspirations but for the next season or two, it’s going to be all about amassing enough points to stay in the top tier. I’m sure Everton would be a much more attractive proposition for the player.

Blues set to seal Kapo loan move – According to today’s Daily Mirror, Blues are set to wrap up a year long loan deal for Kapo from Juventus. Despite playing for Juve, there’s not too much info around about Kapo.

He’s a 26 year old French international midfielder who currently plays for Juventus. He started his career out at Auxerre and has also spent time on loan at AS Monaco. He has 190 appearances at club level. He has scored 29 goals. At international level, he has played 9 times and scored 3.

I don’t follow European football but from what I understand, Kapo is a very useful attacking midfielder. Articles are stating that he’s available for £2m – perhaps Blues will put some sort of clause into a loan deal giving us the option to buy at the end of 12 months? – and it’d be a welcome option over the overpriced Koumas.

Kapo himself has said that he wouldn’t like to be fighting relegation but if the takeover happens, hopefully we could do a job of convincing him that we’re a club going places. Besides, playing for a smaller club in the Premiership might provide him with a platform to show off his talents. If we get him for one year and he helps us stay up, I’m all for it…

You can view some vid’s of Kapo in action by clicking here.

Championship side linked with Taylor, Clem – I wouldn’t be surprised to see Maik Taylor leave. We’re being linked with goalkeeper after goalkeeper with Liverpool’s Scott Carson name repeatedly popping up. I wouldn’t mind seeing Maik leave to get regular first team action. He’s been a great servant to Blues and I’d hate to see his career whimper out with us. He’s too good for that.

As for Clemence… seriously? Just why would he move on after regaining his place in the side and us getting promoted? I think he’ll still get into the side next season.

O’Connor deal in doubt – It all sounds like much-a-do to me. I’ve visited some Hibernian sites and they seem to think that they’re entitled to nothing so quite where this story has come from is beyond me. I think a club like Hibs would know whether they’re entitled or not. They’re not exactly swimming in cash!

Oh… just found more details here.

And that’s your lot. Hopefully I’ll get around to posting about the non-transfer related news later on.

Weekend News Round Up

I rarely blog too much at weekends. There’s always a sense of nothing having happened at the weekend as far as football is concerned – although I suppose Henry from Arsenal to Barcelona is pretty big news. It’s a shame that he’s leaving. The Premiership will miss him.

But enough about him, what about us? What’s been happening over the last 24 hours or so?

Blues and Spurs in £10m Davies battle – I must confess, I did chuckle at the headline. It’s basically an article saying that we’re interested in West Bromwich Albion captain Curtis Davies. As are Tottenham Hotspur. And I have heard Arsenal are taking a look.

The article also briefly talks about Wigan Athletic, Fulham, Aston Villa and one or two other clubs who are interested in Koumas and Kamara.

I’ll personally eat a hat, a horse or anything else you care to mention if we bid anywhere near £10m for Davies!

Keeper snubs Blues – Nope, not Scott Carson of Liverpool (which I’m glad about because he clearly won’t be fit in time for the new season after severely fatiguing himself in the penalty shoot out against Holland at the Euro U21’s!) but Shakhtar Donetsk shot stopper Jan Lastuvka.

Yeah… who? Apparently he spent some time on loan at Fulham last season. If he’s not going to sign, I’m not going to offer him more space than he needs. Although I’m still puzzled as to why we’re being linked to so many goalkeepers.

Hibs won’t benefit from O’Connor move – Article saying that Hibernian won’t be getting any dosh from Garry O’Connor’s move to Blues. Shame. I quite like Hibs.

It also appears like we’ve beaten off competition from West Ham United and Wigan Athletic, which is obviously quite pleasing. I don’t believe he’s officially signed yet (since nothing has been announced on .com) but a deal is definitely imminent since it’s been announced on the Lokomotiv site.

Blues set to enter Davies race – A bit more on the story that Blues might fancy bidding for the Albion captain. Little bits of information about the player, also suggesting that Portsmouth bid £8.5m last year.

Also take a look at the comments section… It’ll cheer you up if you’re feeling down. These Championship fans… no class, eh?

O’Connor pleased to get Premiership chance – I must admit that I’m excited about seeing this bloke play. He sounds like he’s going to be a Blue hero and already I’m expecting big things…

More takeover news – Quite a few people have referred to this article as a “Put up or shut up” message. Can’t say as I see it quite like that… maybe that’s because I know absolutely nothing about the way in which businesses work.

I think a deal will go through, eventually. I just hope, as Tattum suggests, it will clear up any lingering doubts about how robustly we should follow up our initial transfer interests.

Sads up for the battle – Good lad! I’ve always liked Mat Sadler and I’m still convinced he’ll turn into a competent top level full back.

Villa boss set to sell – I’d take both Ridgewell and Davis. As would quite a few Premiership teams looking at that article…

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