Two Minute Warning
Rooney exit, Barton to Marseille, Adam on way out?
The impending transfer deadline has got Premier League clubs frantically scouring the market for new players in a Supermarket Sweep-like fashion. Here, the Life’s a Pitch team casts its eye over reports that Charlie Adam is set to be cast out from Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool revolution – with Everton, Aston Villa, Stoke and Fulham apparently interested – that QPR’s Joey Barton is set to try his luck in the south of France with Marseille, and that Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career isn’t quite as secure as he thinks it is.
“This is a fascinating story and I think there’s some truth in it,” says the Sunday Telegraph’s Jason Burt about rumours of Rooney’s impending Old Trafford exit, despite the injured striker’s protests otherwise. “Robin van Persie looks to me like he’s been signed to replace Rooney, rather than to play with him. I think there’s a long-running issue about Rooney’s future at Manchester United: his fitness, his contribution to the team. Ferguson may have grown a bit tired of him. If they could find the right buyer, I think they’d sell. Paris Saint-Germain would sign him, but I don’t think he’ll go there. He’d probably have his heart set on Spain, but I don’t think Real Madrid or Barcelona would take him, and I don’t think Manchester City would take him either. So Man Utd have got a bit of a problem. He’s got to get himself back in the right frame of mind and at the right fitness level to justify his place. Van Persie’s arrival is hugely significant, and fascinating for Rooney’s future. I’d give [Rooney's exit] a seven out of 10.”
Adam had better not get too settled at Liverpool either, reckons the Mail on Sunday’s Ian Ridley, as reports emerge of a bid from Stoke for the midfielder. “He’s never quite fitted in, and he fits in even less with the way Brendan Rodgers wants to play,” says Ridley. “His tendency to give the ball away with expansive passing isn’t going to cut it with Rodgers either. Whether he crosses the city to Everton is another question, because it’s unusual for players to go from one to the other – Peter Beardsley obviously did it, but it doesn’t happen very often. It’s a pretty good bet that he’s going to go this week, if he will accept a move. Whether it’s to Everton, I’m not sure – it could be Villa or Fulham. But I think it’s an eight out of 10 that he’ll go this week.”
Also looking a good bet to move this week is QPR’s Barton, whose transfer to Marseille has been in the offing for some time. ”I think seven [out of 10],” says the Daily Mirror’s John Cross on the chances of the deal being completed in time. “I think Joey Barton is desperate to go to Marseille. He’s almost wishing it against himself on Twitter, with his outpourings and outbursts. But I think his agent Willie McKay is strongly suggesting it is a deal that can be salvaged. Joey Barton is a basket case – if QPR offload him to anyone, they’ll have done well. If they can convince Marseille to take him, then fair play, they must have wonderful negotiators.”
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