Thursday, 10 January 2008

Heer(enveen) today, gone tomorrow?

"How much?"

The transfer window has barely blown open and today the rumour mill went into overdrive. Several reports are suggesting Boro have agreed terms with Heerenveen's Brazilian striker Afonso Alves and will seal the deal when a fee can be agreed, most likely in the region of £14million.

Gareth Southgate has remained tight-lipped on the situation, refusing to comment on reports that suggest Alves may even arrive by the end of the week. However, there is a growing feeling that this most ludicrous of transfer stories might not be bollocks after all.

Keith Lamb has insisted Boro do not need to sell Stewart Downing to finance the deal. If the money can be raised, it seems Alves is keen on proving his worth in the Premier League. Heerenveen have confirmed they've "closed the book" on his time in Holland. After this spectacular rant, its fair to assume Alves is still keen to depart.

Boro have also been linked with other strikers. Sky Sports have claimed Boro today met with the agent of Lyon's wantaway Brazil international Fred. Meanwhile, the Times have suggested Southgate is interested in Shaktar Donetsk's Italian forward and Marxist lecturer Cristiano Lucarelli. The club have thankfully taken time to pooh-pooh suggestions that they would make a move for creaking, ancient Turk Hakan Sukur.

Meanwhile, Southgate pulled Mido out of his planned appearance for the reserves, although permanantly crocked defender Matthew Bates managed an hour without breaking his leg. Its unclear whether Mido will still make the bench for Saturday's game with Liverpool, as previously planned.

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