COME ON Boro! Haven’t you signed anyone YET? Get your finger out.
Welcome aboard our breakfast to bongs rolling 24 hour news style scrolling ticker tape of destiny. It’s going to be a long one. Mogga said after the game on Saturday that he “had bids in at clubs” and that he had “permission to speak to the players concerned” – and that they were “new names, not on the radar or mentioned in the press before.”
And he suggested it would go right down to the wire.
So let the speculation begin….
We know Boro have money: they were ready to bid £2m for Ross McCormack. And we know they have space in the wage bill because the exit of a string of big earners has given the club the most wriggle room in Mogga’s tenure. It is now or never for the manager. He has the framework of his own team in place. Now he can add the few bits of quality and fire-power to turn them into the finished product and serious contenders.
We understand that offers are on the table for Luciano Becchio (loan) and Daniel Ayala (loan with a view to a deal in January) at Norwich. Boro have also been reported to have an interest in Peterborough’s deep lying ‘false nine’ Lee Tomlin, who Celtic had a £1.2m knocked back for at the weekend, another Norwich player Jacob Butterfield (who they had an interest in last summer). Hull striker Matty Fryatt and they also have a ‘first refusal’ loan option on unwanted Aston Villa midfield living canvas Stephen Ireland.
Loans done before the deadline today can be done for the season. If they are left until next week they can only be for 93 days so we have to go through it all again in January.
There could also be a couple of exits: Millwall have an on-going interest in Justin Hoyte who Mogga has said he would listen to offers for, Faris Haroun’s agent has been touting him around Europe’s second tier leagues (he was linked with Romanian club Astra 1.6 GLX over the weekend) and there have been hints of suggestions of rumours that someone is keen on Marvin Emnes. We’ll see.
Let the madness begin…
Feel free to join in with spottings of Rooney at Rockliffe, Suarez in Stewart Park or Uwe at the Tontine or things spotted on twitter, Sky Sports News or the Teesside Airport-cam.
A first round of calls and texts and we have put a big red line through the name “Matty Fryatt” after Mogga says “there will be signings … but he won’t be one of them.” He refuses to elaborate on who may be coming in. “We are still working on them.”
The name of Kei Kamara – a Sierra Leone international six foot striker and MLS journeyman striker formerly of Bisonbreath Rednecks and Deadwood Dynamo and currently at Sporttng Kansas City – is thrown in.
Well he ticks at least one box. No, he hasn’t scored against Boro… but he has been at Norwich, our new feeder club. He had a largely unremarkable loan spell at Carrow Road last season, playing 11 games and scoring one goal, a header against Everton.
His agent has brought him over for a deadline day hiring fair with Boro, Palace, Rayo Vallecano and Copenhagen all said to be interested.
kliddle88 on twitter responds: Kei Kamara? I’d rather have Chris Kamara unbelievablejeff
Elsewhere on twitter @Steve_Crossman says: Hearing Haroun is on the road early, bound for the car park of a Dutch 2nd tier. Peter Odemwingie is car sharing.”
And @Andrew_Teen adds: “Just seen Becchio struggling to understand if he can park in the blue spaces outside Cineworld and go into town.”
Useful contribution from one of our highly trained network of spotters at strategic places around Teesside: “Just seen a Corsa with the reg plate ME551 pull up outside the Riverside” … now that’s the kind of tittle-tattle that we want
The staff are starting to arrive at Hurworth… but no mysterious flash cars pulling up in the car-park with sharp suited gentlemen using two mobiles simultaneously. Yet.
Also no action yet at the Woodlands clinic near Darlington where all Boro’s red hot medical action happens… *cough*… *counts legs* that’ll do, sign here.
@Dendog_on twitter gives us the first FMTTM in-joke of the day when he chips in: “my mate works for KLM, he said a certain F.Grenet is on the flight that lands this morning”… *places bet with self*
Some sources have suggested this morning that Hull Tigers have joined Crystal Palace Nil and Mad Billy’s Forest in expressing interest in Boro’s terse talking metronomic Mackem midfielder Grant Leadbitter but in text exchanges Mogga reiterates last week’s assurances that he has no intention of selling him “or any of the core players.”
Nothing from Hurworth yet. *Taps fingers….*
While we are waiting here’s a decent read on the language and the changing cultural importance of the Sky juggernaut driven transfer deadline day in the Mirror by Adam Hurray who trades on twitter as the perceptive @FootballCliches
There a good bit in today’s Gazette as well with George Friendinho and Lukas Jutkiewicz both saying they will be glued to the screen as excited as any fans tonight and recounting their own deadline day experiences. I’ll get that on line as soon as possible.
@strumminsimon “No-one at the Tontine. Not surprising, it’s not open yet!”
@theteessider “Mesut Ozil in Billingham town centre, gutted that art gallery was demolished so move is off #finemargins”
@AndrewHaslam “Just seen Merc with registration F4L C40 pulling up outside two “For Sale” properties in Ingleby.”
@justcalledtosay “Just seen Lamby jockeying for position outside arrivals at Heathrow waiting for Kamara. Palace heavies loitering.”
On Kamara, we’ll have to hope he is flying in by US military jet (and not via Syria) if he is to make Hurworth for the medical. He came off the bench late on last night as Sporting Kansas beat Colorado Rapids 2-1. Meanwhile here’s his goal for Norwich in a 2-1 win over Everton. Big unit.
Meanwhile eagle-eyed @Andrew_Teen reports: “Just seen Stephen Ireland put diesel in his petrol car at the Shell garage in Guisborough. #wasnthappy #calltheAA”
And to be fair, it’s hard to miss his motor…
10 am UPDATE…
What it is really about… financial experts Deloitte are reporting that in the last hour the Premier League gross spend in this summer’s transfer window has broken all records.
It now stands at around £510m, with net spending at £325m. This time last year we had a gross spend in the region of £380m-£390m.
“We expect significant further spending as the deadline approaches,” said Deloitte football industry number-cruncher Alex Thorpe. “Last year saw £100m spent on the final day of the window and with a number of clubs still to do business, we will watch with interest over the next 12 hours to see just how big the new record will be.”
COME ON BORO…. let’s help smash that totaliser to bloody bits!
@AndrewHaslam79 “Haven’t been this excited about @Boro #DeadlineDay since January 2008 when we signed Alves… and that worked out ok, right?
Checks phone is switched on… nothing from Boro. Yet. By my calculations the process is this: early morning scan through phone messages from agents offering last minute surprise cut-price striking sensation to no avail then put in the daily call to Chris Hughton to make sure no-one had gazumped Boro on the minibus load of Canaries heading towards Hurworth. Then meet the players (and assorted agents) for last minute tweaks on the proposed deals… round about now we should be looking at getting the first medical in. Then an agreeable lunch at Rockliffe Hall while waiting on the scans.
Settle yourself down. This could be a long day. Is anyone actually doing any work (apart from me obviously, for me this is work). I suspect productivity on Teesside has stalled.
I suspect nerves are kicking in too. @TerryFBH on twitter has just showed the first tremor of pre-emptive despair: “Why do I feel there is more chance of us selling someone than actually signing someone :-(”
Meanwhile anyone who wonders why Boro haven’t just bought exactly what they wanted months back should read this perceptive bit by Bernie Slaven on how signing a player is like buying a house, rarely smooth and full of pitfalls.
The BBC Deadline Day Live blog is having a chat about phones, tablets and Luddite managers struggling with technology and poses the question: “Have any transfers ever failed because of a broken fax machine?” Shall we tell them?
Elsewhere, news from the neighbours as Fabio Borini arrives at the “Academy of Light” to complete a loan move from Liverpool to Sunderland which will allow the Sea Geordies to let Stephane Sessegnon go to West Brom (which will in turn make former Mogga signing Graeme Dorrans look a bit out of place at the Baggies if you are an optimist… although it has been suggested to me may be having talks with Celtic).
And, a reader suggests, Joe Kinnear has this morning finally concluded his first deals since rejoining Newcastle: he has signed up a three month free trial for BT Sports and got 500 free texts from Orange.
The rumours are flying now… but not much hot signing action.
The Daily Mail suggest Kamara is having a medical at Rockliffe right now. Our man there says not. Reader @MasterElrond has heard via a South coast contact (his uncle Allan) that Boro are after Bournemouth’s Lewis (goal a game) Grabban, possibly in a bid to recoup some of the £2.6m they splashed out on former Mogga target and pocket poacher (and headline writers’ dream Tokelo Rantie).
Other names that have been thrown at me today with various looks of fear and loathing are Marlon King, Craig Dawson, Tom Pope, Chris Baird and “Sheila” Ameobi.
Star spotter @kevin_horton tweeted to say: “My mums seen ‘Big Ish’ buying box of 12 krispe kreme doughnuts in tesco at Northallerton ahead of medical at 1pm”
And @stephenharkin1 suggests expanding our already extensive network of contacts. “Have you tried stopping random postmen/milkmen/dustmen in the road. They’re often in the know,” he suggests.
12.33 DONE DEAL
Gazette sources can confirm a successful swoop on Danish club AKG Vending for a bag of Roast Ox flavour crisps and a Mars Bar.
Hmmmmmmm. Looks at watch. Checks phone. Come on Mogga.
Possible movement in the logjam that could lead to an exit. Millwall have let striker Danny N’Guessan leave by mutual consent. He’s behind Scott ‘goal machine’ McDonald and Steve “he’s only got one arm!?” Morison now and has opted to join Swindon. That could possibly free-up space in the Lions wage bill for them to move for Justin Hoyte. Maybe.But I’m only N’Guessing. *groan*
Elsewhere, here’s £100 squilllion simian superstar Gareth Bale doing the most high pressure public keepie-uppies ever in his mandatory Real Madrid galactico initiation test at the Bernabeu.
Now I like a daft quid as much as the next man (unless the next man is Gordon Taylor) but I’m a little bit uncomfortable with betting markets on player transfers. Especially when the odds are being marked up by Sky Bet… the people who sponsor the Championship. Is there a conflict of interest there? Something doesn’t sit right about that. I’m not overly happy about the rash of offshore internet bookies sponsoring individual clubs (from Boro’s deal with 888.com on) but having influence on the whole league? No. I’m not suggesting for a second that there is anything suspect about the relationship but sometimes it is best to avoid standing in the shadow of a dark possibility.
Anyway, Sky Bet are pricing up the possiblities of a move for Becchio with Boro at 3/1 favourites and Reading coming in to 5/1 after rumours of a late move by the Royals. That is a betting market where a lot of people could make a lot of money by manipulating the media and ITK social network viral gossips to fiddle with the odds. Sorry but that is a market that has “unusual betting pattern” written all over it.
*climbs off soapbox*
Informed punter @dhynes87 quickly puts me in my ten bob each way place saying: “Transfer specials usually have a limit of around £20-50. Not sure what there’s is but still it’s the same as manager odds”.
OK, so no-one will make a fortune and if a heavily disguised athletic looking bloke with a South American accent tried to put £1m on they would probably spot there was a rabbit off but that doesn’t change the point. Whatever the stake, betting on something so easily influenced and where the market relies on information that could be freely available to particular punters doesn’t feel right. And no, I don’t bet on managerial sackings either.
The nerves are setting in now. Not mine. Possibly Mogga’s. But then all the big managers are struggling to spend their dosh: Moyes, Wenger, Pardew. I can sense the ripples in Teesside’s psychic jittersphere.
@justcalledtosay tweeted: Boro are currently having trouble printing the diagnostics test page on the fax machine #herewegoagain” and even uber-rara Jarkko nervously added: ” I am burying my foam hands. Getting worried even about one striker now.”
And @AndrewSJinks catches the zietgeist as he tweets: “Truthfully I can’t see us signing anyone #pessimistic #typicalBoro or #payovertheodds for a hasbeen/donkey”
Relax. It’s early yet. Remember Steve McClaren’s 11.59 trolley dash when he bought Christie, Riggott and Ricketts and then the next morning found he also had signed Doriva without even noticing. Justin Hoyte wasn’t done until two hours after the deadline because his deal was tied in with the Ashley Cole Arsenal to Chelsea switch.
Meanwhile, back to the Rumourdome… hopes of landing angel winged wonder Steven Ireland look to be fading as former City boss Mark Hughes (in charge when he had his one really good season) closes in on signing him on a one season loan.
That makes sense for Villa as a Premier League side would be able pay all or most of his £60k a week wages. Boro would be looking to pay £10k. Mogga had a gentleman’s agreement with Paul Lambert on a first refusalif Villa loaned him to the Championship but the understanding was always that they would be looking for a sale first and then a loan to a big league and club willing to pick up the wages.
BORO TRANSFER NEWS…
Sorry, calm down. It is just peripheral tinkering. Connor Ripley has extended his one month loan deal at Bradford to take him up to January. He is on stand-by for a Bantams debut tomorrow against Coops and Higgy’s mini-Boro in the Paint Pot Cup tomorrow.
Meanwhile twitter is buzzing. “Rumours flying around of Michael Owen applying for Membership at the North Ormesby Working Men’s Institute today,” reports @FryettPaul while @dickyjim78 can confirm: “Just back from town: Diego Forlan in Claire’s Accessories stocking up on Alice bands. Better late than never?” and @Capetownsmoggy insists: Spitting Image of Diouf spotted near magistrate court asking for directions to Riverside.”
Rumours that Reading have made a “bid” for Becchio appear wide of the mark. The paper down there – part of our group – says not. There have been no suggestions from Nigel Adkins to that effect. They say there are plenty of rumours about Becchio (and have been for days) but also that they have strong rumours about former Boro trialist Cameron Jerome and Billy Sharp too. The miasma of whispers engulfs all clubs.
Elsewhere, Stoke have confirmed they have signed Steven Ireland on a year long loan deal, so that is one door slammed shut.
Meanwhile, here’s one I did earlier... a nice bit on how players are just excited as fans to settle on down with a can of beer and a tube of Pringles to watch Jim White jabber on Sky Sports Live. Some good quotes from George Friend and Lukas Jutkiewicz, both who have been involved in deadline days deals. Good read, even if I say so myself.
WAIT! …. movement on the stalkercam trained on Hurworth….
As you were, its just the Under 21s assembling ready to board the team bus bound for the Reebok Stadium and a clash with Bolton tonight.
Typical, you make the dash through the Acklam Road rush hour and the rumourverse kicks into life.
Right… Boro have been linked by Sky Sports with Belgian international Jelle Vossen, a deep lying striker/link man from Genk who is has played for Belgium at every level from kindergarten upwards and is a Football Manager must-buy. He has scored 78 goals in 148 league games for Genk and is rated one of Belgium’s best. Better than Haroun then.
The name was mentioned on one of the ITK gossip sites a few days ago with the price quoted as £6m which is way out of Boro’s range. It is also less than Newcastle were supposedly quoted a fortnight ago. Now it seems to have come down to £4m … which is still far too high unless it is very cleverly structured.
I’ll put a call in but it the numbers don’t stack up for me.
Meanwhile Boro are said to have “fended off” a Wigan bid for Rhys Williams. The boss at Wigan is of course long time suitor Owen Coyle who had Rhys at Burnley back in the day when they got promoted and had another nibble – rebuffed – 18 months ago when he was at Bolton. Mogga has stated repeatedly that he does not intend to nor is under any pressure to, sell his ‘core’ players.
On twitter breathless @Drakey31 says: “I’m investing in an inhaler just in case we do actually spend 4 million pound on Jelle Vossen”.
Meanwhile the BBC’s Phil McNulty says Kei Kamara has been spotted at Newcastle airport en route to Hurworth while a cheeky poster suggester the deal is a TV show hoax arranged by his brother Kandid…. *groan*
And airport anorak Red Herts asks: “Vossen is on his way? Belgian registered plane is due into Teesside at 17:45. Unless it’s coming to take Harooon hooome..?
And there it is look...
Baton down the hatches. Stand by to repel boarders…
Sky are now reporting Bolton want Rhys Williams – is there any team in Lancashire that doesn’t! – and are ready to do a swap deal for Mungle Jungle fan and Redcar Rock David Wheater while the Midlands media say (unconfirmed) sources at Nottingham Forest are talking about yet another Mad Billy bid for Grant Leadbitter.
Mogga was asked about Wheats last month when it was first speculated and was quite clear when he told the Gazette that financially it didn’t add up because of his Premier League wages.
As Boro have spent two years cutting back on wages to create the headroom they are working with now it would seem strange for them to rack up the salaries now,. I know they have a bit of wriggle-room but they haven’t won the lottery or they would have blown Leeds out of the water over McCormack and stumped up for Becchio,
Also they are looking to add a defender to just swap one… although it is deadline day and funny things happen. Maybe if Bolton were to pay most of his wages.
Meanwhile, Norwich have inquired about a possible loan of West Ham’s Ricardo Vaz Te – which would push Becchio even further down the Canaries front-line pecking order and sharpen his mind. That urns up the possibility a notch I think.
Things are getting a bit tense at Rockliffe now I would have thought. All day they have been multi-tasking and holding three phones at once and getting no joy. Now they are staring at the transfer incoming batphone to ring… and waiting…. now would definitely not be a good time for a PPI cold call.
On twitter @itsmattchristie reports he is “getting into the spirit of the evening by heading to pub, waiting til last orders, panicking & then spaffing £50 on a pint.”
And congratulations to Spurs fans for the first live deadline day collective idiotic gurn of the night and setting the bar high for the annual Carpark Doylefest Shield.
Conflicting emotions in the Boro twittersphere as some people get excited by the arrivals board at Teesside airport showing a plane touched down from Belgium…
… and others are depressed by the news via babel fish that Genk’s CEO has said of Middlesbrough Foxes bid: “There was indeed today a timid attempt to loosen some players but nothing has been on the table that was worth to bargain,”
Twitter chatter… prompted by air traffic control @Triquertum points out: “loads coming in from Leeming direction now. Mmy suspicions are that we are about to sign the entire RAF U21 side, or the Red Arrows.”
And @Smogonthetyne asks, quite pertinently, “How is this possible? Transfer deadline day is more excruciating than actually watching the Boro.”
Update from the bookies,,, the hot money is still on Becchio to Boro … down to evens now on SkyBet, Reading drifting to 8/1 for those who like that kind of thing. But better get a move on. Things could happen quickly now (by quickly I mean a long drawn out saga could be inching to a conclusion.).
Right, got to nip out to collect the boy from gymnastics… you know what’s going to happen don’t you: 10 minute signing frenzy, Becchio and Butterfield in by 9pm, Nailed on.
Vossen is verlossen. Nixt signet for der bossen. Babelfish is great.
If the jet landed at Teesside Airport (not DVT) it was empty, Genk’s chief executive has slapped down the Boro’s bid with a Belgian shrug of understated contempt, saying it was “timid.” That one was never likely.
With time running out Boro fans have clicked into their default: a defensive cloak of calculated disappointment. It’s what we do best: prepare for fruitless frustration with creative one-downmanship. That and savour a backlash. Just think Boro… you could be Man United fans… they can’t get the ones in they want any they have TRILLIONS!
Here’s some of the angst rattling around on my twitter…
@JamesLindsay I have been checking since i got up for work at 6 48am. Im holding the rage for 11 01pm #AnythingCanHappen
@Steeeeeeee8 no way I’m giving up now, just waiting for the flurry of abuse Mogga will get if noone comes in!
@mattheword Boro fans are the connoisseur’s of disappointment
@Captain5MFC no way I’m giving up on this yet. The wait to complain about the signings/non-signings is more anticipated than any signing
@Boro_Banter I am close to collapsing. Why does Boro do this to me?
It *sounds* like Kamara has signed but no official confirmation yet. All the indications are that it is done.If not dusted.
Probably not got around to releasing the news yet because the office is crowded and the suits are all furiously phoning and negotiating and gesticulating like crazy, possibly wearing natty brightly striped blazers like in the Stock Exchange: “Sell defender furures…. buy MLS strikers.. .buy MLS strikers… but NOT Robbie Keane…”
In the annual “whoops” leak, Gordon Cox has a pre-recorded eight minute interview with Kamara already up on the official Boro smartphone app… let’s hope it has gone through or that will become “typical Boro” cultural gold-dust every bit as precious as the Keith Gillespie “signing” press release.
Still time for another one…
Well, there’s the bongs. Now we have to dig in and wait to see if Boro managed to squeeze Becchio/Butterfield/Ayala deals through the descending sash of doom or if we have to reconvene next week when the loan window opens. Watch this space.
Still no official confirmation of the deal(s)… I have reason to believe Boro had all the paperwork ready for Jacob Butterfield five minutes before the deadline. Let;s hope they haven’t faxed it up.
But hey, look… Kamara has just tweeted… @keikamara Very happy and thankful for this new chapter of my career with Middlesbrough FC (@Boro). Can’t wait to meet the boys/fans and get started.
That’s a £900,000 two year deal with a one year option.
And, look, here’s another one… Butterfield has tweeted too, at 12.20pm… @JLButterfield
“Cant wait to get going at my new club @Boro excited for the next chapter in my career. Deadline day crazy as ever.. Was good to be involved although i thought we had missed the cut! Was very close believe me!”
Any more? No? Right, I’m off to bed.
Don’t forget, the loan window opens in a week.