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Transfer quadrangle affecting Arsenal, Barca, Real & Spurs

Welcome to the ESP soccer transfer round-up.

The big news on the transfer front is still surrounding the future Robin van Persie. Manchester United expected him to sign for them last night, but it didn't happen. That doesn't mean to say it won't and you can expect the Dutchman to sign at Old Trafford for £20 million, £5 million short of Arsenal's original asking price when it comes to selling to Premier League rivals. The bookies had Manchester City down as third favourites to land the striker, purely because of a comment made by Roberto Mancini along the lines of him not expecting to win the ace race. As United found out last season to their peril, Mancini always likes to play down his chances of success. So don't rule City out just yet.

As well as quietly chasing van Persie, City are going head-to-head with Arsenal for the services of Senegal's Olympic star Cheikhou Kouyate, according to some sources. This may be a case of the player's agent, Bekhir Tedik, talking up a transfer for his client. The strange thing about this is Anderlecht's general manager, Herman von Holsbeeck, seems to know nothing about it. No bids have been received by the club, apparently. Yet the agent's phone never stops ringing. Tedik even claims that almost every English team has contacted him about the 6'4" midfielder. Does that include Conference clubs as well as most of the 92 league clubs? Will have to give him a bell, as it must be quite easy to get his number! Too easy you might say!

Almost as easy as signing Michael Kightly. Ask Stoke City. They wrapped up the signing in double quick time, parting with £3 million and getting the winger to sign a three-year deal. Sounds like they've got themselves a bargain.

Kightly's former club, Wolves, are reluctant to sell Steven Fletcher as well. Sunderland have come in with an offer that has been rejected by the Midlands club. But the interest has unsettled Fletcher, who has requested a transfer. Apparently, Wolves have turned several bids down already this pre-season, and this could turn into a bidding war.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are not stoking up a bidding war for arguably Team GB's best player, Craig Bellamy. They are resigned to losing the Welshman on a free transfer, as he wants to return to his native Wales to be near his family. But the Reds are not prepared to give up Daniel Agger so easily, despite Manchester City's interest. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he's not being forced to sell anyone and he maintains that Agger is getting back up to speed, and loves the club and the supporters. It sounds like City are going to have to pay big money to have any chance of getting the talented defender, especially as Barcelona are reportedly interested too.

No transfer section would be complete without mention of a transfer triangle. But it's more complicated than that. This is more like a transfer quadrangle! The story goes: Real Madrid are waiting for Spurs to agree a deal that will see Luka Modric sign for £30 million. Once that deal is done, they will release Nuri Sahin on loan. The irony is Spurs were reportedly interested in Sahin, but it looks like he will go elsewhere. If that "elsewhere" is Arsenal, that could spell the end of Alex Song's spell at the Emirates Stadium, as Barcelona are coveting the midfielder. So if all that happens, who will be the happiest supporters? Tough question, eh?

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