You know, for the life of me, I cannot even begin to understand the legality of transfer dealings. On the one hand, you have Peter Kenyon writing to FIFA
(isn't this more of a UEFA matter to begin with?) about Real Madrid contacting Arjen Robben, creating something akin to an international incident over a practice seemingly perfected by Chelsea to begin with. On the other hand, Miroslav Klose just "decides" he wants to join Bayern Munich
, even though he is still under contract with Werder Bremen, and it's a-okay? Where's Bremen's demand of an investigation? I know this is supposed to be footballing from a lesser authority and all, but I just don't get it. Aren't there better ways to posture for higher value than writing to FIFA? Isn't there something fishy about this Klose business?
Getting back to Bayern, it appears as though they are serious about getting back into the Champions League at the end of next season. With Luca Toni, Franck Ribery and now Klose already on board along with reinforcements Jan Schlaudraff, Marcell Jansen, Hamit Altintop and Jose Ernesto Sosa, it looks like a makeover of FC Hollywood is in the works. Owen Hargreaves and Claudio Pizarro have already been shown the door, which means that Roy Makaay, Oliver Kahn and other Bayern veterans are likely in close contact with their agents at the moment.
Big signings, or course, do not guarantee success, and now it appears that Arsenal's summer 06 approach of signing heralded youngsters has been copied by Manchester United
. How much Anderson and Nani contribute in the upcoming season remains to be seen; Arsene Wenger's teenaged red-and-white army is far from ready, after all. But give Man U props (or patiently await their downfall; either will do for now), for they have managed to spend the kind of money nobody thought they actually had, and it is still early in the transfer season.
Speaking of giving props, Chelsea, tantrums aside, has done well to bolster thier squad depth. They may not have achieved their goal of Champions League success this year, but look for them to come back stronger next season. Getting Pizarro and Alex on the cheap gives them bench options they lacked this past season, and having a healthy Joe Cole won't hurt either. The key to a successful off-season for Chelsea now is holding on to Robben. They can't win the league without him.
Everything else at this stage bores me; the Thierry Henry melodrama, Liverpool expecting to sign even more players to rotate every single week, Real Madrid and AC Milan stirring the passions of their fan bases: wake me up when something happens. In the meantime, I will be watching the Gold Cup, cheering on my beloved Yanks in the hope that, at least at the end, we might end up playing a halfway decent team (Mexico, please do your part, please, please, please). Copa America, kids; it's just around the corner!