The Rumour Mill: Tuesday's football transfer news and gossip
It's the morning after the night before. After the usual frantic deadline day deal-making (see how it happened on our live blog), it's time to wake up, smell the coffee and take a look at who went where in the cold light of day.
Rangers sign 'the most hated man in football'
You know what has always been missing from football in Glasgow? A sense of rivalry. Too often Old Firm derbies have been peaceful, gentlemanly affairs based on mutual respect and fair play. So, presumably in an attempt to inject some much needed controversy into the fixture, Rangers last night completed the shock loan signing of Blackburn's public enemy number one, El-Hadji Diouf.
The fact that one of Diouf's most infamous moments (and there have been a few) came when he spat at a Celtic fan while playing for Liverpool in a UEFA Cup tie in 2003 won't exactly shorten the trail of controversy that follows the player.
Queens Park Rangers boss Neil Warnock, meanwhile, who recently branded Diouf "lower than a sewer rat" after the player shouted abuse at Scotland striker Jamie Mackie as he lay injured on the pitch, expressed his shock at the move in the Daily Record today: "Oh my God! Is he really signing for Rangers? I can't believe that... He won't be missed by people down here in England. You boys are welcome to him."
But head-of-Hateley writes in the same rag: "Diouf has all the talent in the world... He's unpredictable but there is no better man to handle him than Walter."
Joining Diouf at Ibrox last night was Arsenal hotshot Kyle Bartley, while heading for the exit door were James Beattie (to Blackpool) and Andy Webster (to his old club Hearts, although this has yet to be confirmed).
Frustration for Lennon
Over at Parkhead there was a frustrating lack of movement for manager Neil Lennon. He had been hoping to bring in Nottingham Forest defender Kelvin Wilson to bolster his injury-hit backline, who has already signed a pre-contract to arrive in the summer, but Forest boss Billy Davies ruled out the move. That sparked a desperate search for cover that included options like Stoke veteran Adoulaye Faye. It also emerged that Efrain Juarez knocked back a loan move to Serie A club Brescia.
Silly money changes hands down south
While everyone else begs for spare change, English Premier League clubs last night showed that they still exist in a financial bubble, with the total January dealings down south shooting to over 200million in the last hours before the window slammed shut. This was in large part due to goings-on at Anfield, who lost Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a UK transfer record 50million and brought in Newcastle's combative striker Andy Carroll for 35million. This comes on top of the 23million Kenny Dalglish splashed out on Ajax hitman Luis Suarez, and the 26million the Stamford Bridge club paid out to Benfica for defender David Luiz.
Away from the spotlight...
It wasn't all about seven and eight-figure cheques though, and there was also feverish wheeling and dealing lower down the food chain. Here's a round-up of the moves you might miss (if you rely on Sky News at any rate):
• Dundee United signed Ajax defender Timothy van der Maulen until the end of the season. The Dutch giants waived a transfer fee on the 20-year-old but have instead insisted on a percentage of any future sell-on value.
• Conor Sammon moved from Kilmarnock to Wigan Athletic on a three-and-a-half-year-contract. Kilmarnock had earlier turned down a bid of 425,000 from Derby Country for their top goalscorer, and appear to have secured a fee well in excess of 500,000 from the English Premier League club. Killie also confirmed that Danny Invincibile and Alan Combe have left the club, but Mixu Paatelainen last night brought in Everton forward Kieran Agard on loan and signed 22-year-old midfielder Scott Evans from Llanelli to replenish his squad.
• Hibernian beat the deadline to sign Czech goalkeeper Jakub Divis on loan and, having been thwarted in an attempt to recruit the striker they desperately need when Daniel Bogdanovic decided against joining from Sheffield United, manager Colin Calderwood later struck an 11th-hour deal to bring Charlton Athletic's Akpo Sodje to the club.
• Aberdeen have signed former Rangers left-back Steven Smith on loan from Norwich City. The 25-year-old has failed to settle at Carrow Road since his summer move from Ibrox, with manager Paul Lambert recently revealing Smith wanted to return to Scotland. Meanwhile striker Andrius Velicka, on loan from Rangers, was told he had no future at Pittodrie and held talks with Swiss club St Gallen last week.
• Terry Butcher has signed Hibernian striker Chris Hogg for Inverness. The Easter Road player negotiated a release from his deal after falling out of favour with manager Colin Calderwood, and has signed with Caley until the end of the season. Inverness also snapped up Burnley forward Alex MacDonald.
• Hamilton boss Billy Reid has signed out-of-favour Leeds United striker Tom Elliot after he was released by the Elland Road outfit.
• Dunfermline winger Willie Gibson joined non-league outfit Crawley Town last night. The player could now face Manchester United in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.
• Ross County have signed St Johnstone striker Stevie Milne on an 18-month deal. The Perth club have also released Scott Dobie on loan to Bradford. But McDiarmid Park boss Derek McInnes did capture Hearts midfielder Arvydas Novikovas on loan until the end of the season.
• Dundee have loaned 19-year-old defender Kyle Benedictus to Montrose. The Dens Park club have also brought in former Aberdeen and Dunfermline midfielder Gary Dempsey on trial.
• Cowdenbeath boss Jimmy Nicholl completed the signings of veteran East Fife striker Stevie Crawford and Lee Makel, the former Hearts and Livingston midfielder.
• Finally, giving hope to us all who still cling to dreams of being a professional footballer, Andy Millen has signed up as a player for Queen's Park - at the age of 45.
If you want to relive yesterday's madness in pictorial form (and why wouldn't you?), here's our photo gallery.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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