Sweeper Special: Chelsea foiled in last-ditch Remy bid, Berbatov, Moutinho, Carroll & more



Chelsea did make a late move for Marseille forward Loic Remy on the final day of the window but the deal fell through after Daniel Sturridge refused a loan switch to Liverpool, The Sweeper has learned.

The Blues were willing to pay around €18.9 million for the France international and extensive talks were held while club officials were in the region for the club’s European Super Cup clash against Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea’s discussions with both Marseille and Remy were so advanced that the 25-year-old backed out of a move to Tottenham that looked likely on Thursday night when his agent was given permission to negotiate personal terms with the north London club.

But Sturridge held the key to his side’s move for Remy and the England international did not want to leave Stamford Bridge on loan, instead pushing for a permanent switch as he searches for regular first-team football.

There was also a dispute between Liverpool and Chelsea over the loan fee due to the European champions and by mid-afternoon on Friday it became clear that both Remy and Sturridge would be staying at their clubs.

– Greg Stobart | Correspondent


Tottenham’s failure to sign Joao Moutinho from Porto on the final day of the window was caused by a dispute over wages and the Portuguese club’s decision to raise the asking price several hours after a €27.7m deal had been agreed.

Spurs spent most of Friday afternoon in conversation with Moutinho’s agent, while Andre Villas-Boas personally spoke to the playmaker as he tried to land his top summer target.

Moutinho agreed personal terms less than an hour before the 23.00BST deadline but, by then, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was at loggerheads with Porto, who upped the asking price to €30m, citing a sell-on clause owed to Sporting Lisbon.

Desperate to sign the 25-year-old playmaker, Tottenham agreed to increase their offer but the contractual documents sent by Porto contained irregularities that were not corrected in time.

Spurs considered appealing for an extension to the deadline but gave up on their attempts to sign Moutinho, with officials at the London club furious with what they consider an unprofessional approach from Porto.

– Greg Stobart | Correspondent


Whispers that West Ham could pull off the improbable and complete the loan signing of Andy Carroll first began to surface last Thursday afternoon.

Yet The Sweeper has learned that, even when Carroll was in a helicopter bound for the Hammers’ Chadwell Heath training ground that same evening, club officials were not absolutely convinced they had got their man.

“Everyone involved in the deal was sworn to secrecy in the 24 hours before Carroll signed,” a well-placed source told The Sweeper. “West Ham were terrified that Newcastle would come in and try and make a late bid if news got out that Carroll was joining them.

“They knew that Carroll’s preference would have been to re-join Newcastle and did everything possible to keep things quiet.

“It wasn’t until he arrived at the training ground that they felt they could relax and the deal was done.”

– Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent


Transfer deadline day appeared to pass without a marquee player making a frantic dash to a new club amid a whirr of helicopter blades.

But The Sweeper can reveal that, after Andy Carroll took his now obligatory chopper ride to complete a loan switch to West Ham United on Thursday, the final day of the window also involved an expensively adorned helicopter and a frenetic journey to a Premier League training ground.

However, it was a well-heeled club owner rather than a player who alighted at Fulham’s Motspur Park training ground on Friday.

It is understood that Mohamed Al-Fayed, the club’s 79-year-old chairman, took the unusual step of personally overseeing the completion of Dimitar Berbatov’s move from Manchester United.

The Fulham owner rarely gets involved in the minutiae of transfer deals but such were the figures involved in signing the Bulgarian that he flew to the club’s south-west London headquarters to sign off the paperwork.

Berbatov has leapfrogged above long-serving goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to become the highest-paid player in the club’s history on a package that is believed to exceed Fulham’s £50,000-a-week salary ceiling.

However, the Londoners are believed to have built in a number of safeguards to reduce the final cost of a player who is 32 in January and has little sell-on value.

Berbatov is said to have joined the west Londoners from Manchester United on a two-year contract but there are whispers that it is actually a ‘one-plus-one’ deal, with the agreement extending to a second year only if both ratified by both parties.

Moreover, United are believed to have been so keen to get Berbatov off their books that they agreed to make up some of the difference between the Bulgarian’s six-figure weekly wage at Old Trafford and his Craven Cottage salary in the form of a one-off payment to the London club.

Al-Fayed authorised Berbatov’s signing not only to bolster a squad that would be stripped of its two prize assets by the end of the window but to appease supporters with a marquee signing following the departures of Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele.

– Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Read The Sweeper every Saturday on Goal.com for all the ins, outs and gossip from behind the scenes in the football world

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