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All Things Footie | Monday, July 22 | Jordan

Record Rio

For the second time in his career, Rio Ferdinand has become the world's most expensive defender. Does everyone remember their reaction to his £18m transfer from West Ham to Leeds? Granted, since then he's played fantastically in a World Cup and had two pretty decent seasons in the Premiership, but £30m is still a hell of a lot of money to pay for a defender. Especially with the transfer system in the state it's in.

Maybe that's the way things are going. Defenders are in short supply worldwide, and you have to pay according to demand. Man Utd can certainly afford it, with annual profits of around £40m, and Rio is no doubt a quality player. From those points of view you have to say that as a United fan, you've got to be happy.

The only thing I'd be a little disappointed by if I were a United fan would be that the club had no young players coming through to take up the central defensive mantle. It's been three or four years since Wes Brown broke through — and he'll have to make some serious improvements before he can be considered a success. With Ronny Jonsen moving on, United had only the unproven John O'Shea and *giggle* Laurent Blanc covering the berth with Wes Brown. Rio is definately a good buy, but I wouldn't want to be in his shoes when he returns to Elland Road this season, he'll be torn to shreads.

Replacing Rio at Leeds will be, if you believe the popular press, Lazio (and ex-Man Utd) defender Jaap Stam. El Tel is determined to bring his number one target to Leeds even though the player has said on more than one occasion that he'll never return to English football. Meanwhile, toerag Lee Bowyer's transfer to Liverpool has broken down due to his extortianate wage demands and Jonathan Woodgate has been told that the empty space where Rio used to be is his to fill.

Premiership Champions Arsenal appear to have given up on PSV's highly rated midfielder Marc Van Bommell, unwilling to pay the £14.5m asking price and have moved instead to Brazillian World Cup winner, Gilberto Silva. The midfielder impressed in the World Cup (along with most of Brazils team to be fair) and will cost the Gunners around £6.5m, a fee agreed with his club Atletico Mineiro.

Oh to live in the world if Dennis Wise. The dirty little workhorse faces a civil law suit from Leicester and Scotland's Callum Davidson, who he chinned on a pre season trip to Iceland. Wise is likely to have his contract (around £35,000 a week) terminated and deserves no less than gets. A lawsuit sounds a little over the top, but Davidson will miss out on appearance fees and has suffered a fractured cheekbone.

And finally, Romario to Pompey? Would it be sacrilege to put one of the Worlds greatest ever forwards in the first division?

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