Championship Transfer Gossip - Part One
The latest gossip from the Championship as relegated and promoted sides attempt to adapt to their new surroundings.
News in this edition comes from Barnsley, Cardiff City, Coventry City, Doncaster Rovers, Leicester City and Middlesbrough.
For part two click here >>>
Goalkeeper Heinz Muller is being linked with a move to the German Bundelisga with recently promoted side Mainz 05. A reported fee of 600,000 euros has been mooted for the stopper`s signature with Luke Steele stepping up to be first team goalkeeper.
Keenly sought striker Jermaine Beckford has become a target for the Tykes but may be put off by the hefty £2m price tag slapped on the Leeds United forward. They face competition from Coventry City, Sheffield United and north-east relegated duo Newcastle United and Middlesbrough.
The Bluebirds are destined to spend the entire summer fending off Premier League clubs for their biggest talents, this time defender Roger Johnson is being linked with a move to the top flight.
Birmingham City are the interested party having recently gained promotion and are keen on tying up a deal for the former Wycombe man, despite having a £3.5m bid turned down last week.
Managerial speculation persists at the Ricoh Arena with boss Chris Coleman being linked to the vacant post at Swansea City. Chairman Ray Ranson rejected an approach from Queens Park Rangers before the Swans interest became apparent.
The Sky Blues boss is the desired target for his home town club for whom he made 160 appearances over four years at the Vetch Field.
Coventry target Andrew Driver has revealed his ambition to play Premier League football with the Hearts winger believing it would have to take a 'very good move` to take him away from Tynecastle.
He told the Herald: 'It was unexpected. 'I had already booked my holidays, so although I've lost a fortune, I'm delighted.
'I thought my chance had gone. I made the final 40 but then I had a wee injury and I thought that was it.
'This is my chance to prove myself, a chance to put my name out in the open in a big tournament.'
Doncaster are targeting a swoop on the side they beat to claim their position in the Championship in 2008 as they eye up moves for a Leeds United duo.
Jermaine Beckford looks set to depart Elland Road with several interested parties chasing his signature. It emerged that Rovers are one of the parties along with Barnsley and according to reports in Yorkshire they will have to meet Leeds` £2m asking price.
Sean O`Driscoll remains keen on snapping up midfielder Neil Kilkenny despite whites boss Simon Grayson declaring him as part of his plans. Assistant manager Richard O'Kelly spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
'We would be interested in Beckford though he might be out of our budget, but we will monitor that.
'He (Grayson) told us that Neil still figured in his plans so at this time that's as far as it's gone.
'As with every player at every club, they all have a price, so it's an ongoing thing at the moment and we will see if anything happens.'
Midfielder Brian Stock is the subject of persistent links away from the club with Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and West Bromwich Albion all linked with his signature. Stock was flattered speaking to the Sheffield Star.
He said: 'Like any player, it gives your confidence a boost to be linked with other clubs and I'm delighted to have had as much publicity as I've had through transfer news.
'If anything comes along then I would look at it, but I'm enjoying myself here. As far as I am concerned, I am a Doncaster Rovers player and my main objective is to get myself fit for the start of the season."
Meanwhile defender Matthew Mills remains a target for newly promoted Birmingham City as the Blues continue to track the progress of Rovers` record buy.
Foxes full back Joe Mattock could be set for a move to Ipswich Town with the fee of £2m rumoured to capture the 19-year-old defender`s signature.
The Sunday Mirror have claimed that £1.5m may even be enough with Premier League clubs Everton, Liverpool and West Ham all interested parties.
Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley could be set for a second year at the Walkers Stadium after impressing in League One last season. The defender played a crucial part in Leicester`s promotion back to the second tier at the first attempt.
Relegated Middlesbrough are looking to keep hold of their most prized talents in the face of interest from the Premier League and beyond.
England international Stewart Downing`s departure has been on the cards since Boro`s relegation to the Championship. Steve Bruce`s Sunderland however are surprise contenders for his signature according to the Mirror as Ellis Short`s billions make them serious rivals to Tottenham Hotspur.
Turkish international Sanli Tuncay looks destined to leave the Riverside with a host of top flight clubs including former club Fenerbahce interested one of Boro`s most consistent performers last season.
Defender Robert Huth is also a target for Premier League and Bundesliga clubs with the News of the World reporting that battling duo Hull City and Stoke City both keen on signing the German defender.
Fulham are also reportedly interested in two influential Middlesbrough players in Gary O`Neill and young winger Adam Johnson. With the latter linked with moves to some of Europe`s top clubs it would be a surprising package that would take him to Craven Cottage.
Middlesbrough are still trying to convince defender Matthew Bates to pen a new deal at the Riverside despite interest from Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United. Chief executive Keith Lamb clarified his situation to the Northern Echo.
He said: "We are still very hopeful about being able to reach an agreement with him on a new contract.
"I firmly believe that Matthew has a great love for Middlesbrough.
"He is torn between his loyalty and love for the club and the inevitable desire to play at the highest level, particularly when you have missed so much through injury.
"I don`t think with Matthew it`s about money. I think it`s about the dilemma of wanting to play for his hometown club and wanting to fast track his career again because injury has seen him miss the best part of three seasons."
Meanwhile some positive news for Boro could be the possible inclusion of Stoke City midfielder Michael Tonge. The former Sheffield United man has a great pedigree in the Championship and is rated at £2m with West Bromwich Albion also interested.
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