Deeplinks: Transfer Ban Fallout; United and City Face Transfer Scrutiny; Wenger Dismisses Platini Plan; Stoke Preview

The fallout from the Kakuta transfer ban continues.

Both Manchester clubs could also be in trouble.

City have been reported to Fifa by Rennes for the “unlawful” transfer of teenage defender Jérémy Hélan.

“Manchester City must now realise the consequences of their attitude in the Hélan case as it is even more illegal than Kakuta,” Rennes’ technical director, Pierre Dreossi, told The Independent.

United have been accused by Le Havre of offering financial inducements to 16-year-old Paul Pogba’s family in order to lure him to Old Trafford. United have denied any wrongdoing and have threatened to take legal action.

More serious is the news that Fiorentina have been in contact with Fifa about United’s signing of 16-year-old defender Michele Fornasier.


BBC Match of the Day commentator and blogger Steve Wilson asks: Can French clubs claim innocence in tapping-up row?


Peter Kenyon has dismissed suggestions that signing Kakuta was “child trafficking”.


Frank Lampard believes the affair will make the club stronger.

“A lot of things have happened to me in my career with England and Chelsea and, whenever it’s backs to the wall and for whatever reason that might be, it brings a togetherness and can be used as a positive. You certainly can’t let it be used as a negative. It’s something that is out of the players’ control, anyway, so all we can do now is make it a positive.”


Sepp Blatter says clubs are fearful after the ban and it is just the start of greater control of the game.

In the Times, a sports lawyer says: “The reason Fifa have clamped down on Chelsea may be because of their general clampdown on the transfer of minors.”

As feared, it looks like we have been made the example.

Blatter has warned that there will be no escape from the transfer embargo.


CFCnet say Frank Arnesen gets too much stick.


Arsene Wenger has dismissed Uefa president Michel Platini’s plan to stop the transfer of players until they reach the age of 18.

“If your players cannot move to the best clubs, I believe they will not improve. If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction? It is to put it into a good music school, not in an average one. So why should that not happen in football? If a player goes to Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, it is all [above board] and he gets a good education.”


David Conn writes in the Guardian that the affair has highlighted the flaws of a system which ruins careers but produces few results.

“The real challenge is to understand why one of England’s top football clubs, which like 40 others has spent millions of pounds developing an academy, and can sign up huge numbers of boys from a very young age, has failed to bring a local player through since 28-year-old John Terry, and scours other countries’ clubs for teenage talent.”

Sir Trevor Brooking says there is a ‘vacuum of leadership’ in English youth football which is creating a failure to produce sufficient English players for the top clubs and national team.

“We must all accept that for a country of some 60 million people, we are not producing the depth of players at the top level with the necessary technical skills now required by the major clubs and international teams.”


Changing the topic. The international break is nearly over (the official club website has a good roundup of this week’s matches). The next month sees us play six games in the Premier League, Champions League and Carling Cup, starting on Saturday with an away game against Stoke City.

Pre-match briefing: Stoke City versus Chelsea.


The official site has an interview with Guus Hiddink.


Didier Drogba has called himself one of the most unselfish players in football.

“I often sacrifice myself for the good of the team. I don’t look at my scoring statistics. Have you ever seen any other great strikers do as much defending as I do?”

No, Didier, I haven’t. It’s part of what makes you such a valuable member of the current squad. We’re going to miss you in January.


Finally, Uefa have released an iPhone app. I can’t bring myself to install it.