Those Man City pirates are shifting the focus of their ongoing EPL raid to shoring up the back line. After getting Kolo Toure the Blues are now closer to getting Joleon Lescott after he told Everton he wants to make the short move northeast to Manchester. This would be a huge blow to Everton, which has built a nice workman-like team based on solid defense and superb goalkeeping. On the other hand, they'll still be able to fight with Arsenal for their place on the EPL table, only it will be a fight for fifth place rather than fourth place (and the Champions League windfall that brings).
And in a boost in the upcoming fight for fifth, Everton have lined up Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos as Lescott's replacement, though the move may stall over his transfer fee. If the move goes through, it will allow Arsene Wenger to finally reveal his ultimate attempt at beautiful attacking football, his new 2-5-3 formation (which of course will fight for the honor of most misguided formation with Man City's 4-2-4 or whatever they're going to deploy). The Lescott move may also relieve Chelsea with the hope that Man City will back off from their desire to sign John Terry. But don't bet on it.
In case Man City don't get their man, the plan B is either Philippe Mexes from Roma or Alex from Chelsea. Pretty good plan Bs if you ask me.
Across Manchester, the Red Devils learned that Edwin van der Sar will be out two months after having surgery on his broken finger. Not exactly the best way to start the season. Fortunately for Man U no one has come after Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic's move to Barcelona is still a year or two in the making, leaving the best center back pairing in the world in tact.
Andrea Pirlo is not for sale. I would venture that's a good thing for Chelsea. He wouldn't be a good fit in their midfield. AC Milan meanwhile will supposedly try to find another striker. I would think that Real Madrid has somebody in the clearance aisle of their footballer warehouse that would be more than serviceable.
For more gossipy and less reliable news, let's check out The Sun! One report has AC Milan tabling a £31 million offer for Cesc Fabregas, while another indicates that Bayern Munich is squashing rumors of a loan move for Luca Toni at West Ham. The Hammers meanwhile are hoping to resolve the transfer of Eidur Gudjohnsen. You may have forgotten that he was once an effective EPL player before being lost among the superstars at Barca.
Oh and I couldn't forget about Jozy! Altidore, as confirmed by Villareal, is in England finalizing a loan move to an unnamed EPL club. Will it be Everton, Fulhamerica, or Hull City? Hull City seem to be offering Jozy the potential for more playing time and have been gaining traction recently. So who should he go to? The potential for European play with Everton or Fulham is enticing, but playing time is most important and Hull may provide a better opportunity. I'm personally torn between Fulham and Hull. If he could get his way onto the field at Fulham, it would be a great team to play for and other US strikers have done well at Fulham (McBride, Dempsey). The only striker I know at Hull is ex-Ranger Daniel Cousin, so I'd be optimistic that Altidore can find playing time there, which ultimately is what's best for his development.
UPDATE: Jozy apparently loves the twitter. First he "tweeted" that he was in England for this unspecified loan move. Now he's tweeted again, confirming that he will be with Hull to face Chelsea when the season starts on August 15. I have to say I'm happy about this development.
Finally, Shaq has challenged David Beckham to a game of one-on-one, saying that while Kobe could score on him, Beckham could not.