Early Doors

The Denial Twist

Early Doors

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As you are no doubt aware, Liverpool face a do-or-die, or-at least mortally wounding, Champions League tie this evening.

However, as there are already enough rants and opinions on the continued travails of Rafa and co (see below), ED will instead focus on more trifling matters, its own particular niche.

With the opening of the January transfer window just a tantalising 38 days away, a groundswell of transfer tittle-tattle is beginning to emerge.

In recent weeks the only real nugget of tangible goings-on have been the pleadings of both Roman Pavlyuchenko and his agent to let the Russian striker leave in order to do help his World Cu... ah, never mind.

There was also the case of Robinho, who not long ago sang his praise of Barcelona from the rooftops but obviously meant in no way whatsoever that he wanted to leave Manchester City.

A nice little subtext to this line came at a press conference before Brazil's friendly with England in Doha. When Kaka was asked whether he ever regretted not moving to Eastlands, the nearby Robinho could only respond with incredulous laughter.

Anyway, now phase two in the build-up to the January sales is gradually kicking in: the random rumour denials.

Vedran Corluka's agent has piped up to tell no one in particular that the one-paced Spurs defender will not be joining Juventus, while West Ham sporting director Gianluca Nani has also moved to deny Valon Behrami is also on his way to Turin, and that everything is hunky dory.

Expect similar words to be trotted out regarding Ryan Babel in the next few days, despite his quite candid comments to the contrary, and a spate of other quashing, pledging and hailing in the weeks ahead.

Just don't be too surprised when your favourite 'ace' jumps ship come January.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Although I was bitterly disappointed about the personal attack on me I want to put this behind me and continue to concentrate on my refereeing" - Referee Alan Wiley does the opposite of putting his spat with Alex Ferguson behind him as he gets away one final parting shot at the United boss that is far cheaper and less stressful than suing him for defamation.

DEJA VU OF THE DAY: American Stan Kroenke has made another purchase of 10 Arsenal shares to move a small step closer to the takeover threshold. Kroenke's latest acquisition, at a cost of some £85,000, continues the trend of picking up stock at regular intervals, recently buying 100 from chairman Peter Hill-Wood, yet without making a formal bid for overall control at the Premier League club. WHEN. WILL. IT. END?

READ THESE

Rafa: Move along now please

Murphy: Reds will rise to the occasion

Fantasy: Movers and shakers - Top Spurs

Top 100 matches: 4. The miracle of Istanbul

Power Rankings: Arsenal fall

COMING UP: "Die Meister... Die Besten... Les Grandes Equipes... The CHAMPIOOOOOONS" - There will be 11 men wearing red shirts and one man wearing a goatee who won't be quite as excited as everyone else when that music pipes up this evening. Follow LIVE commentary of Debrecen v Liverpool, Arsenal v Standard Liege, Rangers v Stuttgart and every other Champions League clash tonight from 19:30, with Rubin Kazan doing their bit to eliminate Barcelona first against Dynamo Kiev at 17:30.

There is also a full programme of League One and League Two action, and you can keep up to date with that if you're not already at the ground. 

As if all that wasn't enough then you can follow Andy Murray's match against Roger Federer in the ATP World Tour Final match from 20:45 too.

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