Mid-Day Ticker: Van Persie set for debut, Bale’s status in doubt & more

Van Persie (Getty)

By THOMAS FLOYD

Manchester United fans won't have to wait long to see Robin Van Persie in a Red Devils uniform.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he is confident Van Persie, signed Wednesday on a transfer from Arsenal, will be cleared and ready to play when United kick off their English Premier League season Monday against Everton.

"We hope all the things will be tied up, although sometimes medicals do take a bit longer," Ferguson said. "I am sure he will be available for Monday's game."

With a wealth of talent up top, including Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, Ferguson said the club now boasts "a fantastic collection of players, and hopefully I pick the right combinations."

Here are some more items to keep your Thursday going:

BALE'S STATUS IN DOUBT FOR OPENER

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale's availability for the club's EPL opener Saturday at Newcastle is in doubt after he left Wale's 2-0 loss against Bosnia-Herzegovina with a back injury.

The player, though, remains optimistic.

"It was a bit sore when I landed on it, but it wasn’t too bad," he said. "I will be fine and I just have to get myself ready for the weekend."

BARCA OFFICIALS IN LONDON TO NEGOTIATE SONG DEAL

Barcelona officials have reportedly traveled to London to negotiate a deal to acquire Arsenal midfielder Alex Song.

The price for the Cameroon international, who has three years remaining on his contract and has been pushing for a pay raise, is said to be nearly $20 million.

STRIKER SAHA SIGNS WITH SUNDERLAND

Sunderland bolstered its forward corps Thursday, adding 34-year-old free agent striker Louis Saha, a former French national team regular who has spent time with Everton and Tottenham.

"Louis is a striker whose abilities have been proven at the very highest level and he brings with him a raft of experience of top-flight football,'' manager Martin O'Neill said.

MANCHESTER CITY TO OPEN STATISTICS ARCHIVE

Manchester City on Friday will open the clubs' in-depth, Bill James-inspired statistical archive, providing data on every player on every team from every game in the Premier League last season.

"Somewhere in the world there is football's Bill James, who has all the skills and wants to use them but hasn't got the data," said Gavin Fleig, the head of performance analysis at City. "We want to help find that Bill James, not necessarily for Manchester City but for the benefit of analytics in football."

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Are you excited to see Van Persie make his Manchester United debut? Should Tottenham fans be worried about Bale? How much of a boost does Saha give Sunderland?

Share your thoughts below.

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24 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Van Persie set for debut, Bale’s status in doubt & more

  1. Gnarls says:

    Is it possible to have too much talent? If so, Man U has it.

  2. Vic says:

    Song will sit on the bench for Barca. I’m sure Van Persie will get a nice reception when Manunited travel to Arsenal. Bad news for Javier Hernandez(member of Mexico’s Golden Generation).

  3. Old School says:

    “We invest in young players. That is what we are good at – we’re not like other clubs who can spend fortunes on proven goods.”

    -Alex Ferguson commenting on Manchester City’s spending.

    The dude is an absolute hypocrite, nearly every time he opens his mouth.

  4. lioncourage says:

    Does this at all help Dempsey with a move to Arsenal?

  5. OC says:

    You know, I’m going to have to agree. Taking this along with his minor rant about Lucas Moura to PSG, I think I officially dislike Fergy when it comes to public statements.

  6. OC says:

    Was wondering if that’s the next logical move, but a signing like that would be altogether un-Wengerlike.

  7. Patriot says:

    I still like City to win the title, with Chelsea in second, where United really lacks is in the midfeild, somewhere City and Chelsea shine. I love Silva, and YAYA to set up Aguero and Balotelli for many goals this year. Feeling a big season by super mario

  8. lioncourage says:

    And again the PL maintains the best players in the world outside of Real Madrid/Barcelona

  9. Kosh says:

    Or perhaps he’s changed his position, which, correct me if I am wrong, he is allowed to do in a free society.

    Plus, and I don’t have the actual quote, he also made it clear that one cannot win a title with a bunch of young players – a statement that Arsenal has done all so well to prove over the last few years. Now even they are buying experience.

    Dude is gonna do what he has to do to get the title back, and as a Manchester United supporter – I have no beef with that. We were ever so close last year and if this is what it takes to pip the SCUM then so be it. I am confident SAF is about doing the business and will lose no sleep whatsoever about anyone’s opinion of him.

  10. Gnarls says:

    Agreed, but I’ll bet Fergie said that before City won the league. Gotta keep up with the Jonses, ya know – er, the Mancinis.

  11. Tony in Quakeland says:

    For most of the last five years, van Persie has been Dutch for “glass”. I’ll be a bitter bastard and hope he reverts to form.

    Well, Wenger has some money to spend. Other then Dempsey, who is an attractive target?

  12. eric says:

    Sure Manchester United buys players and even spends big on certain deserved ones but we also field many “home grown players” which City, Chelski, and now PSG have seem to abandon. If you check our totals compared to the other top teams in England, you can see we don’t only buy mercenaries.

    Home Grown Players as of FEB 2012:
    Manchester United 12
    Tottenham 9
    Manchester City 8
    Chelsea 8
    Arsenal 5

  13. David says:

    Somehow I think Arsenal will find themselves challenging on many fronts and qualifying for Champions League yet again. Which is amazing considering who they have sold off. Heck, even this past season was pretty amazing after selling off Fabregas and Nasri and pretty much not having Wilshire for the entier season.

  14. Kevin_Amold says:

    Santiago Cazorla….?

  15. Carl says:

    Wow if Song moves to Barca Arsenal absolutely MUST add to the midfield, and Dempsey absolutely makes sense.

  16. Gnarls says:

    “We.”

    Pfffft.

  17. Tony in Quakeland says:

    So the US presents a slap-dash line up, gets out played and out possessed…and manages to finally win at Azteca.

    Following that logic, Arsenal will win the Champions League afters selling their two best players in consecutive years. Heck, they will probably look like garbage and win the treble.

  18. Vic says:

    Arsenal has spent quite a bit already: Giroud, Podolski and Carzola. I would sell Arshavin to a Russian team and try to buy Hamsik.

  19. eric says:

    Sorry the numbers don’t lie but your right I’m a huge supporter

  20. ManicMessiah says:

    They added Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla. Meanwhile, Spurs lost their best player, Liverpool’s squad is much worse, and Newcastle is Newcastle.

    I think it says as much that the teams around them are not good enough/getting worse than they were last year.

  21. wides says:

    Yes, it makes sense because they absolutely are similar players!

    Oh wait, Song and Dempsey are not alike. Song is a Central/defensive midfielder.

  22. Old School says:

    Indeed.

    It’s only ok to spend “silly money” (as he calls it) if it’s United spending it. If other clubs do it, it’s “ruining the fabric of the transfer market”.

    Let’s just ignore that he had the entire transfer market on lock (along with Real Madrid) for decades.

    Such an f’ing whiner.

  23. GW says:

    They need to add Dempsey.

    If Wenger is to be believed he wanted to keep RVP, even with all this new attacking talent coming in.

    Since they failed to keep RVP, Clint would be the best option to fill that slot.

  24. GW says:

    Hypocrisy and whining aren’t the problem for Man U.

    RVP spent 8 seasons at Arsenal. Last year he played all 38 league games and had a monster year.

    But, and here is the real problem, in the seven years before last year, for a host of reasons, usually injuries, RVP played in an average of 22 games per season.

    That means he averaged missing 16 games a season (42%)for seven seasons. Last year’s 100% attendance was an abberation.

    So which RVP did SAF buy?