Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughIns and Outs of a Championship Shakeabout - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Ins and Outs of a Championship Shakeabout - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Ins and Outs of a Championship Shakeabout

As the sun sets on another Championship season, the promotion parties have died down and attention turns to the transfer window. With some clubs looking to gain an immediate return to the Premier League and others fighting for their lives at the bottom, everyone must act fast to snap up the best deals in this year’s market.

With the window now in full swing, newly promoted Norwich have looked to bolster their strike force as they embark on their Premier League campaign. On Tuesday, Canaries boss Paul Lambert secured the services of Millwall talisman Steve Morison. The 27-year-old, who completed his move to East Anglia for an undisclosed fee, follows former toffee James Vaughan through the door at Carrow Road.

Fellow risers Swansea have also moved swiftly to acquire a new-look frontline. Earlier this week the Swans began their spending spree, smashing the club’s transfer record in the process to bag last season’s Championship top scorer Danny Graham. The £3.5 million transfer settled any speculation that the forward was set to join up with Alan Pardew in Newcastle.

The first of the Championship new boys to outline their ambitions for the season are ambitious Brighton. With Elliott Bennett set to depart, the Seagulls doubled their transfer record to capture Watford winger Will Buckley for a cool £1 million. Manager Gus Poyet was elated with the club’s first acquisition of this summer’s transfer window, saying: “Our scouts have also been watching him and have also been impressed. That made it a very easy decision.”

Departing the south coast outfit, however, is last season’s top goal-scorer Glenn Murray, who will join arch rivals Crystal Palace after failing to agree a new deal at the Amex Stadium.

Managerless Cardiff are now paying the price for failing to reach the top of the English pyramid over recent seasons, after losing at least two of their biggest stars this summer. Influential winger Chris Burke has already left the club on a Bosman transfer to team up with his former boss Alex McLeish at St. Andrews, while striker Jay Bothroyd will also be hunting for a new club after his release.

The Bluebirds have also accepted a £1.5 million bid from Ipswich for forward Michael Chopra, who has scored 65 goals across two spells for the Welsh club. Chopra’s agent Kenny Moyes confirmed the Englishman was interested in a move to Suffolk. “I know the two clubs have been talking and Michael is keen to join Ipswich,” he said.

In a cruel twist, Marlon King could shun Coventry to sign for new boys Birmingham. Last week the Sky Blues revealed that King and his agent had made a verbal agreement to stay at the Ricoh Arena, but new revelations suggest he now looks likely to move on.

Among other transfer rumours, Ken Bates has failed to rule out a move to bring Alan Smith back to Elland Road. The Newcastle midfielder has been plagued with injury and failed to hold down a first team spot at St. James’ Park before his eventual release just days ago. Despite not ruling out a return, Bates made it clear it wasn’t his decision. “First of all it depends on whether the manager (Simon Grayson) wants him or not, which is his decision and not mine,” he insisted.

The wheels are in motion for the inevitable transfer of Craig Mackail-Smith away from London Road. The striker, who scored an impressive 35 goals for Peterborough in their promotion campaign, is in talks with one Premier League club – believed to be Wigan – according to Director of Football Barry Fry. “I know Craig has spoken to the manager of the club concerned but he certainly hasn’t agreed to anything as yet,” the outspoken Posh chief said.

With three months to go until the window slams shut and many clubs already having offers in the pipeline, this summer’s dealings have only just begun. Watch this space…

Tom Dutton

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