Chatting with the enemy

Happy New Year everyone, hope you’re not suffering too much.

In the build up to the FA Cup clash on Sunday, The Scratching Shed and The Republik of Mancunia joined up to have a chat about the rivalry, how things are going and the game ahead. Scott from TRoM sent me some questions to answer which you can now see here. I also put my own questions to Scott which will be published here tomorrow.

Transfer rumours begin

Most of the rumours unsurprisingly revolve around Jermaine Beckford today after it was revealed that Leeds United have turned down Newcastle’s initial offer, thought to be in the region of £1.25m.

With his exit looking somewhat inevitable, rumours of who will replace him have began. Clearly, Luciano Becchio won’t bang in 30 a season, nor do I expect Mike Grella, Tresor Kandol et al, to do so either, so a proven goalscorer is essential.

The initial speculation is that Billy Sharp of Sheffield United and Gary Hooper of Scunthorpe United are the likely replacements. I think both players could do a job for Leeds. Both are in the right age group (Sharp 23, Hooper 21) and both are prolific scorers. Sharp is currently on loan at Doncaster Rovers were he has scored 10 in 16 appearences for them, whilst Hooper has managed 31 in 62 appearences for Scunthorpe.

What would they cost? Well, Sheffield United paid £2,000,000 for Sharp in 2007, with a player heading in the opposite direction as well. Sharp is out of favour in Sheffield though and has been our on loan recently, so we should be able to secure his services quite cheaply. Hooper meanwhile could be a little more expensive as he’s Scunthorpe’s key player and signed a three year contract in 2008. I suspect £2-3m would be too much for them to turn down though.