In transfer news: busy Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson snagged Martin Petrov from Atletico Madrid for three years for $9.4 million, subject to a UK work permit. Various reports say that Sven is also close to adding Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini for $14 million. After eight years at Arsenal, Freddie Ljungberg packed his bags for West Ham; he may soon be joined by Newcastle's Kieron Dyer unless the unhappy winger opts for Tottenham instead. Gabriel Heinze's transfer struggle continues: the Argentine has now hired Liverpool's lawyers to help him get out of his Man United contract, which still has two years to run, so he can join the Reds. Lastly, Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes believes he's on the verge of signing unhappy Bayern Munich striker Roque Santa Cruz.
Over on the continent, Romanian defender Christian Chivu has finally joined Inter Milan from AS Roma for a hefty $20.5 million. Neighbor AC Milan, meanwhile, has its eyes on a pair
of Brazilians: internacional prodigy Alexandre Pato, and Real Madrid's $24 million Julio Baptista. Real is rumored to be mulling a straight swap to bring Inter's Santi Solari back to the Bernabeu in
exchange for the unwanted Antonio Cassano. Atletico, fresh from unloading Petrov, on Thursday added Benfica winger Simao Sabrosa for $27 million.
And finally, Pierre Laurrari, the first
and likely youngest of what will be a long line of pretenders to the "Next Lionel Messi" throne, has signed with Bayern Munich at the tender age of 13. The Peruvian midfielder was signed by the
Bundesliga giant following a one-month trial. Real Madrid and Milan were also vying for his signature.