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Transfer speculation: Ronaldinho to Middlesbrough (£10m)

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It is always a difficulty assessing a rumour of this nature; in common sense terms why would Ronaldinho be swapping Barcelona for anywhere and certainly why for a team struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League?  Ronaldinho would light up many of Europe's leading teams - but is not the kind of player that it would seem sensible to throw into a relegation dog-fight.

But according to The Independent (3 December 2007) Middlesbrough is the only club to have made a reasonable offer for Barcelona's out-of-favour Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho.  The bid at £10m is not insubstantial - but if the player is for sale there is surely a more high profile team out there prepared to take a punt on the playmaker. 

But, then again, who in England would take him?

Of the highest profile teams Ronaldinho chose Barcelona over Manchester United when he left Paris Saint Germain in 2004, which should rule them out; Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger prefers to work with creative players at an earlier stage of their career and Liverpool has budgetary concerns which may stop big new January signings.  Chelsea have expressed an interest in the past and London wouldn't be a bad alternative to Barca.

So remove the teams most likely to win trophies and Middlesbrough are a possibility.  But Chelsea is a more likely option, possibly as a loan deal rather than a permanent move in the short-term.



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