Rumour Mill: quantity down, quality up

Last updated : 10 January 2006 By Chris C
The squad clear-out has begun with the departures of Niemi, Wise, Blayney and McCann confirmed and more likely to join them soon. With the club confirming that they are looking to strengthen the squad over the transfer window, this means quantity down, quality up.

So who is likely to be holding up the hallowed shirt come the end of January? On the Cross sorts the Ali Dias from the Kevin Keegans.

Robert Earnshaw
He has been granted a transfer request by West Brom, the club with as many strikers as Spurs has midfielders and there will be no shortage of suitors in the Championship and no doubt the odd one in the Premiership.

With Saints short of a proven striker all season, Earnshaw would certainly fit the bill and Saints have been linked with a cash plus player exchange for the Welsh wizard. Wages, as ever could prove a stumbling block, but this signing would prove a real coup for George Burley and a statement of intent.
3/5 Broadsheet

Lee Trundle
Saints have continued to be linked with the prolific Swansea striker, who at 29 and at around £1m would represent something of a gamble. If Saints are unable to land the likes of Earnshaw, then he may come back into the picture.
2/5 Tabloid

Martin Zbonac
With Saints desperately short of cover at left-back, even an evasive George Burley admitted this was one position he was looking to fill. And it looks as though Saints are halfway there with Czech left-sided defender Zbonac spotted training with Saints this week. He has enjoyed spells in Greece, Russia and the Czech Repubic and, while hardly a household name is experienced, and at least he is that rarest of objects, a genuine left-back.
4/5 Official site

Inigo Idiakez
The talented Derby County playmaker is a goal-scoring midfielder that played a major part in Derby reaching the play-offs under George Burley. At 32, he is reaching the twilight of his career, but he is a proven performer at this level and will bring what Saints have lacked all season, goals.
3/5 Broadsheet

Wayne Bridge
The Saints fan and former Saint is in danger of losing his place in Sven's world cup squad after returning from his first serious injury and finding himself out of Jose Mourinho's plans. He has admitted privately that he would welcome a loan to the Saints and this would be one of the transfer coups of the season if it comes off. Unfortunately, sense may prevail and he may join a Premiership club on loan.
1/5 Some bloke down the pub

Matthew Taylor
Taylor, allegedly a closet Saints fan, would be an option at left-back and could achieve an unlikely 'childhood dream' by signing for the Saints. This links comes from an impeccable source, a mischief maker on our messageboard. You heard it here first (and last).
0/5 Men in white coats

Guide to On the Cross ratings:
0/5 Men in white coats time
1/5 Some bloke down the pub
2/5 Tabloid
3/5 Broadsheet
4/5 Official site
5/5 Holding up a shirt