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The Departures Lounge: your daily lunchtime transfer round-up
Will Cesc Fabregas’ never-ending transfer saga be resolved at last? And what’s up with Shane Long?

REJOICE! IT’S HAPPENING at last! Or at least it seems to be. Cesc Fabregas is finally going to Barcelona, thus bringing an end to the longest running transfer saga ever and leaving Barcelona and even Arsenal fans somewhat relieved.

Meanwhile, in Irish soccer-related news, today Robbie Keane is being linked with Blackburn. The other day it was Wolves and before that, it was Fulham. Tomorrow, it’ll probably be Aston Villa.

If anything, it gives newspapers an excuse to revive those dreadful ‘club x keen on Robbie’ puns that appear every single time the Irishman is rumoured to be moving club.

Elsewhere, Tottenham are said to be interested in Gary ‘overrated’ Cahill and willing to invest cash plus Keane, Sebastian Bassong, Jermaine Jenas and Alan Hutton, as Harry ‘wheeler dealer’ Redknapp very much lives up to his reputation. Just don’t tell him that to his face.

Speaking of ex-Spurs players who are no longer any good, Dimitar Berbatov is the subject of a £14m bid from Valencia.

And Keane isn’t the only Irish striker on the move, nor is he the only Irish striker whose name attracts terrible puns – Shane Long could be heading to Sunderland. Inevitably, someone will sooner or later point out that ‘the long wait is over’.

Not content with having Cristiano Ronaldo in their team, Real Madrid will reportedly sign another horrible human being in the form of Ashley Cole.

Their rivals Liverpool are intent on signing Wolfsburg’s Diego, who is automatically set to be amazing by virtue of the fact that he is Brazilian and doesn’t appear to have a second name, aligning him with Ronaldo, Pele, Rivaldo and a host of other great players.

But then again, if Liverpool are the interested party, he must have some spectacular defect of which I’m unaware.

Finally, Man City have belatedly realised James Milner was worth nowhere near £26m, and will sell him (amongst others) at a drastically reduced price. Oh well, it’s only £26m – the equivalent of spending a bit too much on a night out for City.

Who’s afraid of the big bad press? England, apparently>

Richardson announces 35-man Airtricity squad for Man City, Celtic clashes>