Northern Irishman unlikely to be unemployed for long and tipped as long-term Utd prospect.
|Poulsen played in Denmark’s World Cup campaign [GALLO/GETTY]|
Denmark midfielder Christian Poulsen was reunited with former manager Roy Hodgson when he agreed a three-year contract with Liverpool, while Manchester United secured a deal for striker Bebe from Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes.
Liverpool’s website said the 30-year-old Poulsen had joined from Juventus where he spent two disappointing seasons after leaving Sevilla.
Juventus said Liverpool had agreed to pay a fee of $6.96 million on Thursday.
Poulsen, who has been capped 77 times by Denmark, plays a similar role to Javier Mascherano and his arrival will increase the likelihood the Argentine is to leave Anfield.
Hodgson, who has also signed midfielder Joe Cole from Chelsea and winger Milan Jovanovic from Standard Liege on free transfers since taking over last month, worked with Poulsen at FC Copenhagen.
Meanwhile United’s website said the 20-year-old Bebe had agreed personal terms and would undergo a medical later this week.
Manager Alex Ferguson has been keen to bolster his striking options and Bebe joins along with Mexico’s Javier Hernandez, who scored in United’s 3-1 defeat of Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.
The 6ft-3in Bebe is rated as one of the top young talents in Portugal and will join compatriot Nani at Old Trafford.
Blackpool ready for return
Away from the glamour clubs, Blackpool’s ground is being hastily upgraded, as is their squad, but the return of the seaside club to the English elite for the first time since 1971 adds a juicy orange twist to Saturday’s Premier League kickoff.
Relegation favourites they may be, but Ian Holloway’s side will hog some of the limelight on Saturday as their season begins with a trip to Wigan Athletic – a match that was switched to an away fixture while their Bloomfield Road stadium is enlarged.
Blackpool began last season tipped for the drop into the third tier but instead ended the campaign by beating Cardiff City in the Championship playoff final at Wembley.
Holloway has been frustrated in the summer transfer market until he finally got clearance to sign five players on Wednesday.
Striker Marlon Harewood, previously with West Ham United and Aston Villa, will offer a physical presence while defender Craig Cathcart, signed from Manchester United, and midfielders Ludovic Sylvestre, Malaury Martin and Elliot Grandin will add some depth.
“I’ve been running up blind alleys but we have a structure and we want to stick to that. I’m not falling into other people’s traps,” Holloway, whose quips will enliven the forthcoming season, said on Wednesday.
“I can sell sand to an Arab and fridges to Eskimos if I believe in it. But it’s not easy because the difference between where we are and the rest of this crazy world is astounding.”