The Mill loves a good ol'-fashioned player auction. The bang of the gavel, those little numbered paddles, the sweaty, desperate clamour for a purchase, and, after the thrill of battle, the victor carting off a player who's cost twice as much as he's actually worth in the back of a rented transit.

And today we're in luck, though it's not the usual inter-club bidding war. On the auction block today is Manchester City's bid for Kaka. City's vast wealth obviously precludes any competition for the player, but the deal itself, well, that's open to offers. The Star weighs in first with a rather disappointing £40m. The Mirror and the Daily Mail top that with 'exclusive' offers of £100m, but it's going once, going twice, sold to the Sun who reckon the switch is worth an astonishing £175m.

The Sun, though, miss out on the next lot, Kaka's wages, with their paltry £280,000-a-week bid enough to beat the Star's £180,000-a-week but trumped by almost everyone else in the action room who are all offering £500,000-a-week.

Elsewhere in the auction room, Arsène Wenger has got the evil eye for Inter's Jose Mourinho, who has waited until the auctioneer has started the 's' of sold before raising his paddle to bid for Andrei Arshavin. Wenger and Arsenal will have to raise their £10m offer to £12m. Mourinho, meanwhile, has hung a little tag round the neck on Adriano and sat him on a battered red leather Chesterfield. Tottenham are lining up a six-month loan bid.

West Ham have put a £15m reserve on Craig Bellamy (yeah, the Mill watches Cash in the Attic - what of it?) so Manchester City's fresh £10m bid won't be enough to prise him away from Upton Park. While the Hammers' backs have been turned, though, Liverpool and Rafa Benítez have popped in with a cheeky £3m bid for Herita Ilunga, currently on loan at West Ham from Toulouse.

Blackburn have their eye on Atlético Madrid's Giourkas Seitaridis and Marseille's Gael Givet, while Roy Hodgson wants Hearts' Christophe Berra and Jonjo 'I'm-not-a-clown-though-I-have-the-name-of-one' Shelvey of Charlton.

West Brom and Stoke have bagged themselves a couple of strikers. Benfica's Ariza Makukula is heading to the Baggies, while Tony Pulis has Charlton's Andy Gray neatly packaged in the back of his Bedford van.

Wigan are desperately trying to drag Antonio Valencia off the auction block, but the Ecuadorian is clinging on. Real Madrid hope £11m and Javier Saviola will be enough to loosen Steve Bruce's grip.

David Moyes could be forgiven for watching the bidding frenzy with more than a hint of jealousy - he's off to the car boot sale down the road to offer Racing Genk £2m for Israel striker Elyaniv Barda, a broken toaster and a chess board with a bishop missing. Perhaps he can fill the gap with pint-sized Spurs forward Giovani Dos Santos, who is being linked with America. From Mexico. Work that one out.

Elsewhere in the world of nick-nacks and white elephant stalls, QPR are keen on the Sunderland duo of Liam Miller and Daryl Murphy, Birmingham are haggling with West Ham over Calum Davenport, Mick McCarthy is rummaging in his pocket for some change with which to sign Oldham's Chris Taylor, and Huddersfield have found a dusty Kevin Phillips under a box of Dexy's Midnight Runners LPs.

And, a few miles away, Australian side North Queensland have pulled up beside a 'No Fly Tipping' sign and shoved a Robbie Fowler-shaped bundle in the back of their ute.


John Ashdown

The GuardianTramp

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