4:03 PM Aight! I’m done. Don’t know what else is going to break between now and then except for this Villa thing. If you want regular updates on the Happenings, please follow @ScoreMobileFC!

NIGHT!

3:40 PM It’s QPR. It’s always QPR. Forever:

3:28 PM Also, a club has triggered Mo Diame’s release clause at West Ham, which means someone has thirty minutes to diffuse a bomb strapped to his chest, I think. It’s all kicking off now, boyo!

3:26 PM That “Martin Samuel” verified account talking Stekelenberg? Was possibly hacked, or at least that’s what it’s owner claims. It was verified because it belongs to a band member of the Vaccines:

Instantly my favourite bit from Deadline Day.

3:06 PM It appears Peter Odemwingie has really stepped in it today. West Brom have released a statement, picked up by ESPNFC:

“Albion move to clarify developments regarding Peter Odemwingie after striker was filmed a short while ago arriving at Loftus Road. The club have held further discussions with QPR today but those talks have so far proven fruitless and no agreement has been reached. Albion would also like to make clear that Peter has not been given permission to speak to QPR about a potential move.”

Collymore piles on:

2:52 PM MYSTERY SIGNING!

Who eff? What the what? Do you have any ideas? Please don’t make another David Beckham joke. I have the power to ban.

2:45 PM Yeah, that Martin Samuel account was fake, which is what it said in the description.

2:19 PM Oh Odemwingie:

To which one can only reasonably say:

2:03 PM FC Dallas’ Brek Shea is going to Stoke, pro-prolly:

Major League Soccer wins again.

1:53 PM Go back to bed, Brad Jones:

NOTE: I’m not sure this is real as the account seems far from it, but this whole thing is pretty much surreal as it is.

1:48 PM You know that scene in Monty Pyton’s Meaning of Life with the rotund gentleman who orders “the lot”? Well, here is the entire list of relevant English and Scottish transfers, by day, in no perceivable order. If you find one for the entire European continent (don’t just send me transfermarkt.com) then please let me know…

1:43 PM Well, this could be the first Honduran player I’ve supported since Amado Guevara:

Oh, and Crouch to QPR is defo OFF.

1:22 PM Is this news? Mohamed Sissoko has fallen out of PSG into Fiorentina. The continental news is slooooooooow at the moment. And here’s Mario scoring his first “goal” for AC Milan, at around the 1:10 mark:

1:09 PM This is a big deal: Arsenal are apparently on the verge of signing Malaga left back Nacho Monreal (pictured above). The rejoicing from North London, particularly in the wake of whatever Andre Santos has been up to lately, is deafening…

12:42 PM And this is great…

12:39 PM What would you wear upon your return to Italy? We know what Balotelli would wear. There is seriously no news right now so imma gonna go get a burrito.

12:04 PM We’re in the Jim White portion of the Sky Sports Transfer Deadline Day machine. Time to break down the Beckham presser: he’s old (37 years old), he’s 150% committed, and awesomely, his money for his 5 month stay at PSG will be going to a children’s charity.

I may have Tweeted something different today…

11:35 AM It’s the bored journalist channel! Beckham will apparently walk on to blab in any second.

11:01 AM Why the January transfer window may be a thing of the past

An excellent article from ProZone on the risks of mid-season spending. Apparently Wheeling ‘n Dealing is a very stupid or at least risky way of boosting your club’s fortunes, except for clubs battling relegation:

Prozone data suggests that there is a general trend towards January recruitment having a negative influence on Premier League team performance. This doesn’t automatically mean that teams should let the window pass them by (there is evidence that teams battling against relegation benefit from the signing of three or four new players), but spending for spending’s sake is, statistically speaking, rarely constructive. Instead, it is possible that the solutions could lie within the existing squad and academy set-up.

As football continues to shift towards a more objective approach to recruitment, the establishment of more intelligent player trading frameworks is becoming increasingly viable and widespread. As the January transfer window continues to build towards its conclusion, Technical Scouts throughout Europe will be attempting to apply those techniques over the coming weeks to implement the best possible strategies for their clubs.

The article suggests the best strategies involves taking players on loan and—thank god—starting younger academy prospects.

10:29 AM Crouchie’s having his nachos! Which means to say he’s awaiting the results of a bid by QPR, reports Adel Taarabt. So basically ‘Arry is getting the A-Team back together for one last mission. Tonight! Right after Little House on the Prarie.

10:20 AM Twitter is still effed to the max. Meanwhile, this is literally the latest transfer news:

PAOK FC have signed Liberia international Sekou Oliseh on loan from Russian Premier League leaders PFC CSKA Moskva until 30 June 2012.

Methinks it’s going to be that kind of Transfer Deadline Day.

10:05 AM The majestic Fail Whale has made her first glorious appearance. But I managed to record just under the wire that Stoke City have nabbed Jack Butland from Birmingham City (the Scum) for a fee of 4 million pounds.

9:50 AM Just saw Mike Ashley toddle out of a helicopter. Other than that though, a little quiet on the Western Front. So you should instead read this interesting piece on key metrics to watch out for in the upcoming Hexagonal stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. And here is a possibly slightly offensive but funny video about Alan Pardew.

9:22 AM whoscored.com with some evidence Danny Graham may not be the game-changingest of game-changers:

9:15 AM Apparently Gary Hooper is the key to unlocking the Canaries’ Mystical Power:

The Meaning of Deadline Day

It’s all a bit silly of course, but the fact that club’s are willing to wait until the very last day to sling deals worth millions of pounds via fax machines indicates that, in truth, managers, chairmen, players and agents don’t really know much more about the state of the football universe than we do.

For example, Chris Samba will cost Queen’s Park Rangers 35 million pounds over the next four years in transfer payments and wages. Think about that.

9:07 AM EST Breaking News Tweet Has Broken!

He’ll apparently cost 5 million pounds. I don’t know what I think of this other than as a Villa fan, which is blinding white hot rage mixed with abject fear.

The Lead

High Windows

When I see a couple of kids
And guess he’s f**ing her and she’s
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives–
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,
And thought, That’ll be the life;
No God any more, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide
What you think of the priest. He
And his lot will all go down the long slide
Like free bloody birds. And immediately

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

-Philip Larkin

That’s right! It’s Transfer Deadline Day! The most pertinent recent transfers:

If you want a more international (i.e. non-Premier League spread), UEFA.com has seemingly cast off their tut-tutting at the world of insane football finance and are running their own TDD blog.

If you want to read a fairly decent summary of how insane today actually is from a club perspective, you could do worse than this from the Daily Mail. The money quote:

There are a number of ways to submit the paperwork. There’s not much cause for the once mighty fax machine any more, but this seemingly analogue piece of technology in a digital age comes into its own on Deadline Day.

Many clubs and the authorities still use the fax machine to send across documents, as it’s a quicker process than scanning them in and sending via email. Every second can be crucial as the clock ticks down towards the 11pm cut off so it’s no time to be faffing around while a scanner slowly copies each piece of A4 one at a time.

To which a helpful commenter responded, “Ever heard of sheet fed scanners?”

Anyway, we’ll be updating this old girl throughout the day with all the things that happens and stuff.

Here are your morning links!

England

QPR sign Anzhi defender Samba in record deal.

Stoke City offer millions for Birmingham goalkeeper Butland.

Norwich swap Morison for Leeds Becchio.

Italy

Inter’s Mariga joins Parma on loan.

“I love Roberto” -Balotelli on his former coach Mancini.

La Liga

Malaga midfielder Diego Buonanotte moves to Granada on a four-and-a-half year deal.

Dani Alves denounces racist chants during yesterday’s El Clasico.

Germany

Hoffenheim targeting Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Jupp Heynckes’ Spanish past.

Bit and Bobs

Milan fans go wild for Balotelli arrival.

Beckham heading to the city of lights, signs with PSG.

Net collapses on Brazilian player.