Cheque BookManchester United are one of the few clubs not to swell their ranks and in fact they’ve spent the last few weeks desperately trying to hang on to Cristiano Ronaldo, but they’re still the favourites' at football odds of 2.66.' 

Middlesbrough though have been busy and have brought in Didier Digard for £4 million and Marvin Emnes for £3.2 million. The duo are virtually unknown' on these shores but Digard is a commanding central midfielder and Gareth Southgate' obviously sees him as a replacement for George Boateng. But at just 21 years of age it is a big ask for the former Paris St Germain star who will have to adjust quickly to the faster pace of the Premier League. Former Sparta Rotterdam winger Emnes also represents a big gamble and although he’s unlikely to be a first-team regular, Southgate will be hoping to see progress from the 20-year-old.

Boro’s north-east rivals Newcastle have also taken a huge gamble with the arrival of Jonas Gutierrez for a fee of between £5 million and £10 million. The winger has arrived from Real Mallorca and is famed for celebrating goals with a spiderman mask – don’t worry too much though he only scored five goals in almost a century of appearances for the Islanders. And if you’re looking for a football bet on the season’s biggest' flop look no further than Mr Keegan’s latest recruit.

Harry Redknapp has been beavering away all summer trying to sign Peter Crouch and that deal is an imminent one. But Harry’s other recruits are rather low key in comparison. Portsmouth have taken a gamble on the injury-prone and less-than-athletic Glen Little. It’s a move that former Reading winger Little said he couldn’t believe and what’s harder to believe is that Little can make an impact in the top flight next season.

Young Chelsea striker Ben Sahar has also been snapped up on loan and he will be used as back-up to Harry’s big guns.

Premier League new boys Stoke are yet to dip into the transfer market although Tony Pulis has been seen at the local builders merchants asking about a quote to brick up the goal at The Britannia.

Sunderland are also yet to make a move, but Spurs boss Juande Ramos has been busy and snapped up youngster John Bostock, Luka Modric and Giovani Dos Santos. Bostock is one for the future and unlikely to get much game time, but £16.6 million Modric will be Ramos’ key midfield playmaker. The diminutive midfielder was dynamic for Croatia at the Euros and Spurs will be relying on him to create the openings in the coming season. He looks a good signing and could even have Spurs fans who don’t bet on football having a punt on the north Londonders' breaking into the top four.

And Dos Santos – the 19-year-old signed from Barcelona – could be one of the surprise packages of the season.

West Brom have landed Gianni Zuiverloon from Herenveen for £3.2 million and he will be an able deputy for Martin Albrechtsen. Luke Moore, Roman Bednar and Kim Do-Heon have also had their loan deals turned into permanent deals. Graham Dorrans and Michal Danek have also been drafted in but Tony Mowbray will need to strengthen further if the Baggies are to stay up.

Upton Park has been eerily quiet this summer and West Ham have yet to open their cheque book, while Wigan have added only Daniel De Ridder to their squad. The Dutch winger was with Steve Bruce at Birmingham and Bruce has signed him again as he looks for the 24-year-old to make an impact in the top flight.

By Phil Tomlinson

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