Helsingborg, Elfsborg and AIK continued to win and lead the standings of the 2011 Allsvenskan.
Even before Helsingborg took the field July 17 against Halmstad, speculation was rife that the league leaders would finish the match a man down as media and club officials alike expected Alexander Gerndt to finally sign with an overseas club.
Helsingborg breathed a sign of relief it still had its quirky teenage star but the clock is clearly ticking on Gerndt’s time in Sweden.
In the run-up to the Halmstad match, Gerndt’s main suitor, FC Copenhagen, reportedly upped its offer to 21 million crowns ($3.5 million) plus the contract of Peter Larsson, who is currently on loan at HIF from Copenhagen. That package, the club said, is worth in excess of 30 million kronor ($5 million).
Belgian club Brugge, a late-comer to the Gerndt sweepstakes, then reportedly offered $23 million kronor, but Gerndt and Helsingborg refused. Dutch side Utrecht also joined the chase, making an initial offer of 25 million.
Now, Scottish Premier League giants Glasgow Rangers look set to make Helsingborg an offer it simply can’t refuse for the Swedish international. Rangers reportedly plan to offer between 28 million and 32 million kronor for the 19-year-old Gerndt.
Then there is the relationship between Gerndt and the club. Although Gerndt is blessed with gobs of talent, HIF manager Conny Karlsson constantly rips the young star for his lack of mental maturity. Gerndt is prone to making silly mistakes on the field and often has words with his manager when he does.
The relationship has grown so strained that Gerndt’s agent, Per Jönsson, has threatened to keep the teen at Helsingborg through the end of the season – when his contract runs out. Gerndt would then become a free agent and Helsingborg would receive nothing when he leaves.
Right now, though, Gerndt is scoring and Helsingborg is winning, which makes the star and his manager happy. It also keeps adding to the price Gerndt will eventually command when he agrees to leave the club.
by Chipp Reid
Helsingborg 2, Kalmar 1 KALMAR – Rasmus Jönsson scored twice to lead Helsingborg to a 2-1 win over Kalmar July 18 at Guldfågeln arena. Daniel Sobralense staked Kalmar to a 1-0 lead after 13 minutes. Jönsson tied the game three minutes later and struck the game winner at the 59-minute mark off a pass from Alexander Gerndt. The win extended Helsingborg’s unbeaten streak to nine games.
Elfsborg 2, Halmstad 1 HALMSTAD – David Elm celebrated is return to full-time duty by scoring twice to lead Elfsorg to a 2-1 win over Halmstad July 19 at Örjans vall. Joe Sise put HBK in front after 17 minutes. Elm tied the game at the 47-minute mark and struck the game winner one minute into stoppage time.
AIK 3, Gefle 0 GÄVLE – AIK climbed into third place with a 3-0 win over Gefle July 17 at Strömvallen. Robert Åhman Persson broke open a scoreless match when he tallied in the 58th minute. Martin Kayongo-Mutumba made the score 2-0 11 minutes later off a pass from Ibrahim Bangura. The Sierra Leone striker scored his league-leading 15th goal of the season in the 71st minute.
GAIS 4, Örebro 1 GÖTEBORG – GAIS handed Örebro its fourth consecutive loss, beating ÖSK 4-1 July 17 at Gamla Ullevi Stadium. Robin Staf put Örebro in front after 29 minutes. Wanderson do Carmo and Alvaro Santos rallied GAIS with a goal and assist each. Carmo assisted on Eric Magloire Bassombeng’s equalizer in the 33rd minute before scoring the go-ahead goal at the 48-minute mark. Santos assisted on Carmo’s goal before striking himself in the 71st minute. Razak Omotoyossi completed the rout with a 77th-minute goal.
Trelleborg 2, Göteborg 0 TRELLEBORG – Marcus Pode scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season to lead Trelleborg to a 2-0 win over Göteborg July 18 at Vångavallen. Mattias Adelstam opened the scoring for TFF in the 18th minute. Pode struck at the 47-minute mark.
Djurgården 1, Mjällby 0 STOCKHOLM – Djurgården won for the fifth time in its last seven matches as it knocked off Mjällby 1-0 July 17 at Stockholm Stadium. Johan Oremo scored the lone goal of the match in the 80th minute off a pass from Daniel Sjölund.
IFK Norrköping 2, Syrianska 1 NORRKÖPING - Shpetim Hasani scored in the 62nd minute to lift Norrköping to a 2-1 win over Syrianska July 16 at Nya Parken. Peter Ijeh put Syrianska ahead at the 20-minute mark. Martin Smedberg Dalence tied the game in the 56th minute.
Helsingborg players celebrate July 18 after their 2-1 win over Kalmar. Bildbyrån photo