The Mill is aware that in the history of the emancipation of a people there are certain moments that stand out like rungs on the rope ladder to freedom. For example, it took football 40 years to abolish the solid leather boot and compulsory death by scurvy of the moustache at the age of 29. 1961 saw Jimmy Hill successfully campaign for the end of slavery and the enshrinement of the right of all men to own a house with a plasma-screened Jacuzzi in the bog. And the great Jean-Marc Bosman provided us with a world where surly central European defensive midfielders can just hang around for a year and a half picking up their wages and wearing headphones three rows back on the bench behind the sub goalie and then skulk off on a free to Panathinaikos.
We have much to be grateful for to these pioneers. And as of this morning, when the history of the modern footballer is written, the name of Darren Bent will join them, scrawled boldly in marker pen, or more likely burped out in Twitter speak as "Drnbent." Today The Sun devotes its back page to "Darren Bent's F-Word Rant." Writing on his Twitter page, he reportedly raged: "Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go Stoke NO. Do I wanna go Sunderland YES. So stop f*****g around, Levy."
Looking at this The Mill can't help thinking – why didn't he just leave the "City" out and shorten Sunderland, and then he could have said "to Stoke" and "to Sunderland", which sounds better? But mainly, The Mill is filled with a sense of pride. Darren Bent's F-Word Rant will live long in the memory, not just as a telling new media blow struck for footballers everywhere, but as the first time Darren Bent has hit the target with a stinging volley since he was banging them in for Charlton about three years ago. The Twitter account now appears to have been closed, though, with anyone logging on finding only the message: "This page does not exist."
Also in The Sun, Manchester United are going to wait for two weeks and then "launch" a £35m bid for Franck Ribéry. Something to do with a loyalty bonus he's due to get on 14 August, after which he will - seriously - request a transfer straight away. Yes, loyalty bonus. Xabi Alonso will complete his £28m move to you-know-who on Monday. Painful twin-headed gynaecological implement Lee Cattermole could yet be his replacement, but don't rule out Roma's Alberto Aquilani, or Athletic Bilbao's Javier Martínez, who sounds persuasively Hispanic.
Rafa Benítez has also made a "cheeky" £6m bid for Michael Turner, presumably one that involved goosing Phil Brown accompanied by parping trombone music. Brown says Turner is going nowhere "unless someone comes in screaming the rooftops down with big money," which sounds just like a horrible thing. Mark Viduka could be about to sign for Portsmouth if he can somehow manoeuvre his great, wobbling neck in through the door and find a reinforced triple corner sofa on which to rest half of one of his slab-like buttocks. And West Brom could be about to pay £1.5m for Seville's David Odonkor, who is fast and eager but often looks confused.
The Daily Star is still going on about Spurs signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar despite the presence of Peter Crouch, the other one - possibly Jermain Defoe - and some more strikers The Mill can't recall offhand. "There's a lot of talk about who I may or may not be after," says 'Arry Redknapp, eagerly scanning the comments section of The Mill. "But Huntelaar is the one I like. He's the one I dream of. Looked into my eyes. Take me to the clouds above. Take me to the clouds above. Take me to the clouds above (clouds above, clouds above, clouds above) (clouds above, clouds above, clouds above) (clouds above, clouds above, clouds above)."
And 'Arry might not stop there. The Daily Mail has Spurs wanting to sign Liverpool left-back Andrea Dossena. Pleasingly old-fashioned and honourable 1960s bank robber lookalike Roy Hodgson has stopped concealing razor blades in his trilby hat and talking about doing a flit to the Costa long enough to persuade Danny Murphy to sign a new contract. And new West Ham singing Junior Stanislas, who isn't as good as Senior Stanislas, has taken the No9 shirt, which means perennially broken lumbering hitman Dean Ashton could be off to do rehab somewhere else.
In The Times Rafa Benítez is holding out for £30m for Alonso, something they describe as "playing hardball" - a traditional Spanish game in which a small man with a beard refuses to answer his phone for a bit, swears quietly to himself and broods in his office about Lee Cattermole.
According to L'Equipe, Ribéry has already had a move to Real Madrid for £60m turned down by Bayern Munich. And according to Goal.com Lazio have splashed out on Rasmus Bengtsson, who sounds like he could be a Trelleborg central defender, but is in fact a really expensive Scandinavian television made out of wood that comes with small and poncey-looking speakers mounted on poles.
• This article was amended on 31 July 2009 to make clear that the 1960s robber figure is a lookalike.