The Sunday Times does not tend to go big on speculation, certainly not on the same scale as the red tops. So, when they devote half a back-page column to a story linking Neymar with a £170 million move to either Manchester United and Chelsea, you know there must be something in it.
It is reported that the Barcelona star wants an annual pay day of £21.2 million and United are willing to meet those demands. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic indicating that he’d like to stay on at Old Trafford, provided conditions are met, United could be blessed with one of the most powerful strike partnerships in Premier League history next season.
Speaking on 5 Live on Sunday morning, former Arsenal great Bob Wilson called on his club to take a decisive stance over Arsene Wenger, saying that the club owed it to fans to make public what is going to happen with the Frenchman beyond the end of the season. Whilst uncertainty over Wenger’s position remains, the future of star duo, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez is also shrouded in doubt. Chilean Sanchez would reportedly prefer to stay in London and Chelsea are believed to be the most likely suitors – particularly if they lose out on Brazilian Neymar.
As for German international midfielder Ozil, he has stated his future depends on whether Wenger remains at the Emirates. The Telegraph did recently report that Fenerbahce are planning on audacious £42.5 million move for him. While predicting what will happen with Wenger is nigh on impossible, this transfer may already be a done deal.
Another Arsenal midfielder who could be on the move is Jack Wilshere. Wilshere is currently on loan at Bournemouth and the Cherries want the England international to stay on the south coast, however The Sun report interest from West Ham in the £30 million-rated player. Wilshere has cast doubts over his temperament and attitude aside whilst on loan at Dean Court and there could well be a bargaining war for his services in the summer.
The close season could be a busy one for the Gunners, with another report suggesting that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be on his way to Chelsea. Oxlade-Chamberlain has yet to be offered a new deal at the Emirates despite only having 18 months left to run on his current deal, and The Daily Mail says the Blues are ready to step in with a bid. Kieran Gibbs is another who has yet to sign fresh terms and could be on his way out of the club.
While the daily bets at SBAT may continue to reflect the ongoing battle for Premier League supremacy between Chelsea and Spurs, it seems the London rivals are also in direct competition for the services of highly-rated defender Issa Diop. The Toulouse regular is a French U21 international and rated at £15 million.
Meanwhile, Ozil could be joined in Turkey by Blues midfielder Cesc Fabregas with reports that Galatasaray are interest in a move for the 29-year-old who has been a bit-part player for the Blues this season.
[dropcap]C[/dropcap]onfirmation of Tim Howard’s imminent departure from Goodison Park has forced Everton to immediately step up the hunt for a new No.1, and early reports suggest that manager Roberto Martinez could be preparing a swoop for Ajax star Jasper Cillessen.
The Dutch international has enjoyed another fantastic season at the Amsterdam ArenA, registering 14 shutouts in 27 Eredivisie appearances and has also shown his immense ability on several occasions on the international stage too. Ajax are believed to value their 6ft 2in at around £10m and Everton aren’t the only club rumoured to be monitoring the situation. However, the Toffees are certainly considered to be the frontrunners after the announcement regarding the future of the long-serving Howard.
While the American has lost his regular starting place to Joel Robles, Martinez faces a huge battle in finding a replacement for the 37-year-old who has plied his trade on Merseyside since 2007. With Cillessen turning 27 in April, the Dutchman could be the perfect answer to Everton’s problem; not only could he challenge Robles immediately, but he also has plenty of years left in the tank.
Having originally burst onto the scene in 2010/11 at NEC Nijmegen, before moving to Amsterdam soon after, Cillessen has been one of the hottest properties in Dutch football for a number of years. But with over 100 Eredivisie appearances to his name, along with 27 international caps, this summer could be the perfect moment for the highly rated shot-stopper to make the step up to one of Europe’s top leagues.
Dutch experts onlinewedden.com believe that, should Cillessen help Ajax steal the Eredivisie crown back from PSV, he would have nothing else left to prove in his homeland. That could pave the way for his move to England; Everton appears to be the most likely destination.
For all of his attributes, the current Ajax star would be unlikely to edge out the likes of Petr Cech or Hugo Lloris at Arsenal and Spurs respectively. Similarly, in spite of heavy links last summer, his chances of stealing the gloves at Old Trafford would seem extremely unlikely, particularly if Louis van Gaal steps down before the final year of his contract. While Spaniard Robles would give him a run for his money, the Dutchman would fancy his chances at Goodison Park. If he does have ambitions of eventually progressing to one of the Premier League’s top sides, Everton could be the perfect shop window too.
Martinez will need to recruit a new goalkeeper this summer, but finding one with both young and experience won’t be easy. For an investment of just £10m plus relatively modest wages, the Toffees could certainly do a lot worse.
[dropcap]D[/dropcap]iego Simeone has ended the speculation over his exit from Atletico Madrid.
He has been linked with Chelsea after their humiliating start and sacking of Jose Mourinho.
But, Simeone told El Pasis: “Why can’t I be here longer? Why did I choose a five-year contract? Because I see a club that is ‘virgin’ and Miguel Ángel [Gil Marín, the CEO] and Enrique [Cerezo, the president] have the ability to open up new sources to strengthen in. It’s not easy to leave Atlético.”
Now it’s become more complicate for the Blues. Guus Hiddink appointed for an interim basis and they need to do some magic to bring Pep Guardiola to Stamford Bridge.
Riyad Mahrez, who is one of the instrumental players for Leicester City’s to reach top position in Premier League table, said he will continue with club.
24-year-old transferred from Le Havre for £350,000 and netted 11 goals and 15 assists so far on this season. They all top teams other than Arsenal in Premier League matches.
He is the radar of Arsenal and Tottenham, but young Algerian decided to stay at King Power Stadium.
He said: “It would be best for me to stay,”
“I will not leave in January, it would not be good for my team if I left. If you lose an item like me or [N’Golo] Kante or Vardy, it may penalise the team.
“I prefer to continue with the team until the end of the year.”
Mahrez also understands the difficulties being a small squad compare with other title challengers.
“No, we will not be,” he added when asked if Leicester could be champions.
“The squad does not have broad enough shoulders. The other teams have bigger numbers. At one point, they’ll take over.”
Arsenal are set to unveil Alexis Sanchez as their marquee signing of the summer while negotiations to bring in Mathieu Debuchy could also conclude by this week. Arsenal have been in negotiations with Barcelona for the transfer of Sanchez. The Catalan giants are willing to sell the Chilean international in order to raise funds for the signing of Luis Suarez. Arsenal have had to fight off competition from Juventus for the 25-year-old. According to Sky Sports, they are now on the verge of completing a £30 million deal.
A £10 million deal to bring Debuchy from Newcastle could also be completed as well. Both signings will represent major additions to the squad. Debuchy’s arrival is especially of importance given that Arsenal lost Bacary Sagna on a free transfer to Manchester City in the last few weeks. Despite being extremely strong in the midfield, Arsenal have decided to go for Sanchez.
The 25-year-old is extremely versatile and can play up front as well. He demonstrated his versatility during Chile’s World Cup 2014 campaign.
Arsene Wenger was refusing to spend money on big players not long ago. However, he has seen first-hand from the FA Cup success last season that experienced players are vital in a squad. Arsenal’s transfer business may not be over yet, as the club could still bring in a midfielder. There are also believed to be in negotiations for Victor Valdes, who will be available on a free transfer. Valdes’ proposed move to Monaco has not gone through because of a failed medical.
The transfer window was opened on New Year’s Day and Manchester United will be hoping to buy some new blood for the club.
The first of their needs is a good defender as the duo of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic is reaching their age. They are not so quick now as they were earlier and David Moyes really has a headache to replace them with the likes of Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling still present in the club. However, he needs a creative centre back who clears the ball in almost every dangerous situation and does not let the opposition pass him as easily as they are passing the defenders these days.
David Moyes will also be hoping to buy a good mid fielder and a winger for the club in the mid field area. He really needs to buy a mid-fielder who has the ability and confidence to fill the seat of Paul Scholes who had retired the previous season.
Everton’s Marouane Fellaini was not able to do that and now Moyes is concentrating on Everton’s Ross Barkley and the expected price that Moyes will pay is 50 million euros. Arturo Vidal, Juventus mid fielder, is another person who has been attracting David Moyes’ attention for some time.
Chelsea mid fielder Juan Mata is facing some problems at Chelsea and he will be another one chased by Manchester United. As for the wing side, Marco Reus, the Scot manager is concentrating a young Borussia Dortmund mid fielder, on. Let’s see if the Scot is able to lay his hands on at least one mid fielder this January.
Another headache Moyes has been receiving is Van Persie’s injuries and Wayne Rooney’s Chelsea rumours. Robin Van Persie, 31-year-old Dutch international, is getting many injuries these days and he is taking time to recover.
Moyes will be looking for a fast and young striker to replace the Dutch. Also, the Wayne Rooney rumours are still on a high but according to some sources, he is happy now as he is getting the play time that he wanted as compared to Sir Alex Ferguson’s last years at the club.
The Manchester United team will be hoping to have an improvement this transfer period as compared to the summer transfer period where there were not any big star signings as we thought there would be.
The Real Madrid central defender has brushed off the hoax that he is looking for a transfer, a report that took charge of the headlines in the Spanish capital regarding his relationship with the club President.
The former Sevilla defender, 27, has insisted that he has no intentions of leaving Real Madrid anytime soon and will see out his contract with the Spanish capital club until June 2017.
“I’ve got three years here. I’m relaxed and not looking to leave the club,” said the Real Madrid Skipper. He added, ” I feel privileged and if I could, I would retire here . ”
Meanwhile, he brushed off the rumors that his terms with the club president Florentino Perez has been sour . He added “I’m not going to talk about the differences between us because it’s a personal matter, but I can say we have a great relationship. I’ll never forget who the president here is and I know he’s in charge.”
Sergio Ramos has made 17 appearances this season scoring just once in La Liga.
During the summer football transfers or the “silly season” as it is called by most people, you read and hear so many rumors about where players are going to end up that it is hard to separate the fact from the fiction.
Being a football fan like you I follow my club religiously constantly looking to see who we have signed or who will be leaving in the hope that some superstar will be joining up with us leading we hope to Premiership glory or in my teams case that coveted fourth spot currently held by Arsenal that gets you into the Champions League, and the money that goes along with it.
A little trick I have learned is to follow the bookies as they have insider knowledge as to what is going on behind the scenes in the world of football.
There is plenty of speculation at the moment as to the future of Wayne Rooney, and what the outcome will be when the striker sits down with David Moyes next week to discuss whether he has a future at Manchester United or not.
According to the bookies he is 5/2 to join Chelsea and 3/1 to join Arsenal with Real Madrid at 7/2 in case a deal involving Cristiano comes off.
Other notable up in the airs are of course Liverpool’s’ Luis Suarez with the bookies favorite being a move to real Madrid at a price off 2/5 where I think that it is quite possible that a deal has already been made with the controversial striker already telling the press that it would be difficult to say no to Real Madrid.
Another move and perhaps the biggest of all is Cristiano Ronaldo joining Manchester United with Sky Bet offering 11/10 on that move.
Perhaps we will learn more tomorrow as these three transfers along with that of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale depend very much on Real Madrid who are expected to announce Italian Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager tomorrow.
The English Premiership is currently the most prestigous and lucrative setup in the world. As many new clubs find to their cost, failure to invest properly in the transfer market mean and instant return to the Championship.
With the exception of Swansea and inthe past Wigan, the majority of successful promoted teams invest in experience. Lets examine each of three new arrivals for August:
Playoff winners led by Ian Holloway, few people give them any chance of remaining in the league. He is excellent in the transfer market and has already been linked with a number of international players that are out of contract. Perhaps most intrugingly, reports suggest a move for Scottish playmaker Charlie Adam (currently on the books at Stoke) is likely given the successful spell enjoyed at Blackpool two years ago.
They come prepared with heavy financial backing and settled squad including influential Craig Bellamy. Malky McKay has stated that he wants to add quality infront of goal and hinted at a move for unsettled Darren Bent (Aston Villa). Cardiff will also want to sure up the backline and have enquired about the services of Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama. He is possibly the hottest midfield property around currently for bottom half clubs so may prove difficult to conclude a deal.
Steve Bruce is an experienced manager in building for Premiership survival and has already made moves to secure Scotland Number One, Allan McGregor. The clubs main prioirty will be keeping hold of George Boyd following a successful switch last season.
The biggest mistake made by many managers is overhauling a successful squad – see Queens Park Rangers. Build on the quality that served well and above hope for some good luck during the season. It can be done as demonstrated by many clubs in the last decade.
With the return of the “special one” to Stamford Bridge Chelsea fans will all now be expecting their club to return to the top flight of English football, which surprises me when their interim manager Rafa Benitez actually did quite well for the club, with them finishing in third place and qualifying for next seasons Champions League.
They also won the Europa League which isn’t bad for a manager that was only there for seven months. This of course was not good enough for the Chelsea fans, as all they were ever going to settle for was having Mourinho back. A lot of bwin football offers will be taken up to make a bet on this move happening!
After only being in place for a day Mourinho has announced his new signing Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported £20 million with an official announcement to be made Wednesday night.
Along with Schurrle I expect to see the Blues make a move for Manchester City’s Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, and if reports in the British tabloid Sun are to be believed he might also go for 28-year-old Wesley Sneijder.
“The Galatasaray playmaker is set to move to Chelsea according to reports in Turkey… Sneijder has struggled under boss Fatih Terim and the Turkish club will listen to a ‘reasonable’ offer.”
Speaking at a press conference after being announced as the new Chelsea manager, something that has to go down as the worst kept secret of the year, Mourinho said:
“We have to improve the team, and when I say improve the team people are already thinking about how many millions Chelsea is going to spend.”
“When I say improve the team I am saying improving by work. If after that we can improve the team by buying a couple of players it is fantastic. In the last two years we were struggling in the Premier League.
“I like the profile, I like the fact we have three, four or five players from the beginning and I think they have to be always a part of the Chelsea soul.
“The profile of the younger players with long-term space for improvement and development, I like very much. With the immediate age of Eden Hazard, Oscar, David Luiz and these boys, I think it will be good for me to work with them and good for them to work with me.
“It’s a young squad with a lot of talent and I think they need stability to reach a high point of their evolution and for their careers.”
Since having the man Abramovich wanted to sign Radamel Falcao stolen from Chelsea by AS Monaco another club that has big plans, my feeling is that Brazilian striker Hulk could also be on the cards, along with Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic.
All this means despite what Mourinho might say about developing players, is that the west London club will be shopping for talent, so look for Chelsea to spend big this summer, as their owner wants nothing but the top prizes for his team.