Another week so time for another blog, this time I'm going to look at the players that may be making moves around Europe this summers as well as possible managerial changes, and where better to start than with the transfer that has kicked it all off....
Well one of the most sought after and deadliest strikers in Europe has finally completed one of the most drawn out transfers in a record quick time. For the last 3 years its been known that Valencia would have to sell him but it was just a question of who to but that question has been answered already with him joining Barcelona for £34m (40m euros). Does this mean the end for Ibra? And do Man Utd fans feel a little gutted they spent £30m on Berbatov when they could have got Villa??
The other major Barcelona target this summer is Cesc, and again this is another one that's been dragging on a while. Everyone knows the story, Arsenal nabbed Fabregas from the Barca youth squad at 16 exploiting a contractual loophole found in Europe and stuck him straight in the first team and the rest is history. Being a Catalan born and bread boy it was always clear he was going to move back to Barca at some point or another and Arsenal knew this, trying him down to a record 8 year deal making sure they always had a strong bargaining position when this day came around. Apparently Wenger has asked Fabregas to stay another year at Arsenal, a lot like Sir Alex did with Cristiano Ronaldo at Man Utd, and I think that maybe some sort of agreement will be reached allowing Cesc to stay at Arsenal this season then move next summer with no complications
OUTCOME - Will drag on until at least the World Cup, but i can see Cesc staying till summer 2011 then leaving for between £40m-£50m
Just putting in as a nice to know, but expect Henry to turn up in the U.S, widely expected to be at New York Red Bulls or possibly LA Galaxy as they have the financial backing to offer him a tasty contract as well. The final nail in his Barca coffin was when Guardiola decided to bring on Juanfran & Bojan over him when they were desperately looking for a goal against Inter Milan.
OUTCOME - Bags packed and flights booked. Just a question of which U.S airport he'll land at
Hamsik is one of the most important players at Napoli alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi and helped the team to the dizzying heights of 6th place, securing EUROPA League qualification at the expense of the once mighty Juventus. The Slovakian group in 2010 is tough but maybe, just maybe he can help inspire them in what will probably be the 'make or break' game against Paraguay and if that happens and they sneak in to the knockout phase expect to see his name linked to many top clubs
OUTCOME - Expect to see him popping up at an EPL club soon for around £20m-£25m depending on World Cup performance
First Gareth Barry now James Milner, Villa fans must be sick of the sight of City and there cheque book. 2 summers ago Barry declared he wanted Champions League football before being persuaded to stay at Villa (or Liverpool didn't have the cash) before promptly walking out the following summer to a team with no European football. Milner was moved to center midfield to fill the void and now city are back to try and get him as well, but their not the only one's after him - apparently Man Utd have had more than an eye on Milner since he Leeds days and are standing by reading to offer another option if Milner decides he wants to leave and Villa don't want to sell to City. On a personal note i don't see why he would want to leave Villa as the 2 clubs are pretty similar right now, yes city have the 'bags of silver' but Villa have stability and an excellent manager.
OUTCOME - after the interview Milner game today expect to see him move, if Utd's interest is genuine then Villa will only sell to them, even if it is a bit shorter of what City will offer, if Utd aren't interested expect Villa to get every penny they can, around £30m
The biggest Bosman of the summer creeps closer and closer by the day, Cole is reportedly unhappy with the terms of the new contract Chelsea are offering him, he wants £120k a week and their only offering £90k (my heart bleeds....) If no deal is signed by June 30th (yes slap bang in the middle of the World Cup) then Joe is free to speak to other teams and if reports are to be believe he has a whole range of suitors quing up with Utd, Spurs, Liverpool and even West Ham(!) linked to him i think being a London lad he would find the Spurs link most interesting, with his first kid on the way he might not be overly keen on upping sticks and moving north, and a chance to be reunited with Harry, the manager that seemed to get the best out of him will be appealing, but will Spurs offer him £120k a week he's looking for? or even the £90k he's been offered? the offer of regular football would be very appealing, Harry certainly had more faith in him in the past that Ancelotti has now.
OUTCOME - a free transfer move to Spurs seems likely, but don't rule out a last minute contract renewal. Can't see him going to Liverpool or United
OK, was gonna put this down as Real Madrid's marquee signing of the summer but just read reports from Bild newspaper and other sources saying he's signed a new 4 year deal at Bayern...so that's that done then! I'd just like to point out that its amazing how as the season has worn on, and his form hasn't picked up (if anything he's been slightly better than average), he's spent longer and longer 'thinking' about his future. Obviously as his thoughts of staying went up and up it's just coincidence that Real's interest has got smaller and smaller.....just a thought....
OUTCOME - Staying in Germany...for now...
Buffon was ready to quit Juventus at the end of the 05-06 season but of course, in the Calciopoli scandal Juventus were relegated and Buffon stayed on. Now Juventus aren't the force they once were, finishing 7th this season and with no European football one of the best keepers in the game must look for a new top club? Many have been linked, especially Man City & Arsenal with the Italian press confident a deal would be done, however in the last few days Buffon's agent came out saying he wasn't moving and Buffon himself spoke of working under Gigi Del Neri as the new boss
OUTCOME - a tough one, if Arsenal made a firm offer i think he would be very tempted at the prospect of playing in the Champions League and at a top club - if the reported £15m if true it would be a bargain for one of the best keepers around who has at least another 5 or 6 years at the very top left
NEYMAR & PAULO HENRIQUE (GANSON)
This could be a very interesting story this summer. Both players have been billed as future superstars in Brazil and even had a media poll as to whether they should be called up for the World Cup or not, most people wanting Neymar to go for experience as Pele, Ronaldo & Kaka have done before but Dunga resisted these calls. What makes this story even more interesting is the fact that it could see the 2 richest clubs in the world go after them. Man City got first refusal on both these players as part of the Robinho loan deal and have a very keen eye on both, but Real Madrid are just as interested, especially as there aren't many players left in europe for them to sign. The feeling in Brazil is they should stay a few more years (more Neymar, Ganson is 20 now Neymar only 17) and establish themselves more before leaving. The only downside to this is they could end up like Hernanes and be forgotten about and not kick on from there original hype, although there appears to be less risk of this with Neymar as he is showing incredible talent for such a young age. Comparisons to a young Robinho aren't far wide but Neymar is a lot more clinical in the finishing department than Robinho probably ever has been. Maybe this is how Santos would fund any move for Robinho, either swapping these 2 for Robinho and some cash or selling them to Madrid and using the cash from that to keep Robinho at Santos.
OUTCOME - can't see either moving to City if Robinho's been speaking to them, expect them both to wind up at Real Madrid soon and probably for a pretty hefty fee, Santos know they've got talent on there hands - maybe £35m in total for both
Adriano is more than likely going to return to Italy when his contract expires with Flamengo in may, but expect to see his name linked with some English teams. A big powerful striker, he joined Fiorentina on loan from Inter and did well, he was then co-owned by Parma and seemed to really find his form before returning to Inter where he began to become a household name. Unfortunately he's been fighting an addiction to alcohol for a while and is a big risk for any team to bring him back which is the only drawback - recently he's had a few scrapes in Brazil and frequently misses training which has lead to him missing out on the Brazil World Cup team.
OUTCOME - might go for another crack in Italy but can't see any team taking the risk on his high wages. except maybe West Ham with Gold & Sullivan still determined to get a 'big name striker'
OK, so everyone knows David James is out of contract, we can also expect him to leave the England scene after 2010 World Cup, building towards the next tournament can't be done with a 40 year old keeper. So where will James go? He doesn't have a lot of choice, with most teams having a first choice keeper in place now especially with Birmingham signing Foster so maybe, with no England place at risk, he'll have to join someone as a backup? but again, there aren't many teams that would probably be prepared to pay his wages for a back up keeper either - with Pompey offering him a new contract (apparently to be paid in thin air) does he have no other choice but to stay?
OUTCOME - to stay unless a really big surprise offer comes in
JUAN MANUEL MATA
Valencia selling Villa could be a sign of things to come, with Mata and David Silva being linked away from the club, Mata has been linked heavily to Liverpool and also recently Spurs. Harry is reportedly looking for only one Marquee signing and is said to be a fan of Mata who can play on either wing, up front or in the hole and could give Spurs an extra dimension going forward. If Spurs reported interest is true then i can't really see him going anywhere else, a move to Liverpool would mean leaving a CL team to join one qualifying for the Europa league and Valencia won't sell him on the cheap. The only other option would be a move to Italy but the league isn't as strong as it once was and certainly the only options in Spain would be Barca or Real neither of whom are interested.
OUTCOME - if Valecnia sell Silva soon they may try and keep on to Mata but if the offer is big enough then the bank may say sell. Could really see him at Spurs as Harry's one big signing
Silva has been linked to Utd, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Man City in the last few days - apparently Real have started negotiations already to try and ward of interest from City although i can only see Silva going to a CL club, if Joe Cole leaves then Chelsea would have room for a 'schemer' type player, on that can sit behind the front 2 and try and unlock defences with defence splitting passes however Chelsea probably won't want to make a move until Joe Cole's future has been decided which might be a little to late. Clearly Utd is also an option if they bid for him but i don't think they will want to get in a bidding war with Real Madrid
OUTCOME - Off to Real for anything between £20m-£30m
i can't see many premiership managers moving anytime soon, if anyone was going to quit or get fired they'd probably have done it now, Grant will be the next West Ham manager that much seems certain. The most interesting case will be Rafa Benitez, despite the Juventus job that he was so heavily linked to being filled and AC Milan looking like there going for a 'cheap, in-house' option. There cross town rivals will most likely be the most interested part in Rafa if, as expected, Jose heads of to Real Madrid in the summer. Inter are reportedly preparing an offer for Benitez to head to the San Siro in the summer and its the only job i can honestly see him leaving Liverpool for a job of that sort of stature, although if the owners continue to be evasive of the subject of summers funds and keep asking outrageous prices for the club Benitez could decide he wants to leave anyway to avoid the possible mess that is Anfield to come
The big market this summer will be international jobs, with Laurant Blanc already agreeing to replace the very unpopular star gazing Raymond Domenech after the World Cup. Its being widely reported in Italy that Marcello Lippi will step down (again) after the World Cup with Fiorentina manager Cesare Prandelli lining up to take over once the Italians have exited the tournament. The surprise replacement being lined up by Fiorentina is the current Brazil boss Dunga which would give 'Big Phil' Scolario a chance to return as Brazil manager once more as his deal at Bunyodkor is due to expire in the next 6 months. This would leave one of the 2 South American super powers without a manager and its also widely expected that if Argentina fail to perform at the World Cup the Maradona will probably leave in a whirlwind of foul mouth tirades a lot like he arrived.
What we do know is its certainly going to be a very interesting summer of transfers and managerial changes, hope this blog has proved to be helpful but most importantly proves to be accurate!! thank you for reading, as usual leave your feedback below or contact me at twitter (Buster_5265)