With more reliable contacts in the sporting world than ever before Sport 4 Thought brings you the first in our new Transfer Talk updates by our very own TRANSFER GURU, giving an informed and in-depth look at the possible ins and outs surrounding football’s biggest clubs. Although the EPL season is far from over, today we bring you the latest on giants Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal’s transfer targets for the summer…
LIVERPOOL : Liverpool will look to compound on their excellent season by ensuring that their biggest advantage next year is stability. The fortress will not be rocked, and the club will not seek to make more than 2 or 3 signings this summer (with 5 excellent loanees to return and pad out the squad : Ilori, Wisdom, Suso, Borini & Ibe).
The first and highest priority will be a LEFT BACK. They face competition from several clubs, however, for Southampton’s LUKE SHAW : from Real Madrid, Chelsea, and a host of other clubs. Porto’s Alex Sandro, Roma’s Dodo, & Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno again all interest, but the list of suitors is long.
The other high profile area Liverpool will strength will be a WIDE FORWARD, following the collapse of the transfer of Dnipro winger, Yehven KONOPLYANKA. Roma’s ADEM LJAJIC has been watched, so too Verona loanee JUAN ITURBE. Iturbe however is well liked by Real Madrid and AS Roma (who are very close to securing his transfer). Liverpool also have long-standing interest in IKER MUNIAIN of Atletico Bilbao.
Brad Jones’ future is unclear, and Wigan’s scouse goalkeeper, Lee Nicholls, has been watched. A first option agreement with Derby County midfielder WILL HUGHES has been agreed since Christmas, but there is no news on when this move will be made permanent. Liverpool have spoken with Arsenal’s expiring Bacary Sagna, but aren’t yet willing to match the wages offered by Manchester City. Real Madrid have enquired about the availability of Philippe Coutinho, and been dismissed.
MANCHESTER CITY : The oil juggernaut will continue spending without any regard for FFP. Arsenal’s expiring Bacary Sagna has been made a contract offer, and it is difficult to see anyone else snaring him, now that Inter Milan have withdrawn from the race.
City had a £33.5m bid for Porto centre back Ezequiel Mangala rejected in January. £37.75m is the price tag, and City will return for the player. If this situation continues to frustrate them, Real Madrid’s Pepe and Liverpool’s Danny Agger have both been subject to bids from the Etihad this year, and are definitely on the shortlist.
Inter Milan have enquired about taking the unfancied Javi Garcia, as Man City also seek to compete with Manchester United for midfield general William Carvalho, of Sporting. Jack Rodwell is aware that he is also unfancied. A loan return to Everton in January was cancelled at the last minute, as FC Porto reneged on the sale of midfielder Fernando Reges.
CHELSEA : The £50m transfer of Atletico Madrid goal machine Diego Costa looks all but agreed in principle, as Chelsea look to freshen up their attacking options. As part of the deal, goalkeeping starlet Thibaut Courtois has extended his loan deal at Atletico by another year. Cech will continue in goal.
Fernando Torres has discussed a loan transfer to Inter Milan, who are as-yet unwilling to match his huge wages. Inter have also enquired about Jon Obi Mikel. Chelsea are also looking for more options in the final third : Southampton’s Adam Lallana & PSG’s Ezequiel Lavezzi are both at ‘reasonably advanced stages’.
Didier Drogba has been keeping his future options open : Jose Mourinho has discussed a staff role with him at Chelsea, but should he wish to extend his playing career, Juventus are also very interested in the Ivorian international.
ARSENAL : Wenger’s faith in Olivier Giroud & Yaya Sanogo seems questionable, as Arsenal will again seek to wrap up the transfer of Schalke wonderkid, Julian Draxler. Hopes of landing Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata also seem to have faded, as Arsenal are extremely close to the signature of Standard striker Batshuyi. Bayern striker Mandzukic did discuss options with both Arsenal & Chelsea, but it would appear it is more of a power-play with the Bavarian club, as the player does not feel as appreciated as he should be.
MANCHESTER UNITED : Huge exodus at Old Trafford as a large core of the squad seek to exit (Giggs, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra). The summer could prove to be a difficult one for David Moyes, as he persists with approaching established and settled household names (Benatia, Pogba, Vidal, Kroos, Hamsik). More realistic is ex-Chelsea defender, Alex, whose contract at PSG is expiring. He has held talks with United on two occasions now, and it seems it is between them and AC Milan for his signature.
Written by THE TRANSFER GURU
Sport 4 Thought