Transfer rumours – The best part of the season

Posted: May 21, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Sport
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Some had said that this Summer could be a quiet Transfer Window, but already there are plenty of big money moves in the pipeline, with Barcelona leading the charge. The Catalans, who were crowned Spanish champions last weekend, are seemingly ready to make wholesale changes to their already brilliant squad. In England, the financial power that Man City have is bound to usher in some new faces, while Arsenal, Newcastle and Villa may face an uphill struggle to keep their best players. So, here are some of the big stories, team by team.

Barcelona

cesc-fabregas-1.jpg smaller pic of fabregas image by kwalker_7

Fabregas looks set to be Barcelona's next signing

They’ve officially signed David Villa from Valencia in what is the first major transfer of the summer. The 28 year-old striker has signed a four year deal, joining Lionel Messi and Co. in what promises to be the world’s most exciting attacking side (which they are already, I suppose). Perhaps even more interesting is the prospect of Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas coming to join Pep Guardiola’s side as well. According to Goal.com, Fabregas has expressed his desire to leave Arsenal, telling Arsene Wenger during a meeting the two held a few days ago. Fabregas has been constantly linked with a move back to his homeland, and now it looks more likely than ever that it will happen. If the move does go ahead, and chances are it will, Barca will have spent a huge sum on just two players, and may have to offload a a couple of their own men to cut costs. One of those who may leave is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, possibly to the Emirates Stadium as part of the Fabregas deal. It would be a logical move since Arsenal have had very little choice of top-class frontmen apart from the injury-prone Robin Van Persie. They should also have enough money left over from Fabregas’ departure to buy a much-needed holding midfield player, with Marseille’s Stephane M’Bia top of their list of targets.

Liverpool

We can expect to see a huge clearout of many of the Benitez Blunders that have been gathering dust on the sidelines in recent years. Albert Riera, who has openly criticised Benitez in the Spanish press, will definitely be leaving, possibly to Stuttgart or CSKA Moscow. Ryan Babel is wanted by Birmingham City, but would cost the Blues upwards of £8 million. Financial troubles mean the Reds won’t have a lot to spend, and even club captain Steven Gerrard may hit the road, possibly in a £30 million deal to Inter Milan.

Manchester City

RobertoMancini.jpg Roberto Mancini image by CashingInbtk

City boss Mancini will, as ever, be a big player in the transfer market this summer

Roberto Mancini’s men are said to be looking for James Milner, but Aston Villa would be looking for at least £20 million before even considering letting their influential midfielder depart for one of their closest rivals, and have already had one offer turned down. Failing this, they may go for Benfica’s highly-rated David Luiz, who would cost a similar amount. They could face stiff competition from Manchester United and Real Madrid, who are also said to be interested in the 23 year-old Brazilian. City have also been linked with an audacious move for Liverpool’s Fernando Torres. The likelihood of this, however, is slim – Reds owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are already hugely unpopular at the club, and selling their prized asset would cause uproar.

Newcastle United

Another story of unpopular owners in the North East… Despite such an impressive season in the Championship, racking up 102 points on their way to lifting the title, owner Mike Ashley has announced that there will be “no capital outlay” in the summer transfer period. This means that manager Chris Hughton, who expected to have had at least £15 million to spend, will now have to look for loan deals and free transfers if he wants to strengthen his squad. It also puts Hughton in the uncomfortable position of possibly losing key players such as Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor and Andy Carroll, since rival teams now know that the Magpies need to boost their finances. On the plus side, prolific striker Kris Boyd is out of contract at Rangers could be joining former teammate Peter Lovenkrands at St James’ Park.

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Redknapp is well known for his Del Boy-esque shrewdness in the transfer market, and they’ve shown their ambition by enquiring about Joe Cole, but a real sticking point would be Cole’s wage demands of £100,000 a week, which he has been making at Chelsea for the last few years. A more likely option is Villa’s Ashley Young. To me, it is by far the better move for Spurs, it would be the final piece in the jigsaw – a left winger to complete what would then be one of the best midfield quartets in the entire Premiership, alongside Modric, Lennon, and Bentley/Huddlestone. For Villa, losing both Young and Milner would be unthinkable, and chances are, they won’t sell both, but then again, if the right offer comes along, they may be tempted, they could use the money to fund the purchase of West Ham’s Carlton Cole.

Chelsea

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Frustrated during his time in Milan, Huntelaar may be playing in the Premiership next season

They may have just won the Premiership, but Chelsea’s squad are getting old. They will almost certainly dip into Roman Abramovich’s deep pockets this summer, and AC Milan’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar seems to be one of their targets. The Dutchman has fallen out of favour with the Rossoneri, and a move to Stamford Bridge would cost about £16 million. Even if this move doesn’t go ahead, can still expect to see Chelsea buy at least one quality striker, since Anelka and Drogba are 31 and 32 years old.

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