It isn’t often that financial news website Bloomberg get involved in the murky world of football transfer gossip, but they have this Saturday evening.
They claim Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre has cancelled a trip to Rio to speak at a conference to discuss economic opportunities for soccer so that he can try and complete a deal for highly-rated Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Bloomberg suggest Henrikh Mkhitaryan would cost Liverpool 20 million pounds and it would be some coup for Brendan Rodgers after the Armenian has been hugely impressive for Shakhtar Donetsk in recent seasons.
Mkhitaryan scored 25 goals in 29 appearances for the Ukranian champions in 2012/2013 and was also part of the Armenia side that stunned Denmark 4-0 in midweek in World Cup qualifying.
Although Liverpool look set to lose start striker Luis Suarez, who has again voiced his unhappiness at Anfield this weekend, they have moved quickly to sign Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas.
Liverpool are also reportedly closing in on the signings of Simon Mignolet (Sunderland) and Luis Alberto (Sevilla).
During our glorious stay in Israel we have watched Kevin Strootman and his Holland team mates on four occasions in the flesh and it has been a true pleasure.
Besides Spain and with no disrespect to Italy, Holland looked like the second best team at Euro 2013 and fell to some familiar Dutch failings against a “professional” Azzurini in the semi-final on Saturday night.
The midfield threesome of Marco van Ginkel, Kevin Strootman and Adam Maher were probably the most impressive players for Holland and it will come as no surprise that the former pair are reportedly being tracked by Manchester United.
In recent weeks, betting companies have suspended betting on Strootman joining Manchester United and we have endeavoured to track down the PSV midfielder on every occasion we have been in the Mixed Zone with the Dutch midfielder.
On each occasion, Strootman has avoided our questions like a true professional of many years experience in the game.
Thanks Kevin and good luck wherever you end up this summer!
We caught up with Holland Under-21 midfielder Marco van Ginkel following the 1-0 defeat to Italy in the European Championships on Saturday and asked the Vitesse Arnhem star whether he would be interested in a move to Chelsea or Manchester United in the Premier League.
There have bee strong rumours in recent weeks that van Ginkel would be signing for Chelsea but in the last few hours UK papers have suggested that new Manchester United boss David Moyes was looking to hijack the deal.
Catalan paper Sport have claimed this Saturday evening that Barcelona have contacted Arsenal over the signing of Laurent Koscielny.
Barcelona are keen to bring in a central defender this summer and Laurent Koscielny fits the bill of a central defender that is good on the ball and commanding in the air.
Koscielny has scored the goal that has taken Arsenal to the Champions League on consecutive seasons and is a fans favourite at the Emirates.
It would also be a huge surprise if Arsene Wenger would allow another big name sale to Barcelona after the high profile departures of Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas to the Nou Camp.
Tito Vilanova is keen on signing Koscielny and Sport add that Barcelona could secure the French central defender for 15 million euros.
Crucially, and we are likely to hear of this in the coming days, Sport claim Laurent Koscielny is keen on a “change of scenery” after three seasons at Arsenal.
Barca have been linked with Thiago Silva, Vincent Kompany and David Luiz but all three are now considered too expensive. Besides Koscielny, Jérémy Mathieu is considered Barcelona’s most likely option to reinforce their defence this summer.
After another sensational performance and Golazo v Norway in the Under-21 European Championships on Saturday, Isco is the name on everyone’s lips.
The Malaga midfielder had a superb season in the Champions League and is performing wonders in Israel – fuelling talk of a move to either Manchester City or Real Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane is understood to be pushing for Isco at the Bernabeu, whilst there have been rumours that at the end of their time at Malaga, new Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini agreed to bring the Spanish Under-21 star to the Etihad this summer.
This was denied by Isco after the 3-0 semi-final win over Norway: “I have not spoken to him [Manuel Pellegrini]. I only found out about the move online yesterday. I’m happy for him, he is a great coach, I am sure he will do well.”
When further questioned on his future plans, Isco added: “You have to try and stay focused. I am only worried about Tuesday’s final.”
The speculation of where Isco may end up could be one of the transfer stories of the summer. El Mundo Deportivo add this evening that Barcelona have now joined the race for the Spain playmaker.
El Mundo Deportivo say Real Madrid and Manchester City remain the favourites for his signature though.