Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid-quality signing. He has had an exceptional season. He can punish any team in the world and has the footballing qualities we look for in Madrid. I am sure Madrid will not be the only team that want to sign him — but he is the right mould for us.” – Sergio Ramos.
Runner-up: “It was obviously great to sign off with a great goal in the last minute, but circumstances made it hard to celebrate. We fought hard this season, the team and the manager have been great. We have got the record points for the club in the Premier League. That would normally be enough to qualify for the Champions League, but it’s not meant to be again. It’s disappointing, but we will pick ourselves up again. We will just have to regroup this season and give it another go.” – Gareth Bale.
Arsenal To Axe Vermaelen
Arsenal ready to dump Mael (Charlie Wyett, Sun) Arsenal will listen to £5m bids for skipper Thomas Vermaelen… Vermaelen, 27, has been previously watched by both Barcelona and Manchester United but he is desperate to stay in North London. He only featured during Arsenal’s terrific run-in once Per Mertesacker was suspended — and then he returned immediately to the subs’ bench. German Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are Wenger’s preferred pairing while Arsenal are also keen on Swansea’s £12m-rated Ashley Williams… Other players on their way from Arsenal will be Marouane Chamakh, Andrey Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner, Park Chu-Young and Andre Santos.
Out-of-favour Vermaelen may quit Arsenal in search of playing time with Barca lurking (Simon Jones, Mail) Thomas Vermaelen fears he may have to leave Arsenal to keep alive hopes of playing in the World Cup for Belgium. Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are Arsenal’s first-choice partnership and manager Arsene Wenger may sign Swansea defender Ashley Williams this summer. Barcelona are monitoring the situation.
Man United Eye Thiago, PSG Want Rooney
Tasty Thi for Moyes (Michael Morgan, Sun) David Moyes is weighing up a £15million bid for Barcelona midfielder Thiago. The new Manchester United boss sees the Spanish international, 22, as a possible replacement for the retired Paul Scholes. Thiago has two years to go on his £30,000-a-week Barca deal but is keen to quit after falling out of favour.
The £100million man! Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney being lined up for massive Paris Saint-Germain move (John Cross, Mail) Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to put together a staggering £100million deal to land Wayne Rooney. Manchester United striker Rooney has emerged as the French side’s No1 target this summer, and their mega-rich Middle Eastern owners are prepared to pay him a staggering £15m-a-year – after tax. That would put the England star, 27, on the same wages as PSG’s current star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is being tipped for a move back to Italy this summer just one season after moving from AC Milan.
PSG lure Wayne Rooney with promise to match Manchester United wages (Dominic Fifield, Guardian) Paris Saint-Germain have informed Wayne Rooney’s representatives that they would be willing to match his current wages as they seek to convince the unsettled England striker to leave Manchester United for Parc des Princes… The French champions, who are backed by the money-flushed Qatar Investment Authority, made their interest in securing the player known last week and have indicated they would be prepared to match his salary, which amounts to about £300,000 a week.
Mourinho’s £50m Chelsea Contract, Target Forwards
Jose Mourinho agrees 4-year Chelsea deal (David Woods, Star) Jose Mourinho will fly to London on June 2 – and sign a four-year contract at Chelsea worth £250,000 a week… That is a commitment of around £50m from owner Roman Abramovich for the second coming of The Special One.
Chelsea ask Galatasaray if Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz is for sale (Dominic Fifield, Guardian) Chelsea’s pursuit of a striker to add to their forward options has led the reigning European champions and Europa League winners to lodge an inquiry with Galatasaray about the availability of their Turkey international Burak Yilmaz.
Falcao, Hulk, Mangala, Isco, Fellaini? Jose Mourinho draws up Chelsea wishlist to sign SIX players this summer (Mirror) Mourinho, who will be free to join Chelsea on June 2, wants three defenders, two midfielders and a striker with Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao at the very top of his hit-list. Real Madrid boss Mourinho has already agreed a three-year contract worth £12m-a-year – and has had guarantees about the investment in the club. It is believed Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will make the biggest investment in the squad since Mourinho left Stamford Bridge six years ago.
The City Clear-Out
Manuel Pellegrini faces Carlos Tevez call as Manchester City name starting date (Ian Herbert, Independent) Manuel Pellegrini is expected to meet his new Manchester City players a week on Monday, seven days after the club’s anticipated confirmation that he is to succeed Roberto Mancini and become first-team coach… The Chilean’s first tasks will involve which players should be awarded new contracts, with the futures of Gareth Barry, Carlos Tevez and Joleon Lescott up in the air.
Pellegrini set for talks with Tevez when he takes over at City (Ian Ladyman, Mail) Manchester City will appoint Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager by the start of June and he will immediately open face-to-face talks with Carlos Tevez about his future at the Etihad Stadium… With players such Tevez, Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry all entering the final years of their contracts at City, they have been told that no talks will take place about their futures until Roberto Mancini’s replacement starts work.
The Rest Of The Transfer Lies
Tottenham target Leandro Damião and Roberto Soldado for next season (Guardian) Tottenham Hotspur hope to demonstrate their ambition remains intact despite a failure to reach next season’s Champions League by renewing their efforts to sign the Brazil forward Leandro Damião and seeking to pair him with Valencia’s Spain international Roberto Soldado.
Villa will take a hit in selling £24million flop Bent as Lambert begins clear-out (Mail) Darren Bent has been told he is free to leave Aston Villa this summer as the Birmingham club prepares to take a huge hit on their investment in the England international.