Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “Daniel [Levy] has made it clear ever since the Berbatov deal that he will never again sell a major asset to another English club. After that deal the feeling was, ‘What is the point – why bother bringing these players on if we are just going to sell them?’” – A White Hart Lane source to the Daily Express.
Runner-up: “I am an experienced Premier League manager and, with all the changes that have been going on, there aren’t many with as much experience as me. At two of my last three clubs the ownership changed shortly after I arrived and I don’t want to go through that process again, it’s not easy. So one of the first questions I asked of the Coates family at Stoke was: ‘Are you going to stick around?’ They said yes and that’s a real attraction for me. The stability of the club and the people I know who are involved are reassuring. I work best under those circumstances. My intention, for my own sanity, is to repair my reputation at Stoke City and stay here for as long as I can.” – Mark Hughes.
Brazil v England Is On
Brazil v England WILL go ahead after Maracana safety fears dismissed (John Drayton, Mail) England will face Brazil at the Maracana on Sunday after a stunning u-turn in Rio de Janeiro. Preparations for the match were plunged into chaos yesterday evening when a judge ruled the iconic stadium was unsafe. However, Adriana Costa dos Santos reversed her ruling that the stadium was unsafe, lifting the suspension that had been placed on it. A statement on the Rio state government confirms the stadium complies with ‘all safety rules’. The statement also confirmed the safety certificate was granted.
Why England look stuck in the footballing dark ages without shining light Jack Wilshere (Martin Lipton, Mirror) The worrying thing is not that England have become reliant on one player. That’s happened plenty of times over the years. No, the truly worrying thing is that England have become reliant on a player who has made just ONE start for the national team in the last TWO years. Three months after Jack Wilshere inspired Roy Hodgson’s side to a terrific win over Brazil, England landed here in South America for Sunday’s rematch looking a pale imitation of that team.
Roy Hodgson left to ponder on striking lack of foil for Wayne Rooney (Barney Ronay, Guardian) In one area though, England are still struggling to find any answers. Where have all the strikers gone? With Wayne Rooney producing another mixed contribution, Hodgson is no closer to finding a convincing partner for England’s seasoned schemer after a night on which Daniel Sturridge twinkled briefly, and England again looked vague and heavy-legged in attack.
Cesc: Arsenal Or United?
Wenger can hijack Fab move to United… but would Arsenal boss reject the chance of an emotional reunion with his former captain? (Sami Mokbel, Mail) Manchester United could be forced to pay an inflated price for Cesc Fabregas, with Barcelona obliged to give Arsenal half the fee under the terms of his transfer to the Nou Camp. It means Barcelona would have to sell him for about £70million just to break even. Furthermore, the Gunners could be offered the chance of re-signing the Spaniard for as little as £20million should United formalise their interest. United are keen on signing the Spain midfielder, but Arsenal will play a key role in determining whether new manager David Moyes can land the midfielder.
Manchester United target Cesc Fabregas’ future set to be decided next week (John Cross, Mirror) We understand Manchester City and Chelsea are also watching developments. But Arsenal hold the trump card as they wrote a “first refusal” clause into Fabregas’ Barcelona deal, which was worth around £40m in total. Two years on, the north Londoners would be able to buy Fabregas back for between £20m and £25m. If Barcelona receive any offer for the player, the terms of the buy-back are that they must inform Arsenal to give them first option.
Mangala to be El of a buy (Mark Irwin, Mail) Jose Mourinho wants Porto centre-half Eliaquim Mangala as his first Chelsea buy — but not at the £30million asking price. The Special One targeted the 22-year-old after signing a four-year contract on Tuesday to become Chelsea boss.
Everton’s Manager Search
Martinez not nailed on! Everton manager search takes a twist as former Schalke boss Rangnick gets in on the act (Lee Bryan, Mail) Everton have held talks with German coach Ralf Rangnick as their search for a new manager took a dramatic twist. Rangnick, who is sporting director at Red Bull Salzburg, steered Bundesliga side Schalke to the Champions League semi-finals two years ago.
Luis Suarez To Madrid
It’s getting closer! Suarez looks to be on his way out of Liverpool as Madrid close in on £40m deal (John Edwards, Mail) Luis Suarez looked to be on his way out of Anfield last night, following claims in Spain that Real Madrid had struck a £40million deal to take him to the Bernabeu. Just 24 hours after the Liverpool striker told a Uruguayan radio station it would be ‘very difficult’ to turn down an approach from the Madrid club, the influential Spanish newspaper Marca reported that an agreement had been reached to make him a Real player.
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez offered Real Madrid contract worth £140,000-a-week (John Cross, Mirror) Real Madrid have offered Luis Suarez a four-year contract – and he is ready to tell Liverpool he wants to go… Real have proposed a £140,000-a-week for the striker, with incentives and bonuses on top for trophies won, goals scored and appearances.
Spurs Struggle To Hold Onto Bale
The price of class… Spurs ready to cull wage bill to save for Bale’s huge new deal (Sami Mokbel, Mail) Tottenham will embark on a summer wage cull to help pay for Gareth Bale’s bumper new contract after Real Madrid upped the ante in their quest to land the forward… Bale still has three-years to run on his existing £110,000-per-week deal, but as Sportsmail revealed earlier this month the Wales international wants a deal closer to £200,000-per-week to stay… David Bentley will leave the club when his contract expires later this summer, saving the club £50,000-per-week. Likewise, William Gallas, who earns around £60,000-per-week, is also set to leave the club when his contract expires next month. Tottenham will also listen to offers for Emmanuel Adebayor, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone and Heurelho Gomes this summer.
AVB in Bale contract plea (Paul Jiggins, Sun) Boss AVB is desperate to keep his star player out of Real Madrid’s clutches… Four other clubs, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, are also willing to pay £80million for the double PFA Footballer of the Year.
Get a Real move on (Steven Howard, Sun) The time is right for Gareth Bale to dust down the passport and make his way to Real Madrid… By moving now, Bale will also show just how ambitious he is… Tottenham, at best, will continue to fight for the last Champions League place in the Premier League — and do it in front of crowds of just 35,000. The whole landscape changes at Real Madrid. This really is the big time. Who would not want to experience life at the Bernabeu and the huge kudos it brings? Who would not want to play alongside Ronaldo and the others in the famous white shirt?
Gareth Bale off-limits to Manchester United, City or Chelsea (Tony Bnaks, Express) Chairman Daniel Levy will not sell £60 million Tottenham superstar Gareth Bale to another Premier League club… Madrid transfer go-between Zinedine Zidane is expected in London over the next few days in an attempt to sign Bale.
The Rest Of The Transfer Lies
Modi is Di man (Sun) Sunderland have agreed a deal with Lazio for French centre-half Modibo Diakite… Diakite, 26, could be the first of a number of signings, with Basle midfielder Cabral and Martimo defender Valentin Roberge also on the radar. Teenage Altrincham striker Duncan Watmore has already been added to the development squad.
Stoke will let Asmir Begovic join Liverpool or Chelsea (Jack Wilson, Star) Asmir Begovic will be allowed to join Liverpool or Chelsea after Stoke chairman Peter Coates admitted he wouldn’t stop the Bosnian leaving.