Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: ”I don’t see where you go better from here. For instance, Cristiano has been ridiculous as a football player individually, but has he won more trophies since leaving than what we’ve won? That’s the way I look at it. I wouldn’t say that he shouldn’t have gone there; it was his dream to go there, so you have to respect that. But I just look at things in a black and white way: I want to win trophies so why would I leave here? Who am I going to go to who is going to win more trophies than us? Obviously you could say that Barcelona have won more trophies but I’m in my country where I’m from, and you’re proud when you win the league in your country. I’ve had loads of offers over the years to go to other football clubs but I’ve never really wanted to go anywhere. I came to Man United for one simple reason and that was to win trophies, so I could retire and say how many trophies I’ve won and look back and say I’ve made a success of my career. That’s all you do, and I’m sure most young players, or players in their prime, when they’re asked to come to Manchester United, that should be the question they ask themselves: ‘Have I got a chance to win?’ Do you want to be part of that history of the club? Normally the answer is yes.” – Rio Ferdinand.
Runner-up: ”I want to make the Chelsea fans happy — by results, by our playing style, by the mentality and the personality of the team. They have to know that we always give everything. I know from my record at Chelsea, also at Inter and Madrid, that I made many decisions that helped my teams. If I gamble with a very risky decision, it can go the wrong way. How many times did I play here with three defenders? I remember against West Ham (in April 2006) we were losing 1-0 and we were playing with 10 men after Maniche got a red card early in the game. I still gambled because I wanted to win with 10 men — and we did win, 4-1.” – Jose Mourinho.
Benteke hands in a transfer request
Christian Benteke hands in transfer request as Aston Villa leave for Germany without the striker (James Nursey, Daily Mirror) Christian Benteke has rocked Aston Villa by slapping in a transfer request – putting Spurs on alert. The striker, 22, is demanding to leave just one season after arriving from Genk for £8million. Boss Paul Lambert had hoped to tie the powerful 6ft 3in Belgian to a new contract and double his £20,000-a-week salary. But the forward, who bagged 23 goals last term, is believed to fancy a switch to Tottenham. Benteke has not gone on Villa’s pre-season tour and has been given extra-time off until next Thursday, July 18.
Chelsea eye Suarez, Benteke & Rooney
Chelsea eye £40million move for Luis Suarez after Arsenal’s enquiry is knocked back by Liverpool (John Cross, Daily Mirror) Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is lining up a sensational £40million move for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Arsenal have already had an enquiry knocked back, but Chelsea are ready to test Liverpool’s resolve not to sell the Uruguayan. Suarez has a clause in his contract which forces Liverpool to listen to £40m-plus offers – but they do not have to sell at that price. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has the financial clout to back Mourinho in his quest for a top class striker. And after moves for Hulk, Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani failed to materialise, they are now looking at Suarez.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho considering move for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke (Jeremy Wilson, Daily Telegraph) The striker is ready to leave Villa less than 12 months after his £8 million arrival from Genk and he has not travelled with the squad to Germany. Villa owner Randy Lerner will demand a fee of at least £25 million for the Belgium international. Villa had offered Benteke a new contract last month, in a bid to double his current £20,000 a week salary, but the 22-year-old’s surprise move has damaged the feel-good factor created by Paul Lambert’s substantial squad revamp this summer. Chelsea would have to pay a hefty figure to sign him if they follow up their interest, however, as Benteke still has three years remaining on his contract.
Jose ready to offer £60m bait to tempt Rooney to join him at Chelsea (Neil Ashton & Sami Mokbel) Chelsea will match Wayne Rooney’s £240,000-a-week wages in a five-year deal worth a staggering £60million – if he can force his way out of Manchester United. Rooney is Jose Mourinho’s first-choice transfer target and the Chelsea manager has been encouraged that he can still land the striker this summer. Although Rooney was told by David Moyes last week that he will not be allowed to leave United, there are issues which remain unresolved.
Barcelona bid for Luiz
Barca bid £30m for Luiz… but Chelsea will refuse to sell and demand more (Declan Warrington, Daily Mail) Barcelona have launched a £30million bid for David Luiz – but Chelsea will refuse to sell him at that price. Barca, who for all of their quality remain short of options at the back, are prepared to increase their offer for the talented defender who they view as the long-term successor to captain Carles Puyol. Sources claim it is 50-50 whether Luiz will stay at Chelsea.
Man United to move again for Baines
Manchester United ready to test Everton’s resolve with increased bid of £12 million for Leighton Baines (Chris Bascombe, Daily Telegraph) A £10 million bid from Manchester United for the England left‑back has been rejected, and their next attempt is still expected to be some way short of the Merseyside club’s valuation. David Moyes, the new United manager, is eager to make his former defender his first major signing since he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as manager at Old Trafford. Everton have stood firm demanding for £20 million for their defender and the Merseyside club are unlikely to budge if United offer only a slight improvement to their opening offer. Baines returned to Everton training on Monday. Fully aware of United’s interest, he may feel torn as to how to respond given his loyalty to Everton but ambition to compete for the title and play in the Champions League.
City want Jovetic
City hunt £27m Stevan (Shaun Custis, Sun) Manchester City are cranking up their interest in Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegro star, 23, has a £27million buy-out clause that is proving an attractive option among Premier League clubs in the race to sign him. SunSport understand Liverpool are also keen along with Chelsea and Arsenal.
Sid Lowe on Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain
Why Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuaín has never felt loved at Real Madrid (Sid Lowe, Guardian) Higuaín’s time at Madrid has been successful. He has won three league championships and scored 107 league goals at better than a goal every other game. In 2007-08, he scored the goal that clinched the title. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, in which Madrid had reached a record 100 points, celebrating fans and players chanted: “Higuaín, stay! Higuaín, stay!” and José Mourinho persuaded him to continue when it seemed his mind was made up. And yet somewhere, lurking in the back of his mind, there has always been a doubt, a sense that some important people were not convinced and never would be.