Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “You only have to look at the development of Theo [Walcott]. He went to the World Cup in 2006. Since then, he could have gone to another World Cup, one European Championships, three Under-21 European Championships, two Under-20 World Cups and an Olympic Games. I think he has only played 5½ tournament matches in that period. We have to address that, so our brighter players, like the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlains, can get tournament experience.” – Stuart Pearce.
Runner-up: “Leighton [Baines] is under contract, and I’ve told David not to come back for him! Most of our players, if not all of them, are under good, long contracts at the moment, and Roberto went through each of the players, talking on my sofa, saying what they could do. He is looking forward to getting all of them together and keeping hold of them. He rates them all… Marouane insisted on that (the clause), but I have to say he has given me every indication he does not want to go. I think all the players are looking to see what is going to happen.” – Bill Kenwright.
Chelsea’s Mega Signings
Jose’s £110m triple strike! Chelsea open talks with Cavani, bid for Hulk and Mourinho has Jovetic in the bag (Simon Jones, Mail) Chelsea’s search for strikers intensified last night after they opened talks over a move for £50million-rated Napoli striker Edinson Cavani just hours after placing a £34.9m bid for Zenit St Petersburg’s Hulk. Manager Jose Mourinho has shortlisted four players with Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic and Manchester City Edin Dzeko also on his list… The quest for such strikers will place further question marks over the future of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba plus the roles of Oscar and Juan Mata in Mourinho’s plans.
Man City’s EPL Winning Hopes
City can wreck Jose’s marriage (Steven Howard, Sun) Even as the season progressed they were identifying the three areas where City had let themselves down. They saw a lack of width in attack and consistent quality in midfield. They also knew they needed a manager with a unifying presence. All three have now been addressed. Seville’s £21million Jesus Navas brings width up front, Shakhtar’s £30m Fernandinho the stimulus in midfield (though why he has been stuck at Shakhtar for eight years is anyone’s guess) while the combative Roberto Mancini is to be replaced by the more conciliatory Manuel Pellegrini.
Why £34m Fernandinho is already the signing of the summer (Jamie Redknapp, Mail) Fernandinho is a sensational capture for Manchester City. He could be the best midfielder in the Barclays Premier League next season… Fernandinho can become a monster. His stand-out Champions League performances for Shakhtar Donetsk suggest he will be a weapon in the Premier League once he comes to terms with the increased fitness demands.
Liverpool Target Tevez
Liverpool have Carlos Tevez of Manchester City on their shopping list of potential Suarez replacements (Darren Lewis, Mirror) Liverpool are considering a shock move for Carlos Tevez as a replacement for Luis Suarez. The Anfield giants, who tried to sign Tevez when Kenny Dalglish was manager, have the Manchester City marksman on a list of possibles compiled in case Suarez pushes ahead with his bid to leave. With just a year left on his contract at Eastlands, Tevez could be available to the Reds this summer for as little as £8million. The biggest stumbling block would be the 29-year-old’s huge wages, said to be around £200,000-a-week.
Norwich make Shelvey enquiry but Liverpool want between £5m and £8m (Mail) Shelvey only started 18 matches last season, and just nine in the Premier League, making a further 15 substitute appearances as he scored five goals… Liverpool are also are keen on Valencia teenage midfielder Pedro Chirivella, 16.
Swansea & Laudrup Divorce?
Swans bombshell! Laudrup on the brink of leaving the Liberty over transfer fallout with chief Jenkins (Sami Mokbel, Mail) Michael Laudrup could leave Swansea City as soon as next week over the transfer dispute that has pushed his relationship with chairman Huw Jenkins to breaking point. The Dane is understood to have had only one conversation with his employer in the past fortnight and sources close to the 48-year-old have indicated that unless he quickly receives assurances of the significant financial backing he claims he was promised then he will make a decision on his future in the coming days.
Michael Laudrup future uncertain amid ‘disagreement over transfer funds’ (Simon Rice, Independent) The friction between chairman Huw Jenkins, and Laudrup and his agent Bayram Tutumlu, is understood to centre around the amount of money Swansea are prepared to spend on new signings. The row is understood to have escalated with suggestions the Dane could walk away from the club just a year after taking charge at the Liberty Stadium… Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas was one of Laudrup’s main transfer targets, but now appears set for a move to Liverpool, while the Swansea board would be reluctant to provide the sums of money required to capture the likes of St Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo.
The Rest Of The Transfer Lies
Holloway remains ruthless as Palace look to hijack Celtic’s bid for striker Balde (David Kent, Mail) Crystal Palace are looking to beat Celtic to Vitoria Guimaraes striker Amido Balde. The Portugal U20 striker has attracted interest from the Scottish champions and Newcastle in recent weeks with Celtic poised to strike a £2.5m deal but now Palace have stepped in.