Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “I don’t hold any grudge nor do I feel mistreated by him [Jose Mourinho]. He took the decisions which he thought were the best for the club and you need to respect that. I’ve nothing personal against him. Unfortunately we weren’t able to achieve our objectives in the Copa del Rey and Champions League in the end, but there’s no point going on about that. Mourinho has embarked on a new journey and I wish him the best.” – Iker Casillas.
Runner-up: “I want to lift trophies and to have a winning record. I hope the club will give me the means. If this weren’t the case, I’d look elsewhere. I want to win titles and I hope the club have the means.I feel good at Arsenal and if the club [can] compete with the best, I have no reason to leave. But if it fights every year for Champions League qualification it’s hard psychologically to be under such constant pressure.” – Laurent Koscielny.
Ronaldo To Man United Rumours, Part XXXI
United step up Ronaldo bid (Neil Custis, Sun) Manchester United have stepped up their efforts to make Cristiano Ronaldo the signing of the summer. The Red Devils are convinced they can take advantage of uncertainty at Real Madrid to bring him back home to Old Trafford. And they are prepared to offer £65million plus a player to land the superstar, 28, who is still a hero with the United faithful. Ronaldo is also understood to be keen on the move.
Ronaldo alerts United by saying he will NOT extend deal at Madrid which finishes in 2015 (Graeme Yorke, Mail) Cristiano Ronaldo has put Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain on alert after indicating he will not renew his contract at Real Madrid beyond 2015. Real are determined not to sell the Portuguese this summer but United and PSG remain keen when he does come available… Portuguese newspaper ‘A Bola’ claimed that the Portuguese star feels he has not been treated well by the Real board despite his excellent performances on the playing field. ‘A Bola’ also stated that Ronaldo has reportedly been offered a €60 million signing-on fee if he becomes a free-agent at the end of his spell at the Bernabeu and signs for a certain newly-made-wealthy European club.
Evra Out, Baines In
Moyes pushing to make Baines his first signing as United boss (Simon Jones, Mail) Manchester United are ready to step up their interest in Everton’s Leighton Baines… Evra is far from finished at United, but it may mean that other players on their books, such as Fabio, may be pushed even further from the first team.
Manchester United’s Patrice Evra is wanted back by his big-spending former club Monaco (Neil McLemon, Mirror) Left-back Evra is poised to rejoin the club he left for Old Trafford seven years ago, with his wife said to be keen on a return to their native France. With Moyes set to bring England’s Leighton Baines with him from Everton as he reshapes the squad he’ll inherit from Alex Ferguson, and Fabio Da Silva returning from a season on loan at QPR, Evra’s status as first-choice left-back is under threat.
David Moyes back in for Everton star Leighton Baines with £10m Manchester United bid (Richard Tanner, Express) Manchester United are ready to step up their interest in Leighton Baines by making a £10 million offer for the Everton defender.
Bayern Seek Out Suarez
Bad man & Robben (Colin Trott, Sun) Bayern Munich want Liverpool’s Luis Suarez — and are ready to offer Arjen Robben as part of a deal… Bayern, though, hope to jump to the front of the queue — and their hand is strengthened by the fact new boss Pep Guardiola’s brother Pere is also Suarez’s agent. If that was not enough, the Champions League winners would be willing to offer Wembley hero Robben as part of a deal to land Suarez.
Mourinho’s Task List At Chelsea
José Mourinho’s first job at Chelsea will be getting Romelu Lukaku to stay (David Hytner, Guardian) José Mourinho faces a fight to persuade Romelu Lukaku to stay at Chelsea next season, with the £18m Belgium striker believed to favour another loan deal in search of the regular games he feels he needs before the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Chelsea’s new manager has been confronted by an extensive to-do list and a part of it concerns the futures of the returning loanees, including Michael Essien, who featured to such good effect under Mourinho at Real Madrid last season. Essien has two years to run on his Stamford Bridge contract and is expected, once again, to be an integral part of Mourinho’s squad having excelled during his first spell at Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho set to decide on John Terry’s future at Chelsea with Monaco keen to sign defender (John Percy, Telegraph) Jose Mourinho is set to make a decision on the future of John Terry after Monaco emerged as the latest club ready to tempt the Chelsea captain away from Stamford Bridge… The 32 year-old is understood to be aware of the interest, with Monaco convinced a bid of around £7 million could be enough to persuade Chelsea to consider a sale, and one of Mourinho’s first tasks after returning for a second spell will be determining whether to keep Terry for next season.
Man City Sign Fernandinho
Fernandinho gets his wish and joins Manchester City from Shakhtar Donetsk (Chris Bascombe, Telegraph) Manchester City will issue another statement of intent in their quest to regain the Premier League title by completing the signing of Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho. A day after Seville announced a deal to sell Spanish winger Jesús Navas to City in a deal that could rise to £22million, the English club are close to confirming another eye-catching acquisition. City tracked Shakhtar Donetsk Fernandinho all season and the 28-year-old had made it clear he wished to move to the Etihad to improve his chances of breaking into Brazil’s World Cup squad. His club inserted a buy-out clause of £42.5million, which was £15million above City’s initial valuation, but it is understood negotiations have significantly progressed and a compromise has been reached to allow Fernandinho to become the latest player to join the Manuel Pellegrini era before the manager is even in place.
Spurs Want Chucho To Train With Them Next Season (Plus Soldado & Benteke)
Spurs want Benitez (Tony Little, Sun) Tottenham are ready to launch a £9million bid for former Birmingham striker Christian Benitez. Spurs chiefs have opened talks for the Ecuadorian international, 27, who has topped the scoring charts in the Mexican top flight for the last three seasons.
Spurs ready put in record offer for Soldado in bid to persuade Bale to stay (Simon Jones, Mail) Tottenham are prepared to break their transfer record to land Valencia striker Roberto Soldado this summer… Chairman Daniel Levy is ready to sanction an offer nearing Valencia’s £20million valuation which will eclipse the £16.75m paid to Dinamo Zagreb for Luka Modric in 2008.
Tottenham propose Benteke for Defoe plus cash swap deal to Aston Villa (Darren Lewis, Mirror) Tottenham have offered Jermain Defoe to Aston Villa in a cash-plus-player exchange for Christian Benteke… Atletico see Benteke as their No.1 target to replace Colombian superstar Radamel Falcao after his £50m move to Monaco.
Rooney: England’s Second Striker
Hodgson’s Rooney gamble could leave the road to Rio in ruins (Martin Samuel, Mail) Rooney has truly excelled in two periods for England: as a teenage sensation at the European Championship in 2004, and then en route to South Africa in 2010. Both times, he was played as the second striker, with another forward taking the heat. In 2004 it was Michael Owen, who was frustrated by his role, saying privately that he felt like a traffic cone, stuck high up the pitch for other players to circle around… There are some who think Rooney’s best days are behind him and, were that the case, a selfless, exhausting role like the one he played in the Maracana Stadium could be the next stage of his international development. Yet surely he offers more? Couldn’t Danny Welbeck or Andy Carroll do the hard yards, as Heskey did, leaving Rooney to be what he could be, what he should be: England’s best player?