Blog Archives

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 28th July Part Three: Suarez, Nani, Gomis and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 26th July Part Two: Suarez, Soldado, Lambert and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 23rd July Part Two: Real Madrid, Man United, Spurs and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 11th July Part One: Ronaldo, Suarez, Negredo and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 9th July Part One: Benteke, Baines, Strootman and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 6th July Part Two: Premier League special

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 3rd July Part Two: Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 21st June: Mata, Isco, Skrtel and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 4th June: Mourinho’s targets, Rooney, Arsenal, Liverpool and more

As we move in to the off-season an unprecedented amount of managerial movement around Europe will surely see an already frantic transfer market go in to overdrive. This will give plenty of opportunities for transfer rumour and gossip. So how much of it is realistic?

Returning Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has targeted Galatasaray playmaker Wesley Sneijder as one of his first signings. The Dutch international, 28, played under Mourinho at Inter Milan.


Full story: the Sun

What’s the story? No sooner does Mourinho arrive than the Chelsea gossip wheels spins itself in to gear, and here is the first idiotic rumour of many to come no doubt. Sneijder has just moved to Galatasaray, Chelsea have an abundance of attacking midfielders and no defence. Mourinho prioritises defensive solidity, so he’s first looking at a non defending number 10?
Does it make sense? Obviously not. For one thing, Galatasaray signed him to give them legitimacy and to help them compete for the Champions League. Also, he’s on a huge wage there, more than any Chelsea player is on, I’m not even going to bother with the abysmal fit and lack of need.
Is the price right? It’s literally just guess work. I can’t see a fee that would work for Chelsea that allows Galatasaray to justify his quick sale to their fans.
Will it happen? 0/10 – No.

Manchester City’s 27-year-old striker Edin Dzeko, Benfica’s ex-Blues midfielder Nemanja Matic, 25, and Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, 22, are also on Mourinho’s radar.


Full story: Daily Telegraph

What’s the story? They want a Man City cast off who is vastly inferior to Lukaku, never mind Cavani, Benzema or Lewandowski. A player they lobbed in to the David Luiz package as a makeweight, David Luiz who is now expected to be sold. And a red raw central defender from a club who have pockets full of cash so could charge an absurd fee?
Does it make sense? Goodness only knows where Dezko has come from. The other two do football wise but both have drawbacks. If Chelsea pay £10m for Matic they are basically paying £34m for David Luiz. He’s a good tyro in midfield though. Porto are talking anywhere between £22-30m for Mangala. If you want to buy, don’t go to cash rich Porto any more this summer.
Is the price right? Matic and Mangala are too much. No price, even £10m or so, would appease the Chelsea fans if they sign Dzeko to be their main striker.
Will it happen? Dzeko – 0/10 Matic – 6/10 Mangala -7/10: Maybe eventually but he’d be an awful lot of money this summer.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits it would be impossible to turn down any opportunity to sign unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story? It’s unusual for Wenger to speak publicly about transfer targets so I’m not sure what this means. I guess probably that they are talking to United and Rooney but it shifts the blame for any breakdown in the deal on to them, rather than Arsenal.
Does it make sense? Yes. Even during his inconsistent patches he’d still be a big upgrade on anything Arsenal currently have. Also with this way of phrasing things, Wenger can be seen to have done what he can so that the fans don’t get agitated.
Is the price right? It seems £30m is the figure that has been settled on in the media at least. The question is; would Arsenal spend that much, and on top of that, the wages that it would take to get him?
Will it happen? 5/10 – It would be very un-Arsenal like but they’ve got a need and got the money this summer.

The Gunners are considering whether to make a move for Swansea attacker Michu. The 27-year-old scored 22 goals in all competitions in his debut campaign with the Welsh side last term.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Surprisingly this is the first Michu sighting in the transfer gossip. Arsenal would be interesting suitors as they do need more goals from midfield.
Does it make sense? As a back up plan but not as first choice. They’d be better off going for Jovetic and or Rooney to be their number 9 and 10 but Michu would be an able deputy to both. Doesn’t have the refinement for the Champions League but he’s an excellent finisher in the air and on the ground in the Premier League.
Is the price right? Swansea would have every reason to hold out for £15m or so although if it’s only Arsenal bidding it might not get that high.
Will it happen? 4/10 – Only 4 at this stage because we’re so early in the Jovetic/Rooney process.

Liverpool are not deterred by the £22m valuation that Shakhtar Donetsk have put on Armenia international midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Mkhitaryan, 24, scored a record 25 goals in the Ukrainian Premier League last season.

Full story: the Guardian

What’s the story?
With the seemingly inevitable exit of Luis Suarez, Liverpool need to find ways of replacing his goals and inventiveness. Mkhitarayan would be a strong option. He can play anywhere in the forward positions except as a central striker and positional versatility is important to Rodgers’ system.
Does it make sense? Yes. 25 goals from midfield in a good league and strong performances in the Champions League are evidence of his quality. He has the speed, technique, movement and intelligence which is necessary for Rodgers’ system to operate at maximum threat.
Is the price right? £22m is a lot but Shakhtar are a rich club. Willian got them £35m so they won’t sell cheap.
Will it happen? 6/10 – He suits the Liverpool system and fits in to their recent practice of signing unusual options. Coutinho and Iago Aspas were a little off the radar so this could well happen.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is stepping up his pursuit of Porto’s highly-rated Colombian forward Jackson Martinez, 26.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story?
Spurs must sign a striker this summer. If they sell Gareth Bale they will need a full attacking face lift. Martinez is a physical specimen and gets goals.
Does it make sense? Again, with £70m in their pockets Porto aren’t the club to try and buy from this summer. They’ve already sold two of their main weapons so selling another of them just to store up more money seems needless. From Spurs’ point of view, Martinez could flourish in England with his combination of power and pace.
Is the price right? It’s going to be higher than before the Monaco deal. Why should they take less than £20m?
Will it happen? 5/10 – AVB knows Porto but unless they sell Bale and have cash to spend over Martinez’s genuine value it’s not going to happen.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has urged the Gunners to sign Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama. The Kenyan, 21, is valued at £10m by the Scottish Premier League champions.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story? Over the last couple of months of the season Ramsey started to show signs of developing in to an able defensive midfielder. His tackles and interceptions numbers improved drastically and he helped shield the second best defence in the league. So logically, he is demanding that Wenger sign the same type of player to replace him with?
Does it make sense? It certainly doesn’t make sense that Ramsey of all people would say this. Wanyama is more athletic certainly, but both have limited passing range and Ramsey is more positionally sound. Not a necessary move by any means.
Is the price right? Celtic have quoted some absurd figures for Wanyama, way and above £10m. Rather than spending £10m here, £10m there, Arsenal need to spend it on world class players, not bits and pieces players. Wanyama is at best a marginal upgrade, not worth spending this kind of money for Arsenal.
Will it happen? 7/10 – I don’t get it, but it probably will do.

Sunderland hope to beat Southampton and Norwich to the £7m signing of 25-year-old Celtic striker Gary Hooper


Full Story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Hooper went to Celtic after a decent spell with Scunthorpe in the Championship and has scored a lot of goals in Scotland. Sunderland and Norwich are desperate in their search for goals, in Norwich’s case, even despite the signing of van Wolfswinkel for £8.5m.
Does it make sense? I don’t get why scoring goals in a division in which maybe two or three teams would even survive in the English second tier is a priority. This isn’t Henrik Larsson we’re talking about.
Is the price right? No. £7m for Hooper is insanity. You could comfortably sign someone from a better European league for less, or even look at another top flight club’s depth chart. Fulham got Berbatov for £4m last year for example.
Will it happen? 9/10 – He’ll almost certainly end up somewhere in the Premier League.

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Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 6th June: Rooney, Hulk, Kaka, Tevez and Benteke

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 5th June Part One: Man United, Ronaldo, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 3rd June: Superstar special: Bale, David Luiz, Higuain, Gomez and more

January 2012 Transfer Window in Review – Grades

Summer Transfer Window 2011 – Review and Grades

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 28th May: Chelsea, Spurs, Barcelona and more

As we move in the off-season an unprecedented amount of managerial movement around Europe will surely see an already frantic transfer market go in to overdrive. This will give plenty of opportunities for transfer rumour and gossip. So how much of it is realistic?

Tottenham have opened talks over a £10m move for Barcelona striker David Villa, 31, and have renewed their interest in 23-year-old Leandro Damiao, a long-term target.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Spurs are most definitely on the look out for a striker and with the arrival of Neymar at Barcelona David Villa could be available at a reasonable price. He’s already slipped away from being an automatic first choice pick with the midfield carousel that Villanova operates.
Does it make sense? Yes for Spurs but I would wonder if Villa is OK with not playing in the Champions League considering that this is a World Cup year and he has an extremely competitive Spain squad to force his way in to. However, being the starting striker in a top five Premier League team with Gareth Bale supplying him could entice him nonetheless.
Is the price right? £10m for a 31 year old is a fair chunk but this is David Villa we’re talking about. It’s probably ever so slightly too much but then again, if they are serious about getting in to the Champions League then they might need to do it.
Will it happen? 7/10 – There’s no room for Villa at Barcelona and he has previously said he fancies a crack in England which would indicate he does have a willingness.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 21, says he wants to remain on loan at Atletico Madrid for “one more year” before competing for the number one jersey with Petr Cech, 31, at Stamford Bridge.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story? Courtois is the best young goalkeeper in the world, but Petr Cech has had a bounceback season and is only 31 which is young for a goal keeper. Chelsea won’t want to sell Courtois and playing for Champions League Atletico Madrid isn’t exactly a hardship.
Does it make sense? Yes, for all concerned.
Is the price right? Atletico get a borderline world class goal keeper for free for a season? That’ll do nicely.
Will it happen? 10/10 – Hard to see any reason for it not to.

Fulham are lining up a loan deal for Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, 28.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Fulham have made a quick start in the transfer market having already completed two signings. Amalfitano was good at Lorient but is a spare part at Marseille.
Does it make sense? This just looks like adding another fairly decent player to a squad full of fairly decent players. It doesn’t really achieve much.
Is the price right? I guess it’s worth a dabble with a loan but they’ve gone down this road a lot lately with little in return.
Will it happen? 8/10 – Fulham rumours have been very accurate so far, they don’t seem to be worried about secrecy.

Queens Park Rangers playmaker Adel Taarabt, 24, could be on his way out of Loftus Road – with United Arab Emirates side Al Ain plotting a move.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Taarabt was thought to be worth as much as £10m when QPR were first promoted but two seasons at Premier League level have exposed his weaknesses and he is now well off the radar of top flight clubs. However, he’s only 24 years old so a move to the UAE is premature.
Does it make sense? 50:50. Other than for money there’s no reason for him to take such a massive step down in standard. Last time he played in the Championship for QPR he was involved in 50% of the clubs goals which he go do again if he gets his tail up. However, his apparent fall out with Harry Redknapp and lackadaisical attitude could mean they’ve had enough of him and unless someone in Ligue Un fancies a gamble where else can he go?
Is the price right? I’d be surprised if they can get more than £2-3m or so for him but if Al-Ain want to go for it they can get more.
Will it happen? 6/10 – Who’d have thought Asamoah Gyan would give up on himself so early, but maybe Taarabt will do likewise.

Aston Villa will offer Andreas Weimann, 21, a bumper pay-rise this week to fend off interest from Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story?
Weimann enjoyed a really strong spell of form around new year but slowed down over the last few months. He’s a hard runner, a good defensive forward, kind of like a Dirk Kuyt type which will always intrigue Premier League clubs.
Does it make sense? I don’t really see how he’s an upgrade for any of these other clubs who all have this type. He’d be best served staying and growing at Villa.
Is the price right? He’s only got a year left on his contract which makes him cheaper than he otherwise might be. A good comparison would be Danny Graham who cost Sunderland £5.5m which was considered about £2m too much. So, £3.5m.
Will it happen? 2/10 – He moves. 9/10 – He stays at Villa. That’s the best place for him to be.

West Brom are considering a move for 27-year-old Anderlecht striker Dieumerci Mbokani.


Full story: The Sun

What’s the story? We’ve seen this before, the logic seeming to be that they’ve done well with one Belgian powerhouse upfront, so they might try another. Also, they’ve signed well from the smaller European leagues lately.
Does it make sense? Mbokani is like the basic Lukaku model, rather than the top spec version they’ve got this year. He’s got a lot of goals in Belgium and is a real pest which could make him suited to life in England.
Is the price right? Norwich paid £8.5m for Ricky van Wolfswinkel who scored goals in Holland and Portugal. The Belgian league is ranked slightly lower so maybe £7m would be fair.
Will it happen? 3/10 – I’m not feeling this. I think Steve Clarke prises pace too much.

Celtic are close to signing Bulgarian winger Aleksandar Tonev, 23, from Lech Poznan in an £8m deal.


Full story: Daily Record

What’s the story? Celtic about to spend £8m? He’s only been involved in 6 goals domestically this season with a better record in internationals. I guess it’s presumed that they are selling players first.
Does it make sense? The price is ludicrous but I’ll deal with that below. Football wise, he’s clearly got some talent but Celtic have decent wide players already.
Is the price right? Name me a player that has been sold by a Bulgarian team for a fee anywhere near £8m. Berbatov was £1m when he left Sofia for example.
Will it happen? 4/10 – Maybe but not at even a quarter of the quoted sum.

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