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Three signings to win Manchester United the title next season

Southampton season preview: This year’s Swansea?

Luke Shaw can become one of the best full backs in the world at Southampton

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 17th May: Arsenal, Rooney & Spurs

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it is just rumour?

Arsenal are plotting a summer move for unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, 27, who has asked to leave the Premier League champions.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Sorry, does that say Arsenal are trying to buy Wayne Rooney? It has been put in to print that Arsenal are trying to buy Wayne Rooney. Wayne Rooney? Arsenal? Wayne Rooney?
Does it make sense? Erm, no…obviously not? Wenger’s last 27 year old £30m plus purchase on £200k a week was…?
Is the price right? Not unless Arsenal are planning to abandon their cherished transfer policy. £30m is a big step given his current form. If Arsenal do truely have the money and will to go for Rooney and Fabregas then I will be delighted to be proven wrong.
Will it happen? 2/10 – It does make tactical sense, he would be a great fit on the field. But this is uncharted financial waters for Arsenal.

Both Tottenham and Chelsea have made approaches for Southampton’s 17-year-old defender Luke Shaw. The England Under-21 left-back has emerged as one of the Premier League’s brightest talents.


Full story: The Times

What’s the story? Luke Shaw is regarded as one of England’s brightest prospects and both Spurs and Chelsea are going to need a left back soon with Ashley and Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the way to their end.
Does it make sense? Yes for Spurs and Chelsea, no for Southampton. If they are truly serious about surviving and even more so, thriving, in the Premier League, they have no reason to sell. They’ve already sold Walcott, Bale and Oxlade-Chamberlain in recent years, not a bad front three if they’d kept them, so letting another go is not a good idea.
Is the price right? There isn’t an equitable price to be found here. He’s not worth more than £5-6m given his position and lack of games. If you add the ‘potential’ premium it goes up to about £9m and then the English premium and it’s up over £12m. Is that wise for a 17 year old left back?
Will it happen? 4/10 – Spurs seem to have moved away from this type of buy. If this was 5-6 years ago they’d be first in the queue. 7/10 – Chelsea: they have the money and are collecting some top young players. I quite fancy Manchester United to make a run at him if they can’t get Baines.

Spurs are close to completing a deal for Barcelona striker David Villa, 31.


Full story: talkSPORT

What’s the story? Hmm. Spurs do like a bargain but don’t like paying huge wages. Is Villa either of those things?
Does it make sense? Football wise it certainly does, he’s still a huge upgrade over what Spurs have. Financially, not so much.
Is the price right? No one really knows what Barcelona are planning. They could very well go all in with the next rich crop of young players or keep Villa knocking around for another year. £12m? Perhaps?
Will it happen? 4/10 – It’s a little early to commit to anything Barcelona wise. Perhaps even Spurs wise if Real Madrid or Man United offer something outlandish for Gareth Bale.

Manchester United face competition from Bayer Leverkusen as they target a move for £25m-rated Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, 25.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story? Gaitan was the star of Benfica’s ultimately unsuccessful European campaign this year. Man United do need a bit of attacking sparkle although you would question where he quite fits. No chance of a move to Leverkusen though. They’ve just sold Schurrle, presumably the reason for this rumour, but don’t have the wherewithal to immediately shell it all out again.
Does it make sense? If Ferguson was in charge then perhaps, but Gaitan doesn’t make sense for Moyes really. He’s not exactly a hard worker which Moyes values.
Is the price right? It’s an awful lot, but Benfica have no need to sell. Compared to other players sold by them and Porto recently (Ramires, David Luiz, Hulk, Falcao, Di Maria) it’s certainly right.
Will it happen? 2/10 – Not an ideal fit for Moyes.

Manchester City have moved for Spain and Seville winger Jesus Navas, 27, as they rebuild ahead of next season.


Full story: The Times

What’s the story? Jesus Navas gets homesick playing in other parts of Spain, never mind other countries, never mind living in another country. A country which is cold and wet and where he can’t talk Spanish. This would be a major bust.
Does it make sense? No. He can’t be purchased outside of Seville which is why he’s still there at 27. Not even a great tactical fit given he’s a pure winger which City don’t have personnel to play.
Is the price right? He’s worth more to Sevilla than any one else so the £15m ish that it would take is too much for such a risk.
Will it happen? 6/10 – Having said all of that, it could very much still happen. City might think they can maximise him and Navas might want to show that he can play outside his won town.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Fulham are tracking Watford striker Matej Vydra, 21, who has yet to decide whether to return to parent club Udinese, stay at Watford or move elsewhere.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story? Yeah, he’s not making any decisions in this really. He belongs to Udinese and they will decide where he plays. He’s not even vaguely ready to play for Arsenal or Spurs.
Does it make sense? Guess. If Watford go up, it’s highly likely that he will play for them in the Premier League next year. If not, why wouldn’t Udinese want him in Serie A?
Is the price right? I know this will be familiar to regular readers, but Udinese always sell top assets at the peak of their value. They wait for them to reach that before cashing in rather than chasing the immediately available cash. See Alexis Sanchez, Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah, Inler, Jankulovski etc.
Will it happen? No.

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is offering Wigan striker Franco Di Santo, 24, a chance to stay in the Premier League.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Lukaku for Di Santo? Blimey…
Does it make sense? Clarke worked with Di Santo at Chelsea so knows what he is all about. And that is; basically no goals ever and then a hat trick of sublime goals once a season.
Is the price right? I don’t get why they would choose him of all strikers but considering the wealth of players Wigan will want to keep from their relegated squad he’d be first out the door if an offer of £2-3m came in.
Will it happen? 6/10 – He’s certainly cheap enough and West Brom shop quite tidily.

Stories collected by the BBC Gossip Column

Analysing the Transfer Gossip 22/03

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it just rumour?

Italian league leaders Juventus could bid for Manchester United’s Mexico striker Javier Hernandez, 24, if they fail to sign Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, 26. Juventus are searching for a strike partner for Spaniard Fernando Llorente, 28, who is joining on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Juventus, one of the surging teams on the European scene right now are looking in Man United’s bin? Hernandez doesn’t start for Man United because he has limitations in general play. He’s great at pinching goals in the box but Juventus are signing one of those, a superior one, in Llorente in the first place.
Does it make sense? They wouldn’t compliment each otherat all. They’re both out and out strikers which hardly anyone operates now, especially Juventus. So, no.
Is the price right? It’s hard to gauge Hernandez’s price. I’m not sure Ferguson would sell and therefore it would be too high for Juventus.
Will it happen? 0/10 – unless Juventus abandon the kind of rock solid, well thought out transfer policy that has seen them come back to prominence of course.

Brazil striker Hulk, 26, could finally join Chelsea this summer after growing tired of life in Russia playing for Zenit St Petersburg.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story? Hulk is struggling (has been exposed) in Russia. He’s done OK enough if he’d cost ten times less but we’re talking about a near £50m player who has got 3 league goals. He’s been racially abused and generally made unwelcome. Chelsea were linked when AVB turned up.
Does it make sense? No. Hulk was signed to show Zenit’s intent to impose themselves as a big European side. Why would they abandon that a year later? Hulk doesn’t compliment what Chelsea have now, let alone provide any upgrade.
Is the price right? He cost £50m in the summer. Why in the world would Chelsea pay anything like that?
Will it happen? 3/10 – I’ll never give a zero when it comes to Chelsea, you just can’t tell with them. See Messrs Shevchenko, Torres, Wright-Phillips, Crespo etc. etc.

Norwich City are close to agreeing an £8.5m deal to sign 24-year-old striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon.


Full Story: The Times

What’s the story? Norwich badly need some attacking threat and they tried to sign van Wolfswinkel in January. Sporting’s financial position has nosedived so they are looking to sell.
Does it make sense? I’m not convinced he’s the best way of spending £8.5m but he’d add the threat that the Canaries so desperately need.
Is the price right? I guess you have to pay what you have to pay but there must be better value around?
Will it happen? 10/10 – Sporting have released a statement pretty much saying it will

David De Gea says he will reject the interest of Real Madrid and Barcelona to stay at Manchester United.


Full story: the Sun

What’s the story? De Gea has only just won the United keeper jersey and is now apparently batting away Barcelona and Real?
Does it make sense? Well for one thing Barcelona have already picked their future keeper in Marc Ter-Stegen of Borussia Monchengladbach. Casillas still has a fair few years left in him yet.
Is the price right? United paid near enough £20m for De Gea to be their keeper for the next decade. So remind me why they’re selling him?
Will this happen? 0/10 – it’s just complete junk.

Chelsea are ready to offer £22m for Yaya Toure, 29, if the Manchester City midfielder decides to call time on his stay at the Etihad.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story?
Toure’s agent seems to be maneuvering for a pay rise and has threatened to leave if he doesn’t get it. Chelsea need midfield grit.
Does it make sense? Do I need to answer? City take below market value for a key player to a league rival? Really?
Is the price right? No, unless City fancy taking not only a loss but also less than it would cost to replace him
Will it happen? 2/10 – again, you can never tell with City and Chelsea so I can’t give it zero but come on…

Arsenal are considering a move for Sochaux’s 22-year-old right back Sebastien Corchia with Bacary Sagna expected to leave the Emirates Stadium in the summer.


Full Story: The Times

What’s the story? Sagna is going is he? OK, wouldn’t necessarily be the worst idea. Wenger loves his young French defenders.
Does it make sense? Sagna isn’t at the level he was two or three years ago so it makes sense to move on. Corchia is reasonably well regarded but is this taking them to the top 4?
Is the price right? I guess it depends how much they get for Sagna (where is he even moving to?) but Corchia wouldn’t be expensive.
Will it happen? 5/10 – Maybe.

Tottenham and Chelsea are set to fight it out over Southampton’s promising defender Luke Shaw, 17, who could cost as much as £16.5m.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story? Shaw is the latest wonder boy off the Southampton production line and his name is going to be in a lot of gossip columns this summer. Spurs and Chelsea could do with a long term plan at left back.
Does it make sense? This is an interesting one, something to have to think about! If Saints go down then it’s hard to see Shaw not going but if they stay up they seem to in a decent enough position financially that they really don’t need to be selling him off.
Is the price right? Again, an interesting figure quoted. Problem is, it’s more than Bale, Walcott or Oxlade-Chamberlain. But then, it does seem the right ball park for an English wonder boy. Intriguing.
Will it happen? 6/10 – fascinating if Southampton stay up. They’ve made the right noises about keeping him so far. If they go down he’s off.

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