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Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 31st July Part Two: Modric, Kondogbia, McCarthy and more

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 26th July Part One: Fabregas, Rooney, Vydra and more

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

Matej Vydra is Championship Player of the Year but Almen Abdi is Watford’s Player of the Year


Last night Watford’s Matej Vydra won the Championship Player of the Year award at the Football League Awards. He beat Blackpool’s Tom Ince and Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray to the coveted prize. It caps a season in which he and Watford have burst on to the scene in a big way. Vyrda has scored 20 goals so far this season and is the best pure finisher in the league. He is the main striker in the most potent attacking, particularly counter attacking, side in the league. The attacking returns have led the side up to 3rd and right in the mix of the promotion chase. He’s just 20 and this is his first year in England. So he’s fully deserving of the award right? Well, is he even Watford’s player of the year this season?

If you take a look at Watford’s ups and down this season they all relate to the presence of another of the players brought in from big sister Udinese; Almen Abdi. Watford’s recent mini slumpette has coincided with Abdi’s absence from the first team due to injury. The same thing happened earlier in the season after Abdi dislocated his shoulder. When Watford were on their ‘golden’ run across Christmas and the New Year it was with Abdi starting every game. Vydra has been in the team when the team has been in both good and bad form. The impact Abdi has on Watford is much more marked.

Abdi plays as the pivot point in Gianfranco Zola’s three man midfield which has been dominating possession and moving the ball around at great tempo. It’s Abdi that makes that happen. There has been a lot of positive press about his midfield partner Nathaniel Chalobah, and rightly so, but Chalobah has benefited immensely from playing alongside Abdi. Abdi is a man with Champions League experience with Udinese, and the effect he has had on Chalobah and his other young midfield accomplice Christian Battochio is immeasurable.


The impact Abdi would have on Watford’s season was obvious in his first game for the club, an way win at Crystal Palace in which Vydra scored a last minute winner. Abdi was the best player on the pitch by quite some distance and was the man that sent Watford fans away purring at their new signing. After years of midfielders selected for their industry rather than quality, the way that Abdi imposes himself on every game he plays has been a joy for Watford fans to watch. He forces the team to stick to their passing principles and is the man his younger team mates look to for assurance if things aren’t going right. He just gets it down and start the passing up again. No panic. No smashing it aimlessly forwards.

It’s not just his metronomic passing that has made him so vital. He works as hard as anyone and isn’t afraid to put his foot in and make tackles. He also has a great knack of intercepting the ball. He uses his positional intelligence to his great advantage and above all else this football awareness is his strongest suit. It defines the rest of his game. On of top that he’s also scored 10 league goals, an excellent return for a non penalty taking central midfielder. These ten include some exquisite free kicks and critical winning goals. He’s only scored in only one defeat all season, his goals are crucial.

Abdi is a Premier League player operating in the Championship. If Watford go up this season signing Abdi must be their absolute priority. Vydra deserves his crown, but it’s Abdi that has made Watford tick this year.

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