Transfers: Latest news, rumours and gossip – United ‘bid for’ Rodriguez, Chelsea warned off Higuain, Liverpool turn to Morata and Arsenal in for N’Koulou again?
A game for James?
On Tuesday it was Toni Kroos so as night follows day, on Wednesday it must be James Rodríguez who is fingered as the Real Madrid midfielder on Manchester United’s shopping list. Sport Witness has a story it picked up from the Catalan paper Sport which, as it points out, is not averse to mischief-making at Real Madrid’s expense. Still, when has that ever stopped us?
Apparently James’ body language suggests he wants to get away from the Bernabéu having been offended by Rafa Benítez’s treatment of him and not being at all chuffed by being named on the bench by Zinedine Zidane for the victory over Sporting Gijon. More pertinently, though, it claims Manchester United have already made an offer to/for the player who happens to be represented by Jorge Mendes.
Nemanja Vidic has had the last six months of his Inter contract torn up by mutual consent but the former United captain, linked with a return in the summer, is now likely to head for the MLS and DC United.
No reunion there, then, but perhaps one is on the cards for someone who grew up in the stands at Old Trafford. According to the Sun, if Real Madrid trigger David de Gea’s release clause in January to jump the gun on their transfer ban, then Ryan Giggs wants United to buy Leicester City’s former Leeds, Notts County and Manchester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, son of Peter, the greatest keeper in the club’s history. Other members of the club’s staff would prefer to go for Internazionale’s outstanding Slovenia captain Samir Handanovic.
Having scored his 19th and 20th Serie A goals in his 20th league game of the season, Gonzalo Higuaín has made Chelsea drool, according toLondon 24, if not in so many words. But Napoli and in particular their president Aurelio De Laurentiis, are having none of it. Back in 2008 when English clubs were reported to be after Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, he said: ” “If these players p— me off then, OK, they can p— off to England. But they need to understand this: the English live badly, eat badly and their women do not wash their genitalia. To them, a bidet is a mystery.”
But he is taking a differnt tack with El Pipita Higuaín, remoinding Chelsea that if they want to do business he will not be bartered down from the €94m (£72.4m) release clause he inserted into the 28-year-old Argentina striker’s contract.
Although the Sun reports that Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Oscar and Diego Costa all want out of Stamford Bridge in the summer, they omit to mention recent £21m signing Baba Rahman. Will he be sent out on loan to earn a bit more experience? No, says Talksport quoting German sources (not by name), he’s on his way back tO Augsburg for £10m. Blimey. Now that would be a brutal haircut.
Alvaro of Anfield?
The cast of targets for England’s clubs is remarkably narrow. Is that because of the global paucity of exceptional, elite talent or because of the paucity of, ahem, imagination among those on the red hot transfer beat. Or should that be transfer trail? Any road Alvaro Morata, former Real Madrid striker who won Serie A with Juventus last season and a Champions League runners-up medal (to go with his winners one from the year before) is going to be the subject of a £45.8m bid from Liverpool in the next few days.
Liverpool, says Metro, citing Gazzetta as its snout, are ready ‘to put £45.8m on the table to tempt Juve into doing business for the powerful frontman’. Mmmm … big, sturdy table.
If you cannot defend set-pieces, small wonder a 6ft 5in centre-half looks attractive. And so Inter’s Andrea Ranocchia is linked again with a move from San Siro to Merseyside, along the Philippe Coutinho well-trodden path if you like.
Having read Ivan Ponting’s Liverpool Player by Player from cover to cover we cannot think of a single Liverpool player called Dennis before. Is that all about to change? The Mirror, citing Tuttosport seems to think so. It reckons Jürgen Kopp is about to ‘fast-track’ a move for 21-year-old Anderlecht midfielder Dennis Praet.
Is N’Koulou Wenger’s ideal bargain?
The likelihood of Arsenal signing more than Mohamed Elneny in the transfer window has always been slight … but where’s the fun in reporting that? And even if all media outlets would have carried on speculating regardless, Arsène Wenger’s teasing line about liking a bargain has given everyone licence. So who could fit the boll as the ideal bargain? None other than Marseill central defender Nicolas N’Koulou. Fans of our marathon summer transfer window blogs can now cross off another name on their ‘what goes around comes around’ bingo cards because the Cameroon international, now six months nearer to June when his contract ends could be available for a knock-down price.
Valencia are keen on the man persistently linked with Arsenal all summer and Chelsea might also bid but those six-inch thick scouting reports at the Emirates could be about to be dusted off again, according to The Mirror, who note the 25-year-old could be allowed to leave for as little as £2.5m. Who could resist a deal like that, eh? Not Philip Serrell, David Barby, or the new presenter of Bargain Hunt himself, Monsieur Arsène Wenger.
January transfer window closes in
Adrien Rabiot, targeted by Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, is likely to leave Paris Saint-Germain on loan this week for Marseille. Arsenal are still interested but they will wait until the summer when Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are all off the wage bill.