The transfer window is slowly being prised open again to allow the eager clubs in to re-boost their squads and throw the money around.
Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Croatian international Luca Modric. Team boss Avram Grant was present during the Croatian defeat to Macedonia at the weekend and it’s been said that Roman Abramovich sent over a private jet to fly Dinamo Zagreb’s executive vice-president Zdravko Mamic to London. A down payment of £3.5m was offered but later turned down. Chelsea’s assistant manager, Henk Ten Cate, tried signing Modric whilst in charge at Ajax whilst Arsene Wenger at Arsenal has also said to be interested.
Meanwhile, a player considering the possibility of soon leaving Chelsea is Claude Makelele. The 34 year-old French international is said to be considering his future after this season. Makelele has only featured in four games for Chelsea so far this season but he insists this was a decision agreed with Grant to let him play fewer games. Watch this space is all I can say!
Tottenham are lining up a £30m offer in the New Year for Spanish striker David Villa. His agent says that several English sides have enquired about the Valencia hit man recently and Tottenham could see him as a long term replacement for Berbatov, who’s own future is uncertain, although Manchester United are tipped as the favourites to land him should he leave Tottenham.
Tottenham are also reported to be lining up a £7m bid for their North-London rivals, Arsenal‘s Abou Diaby. Apparently Arsenal are willing to listen to offers coming in for the young Frenchman. Not stopping there though Tottenham are also looking to make enquiries for Arsenal’s Denilson and Armand Traore. Tottenham chief Damien Comolli has a wide knowledge on Arsenal’s talented youth players after spending seven years as a scout for Wenger. Whether he’ll get the youngsters from Arsenal is quite another matter.
Liverpool are trying to lure in Athletic Bilbao youngster Javi Martinez. The player has been widely regarded as one of Spain’s brightest young talents and if Liverpool are to get him, he won’t come cheap. His price tag is said to be in the region of £18m. It seems to be a two way race at the moment with Italian side Fiorentina also chasing the 19 year-old. However, his signature seems to be in Liverpool’s favour as the player himself has said he’d prefer playing in England.
The club are also looking to strengthen their defence with Agger injured, although regaining fitness, and Hypia not entirely convincing this season. An option is 21 year-old Ezequiel Garay from Racing Santander. After Liverpool failed to land Gabriel Heinze in the summer this looks to be a realistic target and the young Argentine will cost them around £10m.
Aston Villa are looking to turn Scott Carson’s season long loan deal from Liverpool into a permanent one. The young England goalkeeper would cost around £10m as would bean pole striker Peter Crouch. Martin O’Neill wants to bolster the Aston Villa attack and sees Crouch as the man for the job. Crouch has played for Aston Villa before between 2002-04 and has found himself dropped down in the pecking order since the arrivals of Torres and Voronin in the summer.
Benitez has been told he’ll have to sell if he wants to buy more so he’ll have to take the offers seriously and Crouch will also be looking to consider his options in order to secure regular first team football.