Often enough, asking nicely is the key to getting something that you want, and it looks like that might be the case with soon-to-be former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, who could be on a flight to Madrid sometime in the next few days to complete his dream move to Real Madrid.
Unfortunately for Javier Mascherano, Rafa Benitez might not exactly be too liberal with his granting of wishes, but that might not stop him from wanting to go from being Alonso’s teammate to a rival.
Elsewhere, Arsenal could finally check off that ‘replace Patrick Vieira’ line on their transfer checklist, Harry Redknapp is still hunting for new strikers, and the latest summer signings, which include Elano finally leaving Manchester City.
Alonso And Mascherano Out, Cattermole And Turner In At Liverpool?
Well, just a day after a report came out that Xabi Alonso would have to request/demand/beg for a move to Real Madrid, he’s gone and done just that. (ESPN Soccernet)
Analysis: I’d like to know what it said. Perhaps, ‘Please, please, please let me move to Real Madrid’, or, ‘Remember what you did last summer?’, or was it a drawing of him sleeping, with a dream bubble above his head with him in a Real shirt? Likely none of those, but one can only wonder.
Hopefully that doesn’t give Javier Mascherano any ideas though, but the Mascherano to Barcelona links are not going away quietly, with the latest comments coming from Mascherano’s brother Sebastian, who says that a move to Barcelona would be best for Javier and his family. (ESPN Soccernet)
Analysis: I don’t see Rafa letting both Alonso and Mascherano leave this summer, especially with the start of the season so close.
With the money set to be received from the Alonso transfer, Rafa could look to add to the English contingent at Anfield by making moves for Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole and Hull center back Michael Turner. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: I’m going to take a guess and say that exclamation point in the headline is because Cattermole is English, but I digress. It’d be hard for Wigan to turn down 12m for Cattermole, and the chance to play for a Premier League and title contender could be big for Cattermole’s hopes of breaking into the England team. But as is the case with both Cattermole and Turner, and
Arsenal Return For Vieira?
As many times as we hear about the next so-and-so, there’s nothing like the original, and that must be what Arsene Wenger has in mind with his efforts to bring Patrick Vieira back to Arsenal. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Cue the classic “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”. After being unable to fully replace the void left by Vieira, it’s only natural to go and get the man himself, no? Vieira may not be the same player he was when he left Arsenal in 2005, but more than still being able to make an impact on the pitch, he could provide leadership and a real mental lift to the Arsenal side.
Tottenham Target Dossena
With Andrea Dossena’s £4.5m move from Liverpool to Napoli in doubt because of issues regarding wages, Tottenham could be set to swoop in for the Italian left back. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: I think everything will be ironed out with Napoli soon enough, but Martin Jol might be hoping it doesn’t. A Tottenham move for Dossena could expedite Gareth Bale’s departure from the club, and Jol’s hard up on bringing Bale to Ajax.
Huntelaar Still On Harry’s Wishlist
Harry Redknapp has not ruled out a move for Real Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, even after Tottenham signed Portsmouth’s Peter Crouch earlier this week. (The Guardian)
Analysis: It’s a good idea to have (at least) four quality strikers that you can count on, though there’s a good chance that at least one of those four (or more) will not like being guaranteed a place in the starting XI almost every time out.
Villa In For Upson
Aston Villa are lining up a £12m bid for West Ham’s Matthew Upson. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Villa are in need of defensive reinforcements after the retirement of Martin Laursen and the sale of Zat Knight, and funds aren’t an issue in the least. But it’s hard to see West Ham being all that keen on selling Upson to someone that they could be battling with for a Europa League place.
Fulham Move For Huth
Fulham could make a £2m bid for Middlesbrough defender Robert Huth. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Injuries have been an issue for Huth during his time at Middlesbrough, but he’s proven his worth in the Premier League and is still very young, and he’d be a quality, inexpensive option to turn to in case Arsenal move for Brede Hangeland.
Pompey Miss Out On Kalinic
Portsmouth’s expected signing of Hadjuk Split striker Nikola Kalinic has hit a snag due to the two clubs disagreeing on how the £5.5m fee would be paid out. (The Mirror)
Analysis: It’d be a real shame for Pompey to miss out on such a promising talent like Kalinic because of a petty thing like payment schedules, so they best try to find that full 5.5m from somewhere or hope that they can come to a compromise with Hadjuk Split.
Roma Back In For Pav
Roma could be set to go back in for Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, according to Italian reports. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: With Mirko Vucinic and Jeremy Menez being linked with moves and no guarantees about Francesco Totti being fit for a full season, Roma need to add at least one more striker, and the arrival of Peter Crouch makes it all the more unlikely that Pavlyuchenko will have much of a role at Tottenham next season.
Parma Take Bojinov On Loan
Parma have completed the loan signing of Manchester City striker Valeri Bojinov. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Well, City have now managed to whittle down their list of forwards by selling Ched Evans and sending Jo, Felipe Caicedo, and Bojinov out on loan. Now, to figure out how to shuffle around the ones still on their squad list for the season.
Hleb Makes Stuttgart Return
VfB Stuttgart have struck a deal with Barcelona to bring Alexander Hleb back to his former club on a season-long loan deal. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: I’m sure he’ll miss the nice Spanish weather and the Barcelona atmosphere, but hopefully he’ll find solace in a regular place in Stuttgart’s starting XI.
Pogrebnyak Close To Stuttgart Move?
According to Russian reports, Zenit St. Petersburg have accepted VfB Stuttgart’s 10m bid for striker Pavel Pogrebnyak. (Transfer Market Web)
Analysis: In the end, it’s a lot better for Pogrebnyak to move now rather than after the end of the season, due to the abuse that he’s been on the end of from Zenit supporters unhappy about his open desires for a step up.
Heinze Set For Marseille
Marseille have agreed a fee with Real Madrid for Gabriel Heinze, and the Argentine defender is set to undergo a medical and sign a three-year deal to seal his return to Ligue 1. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Heinze really built his reputation while he was at Paris Saint-Germain from 2001-04, so he’ll no doubt be looking forward to being able to go to a league he’s very familiar with, not to mention getting a chance to start on a regular basis and to play in the Champions League.
Galatasaray Sign Elano
Elano has finally found a new home, and he’s leaving Manchester City behind to link up with Harry Kewell and Milan Baros (and perhaps be joined by Lucas Neill sooner or later) at Galatasaray in an £8m deal. (ESPN Soccernet)
Analysis: This season’s Galatasaray side stands to be a pretty entertaining one, with a rejuvenated Harry Kewell (13 goals last season) and Milan Baros (26 goals last season), an exciting young playmaker in Arda Turan, a hopefully rejuvenated Abdul Kader Keita, and now Elano, who should be able to really flourish in Turkey. They just missed out on the UEFA Cup/Europa League quarterfinals last season, and I’d have to put them as one of the top favorites to win the competition this season.