Here’s a look at the top transfer stories circulating in the Premier League today, with guest appearances from Carlos Tevez (will he stay or go), Leighton Baines (can he match the flying Frenchman) and Didier Drogba.
Manchester United’s so-called Noisy Neighbours are determined to build on their expected title triumph by completing their transfer business early in the close season.
And that means bringing in the world-class names who will ensure domestic and European success becomes a regular occurrence at Eastlands.
City want to go on a £100 million summer spending spree but know they have to start balancing the books so they comply with UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play rules, which come into force in the 2013-14 season.
Mancini is therefore intending to stage a clear-out to partly fund his summer shopping.
As many as eight first-team squad members could be jettisoned as Mancini tries to make his squad even more formidable, so they not only stay ahead of United and the rest of the Premier League but also challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Champions League.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz, all of whom are currently out on loan, will also be offloaded.
Nigel De Jong, Edin Dzeko, Kolo Toure, Stefan Savic and Adam Johnson are set to make way for new faces.
Furthermore, City are open-minded about the prospect of Carlos Tevez staying at the club, but are willing to sell if anyone meets their £25m valuation.
Manchester United will step up their efforts to sign Leighton Baines with a £10million offer.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been given the go-ahead from United owners the Glazers to proceed with a move for the Everton and England left-back.
Ferguson sees Baines as the ideal successor to Patrice Evra, who turns 31 next Monday and has looked unconvincing this season.
United had hoped to land their man for as little as £6m, given Everton’s precarious financial position.
But with Baines under contract for three more years and interest in him from other clubs, they will have to do better than that.
Ferguson is keen to complete as much of his summer transfer business as possible quickly, as he’s done in previous seasons.
That could see a bid for Baines lodged as early as next week, with the United boss aware the England international is in demand.
Robin van Persie has shunned interest from Juventus, despite the Italian giants declaring their desire to sign him.
Mirror Football revealed on April 23 that Juve had made overtures towards Van Persie’s representatives, and were willing to pay £25million for the Arsenal captain.
However, it is believed the Dutchman is not interested, with Spain his most likely destination – if he goes. It’s felt it would take a huge offer from either Barcelona or Real Madrid to tempt away a player the Gunners remain confident of keeping.
The Gunners boss, Arsene Wenger, has already signed Cologne’s Germany striker Lukas Podolski, and Rennes’ France midfielder Yann M’Vila is also due for talks.
Swansea’s Michel Vorm is also on Arsenal’s radar to provide competition for first-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Also See: Arsenal’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets.
Chelsea are set to defy the wishes of the fans by letting Didier Drogba leave the club this month.
Ivory Coast goal ace Drogba struck the third FA Cup Final winner of his career last Saturday against Liverpool, and will lead the line for Roberto Di Matteo’s men in the Champions League Final next Saturday.
But that May 19 clash with Bayern Munich will be Drogba’s last game in a Chelsea shirt unless there is a massive change of heart by the powers that be in SW6.
The 34-year-old’s demands for a new two-year deal have fallen on deaf ears, as the Stamford Bridge hierarchy are determined to build the team around fellow forward Fernando Torres.
Also See: Chelsea’s Summer 2012 Transfer Targets.