Today’s top transfer stories in the Premier League surround Chelsea and Manchester United.
Could old Chelsea friends Claudio Ranieri and Frank Lampard be reunited at Juventus?
If Turin-based Tuttosport is to be believed, then they are virtually assured of joining hands once more, this time under the Juventus banner. The newspaper states that Juventus and Chelsea have stuck a deal over the England international player and the player would be transferred in the summer. Ranieri, the Tinkerman, is currently the manager of the Serie B champions and it was the Italian who signed Lampard from West Ham United in 2001 when he was the manager of Chelsea. The newspaper has even gone on to report that Lampard himself has agreed to the deal should his annual wage be raised be raise from $8 million a year to just over $9 million.
The Barcelona-Ronaldinho-Chelsea tug-of-war continues as press speculation mounts on Ronaldinho’s career at Camp Nou. But this time the player himself has come out of the blocks and remarked that he wants to stay at Barcelona and that he and his brother, Roberto de Assiss who also acts as his agent, are looking for an extension to his contract.
This is what Ronaldinho told El Mundo Deportivo:
I want to stay at Barcelona Here I am well and I am serene. I want to remain and fight for the squad and win things here.
El Mundo Deportivo has carried another story about another Barcelona player. Gianluca Zambrotta has been consistently linked with a move away from Camp Nou to possibly AC Milan since the start of the season as he struggles to fit himself regularly to the first team. But the player’s agent, Marcello Bonetto, says that although his family are not exactly happy with life at Barcelona, the player would certainly not go anywhere in January.
This is what Bonetto said to El Mundo:
He certainly won’t move in January. The Spanish press are renowned for writing with poor information and are scarcely trustworthy. It’s far too early to talk about a move to AC Milan for Zambrotta, even though we know that the Rossoneri have high regard for my client. I don’t think that there has been any direct contact between the two clubs. He was in Como recently and even then there was no meeting with Milan as they are a club who proceed through the correct channels and they would talk to Barcelona first.
Zambrotta still has three years on his contract and it’s not true that he has problems with Barcelona. His first priority is to win something with the Blaugranas. Obviously an Italian player with family near Milan would see a move to the Diavolo as a good option, but for now it is just a statement of intent.
Meanwhile Wes Brown appears to be axing his own feet at Manchester United. The 28-year England international has rejected the latest contract renewal offer presented by the club and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has made it clear that neither he nor the club would backtrack and script a new deal. So it looks like it’s a take-it-or-leave-it scenario and Brown is tending to leave Manchester United altogether.
Nicolas Anelka too has been making the headlines in the English press. The Daily Mail has reported that both Chelsea and Manchester United are keen on landing the striker with Manchester United even expected to throw around $30 million on the French player.
But no big sum would seduce Kaka from the San Siro. The Brazilian international playmaker who recently won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award and is also expected to rack up the FIFA Player of the Year award is unfazed by suggestions that Real Madrid would launch another bid very soon. Kaka says that he prefers to concentrate on the football matter at hand, which is winning the Club World Cup that is taking place in Japan.