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Transfer Rumors (19 June 09): Arsenal seal Vermaelen deal, Manchester United to bid for Real Madrid’s Casillas, Valencia star Villa not for sale, and more



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It’s been a busy week in the transfers world, and just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a break of any sort.

Today’s transfer news and rumors roundup includes news of a couple of confirmed signings and a few more that are set to be completed in the next few days, and of course, a transfer roundup can’t be complete without an outlandish rumor or two!

The confirmed signings that you’ll see in today’s roundup have been added to our summer transfer lists, and remember, if you have a transfer (or transfers) or transfer rumors that we’ve skipped over, don’t hesitate to make it known, whether in the comments or through the contact form.


Arsenal Complete Vermaelen Deal

Arsenal have completed the signing of Ajax defender Thomas Vermaelen for £10m. (The Mirror)

Analysis: The finalizing of the deal seems to have dragged out for a little while, but it was only a matter of when, not if. With Manchester City set to pursue Kolo Toure and William Gallas’ future also in doubt, Vermaelen could be in line to get thrown into the fire immediately.

Santa Cruz To Manchester City…Finally

Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz is finally set to sign for Manchester City, after City agreed an £18m fee for the Paraguayan. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Had Blackburn been willing to accept this fee in January, this could’ve been over a lot quicker. In my opinion, they’re still coming out pretty good in this one, but just how good they came out will depend on how well Sam Allardyce spends the money he gets from the deal and if Santa Cruz looks like more 2007/08 Santa Cruz than 2008/09 Santa Cruz when he suits up for City.

Chelsea’s Johnson Bid Accepted

Chelsea are making a run at pipping Liverpool to Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson, as Portsmouth have accepted their £17.5m bid for the England right back. (Sky Sports)

However, they may not be the only two clubs involved, as Manchester United may be making a late run at Johnson as well, according to reports. (Tribal Football)

Analysis: Bayern Munich are no doubt hoping that Chelsea can pull it off, because this deal holds the key to their move for Jose Bosingwa. United’s interest, if it is concrte, is certainly intriguing. Rafael da Silva looks like their right back of the future, but he’s only going to be 19, Gary Neville is almost done, and Wes Brown’s fitness is far from a certainty. But, as much of a logjam as that could make, I’ll have to say Johnson is still likely destined for either Liverpool or Chelsea in the end.

United To Bid For Casillas?

Well, here’s your crazy rumor of the day. Manchester United are said to be ready to make an offer for Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: It’d have to be a pretty sizable bid for Real to even blink at it, and even if they did, would Casillas even consider it? Stick this one in the bin with those week-old leftovers (or are they two weeks old?).

Tevez Closer To Deciding Future?

Carlos Tevez hasn’t decided on his future yet, but he has ruled Liverpool out as a potential destination.

That would appear to be an encouraging sign for Manchester United, especially given that they have reportedly agreed to pay the required asking price. However, it seems that Tevez wants to be United’s highest-paid player if he is to remain at United, which could prove to be an issue.

As has been the case lately, much speculation is favoring a move to Manchester City. (The Independent)

Analysis: It’s fair to say that he hasn’t exactly done enough to this point to warrant being United’s highest earner, so if that’s what he wants, then City may well be free to give him all the money he wants.

Wigan Land Gomez, Fletcher Next?

Wigan have completed the signing of Jordi Gomez from Espanyol, and the club could also be set to make a £4m bid for Hibs striker Steven Fletcher (Tribal Football).

Analysis: Celtic seemed to be Fletcher’s preferred option in the past, and with former Hibs boss Tony Mowbray taking over as Celtic’s new manager, they might be even more so. But it might come down to whether Celtic are willing to pay what Hibs want for Fletcher.

Premier League Talks For Matic

The agent of highly-rated Serbian starlet Nemanja Matic has said that he is set for talks with five Premier League clubs next week in Sweden. Chelsea, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Fulham, and Birmingham have all been linked with the 20-year-old. (Tribal Football)

Analysis: There have been reports this week that Udinese could be set to land him, so if he’s going to be coming to the Premier League, that quintet might have a little work to do.

Everton Bid For Ignashevich?

CSKA Moscow have received an offer for defender and club captain Sergei Ignashevich, who has recently been linked with Everton. (Tribal Football)

Analysis: With Manchester City potentially willing to pay £16m (or more) for Joleon Lescott, Ignashevich would not only be a quality, experienced replacement, but he also wouldn’t take up very much of those funds, which would leave plenty for other quality reinforcements to the squad.

Fulham Close On Scharner And O’Hara

Fulham could be set to land Wigan defender Paul Scharner in a £6m deal (Sky Sports). He could soon be followed by Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara, who is in talks with Fulham over a three-year deal.

Analysis: Fulham had the best defense of any club not named Manchester United, Liverpool, or Chelsea, and the addition of Scharner will only strengthen their backline. O’Hara has shown a lot of promise at Tottenham, and though his opportunities might have been limited at Tottenham next season, he could really shine at Fulham. Now, if only they could do something about that front line…

Sunderland To Land Dunne…Or Not?

According to The Sun, Sunderland are in advanced talks with Manchester City over a £5m deal for defender Richard Dunne. However, the Sunderland Echo reports that City are considering scuppering the deal and keeping the Republic of Ireland international.

Analysis: Manchester City could do well to keep Dunne and not spend bid on Joleon Lescott, but Sunderland sure won’t be complaining if they opt for shelling out on Lescott. Their defense had its struggles last season, especially down the stretch, and adding Dunne would be a big, big upgrade at the back.

Burnley Must Up Scotland Offer

Burnley have made a bid reportedly in excess of £1m for Swansea striker Jason Scotland, but they’ll have to up their offer for the Trinidad and Tobago international, who has scored more than 50 goals in the last two seasons for Swansea. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: It’d be a blow for Swansea to lose someone who’s played such a big role in their success the last few seasons, but we’ll have to see if Burnley come back with a much improved bid.


Valencia Take Villa Off The Market

After it appeared that Valencia striker David Villa was destined for a big-money summer move, it now looks like the Spain star is going to remain at Valencia. Club president Manuel Llorente says that Valencia have elected not to sale Villa after holding talks with Real Madrid and fielding interest from other top European clubs, but he did leave open the possibility of selling him if a can’t-resist offer comes in, but past that. (ESPN Soccernet)

Analysis: What would quantify as amazing? It’d seem that sooner or later (and sooner rather than later, I’d think), their financial issues would necessitate a sale, but I suppose they’d rather him have him than not, because a team with Villa in it could well challenge for a Europa League title and a Champions League place, which would mean nice-sized cash boost.

Remember though, that just because he’s no longer for sale (again) doesn’t mean that the rumors are going to stop…

Barcelona In £35m Mascherano Move?

Rafa Benitez may not want to sell Javier Mascherano, but the speculation continues to fly. The latest reports have Mascherano telling Benitez that he needs to leave Liverpool because his wife doesn’t want to return to England, and Barcelona are set to make a £35m bid to try to lure him to Spain. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: That’s a pretty nice sum of money, and Rafa could do a lot with it. If Barcelona actually make an offer of that size, it could be too hard to turn down, and it’s enough money to land both David Silva and Alvaro Negredo. And on the flip side, it’d leave a monster hole in their midfield.

Real Interested In Porto Playmaker

Real Madrid are tracking Porto playmaker Lucho Gonzalez. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: Gonzalez has also been linked with Marseille, and he might be in line for a lot more regular football there than he could be at Real. But, he could cost €20m, and though that’d likely make him one of Real’s cheaper buys this summer, it’s a price that might well put Marseille out of the running.

Sevilla Step Up Interest In Kuzmanovic

Sevilla could be set to offer Fiorentina £8m for midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic. The 21-year-old has been at Fiorentina since 2007, and he has 19 caps for the Serbian national team. (Tribal Football)

Analysis: Kuzmanovic has been a regular for Fiorentina in the last couple of seasons, and he’s got a bright future ahead of him. It’d be somewhat of a lateral move, but Fiorentina may well have no problem taking the money and cashing in on him.


Olympiakos Close On Derbyshire and Mellberg

Olympiakos are set to sign former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg in a €2.7m deal from Juventus, with the Swede penning a three-year deal with the Greek champions. (Sky Sports)

The club should also soon complete a permanent deal for striker Matt Derbyshire, as they’ve agreed a fee of £3.5m with Blackburn. (The Guardian)

Analysis: After exiting the Champions League in the third qualifying round and failing to make it past the UEFA Cup round of 32 last season, Olympiakos are making the right moves to increase their chances of making a run like they did in 2007/08, when they reached the Champions League knockout rounds.