Liverpool Sign Cole
Joe Cole finally has a new home, and it’s on Merseyside. The former Chelsea man has agreed a four-year deal with Liverpool, and he’s set to have a medical in the next 48 hours to put the finishing touches on his free transfer move. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: As I said yesterday, good, smart move for both sides. We could well look back on Liverpool’s moves for Cole and Milan Jovanovic as the bargain buys of the summer, even with Cole’s wages in mind.
City Close On Balotelli?
According to the Daily Mail (via Italian sources), Manchester City were set to arrive in Italy today to wrap up a £35m deal for Inter striker Mario Balotelli.
Analysis: All of this speculation over a player who shouldn’t go anywhere, much less for £35m right now. Even if it does come to pass, £35m would be more of an investment with the future and potential in mind, and given the question marks and uncertainties, would be an unwise investment at this point.
Arsenal To Bid For Jagielka?
According to the Daily Star, Arsenal are ready to bid £18m for Everton defender Phil Jagielka. The Gunners have reportedly already seen a £14m bid rejected for the 27-year-old.
Analysis: There won’t be a repeat of the Joleon Lescott mess, safe to say. Firstly, Everton are unwilling, and secondly, it’d be a little outside of Arsenal’s usual spending procedures to throw down almost 30m on one position in any given summer. I expect to see Arsenal move for another center back even with Koscielny in the fold, but I see them looking more for someone to provide experience and quality depth, not someone like Jagielka.
Villa To Move For Keane?
The Daily Express says that Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne has urged manager Martin O’Neill to make a move for his international teammate Robbie Keane, and that the Villa boss could pounce when Tottenham return from their American tour.
Analysis: There’s been no shortage of speculation about Keane’s future, but one thing that is certain is that he’s not guaranteed a regular start at Tottenham, with Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch the preferred pairing.
Celtic would like to have him back, and they offer the potential of Champions League action, but affording a permanent deal is out of the question. Villa, however, can offer such a deal, along with regular starts and European football. Not to mention, they also need a proven finisher like Keane to enhance their hopes of being able to make a legitimate, prolonged run at the top four this season.
Birmingham Enter Riquelme Race
According to Sky Sports, Birmingham City are interested in signing Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquleme. The 32-year-old is available for free after the end of his contract with Boca Juniors.
Analysis: In the end, I think he’ll re-sign with Boca, but it would be nice to see him in the Premier League before he calls time on his career. He’d certainly liven things up for Birmingham, who have taken at least one step in the right direction towards being livelier and more productive in attack with the addition of Nikola Zigic up front.
Hammers Target Pens New Deal
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans, who has been the subject of heavy interest from West Ham this summer, has committed his future to the Baggies by signing a new four-year deal. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: It was highly unlikely that he was going anywhere this summer, given his importance to the side, but knowing that they have their top creative presence settled and locked down will certainly be a boost to West Brom’s hopes of doing well this season.
Atletico Line Up Luis
Atletico Madrid are reportedly close to landing Deportivo La Coruna defender Filipe Luis for €12m. €6m of the €12m will be paid up front, with the other half paid in two installments of €3m. (Goal.com)
Analysis: Filipe would’ve been a factor in Brazil’s World Cup campaign if not for a horrific leg break in January, and that leg break also shows how important he was to Depor. They were 11-4-4 when he went down and in excellent position for a European spot. In the 17 games he missed, they went 2-11-4 and fell well out of the European places.
His sale will certainly hurt, but it will help with the club’s current financial issues. It’ll also help fill a priority for Atletico, whose defensive struggles last season have been documented before in this space.
Hercules In For Samaras
According to Celtic manager Neil Lennon, newly promoted La Liga side Hercules have put an offer in for striker Georgios Samaras. (The Guardian)
Analysis: Celtic just signed Daryl Murphy from Sunderland, but Celtic could do well to keep Samaras. He has had some real cold streaks (he scored only once in his last 17 appearances last season), but when he gets hot, he gets hot. If he can do that on a more regular basis, he’ll be a key part of Celtic being able to wrestle the SPL supremacy back from Rangers.
Acquafresca Set For Lazio
Lazio have come to an agreement with Genoa for striker Robert Acquafresca, and all that‘s left is for the capital city side to agree personal terms with the 22-year-old. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Last season was a real step back for Acquafresca, as he had an unsuccessful loan spell at Atalanta and netted only twice in 10 appearances after returning to Genoa in January. However, he’s proven his worth in Serie A at a young age, and hopefully his move to Lazio will see him rediscover the form he had during his two successful seasons at Cagliari.
Grafite To Leave Wolfsburg?
According to Sky Sports, VfL Wolfsburg could sell their second striker in the span of a week. Fenerbahce have reportedly made an offer for Grafite, and the report says that Wolfsburg are expected to make a decision about the Brazilian goal-getter this week.
Analysis: Grafite took a step back last season after his fantastic 2008/09 campaign, scoring only 11 league goals after netting 28 in leading Wolfsburg to a first-ever Bundesliga title. With that, his age, and new signing Marko Mandzukic in mind, a decent offer is worth seriously considering. His departure would leave Mandzukic and Edin Dzeko as the likely starting pairing, which could see highly-rated Swiss youngster Nassim Ben Khalifa thrown into the fire early on, short of Steve McClaren adding another experienced striker.
Shakhtar Near Eduardo Deal?
The Daily Mail says that Shakhtar Donetsk are on the verge of landing Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva in a £6m deal.
Analysis: A move where he can earn regular starts, regain his confidence, and rediscover his old form is what he needs, so this would be a good move for him. One can only hope and wish for the best for him.