One of the best parts about the World Cup is getting to see the stars of tomorrow who are on display. There are several such talents in South Africa, and a few of those are mentioned in our rundown of the day’s top transfer headlines.
Germany’s Marko Marin and Greece’s Sotiris Ninis have both had small roles for their squads thus far in the World Cup, but if they get a bigger chance to impress and take full advantage of it, there’s a more than fair chance we could see them move from the gossip pages to the transfer lists sometime this summer.
United Battle For Sneijder
It’s Fergie vs. Mourinho again, like old times. Manchester United and Real Madrid are both hot on the trail of Inter star Wesley Sneijder, according to the Mirror.
Analysis: Sneijder is likely one of the must-keeps on Rafa Benitez’s squad list, so if he’s going to be persuaded to sell, it will likely cost significantly more than what Inter paid to land him just last summer.
But if they do sell, Mourinho has an advantage from having worked with Sneijder last season, but would he want to go back to Real after being pushed out last summer? Who’s to say it wouldn’t be any different after another season or two there?
Tottenham Target Marin
The top name on Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp’s list of summer transfer targets is reportedly Werder Bremen’s rising star Marko Marin, who could be the subject of a £14m offer. (Goal.com)
Analysis: Marin has notched double-digit assists in back-to-back seasons, and he’s only 21, so it’s safe to say he has a very, very bright future. Werder Bremen will certainly be reluctant to sell, since Marin’s been at the club for only one season and they have their own Champions League aspirations to think about, but now’s the best time to make a move for Tottenham, before his value skyrockets even further.
Quartet Target Gueye
Sunderland, Everton, Birmingham City, and Bolton are all tracking Strasbourg’s talented teenager striker Magaye Gueye. The 19-year-old has already played for France‘s U-21 squad, and he scored (News of the World)
Analysis: Though the £2m mentioned might be a lot higher than many from any third division would go for, it’s a more than reasonable fee relative to what he’s already accomplished and his potential. I would imagine, however, that he won’t escape the clutches of France’s top clubs.
Hammers High On Marveaux
West Ham are set to make a £3m move for Rennes winger Sylvain Marveaux. (News of the World)
Analysis: Marveaux is coming off of a breakout season, as he scored ten goals and assisted on several more. He’s only 24, so the best is yet to come from him, and at £3m, he’d be a real low-risk, high-reward buy for Avram Grant.
Juventus and Roma are at the front of the queue for Arsenal defender William Gallas. Juve have held talks with Gallas’ agents, and Roma representatives have also made an approach. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Giorgio Chiellini looks likely to leave Juve for greener pastures this summer, and Gallas would be a more than capable – and inexpensive – replacement.
Roma Eye Ninis
Roma are also eyeing a move for highly-rated Panathinaikos attacker Sotiris Ninis. (Soccerway)
Analysis: Ninis is arguably the top young prospect in Greek football, and it’s only a matter of time before he makes the jump from Panathinaikos to a top European club. With his contract running out in 2012, Panathinaikos might be wary of waiting until next summer to sell, so Roma might have some competition before long, especially if things shake out the right way for Ninis and Greece at the World Cup.
No Napoli Deal for Fred
Despite reports to the contrary, Napoli do not yet have a deal in place for Fluminense striker Fred, formerly of Lyon. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: He didn’t have the best end to his time in France, but Fred has rejuvenated his career since returning to Brazil, and for the negative marks against him, has shown that he can get it done at the highest levels.
Real Interested in Ben Arfa?
Marseille star Hatem Ben Arfa is said to be a backup plan for Jose Mourinho if he fails to bring Benfica’s Angel di Maria to Real Madrid. (Goal.com)
Analysis: If he can’t start regularly for Marseille (only 37 starts in 62 league appearances in his two seasons there) or Lyon, then I’d have to say that I see him being more of a cheerleader for Real than anything else. But who knows? Perhaps Mourinho could be the one to help Ben Arfa become the world-class star that he‘s fully capable of being.
Villarreal Close On Taarabt
Villarreal could be set to land Tottenham winger Adel Taarabt, who is also drawing interest from West Ham. (News of the World)
Analysis: Taarabt hasn’t been able to make a breakthrough at Tottenham, but he has a great deal of promise, as shown by a terrific loan stint at QPR last season (seven goals, five assists). He could definitely flourish at a solid, established club like Villarreal, who should challenge for Europe again next season after narrowly missing out this past season.