Much of the focus in the football world today is on the massive UEFA Champions League final showdown between Manchester United and Barcelona (which you can follow live on SL), and rightfully so. And in case you haven’t seen it yet, check out Soccerlens’ exclusive interview with Lionel Messi (yes, the one and only).
However, there’s still plenty of room in the news for transfer news and rumors from all across Europe, including a tidbit about a player who could be on the pitch tonight in Rome.
United Ready to Pay Up for Tevez
Manchester United chief exec David Gill is confident that the club will be able to sign striker Carlos Tevez permanently, even if they have to stump up the required 25.5m to do so. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Is 25.5m too much? Yes. But, when Tevez has found the net this season, the majority of his goals have been huge, and there’s no doubt that both sides want this deal to happen.
Liverpool to Move for Middlesbrough’s Wheater?
Liverpool could be set to make a move for Middlesbrough defender David Wheater. (Daily Telegraph)
Analysis: I’m not sure Liverpool will want to fork out 9m for Wheater, so there’s a good chance that he could stay at Boro, which is what he apparently wants to do.
Arsenal Target Crystal Palace Prospect Clyne
Arsenal could be set to make a move for young Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne. The 18-year-old right back could be available for around 4m. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Clyne only made his senior debut in October and wound up being named the club’s Young Player of the Year after making 25 league starts, so it’s easy to see that he’s got a lot of promise.
Middlesbrough to Allow Downing to Leave
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has said he won’t stand in the way if the ‘right club’ come in for star midfielder Stewart Downing this summer. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: By right club, does he include Tottenham in that bunch?
Aston Villa to Bid for Sheffield United’s Naughton
Aston Villa are set to make a bid for Sheffield United defender Kyle Naughton. The England U-21 international can play as both a right back and a winger, and he made 42 league starts for the Blades this season. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Sheffield United would hate to lose such a promising prospect like Naughton, but not earning promotion to the Premier League could mean some of their top players leave in the summer.
Prem Duo Track Villarreal’s Fernandez
Blackburn and Bolton are both interested in Villarreal winger Matias Fernandez. The 23-year-old Chilean international has scored six goals in 27 appearances for his country. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Things haven’t quite panned out as expected after \he moved to Villarreal in January 2007, and after making only four starts in the league this season, he could well be available. He likely won’t come cheaply though, and Blackburn and Bolton’s best option could be a loan move.
Hull Interested in Anderlecht’s Wasilewski
Hull have been in contact with Anderlecht for defender Marcin Wasilewski. The 28-year-old Polish international could be sold for 1.5m. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Wasilewski is a prolific scorer for a defender, so he could help Hull out in that area.
Real Madrid In Talks for Inter’s Maicon
Real Madrid are in talks with Inter Milan over a fee for defender Douglas Maicon. The Brazilian’s agent says that Real have been in contact with Inter, and Real sources have said that a fee of 20m is being discussed. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Inter wouldn’t be so quick to sanction a sale of such a key player if they didn’t have a replacement, but they have a ready-made one in highly-rated youngster Davide Santon.
Inter to Move for Chelsea Duo
Jose Mourinho is attempting to land Chelsea’s Ricardo Carvalho and Deco in a 12m deal. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Carvalho can still do a job for Chelsea, but Roman Abramovich won’t have any complaints about allowing Deco to leave after not making good on his investment.
Fiorentina Interested in Newcastle’s Martins
Fiorentina are targeting Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins, who could be set to leave the club after their relegation. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Martins made his name in Italy with Inter before moving to Newcastle in 2006, so he wouldn’t have any issues settling back in. Fiorentina are in the market for a striker, as shown by their pursuit of Genoa-bound Hernan Crespo, and Martins could be available for a cut-rate price after Newcastle went down.
Bordeaux Set to Seal Gourcuff Deal
Bordeaux are prepared to pay AC Milan the 12m needed to seal a permanent deal for playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who has been a massive part of their charge towards the Ligue 1 title. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: The sooner they can get it done this week, the better. There’s no telling how long he’ll be at Bordeaux, but with him in their ranks again next season, you have to fancy their chances for back-to-back titles (well, they have to win the first one, but they’re almost there).
Why should you be excited about today’s Champions League final clash of the titans between Barcelona and Manchester United?
The Spoiler gives quite the in-depth statistical overview ahead of tonight’s showdown in Rome.