Since signing from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2005, Park Ji-Sung has proven to be a great bargain for Manchester United. Unheralded as he may be in comparison to some of his teammates, Park has been an integral part of United’s success over the last several seasons and is almost always one of the first names Sir Alex Ferguson pencils in on the teamsheet for crucial clashes.
One of those such clashes is tomorrow against Arsenal, who will hope that his successor as South Korea captain will prove to have a similar impact for the Gunners as he has had for United over the last six years.
Shock Arsenal Move For Monaco Star Park
Early today, the speculation was that AS Monaco forward and South Korea captain Park Chu-Young was on his way to reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille.
But nothing is set in stone until everything has been signed and settled, and at this point in the transfer window, you have to expect the unexpected. Now Lille are left baffled – and likely a whole lot else – after Arsenal have leapt in late to snag the 26-year-old, who will sign for a fee between £3-5m.
Park had already agreed terms with Lille and underwent the first part of his medical yesterday, then failed to show up for the second part today, leaving Lille in the dark until reports came that Arsenal had swooped in.
As for the signing itself, Arsene Wenger did say that he was looking to strengthen the front line with Nicklas Bendtner on his way out, and Park would have to be considered an upgrade over the inconsistent Bendtner. He was the bright spot for a Monaco side that was relegated on the last day of last season, with his 12 league goals representing a third of Monaco’s league haul. And while his goal totals at Monaco aren’t mind-blowing, neither were Emmanuel Adebayor’s, and I’d have to say he’s done well for himself at the highest of the highest levels. So, this represents a good bit of business, at least on the surface.
Will there be more to come? Given how this deal has transpired, you might well have to cross Eden Hazard off of the list, even if Arsenal throw £35m at Lille.
Stoke Set For Stunning Double Swoop?
It’s been a quiet summer for Stoke City, but after sealing a place in the group stage of the Europa League, the Potters are looking to make a big splash in the transfer market before the deadline.
According to BBC Sport, Stoke are in discussions for Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios and hope to seal a deal for the Honduras international over the next couple of days. And that may well not be the only bit of business Stoke do with Spurs, as Peter Crouch could join his teammate at the Britannia Stadium.
Milan Return For Kaka?
Only two years after moving to Real Madrid in a then-world record deal (the record lasted for all of a few weeks), could Kaka be on his way back to AC Milan?
Well, according to Goal.com, such a move could be on the cards, as they report that the two sides have begun talks, with the reigning Serie A champions hoping to conclude a €15m deal to bring their former star back to the club.
And In Other News…
– QPR have signed right back Luke Young from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee. Young, who’s been capped seven times by England, has penned a three-year deal.
– Napoli have landed striker Goran Pandev on loan from Inter Milan. Napoli’s already strong front line gets even stronger with a proven commodity in Pandev, and Inter Milan clear a place for Diego Forlan, who’ll be sealing a move from Atletico Madrid anytime now.
– After being rebuffed in an attempt to land Dimitar Berbatov, Paris Saint-Germain look set to snag AS Roma striker Marco Borriello for €8m. PSG have also signed (or are about close to, depending on where you’re reading) Fenerbahce center back and Uruguay captain Diego Lugano. If this squad fails to at least earn a Champions League place, well…let’s just say Antoine Kombouare will have to update his CV.
– Roque Santa Cruz is off to Spain for a loan move to Real Betis, who have made a return to La Liga after two seasons in the second division. Let’s hope he remembers to pack his scoring boots.
– Also on the Manchester City front, Slovakian starlet Vladimir Weiss is on his way to Espanyol. Good move for both Weiss and his new club. Weiss has the talent and potential to do very in a top league, but that opportunity wasn’t going to come at City. Now he has the chance to shine for an established La Liga side, whose hopes of European qualification will be significantly boosted.
– Oh, and last but not least, an update on that Sneijder guy that has been talked about on a regular basis this summer? Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has said once again that he’s staying put. That seems the likeliest and most logical outcome at this point.
Same time, same place tomorrow, and don’t forget, if you want to keep up with all of the latest confirmed transfers from all of the leagues mentioned here and several more, check out our regularly updated lists of summer transfers.