This weekend will mark the official end of the season in Europe’s top leagues, and after that, we can look forward to the start of the summer transfer window. As the window approaches, the transfer news and rumors are running rampant, and while a number of top clubs are already busy making signings, many more are trying to make sure they’re not too far behind.
In this morning’s roundup, we’ve got rumors from the Premier League, the Championship, La Liga, and Serie A, so there’s plenty to talk about. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Real Madrid Close on Ribery Deal?
Real Madrid are reportedly close to sealing a £40m deal for Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: At that price, Ribery would be a much cheaper option than Cristiano Ronaldo would be. But until Ribery actually signs on the dotted line with Real, he’s going to continue to be linked with Chelsea (and Bayern Munich will still harbor hope of keeping him), and all the same, Ronaldo will continue to be linked with Real. Speaking of Ronaldo-Real Madrid…
Pirlo to Join Ancelotti at Chelsea?
Chelsea could be set to make a move for AC Milan star Andrea Pirlo. Italian sources say that the club are prepared to offer big money for the Italian midfielder. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Pirlo isn’t having one of his best seasons, and that could make him expendable. Even so, he won’t come cheaply.
Stoke City to Lure Scholes as Player/Coach?
Stoke City have launched an ambitious bid to land Manchester United’s Paul Scholes to be a part of their squad next term and also give the veteran midfielder a chance to get his feet wet as a coach. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: He may well elect to see out his career as a one-club man, but landing someone with the experience and success that Scholes has had would be a great acquisition for Stoke as they look to build upon a successful Premier League campaign.
Liverpool Interested In Bilbao’s Martinez
Liverpool are interested in highly-rated Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez. The 20-year-old is being looked at as the future replacement for Xabi Alonso, and though Bilbao want £10m for him, Liverpool will look to land him for lower. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Martinez has been a regular for Bilbao for the last three seasons, chalking up more than 90 starts, and having that kind of experience in one of the world’s best leagues at his age is just one indication of his talent and promise.
Tottenham to Battle Bayern for Dutch Star
Tottenham could be set to battle it out with Bayern Munich for Real Madrid midfielder Wesley Sneijder. The Dutch international could be one of several who exit Real in what is expected to be a busy, big-spending summer, and Tottenham could offer £18m for the former Ajax star. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Sneijder may have had a quiet season at Real Madrid, but he’s a world-class talent, and if Tottenham could get him, it’d be a big boost to their hopes to make a serious challenge at a top-four place next season.
Aston Villa Ask About Tottenham Flop Bentley
Aston Villa have made an inquiry about David Bentley’s future at Tottenham. The winger is likely to exit White Hart Lane after only one season. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Certainly don’t see any complaints from Harry Redknapp if anyone came in for him, and on the bright side for Bentley, given that Villa are in Europe and Tottenham aren’t, it’s a move for the better, no?
Bolton Revive Interest in Veloso
Bolton have come in with a fresh bid for Sporting Lisbon star Miguel Veloso. After an unsuccessful £12m bid in January, Bolton are offering £6m for the Portuguese midfielder, hoping to capitalize on his contract running down. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: I think Sporting would like to get a little more than £6m, even if Veloso’s contract is running down, but whatever they do get, it seems to be a lot less than the £20m+ that it looked any suitors would have to trump up for him just last summer.
Blackburn Target Another Marseille Defender
Blackburn are interested in Marseille defender Renato Civelli. The 25-year-old Argentine is the older brother of Ipswich’s Luciano Civelli, and he can play in the center and on the right. (The Mirror)
Analysis: After not playing much of a role for the better part of the season, Civelli has stepped into the starting XI over the last few months and impressed, so Marseille may decide to rebuff any interest that comes in for him this summer.
Wolves After Serbian Star Milijas
Wolves have made an offer of £2.6m for Red Star Belgrade midfielder Nenad Milijas. Borussia Monchengladbach have already opened talks for the 26-year-old, but Wolves are hoping to steal in and seal the deal for Red Star’s captain, who’s also drawn the interest of Aston Villa, Sunderland, Roma, and Borussia Dortmund, to name a few. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Wolves may have led the Championship in goals on the way to earning the title, but it wouldn’t hurt to add a prolific scorer in midfield like Milijas, who was the second-leading scorer in the Serbian top flight this past season with 17 goals. Seems that he’s Monchengladbach’s to lose, however.
Boro Target Swansea Loan Star
Middlesbrough are targeting Spanish midfielder Jordi Gomez. The 24-year-old was a big part of Swansea City’s push for a Championship playoff place this past season, scoring 12 league goals and 14 in all competitions while on loan from Espanyol. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: He’s likely a little too expensive for Swansea to sign permanently, but Boro do have the money necessary to land him. As good as he was for Swansea, he could be a big part of helping Boro get back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Inter to Bid for Manchester City’s Elano
Inter Milan are set for an £8m bid for Manchester City midfielder Elano. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: He had a nice finish to the season, scoring three goals in his final six appearances of the campaign, but considering that he was in and out of favor this season and that City are going to be big spenders this summer, a move to Inter presents quite the opportunity for him.