According to Spanish reports, Real Madrid, who own 50% of Samuel Eto’o’s contract, have not closed the door on a possible transfer to Barcelona. Following last weeks meeting however, the price was bumped up to £20m, so as not to “give the Cameroon international away”. Previously, Eto’o has stated that he only wants to play for Real, but if they don’t want him, he will look to Barca.
The Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has handed in a written transfer request to his club. This, according to reports in Spain, which have all but assigned him a squad number in Real Madrid’s star studded squad of galacticos. Despite Wenger’s protestations, the smart money is on Vieira becoming the big move of the summer.
Milan Baros’ goalscoring exploits at Euro 2004, have not gone unnoticed. Having been linked with both Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona but subsequently agreeing to stay at Liverpool, Baros now seems unsure as to where his future lies. “Maybe I’ll leave. I don’t know yet.” were the latest comments from the Baros camp. And there are still an fair number of suitors.
After surviving the endless post-Euro 2004 transfer speculation, Everton have issued an ultimatum to Wayne Rooney: sign our contract or leave. In return, Rooney’s advisers have questioned Everton’s ability to fulfil the contract – £50k per week – since they are already around £40m in debt. The red side of Manchester is the likely destination if Rooney moves, although at this particular moment it seems unlikely. The usual links with Real Madrid have been and gone, with little or no substance behind them, but it is far more feasible that Rooney could stay in the North West of England with United.
Fresh off the back of winning the Copa America, Luis Fabiano is almost expected to snub Barcelona, who have tracked him for the last year, in order to sign for Roma. Historically a home from home for Brazilians (remember Aldair, Cafu et al, and more recently Emerson), Luis Fabiano stated that it would be “his dream to play for Roma.” However, Roma’s rather precarious financial position means that the £14m asking fee is out of their range.
Robinho, the younger, lesser known but certainly no less talented Brazilian international striker is the latest Samba forward to be linked with Barcelona. The 20-year-old Santos starlet has already been compared with Pele, no small feat, and would jump at the chance to be reunited with Brazilian teammate Ronaldinho.
Ariel Ortega, the Argentine playmaker, once deemed worthy of inheriting Maradona’s number 10 shirt, is wanted by Brazilian champions Cruzeiro. According to Brazilian reports, as soon as a legal complication between the player and his current team Fenerbahce are resolved, Cruzeiro will move to sign the former Valencia and Sampdoria star. Ortega couldn’t adapt to Turkish life, so a return to South American football would be a welcome relief for him.
Martin Palermo, probably best remembered for missing a hat-trick of penalties in one game and breaking his leg in a goal celebration in another, is on his way back to Boca Juniors. Palermo left for Europe a star in his own country, but will return a mere shadow of his former self. Failure in Spain with Villarreal, Betis and Alaves has left Palermo with an experience to remember, but a reputation in desperate need of a lift.
Batigol is the name being touted around Argentina to make a return to his home-country, with San Lorenzo. Gabriel Batistuta responded to the offer from manager Gorosito with a simple “why not?” although 2 years still remain on his contract with Qatar side Al Arabi.
Argentina’s latest wonderkid Carlos Tevez is tipped within Argentina to make the move to Europe, with Bayern Munich his likeliest destination. The move will take place during the Christmas transfer window, according to Tevez’s agent, which coincides with the end of the Argentine league season, ‘el Apertura’. Bayern’s original offer of 12 million Euros was rejected, with Boca demanding in excess of 20 million. However, Bayern have a good record of paying the going rate for South American youngsters, with Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz already on their books.
Deportivo’s Brazilian Djalminha is a step away from signing for Mexican side America. America have always been the cosmopolitan side of the Mexican league, and now want Djalminha to strengthen their squad in an attempt to forget a miserable past season. However it is debatable as to whether the skilful winger would want to make the move from the tiny provincial town of A Coruna to Mexico City, to the worlds biggest.
Having been linked with a move from the Estadio da Luz ever since the end of Euro 2004, it now looks as if Tiago will remain at Benfica for the coming season. A statement from the former European Cup winners said that they are no longer interested in selling and that all negotiations have ended. Any further attempts would be fruitless, thus ending Newcastle’s and Chelsea’s aspirations.
The ‘will he stay won’t he stay?’ saga of Fernando Morientes continues. Changing his mind increasingly frequently, the big Spanish number 9 admitted that he may end up playing for Porto next season. With new manager Camacho confirming that Morientes will not be a first choice striker, there are a number of teams interested in securing his services, with Roma also tipped as a possible destination.
Ricardo, the Portuguese goalkeeper from Euro 2004 is close to a move from Sporting Lisbon to Liverpool, according to his agent. New Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is said to be keen on the player who was the hero of Portugal’s quarter-final shoot out win over England. Such a move would set Liverpool back around £5m.
According to the Dutch media, the latest team said to be interested in the PSV midfielder Marc van Bommel is Aston Villa. This follows heavy interest from fellow English team Spurs and Germans Schalke 04. Van Bommel has already rejected a move to Everton, stating “Everton are not a bigger club than PSV…”, but he remains keen on a move to the Premiership.
Borussia Dortmund have rejected an offer from Marseilles of £4m for the Czech forward Jan Koller, who starred in Portugal over the summer. Marseilles, who have £26m in the bank from the recent sale of Didier Drogba to Chelsea are in need of a replacement, and Koller, aware of the interest stated: “I know about Marseilles, but I will probably remain at Dortmund. Borussia have a new coach, so I will have to see.”
The Romanian Adrian Mutu has been deemed all but surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, and now could be on his way to Turin, with Juventus reportedly interested. have identiied Mutu as the ideal replacement for Marco di Vaio, who joined Valencia earlier in the month. Recently appointed coach Fabio Capello needs a partner for David Trezeguet and has reportedly asked the board to sanction his signing.
Real Madrid are prepared to let young striker Javier Portillo leave the Bernabeu on loan, after he made just a handful of appearances last season. Portillo is coveted by Serie A club Lazio, and would represent a coup for them, still unable to make significantly big signings due to substantial debts. A large criticism of coach Carlos Queiroz last year was his apparent reluctance to play Portillo even when Raul was out of form, and if not play him, at least loan him. Neither occurred, and the new Madrid regime is looking to learn from past mistakes.
Round-up of all the latest transfer gossip.
Barcelona’s Argentine forward Javier Saviola is the subject of interest from Monaco, according to one Spanish source. The European Cup finalists have already lost three attacking players from their line-up, Ludo Guily to Barcelona themselves, Dado Prso to Rangers, and Morientes who returned to Real Madrid, leaving several gaps which need filling. Saviola may be available as result of Barcelona’s summer investments in attacking players such as Henrik Larsson and Deco.
After losing out on Ricardo Carvalho to Chelsea, Real Madrid appear to have turned their attention to Inter’s Colombian defender, Ivan Cordoba. Cordoba however, is an integral part of the Inter set-up, and would be unlikely to leave the San Siro for less than a huge fee. Real are in need of boosting their squad size after going down to the bare bones last year.
Republic of Ireland starlet Andy Reid, regarded as the most exciting player outside of the Premiership has been told he can leave Nottingham Forest if Spurs up their bid to £5m. This would unite Reid with Republic of Ireland teammates Steve Carr and Robbie Keane, and provide Reid with the opportunity to prove his worth on the highest stage.