1. Schalke look to Jilted John
After splashing the cash on Serb central defender, Matija Nastasic – whose loan from Manchester City was made permanent – Brazilian full-back, Junior Caicara (previously with Ludogrets in Bulgaria) and highly-rated Mainz midfielder, Johannes Geis, Schalke general manager, Horst Heldt is thought to want three more new faces: a right-back, an up-and-coming
back-up keeper and a top-class striker. Local paper, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, is flagging the Royal Blues’ interest in Swedish front-man John Guidetti, a key figure in his country’s shock win at the recent European Under 21 championships.
Following seven years under contract to Manchester City – and almost as many years out on loan at Burnley, Feyenoord, Stoke and Celtic – the larger-than-life Guidetti became a free agent this summer and thanks to his excellent work with Young Sweden also has a host of Premier League sides trailing him. Heldt will have to be as busy as he was in his playing days as a midfield livewire for Köln and 1860 Munich.
2. Don’t mess with Klaus Allofs
No one can claim that Wolfsburg CEO, Klaus Allofs does not know how to play hardball. When Allofs insists that Wolves star turn Kevin de Bruyne is staying put, you can take that as a solemn pledge written in blood and the front-office boss has been just as uncompromising in the face of
Internazionale’s attempts to take left-sided Croat midfielder Ivan Perisic to the San Siro.
Although Wolfsburg are prepared to let Perisic go and the player himself is keen to skip Auto City, the sellers say they are only interested in an immediate 20 million euro sale and with Inter
preferring the option of a ‘loan first, pay later’ deal’, someone will have to compromise.
A possible solution would be for Inter to add a player to the negotiation mix and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, that individual might be the Swiss international attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.
3. Götze a go-go?
Just what were the motives of Mario Götze’s agent, Volker Struth when he bitterly complained to Bild am Sonntag lat weekend that his client had not received enough support at Bayern Munich?
Was he simply expressing the World Cup winner’s disappointment at not featuring more often in Pep Guardiola’s first-team, for only making the bench in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona ? Or was it the opening gambit in a bid to disturb the peace and force a sale ?
Clearly Götze and his camp are unhappy, but the two parties are not in the divorce courts yet and ultimately all will depend on how the little attacking midfielder starts next season, his third at the Allianz-Arena since his 37 million euromove from Dortmund.
4. Dortmund: the Immobile mea culpa.
Too much cash can sometimes lead to too little prudence and Dortmund certainly made a severe miscalculation in signing Torino marksman Ciro Immobile last summer for a cool 19 million euros. Only able to manage three goals in last term’s Bundesliga, the Italian international never
looked an adequate replacement for the Bayern-bound Robert Lewandowski and not surprisingly Dortmund have decided to sell and cut their losses.
Sevilla have offered 12 million euros; Dortmund want at least 15. Let’s split the difference.
5. Copa America on the Rhine
Loaned by Juventus last season to relegated Premier League club, Queens Park Rangers, the dynamic Chilean right-back or midfielder, Mauricio Isla has been linked in the Italian media with a switch to German Champions League participants, Leverkusen or Mönchengladbach.
An ever-present in Chile’s Copa America triumph this month and the scorer of the winning goal in the quarter-final against Uruguay, the 27-year-old also has several admirers in La Liga, including Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Villarreal.
The asking price? Ten million euros.