Round-up of all the latest transfer speculation …
With the business end of the European season fast approaching, clubs all around the globe are preparing for a summer of frenzied activity involving the possible transfers of some of football’s finest talents.
Real Madrid, the leading club in the world when it comes to trading players and never far from the back pages of the world’s tabloids, are again linked with some of the best players on the planet.
Inter’s star Brazilian Adriano allegedly heads their wish list and a price of £40 million won’t necessarily deter the Spanish giants. Should Adriano become the latest “glactico” this summer, it seems certain that England striker Michael Owen will find himself on his way back to the Premiership.
Newcastle United have openly declared their interest in the player but Real are likely to prefer a swap deal with Arsenal involving Spanish starlet Jose Antonio Reyes. A hoax caller from a Spanish radio station early in February tricked the youngster into revealing his desire to play for Madrid.
Moneybags Chelsea with a rumoured transfer budget of £100 million this summer are also likely to be involved in some of the games highest profile transfers this summer. Arsenal and England left-back Ashley Cole tops Jose Mourinho’s wish list.
Barcelona’s Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho is also likely to be a target, although whether the Catalans would sell remains to be seen. Liverpool captain looks certain to join the West Londoner’s this summer.
Arsenal and Manchester United seem certain to address there respective goalkeeping problems this summer, as both have seen there championship aspirations suffer due to indifferent performances from below-par players.
Alex Ferguson now wants Paul Robinson as his new number one but a price tag of £12 million is likely to ensure that won’t happen. Antti Niemi of Southampton remains a popular choice for both Ferguson and Wenger and should Southampton slip out the Premiership it is inevitable that the Saints will have no choice but to allow the big Finnish stopper to leave.
Italian teams no longer have the same financial flexibility of old but that doesn’t stop the usual merry-go-round of players in Serie A.
Inter want to take Roma legend Francesco Totti to the San Siro, as well as making Juan Sebastian Veron’s stay in the Italian capital permanent.
After falling out with coach Fabio Capello and never rediscovering his form of old Alessandro Del Piero could finally part with Juventus this summer. Liverpool and Barcelona are said to be rumoured destinations for the fallen Italian idol.
In France the teams will be once again trying to fend of the vultures from the top European sides. Toulouse will face a battle to hold on to French U21 starlet Lucien Abbey after it was revealed that Chelsea have been monitoring his situation.
Michael Ballack of Bayern Munich will resolve his future this summer; the German international is out of contract in 2006 and is thought to want to try his luck abroad.
Bayern who are desperately trying to reduce the annual wage bill this year, will sell this summer rather than lose the player on a Bosman transfer. Milan, Chelsea, Juventus and Barcelona are all thought to be keen on the player.