The 2008-9 season ended with a bang, with the wonderful display of attacking football from Barcelona in the Champions League final in Rome. But before having had time to catch your breath, the transfer rumours are coming come thick and fast, with almost every professional player being linked with a move. With a few big deals having already been made, here are a few of the ones to watch over the summer.
Out of favour striker Michael Owen, who was relegated with Newcastle United has come to the end of his lucrative £120,000 a week contract and is reportedly looking for a move back to the Premier League. Former team-mate and good friend Steven Gerrard has reportedly asked for Liverpool to bring Michael Owen back to Anfield. The Liverpool captain said, “ I would love to see him get a move away from Newcastle to a bigger club.”
Liverpool rivals Everton are also reportedly in the hunt for the Newcastle United player, saying that they would offer him £50,000 a week to join them. This would mean a more than 50% pay cut for Owen, but something he may consider in order to try and make Fabio Capello’s 2010 World Cup squad.
Samuel Eto’o has been a target of Manchester City’s since their takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and they are after him again this summer and are thought to be offering £20 million for the 28-year-old.
However, after Chelsea admitted that they were not going to be able to sign Kaka, they have also expressed an interest in the Barcelona striker. This interest has been taken more seriously now that Barcelona President Joan Laporta has made the striker available.
Eto’o scored 30 goals last season, but with his contract due to expire next year, and no plans to offer him a new one, Laporta admitted that he had become available, saying: “The market is very dynamic, and there might be a surprise, because he is a much-coveted player.”
After Ancelotti’s departure and what looks like the imminent departure of their star player, Kaka, Milan fans are looking for something to cheer about. They are rumoured to be making a £15 million bid for Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor. After a poor return of 16 goals last season, compared to 30 the previous season, Milan’s bid has dropped by £10 million, but Wenger may still be willing to sell the Togo international, as he looks to strengthen his side.
Milan and Barcelona are both in the hunt for Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic, with an estimated £25 million bid. The Serbians wife has reportedly been unable to settle in Manchester and would prefer to live in a warmer climate. Manchester United will not want to lose the defender, who has just completed a terrific season for both the club. Although Vidic is happy at Old Trafford, he is worried about the strain that could be placed upon his football career if his wife remains unhappy.
Chelsea midfielder Deco is close to being reunited with former Chelsea and Porto boss Jose Mourinho at Internazionale. Deco has struggled of late at Chelsea, and is looking to move away from Stamford Bridge. Deco said, “It would be a pleasure to be back with Moourinho, but I don’t want to go into details, because its not me who is dealing with the matter.”
Mourinho may also be reunited with Portuguese centre-back Carvalho after he described this year at Chelsea as “the worst year of my life, with injury after injury.” The former Chelsea manager is reportedly interested in signing the player who said: “First they have to reach an agreement with the club and then talk to me, but I am available for whoever wants me the most.”
After an excellent season at right back for Portsmouth, and placing himself firmly in Fabio Capello’s World Cup plans, Johnson is receiving interest from former club Chelsea, in the form of a reported £17 million bid. The defender was sold for £4 million by Mourinho less than two years ago, a deal which now looks like it was not great business on Chelsea’s part, but with interest from Liverpool, they are looking to bring the player back to ‘The Bridge.’
Aston Villa are interested in bringing Alexander Hleb back to the Premier League, to replace Gareth Barry, who was recently sold to Manchester City. Hleb hardly figured for Barcelona this season and now manager Pep Guardiola has put him up for sale. Hleb’s agent, Oliver Minztlaff has confirmed interest from English and German clubs, but Villa are top of the list, offering around £10 million.
Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, is set to make a fresh approach for Manchester City defender Richard Dunne. With Tottenham captain, Ledley King, only able to play a handful of games a season, Redknapp feels he needs to sign an experienced centre-back. Dunne, 29, could be available for around £5 million.
By James Ward