Round-up of all the latest transfer speculation
Larsson set for Barca
Reports from Spain suggestthat former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson has agreed terms with Spanish giants Barcelona and will join the club after Euro 2004. Barcelona, who will get Larsson for nothing as he is out of contract, have long been admirers of the Sweden international and will use him to replace Dutch international Patrick Kluivert. Kluivert ended his six-year association with the club last month after they failed to offer him a new contract.
Charlton look to complete double swoop
Charlton boss Alan Curbishley is reportedly looking to strike a £7 million deal with PSV Eindhoven for striker Mateja Kezman and winger Dennis Rommedahl. A £2 million fee has allegedly been agreed with PSV for Danish international Rommedahl, while the Serbian Kezman is also reluctantly on the verge of a switch to London for £5 million due to a lack of interest from so-called ‘bigger’ clubs.
Chelsea to offer Rooney £85,000 per week
Reports in England are claiming that teenage sensation Wayne Rooney will see his salary increase five-fold should his club Everton accept a £30 million bid from Chelsea for his services. Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon has flown to Portugal for talks with owner Roman Abramovich, and a bid for Rooney is reportedly high on the list for discussion. Rooney has taken Europe by storm with his goals for England at Euro 2004 and rumours of a bidding war between Chelsea and Manchester United are circulating. Everton, however, believe that Chelsea’s valuation of Rooney falls some way short and will hold out for a higher bid.
Atletico to beat Birmingham to Gronkjaer signature
Spanish radio station Radio Ser have claimed that Atletico Madrid have agreed a fee with Chelsea for the transfer of Danish winger Jesper Gronkjaer and will complete the signing after Euro 2004. Atletico look to have beaten Birmingham City to the signing of the quicksilver winger, who is supposedly keener on a move to Spain. Atletico will look to open talks with Gronkjaer over personal terms as soon as Euro 2004 is over.
Inter set to bid for Luis Fabiano
Brazilian starlet Luis Fabiano could be set for a summer switch to Internazionale after reports in Brazil claimed that the Italian side were close to agreeing a £12 million fee for the Sao Paulo striker. Luis Fabiano’s agent is believed to have already had talks with Inter officials, and the Milanese club appear confident of beating off interest from Real Betis and FC Porto for the volatile but highly talented 22 year-old.
Batistuta set for Viola return
Legendary Argentine striker Gabriel Batistuta is set for a return to former club Fiorentina after the Italian club won promotion back to Serie A. Batistuta became a firm favorite with Fiorentina fans during his first spell at the club, before a move to AS Roma. Now the veteran former Boca Juniors star appears ready to make a dramatic return to Florence, after a lucrative but low profile spell in Qatar.
Chelsea offer stars and cash for Gerrard
Chelsea’s determination to land Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard has led them to compile a massive cash plus players deal in attempt to persuade Liverpool to part with their skipper. Gerrard, who would earn £125,000 a week from the deal and is allegedly keen on the move, would be swapped for £20 million in cash plus Chelsea midfielders Damien Duff, Scott Parker and Joe Cole according to reports in the English press.
Mexes deal held up
Auxerre and France defender Phillipe Mexes has seen his proposed move to Roma put on hold, after FIFA were called in to arbitrate a dispute between the player and his club. Auxerre are keen to sell Mexes to an English club as they believe they could get a higher price for him, while Mexes has set his heart on Roma. FIFA have recommended that the matter must be decided by a French FA tribunal, leaving Mexes in limbo.
Chelsea confirm Paulo Ferreira signing
Chelsea have confirmed on their website that they have agreed the £13.2 million signing of FC Porto right back Paulo Ferreira. The 23 year-old has been linked to the London club ever since they appointed former Porto manager Jose Mourinho as a replacement for Claudio Ranieri, and the young full back becomes Mourinho’s first signing since taking over at Stamford Bridge. Paulo Ferreira, currently on international duty for Portugal, will be officially unveiled after Euro 2004.
Inter appoint Mancini
Internazionale have confirmed that former Italy international has agreed to become their new manager, following the resignation of former boss Alberto Zaccheroni. Mancini will move to his new job from current club Lazio, and will be the latest man entrusted with regaining the Scudetto for the Milanese club. Inter last won the Italian title in 1989 and Mancini becomes the 11th coach of the club in the last ten years.
Real Madrid join race for Deco
According to reports in Spain, Real Madrid have entered the race to sign FC Porto attacking midfielder Deco, despite reports that the Portugal international is on the verge of a move to Chelsea. Deco could link up with former Porto coach Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, but the Madrid press claim that the Spanish giants have turned their attention to Deco and are keen to lure him to the Bernabeu after inquiries for Roma’s Francesco Totti fell on deaf ears.
Frings to complete FC Bayern switch
Germany midfielder Torsten Frings will complete a move to Bayern Munich after Euro 2004, the Bavarian club have revealed. Frings will move to the Olympic Stadium from arch rivals Borussia Dortmund, whose perilous financial plight has forced the sale. Dortmund, who are also tipped to sell other star players this summer, will receive an undisclosed fee for the 27-year-old and it is believed to be around £6 million.
Barcelona linked with Ballack
Catalan giants FC Barcelona are reportedly on the verge of agreeing a deal for Germany’s star midfielder Michael Ballack, despite FC Bayern’s insistence that their prized asset is not for sale. Ballack has only been at Bayern Munich for two seasons, but is reportedly keen on a switch to the Nou Camp. Bayern’s reported signing of Torsten Frings may pave the way for his German international colleague to make the move to Spain.
Lizarazu unsure over Spurs switch
France fullback Bixente Lizarazu has admitted his future remains uncertain, despite speculation liking him strongly with Tottenham. Lizarazu is a free agent and had been widely tipped to follow French coach Jacques Santini to White Hart Lane after Euro 2004. However, it now seems that Lizarazu’s future is far from clear after interest was also declared from clubs in Spain and his native France.
Chelsea must break the bank for Drogba
Premiership giants Chelsea must smash the world transfer record if they are to land Didier Drogba from French club Marseille. The Ivory Coast striker impressed scouts all over Europe with his performances last season, but a move to Chelsea looks unlikely despite their strong interest in the player. Marseille’s General Manager has been quoted in the French press saying that a £30 million bid would be firmly rebuffed, and that the London club would have to smash the world transfer record of £45 million to get their target.
Benfica and Newcastle eye swap deal
Reports in Portugal are suggesting that Newcastle United will use Hugo Viana as bait to tempt Benfica into selling Portuguese international defender Miguel. Viana has enjoyed a largely unsuccessful spell in England after joining Newcastle from Sporting Lisbon, and would welcome a return to his homeland in exchange for guaranteed first team football. Newcastle, meanwhile, are in the market for a new right back and manager Bobby Robson has identified Miguel as his number one target.
Trezeguet may stay at Juventus
France international striker David Trezeguet has revealed that he is now tempted to stay at Juventus, but only if they offer him a substantial pay rise. Trezegeut’s contract with Juventus leaves him a long way short of the club’s highest earners. This had led to talk of him leaving the club but, after the club hired Fabio Capello as their new coach, Trezeguet has indicated that he is willing to talk to the club over a new contract. The former Monaco striker has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona in recent months.
Benitez will not raid the Mestalla
Reports on Merseyside claim that new Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez will not be looking to bring players and staff from his former club Valencia, as had been previously suggested. Stories in Spain had claimed that Benitez would be looking to recruit most of Valencia’s backroom staff, together with star players Roberto Ayala, Pablo Aimar and Santiago Canizares. It now looks likely, however, that Benitez will look elsewhere as he attempts to improve Liverpool’s squad.
Quaresma to join Porto on loan
Portuguese newspaper Record claims that former Sporting Lisbon winger Ricardo Quaresma will make a switch to European Champions FC Porto, on a season long loan from Barcelona. The 20 year-old endured an inconsistent season at the Nou Camp, with his appearances over the second half of the season few-and-far-between. After he criticised Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard publicly earlier this month, it appears that the proposed loan deal would suit all parties.
Porto interested in Diego
Reports in Brazil are suggesting that European champions FC Porto may be about to make a £6 million bid for teenage prodigy Diego. The Santos forward is supposedly keen for a move to Europe in order to further his career, and new Porto coach Luigi del Neri has earmarked Diego as a replacement for Deco, who looks almost certain to exit the club for Real Madrid or Chelsea.
Deportivo keen on D’Alessandro
According to reports in Germany, Spanish giants Deportivo La Coruna are ready to table a £7 million bid for Wolfsburg playmaker Andres D’Alessandro. The 23 year-old Argentine international moved to Wolfsburg from River Plate in July 2003 for £6 million, but has failed to settle in Germany and would welcome a move to Spain according to reports. Deportivo have shown particular interest in the player, who is tipped to be a member of Argentina’s squad for the 2006 World Cup.
Plenty of options for Wiltord
France international forward Sylvain Wiltord will not be short of options when he weighs up his future after Euro 2004, reports in France suggest. Wiltord, who is a free agent after failing to agree a new contract with English champions Arsenal, looks like being able to take his pick from Liverpool, Juventus, Barcelona, Werder Bremen and Tottenham Hotspur. Juventus are believed to be in pole position to land the former Bordeaux man.
Les Verts look to England for reinforcements
Newly promoted French club St Etienne will look to England in an attempt to bolster their Le Championnat challenge. French newspapers have claimed that the club will look to land young Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere on a season’s loan, and unhappy Senegal midfielder Salif Diao from Liverpool in a permanent £2 million deal as they look to reinforce their position back in France’s top flight.