Nolito Signs on for Benfica

La Masia product Nolito has agreed a 5-year deal with Portuguese outfit Benfica.

THT Verdict: There’s not doubt about Nolito’s quality. If not for the supremely gifted bunch of graduates from the La Masia, Nolito could have made his way into the team. The young striker will add to Benfica’s offense and with ex-Barcelona striker Saviola, will only add to the team’s quality. His ability to play as a winger will also add to the team’s cause and offer flexibility in the final third.

Rome Beckons for Pastore

Palermo president Zamparini says it is “90% certain” that Javier Patore will leave the club and said that Roma could be a possible destination. “We’ll see…It all depends on the bid Roma make. With the right offer, Pastore could go to Roma,” Zamparini said.

THT Verdict: Despite all the brouhaha about him being a supremely talented player, Pastore could not exactly set the stage afire for Palermo. However, bigger clubs in all major leagues have expressed their desire in acquiring his services and against the ridiculously inflated prices they are capable of offering, a club like Roma may fall short on purse. The positive of this move from the player’s perspective is the capital side will guarantee him far greater playing time as opposed to teams like Barcelona or City. Having said all the above, one’s got to lose the grasp over sanity to take Zamparini’s statements seriously.

Wenger on Arsenal’s Transfer Plans

Arsene Wenger has assured Arsenal fans he has a transfer plan in place this summer, but like a poker match he is waiting for the right time to play his hand.

“Currently, everyone is standing still,” Wenger said. “Everyone expects everyone else to make the first move. Everyone holds on to their cards, hoping for the major transfer. Nobody blinks until late July, early August. Then we will analyse the gaps in each team. But I am very active on the phone.”

Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan on Shaun-Wright Phillips:

“It’s true that we are interested in Shaun Wright-Phillips and I am sure that he would love it at Wigan because in Roberto Martinez we have a great manager. We would certainly like him to come to Wigan but we don’t know what he wants in terms of wages. There is a long way to go, but Roberto does fancy bringing him to Wigan.”

Dani Alves on Neymar:

“If I had the money, I’d sign him for Barca because he’s one of the best players in the world at the moment. I want my friends close. I have a very special relationship with Neymar and if I could advise him, it would be to be next to me and not against me.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, talking about a reported approach from Man City:

“It’s flattering to be offered like £20m a year – it’s very good, but I spoke to my agent and I think it’s better to stay in ­Madrid because this year we’re going to be the best. This ­season we are going to be a big force. Jose Mourhino is staying at Madrid so I stay. If he went to Chelsea then I would have left. I would have gone to Manchester City. But now he’s staying, I’m ­staying.”