Coentrao Makes Madrid Move?
It is reported that Benfica left-back Fabio Coentrao has agreed a deal with Real Madrid and will arrive in Spain soon for his medical.
THT Verdict: Confused. Madrid have undoubtedly signed a special player. But they already have Marcelo who has been phenomenal last season and Arbeloa as the back up who was also one of the most consistent performers. It makes no sense for Madrid to buy Coentrao who is very similar to Marcelo. But, it seems Mourinho wants Coentrao and he must have a plan. Garay was always not on Jose’s list and his move to Benfica should help him develop further as a player.
Kakuta Linked with Hamburg
Fresh reports coming from England suggest that Chelsea player Gael Kakuta has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge to Hamburg.
THT Verdict: Unlikely. Kakuta can play on either flank or just behind the striker, but is most comfortable cutting in from the right and shooting with his left foot. He is comfortable on the ball. Till now his problem at Chelsea, other than lack of opportunity, has been his inconsistency and lack of concentration whenever he has played. A few months back he was offered a long term deal and Chelsea should persist with him. Already the club has let two wingers, Sala and Tore, leave for Hamburg and should let Kakuta leave, especially at a cut down price.
Liverpool Ready Mass Exodus
Following Joe Cole’s reported move to QPR, two more Liverpool players are now linked with an exit. While Milan Jovanovic has been given permission to talk to other clubs and is now on Greek club Olympiakos’ radar, French striker David N’Gog is linked with a move to either Fulham or Aston Villa. N’Gog could be used as a bait in a deal to bring Downing to Anfield.
THT Verdict: Necessary and Likely. Liverpool don’t really have to sell-to-buy but need to sell in order to buy quality squad depth. There should be no surprise about the above names being linked with an exit from the club.
Bojan Agrees Roma Move
Italian outfit AS Roma have agreed a deal for Barcelona attacker Bojan. The club’s general manager Walter Sabatini confirmed the same in the following statement:
“The agreement with the player is done. We have to fix some things with Barcelona.”
Coyle Sends out Cahill Ultimatum
Bolton boss Owen Coyle has admitted the Gary Cahill’s frustration at having being linked with one club or the other everyday. The manager has seen his frustration grow and now has sent out a message asking interested clubs to either pay up the required sum or leave the player alone. Cahill has been linked with Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham in the recent past.
“It is frustrating for everybody, but Bolton Wanderers is Gary’s club and we pay him a good salary. He is focussed on the job and will be until something happens.” – Coyle
Celtic Calling for Bellamy
With Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers also in the running, Manchester City forward Craig Bellamy has also attracted attention from Celtic. The player spent last season on loan at Cardiff City and it looks like he is lined up for another loan spell away from Eastlands.
THT Verdict: Bellamy carries Premier League experience and will no doubt be a value-add for Sunderland, Blackburn or Celtic. While it is still too early to exactly where he will move, it is certain however that he will not feature in Mancini’s team next season.
PSG Eye Moves for Premier League Duo
French club PSG are spending; and are spending big. Reports today suggest that the club is looking to bring in Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka and Manchester United frontman Dimitar Berbatov.
THT Verdict: Unlikely. While Chelsea boss Andre Villa-Boas is yet to lay the axe on his current squad, Sir Alex Ferguson will certainly look to retain Berbatov for atleast another season. Berbatov had a good start to the previous season at Old Trafford and with the arrival of Ashley Young, it is hoped that Berbatov will see a lot more action in the striking position.
Lilywhites Want Rossi. But so do Juventus
Italian playmaker Giuseppe Rossi’s agent has claimed that the player favours a move to Juventus but this hasn’t stopped Tottenham from registering their interest in the player.
THT Verdict: Unlikely. It is more likely that the player would move to Turin given Juventus’ reputation and stature. The club has a pretty heavy transfer kitty to work with and there is no doubt that they will invest in the right people in order to get back to winning ways. Spurs have little to offer for Rossi unless they bring in one or two more new names that will make them look like a side to be wary of.
QPR Look To Strengthen Squad with Premiership Signings
Newly promoted club QPR is preparing for life in top flight football by acquiring the services of Newcastle winger Wayne Routledge and Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole.
THT Verdict: Likely. Routledge has had a fairly mute spell at Tyneside and it would be good for him to make the move elsewhere in order to get some more playing time. On the other hand, Joe Cole, who was supposed to be Liverpool’s marquee signing during the Hodgson era has simply failed to cement a spot in the starting XI and with the new owners looking to get rid of the deadwood, will most likely be shown the door out of Anfield.
Hasan Salihamidzic joins Wolfsburg
Salihamidzic, whose four year contract with Juventus expired few days back, was a free agent. Felix Magath wasted no time before netting the ex-Bayern player for a one year contract.
THT Verdict: At the wee end of his career, Salihamidzic will be nothing more than a squad player. However, he has always been known for his professional attitude and being a good influence in dressing room – two qualities Wolfsburg can use right now. He also had a long and fruitful career in Bundesliga with Bayern Munich and Hamburg SV.
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has targeted Real Madrid defensive midfielder Pepe as he looks to bolster his midfield.
THT Verdict : Impossible. Pepe has been offered a new contract extension and has been terrific for Real Madrid last year. He cost them 30 million and would definitely not come cheap for any club. But, snatching a player from Real Madrid who is loved by Jose Mourinho looks improbable. Just a cheap story to garner some hits. Chelsea also doesn’t need the player, as the club has 4 central defenders and 3 players capable of playing in the central defensive role.