Chelsea star Didier Drogba has finally confirmed he would play for Shanghai Shenhua next season. AC Milan are linked with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina and have confirmed the signings of Acerbi and Constant. Nigel de Jong on the other hand hopes to continue playing for Manchester City. Welcome to TheHardTackle’s daily transfer roundup where we bring you the latest developments in the transfer market, the rumours floating in and our insightful assessment of those.
Didier Drogba to play in Shanghai
It has been confirmed Chelsea’s Champions League winning star forward Didier Drogba will put an end to his career in the English league and shall ply his trade in China next season with Shanghai Shenhua. On a two-year contract, Drogba reportedly will be the league’s highest paid player and will reunite with former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka.
While his contract situation at Chelsea was anything but clear, Drogba’s agent had made it more than clear his client’s next move will greatly depend on the size of the contract offered as this may well be his final stint with professional football. And this move to Asia is more absolutely indicative of the big money that has lured the African starlet to write the final chapter of his playing career on the Asian soil. More than the player himself, his presence means a lot to the league and this may well be first of the many good things in store for Asian football.
At this age, Drogba may have lost the legs to compete at the highest level in Europe week in and week out but is definitely a big threat for the oppositions in the lesser-competitive Chinese league. His stay could prove to be a pensioner’s paradise and the club is certain to generate a lot of moolah from the increased sales of Drogba jerseys. That he kept his word of not playing for another English side after leaving Chelsea will only add to his cult status at Stamford Bridge.
AC Milan linked with Liverpool custodian Pepe Reina
Reports have emerged indicating Milan are considering a high profile signing of Pepe Reina after Allegri was left unconvinced with Christian Abbiati’s showing during last season.
This looks pretty unlikely. There’s no denying Milan require reinforcements in all areas and goalkeeping is no exception. Abbiati is not getting any younger but a big name signing is the last thing on Galliani’s mind as of now. When there are no signs of any big signings in areas like midfield and attack, there’s no chance Milan will spend the cash to match Liverpool’s expectations for their number one. Besides, Reina is too important a player to the Merseysiders who plan to initiate their third transition season on a high under the newly appointed manager Brendan Rodgers and it looks far from likely for them to part with one of their most important players in the squad. For now, Milan need to stay content with the signing of Gabriel from Cruzerio and should the need arise, Piscitelli may be temporarily promoted to the first team.
Nigel de Jong wants an extended stay at Manchester City
The Dutch midfielder who lost his starting position for the English champions last season is affirmative about a prolonged stay at Manchester City despite his contract entering the last season.
Manchester City are a highly ambitious club and after establishing their supremacy in England they now intend to conquer Europe. Though de Jong is no longer part of Mancini’s first choice team, he is a world class defensive midfielder and definitely an asset to have on the bench. The entire bunch of Dutch internationals is pretty unmotivated after their abysmal showing in the Euros and the next season will be extremely crucial to each one of them to prove a point one more time with their respective clubs.
Should de Jong be presented more opportunities to feature in the starting eleven, there is a good chance we may see an improved player. His strong physical presence in the middle of the park has always been intimidating for the oppositions and with flair in abundance at his disposal, Mancini will not mind fielding a player of de Jong’s resilience a little more often. A more than decent season should be enough for the Netherlands international to earn an extended contract with the champions.
AC Milan confirm the signings of Francesco Acerbi and Kevin Constant
Reports in Italy suggest Milan have both the players undergo their medicals and are certain to be Milan players the next season. Acerbi is signed on a co-ownership deal with Genoa while Constant is acquired on loan with an option to buy.
Milan’s financial troubles are hardly a secret and hence no big signings are expected from this transfer window. The bargain signings however are expected aplenty and these two are exactly that kind of additions to the squad. Milan have been linked with Acerbi for a long time now and with Nesta’s departure, certainly needed a back-up centre back for Silva and Mexes. Acerbi who spent the last season playing for Chievo will need to raise the bar to win a place in Milan’s defensive line but as of now his place in the squad is nothing more than that of a spare wheel to the first choice central defense partnership.
Kevin Constant will add the much required numbers to the Milan midfield after the collective departure of Gattuso, van Bommel and Seedorf. The French midfielder has hardly done anything of real worth during his two seasons in Italy and the purpose of this signing remains perplexing among Milan circles.
- French side Lens have completed the signing of Full Back Remy Bonne.
- Hannover have signed Brazilian defender Felipe Trevizan from Standard De Liege.
- Lille have signed Attacking Midfielder Marvin Martin on a five year deal from Sochaux.
- Wolfsburg have announced the signing of Austrian Centre Back Emanuel Pogatetz.
- Mathieu Flamini is certain to leave AC Milan in the summer after failing to negotiate over a contract.
Some more rumours
- Diego Milito’s agent is certain his client will stay with Inter.
- Juventus target Portuguese centre back Bruno Alves.
- Inter have been linked with Lille Right Back Mathieu Debuchy.
- Valencia are keen on AS Roma’s Brazilian winger Rodrigo Taddei.
- West Ham reportedly have made another offer to sign English striker Grant Holt from Manchester City.