Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich?
Thiago Alcantara has been linked to Manchester United throughout this transfer window. Rumors started at the very beginning of the window, and have persisted since. But it seems that Pep Guardiola has different ideas. The new Bayern manager stated in a press conference:
“I have asked (Matthias) Sammer and (Karl-Heinz) Rummenigge to sign Thiago… I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I would like to work with him at Bayern. I would like to sign Thiago because he is from Barcelona and I know him really well… he is a really good player…It’ll be him or no one.”
Guardiola managed Thiago in the Barcelona B side; while they have both come a long way since then, one wonders how much influence Pep’s words would have on Thiago.
THT’s Verdict: Likely. Logically, a move to Manchester United makes a lot more sense for Thiago. He seeks regular playing time, and at United he would almost be assured of it, as their midfield has clearly not been up to their usual world-beating standards. Bayern’s midfield, on the other hand, already boasts of super-stars like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, Luis Gustavo, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Toni Kroos, and the newly signed Mario Gotze. But Pep Guardiola is an influential manager, and he is more than capable of luring the young Spaniard to the Bavarian club.
Inter Milan’s Full-back hunt continues with Mauricio Isla
Inter Milan have been linked with a bevy of full-backs from the start of the transfer window. The names linked to them include the likes of Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov and PSG’s Gregory Van der Wiel; the latest to join this hallowed company is Juventus’ Mauricio Isla. The Chilean is a versatile player who can play in defence as well as in midfield, though he has most commonly been deployed as a right-back.
THT Verdict: Likely. What this would mean for last season’s regular right-back Yuto Nagatomo is anyone’s guess. Incidentally, Walter Mazzarri (the new Inter manager) typically used 3-man defences in his Napoli line-ups, just as Juventus have done last season. Isla may have been pushed to the sidelines by the fantastic talent of Juve wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, but perhaps there is room for him in Inter.
Roberto Martinez adds more familiar faces: Robles & Alcaraz
Roberto Martínez continues to add familiar faces to his Everton side by signing Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Joel Robles (who was on loan at Wigan last season), and Wigan defender Antolín Alcaraz. They join striker Arouna Kone, who has already followed Martinez from DW Stadium.
Martinez’ transfer market activities must be making Everton FC fans mighty nervous. While a new manager bringing in favoured players from his previous team is not unheard of, signing player after player from a now relegated team is certainly an extremely odd choice. Remember, this is a club which David Moyes has transformed from a relegation scrapper to a team fighting for a European spot. It took him 11 years to do it, but fans will be fearing whether a change of guard may not send them right back down.
- AC Milan set to capture Keisuke Honda on a free transfer. The Japanese international is 27 years old, and has a wealth of talent as an attacking midfielder.
- 18-year old Belgian Junior Malanda, a defensive midfielder has emerged as a target for Arsenal, Fulham and Everton, after he forced the termination of his contract with his club Zulte Waregem.
- Newcastle United are targeting Loic Remy and Darren Bent to add to their attacking firepower. Bent has also attracted interest from German side Wolfsburg.
- West Brom rebel striker Peter Odemwingie is the target of Premier League freshers Crystal Palace
- Emmanuel Adebayor could be on his way to Besiktas, with the Turkish club ready to match his wage demands; though lack of European football could be a deterrent.
- Manchester United could be bidding for Cagliari central defender Davide Astori
- Juventus have signed center-back Angelo Ogbonna from Torino
- Giovanni dos Santos, the 24 year old Mexican attacking midfielder, has joined Spanish side Villareal CF, who have been promoted to La Liga after only one season spent in Segunda Division.
- Striker Roque Santa Cruz has sealed a free transfer to Spanish side Malaga, where he was on loan last season, after his contract at Manchester City ran out.
- Swansea City have confirmed the signing of Wilfried Bony for a club record of £12m.
- Wanyama completes record-breaking £12.5m Southampton switch