Arsenal are hoping to welcome back former captain and prodigal son Cesc Fabregas, while Real Madrid’s Ricardo Carvalho turns news reporter and Manchester United look all but certain to bring Thiago Alcântara to Old Trafford.
Arsenal eyeing shock return by Fabregas to the Emirates
With Arsene Wenger’s back now firmly to the wall, after having seen his Gunners narrowly register a fourth-spot finish this year, the Frenchman is expected to engage in some long-overdue muscle flexing in the summer transfer arena. It looked like Wenger might have pulled an unlikely bunny out of his hat, when bookmakers suddenly slashed odds of Luis Suarez heading to the Emirates, instead of Stamford Bridge as is widely reported.
But news from Anfield soon confirmed that the Kop wasn’t willing to part with its prized-yet-troubled asset. While that news must have come as a disappointment, Arsenal soon plunged headlong into another negotiation that looks more likely to come to fruition. Bolstering their bid for out-of-favor Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain to € 27 million, the Gunners have effectively served notice to Podolski that his first-team position may not be as inevitable as it was this past season.
And yet, as audacious as a move for Higuain would be, it’s the rumored maneuverings for a Cesc Fabregas return that will clearly cement Arsenal’s intent. Arsenal do have a buy-back contract for Fabregas for around 25 million pounds, with Wenger maintaining a channel of communication with his former captain. While a return to his former club would certainly be humbling, there aren’t many few options left unless Fabregas is willing to fight it out for a starting spot in an increasingly crowded Barcelona line-up.
Coentrao eyes exit from Real Madrid
Ricardo Carvalho, Real Madrid’s aging defender and former Mourinho lieutenant during his first Chelsea spell, may have a second-career as a sports news reporter. While it is common knowledge that Fabio Coentrao has found it hard to hammer down a spot in Madrid’s line-up and has blamed unseen forces seeking his ouster, it’s taken Carvalho’s loose lips to spark transfer rumours all over again.
The former-Chelsea defender has indicated that Coentrao sees a move from Madrid, possibly one that involves following Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, as the best possible move for his career. Coentrao has reasonably impressed as a versatile defender in his two years at Madrid, but has largely been sidelined by Marcelo who – while not exactly blemish-free in defense – links up with Cristiano Ronaldo better, adds an attacking dimension to Madrid’s play and is arguably more popular with the dressing room.
While Carvalho was quick to point out that he hoped Coentrao would stay, even insisting the full-back has won over his critics and earned his place in the team, it’s understood he may be signalling Coentrao’s willingness to be sold – something the 25-year old is unlikely to publicize himself. Interesting then, that Carvalho would go on to warn Cristiano Ronaldo from leaving the side by claiming anyone who’s ever left Madrid has only lived to regret it.
Manchester United Swoop In For Thiago Alcântara
His name sounds like something you’d get when you cross abracadabra with an incantation. The Spanish Under-21 captain, who led his team to victory in the Euro 2013 championship, has been upset with Barcelona for a while now. Having failed to complete the minimum number of minutes stipulated in his contract, Alcântara was the subject of some Old Trafford attention this transfer window.
With Paul Scholes retiring – again, but presumably for the last time – United clearly need an attacking midfielder or even a central one with a license and inclination to attack. It looked like his interest in Manchester United had waned with new assurances coming in from the Camp Nou powers-that-be regarding his playing time next season, but the Red Devils seem to have grabbed his attention again with an offer of a £ 6.2 million annual contract.
Moyes has remained typically silent about the transfer machinations running in the background, but reports suggest United are eager to pay the £17million – a bargain by all accounts – needed to purchase the midfielder. Alcântara is currently paid a measly (relatively, of course) £30,000 pounds a week, and the fact that United value him so dearly and the promise of regular first-team football with perhaps even with the promise of a return to Barcelona someday may be too good to turn down.
Regardless of when he signs, Thiago is unlikely to play a role in United’s tour of the Far East. But with Rooney seemingly hell-bent on leaving the team, David Moyes will know that every minute Thiago spends with the team can only help him gel in with what promises to be a new-look attack for the defending Premier League champions next season.