FC Barcelona manager Vilanova steps down, while Manchester City bid £25.8m for Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio. Sunderland complete Emanuele Giaccherini-deal. 

Tito Vilanova Steps Down


Tito Vilanova

FC Barcelona manager has decided to step down from his position due to a cancer relapse. Sandro Rosell and Andoni Zubizarreta have called an emergency press conference to make the announcement. Vilanova won the Spanish La Liga in his first season as Barcelona coach, but his intermittent absence hampered the team’s chances of more silverware last season when they were left in the inept hands of Jordi Roura. The 44-year-old had surgery in December 2012 and spent 10 weeks in New York to have chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He eventually returned, but it was too little too late and the momentum gathered in the first half of the season, where they won 18 of the 19 matches, saw then lift the domestic title from the clutches of Real Madrid. Assistant Rubi, who was coach of 2nd division team Girona last season, would, at least for now, succeed Vilanova and become head coach.

Manchester City’s new target – Eduardo Salvio

Who is Eduardo Salvio? The 23-year old Argentine offensive player is Manchester City’s new target. The club already has signed Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla and have agreed a 22 million Pound deal for Stevan Jovetic, with Fiorentina. They also have other offensive players in Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, David Silva, Jesus Navas, et al. How will they accommodate yet another young attacker is a mystery – nevertheless the Sheikhs have never hesitated to pay over the top and this time too they are likely to do so.

Salvio currently plays in Benfica and can switch between the right and the left wing and at times as a midfielder too. Benfica are already understood to have begun the task of replacing the 23-year-old and their President, Luis Filipe Vieira Ferreira, is understood to be asking €40m (£34.4m). The youngster has an uncanny similarity to Jesus Navas, who recently moved to City. However, he contributes to defense more than the Spaniard. Nevertheless, this deal makes little sense, as City have enough stars already who can play interchangeably.

Emanuele Giaccherini excited by Sunderland move

Former Juventus winger and attacking midfielder, Emanuele Giaccherini has completed his £8.6million move to English outfit Sunderland, earlier this week. Giaccherini had an impressive Comfederations Cup and adds to the list of smart buys by Sunderland. A bit-part player at Juventus, the 28-year old can expect a more prominent role in England. Fast and agile, his style suits the English league and with Adam Johnson and Jozy Altidore can be expected to contribute more than he did last season.

With his versatility, Giaccherini offers options on both wings. He is not the best-built players but has enough pace and skill to torment the fullbacks in the Premier League. Moreover his creativity will also add to the teams cause, under Di Canio. Giaccherini, a Cesena youth team product, helped them to secure a berth in the top flight of Italian football and in the process, scored twenty goals and assisted four in over 97 appearances. His Juventus’ spell might not have been one of the brightest, but to secure a position in Italy’s final squad for the World Cup in Brazil in next year, this move seems to suit all parties.

Stoke City launch an £8m bid for former Manchester United forward Mame Biram Diouf

Mame Biram Diouf, who scored 17 times last season in 36 matches for Hannover 96 might be a matter of interest for English outfit – Stoke City. If this deal materialise, then this won’t be his first time in England – having experienced the Premier League briefly with Manchester United. The recent emergence of strikers who can guarantee 15 goals and more each season is the ‘new thing’ in England and for Stoke, with an ambition to finish in the top half of the table, the Senegalese seems to be the best bet. However, Hannover might not want to part with their star striker for anything less than £10m.