New Real Madrid recruit Isco reveals Manchester City snub, PSG declares their interest in Newcastle United midfielder, while Everton close in on Wigan Athletic duo.
Isco reveals Manchester City snub
Real Madrid midfielder Isco has revealed that despite interest from Manuel Pellegrini and Manchester City, it was impossible for him to turn down Real Madrid, once they came in with an offer,
“I have few doubts about coming here, because although I knew that Pellegrini wanted me, once I learned that Real Madrid’s interest was serious I didn’t think twice,” said Isco.
“I had offers from other teams in Europe but its impossible to say no to Madrid, it’s a dream for me to play here and here I am.” – The Spaniard told the press.
Presently Isco is one of the hottest properties in Europe. The former Malaga wonder-kid recently won the European Championship with the Spanish U-21 national team and he dazzled throughout the tournament. The 21-year-old has made a name for himself last season after putting in some inspiring display for the Spanish side. Isco scored 12 goals for Malaga last season – his personal best – and was one of the prime reasons behind the club finishing sixth in the league and progressing to the quarter-final stage in the Champions League.
Following his exploits, he was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City and Real Madrid, while Dortmund and PSG were also monitoring his situation closely. Initially it seemed as if City are the front runners in this race for his signature as former Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini (whom Isco has introduced as his ‘footballing father’) took over at the English club. But once Real Madrid came in with a serious offer, his move to the Spanish giants was all but a formality.
PSG confirms their interest in Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye
The 27-year-old’s future has been up for speculations this summer and he has been linked with a lot of clubs across Europe. Now new PSG boss Laurent Blanc has revealed his admiration for the French midfielder and believes he could strengthen their midfield as they are likely to face a lot of departures in that part of the squad.
“Yohan offers many things in midfield and can play in quite a few positions.
“He is an interesting player, and the midfield will be an area we will be strengthening because there will be departures.” – Blanc was quoted in the press.
Yohan Cabaye has perhaps been Newcastle United’s best French recruit in recent times. The 27-year-old joined the English club back in 2011, after winning the Ligue 1 title with Lille. Since his arrival, he has been amongst the best midfielders in the Premier League and has made a name for himself for being a free-kick specialist. Cabaye was one of the driving forces behind Newcastle United in the 2011-12 season, when the Magpies surpassed all expectations and finished fourth in the league.
The last season though ended on a disappointing note as Newcastle United finished just two places above the relegation zone. Cabaye missed a big part of the season due to injuries and he took time to recuperate from it. The 27-year-old’s future at St James’ Park has in doubts and recently the likes of PSG and Monaco have been linked with him – even Arsenal and Manchester United were once linked with signing the midfielder, although their interest has faded in recent times.
The French international would be a fine addition to any squad. He is a brilliant passer of the ball and is good defensively as well, plus his ability from set-pieces comes as a bonus. Alan Pardew would be trying his best to hold on to his prized asset as they look to cement their status in the Premier League next season.
Everton close in on Wigan duo
Everton are reportedly close to completing their move for Wigan striker Arouna Kone and defender Antolin Alcaraz. New Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who replaced David Moyes, was heavily linked with a raid at this old club this summer. Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan has earlier told the press that he won’t prevent Martinez from bidding on any Wigan players and insisted that with the right offer the club will be prepared to sell.
Alcaraz has already left the club as his contract has expired and he became free agent earlier this month. He is expected to join Everton on a free transfer after spending three seasons with the Latics. The experienced defender will provide good cover for Jagielka and Distin. In fact he might also earn a regular place in the line-up if Roberto Martinez switches to his favoured formation with three center-backs. Arouna Kone has had a fairly good season with Wigan and the 29 year old will add some fire power upfront as none of Everton’s present striker scored more than seven goals in the league last season (Kone scored 11). It is believed that Everton are willing to offer £5m for the Ivorian international.
Roberto Martinez has stated his desire to sign the duo and insisted that the squad needs strengthening. But the Spaniard has insisted that his main priority will be to retain all the important players of the squad this summer.
“They are players that I know really, really well. I worked with them really closely and they are players that are used to the Premier League and the British game.
“You will always get those sorts of situations but at the moment we are still looking to try to bring the right characters to the football club.
“We need to remember that we have a very strong team at the club, but in the same way we don’t want to close the window without feeling stronger than we were when the window opened.
“I’m sure that we will have many other names mentioned and hopefully we are going to get the right characters to represent our football club.
“I think we need to bring in three or four new faces – one per unit (goalkeeper, defence, midfield and striker) and make sure we get an extra option or dimension into the squad.
“It is vital to bring the right characters in and whoever steps into the dressing room comes with the possibility of offering something different and extra.”
“It is not a matter of bringing in numbers or bringing in players quickly. The most important aspect is to try to keep the squad together and get every player ready.” – The new Everton manager was quoted in press.
Presently it seems Martinez has his hands full in retaining both Baines and Fellaini, who have been subject of interest from Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.