With only three or so weeks until the start of the new Premier League season, the transfer market is now awash with activity. Lots of deals have been done, but it looks like we’ll be seeing many more over the next six weeks. So, hot off the press, we bring you five of the week’s most interesting rumours.
Romelu Lukaku needs a new home
Chelsea’s signing of Didier Drogba on a one-year deal pretty much confirmed what we’ve all been thinking for a while – Jose Mourinho simply doesn’t like Lukaku.
Whether it’s a personality thing or he just doesn’t trust him to do the job, it’s been made quite clear to Lukaku that he isn’t going to force his way into the Chelsea first team anytime soon and it now seems likely that the Belgian will actually move on a permanent basis this summer.
The good news for the striker is that there are lots of teams who would love to have the player on their books – after all, this is a 21-year-old with 62 league goals under his belt. The bad news is that with Chelsea having originally shelled out £18 million for the youngster, he’s not going to come cheap.
Of the teams interested, it is thought that Everton are confident of landing him on a permanent basis after his successful loan last season, but unfortunately for the Toffees it seems they can only pay £18 million. And if you think Chelsea are going to settle for zero profit off this deal, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
A more likely destination is White Hart Lane, with Spurs boss Pochettino thought to have money available for a new centre forward. The third interested party is Real Madrid, but it seems unlikely that Lukaku would be able to force his way into that star-studded line-up, and may favour a move to smaller club to guarantee himself some playing time.
United need some defenders
With Patrice Evra, Alex Buttner, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic all leaving Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal has a big hole where most of his defenders used to be. Given that it appears the Dutchman is going to favour a 3-5-2 formation in his first season in charge, the manager definitely needs some new recruits, and is apparently keen for United to allow him to spend £100m on some high-quality defenders at United.
The rumour that has continued to surface this summer has been Thomas Vermaelen, but in addition to the Belgian, van Gaal is thought to fancy Mats Hummels and Stefan de Vrij as well as defensive midfielder Daley Blind.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been very public about the money that United have to spend this summer, so writing the chances of all four of these transfers coming off would be a brave – and possibly foolish – move.
West Ham to sign another past-it player
It might just be me, but it seems that the Hammers are always in for the players who used to be good, and this latest rumour (if true) is no different.
Reports have surfaced in the last few days that Sam Allardyce is interested in a move for ex-Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o. West Ham centre forward Andy Carroll has been ruled out for four months, and it is thought that the Hammers boss believes the Cameroonian to be the ideal player to fill the void.
Whether it’s sensible to move a 33-year-old who only scored nine league goals last season to a much better team than West Ham remains to be seen, but when has sense ever played a role in West Ham’s transfer dealings?
The Southampton exodus continues
It seems almost inevitable that another star Saints player will be leaving before the end of the summer, and Morgan Schneiderlin is thought to be the next one out of the door, with Spurs and Arsenal thought to be interested.
Why both clubs are so interested given that they are probably the two teams in the league with the most midfielders on their books is unclear, but in any case, Saints are thought to require at least £27 million if they are to part from their midfielder. Given that Tottenham have an expensively assembled squad of midfielders and that Jack Wilshere is currently unable to assure himself a place in Arsenal’s first 11, I’d rate the chances of this one happening as pretty low.
Argentine heading for Old Trafford
Now this one’s pretty exciting – plenty of outlets are reporting Louis van Gaal’s interest in Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria, and if this one were to go through it would be highly exciting.
Not only is he a top quality player, di Maria would also fit perfectly into the United style of play. The only thing that makes this move less likely to happen is that it is not clear where the winger would play in Louis Van Gaal’s new look formation, but then again that’s never an indication of a definite yes or no.
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