Transfer Tracker: Hulk, Joao Moutinho, Leighton Baines, Lucas Moura, Luka Modric
Will Hulk end up joining Chelsea? Is João Moutinho leaning towards Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester United? Leighton Baines will end up at which Manchester club? Which Milan clubs have launched an audacious bid for Lucas Moura?
This transfer tracker will also cover: Real Madrid's bid to sign Luka Modrić; Paris Saint-Germain's blockbuster deal to sign Zlatan Ibrahimović and Thiago Silva; an update on Liverpool-bound Fabio Borini; Chelsea's surprising bid for Oscar; and the potential hidden gem in Kim Bo-Kyung.
Hulk Debunks Mooted Chelsea Move
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Hulk told Lancenet (via espn.co.uk):
I have done nothing with Chelsea or any other club. I haven't talked to anyone. As everyone knows, I don't follow negotiations closely as that will make me lose my focus. I let my agent deal with that stuff.
Hulk shrinks when the spot light is on him. He can bully irrelevant Portuguese sides, but how many goals has he scored in 10 combined European games against Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal? Zero.
To quote the Manchester City supporters: "You're not incredible."
The only person stopping Hulk from reaching his potential is himself. He is arguably pound-for-pound the strongest footballer right now. He can weave his way past several opposing players and unleash the kraken.
Yet, why does he frequently miss penalties? Why doesn't he score more goals and provide more assists?
It would be a better footballing decision for him to move to a La Liga or Serie A club than sign with Chelsea.
João Moutinho to Cost Tottenham Hotspur a Fortune
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João Moutinho will cost Tottenham Hotspur £31.5 million, according to ESPN Soccernet.
Focus on this select quote from André Villas-Boas about Roman Abramovich:
I told him that it was him quitting on me when he had been so much involved in the beginning in bringing me in and he was the one, also, who was not putting up to the things he promised.
Perhaps the primary reason why Villas-Boas froze Frank Lampard out was the Portuguese manager's belief that Chelsea would sign Moutinho.
If Spurs want a cheaper alternative with a higher upside than Moutinho: go with Jordy Clasie.
Are Manchester United Finally Replacing Patrice Evra?
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Manchester United will spend £16 million on Leighton Baines, according to Jeremy Cross at The Daily Star.
£16 million is so disproportionate to what Baines will offer at left-back. If he wasn't English, the transfer fee would be somewhere between £3-8 million.
He's still an upgrade from Patrice Evra, who was consistently caught out of position last season. Since age isn't an issue, another left-back option could be Henri Bedimo.
Should United look for a long-term replacement, they should take a punt on Ricardo Rodríguez—though, it's unlikely that Felix Magath would let Rodríguez leave anytime soon.
Lucas Moura to Become a Nerazzurri If Massimo Moratti Gets His Way
Massimo Moratti is working towards bringing São Paulo's Lucas Moura to Inter Milan, according to The Guardian.
When Moratti extended Andrea Stramaccioni's contract, many read into the decision as Inter's way of saying 'we're rebuilding with cheap youngsters.'
Yet most of Inter's substantive transfer deals so far contradict that notion. Signing Lucas would be a step in the right direction.
For Moratti's sake, hopefully Lucas will be more successful than former São Paulo human highlight reel Denílson. Remember him? He once held the world record transfer fee.
Luka Modrić the Latest Galáctico?
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According to Jason Burt at The Telegraph, Real Madrid have submitted a £40-45 million offer for Luka Modrić.
What a bizarre transfer because Real have a carbon-copy of Modrić in Nuri Şahin.
That being said, Modrić is one of those players where you have to close your eyes, put the right figure on the cheque and hope his influential performances make you forget about the substantial money involved in signing him.
It's typical excessive spending on José Mourinho's part.
Though, he'd retort back with:
[at União de Leiria] I went to Brazil to find players with peanuts and bananas, you know, no money. So I got players for €100,000 on loan and we did fantastic.
[at Porto] we did it almost without money because I took to Porto four Leiria players.
Paris Saint-Germain: UEFA Champions League Contenders?
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AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi told Gazzetta dello Sport (via Telegraph Sport) that Zlatan Ibrahimović and Thiago Silva would be sold to Paris Saint-Germain for a combined €65 million.
A month ago, Milan rejected PSG's €46 million bid for Silva, yet now not only will they sell him but they'll also relinquish Ibrahimović.
This tells us two things: Milan management are indecisive and Ibrahimović is only worth €19 million in the eyes of PSG.
Assuming the transfers don't collapse; this is a historic event in PSG's history.
Silva's signing could lead to Mamadou Sakho regaining form because the Frenchman has rested on his laurels in recent times.
Sakho will be inspired by Silva's work-rate and dedication to his team. Unlike Sakho, who was hailed as the next great centre-back; Silva had to fight his way to the top, after set-backs at Porto and Dynamo Moscow.
PSG are already the most hated club in France by a country mile. One can't even begin to wonder what kind of abuse their players will receive during away games.
Fabio Borini Going to Liverpool on a Bargain
According to Carl Markham at The Independent, Liverpool will sign Fabio Borini from Roma for €10 million.
The entire process of loaning and buying Borini's rights cost Roma €8.85 million and now they're selling him for a €1.15 million profit?
Borini's goal poaching ability, his indomitable spirit, his passion, his youth and being an Italian would dictate that Roma keep him.
It makes no sense whatsoever. Something is not right.
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* Downing shot 72 times
Chelsea's Potentially Oscar Winning Signing
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Chelsea are closing in on the technically wonderful Oscar for £25 million, according to David Hytner at The Guardian.
Oscar was a stand-out in Ney Franco's 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup winning Brazilian team.
He played more of a left-sided role during the tournament, as Philippe Coutinho operated more centrally.
Oscar consistently dissected opposing defences with his incisive passing; his movement off the ball was Esteban Cambiasso-like; and he scored a hat trick in the final.
Talking about Cambiasso, in recent friendlies for Brazil, Oscar has been sitting deep and dictating play with long diagonal passes.
The primary issue with Chelsea signing Oscar is his position. If he's going to be playing a deep-lying position—it's a waste because he can be something special in a more attacking role. If it's the latter, does he fit in the team? What about Lucas Piazón?
Also does Chelsea ever look for economically efficient signings?
Even with Marko Marin, he cost £7 million, whilst Newcastle United signed Papiss Cissé for £9 million.
Kim Bo-Kyung: Another J.League Star Moving to Europe
Photo via fifa.com
According to Ronnie Cully at the Evening Times, Cardiff City are in pole position to sign Kim Bo-Kyung from Cerezo Osaka.
A few months ago, I ranked him as the third most likely J.League player to sign for a European club. Since then, he's been quite mediocre, as the likes of Hisato Sato, Wilson and Leandro Domingues have upped their game.
Perhaps the doubt surrounding Kim's future and the departure of teammate Hiroshi Kiyotake have negatively impacted his performances.
Kim is productive, has great positional awareness and really good footballing instincts.
It would be a wiser decision to sign with a Bundesliga or Eredivisie club. If he thinks the J.League is physical, he's going to receive a rude shock when the tackles are flying left, right and centre in The Championship.
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