Transfer Tracker: Santi Cazorla, Gaston Ramirez, Clint Dempsey, Joe Allen, RVP
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Here's the latest Premier League transfer tracker.
This article will opine on Santi Cazorla possibly becoming a Gunner; Chelsea's plans to sign a young full-back; Liverpool's latest transfer targets; a prominent club dropping out of the race to sign Robin van Persie; and West Bromwich Albion eyeing a fallen star.
Robin Van Persie: Not Going to Juventus
ESPN Soccernet reported Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta saying:
Van Persie is a great player, but Arsenal do not intend to lose him. And you cannot indulge in a player if the owners don't [want to sell]. Talk of our real interest in him seems excessive to me.
You can bank on Arsène Wenger getting the best deal for the Gunners. Just look at the inflated transfer fees of Marc Overmars, Samir Nasri and Nicolas Anelka.
Robin van Persie has left Wenger high and dry and the Dutchman's actions can be summed up in two words: Benedict Arnold.
Santi Cazorla: From Málaga to Arsenal
Málaga star Santi Cazorla will become an Arsenal player, according to John Cross at Mirror Football.
Sid Lowe at The Guardian reported:
The Málaga coach, Manuel Pellegrini, has warned Arsenal that they cannot expect to sign Santi Cazorla for a knockdown price but has stopped short of saying the Spaniard is not for sale.
Considering the Spanish club's deteriorating financial situation, Arsène Wenger should be able to negotiate the £20 million down to £8-12 million.
Cazorla starts out wide but he isn't an old school winger like Antonio Valencia. Nor is the Spaniard an inside-out winger like Arjen Robben.
Cazorla is a false winger or a "central winger"; a term Michael Cox at Zonal Marking coined:
A clear contradiction in terms, but it’s not as ludicrous as it might seem. The result is that these players interpret the playmaker position differently. Rather than staying central and trying to find space in between the lines, they drift to the flanks and pick the ball up there.
The role has emerged more by chance than by design and therefore it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions about the intention of coaches using such players. Then again, the same could be said of Francesco Totti pioneering the ‘false nine’ at Roma, and that role has dominated tactical debate for the last couple of years.
Cazorla operates excellently in tight spaces and his dribbling is so smooth that he can walk past players. He works hard without the ball, which is why he won back possession 4.8 times per game last season. Cazorla can competently play every midfield position.
Signing him would mean Wenger has in a win-now mentality.
Gastón Ramírez: From Bologna to Liverpool
According to Jamie Sanderson at The Metro, Liverpool are close to signing Gastón Ramírez.
The way Ramírez operates is similar to Andrea Cossu at his best for Cagliari. It took Cossu years before people appreciated his ability. Three seasons after making his debut, Ramírez is one of the hottest talents going around.
A cheaper and younger alternative to Ramírez would be Filip Djuricic, whose potential is just as high but he's less hyped.
César Azpilicueta: From Marseille to Chelsea
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TalkSPORT believe Chelsea will aggressively pursue Marseille right-back César Azpilicueta.
In a 1-1 draw against Paris Saint Germain, he made sure everyone remembered his name by marking Nenê out of the game, and winning back possession 18 times.
When Azpilicueta is in the zone, he takes what he wants, kind of like the honey badger.
Chelsea have Branislav Ivanović, but the Blues remain diligent in their attempts to stockpile a young and hungry squad.
Axel Witsel: Premier League Club Will Need to Break the Bank
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According to Michael Morgan at The Sun, Axel Witsel will cost £31 million for Premier League clubs interested in his services.
Four years ago, Faris Haroun led a gritty Belgian team to fourth place at the Beijing Olympics. He wasn't worth £31 million and Witsel certainly isn't.
Benfica gave the Standard Liège midfielder a chance and he produced some top performances: he dominated midfield in a 2-2 draw against Twente, was the Man of the Match in the return leg against the Dutch side, was solid in a 2-2 draw against Manchester United and had some good individual moments against Chelsea.
Joe Allen: From Swansea City to Liverpool
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The South Wales Evening Post reported:
Swansea City are ready to play hardball over Joe Allen after rejecting Liverpool's £12 million bid for their midfield star. The Reds lodged the megamoney offer earlier this week but were told no by Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins.
Allen is a complete midfielder: he's an efficient ball-winner, very rarely gives away possession and is a thinking footballer.
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Clint Dempsey: From Fulham to Liverpool
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Nine days after Liverpool admitted to being interested in Clint Dempsey, the American star is still a Fulham player.
He should remember those two 1-0 wins over the Reds and the fact that his team had the same number of points as Liverpool.
Unless Chelsea and Manchester City royally screw up, Liverpool won't be winning anything significant anytime soon.
He's better off staying with Fulham where he's a star.
Cristián Zapata: From Villarreal to West Bromwich Albion
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West Bromwich Albion will take a risk on Villarreal defender Cristián Zapata, according to Chris Lepkowski at the Birmingham Mail.
West Brom better hope Zapata plays like the Udinese version because he was as bad as Rolando last season.
Zapata consistently made Titus Bramble-esq mistakes, which contributed to Villarreal's relegation.
Sebastian Langkamp is a much better alternative to Zapata.