While we may have just edged our way out of the January transfer window, the blitz of transfer rumours heading our way isn’t set to stop anytime soon in anticipation of the always busier summer period.
The summer months usually don’t fail to entertain when it comes to international business and with Europe’s elite keeping one eye on the impending Financial Fair Play changes coming into usage, 2013 promises to be an important edition.
Already, we can see some sagas beginning to unfold before us, and here we’ll account for which bites of gossip currently carry the most weight.
After netting 36 goals in 44 starts for the La Liga outfit last season, Radamel Falcao put an inordinate amount of pressure upon his own shoulders in matching the same standards for Atletico Madrid this time around.
However, with 22 goals in 22 games for the capital club, it seems the Colombian forward is only improving upon his own standards, courting the attention of Europe’s finest.
One such club known to be interested in signing Falcao for some time now has been Chelsea, who are said to be taking a different tact in their hunt for the hitman (via El Economista, h/t Metro).
It now seems that the Blues will offer the services of Thibaut Courtois, the prodigious goalkeeper who’s spent the last 18 months of his development on loan with Atleti, as part of a swap deal.
This of course comes in conjunction with a hefty cash payment of a reported £47 million, which the recipients would then be expected to use in search of a striking replacement.
With Petr Cech still having a few years presumably left in the tank, it’s easy to see why Courtois may be used as surplus to their current roster, and it remains to be seen whether Atletico Madrid are that keen to hang onto the young Belgium international.
Another move that has been talked about for some time now is Gareth Bale’s La Liga switch where he would join the ranks of Los Merengues.
The Welshman is maintaining his current standards and helping Andre Villas Boas’ Tottenham through a difficult campaign, leading to El Confidencial’s (h/t talkSPORT) speculation that Real Madrid are planning a £38 million move for his signature.
It’s widely known that, as part of Luka Modric’s summer sale to the Spanish giants, Tottenham entered a partnership with Real which would undoubtedly see the two engage in further business.
Not to jump to conclusions, but such a bond would certainly seem to benefit both parties in terms of transfers as much as anything else, with Bale the man currently on everyone’s lips.
Despite being just 20 years of age, Christian Eriksen has already spent several seasons in the gossip columns but has so far remained at Ajax, the club where he’s spent the last five years of his development.
It was recently announced by the Dutch outfit’s technical director and former Dutch star Marc Overmars that Eriksen wasn’t looking to sign a contract extension in Amsterdam (via Daily Mail).
With his current deal set to expire in just 18 months, this could signal a summer departure for the young playmaker as Ajax tend to cash in on their aspiring starlets rather than allow them to leave as free agents.
Speaking to sporten.dk (via Daily Mail), Overmars commented:
Christian has informed us that he doesn't want to sign a new contract right now. I think he and his agent want to see what opportunities present themselves this summer.
We want him to stay here for at least two more years, but the day he leaves us, he will be ready to play for the very best. He's a player even the biggest clubs in the world could do with having in their squad.
This would almost seem to confirm Eriksen’s departure given the interest that has emerged from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in the past.
Having bossed his way into the ranks of being one of the Premier League’s most consistent goalkeepers, rumour would have it that Manchester United will raise interest in Stoke City stopper Asmir Begovic this summer (via Daily Mail).
The Bosnia No. 1 has been in fine form for the Potters this season, and with David De Gea’s development at Old Trafford perhaps not going the way Sir Alex Ferguson may have hoped, the club might look for a more immediate goalkeeping solution.
According to reports, Begovic’s move would be valued at around £15 million and following the purchase of Birmingham youngster Jack Butland, it appears Begovic himself has lost faith in his chances of a starting spot.
Speaking to Oslobodjenje (h/t Daily Mail), Begovic states:
I believe that Stoke didn’t buy Butland to be a reserve so I think I’m going to be sold in the summer.
I didn’t say yes or no to anybody. I haven’t signed anything - no contract, no pre-contract. But I think I’m going to be sold in the summer.
To whom? I can’t move to a smaller club and I also know that some top clubs are interested in me. They are also the only ones who can afford
Reports of Robert Lewandowski’s Borussia Dortmund exit have once again gone into overdrive after Sky Italia (h/t Metro) alleged that the Polish striker has already agreed terms for a summer switch to Bayern Munich.
This will come as bad news to Manchester United, who were supposedly looking to stage a summer bid for the Bundesliga forward.
It was Sky Italia that first broke the news of Pep Guardiola’s summer move to the Allianz Arena, and it seems the media outlet may be one step ahead in another piece of Der FCB business.
The 24-year-old has long been linked with a move away from the Westfalenstadion since establishing himself as one of the Bundesliga’s premier marksmen and it seem Die Roten may have won the race with certain financial components the last to be worked out.
Such a move could be an interesting one to watch as far as Germany’s top flight is concerned after Borussia kept the league title out of Bayern clutches for two consecutive seasons, but it seems the Munich outfit may once again be taking a grip on matters.
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has rubbished claims from former club legend, Lothar Matthaus, that a deal has already been struck, saying (via Abendzeitung, h/t ESPN.co.uk): "If Lothar confirms this, then soon he will be the general manager at Bayern."
Despite the fact that he might be enjoying some good scoring form at Anfield, it seems a lack of silverware competition in Liverpool colours has put doubts in Luis Suarez’s mind regarding his future as a Red.
The Mirror have reported that Suarez, an apparent target for Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus and others, will consider his future in the summer should the Merseyside club fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Speaking to Spanish outlet Marca, the Mirror allege the Uruguayan forward as saying, when asked about his chances of moving this summer, that “we should talk this June.”
We will see at the end of the season what Liverpool's position is - we're not the Liverpool of old. We're coming out of a rough patch, but this is a transition period with a new gaffer and a different philosophy.
The players enjoy how the manager wants us to play. All we need are the results and to finish in the Champions League spots.
We would like to qualify for the Champions League if possible. We are young and growing as a team and when the players mature, we will be stronger.
With a number of clubs ready to pounce on the pint-sized poacher’s signature, it would seem Liverpool have no problem in finding a suitor, only whether they can afford to let their star striker leave.
Another transfer window, another chance for Manchester City to splash the cash in what could be one of the most significant striker transfers in recent history.
Edinson Cavani has been one of Serie A’s most consistently prolific forwards for several seasons now, and it seems City might be willing to part with quite a sum of money in order to bring him to the Etihad Stadium (via ESPN.co.uk).
According to Angelo Gregucci, a coach with the Premier League champions, the Citizens will consider a move for the Uruguayan this summer and expect a wealth of competition for his services.
City will definitely have competition for Cavani, who is dominating the Italian league with his goals and sacrifices for the team and whose contract has a £55 million buy-out clause. Edinson is scoring a huge number of goals this season, and it will be difficult for City to take him.
The 10 biggest clubs in Europe all have Cavani in their sights.
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