World Football Gossip Roundup: Cavani, Schurrle, Bale, Mourinho
Chelsea headline this instalment of the World Football Gossip Roundup, while Bayern Munich and Manchester City are heard from as well.
Not surprisingly, many of the rumours surrounding Stamford Bridge these days have to do with who will succeed Rafael Benitez as manager, while both Bayern and City are looking to upgrade their attacking depth during the summer.
Finally, we’ve got some more developments on the Coppa Italia final, which just happens to be the Rome Derby. It seems as though it might be headed to a rather unlikely, neutral location.
Keep reading for all the details.
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Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has already admitted he won’t sign a new contract at the club when his contract expires in 2014, but it looks as though the Primera Division champions-elect will keep him on for one for season, anyway (via The Daily Mail).
Blaugrana vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists the club would “prefer” to keep Valdes between the sticks until his contract expires, and even though they would risk losing him on a free transfer, they still believe they can make him change his mind.
The development comes as a blow to Arsenal, who were believed to be keen on signing the Spain international during the summer.
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With Tottenham Hotspur struggling to reassert themselves in the Champions League places, the London side will struggle to retain their most valuable asset if they fail to finish in the top four this spring.
To that end, Bayern are believed to be preparing a £30 million for Bale, who was shortlisted for the 2012-13 PFA Player of the Year award on Friday.
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The reigning Premier League champions are thought to be ready to agree a transfer fee in excess of £50 million for the Uruguay forward, and to seal the deal it’s been reported that they’ll make him the highest-paid Premier League player with a wage packet of more than £13 million per season.
Cavani, 26, has scored 31 goals in all competitions for the Partenopei this season and bagged 33 in each of his previous two campaigns at the club.
Jose Mourinho/Manuel Pellegrini
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Jose Mourinho has insisted he is “not unhappy” at Real Madrid, despite previously revealing that he’ll sit down with club president Florentino Perez next month to iron out his future (via The Guardian).
The uncertainty caught Chelsea’s attention, and with Rafael Benitez about to exit the club, it looked as though The Special One might be poised for a return to Stamford Bridge.
But the 50-year-old is pouring cold water on the reports, at least for now, and as a result Chelsea have reportedly approached Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini about a possible move to the Premier League (via The Guardian).
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Chelsea’s acquisition of Bayer Leverkusen starlet Andre Schurrle looked to have stalled when Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller demanded Kevin De Bruyne be part of any deal for the Germany international, but after reaching an agreement with both De Bruyne and Chelsea, it seems Voller is now ready to sanction the transaction (via The Daily Mail).
Schurrle, 22, can operate as both a central attacker and winger and has scored 14 goals for Leverkusen so far this season.
With De Bruyne valued at £2 million, Chelsea’s cash payment for Schurrle will be approximately £18 million.
Coppa Italia Final
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Initially set for May 26 at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, the Coppa Italia final—which features Rome archrivals Lazio and AS Roma—may be moved away from the capital to avoid the sort of crowd trouble that has plagued the Derby della Capitale in recent years.
One of the options being considered is Beijing, which would stage the match in the Bird’s Nest Stadium built for the 2008 Olympic Games (via Football-Italia).
However, both clubs have already denounced the idea, saying it would be ridiculous for supporters to have to travel to China for a cup final.