English Premier League: Latest Transfer Rumours and News for Week of June 3

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2013

English Premier League: Latest Transfer Rumours and News for Week of June 3

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    The summer moves are about to heat up, folks. 

    On Friday, Luis Suarez announced he wanted to leave Liverpool. On Monday, the biggest transfer we'll see this summer, Neymar to Barcelona, became official, while Jose Mourinho officially took the manager's job at Chelsea for a second time, per Sky News. 

    Other big dominoes have fallen as well, with Mario Gotze already headed to Bayern Munich and Radamel Falcao off to Monaco. With big names switching teams and new mangers taking their posts, the rumours and signings should continue to come fast and furious from here on out.

    Let's take a look at some of the juiciest rumours making the rounds in the Premier League this week.

Jesus Navas on His Way to Manchester City

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    After Manchester United rather easily won the Premier League title this season, it would be pretty shocking if rival Manchester City didn't go on a huge shopping spree this summer.

    And while Napoli striker Edinson Cavani remains the highest-profile target of the club, Sevilla winger Jesus Navas would be a huge get for the club as well. 

    From Mike Prindiville of Pro Soccer Talk:

    Manchester City are set to sign Sevilla’s Jesús Navas for $26 million (£17m).

    Once pen is put to paper, which is expected later today, Navas will become Manuel Pellegrini’s first signing at Manchester City. The initial transfer fee of $26 million (£17m) could be supplemented by a $7.2 million (£4.7m) bonus based on performance, $4.6 million (£3m) of which Sevilla are virtually guaranteed.

    With Navas, David Silva and Samir Nasri either slipping out wide or playing in a central midfield role, City's technical acumen would be something to see next season. 

Arsenal Target Gonzalo Higuain Is Ready to Leave Real Madrid

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    Good news, Arsenal fans—Gonzalo Higuain wants out at Real Madrid. 

    Long rumoured to be a target of Arsene Wenger, Higuain is the sort of poacher in the box the Gunners desperately need to add this summer, lacking an elite option at striker.

    And Higuain is making himself available, according to John Cross of the Mirror

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been tracking the Argentine forward with the view to a transfer move, while Juventus are also interested.

    Higuain, 26, is now trying to force the issue with Real Madrid demanding around £20 million for the striker who fell out of favour last season with Jose Mourinho.

    Higuain said: “Real Madrid know my choice. It is up to them but I need a change of club. I hope it is resolved to stop too many rumours.”

    While Olivier Giroud improved throughout the season and played well overall, the Gunners really need a clinical finisher in the box, the sort of presence the team lost when Robin van Persie darted to Manchester United. 

    Higuain is a natural goalscorer and would certainly fill a major need. 

Liverpool Targeting Christian Benteke?

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    With the likelihood of Luis Suarez leaving Anfield now all but assured, Liverpool will need to add another striker to compete with Daniel Sturridge to lead the line next season. 

    Breakout Aston Villa man Christian Benteke, who scored 19 goals in 34 appearances this season, looks as though he'll be on Liverpool's wish list.

    From Simon Jones of the Daily Mail:

    Liverpool will consider bidding for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke should Luis Suarez force through his move to either Real Madrid or Atletico.

    Benteke, 22, is set for further talks over his future once he returns from international duty with Belgium. 

    Atletico, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are also interested but Villa want him to sign a new deal.

    Benteke may not completely replace Suarez's production, but he would certainly be a nice addition and give Liverpool more of a target in the box than Suarez, who was more dangerous taking on defenders or slipping behind them on incisive runs.

    But Benteke proved this season he can score goals in a number of ways. 

Lukas Podolski Heading Back to Germany?

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    Arsenal may be eying up several forward options, but they could also lose a key player from this past season, as Borussia Dortmund may come calling for winger Lukas Podolski.

    From Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail:

    Borussia Dortmund are considering a swoop for Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski.

    The Germany international, who scored with nine seconds gone in his country’s 4-2 victory against Ecuador earlier this week, has emerged as a summer transfer target for the beaten Champions League finalists. 

    Podolski scored 16 goals in his opening campaign at the Emirates after his £11m switch from Cologne last summer.

    Podolski would make a lot of sense for Dortmund. He could either play in Gotze's central position, sliding a bit higher up the pitch as a second forward while Marco Reus remained on the left wing, or could line up as the lone striker with Reus sliding centrally and settling between Podolski and the midfield. 

    Either way, he would likely be utilized in a more central role than at Arsenal, where Wenger used him as a left-winger. While he has the pace to play out wide, his work rate often left something to be desired and he wasn't always a huge factor for the Gunners. 

Tottenham Eying Benfica's Rodrigo

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    Even if Gareth Bale does remain in North London this summer, Tottenham need to upgrade at the striker position. Too often, the team relied on the winger to bail them out (half-pun intended) late in the game with a goal. 

    According to John Cross of the Mirror, Benfica's Rodrigo is on the team's radar:

    Spain under-21 striker Rodrigo, 22, is valued around £10m, with Spurs desperate to sign at least two strikers this summer.

    Villas-Boas has had his scouts watching Rodrigo and believes he has got potential so Spurs are keeping close tabs.

    Cross adds that "Spurs are looking at various strikers including Barcelona’s David Villa and Brazil star Leandro Damiao. But Villas-Boas also wants to bring in a rising star as well as an established striker."

    It's clear Spurs have a plan to improve the front line this season. Doing so may be another way of enticing Bale to stay and could unlock a top-four finish next season. 

Victor Wanyama Soon to Be a Gunner?

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    It's no secret Arsenal need to add a defensive midfielder this summer. While Mikel Arteta performed admirably in the position last season, the Gunners need a more physical presence to patrol the center of the pitch and win the ball back.

    Plus, Arteta is more natural further up the pitch.

    Enter Victor Wanyama.

    The Celtic midfielder has long been thought to be a prospective target for the Gunners, and he is eager to join the squad, according to Stephen McGowan of the Daily Mail:

    Jean-Marie Abeels reared the £10 million midfielder at his JMJ Youth Academy on the outskirts of Nairobi and is in weekly contact with his parents.

    And the Belgian coach claims Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has already made overtures concerning Wanyama—and that the player wants to go.

    Linked with the Gunners, Manchester United, Manchester City, Stoke, Southampton, Newcastle and Fulham, Wanyama looks increasingly likely to trigger a Premiership auction in the coming weeks.

    And Abeels claims Arsenal will be at the front of the queue, telling Sportsmail: "Victor’s father Noah calls me almost every week and he tells me Arsenal’s interest is big.

    "Wenger spoke to Celtic around a month ago and Victor’s father and his mother Mildred says he would prefer to go there before any other club."