It's official—the English transfer period has officially begun!
While teams and players have been agreeing to fees and personal terms for weeks now, those moves couldn't be made official until July 1. Don't be surprised if the signings start coming in fast and furious now.
With several elite players still the subject of rumours around the market—and in a summer where the balance of power could shift in the Premier League—things are only going to heat up. Let's break down this week's crop of juicy rumours and scintillating bits of news around the transfer market.
Will he stay or will he go now?
One of the biggest sagas of the summer has been the future of Wayne Rooney at Manchester United, who one week is submitting transfer requests, the next is off to Arsenal and Chelsea and, after that, really just wants to stick around after all.
Who knows what the real story is? Nobody but Rooney and David Moyes, I suppose, though after they meet this week they may clue the rest of us in.
Wayne Rooney's future will be decided this week as he finally sits down with new Manchester United manager David Moyes to discuss whether his nine-year stay at the club is over.
Rooney's situation will dominate Moyes's first week of work—he officially starts at Old Trafford on Monday—with Arsenal ready to make a £20million bid for the striker and Chelsea also interested.
Rooney is said to be approaching the talks positively and is keen to start afresh with the new manager after his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson soured last season, culminating in the former manager saying Rooney had asked to leave the club.
Rooney's camp have denied this and the player himself is keen for the club to make it public that he never submitted an official transfer request, something Rooney feels could ruin his relationship with fans.
This has always had the feel of a lover's quarrel, and one that would be worked out once feelings were soothed over and cards were put on the table. Still, everything hinges on one key factor—Rooney realizing that United don't need him.
He's still an elite player, sure, but this is a team with enough offensive firepower to replace him. Don't be shocked if he's sold, but in the end it seems likely he'll smooth things over with United and stick around.
He may not be the pure striker Tottenham desperately needs, but target David Villa would certainly bring a goalscorer's touch with him to White Hart Lane.
And it appears a move to North London is what Villa wants.
David Villa, the 31-year-old Barcelona striker, will decide between signing for Fiorentina or Tottenham next week.
Villa, who is set to play for Spain against Brazil in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday night, is ready to commit to Spurs as long as they can resolve the issue over the £12 million fee Barca expect to receive.
Is Villa really worth £12 million for Spurs, though? That's money that could be put toward a more complete striker, especially when the team already has a player in Clint Dempsey that fulfills the type of role Villa would play as a central poacher or occasional winger.
Sure, Villa is an upgrade over Dempsey, but is he enough of an upgrade to justify a £12 million signing?
You be the judge.
You may already be aware of this, but Napoli's Edinson Cavani has been heavily linked with a move away from Napoli this summer. Not only that, but several of England's top clubs have been tapped to acquire his services.
If you aren't already aware of that, well, I hope you're enjoying the rock you summer under.
Don't expect Cavani's future to be figured out anytime soon, as he's set to meet with the club to discuss his future sometime in the next several weeks.
From Ben Gladwell of ESPN:
Napoli striker Edinson Cavani will discuss his future with the club once he has returned to Italy after taking a break following the Confederations Cup.
Cavani, Serie A’s top scorer last season with 29 goals, is attracting interest from top European clubs including Manchester City and Chelsea.
The 26-year-old Uruguay international, who scored a brace against Italy in the Confederations Cup’s third-place play-off on Sunday, said now was not the right time to discuss his future.
He will hold discussions with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis in the coming weeks and told Rai Sport television. “We know that whatever I say will be misinterpreted, so I’ll talk [about my future] further down the line.
It still seems most likely that Cavani will end up with Chelsea. For now, however, we wait.
Despite widespread belief that Confederations Cup star and Brazilian international Paulinho was bound for Tottenham, the player has yet to decide where he'll play next.
Brazilian star Paulinho has reiterated that a decision on his future is yet to be made, with talks set to continue on Monday.
The 24-year-old is the subject of interest from Tottenham, whilst Spanish giants Real Madrid have also been linked since Carlo Ancelotti's appointment as boss.
Paulinho played a starring role in Brazil's Confederations Cup success and a decision is imminent about whether he will leave Corinthians, and if he does which club he will sign for.
While his stock will never be higher—and based on his performance at the Confederations Cup, he won't disappoint in the Premier League—Paulinho may legitimately want to stay in Brazil.
Or, he's playing hard to get to jack up his wages, a strategy you could hardly blame him for utilizing.
Either way, he would be a rock in Spurs' midfield and a major coup for a team with top-four aspirations. If Tottenham fails to sign him, you can bet there will be plenty of long faces at White Hart Lane.
After two generally successful seasons (at least individually) at Newcastle, it appears as though Yohan Cabaye could be moved in a £20 million deal to Paris Saint-Germain.
Of course, that move could free up a good portion of cash for Newcastle to make additional signings, according to Louise Taylor of The Guardian:
Laurent Blanc, the new PSG coach, holds Cabaye in high regard and sources in France suggest the PSG are preparing an offer which could be submitted as early as Monday. Although Monaco have also been tracking Cabaye, he forged a strong relationship with Blanc when the latter was France coach and offered the former Lille midfielder an important role in the national side.
Cabaye has three years remaining on his deal at St James' Park and is said to be a favourite of Mike Ashley, Newcastle's owner, but cashing in on the 27-year-old would help fund manager Alan Pardew's double £26m bid for the St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the central defender Kurt Zouma. Moreover, there would also be cash left over to purchase other targets, including the Aston Villa forward Darren Bent.
After last season's debacle, it's clear Newcastle needs to shake things up, and adding Aubameyang and Bent to a rather toothless attack would certainly do that.
Obviously, the club would probably prefer holding onto the crafty and well-rounded midfielder, but as one of the side's most valuable commodities, it wouldn't be shocking to see Cabaye sold off. Keep a close eye on this one as the summer transfer period goes on.
Adding a new centre-back may not seem as though it should be Manchester United's first priority—a left-back to challenge Patrice Evra or another midfielder, you would think, should take precedence—but it looks as though new manager David Moyes is keen on Benfica's Ezequiel Garay.
From Alan Nixon of the Mirror:
David Moyes officially starts at Manchester United today—and he has the green light to sign Benfica’s Ezequiel Garay.
The Argentina centre-half has been on the radar since February—as revealed by MirrorSport—and a £17 million swoop has moved closer after Benfica lined up his replacement.
The Portuguese club are set to sign another Argentinian, Lisandro Ezequiel Lopez from Arsenal de Sarandi, to replace him, with the classy 23-year-old moving for around £3.5m and allowing Benfica the chance to sell Garay.
With Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all available, it's hard to see where Garay will fit in. Still, Ferdinand and Vidic are on the wrong side of 30, Jones can play at full-back or in midfield and Smalling may find himself falling out of the race for playing time.
There will be a chance to prove his worth at Manchester United for Garay, that is certain.
Manchester United has been linked to Thiago Alcantara for much of the summer now. And while it seems quite possible that the young Spanish star will move to Manchester United, he won't do so without some assurances he can either play a big role for the team or get out of his contract quickly if he doesn't.
From Duncan McMath of ESPN:
Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara will demand a low-priced buy-out clause allowing him to leave Old Trafford at the end of his first season should he not play a certain amount of games, according to Sport.
The Spanish daily claim that the Spain Under-21 captain became frustrated at the lack of playing time he was afforded by Barca last season as they won the Liga title in style.
And after witnessing close friend Giovani Dos Santos’s unhappy stint with Tottenham, where he only made ten Premier League appearances over four seasons, he is keen not to suffer a repeat.
If the 22-year-old agrees a move to the Premier League, as is widely expected, the clause will allow him to assess his options if he is unable to break into David Moyes’ starting line-up.
Alcantara really would be a great fit for United, as he could slot into a deep-lying playmaker role in the midfield next to Michael Carrick, or occasionally play atop a midfield triangle if Moyes utilizes a one-forward set.
And hey, if it doesn't work out he can always head to greener pastures after the season...
He's been linked to Tottenham since last summer. Most recently, it was believed Southampton had entered the fray.
But not so fast, my friends—Luis Cesar Souto de Moura says Leandro Damiao is staying put.
Internacional have rejected claims Southampton have stolen a march on Tottenham for Leandro Damiao, insisting they have received no concrete offers for the striker.
The Saints were linked with a shock £18 million move for the long-time Spurs target, but Internacional’s director of football Luis Cesar Souto de Moura says that despite interest from a number of clubs, he doesn’t expect the Brazilian international to be going anywhere.
"Nothing has come, clubs from everywhere sound him out all the time, but we don’t even consider that anymore, as there are too many enquiries but offers never come," he told ‘Esporte Interativo.
Given that Fred has likey taken his place at striker on the Brazilian national team for the near future after his bright performance at the Confederations Cup, perhaps Damiao isn't quite so appealing for a club like Spurs in the first place.
On the other hand, his 53 goals for Internacional over the past two seasons may be plenty appealing for Premier League clubs. Don't be surprised when he's inevitably sold this summer, despite what the club is saying now.
Liverpool may look to solidify their back four this summer, but they'll have to look elsewhere at left-back, as rumoured target Lucas Digne will reportedly sign for Monaco.
From Ed Malyon of the Mirror:
Billionaire-backed Monaco look set to beat Liverpool to the signing of promising left-back Lucas Digne.
The Lille defender is expected to have a big future, and played 40 games last season at the age of just 19.
He impressed in seven Champions League performances, attracting the interest of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Juventus amongst others.
At least Liverpool are in good company amongst the clubs that look as though they've missed out on landing Digne.
It may not be the immediate addition Tottenham fans want, but the club is poised to add two very talented youngsters, Dinamo Zagreb's Tin Jedvaj and Alen Halilovic.
From Ed Malyon of the Mirror:
Tottenham look set to sign two of Europe's highest-rated young players as they close on a deal for 17-year-old Dinamo Zagreb pair Tin Jedvaj and Alen Halilovic.
Press reports in Croatia suggest that the teenagers would stay on loan with the Croatian champions if Spurs chief Daniel Levy can complete the ambitious deal.
Roma failed with a £5million offer for Jedvaj last week, while Real Madrid and Arsenal are known to have watched Halilovic.
The combined fee for the players could reach £15 million including a host of performance-related clauses, with Dinamo president Mirko Barisic claiming the deal is 'all agreed'.
It wouldn't be terribly exciting in the present for a Spurs team trying to bully their way into the top four this season, but it could be a potential coup in the long term if both players live up to their considerable potential.
Plus, stealing any player away from Arsenal is a plus for Tottenham, right?