Will Gareth Bale stay or will he go now? Will anyone blink in the Luis Suarez duel? What's the latest on Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas? Will Chelsea be able to fend off potential David Luiz suitors?
All of these questions and more addressed on this week's issue of Premier League rumours!
The silly season is only getting sillier, folks, and I've dropped some info on the most intriguing of all the rumours and news this week. So sit back, pour yourself a pint and click through all of the major gossip at the moment.
It looks as though Real Madrid's interest in Gareth Bale is about to come to a head, as the Spanish giants have made it known they won't dangle their record bid in front of Tottenham for long.
Gareth Bale has told Spurs he wants to talk to Real Madrid about a world record transfer.
The Spanish giants are warning he is being offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—and they want the deal done quickly or they will look elsewhere.
Here's more from that report:
Mirror Sport understands Manchester United are still waiting in the wings to move should Tottenham decide to sell.
Welsh flier Bale now at least wants to listen to what Real Madrid have to say—and the Spanish club see that as a clear sign that he is up for the move. [Real Madrid president] Perez is desperately trying to turn up the heat on Spurs while safe in the knowledge that Bale is interested in the switch.
Real Madrid are ready to smash the world transfer record—set four years ago when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for £80m—to land Bale.
[Tottenham chairmen Daniel] Levy is understood to be adamant that Bale is not for sale and has assured Spurs boss Villas-Boas the club will resist any offer. But Real Madrid are ready to come back with a new bid after being told the £51m in cash plus Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao—worth £95 million—is of no interest to Spurs.
Frankly, Levy would be crazy not to take that deal. Di Maria and Coentrao are both very good players, and £51 million is nothing to sneeze at.
Of course, Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail is reporting that Levy would accept a deal if Real Madrid "offer a world record fee—plus a player," so who knows what's actually going on.
Here's the thing—if Bale doesn't depart this summer, he probably will next summer, or the summer of after that. But it's highly unlikely Spurs will ever get a more lucrative offer than this one.
He could get hurt. His production could stagnate. Real Madrid could find a cheaper alternative and forget about him. Why not cash out now for a player that is unlikely to stay anyway?
I understand Tottenham's reluctance. Without Bale, it will be quite difficult for Spurs to reach the Champions League and all of the money that brings with it. In essence, Spurs are weighing a difficult proposition here—do they cash out now, or do they keep playing and hope to win a few more lucrative hands?
The safer bet is cashing those chips in now. And it would be very surprising if Levy didn't concede that fact and move Bale this summer.
Who will blink first?
According to John Cross of the Mirror, Arsenal's Arsene Wenger believes it will be the Anfield side:
Arsene Wenger is determined not to raise Arsenal’s £40m bid for Luis Suarez—even if it means the transfer going to the wire.
The whole deal hinges on the £40m clause in Suarez’s contract with the Uruguayan’s advisers adamant that it allows him to leave Liverpool.
Suarez is keen on Arsenal and wants to speak to them about a potential transfer but it is believed he still harbours hopes that Real Madrid will come in despite their declaration that they are not interested.
Arsenal have been made aware of the clause and the deal is now at standstill—and it could go right to the end of the transfer window with the two clubs set for a major squabble.
The potential for this situation to get ugly is pretty high. Suarez and Liverpool look set for a fight over the language in the contract. Arsenal look primed to play chicken with Liverpool down to the wire, which will surely infuriate Gooners ready to see a major deal go down this summer.
And at some point, Suarez is going to have to formally file a transfer request, though he may wait until Real Madrid has some closure in its Gareth Bale hunt. Don't be shocked if Los Blancos turn to Suarez if the club can't land Bale.
It's all a giant, fun, maddening, never-ending mess. But hey, at least it sells papers, right?
Chelsea seem keen to add a defensive midfielder this summer, and now has set its sights on Real Madrid's Sami Khedira.
From—you guessed it—John Cross of the Mirror:
Jose Mourinho has lined up a raid on Real Madrid for German midfielder Sami Khedira.
The defensive midfielder is likely to be surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu following the signing of Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad for £34million.
Mourinho is desperate to strengthen his midfield and although he fell out with large sections of the Real Madrid dressing room he maintained a good relationship with 26-year-old Khedira.
Mourinho wants a busy midfield general to add to his squad and Real Madrid want around £20m for the German who Chelsea are believed to be ready to pay around £4m-a-year.
As Cross notes, Chelsea looked at Roma's Daniele De Rossi, and the club has also been linked to Bayern Munich's Luiz Gustavo.
Mourinho obviously wants to add some muscle in the midfield, clearly already possessing plenty of skilled players on the roster. With a potent destroyer in the starting 11, Chelsea would really be a team to be reckoned with this season.
Tottenham may end up losing Gareth Bale this summer, but it looks as though the team will finally be solving its issue in the striker department with Valencia's Roberto Soldado.
From Ben Hayward of Goal.com:
Tottenham have agreed to pay the release clause of Roberto Soldado and will complete a €30 million deal for the Valencia striker this week.
Spurs' sporting director Franco Baldini was in Valencia last week to discuss a move for the 28-year-old forward, but the Londoners saw a bid of €26m plus add-ons turned down by the Liga outfit.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy had hoped to sign the striker for less than his €30m clause, but Spurs moved quickly as late interest from Liverpool emerged and Baldini agreed a deal via telephone with Valencia president Amadeo Salvo on Saturday.
Soldado was fantastic for Valencia last season, scoring 30 goals for the club in all competitions. He would take a lot of pressure off of Bale in the goals department and would make Tottenham a legitimate title contender.
IF Bale sticks around, that is. Everything is dependent on the Welshman's decision this summer. Regardless, Soldado would be a very nice addition for Spurs.
Has any major club in Europe had a more tumultuous offseason—especially considering the team is fresh off a Premier League title—than Manchester United?
Wayne Rooney drama (more on that in a moment). A thus unsuccessful pursuit of Cesc Fabregas (more on that, too). A poor preseason showing. David Moyes trying to replace a legend, Sir Alex Ferguson. Failing to acquire several key targets.
And now, it looks as though Valencia is making a push for striker Javier Hernandez. From John Cross of the Mirror, the busiest man in the business, apparently:
Valencia are looking at replacements for Tottenham target Roberto Soldado and Hernandez is top of their hit-list as the Mexican striker wants more regular opportunities as a first choice.
United will try to convince Hernandez to stay but Valencia might appeal as it would give him more games and the Spanish club want to do a cut-price deal after agreeing a £25million deal with Spurs for Soldado.
I can't see United giving up on Hernandez, especially if Rooney is eventually sold. But I also wouldn't be shocked if Hernandez tried to push through a move, knowing his time will remain limited with Robin van Persie on the roster.
This could end up getting very interesting for the Red Devils.
Are you tired of hearing about Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas yet? You are?
Well, too bad, because here's the latest! According to David McDonnell of the Mirror, David Moyes plans to resolve United's pursuit of Fabregas and the Rooney drama now that he has returned to Manchester.
And thank god for that.
United have seen two bids of £26million and £30m for Fabregas rejected by Barcelona, and must now decide whether to submit a third offer for the midfielder. Moyes will meet with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward today to discuss the club’s next move with regard to ex-Arsenal star Fabregas, who is said to favour a return to the Premier League.
As well as United’s protracted and—so far—unsuccessful pursuit of Fabregas, another headache for Moyes remains the Rooney saga, with the England striker still agitating for a move away. Chelsea have had a £23m bid rejected by United, with Moyes keen to meet with Rooney, who returned from the club’s pre-season tour three weeks ago with a hamstring injury, to persuade him to stay put.
Moyes is due at United’s Carrington training ground today, where he will meet Rooney for the first time since it emerged the striker was “angry and confused” at the suggestion he had been consigned to the role of understudy for first-choice striker Robin van Persie.
Here are my predictions—Fabregas is staying put and Rooney will be sold at some point this summer. Barcelona can't afford to lose a second key midfielder after Thiago Alcantara was sold to Bayern Munich, while it's really hard to imagine Rooney returning after a summer of he-said, she-said gossip this summer.
Oh, and Fabregas has reportedly told friends he won't leave Barcelona, according to Geoff Sweet of The Sun. If that rumour is true, well, Fabregas might want to find some friends who can keep their mouths shut.
United will try to avoid selling Rooney within the Premier League for sure but the club may not have a choice. Of course, you'll be updated at every twist and turn along the way, because we just can't get enough Rooney drama, can we?
While David Luiz seems to be garnering interest around Europe, Jose Mourinho apparently isn't interested in selling the player.
Jose Mourinho insisted almost two weeks ago there was “no chance” of Luiz being sold after questions were raised over whether the Brazil star would fit into his master plan.
And it is understood that stance has not shifted despite new Bayern manager Pep Guardiola targeting the 26-year-old, who he first tracked while in charge of Barcelona.
Luiz reported for pre-season training on Sunday after being given an extended break as a result of Brazil’s Confederations Cup triumph.
Luiz is too versatile and talented to be moved, at least in my opinion. How many centre-backs can also play in the midfield, are set-piece dynamos and can join the attack with ease?
Yes, he needs to improve his positioning and defending, but Luiz is far too valuable to sell.