Premier League Transfer News: Latest Gossip and Rumours for Week of August 12
There are just 19 days left in this summer's Premier League transfer window, and boy oh boy, the questions that remain for those 19 days.
These questions and more will be addressed in this week's edition of the Premier League transfer news and rumours slideshow.
Latest on Luis Suarez
The Luis Suarez transfer saga has fallen so far down the rabbit hole of absurdity, one side is demanding apologies and the other side is refusing to grant that request.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are essentially saying, "Please, pretty, pretty please, can we buy Suarez? We'll be your best friend forever!"
From John Cross of the Mirror:
Rodgers is adamant that Liverpool will not sell the player to Arsenal, but Mirror Sport understands the Gunners want peace talks and boss Arsene Wenger is still hopeful a deal can be struck.
Liverpool boss Rodgers has insisted Suarez, currently frozen out and training on his own, will not be allowed rejoin his team mates until he apologises both publicly and privately for his claims that promises made when he agreed to stay at Anfield last summer have been broken.
Suarez very well may return to Liverpool, but he will not be a happy camper if he does, and it's hard to envision him apologizing at any point. In fact, Rodgers' request for an apology may ultimately ensure Suarez refuses to play for the Reds.
What a messy situation this continues to be. Surely, the devolution of this scenario will continue right up until the end of the window.
Manchester United to Enter Gareth Bale Fray?
Here's one that will raise a few eyebrows—the latest rumour has Manchester United keen on entering the Gareth Bale sweepstakes.
Surprising, I know. From Ian Herbert and Glenn Moore of The Independent:
Manchester United may offer competition to Real Madrid in the pursuit of Gareth Bale this week, with Tottenham Hotspur seemingly more receptive to the English champions, having become deeply frustrated by negotiations with the Spanish side.
United have not made a firm offer for Bale and, as the transfer window enters its last three weeks, they will be acutely aware of any attempt to use them as a way of flushing out a serious bid from the Bernabeu, at a time when Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is beginning to doubt whether the Spaniards actually possess the funds.
But United's failure to land a big-money signing this summer may persuade them to make a huge investment, to deliver the boost which is badly needed at the start of the David Moyes era, as well as goals and momentum. The failure to secure a marquee name has only amplified the noise created by Wayne Rooney and his desire to leave.
There are a number of reasons why this seems incredibly unlikely to happen.
First, why would Tottenham sell him to a league rival when a foreign team, Real Madrid, is so willing to bring him aboard?
Secondly, would—scratch that, could—United really pony up for Bale when his asking price is in excess of £100 million, and likely would require a player to go back to Spurs as well?
And with Real Madrid already dangled in front of him, would Bale be as interested in joining the Red Devils?
This seems a lot like Tottenham throwing United's name into the hat as a negotiating ploy to squeeze every last penny out of Los Blancos. If Bale leaves this summer, it would be for Real Madrid.
Barcelona Won't Take No for an Answer in David Luiz Pursuit
Chelsea keep saying no, and Barcelona keep throwing more bids in their direction. And it looks as though the team is keen to make one final—and significant—bid to land the Brazilian centre-back.
From Tancredi Palmeri of CNN:
David Luiz - in next hours Barcelona will submit a new bid, which should be approx 30m€+5 add-ons— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 12, 2013
Chelsea have a very good chance to win the Premier League this season, and Luiz will be a key contributor in that push for a title, so rejecting such a high sum for Luiz remains not only a strong possibility, but probably the right decision as well.
Don't be surprised if Barcelona are forced to turn their attention to a different defender.
Daniel Agger Could Be Barca Backup Plan
If Barcelona fail to land David Luiz, the Catalans could turn to Liverpool's Daniel Agger to solidify the defense. It appears the player would be willing to make the move too.
Daniel Agger's representatives have indicated he would be open to a move to Barcelona if Liverpool can agree a fee for the defender's release.
Despite Liverpool denying they had received an offer for Agger, it is understood Barcelona have made a £15million bid to secure the Denmark international, who is Liverpool's vice captain.
Brendan Rodgers is adamant Liverpool will retain Agger but that may change today as Barcelona wait to see if David Luiz will push to leave Chelsea.
Agger doesn't offer the versatile skill set of Luiz, obviously, but he's a nice and affordable backup plan if Barcelona can't steal Chelsea's man. Don't be surprised if the Catalans pry Agger away from the Reds this summer.
Arsenal Close in on Luiz Gustavo
Outside of their part in the Luis Suarez soap opera, Arsenal have been quieter than a mime this summer during the transfer window. However, that looks as though it is about to change, as the club is close to landing Bayern Munich's Luiz Gustavo.
From Wayne Veysey of Goal.com:
Arsenal have had a £17.2 million bid accepted by Bayern Munich for midfielder Luiz Gustavo, Goal can reveal. The Brazil international is expected to become the Gunners' club-record signing and Arsene Wenger's first senior capture of the summer.
Arsenal will step up negotiations with Gustavo's representatives in the coming days as they attempt to thrash out personal terms.
It sounds as though this will happen, as it echoes Tancredi Palmeri's report that Gustavo is inclined to accept Arsenal's offer despite various teams showing interest in acquiring his signature:
Amongst all the contacts received, Luiz Gustavo is so far oriented to accept the Arsenal's, liking both economical and football proposal— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 12, 2013
Gustavo would be the perfect addition for the Gunners, as he is a natural defensive midfielder, a position the team really needed to address this summer.
That will allow Mikel Arteta or Aaron Ramsey to play further up the pitch and should improve an already solid midfield.
Tottenham Chasing Ajax's Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen
While the Gareth Bale drama continues to unfold, Tottenham continue to have a solid summer on the transfer market, having already added Roberto Soldado and Paulinho. Could they continue to add to the squad with a major swoop for two Ajax players?
From Jim Daly of the Mirror:
Ajax have received an offer for Tottenham target Toby Alderweireld, the Dutch outfit have confirmed. The North Londoners want to bring the defender and midfielder Christian Eriksen in a £15m double swoop - pipping Liverpool to the pair.
If they landed these two players and Bale remained at White Hart Lane, you would have to consider Spurs a legitimate title contender. If they landed the two and Bale left, Spurs would still be a top-four contender, though obviously it's always tougher to compete once you've lost the Premier League's best player.
An already interesting summer for Tottenham seems destined for a few more twists and turns.
Chelsea Targeting Samuel Eto'o as Wayne Rooney Backup Plan?
It sure looks that way, according to Tony Banks of the Express:
Chelsea are considering a surprise move for Cameroon veteran Samuel Eto'o as back-up in case their bid for Wayne Rooney fails. They are still confident of landing Rooney from Manchester United—he missed yesterday’s Community Shield win over Wigan and has been training with the reserves.
Tancredi Palmeri of CNN reports that Chelsea are already in talks with Eto'o:
Chelsea have strengthened their contacts with Eto'o along the weekend. Mourinho leading of course, but now already talks about his wages— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 12, 2013
This is a bit surprising, seeing as Chelsea already have three strikers on the roster and Eto'o wouldn't represent a significant upgrade over any of them, as Rooney would.
Nonetheless, it seems Mourinho is intent on adding another forward, and, with Rooney a long shot, is hedging his bets by inquiring over Eto'o.
Stewart Downing Nears West Ham Move
According toWest Ham United have agreed a fee with Liverpool over a deal to sign winger Stewart Downing. The 29-year-old England international is expected to undergo a medical and agree personal terms before completing any move to Upton Park."
There, he would join another player who Liverpool bought for far too much money and sold for pennies on the dollar: Andy Carroll.
Downing never quite found his footing in two seasons with Liverpool, and will surely be sold for far less than the £20 million it took to bring him aboard. At this point, selling Luis Suarez might be the only way Liverpool can financially atone for some truly awful signings in the pre-Brendan Rodgers era.