Cesc to Chelsea? Why this nonsense is good for Arsenal.

By Eric Beard, writing from Barcelona

Spanish paper MARCA reported today that Chelsea are preparing to place a 59 million euro bid for the Arsenal captain this summer. The article states that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich believes Barcelona cannot match the wages he is ready to offer Cesc.

This is not going to happen, of course. Let’s get that out of the way. But Arsenal fans, don’t be upset by some Madrid-based banter, this is brilliant news. We all know that there will come a time in Cesc’s career, whether it be this summer or the next, when Spain’s number 10 returns to Catalunya. Competition in the transfer market is never a bad thing is it?

Last summer, with the media buzzing every day about Cesc’s move to his homeland, the bids from the Blaugrana were nothing short of a disgrace. They started with a 29 million euro bid and eventually worked their way up to 40 million euros. If it didn’t appear a completely disgraceful valuation then, it certainly does now after this winter’s transfer window (i.e. Fernando Torres for £50m and Andy Carroll for £35m).

Read More

It has been an incredibly busy 2011 Winter Transfer Window with many transactions taking place throughout the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A amongst other leagues. There were plenty of surprises including Ronaldinho’s move to Flamengo, Hoffenheim poaching Liverpool’s Ryan Babel and Andy Carroll of course. Let’s not forget that Freddy Adu has been given another opportunity to resurrect his career in Turkey this time. All the Winter transfers can be found HERE!

It has been an incredibly busy 2011 Winter Transfer Window with many transactions taking place throughout the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A amongst other leagues. There were plenty of surprises including Ronaldinho’s move to Flamengo, Hoffenheim poaching Liverpool’s Ryan Babel and Andy Carroll of course. Let’s not forget that Freddy Adu has been given another opportunity to resurrect his career in Turkey this time. All the Winter transfers can be found HERE!

Andy Carroll: England’s most expensive man

The 2011 English Winter transfer window has certainly been the most intense and highest spending of all time, today over £120m was exchanged between clubs. The real shock was not Andy Carroll’s transfer but the reported £35m Liverpool paid. That elevated value has transformed the 22 year old into the most expensive English player and 9th in the world. Rio Ferdinand was the former holder of this record when he signed for Manchester United in 2002 for £30m; the England captain proved his value and now it’s time for Andy Carroll to do so in a red Liverpool shirt. High pressure and expectations? Always.

Read More

The Real Challenge?

Mourinho was finally granted his wish after several debates within the Real Madrid organization, but did “The Special One” receive the player he really desired; a striker who’s barely played and scored goals this season? Prior to this agreement, the likes of Van Nistelrooy, Tevez and Llorente were linked with a January transfer to the Bernabeu. However, football is always surrounded by excess speculation and it’s rather more practical to talk about the present. On that note, the Spanish club announced today the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City on a 6 month loan deal.

Read More

Another Dutch Revolution

Serie A leaders AC Milan have been incredibly active this transfer window re-arranging and strengthening their squad to face the challenges of the second part of the season. The problematic Ronaldinho departed for his native Brazil and American centre-back Onyewu was sent on loan to Twente to play regularly. On the other side of the door, Cassano moved to the San Siro from Sampdoria and has recently been joined by the newly-signed Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson. The two Dutch internationals signed for an injury plagued team and will probably both feature in the Coppa Italia fixture against Sampdoria tonight.

Read More

David Luiz set to complete Chelsea transfer

Benfica’s star centre-back David Luiz is expected to complete a January move to Premier League champions Chelsea within the next hours. According to Lisbon-based newspaper A BOLA, the Benfica president has travelled to the English capital to negotiate a deal ranging between €25-€30m(£21m-£25m) plus the inclusion of players. David Luiz is protected by an elevated €50m release fee clause but with a saturated market and Benfica eager to make money, the deal would be superb for all three parties.

Read More

Ronaldinho Set for Milan Exit

By Shanna Murady, writing from Jakarta

Following our previous post on Ronaldinho’s fate in Milan this season:

Milan coach Massimo Allegri has confirmed to Sky Sports Italia that the football superstar is set to leave for his former club Gremio this January:

"We are waiting for his departure to become official," Allegri told Sky Italia.

"Maybe there was a lack of willingness on his part. I was convinced that Ronaldinho could have a great season. He started well, with a balanced side, but then everyone has to take their own responsibility."

Some media reported that Gremio has asked Milan for a “discounted transfer price” of just $8 million.

Team mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also spoken up about the jogo bonito superstar’s departure:

"I’m sorry that he is gone. He was a great player and it was a great honour for me to play alongside him. He was one of the best players of all time and understandably he wanted to be a starter in every game. He wasn’t really playing all the time with Allegri but these are decisions for the Coach to make.

It is important to be happy, if you’re not it is hard to play, to have that meanness, that joy and that energy needed to do well. We are professionals and changing teams is something that happens. The important thing is that Ronaldinho is happy, Ronaldinho has to do what he wants, he knows what he wants from his career.”

Furthermore, Italian based “Gazzetta dello Sport” reported that Ronaldinho has left training to travel to Sao Paulo, with the permission from the club.

Read More

Tottenham living in the lap of luxury, which is precisely why Beckham to White Hart Lane makes sense

By Eric Beard, writing from Boston

Sitting hand in hand with the big 3 towards the top of the Premier League table, halfway through the season Spurs supporters need to take a moment to understand how good they have it. Though Samir Nasri’s brilliance alongside with the resurgence of Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, and Cesc Fabregas appears promising as ever, Tottenham’s unstoppable quartet of Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, and Rafael van der Vaart is producing some of the most radiant attacking performances the Premier League has seen in recent memory. It all seems perfect for Harry Redknapp and now what’s important is to carry on with this form under the close, scrutinous eye of the English media. Who better to distract the media with an influx of positive PR than recent BBC Lifetime Achievement award recipient David Beckham?

The main question at hand, assuming ‘arry can convince the LA Galaxy into allowing their lucrative “designated player” to leave for two or three months, is whether the 35-year-old Beckham can add anything to Tottenham. Fabio Capello has left the door open for Beckham as long as the former Manchester United legend remains fit and competes at a high level. It would be the best of swansongs for Beckham, who grew up supporting Tottenham, the club of his grandfather who passed away in 2009. Beyond that, Beckham briefly trained at Tottenham before being under Sir Alex’s guard at United. But honestly what’s the point of adding him to the roster if he’ll just sit on the bench or summon the new “Robert Pires role” under Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa? That is, having a run about on the flank for the final 20 minutes or so.

Read More

5 Players I’d Love To See Hit The Premier League in the January Transfer Window.

By Matthew Coombs, writing from the University of Bangor

Everytime the transfer window draws close, I start to fantasise about players who might head over to the greatest league in the world (discounting the Blue Square Bet Premier). I dream of watching them on Match Of The Day, and having Gary Lineker wax lyrical about them.

The majority of these players will be those I’ve seen on Football Manager or FIFA, but some will just be tearing up their respective leagues outside the virtual world. I’m going to try and make them possible, so you won’t have the likes of Messi and Xavi etc.

Without further ado. Let’s get tucked into it.

1) Marek Hamsik - The Slovakian playmaker comes in top of my wishlist. In a Napoli team that is on the rise, Hamsik has been one of the main engines in the upwards force ,who along with the likes of Cavani and Lavezzi have turned Napoli in to a force to be reckoned with. Exciting to watch even on his bad days, Hamsik is a player who I’m sure would be welcomed amongst any of our top flight teams. However, I have a feeling it could only be the big money of Man City who could tempt him away from his beloved Naples.

Good player, no idea what he's doing here though.

Read More

A mixture of Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo headed for Arsenal

By Czeska Dumali, writing from Ottawa

In a story that was first announced by Arsenal blog Young Guns in August, Arsenal have finally confirmed the signing of Japanese forward Ryo Miyaichi. It was a great birthday present for the young player as he signed his contract with the Gunners on his 18th birthday.

Ryo has represented Japan at the Under-17 level and it was his performance at a trial spell over the summer that impressed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The boss is excited to see the young prospect join his team. "He trialled with us in the summer and has raw ability which has attracted many clubs around the world. I look forward to helping him fulfil his potential here at Arsenal.”

Read More

Atletico Madrid sign Brazilian midfield ace Elias

Europa League champions Atletico Madrid announced the capture of Corinthians star Elias for a reported €7m. The 25 year old has agreed a 4 and a half year contract and should be presented to fans tomorrow after completing a medical. Elias is regarded as one of Brazil’s brightest futures and prior to the transfer, a move to Portuguese champions Benfica was imminent. 

Read More

Will this be Patrice Evra’s final season?

Patrice Evra is undoubtedly one of the world’s most complete left-backs and a leading figure in the Manchester United team. The Frenchman’s contract expires in 18 months and exit rumours are intensifying as he has yet to sign a new deal. It’s reported that Evra wants to play for Real Madrid before retiring; how many players say no to this opportunity?

Read More

Anderson Signs New Contract

News has broken today that Manchester United Midfielder Anderson has put pen to paper on a new four-and-a-half year contract to stay with the Red Devils.

The news has come after a recent string of strong performances in a United shirt. Transfer speculation concerning the player was rife during the summer after the Brazilian was struggling to come back to form following a serious knee ligament injury sustained last season. However, it seems that he is back in favour with boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who said “We are delighted that he has signed a new contract”.

Read More

Manchester City finally sign Barcelona reject Assulin

Premier League super spenders Manchester City announced the capture of 19 year old Gai Assulin for an undisclosed fee. The former Barcelona player has been training with the English club since his summer release but was unable to complete the deal earlier due to injury. Despite being labelled as a free agent, the Spanish giants were legally paid compensation due to developing the winger through their elite youth ranks.

Read More

Adios Cesc, Hola Luka!

Barcelona’s desperation to lure back Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas to Camp Nou may have hit the rocks as the club turn their attention to another Premier League star, Luka Modric. The 25 year old is one of the most talented, entertaining and complete midfielders plying their trade in England. He’s a player who Guardiola appreciates greatly and one which the financially restricted club can afford. A transfer in the region of €35m should be suficient to pize him away from White Hart Lane.

Read More