Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Transfer Shenanigans - June 05 to June 14

The transfer rumor mill has hit a minor lull in the last week, sometimes repackaging and churning out the same never ending transfer sagas, which have turned even more “tripey” every time they’ve gone into print once more. The blog decided to wait for more than a week to report some bombastic signings and then finally decided to go into print with whatever it has mustered up so far. It should make easy, and in parts, tedious reading depending on which club you support.


Too Soon?
Real Madrid are finally in the news for selling reasons. Marca has reported that Boca Juniors are interested in signing back Gago, which the blog feels may be with a disposition of taking the black sheep back. The “done squat” midfielder’s agent pompously proclaimed that Gago is dying to go back to Boca, but it will not happen in the near future as Gago has three offers from Europe in the range of 17 million euros. Looks like Gago doesn’t and can’t have his way even when he has to be laid off. To start with, there have been rumors that it was Manchester City who had tabled the 17 million euro offer; however Mourinho, who has always had the best interests of Gago at heart, vetoed the move. Marca has continued its Mourinho worship by interpreting this decision as Mourinho wanting to erring on caution and built up the story pointing out that the outspoken coach wants to make all the signings first and then think about selling, no doubt causing the club a minor loss in the process. Possible targets to replace Gago as per Marca have included Essien from Chelsea (APTW: Impossible!), M’Vila from Rennes (APTW: Quite Possible) and Sissoko from Juventus (APTW shaking head).

Meanwhile, the future of Sergio Canales continues to hang in balance. Everton and Villarreal are said to be interested to sign the player for 15 million euros. Madrid don’t want to risk the chance of seeing Canales develop into a world class talent, which in the blog’s opinion he probably will, and then sign him for a bomb. Hence the capital club is interested to search for a loan move for the player. For his part, Canales has rejected the chance to move to Wolfsburg and Schalke on loan, but reportedly likes the Villarreal offer seeing as the Yellow Submarines would offer him a chance to play in the Champions League. However due to Madrid’s unwillingness to permanently let go and Villarreal’s unwillingness to sign the player on loan, the deal’s a tad bit complicated. Theories abound as to who will Madrid’s third striker be and Sevilla’s ever eccentric president, Del Nido has moved swiftly making a statement that in his last conversation with representatives from Madrid, he was assured that the club would not move to sign ex-canterano Alvaro Negredo, who suddenly has become a fan favorite at the Sanchez Pijuain after a strong season. Unsurprisingly, the media have taken it upon themselves to create plots within plots for this mystery signing. Aguero is just as close to signing for Madrid as he was last week, difference being even more Real Madrid players have given statements that they wouldn’t mind seeing him play at the Bernabeu. The newer development is that Brazilian starlet and dickhead combined, Neymar, is now linked with Madrid with some sources ready to swear that the deal has already been signed for a whopping 40 million euros. According to latest reports, the player and his club, Santos have denied the rumor. The blog feels that it may be a ploy by Floppy to reduce Aguero’s asking price and nothing more. But knowing Floppy, Madrid is just as likely to swoop for Neymar and create another problem for themselves, just as the club has started looking stable.

Talking about the other Madrid who have been continuously in the news in regards to Aguero’s impending transfer, brood master Diego Forlan has committed once more to the club after flirting with just about every club during the entirety of last season. According to the Golden Ball winner, last season he wasn’t right due to Quique Flores’ “personal problems” with him, but likes the new project which has kicked off at the Vicente Calderon. A new project indeed in the blog’s opinion as Atletico officially announced that Gregorio Manzano has signed a year long deal with the club as gaffer. This would be the second time Manzano has signed up with Atletico, having served as manager in their 03/04 season, and the blog wouldn’t be surprised to see him being fired for the second time by the same time, next year. The stats clearly aren’t in his favor; 39% of league matches won at Atlético by Manzano, compared to 46% by Aguirre, 50% by Resino and 43% by Quique Flores (Stats courtesy Opta). Meanwhile, Luis Garcia’s Getafe has signed Diego Castro from Sporting de Gijón on a free transfer, with a contract for the next four seasons. It has also been reported that Getafe are looking to sign Juan Rodríguez and Lopo from relegated Deportivo la Coruna. As far as outgoings are concerned, it seems that Getafe’s Derek Boateng would be soon plying his trade at Ukrainian club, Dnipro. The deal is rumored to be around 6 million euros.


Brrrr to Brugge
Like Real Madrid, Barcelona too are in the news for selling reasons more than buying reasons. While the yearly Cesc transfer saga is rife, claims that Sevilla, Real Betis, Racing Santander and Zaragoza are all interested in securing the services of Barcelona B midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos. The club is not ill disposed to a sale however; they would like a buy back option. Surprisingly the Madrid dailies have been claiming that Barcelona are not interested in selling their youth starlet Thiago, but the Catalan dailies have implied that he’s sell bait in order to raise money for more illustrious signings (read undoubtedly as one of Cesc or Alexis Sanchez). Talking about Sanchez, AS reports that Barcelona are looking at A. Greizmann from Sociedad as a plan B in case they fail to sign Sanchez. Barcelona B player Jonathan Soriano is rumored to be included in a cash plus player deal as the player’s 30 million euro buyout clause has been deemed too expensive by the guys at Barcelona. Glass man Victor Vazquez has left Barcelona to join Bruges in the hope that a change in location could bring a change in fortune to his injury ridden career and disgruntled Bojan has been rumored to be interested in being part of Luis Enrique’s project at AS Roma. Luis Enrique has been busy trying to build his own Barcelona in Roma and is currently set to lock horns with his previous clubs in securing the signature of Sporting Gijon’s fullback Jose Angel. El Mundo Deportivo has reported that Barcelona are also interested in Jose Enrique, the Newcastle United fullback in case the deal with Jose Angel falls through. Meanwhile, Hercules winger Kiko Femenia is no closer to signing up with Barcelona. Earlier reports suggested that a deal had been struck, but latest reports seem to suggest that the deal may have fallen through. Barcelona B looks set to be taken over by Busquets Sr., the current goalkeeping coach of the Barcelona first team. Apparently, Zubizarreta, Sporting Director for Barcelona has convinced Daddy Busquets to take over the slot which Luis Enrique recently vacated.

At Espanyol, things seem to be going a tad wrong at the top. President Daniel Sanchez Llibre has announced that he will be stepping down this coming July. Vice President Ramon Condal looks like the most likely candidate to take over. How this change affects the fortunes of Espanyol remains to be seen. The blog doesn’t have much hope. In order to boost their backline, Espanyol are rumored to be interested in Hector Moreno, who plies his trade at AZ Alkmaar. The club is looking to cash in by selling Osvaldo and is looking for suitors who will offer the most. The last this blog heard, Espanyol had rejected a 17 million euro offer from Atletico Madrid for the player. The blog doubts if they can get any more for Osvaldo, with no disrespect to the player of course.


Success or Juande Dollars?
Sevilla have confirmed the appointment of Marcelino Toral as coach. Marcelino who quit Racing frustrated at the lack of commitments from MIA owner Rashed Ali Syed, set a realistic bar by expressing his desire to emulate Juande Ramos’ exploits at the club. The blog feels that the fans will be torn between wanting to wring their arms at the low expectations set and throwing down Juande Dollars from the high stands of the Sanchez Pijuain. Malaga, after yet another quickfire signing in left back Nacho Monreal from Osasuna for 6 million euros, have now secured the future of their promising youngsters, Recio, Juanmi and Portillo (not THAT one!) till 2015. Buyout clauses run upto 15 million euros per player reportedly. There has been still no word on Joaquin moving clubs, though it has been understood that a 3.5 million euro offer has been submitted to Valencia who are holding out for 5 million. As a plan B, Malaga have reportedly sent representatives to Argentina to analyze the feasibility of prizing away playmaker Ricky Alvarez from Velez. The influential midfielder is also rumored to be on the radars of Manchester United and Arsenal.

In their bid to consolidate Primera status at the end of next season, freshly promoted Real Betis have completed the signings of Mario from Getafe and Javi Chica from Espanyol for 2 and 4 years respectively. Both are free transfers.


Levante have swiftly solved their coaching concerns by announcing Ignacio Martinez as their new manager. Martinez until now had been coaching FC Cartagena in the Segunda, guiding them to a 13th place finish and is looked upon as a promising manager in the Segunda. At Valencia the cogs are turning faster to secure the defensive signings, viz. a center back and a left back, which Unai Emery had promised after renewing his contract with the club. Catalan daily El Mundo Deportivo reports that Valencia might be interested in securing the services of Barcelona’s left back Maxwell. The blog feels that this might just be a farcical build up given the fact that Barcelona are themselves in the market for a left back. Abidal isn’t getting any younger and just out of battle against cancer, would probably not be relied upon as much by the Catalan club next season. Maxwell has had decent outings for Barcelona, but Guardiola hasn’t really trusted him in the big ones, preferring to play Puyol or Renato in that slot instead which explains the theory EMD are building up. Valencia have instead announced the signing of French defender Adil Rami who has joined the club till 2014, from Lille for 6 million euros. In a weird transfer saga, Lorient’s Kevin Gameiro was very close to signing for Valencia, but at the last moment decided to sign up with Paris St. Germain, a French club. Laurent Blanc has reportedly been responsible for throwing a spanner in the works as far as Valencia are concerned, by advising Gameiro to ply his trade in France itself. While they’ve been undergoing all sorts of transfer related faux pas, Valencia have at least managed to secure the services of Getafe’s Dani Parejo for 5 years and a reported 7 million euro deal. Parejo who was only recently being linked to a move back to Real Madrid is reported to carry a buyback clause by Real which enables them to sign the player back for 18 million euros next season and for 15 million in two years. The blog doesn’t quite believe this rumor, but knowing how far Madrid’s tentacles reach, it yet wouldn’t be disposed to put this lil bit of news past them.

Meanwhile Villarreal’s Giuseppi Rossi is as close to signing for Barcelona as he was last week. The difference this time is that it has been reported that Barcelona would probably sign back Botia and then immediately offer him to Villarreal in a cash plus player deal. This rumor might well be hogwash as the deadline for Barcelona to exercise their buyback clause has already elapsed by the blog’s reckoning. Villarreal’s defensive midfielder Marcos Senna might be on his way to Wales to Swansea of all places after Swansea’s manager Brendan Rogers reportedly met him and convinced him to leave. Seeing as he’s bench fodder currently, Senna wouldn’t actually mind leaving Sunny Spain for the Welsh charm. If he indeed does move, it would be a Bosman transfer.


Deportivo La Coruna’s Andres Guardado is reportedly up for sale for around 8 million euros. Valencia and Portuguese clubs Benfica and Sporting Lisbon are the ones rumored to be interested in securing the player’s services.

Basque Country

Osasuna has announced the signing of Marc Bertran Vilanova till 2014 with a 6 million euro buyback clause. Bertran, an Espanyol canterano up until now was playing for Tenerife who fell further from Segunda to Segunda B, leaving the player no choice but to part ways.

Real Sociedad who sacked Martin Lasarte as soon as last season concluded have announced the signing of Philippe Montanier from Ligue 1 club Valenciennes for 5 million euros. Montanier becomes Sociedad’s 8th manager in 5 years…and they blame Real Madrid for changing managers like panties.

So, that’s the transfer roundup till now. For more updates, be sure to check the transfer liveblog and let the blog know in case you hear anything new.


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