HITC sifts through some of the big rumours from the last week considers the likelihood of them coming off.
The BBC gossip column continues to grow each day and an increasing number of football fans find themselves keeping an eye on twitter desperately hoping for a clue as to their club’s summer transfer business (whilst frequently pressing alt + tab to NewsNow whilst their boss isn’t looking). So to make life easier for you all – I thought I’d sift through some of the big rumours from the last week and talk you through my views on each one.
Benteke to Inter Milan
Christian Benteke has without question been one of the signings of the season - and one of the only players to emerge with any credit from Aston Villa's disastrous campaign. With that in mind - speculation about his future becomes obvious - speculation that isn't helped by his rather chatty agent. In the last few days his agent has said that he is "99% sure that he (Benteke) will remain at Villa next season" (whilst also saying that if a major offer comes in that they will consider it). I think we all know that if Villa go down he wont be putting on that shirt again. Benteke will be jumping ship - and even if Villa do stay up - expect the public courting of every major club to commence from his agent this summer (see Inter story as an example). There will be interest in him - especially from premiership clubs on the look out for a proven goal scorer. There might also be some interest from the continent - from clubs that could even include Inter Milan. Just bear in mind that anything that comes from the mouth of his agent is likely to be very contradictory and said with the sole purpose of driving up interest in his client. To counter the 99% claim - I'm 99% sure that Benteke will be moving in the summer - but I'll have to answer the "to where" part of the question on another day.......don't be surprised though if this transfer gets a bit messy.....
With Carragher retiring at Liverpool and Arsenal's self destructing defence - both clubs will be on the look out for a solid defender in the summer - and the rumour mill has landed on Swansea's Ashley Williams as a likely target. The first and (and possibly last thing) to say about this rumour is that nothing has been said this week that hasn't been said before. This week's rumour is a simple reinvention.
Both clubs need solid, proven defenders - and that is a category that Williams slots straight into. Arsenal would be a great fit for both him and the club - but I expect that he will end up at Liverpool with his old boss Brendan Rodgers.
Chedjou to Newcastle
The Mirror this week linked Newcastle with a move for Lille's Cameroonian defender Aurelien Chedjou who is valued at around £12m (and is also being watched by Valencia). In truth - thats about the end of the story. Newcastle will be raiding France again in the summer - they might even buy a defender. But they won't be spending £12m (or even close) on one. So either the fee is wrong, the report mentioned the wrong club or the rumour is created rubbish. In any case - Newcastle wont be signing him. A more likely defensive target for Newcastle is Celtic's Kevin Wilson.
Arsenal linked with £70m Bundesliga swoop on 3 German stars
I would write an entire paragraph about this looking into each and every detail - but I'm not going to. Arsenal wont be spending £70m on 3 players this summer (and that's without even looking at the prospect of other clubs being interested as well). One of the players linked though (I'll let you work out who) is very likely to be a (club record breaking fee) target for Arsenal.
Sanchez to Manchester City
Before his move to Barcelona - every major club would have been interested in signing Alexis Sanchez. But whilst so many players prosper at Barcelona - the move doesn't work out quite so well for many others (See Song and Hleb). Alexis Sanchez is another example of this. Linked with Manchester City this week - Sanchez is widely expected to be sold this summer - but the next move for Sanchez is going to be key. At Manchester City - he would have to accept a squad role and he can ill afford to spend another few years being in and out of a team. Sanchez is versatile (something that works in his favour) - but this also means that he will has less chance of making any position his own. With City expected to spend heavily on their front line in the summer - I wouldn't rule this move out - but at the same time - Sanchez would be a "second signing" for City - a signing secured later on in the window after the priority target (See Falcao / Cavani) has been signed and players have been moved on. For Sanchez - perhaps the best possibility would be to move to a club where HE WOULD be the star - not a club where he could get lost amongst a number of them.
image: © little-pete