Well. It’s fair to say that it’s all kicked off in the footyverse. A saga that could have dragged on for the entire summer has already been sorted, Spanish football is waking up to the realisation that German football clubs are actually quite good, Luis Suarez has discovered that apparently biting isn’t allowed on the football pitch and Gareth Ainsworth announced that he will retire from playing for Wycombe Wanderers (to concentrate on managing them) from Saturday.
So basically – the end of the season is nearly upon us – and what that means in real terms is that the silly season is fast approaching. Transfer rumours begin to gather pace and a large number of us will have Newsnow a cheeky alt + tab away from view whilst trying to concentrate on some less important but “real” work. Twitter erupts with rumours that have been created whilst someone has been sitting on the toilet, the fans of Liverpool football club have (briefly) renewed optimism and Sky Sports News prepare to follow Harry Redknapp around with “stalker cam” on Deadline Day (although will they bother this year?).
Yes – the transfer window (despite not being officially open for 2 months) will soon start to be the only thing that football fans care about until the start of next season. The rumours have already started - so I thought I’d take the time to go through a few of the major stories from the last few weeks with you all so you didn’t have to bother hunting for information:
This is a very simple rumour to take apart. Why would Arsenal spend money on Kalou when he was available on a free at the end of last season and has had a poor season for Lille? It’s a really lazy story overall that uses Arsenal’s “once upon a time interest”, adds it to Kalou’s “please rescue me” whines and reaches the conclusion that he will be signing for Arsenal. No is the answer. If he returns to the Premiership – expect it to be to a mid-table club that can afford his wages.
This is one of those transfers that has been going on for so long that it would be quite easy to presume that it wasn’t happening anymore– but according to Schurrle’s agent – positive news on this deal could well be on the way within the next week. The sticking point has apparently been Leverkusen insisting that Kevin De Bruyne joins them on loan next season but I can only presume that some sort of resolution has been reached leaving this move close to being completed.
There is also talk from some sources that Schurrle could be one of two early window signings from Chelsea – with Radamel Falcao being the other – but by all accounts the signing of Falcao depends on the return of Mourinho as they have the same agent. It’s worth mentioning though that I don’t think that this move is anywhere near as close to being completed as some news / gossip sites have suggested. There could well be a few twists in this transfer yet – and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another English team enter the battle for his signature.
Long term Premiership linkee Alvaro Negredo has been linked with a move to a number of Premier League clubs over the last year and this week apparently Swansea have entered the frame for his signature. Now I’m pretty sure that Negredo will end up in the Premiership, and it might even be at Swansea - but as the stories this week show no evidence of actual interest from Swansea (they just mention Swansea and the Spanish link) I’d wait until some form of solid information actually turns up before getting his name on the back of a shirt.
Birmingham City are struggling financially – and just months after agreeing the sale of Jack Butland – they will apparently look to offload another young star – Nathan Redmond – to raise money for the club. West Brom, Fulham and Norwich have all been credited with an interest and mentioned as potential destinations for the young winger – and if the price being mentioned (£2m) is correct – there will certainly be other clubs watching with interest. I can’t say at the moment who I think he will sign for (as there isn’t enough information available yet) but definitely keep an eye on the clubs mentioned above – as well as whoever is promoted via the playoffs….
Earlier this week Arsenal fans got all excited with talk of Dragovic joining Arsenal as a replacement for one (there are a number of options here) of their defenders. However the next day rumours emerged that the Austrian centre half was prepared to turn down moves to Arsenal (and Borussia Dortmund) in favour of a move to Everton. It’s possible that Dragovic thinks he will have a higher chance of regular first team football (fair point) at Everton but beyond that I can’t really see the logic…..unless there was no interest from the likes of Arsenal in the first place and it was just an agent drumming up interest in his player…….
image: © Ben Sutherland