And just like that - it’s all over. As the sun sets on another Premier League season though it’s amazing to think that preparation for the next season for a lot of clubs started a while ago.
Work on the football pitch has finished for the time being - but in the background clubs will have been selecting their main transfer targets for the summer and in some cases will already have started trying to make deals happen – so that when pre-season actually starts the squad is already close to being completed.
The transfer window doesn’t officially open until the 1st July – but there is nothing to stop clubs putting deals into place to activate then. Websites and newspapers report (and speculate) daily on transfer gossip anyway - but with the season officially over the internet is flooded with rumours about who could be signing for each club and who could be shown the door to make space for new players.
But is there any truth in any of the rumours? I’ll take a look at a few of the biggest stories from the last week and tell you what I think…….
Rumours emerged on Saturday that Arsenal misfit Gervinho could be offloaded to Lyon in a 14m Euro deal (about £11.5m). Arsenal fans will see that figure and think that it is Christmas.
That much for a player that has caused massive frustration amongst Arsenal fans for the past 2 seasons could only be seen as good bit of business by the club. On the bench for the majority of the season – Gervinho could well decide that now is the right time to move on – especially with his place in the Ivory Coast squad potentially at risk.
But for £11.5m? Gervinho might well leave – and the majority of Arsenal fans will be happy to see him go – but if Arsenal get that much money for him then the buying club have been robbed. If a deal happens I’d imagine it will be priced around £8m.
Let’s be honest here. The Odemwingie to QPR story on January Deadline Day was absolutely priceless – mainly because it was so hard to believe the amount of complete incompetence that led to such a stupid situation. That said though – does anyone actually know what is going on with Odemwingie?
It’s hard to grasp. Why would he have wanted to ditch a top table place finish for a relegation fight (bar money obviously)? And now soon to be promoted Hull have apparently shown an interest?
Surely that’s going to be a relegation fight as well? He’s a good player and Hull will need more Premiership experience in their squad. But as they are quite a close knit team- it would be hard to imagine someone like Odemwingie fitting in. He will go in the summer – but I don’t think it will be to Hull.
I don’t know if you have heard – but apparently Rooney wants out of United. I’m not going to get into the why part of that - but according to some reports Mourinho wants Chelsea to sign Rooney so that he can work with him once his return has been confirmed.
Chelsea could afford him and as they did with Liverpool and Torres - probably make a very hard to turn down offer to United and a very hard for anyone to match wage offer to Rooney. The truth though is that I simply think he is going to stay at United.
Liverpool have long been rumoured to be taking a look at young Ajax star Christian Eriksen – but according to emerging reports if Liverpool don’t sort themselves out and make a formal offer in the next few weeks - Eriksen will instead sign a new contract with Ajax.
Now I’m sure that Liverpool are interested in Eriksen – but I’m also sure that a number of other clubs are keeping an eye on the situation as well. So Liverpool will not be alone in their supposed pursuit for his signature.
Dortmund have also been mentioned - and with Gotze leaving there is potentially a massive role to fill (and Champions League football) at Dortmund. Expect him to be linked with a large number of clubs before anything concrete happens with this.
Andy Carroll clearly hasn’t set the world alight since joining West Ham – but saying that – he also hasn’t had a bad year. But where will he end up next season? West Ham are interested in a permanent move but wages, his fee and a lack of European football could be a problem. Monaco have also been linked with a move for him (expect Monaco to be linked with a lot of players this summer – Tevez has already been mentioned) but that could just be idle speculation so the question actually comes down to who could afford him?
And the sad truth is that Liverpool have effectively priced him out of where he should realistically be in the market thanks to the price they initially paid for him (and how much they want to recoup). In my head – Newcastle are still favourites to get him back – but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to Liverpool.
image: © ronnie macdonald