Liverpool are ready to sell Stewart Downing for £5 million, a fraction of what they originally paid to sign him from Aston Villa. Newcastle United are reportedly leading the race to sign the winger, who was told that he was free to leave Anfield last January before turning his Liverpool form around.
Liverpool have also been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. The Reds submitted a £21 million offer for the Brazilian in the hope that it would trigger the release clause in Costa’s current contract but the Spanish side have reaffirmed their official stance, wanting to keep the forward.
It doesn’t get much better for the Anfield side with a planned loan deal for Lorenzo Melgarejo falling through. The Benfica defender failed to secure a work permit ahead of a planned season long loan deal giving the Reds the option to make that permanent at the end of the season.
Arsenal are set to miss out on signing QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar. The Brazilian had been strongly linked with the Gunners but he now seems close to signing for Serie A side Fiorentina. QPR are thought to want a fee of around £1.5 million for the 33-year-old shot stopper.
However, Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has suggested that the club will make several big signings before the start of the season. The Spaniard points out that clubs try hard to keep their best players, which doesn’t always make fast deals possible.
On the West side of London, Jose Mourinho has ruled out selling David Luiz to Barcelona but has challenged the centre back to improve various areas of his game. Several reports have suggested Barca were preparing a €46 million offer for the Brazilian but Mourinho has suggested he is integral to Chelsea ahead of the new season.
Chelsea are still very much in the market for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. Rooney is apparently pleading with United boss David Moyes to let him move to Stamford Bridge but the Scot is reaffirming the official line that Rooney is not for sale.
Staying in the capital, Tottenham Hotspur could have their work cut out to hang onto a forward and it’s not Gareth Bale. Besiktas seem to be focusing on Jermain Defoe after giving up on signing Emmanuel Adebayor, with reports suggesting they will pay the England striker £3 million per year.
Newcastle have captured a very positive signing with the arrival of Loic Remy on loan for the coming season. The QPR forward has been allowed to leave the Championship club but it’s unclear whether Alan Pardew will have the chance to make the loan deal permanent when it expires at the end of the season.
That signing could mean Fulham are now free to complete the signing of Aston Villa’s Darren Bent. Villa are keen to offload Bent to ease their wage bill and Fulham boss Martin Jol has confirmed the club are looking to seal a deal by the end of the week.
image: © Ben Sutherland