Agger-do for Napoli?
Can you believe the transfer window closes three weeks on Monday? What will you do without the latest gossip, rumours and speculation? Fear not for now, Transfer Talk is still finding all the best on who's going where and when.
Top pick: Napoli are being linked with a move for Liverpool's Daniel Agger. The Denmark international will sign a four-year deal at the Stadio San Paolo and will cost the Naples club 10 million euros, it is claimed.
- Manchester United could turn their attentions to signing former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song should they fail to land Juventus' Chilean star Arturo Vidal.
- Barcelona and Arsenal have reached an agreement for the transfer of Thomas Vermaelen, who will sign a five-year contract with the Catalan club.
- Ajax are in talks with free agent Samuel Eto'o and hope to convince the Cameroon international striker to come to Amsterdam.
- Milan are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez after agreeing personal terms with the 32-year-old
- Torino have accepted defeat in retaining hold of Italian winger Alessio Cerci, saying that he is free to join Atletico Madrid if the Spanish champions make a suitable offer.
- Newcastle have completed the signings of highly-rated duo Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow from Nottingham Forest -- but have sent them back on loan to Stuart Pearce's side for the forthcoming campaign.
23.01 BST: That's all for tonight, but we'll be back before long with the latest juicy gossip from the Sunday papers.
22.44 BST: Blackpool boss Jose Riga saw his side lose 2-0 at Nottingham Forest, but -- given that they could barely scrape a team together on the day and ended up with only four subs on the bench -- the focus is on the future and further signings.
"My ambition is to build a competitive team. If I'm here of course we want a better future with more players, better players," he said. "The news this morning was that we have only nine players. I was expecting to have more players than today. I try to do my job as manager and not solve administrative issues. For sure I cannot stay in this kind of situation a long time."
22.30 BST: Sources have told ESPN FC that Artur Boruc is set to leave Southampton following Forster's arrival.
22.06 BST: DONE DEAL! Southampton have completed the signing of goalkeeper Fraser Forster from Celtic. Story here.
22.04 BST: New Brighton boss Sami Hyypia after his side's loss to Sheffield Wednesday: "We have our targets and we need to get them in as soon as we can."
21.48 BST: Paul Lambert has said Aston Villa have yet to receive an offer for Netherlands defender Ron Vlaar and that he expects him to stay put. Story here.
21.34 BST: Reading boss Nigel Adkins has said he expects to sign former QPR defender Anton Ferdinand "by Monday."
21.09 BST Birmingham manager Lee Clark has revealed that he is looking to sign a replacement for midfielder Tom Adeyemi, who joined Cardiff two days ago.
"Obviously we have had the unforeseen situation of young Tom going to Cardiff," he said. "We are in negotiations with another club and player."
20.46 BST Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has undergone a medical with the club.
"Of course we are interested, of course he did the medical tests," Koeman was quoted as saying by the Daily Echo. "For sure we are interested, but I didn't hear he has signed.''
20.05 BST Another Thomas Vermaelen update you want? Oh, go on then...
Just passed the medical with FC Barcelona. Tomorrow official presentation and signing. pic.twitter.com/cEPTJ2JSFJ- Thomas Vermaelen (@T_Vermaelen05) August 9, 2014
19.59 BST Napoli are reportedly after Liverpool defender Daniel Agger as they seek a replacement for Federico Fernandez, who is set for a move to Swansea. The Denmark international will sign a four-year deal at the Stadio San Paolo and will cost the Naples club 10 million euros, according to Football Italia.
19.56 BST Some more news now on Thomas Vermaelen's transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona...
Vermaelen will be unveiled on Sunday 10th Aug. He will face the media in the Ricard Maxenchs press room at 12:30 after signing his contract- AS English (@English_AS) August 9, 2014
19.43 BST The latest update on Manchester United's pursuit of Arturo Vidal coming up next... According to Mediaset, Juventus have set a one-week deadline for United to make a bid for the Chile international.
Juve sporting director Beppe Marotta is apparently concerned that if the negotiations were to be drawn out any longer, then his side would not have enough time to find an adequate replacement.
19.21 BST It's been an exciting last hour or so in transfer land... Here is the full story on Maarten Stekelenburg's loan switch to Monaco, in case you missed the news earlier.
18.58 BST Arsenal have also confirmed that an agreement for a transfer has been reached... Vermaelen's last action as the Gunners' captain was to lift the FA Cup at Wembley back in May, bringing an end to a nine-year trophy drought.
18.51 BST Vermaelen has signed a five-year deal with Barcelona and the Spanish side are believed to be paying in the region of 15 million pounds for the defender's services.
18.46 BST DONE DEAL! We've been talking about this one for the past few days, but we can now confirm that Arsenal and Barcelona have reached an agreement for the transfer of Thomas Vermaelen.
18.44 BST In case you missed news of the deal earlier, here is the full story on Chico Flores' move from Swansea to Qatari club Lekhwiya. The Spanish defender will be joining up with former Swans boss Michael Laudrup, who is currently in charge of Lekhwiya.
18.16 BST DONE DEAL! Monaco have signed Maarten Stekelenburg on loan for the season from Fulham. The goalkeeper has struggled during his time at Craven Cottage and will be hoping for more success in Ligue 1...
18.11 BST Ajax's Daley Blind has been linked with a move to both Manchester United and Barcelona this summer, and the defender has since admitted to be being flattered by the reported interest.
"Of course, it's flattering when you're linked with clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona," Blind told Goal.com. "It would be very hard to turn down these kind of clubs. But there's no serious interest as of yet."
17.44 BST Some more details for you now on Diego Contento's proposed move to Bordeaux... The two clubs have agreed the terms of the transfer and the player will now travel to France in the next few days to complete his medical. Bayern will retain 50 percent of the transfer rights to the player, with the remaining 50 percent assigned to the Ligue 1 outfit.
17.25 BST ALMOST DONE DEAL! Bayern Munich have confirmed that Diego Contento is set to leave the club for Bordeaux...
16.50 BST Hull City manager Steve Bruce has ruled his side out of the running to sign Watford talisman Troy Deeney.
The 26-year-old striker has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs this summer, with Leicester City seeing a 7.5 million pound bid turned down by the Hornets.
However, Bruce admits that Hull's interest in Deeney is now a thing of the past and he is fully satisfied with the strike partnership of Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long.
"It's not true, I can say this time it's definitely not true," Bruce insisted. "We enquired about Troy Deeney on deadline day last year.
"Before we signed Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, we had a little nibble then, but that's all it was. This year, no, not interested."
16.40 BST Chile international Gary Medel has moved a step closer to joining Inter from Cardiff City and is expected to join his new teammates at training on Monday.
16.30 BST The expected departure of Diego Lopez to AC Milan may have aided Carlo Ancelotti's goalkeeping dilemma but the situation surrounding the No. 1 jersey at Real Madrid is still far from ideal. ESPN blogger Nicholas Rigg gives his assessment of the goalkeeping situation at the Santiago Bernabeu.
16.20 BST Hannover sporting director Dirk Dufner has confirmed that the Bundesliga club are on the verge of signing Lithuania captain Marius Stankevicius.
The 33-year-old centre-back is available on a free transfer following the expiry of his Gaziantepspor contract earlier this summer and has previously enjoyed spells at Lazio and Valencia.
Dufner told BILD: "This is the player we were looking for. We are very pleased. He is very experienced, which is very important for our young team."
16.05 BST Manchester United's search for reinforcements is ongoing but with the Premier League starting in just one week, you sense a breakthrough is imminent. ESPN blogger Mark Payne provides the latest on Daley Blind's situation at Ajax here.
15.55 BST DONE DEAL! Spanish defender Chico Flores has completed his move from Swansea City to Lekhwiya for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old reunites with former Swans boss Michael Laudrup in Qatar after spending two years at the Liberty Stadium.
Thanks !!! pic.twitter.com/0o5MeeBk5G- Chico Flores (@ChicoFlores12) August 9, 2014
15.35 BST Thomas Vermaelen will be officially announced as a Barcelona player later today after successfully completing a medical at the Catalan club. The Belgium international centre-back is expected to put pen to paper on a four-year contract and will join Luis Enrique's side from Arsenal for an estimated 19 million euros.
Thomas Vermaelen has passed his medicals. Official announcement soon. Presentation tomorrow. #AFC- Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) August 9, 2014
15.25 BST Roma and Inter are preparing a shock exchange deal for 30 million euro-rated strikers Mattia Destro and Mauro Icardi, according to reports in Italy.
Destro has been strongly linked with a move to Wolfsburg this summer but reportedly turned down the opportunity to relocate to Germany as he is settled in the Italian capital.
Liverpool and Monaco are just two of the clubs interested in signing promising Inter forward Icardi, but Nerazzurri president Erick Thohir has reiterated on more than one occasion that the 21-year-old Argentine is not for sale.
15.15 BST DONE DEAL! Sheffield Wednesday have completed the signing of 21-year-old striker Stevie May from St Johnstone.
BREAKING: Stevie May signs four-year deal with Wednesday #swfc- Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) August 9, 2014
15.05 BST New Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa is hopeful of naming Moroccan midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada as the successor to Mathieu Valbuena.
Valbuena completed a move to Dynamo Moscow last week after eight years at the French club and Marseille duly retired the No.28 shirt in his honour.
Bielsa will be in charge of his first competitive match against Claude Makelele's Bastia later today and L'Equipe says the Argentine coach hopes to agree a deal with UAE outfit Al Jazira for Barrada early next week, with the player expected to pen a four-year deal.
14.50 BST Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay has landed in Greece to finalise his move from Barcelona to Olympiakos.
14.40 BST Kolo Toure, who nearly became the first player to win the Premier League with three different teams last season, is reportedly on the verge of signing for Trabzonspor.
Reports in Turkey claim that Liverpool have accepted a two million euro offer for the Ivory Coast international despite Brendan Rodgers' comments earlier this month that the 33-year-old defender still had a vital role to play at Anfield.
The Turkish side have been busy strengthening their ranks this summer following the appointment of Vahid Halilhodzic -- who took Algeria beyond the World Cup group stages for the first time in Brazil -- bringing in Oscar Cardozo, Kevin Constant, Carl Medjani and Essaid Belkalem.
14.30 BST Spanish left-back Alberto Moreno will finally be allowed complete his move to Liverpool next week, but only after playing one final time for Sevilla in the European Super Cup.
The Andalusian side face Real Madrid in the UEFA showpiece event in Cardiff on Tuesday night and Moreno will be allowed to give an emotional farewell to the club he joined as a teenager.
Brendan Rodgers has been searching frantically all summer for a new left-back -- despite Jose Enrique's return to fitness -- and The Mirror says that Liverpool will pay around 14 million pounds to secure the 22-year-old's services, with Suso potentially heading the other way.
14.15 BST Arsenal are preparing a bid for Alexis Sanchez's World Cup strike partner Eduardo Vargas.
The 24-year-old Chilean has struggled to settle in Italy since moving to Napoli in 2012 and has reportedly asked to leave the Serie A outfit after spending the last two seasons on loan at Gremio and Valencia.
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is still browsing the transfer market for new additions and The Metro speculates that he is prepared to stump up 10 million pounds to bring Vargas to North London.
14.05 BST Milan are on the verge of signing Udinese defender Pablo Armero as a replacement for the recently-departed Kevin Constant.
The 27-year-old left-back, who spent last term on loan at West Ham, impressed for Colombia at the World Cup and is expected to join the Rossoneri on a season-long loan deal.
Armero's agent: "There were a lot of interested clubs in England, but we chose Milan." @Armero7- AC Milan News (@Milanello) August 9, 2014
Armero's agent: "We're all very happy. Armero is really excited about this big opportunity." @Armero7- AC Milan News (@Milanello) August 9, 2014
13.55 BST Chelsea are prepared to rival Manchester United for the signing of Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia.
Roma coach Rudi Garcia has reiterated his desire to keep the Moroccan defender in the Italian capital but The Express reports that the Serie A side would find it difficult to turn down a bid in the region of 30 million pounds.
United manager Louis van Gaal is desperate for a centre-back after missing out on Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona while Blues boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen to secure an experienced leader as he plots a loan move for youngster Kurt Zouma.
13.45 BST Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bring West Ham troublemaker Ravel Morrison to the Bluebirds Stadium.
The England under-21 star was once again embroiled in controversy last week after an alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend and her mother in Manchester but Solskjaer is convinced that he can curb Morrison's behaviour and get the best out of him.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has publicly declared that the midfielder is not part of his regular first-team plans this season and The Daily Mail says that Cardiff are hopeful of capturing Morrison on a loan deal.
13.35 BST Middlesbrough have reportedly agreed a deal with Hajduk Split to sign Bosnia international full-back Avdija Vrsajevic.
13.25 BST Swansea are preparing a bid for Nice defender Timothee Kolodziejczak, according to Sky Sports.
Garry Monk is desperate to strengthen his defence following the sale of Ben Davies to Liverpool and the imminent departure of Chico Flores to Qatar -- and he hopes to beat West Ham, Queens Park Rangers and Southampton to the signing of the 22-year-old.
Nice are resigned to losing the former France Under 20 international, with coach Claude Puel admitting that the player is waiting for a move to materalise.
13.00 BST The Roma and Juventus rivalry continues to intensify by the week and the two Serie A giants are set to battle it out once again, this time for the signing of River Plate defender Eder Alvarez Balanta.
Rudi Garcia's side pipped Juve to the signing of Argentine winger Juan Iturbe earlier this summer and both clubs have also expressed an interest in Olympiakos centre-back Kostas Manolas.
Tuttosport says that River Plate are demanding eight million euros for Colombia international Balanta and it is now up to both clubs to see who can offer the 21-year-old the most attractive proposal.
12.50 BST Queens Park Rangers are plotting a bid for Netherlands midfielder Jonathan De Guzman after negotiations broke down between Swansea City and Villarreal.
The 26-year-old has impressed for the Welsh side on loan over the past two seasons but Garry Monk's side have failed to persuade the Yellow Submarine to part with De Guzman in a permanent five million pound deal.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp is known to be a keen admirer of the Netherlands international and The Sun says he is planning to hijack Swansea's attempts with an opening offer of seven million pounds.
12.40 BST Southampton have reportedly had a five million pound offer rejected from Leeds for highly-rated defender Sam Byram.
The 20-year-old has already cemented his place in the Championship club's first team and has impressed for England at youth level.
Goal.com claims that Leeds United are determined to retain hold of the talented right-back but would be prepared to cash in if they received a bid in the region of ten million pounds.
12.30 BST Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen has landed in Barcelona to finalise his 15 million pound move to the Catalan club.
Mundo Deportivo says the player will undergo his medical at Barcelona's training complex this afternoon and could be officially unveiled as a blaugrana player by this evening.
12.20 BST Contrary to reports in the English press, Steaua Bucharest president Valeriu Argaseala has dismissed reports that Southampton have made a bid for Romania international centre-back Florin Gardos.
Steaua president Argaseala claims there's no official offer from @SouthamptonFC for Florin Gardos.- Emanuel Roşu (@Emishor) August 9, 2014
12.15 BST Newcastle will be offered the opportunity to sign Arsenal forward Joel Campbell on loan, the Chronicle Live reports.
Campbell impressed for Costa Rica at the World Cup but Arsene Wenger has a wealth of attacking options out wide and is keen for the 22-year-old to gain regular first-team experience in the Premier League.
Alan Pardew is still in the market for another forward -- with Queens Park Rangers' Loic Remy and Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette on his radar -- but he could be tempted to offer Arsenal a sizeable loan fee to secure the services of the highly-rated Campbell.
12.05 BST AC Milan have agreed a deal with Real Madrid for goalkeeper Diego Lopez, according to CEO Adriano Galliani. Read the full story here.
In other Milan-related news, Guinea international left-back Kevin Constant has left the club to sign for Turkish outfit Trabzonspor.
12.00 BST Cagliari's attempts to sign former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia have hit a snag, according to reports in Italy.
The 37-year-old Spaniard flew to Sardinia earlier this week to discuss personal terms with the club but issues with his medical meant that a deal could not be completed.
Meanwhile, the Italian side have strengthened their defence ahead of the new Serie A campaign by purchasing Luca Ceppitelli from Parma for a reported 2.5 million euros.
11.50 BST DONE DEAL! Monaco have completed a deal to bring Portugal under-21 international midfielder Bernardo Silva to the Stade Louis II.
The talented 19-year-old joins on an initial season-long loan from Benfica, with view to a permanent transfer.
11.40 BST Milan are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez after agreeing personal terms with the 32-year-old.
There had been concerns yesterday that a move would be scuppered due to the player's high wage demands.
However, the Rossoneri board appear to have found a solution and Lopez is now expected to join Milan on a free transfer with performance-related bonuses to be paid to Real Madrid at the end of the season.
Galliani: "The Diego Lopez deal is 99% done."- AC Milan News (@Milanello) August 9, 2014
Diego Lopez will sign a 4-year contract with Milan on Monday after he has completed the medical tests.- AC Milan News (@Milanello) August 9, 2014
11.30 BST Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay is on the verge of joining Greek champions Olympiakos after being told that he has no future at Barcelona.
Afellay will today travel to Greece to have medical tests at Olympiacos. Luis Enrique discussed transfer with Olympiacos coach Michel. [md]- barcastuff (@barcastuff) August 9, 2014
11.20 BST Bayern Munich defender Diego Contento is expected to finalise a move to Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux later today.
The German-born left-back has found first-team opportunities hard to come by since Pep Guardiola took over at the club and Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol -- who has used his former ties with Bayern to successfully negotiate a deal -- hopes to revive the 24-year-old's career and plug a gaping hole in the French side's defence.
11.15 BST Monaco are in talks with Fulham to sign wantaway Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The 31-year-old endured a miserable debut campaign at Craven Cottage after signing from Roma last summer which culminated in him missing out on a spot in Netherlands' World Cup squad.
Felix Magath revealed in a press conference on Friday that the player was determined to leave the club and L'Equipe says that Monaco are offering him an exotic way out and could sign him on a season-long loan with a purchase option.
Monaco are also rumoured to be interested in Lorient's Cameroon international Vincent Aboubakar who was the joint-second highest goalscorer in Ligue 1 last season with 16 goals.
11.05 BST DONE DEAL! Torino have revealed in an official statement on their website that they have sealed the signing of Juan Manuel Sanchez Mino from Boca Juniors.
The 24-year-old midfielder progressed through Boca's reputed youth academy and scored four goals in 31 games for the Argentine side last season, prompting Torino to part with an estimated 4.2 million euros to secure his services.
10.55 BST West Ham have reportedly struck a deal to sign Marseille's Morgan Amalfitano on a free-transfer.
The versatile 29-year-old midfielder impressed on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season and is expected to pen a three-year contract at Upton Park.
West Ham set to sign former West Brom loanee Morgan Amalfitano on a free transfer from Marseille. #WHUFC- Pete O'Rourke (@SkySportsPeteO) August 9, 2014
10.50 BST FC Groningen have announced on their official website that they have agreed to sell Filip Kostic to VFB Stuttgart.
The promising Serbian forward is currently travelling to Germany where he will undergo his medical examinations and will therefore not take part in Groningen's Eredivisie opener against Go Ahead Eagles on Sunday.
10.40 BST New Sunderland signing Jack Rodwell has warned young English players not to derail their careers by signing for Manchester City. Read the full story here.
10.30 BST DONE DEAL! Newcastle United have completed the signings of highly-rated duo Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow from Nottingham Forest.
Centre-back Lascelles, 20, and goalkeeper Darlow, 23, both rose to prominence in the Championship last season and had attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs.
The pair have both penned long-term contracts at St James' Park but have been loaned back to Stuart Pearce's side for the forthcoming campaign.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew told the club's website: "It is a real coup to have signed two of the finest young talents in English football outside of the Premier League. Jamaal and Karl will be a big part of the future of this Club."
10.15 BST Diego Simeone has told the Atletico Madrid board to bring Fernando Torres and Jose Callejon to the Vicente Calderon this summer.
Despite already signing Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann, the Argentine coach is still seeking attacking reinforcements and hopes to convince Chelsea to part with Torres on loan -- despite Jose Mourinho's affirmations that the player will not be leaving Stamford Bridge.
AS says that Simeone is looking to add some pace to his lineup to complement the skills of Mandzukic but a deal for Callejon is looking increasingly unlikely as Napoli are demanding more than 30 million euros for the Spaniard's signature.
10.05 BST Empoli are in advanced talks with local rivals Fiorentina to take youngsters Matias Vecino and Rafal Wolski on a season-long loan, according to reports in Italy.
The Tuscan side are desperate for midfield reinforcements ahead of their return to Serie A and hope to convince both players to come to the Stadio Carlo Castellani.
Wolfski, a Poland international, is reportedly keen to get away from Fiorentina this season in search of regular first-team football while Vecino is also expected to leave Florence, with Chievo laying an offer on the table for the Uruguayan.
09.55 BST ESPN correspondent Richard Jolly takes a look at how Southampton and Swansea have both been affected in the transfer market after promoting an exciting brand of attacking football. Read his article here.
09.50 BST Tottenham are reportedly preparing a bid for AS Trencin's highly-rated Nigerian winger Moses Simon.
The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in Europe and Spurs scouts sent glowing reports to Mauricio Pochettino after watching him during Trencin's Europa League qualifier with Hull City.
The former Ajax star has attracted interest from the likes of Liverpool and Celtic in recent times, but The Mirror says that Tottenham have now raced to the head of the queue of potential suitors.
09.40 BST Valencia have been busy rebuilding their squad this summer as they look to get back amongst the Champions League places and reports in Mexico suggest that they are preparing to make Raul Jimenez their next recruit.
The 23-year-old was part of Miguel Herrera's Mexico side which reached the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil though only made one substitute appearance throughout the tournament.
The Club America star has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in Mexican football in recent seasons but he is reportedly determined to make the trip to Spain to test his abilities on the European stage.
09.30 BST It's been a difficult summer for Southampton fans to endure so far, but the south coast club are on the verge of signing an England international.
Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster is reportedly undergoing a medical at the club this morning ahead of a potential 10 million pound move.
Dutch coach Ronald Koeman has plenty of funds to spend this summer after the big-money sales of Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana, and it seems as though Forster could be unveiled a Saints player by the end of the weekend.
Sky Sources: Fraser Forster having medical at Southampton this morning. #saintsfc- Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 9, 2014
09.20 BST Atletico Madrid are hoping to lure Roberto Soldado away from White Hart Lane on loan, but Tottenham are reluctant to let the Spanish striker leave as they already have a lack of options in attack.
The 29-year-old signed for Spurs last summer for a then club-record fee of 26 million pounds but failed to establish himself in North London, losing his place in the starting lineup during the second half of the campaign.
New coach Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful that he can conjure the best form out of Soldado but The Daily Telegraph says Tottenham are prepared to listen to offers and could be tempted to sell.
According to VI, Ajax have spoken to Samuel Eto'o, who is currently a free agent. CL football might convince Eto'o to come to Amsterdam.- Elko Born (@Elko_B) August 9, 2014
08:38 BST: Arsenal are looking to secure a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk for attacking midfielder Douglas Costa, according to reports.
08:00 BST: Morning everyone, it's time to look at what's going on today. First up, Dortmund are keen to keep Marco Reus from out of the clutches of the Premier League. "[We will] definitely try to keep him long term,' Borussia's sporting director Michael Zorc told Sport1. "Marco is not only a hugely important player for us because of his athletic performance, but also in his role as a poster boy. He is Dortmund-born and a figurehead for this club."
There's a well-trod saying readily found on posters, desk calendars and the Facebook accounts of distant relatives: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars." In this already-contrived-to-the-point-of-awful segue, if Arturo Vidal is the moon in Man United's eyes, Alex Song might well be the sparkly things that surround it.
You see, The Daily Express is reporting that the Red Devils might swing their attention to the out-of-favour, ex-Arsenal midfielder if the Chilean proves too difficult to pry loose from Juventus' steely grip.
Reports in the Italian media -- always reliable -- suggest that Louis van Gaal's side has offered Vidal a five-year deal worth 182,000 pounds per week, though Song is considered a worthy understudy should that deal collapse. Concerns over Vidal's knee -- and a "one week or go away" ultimatum from the defending Serie A champions -- are said to be holding things up.
Would you be happy with Song instead of Vidal, United fans? We suggest spending tonight getting warm to the idea ... just in case.
Another American at White Hart Lane?
DeAndre Yedlin had a decent World Cup. Stock in the young American full-back is rising by the day, and after a reported move to AS Roma didn't quite materialize, the latest whispers suggest that the Seattle Sounders man is off to ... Tottenham.
Major League Soccer was all too happy to stoke the fires on the 21-year-old's whereabouts, noting Friday that he was not at the day's scheduled team training, but rather overseas meeting with an "interested club."
Is that club Spurs? Goal.com seems to think so, reporting that Yedlin was in London for a medical and to finalize terms. The usual issues about younger U.S. players in England remain -- work permit concerns, playing time, etc. -- but if the growing chorus continues, this might be announced sooner rather than later.
Kasey Keller also has some words of caution for such a deal.
Cech yourself before you wreck yourself
Tread with caution here: The Daily Express reckons that Real Madrid won't stop their steady hoarding of goalkeepers and are asking Chelsea about longtime shot-stopper Petr Cech.
Could this really happen? With Iker Casillas determined to preserve his No. 1 status and one new signing, Costa Rican hero Keylor Navas, eager to relieve him of that sacred spot, it makes precious little sense to add a third front-line goalie in Cech. The imposing Czech is a titan between the posts, racking up 220 clean sheets for the Blues over a 10-year spell in which he's won three Premier League titles and a Champions League crown.
One to watch, we suppose -- and laugh at.
Happy ending for Lopez?
Speaking of Real Madrid goalkeepers, various outlets in Italy have news on Diego Lopez with regard to his mooted move to Milan. La Gazzetto dello Sport believe his wage demands will ruin the deal while Sky Sports Italia believe he's flying in this weekend to complete the switch.
Who do you trust? Such a transfer would certainly benefit both Lopez and the Rossoneri, but sometimes these things are too good to be true.
Moreno to Anfield ... finally?
It's been mooted for some time, though not nearly as interminable as some longtime links -- ahem, Vidal -- but the Daily Express reckons Liverpool will finally tie up left-back Alberto Moreno from Sevilla ... as soon as he finishes competing for Sevilla in Tuesday's European Super Cup against Real Madrid.
The lack of a quality left-back is no secret 'round Anfield, and Moreno's youth and class certainly fits the bill. Such a move might well complete the Reds' busy summer in which Luis Suarez left and Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic, Emre Can, Javi Manquillo and Divock Origi have all been purchased. Phew!
Odds and ends
- The Daily Mail reports that West Ham has finalized a move for Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, who impressed on loan with the Baggies last season. The fee? Two million pounds. Not bad for a 29-year-old Frenchman who adds creativity and wit to a team sorely in need.
- Liverpool fancy a move for 19-year-old Lazio striker Keita Balde Diao, though they're being rebuffed despite a robust offer of 16 million pounds. The Italian side will apparently accept nothing less than 24 million pounds. Whoa.
- Atletico Madrid would love very much to sign Italian striker Alessio Cerci, and according to AS (via an interview on Italian television), Torino is fine with him heading for the exit. Well then.