European Transfer News: Real Madrid still after Alonso, Man City still targeting Terry; give up bid for Eto’o
Here’s the latest European Transfer News including Real Madrid still looking to sign Liverpool player Xabi Alonso and Manchester City’s bid towards John Terry and Samuel Eto’o.
Real Madrid targeting Alonso - Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini has not given up hope of signing Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, although the Bernabeu boss knows it will not be easy.
Reds manager Rafa Benitez is eager to keep the Spanish international at Anfield and has already called on the player he plucked from relative obscurity at Real Sociedad to stay “loyal” to Liverpool.
Real are looking to strengthen the centre of midfield following their spending spree on the likes of Portuguese wingerCristiano Ronaldo and Brazilian playmaker Kaka and may also sign another fullback, Pellegrini said at a news conference.
“It’s not a mystery that Real Madrid are interested in signing him (Alonso) but it won’t be easy,” he said.
“We are looking at alternatives for some positions,” he added. “The attack is complete and perhaps a central midfielder or fullback is still missing but the rest of the positions are covered.”
Spanish daily Marca reported earlier this week that Alonso had telephoned Benitez to ask his permission to leave Liverpool and move to Madrid. The newspaper also speculated that €35m would be enough to secure the signing of the 27-year-old.
But the Premier League club are apparently asking for up to €50m and although negotiations are yet to agree a compromise figure, Real sporting director Miguel Pardeza said that the deal was certainly not dead.
“Madrid don’t discard an option until it is truly impossible,” Pardeza said. “Right now there is an insurmountable economic barrier but that is something that can change.”
Meanwhile, Pellegrini, in his first news conference since the players began pre-season training last week, also said media reports that Real’s entire contingent of six Dutch players, including Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, would be leaving were inaccurate.
“When there is some news the club will announce it,” he said when asked which players were on their way out. “But it’s not true that all the Dutch players are going to leave as has been reported in the media.”
Pellegrini also responded to criticism of Real’s spending policies published in Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano on Saturday.
The club’s splurge of more than €200m on four players risks inflating transfer fees and pushing clubs towards bankruptcy or into the hands of organised crime, the paper said.
“Everyone has the right to give their opinion, right or wrong,” Pellegrini said. “I am not the one responsible for talking about comments by the Vatican. If someone thinks that it’s not good they also have the right to express an opinion.”
Separately, Kaka said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday that Real were spending such vast sums because the players involved were value for money.
“If Real Madrid has decided to spend so much money on us it’s because we are worth it, no?” Kaka said. “In the particular case of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the most expensive, he has shown he is number one and that he is worth the money.” – ESPNSoccerNet.com - http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=660401&sec=transfers&cc=5901
Man City give up bid for Eto’o - Manchester City will renew their search for a new world-class striker on Saturday after ending their interest in Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o.
The player, who is about to embark on the last year of his contract at the Nou Camp, felt he should receive a significant portion of the £18m City were willing to pay as he would be entitled to leave for nothing next summer.
Blues boss Mark Hughes initially signalled his intention to wait for Eto’o to resolve the wrangle.
Yet, as the week has dragged on, the argument has just got more confusing and complicated.
It was suggested City were ready to offer Eto’o a deadline of this weekend to determine his future.
In the end, chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak did not even give the 28-year-old that long, with Barcelona officially contacted yesterday with confirmation the deal was off.
“Samuel Eto’o is undoubtedly a fine footballer but the circumstances surrounding him were such that the deal could not be completed,” City chief executive Garry Cook said.
“We now feel the time is right to pursue other avenues. We have a clear strategic transfer plan, which we continue to follow.”
While it could be viewed the latest development is merely posturing on City’s part, privately the club are adamant the transfer is now highly unlikely to go ahead.
To an extent, they understand Eto’o's demands. However, they also feel a contract said to be worth around £200,000 a week was alone enough to keep Eto’o happy and are unwilling to let the situation drag on any longer.
After returning from a pre-season training camp in Germany, City are due to head for South Africa on Wednesday lunchtime for a three-match tour that will begin preparations for a new campaign that opens at Blackburn on August 15.
City will now look at other targets, which should not prove as difficult to secure, although withRoque Santa Cruz already signed and Carlos Tevez set to follow once the Argentina forward’s third-party ownership status has been changed, it is arguable whether the Blues are desperate for more strikers anyway.
Joleon Lescott remains on Hughes’ wish-list, as does Chelsea’s England skipper John Terry. – ESPNSoccerNet.com - http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=660267&cc=5901
John Terry to talk with Man City - Chelsea captain John Terry has told Roman Abramovich that he wants to hold talks with Manchester City about a possible £40m move, according to reports in the UK press.
Terry held showdown talks with Blues owner Abramovich on Saturday night and although the centre-back stopped short of handing in an official transfer request the England international made it clear he wanted to speak to City officials.
The Sunday Times claim Chelsea were willing to make Terry the club’s highest paid player, ahead of Frank Lampard, but they would not match City’s offer of £250,000 a week, plus a £5m signing-on fee.
Terry is thought to want to hear for himself what the Citizens have to offer but Chelsea insiders believe the 28-year-old is just using the transfer speculation to negotiate a better contract at Stamford Bridge.
If the England captain does head to Eastlands, the London club could replace him with Newcastle United centre-back Steven Taylor and will pay up to £10m for the 23-year-old.
Meanwhile, should City manager Mark Hughes miss out on Terry he will turn his attention to Porto defender Bruno Alves. The £20m-rated Portugal international is also wanted by Barcelona. – ESPNSoccerNet.com - http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=660377&sec=england&cc=5901