Football transfer rumours: Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona?
Today's fluff didn't see that one coming
Barcelona have finally realised that their defence is as crumbly as a Flake years past its sell-by date. But their solution won't be to everyone's taste. According to the Mirror, Daniel Agger is "on top of their shopping list" while the Sun suggests that Thomas Vermaelen is also being monitored as "the Spanish giants want a centre-back who fits their style of building attacks from the back". Agger is apparently worth £20m, while the Sun says that "Vermaelen, 27, is well thought of at the Nou Camp and the Spaniards believe a bid of £15m would test the Gunners' resolve." Er, what's Spanish for 'bite your hand off'?
Those of you with middle-aged spreads and fond memories of Wham bars costing 10p and Highland Toffees 5p will be aware of the late 70s-early 80s show Swap Shop, where young children dialled 01 811 8055 and exchanged their unwanted stuff for somebody else's unwanted stuff. Well, Europe's elite plan to do something similar, only without Noel Edmonds, Keith Chegwin and Maggie Philbin playing a helping hand. So ...
... according to La Stampa, Mino Raiola, the agent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has offered his client to Juventus, who also want Barcelona flop Alexis Sánchez ...
... meanwhile Juventus are planning to offload their 29-year-old striker Mirko Vucinic to Manchester United "whose manager Sir Alex Ferguson has always admired the former AS Roma player," according to TalkSport.
... And United, in the style of a high-roller whose once-huge pile of chips has been whittled away to what they entered the casino with, are looking to cash in what's left of Wayne Rooney's value. There is just one problem: the list of clubs willing to spend £30m on the 27-year-old striker and then lob him £250,000-a-week is about as lengthy as his time on the Old Trafford pitch on Tuesday night.
Basically it seems to be Paris-Saint Germain or bust.
Everton, since you ask, are lining up 21-year-old Porto striker Christian Atsu for when Marouane Fellaini joins Real Madrid in the summer.
The striker news doesn't end there. Chelsea and Manchester City are chasing Málaga's Isco. While City, along with Liverpool and Tottenham, have also been window-shopping for Sampdoria's Mauro Icardi, however no one has put down any hard euros. Yet.
Speaking of cold hard cash, Internazionale are facing debts of 60m euros and, with next season's Champions League looking as remote a prospect as political stability in Italy, they are planning to offload Antonio Cassano in order to save some cash. However not only will Walter Samuel, Dejan Stankovic, Esteban Cambiasso and Diego Milito all get new deals but Corriere dello Sport reckons the nerazzurri have overtaken Juventus, Roma and Tottenham in the hunt for Club Tigre 23-year-old attacking midfielder Rubén Botta. Debt? What debt?
The red-and-black half of Milan, meanwhile, are planning to go Dutch. Feyenoord's 21-year-old defender Bruno Martins Indi — who also interests Spurs and Arsenal — and PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman top their list.
Elsewhere Valencia full-back Aly Cissokho has issued a textbook come-and-get-me plea to Liverpool. "I have never hidden the fact that England is the championship I prefer," he told La Parisien. "It is my pleasure to have my name mentioned in Liverpool. This is a great club and everyone can not wear this jersey." Not sure about that Aly; they do XXXXXL-size now, you know.
Finally, Marca reports that the orginal Ronaldo is furious at Sir Alex Ferguson's comments that "Cristiano is better than Ronaldo, the old, fat one, and I mean that affectionately". The Brazilian, who has halved in size after appearing on a Brazilian TV weight loss series, said he was glad: "Real Madrid shut his mouth for me", before adding that the United manager's word's were "disrespectful".
Anything else? Well, yes. "A professional with so many years in the game, a knight of the realm, shouldn't be so disrespectful, it's distasteful," he said. " I don't aspire to be the best in everybody's eyes. I'm happy with what I did in my playing career, during which I was the best player in the world. I don't have to talk about how I used to look, but I'm disappointed at his complete lack of respect when talking about me."
Visibly angry, according to Marca, Ronaldo also wished that "the team managed by Ferguson always lose". So no hard feelings then, Ronnie?
Filed under: Euro 2012
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