Tottenham In Diarra Talks
As reported here, Tottenham have been in talks over a move to land former Chelsea, Arsenal, and Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra, who could be surplus to requirements at Real Madrid. (The Guardian)
Analysis: Diarra’s wages could perhaps hinder this one, but could there be a ‘hey, I helped you get those wages in the first place’ discount for Harry Redknapp? After not making a breakthrough at either Chelsea or Arsenal, Diarra flourished in his short time at Pompey, and with limited opportunities likely awaiting him at Real this season, this would be a good move for him if it can happen.
Fulham have signed defender Rafik Halliche from Benfica for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old, who featured for Algeria at the 2010 World Cup, has penned a three-year deal with the Cottagers. (The Guardian)
Analysis: Halliche was a key figure in an Algeria defense that made quite an impression in South Africa, and with the experience he gained in going up against England, he‘ll come into the Premier League with at least a little knowledge of what to expect – and with a few players not looking forward to facing him,
Leeds Close On McCormack
Leeds United have agreed a fee with Cardiff City for striker Ross McCormack. The 24-year-old scored 21 league goals for Cardiff in the 2008/09 season, but he didn‘t start regularly last season and scored only four goals in 37 league appearances. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Leeds still have a hole to fill after Jermaine Beckford’s departure to Everton, and McCormack can certainly fill it. Things have dropped off for him after his breakout season, but the opportunity to start on a regular basis again will pay great dividends for both McCormack and Leeds.
Alexis Set For Sevilla
With Sebastien Squillaci set to sign for Arsenal soon, Sevilla have already lined up his replacement, agreeing a deal for Valencia defender Alexis Ruano. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Given how Sevilla surrendered four goals yesterday in getting eliminated from the Champions League by Braga, this one didn’t go through nearly fast enough. He can play both in the center and on the left, and all the better if he can somehow be in two places at once, given yesterday’s showing.
Juventus Target Di Natale
Udinese president Franco Soldati has revealed that Juventus are interested in striker Antonio Di Natale. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Seeing the summer transfer lists makes for disheartening reading for Udinese supporters, and adding their captain and top scorer to the bunch of top players that Udinese have let go of over the last couple of summers would be a real blow to any hope that the club has this season of making a run at European football. He’s said that he has no desire to leave, so that should be that, hopefully.
Lazio Make Santa Cruz Move
Jan Van Baal, the agent of Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz says that Lazio have held talks with City about a deal for his client and that an offer of 6m euros (4.8m pounds) was in the offing. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Lazio were one of the better defensive sides in Serie A last season, but despite the presence of some decent forwards, they scored the fourth-fewest goals in the league. Santa Cruz, if he can rediscover his scoring touch, could be the difference in another finish in the bottom half of the table and challenging for European football.
Napoli Near Sosa Deal
Napoli have agreed a fee with Bayern Munich for Argentine midfielder Jose Ernesto Sosa. The 25-year-old hasn‘t had a significant impact at Bayern since a 6m move from Estudiantes La Plata in 2007, and he spent part of last season on loan at his former club. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: This could prove to be a nice bargain signing for Napoli. With the pieces that they already have, they should be one of the top attacking sides in Serie A this season, but it doesn’t hurt at all to add some extra quality.
Lyon Swoop For Gourcuff
Lyon have agreed a deal to land France international playmaker Yoann Gourcuff. Bordeaux will receive 22m euros in three installments by December 2012, and they could receive 4.5m more if Gourcuff is sold in the future. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: I knew it was only a matter of time before Gourcuff left Bordeaux, but I’m a little surprised that they’ve sold him to one of their title rivals. If he plays at the level that he did during Bordeaux’s title run two seasons ago, he could be the man to lift Lyon back to the top after two title-less seasons.
Marseille Complete Double Strike Deal
Marseille have completed the signings of strikers Andre-Pierre Gignac from Toulouse and Loic Remy from Nice. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: While Lyon’s move for Gourcuff will help tremendously help their title chances, Marseille’s signings of two of the best strikers in Ligue 1 might mean that they’re still the team to beat, even after their two early defeats.
Rubin Land Eduardo
Rubin Kazan have signed Brazilian playmaker Carlos Eduardo from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. Rubin have reportedly paid 20m euros for the 23-year-old, who has penned a four-year deal with the reigning Russian champions. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Rubin may not be able to catch up with Zenit St. Petersburg domestically, but the addition of Eduardo will help them stay in the hunt for the duration, and it will also help their hopes of being able to advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League in their second go-round in the competition.