The 2010 World Cup is heading into the knockout stages, and just as the action in South Africa is getting ready to really heat up, so are things on the transfer front.
Manchester United had a relatively quiet summer last year, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case this summer, as United look set to strengthen their squad in multiple areas. One prime area is midfield, and there are two targets in today’s roundup of transfer tidbits who could be on their way to the red side of Manchester at some point in the near future.
Of course, out of the plethora of players that will be linked with United throughout the summer, only a handful will end up on the summer transfers lists. Will today’s duo be in that bunch? Only time will tell, but let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
United High On Meireles And Navas
According to reports, Manchester United are interested in Porto midfielder Raul Meireles and Sevilla attacker Jesus Navas. (Metro)
Analysis: United do need to look to the future when it comes to the center of midfield, and Meireles, who is adept both defensively and going forward, would be a quality addition to United’s squad.
There’s no doubt that Navas could cut it in England on a talent level, but his past issues with homesickness could throw a wrench into such a move, as it did with a potential move to Chelsea four years ago.
Tottenham Open Talks Over Palermo Duo
Tottenham have opened talks with Palermo for a big-money double swoop for center back Simon Kjaer and striker Edinson Cavani, with Palermo president Mauricio Zamparini saying that the club would accept an offer of £28m. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Adding two top young talents would be a tremendous boost to Tottenham’s hopes of making a serious splash in the Champions League and being a serious Premier League title contender, but pulling the deal off won’t be easy. Cavani reportedly prefers a move to Inter, while Manchester United and Manchester City are both after Kjaer.
Villa Look To McGeady?
If Manchester City are successful in their efforts to land James Milner, Aston Villa could go after Celtic star Aiden McGeady to replace him. (Goal.com)
Analysis: McGeady has been heavily linked with Spartak Moscow, but despite the monetary benefits of a move to Russia, Villa should feel like they have an excellent shot at landing McGeady, as he’s just tabbed top agent Struan Marshall to help broker a move to the Premier League.
West Ham Target Benitez
West Ham are pursuing Santos Laguna striker Christian Benitez after being unable to make any headway with Everton for Yakubu. Benitez spent last season on loan at Birmingham City, scoring four goals in 36 appearances. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Benitez’s goal haul at Birmingham City wasn’t impressive, but you have to consider that the Blues were one of the poorer attacking sides in the Premier League last season despite an impressive ninth-place finish. With a season of Premier League experience under his belt and some quality attackers around him, I think Benitez could really flourish at West Ham if they can afford him.
Bayern Striker In Blackpool Move?
Blackpool have made a move for Bayern Munich striker Denis Yilmaz. The 22-year-old is available for £750k. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Yilmaz has scored a solid rate for Bayern’s reserve team, but it’s time for him to move on with several names ahead of him in the pecking order, and Blackpool could be a great opportunity for him to establish himself in a top league.
Boro Land Bailey
Charlton skipper Nicky Bailey is moving to Middlesbrough in a £1.4m deal. The 26-year-old midfielder has penned a three-year deal with his new club, and the deal will go through next week. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Bailey had a terrific season in the Championship in 2008/09, scoring 13 goals and assisting on seven more, and he’ll greatly help a Boro side which struggled in attack after Adam Johnson’s move to Manchester City, with Johnson still finishing as the side’s top scorer despite not playing in their final 18 matches.
Inter Target Rafinha
If right back Maicon leaves Milan to join Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, another Brazilian could take his place, in Schalke star Rafinha. (Transfer Market Web)
Analysis: Rafinha had eight assists last season, so he’s more than capable of filling Maicon’s role as an attacking right back. And with Schalke’s hand perhaps forced by the fact that his contract runs out after next season, he could also be a relatively inexpensive purchase in relation to what his predecessor will likely be sold for.
Rossoneri Ready Fabiano Offer
With Luis Fabiano having difficulties agreeing a new deal with Sevilla, AC Milan could be set to make a fresh swoop for the Brazilian striker after missing out on him last summer. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: You’d have to think that Alexandre Pato will bounce back after not being his best last season and that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be much better in his second season at the club, but AC Milan need to add more quality up front to help them be a serious threat in Serie A and in Europe next season.
Bundesliga Return Beckoning For Pantelic?
Serbian striker Marko Pantelic is reportedly a target for Werder Bremen and Schalke 04, and the former Hertha Berlin star, who spent last season at Ajax, is very open to the idea of a return to the Bundesliga, according to comments made to a German television network. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Pantelic was a consistent scorer during his four seasons at Hertha Berlin, and though he’s no spring chicken, his familiarity with the Bundesliga and his reliability in front of goal would make him a worthwhile signing for both of the aforementioned sides.
Marseille Eye Quagliarella
Marseille are interested in Napoli striker Fabio Quagliarella. (Transfer Market Web)
Analysis: I don’t see this one coming to anything. Quagliarella is set to be a major part of Napoli’s quest to make a run at a Champions League place and make some noise in the Europa League, and unless Marseille offer an eye-popping amount of money for him, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.