Transfer Rumors (29 May 09): Benzema in, Tevez (and more) out at United, Chelsea to land CSKA Moscow star Zhirkov, Fulham after Kaka’s brother, and more
The party is still going on in Barcelona, and there might still yet be a few angry hangovers in Manchester right now, but the aftermath of the Champions League final means transfer gossip aplenty for the loser.
As you would expect, a few butts will be met by boots this summer at Manchester United, and a few new faces will take their place in an attempt to help erase the disappointment of the Rome defeat.
With that in mind, United are in the transfer news and rumors pages today, but they’re not the only club trying to position themselves to displace Barcelona next season.
Manchester United to Pursue Benzema?
After Wednesday’s Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, there’s a lot of speculation that it could be a busy summer for Manchester United. While the likes of Carlos Tevez, Nani, Park Ji-Sung, and even Dimitar Berbatov all being linked with the exit door, one named that’s appearing on United’s potential wishlist is Lyon star Karim Benzema. The 21-year-old striker could be available for 30m, and he’s seen as better value than picking up the 25m option on Tevez would be. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Benzema had the quite the dry spell where he scored only twice in 10 Ligue 1 matches, which played a role in Lyon’s title challenge going down the drain, and when consistent goal production from the front line was an issue for United this season, that’s a bit worrying. But there’s no doubt that he’s one of the top young strikers in the game, and he’s proved that with three goals in his last two games.
Manchester United may be balking at it, but Liverpool and Manchester City have both agreed to pay the 25m required to land Tevez. Along with those two clubs, another Premier League club, Real Madrid, and another foreign club are all prepared to pay up as well. (The Times)
Analysis: Before the Champions League final, David Gill seemed confident about Manchester United’s chances to land Tevez permanently, but it doesn’t look like the asking price is going to change, especially when several clubs are all too ready to pay it.
Chelsea Tie Up Zhirkov Deal?
According to Russian reports, Chelsea have sealed an 18.6m deal for CSKA Moscow star Yuri Zhirkov. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: The reports may be a little premature according to what the club are officially saying, but Chelsea have been after Zhirkov for quite a while, and if he does go anywhere this summer, it’ll be there.
Fulham After Kaka’s Little Bro
Analysis: Digao is quite the physically imposing presence at 6’4”, so he could very well replace Brede Hangeland if he moves to Arsenal or elsewhere in the summer.
Bayern Munich to Watch Stoke Keeper
Analysis: Bayern Munich could be in the market for a new keeper this summer, and though Sorensen isn’t exactly the most eye-catching choice, he has a wealth of experience in one of Europe’s elite leagues and internationally. It’d be a big blow for Stoke to lose him, but I don’t think they’d hold him back if the opportunity was there for him to be Bayern’s #1.
McClaren to Take Over at Hamburg?
Former England coach Steve McClaren is being linked with a move to Hamburg SV. McClaren led FC Twente to a runner-up finish in the Eredivisie in his first season at the helm, and he’s on the shortlist to replace former Tottenham boss Martin Jol, who stepped down to take over at Ajax – a job McClaren was also linked with. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: If Twente can hold on to their top assets this summer, next season could be special, but McClaren could see this move as a chance to jump to a better league. Jol set a nice foundation at HSV, and as wide open as the Bundesliga was last season,
Galatasaray in Bid for Sevilla’s Kanoute
Galatasaray are after Sevilla star Fredi Kanoute. The former West Ham and Tottenham striker only signed a new deal with Sevilla last year, but Galatasaray have already opened discussions over a move. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Kanoute has been stellar for Sevilla since moving there in 2005, and considering that he’s been their most consistent scorer this season and that the goals don’t look like drying up anytime soon, it surprises me that they’re considering letting him go. But, he’s 31, and they could be looking to give some of their younger forwards a chance next season, so if the fee’s right, then it could happen.
On the latest episode of the Soccerlens podcast, host Stephen Darwin and guest Simon Wilkes talk about the Champions League final, the summer plans for the two finalists, and much more.
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