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Transfer Rumors: Man City close on trio, Real land Benfica wiz Di Maria, Henry to leave Barcelona, and more

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With the World Cup heading towards the latter stages, we’re already seeing things rapidly heating up in the world of transfers. Up to this point, there’s been mostly speculation and little substance, but that’s about to change in the next several days.

Manchester City’s second straight summer super spending spree (that’s a lot of s’s to take in, I know) is set to kick off in a big way over the coming days, with not one, not two, but at least three – and maybe more – deals set to be done this week.

But the Citizens aren’t the only club who’s got big money to spend and big names to spend it on, and it’s safe to say that we’re going to start seeing the summer transfers lists start to become a lot more filled up with well-known names soon.


England

City Close On Silva, Toure, And Milner

The entrance at Manchester City is about to become very, very congested.

Spanish reports suggest that City are nearing a deal for Valencia winger David Silva. City could be set to sweeten the deal by including striker Roque Santa Cruz. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: Everyone wins here. City would get their target and offload a bad investment a surplus squad member, while Valencia would get even more funds to add to their squad and land a new striker without having to spend any of those funds.

First in the door, however, looks to be Barcelona’s Yaya Toure, who’s set to finalize his move to Eastlands within the next few days. (Metro)

Analysis: A report in the Daily Mail yesterday said that there could still yet be a twist, with Toure set to hold talks with Barcelona’s new president before making his final decision. However, I think it’s all but a done deal now.

And it also looks like Aston Villa’s James Milner could join the party soon as well, as according to reports, City could wrap up a £25m deal for the England midfielder by the end of the week. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Aston Villa will certainly hate to lose him, but the 25m will soften the blow. With that, Martin O’Neill can make the kind of reinforcements that would make Villa an even better overall team than they were even with Milner in as fine of a run of form as he was last season.

Arsenal Land Koscielny

Arsenal have finally agreed a deal with Lorient for center back Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal will pay £8.1m initially in a deal that could rise to £10m with add-ons, and the 24-year-old will pen a four-year deal with his new club. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Center back was one of the top priorities last summer and Arsenal addressed it early with the signing of Thomas Vermaelen, and it’s good to see that they’ve moved quickly to address it this summer with it once again being a priority thanks to multiple expected departures at the back.

Blackburn Target Bance

Blackburn are also considering a move for FSV Mainz striker Aristide Bance. The 25-year-old Burkina Faso international scored 10 goals last season in helping newly-promoted Mainz finish an impressive ninth. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Bance certainly has the physical attributes to be able to hold his own in the Premier League. At 6’4’’ and over 200 pounds, he won’t be muscled off of the ball easily, that’s for sure. He also knows how to find the back of the net well too, and at £3.5m, he’d be a sound investment for Blackburn.

Birmingham Big On Di Natale And Mbokani

Birmingham City have also made an approach for Udinese striker Antonio di Natale. (The Mirror)

Analysis: The money that Birmingham would have to fork out for the fee and his wages is indeed a little higher than a club with their budget should normally pay for someone who’ll soon be 33, but Di Natale has only gotten better with age, so he’s worth the investment if Birmingham make it.

Birmingham have also entered the race for highly-rated Standard Liege’s Dieumerci Mbokani. The 24-year-old had been linked with a move to Fulham, but with that move falling through, Birmingham are now in contention to land the £8m Congolese striker. (Goal.com)

Analysis: Mbokani’s first name means ‘Thank you God’, and Alex McLeish will certainly be thanking the man upstairs if he can land him, as he’ll have that front line that he needs for Birmingham to be capable of bettering last season’s impressive finish and perhaps challenging for a spot in Europe.

Hammers Target Remy And Juarez

West Ham are interested in Nice striker Loic Remy and versatile Pumas and Mexico star Efrain Juarez. Remy scored 14 goals for Nice last season and is valued at £10m, while Juarez, who can play at the back and in midfield, is set to be the subject of a £6m move by the Hammers. (The Sun)

Analysis: West Ham are going to need to splash a little cash if they’re to avoid another relegation scrap and actually have a chance to make some noise this season and beyond, and this is the way to do it. Remy and Juarez are two very promising young talents that not only have the goods to be key pieces of Avram Grant’s plans for the future, but to step in and make a big difference immediately.

Everton Bid For Gueye

Strasbourg striker Magaye Gueye says that Everton have agreed a fee for him, after it emerged that the Toffees had made a bid of a little less than £1m for the 19-year-old. (Sky Sports)

Analysis: This one’s certainly more for the future, but if Everton have a rash of injuries up front as was the case last season, he could well get his chance to impress sooner rather than later.

Spain

Real Sign Di Maria, Tevez To Follow?

Real Madrid have confirmed that they’ve agreed a deal for Benfica winger Angel di Maria. Di Maria will pen a six-year deal with the club, and he becomes Jose Mourinho’s first signing since taking over at Real. (BBC Sport)

Analysis: As promising as Di Maria already was, he took a huge step forward last season and had a stellar campaign in leading Benfica to a league title. Prior to last season, it could be said that he wasn’t quite ready to make that step up to one of the European powers, but he clearly is now.

According to reports, Real will also try to land Carlos Tevez for €48m. (Transfer Market Web)

Analysis: It would seem unlikely at this point that City would entertain offers for Tevez, but perhaps it’s not out of the question. Anyone can be considered expendable there now with all of the expected movement in and out, and Roberto Mancini openly said that just as much a couple of months ago when Tevez mentioned his unhappiness with the training regime.

Henry To Leave Barca

Barcelona have confirmed that striker Thierry Henry is leaving the club. (ESPN Soccernet)

Analysis: This one was only a matter of time, really, with the combination of his limited impact last season, the signing of David Villa, and the speculation surrounding a move to the U.S. Good to get it quickly so that he can sort out his future as soon as possible, whether it be a move to MLS, a return to the Premier League, or something else entirely. He may not be the same Henry as even two seasons ago, but he still has plenty of goals left in the tank.

Italy

Inter In Swap Swoop For Bastos?

Inter Milan are set to offer Lyon cash plus out of favor winger Mancini in exchange for Michel Bastos. (Transfer Market Web)

Analysis: Perhaps Lyon would prefer straight cash, but this could be a solid deal. AC Milan are reportedly interested in holding onto him after his loan spell there last season, but a move somewhere he’d start regularly could be just what Mancini needs to fully rediscover his brilliant form from his time with Roma.

Turkey

Fenerbahce Up Huntelaar Bid

After AC Milan rejected their €18m bid for striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Fenerbahce have come back with an improved offer of €23m. (Transfer Market Web)

Analysis: Reasonable offer that is, considering that AC Milan snapped him up for 15m last summer, and it’s true that his future at AC Milan is anything but certain. I imagine Turkey isn’t Huntelaar’s ideal destination, but even a move there is in the cards, Milan would be wise to not act until a deal for a new striker is already in place.

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