Manchester United finally completed a deal for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera yesterday, despite the Basque club suggesting they had rejected United’s approach on Thursday morning.
The Spanish u-21 player arrives at Old Trafford for a fee of £28.5million, and it looks as though he will be the first of many acquisitions. Southampton’s Luke Shaw also completed a move to the Old Trafford giants. The highly talented Saints youngster commanded a fee of £30 million.
It’s all change on the red side of the city, as club stalwart Rio Ferdinand joined former manager Harry Redknapp at QPR while Alex Buttner agreed a deal to join Dynamo Moscow.
On the blue side of Manchester, City have wrapped up a deal in the region of £12 million for long-time target Fernando. The former Porto midfielder joins Bacary Sagna as the Citizens’ second signing of the summer.
Other Premier League transfers include Jake Livermore making his Hull City move permanent, West Brom grabbing Joleon Lescott on a free transfer and the move of free agent Bafetimbi Gomis to Swansea. The powerful forward, who Newcastle made a bid for last summer, scored 17 goals in 42 overall appearances for Lyon last season.
In Irish transfer news, Donegal native Seamus Coleman has signed a five-year extension to his contract at Everton and looks set to remain at Goodison Park for the foreseeable future despite interest from both Arsenal and Man United in the marauding full-back.
One man who could be on his way from the Premier League is the infamous Luis Suarez. After receiving another lengthy ban, many media outlets are reporting that Liverpool are set to take legal action against the Uruguayan. This could pave the way for the PFA Player of the Year to make a long-suggested switch to La Liga with Barcelona looking to be front-runners ahead of Real Madrid. If either of the Spanish clubs activate Suarez’s buyout clause, thought to be around £68 million, it will be interesting to see how the Anfield club respond.
There is no doubt that their ability to win trophies next season hinges on Suarez, even though he is unavailable until November, and a player of his extraordinary ability is worth a lot more than his buyout clause in today’s market. One suspects most Liverpool fans would be more than happy for their star striker to remain at the club.
The papers are reporting the sad news that Mario Balotelli will most likely not be returning to the Premier League. It did seem a longshot that Arsene Wenger would take on such an explosive personality in the Italian, but personally I would have enjoyed seeing ‘Mad Mario’ back in England causing havoc on and off the field.
The Mirror report that Wenger is going to fill the right-back sized hole at Arsenal with countryman Mathieu Debuchy in a £8million deal from Newcastle, while The Mail say another Frenchman in the form of Loic Remy is on his way to the Emirates for a similar fee.
Many outlets are claiming that Man United aren’t happy with just one high profile midfield acquisition and will look to land Chilean dynamo Arturo Vidal. His international teammate Alexis Sanchez is another who could be on his way to the Premier League with the star alleging that Barcelona are willing to sell, putting Arsenal and United on alert. The same paper also claim that Chelsea will make a move for Fenerbahce forward Emmanuel Emenike who has impressed at the World Cup.
Many clubs will be looking to snap up the next big star from showings at the tournament, with Lille striker Divock Origi another young player linked with a Premier League move after impressing in cameos as the lone forward for Belgium. Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal are all thought to be interested.
In European transfer news, Barcelona have wrapped up a deal to sign Chilean stopper Claudio Bravo from Real Sociedad to provide competition to Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the club’s vacant number one spot. Another side who are on the rebuild after a relatively poor season, the Catalan club also recently signed Croatian playmaker Ivan Rakitic after his brilliant season with Sevilla.
In Ligue 1, PSG are still hot on the trail of Ivorian powerhouse Yaya Touré after reports that Man City did not grant their star midfielder compassionate leave to spend time with his recently passed brother. The Parisian side are also still keen on Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Oscar, with the latter the more likely to make the switch to the French giants.
Finally, Italian outlet Tuttosport claimed this week that former Atletico Madrid hitman Radamel Falcao could be on his way back to the capital after allegedly signing a deal to join Real Madrid. If the Monaco man does make the move, it would realistically put an end to the Galacticos pursuit of the aforementioned Luis Suarez. Whatever happens, the Suarez saga will no doubt continue to eat up column inches long into the summer.
Colm Hayes, Pundit Arena.