World Football Transfer Window Roundup: 7/20/2011
Transfer window news continues to heat up as August rapidly approaches and teams get serious about their offers and signings. This is always a great time for soccer fans, as sometimes it’s the speculation that’s as much fun as the actual transfers. Everybody wants to know which teams will be sending money for which players, and that always keeps things interesting, even if no blockbuster deals were struck this week.
With many of the top teams shockingly eliminated from the Copa America this week, transfer rumors have begun swirling around some of the players who were linked with clubs before the tournament but didn’t have time to negotiate during the competition.
While the deal is not official yet, the major news this week is Barcelona’s signing of Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez. The Udinese winger has been linked with the club for months, and now it appears that a deal is done. Gino Pozzo, the son of Udinese president Giampolo Pozzo, told an Italian radio station that an agreement had been reached and would be completed within the next few days. The big question here is how big of an international wire transfer Udinese will ultimately demand. Pozzo originally rated Sanchez at €50 million, but it’s possible that was simply a negotiating tactic.
With the Sanchez transfer fee likely to be significant, it could have an effect on other transfers. Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas has made no secret that he wants to move to Barcelona, but the Spanish side likely doesn’t have the funds for two mega-transfers this year. Combine that with the fact that Arsene Wenger is doing everything to keep Fabregas, and the unsettled playmaker may be a Gunner for at least a few months.
Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl over the brilliant young striker Neymar, who appears close to signing with Real Madrid. The player recently revealed that he wants to stay with his South American club, Santos. However, the player’s agent revealed that a deal with Madrid was done, and the La Liga squad simply had to wire money – €45 million – to complete the transfer. It’s possible that Neymar could stay with Santos for the time being, play in the Club World Cup, and then move in the January transfer window.
Another young Brazilian player for Santos could be set to move in the near future as well. Media reports are heavily linking Paulo Henrique Ganso with a move to Italian side AC Milan. There’s been a flurry of interest in the midfielder after a strong showing in the Copa America, despite Brazil’s early exit. Russian team Aznhi Makhachkala, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and AC’s rivals Inter are all reportedly interested in the player. However, Ganso apparently has great admiration for the Brazilian midfielder Kaka, and wants to follow in his footsteps at AC Milan.
Meanwhile, Chelsea continue in their search for a holding midfielder to replace Michael Essien. Tottenham’s Luka Modric was originally tabbed as the top target, but interest has waned as the transfer fees have risen. There are rumors about Roma’s Daniele De Rossi making a move, although the Italian side seems to be doing everything to sign him. Thus much of the attention has now fallen to Bayern Leverkusen’s Arturo Vidal. Vidal was initially thought to be moving to Bayern Munich, as the Leverkusen coach from last season is now in charge at the German giant.
However, Leverkusen apparently don’t want to sell the star to their rival if they can avoid it, which is why talks began to progress quickly with Italian side Juventus. Now, it appears Chelsea has entered the fray at a late stage in order to prevent Juventus from scooping up the midfielder.