Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lazy Sunday Transfer Talk: Arsenal sign Vermaelen, Man City get Santa Cruz, United close in on Benzema and Chelsea chase Torres

Welcome to another edition of Lazy Sunday Transfer Talk. Let's have a look at what's been happening in the world of English Premier League transfer news...

Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen became Arsene Wenger's first signing of the summer after completing a £10 million move from Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam. Vermaelen, 23, captained Ajax last season after making his debut for the Dutch giants at the age of 18. He is a left footed centre back who according to Wenger can also play at left back. Wenger certainly seems chuffed with his latest acquisition:
"Thomas is a great signing for Arsenal, and we are all delighted that he is joining us," the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said. "Thomas is a solid performer with good experience of Champions League and Uefa Cup football and is also a regular with the Belgium national team.

"Thomas is primarily a left-footed centre-back, but he's multi-functional and can also play at left-back. He is strong technically with a positive winner's attitude and I have no doubt his arrival will strengthen our team. Thomas Vermaelen will be a huge asset to Arsenal."
Moving along, Manchester City have wrapped up their second summer signing after agreeing on a agreed an £18million deal to sign Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn, as Mark Hughes continues to build a squad capable of breaking into the Premier League's top four. The transfer has not been officially announced yet but it is expected to be made public on Monday according to the Daily Mail. The Mail goes on to add that Santa Cruz will be competing for a place up front alongside the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Carlos Tevez who are also reportedly close to joining Citeh.

Chelsea are also making the news today with the creative folks over at the News Of The World claiming that the Blues are mounting a £50million hunt for Fernando Torres' signature. This comes after news that their original target, David Villa, has been taken off the transfer market by Valencia.
This is could of course just be lazy journalism at it's best after claiming only last week that Manchester United were after Torres, there is however no chance in hell that Torres would leave Liverpool for another Premier League club, after the Spanish striker told reporters in South Africa this weekend that wearing the Red of Liverpool is his greatest honour.

It looks like it will be a frustrating Sumer for the Liverpool supporters with some of Europe's biggest clubs closing in on their best players. The Mirror reports that Chelsea have joined the race to sign £20million rated Xabi Alonso, who has reportedly started discussing personal terms with Real Madrid. Then there are also rumours that Real Madrid has joined Barcelona in the battle to secure the signing of defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano. According to The Times Florentino Perez is prepared to pay £38m for the joint transfer of Mascherano and right-back Alvaro Arbeloa. With Mascherano — who is keen to move to either of Spain’s premier clubs — valued at £30m, the sum would be a record fee for a holding midfielder.

This could see Liverpool without any recognised holding midfielder's in the new campaign, leaving Benitez with only Lucas Leiva in this position. I seriously doubt that the club would sell BOTH Alonso and Mascherano but these day's you can't rule out anything, especially with Liverpool's money troubles.

Manchester United announced on Saturday that they would not be signing Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, and it looks as if Ferguson will now step up his chase for Lyon's Karim Benzema with a £25million offer for the French striker. Lyon told reporters that he is not for sale last week but according to The News of The World, Manchester United believes that a £25m offer could be enough to tempt them into letting go of their star player. Bernard Lacombe, the personal advisor to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, has revealed they are anticipating a bid from Fergie. Lacombe said:
"Benzema is with us, but nobody knows what will happen. We didn't think Michael Essien would leave at the time, but when Chelsea arrived with the cheque . . .
"If Manchester United, who as we know have plenty of cash available, want to buy Benzema, then what can you do?"

That’s it for this week’s edition of Lazy Sunday Transfer talk, till next time…


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