THE OLYMPICS ARE just nine days away now and it looks like Chelsea will take advantage of its location by signing up two players who will be in London this month.
Marseille full-back Cesar Azpilicueta could be the first player out the door in the wake of Didier Deschamps’ departure and Roberto Di Matteo is said to be an admirer.
The 22-year-old has been included in a hugely talented Spanish Olympic squad and, according to L’Equipe, his current club would be happy with €9m for the former Osasuna player.
Brazilian prodigy Oscar, meanwhile, has been touted as one of Chelsea’s big money arrivals for the past couple of weeks and touched down at Heathrow yesterday alongside his national team-mates. The talk is that Roman Abramovich will stump up €30m for the 20-year-old Internacional playmaker but Di Matteo was remaining coy when quizzed on the subject.
“I know there has been speculation we are interested in this player and in due course if there is anything to announce we will do” he said. “All I would say is that he is a very young, talented midfield player.”
After weeks of rumours that Clint Dempsey is set to join Liverpool from Fulham, it appeared that the deal had been tied up this morning when Fenway Sports Group (the club’s owners) linked to an article on NESN.com that reported Dempsey had been added to the team. They have since backtracked, however, and removed the webpage.
The Cottagers have also denied the suggestions and added that they have yet to receive an offer, but don’t be surprised if he is wearing red by the start of the season.
Newcastle United are looking to bolster their defence and have made an offer for FC Twente’s Douglas. The Magpies are bidding €4m for the 24-year-old Brazillian, who also gained Dutch citizenship, and are awaiting a response.
In a seamless Holland-themed link, Rafael van der Vaart, who was believed to be on his way out of White Hart Lane, says he won’t be moving away from Spurs any time soon and added that he is more than happy to play under new boss Andre Villas-Boas.
Fresh from offloading Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan have been linked with two strikers in the shape of Edin Dzeko and Dimitar Berbatov.
Roberto Mancini insisted that Bosnian international Dzeko was not for sale earlier in the week but his agent is claiming otherwise:
“Edin would love to play in Serie A and with the Rossoneri,” Sead Susic is reported as saying. ”A move to AC Milan is more than possible. ”There have been discussions and they are continuing. Let’s see what will happen in the coming days.”
Berbatov also wants out of Manchester and realises he could do worse than end up with the Rossonari.
West Ham, who are keen on Berbatov, Andy Carroll and just about everyone else, have turned their attentions to Modibo Maiga of Sochaux. The 24-year-old underwent a medical at Upton Park yesterday and is expected to sign for the Hammers in the next 24 hours.
Promise we’ll do better tomorrow.
‘It was so hard what happened to me’ — Suarez opens old wounds and blames Manchester United for race row