Transfer dealings hot up
Published: 23.07.13 / Written by: David Gold
As Edinson Cavani prepares to leave Napoli for Paris St Germain and Gonzalo Higuain remains forever on the brink of a move to Arsenal, there is a real sense that the transfer market is heating up at last.
A summer which promises large expenditure could well deliver, although it may be delayed a little by the intricacies of financial fair play. Because of the need to break even, most teams are looking to balance the books and ensure they are spending roughly what they are bringing in. So teams are less likely to make a huge splash in the transfer market without being sure first.
Manchester City are a good example of this. They have spent big in signing Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, whilst Alvaro Negredo appears to be next to move to the Etihad Stadium. But these are not the signings they used to make and City have backed out of the race to sign Cavani because of his asking price. The same is also true of Chelsea, another team traditionally not opposed to splashing the cash.
Chelsea in fact seem willing to part with big players to generate funds for new manager Jose Mourinho to spend. One who may still move is David Luiz, whose skill and enterprising playing style is not what the Portuguese likes in his players – safety first is the Mourinho way and it would not be a major shock to see Barcelona follow through on their interest and snap up the former Benfica man.
If Luiz goes to Barcelona it could be either instead of or even in addition to Thiago Silva. Brazil’s other first choice centre back starred for Paris St Germain last year after moving from AC Milan and appears to want to leave to join the Catalans, who are interested in him. This appears Barcelona’s priority area for strengthening – the defence – after adding Neymar to their ranks earlier this summer. Although they may dip into the market again if they lose Thiago Alcantara to Manchester United.
They beat Real Madrid to sign Neymar but the Madridistas are looking to bolster their ranks under Carlo Ancelotti. Isco has already arrived from Malaga and Asier Illaramendi looks like he may follow from Real Sociedad. But the marquee signing Florentino Perez craves could be arriving from the Premier League in the shape of either Gareth Bale, or more likely, Luis Suarez, as Real withdrew their interest in Cavani.
Atletico Madrid are looking to replace Radamel Falcao, long since departed for Monaco, and they have found an ideal replacement in the shape of David Villa. Edin Dzeko and Roberto Soldado are also likely to move this summer for different reasons. Dzeko is keen to find regular football too way from Manchester City and Soldado’s talents are such that Valencia will struggle to hold onto him. One team also looking for a forward is Premier League Tottenham. Soldado is on their wish list, as is Leandro Damiao, whilst the Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk is a potential target for both Spurs and Chelsea.
Also signing a forward is likely to be Fiorentina, although this depends on whether they sell star man Stevan Jovetic, linked with Arsenal, Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea. Juventus have already added Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez to their ranks. Fiorentina will sign Mario Gomez from Bayern Munich, whilst Napoli are looking to replace Cavani and may go for Fernando Torres, who Chelsea want to sell. Bayern Munich have failed to land Robert Lewandowski this summer, with Borussia Dortmund determined not to sell, so it seems as though the Pole will remain put for now. Dortmund have nonetheless signed Pierre Emerick Aubameyang from St Etienne. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is the subject of a bidding war between Dortmund and Liverpool, whilst then there is that team Monaco, splashing the cash like there is no tomorrow. They have signed Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho. And Ricardo Carvalho and Jeremy Toulalan. Whoever next? This transfer window seems set to get increasingly exciting.