Prominent Premier League clubs are making last-ditch efforts to bolster their squads with the summer transfer deadline looming, and there has been no shortage of elite players linked to lucrative moves. The pressure is on managers David Moyes and Arsene Wenger, in particular, to finish the summer transfer period with at least one notable signing, while Jose Mourinho is still looking to improve his options up front.
Manchester United are attempting to close in on their first major signings of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, with Moyes interested in taking two players he managed at Everton to Old Trafford. Everton rejected a combined £28 million bid for midfielder Marouane Fellaini, 25, and left back Leighton Baines, 28, but United is expected to return with an improved offer.
Both players have been linked to the Red Devils for several weeks, however United’s initial offers failed to come close to Everton’s valuations of the players. Fellaini previously had a release clause of £23 million, while Everton are thought to want closer to £20 million to part with Baines.
The situation is even more desperate for Arsenal’s embattled manager. Wenger is under scrutiny to spend the £70 million in the Gunners’ war chest to add a top-level striker after a failed pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain. The Daily Mirror has reported that Wenger has not given up on adding Liverpool forward Luis Suarez. Yet, Liverpool have insisted that the Uruguayan will not be sold to their rivals for a Champions League place, while Suarez appears to have repaired his relationship with manager Brendan Rodgers.
Arsenal are also in need of a defender and have turned their attention to Manchester City’s Micah Richards, according to the same Mirror article. The 25-year-old right back, who is also capable of playing center back, has been linked to a host of clubs in recent months and is valued at about £12 million.
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While Chelsea have already added versatile forward Andre Schurrle and midfielder Marco van Ginkel for roughly £26 million, Mourinho appears still to be interested in Wayne Rooney and Samuel Eto’o. Indeed, Mourinho has strongly hinted that a third bid will be forthcoming for the Manchester United forward before the close of the transfer window.
"You try, because nobody forbids you to try,” he said, according to The Guardian. “When you think that you'd like to have one player and the market is open and the official bids are not forbidden, official bids are always accepted in an ethical way. The player's owners they can do exactly what we did in relation to David Luiz and Barcelona."
According to multiple reports, Eto’o is Chelsea’s backup plan should they lose out on Rooney. Eto’o, who played for Mourinho at Inter, is thought to be available for a cut-price deal after his Russian club, Anzhi Makhachkala, decided to slash their budget. The 32-year-old may also be willing to accept a reduction on his massive salary. There have been reports that the player’s agent, Claudio Vigorelli, was in London on Tuesday to discuss a potential deal with both Chelsea and fellow-reported suitors Manchester United. Vigorelli also told Sportsmediaset that there was a 30 percent chance that the Cameroonian could rejoin Inter.