Only a couple of days ago, the media was awash with reports that Manchester United had belatedly joined the race to sign the Napoli striker, Edison Cavani. In what looks likely to be the transfer saga of this summer, the plot has more twists than an Agatha Christie novel!
In the first place, it was assumed that clubs with billionaire owners would be the likely destination for the gifted striker, however, one by one they have been dropping out like flies. Firstly the usual culprits like PSG and Monaco had already spent vast sums on players, so they were ruled out, especially after a tap on the shoulder from M. Platini and his FFP squad.
This last week, we have heard that Manchester City have officially pulled out from dealings because they are unwilling to pay the buyout clause of £53m. That left Chelsea in the driving seat, but yesterday they too announced that they will not pay over £40m for the player; not surprising really, given the number of costly flops they have bought in the striker department. Real Madrid seems to have their attention elsewhere, with new manager Ancelotti looking at Luis Suarez as a cheaper option.
According to SportsDirectNews, Manchester United are in "advanced negotiations" with Benfica for the transfer of center-back Ezequiel Garay.
The Red Devils are expected to complete the signing of the Argentine, for a reported sum of £17million, in the next couple of days, although Garay's former club Real Madrid will pocket half of the fee.
Rio Ferdinand might have signed a contract extension, but he is entering the twilight days of his career, while Nemanja Vidic has struggled with fitness issues over the past two seasons.
This still leaves David Moyes with plenty of options in the form Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, but the Scot is adamant to purchase an experienced and proven defender.
Garay has reignited his career at Benfica after a torrid time with Real Madrid. He might lack in the pace department, but his positional awareness tends to make up for this deficit, while his tackling attributes are also impressive. Garay is comfortable in possession and can calmly build up attacks from the deep.
Manchester United Transfer News: Glazers Authorize Mega £50m Deal For Edison Cavani From Napoli Plus Thiago Bid
In a surprise move which will stoke up the fires of the Wayne Rooney controversy, it has just emerged that the Glazers family are ready to back the new manager in a massive £50m bid for Cavani from Napoli. This would appear to rule out any successful bid for a return to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo and furthermore casts further doubt over the future of Wayne Rooney.
Manchester United are awash with cash at the moment after their successful title campaign last season and the new television deal now coming into force. They have also had a massively successful year as regards sponsorship and merchandising deals. All of this means that the Glazers are happy to back their new manager with a massive deal for a marquee player to underline their determination to continue United`s domination of the Premier League, especially after their rivals are also splashing the cash.
This bid is independent from the deal to bring Thiago Alcantra from Barcelona for around £15m. The Thiago deal is one which was started originally by Sir Alex Ferguson and new manager, David Moyes, shares his vision of bringing in younger players of high quality whatever the cost.
There are some in the media saying that terms have been agreed between Manchester United and Barcelona for the transfer of midfielder Thiago Alcantra. However, my Manchester United sources have told me that talks are on-going, but the player is awaiting reassurances from Barcelona that he will be given more playing time in the first team.
In the normal world, that would be a natural assumption that Barcelona would pay lip service and tell the player that he is part of their plans etcetera, but this is the football world and normal things do not happen. Despite his demands, it is unlikely that Barcelona will make such a promise, because they would then have to answer to other, more powerful players about their playing time; they will not fall into that trap. The likelihood is that they will merely tell the player that it is the manager`s job to decide on the team, formation and tactics. Thiago scored an excellent hat trick in the final of the U-21 Championships in Israel, so you would be excused for thinking that it would give him more clout with the Barca hierarchy, but that will not wash; they have a team full of high achievers.
According to reports via ESPN on Friday, Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester United were interested in signing Saint-Etienne's highly rated defender, Kurt Zouma. But now all three clubs have backed out due to the £8.5 million price tag that has been slapped on the 18-year olds head.
They went on to confirm that there is still an English club and a German club in for Zouma and other sources are positive that the English club could potentially be Chelsea, who would like to add more quality depth to that area of their squad. The fee would be considered large for a player of that age but with his qualities and potential taken in to account, the amount won't put Chelsea off.
Zouma is a physically built defender with good ability and is touted as a top future defender, he features regularly for his country France at youth level and is currently at the Under-20s FIFA World Cup with the squad. The players agent had also confirmed that his client would 'prefer England' when talking about his future.