Madrid Ships Out Stars Robben, Sneijder and Negredo
Real Madrid has continued their massive summer overhaul and some big names will feature in new colors for the upcoming season. No longer wearing the famous white shirt of Madrid will be Dutch national teammates Arjen Robben and Wesley .
A more surprising move was the sale of Álvaro Negredo for the second time. Negredo has joined Sevilla FC on a five-year deal with the Rojiblancos paying a reported 15m Euros for his rights. Similar to the last time Madrid sold Negredo, they have asked for a buy-back option as part of the terms of the deal.
The 24-year-old is one of the hottest properties in Spanish football after scoring 31 goals in 70 Liga appearances for Almería over the past two seasons, including 19 last term as the club finished eleventh. That form (check out this YouTube video for evidence) convinced Madrid to exploit a buy-back clause in the deal that saw him leave the capital in 2007. I had thought that this might be the season he was given a chance to crack the starting XI but the big money deal for Karim Benzema was a signal of Madrid’s intentions to look elsewhere.
It was reported that English Premier League club Hull City had tabled an Negredo looked set to move to Hull in a 18m Euro offer for the striker, but Sevilla came in late and the prospect of Champions League football at a great club like Seville was too strong an offer to turn down for the young Spaniard.
Inter Milan’s search for an attacking midfielder ended when they signed Wesley Sneijder from Madrid for an undisclosed fee. I think this is a fantastic move for Inter though I must admit that Sneijder is one of the players I am biased about. The Dutch international, 25, has signed a four-year contract with the Italian champions after two seasons in Spain, where he scored eleven goals in 52 Liga appearances, helping Madrid win the championship in 2007/08. I think Sneijder still had a lot to offer Milan but spots in the midfield were going to be hard to come by with Ronaldo and Kaka arriving this summer. Sneijder has been capped 55 times by the Netherlands and has represented the Oranje at every major international tournament since his debut in 2003 when he was only 18. He joins new signings Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito, Lucio and Marko Arnautovic in José Mourinho’s new-look squad.
Another Dutch departure, Arjen Robben has joined fellow countryman Louis van Gaal at FC Bayern München for an undisclosed fee. It seems like he has been around a long time but the Dutch winger is just 25 and the thought of Bayern being able to deploy both Robben and Ribery on the flanks must have some defences nervous. Robben passed a medical this morning before putting his name to a four-year contract in a transfer rumoured to be worth as much as 25m Euros. Robben could be available for Saturday’s showdown with last season’s Bundesliga champs, VfL Wolfsburg.
One earlier move that I disagreed with was the sale of Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Real Madrid shipped him off to AC MIlan for a reported fee of 15m Euros, just eight months after they had paid AFC Ajax 27m Euros for his rights. Huntelaar’s goal-scoring record is phenomenal as he notched 76 goals in 92 Eredivisie matches for Ajax and despite being limited to 13 Liga starts at the Santiago Bernabéu, he still scored eight goals.