This has been, and continues to be the summer transfer market of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. The sides who finished 6th and 5th respectively last season don’t go a day without making, or attempting to make a move. Coinciding with yesterday’s Europa League matches, and the UEFA Champions League group stage draw, the transfer market has stolen the show once again.
- It’s over. Well supposedly. According to Harry Redknapp, Luka Modric, will be staying at Spurs. Despite Modric’s strike, the Tottenham boss has confirmed that the Croatian playmaker will be in the Spurs side come their battle at the weekend with Manchester City. Sky Sports is reporting that Modric spoke with Daniel Levy on Wednesday, concerning his future at the club. In order to strengthen his midfield, Redknapp is attempting to sign Real Madrid’s Lassana Diarra, a former player of Harry’s at Portsmouth. However, the Frenchman denies any talks with Spurs and said, “There is no agreement with Tottenham and I don’t think there will be.” Redknapp insists that a deal for the midfielder has not yet collapsed. Of course, reports yesterday have confirmed that ex-Arsenal and City striker Emmanuel Adebayor will be on loan at White Heart Lane for the year, through a deal, in which he will most likely become a permanent member of the Tottenham squad. In addition, attacking midfielder Yago Falque has joined Spurs on a season long loan.
- Alberto Aquilani might as well buy a place in Italy and stay at the homes of his Liverpool teammates in the summer. The Aquaman is headed back for a year on loan in Serie A, where he will play for AC Milan. With vast competition for a spot in the Liverpool midfield, it was clear to Damien Comolli and Kenny Dalglish that the 27 year old would not be useful this campaign, as Comolli wished the midfielder the best of luck at the San Siro.
- Joey Barton is nearing a deal with Queens Park Rangers and needs “some time and thinking space,” according to his Twitter account. Newcastle have allowed the player to leave the club on a free transfer and now Barton’s agent is battling it out with QPR over the midfielder’s weekly wage and bonuses (for both signing and keeping the club out of next year’s Championship). The Telegraph has reported that the deal is simply boiling down to the greed of Barton’s agent, Willie McKay, who is looking to squeeze as much money out of the deal as possible. QPR’s new owner, Tony Fernandes, has said he would like to sign four or five players by the end of the summer transfer window. The signatures of Barton and Scott Parker seem to be at the club’s highest priority at the moment.
- Chelsea have launched a bid for Porto’s Uruguayan wing-back Alvaro Pereira.
Champions League Draw:
Welcome to the Champions League Manchester City. Roberto Mancini’s side has without doubt been placed in this year’s, “group of death.” Bayern Munich, Villarreal, and Napoli will prove to be a challenge for City in Group A, though no side in this group won their domestic league last term.
Manchester United top Group C and arguably have the easiest road to the knockout stages. Though, United’s Chief Executive David Gill has said there is no easy path to the Round of 16, Benfica, FC Basel, and Otelul Galati should be no trouble for last year’s UCL runners-up.
Just as soon as Juan Mata headed out of Valenica, he will be headed back. Chelsea were placed in Group E with Mata’s former club, Bayer Leverkusen, and Genk.
Arsene Wenger’s side has no easy path through to the next round, as the struggling Gunners side will have to face Marseille, Olympiacos, and Borussia Dortmund in Group F.
- Tottenham’s 0-0 draw with Hearts, secured their spot in the group stage of the competition, with a 5-0 win on aggregate. A young Spurs squad had chances to win the match, highlighted by Harry Kane’s penalty, which was stopped by Jamie MacDonald with 30 minutes gone. To be fair, Hearts made seven replacements from their last game to save up for their derby at the weekend. However, the sacrifice may have cost Scotland their prestige in UEFA, as Rangers and Celtic, have also crashed out of European competition in the early rounds.
- Stoke City thumped FC Thun 4-1, advancing 5-1 on aggregate, with a brace by Jones and goals by Upson and Whelan.
- Fulham secured their spot in the group stage despite a 1-0 loss to Dnipro, due to their 3-0 triumph in the first leg.
- The fourth English side in the competition, Birmingham City, also went through after defeating CD Nacional 3-0. Goals by Redmond, Murphy, and Wood were the deciders in the tie, which ended 0-0 in the first leg.
- Newcastle United won a thriller against Scunthorpe. Chris Dagnell struck for the League One side 14 minutes in, but a late free kick by Ryan Taylor pushed the game into extra time, in which Sammy Ameobi got the winner for the Magpies.
- Lionel Messi was named UEFA Best Player in Europe. He topped Barcelona teammate Xavi, and Real Madrid rival Ronaldo for the prize.
- Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson says the FA treats his club like “sh*t.” When Ferguson was asked about several of his United players that will be picked for England’s upcoming games, he said it was outstanding news but added that The FA treats his club like sh*t (due to recent touchline bans and Wayne Rooney’s suspension last season). Ferguson said, “Maybe [The FA] will get some joy from it and realise how important we are to England instead of treating us like sh*t. I am pleased for the players. They are outstanding.”
- Seth Vertelney looks at whether or not Blackburn’s signing of FC Dallas’ George John is good or bad for MLS.
Video of the Day:
Two trademark Kenwyne Jones headers and a scorcher from Glenn Whelan (though the shot was deflected) from Stoke’s win yesterday.
Question of the Day:
How far will the four English sides in the Champions League and the four in the Europa League go this season?
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