Deals are heating up on the eve of the Euro 2008 tournament so let’s dive straight in and get caught up.
This morning’s big news is that Mexican striker Giovani dos Santos has left Barcelona to sign for English club Tottenham Hotspur after the two clubs agreed an initial £4.7m fee which could rise to £8.6m. The BBC also reports (confirmed on the official Barca site) that Barcelona have retained the right to 20% of any fee should the 19-year-old move on from Spurs in the first two years of his spell with the club and 10% on any transfer after that.
Dos Santos can play in midfield or attack and may solve the right, is set to sign a five-year contract with Tottenham. Spurs entrance in the UEFA Cup, rather than the Champions League, may be one factor to this deal as Barcelona are said to have turned down offers for Dos Santos from AC Milan, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Staying with Barcelona, Goal.com is reporting that they have concluded a deal to sign Daniel Alves from Sevilla but that has not been confirmed yet. A couple of deals that were done at the Nou Camp saw them acquire Villarreal’s Uruguay defender Martin Caceres for 16.5m Euros. Caceres is a 21-year-old central defender is widely regarded as one of the most promising young players in Spain.
They’ve also signed former trainee Gerard Pique from Manchester United. After rising through the youth team ranks at Camp Nou, Pique opted to try his luck at Manchester United in 2004 but, after failing to establish himself as a first-team regular, he jumped at the chance to return to Barca. The fee was reportedly £4 million.
Moving out is full-back Gianluca Zambrotta, who completed a move to AC Milan at the beginning of the month. The move is a return home for Zambrotta who left Italy following the demotion of former club Juventus for their part in Italy’s match-fixing scandal. Zambrotta who can play on either flank will ease the recent departures of Cafu and Serghino.
AC Milan recently sold forward Alberto Gilardino to Fiorentina and are in the market for at least one new striker. The 25-year-old Gilardino spent three seasons at the San Siro and has now signed a five-year deal with the Viola reportedly worth 1.65m euros a season. Fiorentina beat the Rossoneri to the fourth and final Champions League spot in Serie A this past season.
The promising young Yoann Gourcuff has agreed to join Bordeaux on loan from AC Milan with an option for a permanent deal. The French midfield player, 21, had attracted interest from Tottenham Hotspur, Marseilles and Ajax.
AC Milan is trying to sign Emmanuel Adebayor according to various rumours out there. What helps fuel the stories is the fact that the Serie A side have already lured away French midfielder Mathieu Flamini on a free from Arsenal.
Arsenal would be reluctant to sell Adebayor as they are looking to build upon last season’s squad. The hope would be to keep the core of their young stars together and supplement it with new signings like Olympique Marseille playmaker Samir Nasri, whom Arsenal are in the midst of negotiating for.
The 20-year-old Nasri, who has been tagged in France as ‘the new Zinedine Zidane’, is part of France’s squad for this month’s Euro 2008 tournament. He has won seven caps, scoring two goals for Les Bleus. Nasri extended his contract with the club this year until 2012 so Marseille will want good value for his sporting rights. The fact that Nasri can operate on the left side of midfield, where Alex Hleb has been playing, has fuelled rumours that Hleb is also going to leave the club for either Inter Milan or Barcelona.
Another Arsenal exitee is Jens Lehmann, who will continue his career after Euro 2008 with Bundesliga side Stuttgart after signing a one-year contract with the 2007 German champions. Raphael Schafer failed to give the Stuttgart defence a sense of security in his first season since joining from Nurnberg, so the club began the search for a new number one in May.
The Telegraph reports that Arsene Wenger has his eye on yet another promising young African, this time 16-year-old Torric Jibril. The Heart of Oak (based in Accra, Ghana) midfielder will take part in a two-week trial before signing for a fee of around £1.5m, with Arsenal having beaten off competition from Atletico Madrid and Lyon.
I’ll run an update again next week with more deals and rumours.
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