With preseason matches underway all over the world, some of the biggest clubs continue to try to bolster their rosters in preparation for the 2013-2014 season. Names like Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez, and Gareth Bale have filled headlines for months now with little to no transfer progress, but recent reports have indicated that a deal between Real Madrid and Tottenham regarding Gareth Bale may have some legs. Having finished 5th in last seasons Premier League standings, just out of Champions League contention, Spurs have seemed keen on keeping their young Welsh phenom so far, but big money and big names have the ability to make anyone stop and think.
Reports elsewhere show the eagerness of Valencia to replace Roberto Soldado up front as the Spanish league side has been linked to some of the EPL’s best strikers, while Manchester United continues to search for a central midfielder. This week’s top five transfer rumors headlines the movement on the Gareth Bale situation and some other moves that could change the landscape of the world’s most popular leagues.
According to reports by the Guardian, Tottenham Hotspur is now prepared to sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, but on its own terms. Real Madrid has been linked to Bale for some time now and has publically announced its intentions to sign the 24-year-old Welshman, but not until recently has Tottenham considered the deal. Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, seemed unwavering even after Madrid’s bid of 100 million euros for Bale, but Madrid has since offered up extra players to sweeten the deal for Tottenham, which has seemingly enticed the English club. At first, reports indicated that Angel di Maria and Fabio Coentrao would be added to the deal, but Tottenham has since spoken out saying that they will dictate the terms (and players) included in the deal. Spurs have since indicated that the name they want from Madrid is Alvaro Morata; a 20-year-old Spanish U-21 player, who is regarded as one of the most highly-rated young players in the world. Part of the reason Madrid was so comfortable sending Higuain to Napoli, in fact, was the belief that Morata was ready to challenge Karim Benzema for a position up top, which makes things a little more complicated. If Madrid wants Bale badly enough however, Morata will have to go, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.
The Daily Star reported Wednesday that PSG defender and Uruguayan international, Diego Lugano, who was on loan to Malaga last season, could be headed to West Bromwich Albion. The 32-year-old told Urugol at the beginning of the month, “What else can I say? There is nothing to say yet. I will return to PSG and do the preseason with the intention of leaving.” West Bromwich, who finished 8th in the English Premier League standings last season, has expressed interest in Lugano and the Uruguayan is expected at the Midlands this week to start talks. Adding the leadership of Lugano would be a huge step for a team looking to take the next step in the most competitive league in the world.
Manchester United is continuing its search for a central midfielder and the latest reports from the Times of London have indicated that Luka Modric is next in line. United has been linked to many big name central midfielders this summer including Thiago Alcantara, Yohan Cabaye, and Cesc Fabregas, and having failed to sign anyone yet, the club is now turning its eyes to Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric. Reports say that the Red Devils have prepared a 25 million euro bid for the 27-year-old Croatian. Modric has been linked to the deal between Real Madrid and Tottenham regarding Gareth Bale, but Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has since silenced those reports.
Despite Manchester United’s love for striker Javier Hernandez, reports by the Mirror indicate that the Mexican wants more starting opportunities and is considering a move to Spanish side Valencia. Valencia is in the market for a striker to replace Roberto Soldado, who recently moved to Tottenham, and Hernandez seems to be a perfect fit. The heady striker has a nose for goal, but has often been left off the starting squad in favor of Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie, and Wayne Rooney, which has been understandably frustrating. Hernandez has shown his quality in a substitute role for years, but the 25-year-old wants a first team role and could find that at Valencia.
Having targeted Javier Hernandez as a possible replacement for Roberto Soldado, Valencia is being careful not to put all its eggs in one basket, and according to the Express, will also pursue Chelsea striker Fernando Torres. Torres grew up in the Atletico Madrid youth system and made over 200 appearances for the first team between 2001 and 2007 before joining Liverpool back in 2007 so a move back to the Spanish Primera would mean a comfortable surrounding. However, the lack of production since joining Chelsea in 2011 has significantly reduced the market value of the 29-year-old Spanish international and money will reportedly be a big speed bump in negotiations as the two clubs are far apart in numbers.