Speculation has increased surrounding Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, after he asked permission from the club to be absent from the club’s pre-season tour as he tries to push through a £50million move to Manchester City.
The ‘Sterling Saga’ has been a long-standing issue for the Merseyside club since the 20-year-old declined a new £100,000-per-week contract during last season.
Sterling claimed that his decision to turn down Liverpool’s offer of a new contract was ‘nothing to do with money’, whilst adding that had the club offered him a contract last summer, he would have accepted it.
As it stands, the most likely destination for Sterling is Manchester City, whose interest in the young winger has already resulted in two bids, of which both have been rejected.
A player who may be arriving at Liverpool, as opposed to departing, is Alexandre Lacazette. The 24-year-old Lyon striker was prolific last season, scoring 27 league goals in 33 starts, and would provide a much needed goal threat on Merseyside, following the departure of Luis Suarez the previous summer.
Lacazette is yet to sign a new contract at the French club, and has attracted interested from numerous clubs amongst Europe’s elite, such as Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain.
Spurs beat off Saints for Alderweireld signature
Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the signing of Belgian international Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid on a contract that will last until 2020.
Spurs had to stave off competition from Southampton, whom Alderweireld played for on loan last season. However, Tottenham’s bid of close to £14million, along with their Belgian contingent at the club, swayed Alderweireld on choosing the urban delights of North London instead of the south coast.
Southampton may look to lodge a legal complaint against the signing, as they allegedly activated the sign-on option included in the loan deal at the end of last season, which would have seen Alderweireld sign for less than £7million.
Nevertheless, 26-year-old Alderweireld was in a buoyant mood upon signing for Tottenham. He told the club’s website: “I’m very proud to become a Spurs player.”
“It’s a big club and it’s always been a dream to play at a club like Spurs. Now that dream is coming true so I’m very happy, very proud and I will give my best.”
Alderweireld will be crucial to shoring up a Spurs defence which leaked 53 goals last season, having reached the Champions League final with Atletico in 2014, whilst also winning La Liga in the same year.
Real close in on keeper
Real Madrid are edging closer to completing a deal for a goalkeeper - but it’s not David de Gea.
Former Madrid player Kiko Casilla, who now plies his trade at Espanyol, has been linked to a return to the Bernabeu as Madrid look to secure the services of a new keeper before their pre-season tour to Australia starts.
Casilla is considered to be Madrid’s second-choice transfer target behind Manchester United keeper David de Gea. The Espanyol stopper would also be a considerably cheaper investment, as the deal looks to be worth around £2million, as opposed to the £30million price-tag that United have placed on de Gea.
Whether or not Madrid fans would be enamored with signing a former player who failed to make a first-team appearance during his initial spell with the club remains to be seen. However, with long-serving keeper Iker Casillas looking to complete a move to Porto, signing a keeper of a decent quality looks to be a step in the right direction, as Real Madrid look to challenge Barcelona’s dominance of domestic and European competition.
Crystal Palace swoop for Cabaye
Crystal Palace are on the verge of completing a deal for want-away Paris St-Germain midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
The transfer, which would see Cabaye reunited with former boss Alan Pardew during their time at Newcastle United together, is rumoured to be at a cost of £10million, which would break the club’s record signing of James McArthur, who cost £7million last summer.
His first spell in the Premier League under Pardew was fruitful, as he became a fan favourite at Newcastle United, making 93 appearances and scoring 18 goals.
Although he left Newcastle for PSG in a £19million deal in 2014’s January transfer window, Cabaye’s opportunities at PSG have been limited. Last season Cabaye found himself down the pecking order in a midfield which boasts the creative talents of Javie Pastore, Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti.