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Beefy
June 24th, 2015, 5:17 AM
Come off it. A little bit headstrong (he's held the record for La Liga red cards since he was about 27 hasn't he?) but technically excellent, a great leader, scores important goals too...he's great. And great value too.

Not for me. Wouldn't fancy him against Peter Crouch or Rickie Lambert. He's clearly not interested in United anyway but I've no doubt he'd flop in England. Who couldn't play centre half for Spain and Real Madrid? Easiest job in the World.

Romford Pele
June 24th, 2015, 5:20 AM
Just thinking about it, we could end up with him.

Chelsea will have Falcao, so I cant see him going there. City have Bony, Aguero, Dzeko and Jovetic and will sign english players if they can. Liverpool arent in the CL.

So that leaves Arsenal and United. United could get him, but that will probably mean selling RVP.

Romford Pele
June 24th, 2015, 5:22 AM
Not for me. Wouldn't fancy him against Peter Crouch or Rickie Lambert. He's clearly not interested in United anyway but I've no doubt he'd flop in England. Who couldn't play centre half for Spain and Real Madrid? Easiest job in the World.

I agree. Why leave Real? United is a step down. The only team that rivals Real in size is Barca, and no way is he going there.

He just wants more cash like Alves did, this is his way of getting it. United should come out and say they dont want him.

The Rosk
June 24th, 2015, 5:25 AM
Interesting. I wonder why no one has gone in for him yet. Perhaps clubs are waiitng to see if they can business for less than the £32m buyout clause.

They can't. We won't sell. Maybe it's a case of see who moves first. I dunno. Unless he's guaranteed first team football at a CL side I think he'd be mad to go a year from the Euros. I'm delighted Liverpool seem to have backed off because he'd be wasted there IMO. Also Milner and Benteke in red may break my heart :nono: Arsenal or Chelsea pay the full whack and let us try and cope with the inevitable fight against relegation with Gabby as our lone striker :yes:

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 5:28 AM
If you sell Benteke I would almost guarantee you'll sign Adebayor. Sherwood loves him, and the Benteke money will allow you to give him a lump sum singing-on fee in exchange for lower wages. He'll score on his debut, work hard for three weeks then by December you'll hate him.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 5:29 AM
There's something really boring about United trying to sign Ramos and Schweinsteiger. I preferred the old days when they went for players a little less well-known who would grow into superstars.

Romford Pele
June 24th, 2015, 5:35 AM
If you sell Benteke I would almost guarantee you'll sign Adebayor. Sherwood loves him, and the Benteke money will allow you to give him a lump sum singing-on fee in exchange for lower wages. He'll score on his debut, work hard for three weeks then by December you'll hate him.

Haha so true. I just dont understand how club chairmen/managers have not seen this yet.

He is the ultimate mercenary footballer. Steer clear of him Rosk.

Romford Pele
June 24th, 2015, 5:40 AM
There's something really boring about United trying to sign Ramos and Schweinsteiger. I preferred the old days when they went for players a little less well-known who would grow into superstars.

Cant see either deal happening to be honest. United should be looking for young exciting players. Depay is the right kind of signing.

The Rosk
June 24th, 2015, 6:55 AM
If you sell Benteke I would almost guarantee you'll sign Adebayor. Sherwood loves him, and the Benteke money will allow you to give him a lump sum singing-on fee in exchange for lower wages. He'll score on his debut, work hard for three weeks then by December you'll hate him.

Who else are we going to sign that can score goals and would want to come to us. Seriously.

I doubt we'll get Austin. Can't think of anyone else who'd be better. Particularly with no new owner yet.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 6:57 AM
Well recent history suggests that Championship strikers have a better chance of succeeding at the highest level now - Rhodes?

Beefy
June 24th, 2015, 7:01 AM
Rhodes is a pure finisher though. Gestede may have been a better replacement.

I'd like to see someone take a punt on Rhodes though.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 24th, 2015, 7:06 AM
Not for me. Wouldn't fancy him against Peter Crouch or Rickie Lambert. He's clearly not interested in United anyway but I've no doubt he'd flop in England. Who couldn't play centre half for Spain and Real Madrid? Easiest job in the World.

I think he would deal with Crouch and Lambert fairly easily given he's a better footballer, better in the air, more committed to winning and a much better defender than they are forwards.

Sergio Ramos is a class player. He suffers from the same guff that Rio Ferdinand used to get accused of, that because he is a classy player he is not a good defender. He's a great defender and a superb footballer. If United can get him they'd be absolute fools not to try. He's a winner.

Also for a lot of his time at Madrid, being a centre-back there has been a very difficult job. For Spain it means being comfortable defending high up the pitch and being good on the ball, exactly what Van Gaal looks for.

The Rosk
June 24th, 2015, 7:11 AM
Not for me. Wouldn't fancy him against Peter Crouch or Rickie Lambert.

Is this serious?

Are you one of those people who suggests Messi wouldn't like playing Stoke away on a wet Tuesday night?

El Capitano Gatisto
June 24th, 2015, 7:14 AM
There's something really boring about United trying to sign Ramos and Schweinsteiger. I preferred the old days when they went for players a little less well-known who would grow into superstars.

They have a young squad that lacks leadership. See how much better the team looks with Carrick playing, even defending. I've seen a couple of people argue that they'll be better off even with a more vocal goalkeeper than De Gea because of the lack of leadership in the defence and midfield. Signing a couple of good experienced players who know how to win makes sense in that way.

Beefy
June 24th, 2015, 7:18 AM
Is this serious?

Are you one of those people who suggests Messi wouldn't like playing Stoke away on a wet Tuesday night?

No I was being flippant.

I don't think he's anywhere near as good as he seems to be rated on here though. If I was a United fan I'd be worried about a defence built around him.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 24th, 2015, 7:21 AM
More worried than about a defence built around Chris Smalling and Phil Jones?

There are very few great defenders around right now but Sergio Ramos is one of them. Jamie Carragher is right about that.

Fanny
June 24th, 2015, 7:28 AM
I'm worried that Virgil Van Dyk will be off down south shortly. He's a monste rof a defender and excellent with the ball at his feet, just wonderful spacial awareness. Obviously unproven in the SPFL blah blah blah but a good player is a good player and I could see him heading to a big club in England via a Southampton or similar.

Beefy
June 24th, 2015, 7:31 AM
More worried than about a defence built around Chris Smalling and Phil Jones?


At the price, yeah.

It's a moot point anyway because he's not moving to United.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 7:47 AM
They have a young squad that lacks leadership. See how much better the team looks with Carrick playing, even defending. I've seen a couple of people argue that they'll be better off even with a more vocal goalkeeper than De Gea because of the lack of leadership in the defence and midfield. Signing a couple of good experienced players who know how to win makes sense in that way.

I'm not saying they aren't good signings or the right signings, just that it's a bit dull. I suppose I'm hankering for a time when we didn't all have a passing knowledge of basically every good player in Europe. Remember the excitement of finally getting to see Ronaldo when he signed for United, when most of us had only seen a handful of clips of him. Even when United signed Veron I had only seen him play a handful of times and didn't know a huge amount about his game. Firmino is a rare example of a player coming in that seems to be a potential star but who I know almost nothing about.

Ringo
June 24th, 2015, 8:00 AM
Isn't it just down to how much football you watch or how much football manager you've been playing then?

Peter Griffin
June 24th, 2015, 8:03 AM
Who else are we going to sign that can score goals and would want to come to us. Seriously.

I doubt we'll get Austin. Can't think of anyone else who'd be better. Particularly with no new owner yet.

Shouldn't have let Bent go mate :shifty:

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 8:07 AM
Isn't it just down to how much football you watch or how much football manager you've been playing then?

Yeah I guess. It's just a bit of an aimless whinge tbh, I miss the days when Tottenham would sign someone and I didn't have a clue who they were or how good they were likely to be. It's the equivalent of WWE now compared to when you're a kid - we'll never get that excitement of seeing a new wrestler debut because A) we always know in advance that they're coming, and B) we'll probably know everything about them from the dirtsheets and other companies anyway.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 8:09 AM
Shouldn't have let Bent go mate :shifty:

I dunno how badly Bent has gone over a cliff (not that much based on his record for Derby?) but if Benteke goes he wouldn't have been a bad player to have around. Chris Martin could be a decent replacement for Benteke too I guess, obviously a low-rent version but he's big and strong and scores goals.

Romford Pele
June 24th, 2015, 8:10 AM
Is it true Bent is on £80k a week at Derby?

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 8:11 AM
Marcus Christenson has been raving about Firmino in The Guardian...


In December 2010 the Hoffenheim sporting director, Ernst Tanner, travelled to the east coast of Brazil to check out a player at the second division side Figueirense. The reports had been promising but Tanner did not know what to expect as he turned up for training to watch the young Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira.

Afterwards, Tanner was not much the wiser. “It was strange because during some exercises he would just, without any apparent reason, just fold … but instead of making a big meal out of it and getting angry, he listened carefully to his coach and learned from what he had done wrong. That impressed me.”

It is perhaps not the most glowing reference ever heard from a scouting mission but Tanner convinced Hoffenheim that the 19-year-old, whose move to Liverpool was announced on Wednesday, was worth a gamble. In January 2011 the Bundesliga club signed the player for €4m without much fanfare. At the low-key unveiling Tanner explained the club’s plans for the unknown Brazilian.


“We are delighted to have been able to strengthen our squad with a top talent from Brazil, in which several international clubs were interested,” he said. “We will give him enough time to settle in here at our club. He has already shown his qualities with eight goals in 36 games and was recently voted the best player in the Brazilian second division.”

In hindsight, Firmino could hardly have chosen a better club to start his European adventure. Hoffenheim is a tiny town south of Frankfurt with only around 3,000 inhabitants. The young Brazilian was allowed to settle without the pressure of being at a big club, or even in a big city.

Hoffenheim are only in the Bundesliga because of Dietmar Hopp’s huge financial support but they have also been extremely successful with their South American imports. In the month Firmino arrived at Hoffenheim, the club sold Luiz Gustavo to Bayern Munich for €17m. He had arrived from Corinthians Alagoano in 2008 for an even smaller fee than Firmino did three years later.

Firmino, in fact, was looking forward to moving to Europe so much that he got himself a tattoo in German before he boarded the flight. There was only one slight problem: he had used an internet translation tool, which did not use the umlaut on the ö in the phrase Familie unaufhorlich Liebe, which roughly translates as “unremitting love for the family”.

Undeterred, the Brazilian made his Bundesliga debut a month after arriving in Germany and played in 11 league games that season, mainly as a substitute, scoring three goals; and this is the thing about Firmino, he is not an out-and-out goalscorer. He is a forward who averages roughly a goal every three games, and he has done that throughout his career.

What he does provide, though, is an unrelenting work ethic. In that respect, he is similar to Luis Suárez and Alexis Sánchez. He will harry and press the opponents until he drops. In one match report in Germany he was described as the “clever, first stealer of balls in Hoffenheim’s pressing system”.

Holger Stanislawski, his first manager at Hoffenheim, immediately described him as being “unbelievably good tactically”, which will be music to Brendan Rodgers’ ears after a season of having to teach Mario Balotelli, among other things, how to defend at corners.

In fact he has been showered with praise for most of his time in Germany, the papers describing him as one of few players “who stay focused for the entire 90 minutes” and a “master of moving around without anyone noticing him, to provide goals or score them himself”.

There have been some disciplinary issues and he was once suspended briefly by Hoffenheim for turning up late for training but that was early on in his career and he has not done it since.

The 23-year-old was born in Maceió – as was Pepe and Mario Zagallo – which is one of Brazil’s most dangerous cities. His father sold water bottles to commuters waiting in the queues in and out of the city and he had to move to Figueirense on his own when he was 16. “It was not an easy time,” he has said, “I was completely on my own.” But that experience will have prepared him for moving to Germany, and now to England.

The 2013-14 season was arguably Firmino’s best to date with the manager Markus Gisdol getting the best out of him. Gisdol not only made him a better attacking player but also instilled the workrate ethic that was surely a big reason for Liverpool paying as much as £29m for him.

That season he scored 16 goals in 33 Bundesliga games, finishing third behind Marco Reus (30) and Robert Lewandowski (31) in the goalscoring charts. He also provided 12 assists that season and is, in fact, the player who has created most chances in the Bundesliga (138) over the past two seasons. Firmino also had the joint-third most assists last season (10) with Thomas Müller. Not bad for someone playing for a mid-table club.

Currently with Brazil at the Copa América, Firmino has coped well with the pressure of leading the line now that Neymar is suspended and he has already scored four goals in nine appearances for the national team. Carlos Dunga’s side play Paraguay in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Behind the scenes, he is a bubbly, fun character but in front of the cameras he comes across as incredibly shy. On Tuesday, at a Copa press conference before his moved was confirmed, he managed to answer 18 questions without saying anything of note. It got to a point where the Brazilian journalists could only smile.

Most importantly for Liverpool, though, is that they seem to have learned from last summer’s travails in the transfer market. Then a deal for Loïc Rémy collapsed in late July and the club were forced into what can only be described as a panic buy with Balotelli in August. This time they have already signed James Milner, Adam Bogdan, Danny Ings and now Firmino.

The fee is eye-watering considering it is almost as much as Chelsea paid for Diego Costa and more (with add-ons) than Arsenal paid for Sánchez. But there is no doubt that he is an extremely talented young player who is still improving. There will be few defences in the Premier League looking forward to an afternoon battling Philippe Coutinho, Firmino and Daniel Sturridge – if fit.

And while £29m does seem a lot, if Raheem Sterling joins Manchester City for a fee of around £45-50m then Liverpool will have got a more consistent performer and made a hefty profit in the process. They will settle for that, and if Sterling stays, then opposing defences will be in even more trouble next season.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 24th, 2015, 8:17 AM
I'm not saying they aren't good signings or the right signings, just that it's a bit dull. I suppose I'm hankering for a time when we didn't all have a passing knowledge of basically every good player in Europe. Remember the excitement of finally getting to see Ronaldo when he signed for United, when most of us had only seen a handful of clips of him. Even when United signed Veron I had only seen him play a handful of times and didn't know a huge amount about his game. Firmino is a rare example of a player coming in that seems to be a potential star but who I know almost nothing about.

Veron was my favourite player for a few seasons by the time he had moved to United. Loved him.

I probably know less about players now than I ever did because of having less time to watch football and a wife that feels watching 2-3 Premier League or Spanish games a week is already more than enough.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 8:23 AM
In my experience the key to asserting dominance on that issue is to give the appearance of compromise by giving yourself a high starting point. Talk up the importance of the Chelsea vs Panathinaikos dead rubber on a Tuesday night, then when you fuck it off to watch Britain's Fattest Cunts or Check Out These Spastics! on Channel 4, you look like a nice man and earn your right to enjoy Dortmund vs Juventus the next night. However I say that as a man who routinely watches football on his laptop now rather than disturb the peace. Match Of The Day, Tottenham matches and the odd Super Sunday game is about my lot on the big telly.

Fanny
June 24th, 2015, 8:28 AM
Veron was my favourite player for a few seasons by the time he had moved to United. Loved him.

I probably know less about players now than I ever did because of having less time to watch football and a wife that feels watching 2-3 Premier League or Spanish games a week is already more than enough.


I've given up on watching football almost entirely. I've found myself analysing the defensive qualities and distribution skills of grooms to be on Don't Tell The Bride.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 8:30 AM
The groom who spent the best part of a grand on a pre-stag do pampering session then got his wife's dress from a charity shop = the 21st Century Robin Friday.

Fanny
June 24th, 2015, 8:39 AM
a lad the other week spent 2 and a half grand on a stag in Vegas and sent his missus to Blackpool for a pub crawl.

son_of_foley
June 24th, 2015, 8:40 AM
Is it true Bent is on £80k a week at Derby?

No

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 8:48 AM
Atletico's record of signing great forwards seems likely to continue then. Since Torres left in 2007 they've had Aguero, Forlan, Falcao, Costa, Mandzukic, Villa and Griezmann.

Just saw they've officially signed Vietto, who is the latest in a long line of FM wonderkids...has already scored plenty in La Liga so possibly not another Saviola.

Beefy
June 24th, 2015, 9:09 AM
Do people still watch more than 2-3 full games a week? Trips to Roots Hall aside, I maybe watch that in a month.

Fanny
June 24th, 2015, 9:10 AM
I'll watch whatever Celtic game is on and try to watch an EPL game if it looks tasty enough. I struggle even with that with a baby.

Peter Griffin
June 24th, 2015, 9:21 AM
I dunno how badly Bent has gone over a cliff (not that much based on his record for Derby?) but if Benteke goes he wouldn't have been a bad player to have around. Chris Martin could be a decent replacement for Benteke too I guess, obviously a low-rent version but he's big and strong and scores goals.

Simon, I am not sure how much of it you can put on Bent and how much is down to Lambert being a massive tool, also Martin could certainly do a job for a bottom half premier league team.

As for Bent being on 80k, I know our new chairman is a rich man, but I dont think he was even on 70k when at Villa in his prime ffs.

Romford Pele
June 24th, 2015, 9:22 AM
I just saw those numbers banded about...maybe it was £80k at villa then, he must be on a fair whack at Derby though

Peter Griffin
June 24th, 2015, 9:24 AM
I can't pretend to know the exact figure but I would expect it to be in the region of 35k

RFF Champ
June 24th, 2015, 9:33 AM
I just saw those numbers banded about...maybe it was £80k at villa then, he must be on a fair whack at Derby though

Stan Collymore says it was 100k at Villa.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 9:36 AM
Bent was earning crazy money at Spurs, not far off £100k I think.

Peter Griffin
June 24th, 2015, 9:45 AM
Stan Collymore says it was 100k at Villa.

Well fm says it was 68 so fuck you, actually it might of been 78 i forget :happysad:

Romford Pele
June 24th, 2015, 9:58 AM
£100k!! Another great Spurs signing. Wasnt it Bent who missed that chance that ol Arry said his missus could have scored?

Wowzers.

MMH
June 24th, 2015, 11:24 AM
Do people still watch more than 2-3 full games a week? Trips to Roots Hall aside, I maybe watch that in a month.

I barely even watch Everton any more.

Like I watch us every week but I end up switching off mentally after 20 minutes. That may be because we were incredibly dull last season though. Hopefully signing the likes of Deulofeu will change that this season.

I very rarely watch other teams, especially on the Premier league. What I tend to do these days if Everton are not playing is just choose a random match on one of those dodgy internet sites and see how it goes.

Simon
June 24th, 2015, 11:27 AM
While I wouldn't say I 'switch off' during games as such, I find myself spending as much time on my Twitter timeline seeing what people are saying about a game as I do actually watching it. I much prefer watching at the pub as there is less impetus to do that.

RFF Champ
June 24th, 2015, 11:40 AM
An England youth player, Mandela Egbo, who was at Palace has signed for Borussia Monchengladbach. Good luck to him.

Peter Griffin
June 24th, 2015, 11:54 AM
Now theres a english name if ever there was one.

Beefy
June 24th, 2015, 11:57 AM
I barely even watch Everton any more.

Like I watch us every week but I end up switching off mentally after 20 minutes. That may be because we were incredibly dull last season though. Hopefully signing the likes of Deulofeu will change that this season.

I very rarely watch other teams, especially on the Premier league. What I tend to do these days if Everton are not playing is just choose a random match on one of those dodgy internet sites and see how it goes.

Tbh I don't find football as enjoyable to watch as a neutral anymore. Still love International Football and there's no sport in the World which could give you the highs I experienced with Southend'a promotion at Wembley in the way that it happened, but without that emotional investment there's a lot of other stuff I'd rather watch.

I'm all about the Yankball these days.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 24th, 2015, 12:04 PM
Sid Lowe has reported that Sergio Ramos has told Real Madrid he wants to leave and that they are willing to listen to offers.

MMH
June 24th, 2015, 12:22 PM
Tbh I don't find football as enjoyable to watch as a neutral anymore. Still love International Football and there's no sport in the World which could give you the highs I experienced with Southend'a promotion at Wembley in the way that it happened, but without that emotional investment there's a lot of other stuff I'd rather watch.

I'm all about the Yankball these days.

American Football is good to just have on in the background which I find helps too.

Glad you are joining the FF league this season, who is your team by the way? Do you have one?

Beefy
June 24th, 2015, 2:02 PM
I'm Big Blue

Ringo
June 24th, 2015, 2:30 PM
West Ham signing Payet for £10.7m. By all accounts he's lazy and inconsistent but capable of brilliance.

Bad Collin
June 24th, 2015, 3:02 PM
I'm excited about Firmino, he sounds like the perfect Rodgers player but with a bit of creativity and flair thrown in. He, Coutinho and Milner should be very difficult to deal with.

Looks like United are in for Bacca so we probably won't get him, we need someone to rotate with Sturridge if he ever gets fit.

Bad Collin
June 24th, 2015, 3:15 PM
We need two teams this season.

Premier League/FA Cup


Mignolet

Clyne Sahko Skrtel Moreno

Henderson Can

Coutinho Firmino Milner

Sturridge


UEFA Cup/League Cup


Bogdan

Wisdom Toure Lovren Enrique

Lucas Allen

Ibe Lallana Markovic

Origi


I'm assuming that we'll shell out for Clyne and sell Sterling

That still leaves Ings, Ballotelli, Lambert and Flanagan to slot in where needed.

MMH
June 24th, 2015, 3:21 PM
Surely Ings is a better option than Origi?

Ringo
June 24th, 2015, 3:23 PM
You still have Manquillo, Borini, Coates and Aspas as well don't you?

edit: Aspas officially gone. Luis Alberto and Tiago Ilori instead then. Guess it'll be loans for them.

Bad Collin
June 24th, 2015, 3:26 PM
Surely Ings is a better option than Origi?

Maybe, it's good to have options.


You still have Manquillo, Borini, Coates and Aspas as well don't you?

edit: Aspas officially gone. Luis Alberto and Tiago Ilori instead then. Guess it'll be loans for them.

Ilori needs games, if we're not going to play him he needs to go out on loan.


http://assets3.lfcimages.com/uploads/1632__5599__firmino_ian-ayre_2[2]-517.jpg

Please be good

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 4:21 AM
All the ITK for Spurs at the moment regards Schneiderlin, seems like we're doing nothing to prepare for not getting him. So expect him to sign for Arsenal soon.

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 4:24 AM
On the outgoing front, seems like the promoted sides might be a Godsend - Bournemouth want Kaboul, Watford want Paulinho and Capoue...if we can convince Norwich to take Soldado and Chiriches we'll be laughing :D

Red Dog
June 25th, 2015, 4:48 AM
Not seen us especially linked with signing anyone, nor with offloading any of the shit that almost got us relegated last season. Just keeping you all updated with the lack of activity.

Haha. At least you have the hope you could actually sign someone if you chose to. All we can hope for is free transfers on less than £10k a week. That narrows the pool somewhat.

Peter Griffin
June 25th, 2015, 5:02 AM
Not signed Ward yet? One of my forest mates said you had signed him a month ago but seen nothing official.

Red Dog
June 25th, 2015, 5:06 AM
I think they have to wait until July 1st when his contract expires to announce it officially.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 5:28 AM
Maybe, it's good to have options.



Ilori needs games, if we're not going to play him he needs to go out on loan.


http://assets3.lfcimages.com/uploads/1632__5599__firmino_ian-ayre_2[2]-517.jpg

Please be good

Be honest, you had never heard of him before 2 days ago had you?

Peter Griffin
June 25th, 2015, 5:32 AM
I think they have to wait until July 1st when his contract expires to announce it officially.
I am certain his actual contract runs to 2016 but he was left off our 'retained' list. The only reason we aren't keeping him I would assume is his injury record, because when he is fit he is more than useful in that league.

MikeHunt
June 25th, 2015, 5:40 AM
Be honest, you had never heard of him before 2 days ago had you?

so?

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 5:43 AM
A lot of Liverpool fans are getting very excited, but dont even know who the guy is!

MikeHunt
June 25th, 2015, 5:48 AM
i think when your club spend approx £30mil on a player you would have a look at his career on youtube ect.

I know it's like listening to the best of beatles and claiming you know all the words to their bsides but it gives them a glimpse into his ability and allows for one to wish that he not only fulfils his pricetag but his potential ability.

BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS

Bad Collin
June 25th, 2015, 6:08 AM
A lot of Liverpool fans are getting very excited, but dont even know who the guy is!

There is a difference between talent and reputation. I hadn't heard of him until he was linked to United but why wouldn't I be excited; he seems like a really good fit based on what I have since seen and read.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 6:15 AM
I have seen Liverpool fans saying they are in for the title now (30/1) because they have signed this lad.

Now, he must have talent for that size fee (you would hope), but surely Liverpool fans dont really think they are going to win the league now?

Beefy
June 25th, 2015, 6:19 AM
Arsenal fans are so joyless.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 6:25 AM
I was delighted when we signed Alexis but I never thought for a second we would win the league (and he is proven class)

Bad Collin
June 25th, 2015, 6:31 AM
I have seen Liverpool fans saying they are in for the title now (30/1) because they have signed this lad.

Now, he must have talent for that size fee (you would hope), but surely Liverpool fans dont really think they are going to win the league now?

Where? We have deluded fans like everyone. I am under no illusions, a battle for fourth is the best we can hope for.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 6:33 AM
Twitter, facebook, usual football sites.

Nothing wrong with enthusiasm, but some of the stuff some of the fans are saying is madness.

Beefy
June 25th, 2015, 6:33 AM
I was delighted when we signed Alexis but I never thought for a second we would win the league (and he is proven class)

But, as I said, Arsenal fans are joyless. You lot seem completely detached from what it means to be a football supporter and the hopes that come with that.

I doubt very many football supporters of any club think that their side actually will win the league, win a cup, whatever.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 6:38 AM
Not at all, I was happy as anyone when we won the cup this season and last.

I think Arsenal is a bit of a unique situation in that we have had best of a decade with no success that fans were used to for the decade before. Thats why there is frustation.

Ringo
June 25th, 2015, 8:05 AM
Tony Barrett at the Times says Southampton have accepted £12.5m from Liverpool for Clyne and Deulofeu to Everton for £5m is done.

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 8:07 AM
Come on Southampton, have a little buy of one of our throng of right backs :fingersx:

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 8:08 AM
Bayern are about to do £25m on Douglas Costa apparently, the guy United were linked with endlessly for a couple of seasons.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 8:09 AM
Tony Barrett at the Times says Southampton have accepted £12.5m from Liverpool for Clyne and Deulofeu to Everton for £5m is done.

That Deulofeu deal looks a steal. I always liked the look of him when he was on loan. Good deal for Everton.

How good is Douglas Costa?

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 8:42 AM
No idea, not even sure which of Shahktar's miniature geniuses (genii?) he is. I saw them in some game last season - possibly the one where their striker scored so many goals he almost won the top scorer's award - and they had about five or six tiny little Brazilians zipping around the place. Bernard, Fred, Alex Teixeira, Douglas Costa, Taison, Wellington Nem...all under 5'8", all Brazilian...mental. They certainly like a specific type of player.

Just checked their Wiki page and they have THIRTEEN Brazilians :lol:

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 9:35 AM
Cech deal wil be completed mid next week once he is back from his hols is the chat.

£10.9m

Red Dog
June 25th, 2015, 9:38 AM
Twitter, facebook, usual football sites.

Nothing wrong with enthusiasm, but some of the stuff some of the fans are saying is madness.

We could all go on facebook and twitter and say "XXX fans are saying this" who cares? Its mainly full of idiots. I'm not sure why bringing comments from a different medium is adding to anything here to be honest.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 25th, 2015, 9:38 AM
There will be a lot of transfers from next week on when players are back at their clubs for pre-season. There's been no huge movement yet, aside from Liverpool.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 9:39 AM
It was just an anecdotal point that a lot of Liverpool fans are getting a tad overexcited thats all. They have form for this, so it is hardly a surpise.

RuneEdge
June 25th, 2015, 10:07 AM
Bayern are about to do £25m on Douglas Costa apparently, the guy United were linked with endlessly for a couple of seasons.

If this means they keep their hands off Di Maria, then they can have him. :yes:

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 10:17 AM
I was surprised to see that Di Maria got something like the third highest assists in the league last season. I don't think he's a complete write-off by any means but the number of assists didn't tally up with how terrible he was in most games.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 25th, 2015, 10:18 AM
He's a fantastic player who can still pick a brilliant pass or cross even when he is playing shite. United would be daft to let him go and it doesn't look like either club or player want that to happen anyway.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 10:30 AM
I thought he was trying to angle a move to PSG as he didnt fancy the weather here?

He has never seemed that happy at United, was jettisoned by Madrid in a similar way Ozil was to us. In both cases, Im not 100% convinced either wants to be here.

Beefy
June 25th, 2015, 10:34 AM
Wasn't there a story about a serious robbery at their place one night which really shit and him and his family up? or was that just a rumour?

RuneEdge
June 25th, 2015, 10:47 AM
Apparently there was an attempted robbery whilst her wife and kid were still in the house. The wife was too scared to go back and stayed at a hotel for sometime, while Di Maria hired a security guard for the house.

Some people were pointing to that incident as a possible cause for his drop in performances for United.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 10:47 AM
Yeah I read that. Seems to happen to Man Utd and Liverpool players for some reason.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 25th, 2015, 10:47 AM
That definitely happened, Van Gaal talked about it and said he'd be willing to sell the player if his family felt unsafe. That may well have had something to do with it, but his shit form more seemed to coincide with getting injured for a couple of months and then being brought back to play as a striker by Van Gaal, a role he just can't play and which seemed to devastate his confidence. That said, everything di Maria has come out with has suggested he wants to stay at United and I don't see why the club would sell him after a bit of a poor first season. He was excellent at the beginning and obviously can be again. I think a lot of people also forget he was coming off a tough World Cup campaign that summer and a long season at Real Madrid.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 10:49 AM
Where would you say his best position is? I know he has been on the wing, but with his range of passing I thought maybe United would play him down the middle.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 25th, 2015, 11:04 AM
I think he should be used on the left of a midfield three. Ideally Van Gaal would play his 4-3-3 system again, with Di Maria and Herrera in the advanced positions ahead of a deeper midfielder. Alternatively, he could use two deeper lying midfielders with Di Maria ahead. Alternatively again he can be effectively used from either wing if Van Gaal prefers midfielders more inclined to take less risks and keep the ball.

Ringo
June 25th, 2015, 11:15 AM
How good is Tyrone Mings? Bournemouth have just broken their transfer record and splashed £8m on him.

RuneEdge
June 25th, 2015, 11:27 AM
Where would you say his best position is? I know he has been on the wing, but with his range of passing I thought maybe United would play him down the middle.

I don't know, to be honest. Down the middle seems to make the most sense, but I think what's more important is how the team is set up before deciding on where to put Di Maria. Right now he cant afford to play him down the middle.

LvG is still searching for balance in the team, and by that he basically means he wants us to stop leaking goals. I think last season he assessed the defenders at his disposal and came to the conclusion that a traditional back four with who he has, is too fragile. Initially he turned that into a back five with three centre backs but a lack of attacking threat made the fans push him to change.
So now he works a system where he's got a back four but with a tighter midfield, that uses the likes of Carrick, Blind, Herrera, Fellaini, sometimes Rooney. This leaves no room for a player like Di Maria to play there. Even Mata, who became a prominent fixture in the starting line up, was actually started at wide right so that the midfield trio wasn't sacrificed. So the only way Di Maria's going to play is if he's played on the wing. The problem is, Mata isnt going to be dropped and neither is Young at wide left, who's been great this season.

LvG is pretty much making up for the lack of defensive quality by using more defensive players in the line up. This is probably why he wants someone like Schneiderlin and a stronger centre back like Ramos. Getting these players will hopefully afford us the option playing that extra attacking player down the middle.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 25th, 2015, 11:45 AM
Young will be dropped. No doubt about it.

Van Gaal isn't stupid. He managed to get into the Champions League with Fellaini and Young playing, but I don't think there's any doubt he'll be seeking higher quality than them in the team long-term.

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 11:47 AM
You reckon? LVG seems to love him and, based purely on last season, he's a better player in that setup than Di Maria. Young was a revelation last year and LVG has lived up to his claims about not picking players based on reputation, giving Wilson games ahead of Falcao/RVP and getting McNair and Blackett in ahead of bigger names at the back. Plus also if LVG is going to persist with centring the gameplan around getting Fellaini chances, Young's crossing should keep him in the side...I'd say Mata or even Rooney would be more at risk than Young right now.

Romford Pele
June 25th, 2015, 11:53 AM
Yeah but surely is Di Maria gets back on form, he will dislodge Young. He just isnt in the same class, despite a decent season.

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 11:57 AM
Yeah but surely is Di Maria gets back on form, he will dislodge Young. He just isnt in the same class, despite a decent season.

Well it depends on what you're looking for...if you just want some cunt to get down the line and whip in dangerous crosses, there aren't many better than Young. Obviously I'm not saying he's better than Di Maria, but in the second half of last season United's setup was all about getting crosses in for Fellaini, and for me Mata is far less suited to that game than Young, despite being a superior player. For all we know LVG might have been making do with that tactic last season though, maybe Fellaini won't be the focal point next year.

Ringo
June 25th, 2015, 12:03 PM
Luiz Adriano's been linked with Arsenal, Roma and the Milan clubs but it looks like he's decided to go to Dubai instead. Seems like more and more good players in their prime are choosing China and the Middle East over European clubs, rather than just old players looking to wind down.

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 12:05 PM
I wonder if the MLS will ever cement itself as a legit, massive worldwide league. In the last few years we've started seeing a few players in their prime going over there like Giovinco and Bradley (ok he's a Yank but whatever)...I always assumed that once the Americans took an interest both the league and the national side would be unstoppable, but it doesn't seem to have happened just yet.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 25th, 2015, 12:06 PM
That tactic didn't work against teams set-up to counter it and made United look extremely ordinary. They found success against sides who weren't ready to deal with the high energy of the midfield and Fellaini's aerial power (City, Liverpool, Spurs) but were massively caught-out against sides who were happy to deal with it and break quickly (Chelsea, Everton). It made United look extremely pedestrian against the majority of mid-table and lower table sides, despite grinding out results.

No, I think Van Gaal will look for a ball-playing defender and a deep-lying midfielder or two who are able to move the ball around from the base of the pitch and look to widen things out. He'll also look for more pace going forward to try to stretch the game. His hand was limited by the squad last year and I think he is pragmatic enough to use Young and Fellaini when necessary, but understand they cannot be the basis of a title-winning side.

RuneEdge
June 25th, 2015, 12:42 PM
Young will be dropped. No doubt about it.

Van Gaal isn't stupid. He managed to get into the Champions League with Fellaini and Young playing, but I don't think there's any doubt he'll be seeking higher quality than them in the team long-term.

Oh yeah, for sure. I imagine he'll reevaluate everything in preseason and start again with a clean slate. I meant based on the way last season was going, Di Maria wasn't going to be played ahead of Young or Mata at the time.

RuneEdge
June 25th, 2015, 1:19 PM
Clyne to Liverpool is almost done according to Sky.

The Rosk
June 25th, 2015, 2:53 PM
I can't believe Everton have got Deulofeu for £4m. Amazing bit of business.

Ringo
June 25th, 2015, 2:58 PM
There is a low buy-back clause in there by the sound of it.

Also:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2599917/MARTIN-SAMUEL-Everton-fairytale-hooked-shame-built-50m-loan-sham-Lukaku-Barry-Deulofeu-Wengers-right-moan.html

Heh.

The Rosk
June 25th, 2015, 2:59 PM
Apparently we're trying to get Begovic but Stoke want £10 million. I wish someone would just make a fucking decision on Benteke as it kind of decides our squad for the next season. If he goes a week before the season starts it'll be like O'Neill leaving 4 days before the season starts all over again.

Also we've got Ray Wilkins in as a coach. Can't help thinking that's brilliant for us.

Ringo
June 25th, 2015, 3:01 PM
Telegraph say Spurs are getting £12m for Paulinho from Guangzhou in China. Levy hasn't lost it.

Simon
June 25th, 2015, 3:08 PM
Apparently we're trying to get Begovic but Stoke want £10 million. I wish someone would just make a fucking decision on Benteke as it kind of decides our squad for the next season. If he goes a week before the season starts it'll be like O'Neill leaving 4 days before the season starts all over again.

Also we've got Ray Wilkins in as a coach. Can't help thinking that's brilliant for us.
Weird that you're prioritising a keeper, what's happened to Guzan? I know he had a stinker against City but I thought he was one of your best players.

Apparently Paulinho and Capoue out for a total of £20m. If only our incoming transfers were as good as our outgoings.

The Rosk
June 25th, 2015, 4:06 PM
I don't know. To be honest Simon I could have just made it up.

Guzan is fine but he just made a few clangers and Given added a sense of safety which I think made Sherwood stop losing grey hairs at the crucial point last season.

MMH
June 25th, 2015, 4:23 PM
There is a difference between talent and reputation. I hadn't heard of him until he was linked to United but why wouldn't I be excited; he seems like a really good fit based on what I have since seen and read.

Because he has a neck tattoo.

Unforgivable that.

Speaking of suave foreigners Deulofeu has now officially signed. I'm mildly giddy at this news.

Mik
June 25th, 2015, 7:58 PM
Wes Brown has signed a contract extension. That's about all.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 4:12 AM
How have him and O'Shea been the last couple of years? I thought both of them were too good for Sunderland when they signed but seems like they've both gone over a cliff form wise.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 4:16 AM
Watford are in for Paulinho as well. I really don't know why.

The Rosk
June 26th, 2015, 4:36 AM
Oh fuck off you were shitting yourself silly over him near the start of the seasoni.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 4:42 AM
No he has been terrible pretty much since the moment he joined.

Apparently you want Townsend, Carroll and...Adebayor from us :D

Romford Pele
June 26th, 2015, 5:11 AM
Schneiderlin looks like he is going to United now. Big mistake on our part not going for him.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 5:34 AM
Overpriced IMO but yeah good player. What a surprise that we've followed a player for a year and not got him.

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 5:46 AM
Liverpool apparently about to finalise a deal for Benteke too. Fermino, Clyne, Benteke would be a solid set of transfers.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 5:50 AM
Arsenal and Chelsea have agreed a deal for Cech according to the BBC.

Gary J
June 26th, 2015, 5:53 AM
No he has been terrible pretty much since the moment he joined.

Apparently you want Townsend, Carroll and...Adebayor from us :D

Tim Sherwood has obviously spotted that losing in a cup final to Arsenal and buying a load of players from Spurs worked out so well for Hull City :\

Beefy
June 26th, 2015, 5:56 AM
Liverpool apparently about to finalise a deal for Benteke too. Fermino, Clyne, Benteke would be a solid set of transfers.

Just had a quick look on twitter and the news doesn't seem to have gone down well with Liverpool fans. I may have to revise my opinions on the conversation I had with natureboy yesterday.

Romford Pele
June 26th, 2015, 5:58 AM
Haha I told you.

"Why are we not signing Aguero?!"

Romford Pele
June 26th, 2015, 6:03 AM
Arsenal and Chelsea have agreed a deal for Cech according to the BBC.

Medical today. Good start to our business, but still gutted about Schneiderlin.

I hope Wenger doesnt think just because Coquelin has come through we dont need another. Arteta and Flamini just arent at the level required.

Martinez has gone to Atletico and if Benteke goes to Liverpool, not sure who we might sign as forward.

I still find it hard to believe he will go to Liverpool. They arent even in the CL.

Beefy
June 26th, 2015, 6:06 AM
Do you really think footballers care about playing in the Champions League, at least in the short term?

The Champions League is a way to get big money because the big clubs who play in the Champions League tend to be the clubs who pay the big money. If Liverpool are paying him big money anyway, and he doesn't have to travel across Europe losing football matches midweek then that's win-win.

The Rosk
June 26th, 2015, 6:12 AM
Benteke has battered Liverpool on numerous occasions. If he goes to them, doesn't get appreciated by their cunt fans, and for less than his release clause fee, I may quit football. It's all a load of fucking bollocks.

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 6:13 AM
That's assuming money is the only deciding factor.

Romford Pele
June 26th, 2015, 6:14 AM
It must be if he is going there.

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 6:24 AM
Or maybe its the only team that has actually put in a proper bid.

Peter Griffin
June 26th, 2015, 7:59 AM
I find it odd Steve Bruce has said they will be keeping ince now and hes a vital player seeing as they cunted him off twice last season , also derby have the right to buy him bbefore the end of june so the cunt doesnt really get a say in it.

Bad Collin
June 26th, 2015, 8:48 AM
Benteke has battered Liverpool on numerous occasions. If he goes to them, doesn't get appreciated by their cunt fans, and for less than his release clause fee, I may quit football. It's all a load of fucking bollocks.

If he signs for us I'll appreciate him enough to make up for all those cunts. He's amazing.

Romford Pele
June 26th, 2015, 9:14 AM
Villa after Begovic, first bid rejected. Interesting, perhaps Shay Givens days are numbered.

Chris Scott
June 26th, 2015, 12:23 PM
From various stuff I've read and debated about Bentake coming to us is fans not happy paying the £32M for him,

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 12:43 PM
At least you're not paying the standard inflated English price for Clyne.

_me
June 26th, 2015, 12:50 PM
anyone else think the prices being talked about for Sergio "Red Card" Ramos are way too much? Over £35M? If I'm paying that much, I'd rather have Varane

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 12:52 PM
I think everyone would prefer Varane, if he was available. That seems to be the most common response to the Ramos rumours.

_me
June 26th, 2015, 12:59 PM
I think everyone would prefer Varane, if he was available. That seems to be the most common response to the Ramos rumours.
Yeah Madrid shouldn't want to get rid of him but they have one too many CBs. Thats why Ramos isn't happy. Instead of even wasting time on Ramos, I would only talk about Varane and see if Madrid bite.

Ringo
June 26th, 2015, 1:04 PM
I thought it was about money?

"Madrid have made no move towards reconciliation or a renewed offer for Ramos to extend his current ¤6m-a-year deal (£4.3m) which expires in 2017. Nor did Ramos say that he was prepared to reopen negotiations which have been at a stalemate for some months now. Madrid made an improved offer to take the vice-captain’s salary to around ¤7.5m but Ramos wanted closer to ¤10m, according to reports in Spain."

Sid Lowe said they had a meeting (not with Perez but some other guy) and Ramos said he's done and wants to go but they're not having any of it.

_me
June 26th, 2015, 1:39 PM
I thought it was about money?

"Madrid have made no move towards reconciliation or a renewed offer for Ramos to extend his current ¤6m-a-year deal (£4.3m) which expires in 2017. Nor did Ramos say that he was prepared to reopen negotiations which have been at a stalemate for some months now. Madrid made an improved offer to take the vice-captain’s salary to around ¤7.5m but Ramos wanted closer to ¤10m, according to reports in Spain."

Sid Lowe said they had a meeting (not with Perez but some other guy) and Ramos said he's done and wants to go but they're not having any of it.
I thought the money complaints were just because he wasn't playing every game. But I don't follow Madrid so I could easily be wrong. I just know they have 3 people (Varane, Ramos and Pepe) for 2 spots.

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 1:42 PM
Asking for Varane will be met with the same kind of response as the one we got when we asked for Bale. Its just going to be a firm "no". Ramos is 29, Pepe is 32. There's no way they'll sell a 22 year old player of Varane's quality.

Unless I'm mistaken, I think I read something about Ramos having a meeting with Perez himself where Perez told him he wants to keep him, but Ramos insisted that they listen to offers from other clubs. But then there's other stories claiming that they had positive talks and they're move closer towards patching things up.
Something else to consider is that Otamendi has emerged as a Madrid. If I'm guessing, I imagine one of those two will be playing at Madrid next season, with the other going to United.

Personally I'm happy with either of them. Otamendi could potentially serve more years for us, where as Ramos could give us the experience and leadership our defence desperately needs.

_me
June 26th, 2015, 1:57 PM
With a normal team I would agree they wouldn't sell, but Madrid gets rid of good players every year. If someone offered £50-60M, maybe they say yes or at least talk. Selling Bale so soon would be admitting a huge mistake. Selling Varane would be be turning a player they bought for £10M into a £50M profit. There is no marketing built around Varane like there is with Bale.

But my real point was I don't think Ramos anywhere near worth £35M+.

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 2:32 PM
If he could give us another 3-4 years of good performances, I'd pay the £35m. Is the player actually worth £35m? I don't know, probably not. At least not to other teams. But I'm factoring in what we need and what he could bring to our team.
Look at the CBs we currently have and their age. Jones (23), Smalling (25), Rojo (25), McNair (20), Blackett (21), and Evans (27).

When we had guys like Rio, Vidic and Evra at their best, they were all like 27+. Now we don't have any leaders anymore, and no one to guide the players we have. The possibility of Ramos changing that is one I'd risk paying £35m for.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 2:32 PM
Ramos has at least five years left in him and is one of the best centre backs around...money is always going to be an issue of course but players like him are potentially the difference between being champions and also-rans. For example United arguably overpaid for a 29 year old RVP, but he won them the league in his first season. It remains to be seen just how much £35m really is in the new era of TV money as we're only just starring to see values shoot up again, but for me five years of a top class Ramos would be worth £35m just as a striker scoring 20 a season for five years would be.

Ringo
June 26th, 2015, 2:40 PM
Leicester are signing Shinji Okazaki for €10m. Good goal return for Mainz, not so much for Stuttgart. And he's 29. But I reckon Okazaki/Ulloa/Kramaric/Vardy is a good strike force for them.

Mik
June 26th, 2015, 3:20 PM
How have him and O'Shea been the last couple of years? I thought both of them were too good for Sunderland when they signed but seems like they've both gone over a cliff form wise.

Shite.

turdpower
June 26th, 2015, 3:29 PM
Classic Ed Woodward, we'll end end up just swapping De Gea for Coentrao.

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 3:35 PM
:yes:
Straight swap, and we'll be paying Coentrao more than De Gea.

Chris Scott
June 26th, 2015, 3:41 PM
At least you're not paying the standard inflated English price for Clyne.

I know true, probably about right what we're paying for him.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 5:11 PM
I read that Ramos is only on about £90k a week at Madrid. Seems like they've learned nothing from the Makelele days.

RuneEdge
June 26th, 2015, 5:13 PM
http://www.espnfc.com/club/real-madrid/86/blog/post/2505123/sergio-ramos-vs-real-madrid-sides-taken-sid-lowe

Interesting read from Sid Lowe on the whole situation.

Ringo
June 26th, 2015, 5:20 PM
Martin Odegaard is apparently on £80k a week and earns more than Isco and Carvajal. Would be pretty nuts if Ramos is actually on only 10k more than him. Google search suggests either 90k or 140k.

Simon
June 26th, 2015, 5:36 PM
He's only asking for around £140k in his new deal according to reports, they say he's on £4.3m a year or slightly under £90k a week. I can understand it slightly more with kids coming through like Carvajal even if they are regular first teamers but Ramos is a high profile player, vice captain, mainstay and on all their promotional stuff so you would think he would be paid big money. Seemingly Madrid don't pay huge money to anyone other than Bale and Ronaldo though.

Ringo
June 26th, 2015, 5:39 PM
Apparently only PSG have a higher wage bill in world football :dunno:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/datablog/2015/may/20/psgs-record-wage-bill--worlds-biggest-clubs

El Capitano Gatisto
June 26th, 2015, 7:16 PM
You have to factor in gross vs net pay in European football, particularly Spanish. I presume they may have made moves to change this somewhag, but I believe the top rate of tax is still much higher in the UK than in Spain. So Sergio Ramos' pay may be either reported as gross or net depending on where you read and that Manchester United would have to pay him an awful lot more than Real Madrid would to improve his net income.

Sid Lowe's article is interesting though, Real do seem to be pulling the same trick with Sergio Ramos that they did with Di Maria and Ozil, both popular players, by attempting to make their position at the club intenable without overtly saying they want to sell.

_me
June 26th, 2015, 8:25 PM
i thought that the clubs usually paid the taxes; that quoted players salaries are usually net? at least that is what I always assume when reading salaries. even if it is net, that Ramos salary is much lower than I expected for someone who has been a fixture at Madrid for years. if it is gross, no wonder he wants to leave…

RuneEdge
June 27th, 2015, 3:28 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/11702936/Man-Utd-transfer-news-United-lodge-42.5million-bid-for-Sergio-Ramos.html
£42.5m on the table apparently. :scared:

Bad Collin
June 27th, 2015, 8:39 PM
Bacca is going to Milan, so that's one less available target.

Ringo
June 28th, 2015, 5:16 AM
Unless someone else snatches him before they can get it done. Looks like that's already happened a few times this Summer.

Apparently the guy who broke the Sanchez to Arsenal story says Vidal to Arsenal is a done deal. There were rumblings that Juve were selling him to an English club. Could very well be bollocks, idk.

Romford Pele
June 28th, 2015, 8:58 AM
He would a great signing if no one lets him drive

Him, Cech and a striker would be good.

Ringo
June 28th, 2015, 12:01 PM
Feels a bit strange how few players have been linked with Chelsea lately. In the past couple of years we've done our business quickly and quietly but there's usually been plenty of stories regardless. Seems like everyone's getting linked with the other big clubs.

Also apparently Swansea are signing that Portguese striker Eder.

Two observations:

a) They have a thing for tall black strikers with dreadlocks.
b) He looked absolute shit at the world cup.

_me
June 28th, 2015, 12:59 PM
Chelsea did win the league pretty easily. There isn't that much they need. New backup striker and upgrading Mikel; anything else? Considering they don't have any starting jobs available and all they are adding is depth and rotation guys, I can understand why they are waiting. You aren't going to get top players to sign up as backups and the next tier don't want to sign up as backups unless they have no other options

RuneEdge
June 28th, 2015, 1:36 PM
Vidal to Arsenal might actually be happening :panic:

Andy
June 28th, 2015, 5:01 PM
Nah, some guy on twitter made it up. Then the Metro ran it and everyone believed it.

Simon
June 29th, 2015, 5:36 AM
Apparently we want Jonny Evans and Toby Alderweireld. How did Evans do last season? He was playing well until the ban wasn't he?

BBF
June 29th, 2015, 5:40 AM
Clyne having his medical today at Liverpool today and a deal for Illarramendi is hoped to be tied up by the 10th. Rafa is doing Liverpool a favour there.

RuneEdge
June 29th, 2015, 6:11 AM
Apparently we want Jonny Evans and Toby Alderweireld. How did Evans do last season? He was playing well until the ban wasn't he?
He was on a decent run up until the ban. He wasnt great, but he was the best performing CB for us at the time so his loss stood out. By the end of the season, both Jones and Smalling had surpassed him IMO.
Right now, Evans definitely has to go. If we get another CB in, he'd basically be 5th choice behind Smalling, Jones, Rojo and who ever the new guy would be (potentially one of Ramos, Hummels, Otamendi, etc). And that's without taking into account that LvG will want to give McNair and Blackett some game time to help their development.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 29th, 2015, 9:56 AM
I don't see why Liverpool need Illarramendi. I've never been that impressed by him in the limited chances he has had for Real and they already have too many midfielders. I doubt the link is real but if it is, it'd be another weird example of how some clubs just continually accumulate players for one part of their team while failng to address glaring gaps elsewhere.

Bad Collin
June 29th, 2015, 10:17 AM
He's supposed to pay the role that Gerrard failed at the last few years. I think that he and Can are supposed to be the new Alonso and Mascherano

BBF
June 29th, 2015, 10:25 AM
I imagine if he comes lucas will move on?

El Capitano Gatisto
June 29th, 2015, 10:34 AM
Where will Henderson, Milner and Allen play then?

Bad Collin
June 29th, 2015, 10:45 AM
Assuming a 4-2-3-1:

In the 2: Any of Illarramendi, Can, Allen and Lucas
in the 3: Any of Milner, Firmino, Coutinho, Henderson, Ibe, Lallana, Markovic

There are rumours that Lucas is on his way and Markovic is going out on loan.

You are right though, a striker should be the main priority.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 29th, 2015, 10:48 AM
So far too many midfielders then. Liverpool won't exactly be snowed under with games next season.

Bad Collin
June 29th, 2015, 10:50 AM
Why not? We're in the UEFA cup.

RuneEdge
June 29th, 2015, 10:51 AM
Most reports are calling Fermino a striker. If that's the case, you might be looking at a potential partnership with Coutinho down the middle.
Did anyone watch Fermino play for Brazil at the last game, and note where he played?

El Capitano Gatisto
June 29th, 2015, 10:54 AM
Why not? We're in the UEFA cup.

It's only a lot of extra games if you want to progress. Brendy looked hesitant enough trying to progress in the Champions League.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 29th, 2015, 10:56 AM
Most reports are calling Fermino a striker. If that's the case, you might be looking at a potential partnership with Coutinho down the middle.
Did anyone watch Fermino play for Brazil at the last game, and note where he played?

There were next to zero reports calling Firmino a striker prior to the Copa America. He has apparently been used there by Brazil this summer for lack of any other reasonable options but has also apparently but total shit at it, evidenced by the fact they struggled to score anything and are now out of the tournament after losing to Paraguay on penalties.

Bad Collin
June 29th, 2015, 10:58 AM
It's only a lot of extra games if you want to progress. Brendy looked hesitant enough trying to progress in the Champions League.

I think we'll see Allen, Lucas, Markovic etc starting those games and the league cup games. We have at least six Thursday nights to deal with.

Simon
June 29th, 2015, 11:16 AM
Firmino is an attacking mid isn't he? From what I've read he can play as a second striker the way Eriksen did for us last season, but not a proper out-and-out striker.

Henderson has to be played central IMO, and Liverpool would be well advised to stop looking for 'the new Gerrard' - that sort of player is just not likely to be available to them, and trying to turn players into him is stupid. Henderson is good at what he does - loads of energy, strong in the tackle, keeps play ticking over with quick passes...when they started trying to turn him into Gerrard last season all they did was highlight the ways in which he's not as good, shooting all over the place from long distance and trying Hollywood passes across the pitch that are accurate and look good, but are not particularly useful.

If you're playing 4-2-3-1 then Lucas and Allen are probably the odd ones out, as each of them are better served in a 3-man midfield...you'd probably get £20m total for them.

Simon
June 29th, 2015, 11:19 AM
Cech to Arsenal is finally finally finalised.

Romford Pele
June 29th, 2015, 12:47 PM
Get in. Definite improvement for us.

Shame Ospina will probably be going as he is has been excellent in Copa America.

Hlebsfall
June 29th, 2015, 2:45 PM
Too small, can't kick a ball further than the half way line, only a decent shot stopper if they are coming straight at him, won't be a great loss. Will be interesting to see what sort of Cech we get though, because I've thought he has looked ropey the past couple of years.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 29th, 2015, 3:20 PM
I think his shot-stopping probably isn't as great (still very good) as when he was younger, but he'll bring a lot of assurance, control of his area and reliable decision-making to Arsenal's defence. He knows how to win things. It's a fantastic signing for Arsenal since all of those things are what Szcznesy clearly lacks as a goalkeeper. I think when United signed Van der Sar his best shot-stopping days were a long way behind him but he also brought an assurance to the defence that de Gea doesn't have. Arsenal should get the same sort of experience over a number of seasons.

I think it was a mistake for Wenger not to go for Schneiderlin for the sake of a few million quid that Arsenal definitely have. Unless he has something better up his sleeve, it was a big error to see him (most likely) go to a rival team. He's been probably the most impressive defensive midfielder in the Premier League after Matic over the past couple of seasons. As it stands Arsenal have to hope Coquelin has more to him than a purple patch and doesn't get injured.

Andy
June 29th, 2015, 3:28 PM
Agree about Schneiderlin. Good to get Cech done, for my money we still need a midfielder and a striker, maybe a centre back too.

RuneEdge
June 29th, 2015, 3:40 PM
Graham Hunter from Sky is saying Ramos has told Madrid that he wants to move to United, and gone as far as saying he doesn't want an auction since he only wants the club to listen to offers from United. United have now apparently made a £28.6m offer.

El Capitano Gatisto
June 29th, 2015, 3:44 PM
Graham Hunter is normally pretty good, much better than Balague I find who just seems to talk shit then change his mind the day the transfer happens or is confirmed not to be happening. Hunter maintained last summer that United wanted di Maria and was pretty consistent all along that Fabregas wouldn't go to United, so he's called the past couple of big Man U Spanish transfer sagas pretty spot on.

Simon
June 29th, 2015, 5:37 PM
Paulinho's gone! BOOF!

Simon
June 30th, 2015, 5:18 AM
Apparently Bentaleb is demanding £80k a week in contract talks. Even by modern day standards that is mad, he isn't going to get that anywhere in the world.

Simon
June 30th, 2015, 8:05 AM
Quite interesting to see the rebuilding jobs being done at Milan and Inter - Inter have already signed Kondogbia who IMO looks like a potential world-class player, seemingly they're about to sign Miranda from Atletico as well. Milan have spent big on Bertolacci who I know nothing about but are also on the verge of signing Bacca from Sevilla.

Ringo
June 30th, 2015, 8:25 AM
Inter are looking good. Their new owner seems to be delivering the cash. They already had an excellent keeper and two really sought after players in Kovacic and Icardi. Made the Shaqiri deal permanent too. They're adding Kondogbia, Miranda, Montoya from Barca, some new left back and apparently they're after Salah as well.

Milan I'm not so sure about. Bacca is a big signing but most of their squad is a mess and they've missed out on a lot of targets.

RuneEdge
June 30th, 2015, 10:08 AM
Milan have lost some of their drawing power, but that'll gradually come back over time if they keep pushing forward. Isn't there supposed to be some rich Thai businessman taking over the club and injecting some cash into the transfers?

Simon
June 30th, 2015, 10:10 AM
Gervinho was gonna move to some Arab club but the deal's off because his demands included his own private beach and helicopter :lol:

RuneEdge
June 30th, 2015, 10:23 AM
Sergio Ramos' mum claims he's staying at Madrid. :panic:

Simon
June 30th, 2015, 5:34 PM
Begovic to Chelsea is agreed apparently. What a waste of a talented keeper :no:

Ringo
June 30th, 2015, 5:41 PM
That was my initial response too - he could be starting for a really good side. That said, clubs challenging for major honours have tended to have two strong keepers lately. Neuer & Reina at Bayern, Casillas & Lopez/Navas at Real, ter Stegen/Bravo, Hart/Caballero, etc. Always liked him, happy to have him if that's the case.

Simon
July 1st, 2015, 4:53 AM
Yeah from Chelsea's point of view it's a great move, but it's such a waste for him...he won't play in any meaningful CL games the way Bravo or Casillas did last year. So just a handful of cup games and maybe coming in if Courtois gets injured. Shite.

Fanny
July 1st, 2015, 6:00 AM
I've always thought rotating keepers is underplayed as a bit of poor inconsitency and think it's more analogous than people might like to think with switching your trusted, established centre half between games and the potential disruption to a defensive makeup that can cause, irrespective of the replacement being as good.

Bad Collin
July 1st, 2015, 6:18 AM
Talksport are saying that we're about to announce Benteke. I think they just made it up.

What's happening with Clyne? That was supposed to be done on Monday?

Simon
July 1st, 2015, 6:28 AM
Good move for Liverpool you'd think, they've done well to move so quickly and bed players in early.

Bad Collin
July 1st, 2015, 6:44 AM
If it's true. Talksport is the audio equivalent of the Sun. If it is true I will jizz.

Bad Collin
July 1st, 2015, 6:47 AM
Also if it is true we would have basically bought a new team. I'm counting Origi as a new signing here and assuming that Clyne has passed his medical:



Origi Benteke Ings

Milner ??? Firmino

??? ???? Gomez Clyne

Bogdan

Simon
July 1st, 2015, 7:03 AM
Clyne confirmed on BBC.

Romford Pele
July 1st, 2015, 7:20 AM
Diaby has left Arsenal. Such a shame he was injured so much, always thought he had a lot of ability.

Fanny
July 1st, 2015, 7:27 AM
yeah I think there's a Buzzfeed article due out tonight explaining why he was the greatest player of all time

Romford Pele
July 1st, 2015, 7:32 AM
Double post

Chris Scott
July 1st, 2015, 7:45 AM
Made up with Clyne, hopefully he keeps his head straight and doesn't let pressure to him and he'll be a brilliant player for us.

Ringo
July 1st, 2015, 9:11 AM
Inter are looking good. Their new owner seems to be delivering the cash. They already had an excellent keeper and two really sought after players in Kovacic and Icardi. Made the Shaqiri deal permanent too. They're adding Kondogbia, Miranda, Montoya from Barca, some new left back and apparently they're after Salah as well.

Milan I'm not so sure about. Bacca is a big signing but most of their squad is a mess and they've missed out on a lot of targets.

I guess the Shaqiri deal was done in January... now Sky Italia say Stoke have had a £12m bid for him accepted by Inter. Big signing for them if so.

Simon
July 1st, 2015, 9:41 AM
Weird one, you'd have thought bigger sides would be in for him. Why the fuck aren't we going for him, for example.

Bad Collin
July 1st, 2015, 9:57 AM
We've been linked with him for years

_me
July 1st, 2015, 10:15 AM
Weird one, you'd have thought bigger sides would be in for him. Why the fuck aren't we going for him, for example.
Tottenham is not a bigger club than Liverpool. The only thing they have over Liverpool is being in London.

Ringo
July 1st, 2015, 10:17 AM
Bigger than Stoke... he was commenting on Shaqiri, not Clyne.

Bad Collin
July 1st, 2015, 10:21 AM
Yeah, don't stir up that big club shite again

_me
July 1st, 2015, 10:34 AM
Bigger than Stoke... he was commenting on Shaqiri, not Clyne.
shows how out of it I was I thought he was talking about Bentenke. My bad.

Ringo
July 1st, 2015, 11:13 AM
Sounds like Shaqiri's turned them down anyway.

RuneEdge
July 1st, 2015, 1:04 PM
Gundogan's signed a new deal at BVB. This is after apparently having signed a deal/taken a medical at United, Bayern and Barca. :lol:

turdpower
July 1st, 2015, 4:25 PM
Don't believe anything until you see it on bbc.co.uk/sport

RuneEdge
July 2nd, 2015, 3:09 AM
It's not an issue with who was reporting it. BBC also reported this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/32537619

_me
July 2nd, 2015, 5:15 AM
How long unless Ramos had his new Madrid contract? Nothing gets a player a new contract faster than being linked with Man U

RuneEdge
July 2nd, 2015, 5:28 AM
More than anything, a part of me thinks these rumours have only been put out so we play ball with the De Gea deal.

Mik
July 2nd, 2015, 5:48 AM
In exciting Sunderland transfer news. We have sealed up the capture of underwhelming loan signing from last year Sebastian Coates.

Simon
July 2nd, 2015, 5:50 AM
I thought he was one of the main reasons you stayed up wasn't he?

Mik
July 2nd, 2015, 6:06 AM
Erm...nope. Maybe through virtue of the fact that him playing meant that Wes Brown wasnt, but he didnt have a good loan spell by a long stretch.

I'd say he had three good games at the end of the season.

The Rosk
July 2nd, 2015, 6:23 AM
They stayed up by the luckiest victory I have ever seen at Everton and by others being shite. That is it. Sunderland are doomed unless they sort out a good few players IMO.

I think Watford and Bournemouth will come up and be fine if they stick to their way of football. I fear for Leicester now Pearson has gone. The end to the season they had isn't sustainable. Norwich will be fighting, as will we if we lose Benteke/Delph - we will not get anywhere near adequate replacements for those two and they were our best performers last year.

Peter Griffin
July 2nd, 2015, 7:25 AM
Best keep your fucking mitts off Hendrick wether Delph goes or not :squint:

Ringo
July 2nd, 2015, 9:52 AM
They stayed up by the luckiest victory I have ever seen at Everton and by others being shite. That is it. Sunderland are doomed unless they sort out a good few players IMO.

I think Watford and Bournemouth will come up and be fine if they stick to their way of football. I fear for Leicester now Pearson has gone. The end to the season they had isn't sustainable. Norwich will be fighting, as will we if we lose Benteke/Delph - we will not get anywhere near adequate replacements for those two and they were our best performers last year.

Looks like you're spending £9m on "Idrissa Gueye" from Lille. Sounds like a Delph replacement.

Peter Griffin
July 2nd, 2015, 12:12 PM
Betting suspended by skybet on Ince joining us..hopefully this comes to fruition now.

The Rosk
July 3rd, 2015, 5:35 AM
Looks like you're spending £9m on "Idrissa Gueye" from Lille. Sounds like a Delph replacement.

... annnnndd Southampton come in with a £10m bid, thus scuppering our chances afer he flew in for talks.

We are fucked. Delph and Benteke leaving with no adequate replacements on the horizon. Fuck.

The Rosk
July 3rd, 2015, 5:45 AM
I see Charlie Austin to Villa is currently 28/1. Throwing 20 on that. Go on Charlie.

Fanny
July 3rd, 2015, 5:49 AM
don't gamble Ross mate

The Rosk
July 3rd, 2015, 6:01 AM
I gambled on meeting you and look how that turned out.

Simon
July 3rd, 2015, 6:02 AM
Exactly.

RuneEdge
July 3rd, 2015, 6:42 AM
16 year old Bobby Adekanye has confirmed his transfer to Liverpool on Instagram. Making him Liverpool's 13th signing this summer.

EDIT
13th arrival, more like. That includes players back from loan.

Peter Griffin
July 3rd, 2015, 10:44 AM
Fucking yes :hyper: Just shackell left and we should be set.

Simon
July 3rd, 2015, 10:56 AM
Didn't you just lose one of your better players to your rivals?

Peter Griffin
July 3rd, 2015, 12:10 PM
Ha get to fuck, he WAS a decent player for us, but for the project we are building he was deemed surplus to requirements as we want better quality, thus we released him, if anything forest are signing a derby cast off. though by the laws of nature he will score against us.

The Rosk
July 3rd, 2015, 12:30 PM
I have to say I don’t know much about Gueye having not followed Ligue 1 much. He seems an exact like-for-like replacement for Delph if we are to get him. I am going to be quite gutted to see Delph leave to be honest. He progressed so well since his injuries and became a real visible motivator on the pitch for the team. His effortless gliding past players was wonderful to watch at times. I was genuinely so surprised when he signed a new contract in February when he could have easily buggered off, and without him in the heart of the midfield we would have been relegated last season. I don’t really blame him for leaving for a bit-part role at City, who can really turn down £100k a week and a chance to win things. And him signing that contract means we’ve got an extra £8m we would not have got otherwise. It just feels a bit odd that it’s only 6 months after he played up the whole loyalty thing: “I'm proving that there still is loyalty in football. I've decided to stay here and I'll give nothing less than 100 per cent every game.”


So that makes 9 players out and 2 in.

Chris Scott
July 3rd, 2015, 6:51 PM
Ha get to fuck, he WAS a decent player for us, but for the project we are building he was deemed surplus to requirements as we want better quality, thus we released him, if anything forest are signing a derby cast off. though by the laws of nature he will score against us.

What players this?

Peter Griffin
July 3rd, 2015, 11:47 PM
Jamie Ward.

Bad Collin
July 4th, 2015, 6:18 AM
Talksport are saying that we're about to announce Benteke. I think they just made it up.

What's happening with Clyne? That was supposed to be done on Monday?

So it was just made up. No matter how many players we add to the squad if we don't sign a top striker this window was been a failure.

Mik
July 4th, 2015, 6:28 AM
We have signed Adam Matthews from Celtic, any idea what he's like?

wardy
July 4th, 2015, 7:04 AM
He's a good right back who can play on the left as well and put in some brilliant performances in Europe. Sad to see him go and I hope and think he'll do well for you.

Ringo
July 4th, 2015, 11:39 AM
Podolski to Galatasaray and van Persie to Fenerbahce then.

RuneEdge
July 4th, 2015, 12:18 PM
Gutted to see RVP go. We're really thin on strikers now with him and Falcao leaving, and there's not many available strikers out there who could make up for it.
I can't see us getting Benzema with the way we're dealing with Madrid and the whole Ramos/De Gea saga. Benteke sounds like he's going to Liverpool. Harry Kane wants to stay with Spurs. Higuain is too expensive if Napoli insist on their asking price. Lacazette's a bit of a gamble considering he's only had one good season in Ligue 1. And then there's Cavani, who PSG might have been willing to offload (considering the player probably want to play as a striker again instead of left wing), but I get the feeling they'll play hard ball considering they've always wanted Di Maria.

That leaves us with no choice but to trust in Hernandez. :\

El Capitano Gatisto
July 4th, 2015, 12:32 PM
RVP and Falcao don't have the pace or mobility to spearhead a 4-3-3 as Van Gaal prefers to play it. There's no point keeping players who are past their best and ineffective in a system. Rooney will be first choice and Hernandez is a good enough substitute, plus there's Wilson and Henriquez who may be kept on if not loaned out. I think United will buy another forward but Van Persie is no great loss based on his form going back 2 years or so.

The Rosk
July 4th, 2015, 12:52 PM
I'd prefer United to have Benteke than Liverpool by a fucking mile. Also hasn't Hernandez broken his collarbone?

RuneEdge
July 4th, 2015, 1:10 PM
When I say I'm gutted, that's with the assumption that we aren't signing another striker, or at least not another well known one with a good goal scoring resume. In which case, I'd have liked to have kept RVP.
You have to bare in mind that we weren't trying to sell him. RVP left us, because he wants more first team football to prepare himself for Holland next year. So I'd be lead to believe that his sale wasn't originally a part of LvG's plan. It's likely that from here, we might start to sort of panic in search for a new striker, maybe put bids in for unrealistic targets (unrealistic for reasons I gave above). Then in the end, we're left with nothing.

We could very well start the season with Rooney, Chicharito, Wilson and Henriquez.

Last I heard about Henriquez, I think I remember him saying he wants to stay at Dinamo Zagreb. And something to note is that he had a few ha-tricks in the 20 goals he scored last season, which suggests to me that he's probably isn't exactly the prolific scorer some might have thought he was last year. Besides that, he's a young prospect for the future, and I'd prefer to stick with Wilson over him.
And I think Chicharito was supposed to be sold since the player himself said he doesnt want to be stuck on the bench all the time. But his injury might have thrown that idea out of the window.

Simon
July 4th, 2015, 1:14 PM
Capoue and Stambouli both going to Watford. Looks a good balance in centre mid for them but then I thought that about Livermore and Huddlestone for Hull. We've done excellent work shipping the dead wood so far this window, hopefully we spend the money on a couple of class players now, we don't need to directly replace anyone that has left. Still need to bin Adebayor, Soldado, Kaboul, Chiriches and ideally Fazio and Lennon or Townsend. Ridiculous.

RuneEdge
July 4th, 2015, 1:16 PM
I read something today about a possible swap deal between Lamela and Shaqiri.

Might be something that benefits both clubs.

Simon
July 4th, 2015, 1:19 PM
I still think Lamela can come good, definitely worth another year at least.

RuneEdge
July 4th, 2015, 1:30 PM
Or you cash in while Inter still want him. Another average season would see his stock plummet. Both players are still young, but I'd say Shaqiri is a little better on the ball. It's a fair trade IMO.

On the other hand, you'll miss dem unbelievable rabona tekkerz.

El Capitano Gatisto
July 4th, 2015, 2:18 PM
Capoue and Stambouli both going to Watford. Looks a good balance in centre mid for them but then I thought that about Livermore and Huddlestone for Hull. We've done excellent work shipping the dead wood so far this window, hopefully we spend the money on a couple of class players now, we don't need to directly replace anyone that has left. Still need to bin Adebayor, Soldado, Kaboul, Chiriches and ideally Fazio and Lennon or Townsend. Ridiculous.

Spurs will just buy a load more shit to be sold at a minor loss in 2 years time so everyone can marvel at how good Levy is at churning over under-whelming players.

_me
July 4th, 2015, 3:41 PM
I still think Lamela can come good, definitely worth another year at least.
With that much talent, I tend to think he will be good too. But I am beginning to doubt it happening in England; it's too physical and everyone has to work on defense which he doesn't. His fullbacks were always causing problems. But when he's scoring 20 goals a season in Spain or Italy in a few years, I won't be surprised.

Were the stories about Stoke and Inter agreeing to £12M for Shaqiri true? But he turned them down? If so and thats all he costs, I would say just sign him. Seems like you could sell Lamela for more than that still.