Arsene Wenger has reportedly called Barcelona striker David Villa in a private conversation, as the Arsenal boss continues to try and convince the Spanish striker to join the Gunners.
Arsenal are one of five clubs linked with Spains all time leading goal-scorer, however the Arsenal boss has put himself in the forefront of the chase, personally rang David Villas as he looks to bring in the striker this January. Villa has scored 53 goals in 85 matches for Spain & is apparently hugely tempted by the possibility of a January move to the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger has contacted Barcelona himself with regards to permission for talking to Villa, and explaining his plans for the future, with the Spaniard the centre of it. A deal in January would cost Arsenal around £16million, with the price dropping to around £12-13million this summer.
Barcelona are happy to discuss with Arsenal over David Villa, but have told Arsenal and Villa they will do no business till the summer.
Despite recent improving performances, David De Gea has once again been linked with a move away from Manchester United, as Sir Alex Ferguson is ‘ready to ditch the goal-keeper.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has given the youngster plenty of oppurtunities this season, and despite the Spaniard looking to have finally established himself as the club number one over Anders Lindegaard – hes once again been linked with a move away to Old Trafford.
This may come as a surprise to many Manchester United fans, but with the outstanding performances from certain goal-keeper’s this season, most notably Asmir Begovic and Simon Mingolet, Fergie is apparently interested in signing a goalkeeper more suited to the physicality of English football.
IF Manchester United are looking to replace David De Gea they will need to ensure their new keeper is eligible for European competition, as Ferguson will know more than anyone a stable, storng back five unit are key to any title winning sides.
The Peruvian scored the winner against the Blues in the Club World Cup final and interim boss Rafael Benitez is reportedly keen on the striker.
But his Brazilian club insist he will not come cheap – with Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Fiorentina also in the running for the 28 year old.
Guerrero only cost Corinthians £3m when he joined them from Hamburg in July after an unspectacular spell at Bayern Munich.
Guerroro has a contract with Corinthians till 2015, and Chelsea will have to fight off other big clubs for the Peruvians services it seems.
Cristiano Ronaldo set to make his first return to Old Trafford as Real Madrid are tied with Manchester United in the last 16. The Spanish champions come up against Fergie’s men in what is no doubt the pick of the fixtures in this season’s Champions League.
Wow! What a tie.
There are so many things we can talk about – but I’ll start with a select few. The obvious one is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Manchester United legend makes his return to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time since his £80million move to Los Blancos. Ronaldo won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008 [as well as countless amounts of other trophies], and this will no doubt be an incredible, emotional return for the Portuguese captain. Cristiano has blossomed since his move to Spain, with 169 goals in 169 games for the Spanish outfit, quite a feat! Ronaldo will be welcomed with a fantastic reception at Old Trafford I’m sure – but will be as keen as ever to see his Real Madrid side progress to the latter stages.
Will Ronaldo celebrate if he scores? A question everyone is thinking, I know.
Well, could this be tie that decides the future manager at Manchester United? Ok, maybe a bit farfetched but theres definitly a case for it. Jose Mourinho, or ‘the special one’ or even ‘the only one’, has been linked with the Manchester United hot-seat for years now, and is one of the favoruites to take over the job once Sir Alex Ferguson steps down. This game could be an audition for Jose Mourinho, who has had his fair share of encounters against Fergie from his time at Chelsea.
This tie will no doubt be a battle of craft, wit and cunning as the two battle it out in what really is a huge tie. No doubt these two sides WOULD have taken up two of the four semi-final spots, and other teams in the competition will love the fact that two of Europe’s heavyweights are battling it out so early, and that one will leave the competition.
How will Manchester United defend against Ronaldo? Obviously – not one man can do it, it will take a team effort by the Red Devils. Rafael has matured this season a lot, but will Fergie give the Brazilian the task of marking one of the worlds greatest players? After his out-lash against Bayern Muncih a few seasons ago in which he saw red? Antonio Valencia could drop into right back for United – the powerful, pacey Ecuadorian would be able to match the Portuguese physically, but lacks the defensive abilities of Rafael. Manchester United would also miss out in his direct, attacking play too, if he were to drop in at right back.
With the first leg being played at the Santigao Bernabeu, Manchester United will have the early oppurtunity to score the crucial away goal. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez will no doubt be licking their lips at the idea of scoring against Real Madrid – in Madrid, and helping there side progress to the latter stages of the competition.
What does this mean for the rest of the competition? With either Manchester United or Real Madrid facing early elimination from the competition, the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund will see themselves as potential winners of the competition. Although all three have them have difficult ties, [Arsenal v Bayern, AC Milan v Barcelona, Shakhtar v Dortmund] they will no doubt be massive favourites for the tie.
The elimination of one of these two giants will have a massive effect on the competition, and I personally can’t wait to see it.
Barcelona have recently tied down Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol to new deals. This is great news for all Catalans, but not as ideal for big Premier League spenders Manchester City and Chelsea.
Lionel Messi recently signed a new deal at Camp Nou – and would now cost Manchester City, Chelsea or perhaps PSG (the only clubs who could possibly afford him), an astonishing £312 MILLION to sign the worlds best player.
he six year deal Messi signed with Barca is worth an estimated £17million a year, until 2018. Meaning that he will earn a staggering £102million just in wages. Add his £210million buy-out clase and the total package is £312million for the diminutive forward.
Of course, thats even if he wants to leave the club he has been at for 12 years. The Argentine joined the club as a precious kid, and has gone on to cement his legacy as one of, if not the greatest footballer ever.
Barca director Toni Freixa said: “Puyol, Messi and Xavi are three basic pillars. It was absolutely necessary to have our principal pieces tied to the club.
“It’s a great satisfaction for the board to give continuity to our project with these new deals.”
Messi has scored a world record-breaking 90 goals for club and country in 2012 – and is once again on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or crown. This will be the fourth successive year the Argentine has won the award – another record broke by the Barcelona sensation.
Wesley Sniedjer looks closer to the exit door at the San Siro as Italian giants Inter Milan have sent the Dutch forward home on an early Christmas break.
Manchester United have been linked with the talented play-maker for years now, but his wage demands succumbed any move to the Theatre Of Dreams. Sir Alex has been a massive fan of Sneijder, and could be in luck to sign the forward this January.
The 28-year-old has refused to sign a new deal at the San Siro, and has been left out of the playing squad on numerous occasions by Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni.
It is reported that Inter Milan want Sneidjer to cut his astronomical wages to something more reasonable – as Italian football continues to remain in an econimical plummet. With Financial Fair Play also beckoning around the corner – Inter are desperate to sort out their money issues.
Inter have two more matches remaining before the start of their two-week winter break, but Sneijder has been sent hom and will not feature for the club again in 2012.
“It was the last training session of 2012 at the Angelo Moratti centre for Philippe Coutinho and Wesley Sneijder today,” read a statement on the club’s website.