The summer is generally regarded as a silly season in the transfer market. But, in a World Cup year, you can expect the madness to intensify yet further.
Clubs around the world will surely want to conduct their business early or risk losing their targets, or paying vastly inflated prices, on the back of a decent performance in Brazil. Even an impressive ten minute cameo can add a zero to transfer fees being demanded by clubs and agents.
But we have found a few bargains that may go under the radar but would, nevertheless, add quality to most teams.
Pepe Reina – Liverpool’s brilliant keeper has found himself in between a rock and a hard place with the Merseyside giants. While he’s too good to sit on the Liverpool bench, Simon Mignolet has come in and nailed down the No.1 spot. Reina has been shipped off to Napoli on loan and said this week:
‘At the moment it’s difficult to think about being a Liverpool player next year. They have a young goalkeeper in Simon Mignolet and the manager prefers him to me.
‘That’s the reason why I’m here and he will be at the club next year as well. There’s no reason to think I’ll be a Liverpool player from now on but we’ll see where the future takes us
Napoli are said to be keen on securing his services permanently. But, at 31, he is in his prime and will surely pique the interest of various Premier League clubs too. Few Liverpool fans would argue with the quality of service provided by the Spaniard over the years.
Thomas Vermaelen – Speaking of Arsenal, their captain apparently wants to leave after being frozen out of the team this season by Mertesacker and Koscielny.
Vermaelen’s agent Alex Kroes told French paper Le 10 Sport: “Thomas has told Wenger that he wants to leave Arsenal this summer.”
Top squads need quality in numbers and Arsenal would ideally want to hold onto the player. They have been fortunate with injuries in central defence this season but, if either of the first choice players got crocked, this guy would be the perfect player to step in.
If Arsenal don’t want him, perhaps he could move up the road to Tottenham? Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton might also be keen on a defender with great technique.
Cristian Tello – the Barcelona forward has played once for Spain since his debut in 2013. But he will probably not be on the plane to Brazil 2014. The main reason being that he hasn’t had enough games for Barcelona this season – 23 in all competitions isn’t bad – but for a 22 year old with such talent Tello needs to be playing on a regular basis. It’s a crucial stage of his career and he has been linked with various Premier League clubs. Liverpool have reportedly shown interest in this highly technical and mobile player, who would get into most teams but just can’t find a way past Pedro, Neymar, Messi and Alexis Sanchez. Manchester United would also surely be interested in his myriad talents out wide or in a floating role.
Ravel Morrison – His talent is undoubted. Just a couple of months ago England manager Roy Hodgson was talking up his chances of getting on the plane to Brazil. But the temperament of the ex-Manchester United player has raised serious questions about his long term future in the game. You would still hope that a top manager could harness the considerable talents of the lad. At his best he could do a job at a top club like Arsenal. Or perhaps Manchester United might fancy another try? But David Moyes probably has enough on his plate right now….
Follow us on Twitter @soccersweep10