Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Perusing through the latest influx of major pre-season signings to join the English Premier League can quickly become a competition to find which transaction does not include the words Manchester and City.
As expected, it is the blue half of Manchester that have splashed the cash on behalf of Italian manager Roberto Mancini, as they bid to break into the top four and come away with a minimum of Champions League soccer this season.
By logic, the team with the most spending power should sit on top of any best pre-season buy list, but since when has soccer been a logical game?
City have spent well, no doubt. Valencia and Spain winger David Silva, Ivory Coast and Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure and Germany and Hamburg SV fullback Jerome Boateng have all moved to Eastlands for a combined total of around 80 million pounds and more are likely to follow, with Aston Villa’s James Milner set to take their spending over the 100 million mark.
Barcelona’s Thierry Henry is heading to New York Red Bulls in a widely expected move but don’t think the first big post-World Cup transfer means the window will suddenly be awash with deals.
An event before the World Cup is a major reason why Henry has decided to follow David Beckham’s lead and try out MLS. David Villa’s early move to Barca from Valencia meant there was no room for Henry at the Nou Camp and after France’s flop in South Africa there were few other interested parties.
Premier League club Chelsea have been banned from registering any new players for the next two transfer windows, FIFA said on Thursday.
“Chelsea are banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision,” a FIFA statement said.
Has John Terry got a bit big for his boots by questioning whether Chelsea’s ambition matches his own?
The defender and club captain said that was the reason for the delay in him nailing his colours to the Chelsea mast in the wake of Manchester City’s reported 200,000 pounds per week offer to take him away from Stamford Bridge.
It would be among the biggest swap deals ever in soccer but there is a long way to go before it becomes reality.
Inter Milan and Barcelona may have agreed to the transfers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o (plus a bit of cash for the Italians on top) but the players have yet to agree terms and that looks trickier than might be expected.
France striker Karim Benzema is joining Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon, the Ligue 1 club said on Wednesday on their website.
The 21-year-old Benzema will become Real’s third major signing under returning president Florentino Perez after Brazil’s Kaka and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
They took their time getting there but Kaka is now officially a Real Madrid player.
The Spanish club and AC Milan issued statements at 0030 local time with the player due to hold a news conference in Brazil, where he is on international duty.
AC Milan’s PR machine has ground to a halt in recent weeks but it may have to leap into action shortly to explain to fans why they have sold Kaka for a good deal less than they could have in January.
Reports say a world record deal, worth between 65 and 80 million euros, has been agreed with Real Madrid but Chelsea have not been counted out yet.
Most Manchester United fans had no idea who Federico Macheda was before the Italian netted a stunning stoppage-time winner against Aston Villa on Sunday.
The 17-year-old’s goal could ultimately be the one that sealed the Premier League title for United.
So often in the past we have seen transfer deals go through simply because the player asks to leave. Clubs fear the players won’t play to their full potential if their wish is denied so they cave in and take the transfer fee.
But recently, some clubs have started fighting back against player power and have been rewarded.