John Terry ‘could leave Chelsea for Real Madrid’
Transfer Talk: Mourinho wants his old Chelsea captain to bolster the Bernabeu backline
It's a marriage made in heaven, and no we're not talking about Kate and Wills. Apparently Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho and John Terry are close to tying the knot, with the England defender poised to quit Chelsea for the Spanish giants in the summer.
Italian rag Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Mourinho has instructed Real president Florentino Perez to open negotiations with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for the services of his club captain.
Terry and Mourinho enjoyed a close relationship during the latter's stewardship at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2007 and the one who calls himself the Special One apparently believes that the 30-year-old Terry is the sort of defensive bulwark he needs at the Bernabeu, a counter to Barcelona's own hard man, Carles Puyol.
A season ago the prospect of Terry leaving Chelsea would have been unthinkable but with the club experiencing a turbulent season, and with rumours circulating suggesting Abramovich is on the verge of a summer clear-out, it might be that Terry accepts the challenge of Real in the twilight of his career.
Talking about twilights, the Sun reports that Joe Cole's future looks dark at Liverpool. The 29-year-old England midfielder arrived at Anfield from Chelsea last summer, one of Roy Hodgson's first signings, but he's struggled to adjust to life outside London. And with Hodgson gone and Kenny Dalglish now in charge of the Reds, Cole is considered surplus to requirements.
The Sun reckons Liverpool will look to sell Cole for £10m and quotes an insider as saying: "It's tough on Joe because he is a great kid. But things just haven't worked out for him. Kenny is building a new Liverpool with the likes of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez and he wants to bring in more new players in the summer."
Looks like the clear-out has already started at Arsenal as the club sifts through the wreckage of another season following Sunday's humiliation at Bolton. Talksport reports that Andrei Arshavin is likely to return to Zenit St Petersburg after what by his standards has been a miserable season.
The Gunners paid Zenit £15m for Arshavin in 2009 and though he started brightly the 29-year-old has looked disinterested for much of this season and reports indicate Wenger no longer sees a future for the Russian international at the Emirates.
"Zenit's doors are always open for Andrey," says Zenit's sporting director Igor Korneev. "If his situation at Arsenal does not improve and he's not comfortable in London, we can study this issue in time for next season."
Another Gunner soon to be an ex-Gunner if the reports are to be believed is Manuel Almunia, the gloveman with a touch of the Tommy Coopers about him. The 33-year-old Spaniard is reportedly poised to join Galatasaray in the summer, according to the Turkish press, as a replacement for Robinson Zapata. For reasons known only to Galatasaray, they see Almunia as the ideal successor to Zapata and a deal will be done with Arsenal in June's transfer window.
Italian daily Tuttosport says that Juventus are about to pillage Manchester City and return to Turin with manager Roberto Mancini and defender Micah Richards.
Apparently Juventus want Mancini to replace Luigi Del Neri as coach after another season of mediocrity, while Richards is seen as a player who would adapt well to Serie A football. Richards will cost Juventus £14m and wouldn't be missed by the Sky Blues for whom he has rarely appeared this season because of injury.
Finally, Chelsea have been encouraged in their courtship of Borussia Dortmund prodigy Nuri Sahin after the German club said they might be willing to sell provided the money is right.
The 22-year-old midfielder is regarded as one of the stars of German football, attracting interest from Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan, which has raised his value to around £18m.
Talking to Bild about the Turkish star, Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke said: "Many clubs are interested but nothing has been finalised. We are not a club used to selling our stars but we will look at any interesting offers."