Chelsea to sell Luiz for £50m; Man U want £15m for Fellaini
Mop-heads heading for Premier League exit, but one will cost significantly more than the other
According to Gary Neville, he plays football like "a ten-year-old on a PlayStation", but that withering verdict has not stopped Paris Saint-Germain agreeing a deal worth nearly £50m for Chelsea's mop-haired Brazilian David Luiz.
The French champions are set to make Luiz the world's most expensive defender according to the Daily Mail, which reports that the defender has even undergone a medical in Brazil ahead of the proposed deal.
Trying to comprehend the huge sum being paid, the Mail says that "PSG had to move quickly to beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich which may explain the size of the fee they were prepared to pay" - well something has to.
Talking of mysteries, the issue of who Arsenal are going to bring in to bolster their strikeforce next season was a surprise omission from Horizon's list of six great problems of the early 21st century, announced this week.
Several names have been mentioned in recent weeks and the latest one to be thrown into the mix is Sebastian Giovinco. The 27-year-old Italian, deployed by Juventus either as a second striker or an attacking midfielder, has apparently caught the eye of both Arsenal and Tottenham. Asked by Calcionews24.com if he was aware the two London clubs were on his client's tail, agent Andrea D'Amico replied: "I am not surprised that Arsenal and Tottenham are being linked, considering the quality of Arsene Wenger's choices and the fine level of Tottenham's squad."
As to whether a move might be on the cards, D'Amico hinted that there was a possibility, if Giovinco didn't start getting more game time with the Italian champions. "Clearly, he needs to play more consistently," said the agent. "We'll talk to Juventus and then we'll see."
Elsewhere and the Daily Express reports that another great Old Trafford flop could also be on his way out of the club before long. With David Moyes already gone, the days of Marouane Fellaini seem numbered although United now face the onerous task of finding "someone willing to stump up £15m" to take the Belgian blunderer off their hands.
Fellaini was David Moyes' first signing as United boss but the £27.5m he paid Everton has turned the club into a laughing stock and the Express claims new United manager Louis van Gaal "does not believe the Belgium star has the game to fit into how he wants to play next season". So desperate are United to farm out Fellaini that they're prepared to accept bids in the region of £15m, even going down to £10m, in the hope that some club will come calling.
Van Gaal is also reported to have pulled the plug on another bit of Moyes business, by calling off United's pursuit of Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos. The Daily Mirror says that talks were already underway over a £20m switch this summer, but when Van Gaal was shown Moyes's list of summer targets he put a line through Kroos's name. The paper says Dutchman Van Gaal wasnt to take United in a "different direction" to Moyes - presumably one that involves going up the table rather than down it.
One player Van Gaal is interested in, though, is Yevhen Konoplyanka of Dnipro in Ukraine. The midfielder has been courted by Liverpool, but it seems Van Gaal is keen on knocking them off their perch, in the transfer market at least. The signs are good for United, says The Guardian, as the player would be happy to move to Old Trafford even though there will be no European competition next season, while the £12.1m release clause could be easily met.
In other news Goal.com says that Roma gaffer Rudi Garcia has said he has no intention of selling Mehdi Benatia over the summer. The Moroccan defender has been linked with several top clubs recently, Manchester City being one, but Garcia is adamant the 27-year-old Benatia will be back at Roma next season. "Last year we sold €50m (£40m) worth of players, but this summer we are not in a position where we need to sell," Garcia explained, even though it's believed City would be willing to offer the Italian club as much as £22m for the defender.
One player definitely heading off on a new adventure is Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes, who is leaving Tottenham after six years at the club. The Evening Standard reports that Spurs have issued an official statement in which they said: "Heurelho Gomes is to leave the club at the conclusion of his contract next month and we would like to wish the popular goalkeeper all the best for the future."
And one deal definitely concluded concerns Sunderland's Phil Bardsley, with the Newcastle Chronicle reporting that the defender has signed for Stoke City. Bardsley, who has been at the Stadium of Light since 2008, has turned down the offer of a new contract to move to Stoke on "a long-term deal". The Scotland international informed Sunderland of his decision on Thursday afternoon, telling the club he wanted a "fresh challenge".