FC Barcelona’s 2013/14 pre-season campaign was tarnished with tax fraud allegations against Lionel Messi. As if it wasn’t enough, the mighty Spanish club was then accused of transfer fraud concerning Neymar’s move away from Santos. The intensity of this transfer issue led to the resignation of Sandro Rosell as club president in January.
Problems continue to hurt Barca under new president Bartomeu. On Wednesday, the Catalans were slapped with a two-transfer window ban for “illegal buying and selling of players under 18” according to FIFA.
However, Barcelona vice president Javier Faus is certain that “enemies” are behind all the controversies to fall down the club.
Speaking to the Spanish press on Thursday, Faus boldly declared:
After a lot of rejections and failures, it appears that David Moyes will finally be able to get his hands on a player who he feels will have enough about him to turn around the fortunes of a club the Scot inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson last year.
With continuing their reign as the champions of England out of the question, the most pressing matter for Manchester United is now to go for a top four finish which seems to be a very tough ask considering the form of the teams above them.
However, the club has got to try but with the players their manager has at his disposal, it might not happen.
Three years back, Serbian international, Nemanja Matic was transferred to Portuguese giants Benfica along with 24 million euros in a swap deal for David Luiz. Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho had already identified central midfield as an area that needed some strengthening following the long-term injury to Marco van Ginkel.
The Portuguese tactician was desperate to have an imposing presence in the middle for his team and Nemanja Matic, at 6ft 4inch fits the profile perfectly.
The Serb is likely to pair up with Ramires in the centre of the midfield which will give the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian freedom to express themselves more on the field.
Since the quick turnaround of replacing Andre Villas-Boas in December, Sherwood's strong start as manager has quickly clouded over the criticism of the club's lavish spending in the summer. The excitement of the seven arrivals has been overshadowed as these players have taken their time to gel as AVB original failed to scope together his best eleven. Les Ferdinand has declared both he and Sherwood have distinguished who is their first choice players which has seen a winnable blend in recent weeks.
Although there has been plenty of circulation of potential targets, no formal contact has been made with any player in the early stages of the market. From Ferdinand's point of view, speaking to the media of late, it appeared that Spurs are in no rush to bring in the numbers as they look continue with their recent consistency.
Despite not featuring in European football, today’s football fixture lists are so congested especially in the Premier League that not having a deep squad can ruin a team’s chances of acquiring its preseason goals.
And Liverpool, after making an excellent start to the Premier League campaign, risk undoing all good they have achieved these past few months due to injuries to key players and not having enough players for a particular department. For this reason, Brendan Rodgers needs to identify players he can target in the January transfer window and bring them to Anfield in order to address this concern.
It was yet again another dull display, lacking everything that has defined Manchester United sides of yesteryears under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. Swansea City had never won at Old Trafford ahead of last night’s FA Cup clash. However, it appears that many teams are now keen on setting the record straight whenever they have a trip to Old Trafford on the horizon.
The likes of Tottenham, West Brom and Newcastle United finally ended their disappointing trips at the Theatre of Dreams and it was definitely not out of Swansea’s sights to do the same. The place that was once a fortress, has now been assailed and each and every single deficiency David Moyes’ side possesses, is being thoroughly exploited.
Biggest clubs eying transformation
Last season, these squads suffered from lack of balance in attack, midfield or defence – due to injuries or loss of form by some of their players. They have since been busy letting names out or bolstering themselves with new acquisitions.
With the appointment of David Moyes at Manchester United, the return of Jose Mourinho to Chelsea, the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, and the appointment of Pep Guardiola by Bayern Munich, several players have been linked with moves to the respective clubs of these aforementioned gentlemen.
And this year’s most hyped transfer stories are not just about the Red Devils, the Blues, Los Blancos or Hollywood FC. Other popular clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, Man City, Milan and Spurs complete LiveSoccerTV.com’s 2013 Summer Transfer Guide.
Gareth Bale is officially the world’s most expensive footballer ever following his $132M move from Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu. It took months of intense speculations in the English and Spanish media before Los Blancos finally announced the deal on their official website last Sunday.
On transfer deadline day, Bale got unveiled in front of over 25,000 supporters. He was handed the number 11 shirt – his iconic number. In the video, you will see the Welshman speak his first words in Spanish as he stated:
“It is a dream for me to play for Real Madrid. Thanks for this great reception. ¡Hala Madrid!”
Historically, Florentino Perez eventually declared:
“From today onwards, just as you dreamt of as a child, this is your stadium, this is your shirt, this is your shield and these are your fans. This is your home and also your family.
In what should be considered as one of the longest stretched transfer dramas in recent times, Real Madrid finally got their way by signing Wales international, Gareth Bale for a world record transfer fee. Most people would call them mad but the Spanish giants were keen on making a marquee signing of their own this summer after seeing bitter rivals Barcelona splash the cash for Neymar.
Thanks to the arrival of new owners, new TV deals and the increasing popularity of the game all over the world, the supply of money is bound to increase which accounted for the momentous fees Madrid paid for their man.
A spirited display saw Wenger’s men earn three important away goals at Istanbul last week. This implies that Fenerbahce will have to score at least three or more goals against the London side if they are to have any chance of qualifying to the next round.
However even if Arsenal succeed in qualifying for the next round, it is unlikely they will progress much in the tournament given the lack of depth in the squad.
With less than a week left in the conclusion of the summer transfer window, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is yet to open his cheque book and a marquee signing which had been promised earlier looks less than likely to happen.
Once again, Arsene Wenger has left his transfer business to be done very late in the transfer window, that is of course if he does sign anyone. But after a comfortable victory over Fenerbahce on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League Playoff, the French manager remains confident that the next 10 days will be very busy.
When Le Prof was questioned about his current approach being very much like the one in 2011, when the Gunners signed Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta on the final day, the Arsenal manager disagrees with that comparison.
"At the time it was linked with injuries, we had unexpected long-term injuries and you cannot sit there and do nothing at all," Wenger told the clubs official website.
Manchester United supporters worldwide have been left anxious this summer as the club continues to stumble on the transfer market. David Moyes has been trying to sign Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas and keep Chelsea away from unhappy Wayne Rooney.
Previously, the Red Devils were reportedly targeting Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale but it appears the Welsh man will not land at Old Trafford anytime soon.
Likewise, the highly-anticipated return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the club has taken a huge setback. According to transfer speculations in Spain, the Portuguese winger is close to renewing a deal at Real Madrid.
Preview: Gunners out to show Higuain he made the wrong choice
Arsenal did not host the Emirates Cup last season, due to the fact that the Olympic Games were being held in London. Looking back on the 2011 edition of the competition, the Gunners did not do to well, forcing them to leave a better image this time around.
Their first match will be against a Napoli side that has made some significant changes in the off-season.
With the departure of Edinson Cavani to PSG, the Italian side was left to wonder what would be left of the team, without the Uruguay international. Rafa Benitez made quick work of that doubt, and brought in former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, who at one point seemed destined to sign for Arsenal.
Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon also made the move from the Bernabeu to the Stadio San Paolo, joining Benitez in his second stint in the Serie A. One other addition to the squad will be Pepe Reina, who will spend the season on loan with the Italian side from Liverpool.
After what was an over-stretched transfer saga, Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy agreed to pay the buyout clause of Valencia striker Roberto Soldado. It is not every day the Spurs’ chairman is in a charitable mood when it comes to buying players and Soldado will be an exception to the case.
Valencia remained resolute in their stance and for the first time in recent history, Levy was unable to pull something out of the hat in order to lure the striker to White Hart Lane.
"We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Valencia for the transfer of Roberto Soldado subject to medical," said a statement from Tottenham on Thursday morning.