Saturday, 30 April 2011

Football transfer rumours: Manuel Neuer to Manchester United?

Posted by chardyboy on Saturday, April 30, 2011 0 comments

source:Simon Burnton

It's a bumper edition of the Mill today, the nation's papers oozing with rumour despite the rival editorial appeal of the latest Champions League semi-final, and Barcelona's double-edged pursuit of perfection in both play and play-acting. But the biggest game yesterday wasn't the one taking place at the Bernabéu, with football's place on the tabloid front pages being secured by Prince William's decision to hold a kickabout in an unnamed London park almost certainly owned by his grandma. On the eve of the eve of his wedding, Wills risked hamstrings and shinbones while starring in the five-a-side contest, before leaping aboard his 1,100cc Ducati to race home through London's busy streets, past unsuspecting future subjects, head hidden behind his tinted visor, making light of the capital's snarling traffic on his two whizzy wheels.

To action, then, and news that Barcelona's decision to pull out of the chase for Anderlecht's £18m Belgian wonderkid Romelu Lukaku has left the way clear for Chelsea to steal in, snap him up, stick him in their reserves for three years and then send him on loan to Bolton. But Chelsea's No1 target remains Brazil's Neymar, with "a source close to Roman Abramovich last night confirming Neymar was still on the radar," according to the Star. Expect a busy summer at Stamford Bridge then, with the Mirror asserting that Carlo Ancelotti, or whoever it's going to be, is planning a major summer clearout, with Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda among those heading for the exit. Paulo Ferreira, José Bosingwa and Yuri Zhirkov are also on their way out, as the Blues aim to tweak their tactics to leave themselves with a first XI in which Fernando Torres can actually play without ruining everything.

The Star also says that Manchester United could yet hijack Manuel Neuer's move from Schalke to Bayern Munich with a £24m mega-bid. "The offer could be too much for Bayern to match, leaving United in pole position to sign the man regarded as one of the world's best goalkeepers," they guess. Across town to Manchester City, where Yaya Touré sellotaped Mario Balotelli's trainers to the dressing-room ceiling in one of a number of hilarious japes involving Manchester City's unbalanced Italian. According to the Sun, friends from the forward's homeland have also been cheekily making large pizza orders in his name from his favourite local eaterie, San Carlo, and even phoning him up at night and barking down the phone, "winding him up about his beloved pet dog who's still in quarantine". Also of potential interest to City fans is news that Valencia want to splash £7m on their very own Pablo Zabaleta.

Also on the news pages, Jack Wilshere's 22-year-old sister, Rosie Ann, has been convicted of assault after hitting someone with a half-pint glass. This will doubtless cause the young England midfielder enormous embarrassment – a half-pint glass? Talking of English midfielders and casual violence, Joey Barton has been linked with an unlikely £5m move to Liverpool, though the Reds may well prefer to spend twice as much on Standard Liège's Axel Witsel. And Arnold Schwarzenegger is to return to the silver screen in the fifth Terminator movie, to be directed by Justin Lin. He's the man behind Fast and Furious 5, which apparently is a hit film, even though it sounds a little bit like Stoke City's five-a-side team.

Niko Kranjcar is desperate to end his Tottenham hell in the summer. "Is there a point of beginning next season as a bit-part player? None whatsoever," he raged. "I would definitely be interested in moving to Italy. I think I would adapt well to Italian football." His Spurs team-mate Wilson Palacios could be heading in a similar direction, with Napoli interested in securing his £10m-rated services, while Internazionale are eyeing another Tottenham star in the shape of the Croatian string-puller Luca Modric.

Newcastle have joined the chase of Leeds' Robert Snodgrass, who is likely to leave Yorkshire if his current employers fail to win promotion, though Stoke and West Brom are also interested. Alan Pardew is also considering an offer for the Korean striker Ji Dong-won, with the Mail reporting the not-that-encouraging-really news that Newcastle's chief scout watched the 19-year-old play for Chunnam Dragons at the weekend and "was reasonably impressed". In nearby Sunderland, Steve Bruce is close to tying up a deal for Cardiff's England striker Jay Bothroyd, whose contract is due to expire this summer, and also wants the equally-free Blackpool midfielder David Vaughan. And Blackburn have been left mildly surprised after Málaga slapped a £7m price tag on their midfield target José Recio.

Aston Villa are busy drawing up a managerial shortlist, just in case Gérard Houllier's current health issues prevent him from returning to the dugout. Mark Hughes and David Moyes are said to feature prominently. Moyes, still wearing an Everton hat, is putting the possibility of a move Midlandswards to the back of his mind and concentrating on signing some exciting talent to really get his current side's fans excited about next season. To that end, he's ready to pounce for the relegated League One-bound free-transfer-seeking Preston ace Billy Jones, and is busy scouting Dale Stephens, currently on loan from Oldham to Southampton. And while stirring Football League-based rumour the Mill has one final story to tell: if Millwall go up and Swansea do not, expect the nation's premier rhyming footballer, Angel Rangel, to move to London. "I have heard of Millwall's interest," said the player's brother-in-law, Zavi Cruz. "In the summer we'll listen to all the managers and then make a decision."


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