The longest running transfer saga of the summer should be over by Tuesday; Luis Suarez’s Liverpool exit could be about to get messy and more on Rooney, Fabregas and the Spurs future of Jermaine Defoe.
C U Next Tuesday. That’s the message that Gareth Bale is apparently sending out to Real Madrid and he doesn’t mean it in the same offensive way that a lot of people do when saying them four words.
No, according to The Star, that’s when Bale’s move to the Spanish giants should be completed, a move which prompted Arsene Wenger to call the money involved in the transfer ‘a joke’ in relation to the Financial Fair Play regulations that are supposed to level up the playing field across Europe.
Wenger’s comments subsequently prompted the Daily Mirror to insinuate that Wenger was calling Bale a joke, as was implied on their back page this morning.
The Sun say that the Spurs players are already resigned to Bale’s departure and have all asked him to sign their shirts, while the Star say that once Real have Bale’s signing tied up they will then turn their attention to Liverpool’s Luis Suarez.
Speaking of Suarez, a story on the BBC website suggests that he is so determined to leave Anfield that he will consider submitting a transfer request and could even take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with confusion between player and club over the £40million clause in his contract activated by the recent £40,000,001 bid Arsenal made for the Uruguayan. The club say that it only entitles him to talk to other clubs, but Suarez feels they are reneging on an agreement to let him leave for a sum in excess of that figure. It could get messy.
Steven Gerrard is doing his best to convince Suarez to remain at the club for the time being at least and while commenting on his team-mate’s predicament, he revealed that he had a chance to leave Liverpool for a club in the Champions League last summer.
“I had a chance to leave last year,” Gerrard said ahead of his testimonial against Olympiacos today.
“It was for a club in the Champions League, not a Premier League club, but I wasn’t tempted. I’ve been through that before.”
Gerrard didn’t say who it was but The Express believes that it was Bayern Munich and although Gerrard is Liverpool through and through, he may well have thought about what might have been while the Bavarians were conquering everyone who came into their path last year.
Over in Manchester, meanwhile, the future of Wayne Rooney seems no closer to being resolved but he is set to return to action against Real Betis in a behind-closed-doors friendly later today amid reports in the Metro that Chelsea will come back with a £40 million bid for the striker in the coming days.
In more encouraging news from a United point of view, new Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino didn’t sound as convinced about Cesc Fabregas’ future at the club as he has in the recent past following their hammering of Santos last night.
“I’m not thinking about Barca without Cesc,” he said.
“I’ve talked to him, I’ve explained my ideas. He’s one of the best in the squad, but there’s also a part that he has to decide.
“If it depends on me, he’ll stay, and I believe he will, so I haven’t thought about who I’d sign to replace him yet.”
Elsewhere, nearly all of the papers seem united in their belief that Newcastle will soon secure the signing of (yes, yet another Frenchman) Bafetimbi Gomis sooner rather than later and interestingly from an Irish point of view, the Sun think that Alan Pardew might make a move for James McCarthy while they’re at it.
Spurs’ Clint Dempsey has been linked with a move back home to the Seattle Sounders (ESPN), while in what would be a dramatic step down for the England striker, the Mirror report that Jermaine Defoe could be set for a reunion with old boss Harry Redknapp in the Championship with QPR.
Finally, the Mirror say that Gareth Barry is an unlikely target for Rafa Benitez at Napoli and that Arsenal will make another move for long-term target Ashley Williams. Staying with the Gunners, The Sun say that Gervinho will complete a move to Roma for £8 million in the next couple of days, with unconfirmed rumours suggesting that he is already undergoing a medical in the Italian capital…