International News




Manchester United mull over transfer bid for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala. David Moyes is considering a move for the Porto defender as he looks to strengthen his Manchester United defence before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Marouane Fellaini
Manchester United are believed to have had a £20m bid for Marouane Fellaini accepted by Everton, according to reports. The deal is currently unconfirmed by either club, but is thought to be worth an initial fee of £20m, which will rise to £24m. Former Everton boss David Moyes has been keen on both Fellaini and left-back Leighton Baines following him to Manchester United from Goodison Park all summer, but infuriated bosses at his old club with a joint bid of £28m last week.

Chelsea appear set for a busy end to the transfer window as the Blues close in on Porto winger Christian Atsu and Anzhi forward Samuel Eto’o. With Wayne Rooney refusing to hand in a transfer request at Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has switched his attention to other targets – Atsu and Eto’o topping his wish-list. The talented Atsu had been linked with a move to Liverpool and Tottenham this summer but it is Chelsea who are now in pole position to land the 20-year-old. Mourinho has used his contacts in Portugal to keep track on the young winger and the two clubs are believed to be in “advanced talks” over a deal that would cost the Londoners around £3.5million. The Blues pursuit of Eto’o is also expected to come to a head in the next 48 hours. The Cameroon legend has been lined up by Mourinho as his first choice alternative to Rooney for some time and, with the move for the England striker now dead in the water, Eto’o is expected to sign an initial one year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal’s chances of landing Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil appear to be fading with the players reiterating their desire to remain at the Bernabeu. The Gunners have been linked with a £26million move for the talented wide-man, who is likely to have his first team chances reduced at Madrid once the protracted world-record deal for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale is complete. Mesut Ozil says he has no interest in joining the London club either or Manchester United this summer, insisting he is staying at Real Madrid. The Germany playmaker had also emerged as a possible target for United and the Gunners as Real Madrid seek to raise funds in light of the imminent arrival of Gareth Bale at the Bernabeu.

Jose Mourinho has placed fresh doubt on Fernando Torres’ future at Chelsea by claiming he’s not worth the £50million Roman Abramovich paid for him. Speaking after the 0-0 draw at Manchester United, where the Blues failed to field a recognised striker in their starting XI, Mourinho countered claims that he neglected the potential of the Premier League’s most expensive player. “It is not really £50million [Torres’ value], maybe it is twenty and a half,” said Mourinho. “He scored the goal that won the Europa League. That means some millions. He scored the goal against Everton that put Chelsea in the Champions League. That also means some millions. He is doing his job. He did it again.” Torres and Romelu Lukaku were all on the bench at Old Trafford, with Mourinho preferring to opt for a fluid front four of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle.

Gareth Bale
David Moyes has hinted Manchester United could be the second club rivalling Real Madrid for the signing of Gareth Bale, following his side’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea. Earlier today it emerged Tottenham are considering a bid from an unnamed club for Bale, despite the Welshman being widely expected to join Real Madrid in the coming days. And when asked if Manchester United were the second club chasing the 24-year-old, Moyes refused to rule it out. “Manchester United are always looking at the best players and we’re always trying to improve the team,” said Moyes. “I can’t give you any more.”

Manchester United and Arsenal target Ilkay Gundogan is set to remain at Borussia Dortmund with the club’s general manager confident of tying the midfielder down to a new contract. Gundogan caught the eye in Dortmund’s run to last season’s Champions League final and United boss David Moyes is believed to be a keen admirer of the 22-year-old, who has also been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Brendan Rodgers refused to rule out a move for Victor Moses, as speculation over a bid for the Chelsea winger heats up. Rodgers indicated last week that he was looking for another central defender, while a fresh report has linked the Reds with a loan deal for out-of-favour Moses. While Rodgers did not clarify his interest, he did play his cards close to his chest when quizzed on the 22-year-old Nigerian. “We have got targets. There is speculation around many names and while the window is open we will continue to look to improve the squad”, said Rogers.

Arsenal have enquired about Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld, according to reports. The Gunners are currently short of options at the back, and are seemingly ready to push ahead with a bid for the 24-year-old Belgian. Dutch sources claim the Gunners have been in contact with Ajax over the weekend to scope out the possibility of striking a deal after the Amsterdam outfit turned down a bid from Atletico Madrid. Alderweireld has just one year remaining on his current contract, and it’s believed Ajax are looking for in excess of £6.5million for his services.

Stephane Mbia
Queens Park Rangers midfielder Stephane Mbia has joined Sevilla on loan. The Cameroon international, 27, will spend the rest of the season at the Spanish side. Mbia joined QPR from Marseille last summer, signing a two-year contract, while Joey Barton moved in the other direction on a season-long loan.

Tottenham are set to continue their spending this summer after tying up a deal for Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches. Spurs failed in their bid to sign 23-year-old Chiriches last month, but a fee of around £8.5million appears to have now been agreed. “The two clubs have agreed to transfer him. I’m very happy for him”, said Steaua manager, Laurentiu Reghecampf.

West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster will be sidelined for up to 12 weeks after suffering a stress fracture in a bone in his right foot. The England international, 30, limped off during the Baggies’ 0-0 draw at Everton on Saturday. Albion boss Steve Clarke told the club website: “There’s no hiding the fact this is disappointing news as Ben is a key player for us.” Boaz Myhill will replace Foster after recovering from a wrist injury.

Morocco international Oussama Assaidi has joined Stoke City on a season-long loan from Liverpool. The 25-year-old winger has signed a deal at the Britannia Stadium after completing his medical on Tuesday. He has made only four Premier League appearances since signing for Liverpool from Heerenveen in August 2012. Assaidi is Hughes’s fourth signing of the summer after Erik Pieters from PSV Eindhoven, Marc Muniesa from Barcelona and Juan Agudelo, who will join the club from New England Revolution on 1 January 2014.

The uncapped duo of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend have been called into the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine. Joining Barkley, 19, and Townsend, 22, is the recalled Raheem Sterling, 18. “We want to win. Players like Barkley, Townsend and Sterling can make a difference”, said England manager Roy Hodgson. Southampton striker Rickie Lambert is retained after scoring on his debut.

Tottenham have agreed to sign Roma ace Erik Lamela in a deal that could rise to £30million, the Italian club have announced. Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has been chasing the 21-yearold Argentinian intensively in the last seven days, as Gareth Bale edges closer to Real Madrid. And despite initial difficulties with Roma over agreeing a fee, Spurs have now struck a deal to get their man. According to Roma, Tottenham will be paying £25million up front, with a further £5m to follow in bonus payments over the next few seasons.

Liverpool have opened talks with Sporting Lisbon over Tiago Ilori and Ajax for Toby Alderweireld as the club look to strengthen their defensive options. The Reds, who are alreadwithout the injured Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates, lost Kolo Toure to a groin problem this week and are short of centre back cover. But manager Brendan Rodgers hopes to rectify that with the double signing of Sporting ace Illori and Ajax hard man Alderweireld. Illori, a Portugal under-20 international, was born in London and is keen to try his hand in the Premier League after breaking through in Lisbon. Liverpool are believed to be ready to offer £6million for his services, and believe he would accept a switch to Anfield over the Spanish clubs who are tracking him. A deal for Alderweireld is more complicated, with Atletico Madrid and Roma both already in negotiations over a switch, but the player has admitted his desire to play for Liverpool before and that could be key.

Willian has revelaed the lure of working under Jose Mourinho tempted him to ditch a move to Tottenham and join Chelsea. The 25-year-old completed a £30million switch to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, signing a five year deal worth around £100,000-a-week. Willian moves after he snubbed a transfer to Tottenham at the minute, despite having a medical with the club, and he says the lure of working with Mourinho made up his mind. “I’m very happy to be here, it’s been a dream of mine to come and play here,” said Willian. “Chelsea are one of the best clubs in the world, and now I’m going to play for one of the best managers in the world, so I’m very happy and looking forward to it.” The 25-year-old Brazil international will add competition to the plethora of midfield talent at Chelsea, with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Oscar, Kevin De Bruyne and Victor Moses all battling for places. Willian will wear the number 22 shirt at Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has criticised Gareth Bale’s refusal to train with the team this week and has said the club are considering fining their want-away star. The Welshman is desperate to push through his world record transfer to Real Madrid and is said to be “furious and frustrated” at Spurs’ handling of the deal. Bale was in Spain over the weekend hoping to put the final touches on his mega-money move but returned to London still a Tottenham player. He has since failed to turn up for training at the Premier League club’s Enfield base for the previous two days, angering Villas-Boas who admitted Bale’s switch to Madrid “could happen very, very soon”.

Demba Ba could be in line for a shock return to Newcastle with the Magpies already in talks with Chelsea over a possible deal. The striker has played just 65 minutes of the Blues opening three Premier League fixtures and is seen as surplus to requirements by manager Jose Mourinho. Newcastle are actively looking for more firepower and are keen to take Ba, who scored 29 goals in 54 games on Tyneside, back to St James Park.

Jose Mourinho has quashed Arsenal’s hopes of signing Juan Mata by claiming the player was simply rested for the draw against Manchester United. The Spanish midfielder was omitted from the Blues’ starting line-up for the first game of the season, and again sat on the bench at Old Trafford on Monday night, prompting speculation he could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger admitted he had been alerted by the situation after Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Fenerbahce, but Mourinho insists Mata is going nowhere.

Bafetimbi Gomis could yet be on his way to Newcastle after the Magpies re-opened transfer talks with Lyon’s France striker. Gomis was a target for Newcastle boss Alan Pardew earlier in the transfer window but the negotiations went cold and the Magpies eventually took QPR striker Loic Remy on loan instead. However, with a calf injury meaning Remy has yet to play, and Pardew’s men without a goal after two Premier League games, the St James’ Park hierarchy have gone back to Gomis.