By Alan Duffy
Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day’s football tittle-tattle so you don’t have to…
Race For Raheem
What would the newspapers do without Raheem Sterling, eh!? The omnipresent Liverpool man has now been linked with a £40million move to Manchester City, according to the Mirror. The Mancunian giants are planning to offer the England man £150,000 a week, which is significantly more than the £90,000 pittance the Reds offered the poor young man.
Booed at last night’s Player of the Year awards, Sterling looks a goner from Liverpool’s point of view, and City certainly have the financial muscle and chance of trophies to pique the 20-year-old’s interest. Then again, so do Chelsea, Arsenal and indeed Bayern Munich.
In fact, it’s being reported in BILD that Pep Guardiola has demanded a replacement for “injury-prone veteran” Franck Ribery, with a certain scampering young English winger at the top of his wishlist.
Blues Eyes Ibra
According to the Metro (via Tuttomercatoweb) Chelsea are about to make a SHOCK move for the one and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish egomaniac enjoyed a fruitful time with Jose Mourinho at Inter Milna, picking up a Serie A title in 2008/09 and now the Portuguese coach wants to rekindle their working relationship.
The 33-year-old has only one year left on his contract and might well fancy a go in the Premier League before he hangs up his boots. As for Chelsea, the former Barcelona man would be a fine back-up for Diego Costa, particularly if Didier Drogba leaves Stamford Bridge in the summer.
United Set For Cillessen
With David De Gea apparently bound for Real Madrid, Manchester United are already planning for life without the Spanish stopper, with Ajax ‘keeper Jasper Cillessen in their sights. Well, according to the Daily Star, that is. Louis van Gaal knows the 26-year-old Dutch international very well and the Red Devils are willing to cough up £25million required for the star.
While Victor Valdes looks like more than a decent stop-gap at Old Trafford, the likelihood is that Van Gaal will bring in a new number one in the summer, with Cillessen certainly fitting the bill.
Villans Vie For Charlie
Back to the Daily Star, who tell us that Aston Villa are looking to big for QPR hotshot Charlie Austin, if Christian Benteke leaves Villa Park. Belgian hitman Benteke has been linked with a move to Chelsea amongst others and Tim Sherwood has already earmarked a replacement. Austin was arguably the Hoops’ only shining light this season, banging in an impressive 17 goals for the relegated side, a haul which caught the eye of a number of Premier League side.
With Rangers headed for the Championship, the 25-year-old Austin will surely want to stay in the top-tier, with Villa a reasonable option for the former Burnley man.
The best/worst of the rest:
Lyon have told potential suitors (including Man City) that Alexandre Lacazette will cost more than 50m Euros, Paul Scholes tells Tom Cleverley to sign for Everton and Chelsea may sell both Oscar and Juan Cuadrado to fund move to a certain Raheem Sterling.