By Alan Duffy
Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day’s football tittle-tattle so you don’t have to…
Man City Strike For Stones
While Chelsea ready a third bid for John Stones, Manchester City are now set to throw their hat into the ring for the Everton centre-half. The Mirror claims that Manuel Pellegrini is eager to add more young English talent and the 21-year Stones has blossomed into one of the best young talents in the Premier League.
Chelsea had a bid of £26million turned down by the Toffees this week but with the Citizens how entering the race, Everton will be confident of getting far closer to their £34million valuation of the player. That’s if he goes at all, of course.
Gunners Go Big For Busquets
The Express comes up with the rather juicy claim that Arsenal are hoping to sign Sergio Busquets. The 27-year-old has been a cornerstone of Barcelona’s all-conquering side over the past seven years and Arsene Wenger sees him as the perfect anchorman in the Gunners’ talented midfield.
The report initially came from Spanish newspaper Sport, but even though Arsenal can now afford Busquets’ huge wages, one doubts whether Barca boss Luis Enrique would let such a key player go in what are his peak years.
Tottenham Eye Lambert Swoop
Rickie Lambert could be on his way to White Hart Lane, according to the Star. The newspaper reports that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is keen to team up once again with the 33-year-old hitman. Lambert was a star of the Argentine coach’s Southampton side but struggled in his first season with Liverpool.
Now set to leave Anfield, Lambert is being eyed by a number of top-tier clubs, with West Bromwich Albion thought to be in the driving seat. However, the chance to play under Pochettino again, along with the opportunity to play European football, could tempt the veteran striker to north London.
Swansea Fend Off Eagles’ Interest In Williams
The Mirror tell us that Swansea have slapped a rather large £25million price-tag on skipper Ashley Williams. The Welsh defender is being eyed by Crystal Palace, with Eagles’ boss keen to strengthen his backline ahead of the new campaign. However, Swans’ boss Garry Monk has no plans to sell Williams, hence the rather over-the-top price-tag.
It’s (very) doubtful if anyone would pay £25million for the 30-year-old Williams, so it looks as though Pardew and co. will have to look elsewhere.
Bologna Bid For Balotelli
The Mail reports that Liverpool misfit Mario Balotelli’s Anfield nightmare could finally be over, with a move to Bologna in the offing. The 24-year-old only netted once in 16 league games for the Reds following his £16million move for AC Milan last season with his attitude called into question (again).
Brendan Rodgers wants £7million for the striker, who is surplus to requirements at the club following the purchases of Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings. Along with Bologna, fellow serie A side Sampdoria are also apparently keen in landing the mercurial attacker. Let’s hope wherever he ends up, Balotelli can kick-start his career, as despite all the silliness, there remains quite a talent in there somewhere.
The best/worst of the rest: