By Alan Duffy
Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day’s football tittle-tattle so you don’t have to…
Blues For Benteke
With old warhorse Didier Drogba apparently headed for the exit door at Stamford Bridge this summer, the Express is reporting that Jose Mourinho is apparently looking to Christian Benteke to replace the Ivorian striker. Villa hitman Benteke has rediscovered his mojo under Tim Sherwood, banging in 11 goals in his last nine games. That form has piqued Mourinho’s interest and now a bid could well be on the cards.
A £30million price tag for the 24-year-old is unlikely to put Chelsea off and with the need for target man to share the load with Diego Costa next season, Benteke looks like a decent option for the Premier League champions.
Morgan Schneiderlin has been linked to Arsenal for yonks, but according to ESPN, the move is close to happening after the Gunners contacted Southampton about the midfielder.
The French international had wanted to leave St. Mary’s last season, and he made his feelings very clear when any move away was blocked by the south-coast club. However, this summer, expect the 25-year-old to finally depart with the Emirates a strong contender for the destination.
According to the Mirror, Manchester City are close to securing the services of Brazilian schemer Roberto Firmino. The Hoffenheim playmaker has been eyed by all of the Premier League’s big guns for some time, but it now seems that the Citizens are in the driving seat, with a £20million bid expected.
The 23-year-old signed a new contract only last year but the Bundesliga are now looking to cash in on their star in the summer. And with City looking to inject a bit more youth into their ageing squad, Firmino could well be lining out at the Etihad next season.
Leeds After A Bit Of Charlie
Charlie Adam, he of that ridiculous long-range goal against Chelsea (and numerous nasty tackles), is wanted by fallen giants Leeds United, according to the Mail. The Scottish midfielder is one of a list of names Leeds manager Neil Redfearn has given to the club’s returning chairman Massimo Cellino. Burnley’s Jason Shackell and QPR winger Matty Phillips are also reported to be on the list as Redfearn looks to rebuild the Whites.
The 29-year-old Adam has struggled to secure a regular starting place for Stoke City this season, and would be open to a move to Elland Road. So this one looks reasonably realistic.
Gunners Dig Dybala
The best/worst of the rest:
Serie A side Sampdoria are hoping to bring Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli back to Italy, Tim Sherwood wants to re-sign forgotten man Darren Bent when his current deal with Aston Villa expires this summer while Arsenal are after £3million-rated Red Star Belgrade wunderkind Luka Jovic.