Chelsea planning �247 million sprending spree
With the season drawing to a close and managers starting to plan for next season, football reporter Michael Catling looks at the transfer rumours circulating around the football community.
Roman Abramovich will hand the new Chelsea manager a �247 million war chest this summer in a bid to challenge for the Premier league title next season, reports the Daily Mail.
Chelsea, who are struggling to secure Champions League qualification this campaign, have identified a host of potential targets as they look to overhaul their ageing squad.
However, any spending spree looks likely to be offset with the departures of senior first-team players with the out of contract trio of Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou all set to leave this summer.
The Daily Mail are also reporting that Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt could make a return to Feyenoord this summer, with the Dutch club prepared to offer him a coaching role to sweeten the deal.
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The 31-year-old has featured sporadically in Kenny Dalglish’s team this term and could be available for a cut-price �1 million.
Meanwhile, Juventus are eyeing a double swoop for Fernando Torres and Nemanja Vidic, according to the Daily Mirror, as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of their return to the Champions League next season.
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Manager Antonio Conte has identified the Premier League duo as his top targets this summer and could put together a �50 million package to secure both players.
Sky Sports are reporting that Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has ruled out a move for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.
The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with the Italian club over the past few days after Roberto Mancini hinted last weekend that he would ‘probably’ sell the controversial striker. However, Moratti has rejected any link and recently told reporters that “he’s not in our plans.”
Also in Italy, Chelsea’s pursuit of Napoli defender Christian Maggio has been dealt a blow after the player’s agent ruled out a move to Stamford Bridge this summer, reports Talksport.
The 30-year-old Italian international impressed during both legs of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 clash with Napoli and could solve the Blues troublesome right-back spot.
However, any move now looks unlikely after his agent told tuttomercatoweb: “Christian extended his contract at Napoli until 2017 and that says it all. It is clear that Christian wants to stay here, maybe until the end of his career.”
Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur have rejected an offer from London rivals Queens Park Rangers for their highly-rated midfielder Alex Pritchard, according to the Daily Mail. The 18-year-old, who has been at White Hart Lane since the age of ten, is out of contract in the summer but Spurs are still hopeful that the youngster could sign a new contract at the club.
One player who could be joining Tottenham this summer is Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
The Dutch striker has been heavily linked with a host of clubs already this season and it would appear Spurs have joined the race for his signature after scouting the 23-year-old in the Lisbon derby on Monday night – insidefutbol.com.
The Daily Mail are reporting that Roberto Mancini will look to offload Adam Johnson this summer, with Sunderland and Everton interested in signing the England international.
The Manchester City winger has grown unhappy at his lack of first team opportunities at the Etihad stadium this season and could be available for �10 million.
Robert Huth will reject a chance to return to his homeland this summer and instead sign a new contract with Stoke City, according to The Sun.
The goal-scoring defender has attracted interest from several German clubs, including Schalke, but his representatives are reportedly set to discuss a new three-year contract at the Britannia Stadium.
Lastly, Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Adam Hammill could move to Southampton this summer, provided the Championship club manage to secure promotion to the top flight.
The 24-year-old midfielder has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot at Molineux and after spending the 2007/08 season on loan at St Mary’s, he could favour a return to the South coast – The Sun.