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Euro 2008 may be over and the new football season may be weeks away but there is no stop to the football action, it merely moves to the boardroom for a little while.
The end of any major football tournament usually sees a buzz of transfer activity but there hasn’t been too much signed, sealed and delivered yet. This hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from starting though and there are bound to be numerous moves over the next few weeks.
One of the first major signings for the forthcoming season was made by Chelsea when they signed Portuguese right back Bosingwa in May beating Manchester United to the player’s signature.
It was the only thing the London club beat United for in that month but the Blues would be hoping that it was the first building block for a successful 2008/09 campaign. Many people believed that with the capture of the £16.2m player that Avram Grant was secure in the manager’s seat but after the Champions League defeat he was released from the post.
Scolari Heads to Stamford Bridge
Initial talk of who to replace was based on Ancelotti from AC Milan but a mere few hours after Portugal had clinched their place in the knock-out round of Euro 2008, Chelsea announced that Portugal manager Luiz Felipe Scolari would be joining the club from the 1st of July.
Portugal were not too happy that this news broke during the tournament and it also casts doubt over who actually bought Bosingwa. Was Scolari lined up for the position back in May and he had already decided on who he wanted to buy? Chelseas next signing was Deco, again a player that Scolari knew very well from the international scene.
The interesting thing about Scolari’s arrival at Stamford Bridge is that it is likely to cascade into a lot of signings, not just at Chelsea but at other clubs. The signing of Deco has put doubt over the London future of Frank Lampard and many sources say the player will follow ex manager Jose Mourinho to Inter Milan.
Another interesting twist is the role that Scolari has played in the possible transfer of Ronaldo to Real Madrid. As his coach at Portugal, Scolari made a few positive comments about Ronaldo joining Madrid and he certainly encouraged the player to consider a move to the Spanish giants.
Given the fact that he is now the manager of Manchester United’s biggest rivals adds a more sinister edge to proceedings with Scolari benefiting through Manchester United being weakened. It also look as though the arrival of Ronaldo at Madrid may force Robinho out the door and Chelsea would be very happy to add him to their squad.
With a new man in charge and a huge cheque book to spend, its going to be an exciting few weeks at Stamford Bridge and all eyes will be on Scolari to see if he can emulate the special one.
The Knock-On Effect Hits Manchester United
Another twist to the Scolari tale is that there is a vacancy for the Portuguese national team and one of the main names in the frame is Carlos Queiroz, assistant manager at Manchester United. If the arrival of Scolari at Chelsea can also lead to Manchester United losing their star player and assistant manager, you would have to say Chelsea have gone a long way to increasing their chances of silverware next season.
It may seem like it but not every transfer can be linked to Chelsea this summer. Mark Hughes took over as boss of Manchester City and they have just announced the signature of Jo, from CSKA Moscow for an undisclosed fee but some reports are stating the deal cost £19m. It is an impressive statement of intent for the season ahead and City appear to still be in contention to buy Ronaldinho.
When you have a board member of AC Milan stating that the Rossoneri cannot compete with a team like Manchester City with regards to wages, it shows how crazy the money situation in England has become. With Thaskin Shinawatra having a strong desire to make Manchester City a top of the table side, do not expect this to be their last big buy of the summer.
David Villa to Move
Away from England, there hasn’t been much to talk about for the major teams. One player who looks to be moving on is the top scorer of Euro 2008, David Villa. An injury sustained in the semi-final was not enough to dethrone the hit man from the top of the goal scoring charts but he is no one summer wonder.
Even in a Valencia team that has been struggling, Villa has showed great form and he also bagged goals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Unsurprisingly a handful of English clubs have noted an interest in the player with Tottenham and Chelsea being two names but sources indicate the player hopes to remain in Spain. This can only be a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid and on first glance; Barcelona may appear to be in greater need of a striker. Eto’o has been told he can look for a new club and Real Madrid have van Nistelrooy and possibly Ronaldo.
That said, a player the calibre of Villa doesn’t come up too often so Real Madrid may think it is worth their while weighing in with a bid. This one isn’t expected to be tied up anytime soon but Villa should be moving on before the window shuts.
Where will Andrei Arshavin End Up?
One of the teams of the tournament were Russia who had the measure of everyone apart from Spain, who they lost to twice. Andrei Arshavin built on a starring role in Zenit St Petersburg’s Uefa Cup campaign by having two sparkling matches in the recent tournament.
He may have been nullified in the semi-final but it seems likely that he too will move to one of Europe’s major clubs this summer. There are quotes attributed to Arshevin saying he would like to play for Barcelona but the Catalan club has made no move as of yet.
Barcelona have been busy though and the club have snapped up Daniel Alves from Seville for a cool £23.5m. The player is Barca’s fourth buy of the summer along with Gerard Pique and Martin Caceres and midfielder Seydou Keita. If Arshevin does make it to the Camp Nou, expect a much changed Barcelona side from the one that flopped miserably this year.
A couple of Arshavin’s international team-mates have also been tipped to move on with Roman Pavlyuchenko having his name mentioned in many discussions of players to look out for. So far the only interest named has come from Scottish champions Celtic who were rumoured to be lining up a £6m bid for the player. A few goals at Euro 2008 may just have put the Russian hit man out of the reaches of the Glasgow giants though.
With many of the top players just heading off on their summer holiday there is still plenty of time for many transfers to come but things are looking as though they are starting to hot up on the football transfer front.
for The Silver Circle at www.footballtip.co.uk
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