LONDON: Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Cesc Fabregas and David Luiz continued at the centre of high-level transfer speculation over the weekend.
Bale, sooner or later this summer, will be going to Real Madrid. All that remains to be decided are the terms of the transfer.
The Welshman missed Tottenham’s 5-2 defeat in a friendly in Monaco on Saturday officially because of a minor muscle injury. However it is being reported that he has told chairman Daniel Levy he will only come out of house to sign for Madrid.
Already this summer Spurs have agreed club record transfers of, first, Brazil midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians for £17m and then for Valencia’s Spain striker Roberto Soldado for £25. Levy would not have committed such expenditure without the confidence of expecting around £100m to be coming in from Bale’s departure.
Tottenham want all the fee paid immediately and are not interested in a player exchange involving either Fabio Contrao or Luka Modric.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is becoming increasingly irritated with the speculation. He has criticised Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti for talking about negotiations being under way.
AVB said: “The rumours that anything is imminent are not true. We We allowed ourselves conversations with Real Madrid, confirmed by their coach – I think wrongly – but the only thing we’ve communicated is that the player is not for sale.
“Carlo is a person I appreciate a lot and we have great respect for each other but, bearing in mind this situation, we are due some respect.”
If Luis Suarez had any doubts about the sentiments of Liverpool fans, then they would have been dispelled by the reception he received when he appeared as a substitute during Steven Gerrard’s testimonial match.
The Uruguayan, who has spoken of his desire to play Champions League football, was given a generous reception from Liverpool’s fans.
The only inquiry about Suarez so far has come from Arsenal whose latest offer was £40m plus £1. Suarez believed the amount should have triggered a release clause in his contract but Liverpool do not agree.
Liverpool believe this committed them only to informing the player of an offer. They did this – and also informed Suarez that the offer had been rejected. They would be hugely reluctant to sell their top scorer to the rival club most vulnerable in next season’s pursuit of a Champions League slot.
Suarez, who will miss the first six matches of the season through his ‘biting’ suspension, scored 30 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool last season. Since joining from Ajax in January 2011 for £22.7m, he has scored 51 in 96 games.
Tottenham are reportedly considering whether to join the Suarez pursuit once the Bale transfer fee has been confirmed.
Manchester United remain hopeful of signing Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona even though the Spanish champions have insisted, repeatedly, that the former Arsenal captain is not for sale at any price.
United understand that Fabregas is keen on returning to the Premier League and think Barcelona have been stalling while new coach ‘Tato’ Martino reviewed his squad needs for the coming season.
Barcelona have already rejected bids of £25m and £30m from United for Fabregas but United hope to have the deal concluded before they launch their season against FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield at Wembley next Sunday.
United’s current transfer record remains the £30.75m they paid Tottenham for Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.
Fabregas became Arsenal’s youngest player aged 16 years and 177 days against Rotherham United in League Cup in October 2003 then moved to Barcelona for £30m in August 2011.
Were United to fail with a third bid, manager David Moyes could turn to Everton’s Marouane Fellaini or Real Madrid’s Luka Modric. They have also been linked with Bastian Schweinsteiger.
United’s only summer signing has been Uruguayan right-back Guillermo Varela but new manager David Moyes has remained upbeat.
He said: “I am confident we will add to the squad. But what we have here is a really good squad of players already. You mustn’t forget about the quality already here at Manchester United.”
Chelsea have placed a valuation of £45m on Brazil centre back David Luiz to try to deter Barcelona from pursuing an interest in the 26-year-old.
Luiz has made 99 appearances for Chelsea since arriving from Benfica in January 2011. Initially his attacking instincts meant he was considered a defensive liability and he was moved occasionally, and impressively, into midfield last season by interim manager Rafa Benitez.
Jose Mourinho had appeared to suggest, soon after his arrival, that Chelsea could be open to offers for Luiz but this was later denied by both the club and Mourinho himself.
Barcelona made inquiries last summer about Luiz but were turned down. He has also been linked with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.