Barcelona have announced in a public statement in their website that Spain left back Jordi Alba is set to join the club on a five year deal this week, and the player was presented at the club shortly after, killing all chances of a move to United.
The 23 year old has had a terrific season at the Mestalla and showed equal comfort at playing in defense and midfield. Alba was one of the stand out performers for the La Roja side which became the first in history to successfully defend their Euro title.
“On Wednesday morning he will come to the club’s offices to have the traditional photo session in front of the Barcelona badge,” reads a statement on the club’s official website.
“On Thursday he will officially become a new Barca player for the next five seasons.
“On the same day Jordi Alba will take his medical, sign his new contract, have the customary photo session at the Nou Camp and offer his first press conference as an Azulgrana player.”
Alba becomes the first signing for the Catalan giants ever since Tito Vilanova took over from Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard is also part of the Olympic squad and is once again set to play a key role in his country’s quest for a gold medal.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has assured Gunner fans that the club officials would be trying to keep their star player Robin Van Persie ‘at all costs’.
The 28 year old Dutch striker is yet to sign a new contract with the Londoners and has been the subject of media speculation in recent weeks. His future at the club has come under the spotlight after rejecting the new offer which included a record wage at Arsenal before leaving for the Euros. Premier League Champions Manchester City are closely following the situation and are believed to be ready to sign him in case he decides to move this summer.
Wenger said, “We want to keep Robin Van Persie at all costs, because we depend on him offensively.
“I have always supported him even in the hardest times, and I hope he will end his career at Arsenal.”
The Golden Boot winner of the last edition of the Premier League came under scathing attack from Dutch fans after a disappointing Euro performance but the Arsenal manager was quick to blast his critics. Arsenal finished third last season and want to mount a serious title challenge next season. They have already signed Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud while a deal for Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila is said to be in the pipeline.
Portuguse side Benfica have alerted Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea about their Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel’s availability after they decided to cash in on the highly sought after young star.
Witsel, 23 year old, moved to Estadio da Luz last summer from Standard Liege for a sum of £6.3m and has since been a key figure in Jorge Jesus’ side which ended runners up in the Primeira Liga and reached the quarter finals of the Champions League last season. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a long term admirer of the player and could be making a move as he attempts to reinforce his midfield. Meanwhile, European Champions Chelsea continue their search for a central midfielder and young Witsel is touted as a potential signing for the Blues along with fellow Belgian Marouane Fellaini.
According to Dutch paper De Telegraaf, Benfica value the exciting midfielder at £20m and it is to be seen if either of the interested sides are willing to cough up such a big amount. Fergie wants to include Brazilian midfielder Anderson in the deal but it’s not likely if the Lisbon club would agree to such an offer.
New Tottenham boss Andre Villas Boas is lining up a move for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge in a bid to reunite with the 22 year old England international at White Hart Lane.
Sturridge has not been given any assurances of a starting line up spot by Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo which has forced the young star to rethink his future at the London club. Villas Boas has worked closely with the left footed player and has spoken very highly of him in the past. The former Chelsea boss is weighing up a £10m bid for the Blues striker and the European Champions could be left with no choice but to sell him to their city rivals.
The arrival of Marko Marin and Eden Hazard is likely to push Sturridge down the pecking order and the player is keen to leave Stamford Bridge in search of regular football. Di Matteo wants to keep hold of the talented young star but isn’t willing to impose his authority on the player’s will.
Tottenham are also close to settling a deal for Brazilian young talent Oscar as a replacement for Luka Modric who is on the verge of leaving Tottenham after spending 4 years at the club. It is believed that the Croatian playmaker is close to agreeing terms with Real Madrid after the La Liga Champions agreed a fee with Spurs for the player. Oscar was close to securing a move to the Premier League in January as QPR boss Mark Hughes almost managed to sign him but failed to get a work permit for the highly talented 20 year old.
New Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is mulling over a move for Newcastle United’s striker Demba Ba this summer and could be his first signing since taking charge at Anfield.
The Senegalese striker proved to be a terrific buy for the Toons last summer as he banged in 15 goals last season helping them secure a Europa Cup berth. In the final weeks of the season he formed a potent partnership with former SC Freiburg marksman Papiss Cisse and ended the season as the club’s highest goal scorer.
The 27 year old, who joined for free from West Ham last summer, has a clause in his contract which can see him leave St.George’s Park for a small sum in the region of £7m. Rodgers is keen to find a replacement for the departed Dirk Kuyt and is likely to make a move for the striker this week. Alan Pardew is desperate to hold on to his star players but would be left with no other choice if Ba opts out of Newcastle. However, the prospect of playing European football at the club could prove to be a deciding factor as Liverpool will have no part to play in of Europe’s elite competitions in the coming season.