Valencia close in on €7m Pabon

Mexican outfit Monterrey have confirmed the Liga giants are free to discuss personal terms with the striker having met his release clause

Valencia are closing in on the signing of Monterrey striker Dorlan Pabon after agreeing to meet the player’s €7 million release clause.

Los Che are in the market for a centre-forward following Roberto Soldado’s €30m move to Tottenham this summer, despite having signed Portugal international Helder Postiga earlier this month.

Miroslav Djukic’s side have now moved swiftly to secure the services of Pavon for the relatively-nominal sum, in order to avoid the Colombia international’s buyout clause rising to €21m next week.

“Earlier today, Valencia’s legal representative arrived to tell us the club would meet the clause of Dorlan Pabon, with consent from the player and his agent,” Monterrey confirmed on their official website.

Pabon only arrived at the Mexican side in January 2013, but was immediately sent on loan to Real Betis, where he netted eight goals in 17 Liga appearances.

Valenica begun their La Liga campaign with a 1-0 win over Malaga on Saturday.

Celtic boss Lennon eyes Pukki to replace Hooper

The SPL champions lost their star striker to Norwich earlier this summer but confirmed they have made a bid for the Bundesliga forward as they search for a replacement

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes Schalke striker Teemu Pukki could be the ideal replacement for Gary Hooper.

The Scottish champions are searching for reinforcements to their forward line after Hooper departed Celtic Park to join Premier League outfit Norwich City, and Lennon confirmed a bid had been lodged for Pukki’s services.

Lennon watched the 23-year-old play for Finland in their 2-0 win over Slovenia on Wednesday.

And the Northern Irishman has identified Pukki as the man he wants to fill the void left by former Scunthorpe United player Hooper, but admitted the German club are not looking to relinquish the striker.

“He’s similar to Gary,” Lennon told reporters. “He’s got that stocky build. He’s maybe not as physical as Gary but his movement is excellent and so is his first touch.

“He’s a good finisher. I think he’ll suit our style of play. I’ve seen him in the flesh a couple of times.

“We have put a bid in and Schalke have said they’re not willing to sell, these are the barriers you come up against now and again.

“He’s an impressive player but he’s not getting much football at Schalke which might work in our benefit.

“[I saw on Wednesday] just how good his touch is and he’s a team player. A lot of things Finland did went through him.

“He created a couple of decent opportunities for himself and this is international – not club level – we’re talking about. He came out of it pretty impressively.” 

Monaco complete Romero signing

The Argentina international will continue his career at last year’s Ligue 2 champions as Sampdoria have confirmed his departure

Monaco have signed Sergio Romero from Sampdoria on a one-year loan deal with an option to make the move permanent at the end of his temporary spell.

The ambitious Ligue 1 side were keen to add a new goalkeeper to their squad before the closure of the summer transfer window and had previously been linked with Barcelona’s Victor Valdes.

They turned their attention to Romero after Valdes opted to stay at Barca for one additional season and have now completed the signing of the Argentina international.

“Sampdoria can communicate that Monaco have acquired the sporting rights of Sergio Romero on a temporary basis with an option to buy,” a statement on the official Sampdoria website reads.

The 26-year-old started his professional career at Racing Club, but made the move to Europe in 2007 when he joined AZ.

He won one Eredivisie title with the Alkmaar side before joining Sampdoria in the summer of 2011.

Coentrao wants Real Madrid exit

The full-back has set his sights on a move and will not be involved in Madrid’s Liga opener against Betis, while Carlo Ancelotti says signing Gareth Bale would make his team better

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that Fabio Coentrao has requested to be allowed to leave the club this transfer window.

The Portugal international has struggled to nail down a regular first-team spot since arriving from Benfica in 2011 and has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu side more than once this summer.

Coentrao has been mentioned as a potential makeweight in a move for Tottenham star Gareth Bale, but Ancelotti has now admitted that Coentrao looks set to depart Madrid regardless of their pursuit of the Welshman.

“Coentrao has asked to leave the club and won’t be playing Sunday [against Betis],” Ancelotti said at a press conference.

The Italian then went on to discuss the potential arrival of Bale and admitted that he would welcome the Welshman with open arms even though he is happy with his current squad.

“Bale? I can only respond by saying I’m very happy with the squad I have but the best players make a team better.”

The 54-year-old then added that he is determined to get his reign under way in the best possible manner and is not only committed to winning this term, but doing so by playing the best football possible.

“Our objective is not only to win but to also play beautiful attacking football. The important thing is to create a style of play that is comfortable for my players.

“If the team plays well, the fans will be happy. The atmosphere at the Bernabeu has always been great.”

Barcelona end David Luiz & Agger chase

The Catalans made offers for both defenders earlier this summer, but Gerardo Martino has claimed they will no longer sign a centre-back

Gerardo Martino has stated that Barcelona no longer plan to sign a centre-back this summer after attempts to lure David Luiz and Daniel Agger away from Chelsea and Liverpool, respectively proved to be unsuccessful.

The Liga champions were prepared to pay €25 million for the Brazil international, but Chelsea were holding out for double that figure, while Barca’s offer for Agger was deemed insufficient by Liverpool, prompting the Catalans to end their pursuit of a new defender.

“A new centre-back? I’m happy with the team I have. There’s always the January window if we need anything. Last year’s problems in defence were the result of injuries. We have enough options if everybody’s fit,” Martino said at a press conference.

“Puyol is on schedule with his recovery process. We are awaiting his return and expect him to be match fit again come September.

“We have Puyi in defence, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Marc Bartra and even Adriano. If someone gets injured, the January transfer window is only months away.”

Barcelona start their 2013-14 Liga campaign on Sunday as they host Levante.