Juventus step up Tevez summer swoop

The Italian champions will open talks with City after holding fresh discussions with the player’s representatives as the race hots up to sign the Argentina international

By Wayne Veysey

Juventus will step up their bid to sign Carlos Tevez this week as Real Madrid and AC Milan continue to monitor the Manchester City striker.

The Serie A champions are set to begin formal talks with City ahead of a concerted move for the Argentine.

It is understood that Juventus have held fresh talks with Tevez’s representatives in recent days and are close to agreeing personal terms with the 29-year-old.

Negotiations have not yet taken place on a fee for the Argentina international and Bianconeri officials are set to fly to the north west to iron out a deal and ward off interest from other clubs.

Milan have long held an interest in Tevez and could join City at the negotiating table if they complete the sale of Robinho back to Brazil, with CEO Adriano Galliani stressing the need to sell before buying.

Incoming Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is also a big admirer of Tevez and is believed to have told his new club that he would welcome the player at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.

Los Blancos, however, have placed Isco, Edinson Cavani and Gareth Bale at the top of their summer wish list.

Tevez has agitated for a move during much of his four-year spell at the Etihad Stadium and, with his contract expiring in 12 months’ time, City could be ready to off-load him in the knowledge that he could walk away for free in 2014.

Liverpool had discussed the possibility of a move for the former Manchester United striker earlier in the summer before pursuing other targets, while Monaco’s interest has diminished after landing Radamel Falcao.

Juventus have agreed personal terms with Gonzalo Higuain but have baulked at his €23 million-plus asking price and are set to lose out to Arsenal in the chase for Real Madrid striker.

Higuain’s fellow Argentine, Tevez, is four years older and his fee is unlikely to be much beyond €11m.

City are also willing to listen to offers for Edin Dzeko, and had offered him in part-exchange for Edinson Cavani. However, after failing to meet Napoli’s asking price for the Uruguayan, the Premier League club might only be prepared to sell one of Dzeko and Tevez, not both.

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Betting Special: Could Dzeko replace Lewandowski at Dortmund?

The striker has long been rumoured to be leaving the Etihad Stadium this summer and our tipster thinks he may be tempted to return to the league where he made his name

Aside from the odd flash of brilliance, it is safe to say that Manchester City fans have not seen the best of Edin Dzeko, who has been strongly linked with a move away from the club this summer.

Nevertheless, the rangy striker would not be short takers should he decide to leave the Etihad Stadium, with his prolific Bundesliga form still not forgotten and his impact off the bench at times last season proving pivotal.

Jose Mourinho is thought to be a firm admirer of Bosnia’s leading scorer and Chelsea are 6/4 (2.50) favourites with BetVictor to land the man seen as the main fall-back option in their pursuit of the potentially Real Madrid-bound Edinson Cavani.

In fact, the Uruguayan striker could play a pivotal role in this transfer, as Napoli are next in line at 4/1 (5.00) to bring Dzeko in as replacement for their star striker, should he complete a much-anticipated departure.

However, there is another transfer saga worth keeping an eye on in this whole episode, as Robert Lewandowski’s determination to join Bayern Munich could leave Borussia Dortmund with a position to fill and money to burn.

Jurgen Klopp has previously expressed admiration for the former Wolfsburg man, whose exemplary pedigree in German football would make him a likely candidate for the Champions League runners-up,  and odds of 7/1 (8.00) are therefore well worth a nibble on him heading to the Westfalenstadion.

If, on the other hand, Bayern fail to secure their main target, then Pep Guardiola is available at 33/1 (34.00) to lure the City forward to Bavaria instead.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid have lost one of the hottest attacking properties in world football this summer in Radamel Falcao, and are on offer at 20/1 (21.00) to reinvest some of the estimated £50 million fee on the Bosnian striker.

Arsenal already seem set to add Gonzalo Higuain to their frontline, making 33/1 (34.00) odds best avoided on this market, while Juventus’ previous acquisition of Fernando Llorente mean those same 33/1 (34.00) odds offer little value on the Italian champions opening their chequebook for another expensive target man.

Money is no object for either PSG or Anzhi Makhachkala, who are both available at 33/1 (34.00) to complete a shock move for the 27-year-old.

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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Galliani: Tevez not a transfer target for Milan

The Rossoneri director has stressed that the Argentine forward is not an option at this point as they already have enough attackers

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has insisted that the San Siro side are not interested in signing Manchester City attacker Carlos Tevez ahead of the 2013-14 campaign.

The Milan director recently hinted at a summer move for the Argentina international, but he has now made it clear that the Rossoneri have no intention to bring in an extra attacker until one of their current forwards leaves the club.

“Tevez is not a transfer target for us. Before we will try to bring in new players, we will have to sell some of our own players first,” Galliani told reporters.

“It’s not a financial problem, but has to do with the amount of attackers we already have. At the moment, we already have seven players for just three positions.

“Our big transfer coup came in January when we signed Mario Balotelli from City. We will see if anything else happens.”

The 29-year-old Tevez has a contract with Manchester City until June 2014, but he is keen to leave the club this summer.

He has also been linked with clubs such as Juventus and Liverpool.

Official: Napoli sign PSV's Mertens

The 26-year-old winger, who has spent the past two seasons at the Eredivisie outfit, has agreed a five-year deal to become Rafa Benitez’s first signing of the summer

Napoli have agreed a €9.5m fee with PSV to complete the signing of winger Dries Mertens.

The Belgium international has been capped 19 times, and will become Rafael Benitez’s first signing since being appointed as the Partenopei boss.

The playmaker scored 16 goals and created a further 17 in the Eredivisie this season and is excited to take this next step in his career.

“Rafael Benitez wanted me really badly and that gives me a lot of confidence. And when people doubt me and say Serie A is different from the Eredivisie because I won’t play against any Dutch defenders, that is when I’ll be at my best,” he told De Telegraaf.

Mertens spent the past two seasons with PSV, scoring 37 goals in 62 appearances.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed the signing through his Twitter feed.

“I am happy to tell you that a few minutes ago I closed the deal with PSV for Dries Mertens,” he tweeted.

“In the last few days Dries has been in Naples. He told me that he fell in love with our city, with its greatness. Welcome Dries!”

Negredo seeks Sevilla exit

The Spain striker has requested a move to a bigger club with the hopes of developing his career in the Champions League

Alvaro Negredo says he wants to develop by playing in the Champions League and has asked club president Jose Maria del Nido for a move away from Sevilla.

The striker, who has been with los Rojiblancos for four seasons, is eager to test himself against Europe’s finest but will not be able to do so if he stays with the Andalusian club, who finished ninth in La Liga.

“He said he wants to develop and that he wants to play in the Champions League,” Jose Maria del Nido told Sevilla’s club television channel.

“One of the (interested) teams is Atletico Madrid and the other is outside of Spain. Sevilla will choose the best offer.”

The Spain international, who missed out on the Confederations Cup squad to Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, scored 25 goals in 36 La Liga games for Sevilla in 2012/13.

Negredo was the fourth highest scorer of the season, behind only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao.

Del Nido added: “An operation of this kind has three legs: Sevilla, the club that wants to buy, and the player. Do not forget that the will of the player is very important to decide.

“In this case, the player wants to go. In this way we are kind of forced to negotiate.”

Sevilla’s club president says when picking a team, the club will look for “the one who gives more money or security, or less money but offers more guarantees.”

Los Rojiblancos have been in a situation like this before with Dani Alves. The defender did not leave on good terms with the club after being bought by Barcelona for €41.5 million.

“One of the greatest footballers in the history of Sevilla reached refusing to play a competitive game because he wanted to sign for another club. This is something we assess at the time of a transaction.”

Negredo has three years left on his current contract but would be another star to leave the club this summer following the departure of Jesus Navas to Manchester City and  Luis Alberto to Liverpool.