José Mourinho strikes. Or Roman Abramovich. Or Michael Emenalo.
Whoever was behind the deal to sign a world class midfield talent from Barcelona should take a little bow. Cesc Fàbregas is now a Chelsea player even if his words upon signing for Chelsea indicate that he would have been an Arsenal player if Arsène Wenger wanted the deal to happen but he didn't. Should Arsenal fans aim their collective unhappiness at a former favourite? Fàbregas will wear the number four shirt as he did at Arsenal but looking at the picture of him in Chelsea blue in what one can only presume is a quaint little room somewhere in Brazil, something doesn't feel right. Torres didn't look right when he signed for Chelsea and this move invokes similar feelings.
Our transfer-round up has been following the transfer in previous editions and even if it is terrible form to quote one's self, it would be even worse to present previously stated sentiments as fresh opinion.
He remains an outstanding passer of the ball, technically superb, and possesses rare vision. Partnering Fàbregas with Nemanja Matić in a double pivot would give Chelsea greater urgency in midfield as well as guile. Along with the signing of Diego Costa, Chelsea will be a more formidable prospect for 19th century football sides. Fàbregas likes getting forward and will contribute some of the goals that Frank Lampard used to. For a side that's as disciplined and robust as Chelsea, there can be joy in adding Cesc.
Mourinho likes players who have completed their development elsewhere and are mature enough to offer their services at their peak or thereabouts. That's one in that fits the profile. Next up, Diego Costa. For those who need or want to know,David Luiz has formally completed his move to Paris St-Moneybags.
I only want Dortmund.
Borussia Dortmund is the only club for me once I leave my current club and I'd like to leave now but my current club needs to be well compensated for my departure because that's their right. This is where Borussia Dortmund fan Matthias Ginter is at right now in life and Jürgen Klopp is the only manager who will welcome him this summer if the youngster leaves SC Freiburg. He's a talented player and is currently one of Germany's centre-backs at the World Cup.
He won't be cheap and can play in different positions (defensive midfield and central midfield). Klopp already has Mats Hummels, Neven Subotić, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos to count on so it may get congested. However, Borussia Dortmund suffered numerous injuries last season so this may be a sensible move combined with the fact that Hummels or Subotić could move on one day when a big offer is faxed through for the attention of Michael Zorc and Hans-Joachim Watzke.
SC Freiburg's chairman Fritz Keller have declared that Ginter will not move anywhere this summer so this may be a moot issue. Maybe Manchester United can try to prise the Dortmund fan next summer.
A new five-year contact for an impressive Merseyside manager.
No, not Brendan Rodgers but it's good to see that excellent work is being rewarded as Roberto Martínez joins Rodgers in signing a new contract. It's a five-year deal and that's a big commitment from Everton for one season of excellent work. Still, it is deserved and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright is clearly delighted with Martínez's work.
In many commentators' eyes, Roberto Martínez is the best young manager in Europe. We agree. He took on an unfamiliar challenge for most managers, to take something really good and make it even better. In his debut season he broke our Premier League record points haul, got us back into Europe and developed some of the most exciting young footballers in the game. He conducts himself off the pitch in the same way. He undertakes his business with great style, confidence, positivity and class. He is an Everton man.
Roberto Martínez is a manager that has built on David Moyes' solid work to create a side anyone will enjoy watching. This contract shows faith in his work and protects Everton's position if a bigger clubs come knocking politely or rudely on the door for Martínez's services.
Arsenal lose another key player to Manchester City.
Bacary Sagna has signed for Manchester City on free transfer to compete with the consistent and classy Pablo Zabaleta for a right back spot. Along with Chelsea signing Fàbregas and Liverpool looking convincing in the transfer market with a couple of early deals, it appears that the summer is going to be a busy one for the Premier League's best clubs. Sagna has been given a generous three-year deal at 31 and Manuel Pellegrini will have quality competition in that department.
In other Manchester City fullback news, the Premier League champions (deal with it) can also count on Aleksandar Kolarov's service as he signed a new deal until 2018. In former Man City staff news, Roberto Mancini's relationship with Galatasary is over after just one year. He's a dashing, combustible chap and a decent manager too, so his next move will be interesting.
Sparky doing work.
Mame Biram Diouf has returned to the Premier League after joining Stoke City. Diouf deserves a chance after scoring a respectable amount of goals in the Bundesliga for Hannover 96. Stoke City have signed four players to date and chief executive Tony Scholes is a happy man. Mark Hughes has had a solid debut season at Stoke and the club appears to trust his opinion on players.
It's no secret that Mame is someone we have been looking to bring to the club for some time. Mark Hughes has wanted to sign Mame since he took over as manager last year. We tried to get him last summer and made another attempt in January, so we're naturally delighted to have finally secured his services. He has been a tremendous success in Germany as his record underlines and he is keen to return to England and make an impact in the Premier League.
It's good when a manager is trusted by those who employ him and this may continue the move towards more of an expansive side that can compete in the Premier League. This is the 26 year-old's chance to shine in one of the best league's in the world. Good luck to him and may he score many goals against his former Premier League employers.
Class is still in session.
The footballing lesson is not over ladies and gentlemen. Class will be still in session for another two years as Andrea Pirlo has renewed his contract with Juventus. It's good news for lovers of passing, intelligent football, ultured insouciance, and majestic beards.
Mini David Beckham hangs up his boots.
David Bentley has retired from football because he's fallen out of love with the game. Maybe there was no warmth left for the man billed as the next Beckham. Or money. Or opportunities. Or necessary humility for a decently talented player to progress. Anyway, it's another case of a decent English player hyped and possibly believing his own hype to his own detriment. A pity.