Ciro Immobile follows Adrián Ramos into the arms of Klopp.
Torino's Italian international striker has confirmed that his move to Borussia Dortmund is a "done deal" even though Ciro Immobile hadn't signed a contract yet. That technically would not count as a completed deal in the strictest sense but perhaps the unshakeable faith Immobile had in good things happening helped his transfer cross the finish line.
After all, the Ciro Immobile story soon to be debuted on the Hallmark channel was one of ceaseless faith in the face of undeniable disappointment. A five-year deal that will treble Immobile's relatively modest €800k yearly salary at Torini is just reward for a strong season. Sometimes, a player having a fine season in their mid-twenties signals the start of a productive period that another club may take advantage of and it could very well be the case with Immobile.
Along with Ramos' move to Borussia Dortmund, this is a clever way of replacing Robert Lewandowski. Even if the excellent Polish striker remained at Dortmund, the striking depth wasn't the best with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang unconvincingly drafted in as a lone striker at times. Hans-Joachim Watzke and Jürgen Klopp have worked effectively in replacing departing stars in recent years and this is another example of swift action to remedy a gap in the workforce.
Luís Enrique fails to see the joy of Cesc Fàbregas.
Someone looks like he's returning to the Premier League this summer and it isn't David Moyes, not yet anyway unless Southampton or West Bromwich Albion are the sort of teams that give managers "more time to succeed" or aren't too big to handle. Fàbregas is reportedly available for £30 million as stipulated in his contract with Barcelona and his time at the club hasn't been the dream homecoming it was supposed to be. He's a talented player but who will buy him? Chelsea are believed to want him to replace Frank Lampard, Manchester City apparently don't want him, and Arsenal reportedly have ruled him out of any North London future.
It seems odd that a player whose stock was inordinately high when he left Arsenal three seasons ago to play the prodigal, favoured son at Barcelona isn't the draw he once was. He only turned 27 last month and remains a player of first-rate vision, passing, through balls, and tempo-setting. He became increasingly unpopular with Barcelona fans last season due to one-paced performances, desire to be at the centre of attacking play, and a less than desirable level of work without the ball. This may be the end of a Cescy love affair with Barcelona and he won't be the heir to Xavi's throne. He will be dear and any club pursuing any deal must examine his real cost.
But he sees something in Koke and Marquinhos.
There are lots of players being linked to Barcelona in this exciting new era. The only men who have captained the club, managed the B team, and subsequently taken charge of the senior squad are Pep Guardiola and Luís Enrique. Based on these parallels, Enrique must be good . Right? Maybe. He can construct attacking sides but after his spells at Roma and Celta, he still has much to prove. He's got a two-year deal to show the Catalan faithful that he has the managerial chops for Barcelona and Pique will be around to help (or hinder) after signing a five-year deal late last month.
Back to players who Barcelona probably want and would be wise to pursue considering their youth, ability, potential, malleability for a coach like Enrique, and temperament for the highest level. Marquinhos should probably be starting games but won't as there are three Brazilian centre-backs in his way at PSG. Koke is a crucial cog in the El Cholo machine at Atlético Madrid but it's Barcelona possibly calling not mid-table fodder like Manchester United. Xavi has already anointed Koke as his "successor for Spain" so why not Barca?
Louis van Gaal intent on Kevin Strootman.
Louis van Gaal wants the Roma midfield player even though Kevin Strootman is injured until around October, assuming his rehabilitation progresses as planned. Of course, it could heal faster than envisioned but injuries can be unpredictable elements in a player's career. Any injured player should be wished a happy and speedy recovery but it is hoped that Strootman doesn't recover for the benefit of Manchester United.
A knee injury in March ruined the Dutchman's chances of making the World Cup in Brazil and nobody should doubt his importance in the Dutch squad. Strootman is the midfield general and trusted enormously by van Gaal. If he recovers and signs or signs and recovers for Manchester United then an average midfield will have found an impressive solution.
Tottenham don't want Adam Lallana.
For those who wondered whether their eyes were deceptive and tricky, Tottenham don't want Adam Lallana. Good. Whatever. It doesn't really matter. After offering £25 million for the Southampton captain's services, Liverpool will either sign him or walk away from the deal. Either way, Daniel Levy will have to wait. It doesn't look like any other team is in for Lallana at the price Liverpool are willing to pay. Maybe Southampton will just sit and wait for the World Cup to pass unless they get a generous offer that would be ridiculous to turn down considering the 25% cut Bournemouth get out of any deal. Let's pluck a completely random figure out of the heavens that would be compelling: £25 million.
Serge Aurier is bold or cheeky, probably both.
He's joining Arsenal or wants to join Arsenal. The potential replacement for Bacary Sagna (a Valentine's baby by the way) has told an Arsenal fan that he's going to Arsenal, partook in a video confirming his words, and retweeted the news. Aurier did all this to probably hurry Wenger up but Serge, Le Professeur will take his good time in the transfer window so if he wants your signature then you'll have to wait until he's ready. Maybe Arsenal are doing a Liverpool andsnapping up impressive talents quickly. If that's the case, Serge Aurier could be an Arsenal player already. Still cheeky though, think of Toulouse Serge and contain yourself.
Loïc Rémy shockingly agrees terms with Arsenal.
And that time could be now Serge so good move. You play in France and speak French fluently so you have a lot going for you along with that explosiveness of yours. Rémy, however, is very close to moving to Arsenal after personal terms were agreed. This is the sort of move that's good for Wenger and Olivier Giroud, a player who offers Arsenal much in terms of build-up play and productivity. Rémy can play with the former Montpellier striker as well as instead of him. A decent goal return is guaranteed as the QPR striker has demonstrated this at two different clubs in less than two seasons.
A pair of pros
retire and collect their generous pension head to the MLS.
Both played a part in lengthy domestic and continental club campaigns this past season. David Villa and Frank Lampard are excellent professionals who have achieved a significant amount in the game and had decent campaigns last season. It feels right and their moves will draw attention to the MLS, which is part of the plan. Their dedication and preparation will also serve as a good example to younger players at New York City FC. Lampard was finally reunited with Mourinho while Villa won La Liga so both have ended their careers in Europe with personal and professional satisfaction. It seems like the right time and both have been excellent players so I hope their respective moves work out well for them.