Last time out, the column looked at the impending loan transfer of Radamel Falcao from Monaco to Chelsea. That was confirmed late last week as the Colombian striker reportedly took a significant paycut to join the Premier League champions. There was a significant transfer earlier in the week as a Chelsea legend moved from West London to North London. Petr Čech weakened the reigning champions of England after agreeing to join Arsenal for £11 million on a "long-term contract" to the delight of José Mourinho. Čech is simply too good to spend another season of being understudy to the brilliant Thibaut Courtois. Roman Abramovich apparently gave his blessing for Čech to move, and that makes sense as nothing really happens at Chelsea if Abramovich opposes it. The player gave Chelsea 11 years and is no longer a first-choice player. Makes sense to this column, especially as Courtois is a decade younger than Čech.
For those keeping up, this is the third consecutive summer where Arsenal have added a "top top player" from a big European club. They may have no longer been automatic starters when agreeing a move to the Gunners, but Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, and now Petr Čech have pedigree. Arsène Wenger might sense an opportunity to challenge for the title in 2015/16 after retaining the FA Cup for his sixth triumph in the competition. Francis Coquelin is a promising defensive midfielder, but Wenger may need to add another option in the position for his side to step up a level. Morgan Schneiderlin is wanted by Manchester United, but an opening bid of £20 million was rejected, which Ronald Koeman confirmed but dismissed as not "serious". A second bid is being prepared, but what's this? Schneiderlin would prefer to join Arsenal instead. That would be wonderful news along with Sergio Ramos possibly staying at Real Madrid. Andrés Iniesta shared his reasons on why Ramos will stay so maybe United will have to look elsewhere. Louis van Gaal knows what he's doing, though, and Ramos and Schneiderlin could very well be working with the Dutch manager in the near future.
English Premier League strikers headed to Turkey.
Lukas Podolski has joined Galatasary after his disappointing loan spell Inter. The German international signed a three-year deal and moved for an initial £1.8 million from Arsenal. Podolski may not have the most expansive game but scores goals. He turned 30 last month, and with the wages on offer in Turkey, this should be a good move for him. Robin van Persie seems set to be another high-profile Dutch forward in Turkey after agreeing personal terms with Fenerbahçe. It really doesn't matter how much Manchester United actually get for a player with just one year remaining on a gargantuan contract. Any side that is happy to take care of his wage demands, or at least offer wages competitive enough so that his former club won't have to contribute to his wages after leaving, is providing a lot of value. Dirk Kuyt was believed to be instrumental in helping van Persie agree to a potential move to Fener. Persuading and lots of money always help. He's 32 next month so maybe this is a good time to secure a lucrative four-year contract in a decent European league. Read the link and check out the last few paragraphs folks: Fener are signing a lot of interesting players, including former Red Devil Nani.
Milan clubs getting to work
The fact that there will be no Milan clubs in Europe for the first time in 60 years has instigated huge investments by both clubs early in the summer transfer window. There needed to be a response to such a pitiful state of affairs, and indeed, there has been one. You've got to admire the sense of humour the Football Gods possess. Can you guess where the 2016 Champions League final will be held? The San Siro! Thou art cruel Football Gods, thou art cruel. Both clubs, fierce and decorated rivals, have made some interesting signings so far that have made observers take notice of the goings on in Milan. Let's take a look at some of the highlights so far.
AC Milan have signed two experienced strikers in Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano, which is impressive. Siniša Mihajlović is the new head coach at the club after Filippo "Super Pippo" Inzaghi was sacked. Let's not get into criticising Mihajlović's supposed love for and close ties with the Nerazzurri and going on to coach their fierce city rival. AS Roma midfielder Andrea Bertolacci has also joined the club on a four-year deal and Alessio Romagnoli could make a similar move from Rome to Milan if a suitable fee can be agreed. Both Bertloacci and Romagnoli have impressed elsewhere in 2014/15 and could represent a huge financial boost for the capital club.
Inter are in good hands with the charismatic and dashing Roberto Mancini in charge. He's a bloody good manager, and that's in the full knowledge of how things ended at Manchester City and didn't work out at Galatasary. Martín Montoya has followed Geoffrey Kondogbia, Jeison Murillo, and Miranda to become the club's fourth signing of the summer. That's serious work already. Midfielder Joel Obi has moved to Torino for first-team football. It's a permanent deal and one can presume the midfield restructuring begins with more sales to come in the future. Xherdan Shaqiri is also available for transfer, but will Stoke City actually sign the player after having a £12 million bid accepted for the Swiss international?
In other news...
Continuing with former Liverpool targets, Neto confirmed from Fiorentina to Juventus, Yevhen Konoplyanka has finally escaped from Dnipro to Sevilla, and Mohamed Salah potential legal troubles with La Viola. Legal issues may be the new thing this summer as Southampton are preparing to laywer up on Atlético Madrid over the impressive Toby Alderweireld in the event of the Belgian international joining Tottenham. Wouldn't it be great if Liverpool had their own version of legal drama this summer involving Raheem Sterling? There's no way that would go down badly.
Lewis Holtby has moved to Bundesliga underachievers Hamburger SV from Tottenham Hotspur, and there has been further movement from Tottenham involving Guangzhou Evergrande. Paulinho has moved to China from Tottenham Hotspur for just under £10 million as he looks
to earn more money in a professional holiday at 26 play more after being a squad player under Mauricio Pochettino. He barely broke the 1000 minute barrier in all competitions last season so he needs to play and get paid. Spurs also want to sell a few more midfielders and newly promoted Watford FC will take two. Deals have been agreed for both Etienne Capoue and Benjamin Stambouli. Capoue will be is a good signing for Watford just as Youssouf Mulumbu is definitely going to be for Norwich City. There are always a few handy defensive midfielders knocking about in the world's most overhyped league from some strange reason.
The maestro that is Andrea Pirlo has joined New York City FC on a lucrative two-and-a-half-year deal, which is not bad going for a 36-year-old professional footballer. Josh McEachran is set to join Championship side Brentford in a deal worth £750,000. Get some regular football and stability young man, it is essential for
developing strong bones and healthy teeth a decent professional football career. Bayern Munich have signed Douglas Costa from Shakhtar Donetsk for £21 million, according to the Ukrainian club. The German giants have also been kind enough to allow club vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger to decide whether he wants to stay at the club. Manchester United are lurking in the shadows for yet another high-profile, experienced, and expensive name.
Álvaro Negredo could be on his way out already. Crazy, isn't it? Valencia are looking to sell the player in an example of forced purchase options in loans not working out as planned. Giannelli Imbula insists that he wasn't forced out of Marseille. Sometimes when you insist that something isn't true, it actually works the opposite way. Sometimes. Also, Imbula's father revealed that intermediaries acting on behalf of Inter threatened him. Maybe that's why a deal to take him to Italy didn't work out. Phil Neville revealed that he wants to be a manager apparently after being appointed as Valencia's assistant manager. Maybe he's a better coach than a pundit, and forgetting about connections for a moment, this is an exceptional opportunity for a young English coach. Finally, let's say goodbye to Nigel Pearson as Leicester City manager and think of ostriches everywhere.
Since you made it this far, here's a treat for you on the transfer power structures at all 20 Premier League clubs. Next time out, the column will focus on Manchester City and Paris-Saint Germain as they look to splash the cash (phrases ahoy) after UEFA eased FFP punishments levied on both clubs. So. Much. Money.