Everton boss David Moyes is on the verge of snapping up former Bayern Munich left-back Danijel Pranjic on a free transfer in the summer reports the Daily Star. The 30 year old Croatian has been on Moyes’ radar for quite some time and even made a failed attempt to land the player in January, to which he disappointingly stated, “I was·ready·to board a plane and was really happy because I knew Everton were serious and that they had big plans for me. But now it is all over and this is a catastrophe.” However, the Toffees’ fans will view this as a sign that Leighton Baines may well be on his way to Manchester United.
In related news, Baines, much to the disappointment of the Everton fans, remarked in an interview with the Star, “I’ve been aware of what’s been sort of said in the press and what’s not. I’ve got three years still to go on my contract. I don’t think it does anyone any harm to be linked with a club like Manchester United.”
Tottenham will face competition from Manchester United and Liverpool for Porto’s Joao Moutinho as tuttomercatoweb reports that the two biggest clubs in England will battle it out with the manager-less Spurs for the midfield maestro’s work. Andre Villas-Boas’ possible takeover at White Hart Lane has led to a number of his former players being linked with the club but Moutinho, backed by a solid Euro 2012 campaign is a strong target for the clubs discounting the managerial assistance.
Former Manchester City captain Kolo Toure is likely to move to Turkish club Bursaspor this summer after failing to gain regular first-team football last term, with Roberto Mancini preferring the partnership of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott at the back. The Mirror reports that the English Champions are ready to offload their central defender in fear of losing him for free next year when his contract expires. The player is more than happy to move to Turkey as it would see him play regularly and also pocket a lucrative deal.
Arsenal are on the lookout for a new keeper according to the Metro and Palermo’s Emiliano Viviano is seen as the front-runner to take up the position of 2nd choice keeper. The Italian will be expected to play 2nd fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny as Manuel Almunia has been released by the club with Lukasz Fabianski likely to leave too.
Spanish youngster Cesar Azpilicueta, who is keen on moving on to a bigger club this summer, is being targeted by Chelsea as a replacement for Jose Bosingwa who was released by the Blues last month. The defender was called up for Spain’s first provisional squad but was dropped from the final 23 that went for the Euros. The player feels that he needs to play for a bigger club next season and the Champions League winners will certainly offer the youngster great opportunity. The 22 year-old told Sportmag, “My dream is to play for the national team. I want to play for a club that allows me to achieve this goal.”
Michael Laudrup’s first piece of business as Swansea boss will be to bring in reinforcements in the central defence area and This is South Wales are linking Genoa’s Jose Manuel Flores with a £3m move to the Liberty Stadium. The 25 year old Spaniard, who spent last season on loan at Mallorca, is seen as the ideal candidate to fill the void left by Steven Caulker, who has returned to Tottenham Hotspur.
Recently relegated Blackburn have tabled a £3 million offer for Newcastle’s bit-part player Leon Best as they bid to make an immediate return to the top tier, reports the Express. However, they would have to battle against Norwich, whose Premier League status is likely to give them an edge. The 25 year old has seen himself fall down the pecking order under Alan Pardew with the like of Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba, and Shola Ameobi being preferred over him, and he is expected to leave the Magpies to get regular football.
Reading continue to do good business in the transfer market to increase their chances of survival this season as they announced that they had completed the signing of Pavel Pogrebnyak. The Russian, who spent the 2nd half of last season on loan at Fulham, was a free agent after being released by Stuttgart and Reading confirmed the capture on their site, stating that the 28 year old had also completed a medical, with only the work permit left to be sorted out.
Scottish defender Steven Whittaker has inked a deal with Premier League club Norwich City to become the first signing under new boss Christ Hughton. The 28 year was amongst the players that rejected the contract offered by the newco Rangers, making him a free agent in the process. The player told the club website that, “When I spoke to Chris Hughton I was very impressed with his plans to progress Norwich City and everyone I’ve spoken to in the game has had nothing but praise for the Club and the city of Norwich. All of my experience to date has been in Scotland so I’m really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League; I’m very excited about it.”