Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu, centre, has joined German club Stuttgart on a season-long loan, following a similar deal last season with Valencia. AFP PHOTO/IAN KINGTON
Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu, centre, has joined German club Stuttgart on a season-long loan, following a similar deal last season with Valencia. AFP PHOTO/IAN KINGTON

Transfer talk: Chelsea’s Oriol Romeu going on season-long loan to Stuttgart

Chelsea have loaned Spanish central midfielder Oriol Romeu to German side Stuttgart for the duration of the 2014-15 season, the Premier League club announced on Monday.

“Oriol Romeu has today (Monday) joined Stuttgart on a season-long loan,” read a statement on the Chelsea website.

“The Spaniard moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2011 from Barcelona, and has so far made 33 Chelsea appearances. He spent last season on loan at Valencia.”

Romeu, 22, has not played for Chelsea since suffering a serious knee injury in December 2012 that kept him out for the rest of the season, but he recently signed a new three-year contract with the club.


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has rejected speculation linking him with a bid for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

Rodgers spoke about the Italy international in glowing terms when he was asked about him last week, but the Northern Irishman said that his admiration would not translate into a former offer for the 23-year-old.

“I can categorically tell you Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool,” Rodgers told a press conference in Miami on Sunday, in comments that were widely published in the British media.

“In my last press conference I was asked a question about Mario Balotelli and I talked about what a talent he was and what an excellent player he was.

“And the next day it was wrote (sic) as if we were signing him. I just gave my perception of him as a player. It shouldn’t be transmitted into us signing the player.”

Liverpool lost star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona last month, but Rodgers had previously brought in England international Rickie Lambert from Southampton.

Teenage Belgium striker Divock Origi has also joined the club from Lille, but he was immediately loaned back to the French side.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is planning on holding talks with captain Ron Vlaar in a bid to resolve the defender’s future.

With one year remaining on the Dutchman’s contract, and following his stand-out performances for Holland in the World Cup, Vlaar has since been linked with a number of clubs, notably Serie A pair Juventus and Lazio.

After an extended break for the 29-year-old in light of his World Cup exertions, Vlaar returned to the Villa fold on Saturday, although as a spectator only for the club’s 4-1 pre-season friendly defeat at Groningen.

With Vlaar back in training this week as the countdown continues towards the opening Barclays Premier League game with Stoke on August 16, Lambert said: “He told me he is concentrating on that game.

“He’s not had much of a break, but he’s enthusiastic, positive and raring to go.”

Once Vlaar is back in the swing of things again, Lambert plans on a more in-depth chat.

“It was a good feeling I got from him,” added Lambert, speaking to the Birmingham Mail.

“To be fair, it was a really brief conversation I had before the game as I was preparing the lads for the match.

“Ron’s got another year still to go on his contract, it’s not as if he’s at the end of it.

“Once we get back I’ll sit with him, we’ll have a bit more time, but he loves it at Villa, that’s well known.”

Real Madrid

European champions Real Madrid have signed Costa Rica's World Cup hero Keylor Navas on a six-year deal.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper, who leaves Levante for the Santiago Bernabeu, was a star performer as Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals in Brazil.

A statement published on Real’s official website on Sunday evening read: “Real Madrid CF and Levante UD have reached an agreement over the transfer of Keylor Navas, who will be tied to the club for the next six seasons.

“The player will be presented on Tuesday, August 5, at 1pm (local time) in the Bernabeu’s royal box, after undergoing the relevant medical examinations.

“Subsequently, Navas will tread the turf of the Bernabeu for the first time and will address the media in the press room.”

The deal, which is reported to have required Real pay 10million euros (£7.9million) to Levante to activate the keeper’s release clause, could have ramifications for Madrid stopper Diego Lopez.

West Bromwich

West Brom appear poised to finally conclude a move for Australia left-back Jason Davidson.

The Baggies have had to wait patiently for the 23-year-old to resolve a contract dispute with Dutch Eredivisie club Heracles Almelo.

Davidson, who played in Australia’s three World Cup group matches, believed he had finished his contract with Heracles and had become a free agent.

Heracles, however, informed Davidson they had triggered a one-year option on that deal and he was still their player.

Albion have played their part in the row, and now talks over terms and a medical are scheduled to go ahead this week.

Hull City

Former Hull City captain Robert Koren has signed a two-year deal with Australian side Melbourne City, which will see him link up with Spanish star David Villa.

The Slovenian midfielder, who has played 61 times for his country, has spent the past seven seasons in English football for West Bromwich Albion and Hull.

Melbourne City boss John van’t Schip hailed the 33-year-old’s signing.

“Robert is someone who we feel can add something extra to the team and can help us get to the next level,” he said in a statement late Sunday.

“He is a team player who we believe will contribute well and help our entire squad reach their full potential and help deliver results.”

Koren becomes the third major signing announced by Melbourne City since they were bought by English Premier League giants Manchester City earlier this year.

Villa will play a guest stint for Melbourne City in the A-League, taking the field between October and December prior to the start of the American season, where he has been signed by New York City.

Melbourne have also signed Irishman Damien Duff, who was released by Fulham after their relegation from the English Premier League in May.

Newcastle United

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is pleased with his summer transfer business but has hinted he might not yet be finished adding to his squad.

The Magpies have signed seven players this summer, with latest new arrival Facundo Ferreyra joining Siem de Jong, Daryl Janmaat, Emmanuel Riviere, Jack Colback, Ayoze Perez and Remy Cabella.

It has left Pardew, who faced criticism as his side faltered during the second half of last season, positive about the future.

And he also vowed to keep his eyes open for additional reinforcements.

Speaking after his side’s 3-1 win over Schalke on Sunday, he told reporters: “I think we have done some terrific business this summer. It must please the Newcastle fans that we have signed some exciting, offensive players.

“And, for me, I feel far more comfortable with the team and that we can play a brand of football that is expected of us.

“It is very difficult for the likes of the teams outside of the Champions League money to compete. But we are trying to do it in an educated manner.

“We’ve been accused of not spending the money we bring in, but now we have spent it and we can hope to get as close as we can. Certainly, offensively we are definitely stronger. There is no doubt about that.

“We have always maintained that we will watch the window right up until the last hours.”


Newly promoted Russian Premier League club Torpedo Moscow says it has signed Australia fullback Ivan Franjic and Croatian goalkeeper Goran Blazevic.

The 26-year-old Franjic joins Torpedo from the Brisbane Roar, where he won three Australian A-League titles after joining in 2009.

Franjic also played for Australia at the World Cup, but his campaign was cut short by a hamstring injury in the opening 3-1 defeat to Chile.

He will be the only Australian footballer playing in Russia after Luke Wilkshire left Dynamo Moscow for Dutch club Feyenoord.

Uncapped Croatian Blazevic joins from Bulgaria’s Levski Sofia.

Torpedo says both players have signed three-year contracts. The pair could debut for Torpedo on Saturday against Zenit St. Petersburg.

This season will be Torpedo’s first in the Russian Premier League since 2006.

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