Transfer talk: Manchester United ‘ideal location’ for Pedro; Spurs lining up Erik Lamela deal
United and Pedro have been linked for the past few weeks as Louis van Gaal attempts to boost his strike force. Now it appears Pedro, according to the report out of Spain, “wants to leave” Barcelona to get more playing time, and “Manchester looks like an ideal location for him”.
Pedro, 28, followed up a successful 2013/14 spell for Barcelona with a quiet season last year, scoring six goals and assisting on six more in 35 league appearances, 20 of them as a substitute as he became increasingly marginalised in manager Luis Enrique’s system.
The year before, he made 28 starts and appeared in 37 La Liga matches, scoring 15 goals with eight assists.
Read more: The National’s Transfer Talk page
Marca reports that Van Gaal would like to start Pedro with Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay up front, but adds “Luis Enrique is against the transfer.” The paper says Enrique would worry about the depth in his side, given Barca’s transfer ban until January.
According to Marca, the negotiations are circling around figures of €25-32 million (Dh101-130m) for the Spaniard. Any such transfer would also figure to be contingent on United’s activity regarding Angel Di Maria.
Tottenham Hotspur appear close to cutting their losses on Erik Lamela, with Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias reporting the Premier League club are lining up a loan for the largely disappointing Argentine winger to FC Porto.
Lamela was a Spurs-record signing for £30 million (Dh171.8m) from AS Roma before the 2013/14 season, but the Portuguese report indicates that with an option to buy baked into the deal, Spurs are now willing to accept just €7.5m for him, a write-down of nearly £25m.
Tottenham have been busy unloading their perceived failures this summer, with Paulinho, Younes Kaboul, Benjamin Stambouli and Etienne Capoue already gone. Recent reports have Emmanuel Adebayor, Vlad Chiriches and, now, Lamela apparently on the way out as well.
According to Diario de Noticias, “negotiations are well advanced” between Porto, who were runners-up in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last year, and Spurs.
Aston Villa’s overhauling of their defence after flirting with relegation last season continued on Tuesday with the signing of defender Jose Angel Crespo from relegated La Liga side Cordoba for a fee reported to be £500,000.
The 28-year-old Spaniard would be manager Tim Sherwood’s seventh acquisition of the close season, a list which includes defenders Frenchman Jordan Amavi and England international Micah Richards.
Crespo, who played for Spain at Under 19, 20 and 21 level, has also had spells in Italy with Bologna, Padova and Verona.
“He is an experienced player who has played in La Liga and Serie A, two of the strongest leagues in Europe,” said Sherwood, who saved Villa from the drop last term and guided them to the FA Cup final after replacing Paul Lambert when he was sacked in February.
The club gave no details of the deal that will bring the France international, 29, to Marseille, after a bitter-sweet spell at the Emirates Stadium where he had been since 2006. He was dogged by injuries in recent years and was released in June by the Premier League side.
His last match for Arsenal dates back to a League Cup tie last September.
Atletico sold the 29-year-old Brazilian to the London side for a reported £15.8 million (Dh90.8m) a year ago, after they won the Spanish league in the 2013/2014 season, but English media reported that Atletico has paid about £15m to buy him back.
Luis won the Premier League with Chelsea and scored in their League Cup final victory but played only 26 games overall under coach Jose Mourinho.
“Happy! Glad to be coming home and to be a new Atleti player,” Luis said in a Twitter message.
Bayern Munich confirmed on Tuesday they have signed Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal from Juventus on a four-year deal with Bastian Schweinsteiger’s replacement reportedly costing €35 million (Dh141.8m).
Moroccan international defender Abdelhamid El Kaoutari has agreed a deal to move from Montpellier to Serie A outfit Palermo, the French club announced on their website on Tuesday.
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Published: July 29, 2015 04:00 AM