Steven Taylor is expected to be fit for the start of the new season as he steps up his rehab after rupturing his Achilles against Burnley on New Year’s Day.
The news provides a welcome boost for Newcastle who desperately lack defensive options while the club also confirm Massadio Haidara and Cheick Tiote are back at the training ground although the pair will undertake their own tailored program as they continue to recover from knee surgery. With no new signings - despite being linked to players throughout Europe - concern amongst supporters is beginning to mount after their top flight status was only guaranteed with a win on the final day. A threadbare squad has lost the services of Ryan Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez [both released] while the future of Sammy Ameobi remains uncertain [out of contract].
Norwich City manager Alex Neil remains hopeful that left-back Martin Olsson will be ready for the new season after undergoing surgery in May to remedy a persistent shoulder problem.
Olsson has established himself as a first team regular since moving from Blackburn Rovers for $4.5 million 2 years ago and started all but three in the league last season [suspended in August following a push on a referee] and was pivotal in helping the Canaries maintain one of the best defensive records in the division. Olsson also chipped in with a goal plus 5-assists to accompany his 13 clean sheets and the Sweden international could be worth some serious consideration for those looking for a bargain. Norwich entertain Crystal Palace at home in the opener and have a favourable set of fixtures to follow including the likes of Sunderland, Stoke and AFC Bournemouth.
After weeks and weeks of speculation Chelsea and Monaco have finally agreed on a deal that will see the Colombian forward suit up for the Blues on loan for the 2015-16 season.
If ever there was a place that Falcao was going to be successful, it's Stamford Bridge. He'll have some time to recover properly with Diego Costa carrying a significant chunk of the burden up top at the start of the season. He'll be surrounded by familiar faces from Atletico Madrid (Costa, Filipe Luis, and Thibault Courtois) and Colombia (Juan Cuadrado). And he'll be playing on an excellent team that has no doubt about it's identity or how it wants to play. If he fails in this environment then he's likely done as a significant player on the world scene. If he plays well then he could see a return to prominence next season at Chelsea, Monaco or elsewhere.
Manchester City have apparently hit the targets UEFA set for them after running afoul of FFP regulations and the European governing body have lifted transfer and player expense restrictions for this summer.
Between PSG and Manchester City having restrictions lifted over the past week, there is the potential that the transfer market starts moving into high gear. The two big-spending clubs will likely be active with City especially eager to refresh their squad as they look to regain the Premier League title and push forward into the knockout stages of the Champions League. Raheem Sterling, Paul Pogba, and Kevin De Bruyne are all rumored targets for City now that the spending shackles are off.
Sunderland have bid for their third new defender in a week, offering £5 million for Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts…
Another day, another defender. It is clear where manager Dick Advocaat thinks improvements are required at Sunderland ahead of the new season. After this week securing centre-back Sebastian Coates on a permanent deal from Liverpool, then signing right-back Adam Matthews from Celtic – the Sunderland manager is now looking to add 30-year-old centre-back Nicholas Lombaerts from Zenit St Petersburg. Advocaat knows the Belgian well from his time as the national team coach and Zenit, where he previously signed Lombaerts in 2007. The Russian club value the defender at £10 million and have so far resisted enquiries from Everton among others. Sunderland have tabled an opening bid of half that figure hoping that Advocaat’s previous associations will prove influential.
Manchester United set to use Jonny Evans as bait to land Everton right-back Seamus Coleman…
After missing out on Nathaniel Clyne and Dani Alves, Manchester United are set to up the ante in their pursuit of Everton right-back Seamus Coleman. Converted winger Antonio Valencia did a decent job in the role for much of last season, but the Republic of Ireland international has emerged as one of the PL’s best in recent years. Recording ten clean sheets, three goals and three assists last season – even though it was Everton’s worst showing for six campaigns. Everton are in the market for a centre-back too. With Sylvain Distin gone, there is no cover for Phil Jagielka and John Stones so the availability of Jonny Evans might sweeten the deal. Evans has not been offered a new contract at United, whereas other centre-backs Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett have and with the £30 million Sergio Ramos apparently on his way, he may be surplus to requirements.
Sunderland have reportedly agreed a fee of £2 million for Celtic right-back Adam Matthews, just a day after signing central defender Sebastian Coates on a permanent deal…
Dick Advocaat is on the verge of making his second signing in a little over 24 hours, with Sunderland agreeing a fee for Celtic right-back Adam Matthews. It looked like the proposed transfer had fallen through after an initial £1.5 million bid was turned down earlier in the week. But Celtic’s signing of Manchester United right-back Saidy Janko and an improved offer – thought to be closer to £2 million – was enough to resurrect the deal. Welsh international Matthews made over 100 appearances for Celtic after being released by Cardiff in 2011. The 23-year-old will compete with Billy Jones for the slot alongside fellow new boy Sebastian Coates.
Stoke City have announced a one-year contract extension for Peter Odemwingie after the player recovered from a long-term knee injury to feature down the stretch in the 2014-15 season.
Odemwingie was injured early in his Britannia stay last season and didn't come back in enough time to show too much after he recovered from his knee injury. The one year contract takes Odemwingie through the upcoming season and gives the club an option to extend it for another year at their discretion. At 34-years-old to start next season, Odemwingie will likely be primarily a reserve behind a fairly deep bench of Stoke City attackers including Mame Biram Diouf, Joselu, Peter Crouch, and Jon Walters.