Frank Lampard has addressed the New York City media in advance of his anticipated MLS debut on Sunday against Kaka and Orlando City SC.
After a fair amount of drama surrounding his arrival in Major League Soccer and the propriety of the relationship between Manchester City and New York City FC, Frank Lampard is set to show us whether it was worth the drama or not. A bit part player for Manchester City during the Premier League season, he should be well rested and ready to get a taste of American heat and humidity. He will square off against another newly arrived world superstar in Orlando City's Kaka and will soon be joined at NYCFC by newly announced signing Andrea Pirlo who is coming off a Champions League final appearance with Juventus.
German website Sport1 are claiming Manchester United target Thomas Muller has had a training ground bust-up with Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.
They allege that Muller was heard shouting "So I can leave now, can I?" although the Daily Mail offer a slightly different take on what was actually said "Fine! So I may as well just stop now and go back inside!" United are rumoured to be considering a $95 million bid for the 25 year-old who would become the first German to ply his trade at Old Trafford. Louis van Gaal is expected to busy during the transfer market following the departure of Nani with Fenerbahce ready to submit a fresh bid for Robin van Persie plus clubs’ enquiring about the availability of James Wilson on-loan. Torino right-back Matteo Darmian is on the United radar along with PSG striker Edinson Cavani.
Everton brace themselves for a £20 million Tottenham bid for midfielder James McCarthy…
Rumours have persisted about James McCarthy wanting a move from Goodison for long enough to assume there is some fire behind all the smoke. The classy midfielder hasn’t always produced a lot of end product – just three goals in 58 matches – since his £13m move from Wigan, but is known to be admired by Arsenal and Manchester United, among others. One of the ‘others’ is Tottenham who look ready to make good on their interest by offering a £20m deal which could include winger Aaron Lennon as a make-weight. Lennon made a big impression during a loan spell at Everton last season and would certainly sweeten the deal. Plus, Roberto Martinez is known to want to strengthen other areas – including central defence and attack – so could make use of the additional funds.
Sunderland have had a £5 million bid for West Ham winger Stewart Downing turned down, with Middlesbrough standing by to move in…
The battle for the services of Stewart Downing is hotting up, with former clubs Sunderland and Middlesbrough going toe-to-toe. Downing spent a short loan spell at Sunderland in 2003 and manager Dick Advocaat has made no secret of his desire to take him there permanently. A transfer fee of £5m and a three-year deal has been tabled for the player who turns 31 this month. But former club Middlesbrough are prepared to better that, offering a £6m fee and a four-year deal. It is thought that Downing planned a move to his boyhood club if they had been promoted, but whether he would drop into the Championship is unclear. West Ham are in no hurry to sell the winger after an excellent season, hitting six goals and eight assists in an almost ever-present campaign (37 matches).
Man City target Raheem Sterling has been named the most valuable young player in Europe by the Soccerex 20 Football Value Index…
Despite topping the poll, ahead of the likes of PSG’s Marquinhos and Manchester United new boy Memphis De Pay, Sterling’s value has been set at just £35 million. I say ‘just’ because Man City have already had a £40m bid knocked back by Liverpool, who value him at £50m. And that is the one that counts, of course. Soccerex is essentially a networking organization that periodically produces studies like this, so their gravitas is limited. But it does to serve to demonstrate the gulf between PL transfer fees and the rest of the (real) world. According to these number Man United not only paid £7.2m over the odds for De Pay, but £15m over for ‘home grown’ Luke Shaw. And with Liverpool holding out for £50m for Sterling, it appears that a £15m hike is the going rate.
Fabio Borini looks set to remain a Liverpool player - certainly for the time being - as talks with Lazio appear to have broken down over the players personal terms.
A fee had been agreed by the two clubs but Italian newspaper Il Messaggero report that a disagreement between the owners of Lazio and the players representatives means that the proposed move has been shelved. Borini of course has previous having rejected not one but two moves last summer for having "wildly unrealistic expectations" with his salary rumoured to be in excess of £140k per week. With two years still to run on his current contract Borini seems quite happy to sit back despite the arrival of Danny Ings and a proposed move for Christian Benteke pushing the Italian even further down the pecking order.
Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel is close to a return to Sporting Lisbon in a deal worth £3.8 million…
After the disappointing news that winger Robbie Brady will not be arriving (yet, anyway) because Hull are asking for too much money. Norwich fans will be cheered by the news that their misfiring front man Ricky van Wolfswinkel is going. Reports in Holland suggest he is on the brink of rejoining Sporting Lisbon for a fee in the region on £3.8 million. His record of 54 goals in 119 matches persuaded Norwich to pay a club record £8.5m in 2013, with fans hoping the Dutch International would be another van Basten or a van Nistelrooy. But after a goal scoring debut, he quickly looked more like a van driver – failing to hit the net in his following 24 appearances. He spent last season on loan at St-Etienne, scoring five times (in 24 matches) but not enough to earn a permanent deal. Or another stab at the PL with Norwich.
Toby Alderweireld's summer has taken an odd turn as Atletico Madrid reportedly missed a deadline to pay Southampton a £1.5million fee to invalidate their right to make the Belgian's move to St. Mary's permanent for a cut-price fee.
If this story is true then someone at Atletico is in big trouble because Spurs and perhaps Chelsea appear to be willing to pay far more than the rumored £6.8million fee that Southampton's loan deal allows them to purchase the player for. The deal will also likely not sit well with the player as he apparently has his heart set on joining Belgium colleague Jan Vertonghen at Spurs this summer.