The transfer merry go round continues as clubs work on strengthening their squads. With four of the top 6 changing managers, expect much more transfer activity to come but let’s see what’s been happening at the mid table clubs.
Emanuele Giaccherini has completed a move to Sunderland from Italian champions Juventus. The 28 year old becomes Paolo Di Canio’s 9th signing this window following a £8.6 million move. Having only made 17 appearances for Juventus last season, the winger was impressive for Italy during the confederations cup and wants to cement his place for the forthcoming world cup in Brazil. He scored 3 times and created 3 assists mostly coming off the bench but he should be a regular starter at the stadium of light and with only 1 yellow card last season, he has fantasy point potential.
Once linked with Arsenal and Barcelona, the much sought after Kenyan defensive midfielder, Victor Wanyama, has put pen to paper with Southampton on a £12.5 million deal. His impressive performances for Celtic particularly against Barcelona in the champions league have earned him a strong reputation. Being a defensive midfielder, his goal to game ratio for Celtic has been is 1 in 6 games and with a high number of passes and pass accuracy, expect a few assists as well from the 22 year old for your UFC team.
Maicon has completed a move to AS Roma from Manchester city where he played a bit part role making only 7 appearances. This loosens competition at the right back spot with only Richards and Zabaleta available. Micah Richards had an injury riddled 2012/13 season but is back fit and in training with the city squad. Expect Richards to play more and 20 appearances is the least you can budget for from the right back. He has solid assist and clean sheet potential and pellegrini has hinted Richards would be getting more game time.
In other news, Stephen Harper has finally called time on his Newcastle United career. Well, discounting his 6 loan spells in that time at least. The 38 year old has completed a move to Hull City on a free transfer and the veteran adds experience to their current squad. Harper will mainly be used as a back-up goal keeper but is worth a second-choice shot stopper for your UFC team.
The Luis Suarez saga continues with John W. Henry openly coming out and saying 40 million is an understatement of Suarez's valuation. Liverpool's American owner took to twitter to vent his frustration. The Reds are asking a fee in the region of 50 mill for the Uruguan forward but Arsenal are reluctant to pay that price. Having had two bids of 30 and 40 mill rejected, it is reported by sources inside the emirates that Arsenal have tabled a third bid of 42.5 mill today in the hope of securing his services before the Emirates cup begins.
In all honesty, both clubs will be doing themselves a favor by reaching an agreement as soon as possible because it is unlikely that Suarez will be at Liverpool next season having made the champions league his priority and Arsenal desperately need to start their transfer activity having cleared a lot of the dead wood to get their team settled before the season starts. With Gervinho close to sealing a move to Roma, Arsenal WILL definitely need a big name in the striking department. With Higuain completing a move to Napoli, Suarez is the only realistic option for Arsene. I see the deal happening, just how quickly I don't know yet.
Norwich have completed the signing of Gary Hooper from Celtic. He had a good season with Celtic and has played in the champions league as well. Scoring 19 times and providing 6 assists, Hooper will play a big role for the canaries this season and should be one of your first draft picks. He will be a regular starter and Norwich fans should be excited with the 25 year old's arrival.
With all the talk about Gareth Bale leaving for Madrid, spurs have moved to complete the signing of Nacer Chadli. The 25 year old attacking midfielder started 14 games in the Eredivisie scoring 12 times for FC Twente in the 2012/13 season. Overall he scored 19 times in 27 appearances for both Belgium and FC Twente and should be a quality addition at white hart lane. There has been talk about Clint Dempsey leaving and Chadli would be a good replacement for the American. Tottenham still need a big name striker and Soldado from Valencia has been linked strongly with Spurs recently. Gareth Bale was not in the squad for spurs' pre season game yesterday with South China with AVB claiming injury being the reason. However, reports coming out of Spain today that Madrid have tabled a mammoth 85 million pound bid for the Welsh international. Whether he moves, it remains to be seen.
Chelsea clinched the Premier League title last week with a 1-0 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns - sealing their place in next season's Champions League.
And with a European campaign to plan for next term, as well as competing on all fronts domestically, Antonio Conte has called for summer reinforcements.
"We must try to finish [the season] in the best way possible to reach our target and to win the FA Cup," Conte said.Conte spent around £110million last summer on new additions, bringing in Michy Batshuayi, Marcos Alonso, N'Golo Kante and David Luiz.
However, the Italian does not think a 25-man squad will be enough to compete on all fronts next term.