Monday, March 23, 2015

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe, North and South America!


Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe, North and South America today!

Is your club involved?

Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Dynamo Kiev, AS Roma, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Newcastle United, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Barcelona, Hoffenheim, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Valencia, Manchester City, Arsenal, Palermo, Sporting Lisbon, Derby County, Wolves, Colorado Rapids, West Ham, Tottenham, Stoke City, Queens Park Rangers, Rosario Central, Inter Milan, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Fenerbache, Middlesbrough, Fulham, Bretford, Wycombe Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Barnsley.................are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, North and South America as we speak!


Spanish international goalkeeper David de Gea (24) has just rejected a new contract offer from Manchester United. Currently on a deal with the Red Devils until June 2016, the former Atletico rising star is one of Real Madrid's main targets, and is seen as a possible heir to Iker Casillas. De Gea is valued at roughly £50 million but United fear they will have to sell him for a cut-price deal this summer or he will just walk away for nothing a year later - Metro, Daily Mirror and transfermarketweb.com

Liverpool are weighing up a £19.5m move for Dynamo Kiev winger/forward Andriy Yarmolenko (right), who played a major role in dumping rivals Everton out of the Europa League. AS Roma are also interested in the Ukrainian winger/forward - The Daily Star, transfermarketweb and theguardian.com

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are talking about a possible loan swap deal involving Uruguayan international striker Edinson Cavani (28), who would join Red Devils, and Argentinian international offensive midfielder and winger Angel Di Maria (27). Cavani is however still a main target for Juventus and Atletico Madrid as well - transfermarketweb.com and theguardian.com

Juventus have no need to sell France midfielder Paul Pogba, 22, amid interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, says their general manager Giuseppe Marotta - skysports.com

Newcastle United's Dutch international right back Daryl Janmaat (25) is being tracked by a number of European clubs, including Liverpool, PSG, Juventus, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Manchester United - transfermarketweb.com

Liverpool and England midfielder Jordan Henderson (24), has become a main target for Manchester City, who look likely to lose James Milner in the Summer. The former Sunderland player is also tracked by Barcelona - transfermarketweb.com

Speculation over the future of Lazio forward Felipe Anderson swirled in Italy on Monday after it was reported representatives from Manchester United had come to watch the Brazilian sensation - skysports.com

Manchester United target Arturo Vidal (right) has rubbished talk of a move away from Juventus - claiming he is happy with life in Italy. The Chile international has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford since last summer's World Cup, but no move has taken place.
The Red Devils are thought to be weighing up another approach for the midfielder when the window re-opens at the end of the season as Louis van Gaal looks to strengthen his squad - TalkSPORT

Newcastle United are keen on Hoffenheim right-back Andreas Beck. Germany international Beck can go this summer for around £1.5million with Napoli also keen on the 28 year-old - Daily Mirror

Manchester United have reportedly sent a club official to Spain to help thrash out a deal for Valencia and Argentina international defender Nicolas Otamendi - Metro and Manchester Evening News

Bayern Munich are ready to rival Manchester United for Italian full-back Matteo Darmian. The 25-year-old caught the eye of several clubs at last summer's World Cup in Brazil - but elected to stay at Torino despite interest from abroad. Torino have put a price tag of £15m on Darmian and will not entertain bids lower than that amount.

Arsenal are poised to meet Palermo officials next week to secure the £28.9m signing of 21 year-old Argentine forward Paulo Dybala (right). Manchester City and Tottenham have been linked with summer swoops, while Juventus are also reportedly keeping tabs on the situation - Metro, Daily Express and Sky Sport Italia

West Ham management are ready to try again signing Togolese international striker Emmanuel Adebayor (31), who's much likely to leave Tottenham as a free agent. Adebayor is also being tracked by Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers as well - Daily Mirror

Argentinian club Rosario Central's offensive midfielder and winger Franco Cervi is being tracked by Tottenham. The 20 year-old Argentinian is also a target for Inter Milan. It is believed that any deal for the player will cost in the region of 4 million euros - transfermarketweb.com

Valencia are tracking Sporting Lisbon'ss 22-year-old midfielder William Carvalho - Record (Portuguese sports newspaper)

Manchester United and English Under-20 international winger and forward James Wilson (19) has been targeted by Derby County in a loan deal - transfermarketweb.com

Wolves striker Kevin Doyle has signed a pre-contract agreement with Colorado Rapids. Doyle has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal with a 12-month option and will link up with the MLS side on July 1 when his contract at Molineux has expired - Daily Mirror

Norwich City and Nottingham Forest are seeking to sign Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom, 19, on loan for the rest of the season - The Sun and Nottingham Post

Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike is threatening to quit Turkish club Fenerbache after being racially abused by his own fans - The Sun

Middlesbrough have agreed a deal to bring in Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta on loan for the rest of the season - Gazette Live

Brentford pair Sam Saunders and Nico Yennaris have extended their loans at Sky Bet League Two Wycombe Wanderers until the end of the season - skysports.com

Tranmere Rovers have extended Janoi Donacien's loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season - skysports.com

John O'Sullivan will return to Blackburn Rovers this week after his loan spell with Barnsley ended - skysports.com


Monday, March 16, 2015

Some Interesting, Unusual and Bizarre Facts about Football Players - Part Two


# In 1995 Zinedine Zidane almost joined Blackburn Rovers. However, the club chose Tim Sherwood instead, with chairman Jack Walker saying: “Who needs Zinedine Zidane? We’ve got Tim Sherwood.”

# Hull City defender Maynor Figueroa has three toes on his left foot.

# Swedish defender Jan Olsson was the unlucky player that Dutch legend Johan Cruyff made a fool of with the very first and now famous “Cruyff Turn” in the 1974 World Cup Finals held in West Germany.

# Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a checkered past growing up. The son of a tough Croatian mother and hard-drinking Bosnian father, he grew up in the Malmo ghetto of Rosengard. One of the current mega stars of football was a thief when he was a youngster. In fact he stole a lot - bikes, sweets, cars, anything and everything!

# Sir Stanley Matthews never received a booking in his 33-year long career.

# According to Mexico City police, crime rates in Mexico reduce when Javier Hernandez plays football. Additionally, and almost unbelievably, they suggest that more women go into labour than usual when the Manchester United striker plays.

# Fernando d’Ercoli, while playing for Pianta against Arpaxin 1989, got so mad after getting a red card that he snatched the card from the referee’s hand and ate it.

# Similarly in 1984, Mike Bagley of Bristol took the referee’s notebook and ripped out the page with his name on after he had been booked, and ate it.

# No doubt about it, the worst disciplinary record goes to Ricky Goddard of North Warnborough, a small village in North East Hapmshire. By 1992, he had been suspended for five out of his nine years as a footballer. On one occasion, he was banned for six months when he sneaked into the ref's changing-room at half time and urinated over all his clothes.

# Jack Charlton and Bobbie Charlton's uncle was the Newcastle United and England legend Jackie Milburn

# In 2008 Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandoski had agreed to sign for Blackburn but an Icelandic ash cloud cancelled all airline flights, meaning the paperwork couldn't be completed before the deadline.

# While playing for Barcelona Danish legend Michael Laudrup participated in the 5–0 victory over bitter rivals Real Madrid during the 1993–94 season. The following season while playing for Real Madrid he aided in the revenge beating that Madrid gave Barça, the final score also being 5–0.

# Liverpool's Simon Mignolet started his career as a forward, and tried his hand at being a goalkeeper after he was dropped.

# On the other hand, Fernando Torres started his career as a goalkeeper, and later switched to become a striker.

# In 1978 Sheffield United boss Harry Haslam spotted a 17-year-old Diego Maradona on a scouting trip to Argentina and was so impressed that he struck a £200,000 deal there and then. But when Argentinos Juniors demanded more cash the Blades board refused to cough up, and bought Maradona's countryman Alejandro Sabella instead.

# Ryan Giggs' estranged father Danny Wilson is a former British professional rugby league player of the 1970's and 1980's. A Wales international stand-off, he played his club rugby for Widnes, Swinton, Runcorn Highfield and Springfield Borough.

# Dimitar Berbatov’s childhood hero was Alan Shearer, and the former Tottenham & Manchester United striker used to sleep in a Newcastle shirt when he was kid.

# In 1996, George Weah paid for his team-mates kits and expenses so Liberia could enter the African Nations Cup

# Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, played as a goalkeeper for amateur side Portsmouth Association Football Club, under the pseudonym A. C. Smith. (This club, disbanded in 1896, has no connection with the present-day Portsmouth Football Club, which was founded in 1898).

# In 1999, Chelsea signed Chris Sutton from Blackburn for £10 million. The striker scored just one league goal and left a season later.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Some Interesting, Unusual and Bizarre Facts about Football Players - Part One


# In 2013 the word "Inmessionante" was added to the Spanish Dictionary which references Lionel Messi. It was chosen because of its similarity to the Spanish word for “impressive.”
It is an adjective which is explained in the Spanish dictionary with two points:

1. Perfect way to play football, an unlimited capacity for self improvement.
2. Describes the best player of all time.

# Johan Cruyff's niece Estelle married Ruud Gullit in 2000, but she walked out on him in 2012 due to his continuous womanising. Estelle was his 3rd wife and Ruud has six children - two from each of his marriages.

Ryan Giggs never received a red card during his 24 season playing career with Manchester United. He was only once sent off when playing for Wales, on 5 September 2001 in a World Cup qualifier against Norway.

# Mark Hughes once played two games in a single day; In the morning he played for Wales against Czechoslovakia in Prague, drove across the border, and then turned out for Bayern Munich in the afternoon.

# Lille and France International footballer Rio-Antonio Mavuba was born in international waters. Mavuba, son of former Zaire international Ricky Mavuba Ndokia Ndombe - who featured at the 1974 World Cup finals - was born on a boat, off the coast of Angola, on 16 March 1984. His birth certificate does not have a nation listed, it just says “Born at Sea.”

# Former Tottenham Hotspur player and now television pundit and actor David Ginola has an unfortunate tale to tell. His name is an anagram for 'Vagina Dildo.'

# The younger brother of Joey Barton, Michael, is a convicted murderer. He and his cousin murdered their male victim, in an unprovoked racially motivated attack with an ice axe in 2005. Both were given life sentences with Michael Barton given a minimum term of 17 years and eight months.

# Ronaldinho first gained media attention in 1993, when aged 13 his youth team won a game 23-0. Ronaldinho scored all 23 goals in that victory.

# Charles Itandje of Cameroon is the only professional footballer to be sacked for laughing!
That’s what happened to the goalkeeper whilst at Liverpool in 2010. The reason his punishment was so harsh was because he was caught chuckling about something during a memorial service for the victims of Hillsborough.

# Manuel Neuer stars in the German version of the 2013 Disney/Pixar film 'Monsters University’. He provides the voice for the character Frank McCay

# Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro got the name "Ronaldo" after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, a favourite actor of his father's.

As a child, Jakub "Kuba" Błaszczykowski, the Borussia Dortmund and Polish international winger witnessed a tragedy, which had a major influence on his life. When he was ten years old his father stabbed his mother to death. After his father went to prison, Błaszczykowski and his brother were raised by their grandmother. Every goal he scores, he dedicates to his mother and can be seen looking up in the sky during goal celebrations.

# There have been many goalkeepers over the years who have fancied themselves as strikers.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was renowned for going up for corners late into a game and scored 13 times in his career.

# West Ham and Cameroon international Alex Song has 27 siblings – 17 sisters and 10 brothers. His father, who died when Song was two, had five wives.

# Croatian footballer Luka Modrić and former Australian footballer Mark Viduka are cousins.

# Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima commonly known as the Brazilian Ronaldo, never won the UEFA Champions League despite playing for 5 teams that did. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also never won the UEFA Champions League, despite playing for some of the world's biggest European clubs.

# Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet speaks 5 languages and has a degree in politics.


*Part Two will follow soon.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Babe of the Month - Fitness Model Michelle Lewin


Michelle 'The Body' Lewin was born on 15th February 1986 in Maracay State of Aragua, Venezuela and lives in Miami Beach, Florida. She is one of the biggest names in female fitness models.

Michelle got into fitness after she had been modelling for a few years. She says as part of my job was to stay in shape I needed to go to the gym. I loved it and it led me to become a total gym rat. After months of intense training and a change of diet the abs started to show and I was enjoying the fitness lifestyle. Suddenly the modelling requests were coming from Fitness Magazines and Supplement companies. Michelle trains at Flamingo South Beach Fitness Center.

The Venezuelan beauty is known for her amazingly chiseled body, and amazing fitness tips aimed at females. Michelle teams sex appeal with raw muscles and it’s proving to be a winning combination!

Michelle is sponsored by Betancourt Nutrition and uses their Big Blend, Pro Amino, Bullnox and Fulldose products.

Michelle is a true inspiration for women across the globe and a sex symbol that embodies health and fitness. She has been on the cover of over a dozen magazines including being a Playboy cover model.



Her typical day starts with an early morning cardio workout with weightlifting in the evening. In between, Michelle is normally doing photo shoots for different companies.

Michelle's favourite quote is: “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights” – Ronnie Coleman

Michelle loves a 'selfie' and is the 'Queen of Social Media' - with a collective 4.5 million social media followers.


Michelle's Prefered Workout Routine: 
Full Routine:

Monday: Back/Biceps

Chin Ups (Wide Grip) 4×12
Chin Ups (Normal Grip) 4×10
Row Machine 4×12
T-Bar Rows 4×12
Dumbbell Curls 6×12
EZ Bar Curls 4×12
Straight Bar Cable Curls 4×12

Tuesday: Hamstrings/Calves
Lying Leg Curls 4×12
Seated Leg Curls 4×12
Deadlifts 4×10-15
Seated Calf Raises 8×20
Standing Calf Raises (Smith Machine) 6×20

Wednesday: Triceps/Shoulders
Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 6×12
Skull Crushers EZ Bar 4 X 12
Rope Overhead Cable Extensions 4×12
Military Press 4×10
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3×10
Upright Rows with EZ Bar 4×12
Side Lateral Raises 4×10

Thursday: Rest
Off

Friday: Legs
Lunges 4×12
Good Mornings 6×20
Leg Press (Single Leg) 4×15 (Each Leg)
Squats 4×12

Saturday: Abs
Hanging Knee Raises 4×12
Crunches 4×20
Crunch Machine 4×12
Crunches On Ball 4×20

Sunday: Rest 
Off


Michelle Lewin's meal plan:

Daily Diet:

Meal 1: Oatmeal with Big Blend from Betancourt Nutrition

Meal 2: Ham with Swedish Crackers (Wasa)

Meal 3: Chicken Breast with Brown Rice

Meal 4: Pork Chops with Salad

Meal 5: Beef with Asparagus & Spinach

Meal 6: Salmon with Broccoli

Meal 7: Casein Protein Shake (Before bed)



You can follow Michelle on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Footballers That Failed To Live Up To Their Full Potential!


Buying footballers can be a tricky business.
For the most part, clubs do usually make wise decisions on how to spend their pounds, euros and dollars. However there have always been those select few player transfer deals that can only be described as 'atrocious business decisions' - whatever the reason!

Being considered as one of the next great young footballers is certainly a badge of honour, but it can also be an unnecessary layer of pressure that can cause those young players to either rise to the occasion or fall through the cracks.

You’d think that spending upwards of £20 million on a player would guarantee success.......not a bit!

Whether it was because of attitude problems, or serious injuries at an early stage in their career, or just extended periods of poor form for whichever club they played for, these footballers are a stark reminder that not everyone playing the beautiful game can live up to the monumental hype put on them as a youngster.

Here are some of the most hyped footballers of all time who didn’t live up to their full potential!


Denilson

Denílson de Oliveira was a Brazilian starlet who was the world’s most expensive player when Real Betis purchased him from São Paulo in 1998 for £21.8 million. However, the story would end in misery for both player and club.

His second season with Betis saw the Spanish club relegated and Denilson loaned back to his boyhood club São Paulo. He eventually returned to Spain but was never an integral part of the squad.

From 1998 to 2005, Denilson competed in 186 matches for Real Betis but only scored 13 goals.
On leaving Real Betis the Brazilian went on to have short spells at clubs in the USA, France, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and in his native Brazil.

For a world-record purchase, the Brazilian failed miserably to live up to his early promise.


Freddy Adu 

At the age of 14, Fredua Koranteng "Freddy" Adu became the youngest American ever to sign a major league professional contract in any team sport, when he was chosen by D.C. United as the number one overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.

His reputation at the age of 14 as “the next Pele” has arguably been his undoing, even though he’s only 25 now. That said, the Ghanaian-born Adu has experienced a number of poor, short-lived stints at clubs like Benfica, and the numerous clubs he was loaned out to while with the Lisbon club, namely AS Monaco, Portuguese club Belenenses, Greek side Aris and Turkish side Çaykur Rizespor.
His last club was Jagodina in Serbia, where he made one substitute appearance before being released in December 2014.

Adu is currently a free agent.


Juan Sebastián Verón

In 2001 Verón became the most expensive transfer in English football when Manchester United broke the bank for the midfielder. They paid a whopping £28 million to Lazio (14 years ago) for his services.

After only 51 appearances and 11 goals, Verón was shipped off to Chelsea, who also overspent on the player as United recouped £15 million. The Argentinian spent one season at Stamford Bridge before being sent out on loan, back to Italy with Internazionale and then to his boyhood club Estudiantes de La Plataand in Argentina. Eventually he signed for Estudiantes on a permanent basis in 2007 and is now their clubs 'Director of Sports.'

Verón may go down as one of the biggest wastes of money in football history. Not only were his statistics poor, but his overall play was never at the level that led anyone to believe he was ever worth such a big sum.

His several big-money transfers made Verón then the most expensive footballer in history with a cumulative total of £77 million at that time.


Pablo Aimar

Pablo César Aimar Giordano, the playmaking midfielder was dubbed the "new Maradona" early in his career. When just 21, he signed with Valencia in Spain from River Plate for a fee of €24 million million in 2001. Aimar’s time with Los Che was blighted by injuries including a bout with meningitis and he would later sign with Real Zaragoza for €12 million in 2006 and then Benfica for €6.5 million in 2008. In 2013 he went to playclub football in Malaysia, but was released after one season due to injury problems. Aimar has apparently gone back to River Plate to train with the team, but injuries may hold him back from signing a contract.
Injuries played a major factor in Aimar failing to fulfil his potential, but he did earn 52 caps for Argentina over a 10 year period.

The 35 year-old is currently a free agent.


Ricardo Quaresma 

Ricardo Andrade Quaresma Bernardo made his professional debut back in 2001 for Sporting Lisbon, but is only now finally starting to get his career somewhat back on track following a successful season last year with Porto, and just missing out on being selected for Portugal’s 2014 World Cup squad.

The Portuguese winger who has speed, finesse and an array of fancy footwork was once hailed as a talent with just as much promise as his countryman Cristiano Ronaldo. He has largely failed to live up to high expectations, and has been criticised for having attitude problems and purported selfishness on the pitch.

Sporting sold Quaresma to Barcelona for a reported €6 million fee in 2003, but in the summer of 2004 he announced his refusal to play for Barça as long as Frank Rijkaard was in charge. As a result he joined Porto not long after. Quaresma was heavily criticised during his first year with Porto for being selfish and frequently trying to dribble past defenders rather than making a simple pass. He gradually began to incorporate his team-mates into the game, however, and by his third year with Porto, he had become a fan favourite and a key component of the squad.

In September 2008, Quaresma signed for Italian champions Internazionale, managed by José Mourinhoin a cash/player exchange fee of €18.6 million but his time in Italy was not considered a success, with him being given the Bidone d'oro (Golden Trashcan) award for being Serie A’s most disappointing player in 2008. In 2009 he joined Chelsea on loan before returning to Italy, but he did not feature much in Mourinho's plans as the club

In 2010, Quaresma joined Beşiktaş in Turkey for €7.3 million, but in April 2011 Quaresma and veteran player Nihat Kahveci had a spat on the pitch. Nihat was upset at Quaresma for failing to pass the ball and the altercation was broken up by team mates. He also had an altercation with manager Carlos Carvalhal in the dressing room at half-time in March 2012 after Carvalhal substituted Quaresma.
Quaresma did not take the news lightly and began throwing water bottles before launching a stinging attack at Carvalhal. He was released by the club in December 2012, six months before his contract was due to run out.

Quaresma returned to Porto on 1st January 2014 where over ten thousand fans greeted him at the training ground.


Robinho

Robson de Souza began is career with Santos in Brazil in 2002 at the age of 18. His form for Santos was sensational and similar to Freddy Adu, Robinho’s skills were compared to those of Pele. Robinho's goal record for Santos stood at nearly a goal every other game and earned him a big money move to Real Madrid in 2005. Despite needing time to make himself a regular at Madrid his three years spent with Los Galacticos was considered a success, making 101 appearances and scoring 25 times.

Robinho's £33 million move to Manchester City was a definite setback for his career. Signing with the big-spending club despite wanting to sign for Chelsea, Robinho did well in his first season but injuries caused him to be an afterthought, eventually going back to Santos on loan in January 2010. He then signed with AC Milan for £15 million in August 2010, which was also an up and down time for him. In July 2013, Robinho signed a new contract with Milan on a reduced wage, keeping him with the Rossoneri until 2016.

In August 2014 he re-joined Santos on a one-year loan deal.


Jose Antonio Reyes

For someone who made their senior team debut for Sevilla at the age of only 16, followed by a £10.5 million transfer to Arsenal at age 20, you could say that much was expected of this Spanish winger’s future. Although he’s turned out to be a decent player, José Antonio Reyes Calderón hasn’t exactly been the offensive dynamo people hoped he would be, with his time at Arsenal being largely highlighted by homesickness and inconsistent play, despite winning the league title with them in 2004.

In 2006/07 Reyes joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal and it was expected he would join them permanently after his loan expired.
However in 2007 Reyes penned a four-year deal, reportedly worth €12 million with Real's city rivals Atlético Madrid.
After only one season with Atlético, it was announced that Reyes would be joining Benfica on a one-year loan deal.
Reyes returned the following season and had a much more productive spell with Atlético, before falling out with new manager Gregorio Manzano in 2011.

In January 2012 Sevilla confirmed the signing of Reyes, and that is where he continues to ply his trade.


Dmytro Chygrynskiy 

Dmytro Anatoliyovych Chygrynskiy is arguably the worst purchase in Barcelona history. Chygrynskiy was the first Ukrainian player to ever play for Barcelona.
The Ukrainian was just one of many terrible moves made by former manager Pep Guardiola.

Chygrynskiy made his debut for Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League in 2004, at the age of 17. Chygrynskiy was thought to be a formidable defender able to play with the ball at his feet and provide strong aerial coverage for the back line. However, his ability never panned out, and the defender really struggled in La Liga.

After just one season and a mere 14 matches, Barcelona sold the defender back to his former club for €15 million (a loss of €10 million overall)

Chygrynskiy left Shakhtar by mutual consent in February 2015 and seven days later Chygrynskiy joined Ukrainian rivals FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.


Alberto Aquilani

Alberto Aquilani made his debut for Roma in Serie A at the age of 18 in May 2002.

His favoured position is that of central midfielder, a position which enables him to make attacking runs and at Roma he had been praised for his vision, technique, quick incisive passing and long-range shooting.

After Real Madrid purchased Xabi Alonso in 2009, there was a giant hole in the Liverpool midfield. Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez turned to Italian starlet Aquilani to fill the void left by Alonso. Liverpool paid Roma a substantial fee for the Italian, reportedly £17 million and handed him a five-year contract.

The midfielder was never able to find his form or provide a decent cover for the departed Xabi Alonso.
Injuries played a big part in the saddening career of Aquilani in England. The Italian played only 28 games for Liverpool, and scored just twice.

Aquilani was sent back to Italy on loan, representing Juventus between 2010 and 2011 and AC Milan between 2011 and 2012. Aquilani then returned to Liverpool for pre-season training in preparation for their 2012–13 season. Although his agent stated that Aquilani would remain at Liverpool the club accepted an undisclosed fee for the midfielder from Fiorentina, and his transfer was completed in August 2012.

Liverpool in fact allowed Aquilani to leave the club for free therefore 'The Reds' never received anything back on their hefty investment, and thus Roma also received nothing from the bonus clause that they inserted in his transfer between the two clubs.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Most Influential Soccer Agents in the World


Before the 1990s, most soccer players did not use agents. In some cases, they used their fathers as agents. Because of most parents' naivete about the football business, these young footballers were often given less-than-stellar contracts by football clubs, which yielded lower salaries than they thought they deserved. 

The influx of money into the game since the formation of the 'Premiership' in England in 1992 (now known as the Premier League) created a merchant class in soccer – agents. Modern agents represent both players and managers, and they’re largely responsible for brokering transfers between clubs, managing contract negotiations, and handling all the paperwork involved as the intermediary between players and club management. 
Some agents have also got obscenely rich thanks to all the money floating around the game these days.

Generally speaking, agents get a small percentage cut of their players’ contracts. The precise amount will vary wildly from agent to agent, but that isn’t their only source of revenue. When agents are involved in brokering transfers between clubs, they tend to get a pretty significant amount of cash as well. 

Sure, we may be only talking about 3-5%, but 3-5% of £50 million is still £1.5 – £2.5 million – all for a few weeks of work. Few agents make that kind of money, but the men on this list all have superstar clients who command those kinds of prices, and all that wealth has trickled down to make these agents wealthy and powerful beyond their wildest dreams.

Barry Silkman: 

Although not strictly a player agent, Barry Silkman has made his name and his fortune as a master broker for transfers between top clubs. After a 16-year playing career spanning 14 clubs, in which he was mildly successful, Silkman attempted to turn management into his new day job. When that fell through he found his calling in acting as an agent in the 1990s, and he hasn’t stopped yet. With clients such as David Villa, Demba Ba and Ravel Morrison, Silkman’s ever-growing portfolio of star players means the 61-year-old will be around for the foreseeable future.

Jerome Anderson:

England’s most famous agent has spent a career representing some of the biggest names to ever play in the English Premier League. A banker by trade, Anderson made the transition into player representation just before agents became the powerful merchant-class they are today in the game. Initially he made his name thanks to the talent he brought to Arsenal at the turn of the 21st century; Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Ian Wright, all were brought to Arsenal thanks to Anderson’s help. These days he’s more closely associated with Manchester City, but represents a wide array of players including John Obi Mikel, the Belguim Axel Witsel and Kieran Gibbs.

Pini Zahavi:

Zahavi hit the headlines through his dealings at Chelsea following the takeover by Roman Abramovich in 2003. Zahavi was actively involved both in the purchase of the club and of negotiationg contracts for all the star players that it would sign in the initial 2-year period after the purchase, with several transfers being investigated for alleged corruption.
The Israeli was also involved in several dodgy takeovers at Portsmouth, but his bread and butter is transfers.
He currently represents players such as Carlos Tevez and Rio Ferdinand.

Mino Raiola:

The mastermind behind journeyman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Raiola has become an increasing presence in a number of big transfer deals, from all across Europe. Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan is his latest client, and he stands to make plenty of money this summer with Liverpool and Inter Milan both keen.
Raiola is ruthless, and also represents the likes of Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli and Tottenham and France star Etienne Capoue, while Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani counts him as an adviser.

Jonathan Barnett:

Known for helping launch Lennox Lewis’ career in boxing, Barnett hit the headlines in 2006 when he was charged over tapping up offences, relating to Ashley Cole’s transfer from Arsenal to Chelsea. These days he keeps his head down, only boasting a few – albeit huge – clients.
These include Gareth Bale, Joe Hart, Wojciech Szczesny, Rafael, Fabio and Darren Bent.

Cezary Kucharski:

Most agents tend to stick to their native countries to draw most of their talent from, which makes perfect sense. Naturally their network of contacts is larger and deeper in their home countries. 
Cezary Kucharski is the biggest agent in his native Poland, and he’s made his name attracting some of the top Polish talent to his brand in recent years. He has world-class Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski under contract, as well as Dortmund winger Jakub Blaszcykowski. 
Kucharski was a player himself as recently as 2007, but now the 42-year-old prefers to sit back and let others handle the on-field work while he takes care of the paperwork in the back – getting considerably richer in the process.

Pere Guardiola:

Brother of Bayern Munich coach Pepe, Pere Guardiola is an established agent in his own right, representing talent such as Barcelona's Luis Suarez, Arsenal's Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral, and Deportivo de La Coruña winger Isaac Cuenca. 


Paul Stretford:

Stretford is one of the boldest agents around, having dared to take on a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney - one of the most marketable players in the world and manage his career ever since. He was the driving influence behind the England striker’s two transfer requests at Manchester United, and it speaks volumes for the agent that he even dared to take on Sir Alex Ferguson.
Stretford will work closely with Rooney between now and the Summer, as he likely plots a move away from Old Trafford. It will be the second big move of his career, and nothing looks like standing in the way this time, with Stretford likely to use his master contact Jorge Mendes to negotiate a transfer abroad.
Stretford also represents superstar coaches Harry Redknapp and Roberto Mancini.

Jorge Mendes: 

Few are better connected in world football than Mendes, the king of football agents - and he’s never even set foot on a pitch as a player or as a manager!


Having secured a monopoly on Portuguese football years ago, the names of his clients are a who's who in the footballing world: Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, José Mourinho, Ramadel Falcao and Angel Di Maria to name but a few! Mendes is the most sought after agent in the world for both players and clubs, and with good reason; he has control of some of the game’s elite-tier talent, including his crown jewel Cristiano Ronaldo.


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Babe of the Month - Surfer Chick Anastasia Ashley


Anastasia Ashley was born 10th February 1987 in San Clemente, California and is an American big-wave surfer, and occasional fashion model.


Anastasia began surfing at the age of 5 right before moving to Hawaii. At the age of 6, she won a surf contest using a run-down board that she found in a trash can outside of her house. By the age of 7, she picked up a sponsor to replace her run-down board with new ones. 


In 2003, she received the Triple Crown Rookie of the Year award. At the age of 16, Ashley won her first major national title. Later, she also won titles including two National Scholastic Surfing Association championships and the Professional Surfing Tour of America championship. Ashley won the 2010 Pipeline Women's Pro in Hawaii. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2014. As of 8th September 2014, Ashley is ranked 59th in the 2014 Women's Qualification Series.



In September 2014, she started her own Gypsy Jet Set jewellery line in collaboration with OK1984, a jewellery company.[ She was featured in the October 2014 issue of Maxim Magazine. In November 2014, she went to Ireland for a Web Summit on how to maintain an competitive edge in surfing with a focus on social media tools. Ashley was interested in convincing Taoiseach Enda Kenny to surf.



You can follow Anastasia on Facebook, Twitter Instagram and on her Website


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fantastic North American Beers You Need to Experience!


Beer is not much different than wine when you explore past the boundaries of liquor stores. There’s a whole world out there of microbreweries crafting delicious brews for us to enjoy and share memories with.
Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but the point is these beers are truly something special and deserve to be celebrated. It’s a daunting and likely impossible task to try and taste them all, and that’s a great problem to have if you’re a beer connoisseur.

With that in mind, the purpose of this list isn’t to lay claim to the best beers ever - that would be a difficult undertaking for even the most knowledgeable of beer drinkers.
Think of this as a beer recommendation directory, if you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting any of these brews.


Rigor Mortis ABT

Brewed by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel, Quebec, Canada this strong brown ale inspired by the beer brewed by Belgian Trappist monks. Very little bitterness, this beer has intense malty and sweet flavours, mixed with the taste of chocolate and caramel. It presents complex red fruit and spice flavours due to the type of yeast that is used during the brewing process. This beer is at its best only after it has aged for six months. The Rigor Mortis are complex beers designed and brewed with patience and care in the tradition of the great Belgian Abbey beers. It is aptly named with its 10.5% ABV (alcohol by volume).


Muskoka Mad Tom IPA

This American IPA with a 6.4% ABV is brewed by the Muskoka Brewery out of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. Mad Tom is exploding with depth of flavour and a distinct fruity back that pleasantly lingers. It possesses a nice blend of citrus undertow with a strong hop base. The colour is synonymous with its crisp, refreshing taste as it pours golden brown and really does taste like liquid gold. It’s just a well-balanced beer that is unlikely to disappoint even the stingiest of beer connoisseurs. That it’s reasonably priced and easy to get your hands on is a nice bonus.


La Shawinigan Handshake


Le Trou Du Diable is a phenomenal microbrewery out of Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada that is remarkably consistent with world-class beers. You’ll pay a pretty penny, but your taste buds will melt away in heavenly elation. Shawinigan Handshake is a Weizenbock style of beer—a stronger wheat—that packs a bit of a punch at 6.5% ABV. The politically-themed label will provide a laugh as you tilt one back and let the golden flow of orange and grapefruit flavours and pine back invigorate your insides. This beer is also heavy on hops and has a nice spicy flavour integrated in its complex flavour. Take a few sips, sit back and enjoy!


Chimay Triple (White)

Although not from North America I felt I had to include this terrific Belgium beer in the list. The Chimay Triple, last-born of the Abbey, is labelled "Cinq Cents" on the 750 ml bottle. Of a golden colour, this Trappist beer (which means it comes with the badass story “that it is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery under the control and responsibility of the community of monks, and whose revenue is devoted to social service.)” combines sweet and bitter in a rare balance. The beer's aroma felt in the mouth comes from the hops' perfumes: above all, they are fruity touches of Muscat grapes and raisins, even ripe apples. This traditional Belgian beer from the Chimay Brewery is best savoured fresh at a temperature of from 6 to 8°C.


Propeller Revolution Russian Imperial Stout

Propeller Revolution Russian is possibly one of the finest stouts on the market. Propeller Brewing Company is Nova Scotia’s best selling microbrewery. This beer was born for greatness. Sent by English brewers via the Baltic Sea to the court of the Czars and brewed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it’s a coffee lover’s dream beer as strong notes of chocolate and coffee beans dominate its aroma. At 8% ABV, it pours jet black but goes down smooth with a rich flavour full of bitterness and sweetness that nests in your mouth with its balanced combination of citrus and chocolate. It’s so delicious I had to run out and grab one while writing this entry.


Le Castor Oatmeal Stout

The Oatmeal Stout from Le Castor, a Quebec microbrewery, is your prototypical Canadian beer. Its modest 5% ABV shouldn’t be taken lightly as the beer offers a full flavour of chocolate, coffee and a back of maple syrup without being overpowering in sweetness. This beer is well-balanced and a great gateway brew for beer drinkers looking to delve into the delicious world of microbrews. Make no mistake, however, this is a complex creation bursting with flavour and a nutty aroma that begs to be absorbed before taking a sip. Whether you’re an experienced microbrew drinker or newly introduced, you can’t go wrong with Le Castor’s Oatmeal Stout.


MacTavish In Memoriam

MacTavish is an American Style Pale Ale. This is a beer for the ages, aptly described as “legendary ale” on the memorable label and brewed by Le Trou Du Diable in Shawinigan, Quebec.
Fruity hops, a honey undertow and a pleasant floral aroma ship you away in the lucid world displayed on the front, inviting you to breathe in the fresh smell of a Scottish meadow before finishing the experience with a lingering but pleasant bitterness that coats your tongue with its complex flavour. 5% ABV in a custom made bottle, just for Le Trou du Diable! 


Shawi Beach

This is a summer beer also from Le Trou Du Diable, a brewery in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada. This 6.7% ABV IPA is an amber beer with tropical accents. Shawi Beach is a renowned beer for its floral bitterness and delightful blend of citrus flavours including mango, grapefruit, pineapple and orange. It is said to possess a piney aftertaste and strong aroma with an attractive foamy head.


List of breweries in Quebec:


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!


The January transfer window has been open nearly three weeks now, and there has been plenty of talk, a little bit of action, but only one high profile bank busting deal so far - Wilfried Bony's transfer from Swansea to Manchester City for a reported £28million.

Are clubs going to wait until the final few hours of the window to get their transfer targets over the line, or are player price tags, often influenced by their agents putting off would be suitors! As is often the case many clubs may look abroad for players in a market that they consider is better value for money.

The rumours though are hotting up as one would expect, and players including: De Gea, Arbeloa, Hummels, Alves, Khedira, Schurrle, Pogba, Soldardo, Pique, Gomis, Sinclair, Fletcher and Reid are all in the news!

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe and North America today!

Is your club involved?

Manchester United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Spurs, Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham, Wolfsburg, Fiorentina, Barcelona, Crystal Palace, Hoffenheim, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Real Sociedad, Inter, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Partizan Belgrade, Valencia, Roma, Malaga, Ipswich, West Brom, Anderlecht, Mainz, Leicester, Club Brugge, Stuttgart, Everton, Leeds, Swansea, Ipswich, Wigan, Chicago Fire, Celtic, Dundee United, Bradford City, Parma, Toronto FC, Lokeren, Mechelen, Nantes, Charlton and Brighton...............are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

Manchester United have placed a £50m valuation on Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, 24, who is wanted by Real Madrid - Daily Express

Germany international defender Mats Hummels, 26, has disappointed Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea by saying he wants to stay at Borussia Dortmund - Daily Star


Tottenham's struggling Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, 29, is wanted by German club Bayer Leverkusen - Daily Mirror and Daily Mail

Álvaro Arbeloa (right) has played down suggestions he is set for a return to the Premier League after reiterating his desire to finish his career at Real Madrid.
The full-back, who left Liverpool to join Real Madrid in 2009, has been heavily linked with his former club, Chelsea and Arsenal in recent days - skysports.com

Barcelona are set to decide Dani Alves' future at the club in the coming weeks, according to Camp Nou president Josep María Bartomeu. A number of Premier League sides are believed to be monitoring his situation - skysports.com

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out a move for Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, 27 - Daily Star

West Ham's New Zealand international Winston Reid, 26, has told the Upton Park club he will not sign a new contract and wants to join Arsenal - Daily Mirror

Wolfsburg are ready to pay £23m for forward Andre Schurrle, 24, but Chelsea want £30m - Daily Mail

Manchester United are preparing a £15m bid to bring back defender Gerard Pique, 27, from Barcelona - Daily Express

Chelsea are reportedly considering meeting the buyout clause in the contract of Fiorentina and Columbia winger Juan Cuadrado (right), 26 - Daily Star and skysports.com

Crystal Palace have upped their bid for Swansea left-back Neil Taylor to £4.5m - Daily Mirror

Tottenham have agreed a £5million deal with Swansea for right-back Kyle Naughton - Daily Mirror and skysports.com

Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair is keen for his potential transfer to Aston Villa to go ahead. Villa are prepared to offer £1.5m for the player, but they have informed the Premier League champions that they won't match the £3m fee that they want - Daily Mirror and sportsmole.co.uk

Juventus General Manager Giuseppe Marotta Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta has revealed that Real Madrid have contacted the club regarding a possible move for 21 year-old Paul Pogba. He said: "We will do all we can we can to keep Pogba. The problem may be the salaries that other clubs offer him, but at the moment we are not thinking about selling him" - transfermarketweb.com and sportsmole.co.uk

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, 30, is being linked with a move to Valencia and West Ham as he struggles to get playing time under manager Louis van Gaal - skysports.com

Crystal Palace and West Brom are ready to battle it out for the signature of Anthony Modeste (right), according to reports in France. The striker is currently plying his trade with German side Hoffenheim.
Hoffenheim are reportedly willing to sell the 26-year-old if a club meets their valuation of £5million - TalkSPORT

Bafetimbi Gomis claims there is a chance he could move to Borussia Dortmund after complaining about his relationship with Swansea - The Times

Arsenal striker Joel Campbell is available for a loan move. The Costa Rica international is reportedly a target for David Moyes at Real Sociedad - skysports.com

West Ham hope to hold off Inter Milan to land midfield enforcer Mario Suarez, 27 from Atletico Madrid - The Sun

Chelsea are in talks with Serbian side Partizan Belgrade over a deal for Danilo Pantic. The Serbian under-19 international is out of contract in the summer and he has been linked with a move to some of Europe's biggest clubs, The Blues opened talks with Partizan on Saturday night after learning that Italian side Juventus had made an approach to sign the 18-year-old midfielder, and they are now the front-runners in the race to get the player's signature - Daily Mail and sportsmole.co.uk

West Ham are also keen keen on signing the Scotland international from Manchester United - The Times

Bayer Leverkusen have completed the signing of Tin Jedvaj from Roma. The Croatia international was loaned out to the German club last summer and has impressed to such a degree that they have made the move permanent - skysports.com

Leicester City's want to sign Mainz forward Shinji Okazaki (right), but The Foxes feel the £10million asking price is too high for the 28 year-old Japan international - skysports.com

Malaga's sporting director says midfielder Ignacio Camacho, 24, who has been a target for Liverpool and Arsenal is going nowhere this month - Talksport

Kevin Bru has extended his contract at Ipswich Town. The 26-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Blues in the summer following a successful trial - skysports.com

West Brom are interested in signing Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy - The Times

Chelsea winger Marko Marin has joined Anderlecht on loan until the end of the season - skysports.com

Swansea's £5.5m bid for Stuttgart midfielder Alexandru Maxim, 24, has been rejected by the German club - Daily Mail

Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton are among the Premier League teams showing interest in young Leeds talent Sam Byram, 21.

Ipswich Town have confirmed the signing of keeper Paddy Kenny, until the end of the season.

Wigan Athletic forward Shaun Maloney is close to completing a move to MLS side Chicago Fire. The Scotsman almost joined Premier League side Leicester City last week but talks reportedly broke down over personal terms - Daily Mail and sportsmole.co.uk

Club Brugge and Australian international goalkeeper Mathew Ryan (right), 22, has confirmed he wants to play in the Premier League and is wanted by Liverpool - Metro

Celtic have made an official approach to Dundee United for 22 year-old midfielder Stuart Armstrong - Daily Record

Arsenal and Liverpool both want striker Reece Webb-Foster, 16, from Bradford City - The Sun

Valencia attacker Fede Cartabia is reportedly a transfer target for a number of Premier League clubs. The 22-year-old is highly regarded at the Mestalla, but has spent the first half of this season on loan at Cordoba. Valencia would be tempted into a sale should a figure of £6m be offered - Superdeporte (leading sports newspaper in Valencia)

Experienced Uruguayan midfielder Cristian Rodriguez is reportedly close to joining Parma on loan from Atletico Madrid - Football Espana

Toronto FC have signed Italy forward Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus on undisclosed terms - sportinglife.com and sportsmole.co.uk

Belgium club sides Lokeren and Mechelen are keen on Nantes 21-year-old forward Adama Niane - Footmercato.com

Leon Best has joined Brighton & Hove Albion on loan until the end of the season - skysports.com

Tottenham youngster Milos Veljkovic has joined Charlton Athletic on loan for the rest of the season - skysports.com


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cristiano Ronaldo - 2014 Ballon d'Or Winner


Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or award last night for the second consecutive year at a ceremony held in Zurich.

This was the Real Madrid forwards third Ballon d'Or (2008/2013/2014), as he topped a poll of journalists, international coaches and captains to the title of 'World's Best Player' during the calender year 2014, beating Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Ronaldo has also been runner-up on four occasions (2007/2009/2011/2012).


Ronaldo received 37.66 per cent of all votes, while Messi just pipped Manuel Neuer to second place, with 15.76 per cent compared to 15.72 per cent for Germany's World Cup-winning goalkeeper.
The remaining 30.86 per cent of the votes were split between a number of other players including: Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm and Neymar to name just a few.

Ronaldo's latest success comes on the back of 12 months during which he scored 56 goals in 51 club games for Real Madrid in all competitions, along with 21 assists. Among his 56 club goals he scored a competition-record 17 in Real Madrid's Champions League-winning campaign.
Roanaldo also made 9 appearances for the Portuguese national team, scoring 5 times with one assist.

On receiving the award on stage from guest Thierry Henry, 29 year-old Ronaldo said the following:

"I can see my mother, my family. I would like to thank all those who voted for me. My coach, my fellow player, the President of my club.
It's been an unforgettable year. To win this trophy, a trophy of this kind, is something unique and all I can say is I want to continue working as I have so far, trying to go on to more titles - individual and as a team - for my mother, my father who is up there looking at there any my son.
I want to get better as the days go by. I want to say to all the Portuguese that I never thought I could win this trophy on three different occasions. Of course it is something that is always with me, I want to become one of the greatest players of all time, and this requires a lot so I would like to thank you for all this evening. BOOM!"


Germany national manager Joachim Low won the 'Coach of the Year' award ahead of Real boss Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

The Puskas Trophy for the best goal of 2014 went to Columbia's James Rodriguez for his volleyed World Cup goal against Uruguay,
Republic of Ireland women's striker Stephanie Roche was 2nd for her ball juggle and volley for Peamount United, with Robin van Persie third in the public vote for his diving header in Holland's 5-1 win over Spain at the finals.

Wolfsburg captain Nadine Kessler added FIFA's Women's World Player of the Year trophy to the UEFA equivalent she won last year.

Ralf Kellerman also of Wolfsburg won the award FIFA Women’s Football Coach of the Year.


FIFA's World Team of the Year for 2014 was as follows:

Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Philipp Lahm (Germany/Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Brazil/PSG), David Luiz (Brazil/PSG), Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Andrés Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Ángel Di Maria (Argentina/Manchester United)
Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/Bayern Munich).


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!


The January transfer window has been open a week now, and there has been plenty of talk, but not a great deal of action!
The rumours though are hotting up as one would expect, and players including: Bony, Isco, Valdes, Bale, Berahino, Reus, Shaqiri, Vlaar, Nastasic, Lambert, Schneiderlin, Sissoko, Defoe and Evans are all in the news!

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe and North America today!

Is your club involved?

Arsenal, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Swansea City Manchester City, Manchester United, Oldham, Borussia Dortmund, Leicester City, Rijeka, Wigan, Burnley, LA Galaxy, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Tottenham, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Strømsgodset IF, PSG, Real Sociedad, AC Milan, Schalke, Hull City, Bordeaux, Atletico Madrid, West Ham, Besiktas, Porto, Southampton, Chicago Fire, Luton, Millwall, Bayer Leverkusen, Stoke and Cardiff...............are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

Arsenal are preparing an incredible £64m move for Real Madrid star Isco (right) in the hope to beat up off competition from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City - Daily Star

Real Madrid will sell Gareth Bale to Manchester United for £120m to make room for Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus, who can leave for just £20m in the summer due to a clause in his contract - Daily Express and skysports.com

Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony, is on the verge of completing a big-money move to champions Manchester City - Multiple News Sources

Ched Evans and Oldham Athletic have agreed personal terms over a potential move to Bounday Park, according to Sky sources - skysports.com

Ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes (right) is close to agreeing to join Manchester United, with the Red Devils having offered the Catalan a deal to move to Old Trafford until the summer of 2016 - Mundo Deportivo (Spanish daily sports newspaper published in Barcelona).

Leicester City have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Rijeka's 23-year-old Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric after agreeing a club-record fee of £9.7m and the Premier League strugglers are looking at a move for Burnley frontman Danny Ings - The Times, Daily Express and skysports.com

Leicester remain confident of signing mercurial Wigan Athletic attacking midfielder Shaun Maloney, despite the club having already had one offer for the Scotland international rejected in January - skysports.com

Liverpool have agreed a £10m deal to sign Bayern Munich's 23 year-old midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (right) although both Inter Milan and Stoke City have also expressed an interest in the Swiss international - Daily Star and BBC

Steven Gerrard is set to confirm his move from Liverpool to LA Galaxy in the next 24 hours - Daily Star

Tottenham are being offered West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 21, in exchange for midfielders Andros Townsend, 23, and Aaron Lennon, 27 - Daily Mirror

Crystal Palace are interested in signing Liverpoolstriker Rickie Lambert.

Newcastle United have told PSG they will have to make a mouth-watering offer to sign midfielder Moussa Sissoko - Daily Express

Manchester United are poised to increase the pressure to land Aston Villa centre-back Ron Vlaar - Daily Star

Real Madrid are on the brink of signing 16-year-old Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard (right) from Strømsgodset IF - a reported target for many of England's top clubs - after flying him to the Spanish capital in a private jet on Tuesday evening - Inside Futbol and Daily Mail

Queens Park Rangers are hoping to be able to take out-of-favour Chelsea wide man Mohamed Salah on loan until the end of the season - skysports.com

David Moyes's Real Sociedad are in advanced talks to sign 22-year-old Arsenal forward Joel Campbell - Mundo Deportivo (Spanish daily sports newspaper published in Barcelona)and Daily Express

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj is also among the targets for Real Sociedad boss David Moyes - Daily Express

AC Milan and Schalke are interested in Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic who can leave the club for £8m - skysports.com and Daily Mirror

Hull City will have to find £10.4m in wages to bring striker Jermain Defoe to the club - The Sun

Arsenal hope to land West Ham defender Winston Reid (right) for a cut-price £3m this month - The Sun

Morgan Schneiderlin could leave Southampton in the summer. Arsenal and Tottenham are interested but know they are unlikely to seal a move until the next window - Daily Star

Nathaniel Chalobah could also be leaving Chelsea on loan during the January transfer window, with Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux understood to be interested - skysports.com

Borussia Dortmund appear willing to let Manchester United sign £16m-rated midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, 24, this winter - Daily Express

West Ham are showing an interest in 27-year-old Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez - Daily Mail

Swansea City frontman Modou Barrow has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal with the Premier League club that keeps the 22-year-old Gambian at the Liberty Stadium until the summer of 2018 - skysports.com

Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul, 29, is set to quit the club after falling out of favour, with Turkish side Besiktas having made an approach - The Sun

Arsenal and Southampton will battle it out for £16m-rated Colombia midfielder Juan Quintero, 21, (right) currently at Porto - Daily Star

Chicago Fire have announced the signing of former Southampton striker Guly do Prado - Daily Mail

Luton Town are interested in striker Andrew Johnson, 33, who is a free agent after his short-term deal at Crystal Palace expired - Daily Mail and skysports.com

Stoke City are set to sign Bayer Leverkusen defender, Philipp Wollschied.
The German international is initially expected to join on loan and a deal should be done in the next 24 hours - skysports.com

Cardiff City have announced the signing of Millwall left-back Scott Malone, subject to international clearance - skysports.com