Transfer Insider: Chelsea to sell Bakayoko amid Arsenal and Man United interest, Balotelli offered to West Ham, Pogba to Real Madrid latest

10 Jul

talkSPORT has heard the latest on all the biggest transfer news and gossip, including Diego Costa’s proposed move to Wolves and Chinese interest in Gareth Bale.

Mark Langdon, the European football expert, joined the Sports Bar on Tuesday night to round-up and cast his opinion on all the latest rumours.

You can read his thoughts below…

Diego Costa has been linked with a shock return to the Premier League
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“If you get the Bakayoko from Chelsea then he’s not someone you’d want, but this was a player who impressed at Monaco alongside Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy; he looked a top talent when he was there.

“And I though he did okay during his loan spell in Milan.

“If you look at his career as a whole, and just take out that one bad year at Chelsea, I think there’s a decent player in there.

Bakayoko earned positive reviews for his performances with Milan last season
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“I wouldn’t be surprised if he left Chelsea.

“I don’t think they’ll sell many [with their transfer ban], but there is no point keeping all those midfielders; they are well stocked there with Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to come back from injury.

“If you want to make room for someone like Mason Mount you can’t have too many players in that position, so that might be one they are prepared to do.”


“There is a link there already with Jorge Mendes working on behalf of both parties.

“I would imagine Atletico would quite like to get rid of Costa; he hasn’t fulfilled what they hoped he would have done when he went back there.

“I think he’s available. Possibly [a move to] China as well, as Jorge Mendes likes to get a few out there.

“It’s one to keep an eye on, and I wouldn’t be amazed if he came back to the Premier League.”


“He has [been offered to West Ham].

“If you get him right for a short period of time he can come in and have an impact, as we saw at Marseille. But even then there are still red cards and issues with him, and he doesn’t stay anywhere for long.

“You just can’t rely on him for a whole season – that is the problem.

“I would say no deal. That is the kind of deal West Ham would do, but I’m hoping they have more sense.”

Balotelli has been offered to West Ham on a free transfer as they hunt for a new striker
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“He’s running out his contract at Juventus – he’s still got a year left – and Juventus are slightly concerned.

“As far as Kean is concerned, he wants minutes and it’s difficult at Juventus. They’re trying to buy [Mauro] Icardi, and they’ve already got Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic, so he’s just wondering where he fits in to Maurizio Sarri’s way of playing.

“You’ve also got the fact Ajax are interested in him as well, but they wouldn’t be able to afford him at all. But he could be used as a makeweight in the Matthijs de Ligt deal.

“The problem with trying to buy him Kean is that Juventus are after a buy-back clause. Real Madrid have done this very successfully, and I’m not sure anyone will agree to it because you can make a player better and then the one time parent club just buys them back below market value.

“I’m not sure Juventus actually want to lose him, but I really like him a lot. I think he’s a fabulous young talent.”


Gareth Bale is available, everybody knows that. I don’t see him going to China; I’d be amazed if he went there despite the money on offer.

“Pogba has said he wants to leave but Real Madrid need to raise funds.

“James Rodriguez is definitely one they can sell with a fair bit of interest in him, and very strong interest from Napoli in particular. Atletico Madrid are also potential runners for James, so that is a more likely route for Real Madrid to make money than Bale to China.

“I think Real will sell James and a few others to get Pogba.

Pogbas agent, Mino Raiola, has confirmed the midfielder wants to leave Man United this summer
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“I see Bale leaving, but I have absolutely no idea where he will go. He can’t surely sit out a whole season at Madrid – Zidane won’t play him and won’t put him in the squad.

“I just think it’s one of those that when we get right close to the end of the window something will be created because Bale can’t waste a year.”


“Malcom is someone who has failed to deliver at Barcelona. He would say he doesn’t get many opportunities, while Barcelona would say that when he has been given the chance he hasn’t overly looked like a Barcelona player.

“They probably shouldn’t have bought him in the first place. He was on his way to Roma and was snatched by Barca with his mum already on the way to Roma airport to meet Malcom – but he ended up in Barcelona instead.

“I think Malcom is available, but it will be a congested list of teams after him.”


“He earns decent money at Arsenal – everybody seems to be on decent wages – but he is definitely available, there is no doubt about that.

“There’s been interest quite clearly from a few teams; I think Bordeaux are at the head of the queue.

“Obviously Arsenal need to raise funds and Elneny won’t get in their first-team, so I would say there is a fair chance [of him leaving].”

Transfer news: Harry Maguire to snub Manchester United in order to play for City boss Pep Guardiola – reports

20 Jun

Manchester City have edged ahead of rivals United in the race to sign Harry Maguire, according to reports.

However, the same report suggests the Citizens are reluctant to pay the £80million fee Leicester City are demanding.

Pep Guardiola has apparently swayed Harry Maguire’s thinking

Last summer, Jose Mourinho was desperate to add the England international to his squad after his stellar performances at the World Cup in Russia.

But Maguire remained loyal to the Foxes after they signed him for £17m from relegated Hull City in the summer of 2017.

According to the Daily Mirror, City are now in pole position to whisk him away from the King Power Stadium because he wants to play for Pep Guardiola.

Reports earlier this month suggested United were set to make a move for the centre-half in order to address their woeful defensive record.

Maguire has enjoyed an exceptional rise to the top

Lats season, the Red Devils conceded 54 goals from 38 games – their highest total in 40 years.

But a lack of Champions League football and the uncertainty surrounding Oe Gunnar Solskjaer and Paul Pogba is doing little to attract star quality names.

Daniel James from Swansea has already been signed, with Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka likely to follow soon.

Arsenal fan Darren Bent admits choosing Tottenham Hotspur over West Ham United in 2007 was ‘easy’

17 Mar

Darren Bent admitted it was ‘easy’ to reject West Ham United for Tottenham Hotspur, despite being an Arsenal fan.

In 2007 after relegation to the Championship with Charlton Athletic, the striker was seemingly on his way to Upton Park after the Addicks accepted a bid for their star asset.

Darren Bent left Charlton for Tottenham for a club-record £16.5million in 2007

However, Bent instead went to rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a club-record fee of £16.5milion in June 2007.

Speaking on Goals on Sunday, the former England international revealed he felt Spurs were in a better place than the Hammers at the time.

He said: “I was kind of torn at the time because I was going to West Ham funnily enough.

“I had been to meet Alan Curbishely, come back from holiday. Obviously I knew Alan Curbishley really well after he had taken me from Ipswich to Charlton.

Bent celebrates scoring against the Hammers in 2008

“But obviously I ended up going to Spurs because I felt Spurs were going in the right direction, they’d finished fifth.

“I was competing with some top strikers there; Berbatov, Defoe and Keane.”

Although he scored 25 goals in 79 appearances for the north Londoners, Bent was sold to Sunderland in 2009.

And, despite his childhood allegiances to rivals Arsenal, the former Ipswich and Derby striker admitted he did not have any regrets following his two years at White Hart Lane.

“No, not really because Spurs are a massive club,” he added. “Yeah I was an Arsenal fan, but you’re talking about yor career and playing for a massive football club.

“At the end, the decision was pretty easy to be fair and for my own development I wanted to go there and develop and compete with them kind of guys.

“Keane, Berbatov and Defoe – it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Hibernian confirm signing of former Manchester United, West Ham and Birmingham City defender Jonathon Spector

15 Mar

Jonathon Spector has signed for Hibernian on a deal until the end of the season.

The former Manchester United, West Ham and Birmingham City defender is a full international for the United States and will provide cover at right-back and centre back.

Spector celebrates scoring for West Ham against Man United in 2010

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom said on the club’s website: “Jonathan offers experience, quality and versatility in an area where we haven’t had much cover recently.

“He’s made a great impression on everyone since he arrived and it’s easy to see why he’s had the career he’s had.

“We look forward to having him as an option when we’re back from the international break.”

Hibs are sixth in the Scottish Premiership, five points behind Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

Spector said: “I’m excited to be here. With the MLS season finishing I’ve been off for a little bit but I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now and it’s been a great transition period to get used to everything.

“I understand the expectations of the manager and I was able to get a feel for the club having gone to a couple of the home matches.”

Manchester United transfer news: Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar and Joachim Andersen lined up for summer moves – reports

7 Feb

Manchester United are preparing three huge defensive signings for the summer, despite not having a permanent boss.

According to reports; Serie A superstars Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar and Joachim Andersen are on the summer shopping list for the Red Devils.

Skriniar and Koulibaly could be partners at Old Trafford next season

While caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in contention to take over the job full-time in the summer, no decision has been made with regards to appointing a permanent manager.

But, according to the Manchester Evening News, the new boss could well have three new defenders to ingratiate into his squad.

Napoli enforcer Koulibaly was linked with a move to Old Trafford throughout 2018 and it is believed he would be open to a switch.

However, as Jose Mourinho found out during his time in charge of the Red Devils, a bid of around £80million would reportedly be required to bring him to the Premier League.

22-year-old Andersen challenges Edin Dzeko for the ball

Inter Milan centre back Skriniar is a wanted man across Europe, with chief executive Ed Woodward looking to steal a march on the competition.

And 22-year-old Andersen of Sampdoria is impressing with his assured performances in Serie A.

In the summer, the club tried and failed to bring in a marquee centre-half, with moves for Diego Godin, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire all falling through.

Tottenham Hotspur transfer news: West Ham striker Andy Carroll NOT on club’s shortlist to replace Harry Kane

22 Jan

Andy Carroll is NOT a target for Tottenham Hotspur in this transfer window, according to reports.

Sources on Sunday night suggested the north Londoners were looking to compete a £2million deal for the West Ham United striker.

Carroll is out of contract in the summer

Spurs’ worst fears were realised when Harry Kane was ruled out until March with an ankle ligament injury.

And, despite the apparent need to delve into the winter transfer market, Sky Sports are claiming the 30-year-old is not on the club’s shortlist.

Heung-Min Son is currently on international duty with South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup.

In Son’s and Kane’s respective absences, Fernando Llorente lead the line against Fulham on Sunday. But the 33-year-old seemed devoid of ideas on his own – turning the ball into his own net for Fulham’s opener.

Janssen has failed to set the Premier League alight thus far in his career.

Vincent Janssen missed out on a place on the bench altogether, with Mauricio Pochettino preferring to hand 20-year-old Kaaiah Sterling a place on the bench instead.

The Netherlands international is available for sale this month after failing to convince the Argentine he is worthy of a starring role.

And, despite comig off the bench to claim an assist for Harry Winks’ winner, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou is also available for transfer.

Leonardo Bonucci reveals he rejected transfer offers from Manchester United and Manchester City to be at Juventus

22 Oct

Leonardo Bonucci has revealed he declined the opportunity to sign for both Manchester City and Manchester United in order to be at Juventus.

The Italy international left the Old Lady in 2017 to play for AC Milan, but decided to move back to his former side after just one season.

Bouncci wanted to go home, so rejected a move to Man United

However, Jose Mourinho also made an unsuccessful offer to sign the centre-half in the summer and rivals City have also tried in 2016.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the 31-year-old said: “Basically there have been some possibilities both with Manchester City and with Manchester United.

“With Manchester City when I received that offer [in 2016] I actually talked to the club, I talked to Juventus and we decided that it was good for me to stay and to keep on winning with Juventus.

“And this year when I was told there was a possibility to go back home, to come back to Juventus I just stopped listening to any other offers and I decided to come back here.”

Asked to clarify if there had been interest from the Red Devils this summer, he replied: “Yes.”

When asked if there was any chance of him completing the move after Juve made their interest clear, he said: “No. I feel at home. Here I really do my best, I just push myself to the maximum and that’s something at Milan I really didn’t manage.

“I didn’t succeed to achieve and that was probably because in my heart I had already made the decision that I wanted to go back home.

“The decision was not made until June but it’s true that I had this feeling inside me. So when my agent told me there was a tangible opportunity to go back I just stopped listening to anyone telling me what to do.

Ronaldo arrived at Juve in the same transfer window as the 31-year-old

“I stopped listening to any kind of suggestion and I just said: ‘OK, let’s go home.’”

Bonucci is expected to line up against the Red Devils when Juventus face United at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo is also expected to make his return to Manchester after having his suspension limited to just one game after being sent off against Valencia in his European debut for Juve.

Real Madrid make Tottenham Hotspur star Christian Eriksen No.1 transfer target ahead of ahead of Eden Hazard – reports

10 Oct

Real Madrid have made Tottenham Hotspur star Christian Eriksen their ‘number one transfer target’, according to reports in Spain.

Although Los Blancos reportedly have had their eye on Spurs teammate Harry Kane in the past, it seems as though Eriksen is now their main priority.

Eriksen celebrates scoring at the San Siro last month

The Denmark international has been in excellent form for Spurs so far this season, scoring once in eight appearances and he continues to be closely monitored by Europe’s biggest clubs.

The 26-year-old has been linked with Barcelona in the past, but continually pledged his long-term future to Spurs.

Spurs are bracing themselves for renewed interest in their star midfielder next summer and Real Madrid are reportedly plotting their move.

According to Cadena Cope, The Bernabeu giants have made Eriksen top end of season target, in a bid to beat Barca to his signature.

The news will be greatly received in west London, with Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard recently declaring he is still interested in signing for the Champions League holders.

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has been on scintillating form this season.

However, it is understood Real see Eriksen asa more realistic target.

Eriksen joined Spurs from Dutch club Ajax in the summer of 2013 and has scored 57 goals in 232 appearances since, while winning 83 caps for Denmark.