Celtic lose Matthews, but bid for Ciftci
SPL champions Celtic have sold Welsh international full-back Adam Matthews to Sunderland for £2million. The 23-year-old right-back has signed a four-year contract with the Black Cats, after spending four years with the Hoops.
Matthews joined Celtic in 2011 from home-town club Cardiff and went on to make 100 appearances for the Glasgow giants. During his time with the Hoops he picked-up four SPL title winning medals.
The full-back, who has 12 caps for Wales, had just a year left on his contract and was reportedly keen to chance his hand in the Premier League.
Meanwhile while Matthews leaves Parkhead, the Hoops are attempting to secure the signature of Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci. Ronny Delia’s men have already seen an offer of around £900,000 turned down by the Terrors.
The Turkish-born striker impressed last season scoring 16 goals and his club have accepted an offer from Championship Wigan for the 23-year-old. However, it appears that Ciftci has turned down a move to the third tier of English football and is flattered by the interest from Celtic.
It is believed that Dundee United are willing to sell the striker, but are not willing to sell him for any less than £1.5million.
The SPL champions will be hoping to add Ciftci to the summer signings of Dedryck Boyata and Sandy Janko ahead of their Champions League qualifier against Stjarnan next Wednesday.
Celtic’s arch-rivals Rangers have strengthened their goalkeeping options by signing Wes Foderingham on a free transfer, after the 24-year-olds contract with Swindon expired. The former-Fulham ‘keeper has signed a four-year deal at Ibrox.
Elsewhere Dundee have completed the signing of midfielder Nick Ross from Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The 23-year-old has moved to Dundee as a free agent and will be looking to hold down a regular first team place at Dens Park, something he could not manage at the cup holders last season.
Another player to leave Inverness is striker Marley Watkins, who has joined Barnsley on a two-year contract after turning a new deal in the Highlands. The 24-year-old scored nine goals last season, including the opening goal in Inverness’ 2-1 Scottish Cup final win over Falkirk.
There is better news for the Scottish Cup winners though with 22-year-old defender Danny Devine agreeing terms on a new one-year deal with Caley.
Hamilton have completed the free transfer of Northern Irish midfielder Chris Turner from Dumbarton. The 28-year-old had previously enjoyed spells with the likes of Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and Dundalk.
Kilmarnock have followed-up the re-signing of striker Kris Boyd by signing another former-Rangers player in full-back Steven Smith. The 29-year-old has agreed a three-year deal with Killie after his contract with Rangers expired.
Motherwell have strengthened their squad with the signings of striker Lewis Moult and defender Louis Lang. Moult has arrived from Welsh club Wrexham for an undisclosed fee, while Laing has joined on a permanent basis from Nottingham Forest, after spending time at Fir Park on-loan last season.
The transfer window is officially open and it is now time for clubs all over Europe to look at strengthening their squads. Premier League clubs are already busy doing just that.
One of the clubs looking to strengthen their squad is Tottenham. Spurs currently have a fight on their hands to sign Atletico Madrid centre-back Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian centre-back was on-loan at Southampton last season and the Saints want to sign the former-Ajax defender on permanent deal, with a £6.8million fee agreed prior to the loan switch.
However, it seems the player has yet to decide on his next move. Atletico will have to pay Southampton £1.5million to buy the defender out of the previous agreement and have yet to do so. That means if Atletico sell to another club then the club from the south coast may take legal action against Los Rojiblancos.
In a less complicated deal Tottenham midfielder Etienne Capoue has joined newly-promoted Watford for a club-record fee believed to be around £6million. The France international has signed a four-year deal with the Hornets. Fellow Spurs midfielder Benjamin Stambouli is also being linked with a move to Vicarage Road.
One midfielder who will not be appearing in the Premier League next season is Portuguese international Nani, after the 28-year-old completed a move to Turkish giants Fenerbahce for a reported fee of around £4.5million. The winger has signed a three-year-deal with the club from the Turkish capital.
According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United could be set to make a big money bid for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. The 24-year-old is highly-rated and has already attracted an official bid from Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg.
Newcastle have yet to strengthen their squad since former-England boss Steve McClaren took over as boss last month. However, the Magpies are expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer.
Liverpool’s Italian striker Fabio Borini could be set for a return to his homeland with various reports claiming that the Reds have accepted an undisclosed offer for the forward from Lazio. The 24-year-old has struggled to establish himself as first regular at Anfield since his 2012 arrival from Roma.
Another forward who is being linked with a move is Barcelona’s Pedro. The Spanish international’s representatives have reportedly opened talks with Premier League Arsenal. The 27-year-old struggled for first team football last season with the European champions, as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar scored over 120 goals between them.
It seems the big guns are out to sign Stoke ‘keeper Asmir Begovic this summer. Premier League champions Chelsea were being linked with a bid for the Bosnian and now Manchester United are reported to be looking at signing the 28-year-old.
United may need a new ‘keeper as their current number one David de Gea is still being linked with a move away from the club. Spanish giants Real Madrid are also still the favourites to sign the former-Atletico Madrid star. However, it seems that the Spanish club are not willing to meet United’s valuation of the ‘keeper.
It is that time of the year again, when newspaper reporters get bored and start making up stories. Some of these stories have some truth in them and some not so much. Here I will look at some of the stories that might just happen this summer.
One of the longest running sagas of the summer is likely to be Petr Cech’s ‘will he won’t he join Arsenal’. The Czech Republic international looks set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, but boss Jose Mourinho doesn’t want him to leave for rivals Arsenal.
Jose just can’t seem to let go of the veteran ‘keeper. The fact that he could strengthen a main title rival is probably the main reason for the former-Real Madrid bosses’ reluctant to let him leave for north London.
The noises coming out of both clubs and in the media seem to suggest that this deal will happen, but agreeing a fee may delay it while.
Somebody that Mourinho is reported to want at the Bridge next season is Cameron midfielder Alex Song. Recent reports suggest that the Blues are set to rival Manchester City for the £5million signing of the Barcelona midfielder.
The defensive midfielder spent last season on-loan at Premier League West Ham, where he impressed in the first half of the season, before in keeping with the rest of his team his form went down the pan.
Song would no doubt be a decent squad player for Chelsea and City and fits into the suddenly important ‘home-grown’ category, because of his spell at Arsenal in the early part of his career. West Ham are also interested in signing Song on a permanent basis, but would be entering a gun fight with a knife by competing with City and Chelsea.
Elsewhere, Liverpool are believed to be eying up Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca, after reportedly being put off by the £32.5million clause in Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke’s contract.
Bacca is currently away at the Copa America with Colombia, but is unlikely to feature again after having a fracas with Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar.
At club level he was pretty effective at finding the net for Sevilla last season, scoring 21 times as the Andalusians retained the Europa League trophy and finished fifth in La Liga. Bacca may prove pricey at £21.5million though, especially for a player who will be 29 in September.
The Spanish club have already insisted that they are not interested in selling Bacca and that any interested club would have to activate the clause in the striker’s contract.
Manchester United also look set to do their shopping on the continent this summer, as the Red Devils are being linked with a swoop for Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Sky Sports are claiming that the 30-year-old is on United boss Louis van Gaal’s summer wishlist. Schweinsteiger started just 15 games in the Bundesliga for the Bavarians in an injury-hit campaign. United are believed to be looking at bringing in a new central midfielder to add numbers and quality to their engine room.
Will Petr Cech join Arsenal in the near future?