He sure does look happy to be a professional soccer player. Definitely not considering retirement, and someone definitely worth dropping €28 million and Benzema for.
Try saying that headline three times fast. Seriously. It might be the most worthwhile part of this post, because, honestly, all I've got for you right now is some wild speculation. Some of it might be true; most of it is probably just the gossip rags trying to drum up interest--but here it is nonetheless (after the jump though).
Before we begin with the round up, keep your ears open for our next Managing Madrid podcast: I'll be co-hosting with Allen Dodson of Villarreal USA, SBN's Villarreal Blog. Should be really exciting!
So now for the list of semi-random Real Madrid transfer rumors that are swirling around right now:
- According to CaughtOffisde, Arsenal is planning a £13 million bid for Esteban Granero. This has a ring of truth to it, especially considering Arsenal are on pace to lose both of their creative center midfield options in Cesc (to Barcelona, inevitably), and Samir Nasri (to someone, apparently). If this actually goes through, it would be sad, but not too devastating for los blancos, as we're pretty stacked at that position. Still, el pirata is a really great player, and fills in really well in the Xabi Alonso role. Can't they just take Fernando Gago instead?
- In actual (good) Gago news, he's apparently being targeted by the Italian side Napoli. WOOO HOOO!
- Sergio Canales wants out, apparently, but not just on loan. Evidently, he didn't get enough playing time last year (shocking). As with most impressive young talent, many, many, many clubs have asked about him (not shocking). And Madrid really don't want to let him go long-term (even less shocking).
- Lass Diarra will not travel with the team to Los Angeles for pre-season training, according to various sources. There have been several reasons theorized--his choice, Mourinho's choice, Florentino's choice--but they all ultimately boil down to the fact that he wants out. And for good reason: with exciting new acquisitions like Sahin and Altintop vying for playing time in his position, the talented defensive midfielder will struggle to find consistent minutes on Mourinho's side.
- In perhaps the weirdest turn, the English tabloid The Daily Mirror has decided that Real Madrid's NUMBER 1 SUMMER TARGET is ... Carlos Tévez, for a cool £35 million (or, conversely, according to MARCA, €28 million plus Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuaín). What? Isn't this the same guy who said he was considering retirement because "It's very hard to play football when you're unhappy." And Madrid is going to drop how much?
Which scenario would disturb you more
Real Madrid gives up €28 million and Benzema for Carlos Tévez (9 votes)
José Mourinho quits (16 votes)
Real Madrid gives up €50 millon for Cesc, who promptly re-injures his knee (6 votes)
Real Madrid gives up €45 million and Eto'o for Zlatan Ibrahimovic (8 votes)
39 total votes