Thursday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Agudelo to Stoke, David Luiz to Barcelona
Stoke City have their eye on yet another American import, as New England forward Juan Agudelo could join three USMNT players already at the Britannia Stadium. Agudelo, 20, has scored five goals in 11 games this season, but the former New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA striker could certainly do with a fresh start. He impressed Celtic whilst on trial last year, nothing came of that, but Mark Hughes has monitored Agudelo for quite some time. With Agudelo’s pace and eye for goal, the young US national team star could get his career back on track in the Premier League. If Stoke offer MLS a good deal, it would be wrong of them to stand in Agudelo’s way. He could play on the last shoulder of defenders and use his pace to great effect in Stoke’s direct style of play. Intriguing to see this one play out.
Barcelona are apparently making a “last ditch” attempt to sign Chelsea’s David Luiz. The 26-year-old Brazilian defender has been a long-term target for the Catalan club and with their defensive options thin on the ground, new manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino has made Luiz his top target according to this report. A deal of $60 million has been offered for Luiz, and it should force Chelsea to seriously consider selling the eccentric central defender. Luiz is a top quality player, but with Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic already at Chelsea and John Terry sniffing around, do the Blues really need four top quality center backs?
Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro have apparently accepted a $32 million offer from Shakhtar Donetsk for Bernard. But the player is said to be unsure about a move to the Ukraine. Arsenal and Porto are the other frontrunners for the 20-year-old Brazilian international, with Arsenal particularly keen to add the youngster to their ranks. But with Donetsk having a fine record in elevating Brazilian stars on the European stage and offering almost guaranteed Champions League soccer each season, money talks. But if Arsenal make a similar bid for the diminutive attacker, surely Bernard would head to the Emirates? They play his style of quick, possession based soccer and he would be playing in one of the world’s best leagues ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
Fulham are closing in on Sunderland’s former captain Lee Cattermole. The fiery midfielder is no longer needed at the Stadium of Light and Martin Jol could snap up the 25-year-old midfielder. Injured for most of last season, Cattermole’s influence in the Black Cats engine room was severely missed. However new manager Paolo Di Canio doesn’t seem to have Cattermole in his plans, and Fulham could pick up the combative player for just $4.5 million. An absolute bargain for an experienced Premier League midfielder who cleans up the space in front of the back four superbly. He would add an extra bite to Fulham’s midfield as the Cottagers aim to kick on after a stagnate 2012-13 season.
Diego Lugano is set to talk with West Bromwich Albion this week, as the 32-year-old Uruguayan captain is surplus to requirements at Paris Saint-Germain. Lugano could be available for a paltry sum of $1.5 million and would add extra competition to West Brom’s central defenders. He can also slot in at full back and his vast experience at World Cups and in European competition would help Steve Clarke’s men try to step up to the next level. This could be another shrewd signing by the Baggies as they add experience and quality.