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Paulo Dybala nears Palermo exit as bidding war begins

Paulo Dybala has enjoyed a prolific season in Serie A and has attracted both Arsenal and Juventus.

Paulo Dybala has enjoyed a prolific season in Serie A and has attracted both Arsenal and Juventus.

Written by Chris Winterburn

Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4

Paulo Dybala is set to be the subject of an intense bidding war between Arsenal and Juventus with Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini claiming a sale will take place in April with Dybala’s representatives having been given permission to travel to both London and Paris to seek offers for the 21-year-old forward.

We will sell Dybala by the end of April, Pierpaolo Triulzi has the green light from me and is going to Paris and London to listen to offers, then we’ll evaluate them together.

Dybala has enjoyed a prolific season in Serie A netting thirteen goals in twenty nine appearances attracting the interest of Arsene Wenger who may eventually be put off by Palermo’s £30million asking price.

Palermo have found the crux of their business model in identifying talented young players from South America and presenting them with a pressure free environment to begin their career in Europe before selling them to a major force for a sizable profit. The names Javier Pastore and Edinson Cavani spring to mind as two of the more recent examples of Zamparini’s business model.

It is difficult to see just where Dybala would fit in at Arsenal given the wealth of attacking talent already at the club.

There is a real fear that Theo Walcott may leave the club sooner rather than later with the club’s hierarchy believed to be particularly unenthused at the prospect of dealing with the 26-year-old’s representatives in contract talks once more which would perhaps present an opening for Dybala.

The futures of Joel Campbell and Tomas Rosicky are also in doubt as we approach the summer transfer window with the Costa Rican World Cup star having been unable to impress at the Emirates before being loaned to Villarreal as part of the Gabriel Paulista transfer.

The move itself would represent a significant shift away from Arsenal’s prudent transfer policy over the past decade. Of course the London club have shown their ability to part with huge fees to attract the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez over the past two summers yet spending such a significant figure on a player with just two seasons of top-flight experience is a certain risk which doesn’t entirely fit with Arsene Wenger’s ethos.

The Frenchman has been known to take a chance of players over the course of his spell with Arsenal but never at such a sizable fee with only Francis Jeffers and Jose Antonio Reyes being expensive disappointments at the club. Wenger has often had much more success when taking players for very low fees and moulding them into first-team stars for example Alex Song and Kolo Toure.

It is believed that Juventus remains the player’s first choice with Dybala himself having publically spoken of his admiration for the Italian Serie A and its teams,

As I child I followed all championships, but always chose Italian teams on the PlayStation. I love all the championships for their diversity, but Italy remains the best choice for players from Argentina, especially because of the importance given to tactics.

AS Roma hold an interest in the player too but following last season’s expensive pursuit of Juan Iturbe it would be a surprise if the club were able to commit financially to Dybala and Palermo.

Juventus themselves may well be facing a summer of change with the club expected to reshuffle their forward line. The long pursuit of Fernando Llorente from Athletic Club has ended up being a disappointment with the Spaniard having not replicated the quality shown with the Basque club in Turin.

Carlos Tevez may also leave Juventus this summer with the former Manchester United and City striker believed to desire a return home to Argentina with former club Boca Juniors. Tevez’s contract in Turin runs until June 2016 however the Italian giants may well allow the 31-year-old to leave a year early especially given the quality he has provided in European competition with Juventus set to reach their first Champions League semi-final for over a decade.

If Juventus were to part with the £30million required to sign Dybala it could well be the deal which kick-starts the transfer market in earnest with the futures of Domenico Berardi and Simone Zaza then becoming an issue.

Berardi is currently on loan at Sassuolo from Juventus and with the 20-year-old forward having twenty six Serie A goals in his two seasons with Sassuolo it is expected the Italian champions will bring him back to the club. If Juventus were to sign Dybala then there would have to be numerous departures in the forward line to avoid a bloated squad.

Zaza on the other hand is a player who was sold to Sassuolo outright by Juventus on the condition that Juve could buy him back for £11million this summer. Zaza has enjoyed a breakthrough season with Sassuolo scoring eight league goals along with being handed his first Azzurri cap by Antonio Conte. If Dybala was signed it would make such a deal wholly unlikely and could bring Tottenham Hotspur back into play with the London club holding a strong interest in 23-year-old Zaza.

Paris Saint-Germain are a club on the periphery of the Dybala transfer saga with it seeming more likely that the player’s representatives are attempting to drum up interest from the French giants. PSG may wish to rejuvenate their forward line this summer with Zlatan Ibrahimovic approaching the end of his career and Edinson Cavani enduring a second straight difficult season in France.

However given the Financial Fair Play restrictions placed upon the club last year, they have to be very careful in monitoring their spending and with home-grown players regulations always a worry it could be the case that Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette would be their preferred option.

Palermo would welcome the cash injection from the sale of Dybala with it still as yet unclear as to whom may replace the skilful Argentine. Former Real Madrid youth prospect Alberto Bueno, now plying his trade with Rayo Vallecano, has been muted as one possible target for the Italian club who sit eleventh in Serie A, just three and four points behind Internazionale and AC Milan respectively, in their first season back in the top-flight.

Palermo may also have to contend with another departure this summer with Dybala’s partner in crime Franco Vazquez also muted to be heading towards the exit door at Renzo Barbera.

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How the game was won – Galatasaray vs Juventus

December 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Galatasaray 1 – 0 Juventus

In a game which took us back nostalgically to an era of English football from years gone by with a horrendous pitch and both side’s hopefully punting the ball from one end to the other, Galatasaray managed to qualify for the Knockout Phase of the UEFA Champions League courtesy of a Wesley Sneijder goal five minutes from time in a hectic affair at the Turk Telekom Arena.

These were the conditions as Galatasaray secured the place in the First Knockout Round.

These were the conditions as Galatasaray secured their place in the First Knockout Round.

Juventus I feel approached both the conditions and the match the better of the two sides with Antonio Conte’s men taking no risks defensively with passes back to Gianluigi Buffon. Paul Pogba sat in for Andre Pirlo once again in the holding midfield role and performed admirably bar for a couple of occasions when he was too clever for the sluggish pitch and tried a short pass too many which put Juventus into a little bit of trouble.

Roberto Mancini made one overnight change as it were, shifting his four man defensive line to three for the resumption of hostilities this afternoon, this was supposed to balance out Juventus’ three man defensive formation however it seemed to have little to no effect other than to leave Albert Riera, now positioned as a wing-back lost and out of the game completely.

Whilst it is very difficult to have any sort of game plan in conditions such as the ones seen by Istanbul over the past twenty four hours, Juventus were clever in playing a low risk style of passing when inside their own half and then when they ventured forward the fed the ball to Fernando Llorente who’s touch was exquisite for much of the games despite the difficult under foot conditions.

Galatasaray needing a win to progress into the post-Christmas stage of Europe’s premier club competition were seemingly slow to push for the result, whilst many will say this fits in with Roberto Mancini’s conservative management style it merely looked like it was taking individual players time to become accustomed to the match situation and weather.

Prior to Galatasaray’s goal it was Juventus who were creating the more meaningful chances with Semih Kaya being busy all afternoon long as Galatasaray’s main defender and the twenty two year old’s stock will have risen even further following his excellent display defensively today, his ability to contort his body to still win the ball following an adverse bobble from the pitch was evident in numerous occasions and probably kept the hosts in the match. Juventus arguably should have gone ahead just minutes prior to Sneijder’s goal through Claudio Marchisio when the Italian midfielders shot from just inside the penalty area comfortably found Muslera’s gloves following a surprisingly fluid passing move from the visitors.

In full credit to Galatasaray’s defensive display which kept them in touch with Juventus the goal came at a time when the hosts were on the back foot, a hopeful lofted pass up the field from Selcuk Inan found Didier Drogba who rose fantastically to head the ball down to Sneijder who took the ball into the box and steered it past Buffon into the bottom far corner. It was a historically English goal with the aerial pass used to perfection and it took the game beyond the Turin side with only five minutes remaining.

Antonio Conte will in all likelihood be furious, with the Italian coach seen claiming to the referee at Half-Time “It’s not football” and there is very little argument against that statement however Galatasaray’s strong defensive display was what won Roberto Mancini’s men the game this afternoon as it allowed them to remain close to Juve and always keep open the possibility of a strike late on.

Written by Chris Winterburn

Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4

 

 

Roma brought back down to earth

Serie A league leaders AS Roma were brought back down to earth last night when their perfect start to the season of ten wins in a row was put to an end by a plucky Torino side who managed to hold the Giallorossi to a 1-1 draw after an impressive performance from their wide midfielder Alessio Cerci. Cerci, a boyhood Roma fan and a former member of the AS Roma Primavera was effective all night long particularly down the right hand side of midfield mainly due to the woeful defensive display from Federico Balzaretti.

Totti and Gervinho were two key men missing for Roma's visit to Torino.

Totti and Gervinho were two key men missing for Roma’s visit to Torino.

After their midweek victory of Chievo Verona took them passed the nine straight wins at the beginning of a Serie A season record formerly set by Fabio Capello’s Juventus team in 2005-2006, Roma were determined to keep their impressive run of form going as the gap between themselves and Napoli was still just four points which is a real testament to the widespread quality in the upper echelons of the Italian top flight this season. Roma headed to Torino’s Stadio Olimpico without a number of key figures who were missing through injury, the most notable of those absentees were the attacking duo of Francesco Totti and Gervinho which forced Rudi Garcia to place Marco Borriello in the starting line-up. In a very attacking 4-3-3 system Borriello looked a bit like a lost sheep with the Italian forward being unable to stay on the same wavelength as his partners Miralem Pjanic and Alessandro Florenzi.

This was one of the greatest contributing factors to Roma’s demise yesterday evening as Garcia’s men couldn’t capitalise on their opening goal through Kevin Strootman, Borriello’s limited movement made it very easy for the Torino defensive pairing of Kamil Glik and Matteo Darmian to make him out of the game and limit his link-up with Pjanic and Florenzi.

It was a difficult first half for Roma with the hosts stifling their limited creativity with a very industrious approach to the match, with ten men behind the ball and looking to hit the visitors on the counter attack through Cerci and El Kaddouri respectively. Roma had a lot of possession in the midfield as they were afforded time to think on the ball courtesy of Torino’s game plan and the Giallorossi’s patience did eventually pay off when they got their aforementioned opening goal just before the half hour. An excellent defence splitting pass from Balzaretti set the inform Pjanic free inside the penalty area and he duly cut it back into the path of Strootman who powered past Padelli in the Torino goal.

Roma should have capitalised on this and looked for a second goal but Garcia’s charges simply didn’t have the raw creativity in the forward areas to break down the Torino backline with any great consistency. Many Roma supporters bemoaned the selection of Michael Bradley in the centre of midfield alongside Strootman and club icon Daniele De Rossi citing the American’s lack of mobility and creativity as reasons for Roma’s faltering display yesterday evening.

From the moment Roma took the lead it was as if Torino had been given a second wind so to speak, the hosts began venturing forward out of their own half and were receiving a lot more of the ball than in the previous half hour. The catalyst for this was the energetic Cerci who, after switching from the left hand side of midfield to the right midway through the first period, ran Roma ragged. The former Fiorentina man put real pressure on Balzaretti who in truth isn’t the most able player defensively at the best of times and the mistakes came. Cerci dribbled past numerous Roma defenders on several occasions near the climax of the first half and won a number of free kicks which he then went close with despite not forcing a save from the experienced Morgan De Sanctis.

If Roma’s first half performance was considered a shadow of their brilliant best then their second half display defies description.  The Giallorossi couldn’t get into the game at all, it was as if the break had killed any momentum they had. Borriello became even more isolated than in the first half and through Cerci, Torino began to take the game to Roma. A smart move down the left hand side just short of the hour mark took advantage of Maicon’s poor positioning and Torino were unfortunate not to level the match when Meggiorini’s strike forced a diving save out of De Sanctis.

Alessio Cerci, the former Roma man, was in sensational form last evening and he rescued a point for Ventura's Torino side.

Alessio Cerci, the former Roma man, was in sensational form last evening and he rescued a point for Ventura’s Torino side.

Torino’s precious equaliser was to come just four minutes after, an almost identical move to the one which led to Roma’s goal in the first half saw Meggiorini outmuscle Mehdi Benatia before cutting the ball across the face of goal where Cerci applied a near post finish. With Roma now somewhat stunned into action, Rudi Garcia immediately withdrew Borriello in place of the exciting Adem Ljajic in the hope the Serbian could inject some impetus into Roma’s performance.

Roma were still struggling to build anything like the rhythm they had displayed in their previous ten Serie A matches however they may well feel aggrieved that they did not receive a penalty ten minutes from time when Maicon broke into the Torino penalty area and appeared to be tripped however replays showed the initial contact to be outside the box and once inside Maicon in actual fact, tripped over his own feet.

The game finished 1-1 and the final ten minutes were certainly not a period of football for the ages, with Roma desperately trying to continue their perfect start to the season the visitors threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Torino but due to fatigue and the personnel on the field at the time there was never really any great threat to the Torino goal. Such was the surprise at the result the Torino side lapped up the atmosphere and celebrated a 1-1 draw with their own supporters as you would after winning a domestic cup however who can blame them? They had just matched the standout side in the Italian top flight and had lifted themselves into 12th position, a full three points away from the relegation zone.

Roma on the other hand have been brought back to earth, after seven hundred and forty three, yes 743, minutes without conceding a league goal it does appear as if Rudi Garcia’s men are human after all and with Napoli and Juventus only three points behind in second and third place respectively it will be an important period for Roma to return to form when they face Sassuolo at the Olimpico next weekend, not least because Juventus and Napoli face each other on the same weekend.

Written by Chris Winterburn

You can follow and get in touch with Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4

 

Fiorentina put themselves into difficulty over Stevan Jovetic

It seems not too long ago that we were all discussing the prospect of a three pronged race to sign Montenegro’s most valued asset, Stevan Jovetic, with Arsenal, Juventus and Manchester City all being linked with the attacking midfielder come striker. However in the month that has followed this intense speculation it appears that none of the three aforementioned clubs are still interested in the forward with Fiorentina’s asking price of thirty million Euros having priced the player out of move away from the club. Juventus opted to spend significantly less money on Carlos Tevez whilst Arsenal look to have secured a slightly cheaper deal for Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain which leaves just Manchester City who appear close to securing the signature of Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla.

Fiorentina have priced Stevan Jovetic out of the market and are now struggling to sell the Montenegrin striker.

Fiorentina have priced Stevan Jovetic out of the market and are now struggling to sell the Montenegrin striker.

It was said that the animosity between Fiorentina and Juventus was one of the reasons that the transfer failed to materialise and Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta this morning all but confirmed these reports when speaking at a press conference, “Jovetic? He was an option we went after during the summer, but due to difficult relations with Fiorentina I think at this point we are fine as we are.” It is believed that the Turin club were unwilling to try and negotiate a cheaper deal with relations as they are with the Florence club.

Whilst the three teams mentioned above having all moved on to alternative targets this does not mean that at least one of them won’t come back in for Stevan Jovetic however it will only come once Fiorentina reduce their asking price of thirty million Euros, and that looks highly unlikely at this stage. Fiorentina have as daft as it sounds put themselves into a bit of trouble by price Stevan Jovetic out of the market as the Florence club is now very close to securing an eighteen million Euros transfer for Bayern Munich hitman Mario Gomez with the funding for that transfer having been expected to come out of the profit made of Jovetic. Whilst Fiorentina are still in a position to pay for Gomez it was not at all in their plans to still have Jovetic as a player when they secure the signature of Gomez, this has been a sizeable miscalculation of the club’s part.

On the flip-side however it is relatively easy to illustrate how Mario Gomez and Stevan Jovetic could play together under Vincenzo Montella with the German being utilised as almost a target man who is given the task of holding up the ball, bringing the wider players into the attacking move before making a late run into the box himself. Jovetic would be deposited just behind Gomez in the ‘false nine’ role which has become oh so popular in recent years although it is yet to catch on as widely in Italy’s Serie A, Jovetic would use his quick, neat footwork to create space for himself and then look to play Mario Gomez into a scoring position with a clever reverse pass much like David Silva attempts to do with Edin Dzeko at Manchester City when the Bosnian is given game time.

This does not take into account one Giuseppe Rossi who is rapidly approaching full fitness after recovering from a longstanding anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained during his time with Villarreal.  The Italian signed on with Fiorentina last January for around ten million Euros with the club even then preparing for the summer departure of Jovetic and it was hoped within the club that Rossi and Gomez would go onto forge a partnership where Rossi dropped ever so slightly behind Gomez not quite as an attacking midfield but a second striker feeding off the knockdowns provided by Gomez, Stevan Jovetic was not considered as part of Fiorentina when this plan was conjured up.

According to goal.com, football agent Eugenio Ascari has urged Stevan Jovetic to try and make peace with his current employers as quickly as possible, as it seems as if the Montenegrin forward will be spending another year in Serie A with the Viola, ” I see too many obstacles at this time to see Jovetic join Juve, so now if I were him I would try to fix the relationship with Fiorentina.” This is something that I feel may unattainable with the supporters of Fiorentina having already turned against Jovetic with the majority of their anger being vented towards Jovetic’s desire to leave a club he deems beneath him. Fiorentina supporters responded to this by producing a banner which stated that no single player was bigger than the club and any who thinks so should leave. This difficult situation created both by Jovetic’s open desire to leave the club and Fiorentina’s miscalculation on the Montenegrins’ price has led to a situation where the club needs to sell Jovetic and Jovetic needs to leave the club yet they are struggling to find a buyer.

Fiorentina amidst the controversy surrounding Stevan Jovetic’s protracted move away from Stadio Artemio Franchi have in the past forty eight hours stated that there had been an increased interest in Jovetic from a number of other clubs across Europe however I expect some embellishing of the facts has gone on in this statement with the likelihood being that if a club was seriously interested in Jovetic and was willing to pay a reasonable fee, they would be able to secure a deal for Jovetic quite quickly with all parties looking for the same outcome now.

We may well see Juventus or even Manchester City come back in for Jovetic with a mammoth offer we just can’t rule that out however, it is more than likely that we may not. Fiorentina wanted to assert themselves as the controllers of negotiations by putting such a high asking price upon the shoulders of Stevan Jovetic and it has now backfired on them with the club needing the get the player off the books in order to make room for new signings. Fiorentina’s stubbornness has put the club into a difficult position and it could well lead to them losing Jovetic for far less than what Arsenal, Juventus and Manchester City were original prepared to pay in the first instance.

Written by Chris Winterburn

Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4

The Brazilian centre-half England’s top clubs need

With the Premier League being criticized for its lack of defensive cohesion and strength by all media quarters in the past twelve months, along with the Premier League’s dismal performances in Europe’s premier competition, the Champions League, it is widely expected that the clubs in question will go in search of defensive reinforcements in the summer transfer window. As a result of this there has been many names banded around as potential solutions to the defensive woes in the Premier League however one candidate stands head and shoulders above the rest, not just in terms of his sheer size standing at 6ft 4in but also in terms of his defensive ability, and this man is none other than Vasco da Gama’s Dede.Dede is widely expected to leave the club he joined in 2009 this summer after the club’s general director Cristiano Koehler stated it was likely the player would be sold to Europe in the next transfer window in order to raise funds for the club. This news then sparked a wave of interest from Europe’s elite such as Juventus and AC Milan with both of the Italian giants looking for yet another defensive lynchpin, however it is the widespread interest from the Premier League that has caught the eye with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United having all according to rumours from South America, expressed their interest in the twenty four year old centre half.

Dede has been voted the best centre half in the domestic Brazilian league’s and it is this form that has earned him several call ups to the Selecao with Vasco’s number twenty six making his international debut in September 2012 in an 8-0 victory over China. Dede famed for his physical strength and aerial ability would offer a welcome relief to Premier League defences which have found themselves undone by both the trick technical footballers of continental Europe and the physical centre forward play of the domestic game.

Dede, a defender in demand

Dede, a defender in demand

Dede is under contract at Vasco until December of 2015 so there is still a long time before Vasco are forced to sell in order to recoup the players worth however with the financial situation at Sao Januario has been the topic of heavy discussion in recent weeks with it being speculated that stars such as Dede, Carlos Alberto and Wendel may need to offloaded in order to balance the books. The obvious big money would undoubtedly come from England with Juventus and AC Milan unable to replicate such spending with Italian football in somewhat of a period of reconstruction with many of Italy’s top club sides looking to youth rather than signing and indeed keeping older players on monumental contracts with a prime example of this being the breaking down of Internazionale’s European Cup winning team in order to secure the long term sustainable future of the club.

There are several options available to Dede to inspect and eventually take up in the Premier League with all members of the current top four arguably in need of defensive strengthening with Liverpool and Arsenal also interested following the departure of Jamie Carragher and indifferent form of Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen who may well make a summer move to FC Barcelona following twelve months of interest.

Manchester United

Whilst Manchester United have only excelled themselves this season with twenty five wins out of their first thirty league matches there has still been a lot of talk about defensive frailties at Old Trafford. There can be no getting away from the fact last season United were caught out in Europe through defensive and tactical errors which has to a degree been corrected this season however there has still been a sizeably high proportion of sloppy goals being given away by the league leaders and this has been a cause for concern to Sir Alex. With Rio Ferdinand still yet to sign a new deal at the club with his current contract expiring in the summer as well as the long term worries with regards to Nemanja Vidic’s fitness, Sir Alex may decide to take a financial hit on signing Dede in order to give his defence, stability, leadership and most of all strength as the Scot looks to build yet another European Cup winning team.

Manchester City

With Joleon Lescott falling out of favour with Roberto Mancini this season it is expected he will leave the club this summer along with Kolo Toure and even Vincent Kompany who has been attracting Tito Vilanova’s Barcelona with his performances over the past twenty four months. With Matija Nastasic having impressed immensely in his debut season at Eastlands it wouldn’t be farfetched to imagine a central defensive pairing of Dede and Nastasic leading City to another title and more importantly a more successful European campaign following two consecutive seasons of disaster in the European Cup. Dede does have very similar attributes to Kompany both in physical and footballing terms and in my mind would be an obvious replacement for the Belgian should he leave. Finally Manchester City would have no problems with the players wage demands or transfer fee with Financial Fair Play being at the back of their mind following the expulsion of Malaga from the next four Champions League tournaments.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham whilst being accused of being short in the forward areas this season with Gareth Bale providing much of their impetus in the final third since Christmas, can have absolutely no complaints about their defensive form this year. Yes they have let in soft goals at times but the introduction of Jan Vertonghen into the side has been seamless whilst the performances of Caulker and Dawson in the latter stages of the season have been encouraging. However Caulker has shown glimpses of inexperience this season and maybe an addition of Dede to the Spurs first team will help aid Caulker’s development with an eye for him and Dede to be Spurs’ defensive partnership of the future with Vertonghen able to take the role of left back or even a place in midfield. However this deal seems the most unlikely with Daniel Levy more than likely unwilling to pay Dede’s high salary and a high transfer fee, especially with the summer’s business focus being on attacking additions with Leandro Damiao in mind for yet another transfer window.

Arsenal

Arsenal have long been noted for their defensive fragility, probably since the days of the invincible with Wenger’s men being known to shy away from aerial battles and crumble under well exerted pressure. Wenger following a seventh straight year without a trophy will be more determined than ever to sort out these problems with Wojciech Szczesny having already had the dye cast on his Arsenal career following a relegation to Arsenal’s Under 21 side this week. The performances of Arsenal’s centre halves in the recent North London derby against Spurs showed weakness in terms of pace and reading of the game with both Spurs’ first half goals coming from a poorly organised and slow Arsenal backline being punished by pace and quick thinking. The performances of Thomas Vermaelen have disappointed supporters largely this season with the Belgian having failed to produce good performances on a regular basis and having been at fault for a number of goals this season, it is expected that if a good enough offer comes in from Barcelona Vermaelen may be allowed to depart the club without much opposition. This would open the door for Dede who would offer the Arsenal backline a significant increase in pace and strength and could help Per Mertesacker a lot with his ability to cover just behind. As with Spurs however the financial aspect of this deal may well put Wenger off especially with Champions League qualification being in serious doubt for the first time in years.

Liverpool

Liverpool are the club to have registered the most noticeable interest in Dede of late with Brazilian media carrying stories that Dede was destined for an Anfield move this summer and this comes as no surprise with Liverpool’s defensive record in recent seasons much less than admirable. For a long time now I think it has been shown just how far off a top quality central defender Martin Skrtel is whilst Daniel Agger is a good solid centre half, nothing more and the goals conceded by Liverpool particular against teams in and around the lower echelons of the table highlight real defensive frailties. With Jamie Carragher being brought back into the side with regularity post Christmas this season by Brendan Rodgers is appears the former Swansea boss may well have lost faith with Skrtel and with Carragher retiring at the end of this campaign Liverpool will be in the market for defensive reinforcements. Dede’s quality having been proven in a very competitive Brazilian top division over the last four years will no doubt excite Liverpool fans who would be looking forward to having a presence as towering and tough to beat as Dede at the heart of their backline however the crux of this deal hinges on Liverpool’s table finish this season. The higher up the table they go the more money they receive and can spend on transfers, with Liverpool unlikely to qualify for the Champions League next season they will have to offer a little higher salary than other clubs in order to tempt players and with FSG saying there isn’t a lot of money to play with any potential deal for Dede may be protracted and drawn out across the summer which would be good for nobody.

With Dede continuing to impress for Brazil and Vasco it is expected fans of clubs in Europe will get a firsthand look at Dede in this summer’s Confederations Cup in Brazil with fans of a certain few English teams getting a glimpse of what may be their star central defender next season.

Written by Chris Winterburn who you can follow on Twitter @Chriswin4 or contact at cwin1994@live.co.uk