Ibrahimovic rejoins old club AC Milan / Real Madrid to sign Brazilian teen prodigy Reinier
A very frenetic month is on the cards for clubs all over UK and Europe with transfer deals heading for a January 31 deadline. One of the most interesting among them revolves around Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. For the 38-year old striker, regarded as one of the best in his generation, it’s been one big globe-hopping ride during the past decade starting from Serie A club AC Milan in 2010 to Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, LA Galaxy and now back to Italy where he was ten years ago. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who started his career with Swedish club Malmo in 1996, was signed over by AC Milan from American club La Galaxy on a free transfer that will last till the end of the 2019-20 season with an option of staying over for an additional year.
“Ibra” as he is affectionally called lost no time in making his mark at Milan, scoring his opening goal in a 2-0 win over Cagliari last Saturday. AC Milan who are currently struggling in the 8th place in the Serie A are also close to signing 30-year old Danish centre-back Simon Kjaer from Bergamo-based Serie A club Atalanta, having fallen out of favour with head coach Gian Piero Gasperini. Meanwhile ace Juventus forward Paulo Dybala is all set to sign a new contract with the Turin-based and Serie A giant that will see the 26-year old Argentine stay with his current club till 2024. Dybala who has been around for Juve since 2015, scoring 87 goal from 205 outings for the club, will enjoy a salary hike to around €10 million (£8.5m/$11m) per year. This puts an end to speculation surrounding his rumoured move to Manchester United late last year.
Meanwhile, back in England, speculation is once again rife about Sporting Lisbon and Portuguese forward Bruno Fernandes moving to Manchester United. Fernandes was frantically pursued by United last year but the deal fell through. The player’s representatives met with United chief executives Ed Woodward and Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas recently and it is believed the Red Devils are keen to strike a £55 million deal for the 25-year old. Names like mid-fielders James Maddison (Leicester City) and Donny van de Beek (Ajax) are now also being linked to the club as the management at Old Trafford and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer go on the offensive in search of top young talent. Wolves’ Mexican star Raul Jimenez is also believed to be under the United radar. Meanwhile the futures of French international star Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are in a limbo at United as there seems to be no takers for the two anywhere round the horizon.
Another Portuguese name doing the rounds is Benfica’s Gedson Fernandes.The 21-year-old midfielder is said to have been offered to Tottenham Hotspur by Jorge Mendes, the agent who has old links to Jose Mourinho. Spurs have stolen a march over West Ham in the race to finalise an 18-month loan for Fernandes. Spurs boss Mourinho is reportedly trying to hold onto an out-of-form Christian Eriksen who will be permitted to leave the club on a free transfer in the summer.
Fresh news emanating from Stamford Bridge suggests that the Chelsea management have approached Napoli for the services of their prime striker, Belgian international, Dries Mertens. Mertens’ contract with Napoli where he has spent seven seasons, ends in June this year and the Belgian ace has so far been unable to agree a new deal with the club’s chairman Aurelio de Laurentiis. The Blues are facing intense competition from Inter Milan’s Antion Conte (Ex-Chelsea coach) in their bid for the 33-year old striker.
Back in Spain, Real Madrid are believed to have made significant progress in their pursuit of Flamengo teenager Reinier. Los Blancos have agreed to pay €30million ($33 million) to the Brazilian champions and World Club runners-up for the 17-year old.
Reinier passed his medical prior to signing his new contract with Real which lasts until 2026 but the Spanish giants are waiting for him to turn eighteen on January 19 to complete the move because at this age he will align with FIFA rules allowing the free movement of professional football players.
Rumour has it that Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo has been frantically pursued by Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. The Bavarian outfit is in need of a right-back as they are planning to use the current player in that position, Joshua Kimmich, in a more advanced role and the 26-year-old Portuguese back fits the bill perfectly.