Chelsea ‘agree deal to sign Atletico ace’: Chelsea have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa for a whopping £50 million, according to the Metro. The paper suggests Brazilian-born Spaniard will link up with the Blues on June 30, just weeks after the two sides meet in the Champions League semi-finals. The reported fee will equal the sum Chelsea splashed out on Fernando Torres in 2011, though Jose Mourinho will be hoping Costa reaches levels that Torres has been unable to at Stamford Bridge. The former Liverpool striker, along with the rest of Chelsea’s forwards this season, has struggled in front of goal, which has forced Mourinho to look elsewhere ahead of the summer transfer window.
Paper round’s view: Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his need to acquire the services of a world class striker, and, on current form, Diego Costa fits that bill perfectly. The forward, who will represent Spain at the World Cup this summer, has netted on 32 occasions for Atletico this year – catapulting them to the top of La Liga and into the Champions League last-four. Costa suffered a horror injury in Atletico’s 2-0 win over Getafe on Sunday evening but should recover sufficiently to face Chelsea in the crucial European clash on April 22, and an impressive performance against Mourinho’s men may just confirm the Portuguese boss’ desire to splash the cash.
- - -
Eriksen ‘hints at Spurs exit’: Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen has hinted that he may leave White Hart Lane in the summer following the North London club’s disappointing campaign, a report in the Express reveals. Eriksen has been one of only a few shining lights for Spurs this season, and, despite revealing that he is content with life in England, has admitted that he could be dreaming of bigger and better things. "I'm incredibly happy that they [Spurs] seem happy with me. I am very glad that they like what they see. Of course I have a dream and a secret plan in my head. But I keep it to myself. Right now I live in the moment and enjoy the success I have,” the Dane said.
Paper round’s view: Eriksen joined Spurs from Ajax for a cut-price £11 million last summer and has looked every bit worth that fee. The 22-year-old previously admitted that he would like to stay with Tottenham beyond the current campaign, despite their shortcomings in the league, though it now appears he may have had a change of heart. Much speculation has surrounded Spurs boss Tim Sherwood’s future at the club, with the likes of Louis van Gaal linked with a move to Spurs in the summer. If Sherwood stays then you can’t help but feel that Eriksen would be off, but if they are able to bring in a world class manager then the Dane could be persuaded to stay.
- - -
Tottenham ‘want Ben Foster to replace Hugo Lloris’: According to the Mirror, Tottenham are planning a summer move for West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster to replace Hugo Lloris, who is expected to join PSG. Spurs’ current stopper Lloris has proved just why the North London club splashed out £8 million – rising to £12m – last summer, with a string of fine performances in what has become a relatively disappointing season at White Hart Lane. The Frenchman is rated as one of the best keepers in world football, and has been linked with French champions PSG for some time. If Lloris does leave for greener pastures then Spurs are believed to want to bring in former England stopper Ben Foster, who has also had an excellent campaign, despite his West Brom side flirting with relegation.
Paper round’s view: It looks almost certain that Lloris will be heading for the exit at White Hart Lane. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Tottenham will qualify for the Champions League as they currently sit two places and six points behind fourth-placed Everton with four games to go. Ben Foster has had a standout campaign in between the sticks at the Hawthorns, but, if Spurs want to progress further, then it comes as a surprise that they’re not after a more ‘high-profile’ signing. Foster failed to cut it at Manchester United and has been unable to hold down a regular spot for his country, but a chance at the big time once again could be just what the 31-year-old needs.
- - -
Ferdinand ‘to leave United in summer’: According to the Daily Mail, Rio Ferdinand has insisted that he would love to continue playing at the heart of Manchester United’s defence, but could be set for a summer exit as his contract comes to an end. There has been much talk surrounding Ferdinand’s United future – with reports suggesting that he could be set to retire in the summer – but the 35-year-old has revealed that he wants to continue playing for the club that he joined in 2002. “I want to continue playing - that’s the aim. The legs haven’t given way yet. Whether that’s at Manchester United or somewhere else depends on what the club want to do,” Ferdinand said.
Paper round’s view: Ferdinand has suffered a number of injuries this season, and in what has been a truly dismal campaign for the Red Devils, United boss David Moyes is yet to figure out his strongest defensive pairing. United have toiled in the Premier League, and the ‘older generation’ at Old Trafford – that includes the likes of Ferdinand and Giggs – have come under some real criticism, leading to speculation that the former England captain would hang up his boots. With Nemanja Vidic joining Inter Milan in the summer, it could be time for a complete squad overhaul at Old Trafford, with Ferdinand leading the way.
- Sports & Recreation
- Diego Costa
- Jose Mourinho
- Atletico Madrid
- Christian Eriksen
- Ben Foster
- Rio Ferdinand