With the start of the European soccer leagues just around the corner, Silly Season is in full bloom as teams to try improve their squads for the upcoming season. Here are some of the latest transfers and rumors from the world of soccer.
Bayern Munich has signed Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal from Juventus. Vidal will replace Bastian Schweinsteiger, who left Munich for Manchester United earlier in the summer. Vidal, 28, has been a key member of Juventus for many years and won four straight Serie A titles with the team. He will now join the German champions and add to already stacked team that include central midfielders like Thiago, Xabi Alonso and Javier Martinez.
Bayern reportedly paid close to $44 million for the Chilean international that was part of the Copa America winning side this summer. Vidal, who has 69 caps for the Chilean national team, has signed a four-year contract with the Bavarian club.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) July 28, 2015
Olympique Marseille has signed former Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby, the club revealed on Twitter on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Frenchman is returning home after spending nine years in England with Arsenal after his contract expired earlier in the summer.
Diaby played 180 games for the Gunners during his time in London, but the last two seasons were marred by injuries and he only featured in two games. There are no details yet about the length of the contract.
— Olympique Marseille (@OM_Officiel) July 28, 2015
According to Spanish outlet Sport.es, Arsenal are interested in Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets. The rumors are that manager Arsene Wenger sees Busquets as an upgrade on the defensive midfield over Francis Coquelin.
Arsenal haven’t made any major signings so far this summer and rumors are still floating around that they are also interested in Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. Wenger is said to have handed over a shortlist to the board of potential transfer targets with Busquets at the top of that list.
The Daily Mail reports that Liverpool are willing to sell Mario Balotelli after just one season. The 24-year-old Italian striker struggled in his first year with Liverpool, scoring just a single goal in 16 league matches. Sampdoria is reportedly interested in acquiring the former Inter and AC Milan star, but are unwilling to pay the asking price of around $11 million.
Liverpool bought Balotelli from AC Milan for close to $25 million last summer. With the signings of Christian Benteke, Firmino and Danny Ings, Liverpool clearly feel that Balotelli is expendable. Sampdoria finished seventh last season in the Serie A and club president Massimo Ferrero has reportedly said that he would welcome Balotelli with opens arms for a lower fee.
There have been rumors floating around this summer about West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino. The 21-year-old English striker with Burundian roots scored 20 goals for WBA last season in all competitions, including 14 in the Premier League. Tottenham has been rumored to have put in a bid for Berahino, something that clearly ticked someone off, as WBA took to Twitter to release the following statement:
Ok, this is getting silly now. So let us make it clear. There has been NO bid for Saido. That's it. Carry on everyone #wba
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBAFCofficial) July 28, 2015
The Daily Express reports that Newcastle are preparing a bid for Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin. The 26-year-old forward scored 18 league goals for QPR last season, but the team wasn’t able to avoid relegation. QPR are believed to want around $23.5 million for Austin, but the Daily Express writes that Newcastle is putting in a bid around $20.5 million with hopes that it will be enough.
Newcastle have already signed a striker this summer in Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Austin would be a great addition for a team that struggled in the goalscoring department last season. Newcastle scored 40 goals in 38 league games last season while allowing 63.
Montreal Impact has made a deal for Ivory Coast and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba. The now 37-year-old striker was traded from the Chicago Fire to Montreal and will join his new team as soon as his Canadian work permit has been granted. Drogba brings a ton of experience with him as Montreal tries to climb the standings in the MLS’ Eastern Conference.
— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) July 27, 2015