Nicolas Anelka looks set for a sensational return to the Premier League. The Daily Mail reported today that London rivals West Ham, QPR and Tottenham are battling for the striker’s signature. The Frenchman only signed for Shanghai Shenhua in January from Chelsea but has not experienced the most joyful of times since leaving Stamford Bridge.
The paper suggests that much of the potential transfer depends on what, if any, transfer fee the Chinese Super League side ask for, but suggestions that Anelka could be available for free will be sure to alert the more financially astute managers. In recent weeks there has been much speculation that the 33-year-old would attract former strike partner Didier Drogba to Shanghai, as of yet that deal has failed to materialize.
The agent of Bologna playmaker Gaston Ramirez has suggested that Manchester City are not the only side interested in signing the player. The London Evening Standard are today reporting that the 21-year-old Uruguayan is wanted by numerous clubs, the Premier League champions being one of them. This report comes on the same day that the Daily Mail claim Tottenham are in the hunt for Ramirez should Van Der Vaart leave for Schalke this summer.
Ramirez has played 58 times for Bologna since arriving in 2010, scoring 12 times. He is yet to find the net at international level but has played 9 games for his country. Valued at £15 million, the midfielder only signed a contract extension this season, extending his deal until 2016.
Tottenham Hotspurs are closing in on a deal for highly rated Ajax defender, Jan Vertonghen. It was expected that Spurs’ cruel Champions League denial – thanks to London rival Chelsea’s shoot-out win over Bayern Munich last weekend – would derail the Belgium international’s move to the North London Premier League entertainers, especially in the wake of rumoured interest from friendly neighbours, Arsenal, who achieved Champions League qualification through their third place finish. However, recent quotes from the 25 year old suggest explicitly the opposite – in that he wishes Daniel Levy and co would get a move on and agree a fee with the Dutch champions.
‘I am aware of Arsenal’s interest, but that is not an option I am thinking about,’ the Mail Online reported him saying, prior to Belgium’s friendly with Montenegro.
‘I will wait for Tottenham and Ajax to sort things out, and what happened in Munich makes no difference. It might affect Tottenham’s budget, but it doesn’t change my mind about joining them.’
The news will come as a welcome boost to the Tottenham faithful, who’s Champions League ommision dealt them a particularly harrowing blow, even by their standards as a perennially unfortunate team. Injuries throughout the season to all four centre backs, Ledley King, Michael Dawson, William Gallas and Younes Kaboul, presented Harry Redknapp with a constant defensive headache and prevented his ability to establish a secure partnership at the back. Tottenham are looking for a long term replacement for injury-ridden Ledley King and it seems Vertonghen fits the bill. Having captained Ajax’s championship winning side this season, the young Belgium star was named the 2012 Dutch Player of the Year and is widely reputed as having a promising future in the game.