Afternoon Ticker: Torres’ Chelsea switch in doubt, EPL duo eye Balotelli and more

Fernando Torres 1 (Getty Images)  

By FRANCO PANIZO

While Fernando Torres' international career reached a new milestone as Spain won the World Cup on Sunday, his situation at the club level took a hit after he picked up an injury against the Netherlands.

Torres suffered a hamstring knock in the waning moments of the World Cup final and is expected to miss the first month of Premier League season. That situation makes it unlikely that Torres will be able to transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea for a deal that was expected to be worth 50 million euros.

Torres had recently recovered from a knee injury to partake in Spain's World Cup run.

Here are some more stories from Monday:

Balotelli pursued by Manchester clubs

Mario Balotelli's agent has claimed that both Manchester City and Manchester United are interested in signing the Inter Milan striker. Inter has said it does not want to sell Balotelli, but the 19-year-old is flattered by the Premier League duo's interest in him and could make a move.

Dzeko wants move to bigger club

Wolfsburg forward Edin Dzeko has reiterated his desire to move to a bigger club and not because of financial reasons. Dzeko wants to switch teams this summer so as to be able to further his career by winning championships. 

Dzeko has been strongly linked with Manchester City, but Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has also said he hopes his club can sign the Bosnian forward.

Celtic signs Ledley

Celtic improved its depth in the midfield with the signing of free agent Welsh midfielder Joe Ledley, who played for Cardiff City last season. Ledley signed with the club on a four-year deal and will join his new teammates for the club's pre-season tour of North America. He is Celtic's third signing this summer, joining defenders Charlie Mulgrew and Cha Du-ri.

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What do you think of Torres staying at Liverpool? Should Balotelli move to either Manchester club or stay with Inter? How do you see Ledley faring with Celtic?

Share your thoughts below.

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35 Responses to Afternoon Ticker: Torres’ Chelsea switch in doubt, EPL duo eye Balotelli and more

  1. Carter says:

    I think Balotelli would fit in at City, as a United fan I’m not all that keen on his move to the red side of Manchester. The guy has skill, but temperament and team unity are huge in winning titles and I think that with his antics and whatnot he would take away from the team, not add to it.

  2. Aiden says:

    he’s young. he needs a disciplinarian.

  3. Kosh says:

    Balotelli and SAF? I would like to see how that would work. It could work, but I would like to see it.

  4. Mcjoness says:

    Any news on Dempsey->Milan?

  5. RK says:

    This had just not been Torres’ year, on a personal level.

  6. David says:

    Have to admit I am disappointed in the lack of any transfer news on US players. I know there we a couple Dempsey rumours but that is really it?

    With regard to Torres, since he is made out of glass why would he transfer to another EPL club? And why would they pay so much for him…

  7. BetaMale says:

    If you think about it, most of the stars who played in the EPL this season fizzled out at the World Cup. Do they play more games in England than in other countries like Spain, Germany, etc? I don’t think they do.

    Is it the physicality of the league?

  8. BetaMale says:

    I never understood why so many people said Donovan was as good as gone. He loves it in LA and from what I understand, he will just be doing the loan thing after the Galaxy season is over, like he did last season.

  9. OmarVizquel says:

    His goal rate is huge (when he plays) and he’s highly marketable and a great guy in the clubhouse.

    But yes, he’s injured a lot (frustratingly, almost always while on national team duty).

  10. Erik says:

    Why is Manchester City linked to every player on the planet? I hate that team…

    Also, who in their right mind would even want Balotelli the hot head?

  11. Erik says:

    That’s because US players aren’t that good… they are good players who fit into certain teams but Donovan isn’t worth 10+ million as a 28 year old to most teams…

    Everton also announced they are not targeting ANY players who played in the World Cup.

  12. RK says:

    Now that the World Cup has ended, we should be hearing more (such as Henry, and what is going on with Jozy).

  13. David says:

    Yeah, I know he is one of the best when he plays and any team would want him but I can’t imagine paying 50 mil for a player that is likely to play half a season next year again.

    Would be a great bit of business for Liverpool though.

  14. Boston Tim says:

    haha simple, concise, and true +1

  15. David says:

    To be honest I am not even talking about Donovan. I too am not convinced he will ever leave MLS and it certainly won’t be until the winter. I am more wondering about Bradley, Jozy, Boca, Demerit, etc.

  16. K Bone says:

    Spain and Italy both play the same number of league games, but I believe Germany only has 18 teams as opposed to 20, so they do play less games. England has two cups, I don’t know if any other league does. I wouldn’t think a few games extra would be that detrimental though, but EPL players in general had a poor World Cup, that’s for sure…

  17. K Bone says:

    It really will be interesting to see what happens to City this season. They will have some great players, but where will they fit, and how can Mancini possibly keep them happy? They already have Tevez, Adebayor, Santa Cruz, and Bellamy, and they want at least one more striker, if not more. In midfield they bought Silva, Yaya, and more than likely Milner, and they already have a ton of midfielders. Defense is the main area they need better players, and I feel that is the area they aren’t looking at. Doesn’t really seem like they have a plan for this, they just want as many “world class” players as they can get, either to help out the team, or prevent other clubs from getting them. That is one of my main issues with City…

  18. patrick says:

    he’s a fantastic talent, and in the case of Man Utd, SAF has a tendency of taking on young egotistic wingers and making them into world class players, see Ronaldo, Cristiano

  19. Erik says:

    Fair point David,

    Jozy needs a home for sure. Marseille is the last I heard?

  20. Erik says:

    Yeah but Ronaldo didn’t p off their own fans during games…

  21. Louis says:

    Sir Alex has a history of being able to handle hotheads and big egos; Eric Cantona and Roy Keane ring any bells? If anyone can get Balotelli to reach his potential it is him. The boy clearly has talent.

  22. Brad says:

    What do you really expect? The USA crop of players from this WC have already transferred to europe before the WC, many of which get good playing time.

  23. war says:

    UTD can’t handle Balotelli. City is better given they still need forwards. Tevez and Ade for a whole season is a bit short.

  24. patrick says:

    because he wasn’t playing at 19, he was training and being groomed by SAF

  25. Rory D says:

    I agree. I’m a United fan as well and I have no desired to see Balotelli suit up for them. I follow Serie A closely, and aside from his temperament (which is a big problem), he is second only to Bendtner in the “Unjustified Inflated Ego” category.

  26. Josh D says:

    City aren’t anywhere near controlling egos and they already have enough as it is. Reason Madrid failed and Chelsea struggled before and a bit after Jose – egos are tough to control and you throw too many in (England) and you get a big bomb.

    Fergie is known for his man managing skills more so than his tactics. He’d be able to handle him – or man enough to give him the boot if it fails!

  27. Cha Du Ri – the Chris Albright of South Korea.

  28. David says:

    Beasley and Demerit are out of contract so they are definitely going somewhere. Jozy has never seemed likely to return to Villareal. Boca was rumoured to be leaving Rennes since last winter. Bradley seemed to catch a lot of eyes and a move seemed possible. I doubt Feilhaber is sticking with his team since they were relgated no?

  29. jonk says:

    Germany also has the winter break.

  30. Erik says:

    He wasn’t?…

  31. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Sorry but 10 million for a Donovan is a steal when you consider the inflated transfer prices of today… he is also one of the fittest 28s you will ever see…

    An impact starting winger in the Prem or La Liga with marketing too boot… 10 million is peanuts

    Also I think MLS want 12 for him..

  32. Brian says:

    Aarhus got relegated so Benny will definitely be on the move. Haven’t really heard any possible destinations yet.

    Beasley will be moving too. Both Rangers and Damarcus have said that they are going their separate ways. Haven’t really heard any serious rumors besides teams in the Netherlands being interested.

    As for Jay DeMerit, Watford’s manager said that they are not in position financially to offer Jay a new contract. I’ve heard Leeds, Blackpool and Sheffield United as well as teams in the German Bundesliga as possible destinations.

    Haven’t heard a whole about Carlos Bocanegra. Last I heard was in the spring that St. Etienne were interested in him.

    Only rumor I heard about Jozy was that Ajax were interested. That and coming back to Villarreal.

    For Michael Bradley I’ve heard Fulham, Everton, and Birmingham City were interested. I don’t think the Arsenal rumor is serious. It’s probably just a Big Soccer pipe dream creation

  33. Oliver Kiel says:

    Fernando Torres = Samson

    He shouldn’t have cut his hair.

  34. Alpha Male says:

    Doubtful.

    In general, the big stars in Europe do play a lot of games ( and the EPL guys don’t get the winter break)no matterwhat league they are in but you have to remember that with the real mega guys ( Messi, CR9, Rooney etc.,) besides the games and injuries they also have a very full “extra curricular” schedule.

    Some guys, like Beckham, handle that stuff pretty well and others, like CRonaldo, seem to really be burning the candle at both ends and it is showing. Given the fleeting opportunities these guys have to make the big money you can’t blame them.

    Most of the English players were either hurt or overrated anyway. All their CB’s were rendered useless by age or injury. Dempsey played an EPL schedule and did quite well in the Cup but he was injured and out for a few months. So that may have been a blessing in disguise for the USMNT.