Wednesday Kickoff: Arsenal agree Khedira fee; Allegri appointed Juventus coach; and more

SamiKhediraGermany2-BrazilWorldCup2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Arsene Wenger is closer than ever to shoring up his team’s weak point in defensive midfield.

According to a report in Spanish newspaper Marca, Arsenal have agreed a transfer fee of €25 million for Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira, who just helped win Germany a World Cup title. All that’s remaining, according to the report, is Khedira agreeing personal terms with Arsenal. Khedira is heading into the final year of his contract in Madrid and talks to extend the deal with Khedira’s agent recently broke down.

Khedira missed most of last season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in November, but returned in time to help lead Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League final and then feature for Germany at the World Cup. The 27-year-old would join German international teammates Mesut Özil, Per Mertesacker, and Lukas Podolski at Arsenal if he joined.

Khedira would also be the club’s fourth signing of the summer, after the big-money move for Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez was confirmed last week and deals for Mathieu Debuchy and Javier Manquillo are set to be confirmed any day now.

Here are some more stories to start your Wednesday:

JUVENTUS NAME ALLEGRI NEW MANAGER

Less than a day after Antonio Conte’s surprising resignation, Juventus found themselves a replacement.

Juventus confirmed on Wednesday morning that they’ve appointed former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri to be their new head coach, and introduced him at a press conference before beginning their preseason training.

“For me it is an honour to be called as coach of Juventus,” Allegri told reporters at a press conference, via Goal.com. “I am content and happy to coach Juventus. Today and tomorrow I begin my work. I am at the club’s disposal. I know this is an important role. Juventus have won the Scudetto for three straight years, I am here to continue to winning with this team.

“I am lucky because for four years I had the fortune to coach Milan, and now I have the opportunity to coach another big team like Juventus. It is an honor and I want to keep winning. We will fight for the Scudetto until the bitter end. In Europe we have a duty to put in a big showing in the Champions League.”

Allegri was the manager of Milan from the 2010/2011 season through last January, when he was sacked midway through the season as the team hovered around the middle of the table. Allegri’s replacement at Milan, Clarence Seedorf, couldn’t turn the club’s fortunes around either and he was fired at the end of the season.

CHELSEA AGREE LUIS TRANSFER

Chelsea’s long-rumored plan to sign three Atletico Madrid players looks to be complete.

After bringing back goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from his loan and signing forward Diego Costa to a five-year contract, Chelsea confirmed on Wednesday that they’ve agreed on a transfer fee for left back Filipe Luis, with a physical and an agreement of personal terms all thats holding the transfer from being completed.

The 28-year-old Brazilian defender was a key player for Atletico since joining the club in 2010, making 180 appearances for the red and white in all competitions. Luis was listed as an alternate for Brazil’s World Cup squad, surprising many in Spain after he helped lead Atleti to a La Liga title and place in the UEFA Champions League final.

NAVAS COULD JOIN REAL MADRID

Keylor Navas could make history in the next few days.

Navas is on the verge of becoming the first Costa Rican to join Real Madrid, as the Spanish giants have agreed with Levante to pay Navas’ buy-out clause of €10 million, according to a report in Spanish paper Marca. The report states that €8 million will go to the club and €2 million will go to Navas himself.

The move now is subject to starting goalkeeper Diego Lopez leaving the club, who reportedly has interest from Napoli and AS Monaco.

QUICK KICKS

AS Roma has stunned Italy as they’ve seemingly convinced Argentine Juan Manuel Iturbe to join the Giallorossi from Hellas Verona for a fee of €31 million. (REPORT)

Mario Balotelli has been included in AC Milan’s squad for their preseason tour in the USA. (REPORT)

Barcelona have agreed to send Cristian Tello on a two-season paid loan to FC Porto, with an option to buy. (REPORT)

Chelsea forward Demba Ba is closing in on a move to Turkish side Besiktas. (REPORT)

Man United are expected to submit a transfer bid of £10 million for Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen, after a £6 million bid was rejected. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Where does Arsenal stand in the title race if they sign Khedira? Do you believe Allegri can succeed at Juventus? Do you see Filipe Luis settling in well in England?

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Arsenal agree Khedira fee; Allegri appointed Juventus coach; and more

  1. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Goo business for Arsenal so far. They’re still a bit light at the back, but I like their moves thus far.

    • Jay says:

      I really think they have made good signings. Going forward they are going to be a beast but defending is still a 50/50.

  2. Mark says:

    Having a real holding midfielders for Arsenal will be huge. Arteta gives his all, but he’s not a true holding mid. Having some combination of Flamini, Kedhira, Wilshere and Ramsey will provide a lot of grit, can screen the defense, and also contribute quite a bit going forward.

    Positive stuff from Wenger…

  3. Disco Stu says:

    Gunners going to contend for title!!

    • Petedela says:

      ….whisper it.

    • Raymon says:

      And I assume you mean a real (1st place) title of some sort, not the 4th place made up trophy that Wenger bragged about until last year.
      I agree, the moves look good. Attack is going to be even more potent, if everyone stays healthy. Walcott’s pace, Ozil and Ramsey’s quality, Wilshere and Ox work rate, Alexis to finish, Giroud now competing for his spot.
      The back still looks holey. Although Mertesacker is slow, he has a really good partnership with Koscielny. The rest, not so sure. I wish they couldve kept Sagna.

  4. reignman says:

    This deal with Khedira still needs quite a bit of work for Arsenal supposedly, they dont seem willing to meet his wage demands (he wants to be highest paid at Arsenal). I like Khedira a lot but I think Schneiderlein would have been a better for them honestly.

  5. Dirk McQuigley says:

    Pro Soccer Talk is reporting Matt Besler has received bids from both Fulham and Sunderland. In total, nine English clubs and one German club are seeking the central defender’s services.

    Besler is said to be in close contact with JK.

    IMO moving to a championship side would be a mistake. He needs regular playing time. It would definitely make Sunderland interesting if he joins them. He instantly makes their defense better. IMO they need a quality holding midfielder as well. Jozy, when he played never got good service. He was always playing with his back to goal and laying off. He rarely received the service necessary to score goals

    • Real says:

      …and then there were the missed sitters

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Fulham had a bad defensive year that led to what happened. They scored more goals than teams around them in the standings. They’d been up for almost 15 years. He could be the solution to their issue and they go right back up. It’s also London and not Sunderland, and there is a lengthy history with Americans doing well there (McBride, Dempsey).

      Sunderland has been a yo-yo team that hasn’t exactly put Altidore on a pedestal.

      I’d definitely sign someplace where he will play as opposed to the highest dollar offer.

      • Alex H says:

        Besler is 27 so his time is NOW. He needs to go for the biggest paycheck and if it is a tie go for the most prestigious club. It is too late for him to “pay his dues” in Europe. Nor should he, because whereas many high priced big name defenders utterly disgraced themselves in the WC, Besler had a great tournament and showed that he can run with the big boys. Anything less than good money with a top division club would be an insult.

      • apw says:

        To be honest Fulham don’t need another left footed center back at the moment. Hangeland was cut in part to open the spot for Dan Burn to start every game. Plus we still have Fernando Amorebieta on the books and he might start as well, although he is one of the higher wage earners and I expect him to leave because he is one high wages and I don’t think he’ll stay in the Championship. Plus Fulham have been pushing youth and have a few strong center-backs coming through in the U-21 an U-18 setup

  6. winne da poo says:

    So i guess its safe to say Casillas’s starting career at Madrid is over. Where will he go??

    • Spectra says:

      Casillas barely played last year outside of Cup games. His time has waned over the past two seasons.

    • bryan says:

      pretty much. before the Navas move was complete, Real was making it sound like both Casillas and Lopez would actually leave. now it sounds like they will all battle for the starting spot.

  7. bryan says:

    bummed to lose out on Khedira. looks like Illara is about to get a lot more playing time. this also helps clear up some room for Casemiro. unless, of course, Real end up getting Pogba.