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.
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)
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.