F365's Summer Transfer Guide (Part Two)

The return of Aquilani could be Liverpool's best 'signing' of the summer, United won't be splashing the cash and City need a new centre-back. You can read part one here...

Last Updated: 06/07/12 at 11:14 Post Comment

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What they need: Players who can slot seamlessly into Brendan Rodgers' football philosophy.

In many ways, the return of Alberto Aquilani could be one of the most important deals of the summer for Liverpool, with the Italian's composure in possession suitable for Rodgers' plans. Swansea's Joe Allen is an obvious transfer rumour, while 27-year-old Steven Davis offers value after rejecting a new contract at Rangers. The departure of Dirk Kuyt - and the fact that the club scored fewer goals than relegated Blackburn last season - also puts a new striker on the shopping list, with Demba Ba's release clause still waiting to be activated.

What they're likely to get: Following the lavish and somewhat foolish fees FSG have splurged in the last 18 months, Rodgers will have limited funds to spend this summer, highlighted by the club's refusal to enter a wage war with Spurs over Gylfi Sigurdsson. A move for Allen would make sense (a tempting offer would negate any gentleman's agreement), with the midfielder an impressive exponent of the new manager's system at Swansea, while Scott Sinclair could offer trickery on the wing. Liverpool can't attract top talent without Champions League football, so approaching Europe's current elite for possible loan deals could be a sound option. Barcelona's speedy winger Cristian Tello has been mentioned.

What's been said? Brendan Rodgers: "For me it will take a bit of time to introduce how I want to play and the philosophy I want to introduce. I believe there is still a bit of work to do in maybe getting three or four key players in, to allow us play that way. We talked finances. The reality is that I'm not going to have the money that was spent in the last year or so. But, at the same time, there's going to be money there to make a difference."


What they need: A new centre-back, perhaps more width, and a replacement for Edin Dzeko should the striker leave for Juventus or Bayern Munich, as reported.

The pursuit of Eden Hazard indicates that Roberto Mancini wants to sign a new winger ahead of the big kick-off, with Adam Johnson possibly set to depart after failing to convince the manager of his worth. Robin van Persie would suit a wide role in a 4-2-3-1 system and Martin Skrtel and Fabricio Coloccini have been suggested as defensive targets.

What they're likely to get: Although Mancini has confirmed his interest in Van Persie, the club won't break the bank for a player with just one year left on his contract. Indeed, City's owners appear keen to adhere to the Financial Fair Play restrictions, with reports that Mancini will need to trim his squad in order to bring in new faces. If the manager achieves that aim, stellar names such as Edinson Cavani, Javi Martinez and Karim Benzema are among the list of rumoured targets.

What's been said? Roberto Mancini: "I think if there is a good player who wants to leave a club, then we are interested. I think Van Persie at this moment is one of the best strikers in Europe with Messi, Ronaldo, Sergio (Aguero) and Mario. But if this player wants to stay, we don't have any problem. In my opinion, Van Persie will stay at Arsenal."


What they need: After missing out on the title on goal difference last season United are expected to challenge again this campaign. However, the continued reliance on Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, and the failure of squad players, such as Anderson, to command a first-team place necessitates new faces at Old Trafford. Shinji Kagawa will make an impact and Nick Powell continues the building with youth policy, but Sir Alex Ferguson could benefit from having an additional experienced central midfielder in the squad. He'll probably sign a winger, though.

What they're likely to get: The recent admission in the club's share issue that they are struggling to compete suggests that it will be yet another thrifty summer for United, outwith the Kagawa deal. Ferguson has spent more than £3million on a player aged 27 or over on only three occasions in the last 15 years and will stay loyal to his self-inflicted policy. Angelo Henriquez is an exciting prospect who looks set to join the club from Universidad de Chile, but a £30million bid for Porto's James Rodriguez is a pipe dream.

What's been said? Sir Alex Ferguson: "We're working on one or two things but there's nothing really to tell you to be honest. When you don't get deals done immediately and you're negotiating with a club over a long period, then you can't expect to just snap your fingers and get it done."


What they need: Despite Mike Williamson deputising admirably for the injured Steven Taylor last season, Newcastle still require an extra centre-back. The Magpies have also been scouting full-backs with Mathieu Debuchy the subject of much speculation. A new striker is needed to provide competition following Leon Best's departure, and the club will be wary that Demba Ba's release clause could be activated at any stage over the coming weeks.

What they're likely to get: A deal for Debuchy appears to be close, and the France right-back would represent significant value for money at around £8million. However, the club have turned their attention away from Luuk de Jong after Twente rejected an offer of around £10million and chief scout Graham Carr, who was recently awarded a new eight-year contract, will be asked to come up with a suitable alternative. Vernon Anita and Raul Garcia are two talented midfield options and Alan Pardew will strengthen his squad wisely in time for the start of the season.

What's been said? Graham Carr: "Mike (Ashley) has committed himself to the club and there will be money available to buy players. As we speak we are in the market for players to improve the squad."


What they need: Quality acquisitions to avoid 'second-season syndrome'.

Chris Hughton is a capable replacement for Paul Lambert, but Norwich will be fearful of treading the familiar path of promoted teams - such as Hull and Reading in recent seasons - and suffering relegation in their second campaign back in the top flight. To avoid this nightmare scenario, Hughton will have to maximise the potential of his limited transfer budget, and using a portion of the funds to pay for Grant Holt's contract extension was a shrewd start. Jacob Butterfield is a talented prospect, but Norwich require a few older heads with proven Premier League experience.

What they're likely to get: The Canaries should follow up the capture of Steven Whittaker with a contract offer to the defender's former teammate at Rangers, Steven Davis. Robert Snodgrass has been linked with a move to join the Leeds escapees, but lacks the pace to have a significant impact in the Premier League. Come the end of August Norwich's squad will certainly have grown, but not necessarily in quality.

What's been said? Chris Hughton: "I am still assessing what we already have, but will have no fear of bringing in players to make sure we have the quality to continue to compete and have the competition in the squad which we need."

Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.

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