West Ham dealt blow as AC Milan join chase for midfielder – report

West Ham loanee Alex Song has been linked with a summer move to AC Milan as they look to replace Nigel De Jong, who is expected to leave the Italian club in the summer.

Song, currently on loan from FC Barcelona, is with the Hammers for the season and the Premier League side are keen on making his move permanent.

However, AC Milan and Inter Milan are also interested in the Cameroon international, with Inter looking to Song as a potential backup option, should their pursuit of Yaya Toure fall short.

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Song is favourite to join AC Milan in the summer, according to the Daily Mail, as De Jong looks set to leave on a free after rejecting a new contract and is wanted by Manchester United.

Song, who joined Barcelona in the summer of 2012 for a reported fee of £15 million, has played 27 times for West Ham in the Premier League this season and has been a great asset to the side this campaign.

West Ham’s recent form has seen them drop out of the race for European football but they can still see their season as successful and signing Song on a permanent basis would also be huge for the East London club.

Should West Ham look to tie down Alex Song on a permanent basis? Would AC Milan be a better move for the former Arsenal man?

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Tottenham favourites to sign Barca wonder kid – report

Tottenham are reported to be heading the list of suitors for Spanish Under 21 international Sandro Ramirez, although Newcastle United and Stoke City have also reportedly shown an interest, according to Sport.

Tottenham are believed to be leading the race for the striker, having previously purchased young talent from the Catalonian club.

Spurs signed Giovanni Dos Santos in 2008 and Cristian Ceballos in 2011. However, neither of them have reached their potential at White Hart Lane, with Dos Santos currently playing for Villarreal in La Liga.

Ramirez has had a breakthrough season into the Barca first team as he has made ten appearances in La Liga and the Champions League, scoring three times with all those appearances coming from the bench.

Ramirez is set to have a bright future ahead of him, regardless if he stays at Barcelona or if he leaves in the summer.

Should he depart, it would seem a loan move would be most likely, as Barca are keen to keep the youngster long-term, but a temporary move could help his development.

It would seem the move would suit both parties, as Spurs are looking to offload Emmanuel Adebayor this summer and so a replacement will be needed, with a loan move financially better as no transfer fee would be required.

Would Sandro Ramirez be a good signing for Spurs?

Bayern Munich playmaker could follow Guardiola to City this summer – report

Manchester City have been linked with a move for Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago Alcantara, but any deal would only go through if City manage to land Pep Guardiola as their manager, according to German source TZ.

Manchester City are looking to refresh an ageing squad this summer with Yaya Toure one of several players looking close to the exit door and so reinforcements will be needed.

Former Barca star Thiago has finally returned to the playing squad at Bayern after over a year out and has made two league starts for the Bavarians since returning.

The Spaniard’s current deal lasts until 2017 and so any City move would likely cost more than the £18 million fee that saw him move to Germany in 2013.

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The deal however, hangs on Pep Guardiola joining the Citizens if Manuel Pellegrini departs at the end of the current campaign.

Guardiola is favourite to take the reigns at City after Bild reported that he met with City sporting director Txiki Begiristain two weeks ago to discuss his current contract.

Begiristain is said to have met with Guardiola in a hotel to negotiate a deal to bring him to the Etihad Stadium, and that could see Thiago follow as he did when the former Barca coach joined Bayern in 2013.

Would Thiago be a good signing for Manchester City? Would Pep Guardiola be the ideal appointment?

Liverpool set to sign ‘young Pirlo’ from Barcelona despite Arsenal interest

Liverpool are looking to beat Arsenal to the signing of young Barcelona star Sergi Samper and look set to make a move for the midfielder this summer, according to Fichajes.net.

The 20-year-old defensive midfield ace is viewed as one of the best young talents in European football but has struggled to break into the Barcelona first-team and is now looking likely to leave the Catalan giants.

Samper, who has also been linked with a move to Arsenal in the past, has been compared to Italian legend Andrea Pirlo because of his incredible range of passing from a deep position and would be a great signing for the Reds.

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Brendan Rodgers will need to bring in at least one central midfielder this summer as Steven Gerrard is on his way to MLS with LA Galaxy, while Jordan Henderson is being targeted by Chelsea and Manchester City.

Samper may only be 20, but he has shown plenty of promise in Barca’s B team, and would want to see regular first-team action with a move to Anfield.

The Spaniard has made 27 appearances for the Barcelona B squad this season but he has been limited to just four outings for the first-team.

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He made his debut in the Champions League back in September, playing 90 minutes against Apoel Nicosia, and went on to make three appearances in the Copa Del Rey for Luis Enrique’s side.

Samper’s contract at Barcelona runs until 2017 but the player reportedly has a release clause of around £7 million and could be on his way to Anfield.

Highlights: Sergi Samper in action this season (via FootyScoutHD on YouTube):

Would Sergi Samper be a good signing for Liverpool?

Barcelona legend Carles Puyol to come out of retirement for MLS move – report

FC Barcelona’s long-time captain and defensive legend, Carles Puyol could be set to come out retirement in order to play in Major League Soccer, according to reports out of Spain.

The 37-year-old centre-back hasn’t played a competitive game since March last year as he retired at the end of the campaign to take up a role in the Catalan giants’ technical department, though that spell only lasted six months as Puyol resigned from his post in January.

He is currently living in New York with his partner and could be set to play in MLS, though Puyol has also been linked with a move to Qatar.

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A report by Spanish publication Sport claims that the Colorado Rapids would be interested in acquiring the services of the 2010 World Cup winner, though a source later told the Denver Post that “the Rapids have not extended an offer”.

As well as the Rapids, New York clubs NYCFC and the New York Red Bulls could be interested in signing Puyol, as Mundo Deportivo claims.

The three-time Champions League winner has been working on his fitness but having not played a competitive game for over a year, signing the Spanish defender would certainly be an expensive gamble.

Would Carles Puyol be a good signing for an MLS side? Or is it too late for that?

Barcelona planning move for £31m Arsenal, Chelsea and United target

Barcelona are preparing to make a move to sign French defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, and will look to beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to his signature, according to Marca.

Laporte, 20, is regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe and has already made 95 appearances for Bilbao since joining the club’s youth system in 2010.

Barcelona’s assistant sporting director, Charly Rexach is keen on a move for Laporte, though he is also looking at Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng.

The Frenchman still has three years remaining on his Bilbao contract but is looking likely to depart this summer if a big club is willing to match his £31 million release clause.

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Chelsea, Arsenal and United have all been linked with a move for the youngster, though he calmed talk of a move to the Premier League back in January.

“Not really, not at the moment, anyway,” he told FourFourTwo.

“I’m feeling very good at Athletic and want to keep developing as best I can here, because I can feel myself improving every day.”

Barcelona are currently unable to bring in any players as a result of their transfer embargo, though the Marca report suggests the plan would be to sign Laporte and then loan him back to Bilbao for another season – a deal that would suit both parties.

Should Aymeric Laporte leave Athletic Bilbao this season? Would a move to the Premier League suit him?

Manchester United favourites to sign Barcelona star

FC Barcelona wing-back, Dani Alves, is set to depart the Catalan club this summer when his contract expires and Manchester United are now the frontrunners to secure his services after Paris Saint-Germain have dropped out of the running according to the Daily Express.

Paris Saint-Germain’s interest in signing the Brazil star has been brought to an end, according to club chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

“PSG were interested in Alves for a long time, but we aren’t anymore,” he told L’Equipe.

Manchester United are on the hunt for another full-back and are also interested in signing Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne.

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Dani Alves, 31, would be a costly addition to the side, with United apparently willing to offer him in excess of £150,000-a-week.

Alves, who has been at Barcelona for seven years, has a wealth of experience. He has won some of football’s most prestigious accolades, including two Champions League and four La Liga titles.

Louis Van Gaal is keen to bring in another right-back as Rafael has just over a year remaining on his current deal and has not featured enough for the Red Devils this season, after struggling with injuries.

Would Dani Alves be a good signing for Manchester United this summer?

Liverpool plotting double raid on Barcelona for exciting duo

As the Raheem Sterling saga continues at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers is apparently monitoring potential replacements for the English winger, and could turn to Spanish giants FC Barcelona for options.

Spanish international, Pedro could be on the move this summer after he is reportedly frustrated with his lack of playing time at the club. It comes as no surprise with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez ahead of him in the pecking order.

Pedro has a wealth of experience and he has already won some of the world’s most prestigious trophies. The 27-year-old attacker won the World Cup twice and a European Championship with Spain, and he has also won the Champions League with Barcelona twice, scoring against Manchester United in the 2011 final.

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Pedro spoke to ESPN earlier this week about his frustration and long-term interest from Liverpool could tempt him away this summer.

“When you do not have playing time, of course you do not feel one of the important players.

“Playing few games, not many minutes, it is normal that there can be talk of leaving, that is logical. It is the same for all players, everyone wants to play. When you do not play in important games, then it is a difficult situation.”

This is the biggest hint Pedro has dropped so far that he is considering leaving the club and at 27, he could hold the key to what Rodgers’ side need to push for European football again next season.

The Metro have reported that Liverpool are also interested in former Everton loanee, Gerard Deulofeu, who is still contracted to Barcelona. The winger is set to be sold this summer upon returning to his parent club after a loan spell at Sevilla.

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The Catalan youngster showed his potential at Everton but struggled to tie down a regular first team place, which has been the story of his career so far. If given the chance for an extended run in the squad, his real talent could emerge.

Liverpool are hoping to tie down Raheem Sterling to a new contract but won’t negotiate a deal until the summer, and with top clubs around Europe circling, they will need to have possible replacements lined up.

Could Liverpool sign both Pedro and Gerard Deulofeu this summer?

Spurs favourites to sign Barcelona Champions League winner

Tottenham Hotspur are the frontrunners to sign Champions League winning FC Barcelona star, Ibrahim Afellay this summer, according to Sport.

The 29-year-old winger is currently on loan at Greek side Olympiacos in his second stint away from the Catalan club after a spell at Schalke 04 during the 2012/13 season.

The Dutchman’s current Barcelona deal ends this summer and he expects to be moving on. His experience of working under pressure at one of Europe’s most successful sides would make him a great acquisition for Spurs.

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Tottenham’s squad depth has come into question at times this season and Afellay would certainly have something to offer alongside the likes of Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli out wide for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Afellay has been unfortunate with injuries and will be looking to get his career back on track in new surroundings. Spurs could be an ideal choice given their preferred attacking style of play.

Afellay has scored six goals with four assists in 29 appearances for Olympiakos this season and at 29, still has age on his side.

Would Ibrahim Afellay be a good signing for Spurs?

Xavi snubs New York City interest as huge money move to Qatar agreed – report

FC Barcelona legend Xavi no longer looks likely to complete a move to Major League Soccer with New York City FC as a big money deal has been agreed with Qatar-based side Al Saad, according to Stade Doha.

The 35-year-old midfielder is expected to sign a three-year deal with Al Saad and will earn €10 million per season if the latest reports are to be believed.

Earlier this month, reports emerged suggesting that the Spaniard was looking set to seal a move to NYCFC and he apparently met with representatives from City Football Group as well as his agent and father in Barcelona.

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New York City sporting director, Claudio Reyna confirmed that the MLS Expansion Franchise were interested in signing Xavi back in February.

“We are very interested in ‘franchise’ players like Xavi. We do not close the doors to Xavi ahead of next year,” Reyna said.

But head coach Jason Kreis then poured some cold water over the rumours yesterday by suggesting that a move for Xavi wouldn’t make much sense.

It now looks the man who has made more appearances than any other player in Barcelona history is ready for a new challenge in Qatar.

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The 2010 World Cup winner is expected to fly out to Al Saad in the next couple of days to finalise a move during the current international break but will remain in Spain with Barca until the end of the current season.

Xavi will also begin working on his coaching badges once a move to Qatar is confirmed and will help with the Aspire Academy, which is trying to develop players ahead of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

Is a move to Qatar a good one for Xavi? Should he have chosen MLS?