Drogba set to return to Europe on loan despite Chelsea snub – report

Didier Drogba’s sensational exploits in Major League Soccer since joining the Montreal Impact have led to ongoing loan links to Europe during the upcoming offseason.

The 37-year-old Ivorian forward has netted 12 goals in 13 appearances for Montreal since making his debut in late August. He’s already the club’s seventh-highest goalscorer in their short history and is taking the league by storm.

But that’s inevitably attracting interest from across the pond. The Chelsea legend had been linked with a short-term return to the Blues for a third spell in London but Jose Mourinho denied reports that he could be brought in to help turn their season around in January.

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Instead, Serie A side Bologna are being touted as a possible destination for Drogba. The Italian side sit third from bottom after 11 games and are in an early relegation battle.

Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo also part-owns Bologna and could be keen to use Drogba to help save the Italian club from relegation with the injection of some mid-season goals.

Drogba signed an 18-month contract with Montreal in July and will enjoy one full season in MLS next term.

The new campaign will start in March and so a loan move to Italy would mean Drogba misses preseason preparations with the Canadian side.

Would a short-term loan move to Bologna make sense for Didier Drogba?


Inter Milan ‘desperate’ to bring in Andrea Pirlo on loan from NYCFC

Inter Milan are looking to bring Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo back to Serie A just six months after leaving to join New York City FC in MLS, according to reports out of Italy.

Sport Mediaset claim Inter boss Roberto Mancini is desperate to bring Pirlo in on loan from January through to the start of the new MLS season in March.

Pirlo, who joined Inter as a 19-year-old in 1998, has said he is not looking for a loan move to fill his time during the MLS offseason as he would rather focus on his NYCFC commitments ahead of his first full season.

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“No, I do not think I will go to Europe, it would not be fair to my team,” he recently told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“All I’m thinking about is training this offseason for the 2016 campaign at New York.”

Inter Milan would not be the first Serie A side to look to MLS as a way of strengthening during the winter. Fierce rivals AC Milan twice loaned David Beckham from LA Galaxy in 2008 and 2009.

Pirlo joined New York City in July and went on to make 13 MLS appearances towards the end of the regular season. He will be disappointed not to have scored a goal but will look to improve in 2016 as the expansion franchise look to bounce back after not making the playoffs at the first attempt.

Should Andrea Pirlo consider a loan move to Inter Milan? How important will he be to NYCFC next season?

Spurs set to spend £58m on Premier League trio after slow start

Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on moves for three Premier League stars in deals that will cost an estimated total of £58 million.

Spurs have started the new Premier League campaign poorly. Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester means they have picked up just two points from their opening three games and are already four points worse off than at the same stage last year.

But the club are acting to improve the squad before the transfer window closes in seven days, as Victor Wanyama, Yannick Bolasie and Saido Berahino all appear likely to join the Lilywhites.

Berahino was left out of the West Brom squad that lost 3-2 at home to Chelsea on Sunday and Spurs are believed to have offered £20 million to secure his services after an initial £15 million bid was rejected.

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The young English striker would offer some much needed support for Harry Kane and would bolster Mauricio Pochettino’s forward options – something everyone knows needs addressing before the window shuts.

Another attacking player could follow the Baggies star as Crystal Palace winger Bolasie appears to be closing in on a move to White Hart Lane.

Reports coming out of the Croydon Advertiser on Monday afternoon suggest the clubs may have agreed a £20 million deal, with talks now underway to see a move for the 26-year-old trickster completed.

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Bolasie netted an impressive 11-minute hat-trick at Sunderland in April and has seemed to improve with each season in the top flight.

As well as needing attacking reinforcements, Spurs have also been crying out for a powerful holding midfielder to join the ranks.

Eric Dier has been used in midfield so far this season, with Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb both partnering him.

But a move for Victor Wanyama could be set to take place before next Monday’s deadline after the Kenyan reportedly told Southampton that he wants to leave the club, despite then playing against Watford on Sunday.

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The Saints value Wanyama at £18 million and are reluctant to sell. But his desire to be reunited with Pochettino could force a move through in the coming days.

Spurs have already signed Kieran Trippier, Kevin Wimmer, Toby Alderweireld and Clinton N’Jie this summer but three more faces could be set to arrive in the next week.

Tottenham have only made one deadline day signing in the summer over the past two seasons in the shape of Benjamin Stambouli, who has already been moved on.

Although the club did sign Rafael Van Der Vaart, Scott Parker, Moussa Dembele and Hugo Lloris on the summer deadline day’s between 2010 and 2012, proving that late deals can be highly effective.

Should Spurs sign Bolasie, Berahino and Wanyama before Monday’s deadline? Is £58 million too much for the trio?

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: City close on £100m double deal, United spending exceeds £80m

Daily transfer roundup (Monday, July 13)

MLS Rumours

Former Sunderland defender John Mensah is set for a trial at Sporting Kansas City as he looks for a new club with teams from the middle east also interested. (REPORT)

Premier League Rumours

Manchester City have agreed a £49 million deal with Liverpool for the transfer of Raheem Sterling. He is expected to be unveiled as a City player in the next 48 hours. (REPORT)

And City won’t stop there as a move for £50 million-rated Kevin De Bruyne is believed to be close as Txiki Begiristain is due to hold further talks with Wolfsburg and De Bruyne’s representatives in an effort to seal a deal. (REPORT)

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West Ham are working on a deal to bring former Arsenal winger Gervinho to Upton Park on loan with the option to buy him for £10 million at the end of the loan spell. (REPORT)

Done Deals

Manchester United have completed the signings of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, with both immediately travelling to the USA for United’s preseason tour, taking the Red Devils’ summer spending over £80 million. (REPORT)

Tottenham’s Grant Ward, who spent time on loan with Chicago Fire in 2014, has joined Rotherham on a short-term loan deal. (REPORT)

Stoke City have sold Asmir Begovic to Chelsea in a deal believed to be worth £8 million. (REPORT)

Bournemouth have signed Italy U20 left-back Filippo Costa from Chievo on a season-long loan. (REPORT)

Liverpool closing in on £18m-rated Arsenal target as Gerrard replacement

Liverpool have reportedly made an offer for Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic as they look to fill the void left by Steven Gerrard as he leaves for MLS side LA Galaxy, according to the Express.

The 21-year-old has also attracted interest from Arsenal and Liverpool initially made an offer of £7.5m which was rejected by the Italian club.

But now Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that Liverpool have returned with a new offer of £12.9m for the Croatian youngster.

Despite the improved offer, it’s expected that Inter are likely to turn it down as they are hoping to hold out for a figure closer to the £18m mark for one of their key players.

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With Liverpool stepping up their interest, it could force Arsenal into action if they are to further pursue the possibility of bringing Kovacic to the club.

Kovacic is a versatile midfielder capable of playing numerous roles whether it be as an attacking midfielder, box-to-box player or in the holding role.

The Croatian international made 34 appearances, scored five goals and made two assists for Inter in Serie A this season.

Would Mateo Kovacic be an ideal replacement for Steven Gerrard?