Coral’s Rumour Reel: Villa to bring back Bulgarian star to top-flight?
After losing their star man Christian Benteke to Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool this summer, Aston Villa are hoping to immediately bounce back with the capture of a former Manchester United frontman to replace the departed Belgium international.
The Villans are reportedly discussing personal terms with former Old Trafford star Dimitar Berbatov, after the Bulgarian forward’s contract expired at Monaco this year, making him available on a free transfer.
Berbatov would represent a huge scoop in the market for Villa, as they look to find a marksman capable of filling the massive void left behind by Benteke, and they are 3/1 with Coral to be relegated this season.
Although, Tim Sherwood is still vying for Emmanuel Adebayor’s signature as well, with the out-of-favour Tottenham target man set to arrive on a season-long loan spell instead of an initially hoped permanent deal.
With the former Togo international on his way out the door, Mauricio Pochettino is aiming to secure a deal for the Red Devils, 30-year-old rejuvenated winger Ashley Young, having been put off by original target Yannick Bolasie’s £25m price-tag.
Sherwood is said to be also interested in Nantes midfielder Jordan Veretout, though Leicester City could rival the West Midlands club for the 22-year-old Frenchman’s services.
Elsewhere, Louis van Gaal has been left with the prospect of missing out on a new central defender this summer, with Real Madrid Sergio Ramos appearing to edge closer to a new contract, while Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi will not leave Spain.
Liverpool want to offload misfiring Italian Mario Balotelli, after plenty of new arrivals this summer, but Serie A side Sampdoria have been scared away by the Anfield club’s £7.1m asking price and want it lowered before making a swoop.
Meanwhile, Premier League newcomers Bournemouth are close to agreeing a deal with former Leeds United wideman Max Gradel, with the 27-year-old Ivory Coast winger set to cost £7m from French outfit St Etienne.
On the blue half of Merseyside, Everton midfielder James McCarthy is said to be desiring a switch to Londoners Spurs, and the Republic of Ireland international will soon open talks with Pochettino’s side.
Such a switch could be helped out by funds received from the departure of Vlad Chiriches, as he closes in on a £4.5m deal with Roma, while Eric Lamela could be shipped out on loan as Inter Milan and Porto are circling.
Finally, West Ham United are lining up a £12m bid for 29-year-old Fenerbahce striker Moussa Sow, with the Senegal international struggling for places after Robin van Persie’s arrival. The Hammers are 2/1 for a top 10 finish this season at Upton Park under Slaven Bilic.