Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday's News and Notes

Not Hull City. Not Zaragoza. Real Madrid product Alvaro Negredo will be moving to Andalusia this season, and perhaps for the next four as Sevilla snapped up the burgeoning striker for 14 million euros. Real Madrid will be happy to make a deposit instead of a withdrawal, and to let Negredo continue cutting his teeth in both Spain in Europe. They probably won't be happy when he scores against them. Real have a buyback option after the first two seasons for 17 million euros.

One thing is sure regarding Wesley Sneijder - no one knows what the hell is going on. The player seems to want to stay, but Real Madrid's treatment of him in the preseason has been schizophrenic to say the least. They want him, they don't, they do. Now Real and Inter have agreed on terms, but the ever-important approval of the player is missing.

Pep Guardiola is not happy with the club's signing efforts. Nonetheless, Barca will make one last effort for Shakhtar Donetsk central defender Chygrynskiy. Their efforts could be aided by Shakhtar's failure in the Europe League qualifiers. The Catalan giants are also looking at Schalke's Rafinha to reinforce their back line.

Nicolas Burdisso appears primed to make the move from Inter to Roma in the coming days.

The Catalan sports dailies claim Real Madrid are very worried with Cristiano Ronaldo's "disappointing" preseason. Apparently both Pellegrini and CR7 are having trouble finding him a spot, and the pressure of the Madrid tabloid press and expectations at the Bernabeu are weighing on the star. Don't worry too much cules - he'll be just right come the gran clasico in November.

Is the Joleon Lescott transfer saga really over? Somehow, I doubt it. I'm targeting a August 30th transfer.

Lampard claims that the only player that can replace Ronaldo at United is the relatively unknown Lionel Messi. In other good news for United, Rio Ferdinand is out for up to a month. Bzimzim breaks down some of the issues facing United, particularly their schedule, here.

Fantastic in-depth write-up on the state of the Serie A by ARF right here on FutbolNation. Paolo Bandini tries to find the silver-lining in his Guardian piece on the Serie A, but frankly, I think ARF's take on the state of football in Italy is more realistic and accurate.

Check out this fantastic article (and accompanying video) by Barney Ronay on the history of the football manager which also kicks off a six-part short video series on the same topic. The second video in the series is here.

And I'll just touch on the fact that three unexpected teams will be looking for away-leg comebacks in the Europa League. Aston Villa and Zenit St. Petersburg lost, and Roma drew in the playoff round. Notably, the other bigger teams in the playoff destroyed their opposition in a goal-filled first leg. Full results here.

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