This year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil has seen a spectacle of top footballing talent from across the globe. It’s no secret the World’s most-respected clubs use the tournament as a great opportunity to scout for new targets as they prepare for their upcoming seasons.
According to English media reports, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was spotted partaking in a little beach football in the samba nation while scouting for his latest acquisition. Well, it looks as though the Frenchman got his man, as the latest media reports reveal Barcelona and Chile forward Alexis Sanchez has signed with Arsenal for a reported £35 million.
Sanchez was heavily courted by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who was hoping to broker a deal with Barcelona that involved notorious Reds striker Luis Suarez and a splash of cash. However, Sanchez opted to move to Arsenal instead. But probably just as well, considering the Uruguayan troublemaker has agreed to a Barcelona move valued at £75 million pounds as reported by the BBC.
Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic is leaving German giants Bayern Munich on a four-year contract with Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid. He scored two goals against Cameroon in the group stages for Croatia, but his team could not qualify for the knockout rounds. The 28-year-old has scored 33 goals in 54 league appearances in the two years he spent at the Allianz Arena.
Mandzukic will replace the outgoing Diego Costa who has agreed to a move to Chelsea for £32 million. The 25-year-old scored 35 goals for Atletico in a historic season when they reached the Champions League final and won their first La Liga title since 1996. The last time a former Atleti striker came to Chelsea was Liverpool’s Fernando Torres for a staggering £50 million. He has since not been able to live up to his transfer fee. Hopefully Brazilian-born Costa will prove history wrong and Blues boss Jose Mourinho right.
Former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaka will soon be making his way stateside after a season with AC Milan. He will be following in the footsteps of fellow greats David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Thierry Henry. The 32-year-old midfielder will reportedly join Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion outfit Orlando City FC as their first designated player in January 2015 (after a short loan spell with former club Sao Paulo FC).
Former England international Ashley Cole became a free agent this summer following his release from Chelsea. He recently agreed to join Serie A club AS Roma in a two year deal. The 33-year-old left-back played for Arsenal before leaving for Chelsea in August 2006. He won the Champions League in 2012 and the Premier League in 2010 during his time at Stamford Bridge.
The World Cup will soon come to a close on July 13th but the transfer stories will be the highlight of pre-season. Let’s see how these stars do at their new homes when the season begins in August.