The Dutch league has already begun this weekend, with Ajax winning in Martin Jol’s debut and champions AZ starting the season with a shocking loss to Heracles, the French Ligue beginning this weekend and the the Premiership joining soon. Clubs are in the middle or the end of their friendly tours and season preparations, and it’s time to look at who are the hottest and biggest names still on the transfer blocks.
Xabi Alonso – Liverpool to Real Madrid – Probably the biggest name right now that’s unsettled at his spot. The basque midfielder who has been with Liverpool since July 2004, winning the Champions League with the team in 2005 and scoring one of the goals in that classic final handed in a transfer request last week, with Real Madrid chasing him all summer, reportedly willing to offer 30 million Euros for the player. Rafa Benitez, Liverpool’s manager has insisted that he wants Alonso to stay, claiming it’s pivotal that the club keeps all it’s key players (Javier Mascherano, who’s been linked with Barcelona, has also been denied, so far, a move to Spain) if they are to challenge for titles. Xabi Alonso announced that he wants to see things resolved, as soon as possible, for better (moving to Real) or worst (staying at Liverpool?).
Joe Cole – Chelsea to Tottenham – Not as serious and real as the chances of Alonso leaving to Real Madrid, but a very interesting and intriguing option. Joe Cole spent most of last season injured, limited to only 13 league appearances. He was a started before he got injured, but with Chelsea playing rather well, especially in the second half of the season, Cole’s place in the starting XI isn’t a sure thing, and maybe much less. Harry Redknapp who managed Cole back in West Ham when he was touted as the greatest prospect in English soccer has said that he would love to see Cole join Tottenham where he will be a certain first team regular, not facing the stiff competition he has in Chelsea. Now is Cole willing to see how things start with Ancelotti or prefer to move to his third London club in his career and if Chelsea are keen on selling at all, remains to be seen.
Marouane Chamakh – Bordeaux to Arsenal – The Moroccan striker, who has spent his entire career with the French club and won the Ligue 1 title last year with Bordeaux, scoring 13 goals, has been eyeing a move to the Premiership and especially Wenger’s club Arsenal all summer long is currently furious with his club “overpricing” him, in his words. Chamakh was linked to Sunderland earlier this summer, but Laurent Blanc, Bordeaux manager, said he would sell the 25 year old only for a club with a higher stature than his own. Now it seems that they also won’t a lot of cash, which is infuriating Chamakh, who has one more year left on his contract with Bordeaux and feels the club is trying to cash in on him before it’s too late.