Liverpool have submitted a £14.2m bid for Bayern Munich star Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored a hat-trick for Switzerland against Honduras at the World Cup in the summer, following the news that new signing Adam Lallana will miss the next six weeks with a knee injury.
Our view: Liverpool’s interest in Shaqiri is a long-standing one, but it was thought to have cooled following the captures of Lallana and Lazar Markovic. With goals needed following the sale of Luis Suarez, this could represent a fairly cheap gamble though.
Liverpool are 2.05 to finish in the top four this season
Tabloid Speculation I
Everton are now free to complete the £18m permanent signing of Romelu Lukaku following Didier Drogba’s emotional return to Chelsea on a free transfer. Lukaku is now likely to be deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and could return to the club where he excelled on loan last season.
Our view: It has been obvious that Roberto Martinez has been planning his entire summer around the capture of Lukaku, and getting the Belgian on board will be vital for the Blues ahead of a season in which they’ll face the added challenge of the Europa League.
Lukaku is 26.00 to be the top scorer in the Premier League in 2014/15
Tabloid Speculation II
Desperate not to lose another star, Southampton have told both Tottenham and Arsenal that France international midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will cost £27m to buy this summer.
Our view: With Calum Chambers (Arsenal) and Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) set to become the latest Saints stars to leave this summer, there has to come a point when they stop letting go of their players, and this huge fee for Schneiderlin should surely ensure that he stays put.
Southampton are 7.00 to be relegated this season
Diminutive France midfielder Mathieu Valbuena is believed to be in final negotiations with Queens Park Rangers before making a move to West London, although Harry Redknapp does face competition from Dynamo Moscow to land the 29-year-old.
Our view: Once again, QPR don’t appear to be too reluctant to spend big money on ageing players following their return to the top-flight, and whilst Valbuena’s quality is undoubted, Redknapp will be eager to avoid another Park Ji-Sung or Jose Bosingwa situation.
QPR are 2.90 to go down this season
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
The Manchester United career of one of the club’s most infamous flops has ended after Portuguese winger Bebe joined Benfica, four years after Sir Alex Ferguson bizarrely paid £7m for his services.
Our view: After becoming a joke figure in Manchester, Bebe has done well to carve out a career back in his homeland in various loan spells, scoring 12 goals in 27 games at Pacos de Ferreira last season. He’s obviously earned his move then, and United fans will doubtless wish him well.
United are 5.00 to win the Premier League this season