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Silly Season Updates

Drenthe: I'll be joining Liverpool

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Real Madrid defender Royston Drenthe has revealed he is set to leave the Bernabeu for Liverpool.
The former Netherlands under-21 star has been well-linked with a move out of the Spanish giants and is now confident he will be playing his football in the Barclays Premier League next season.
He was quoted as saying in the Daily Star: "I will soon be joining Liverpool. I hope I will have a good season with my new club."
Drenthe joined Madrid from Feyenoord in 2007 but the wing-back never quite established himself at the Bernabeu as he struggled to secure regular first-team action.

He will now look forward to re-launch his career at Anfield.
This may not come as a surprise signing for Liverpool as manager Roy Hodgson has been desperately looking out for a left-back following the departure of Fabio Aurelio and with Emiliano Insua also appear to be on his way out of Anfield for a move to Fiorentina.

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Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini ready to finalise Mario Balotelli deal

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Balotelli has long been linked with a move to Manchester City and reports in Italy on Monday suggested the Premier League club have agreed a fee for the 19 year-old, who Inter claimed they would not sell for less than 35 million euros (£25 million).
Mancini is keen to be reunited with Balotelli, who he snapped up as Inter coach in 2006, but insisted they will not pay over the odds for anybody.
"There is the money to buy anyone but not to pay them a lot as some people are saying," Mancini said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa.
"That's in general terms. If someone ups the price of a player by 40 or 50 per cent convinced that Manchester City will take them anyway, they've calculated wrong. He [Balotelli] is one of the four or five strikers that interest us.
"I was the first to believe in him and I'm convinced about what he can give. Mario has two qualities that suit us: his talent and his age, because I want people able to build a cycle at Manchester City.
"That said we return to the problem of valuation that has to be just. I like the player and at certain conditions. That's all. I think that in a couple of days certain situations will be clearer, but I can't guarantee in what way."
Jerome Boateng, Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure and David Silva have already joined City this summer but Mancini's recruitment drive is far from over.
Among the players City have been linked with are Fernando Torres, Edin Dzeko, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Forlan, though Mancini now appears to have ruled out a bid for the Uruguay striker who won the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.
"Those that I am interested in are those that the newspapers are saying apart from Forlan," continued Mancini. "He's formidable and I was in love with him when he played at Villarreal four or five years ago.
"I would have taken him to Inter. Today instead I am looking for younger players."
There are not many clubs who can afford to match City's spending powers, especially in the current economic crisis. However, Mancini insisted his Premier League counterparts have nothing to be jealous about.
"If at Manchester City we think we have to spend, it's only because we have a lot to change," he added. "I could be jealous of colleagues that already have their squad ready."

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Man City cool Torres pursuit talk
 
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Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is not actively pursuing Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, BBC Sport understands.
New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has admitted Torres is unhappy with the club, but that any approach depends on the Spanish star wanting to move.
Liverpool have placed a reported £70m valuation on the 26-year-old, who has also been linked with Chelsea.
And though Mancini has spoken of his admiration for Torres, City have not yet registered an interest in him.
However, City have stepped up their interest in Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko, while Mario Balotelli of Inter Milan remains on their wanted list as they look to bolster their forward options ahead of the new season.
The club are open to offers for Brazilian star Robinho, who went on loan to Santos last season, and could also be willing to loan out Craig Bellamy.
But BBC Sport understands that reports that English trio Wayne Bridge, Micah Richards and Shaun Wright-Phillips will be sold are wide of the mark.
As for Torres, Mancini had said he could be one of "two of three strikers" he could make a move for if the situation was right.
"Torres is one of the best strikers in Europe and is already playing in the Premier League for three years and knows it very well," said Mancini.
"But it depends on his situation - his price and whether he wants to come."
Torres last saw action as Spain won the World Cup final, limping off in extra-time with a groin injury shortly after playing a major role in Andres Iniesta's winning goal against the Netherlands.
However, he is expected to be fit for the start of the season, with Liverpool facing Arsenal on 15 August and Manchester City playing Tottenham a day earlier.
The forward, who joined Liverpool from Atletico Madrid in 2007, signed a new deal at Anfield last year but is believed to be unhappy with the club because he feels let down by broken promises regarding investment in new players.
Hodgson wants to keep him but has conceded: "Unfortunately, I cannot do much more His beef is with the club and not me."
On Sunday former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish told BBC Sport that he hoped Hodgson's arrival would help persuade Torres to stay at Anfield.
Reds captain Steven Gerrard has indicated he expects to stay at the club, while Joe Cole's arrival from Chelsea could be another factor in Torres's future plans.
"When Torres sees that and talks with Roy I'm sure he'll give us good news," Dalglish told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.
"I hope Torres stays. Only Fernando knows what he is going to do. Unfortunately for him he is injured but he is a fantastic player and is very happy around the club and the city.
"The fact that Stevie is staying will be a great help and players like Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, Jonjo Shelvey and Danny Wilson mean there is buying for present and the future."
City boss Mancini is still interested in Aston Villa's England midfielder James Milner, although he insisted the club would not be held to ransom.
"When Manchester City enquire about a £10m player, the club asks for £20m. That is not good for us," stated Mancini.
"James is still a player who interests us but only at the right price."

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another day, another goalkeeper...

Maarten Stekelenburg in the running to be Arsenal's new number one

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Arsene Wenger appears to have given up on Fulham's Mark Schwarzer after being priced out of a deal and now feels that the Ajax shot-stopper is the answer to his continued search for a new number one.
Wenger struggled to gain confidence from the displays of both Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski last season as Arsenal finished third in the Premier League, 11 points adrift of champions Chelsea.
Meanwhile, suggestions that Almunia may be on his way out of the Emirates were further heightened when he was completely left out of their recent 3-0 friendly victory over Austrian side Sturm Graz.
The 33-year-old watched on from the stands as Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny were both given time between the posts, with Atletico Madrid rumoured to be interested in acquiring Almunia's services.
Joe Hart, Lyon's Hugo Lloris and Ukraine number one Andriy Pyatov have also been on the radar of The Gunners during the close season, but it now seems that Stekelenburg is at the head of Wenger's wishlist.
The 27-year-old, who has been at Ajax since 2001, impressed in goal for Holland at the World Cup during their run to the final and is thought to be available for around £4 million.
Meanwhile, Ajax manager Martin Jol has been told that he will need to sell before bringing in any new players of his own, with the 27-year-old among the club's most sought after assets.

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Tags: club: afc ajax, club: arsenal, club: liverpool fc, club: manchester city, club: real madrid, fernando torres, is this real life?, oic, rumour!!!, transfers, ugh
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  • Wednesday!

    News ⏰ TUESDAY'S RESULTS ⏰ Goals, comebacks, drama ✅ 🔝 Best performance? #UCL— UEFA Champions…

  • Monday, Monday

    News BREAKING: Brazil vs Argentina has been suspended as the Brazilian Health Authorities have stormed…

  • Saturday, SaturYAY

    News Miralem Pjanic to @Marca: “Koeman…