Posts Tagged ‘AS Monaco’
Newly promoted French Ligue 1 club AS Monaco have targeted Manchester United’s Portuguese winger Nani as the next item on their multi million Euro summer shopping list. The club from the principality tax haven near France’s border with Italy have been spending Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev’s money like it’s going out of fashion as they attempt to compete with fellow money-bags PSG for the French title in their first season back in the top flight.
Nani was restricted to only eleven league appearances at the Old Trafford club last season, partly through injury and partly through the choice of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and he only managed one Premier League goal, plus another couple of goals in his ten cup appearances. He was selected for the first team for the crucial Champions League second leg clash against Real Madrid where he received a harsh red card that turned the tie on its head early in the second half. With a World Cup coming up at the end of this season, he will be hoping for a more regular place in a team to play himself into form and into the Portuguese team.
Nani, who was born in Cape Verde, has sixty six caps for Portugal and would be part of a growing Portuguese camp in Monaco as the club have already recruited his international team mates Ricardo Carvalho and Joao Moutinho this summer. They were in addition to the signings of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Anthony Martial, taking their summer spending so far to in excess of €139 million, not to mention the capture of big names such as Eric Abidal and Jeremy Toulalan on free transfers.
Nani, 26, who has also been linked with Inter Milan in Italy as well as Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, where his former assistant manager at Manchester United, Rene Meulensteen, has just taken charge, is reportedly discussing terms with the directors of Monaco and it’s thought that United would be willing to release him in exchange for an offer of €10 million or upwards although his wage demands might be a potential stumbling block. Nani was missing from United’s summer tour party to Asia due to a broken nose and may find himself down the pecking order for the start of the season if he stays at United as the signing of Wilfred Zaha means they now have an abundance of wide attacking options also including Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and the evergreen Ryan Giggs.
West Ham United are believed to be close to sealing a deal to secure the services of Icelandic forward Eidur Gudjohnsen from Monaco. The 31 year-old has been on the radar at Upton Park for some time, having played alongside current Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola at Chelsea, but the Premier League club failed in an attempt to snap him up last summer when he left Barcelona to move to France.
Gudjohnsen has failed to settle in the French principality after joining AS Monaco just last August. He hasn’t scored a single goal in his nine appearances for Les Rouges et Blanc so far, and is now set to up sticks once more and team up again with Zola in a return to the Premier League after four years away from England’s top flight.
Zola is a keen admirer of Gudjohnsen after enjoying a successful spell together at Stamford Bridge. In their three seasons together up front for the Blues, they shared the princely sum of 79 goals.
Zola has been desperately trying to get another striker through the doors of Upton Park for some time as they look for the perfect partner for current top goalscorer Carlton Cole. A lack of funds denied the Italian from getting his man last summer, but following the club’s takeover this week by David Gold and David Sullivan, he has been given funds to spend in the transfer market and looks set to bag his number one target.
The Hammers are also looking to conclude a deal for 32-year-old Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy. The South African has been on the fringes of Sam Allardyce’s side so far this season and seems set to leave Ewood Park during the January transfer window.
The Cape Town-born forward is hoping for more regular first-team football in a bid to secure a place in the Bafana Bafana squad for this summer’s World Cup finals which take place in his homeland. Blackburn are said to be looking for a fee in the region of £2.5 million for the striker, who is also being tracked by Turkish club Galatasaray.