Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Summer Soccer madness

Summer Soccer madness. 44485.jpegThe silly season has started in Soccer, with millions upon millions of dollars being spent on new reinforcements to shore up defences, bolster midfields and sharpen attacks as the coveted Champions League places and the League itself are eyed by clubs wishing to cash in on the millionaire prizes.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale has a 50 million-pound price on his head as the London club aims to keep its star players or cash in on them. Another player with a heavy price tag on his head is Spurs' Croatian midfield player Luka Modric. Harry Redknapp is said to be lining up Milan Badelj from Dinamo Zagreb as a replacement.

Another player with fifty million pounds over his head is Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas, who interests Barcelona, willing to build on the Champions League and Spanish Liga double in the fantastic 2010-2011 season. Barcelona's main rivals, Read Madrid, seem set to snatch Benfica's Fabio Coentrão, the talented left-sided player who has said he would only swap Lisbon's Red Devils for the Whites.

Enter Russia into the fray. Zenit Saint Petersburg seem interested in doing business with Roman Abramovich's Chelsea FC, however a proposed swap between Chelsea's Alex and Zenit's Portuguese star Bruno Alves plus cash seems to have been turned down by Stamford Bridge, eager to keep Didier Drogba after a disappointing season. The gossip columns say that Nicolas Anelka might be on the way out.

Aston Villa will lose Emile Heskey, who is to join his former club Leicester City in the second division (Championship) managed by ex-England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, and winger Ashley Young is bound for Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool FC. Leicester is looking for promotion to the top flight next season and Eriksson has already lined up Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra.

New boys Swansea City FC, the first Welsh side to play in the Premier League (but present in the former First Division) will retain the backbone of the promotion-winning team but will look to beef up certain sectors to guarantee their presence in the Premiership.


Aleksei Federov