Mark Hughes has been announced as the new Stoke City manager today after Tony Pulis was sacked last week. The Welsh manager has feels he is better equipped to take on the role after his unsuccessful time at QPR and will use the criticism he received as a motivator to do better in his new position.
Despite rumours that Luis Suarez has agreed a deal to join Real Madrid this summer he will be playing for Liverpool next season, according to his agent. While we all know to take this sort of thing with a pinch of salt, when it comes from an agent it always feels more believable. So anyone hoping the Uruguayan striker would be leaving will have to wait for another year at least.
Sunderland have agreed a deal to sign Modibo Diakite from Lazio, according to reports from Italy. The centre back had previously been linked with moves to Everton and Liverpool but looks set to become Paolo Di Canio’s first signing since taking over from Martin O’Neill towards the end of last season.
Chelsea are refusing to admit that Jose Mourinho has already signed a deal that will see him become their manager next season. The ‘Special One’ has been dropping hints for months that he will be returning to Stamford Bridge after an unhappy spell in charge of Real Madrid. But despite an almost general knowledge that this will be in the next month or two we will have to wait for official confirmation.
We are also awaiting confirmation that Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle has joined Chelsea, after reports state a deal has been agreed between the two clubs.
When Mourinho does leave he will be leaving one of Europe’s very biggest jobs, meaning talk of his successor is on everyone’s lips. Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes has been installed as favourite for the position, just ahead of PSG’s Carlo Ancelotti.
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini insists that he hasn’t held talks with former manager David Moyes about joining Manchester United. The Belgium international in fact said: “My destiny is with Everton, it’s as simple as that,” which will offer reassurance to the fans that fear his exit this summer.
French full-back Eric Abidal has bid farewell to Barcelona after six years at the club as it was decided his contract wouldn’t be extended beyond this season. He had hoped a new deal could have been agreed and is sad to be leaving his “second family” but Barca president Sandro Rosell would welcome him back in a non-playing role when he retires. “We are not saying goodbye, only ‘until we meet again,” he said.
Victor Valdes is expected to follow him out of the Nou Camp too and is set to speak to the media tomorrow afternoon. The Spanish goalkeeper is widely expected to join Monaco and be part of the French Revolution that has already seen Radamel Falcao and Joao Moutinho join the newly-promoted team.
Premier League new boys Hull are planning on bringing in ‘five or six’ players with the aim of survival next season, according to managing director Nick Thompson. He told the Daily Mail that the club are looking for permanent deals as opposed to ‘short term fixes’.
Former Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani has said he expects Fiorentina team-mate Stevan Jovetic to leave the club this summer amid interest from Arsenal.
Mario Balotelli has laughed off claims that he has any involvement with drug dealing for the Italian mafia. The Italian took to Twitter to say: “Be ashamed. Don’t use me to boost your audience.”