Spanish newspaper AS, reports that Chelsea’s first signing under Andre Villas-Boas will be 17 year old Gael Etock. The young Cameroonian striker is expected to officially sign for the Blues upon turning 18 on the 05th July.
Arriving at Barcelona via a local soccer foundation opened by former Barca legend Samuel Eto’o, the youngster had trained with the first team squad after impressing coach Pep Guardiola and moving quickly up through the Catalan’s junior teams.
Etock has spent five years at La Masia, the Barcelona academy and was considered to be one of the players of the future. However, he was out contract after his time there and as such Chelsea will only have to pay a nominal fee under FIFA regulations for players of that age.
Reports suggest Etock will immediately loaned out to Sporting Lisbon for the 2011/12 season to get experience before returning to London.
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Pastore link returns.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamperini has admitted that Chelsea are one of four clubs interested in signing Javier Pastore. The Argentinean playmaker, currently on duty at the Copa America 2011, is available for a minimum of €50 million.
The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the 22 year olds agent Marcelo Simonin has confirmed: “It’s true, there is someone that wants him at that price, this is the basis, hence, the price will absolutely not be lowered”.
Last season, Pastore started 34 games for Palermo in Serie A, scoring 11 goals and getting 5 assists helping the club to 8th place despite having a defence that conceded 63 goals. Primarily an attacking midfielder, comfortable on the ball and adept at passing and dribbling at opposing defenses, his 11 goals would also indicate good finishing ability.
The switch by Chelsea to Pastore may indicate the end of their interest Tottenham midfielder, Luka Modric.
The transfer saga of Neymar took another twist today. The Brazilian has long been a target for the Blues and earlier this week, Santos club president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira stated that five clubs, including Chelsea and triggered the release clause in his contract and would be allowed to talk to the young striker.
However, Oliveira has now insisted that any big-money offer for the 19 year old will be rejected stating: “In light of continuous speculation in the national and international press about the future of our player, I feel obliged to communicate the departure of Neymar is non-negotiable. Neymar is a media phenomenon known throughout the world. His talent for brilliant moves on the field is proportional to his charisma.”
Oliveira went on to say that Santos will look to Neymar to spearhead their challenge in December’s Club World Cup.
Whether this is the case and Neymar will go in January, whether a ploy to increase the price only time will tell. There may be a few more twists and turns to come.
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