Category Archives: TRANSFERS

Feyenoord sign talented 19-year-old

Feyenoord have finally strengthened their squad with the signing of highly-rated winger Bilal Basacikoglu from Heerenveen for a reported €3.5 million.

The 19-year-old joins on a four year deal and will add some much needed quality in attack after a lacklustre forward display against Beşiktaş last night in their 2-1 defeat in the Champions League qualifier.

Feyenoord must now press on to purchase a goalscorer as Basacikoglu can create chances for fun. Last season, only Hakim Ziyech (68) and Alfred Finnbogason (55) created more efforts than Basacikoglu (40) at Heerenveen.

However, he can add goals too, scoring six goals in 25 appearances last term and had the highest shot accuracy of all the Heerenveen squad with at least 25 shots together with Finnbogason (also 56%).

Check the video below for a perfect example of his attacking prowess with this excellent solo goal against NEC Nijmegen.

Feyenoord’s technical director Martin van Geel stated on Feyenoord.nl: “Our policy is aimed to fill with great talents from outside, we are delighted with the arrival of Bilal Basacikoglu, a multi-year contract signing, who will get the opportunity to develop further.

All stats provided by Martijn Hilhorst

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Feyenoord sign Aussie Luke Wilkshire

Feyenoord have continued their bizarre transfer strategy today by bringing in 32-year-old Australian defender Luke Wilkshire from Dinamo Moscow. So far this summer, the Rotterdam side have sold off some of their brightest young stars such as Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Bruno Martins Indi (Porto), Graziano Pelle (Southampton) and Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle) to bring in so far only Wilkshire and another veteran Khalid Boulahrouz. 

Luke Wilkshire – photo courtesy of Feyenoord.nl

Wilkshire of course had his best career spell whilst in the Eredivisie with FC Twente before his big money move to Russia in 2008, where he was rumoured to have been the highest earning Australian football player whilst at Dynamo. It was Guus Hiddink, then in charge of Australia, who recommended the Eredivisie to Wilkshire after the 2006 World Cup and certainly his spell at Twente was very fruitful.  Hiddink liked the technical side of Wilkshire’s game and selected him for the 2006 World Cup whilst he was still playing for Bristol City, such was his confidence in him.  Wilkshire was a mainstay for the Australian side between 2006 and 2011 and played in 2 World Cup’s in that time.

Due to his regular playing time with Dynamo last season, Wilkshire made the preliminary squad for the 2014 World Cup and was in line to make the final cut after injury doubts to his challenger for the right sided defence position, Ivan Franjic.  Manager Ange Postecolglou threw a last minute shock on selection eve for the final squad though by omitting Wilkshire and preferring a half-fit Franjic instead.  It is alleged that Postecolglou was not impressed with Wilkshire’s attitude in the pre-Cup camp and certainly he looked decidedly out of shape in some of the lead up games to the World Cup.  Wilkshire was also clearly out of favour in Moscow too and hence returns to the country where he made his name to try and salvage what is left of his career.

On the surface it seems a strange move by Feyenoord to replace the young and versatile Janmaat with someone like Wilkshire, who seems to have gone past his prime.  It’s worth noting that new Feyenoord manager Fred Rutten was Wilkshire’s manager at Twente so he clearly is a fan and no doubt believes that he can get him back into shape and firing on all cylinders.  At his best he is a marauding, attack minded defender with great technical and crossing ability so if Rutten can restore that player then he’s made a very shrewd move.  For Wilkshire maybe the news that his Australian rival Franjic is also moving to Moscow (with Torpedo Moscow) convinced him that it was time to leave Russia for pastures anew.

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QPR close in on double signing

News is emerging today on VI.nl that QPR are closing in on the signings of Leroy Fer and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, both of whom would be decent additions to an already talented squad. It’s clear Harry Redknapp is continuing to use his wide range of players to get value for money in the transfer market, something that QPR failed to do last time they were in the Premier League. Marc Overmars told VI.nl that they are close to an agreement with the London based side for their Icelandic striker, while the website also confirmed that a fee had been agreed for the Norwich midfielder, who impressed in the Premier League last season writes Jacob Jackman.

Last season for Norwich, Leroy Fer was one of the standout players, showing his capabilities in both halves of the pitch as he played a box to box role for the Canaries. Although he only scored three goals, Norwich were a team which struggled to fine the net, which makes his tally a little more impressive. QPR will benefit from the Dutch international’s energy in the middle of the park and his talent for playing defence splitting through balls will be welcomed as they need more creativity in their side.

The fee for Fer is believed to be around €6m, which will prove to be a snip for QPR as he is still only 24 and has the talent to move to a bigger club in the future if he continues to progress. It is also a deal which lacks risk as the club know the Norwich player can shine in the Premier League. Although there were some reports that linked Fer with a move to Southampton, it appears that the transfer to QPR will be wrapped up in the coming days, making any movements to hijack the deal unlikely. Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports News today that Fer is one of the club’s main targets, when a manager talks openly about an incoming transfer, it normally indicates a deal is close to being completed.

Meanwhile, Marc Overmars has told VI.nl “I have had some good talks with QPR over Kolbeinn. We are pretty close to each other regarding the transfer fee, but the player’s demands are obviously important as well. I think QPR is a good opportunity for Kolbeinn. Just look at how Wilfried Bony fares in the Premier League. He has already caught the attention of some major clubs after just one year in England.”

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson has been targeted to add more goals to a QPR front line which was too dependent on Charlie Austin last season, who is untested at the highest level. The Ajax striker has impressed in the Eredivisie, scoring 39 goals in 91 league matches for Ajax and AZ combined, while he has 15 in 23 caps for Iceland, showing that he is a prolific goalscorer. He is a complete forward, capable of scoring all kinds of goal, and he can also play well with his feet, as you would expect from an Ajax player. Some have compared him with compatriot Eider Gudjohnson and they aren’t inaccurate, QPR will be getting a very talented player. The fee is believed to be around £5m, which could prove to be one of the moves of the summer.

If QPR manage to complete these two deals, it could be seen as a coup for a promoted side, but the London club have a good squad and a manager who is respected around the world, they have the perfect set up to attract players. They should be able to deal with the top flight better this time around and these two will become key parts of the side, if as expected, they join the squad at Loftus Road. Both players could go onto greater things in the game and will need to be consistent performers for QPR to attract bigger clubs. Although this may be seen as a negative reason to move to a new club, it is better for a side like QPR to recruit hungry young players than players who are only interested in a big pay day. That was their fault last time.

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Fulham & West Brom impressed by Jason Davidson but where he is?

Jason Davidson, the young Heracles defender, was one of the standout performers in Australia’s recent World Cup campaign but rather than using this as great exposure, Davidson appears to have gone AWOL.

Davidson is caught up in a contract dispute with Heracles, wherein the player was under the impression his contract had expired and he was free to leave. The club, on the other hand, claim that he had a 1-year extension option, which was their right to trigger, and as such he is contracted to the Almelo based club for the 2014/5 season.  The problem with all of this is that no one knows where Davidson is at the moment!

Davidson, who himself fancies opportunities in Germany or England, is believed to have gone to England after the World Cup to trial with both Fulham and West Bromwich Albion.  Both clubs are said to have been impressed with the left sided defender and were prepared to offer him a contract, until Heracles jumped and claimed he was still their player and a transfer fee would need to be negotiated. Davidson appears to have gone underground to try and resolve this issue and it is believed that he definitely does not want to play for Heracles any more.

His departure would be a blow for Heracles, after his breakout season last campaign, with his pace and technical ability proving a great asset on the left side of their defence.  On the strength of his strong season with Heracles, Davidson was drafted into the Australian World Cup to take the troublesome left sided defender role.  He played in all three of Australia’s World Cup matches to follow in the footsteps of his father, Alan, who won 79 caps for the Socceroos.

The 23-year old Davidson was born in Melbourne but travelled the world as a youngster as his Dad’s career flourished.  There was no doubt in Jason’s mind from an early age that he was going to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Whilst other talented youngsters around him were trying their luck with European sides, Davidson went to Japan instead to famed youth academy, Seiritsu Gakuen.  Davidson openly admits that this time was the toughest of his life, being away from his family in a totally different culture and being an outsider but it also taught him resilience and great technical skills that would hold him in good stead.  After turning down offers from back home in Australia, Davidson moved to Portugal with Pacos de Ferreira where he made a handful of appearances.  He also spent some time on load at Sporting Covilha before being picked up by Heracles, where he has played 46 games in the last three campaigns.

A good technical player with the ball at his feet and with excellent physical attributes Davidson was well suited to the Eredivisie but seemingly he has decided that his development would be best served elsewhere.  Whatever the final outcome is in this intriguing tale, one can only hope that Jason makes the most of his skill and current reputation and finds a club that can continue his development as a key component of a youthful Australian side.

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Atletico agree snip fee for Liverpool target

Last week heavily linked with Liverpool last week, Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement to sign Belgian wonderkid, Zakaria Bakkali from PSV Eindhoven for a fee said to be between €2-3 million. While the fee has been agreed between the club, the player and club are yet to agree on a contract.

De Telegraaf reported the news on Wednesday mentioning that their sources were within the Madrid team’s camp. The contract situation that PSV have left themselves in with Bakkali has left them somewhat powerless. His contract expires at the end of next season and the Dutch club are concerned that they will loss the versatile winger for nothing when that times comes.

Due to the fact that negotiations broke down during tense talks over his contract means Bakkali was more than likely out the door next summer, and PSV have decided to jump before they were pushed with the Belgian international of Moroccan descent.

Atletico Madrid continue to reinvest the money they have made of their best players this summer with another signing for the future and have landed the Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal target with little or no aplomb. The La Liga Champions are not taking any prisoners in the transfer market this summer in an attempt to keep up with their rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona domestically and in Europe.

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Lazio clinch De Vrij signing

Lazio have acquired the services of Stefan de Vrij, who will undergo a medical tomorrow morning, from Feyenoord. The fee is believed to be in the region of €8.5 million.

Director of Communications for Lazio Style Radio announced that they had signed “the best defender at the World Cup.”

The Dutch defender was linked with Manchester United this season, but Lazio were always involved in the race to sign the defender, who will be delighted to announce the signing after losing out on the signing of David Astori to fierce rivals AS Roma.

De Vrij has also been pushing for the deal and Lazio director, Igli Tare, let it be known that the 22-year-old was angling for a move to Lazio with Manchester United never involved in transfer talk. The move comes as confirmation of Tare’s comments.

De Vrij’s favoured position is centre-half and he was indeed one of the best players on a Dutch squad that made it to the semi-final, and were eventually beaten by runners-up Argentina.

The central defender has already appeared 135 times in the Eredivisie, while also scoring a career high four goals during last year’s campaign.

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Middlesbrough target latest name linked to Feyenoord

Genk striker Jelle Vossen is latest name linked to Feyenoord to replace Graziano Pelle. The Rotterdam club are in dire need of players after losing Stefan de Vrij from their already depleted squad today.

Feyenoord have virtually monopolised the Eredivisie transfer talk this summer and Vossen seems to the latest in a huge lists of names set to replace Pelle who joined Southampton earlier this month. The Belgian international was left out of the Genk squad for their opening day 3-1 defeat to KV Mechelen and last night he was mentioned by a reliable source of the game on Belgian TV.

On Belgian sports programme Stadion, Dutch analyst Aad de Mos stated: “From my sources, Feyenoord could be in for Vossen. They are looking for a striker to replace Pelle and it would not surprise me if we here news of this on Monday.”

Genk have come out straight away and deny all rumours and stated that the 25-year-old was injured and thus why he was left out last night, however, Feyenoord are not the only club linked to Vossen. All summer long, the Belgian has been rumoured to be moving to English Championship with Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough. Karanka is known to be a big fan of the player although the club may struggle with raising the transfer fee for the player. Genk are waiting for a big bid for Vossen, who has hit the net 57 times in 105 games in the three years preceding last season.

To find out a bit more on Vossen we asked WorldFootballWeekly.com‘s Belgian expert Shane Ireland on his thoughts of the striker.

“Vossen is one of the Pro League’s deadliest attackers, regularly finding himself towards the top of the goalscoring rankings. However, during the 2013/14 season, the striker experienced a mediocre campaign by his standards, yet scored 12 goals at a rate of around one in every three matches.

Previous campaigns have seen Vossen experience truly superb goalscoring form – he was pipped to the Pro League top scorer award in both the 2010/11 and 2011/11 seasons, scoring an impressive 40 goals in 73 matches across the two years. Overall, in eight seasons at Genk, Vossen has scored 85 times in 216 appearances.

Vossen spent the 2009/10 season on loan at Cercle Brugge, ending this spell with six goals in 17 matches and at 25 years of age, the forward still has many years at the top level ahead of him, and will hope to add to his 12 Belgium caps if he seals a move to the Eredivisie.

The former Tongeren youth player has enjoyed a successful career at Genk, winning the Pro League in 2011 alongside the Super Cup in the same year, before adding to the Belgian Cup triumph in 2009 with another domestic cup success in 2013.

Vossen’s playing style is not that of a classic “number nine.” but he can offer a multitude of attacking options however. He can play in the out-and-out striker role, but is comfortable as a secondary forward, backing up another attacker. Vossen can also take up a deep role, allowing another striker more freedom but his statistics don’t lie – he is dangerous wherever he is played across the forward line.”

Whether Vossen ends up in the Eredivisie or the Championship, on his past record he surely can prove to be a hit in either.

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Feyenoord want top young Argentine striker

San Lorenzo’s impressive run in this year’s Copa Libertadores has seen El Ciclón on the brink of the biggest achievement in the Buenos Aires giants history but has also seen a number of their players attract interest from elsewhere. The latest is 20-year-old striker, Héctor Villalba, who Feyenoord are reportedly discussing a potential €2.6 million move.

Reports in Argentina suggest that officials from Feyenoord have travelled to Buenos Aires to discuss the transfer of Héctor Villalba. A statement from San Lorenzo has confirmed that no official offer has been submitted as yet but it is known that the 20-year-old striker has a $3.5 million (around €2.6m) buy-out clause.

Any deal is likely to be delayed in any case until after the Copa Libertadores Final, as San Lorenzo have negotiated with several other players. The Final, played over two legs, takes place on August 6th and 13th, two weeks before the European Transfer Window closes which would leave plenty of time for any transfer to be completed. However, Feyenoord appear keen to finalise any deal before that and remove the risk of any other potential suitors moving in.

Villalba’s transfer to Europe is inevitable at some point. The stocky, powerful striker is blessed with lightening pace and is capable of the truly spectacular. It was one of these moments which catapulted Villalba into the limelight, when in the Torneo Final 2013 in the clásico against Racing, the 18-year-old Villalba burst from his own half through the heart of the Racing side and thumped the ball into the net for one of the goals of the season.

Since then, Villalba has perhaps been over-shadowed slightly by another of San Lorenzo’s youngster, Ángel Correa, who recently completed a move to Atlético Madrid. Villalba perhaps does not have the vision or creativity of Correa but as a pacy-direct striker, his potential is huge.

For this reason, Feyenoord have identified him as a possible target given their need to strengthen the attack after the sale of Graziano Pelle, who was sold to Southampton earlier in the window.

San Lorenzo will be loathed to lose another key-player but if he can help to win the Copa Libertadores before departing it would soften the blow.

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Atletico look to Ajax’s Fischer

Atletico Madrid continue their pursuit of the top talent in the game having lost three of their starting eleven from last season. Attention has now turned to injured Ajax winger Viktor Fischer.

Fischer, who is currently recovering from a hamstring injury, is considered one of the best young talents in Europe and Los Rojiblancos are more than willing to pay the €15 million that may be required to prise the youngster away from the Dutch club.

The injury the young Dane suffered was quite a severe hamstring tear which required surgery and geerally has a recovery time of four months. The operation took place on April 22 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

With Atletico also believed to be in advanced stages of a transfer for Antoine Griezmann, it would mean that the beaten Champions League finalists’ would have upgraded several key positions since their magical campaign last year.

Fischer, who just turned 20 during the summer, has appeared 47 times for Ajax and scored on 13 occasions. He also has Champions League experience, having played eight times over two seasons at this stage of his career.

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Dauda delighted with Vitesse move

On Thursday, Vitesse Arnhem announced they have signed a new striker for the upcoming season, he is Nigerian Abiola Dauda from Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.

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Dauda and his agent, Patrick Mork had earlier in the month, played down reports of an imminent switch to the GelreDome, mainly because they did not want to spoil any ongoing negotiations.
However, after the Eredivisie side broke news of the move, Dauda spoke to Nigerian sports website SL10.ng: ”I have signed a three-year contract with Vitesse and I’m happy to be here at this club and have the opportunity to play in the Eredivisie.
‘There was interested clubs from China, Japan, Russia and Turkey but I chose to come here because I think it feels good for me to come and play in Holland and of course to play for Vitesse.
”I don’t have a jersey number yet but I will start training with my new team tomorrow,” a delighted Dauda continued.
It is reported that Vitesse had to pay  €500,000 for the 26-year-old who had a successful stint in Serbia for Red Star, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances in the Serbian Superliga.

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Roma rule out selling Strootman to Man Utd

AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia has ruled out selling Dutch international midfielder Kevin Strootman. On the eve of Roma playing Manchester United in a pre-season friendly, it is thought that new Red Devils manager Louis Van Gaal is interested in signing the 24-year-old.

Garcia said: “Strootman is a Roma player, he will be a Roma player this year. There is no doubt about that. Only he can say whether he wants to stay but it was never an issue for him to go to another club. There is no question of it.”

“Strootman is following a normal recovery programme,” said Garcia. “He has stayed in Boston to work with our physios and he will start running any time soon.” The central midfielder sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury in March, which ruled him out for the Netherlands at the World Cup in Brazil.

Van Gaal is thought to be a huge admirer of Strootman who he described along with Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben as one of his three captains in the Dutch national team.

Due to Strootman’s injury, Van Gaal had to change the Netherlands formation from 4-3-3 to 5-3-2 as he felt that he did not have a central midfielder of the same quality as the former PSV Eindhoven man. With the midfielder seemingly having returned from injury quicker then expected reports in Italy claim United may make a £30 million bid. Roma however don’t have to sell as they unlike the Red Devils can offer Champions League football and Strootman dependent on his fitness may not even pass a medical were a bid to be accepted.

If Strootman was to leave Roma to join Manchester United then it is most likely to happen in the January transfer window or next summer when United are in a better position to negotiate and with the player having fully recovered form his long term injury.

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Sunderland clinch Van Aanholt from Chelsea

Dutch youngster Patrick van Aanholt told reporters last week that he was unsure where his future lay, he was certain that it would not be at Stamford Bridge where he would by plying his trade next season. Sunderland have signed the Dutchman on a four year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Van Aanholt, who has had several loan spells while being under contract at Chelsea has finally decided it is time to leave in order to play regular first team football. It is a decision that has several teams on high alert.

The Sunderland deal was completed on Friday evening due to the fact that their sporting director, Lee Congerton, was an employee of Chelsea while van Aanholt was coming up through their ranks and has worked with the player before. He will now set off to Portugal to join the Black Cats in their summer pre-season tour.

The 23-year-old was initially thought to have been targeted by Vitesse Arnhem, a club where he enjoyed a very successful loan spell for the last two years, but Gus Poyet and his advisers are low on defenders and Van Aanholt joins for a rumoured £2 million or less given the fact that he only has one year to play on his contract.

The Dutch defender’s chances at Chelsea were slim to none after the purchase of Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid. Where Van Aanholt saw an opportunity, Mourinho saw a problem position and it now appears that if Van Aanholt is to continue his progression at another club.

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Southampton interest for Celtic defender

While Gus Poyet sent scouts to watch Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, it appears the Dutchman is keen to team up with countryman Ronald Koeman at Southampton. It seems a prerequisite to declaring interest in the 23-year-old is that your club name starts with the letter S, with Swansea, Sunderland and now Southampton in the mix.

Celtic are looking for £10 million for their man, a figure that has scared away teams who enquired previously but with the Dejan Lovren to Liverpool rumours that just won’t go away and a decent transfer budget being handed to Koeman, he has van Dijk in his sights as a replacement for the Croatian if he leaves.

Koeman is desperate to hold on to the services of Lovren, but has stated that if he is to leave then only the healthiest of bids will suffice. The new Dutch boss also believed he has a capable replacement in the form of van Dijk, and with the Dutch connection, it is believed to be a move that both parties are keen on.

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