TRANSFER ROUNDUP: Leicester City Complete New Signing, Napoli President Reveals Where Higuain’s Future Lies, And More
Leicester City Complete Their Second Signing Of The Summer
Leicester City have completed the signing of former Sporting Gijon centre-back Luis Hernandez.
The 27-year-old defender, who was formerly a trainee at Real Madrid, joined Gijon in 2012, and went on to play 140 games for them. He also helped the La Liga club avoid relegation last season by beating Villarreal 2-0. And today, Luis Hernandez officially joined the Premier League winners for free, on a four-year contract.
The official statement by the reigning English champions said: “Leicester City Football Club are delighted to announce that Spanish defender Luis Hernandez will join on a four-year deal, starting on 1 July, 2016. The 27-year-old will join the Premier League champions on a free transfer after his contract with La Liga outfit Sporting Gijon expires.
“With the Foxes set to embark upon their first-ever UEFA Champions League campaign in 2016/17, the addition of Hernandez bolsters what is an already formidable stable of defenders… Hernandez has built a solid reputation for himself as a ball-playing defender with an excellent ability to read the game.
“Hernandez will join up with his new team-mates when they return to training in July and could feature in City’s pre-season campaign, which includes matches against Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic as part of the International Champions Cup.”
Red Bull Leipzig End Interest In Signing Embolo
Manchester United have received a major boost in their pursuit of Swiss wonder kid Breel Embolo.
Embolo broke out into Basel’s first team in the 2013-14 season, and has been hugely impressive ever since, having already played 61 league games for the Swiss club. Thanks to his dazzling performances, the 19-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Red Bull Leipzig, until Manchester United swooped in to steal all the media attention.
But now, Red Bull Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that the club has pulled out from the race, leaving United the sole contenders for Embolo’s signature. Rangnick told LVZ: “Yesterday we informed both the consultants Breel Embolo and FC Basel that we are no longer interested in a transfer.”
The Red Devils are reportedly set to sign the promising youngster for €35 million, and offer him a salary worth £4m-a-year.
Napoli President Gives Interesting Update On Gonzalo Higuain’s Future
Gonzalo Higuain might stay at Napoli for the next five years, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has stated.
Gonzalo Higuain had a fantastic season with Napoli, in which he scored 36 goals in 35 league appearances, thereby breaking Serie A’s long-standing goal scoring record. His lethal nature in front of goal has attracted the interest of various clubs from all across Europe, such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, and Atletico Madrid, to name a few.
However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has stated that the 28-year-old striker – who is currently representing Argentina in the Copa America – is very likely to remain at his current club.
De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss: “If his words are sincere then Higuain will play in Naples for at least another five years. I am willing to extend his contract, I appreciate him both as a player and a person. I would like him to stay in Naples forever. He is one of a kind, he plays for the pleasure of scoring goals which is what makes every genuine and self-respecting attacker.”
Manchester City Keeping Tabs On Atletico Madrid Defender
Manchester City are keeping tabs on Atletico Madrid’s young center-back Jose Gimenez, as per reports.
Pep Guardiola has now turned his attention towards Atletico’s promising 21-year-old, after having failed to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, who rejected City’s offer in favour of staying with his current club, and signed a new release clause worth €65 million. The Citizens are now monitoring Jose Gimenez, who despite his young age, has become a key player in Diego Simeone’s side.
Gimenez is known for his versatility, and can play as a center back as well as a full back, making him all the more attractive for Guardiola. However, Manchester City face tough competition for his signature, as the Uruguayan international, whose release clause is also worth €65 million, is being targeted by the likes of Real Madrid, and Pep’s former club Barcelona as well.
Gimenez was asked about the speculation linking him to these European giants, to which he simply replied: “I know nothing. I’m calm and I’m just thinking about my holiday at this moment. In addition I have a contract with Atletico.”
Mats Hummels Reveals He Turned Down Manchester United
Mats Hummels has revealed that he turned down the offer to join Manchester United because the Red Devils couldn’t offer him Champions League football.
Hummels moved from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich for a fee of €37 million, signing a five-year deal with the Bavarian club. However, the 27-year-old German international also received an offer from Manchester United, which he turned down due to the absence of Champions League football at Old Trafford next season.
Speaking to Suddeutsche Zeitung, Hummels revealed: “Fundamentally, England, Spain and Germany were the relevant leagues I could see myself playing football in. But at this stage there just was not that one English club where the overall package was fitting.
“The overall package means: a club which fascinates me; a club I have always wanted to join, and where the sporting constellation is right, and which of course plays Champions League football next season. And because of the latter one club was ruled out, and you can envision which club that was.”