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With the silly season close and clubs getting nervous about the strength of their squad, looks at the potential transfer deals that could be making the news very shortly

By James McManus

With just over a week left until the start of the new Premier League season, every club across the top flight has one wandering eye on trying to recruit players as we head into the new campaign.

Last week, Santi Cazorla completed his move to Arsenal, Steven Pienaar made his return to Goodison Park permanent for the second time and both Robert Snodgrass and Michael Kightly completed their respective moves from the Championship to Norwich and Stoke.

Now, in the latest edition of's weekly feature, we take a look at the best, the worst and the simply ridiculous of this week's transfer rumours.


A Song & dance to Camp Nou

With Arsene Wenger having spent big by bringing in the likes of Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud this summer all for significant money, it will come as a blow if midfielder Alex Song does depart for Barcelona.

With the Spanish giants now something of a parent club to the Gunners, any proposed deal hinges on the price, with exclusively revealing that they are not willing to go above £15m for the Cameroonian.

No time frame has yet been put on the move, but Song is thought to be keen to hear what new Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has to say and one suspects that the speedier this is all concluded, the better it is for both parties.

Diarra set to become a Hammer

Sam Allardyce is close to completing the signing of French international midfielder Alou Diarra, with only a medical now standing in the way of the move, according to L'Equipe.

The Marseille holding man has been expected to leave the club all summer and a return to England for a second spell looks on the cards, having been on the books at Liverpool between 2002-05 without making a single first-team appearance before returning home to France.

Having only moved to the club last summer, Marseille went on to finish a disappointing 10th place in the league last term and under new management, with Didier Deschamps having left to take over the France job, the 31-year-old looks close to the exit door.

Bellamy set to fly away home

In what promises to be a summer of great upheaval at Anfield, utility forward Craig Bellamy could be edging towards completing a permanent move back to his hometown club, Cardiff City.

After manager Brendan Rodgers conceded that talks were ongoing between the two clubs any move should be done and dusted over the next few days, with a clear willingness from both clubs and the player to see the deal go ahead.

The fact that Bellamy is now 33 years of age, is on hefty wages and is injury-prone are motivating factors from a Liverpool perspective and his future looks set to be decided upon very shortly, with a move to the Bluebirds in the offing.


Schurrle you can't be serious?!

With Romelu Lukaku set for a loan spell away from the club this summer and Didier Drogba now plying his trade in China, a spot has opened up for a burly big man at Stamford Bridge, with Leverkusen striker Andre Schurrle the name in the frame.

Despite already having an offer in the region of £16m turned down, the Daily Mail believes that Chelsea are preparing a fresh £20m bid for the 21-year-old Germany international, after an impressive campaign last term.

Having been part of Germany's squad at Euro 2012, any move for Schurrle would fit in well with the club's transfer policy this summer of buying young talent with a long-term vision in mind.

De Jong in the mix for Italian job

Inter are thought to be at the front of the queue for Manchester City defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong's signature according to The Metro.

After struggling to force his way into the first-team picture at the Etihad last season, going on to make just 14 league appearances all term, manager Roberto Mancini is thought to be open to offers for the Dutch battler.

With Wesley Sneijder openly demanding that his club move for his international team-mate, the current Premier League champions are thought to favour selling to a club abroad, with Tottenham, Roma and Bayern Munich all interested.

Man City to gazump Spurs in race for Damiao

In what looks destined to be the summer of Brazilian starlets moving all across Europe from their homeland, Manchester City have edged ahead of Tottenham in the race for Leandro Damiao's signature according to the Daily Mail.

With talks at a standstill between both clubs over Emmanuel Adebayor and Damiao being a long-standing transfer target for the London-based club, this has the potential to be doubly frustrating for Andre Villas-Boas, after they reportedly made a £15m offer for the frontman last week.

The cupboard currently looks bare at White Hart Lane with concerns over their striking options and with negotiations with Adebayor at an impasse, it would be somewhat ironic if City were to now pinch their primary target from right under their noses.


Luka Modric saga continues

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas and chairman Daniel Levy have been playing hard ball with Real Madrid for the past few weeks, in what is quickly coming to represent the negotiation version of the game chicken.

With the club thought to be holding out for an offer in the region of £40m, the Croatian midfielder has been forced to train on his own while the two clubs attempt to thrash out a deal.

Nonetheless, any switch has at the moment stalled, with Tottenham's tough stance proving more difficult than previously envisioned to negotiate.

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