El Centrocampista

Liverpool favourites to benefit from La Liga duopoly as brightest talents look for football

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Associated Press

Two players recently brought into the squads of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the hope of break out seasons in Spain are now the centre of a three way tussle between Premier League giants looking for assistance in the pursuit of Champions League football.

Barcelona’s Cristian Tello and Real Madrid’s Nuri Sahin could both be playing for one of Arsenal, Liverpool or Tottenham when the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month. Seemingly deemed surplus to requirements, for next season at least, by Tito Vilanova and Jose Mourinho respectively, two of Europe’s finest young talents look set to kick start their careers abroad as their decision on for how long and where exactly that will be looks set to be resolved very soon.

The incoming Tito Vilanova is clearly not as big a fan of Tello as his predecessor Pep Guardiola, the man who gave the Spanish youngster his promotion from Barca B. The injured players who Tello was brought in to deputise for have now returned; David Villa, Ibrahim Afellay and Pedro Rodriguez look set to start the season leaving Tello in a difficult situation.

At 21 the winger is at the stage of his career where he should begin to make a regular impact in the first team, despite doing that last season managing seven goals whilst only being named in the starting line up on four occasions. Contract talks have said to have stalled, however, latest reports suggest Barcelona are confident he will sign soon – ruling out any permanent deal away from the Camp Nou.

With Liverpool showing the strongest interest in the youngster, a loan switch to Anfield is still very much possible. Despite the contract being offered to the Tello, his omission from Barca’s senior squad has obviously not pleased him. Understandably,  the resulting return to Barca B does not suit a player who has had a taste of football at the top level.

Plenty of teams have been linked with thee jet-heeled player but Arsenal and Liverpool seem the two genuine contenders, the task now is to convince the player. Arsenal can offer Champions League football with the attraction of Spanish players such as Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta, along with a manager in Arsene Wenger who is proven more than any to give players a chance no matter how old they are. Wenger may also have the upper hand given rumoured negotiations between the clubs are already underway over Alex Song.

Liverpool cannot offer such high profile guarantees but can match Tello’s main desire with Barcelona this season – first team football. Stewart Downing is the only experienced out and out winger currently in the first team and Tello would be encouraged by the opportunities given to youngster Raheem Sterling by manager Brendan Rodgers. Those two players would be the only direct competition, whereas Arsenal look set with Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Gervinho and on occasion Cazorla likely to be further up on the list of wingers.

It had looked increasingly likely Tello would opt to move to England over the coming weeks with both of the interested clubs favouring a permanent deal rather than a loan, however, Barcelona have already been stung when sending their youth products away. The money shipped out to bring back the likes of Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Jordi Alba has proved a valuable lesson for the Catalans who seem to have now learnt from their mistakes; the transfers of Oriol Romeu to Chelsea and Bojan Krkic to AS Roma are weighted against their new clubs with Barcelona in the driving seat if either player proves to be worth bringing back.

Nuri Sahin’s transfer looks set to be resolved much sooner with a deal reportedly agreed between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Luka Modric’s on-going transfer saga looks close to resolution meaning Sahin is no longer needed by Madrid, having previously been offered to Tottenham as part of the deal the Turk turned down the opportunity due to the lack of Champions League football.

Arsenal, the only team with a genuine interest that could offer Sahin the chance to play in Europe’s Premier competition look to have been thwarted by Jose Mourinho’s reluctance to let the player join a potential Champions League rival. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers relationship with Mourinho from their time together at Chelsea looks to have sealed the deal along with an alleged hassling from former Kop favourite Xabi Alonso.

Substantial national news outlets in Spain and England seem reluctant to commit to the story and there’s still time for Arsenal and Tottenham to re-enter the race, but whoever signs Sahin will only be getting the player on loan. Madrid have very little precedent for bringing back loanees with the recent example being that of Sergio Canales who permanently moved Valencia for nearly half of the previously agreed price.

However, Mourinho has spoken of Sahin’s issues at Real Madrid being down to a poor start caused by injuries, claiming how difficult it is to succeed at a club of such size without adapting quickly. If a deal to bring Nuri Sahin to England doesn’t involve an option to make the deal permanent it may not be long before the former Borussia Dortmund captain returns to the capital of Spain.




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