Wednesday Kickoff: AC Milan confirm Torres interest; Real Madrid make final push for Falcao; and more

Wednesday Kickoff: AC Milan confirm Torres interest; Real Madrid make final push for Falcao; and more

South American Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: AC Milan confirm Torres interest; Real Madrid make final push for Falcao; and more

Fernando Torres Chelsea Looking Dejected

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

AC Milan appear to have identified a replacement for Mario Balotelli.

According to reports in Italy, AC Milan are currently in talks to acquire “El Niño” Fernando Torres on a season-long loan from Chelsea. With Chelsea’s acquisition of Diego Costa, Torres has been dropped to second string, though if Chelsea do sell the Spanish international, they’d have just Didier Drogba as a true backup for Costa.

“We’re entering the final hours, let’s see if we’re able to buy an important striker,” AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani told the club’s website. “This is the main aim. Torres is definitely an important striker, let’s see if we’re able to get him or another player.”

Reports in Italy state that due to Torres’ wages, the deal is still far from being completed, as the team hopes to negotiate a way to lower the club’s share of the wages paid.

Torres isn’t the only Chelsea player likely headed to Milan, though. Milan and Chelsea have agreed to a season-long loan for central midfielder Marco Van Ginkel, with the final decision now resting in the Dutchman’s hands.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Wednesday:

REAL MADRID RENEW PLAN TO SIGN FALCAO

James Rodriguez could be reunited at club level with his former club and international teammate, Radamel Falcao.

After bringing in nearly $100 million in the transfer sale of Angel Di Maria to Manchester United, Real Madrid are restarting “Operation Falcao” with a full transfer or loan with an option to buy on the table. Originally, Real Madrid opened talks with AS Monaco to sign the Colombian international but eventually went with signing Rodriguez at the time for 80 million euros ($105.5 million).

Juventus and Arsenal are also reportedly interested in Falcao, but his wages, reportedly worth as much as $23 million per season, have put those two clubs off signing “El Tigre.” Since returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Falcao has scored three goals, two in Ligue 1 play and one at the Emirates Cup.

MANCHESTER UNITED WARNED OVER BLIND

There’s plenty of talk that Daley Blind will follow former international coach Louis Van Gaal to Manchester United this summer, but the English club will have to pay top dollar if it wants Blind in their squad.

Blind is back in the Ajax squad for the upcoming season and is being counted on as a key player, leading to club director of football Marc Overmars to say Blind will only leave for the right price.

“We believe that we currently have a strong team and want Daley to stay for another year,” Overmars told De Telegraaf. “Only if the absolute top price is paid is a transfer negotiable. Daley’s management know how we feel at the moment. Next year we will have a much more lenient policy, we are willing to talk with Daley and we will settle for a reasonable price.”

Blind’s contract runs through 2016, and it’s expected that Man United will lodge a bid of 20 million euros ($26 million) to try and sign the fullback, who starred for the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup.

QUICK KICKS

After originally estimating a three-month layoff for Olivier Giroud, Arsenal now says the French forward’s broken foot could now keep him out through the end of 2014. (REPORT)

Lazio midfielder Antonio Candreva has signed a contract extension with the club through 2019, worth 2 million euros per season. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid are set to appeal manager Diego Simeone’s eight-match ban for his conduct towards the fourth official and referee during the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller will return to the starting lineup this week. (REPORT)

Palmeiras have confirmed they are out of the running to sign free agent midfielder Ronaldinho. (REPORT)

Crystal Palace have named Neil Warnock as their new manager. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Torres moving to Milan? Do you see Falcao leaving AS Monaco? Think Arsenal should sign another forward as a backup for Giroud?

Share your thoughts below.

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