It has been revealed that Everton came close to re-signing Jack Rodwell from Manchester City at least a season-long loan deal. The former blue has found it difficult to get first team opportunities at City due to the presence of players like Yaya Touré and Fernandinho. Further, he has also been suffering from numerous injury problems throughout his career. Rodwell is understood to have been keen to play regular first-team football with the World Cup coming up in less than a few months. Since Manuel Pellegrini has been unable to use him ahead of Touré and Fernandinho, a loan deal was viewed as the ideal solution for both parties.
Everton were interested in taking him on a loan deal, but were unable to do so due to Premier league rules. According to the rules, a club cannot have two players on loan from a single club. Hence, Everton decided to buy Gareth Barry, who is already on at Goodison Park, on a permanent basis so that they could bring Rodwell on a loan deal. It is understood that they offered around £ 1 million for Barry, but City are unable to accept the offer since they could not agree a deal to bring Fernando from FC Porto.
The Portuguese club placed a £ 40 million pricetag on Fernando’s head.
“It’s important to understand we have performed really well this season. The summer window is very different to the January window. The January window is a gamble. That means you can go for players no-one expects to be available or, if your season has not been good enough, you need to gamble to change things around. If you look at the top performing teams then Manchester City have not signed anyone and Arsenal bought one player as cover,” said Martinez after the transfer window.
Jordi Alba’s injured that he picked up in Barcelona’s match against Sevilla has left the left-back unable to play in the main squad of the Catalan team for over 80 days but he finally made his full recovery and a substitute appearance during the Copa del Rey match against Cartagena in which the team of Tata Martino won 4-1 as they played at the Municipal Stadium on December 6th.
The coach Gerardo Martino was pleased on seeing him back into the team playing after such a long injury spell.
“We knew that Alba was fit and we need him to get some confidence back. He’s had two consecutive injuries that have kept him out so far. He played longer than he perhaps should have played in the last game, but he did very well,” Martino told reporters at a press conference.
“We’re very happy to have him back in the group. We already know what he brings to the team. He has excellent individual technical ability and he’s very unsettling for opponents.”
The defensive side of Barcelona has always been an area that the Catalan team were struggling on reinforcing and after the 2012 Euro concluded, a number of top clubs took an interest in signing Jordi Alba as he grabbed the spotlight of the media by doing a superb job in the entire competition and Barcelona did not hesitate in signing him with a transfer fee of €14 million.
Jordi Alba is becoming an important defensive figure for Barcelona along with Pique, Montoya and Bartra as they are the regular starters for Gerardo Martino in the defence of the team and now the struggles and weaknesses that Barcelona was showing in this side of the squad is slowly diminishing.
Manchester City’s Joe Hart was recently dropped from the first team by Manuel Pellegrini after a series of errors, which have cost the team dearly in some matches. His latest error came in the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea. It looked like City were going to come away with the match having earned a well-deserved point, but Hart committed a blatant error in the final minute of the match to allow Fernando Torres score a simple tap in. This meant that Chelsea not only took three points, but they also opened an advantage over City.
After the match, Pellegrini refused to back his goalkeeper since he felt that he had made one mistake too many in the last six months. Hart was subsequently dropped from the City first-team for the match against Newcastle United in the League Cup, although he was expected to be on the substitute’s bench in the first place. The weekend’s match against Norwich will provide a suitable answer whether Hart remains the first choice at the Etihad stadium.
Midfielder Jack Rodwell, though, thinks that the England number one will continue to remain the first choice at City even though he will remain on the bench for the next few matches.
“Joe is No 1 and Costel is good competition for him. He is a good lad, who trains well every day. He and Richard Wright are both good, but Joe is No 1. Costel put on a good performance at Newcastle. He is an international keeper, but having Joe in front of you it would be difficult for a lot of keepers. Costel digs away, he put on a good performance, and the Capital One Cup is good for him this season,” said Rodwell.
Pellegrini has stated that the 26-year-old could do with a spell on the sidelines.