Monday 19 February 2018

Transfer Watch: Ince turns down £8m switch to Bluebirds

England U-21 international Thomas Ince has rejected a move to Cardiff City and opted instead to remain at Championship side Blackpool, who are managed by his father, Paul.

Cardiff, back in the top flight after 53 years, agreed an £8m fee with Blackpool and reportedly agreed personal terms with Ince. But the winger, who has just become a father for the first time, did not want to disrupt his family.

A statement on Cardiff's website read: "Thomas Ince will not be joining the Bluebirds. Due to the recent birth of Thomas' first child this week, the player didn't want to leave his family or the Seasiders at this stage of his life."

DONE DEAL

Real Madrid have signed Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi after agreeing to meet the player's buyout clause of around £34m.

"I had to think about it a lot, but we arrived to the conclusion that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said a tearful Illarramendi. "It was a difficult decision, but (the offer) was impossible to turn down."

After moving up through the Basque club's youth programme, the 23-year-old Illarramendi had a breakthrough season in the last campaign when he helped Sociedad finish fourth in La Liga and earn a place in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Madrid president Florentino Perez has declared Kaka is staying at the club next season and believes the former Ballon d'Or winner can return to his best.

In the four years the Brazilian has spent at Madrid, Kaka has failed to meet the expectations which stemmed from his £53.5m transfer from AC Milan in 2009. He started just 14 games in all competitions last season and further question marks about his future have been raised since the club signed attacking midfielder Isco.

Chelsea have confirmed that midfielder Oriol Romeu has joined Valencia on a season-long loan deal.

The 21-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge two years ago after struggling to force his way in to first-team reckoning at Barcelona.

Romeu, who has represented Spain at every youth level, has played 33 times for the Blues but missed the second half of last season with a serious knee injury.

Liverpool forward Suso has joined newly-promoted Spanish top-flight club Almeria on a season-long loan.

The 19-year-old forward, who starred at the recent U-20 World Cup with Spain, recently expressed a desire to remain at Anfield despite being linked with a return to his homeland. But now Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has decided to let the player gain further experience in the Primera Division.

Suso, signed from Cadiz in 2010, broke into the Liverpool side last season and made 20 first-team appearances.

RUMOUR MILL

Queens Park Rangers have emerged as contenders to sign Argentinian star and former Malaga striker Javier Saviola. A number of British clubs are actively interested in landing the 31-year-old, who is a free agent after deciding to leave Malaga at the end of the season, despite scoring eight goals for the La Liga outfit last term.

West Ham and Celtic are both believed to be keeping tabs on Saviola, but QPR manager Harry Redknapp, who has attempted to sign the player on more than one occasion during his career, is now back on his trail.

Irish Independent

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