Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Can Europe's traditional powers return to form?

Both Bayern Munich and Juventus have experienced seasons out of character (well, at least in Munich's case if you're talking about cheating), and look for better results next year. For Bayern, it's a re-tooling of the current squad that wasn't able to qualify for next year's Champions League. For Juventus, its imperative the Old Lady can vie for the Scudetto, or at least finish in the top four, after slogging their way to promotion from Serie B.

While we all know Bayern has managed to pocket nearly $34M for England international midfielder Owen Hargreaves, there is word that Francesco Totti and Miroslav Klose are on the verge of coming to the Bundesliga's FC Hollywood. Both overcoming lackluster seasons and injuries, they may figure into Bayern's in box as they look to jettison others. Both Werder Bremen and Fiorentina deny these reports. Reports of Chelsea winger Arjen Robben joining the German side have been denied by the Dutch international.

Juventus are already building for next year's campaign back in Italy's top flight, and they have already secured the services of Ajax’s Zdenek Grygera, Bayern Munich’s Hasan Salihamidzic, and Genoa’s promising young defender Domenico Criscito. The key issue seems to be whether or not Gigi Buffon will stay, despite sticking with the club through the scandal and relegation of last year. Apparently, the Italy keeper has been house-hunting in Milan, but who knows the truth in that claim? However, he does feel that not being able to compete in Serie A is much worse than staying in Serie B, if you are the only one that believes what comes out of footballers' mouths. At the moment, Newcastle's Obafemi Martins, Lyon's Alou Diarra, Udinese's Vincenzo Iaquinta, and Liverpool's Xabi Alonso and Momo Sissoko fill the transfer list of rumors for Juve.

Keep those ears to the ground, even though it's going to be a long summer of speculation.


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