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kratos   
10 minutes ago, James Prescott said:

Interestingly on VVD, Alex Crook, a local journalist who co-owns a local newspaper which covers Southampton and apparently has close ties with the club, has said that Southampton will likely refuse to sell to Liverpool. However, he said they will be open to offers from other clubs - and thinks he's most likely to end up at Chelsea. 

Could be complete BS, but worth reporting. 

Also on defenders, Christensen's father has said publicly that Conte rates his son highly and actually said he's even better than he thought - and that Christensen is willing to be patient to get his chance to be a first team regular. If Conte rates him that highly, then there's probably no chance of him being loaned out, which is a good thing.

Well city are buying everything that moves, why quit now?

VVD is not really a priority for us, especially for that sort of money and I would rather we use it in areas we really need to invest.

 

Tick tock chelsea.

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The one and only place we don't need players is at centre half. City are absolutely desperate for one, especially one that's good on the ball,  and have shown they are prepared to pay whatever the selling club asks. Can only see one place where he goes.

I doubt we have any real interest, what I think is happening is that Southampton are making out there is more interest in him than there really is to try and up the price. 

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On our defenders - Luiz is top class, Dave is rock solid. But Cahill isn't, Christensen is only 21, and Rudiger is new to the PL. We need 6 CB's for 3 positions. Imagine a couple get injured. Suddenly we're short. 

Does no one remember we had 11 successive league games without keeping a clean sheet last year? That doesn't exactly cry 'rock solid defence' to me, not in any way whatsoever.

I think for a side which wants to be an elite team, there's plenty of scope for improvement there. Top teams should always be looking to improve in all positions, especially when two of our main CB's are over 30 now. And there's plenty of CB's better than ours out there - and VVD is one of them. VVD, Christensen and Dave/Rudiger are the long term at CB.

Cahill isn't world class in any way, never has been, He's a very good PL defender who always gives 100%, a leader, and good guy - but he consistently gets found out against better opposition and isn't good on the ball, and always needs someone alongside him to organise the defence, it used to be JT, now it's Luiz. I never feel completely comfortable with him in defence, or on the ball. And the fact he scores big goals or always gives his best doesn't make him a world class defender. 

I think if we don't buy a CB, we'll survive - this season. But next year we'll definitely need a new CB. It's not a priority this summer, but when a CB of VVD quality is available, I think it's irresponsible not to at least bid for him. 

Edited by James Prescott

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36 minutes ago, Martin1905 said:

The one and only place we don't need players is at centre half. City are absolutely desperate for one, especially one that's good on the ball,  and have shown they are prepared to pay whatever the selling club asks. Can only see one place where he goes.

I doubt we have any real interest, what I think is happening is that Southampton are making out there is more interest in him than there really is to try and up the price. 

Seriously? Do people really think that, for example, City are being duped into thinking other clubs may be interested in Van Dijk because it said so in a newspaper???

Edited by Bob Singleton

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xCELERYx   
2 hours ago, Sleeping Dave said:

As for the squad you've listed - that's exactly what I listed. Boga and Baker won't be here - you can be 100% certain of that. And even if they are, they won't be options... The overall balance is still the same, 9 for the back 5, 9+1 for the front 5.   We have players who can play different positions, but it doesn't change the overall balance. I also expect us to play 343 for the majority of time as it would be crazy to change mid-season bar us having a terrible start (which to be honest, doesn't look impossible atm). 

As for the second paragraph, although I agree with you (that re-building the squad would take time) my worry is that once we are done or close to being done Conte won't be here to manage it. 

Then what? Start over again? 

I'm aware it's the same as you listed, was more the breakdown of how it could be seen depending on which players play where. VVD coming in at CB essentially makes Azpi a RWB and thus covering that gap. Weather or not that's the best option is up for debate, but if we can't actually sign a genuine RWB or LWB then it isn't the worst outcome. 

If Conte isn't here then blame the club. I said from the very beginning that Conte was going to demand a certain element of control. If that was promised when he joined and we've failed to back him over nearly three transfer windows then I wouldn't begrudge him if he walked just as he did at Juventus. He's a coach, let him control the first team, bring in the players he requires to implement his system effectively and therefore providing us with the foundation to have success - not just short term but also long term, just as the case has been with what he left behind for Juventus. There's also no other manager out there that remotely inspires me with any sort of confidence and there's no chance I'd want to see someone like Lampard or even Terry come in as their first gig and be treated in such a frustrating manner. 

1 hour ago, bluecueball said:

Problem is, we need far more attackers than defenders. We can deal with a makeshift right back for a game or two depending on the oppo, but you need a variety of fit powerful options for the attacking roles and we simply don't have them because you and I both know Musonda and Boga won't be played and therefore won't develop her (although I hope).

Van Dijk, Aurier and Drinkwater are all decent options - fine.

But we need an improvement on the wingbacks, a top class CM and another versatile forward to push Pedro and Willian. I'd keep Azpi as a CB option, sign Ox and Sandro/Telles instead of Van Dijk. Drinkwater I can live with but why not splash the cash on Verratti or Nainggolan - or similar if they won't come? 

Then a versatile forward like Dybala or Insigne could really give us options.

 

Depends on what the long term vision is with Conte. One more quality AM wouldn't be a problem if we're going to stick with 343 as our main shape, the problem is that it also means we're clogging up an opening for the likes of Musonda or Boga etc. Which, for many here, is a big issue with not having young players like this not getting ample chances. Can't have it both ways. Ideal situation would be an AM/ST type that could fill both an AM role and also be 3rd choice striker. Picking up valuable minutes across both positions - Sanchez being an ideal solution. However, if the desire is to actually move more into a 352 system then we're better off targeting a CM instead - in turn I have no issues with Drinkwater being targeted and think he'd be a smart signing and a needed one with a suitable skill set. 

Verratti seems to be about to sign a new contract with PSG from what I've read. While Nainggolan has already done so with Roma for a further four years just the other day. So, realistically there aren't a whole lot of genuine quality CM options out there which are viable. Next best would be to sign players like Drinkwater/Bakayoko who are mobile, can play a little on both sides of the ball and would help us maximise Fabregas without him being a liability when we're not in possession. 

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Good stuff here. I, for one, would be more than happy if we buy Aurier, Sandro, VVD, Drinkwater, Ox, Barkley and Bale.  

I can just see Roman splashing the cash in a post-divorce spending binge. 

Edited by Original 21

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This summer brings feelings of deja vu. I don't think any fan can feel comfortable with our transfer business. Conte himself looks fed up with it all and probably only staying until a top job next becomes available. The board have massively let him down it seems. The signings have been disappointing apart from Rudiger and Bakayoko, but I don't see them as improvements on anything we didn't already have. I have my concerns about Morata, I hope I'm wrong but I don't see him being an adequate replacement for Costa. 

The only way this'll be prevented is if we go and buy two quality wing backs and a creative midfielder. If we don't then we'll scrape top 4 if we are lucky imo.

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1 hour ago, xCELERYx said:

If Conte isn't here then blame the club. I said from the very beginning that Conte was going to demand a certain element of control. If that was promised when he joined and we've failed to back him over nearly three transfer windows then I wouldn't begrudge him if he walked just as he did at Juventus. He's a coach, let him control the first team, bring in the players he requires to implement his system effectively and therefore providing us with the foundation to have success - not just short term but also long term, just as the case has been with what he left behind for Juventus. There's also no other manager out there that remotely inspires me with any sort of confidence and there's no chance I'd want to see someone like Lampard or even Terry come in as their first gig and be treated in such a frustrating manner. 

Oh we are definitely on the same side when it comes to this one zaffo.

What I'm trying to express, is a worry that Conte is on his way and that the club won't change their ways. Seemingly that's where we are heading. Conte doesn't look too impressed, we have a history of not backing title winning managers (not once or twice - but three times) and the squad is non-existent at this point in time. 

This would be the third disappointing window in a row for me (and I believe for Conte as well).

Yes there's still four weeks to go. But we are short all over the shop. Time is running out. 

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I would genuinely love for us to get VVD. Would also like if we could add Barkley and Oxlade as well. Personally, I am happy with Moses and I also dont have any great problem with Alonso. Looks like a winner to me. 

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