Saturday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Berbatov to Villa, Rahman to Chelsea

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The Daily Express is reporting that Dimitar Berbatov is inching nearer to a return to the Premier League, and is on his way to England to hold talks with Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa.

Berbatov has scored goals for Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham, and played in France’s Ligue 1 for Monaco last season. The striker has been without a club since Monaco said they would not renew his contract in June.

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The report states that the man who won the Premier League Golden Boot with Manchester United in 2011 has talked with Villa boss Sherwood on the phone, but will travel to Birmingham to sit down in person and discuss a possible move. At 34-years-old, the veteran Bulgarian striker can still score goals, and would have to fill the void left by Christian Benteke’s move to Liverpool.

Chelsea may have found a replacement for Filipe Luis, as The Guardian believes a deal is close to bring Baba Rahman to Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old Ghanaian plays left-back for German side FC Augsburg, and Chelsea has lodged a $27 million bid to make the move happen. Despite having arguably the best left-back in the Premier League in Cesar Azpilicueta, Jose Mourinho has been open about trying to add some depth to that position after Luis was sold back to Atletico Madrid this summer. Rahman’s agent was quoted as saying “Both clubs are still working on fine-tuning but we hope the agreement will be finalized soon.”

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Up in Geordie country, the Newcastle Chronicle is reporting that the Magpies have stepped up their attempt to secure the services of Charlie Austin. The striker has been tabbed for a move away from Loftus Road since Queens Park Rangers were relegated, but his London club has been holding out for the right offer. QPR has said it will take upwards of $23 million to buy Austin, who scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season. Only Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Diego Costa scored more times than Austin, and with the possibility of Papiss Cisse moving away from St. James’ Park, Steve McClaren needs to find a top striker for his side.

Alan Pardew is close to making another big signing at Selhurst Park, as Crystal Palace’s $14 million bid for Connor Wickham has been accepted by Sunderland. The striker must now undergo a medical in London and reach personal terms on a contract with the Eagles. Wickham would become Palace’s second most expensive signing ever, just behind Yohan Cabaye, who completed a $15 million move in July. Wickham had a disappointing campaign for the Black Cats last season, scoring just six goals in 40 appearances. However, Pardew is known for getting the best out of his players, and the 22-year-old Wickham would add solid depth to Crystal Palace’s roster.