Diego

Done Deal: Rest of Europe also provides underwhelming end to January

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Having already finished our look around the disappointing end to the Premier League January transfer window, it’s time to take a look at deals around the rest of Europe.

Spoiler alert – it’s not any better.

While Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, and the like sent Premier League fans to bed wishing for more, the rest of the leagues pretty much did the same.

Here’s a snippet from elsewhere in the biggest European leagues.

ITALY:

The biggest Italian transfer news happened to be one that didn’t come off, as Nani’s potential loan moves to Inter Milan or AC Milan never materialized. Manchester United decided they wished to keep the player, and his hamstring injury is taking longer than expected to heal anyways.

LazioThe top-half hopefuls secured Chelsea striker Gael Kakuta on a loan move. It’s Kakuta’s fifth loan deal since 2011, while he has yet to make an appearance for Chelsea in that span.  With every loan deal it looks less likely that Chelsea will retain the 22-year-old long-term, and Lazio would likely hope to make the deal permanent if he impresses in Italy.

Lazio were also mentioned in rumors for Jonathan Biabiany, but the Parma attacker turned them down.

Inter MilanWhile bringing in Kakuta, Lazio sent Hernanes to Inter. More on the midfielder’s emotional farewell to Rome and switch to Milan is here.

JuventusAttempting to sell Fabio Quagliarella, Juventus brought in out-of-favor Southampton striker Pablo Osvaldo. The Old Lady gave Osvaldo a lifeline after he was dropped by Mauricio Pochettino for punching a teammate at training. The move is a loan, but Osvaldo likely won’t play for Southampton again.

They also ended up keeping Quagliarella, leaving Juventus obese at the striker position.  The Serie A leaders now own Osvaldo and Quagliarella alongside Fernando Llorente, Sebastian Giovinco, Mirko Vucinic, and star Carlos Tevez.  They also shopped Vucinic with no luck.

RomaSao Paolo defender Rafael Toloi moved to the Italian capital on a loan move with an option to buy. The 23-year-old central defender was hardly used in Brazil and will provide cover for Mehdi Benatia and Leandro Castan who continue to pick up cards.

SPAIN:

ValenciaValencia were by far the busiest Spanish club.  Los Che have officially captured 20-year-old Brazilian striker Vinicius Araujo as they attempt to save their top-10 fortunes.  The club bought 50% of his rights, and the other half remaining with his current club Cruziero.

The club also added Fulham defender Philippe Senderos in a move that shocked many.  Senderos struggled to settle in at Fulham, who currently sit in 19th in the Premier League. They also failed to announce him properly, hilariously tweeting a picture of another Fulham defender, Brede Hangeland instead. Finally, they added former Barcelona 34-year-old Seydou Keita as a free agent on a 6-month deal following his release from Chinese club Dalian Aerbin.

Valencia also offloaded Argentinian midfielder Ever Banega to Argentine giants Newell’s Old Boys, amid interest from Boca Juniors.

Atletico MadridAs they continue to battle Barcelona and Real Madrid for the league title, Atletico Madrid brought back midfielder Diego from Wolfsburg on loan until the end of the season.

FRANCE:

MonacoWith Falcao out long-term after tearing his ACL, the club moved for Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov adding the closest human personification of the club.  The dead will last until the end of the season.

GERMANY:

Borussia DortmundIn the fight for second place in the Bundesliga, Jurgen Klopp captured 21-year-old Serb Milos Jojic from Partizan Belgrade on a permanent deal worth around $3 million.

Werder BremenHoping to get into the top half of the table, manager Robin Dutt snagged 29-year-old French midfielder Ludovic Obraniak to “bolster our attack.”

NurnbergCrystal Palace offloaded disappointing talent Jose Campana to FC Nurnberg on a 6-month loan, hoping to get the 20-year-old some playing time outside of their relegation battle. There is also an option for Nurnberg to purchase at the expiration of the loan.

Diego open to Arsenal move, is the feeling reciprocal?

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Small. Quick. Skilled. Tricky.

If you were to take those attributes and name one Premier League club it would be Arsenal.

Perhaps Swansea. But more likely the Gunners.

If you were to take those attributes and name one player in the Bundesliga who will be out of contract this summer it would be Diego.

Funny how that works.

On Tuesday, the Wolfsburg playmaker did the addition and told The Sun that yeah, come to think of it, the Emirates would be the ideal locale for the next stop of the Diego train.

Since arriving in Europe in 2004, he’s already had successful spins in Portgual (with Porto), Germany (Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg), Italy (Juventus) and Spain (Atletico Madrid).

So ticking England off the list next feels right to the Brazilian renowned for pinpoint passes, back-heels and overhead kicks.

“I know there is interest from Premier League clubs,” Diego said. “I have heard Arsenal is one of them. It would be the ideal destination for me because their style suits my characteristics perfectly. Of course I would say ‘yes’ to Arsenal.”

Diego went on to note that since “[p]laying in England is a very attractive option at the peak of my career,” Southampton is another option that could work.

While Diego’s referral to the “peak of [his] career” most likely refers to his age (28) and not his stats (1 goal, 2 assists in 12 Bundesliga matches), it remains to be seen where he would fit in to the Gunners midfield.

As is the attacking three is a crowded lot with Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky forming a brilliant partnership. While Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are both preferred operators in the holding role, Wenger also utilizes them in the attack when Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are healthy.

Then there is the recent return from injury of Theo Walcott and the eventual returns of Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. In other words, while Wenger would likely not be opposed to taking Diego at a cut-rate price, he hardly has room for the Brazilian trickster.

The Inn at Southampton is a bit tight as well. With the likes of Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and James Ward-Prowse operating at a high level, potential impact players like Gaston Ramirez can’t even get a game.

But Mauricio Pochettino, like Wenger, probably wouldn’t be opposed to acquiring Diego’s services, assuming the price is right. Could be a sneaky good pickup for the Saints as well if they are to continue their impressive run down the difficult stretches of late winter and early spring.