Newspaper article International New York Times

Not All the Players Want to Jump Ship

Newspaper article International New York Times

Not All the Players Want to Jump Ship

Article excerpt

With the transfer window about to shut, all sorts of names are being linked to new Premier League teams, but Aston Villa's Fabian Delph ignored the courting and decided to stay put.

When the transfer window shuts at the end of Monday in Europe, the most meaningful story might well be the player who decided he was happy to remain loyal and stay with the club he was currently at.

That player is Aston Villa's Fabian Delph.Stories abounded that Liverpool was ready to make him the kingpin of its midfield once Steven Gerrard departs for Los Angeles after the season and that Tottenham Hotspur, among others, was ready to pay him at least twice what he is receiving at Villa.

Delph instead signed a new contract to remain at Villa Park until the summer of 2019.

The decision surprised Paul Lambert, his coach at Villa. It surprised those he is closest to -- the players with whom he shared a fight against relegation last season, just as the club is struggling once again this year to stay in the big money of the Premier League.

During the two transfer windows, stories come early and often about players moving on. The main window runs from July to the start of September, and it reopens in January as teams adjust their rosters with deals costing anywhere from tens of millions of dollars all the way down to nothing.

The biggest move so far took Wilfried Bony from Swansea City to Manchester City for just over $40 million. Bony will join City's quest to retain the Premier League title as soon as he is released from national-team duty with Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations.

He will form, together with Sergio Aguero, one of the most prized attacking duos in the game today.

Chelsea, which leads City by five points, is finishing up a move for Fiorentina's dashing winger, Juan Cuadrado -- a trade that will beat the deadline once the Colombian passes a medical examination in London. Typical of the frenzy of transfer D-Day, Chelsea is working on shipping its Egyptian winger, Mohamed Salah, to Fiorentina as part of the exchange. Chelsea will also trade Andre Schurrle to Wolsfburg of the German Bundesliga to make room for Douglas Costa, one of the Brazilians at Shakhtar Donetsk. Some reports suggest Chelsea will also bid for Enner Valencia of Ecuador, the mercurial player who seems to have been at West Ham United all of five minutes.

In fact, it has been a little over six months since Valencia and Cuadrado caught the eyes as veritable forces of nature at the World Cup in Brazil.

This time, there won't be a $100 million deal like when Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid. Their team has traded this month, of course, but it paid relatively modest amounts to acquire Lucas Silva, yet another Brazilian, and a 16-year-old Norwegian wunderkind that half a dozen clubs were chasing, the precocious Martin Odegaard. …

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