Premier League

Report: Yilmaz on Rodgers' radar

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Thu, 11 Jul 2013 11:59:00

Ajax have completed the signing of Holland Under-21 defender Mike van der Hoorn for an undisclosed fee from FC Utrecht.

The 20-year-old joins on a four-year contract which will keep him at the Amsterdam-based side until June 30, 2017.

Van der Hoorn told the club's official website: "I am very happy with this contract and am looking forward to starting training soon.

"I have signed a contract for four seasons. Ajax have been champions for the last three years so I hope that will continue.

"I hope to learn a lot from Frank de Boer and Jaap Stam, who in their time, were the best defenders in the world."

The 22-year-old Italian-born midfielder has been widely tipped to move to Old Trafford this summer, but Guardiola has now made the Spain international his priority target.

"I want Thiago Alcantara," the new Bayern manager said. "I have asked. I don't know what will happen.

"I don't think that will be a problem. I spoke to club about my concept and told them why I want Thiago Alcantara.

"Thiago is the only player I want, that's what I told them. It will be him or no one. We have many players but we the need the special (quality) that Thiago Alcantara brings.

"The club will decide. I told them my opinion. Nobody will leave Barcelona, unless they feel they won't play much. He wants to play. That's why I proposed him to the club."

The 25-year-old, who still had another year to run on his current deal, will now be with the O's for another two seasons.

The Frenchman joined from Bournemouth last summer and made 35 appearances in his first campaign under Russell Slade.

Baudry told the club's official website: "I like my life here; I'm enjoying my football, I'm enjoying playing with the lads and I'm excited about the coming season with the team we've got.

"The gaffer has been great too, we spoke towards the end of last season and he knew I wanted to stay so I never even looked elsewhere. I want to stay and confirm what I did last season."

Slade added: "It's fantastic news that we've been able to extend it. Mathieu played a very important part in the second half of last season."

Rodgers is drawing up a shortlist of targets to replace Luis Suarez, should the unsettled Uruguayan secure a move away from Anfield this summer.

The likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal have been credited with an interest in Suarez and should he leave Liverpool, Rodgers will be keen to bring in a big-name signing to help fill the void.

Yilmaz is regarded as one the best strikers in Europe after impressing for Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League last season - and Sky Sports sources claim the Turkish international is on Rodgers' radar.

The 27-year-old scored 32 goals in 39 appearances for Galatasaray last season after arriving from Trabzonspor

Galatasaray president Unal Aysal recently admitted they would be prepared to sell Yilmaz for the right price this summer.

"We have set a price for Burak Yilmaz. We will only consider an offer which is in the best interests of the club and player," admitted Aysal.

"If Burak wants to leave and our transfer demands are matched, we could accept a deal."

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