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Chelsea discover Saul Niguez feeling towards permanent transfer as midfielder’s brother weighs in

Chelsea discover Saul Niguez feeling towards permanent transfer as midfielder’s brother weighs in

Chelsea have found out whether Saul Niguez wants to stay at Stamford Bridge past his season-long loan spell after the player’s brother spoke out.

Saul raised eyebrows when he opted to leave Atletico Madrid last summer. The central midfielder had only ever played for the Spanish team at senior level but ended this run to join Chelsea.

The transfer cost Chelsea £3.4million in loan fees, while they also have the option to sign him permanently for £30m at the end of the season.

Despite his vast experience in La Liga and in Europe, Saul hasn’t had a significant impact at Chelsea.

He has struggled to get in front of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante or Mateo Kovacic in Thomas Tuchel’s thinking.

As such, the Spain international has been limited to 25 appearances in all competitions, including just nine in the league.

His 385 minutes of action in the league equates to just over four full matches. This demonstrates just how much time he has spent on the bench.

Saul has had to play as a left wing-back at times and this hasn’t helped his cause. Reports suggest Chelsea haven’t been impressed by Saul’s displays and are unlikely to trigger the option of capturing him permanently.

Saul Niguez brother reveals summer thinking

Saul’s brother, Aaron Niguez, has shed some light on the 27-year-old’s thinking as the summer transfer window draws closer.

Aaron reckons Saul still has his heart set on returning to Atletico and playing for them again next season.

“In principle, as far as I know, yes, he has a loan. I have no other news. He has a contract with Atleti and I have no other news,” he told Spanish radio station SER Deportivo (via Sport Witness).

“If he wants to? Come on… He is Atlético and everything that isn’t Atlético sounds strange to him. I don’t think he’s ever left 100% of Atlético Madrid. It’s my feeling and my opinion.”

The brother then spoke about why Saul has had little impact on Chelsea this term.

“Saul is calmer,” Aaron added. “He is not counting on the desired minutes, but at first it cost him, then he adapted and then came a stretch where there was a stoppage of national teams.

“He caught Covid and it cost him more to enter the pitch. Now he has re-entered the team and see if he ends up playing.

“It is not easy because of the situation in which Saul leaves, he arrives at a champion team, then the adaptation to the Premier League, another football, other customs.

“From January I saw him more settled, enjoying it more. Both on a personal and sporting level, this experience has been very good for him.

“Saul is Atlético to the core. Everything affects you much more, and also for the beautiful, to celebrate and others.

“In sports he lowered his level a little in his last season in Madrid and it was not easy for him to digest this. I think that this has made him a much better footballer.”

It makes sense for Saul to return to Diego Simeone’s team ahead of next season. He is unlikely to be a regular starter in 2022-23, as has been the case this campaign.

Tuchel already has world-class options in central midfield and clearly does not need Saul Niguez in his ranks.

Plus, the manager will be able to select Conor Gallagher if the Englishman opts to stay in west London over the summer.

Elsewhere, Chelsea could pursue a top-class Napoli player to replace Antonio Rudiger in defence.

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Chelsea #discover #Saul #Niguez #feeling #permanent #transfer #midfielders #brother #weighs

Arsenal readying huge U-turn, but new deal has seven hitches

Arsenal readying huge U-turn, but new deal has seven hitches

Arsenal are prepared to perform a U-turn and make Eddie Nketiah one of their top earners, though a report has detailed seven potential hitches in their plans.

The 22-year-old has hit a purple patch of form at just the right time. Nketiah has bagged four goals in his last four matches to give Arsenal vital breathing room in the race for top four.

Indeed, the Gunners currently sit four points above bitter rivals Tottenham. That means the fate of fourth spot will still remain in Arsenal’s hands even if they lose the north London derby on Thursday night.

Arsenal’s striker department looks destined to experience great change this summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already left, while Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are free agents-to-be.

All three departing would leave Arsenal scrambling to sign at least two new strikers. However, according to the Sun and Mirror, Nketiah may yet be retained.

The Mirror initially report that a third round of talks have been held with Nketiah and his camp. On the agenda is a contract extension which the Sun stress would make him very rich indeed.

They add his current salary is believed to be around £45,000-a-week. However, if the new offer is accepted, he would go from being ‘one of the lowest earners in the squad to one of the highest’.

Yet both reports are in agreement in that pinning Nketiah down to fresh terms isn’t straightforward, not least because six potential suitors are circling.

Suitors ready to pounce

From within the Premier League, West Ham, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Newcastle are all linked.

Palace tried to sign Nketiah in January before turning Jean-Philippe Mateta’s loan spell permanent instead. The Daily Mail recently claimed David Moyes’ Hammers are currently on pole if Nketiah were to leave.

The initial reports also indicate two German clubs – of which Bayer Leverkusen are one – are circling for Nketiah. The identity of the other side was not named.

West Ham targeting pair from Arsenal

West Ham are targeting forward Eddie Nketiah and centre-half Konstantinos Mavropanos from Arsenal in a potential double summer swoop.

Those six hitches ensure Nketiah will not be short of options. However, the seventh is arguably the biggest barrier to Arsenal’s hopes.

It’s once again stressed that Nketiah is desperate to feature regularly. Only recently has he begun to do so under Mikel Arteta, but if another major name is signed, he could be relegated to the bench yet again.

Arsenal are almost certain to sign at least one high-profile forward even if Nketiah stays. Man City’s Gabriel Jesus is understood to be their top target at present and his agent recently spoke out on a move.

Should Nketiah stay or go?

The answer to that question largely depends on who and how many other strikers Arsenal sign this summer. However, it is unreasonable to think Nketiah will wait until their transfer plans are completed before deciding his own future.

Nketiah is more of a poacher than Lacazette and that type of striker may be just what Arsenal need.

They have an abundance of creativity in the trio that lines up behind the lone centre-forward. The likes of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard will create chances for fun and Arteta needs a forward who can convert at a high rate.

Furthermore, Arsenal are guaranteed to be in Europe next season and look odds on to qualify for the Champions League.

Even if they dropped into the Europa, strength in depth will be required. Nketiah would be given his fair share of minutes with the return of regular midweek football forcing rotation.

As such, we reckon Nketiah would be wise to remain at the Emirates with the club finally trending in the right direction. If he is as good as he believes, he’ll back himself to get minutes, regardless of who the club sign.


Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Arsenal #readying #huge #Uturn #deal #hitches

Dimitar Berbatov warns Harry Kane obsession could lead to damaging exit

Dimitar Berbatov warns Harry Kane obsession could lead to damaging exit

Dimitar Berbatov has urged his former club Tottenham not to forget about big clubs coming in for Son Heung-min this summer, as they prepare to fend off bids for Harry Kane again.

Spurs fought hard to keep Kane out of the clutches of Manchester City throughout the whole of last summer after the England skipper revealed his intention for a fresh challenge elsewhere.

After a slow start to the campaign, Kane has been back to his best in recent months and rumours have started to circulate that he could be the subject of more offers at the end of the season.

However, City will not be making any bids after they secured the signing of Erling Haaland for the 2022-23 season.

Despite the noise around Kane’s future, Berbatov has urged Tottenham to keep a closer eye on clubs chasing Son.

The South Korean superstar has notched 21 goals and nine assists in 42 games in all competitions this season. Indeed, Son’s 20 Premier League strikes are only bettered by Mo Salah in the race for the Golden Boot.

And Berbatov hopes the outstanding attacker stays put.

He told Standard Sport: “It is interesting now because we all speak about Harry Kane, maybe in the summer we are going to see another soap opera like the one before, coming and going.

“But also Son is getting better and better with every season. So this is another dangerous situation, where all of a sudden maybe someone comes for your other striker, some other team offering you a lot of money.

“Then you are going to be in a situation where I and Keano (Robbie Keane) were back in the day. One was wanted by Liverpool and the other [Manchester] United. Then we were both gone.

“So in this case, with Son and Kane, it is a dangerous one because they are your top, top players in the team who can give you goals. If someone comes for them and offers you a lot of money, then what do you do? What do you do?

“But I know that Antonio Conte wants to keep them for sure. Because these are the stars that can produce those moments that make the difference.”

Conte the key to Tottenham success

Berbatov also hailed the work done by Conte since his arrival at the club in November.

Tottenham face a crunch clash with north London rivals Arsenal in the race for fourth spot on Thursday night.

And Berbatov believes Spurs can make great strides if the Italian stays put, amid talk he could join PSG.

The Bulgarian added: “I think he is doing a great job, in my opinion. I know that he is going to stay for the next season as well.

“The speculation is everywhere these days, especially about managers coming and going. It is a good thing that he came out and said he is going to stay when referring to the PSG stories.

“I hope that he is going to stay because in my opinion slowly but surely you can see that the team is getting better and better.

“They are constantly improving. Conte is a winner. Now maybe he is in a strange situation where the team didn’t win anything for a long time. But maybe that is a challenge that he wants. Maybe he is going to be the guy that brings that trophy [to Tottenham].”

READ MORE: Ben Godfrey one of three Everton targets tipped to join Tottenham in triple summer raid

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#Dimitar #Berbatov #warns #Harry #Kane #obsession #lead #damaging #exit

Ben Godfrey one of three Everton targets tipped to join Tottenham in triple summer raid

Ben Godfrey one of three Everton targets tipped to join Tottenham in triple summer raid

Tottenham are reportedly considering a triple transfer raid on Premier League strugglers Everton this summer, with former target Ben Godfrey one of the names on their list.

Antonio Conte is ready to overhaul his squad, with a number of incomings and outgoings expected in north London, and it appears that three players from Merseyside could be Spurs bound.

A report in the Daily Telegraph claims that Conte is keen on landing Richarlison, Anthony Gordon and centre-back Godfrey.

Brazilian forward Richarlison has had a largely disappointing campaign. However, he has come to life when Everton most needed him, scoring a late equaliser to earn a point against Leicester and also notching the winner in a huge home victory over Chelsea.

In all, he has scored nine goals and added four assists in 30 games in all competitions this term.

Those stats are hardly world-beating, but there is a strong feeling that Richarlison’s time at Goodison is up and that an exit is more likely than not.

Potential relegation will obviously play a part in that. Indeed, all three players mentioned would almost certainly move on if the worst happened.

Everton firesale could be on

Everton currently have a two-point gap to Leeds in the final relegation spot. However, they do have a game in hand over Jesse Marsch’s side.

As for the other two Tottenham targets, Gordon is perhaps the most intriguing after an excellent breakthrough season.

The 21-year-old has often carried the side during their struggles and has been outstanding in a woeful campaign.

Gordon has scored four times and notched three assists. However, his commitment to the cause has been incredible throughout the season.

Godfrey, meanwhile, was on Tottenham’s radar before he joined the Toffees for £25million from Norwich in 2020.

The central defender, who can also play as an emergency full-back, was impressive in his first season on Merseyside. However, like the majority of Everton’s defence, he has found this campaign a real struggle at times.

Indeed, Godfrey was pushing for a place in England’s World Cup squad for Qatar but is now well down that list.

Gordon a prime Levy signing

While Richarlison and Godfrey are both good players, they can be inconsistent in their performances. The same cannot be said for Gordon, who gives his all every game and has the quality to match.

The winger is also right up Daniel Levy’s street. A young player with huge potential who has enormous re-sale value.

The problem is that Everton will no doubt demand huge money for their homegrown star, who the fans adore.

Gordon is also at his best playing down the left, although he can play on the right. Those positions at Spurs are currently filled by Son Heung-Min and Dejan Kuksevski, so there is little chance of him playing out wide for Conte’s men.

READ MORE: Spurs told Dejan Kulusevski international teammate will cost them just £8.5m

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#Ben #Godfrey #Everton #targets #tipped #join #Tottenham #triple #summer #raid

Cameron Carter-Vickers a target as doubts surround Celtic switch

Cameron Carter-Vickers a target as doubts surround Celtic switch

Newcastle are keeping tabs on Cameron Carter-Vickers and could swoop to sign the defender if Celtic fail to wrap up a permanent deal this summer.

Tottenham defender Carter-Vickers has spent the season on loan at Celtic. And on Wednesday night he was celebrating as the Glasgow giants won the Premiership title. That success is partly down to Carter-Vickers who has been a rock at the back.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou was in the hunt for a new central defender after he took charge. He needed a replacement for Kristoffer Ajer and turned to Tottenham for Carter-Vickers. It turned out to be a masterstroke.

The 24-year-old was part of a Celtic defence that conceded just 22 goals in 37 games in the league. It was crucial to them winning the league and his performances have not gone unnoticed.

Celtic do have the option to sign Carter-Vickers on a permanent basis. It was thought a fee of £6million was agreed at the time. However now they have won the title, the fee could rise. Performance related add-ons could push it closer to the £10million mark.

It remains to be seen if Celtic would be willing to go that high. And while they ponder their next move a host of Premier League clubs are waiting in the wings.

Southampton and newly promoted Fulham are two of them, but Newcastle can be added to the list. Indeed SBI Soccer report that Newcastle are keeping a very close eye on the situation.

One thing is certain Magpies boss Eddie Howe wants a new central defender. Therefore it is no surprise that Carter-Vickers is being linked.

Despite being cashed-up Newcastle will not go crazy in the transfer market. They are keen to fit in with Financial Fair Play so £10million would fit with the plan.

Sven Botman also remains a target for Howe but he would cost significantly more. French club Lille would be looking for a fee in the region of £34million.

Newcastle spy a bargain

It is easy to see why Newcastle are weighing up a swoop for Carter-Vickers at that price. He is a strong, imposing figure at the back and very good in the air. Carter-Vickers has big potential that was never realised at Tottenham. But at 24 he does have time on his side.

He also showed at Celtic what can happen with a solid run of games. He made 43 appearances for them and played his best football. His hard work ethic and commitment will make him a favourite with fans and teammates alike.

Celtic remain in the box seat to do a deal but it will be no surprise if he does end up at Newcastle.

READ MORE: Lingard left in lurch by Newcastle as free transfer interest ends for unexpected reason

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Cameron #CarterVickers #target #doubts #surround #Celtic #switch

Pep Guardiola explains what striker adds to City as he takes aim at Man Utd, Liverpool spending

Pep Guardiola explains what striker adds to City as he takes aim at Man Utd, Liverpool spending

Pep Guardiola has finally broken his silence on the impending Erling Haaland transfer to Manchester City – and insists he will be a top player for the Cityzens for many years to come.

The striker’s agreement over a move to the Etihad was finally confirmed earlier this week, with Aymeric Laporte leading the welcomes. With City meeting his £51m exit clause, Haaland will officially become a City player on July 1, subject of medical checks.

City will hope that Haaland finally helps deliver them the ultimate prize with the Champions League. Guardiola’s men missed out once again this season, having crashed out of the semi-final stage.

But having Haaland in their ranks will surely boost their chances, especially given his formidable goal record. They have lacked something of a focal point in attack ever since Sergio Aguero’s departure last year.

Indeed, the Norway striker has an incredible 85 goals in 88 appearances for Dortmund.

Until now, Guardiola has kept his lips sealed on the prospective deal.

However, with his side closing in on a fourth title in five seasons after Kevin De Bruyne inspired a thumping win at Wolves, Guardiola broke his silence.

“It is a decision for the club to make a good sign for the future. He can come for many, many years hopefully. And I am pretty sure he will adapt perfectly to our team but for next season,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

Asked if he was excited by the prospect of working with one of the world’s top players, Guardiola insists he will do all he can to help Haaland settle in.

“I’m excited in my job but of course, the players make you a good manager,” he added. “He is an incredible young talent, perfect age. I am pretty sure we are going to help him settle as best possible.”

Guardiola can’t resist pop at rivals following Erling Haaland transfer

The capture of Haaland is yet another huge statement made by Manchester City in the transfer market.

After landing Jack Grealish last summer for a £100m British record fee, the deal for the Norwegian takes his spending at City through the £770m bracket.

However, he is adamant that City always spend within their limits and could not resist a pop at Liverpool and Manchester United over their transfer outlays over the years.

“For the people, it’s just money,” he said. “If you want to think about that, think about that.

“But I know exactly we are working here and I said okay don’t give me credit, don’t give us credit, but let us give ourselves credit and as a manager give to my players, to my staff.

Erling Haaland says he prefers Man City over Real Madrid

Erling Haaland will leave Borussia Dortmund this summer and has said he prefers a move to the Premier League with Manchester City more that to La Liga with Real Madrid

“Listen when Liverpool in the 70s or 80s or United, who spend more money? It was Norwich? Norwich spend more money in that period? Or Leicester spend more money on them? No they spend more money than the other ones but the money for them is completely different from now.

“I am going to change it. When we put Etihad here [front of shirt] ‘aw it’s overpaid.’ But now United and Liverpool or whoever is going to pay maybe more maybe they deserve it because they’re working well, because the CEO negotiates well, whatever happens, then more because it’s for United States of America or another country the owners are so now it’s perfect.

“That’s why we’re going to change but for a long time it’s not going to change, that is the reality. Only way we can change is doing well on the pitch.”

Guardiola, meanwhile, has used just five words to describe De Bruyne after his four-goal salvo at Molineux.

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Pep #Guardiola #explains #striker #adds #City #takes #aim #Man #Utd #Liverpool #spending

Frank Lampard admits Everton complacency despite ‘point gained’ in relegation fight

Frank Lampard admits Everton complacency despite ‘point gained’ in relegation fight

Frank Lampard hinted that Everton were a little complacent as they missed the chance to move clear of the relegation places after being held to a 0-0 draw at Watford on Wednesday night.

The visitors did have the better openings but were wasteful against relegated and injury-hit Watford, who were thankful to veteran stopper Ben Foster for earning them a point.

It was most certainly a missed opportunity for Everton, with Demarai Gray wasting their best chance by shooting inches wide while Watford keeper Ben Foster saved well from Richarlison’s deflected shot.

Everton, however, were aided in their battle to avoid the drop by Leeds United’s heavy home loss to Chelsea.

They now have home games to come against Brentford and Crystal Palace and are currently two points ahead of Leeds, who remain in the bottom three and have played a game more.

Speaking after the game, Lampard told BBC Sport: “It is a point gained – on paper that is what it is. We have taken well-deserved wins against tough opposition (in Chelsea and Leicester City). No disrespect to Watford but we maybe expected to come here and win again. But the Premier League doesn’t work that way.

“It’s typical of this stage of the season and the tense nature of the match. We played three days ago, the players put a lot into that and they need a rest tomorrow before looking ahead to Sunday.”

Everton fans playing their part

Speaking about the club’s support inside Vicarage Road, Lampard thanked the fans, adding: “They are extraordinary. They are pushing, along with the players. They will stick with us.

“It’s important the players rest now before two games on the bounce at Goodison. We have to fight. We know what we need now.”

The Toffees are next in action when they host Brentford on Sunday, before they finish up with games against Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

REPORT: Toothless Everton give hope to relegation rivals after drawing blank in Watford stalemate

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Frank #Lampard #admits #Everton #complacency #point #gained #relegation #fight

Aston Villa close on signing as cut-price deal revealed

Aston Villa close on signing as cut-price deal revealed

Aston Villa are close to signing Philippe Coutinho on a permanent basis after reports claimed Barcelona have slashed their asking price for the Brazilian.

Coutinho has been on loan at Villa since the January transfer window. A permanent deal has always been on the cards with a fee of £34million said to be the asking price. However it has now been suggested that Villa could land him for half that figure.

If correct that would be a huge boost for Steven Gerrard and his transfer budget for next season. He is thought to have in the region of £100million and Coutinho was expected to take up a large chunk. £17million would be a snip in today’s market. Although his wages will take some accommodating.

Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Barca have cut the figure because they just want Coutinho off the wage bill. That will allow them more scope for their own signings in the summer. By slashing the figure it rules out Villa having second thoughts.

Not that Gerrard will have been having any. The Villa boss has Coutinho at the top of his wanted list. However the powers that be may have been thinking twice about the outlay. Even though they have vowed to back Gerrard in the transfer market.

Coutinho has four goals and three assists in 16 appearances for Villa. However they all came in his first eight games for the club. He has not scored since the 3-0 win over Leeds on 10th March.

But Gerrard has always been committed to signing Coutinho and will land his man. Mundo Deportivo also reported that the deal was set to be completed on Wednesday. If that is the case then it is under wraps as nothing has been announced as yet.

Aston Villa still deciding on Coutinho deal

Aston Villa are yet to make a decision on whether to sign Coutinho from Barcelona for £33m this summer

They claimed that Villa were just “one step” away from wrapping up the move.

Philippe Coutinho a snip at £17million

Despite the goals and assists drying up in recent weeks, Coutinho will still be a top signing. He has proven with both Liverpool and Villa that he can shine in the Premier League.

At 29 he is far from done and has the experience and quality that Gerrard is looking for as he aims to take Villa to the next level.

The Brazilian has shown his versatility this season playing as an attacking midfielder or down the left. He can score goals and create for others. No surprise then that Gerrard is keen to keep him. £34million would have been a good price, but £17million is a snip if the reports are correct.

READ MORE: Aston Villa miss out on another defender as Jeremiah St. Juste agrees Portugal transfer

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Aston #Villa #close #signing #cutprice #deal #revealed

Pep Guardiola uses five words to describe Kevin De Bruyne after four-goal supershow at Wolves

Pep Guardiola uses five words to describe Kevin De Bruyne after four-goal supershow at Wolves

Pep Guardiola reeled off the superlatives after watching Kevin De Bruyne score four times in Manchester City’s 5-1 rout of Wolves that moved them three points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

The brilliant Belgian claimed a hat-trick inside 24 minutes at Molineux – his first treble since 2011 – and added a fourth after the break for a rampant City side.

Leander Dendoncker had levelled for Wolves in the 11th minute but it was one-way traffic after that for Pep Guardiola’s men, who could effectively seal the title on Sunday with victory at West Ham due to their superior goal difference over rivals Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling put gloss on the scoreline with a fifth in the 84th minute to take City onto 89 points, three ahead of the Reds and with a goal difference of +72 in comparison to 65 for the second-placed outfit, who play in the FA Cup final this weekend.

When asked if Kevin de Bruyne produced one of the best midfield displays: “Absolutely. He made quite often in the last this season, especially in the second half he has made similar displays today but today he scored four goals. Unstoppable, brilliant, awesome, outstanding, perfect.

“He had the ability to create the special things.

“Always we push him to say he is incredible player, generous with assists but he has to score goals and this season is the most prolific he has had since we are together.”

The Molineux rout increased City’s goal difference to seven better than Liverpool, but Guardiola chose to play down that stat.

He added: “The target is next game. If we win the next two games we will be champions. Now recover the players and play a final, the final for us is against West Ham.”

Pep reacts to Haaland deal

Guardiola was also asked about the imminent arrival of Erling Haaland after City completed a deal for the Dortmund hotshot.

He added: “It is a decision for the club to make a good sign for the future. He can come for many, many years hopefully. And I am pretty sure he will adapt perfectly to our team but for next season.

“The players make you a good manager. He is an incredible young talent, perfect age. I am pretty sure we are going to help him settle as best possible.”

REPORT: Dazzling De Bruyne hits four as Man City send message to Liverpool in title race

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Pep #Guardiola #words #describe #Kevin #Bruyne #fourgoal #supershow #Wolves

Azpilicueta, Alonso bound for Barcelona in potential four-player swap deal

Azpilicueta, Alonso bound for Barcelona in potential four-player swap deal

Chelsea are reportedly open to a four-player swap deal with Barcelona which would see skipper Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso both head to Catalonia this summer.

The Spanish duo have been strongly linked with the LaLiga giants for some time, with Barca boss Xavi known to have made Azpilicueta and Alonso ‘priority objectives’ for his side.

That will almost certainly lead to a defensive overhaul at Stamford Bridge, with Antonio Rudiger already having agreed to join Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Another Blues defender, Andreas Christensen, is also being tipped to head to the Nou Camp.

That will leave Tuchel woefully short of options at the back and lead to some major transfer business this summer.

Azpilicueta and Alonso have both been regular starters under Tuchel. However, their current contract situation means an exit could still be on the cards, as reported in the Daily Express.

The 32-year-old Azpilicueta was set to become a free agent this summer but a one-year extension was triggered on his deal.

That will mean Barcelona having to negotiate over a deal with Chelsea for the veteran star. A similar situation is also brewing with Alonso, who has just over a year left on his contract.

At this stage, there’s been no indication that a new deal is on the cards. Indeed, speculation has been rife over a bust-up between Alonso and Tuchel during last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Wolves.

Two Barca stars could head in opposite direction

That could well lead to an exit for the left-back, with Spanish outlet Sport claiming Barcelona have ‘total conviction’ an agreement will soon be reached for the transfers of both Alonso and Azpilicueta.

The report adds that the defenders will be offered a three-year deal and a two-year contract, with the option of a third-year respectively.

However, in return, Chelsea have identified Barca full-back Sergino Dest as a possible makeweight.

The USA international full-back signed from Ajax in 2020, but there have been suggestions the 21-year-old could be offloaded.

Barca are said to value Dest in excess of £17m, which could make a swap deal tricky. However, Brazilian goalkeeper Neto has also been mentioned as heading in the opposite direction too.

That would appear to indicate that Chelsea could try and cash in on Kepa and then have Neto as back-up to Edouard Mendy.

Major issues on the horizon for Tuchel

Chelsea’s takeover really does need to go through as soon as possible for Tuchel to start working out what he will do with his defence next season.

Losing Rudiger is bad enough but adding Azpilicueta, Christensen and Alonso to that mix is potentially disastrous.

The loss of the later should be offset by the return of Ben Chilwell from a long-term injury. However, the other two are solid rotational pieces in Tuchel’s back-line and would take some replacing.

Torino star Gleison Bremer, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Villarreal’s Pau Torres have all been mentioned as potential incomings.

However, none of those players will come cheap and it could be argued that the Blues will need to sign two at least, given that Thiago is aging and unable to play every game.

READ MORE: Conor Gallagher non-committal as Crystal Palace make transfer intentions known

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Azpilicueta #Alonso #bound #Barcelona #potential #fourplayer #swap #deal

Man Utd ‘arrogance’ to blame as pundit Trevor Sinclair talks downfalls of Erling Haaland decision

Man Utd ‘arrogance’ to blame as pundit Trevor Sinclair talks downfalls of Erling Haaland decision

Pundit Trevor Sinclair reckons Manchester United showed ‘arrogance’ when they refused to sign Erling Haaland in 2020 – with the striker set to star for rivals Manchester City next season.

Haaland has completed his medical ahead of a transfer to the Etihad this summer. City have reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund over the 21-year-old, which will see them pay £51million for his signature.

Pep Guardiola’s team just needs to sort out personal terms with Haaland before the move can become official.

This issue could be made more complicated by the recent death of Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola.

Manchester City have been deadly in front of goal yet again this season. But club chiefs were on the lookout for a new centre-forward to properly continue where Sergio Aguero left off.

City fans will be hoping Haaland is the final piece of the puzzle for them to taste Champions League glory.

For Manchester United supporters, meanwhile, it is another sign of their club’s troubles in the transfer market.

The Red Devils were close to signing Haaland in January 2020, during his spell at Red Bull Salzburg.

Man Utd pulled out of Erling Haaland signing in 2020

He was available for just £18m due to a clause in his contract. But United refused to pay Raiola’s agent fees and include a release clause as part of Haaland’s new deal. As such, the transfer fell through.

Haaland has hit 85 goals in 88 matches for Dortmund since joining them in that transfer window.

And he will now aim to continue his fantastic goalscoring exploits under Guardiola at City.

While appearing on talkSPORT, Sinclair called United ‘arrogant’ for refusing to meet Haaland and his agent’s demands.

“Manchester United would have loved to have taken him,” he said.

“They could have had him for £18m and sold him for £51m or whatever it’s going to be, but they chose not to because they didn’t want him to have that option.

“Who can afford not to have a player like Haaland for three years and then sell him for three times the money, if he wants to go?

“I would’ve taken him, sold the club to him, make sure he understands the project, and he wants to be at the football club and wants to stay.

“I think that was a bit of arrogance by Manchester United because they’re a big club. They’ve said, ‘We’re not accepting that’.

“Now he’s gone to Borussia Dortmund, he’s played three superb years there, the youngest player to score 20 goals in the Champions League, and pulled up trees in the Bundesliga.”

Elsewhere, rumoured United target Declan Rice has reportedly received an astonishing contract offer from West Ham.

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#Man #Utd #arrogance #blame #pundit #Trevor #Sinclair #talks #downfalls #Erling #Haaland #decision

Spurs told Kulusevski international teammate will cost them just £8.5m

Spurs told Kulusevski international teammate will cost them just £8.5m

Tottenham have reportedly been told that they could sign Dejan Kulusevski’s international teammate Mattias Svanberg for around £8.5million in what would be a bargain deal.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte and sporting director Fabio Paratici are expected to be very active in the summer transfer market, with the Italian duo fully aware that the club need to invest in the first-team squad to challenge at the top end of the table.

Champions League qualification would certainly help that equation, although Tottenham will have to get past Arsenal in fourth spot first.

If Spurs do miss out on the top four then the hope is that Conte still remains and is able to use his lure to bring top players to north London.

And one player very much on the club’s radar is said to be Swedish midfielder Svanberg.

Paratici was reportedly looking at a deal for the 23-year-old in January. However, the club ended up landing Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus instead.

That has not stopped their interest in Svanberg though. Indeed, Italian outlet 1000 Cuori Rossoblu reports that Tottenham have renewed their interest in the talented midfielder.

Svanberg, Kulusevski future of Swedish football

Svanberg is widely regarded as the future of Swedish football, along Kulusevski. Indeed, the winger has already made a big impression in north London.

Corriere dello Sport adds that Bologna are looking to raise £25million from the sales of Arsenal and Newcastle target Aaron Hickey and Svanberg.

The breakdown is considered to be €20m (£17m) for Hickey and then just €10m (£8.5million) for Svanberg.

The report adds that Spurs may even be able to get Svanberg, who has also been linked with Manchester United, for less than that – with his contract ending in 2023.

Svanberg’s exit is even more likely, given that he won’t be offered a new contract. Indeed, Bologna are looking to balance their books and part company with some of their top assets.

Conte needs midfield numbers

Antonio Conte is likely to need a central midfielder or two this summer. The likes of Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso all expected to leave.

There have also been rumours that Pierre Emile-Hojberg could also be moved on. While that would be a surprise, given his importance to Conte, there needs to be more progressive play from the Tottenham engine room.

Hojbjerg and Bentancur are both positionally good but are a little one-paced and lacking in creativity.

There have been continued rumours of Yves Bissouma heading to north London this summer. While the Brighton man would be a tremendous addition, he will not come cheap – which is a likely problem for Daniel Levy.

Oliver Skipp should return in pre-season and does have an eye for a pass. But with so many exits, Conte will need strength in numbers in midfield and Savnberg could be a decent addition.

READ MORE: Peter Crouch names key position where Tottenham, Arsenal clash will be ‘won and lost’

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#Spurs #told #Kulusevski #international #teammate #cost #85m

Arsenal, Newcastle pursuit of midfield star Fabian Ruiz forces Napoli into drastic action, claims report

Arsenal, Newcastle pursuit of midfield star Fabian Ruiz forces Napoli into drastic action, claims report

Arsenal and Newcastle United’s interest in Fabian Ruiz has forced Napoli to offer the star a new long-term contract, according to reports in Italy.

The Gunners have been linked with Ruiz regularly over the past few months. Reports claim the central midfielder is on a five-man list of potential replacements for Granit Xhaka at the Emirates.

Reported Newcastle interest is more recent. Striker Victor Osimhen is their main target from Napoli, but the Magpies could make it a huge double deal by including Ruiz too.

Newcastle were given a setback recently amid claims Ruiz would reject a transfer to St James’ Park in favour of a more glamorous team.

But the huge transfer funds available to Eddie Howe means they can never truly be ruled out. Just look at the signing of Bruno Guimaraes, for example.

Italian source Calciomercato provide an update on Ruiz’s future, and whether it could involve Napoli.

The Spaniard’s current contract at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium runs until June 2023.

Therefore, the best way for Napoli to brush off Arsenal and Newcastle is to tie Ruiz down to a new deal.

Fabian Ruiz set for wage increase

With this in mind, they have apparently put a new contract worth £2.9million a year on the table. This would see Ruiz take home £57,000 per week, an increase of around £9k on his current terms.

The new contract would last until June 2027, meaning Napoli would not have to worry about his future for a long time.

The £57k weekly wage fits in with Napoli’s financial constraints and would ‘safeguard’ them from transfer interest.

But it may not be enough to convince him to stay. After all, the 26-year-old playmaker could earn over £100,000 a week by moving to the Premier League.

Ruiz and his agent, Alvaro Torres, will meet with Napoli officials in the near future to discuss the potential renewal.

Of course, Arsenal and Newcastle will be waiting to discover what decision the star comes to.

While Napoli clearly have a plan in place to keep Ruiz, it may come to nothing. The 15-cap international clearly has the ability to perform well at an elite club.

Arsenal and Newcastle cannot call themselves that just yet, although they are certainly on an upward trajectory.

And if the Gunners qualify for next season’s Champions League, it may be hard for Ruiz to turn them down.

Elsewhere, Mikel Arteta has spoken about the fitness of Ben White and Bukayo Saka ahead of Thursday’s trip to rivals Tottenham.

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Arsenal #Newcastle #pursuit #midfield #star #Fabian #Ruiz #forces #Napoli #drastic #action #claims #report

West Ham sizing up immediate Konstantinos Mavropanos deal with Arsenal cut out of £14m windfall

West Ham sizing up immediate Konstantinos Mavropanos deal with Arsenal cut out of £14m windfall

West Ham are reportedly looking to sign forgotten Arsenal player Konstantinos Mavropanos for a €20m price tag, per a report. 

Mavropanos signed for Arsenal in the 2018 January transfer window for a reported fee of £1.8m. The Greece international has since been loaned out to various German clubs.

The centre-back currently plays for Stuttgart whom he joined on loan in the 2020. The club have an option to buy at the end of the current deal which Bild report is worth around £3m. Prior reports have suggested they’ll take up that option.

Those claims are covered by Sport Witness who suggest David Moyes’ West Ham are now looking to acquire his services.

They are reportedly willing to offer around €20m (£17m), meaning a player Arsenal could lose for £3m could then move for £14m more in the same window.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a superb season in Germany and according to WhoScored, across all competitions, Mavropanos has managed an average rating of 7.0.

Moyes’ team are on course to compete for Europe again and their squad is rapidly aging.

Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson have been key players throughout the season for the Hammers. The pair are, however, both into their thirties which could stretch their defensive options again next season.

West Ham’s defensive ranks do have significant depth as both Kurt Zouma and Issa Diop are also in and around the first-team.

Although, in January, the latter was linked with a move away from the London based club.

Mavropanos speaks on his future

The 24-year-old has hinted on where his future lies in a recent interview.

“Stuttgart have the option to sign me. If they do that, I’m a VfB player. That’s all there is to say about that at the moment,” Mavropanos told Bild.

West Ham targeting pair from Arsenal

West Ham are targeting forward Eddie Nketiah and centre-half Konstantinos Mavropanos from Arsenal in a potential double summer swoop.

This showcases that the Greek international sees his future at Stuttgart, but Bild have also reported that he would consider moving away immediately if a ‘top club gets serious.’

It is not yet known if Mavropanos classes West Ham as a ‘top club’, so whether his future will lay away with Stuttgart after his clause is activated remains up in the air.

Does he suit David Moyes?

The Hammers commonly play with four defenders but have occasionally deployed a back five system on occasion.

Mavropanos has been the shining light for Stuttgart this season as they battle for survival. Despite playing in defence for the entirety of the season, Mavropanos is the teams’ joint-highest goal scorer with five in all competitions.

However, Stuttgart have shipped the fourth-most goals in the Bundesliga this year (58). They would however, be far worse off without Mavropanos’ talents.

His decision-making is one of his key assets which ensures he wins the majority of his challenges.

His aerial contribution is also second to none. Over the course of the season, he has averaged 3.9 aerial duels won per game. This is very similar to Dawson who has achieved 4.1, according to WhoScored.

Although the €20m price tag may seem hefty, Mavropanos’ skillset may be worth its weight in gold.


Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#West #Ham #sizing #Konstantinos #Mavropanos #deal #Arsenal #cut #14m #windfall

Pundit Alan Smith makes claim about Martin Odegaard transfer value that Arsenal fans will love

Pundit Alan Smith makes claim about Martin Odegaard transfer value that Arsenal fans will love

Pundit Alan Smith thinks the transfer value of Martin Odegaard has doubled during his first season as a permanent Arsenal player.

Odegaard got his first taste of the Premier League in 2020-21 when joining Arsenal on loan for the second half of the campaign. He did enough to earn a permanent switch from Real Madrid last summer, as the Gunners paid £30million for his services.

Odegaard is now one of Mikel Arteta’s most important players. He has registered six goals and five assists in 37 games this season, but that doesn’t tell the full story.

The attacking midfielder is working well in the pocket of space just behind the striker, whether it be Alexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah.

He is also forming an effective partnership with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe.

Odegaard is having such a big influence on the Arsenal squad that he could end up becoming their regular captain.

The playmaker is already the skipper of his national team, Norway, despite being 23 years old.

Out of the last five Premier League matches Odegaard has captained Arsenal in, they have won their last four on the spin.

Martin Odegaard captains Arsenal in latest win

The most recent of those was a 2-1 home victory over struggling Leeds United. Nketiah got two goals against his former loan club to give Arsenal a solid advantage.

Diego Llorente pulled one back for Leeds after the interval. But a red card for Luke Ayling effectively ended Leeds’ hope of finding an equaliser.

While appearing on Sky Sports, Smith praised Odegaard and made an exciting claim about his transfer value.

The pundit said (via football.london): “What a signing he was! £30m.

“They could double their money easily now for Odegaard.”

Due to his impressive performances, it’s no surprise Odegaard’s price tag has risen in recent months.

Should a major European club come in for him, they would likely have to pay far more than £60m.

The 39-cap international will surely become a regular in the starting eleven at the Emirates for years to come.

Odegaard should start in Arsenal’s next match, as long as he is fit. Arteta’s men travel to Tottenham in a huge north London derby which could shape the race for Champions League qualification.

Elsewhere, Arsenal’s proposed move for Gabriel Jesus seems to be gathering pace amid an update from Fabrizio Romano.

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Pundit #Alan #Smith #claim #Martin #Odegaard #transfer #Arsenal #fans #love

West Ham make unprecedented Declan Rice contract offer amid Chelsea, Man Utd interest

West Ham make unprecedented Declan Rice contract offer amid Chelsea, Man Utd interest

West Ham have offered Declan Rice the chance to stay at the London Stadium on an astonishing eight-year contract, according to a report.

The influential midfielder has rejected three contract offers from West Ham in the past 12 months. This has given clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester United hope of capturing him in the summer.

David Moyes has repeatedly put Rice’s price tag at well over £100million, and more recently at over £150m. This shows just how valuable he is to the east London side.

Rice’s current deal runs until June 2024 and is worth £156,000 a week, as per Spotrac.

This gives them a decent amount of time to sort out a renewal. But just in case the England star doesn’t extend his terms, they are scouting potential replacements.

One is Bologna’s Dutch midfielder Jerdy Schouten. And the Serie A club have been tipped to ‘cash in’ over the next few months.

talkSPORT provide a major update on Rice’s future at West Ham. They claim Rice has been offered an enormous eight-year deal worth £200,000 per week.

However, talkSPORT host Jim White, who broke the news, suggests Rice could reject it amid interest from elsewhere.

Declan Rice offered huge new contract

Here’s what White said: “Let me tell you the lengths West Ham are going to keep Declan Rice at the football club.

“It is my understanding that West Ham are 99 per cent certain they will not sell Declan Rice this summer.

“Declan Rice has been offered an eight-year deal at West Ham United worth £200,000-a-week on a rising scale to match inflation.

“An eight-year deal worth £200,000-a-week. At this stage he is showing no inclinations to sign it.

“This eight-year deal could become a ten-year deal, if Declan and his people wanted such a deal worth £200,000-a-week.

“So would they sell? There is a belief in Declan Rice’s camp that he could get between £300,000-£400,000-a-week elsewhere. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen.

“The magic figure may be £150million, but there is a feeling a West Ham United that there is next to no chance of that figure being offered for Declan Rice this summer.

“That’s why they feel they are 99 per cent certain they will keep him this summer.”

Should West Ham sell Rice, then one position they could invest some of the money in is centre-forward. A report claims they are hoping to sign Ollie Watkins from Aston Villa, and Steven Gerrard’s team could pick up a big profit.

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#West #Ham #unprecedented #Declan #Rice #contract #offer #Chelsea #Man #Utd #interest

Arsenal coup taking shape after Fabrizio Romano provides triple update

Arsenal coup taking shape after Fabrizio Romano provides triple update

Arsenal are edging closer to bringing Man City striker Gabriel Jesus on board after transfer guru Fabrizio Romano provided three encouraging updates.

The Gunners will seek to revamp their forward line this summer to ensure Mikel Arteta is not left short on firepower. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already moved on, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are set to become free agents.

One or both of that pair could depart, with West Ham reportedly now on pole position to sign Nketiah.

Arsenal have scheduled a third round of contract talks with the 22-year-old. Though whether they can offer the guarantees he’s demanding, only time will tell.

As such, one or two new strikers are expected to be signed and top of the list is seemingly Gabriel Jesus.

The Man City forward, 25, will see his contract at the Etihad expire in 2023. To avoid losing such a saleable asset for nothing, an exit this summer could be sanctioned.

What’s more, City have already wrapped up a deal to sign Argentine striker Julian Alvarez. He looks destined to be joined in Manchester by Erling Haaland.

Details on the Norwegian’s move to City can be found here, including the financial details that are far lower than many first thought.

Ornstein, Romano talk up Jesus move

With new faces arriving, Jesus’ time could be up and Arsenal are reportedly leading the chase. Indeed, the Athletic’s David Ornstein previously revealed talks over a move to north London have been ongoing for months.

Now, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has shed new light on the situation, and it makes for great reading for Gunners fans.

Firstly, Romano reaffirmed Arsenal’s desire to sign Jesus. The Italian tweeted Jesus is ‘top of their list’ in the attacking department.

Furthermore, Romano noted new ‘direct contacts’ have been made on the player’s side. Though he did admit direct contact between Arsenal and City is still to come.

Finally, the impact of Haaland’s move was stressed with Romano concluding Jesus is now ‘expected to leave’ in the wake of City’s Haaland announcement via their official website on Tuesday.

Brazilian outlet UOL added their take on the proposed Jesus to Arsenal transfer on Monday.

They claimed City will seek a €60m (£51.2m) fee for the Brazil international. However, they may be willing to go as low as €50m (£42.7m) pending how negotiations with Arsenal go.

Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal good business?

It is increasingly clear Arsenal must sign at least one new striker this summer. The list of those linked is lengthy, though Jesus would arguably be the cream of the crop.

At 25, he fits the age profile of players Arsenal chief Edu coveted last summer. What’s more, he has an abundance of Premier League experience and would not require a bedding in period.

Years in the Pep Guardiola system ensure he will always contribute on the defensive side of the game. And in front of goal, his record is better than some might expect.

His tally for City currently stands at 95 goals and 46 assists in 234 matches.

While that may not seem extraordinary on first glance, it’s important to note Jesus has regularly been the victim of rotation. He also spent many years making cameos off the bench when Sergio Aguero was in full flow.

As such, Jesus would appear to be the type of player that would excel given greater responsibility. Given Arsenal’s impending shortage of strikers, he’ll have opportunity to shine in north London.


Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Arsenal #coup #shape #Fabrizio #Romano #triple #update

Steven Gerrard savages key figure in Liverpool, Aston Villa clash – ‘I hope it’s looked at’

Steven Gerrard savages key figure in Liverpool, Aston Villa clash – ‘I hope it’s looked at’

Steven Gerrard made a cutting retirement comment about referee Jon Moss who courted controversy during Aston Villa’s defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday night.

Neither Villa nor Liverpool appeared happy with the refereeing display dished out by Moss on Tuesday night. The veteran referee made a series of questionable calls and failed to produce a single yellow card despite the combative nature of the contest.

The home crowd became increasingly frustrated at what they believed were decisions going in the Reds’ favour.

Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, was left baffled at how his side were able to concede a goal that was offside in the build-up in the age of VAR.

Ultimately, Liverpool’s 2-1 victory tempered Klopp’s anger to a degree. The same, however, could not be said for Gerrard.

Speaking in the aftermath, the Villa boss was asked about the performance of referee Moss.

Initially, Gerrard attempted to keep his composure with a standard “no comment” reply. However, he could not hold his tongue for long.

“No comment, I just hope that it’s looked at,” said Gerrard (via the Liverpool Echo). “That’s all I say. I hope it’s looked at.

“Have I gone to talk to Jon Moss? No. I just hope his performance is looked at.

“I don’t want to be sour, Liverpool scored two goals against us and we need to look at that and I don’t want to cover over any cracks.”

When informed that Moss will be hanging up his whistle and retiring when the season ends, Gerrard brutally replied: “Is he? Good.”

Steven Gerrard could win the league for Liverpool

Gerrard can yet do Liverpool a favour in their title quest when Villa travel to the Etihad on final day.

Liverpool now require a favour or two from Man City’s three remaining opponents – Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa.

When asked about the City clash and the implications it has for his former club, Gerrard insisted the focus must remain solely on Villa.

“We will wait and see what situation we are in at the end of the season. But we have a purpose to try and finish as high as we can,” added Gerrard.

“We want to push for the top 10 and it has to be about us. Let’s hope we can put ourselves in a good place going to City.”


Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Steven #Gerrard #savages #key #figure #Liverpool #Aston #Villa #clash #hope #looked

Mauricio Pochettino tipped to join surprise team after snub from Man Utd, with PSG sack imminent

Mauricio Pochettino tipped to join surprise team after snub from Man Utd, with PSG sack imminent

Mauricio Pochettino could join a surprise Spanish club over the summer after being rejected by Manchester United, with a report putting him close to the sack at Paris Saint-Germain.

Pochettino has been linked with the United job ever since his days at Tottenham. He took the side to second in the Premier League in 2016-17, as well as the 2019 Champions League final.

However, Pochettino couldn’t get Tottenham over the line in either competition and their trophy-less run continues.

The Argentine was let go by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in November 2019 and went on to sign with PSG in January last year.

This season, he took Les Parisiens to the Ligue 1 title. However, they were unable to win the UCL after crashing out to Real Madrid in the round of 16.

Pochettino was one of the Manchester United managerial targets as they looked to replace interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

But the Red Devils went for Erik ten Hag of Ajax instead, leaving Pochettino without a serious option if PSG do sack him.

According to The Sun, who cite French outlet L’Equipe, Pochettino is not totally out of potential destinations.

Mauricio Pochettino offered chance of La Liga return

That’s because La Liga team Athletic Bilbao could move for him if a PSG exit becomes a reality.

The report claims Bilbao have already made contact with Pochettino and his entourage. However, it does not reveal the 50-year-old’s response.

Bilbao sit eighth in the Spanish first division after winning 13 of their 36 matches so far. They could leapfrog Villarreal into seventh if results go their way.

Current boss Marcelino Garcia Toral has done a good job since taking over in January 2021 – days after Pochettino took charge of PSG.

They finished 11th in 2019-20, 10th last season and are now eighth, suggesting things are going in the right direction.

But Pochettino would be an upgrade due to his experience in Europe. However, this also means it would be an ambitious move for Bilbao to pull off.

Pochettino, formerly the manager of Espanyol, would likely want to remain at a top club if he does part ways with PSG. There were rumours of a return to Spurs, although this could only happen if Antonio Conte leaves.

Plus, Pochettino was on Barcelona’s radar before their capture of Xavi from Qatari side Al Sadd.

Due to these links, it is unlikely Pochettino would accept the role of Bilbao manager. He will likely keep a keen eye on Ten Hag’s success at Old Trafford, though.

Should the Dutchman fail to bring success to United, then Pochettino could finally join the club.

READ MORE: Transfer Gossip – Ten Hag wants Man Utd to shock Chelsea and snap up Croatia star

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#Mauricio #Pochettino #tipped #join #surprise #team #snub #Man #Utd #PSG #sack #imminent

Jurgen Klopp hails Liverpool star Sadio Mane for ‘top class’ goal, provides update on Fabinho injury

Jurgen Klopp hails Liverpool star Sadio Mane for ‘top class’ goal, provides update on Fabinho injury

Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on Sadio Mane and provided an update on the fitness of Fabinho after Liverpool’s 2-1 away victory over Aston Villa.

The Reds went behind just three minutes in when Douglas Luiz pounced on a couple of defensive errors to open the scoring for Villa. But Liverpool hit back three minutes later when Joel Matip tapped home after some good work from Virgil van Dijk.

The winner came in the 65th minute when Sadio Mane brilliantly cushioned a Luis Diaz cross into the Villa net with his head.

The home side had chances but were unable to equalise, meaning Liverpool picked up their 26th league win of the campaign so far – our Player Ratings are available here. They are now level on points with Manchester City, although Pep Guardiola’s side have a game in hand and play tomorrow.

During a post-match interview with BBC Sport, Klopp said: “I don’t think it is possible to win easy. They are a high-quality side. All the things they did put us under pressure.

“We have our situation and if you want to win an away game you have to open up spaces. They did really well and we needed time to get in the game and before we got in the game it was 1-1.

“I could not be more proud. It was a massive performance in the middle of May.”

Fabinho went off in the first half after pulling up with an apparent hamstring injury. When asked if the midfield enforcer will be fit for this weekend’s FA Cup final, Klopp replied: “I think he will, but I do not know. We have to have a further assessment.”

On Mane’s winning goal, the German added: “The whole situation was class. It was top class. Luis crossing in a moment when nobody expected it apart from Sadio.

“We did not have time to train and work on it and I am happy in this moment he pretended to shoot and crossed. It is difficult for the goalie and all of a sudden he puts his head there and it is nice and soft but it was a goal.”

Jordan Henderson lauds ‘incredible’ team-mates

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports, skipper Jordan Henderson said: “The boys have been incredible for a long period of time and tonight was no different.

“We knew it would be a tough game coming here against a good team and we knew there would be tough moments. It is about digging in, keeping going and finding a way to win and the boys were incredible again tonight and we got the three points.

“It was a bit frantic and as the game went on I felt we did that [got more control], scored a couple of goals and overall it was a good performance.

“Sadio Mane’s performances have always been incredible. The amount of work he does for the team off the ball, defending at the end and but he has the quality in and around the box. It was an incredible finish and he gets us the three points.

“It was always going to be tough and we have to l keep going. We’re in the same position as we were before the game. It was a big game and another three points.

“We concentrate on what we need to do. It is another big game at the weekend, the FA Cup final and we have to recover for that. It is out of our control [the Premier League title], we do not need to waste energy on that.”

READ MORE: Divock Origi transfer news – Liverpool striker gives his word to next club amid Newcastle intervention

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Jurgen #Klopp #hails #Liverpool #star #Sadio #Mane #top #class #goal #update #Fabinho #injury

Steven Gerrard explains how Aston Villa made Liverpool uncomfortable; addresses Man City focus

Steven Gerrard explains how Aston Villa made Liverpool uncomfortable; addresses Man City focus

Steven Gerrard was “frustrated” that his “ambitious” Aston Villa players were beaten by a Liverpool side they made uncomfortable despite defeat.

Villa gave Gerrard’s former club Liverpool a glimmer of hope in the title race by suffering a 2-1 defeat to them. However, they made them work for it; Liverpool had to respond to an early setback after Douglas Luiz had put Villa ahead.

But the Reds hit back quickly through Joel Matip and then won it via Sadio Mane in the second half.

It means they are level on points with leaders Manchester City, having played a game more. For Aston Villa, 43 points remains the current tally, as they sit in 11th place. A top-half finish is still possible, but they are only three points above 15th too.

That said, they competed quite well with Liverpool. Indeed, ex-Reds captain Gerrard felt the opponents were “never comfortable” thanks to the commitment of his own men.

But he knows they need to sharpen up in some aspects – as seen with the goals they conceded – to be even more competitive.

Steven Gerrard told Sky Sports: “In terms of commitment, heart and application I cannot ask for any more and at times we showed quality as well.

“Disappointed in terms of the goals we conceded but we will look at that. In terms of what we brought to the game with and without the ball I can’t ask for any more.

“We want to be bold and ambitious. The other option is to wait and you can still lose that way and you will have more regrets.

“We have good players and if we are calculated about it we can hurt teams but we have to cut moments out and need to be better. In summary we are disappointed with the goals and frustrated with the result.

“We are a lot more dangerous with two number nines. At times we had to suffer. You are never going to play Liverpool off the pitch; they are high-level opposition and have a top manager but for large parts of the game we were in the ascendancy and we showed a lot of ambition. We had a lot of chances and Liverpool were never comfortable.”

Steven Gerrard asked about Man City meeting

Villa could yet have an influence on the title race again, since they play Manchester City on the final day.

There are fixtures to fulfil before that, but naturally the attention is already shifting there thanks to Liverpool’s three points.

It would be quite the script if Gerrard could take points off City to help Liverpool. But he insists Villa can only focus on their own aims of a top-half finish.

Gerrard added: “We will wait and see what situation we are in at the end of the season but we have a purpose to try and finish as high as we can.

“We want to push for the top 10 and it has to be about us. Let’s hope we can put ourselves in a good place going to City.”

Villa are next in action when they host Crystal Palace – the side one place and one point above them – on Sunday. They will then welcome Burnley to Villa Park a few days before the City showdown.

READ MORE: Aston Villa set for big profit as West Ham plot move for England striker Ollie Watkins

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

#Steven #Gerrard #explains #Aston #Villa #Liverpool #uncomfortable #addresses #Man #City #focus

Ten Hag given lift as striker’s personal advisors make Man Utd feelings clear

Ten Hag given lift as striker’s personal advisors make Man Utd feelings clear

Manchester United are growing increasingly confident they can secure the signing of Darwin Nunez this summer, with the striker’s personal advisors seemingly giving the prospective deal a big push forwards.

The Red Devils are preparing for what is likely to be their busiest summer window in some time. With the club failing to perform to expectations, sweeping changes are likely to be made to their squad.

And with Erik ten Hag taking charge in a matter of weeks, plans are already being put in place.

The Dutchman needs to improve all areas of his side. To that end, a report recently suggested that only one position in their squad was safe with up to 12 players likely to depart.

Improvements in defence, midfield and attack are required, though just how much United have to spend is open to debate.

Either way, Ten Hag certainly has his work cut out. The club has leaked a club-record Premier League high of 56 goals this season, meaning defensive improvements are a must.

Ten Hag will also want to improve his midfield. To that end, the Red Devils have been boosted in their pursuit for Frenkie de Jong following a big decision at Barcelona.

But it’s in attack where perhaps the most wholesale changes will be made. The club are expecting to move on Anthony Martial this summer, while Edinson Cavani is also departing on a free transfer.

Doubts also remain over Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford. Even if Ronaldo is kept on, at the age of 37 questions remain over how long he has left at the top.

Man Utd given Darwin Nunez advantage

As such, it’s little wonder to see them linked with Benfica hot-shot Nunez. The Uruguayan has been in electric form this season, notching 34 goals in all competitions.

And reports on Monday claimed United were ready to go all out to bring the striker to Old Trafford.

Now those hopes have been handed a signficant lift.

As per the Daily Mirror, they claim Nunez’s personal advisors feel a move to the Premier League, and in particular Manchester United, would be perfect.

The likes of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are also reportedly keen. However, the report claims his representatives believe United are the club best suited for the striker.

Furthermore, there remains doubt over whether either of Bayern or Atleti would be able to afford Benfica’s asking price. His contract at the Estadio da Luz contains a huge £130m exit clause.

However, they are seemingly willing to do business this summer for £70m. But even that looks too high for two of his three suitors.

That’s a fee, however, United would be able to meet. And with his agents seemingly welcoming a switch to United, Ten Hag looks to have cleared another big hurdle in his pursuit of the striker.

United need a reaction – and Nunez would be perfect answer

With Manchester City on Tuesday confirming an agreement to sign Erling Haaland, Manchester United are under more pressure than ever to have a good summer.

Indeed, the capture of Haaland – one of the world’s elite strikers – will only serve to make City more formidable.

And with top-end strikers at a premium, United could do far worse than settle on Darwin Nunez.

Erik ten Hag wants Darwin Nunez at Old Trafford

Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly counting on Benfica star Darwin Nunez to lead the club’s attack next season.

At just 22 years of age, he’s the perfect age and someone who can grow and develop his game. Furthermore, his two goals against Liverpool in the Champions League proves he can do it against English sides.

And while £70m would be a sizeable chunk of United’s summer budget, Ten Hag may be best focusing on quality rather than quantity in his first summer in charge.

Transfer Gossip: Rangnick fuming as dream Man Utd midfield signing nears move elsewhere

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Aaron Hickey transfer to Arsenal edges closer as Gunners plan talks with Bologna director of football

Aaron Hickey transfer to Arsenal edges closer as Gunners plan talks with Bologna director of football

Arsenal representatives will soon meet with Bologna director of football Riccardo Bigon to discuss the signing of Aaron Hickey, according to a report.

Hickey, who mainly plays as a left-back but can also operate on the right side of defence, has been linked with plenty of English teams in recent months. The first Premier League club to want him was Aston Villa.

Other interested sides include Brentford, Newcastle and West Ham.

Arsenal became part of the transfer race on April 30. According to reports in Italy, they made an enquiry over Hickey’s availability ahead of the summer.

The Gunners were told he would be eligible to move, but only if Bologna’s £17million asking price was met.

football.london then backed these claims up, suggesting Mikel Arteta is in the market for a new left-back at the end of the season.

Hickey is one potential solution. He would arrive at the Emirates as a replacement for the slightly erratic Nuno Tavares.

Sport Witness provide an update on the situation, while citing reports coming out of Italy. They claim Bigon will travel to London on Wednesday to meet Arsenal officials.

Aaron Hickey the subject of Wednesday meeting

They will discuss the finances and practicality of 19-year-old Hickey joining the Gunners this summer.

The report reveals five other Prem teams want Hickey and will hold talks with Bigon too, although they are not named.

Arsenal have an advantage due to their existing relationship with the director of football. It stems from the talks surrounding Takehiro Tomiyasu last summer.

Arteta’s side went on to sign the right-back for just under £20m. He has been a big success in north London, so Arsenal fans will be hoping for more of the same from Hickey.

The teenager appears destined to play in the Prem. He has already made 34 appearances in Serie A this campaign, despite his tender age.

Moving to Arsenal would allow Hickey to work under compatriot Kieran Tierney. The latter is only 24 himself but is already one of Arsenal’s most reliable stars.

It will be no surprise if more clubs make bids for Hickey’s services in the upcoming transfer window. This may force Arsenal to spend more than the £17m price tag – unless they can sort out a deal with Bigon this week.

Elsewhere, West Ham are apparently fronting the race to land Eddie Nketiah. The centre-forward is eligible to leave Arsenal on a free transfer as his contract expires in June.

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Christopher Nkunku offer made as RB Leipzig scramble to repel Man Utd advances, double Chelsea raid

Christopher Nkunku offer made as RB Leipzig scramble to repel Man Utd advances, double Chelsea raid

Chelsea are sizing up Christopher Nkunku as part of a double raid, though multiple reports have explained why both they and Man Utd are facing an uphill struggle.

The French attacker, 24, has enjoyed a truly remarkable breakthrough season in Germany. Prior ro the current campaign, Nkunku had never scored more than seven goals in a season across all competitions.

In the current campaign, Nkunku currently sits on 34 goals and has provided a whopping 20 assists too.

All in all, he has a ratio of better than one goal contribution per game. As such, it’s come as no surprise to see him linked with a blockbuster summer move to one of England’s heavyweights.

Indeed, Man Utd have frequently drawn links with the forward who can operate in a vast array of positions.

Ralf Rangnick’s connections have been tipped to serve United well if their interest is firmed up. Rangnick knows the Red Bull organisation better than anyone and could give them a crucial leg up if push comes to shove.

German outlet Bild recently reported United have spoken to Leipzig about a move. Nkunku does not hold a release clause in his deal, meaning any transfer won’t come cheap. Bild reckon his value is around £64m, though French outlet L’Equipe put it at £72.4m.

From the player’s end, the report gave hope to a move being made when insisting Nkunku wishes to move on. After such a stand-out campaign, he’s seemingly ready to strike while the iron is hot and move to a bigger club.

Chelsea want Leipzog double deal

However, according to Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, United aren’t alone in their admiration of Nkunku.

Plettenberg first confirmed United are interested in making a move. However, he added Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is ‘highly interested’ in signing Nkunku too.

In fact, Tuchel reportedly wishes to raid Leipzig twice with centre-back Josko Gvardiol also in his sights. The Blues are poised to lose Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen this summer, making reinforcements at the back a top priority.

However, both Plettenberg and the Sun explain why United and Chelsea may struggle to get a deal done.

Plettenberg added Leipzig ‘don’t want to sell’. Given Nkunku’s contract runs until 2024, they are under no pressure to offload their best player this summer. 

What’s more, Leipzig have now reportedly tabled an offer to Nkunku over a contract extension.

The Sun, citing Fabrizio Romano, take it a step further.

Romano quoted Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff who categorically stated: “We have clearly discussed it internally. We won’t let Nkunku leave this summer, we told him and his agent.”

Clearly, Man Utd or Chelsea must make an offer Leipzig deem too good to refuse if Nkunku is to move this summer. Either that, or they’ll be relying on the player forcing his way out.

Nkunku miss a blessing in disguise?

One look at Nkunku’s gaudy numbers would suggest he’d be a potent force in England. However, there may be more than meets the eye.

Jadon Sancho serves as a prime, recent example of how an attacker can excel in the comparatively weaker Bundesliga, but struggle in the Premier League.

Indeed, Sancho notched 36 goals and 40 assists over his last two seasons at Borussia Dortmund combined. Since moving to Man Utd for around £75m, his output dropped to just five goals and three assists this year.

All eyes will be on Erling Haaland next season – should he complete his anticipated move to Man City.

The Norwegian is a goal-per-game man in Germany. Though even the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah haven’t been able to operate at that level for more than one season in England.

Yet Nkunku may be the most rounded attacker of the lot and would bring far more to whichever team he signed for than just goals.

Indeed, he can count centre-forward, second striker, No 10, right wing, left wing and attacking midfield as the positions he has played at Leipzig this season.

At the price Leipzig will hold out for, he’s undoubtedly a gamble, not a sure-fire success waiting to happen. Only time would tell whether he’d be one that would pay off.


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Aston Villa in line for big profit as West Ham plot summer move for England forward Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa in line for big profit as West Ham plot summer move for England forward Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa could make a serious profit on England striker Ollie Watkins as a report claims West Ham are hoping to sign him this summer.

Watkins came through the ranks at Exeter City and made 78 appearances for the club before joining Brentford in July 2017. He went on to score 49 goals in 143 matches for the Bees, helping them to reach the play-off final in 2019-20, where they lost to Fulham.

Brentford sold Watkins that summer as Aston Villa agreed to pay £28million for his services. That saw the Midlands outfit break their club record transfer fee, although it has since been increased by the capture of Emi Buendia.

Watkins hit 16 goals in 40 matches for Villa during 2020-21, making it a successful first season in the Premier League for him.

The 26-year-old will have to end the current campaign in deadly form if he wants to match that figure. His record stands at 10 goals from 32 outings so far, with four games left to play.

Watkins, now a seven-cap England international, is becoming a reliable attacker at Premier League level. Despite this, reports suggest Steven Gerrard could sanction an exit in the summer.

This is where West Ham come in. According to The Guardian, David Moyes is desperate to bring in a new striker at the end of the season and Watkins is a perfect solution.

As a result, West Ham are set to bid for the star once the summer transfer window opens.

Ollie Watkins wanted in east London

Signing Watkins would lessen the burden on Michail Antonio and keep the Irons going in the right direction.

They are proving to be effective in the transfer market and the capture of Watkins would continue this trend.

However, the Villa man will not come cheap. Due to the Villans’ recent investment in him, they will demand £50m to sell later this year.

This would force West Ham to break their transfer record. This currently stands at the £45m they paid for Sebastien Haller, although he left for £20.25m 18 months later.

Such a fee would also see Gerrard’s team pick up an attractive £22m profit on Watkins.

It looks like the player’s future could rely on Gerrard. Should he want a top-class replacement at Villa Park, then West Ham may be given the green light to sign Watkins.

Elsewhere, Villa reportedly have competition for the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho. That’s because Newcastle are eager to capture the Brazilian from Barcelona.

Source: Page not found – TEAMtalk

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