Gossip Column

Gossip: Man City To Make £50m Signing, Man Utd Agree £30m Fee & Palace To Seal £25m Deal

The gossip is well underway and we have all the latest for you in our gossip column.

Palace make £25million bid for Cristian Benteke (Telegraph)

Liverpool are considering whether or not to accept a £25million bid from Crystal Palace for Cristian Benteke, according to reports. Jurgen Klopp is thought to be willing to part with the Belgian striker, but the club were initially hoping to recoup £30million for him. Palace’s bid will certainly be worth considering though, as Liverpool look to raise funds to build a squad more suited to Klopp’s style. Benteke may not want to move to a club like Palace though, as he has always had his sights set firmly on playing for the very best clubs. But with Benteke unable to play regularly at Liverpool and with no big clubs interested currently, the 25-year-old may have to take a step back before moving to a big club again. Under Alan Pardew, Palace are building a solid squad having recently signed Andros Townsend and more targetted. Liverpool are yet to respond to Palace’s offer but if they did accept, they’d be taking a £7.5million hit on the £32.5million they paid last summer.

Manchester City set to pay £50million for John Stones (Telegraph)

 

Everton put a £50million price tag on John Stones’ head in a bid to scare potential suitors away, but with Pep Guardiola desperate for homegrown talent, it seems City will now pay the full asking price. It would be an incredible move for Stones, who aged just 22 was often omitted from the Everton line-up last season due to poor form. Stones would become one of the most expensive players in world football, despite not yet managing to cement his place in Everton’s line up. It’s a huge risk from City, because although Stones does have lots of potential, there are no guarantees that he will fulfil it. With Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito already signed, Pep’s attention is not on strengthening his defence and if a deal for Stones is completed, the Spanish manager will have already spent around £100million on new signings, with many more still expected. The rumours linking this story are being reported in nearly every UK paper and there is a strong feeling that Stones will get his wish in the coming weeks, and join Manchester City.

Manchester United set to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan (BBC)

Manchester United have had a bid of around £30million accepted for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The 27-year-old Armenian midfielder is expected to sign a contract with wages worth in excess of £200,000 per week. He scored 18 goals in all competitions last season as well as making many more assists. Mkhitaryan is likely to replace Juan Mata in the number 10 role, although he can also play out wide. Mkhitaryan created an incredible 2.81 chances per 90 minutes last season. He’s a forward thinking player who makes 21.95 forward passes on average per game, although not always successfully, with a pass completion rate of 75%.

Gossip: Man City To Seal €50m Deal, Liverpool To Sell Coutinho & Southampton Close In On Signing

The transfer window is now kicking into gear with a couple of completed deals already, Fresh Football will bring you all the gossip and breaking news throughout the busy summer period. We take a look at some rumours that are flying about this afternoon.

Calum Chambers heading back to Southampton (Daily Mirror)

According to the Daily Mirror Calum Chambers is on Southampton’s radar this summer with the club looking to sign the defender on a one-year loan deal. It is being reported Arsene Wenger has been very reluctant to send out his versatile defender, but after rebuffing previous attempts from The Saints to bring their academy product back to St Marys’s, Wenger now feels Chambers needs game time in order to fulfil his potential and take the next step of his career.

21-year-old Chambers showed his defensive abilities recently helping England secure their first Toulon Tournament title since 1994 and more noticeably being picked for the “team of the tournament”.

Wenger is only likely to sanction a move for Chambers this summer if Arsenal sign a senior defender with Medhi Benatia and Kalidou Koulibaly both reported targets for the Gunners.
Chambers, who joined Arsenal for £16 million in 2014, has only played 35 games for the Gunners scoring one goal. The Saints will be very keen on Chambers and his versatility to play right-back, centre-back and even as a holding midfielder.

Arsene has claimed many times he sees his future as a centre-half and now want’s the young defender to gain much-needed experience. Chambers, who is a ball playing defender, is seen as a long-term replacement for Mertesacker, although he has only managed 12 games this season his tackle’s won ratio is incredible managing 2.09 per 90 minutes compared to Mertesacker who managed just 1.06. Standing at 6ft tall Chambers also impresses with aerial duels won after winning 3.39 which is one again more superior to Mertesacker’s score of 2.29. Although Chambers has hardly played his defence score is sublime, scoring a total 22.25 which one again put his ahead of team mate Mertesacker who managed just 14.68.

Arsene sees Chambers long-term future at Arsenal, but without guaranteed minutes Chambers will need a loan move to hopefully fulfil his bright potential.

Laporte set to complete €50million Manchester City switch (Guardian)

According to The Guardian Manchester City are ready to pay the €50m (£39m) release clause in order to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.

Pep Guardiola sees central defence as a priority for City this summer and they are prepared to spend big on Laporte in order to get their man, the French International is just 22-years old and already thought of as one of the best young central defenders in Europe.

Laporte has been ruled out until August with a broken leg and dislocated ankle and will miss the Euro’s with France this summer, but this has not put City off the prospect of signing him.

Laporte has already played over 120 games in La Liga and his impressive defensive abilities have caught the eye of most teams around Europe most noticeably Barcelona, but it is now likely Manchester City will pursue their interest in Laporte and land their man.

Manchester City are still trying to strengthen their defence with question marks constantly raised over club captain Vincent Kompanys long term fitness issues.

Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi have both been brought in by City to toughen up their defence but it hasn’t gone as well as they hoped and both players have failed to really nail down a position. Laporte will be brought in as a hopeful starter for City and if Kompany can stay fit that will likely be the partnership, with Mangala and Otamendi’s futures at the club in doubt.

The likelihood is Laporte will partner Kompany in central defence so we take a look at how the two have compared this season. Something that will impress City is the amount of tackles Laporte has won, manging 1.47 per 90 minutes. His opponent Kompany is not too far behind with 1.06. Aerial duels are a real factor to being a great defender, especially in a tough league. Kompany, who stands over 6ft show’s why he is thought of so highly, winning 85.37% of his aerial duels. Laporte, although he hasn’t won as much as Kompany still shows his aerial presence winning 69.86%. Kompany has been one of the most impressive defenders to grace the Premier League in recent seasons managing to win 58.82% of his total duels which just beats the impressive Laporte (54.19%).

Manchester City look destined to sign their long term target after beating off interested from European giants, the fee being paid will of course raise expectation but Laporte looks destined to fulfil his potential.

 

Philippe Coutinho wanted in Paris (Liverpool Echo)

According to the Liverpool Echo French Champions PSG are very interested in signing Brazilian ace Philippe Coutinho this summer. Coutinho has once again had an impressive season for Liverpool and more noticeably since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival and has caught the eye of PSG with the club ready to pursue their interest this summer.

It is understood PSG have already sounded out Coutinho’s representatives about swapping life in England for France and it is believed Liverpool are also aware of their interest in the 23-year old.

No official approach has been made for Coutinho, but it is certain he is on PSG’s radar this summer as they look to strengthen their squad to compete more fiercely for the Champions League.

Coutinho signed a five-year contract with Liverpool in February 2015 and it is understood Liverpool will fight to keep their playmaker and rebuff any attempts from clubs to sign him. Coutinho has been influential for Jurgen Klopp in the second half of the season and the player himself has found some excellent form with the manager clearly desperate to keep hold of him. The lack of any European football whatsoever at Liverpool next season will make it hard for Klopp to convince the player to stay, especially with the likes of PSG interested.

PSG ace Angel Di Maria has thrived since his arrival in France, after a disappointing spell at Manchester United. Coutinho would certainly be brought in to link up with the delightful attacker. Di Maria has had a sublime season and has been a key player in PSG’s title dominance. He has contributed with 0.81 assists per 90 minutes which is far better than Liverpool’s Coutinho who has managed just 0.23. Di María also comes out on top with chances created with 4.15 which is brilliant; Di María has been one of the most influential wingers/playmaker in Europe this season, Coutinho who has shone in the Premier League has managed just 2.21. The bonus with both of these players is they don’t just help create chances or assists. They also contribute with goals: Di María swoops a clean house once again coming out on top to Coutinho after managing 0.42 goals per 90 minutes which is slightly better than Coutinho who manages 0.36.

Coutinho may not yet be at the level of Di Maria but he is still a top quality player and aged just 23, has time to improve further.

If PSG are to sign Coutinho this summer they will certainly have a fight on their hands, with long-term admirers Manchester City still keen on the midfielder if he was to become available.

 

Gossip: Chelsea To Sign Defender, Swansea Want £10m Midfielder & Leicester Make Two Bids

With the domestic football seasons over, the transfer window has really kicked into gear and now the stories and gossip are flowing. Here at Fresh Football we will bring you the best (and worst) of it. For extended coverage please follow us @FreshFootball on Twitter.

Chelsea in talks to sign River Plate defender Emanuel Mammana (Sport Italia)

According to SportItalia, Mammana’s agent has flown to London to hold talks with Chelsea. The 20-year-old has just made 32 senior appearances for River Plate and made his international debut for Argentina in 2014 – he has not been capped since. Mammana is an aggressive 20-year-old defender that is highly rated across Europe and it seems that a move to the continent is highly likely in the near future. Antonio Conte will not officially take charge of Chelsea until after Euro 2016, but there is an extensive set of scouting in place to try and complete most of the clubs transfer business before the tournament kicks off. Mammana could be a much cheaper alternative to other young defenders that Chelsea are pursuing, these include Everton’s John Stones and PSG’s Marquinhos.

Swansea pondering £10million bid for Joe Allen (Daily Star)

Swansea could be set to re-sign Joe Allen from Liverpool. Liverpool signed the Welshman for £15million just a couple of years ago, and now may be prepared to sell him for less, although they are believed to be asking for at least £10million. Although this story comes from The Star, a not very reputable source – it does appear to have legs. Swansea are looking for reinforcements to their midfield and few come more ready made than Allen, a former Swan. Liverpool seem to be looking to actively offload the central midfielder so its likely a deal shouldn’t be too hard to reach. Allen would be an upgrade on current central midfielder Jack Cork. Allen has managed more key passes (1.31 vs. 0.99), more goals scored (0.24 vs. 0.04) and more tackles won (2.27 vs. 1.97) per 90 minutes than Cork this season. The Welshman’s pass completion rate is also marginally higher (84%).

Leicester ready bids for Lyon’s Ghezzal and N’Zonzi (Mirror)

 

Leicester have identified their replacement for N’Golo Kante, should he leave, says The Mirror. That is former Premier League player Stephen N’Zonzi. N’Zonzi, as most of you will know, it a strong, lanky, dominant central midfielder capable of playing in a deep or central midfield role. Since he moved from Stoke he has become a regular in the Sevilla side and has been fairly impressive for the La Liga outfit. He’s a lot taller than Kante but maybe doesn’t work quite so hard. He likes to stay on his feet and use his tactical nous to play short passes around the opposition. TalkSport also report that Leicester want to sign Lyon midfielder Rachid Ghezzal has 8 goals and 8 assists in 29 Ligue 1 games this season. He is an attacking midfielder that has thrived in the absence of Nabil Fekir. With Fekir returning to full fitness he may no longer be a starter for the club. Sunderland and Everton are also listed with interest in for the impressive 24-year-old Algerian. Ghezzal is a brilliant dribbler of the ball and is well known for his impressive technical attributes that include key passes and through balls. Ghezzal can play on either wing and would most likely compete with Jeffrey Schlupp and Marc Albrighton to play on the left wing. Leicester are also closing in on a deal to sign Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moskow.

West Ham Gossip: Bid Prepared For Napoli Forward, Lacazette Blow & Tore To Wear no.7

With the domestic football seasons over, the transfer window has really kicked into gear and now the stories and gossip are flowing. Here at Fresh Football we will bring you the best (and worst) of it. For extended coverage please follow us @FreshFootball on Twitter.

Alexandre Lacazette has no intentions of joining West Ham United (GFFN)

‘Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette will not leave the club this summer unless a side playing Champions League football next season comes in for him.’ That’s what the reliable report says. West Ham may have to move on, their primary target Lacazette looks like he doesn’t want to join. The player is said to be holding out for a move to PSG and that will happen if the Ligue 1 champions fail to land a player of higher calibre (Higuain, Ronaldo). Tottenham Hotspur look the most likely team from the Premier League to sign the young forward and West Ham should look to pursue other targets if they want to sign a striker. Lyon want €50million for Lacazette. They believe the 24-year-old is worth that much due to his 21 Ligue 1 goals this season. Lacazette has not had the most consistent of campaigns, but he has hit form in the latter end of the season and previously proven his goalscoring abilities. Lacazette would have been a perfect signing for West Ham due to his excellent finishing and dribbling abilties, but it looks like its time to give up on this one.

West Ham prepare to move for Manolo Gabbiadini as Lacazette alternative (Calcio Mercato)

West Ham are reportedly eyeing a move for Gabbiadini if Lacazette does indeed reject a move to the Hammers. The Napoli striker has scored a goal every 109 minutes this season, but despite this remains Gonzalo Higuain’s back-up (with very good reason). Napoli may be willing to part with their striker this summer though, as the 24-year-old goes in search of first team football having started just 4 games in the Serie A this season. He can also play just behind the striker and is a very quick forward. As well as being quick, Gabbiadini stands at a very respectable 6ft tall and this makes him very dangerous in the air. What lets him down is perhaps his passing range, although Slaven Bilic’s style is not particularly possession based. Gabbiadini appears to be a decent fit for West Ham and may be cheaper than their other options – the sources reporting this deal are pretty reliable so it is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Gabbiadini loves a shot (3.5 per game in the Europa League) although his defensive contributions can be criticised.

Gokhan Tore set to sign for West Ham and wear number 7 (Milliyet)

We have previously reported that Gokhan Tore is set to sign for West Ham but now Milliyet are suggesting that Tore has already demanded and is set to be granted the no.7 shirt. The shirt was previously assigned to Matt Jarvis who left the club in January, so it is now vacant. It is very possible that a deal will be struck and that Tore will get his wish and wear the no.7 shirt. Tore is a powerful young (24) winger who has been a long-term target for Slaven Bilic. The Croatian manager has attempted to sign him previously, having a £7.4million bid rejected in January. Tore has managed 4 goals and 7 assists in 23 games for Besiktas this season.

Gossip: West Ham Agree £12m Deal, Middlesbrough Close To Big Signing, Chelsea Bid £31m

With the domestic football seasons over, the transfer window has really kicked into gear and now the stories and gossip are flowing. Here at Fresh Football we will bring you the best (and worst) of it. For extended coverage please follow us @FreshFootball on Twitter.

Middlesbrough set to sign Viktor Fischer for £3.8million (Guardian)

Middlesbrough look set to announce their first signing of the summer as Ajax forward Viktor Fischer. The 21-year-old has previously been linked with several high profile clubs including the likes of Barcelona. In recent seasons though his progress has stalled and with one year remaining on his contract he is set to move from the Eredivisie and to the Premier League for a bargain fee. Middlesbrough are looking to add Premier League quality to their squad after gaining automatic promotion to the division. Fischer, although lightweight, would add guile and technical ability to their forward options. Fischer is predominantly a left-winger. The reliability of the sources reporting this deal make it look at if it is only a matter of time before the deal is confirmed. We think at this stage it is extremely likely that Fischer will be in the Boro shirt come next season – exciting times.

West Ham agree £12million fee to sign Gokhan Tore (The Sun)

The Sun alone are not a great source of transfer information but they are citing Turkish media outlet ‘Holigan’ who claim that a £12million fee has been agreed between West Ham and Besiktas for the transfer of Gokhan Tore. Tore is a powerful young (24) winger who has been a long-term target for Slaven Bilic. The Croatian manager has attempted to sign him previously, having a £7.4million bid rejected in January. West Ham have that extra Olympic Stadium budget to spend this time around and are making some very big waves in the transfer market already this summer. Their willingness to up their bid for Tore is indicative of that. Tore has managed 26 caps for Turkey and spent two years at London rivals Chelsea as a youth player. He was considered one of Chelsea’s best prospects in the under 21’s, but like many of their young talents, he never got the chance to break into the senior side.

Chelsea confident of sealing £31million deal for Radja Nainggolan (London Evening Standard)

Chelsea have ‘stepped up’ negotiations to sign Radja Nainggolan from AS Roma. The midfielder has been in high demand in recent weeks but Antonio Conte has made him a clear transfer priority and talks have been going on for some time. Now it appears that Chelsea, who had a £24million bid rebuffed earlier this month, may be willing to pay the £31million asking price in order to get the deal over the line before the start of the European Championships this summer. Nainggolan is a box-to-box midfielder that would probably act as Ramires’ replacement as the energetic Brazilian was not directly replaced after his January departure. Nainggolan’s arrival would push youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek further down the pecking order and perhaps convince him to consider his future at the club. Is signing another big name at the expense of a youngster the right answer again for Chelsea? I’m not so sure. Nainggolan is certainly a quality player, but for over £30million, when he is already 28 and you have youngsters coming through the academy, I’m not sure he is the best signing at the moment in time, although it could be argued that as he is older, it would allow for youngsters to get their chances sooner – but would they?

Liverpool Gossip: £28m Bid In The Pipeline, Gotze Boost & German Defender Targetted

Jurgen Klopp’s first summer in charge of Liverpool promises to be a busy one indeed. Many comings and goings are expected at Anfield over the next few months as Klopp decides who he will keep to help mount a challenge for the Premier League title and who he deems unworthy of wearing the famous red shirt.

Klopp has already secured the signature of Joel Matip from Schalke and more are sure to follow. We take a look at three of the transfer rumors doing the rounds today.

Update: Borussia Dortmund beat Liverpool to £28million Ousamme Dembele (Fresh Football)

Liverpool have made enquiries about Rennes forward Ousmane Dembele but may have to pay a massive £28 million to secure his services. The 18-year-old have impressed in Ligue 1 so far this season scoring 12 goals and winning the young player of the year award.

Such a rise to prominence has got many big clubs looking in the direction of Dembele and Klopp may have to fight off competition from former club Borussia Dortmund for the player. Klopp and Dembele have already spoken and Dembele is thought to be impressed by the German.

One possible snag is that there is an ongoing dispute between Dembele’s representatives and Rennes. the French club is keen to sell him to Dortmund and the player and family have visited their training ground in the past few weeks.

Gotze told he is not wanted by Bayern (Suddeutsche Zeitung)

Mario Gotze looks destined to move away from Bayern Munich this summer and Liverpool could be a likely destination. Incoming manager Carlo Ancelotti does not see the 23-year-old World Cup winner as having a future at the club and is keen to move him on.

 

 

Bayern this week have signed Renato Sanches from Benfica and Gotze’s time on the field with the first team could be limited going into next season. This year Gotze has been limited to just 13 Bundesliga appearances due to injury and poor form, Guardiola preferring to play Kingsley Coman instead.

If Gotze does transfer to Liverpool then he will re-unite with Klopp who he played under at Borussia Dortmund winning two league titles and reaching a Champions League final.

Stuttgart defender Rudiger on radar (Daily Star)

Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger is on the radar of Liverpool manager Klopp. The Germany international has been on loan at Roma this season and has impressed helping the Serie A side to second in the table. A player like Rudiger would have been useful as Stuttgart are struggling with relegation and are currently second from bottom in the Bundesliga.

Klopp must believe that his defence needs some strengthening and is looking at Rudiger as an option for the coming season. Having already signed Joel Matip from Schalke, Klopp is attempting to do his business early and has identified the central defensive area as one that needs improving.

With Mamadou Sakho out of contention and Kolo Toure well into his mid-thirties, it is time for fresh bodies at Anfield. Rudiger and Matip could be a solid partnership for Klopp in years to come.

Gossip: Mourinho Signs, Liverpool Ban Defender, West Ham Sign Chelsea Ace & More

We look at the latest news from the Premier League today, where Liverpool have banned a centre back due to a failed drugs test and Jose Mourinho is believed to have signed a contract with Manchester United

Jose Mourinho Has Signed A Contract To Manage Manchester United Next Season (Jornal De Noticias)

Jornal De Noticias are claiming that Jose Mourinho has officially signed a contract to manage Manchester United next season, even going as far as to claim that the Portuguese manager has been in contact with United since he was sacked by Chelsea in December.

It seems absolutely nailed on that Jose Mourinho will take over as Manchester United boss next season, with a number of reliable sources all confirming it over the past few weeks. The Louis van Gaal era has been slow, frustrating and underwhelming for Manchester United fans, who’ll be looking for Jose Mourinho to reinvigorate United and get them back where they belong, winning silverware.

West Ham Beat Arsenal To Sign Highly Rated 16-Year-Old (Daily Mirror)

West Ham are set to sign ex-Chelsea player Domingos Quina today, according to the Daily Mirror. Quina quit Chelsea this season, failing to return to the club after going away on International duty as he thought that he would never be given a chance to prove himself at Chelsea.

The highly rated midfielder was due to sign for Arsenal, who were convinced that a deal for the Portuguese talent was all but confirmed, however, Quina instead opted to sign for Slaven Bilic’s West Ham. West Ham being able to beat Arsenal to a player is another example of how far they’ve come under Slaven Bilic. West Ham are playing some of the best football they’ve ever played and the Hammers look like they’ll keep improving under their charismatic manager.

Liverpool Ban Mamadou Sakho After Defender Fails Drug Test (BBC)

Mamadou Sakho has been suspended by Liverpool pending an investigation after failing a drugs test. Sakho has been left out of the squad to face Newcastle today, with reports claiming that he tested positive for Fat Burner pills during a recent drug test. Sakho has until Tuesday to respond with a B sample. Kolo Toure received a six-month ban for a similar incident and Liverpool have confirmed that Sakho will not play for the club whilst the investigation is ongoing.

Mamadou Sakho has been brilliant under Jurgen Klopp and his absence will be a huge loss to Liverpool, who face Villareal in the Europa League semi-final next week. In 2016, players should know what substances they can and can’t take, so it’s difficult to have any sympathy for Sakho, who likely faces a lengthy ban.

Chelsea and Liverpool To Battle It Out For Free Agent Hatem Ben Arfa (L’Equipe)

There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write! Hatem Ben Arfa has attracted attention from a number of top clubs after an impressive season for Nice. The talented midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and a move back to the Premier League looks likely.

Hatem Ben Arfa seems a completely different player to the one we remember at Newcastle and Hull. The midfielder has battled his fitness issues and matured as a player, which has seen him put in a number of incredibly impressive performances this season. Ben Arfa has scored sixteen goals this season, which will surely earn him a move to a Premier League club this summer.

Arsenal Gossip Round-Up: Ox Off, £30m Offer Prepared For Defender & Benzema Still A Target

After yet another setback in Arsenal’s dim title challenge, the season seems all but over. The squad is lacking the quality needed to win the tile and it is clear reinforcements are needed this summer, here’s our Arsenal gossip round-up.

Oxlade-Chamberlain to be sold in summer overhaul (Daily Mirror)

According to the Daily Mirror Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is Southampton’s number one target this summer as the club prepares to make a bid. Southampton are willing to make him their highest paid player and are even prepared to offer him vice-captaincy as they try to win over his services and bring him back to his childhood club.

Chamberlain’s current contract expires in 2018 and clubs have been alerted to this, they feel if the price is right they may be able to tempt Arsenal into selling their winger. It is said they are willing to offer him a huge contract and make him a senior player at the club if he was to re-sign for them.

Southampton will have to beat of several clubs for his services as Manchester City, West Ham, and Chelsea are all monitoring his current situation. See our analysis on whether or not Chamberlain would be a good signing for Southampton. 

Arsenal have their sights on Karim Benzema (Daily Mail)

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal will reignite their long-term interest in Real Madrid’s prolific striker Karim Benzema, the reports claim Real Madrid are keen on signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has himself not hid his desire to play for the La Liga giants.

The report goes on to say Benzema’s availability may depend on an ongoing situation with regards to an investigation taking place after it was alleged Benzema was negotiating with a gang blackmailing his France international team-mate, Mathieu Valbuena. Benzema will be omitted from the France squad because of this and so will have a rest this summer.

If a deal for Aubameyang does go through, it is likely Arsenal will try and sign their long-term target Karim Benzema this summer.

Gunners to sign Leicester starlet Chilwell (Daily Mirror)

Arsenal are reportedly back in for Leicester City’s defender Ben Chilwell after failing to secure his signature in January.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are all monitoring his current situation as he has not yet signed a new contract with Leicester City as he feels he could get as much as £18,000 per week elsewhere. Although he is yet to sign a new contract the club remain hopeful he will before the summer.

If this deal was to go through it is likely it would end Kieran Gibbs’ nine-year stay with the club as he would be sold this summer.

Arsenal keen on signing Kostas Manolas (Telegraph)

Arsenal are interested in bringing long-term target Kostas Manolas to the Emirates stadium this summer according to the Telegraph. The 24 years old Greek international was considered a target for Arsenal two years ago but were priced out of any deal, baulking at Olympiacos’ asking price.

Arsene Wenger knows he has to strengthen his side this summer and after what an abysmal season Arsenal’s defence has truly been exposed for its frailties.

Arsenal have reportedly revived their interest in Manolas and are hopeful of a deal this summer, although Chelsea remain favorites Arsenal are hopeful they can offer him Champions League football which will persuade his move. See our analysis on whether Manolas would be a good signing for Arsenal. 

Chelsea Round-Up: Talks Begin To Sign Striker, Oscar To Be Sold & Nainggolan Update

With Chelsea’s season all but over and a new long-term manager announced, the club’s attention is firmly on new additions that could be made over the summer. Antonio Conte is already looking busy. Here’s our Chelsea gossip round-up.

Roma admit Nainggolan can leave, but only for big bucks (Evening Standard)

Chelsea’s well documented interested in Radja Nainggolan could well develop into more than that, with the Serie A club now admitting they could sell the Belgian midfielder. A Roma spokesperson said: “A player could be sold to bring in fresh funds and sign different figures, but it would in any case be a choice. We will make choices within the club with the perspective of coach and players to see how we can reinforce and improve Roma.” It is thought that Roma value Nainggolan at around £35million.

 

Oscar to be sold to raise funds (Times)

Roman Abramovic seems to want to sell a valuable asset this summer and Oscar will reportedly be the man to leave. Chelsea want to build a more sustainable transfer model, say The Times, so they need to sell a player of value. It was originally thought that that may be Eden Hazard, but with the Belgian now looking likely to stay, it seems it will be Brazilian that will leave. Oscar has played well on occasions for Chelsea, but lacked the consistency to tie down a regular starting spot. Because of his quality, there will be many clubs interested in signing him and Chelsea can expect to raise a sizeable amount, around £25million-£35million for him. Oscar has managed just 3 goals and 3 assists in the league this season.

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Chelsea open talks with Fulham for striker Dembele (GFFN)

Dembele has impressed for Fulham and is now wanted by Chelsea, according to reports from France. The 19-year-old striker stands at 6ft and has scored 14 goals in the Championship this season, in addition to 6 assists. He may be a good youthful back up for Diego Costa, with Falcao, Loic Remy and Alexandre Pato expected to leave this summer.

More: 4 Signings Antonio Conte Wants To Make At Chelsea

If Oscar leaves, who should replace him? Have your say by commenting below.

Liverpool Gossip Round-Up: Klopp Closes In Double Deal For German Internationals

It is being widely reported that Jurgen Klopp is closing in on signing two established German internationals in the latest batch of Liverpool-related transfer gossip.

Whilst Klopp has had an up and down first season at Liverpool, this summer he will have a chance to imprint his trademark on the team with his own signings. That could start with some former players.. here’s the latest gossip.

Mario Gotze wants £20million summer switch to Anfield (Daily Express). Since joining from Borussia Dortmund in a £40million deal, Gotze has struggled to develop and with just one year remaining on his current contract, he is widely expected to leave this summer. Former manager Klopp is interested and reports suggest that the player would love a reunion. This would be some coup for the club and highlight the benefits of installing a manager of Klopp’s calibre – pulling power cannot be underestimated. Whilst the Express are not the most reliable source, this story does appear to have legs, with widespread media suggesting a deal is in the pipeline. Gotze’s discomfort combined with Klopp’s desire for German talent add up to make this appear a realistic summer deal. 

Klopp also wants to sign £12million German left-back Jonas Hector (Daily Mirror). Jonas Hector’s rise has been meteoric over the last two years and he has now established himself as Germany’s first choice left back. Despite managing to become the leading left back for his country, Hector remains at lowly FC Koln and the chance to join Liverpool may be too hard to turn down for the defender. Statistics highlight that his overall performance appears to be a lot better than Moreno’s, whilst in attacking areas he excels over the likes of Nacho Monreal and Cesar Azpilicueta. This is illustrated by his 1.09 successful take ons and 0.13 assists per 90 minutes. He also wins 65% of his aerial duels, more than Aaron Creswell, Moreno, Monreal and Azpilicueta – showing that he can be just as effective defensively.

Albert Moreno to sold to make way (Various). With Hector and Jetro Willems targets at left back, Moreno could be the man to leave. The Spaniard has failed to show enough of a balance between attacking qualities and defensive solidarity – often leaving his side exposed down the left-hand side.

Lucas Moura pours cold water on Liverpool rumours (Liverpool Echo). Lucas Moura has pretty much ended all speculation regarding his future by confirming that he would like to stay with PSG in the French capital. Moura told the French media: “My dream is to continue my career here, win a lot of titles and then return to Sao Paulo. “That’s my goal.” Liverpool had been linked with the Brazilian, as they look to add another to their growing contingent. Alongside Roberto Firmino and Phillipe Coutinho, the chemistry and flair would be flowing in Liverpool’s attack. Perhaps the likely arrival of Gotze means Moura is no longer needed, though.

Gossip: Kroos Considering Arsenal Offer, Man Utd Want Barca Star & Chelsea’s Roma Raid

We’ve had a look over the latest rumours emerging from around Europe. Today’s gossip column looks at several hotly tipped big moves including Toni Kroos potentially coming to the Premier League. You can follow all the latest news and gossip as it happens by following us on Twitter @FreshFootball.

Toni Kroos considering offer from Arsenal (AS)

Reports in Spain suggest that Arsenal are one of a number of Premier League clubs that have made an advance to sign Toni Kroos from Real Madrid this summer. The German is reportedly considering his future at the club and Madrid may be willing to let him leave as part of their planned squad overhaul. According to the report originating from AS, Madrid have earmarked Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante as a replacement as he would offer more defensive security. The chance to sign Kroos cannot be missed by the Gunners. He’s a world-class player and the perfect player to keep that midfield ticking from deep. If Kroos were to become available, you would expect the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City to get involved in the bidding. The news comes from AS who can sometimes publish reliable rumours, but they do often speculate and can sometimes publish stories to suit their agendas so don’t buy the t-shirts just yet.

Manchester United eyeing Barcelona stopper to replace David de Gea (Daily Mirror)

Manchester United are reportedly eyeing Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen as a replacement for David de Gea, who they are anticipating will join Real Madrid this summer. Ter Stegen is playing in Barcelona’s Champions League fixtures, but Claudio Bravo remains the teams number one in La Liga. The chance to become the undoubted number 1 at United would surely be tempting for the young German. Whether Barcelona would be willing to approve a deal that would allow arch-rivals Real Madrid to strengthen is another matter. If Manchester United managed to seal this deal then they wouldn’t miss de Gea too much, as Ter Stegen isn’t far off his level and has plenty of time to improve, aged just 23.

Chelsea to make £30million offer for Roma defender Kostas Manolas (Il Tempo)

Reports from Italy suggest that Roma are desperately trying to extend the contract of their star defender Kostas Manolas, amid interest from several top European clubs. The report lists Chelsea as a possible destination, whilst Arsenal have long been linked with the Greek defender. But Chelsea seems like a more likely move, with the London club set to release John Terry and concerns remaining over the form of Gary Cahill. Signed for £10million from Olympiacos, Roma will not want to sell Manolas, but they wouldn’t be short changed in any sale.

Jack Butland set to commit long-term future to Stoke City (Telegraph)

23-year-old Butland is thriving at Stoke City and he has no intentions of moving on anytime soon. The Englishman is reportedly set to sign a new five-year contract, committing his long-term future to the Potters. A move to a bigger club would make no sense at this stage of his career, unless he could be guaranteed as first choice. The only big club that might be able to offer him that status anytime soon is Manchester United, if de Gea did leave in the summer. Either way, Stoke are not going to sell Butland for a low amount of money and a new contract would only raise his value even more. This is brilliant news for Stoke City fans.

You can follow all the latest news and gossip as it happens by following us on Twitter @FreshFootball.

Gossip: Arsenal Beat Man Utd to Zlatan, Chelsea Prepare £50m Bid & Spurs Seal £12m Deal

Although the season is far from over, the gossip never stops and there has been a lot high-profile moves touted in recent days.

Stay up to date with all the transfer gossip, news and betting tips by following us on Twitter @FreshFootball

Zlatan wants to join Arsenal (Thierry Henry)

In an appearance on Soccer AM on Saturday, Thierry Henry sensationally appeared to reveal that he knew Zlatan Ibrahimovic wanted to join Arsenal this summer when his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires. “I’ve heard he wants to come” he said on Zlatan, but then proceeded to reiterate the focus for Arsenal remains on winning the Premier League this season. Despite him being a free agent, would Arsenal agree to the players huge wages when he is already 34? With the players agent already revealing that Zlatan knows where he wants to play next season, there could be something in this.. but for now we’ll be taking it with a few kilo’s of salt. Of course Zlatan knows Henry well and with the Frenchman recently securing his coaching badges, there are rumours he may be the next in line to manage Arsenal.. would he have the pulling power to bring the Swede to a club like Arsenal? With competition from the likes of Manchester United, who have money to burn, the Gunners face un uphill, but not impossible struggle.

Chelsea readying £50million+ bid to re-sign Romelu Lukaku (The Sun)

Chelsea are reportedly interested in resigning former striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian moved to Everton for £28million, but the London club will reportedly have to pay double that if they want to bring him back to the club. The player himself would surely be hesitant at moving back to a club that gave him so little opportunities, but with Everton failing to progress as he might have hoped, then he may be tempted. I’m sure if he were to become available though, the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United would be extremely interested and the 22 year old would surely favour a move to one of those three clubs, over returning to Chelsea.

Tottenham have £12million deal in place to sign Saido Berahino (Daily Mail)

The 22-year-old forward has failed to play regularly under Tony Pulis, despite his obvious talent. With his summer transfer request turned down, Berahino must now hope that the fact he is out of favour means the club will accept reasonable bids. A fee of around £12million looks likely this summer, as I can’t see West Brom turning down such a high amount for a player who is no longer an essential part of the starting line up and has just 12 months remaining on his contract. The Baggies reportedly turned down four bids for Berahino from Tottenham in the summer and since then, Berahino has looked a shadow of his former self. There’s no use in keeping an unhappy players, so West Brom would be wise to cash in. I’d say that this deal is pretty certain to go through when the transfer window opens.

We tweeted earlier this month that a deal had been agreed in principle.

Stay up to date with all the transfer gossip, news and betting tips by following us on Twitter @FreshFootball

In Profile: Arsenal’s Deadline Day Transfer Targets

The chaos and the tension of the closing stages of the transfer window are upon us, and news websites and social media feeds are awash with talk of who might be Emirates-bound before the deadline passes and Europe’s top football bosses put their wallets away for a few months.

Arsenal fans have become accustomed to their club being linked with seemingly every top European footballer with his eyes on a move, and it can be difficult to know exactly who these hopefuls are when so many names crop up on the back pages each day.

With so much hinging on the outcome of these final day deals, not least the Premier League betting odds that so often shift when a big player arrives on these shores, here is a run-down of the men linked with Arsenal in the past month.

Mauro Icardi

Last season’s top scorer in Serie A has reportedly been the subject of a £32million bid from Arsenal, but Inter Milan are understandably reluctant to sell the 22-year-old striker.

Icardi, who hails from Rosario in Argentina, started his football career at Barcelona, before a successful loan spell at Sampdoria, during which he netted 13 times in 19 games, saw him sign for the club permanently in 2012.

He signed for Inter for an undisclosed fee, having averaged a goal every three games at Sampdoria, and he has been a huge hit at San Siro ever since.

Last season he finished as joint top scorer in Serie A with Luca Toni, netting 22 goals, despite Inter’s disappointing eighth place finish in the league.

Inter boss Roberto Mancini will sorely miss the young hot shot if he leaves the club anytime soon.

 

Riyad Mahrez
With six goals in his last six Premier League games, Leicester’s Algerian winger is all-of-a-sudden one of English football’s hottest properties.

Given Arsene Wenger’s admission that he wants to add goalscorers to his squad, it is to be expected that a link with Mahrez would be made.

Leicester picked Mahrez up from Le Havre in the French second division, and he has proved one of Nigel Pearson’s most astute signings.

Mahrez scored twice against Sunderland on the opening day, and is playing very much the Arsenal way, showing a great touch, a positive attitude, and great creative vision.
It seems unlikely that Arsenal would be able to prise him away from Leicester, though, especially when Wenger is keen to add an out-and-out striker to the squad first.

Karim Benzema

After months of speculation about his future, it looks like Karim Benzema will be staying at Real Madrid this season, leaving Wenger to look elsewhere.

Little needs to be said about Benzema. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that this 27-year-old is the real deal – a striker with pedigree, and a one-in-three international scoring record to show for it. Even Olivier Giroud wanted him at the Emirates, but it looks like it won’t be happening – or at least not before Christmas, anyway.

Victor Wanyama
With Anthony Martial of Monaco heading to Old Trafford for a rumoured £36m, and deals seemingly unlikely to be struck to tempt Gonzalo Higuain or Edison Cavani away from their respective clubs, it might be that Arsenal need to be more realistic, and more opportunistic as well.

Victor Wanyama has said he wants out of Southampton. This is a midfielder who was at the very heart of some of the best football played in the Premier League last season, and he has been badly missed by Saints boss Ronald Koeman when he has missed games through illness this season.

He could provide not just cover, but competition for Francis Coquelin, and that could be key to a successful season once injuries start to take their toll on the Arsenal squad.

Andriy Yarmolenko One of the less-talked-about players rumoured to be on Arsenal’s radar is 25-year-old Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko, who can also operate as a striker and has done so for his current club Dynamo Kiev to great effect. He has scored 19 goals for Ukraine, and would add pace and power to Arsenal’s attacking options, as well as freeing up Theo Walcott from some of his responsibilities on the wing.

Twitter Reacts To Rumours Schweinsteiger And Ramos Are Heading To Old Trafford

Manchester United have been linked to a couple of superstars in the last 24 hours, as Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos are the latest names to be mentioned alongside the Red Devils according to the latest gossip columns.

Manager Louis Van Gaal is keen to bolster his squad ahead of a big season, and bringing in players of this stature would certainly put United in good stead for a competitive 2015-16 campaign. German international Schweinsteiger has previously spoken of his admiration of the Dutchman and would seemingly be keen to link up with the Van Gaal if the opportunity arises.

A commanding presence has been lacking in the middle of the park for United and the 30-year-old would certainly fit the bill as demonstrated by the success of both his Bayern and Germany career. Due to his age, the estimated figure is only £7.5 million, which is a bargain by any stretch of the imagination.

But the potential transfer is not without its doubters. German legend Lothar Mattheus was recently reported speaking of his uncertainty regarding the move. He said in a report by ESPN FC , “Bastian has always had a style of play that puts strain on him. He has played on the top level for many years and he will have to pay for that.”
Regardless, having a player of such quality would certainly benefit the 20-time English champions especially as a return to European competition is on the horizon.

Spanish international Sergio Ramos may be the man to tighten up United’s dodgy back line according to Sky Sports. The 29-year-old centre back would add some much-needed toughness and experience to a young and leaky defensive unit, after another decent season with Spanish giant Real Madrid.

Football pundit Guillerm Ballague though doesn’t believe such a deal will take place. The La Liga expert stated, “Number one his buy-out clause is 200m euros. More importantly, Real Madrid do not want to negotiate, do not want to sell the player”.

Rumour has it though that United may enquire about a swap-deal as Madrid have been heavily linked with stopper David De Gea in the transfer saga of the summer. Whatever happens, there will be some high-profile comings and goings around Europe’s top clubs ensuring yet another exciting transfer window in a summer without huge amounts of top level football.

Man Utd Fans Excited As Club Close In On £70m Triple Deal

Manchester United fans are excited, and with good reason.

Louis van Gaal’s side have drastically improved on the field and now attentions are turning to what they can do off the field in the summer, and it’s pretty exciting.

If rumours are to be believed United are closing in on a £70million triple swoop for Mats Hummels, Nathaniel Clyne and Memphis Depay.

The combined transfer fee of the trio is pretty huge, but so is the combined talent. Hummels would give United that world class defender they currently lack, whilst Clyne offers a solid improvement at right back. Depay is a player who has already been talked about a lot and has huge potential. He’s scored 20 goals in the Erdivisie this season and could play in several positions for the Red Devils.

Here’s how some Manchester United fans are reacting on Twitter to the news that they could be close to completing a stunning £70million triple deal:

World Class Striker Reportedly Set For Arsenal, Fans Doubtful

Arsenal fans look to be set for another summer of Gonzalo Higuain madness as the rumour mill begins to kick into gear. Reports this morning from Calcio Mercato suggested Higuain might finally be set to join the Gunners.

Do we need another striker? Well, it’s not a priority, but there’s definitely room for one more at the club – especially if Theo Walcott leaves. I think Danny Welbeck has shown he is still more of an asset from a wide position, which only leaves Olivier Giroud and Chuba Akpom as natural strikers competing for the lone striker role. To win a title, I really think we could do with another world class goal scorer at the club. Higuain is just that, experienced and quality. His goal scoring record at both Napoli and Real Madrid have been consistently impressive and I have no doubt he will succeed in the Premier League.

Napoli are struggling to maintain Champions League status for next season and if they don’t manage it, I’m sure Higuain will want to move on. At 27 I expect him to also want to test himself in the Premier League. I think it’d be great if we gave him a platform to do just that.

Do you think we should spend half of our reported transfer kitty on Higuain? Here’s what some Arsenal fans are saying on the topic:

Gossip: Chelsea To Sign Man City Defender, Spurs & Liverpool Fight For £20m Forward

Welcome to the Fresh Football gossip column. Each week (or maybe slightly more regularly) we will review the gossip, give our thoughts and then pick out the best tweet from the fans for each rumour.

Tottenham and Liverpool are in a two way battle for West Brom forward Saido Berahino (Independent)

Berahino clearly has talent, but a lot of Liverpool fans seem to be worried about his £20million asking price. Because he is young and English, his price will be doubled. He’s clearly got potential, but as the tweet below shows, some Liverpool fans really don’t want to see Berahino arrive – perhaps after some bad experiences with over-priced Englishman before.

Chelsea could sign Manchester City defender Micah Richards for free in the summer (Guardian)

Richards is on loan at Fiorentina but his contract at Manchester City expires at the end of the season. Able to play at right or centre back, Richards versatility would be very useful for Mourinho and I’m sure the player would jump at the chance to sign him. It seems the Chelsea fans would be fairly happy with the addition too. 

Liverpool have lost out to Inter Milan in their bid to sign Xhederan Shaqiri (TalkSport)

Liverpool fans will be gutted if this happens. After they were beaten to the signings of Willian and Alexis Sanchez, they can’t afford to miss out on another big name winger. Shaqiri is a quality player, available for a very good price. Rodgers will be under pressure if he doesn’t get this one done.

Gossip: Arsenal Chelsea & Man Utd Bid For Barca Defender, Spurs Move For Saints Ace, City Eye Pogba

Welcome to the Fresh Football gossip column. Each week (or maybe slightly more regularly) we will review the gossip, give our thoughts and then pick out the best tweet from the fans for each rumour. 

Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd make bids for out-of-favour Gerard Pique (Mail)

The Mail are suggesting that Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd could be after Gerard Pique. They cite reports that the trio of clubs have made a bid, but link to no source for this. They do suggest that Spanish paper AS thinks Pique’s time at Barcelona could be up. He was left on the bench against Ajax and despite his poor form, surely the Spaniard still has a lot to offer? He’s only 27 and was previously considered one of the best defenders around. I’d be surprised if he did leave, but if he does, I don’t doubt that all of these clubs would be interested.

Tottenham plot £20million bid for Jay Rodriguez (Mirror)

This one just won’t go away will it? Mauricio Pocchetino has his eyes on Jay Rodriguez and despite his serious knee injury earlier in the year, he still looks like the clubs main target. I think it’s unlikely Southampton will sell, and if they do, I think they’d hold out for even more than the reported £20million fee. With the Saints flying high this year, there is no need for them to sell, and I’m sure the player won’t push to leave the club, considering both teams league position. This fan thinks Rodriguez is not needed at White Hart Lane, do you agree?

Manchester City are eyeing Paul Pogba and Ross Barkley to replace Yaya Toure (MEN)

There is no doubt that at 31, Manchester City need to start considering replacements for Yaya Toure. The Ivorian midfielders influence is already starting to fade and he was such an integral part of the team. There aren’t many players who could replace him but in Ross Barkley and Paul Pogba, City have identified two targets with the potential to have similar importance at the club. Pogba moving to Manchester City would be the ultimate kick in the face to Manchester United fans, I think he’d quite like it. Both players would cost a huge amount of money, but City have just that.

What do you think about the latest gossip? Let us know by commenting below.