Transfer Updates

Spanish Side Agree Deal To Sign International Ace From Manchester United

Manchester United are set for a wealth of business activity this summer as they look to challenge for the Premier League title next season and compete upon their return to the Champions League.

The Red Devils won the League Cup and Europa League last season but still endured a campaign that didn’t live up to their lofty expectations, with Jose Mourinho’s side finishing sixth in the Premier League- seven points off the top-four.

Activity at Old Trafford this summer is likely to involve both incoming and outgoing deals, with The Daily Mail stating one exit is close as Spanish outfit Real Sociedad have reportedly agreed a £10m deal to sign Adnan Januzaj from the Red Devils.

After excelling in the 2013 campaign under David Moyes’ tenure, Januzaj earned a call-up to the Belgian national side but has seen his career decline vastly since the Scottish boss left Old Trafford and he’s no surplus to requirements.

What’s happened?

Following his starring performances for Manchester United during David Moyes’ ill-fated tenure at the club, many expected Januzaj to become an important figure for the Red Devils- especially after he was handed the number 11 jersey in 2014, formerly worn by United legend Ryan Giggs.

After making 27 Premier League appearances during his breakthrough year in 2013/14, Januzaj made 18 appearances the following season but struggled to replicate the fine form he previously showed. It then became clear there was no way back for the youngster, who moved to Manchester United at the age of just 16.

Five Premier League appearances followed in the 2015/16 season but Januzaj also endured a failed loan stint with Borussia Dortmund, earning just six Bundesliga appearances before having his spell at the club terminated prematurely, and he failed to impress on-loan with relegated Sunderland last season.

Amidst all of Januzaj’s problems, Manchester United brought in the likes of Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whilst Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are amongst those who have made a claim for regular opportunities ahead of Januzaj.

What does the deal involve?

Significantly for Januzaj, there may be the chance of a redemption in his career as The Daily Mail indicates Manchester United are keen to include a buy-back clause in the deal that would take the young winger to Real Sociedad this summer.

Mourinho rates Januzaj as surplus to requirements but the Red Devils willingness to set-up the option for the Belgian to return shows the club believe he could still become a superstar- and it’s clear they’re learning their lesson from the previous departures of Paul Pogba and Michael Keane.

Incidentally, a £10m deal for Januzaj (€11.39m) would make the Belgian the Spanish side’s third most expensive signing in history, according to TransferMarkt, behind only Asier Illarramendi and Carlos Vela.

Tottenham Prepare For Cut-Price Swoop To Land International Midfielder

Tottenham Hotspur face a challenge this summer to show they’re here to stay at the top-end of the Premier League, which will be difficult as the club has to cope with a campaign playing their home games at Wembley Stadium.

Spurs’ talented young side has excelled in recent seasons but there are some questions remaining around Mauricio Pochettino’s squad, notably regarding how long the Lilywhites can keep their starring squad intact and away from the clutches from top-sides across Europe.

Some high-profile exits could occur this summer, with Kyle Walker consistently linked with a move to Manchester City, but Pochettino seems intent on securing impressive signings to bolster his side for the forthcoming season.

The Sun states the Argentine boss is set to revive interest in Schalke starlet Max Meyer, following an approach last summer that saw the German side demand £39m for the midfielder, but the 21-year-old is set to be available for around half-price during this summer window.

Currently on duty with Germany’s U21 side at the European Championships, Meyer’s future is likely to be resolved after his nation’s involvement in Poland ends- but it seems increasingly likely that Meyer will move away from Schalke.

What’s the deal?

Reportedly available for just £17.5m this summer, less than half of Schalke’s asking price a year ago, Spurs could benefit from a bargain deal due to the fact that Meyer has rebuffed the Bundesliga side’s offers of a new contract.

Meyer will be keen to assert himself ahead of the World Cup next summer, as he seeks to force his way into Joachim Lowe’s plans, and Schalke’s tenth-placed finish in the Bundesliga last season means he will have no European football next season.

Therefore a move to the Premier League, with Tottenham able to provide Champions League involvement, will appeal to Meyer but the 21-year-old has previously suggested he could remain in his current surroundings and leave on a free transfer next summer.

What’s been said?

Quoted by The Sun, Meyer previously said:

“I have not said I will leave Schalke, simply that I won’t extend my contract. I know there was interest in me last summer but the club immediately put a stop to it so the matter was settled.”

“There is still hope things will be better for me at the club. We will have to see what happens.”

Schalke would prefer to sell this summer and receive cash for his services rather than lose their talented asset on a free transfer in 12 months time though, which has left Spurs confident a deal can be struck over the course of the coming months.

Arsenal Confident Of Securing Club-Record Deal For Star Forward

Arsenal are determined to show they mean business this summer and Arsene Wenger seems ready to splash the cash, with the Gunners looking to end a 13-year wait for a Premier League title.

The North London giants continued their renaissance in May by lifting their third FA Cup crown in four years but the Gunners have remained short of fighting for league success, whilst they’ve also failed to move forward with their exploits on the continent.

Arsenal’s summer signings will be brought in with the hope that they can kick-start a new revolution for the Gunners and Monaco ace Kylian Mbappe is top of their wish-list, with a deal set to shatter the club-record £42.5m spent on Mesut Ozil in 2013.

Wenger’s side face a wealth of competition for Mbappe’s signature, with The Mirror stating Paris Saint-Germain have launched a world-record £119m bid for the teenager and Spanish outlet Marca claiming Liverpool have seen a bid of their own rejected.

Interestingly though, it seems Arsenal are very much in the race for one of the most exciting young prospects within European football.

What’s the latest?

Football.London state Arsenal are ready to make a fresh bid for Mbappe with Arsene Wenger’s confidence of securing a deal growing in recent weeks, so much so that the Gunners are reportedly preparing an audacious offer that would eclipse the approach from PSG.

Mbappe held talks with Monaco regarding his future last week, after returning from international duty with France, and seems increasingly likely to leave this summer despite the French principality outfit being desperate to keep their star-man.

Arsenal believe their approach could be the ideal move for Mbappe at this stage of his career, allowing him to continue his development and being assured of regular first-team football, with The Telegraph stating the 18-year-old is open to a move to North London.

Arsene Wenger’s track record of nurturing young players in playing to the Gunners advantage and the opportunity for Mbappe to become the leading man at the Emirates Stadium is significant ahead of a World Cup year.

Could it really happen?

Despite Arsenal’s confidence and all the positive news flowing the way of Gooners, it would still be a massive shock to see Mbappe move to North London this summer- especially as it would see the Gunners set a world transfer record.

Wenger has previously been tight with his spending, with Arsenal’s club-record deals being significantly less than some of their main rivals, although the French boss has shown willingness to change in recent years- spending over £100m last summer.

Splashing such an audacious amount on one player doesn’t seem to fit the Wenger mould though but it’s clear Arsenal do need to spend this summer and securing a deal for a player like Mbappe would certainly ease the pressure on the shoulders of the long-serving boss.

Chelsea’s Possible Line Up Next Season Including Lukaku & 4 New Signings

Chelsea will be desperate to make some additions to their squad over the summer, with the club looking to build on their title win last season with an assault on Europe.

GK – Thibaut Courtois

There’s been reported interest from both Madrid clubs, but Chelsea will want to ensure they keep hold of Courtois who is one of the best keepers in Europe. He is a world class player that needs

Arsenal’s Potential XI Next Season (3-4-3) Including Mbappe & 4 New Signings

Arsenal look set for a summer of mass change. Wenger has led Arsenal to a 5th placed finish this season, the first time in his tenure that the club have finished outside of the top four. With their title rivals spending big around them, the Gunners have no choice but to join in with the spending, or they may be left behind. The rumour mill is in full flow and Arsenal have already been linked with a move for several players in this window – in this article, I take a look at a possible lineup for Arsenal next season.

GK – Petr Cech

Cech has had an up and down season, but he finished the season strong and I believe he has re-affirmed his position as number one at Arsenal. Szczesny and Ospina are both set to be sold, so Wenger could be set to bring a new young keeper in, but for the time being at least, I think Cech will keep his place next season.

Crucial Summer Ahead For Tottenham, They Need To Prove Themselves

Tottenham Hotspur have excelled in the past two years under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino but many still accuse them of simply benefitting from a purple patch and question their ability to remain at the top.

After two seasons fighting for the Premier League title, but ultimately falling short, Tottenham face a stern test next season to remain competitive as the rest of their title rivals will spend heavily- whilst the Lilywhites also have to contend with playing their home matches at the Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham’s European adventure was torn apart in England’s national stadium this season and the Wembley factor is a big concern for the Lilywhites next season, as is the fact that big clubs could swoop for their prized players this summer.

For Tottenham to remain competitive, they need another solid summer and need to show consistency in the battle to secure another top four finish- which could end the argument as to whether Spurs are here to stay, as it would seal three consecutive seasons in the Champions League.

Failure to do that, however, could lead Spurs’ wonder-squad to be dismantled following the World Cup next summer- so we asked our team what Pochettino’s side need to do this summer to continue fighting at the top.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Tottenham’s squad is largely consistent of up-and-coming players who’ve made a name for themselves at White Hart Lane and have been poached from arguably smaller sides. To remain at the top, they could probably do with luring a big player from a big club.

Signing a player from a top-four rival is unlikely but Spurs should look abroad and try to lure in a player from the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, both of whom could be set to sell this summer as they compete major squad overhauls.

Alvaro Morata, Ivan Rakitic, Danilo and James Rodriguez are amongst the names that could be moving on- and each of those would be an excellent addition to Spurs’ squad, although Danilo and Morata would be the more likely options.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Every year the same debate has resurfaced regarding Tottenham and the answer is who knows? Somehow the club manage to find gems in the transfer market and turn them into some of the league’s inform players.

Pace in wide areas is a must for Spurs however, and signing someone to rotate with Harry Kane must be considered. Other than that, realistically who can Tottenham attract that may improve their impressive form?

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

It’s going to be an incredibly difficult 12 months for Tottenham, with Spurs looking forward to playing every home game at Wembley next season, but also have the task of keeping hold of their star players. It is vital for Spurs that they add depth to their squad, as that is almost what has held them back at times this season.

Players like Ross Barkley, Wilfried Zaha and perhaps Michael Keane would really bolster the squad, however the latter does seem incredibly unlikely. Signings like Moussa Sissoko and Georges Kevin N’Koudou haven’t quite worked out, so it’s time to really reinforce their squad and buy strong in the summer.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Replacing the apparently Manchester City bound Kyle Walker has to be top of the list. Kieran Trippier has enjoyed some great displays this season, but the importance of full-backs in Spurs’ play makes that addition key.

Then it comes to the final third. Georges Kevin-Nkoudou and Moussa Sissoko have suffered from being out of favour and poor form respectively. Heung-min Son, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have had superb seasons, but there are times where the lack of an option or two from the bench has cost Spurs.

Chelsea continue to be linked to Premier League star, he might not be worth it

Chelsea seem set on improving their attacking lines this summer as Diego Costa continues to be linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, whilst Michy Batshuayi has endured a difficult maiden campaign in the Premier League.

With Belgian youngster Batshuayi linked with a loan move away from the Blues, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for Chelsea to enter next season without both strikers- and that increases the necessity for the Blues to spend in this area.

Of the names to be linked with a move to Chelsea, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku is a player who is consistently mentioned- but there are concerns as to whether the Belgian would be able to excel on his return to Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku seems keen on a move, as he feels he has unfinished business at Chelsea, but he may not be the ideal fit- despite boasting an impressive return of 52 goals in 109 Premier League appearances since moving to the Toffees.

It’s a fierce debate as to whether Lukaku would be the right fit at Chelsea, so we asked our team their views- and it’s fair to say the opinion was split.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

If Chelsea had Romelu Lukaku instead of Diego Costa this season they would not have won the league. Costa’s spats with officials and defenders are the street-fighter side of his game, but the former Atleti man has led Chelsea’s line through timely goals, smart movement and constantly occupying opposition defenders.

Costa’s post-rumour form has been indifferent, yet signing Lukaku alone would leave Chelsea’s attacking options looking weaker. Lukaku’s streaky goal scoring would be an issue at Chelsea and the Belgian’s price tag must make Chelsea consider their other options this summer.

He could be a brilliant signing longer-term, but as a direct replacement for Costa for next season it is a risk.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Lukaku’s form this season cannot be understated, however, question marks remain whether he can achieve a similar vein of form at a massive club. Ultimately his career at Stamford Bridge was a flop – the majority of which was through no fault of his own – however, replacing Diego Costa is another story.

The Spaniard has his faults, but it must be remembered he has guided Chelsea to two titles in three years – and one with Atletico Madrid before his move to West London. So to conclude, Lukaku isn’t ready just yet.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

There’s no doubt Romelu Lukaku has excelled at Everton and deserves his chance at a bigger side. However, he does seem a bit short of taking the mantle as a leading player for a Premier League side as his consistency is an issue.

Whilst he usually finishes the season with a decent amount of goals, these usually come in quick flurries of form with two-to-four goals a match amidst large periods of finding the net- and many have accused him of simply performing against the smaller clubs.

There’s certainly some truth to that claim but if there’s anyone who can help Lukaku fill his true potential it’s Antonio Conte, as he’s got the best out of a Chelsea side this season that many considered to be quite weak.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

All signs are pointing towards a return to Stamford Bridge for Romelu Lukaku, and on paper it seems like the perfect move. With the Belgian coming off of a fantastic season on Merseyside with Everton, he would be the ideal replacement for Diego Costa. His power and finishing is what Conte likes in his team, and with Pedro and Hazard on either side of him, the service into Lukaku would be plentiful.

He has all the traits to make the Blues forget about Costa, who has been a good player for Chelsea, but has always flattered to deceive at times. Costa is a very patchy player and Lukaku would add a certain level of consistency to really take Chelsea to the highest level.  

If Man City Lose This Superstar, Is This Ace A Ready-Made Replacement?

Manchester City endured a transitional season under the guidance of Pep Guardiola this summer and the Catalan boss will complete a major squad overhaul this year.

The Citizens have already confirmed Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero, Jesus Navas and Gael Clichy are on their way out, whilst the likes of Joe Hart, Aaron Mooy and Fabian Delph could follow.

Of the names linked with an exit, the future of Sergio Aguero remains a pressing concern for the majority of Manchester City fans as it would be a bold move from the club and could come back to haunt them.

Gabriel Jesus’ explosive start at Manchester City has left Aguero’s first-team spot under threat and the Citizens look like they may cope without their starring Argentine. However, the second-half of the season has seen speculation that Aguero could leave reduce significantly.

Should a new striker arrive though, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Aguero is moved away from the Etihad Stadium and we asked our team whether they can see the South American leaving and whether Gabriel Jesus is ready to take the mantle as their leading forward.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

Aguero leaving was – and still is – a story which gathered momentum by the press because the out-of-form Argentine was dropped by his manager. The striker has been in devastating form since the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and his best years have certainly been rekindled, with the duo playing alongside each other more frequently, a partnership rather than a rivalry is developing between the two and being expertly guided by Pep Guardiola.

Jesus is earmarked as the long-term replacement for Aguero when he does decide to leave in 2019, but needing only 11 goals to become City’s all-time leading scorer, don’t expect Guardiola to call a halt on his six-year City career anytime soon.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

All signs are pointing towards Sergio Aguero leaving Manchester City in the summer, and with how Pep Guardiola sets his sides up, you can see why. Let’s admit it, Aguero isn’t the player he used to be due to his previous injuries, and Pep requires a high intensity press from his forwards for the majority of games. Maybe Aguero doesn’t have it in him anymore to work in a Pep style of play, but Gabriel Jesus certainly does and he’s being touted as the replacement to Aguero.

Jesus certainly has the potential to be as good as Aguero, but to heap so much pressure on someone so young could be very damaging. The Brazilian would need help from Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane to really do some damage in the Premier League.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Sergio Aguero will stay. Should he not, however, Gabriel Jesus is a more than able deputy.

The fearsome thing for City’s rivals, though, is the prospect of this dazzling City attack having Aguero and Jesus fully fit for a full season along with Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Sergio Aguero will certainly see his playing time reduced next season but it’s difficult to envisage him leaving Manchester City this summer. If he does leave before his contract ends in 2019, expect the move to take place after next summer’s World Cup.

Gabriel Jesus is a top-quality player and should shine for many years to come with Manchester City. However, putting so much faith into a youngster just months after his arrival is a dangerous game and he could crack under the pressure if Aguero leaves.

With Jesus and Aguero, City boast two of the best strikers in the league and if Pep Guardiola can mould them into a dynamic partnership, then the rest of the division will be left quaking in their boots.

Huge Summer Ahead For Everton Star, Record Deal May Not Happen

Everton face a testing summer window in the months ahead as Ronald Koeman looks to strengthen his squad and increase the chances of the Toffees breaking into the top-six, all whilst contending with the likely departures of key names.

Romelu Lukaku continues to be linked with a huge move away from Goodison Park in the close season and speculation continues to circle over the head of England ace Ross Barkley, as contract discussions have seemingly hit a brick wall.

Koeman has issued an ultimatum to the 23-year-old and is preparing to sell the influential midfielder if he does not extend his contract, although The Telegraph states he’s demanding a mouth-watering price of £50m for the Tottenham target.

It’s difficult to argue that Barkley is worth that much and it’s set to cause a lot of debate over the summer months, so we asked our team where they expect Barkley to be playing next season and whether he’s worth the monumental price-tag mentioned.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

The future of Ross Barkley will possibly become a long, drawn out saga which results in him staying at Everton this summer. Ross Barkley has not developed like many expected following his breakthrough in 2012.
His career has stagnated somewhat and the only club that will likely take a punt on Ross would be Tottenham – but certainly not for the £50million being reportedly demanded by the Toffees.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

Ross Barkley looks set to leave Everton in the summer and at the moment; the ideal place for him to move would probably be Tottenham. People always say that Barkley just needs someone to guide him and help him find his best form, and at the moment there is no one better at that at a big club than Mauricio Pochettino.

He may not get as many minutes as he is at Everton right now, but the fact of the matter is he wouldn’t at any other top 6 clubs either. With regards to his price tag, there is no way he is worth £50M, but Everton will have to lower it or risk losing him on a free next summer.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

Ross Barkley may well complete a u-turn and secure his future with the Toffees for another few seasons but the longer he waits, the more he risks causing irreparable damage to his relationship with his boyhood club- and Ronald Koeman isn’t prepared for any mucking around.

As it stands, North London is the most likely destination for Barkley but Tottenham may find competition in the market from rivals Arsenal. The Gunners have a big summer ahead and one crucial aspect that is being overlooked is the club’s decreasing homegrown contingent.

Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are amongst the Englishmen linked with a summer exit, which would leave Arsenal’s homegrown ranks looking severely lacking- so a move for British players is likely this summer.

In regards to his price-tag, there is no way that Ross Barkley is worth that amount and it’s difficult to imagine Everton actually commanding such a high-price for a player of his services and negotiations will likely decrease the figure to somewhere around £30m, plus add-ons.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Spurs seem likely candidates to sign him, but I have a hunch he will remain at Everton. The price tag is extortionate for a player who suffers from great inconsistency and only one of the top six would be able to stump up that sort of fee.

There’s still a chance Barkley becomes a one-in-a-generation player for England, but it’d be a severe risk from any top six clubs.

Man United Continue To Be Linked To Superstar, He’s A Questionable Recruit

Manchester United’s debut season under Jose Mourinho has seen the Red Devils fall well short of expectations in the Premier League and money is sure to be spent this summer in an attempt to improve the club’s fortunes.

James Rodriguez continues to be the name on everybody’s lips ahead of the summer transfer window, with the Colombian seemingly set to leave Real Madrid after a disappointing few seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu where he’s failed to show the sort of form that set the 2014 World Cup alight.

Earlier this month, Spanish media outlet Sport stated James has verbally agreed to move to Manchester United this summer and fresh reports continue to appear on a daily basis, intensifying the South American’s links with a lucrative move to the Premier League.

However, James Rodriguez would be a questionable recruit for Manchester United due to their wealth of depth in attack and the Red Devils continue to be linked to further attacking additions this summer- so it’s difficult to see where exactly the Colombian fits in.

The debate is likely to rumble on throughout the summer, with James Rodriguez’ future shaping up to be the transfer saga of the 2017 summer window, and we asked our team for their thoughts on the 25-year-old’s potential move.

Josh Challies (@Challies11)

I’ve been left scratching my head ever since James Rodriguez was first linked to Manchester United as I can’t see where he’d fit in- added to the fact the Red Devils would have to pay an audacious sum to secure his services and it’s difficult to justify that amount.

The Colombian has failed to build on his exceptional form at the World Cup three years ago and he continues to be living off his reputation in that tournament, having failed to establish himself as a first-team regular for Real Madrid.

At Manchester United, there’s a real danger he’d be in exactly the same boat regardless of whether Mourinho viewed him as a winger or an attacking midfielder, so it really seems like United would be spending money for the sake of it.

Shane Burns (@MediaShaneBurns)

James Rodriguez signing for Manchester United could be a game-changer regarding their title aspirations. The Colombian is highly marketable in South America and he certainly has the talent to up his potential marketability.

Whether or not signing for United is a possibility, Rodriguez would add proven quality and depth to a frail United side. A Mourinho player? Probably not.

Sam Cox (@SamRCox_)

Players of James’ class are always welcome additions to the league.

When it comes to Manchester United, however, James’ arrival would rely on at least one of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata leaving. It’s been a tough year in Madrid for the Colombian and, while creativity has been lacking at Old Trafford, his presence would not fix the fundamental issues with the setup of the team.

It could work out, but right now it aches of a signing that will fizzle under Jose Mourinho’s management.

Tom Scholes (@TomScholes316)

A lot of people are raving about James Rodriguez to Manchester United, but I can’t help but feel that it isn’t the right move for the Colombian. United already have multiple play makers in their squad including Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and to a lesser extent Paul Pogba, and James would just become yet another big name signing with no purpose.

If United really want to get the best out of Paul Pogba, the last thing they should be doing is signing James Rodriguez. Adding another central attacking midfielder only pushes the Frenchman deeper in midfield, restricting him.

With the constant links seemingly every summer, is James to United the new Wesley Sneijder to United rumour?

4 Home-Grown Players Who Could Follow Walker to Man City This Summer

Manchester City’s debut campaign under Pep Guardiola is set to end without a trophy, which is increasing the pressure upon the former Bayern Munich boss to invest heavily this summer.

Guardiola is set to oversee a major reshuffle in his squad, as he replaces players who aren’t cut out for the challenge and looks to replace the ageing guard- which includes his array of full-backs, which has led to the Citizens eyeing big recruits in this area.

Tottenham Hotspur ace Kyle Walker is reported to be the priority signing for Guardiola this summer, who’s understood to be eyeing home-grown talents to add to his squad as the Citizens look to battle up the Premier League standings.

British players come at a premium price this days but City can certainly afford to pay what’s necessary and we’ve identified four more home-grown players that could follow Walker to the Etihad Stadium.

Jordan Pickford

The England international is one of few Sunderland players who can hold their head high following the club’s relegation to the Championship and Pickford is more than likely going to be on the move this summer, as he battles for the number one jersey in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

With Joe Hart set to be ousted and summer-signing Claudio Bravo struggling, Pep Guardiola’s side have been linked to signing a new goalkeeper and Pickford could be the perfect fit for the Citizens as he’s young, homegrown and should be relatively easy to capture.

Liverpool & Man United In Surprise Battle To Sign World Cup Winner

Manchester United and Liverpool are both being linked with a surprise name ahead of the summer transfer window, as both Premier League sides eye recruits to improve their chances of success next season.

The Reds are on-course for a return to the Champions League next year and could be joined in the competition by arch-rivals Manchester United, who have two possible avenues to qualification as they continue to battle for success in the Europa League.

Having fallen short of battling Chelsea for the Premier League title this season though, Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho are both expected to splash the cash heavily this summer in order to build a side capable of battling on all fronts- and that’s led to surprise links.

The Daily Star states that Liverpool have joined United in the battle for Chelsea’s World Cup winning midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who is linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge three-years after returning to English football from Barcelona.

Fabregas has been a bit-part member of Antonio Conte’s side this season and is expected to move on in the summer, particularly amidst rumours that Chelsea’s Italian boss is looking to strengthen his midfield depth with new recruits.

Would Chelsea sell?

The biggest question concerning the links between Fabregas and both Premier League sides is whether Chelsea would approve a sale to direct rivals, as the Spaniard is still one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and a decision to offload him could come back to haunt Chelsea.

Chelsea want to recoup the majority of the £27m they paid for Fabregas, who turns 30 tomorrow, and that fee is affordable for both Premier League sides. However, it’s difficult to imagine Roman Abramovich sanctioning such a big sale to a rival club.

Conte’s side would certainly prefer to sell abroad but they may have difficulty doing so, as it’s unlikely Fabregas would return to Spain after a disappointing few years with Barcelona and has limited suitors elsewhere.

What about Italy?

Both AC Milan and Inter Milan have long been linked with Fabregas’ signature and the two San Siro sides have cash to spend this summer following their recent takeovers. However, The London Evening Standard reports he’s not interested in moving to Italy.

Fabregas is likely to seek opportunities in the Champions League as he looks to establish himself in the pecking order for Julen Lopetgui’s Spain squad for the World Cup next summer and neither Inter or their cross-city rivals will be able to offer that opportunity.

That means Fabregas is likely to reject any offers from China, should they emerge, and he’ll prefer a stay in the Premier League- which could lead United or Liverpool to have to pay over the odds to sign the experienced Spaniard.

Agent Speaks Out On Transfer Rumours Concerning Spurs Star

Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a fantastic season under Mauricio Pochettino and still hold an outside chance of winning the Premier League, as they trail Chelsea by just four points.

Whilst the likelihood is Spurs will endure heartbreak for the second season in a row, Pochettino’s men have come along leaps and bounds in recent years, with a squad breaming with star-players and potential world-beaters.

Naturally, that’s led rival sides to eye moves for Tottenham’s players and a recent transfer rumour has speculation that Barcelona’s major reshuffle this summer could see the Catalan giants make a swoop for Christian Eriksen.

With speculation Ivan Rakitic could leave the Nou Camp, Barcelona will have room in their side for a creative midfielder and Eriksen would certainly fit the bill. However, his agent has played down the exit rumours.

What’s been said?

Speaking to Danish outlet BT and quoted by The London Evening StandardEriksen’s agent Martin Schoots said:

“I prefer not to comment on what the newspapers write about the future. The only thing Christian wants to do is focus on playing his matches.”

“We let the rumours be rumoured, even now, when Christian’s merits as a player who sets up a goal are better than anyone else, and now he scores also very important goals.”

“Christian just wants to be important for the team, it is the only thing that matters to him.”

Could he leave?

Spurs definitely face a difficult summer as big clubs are likely to swoop for their star-men but Eriksen isn’t seen as a player who is deemed expendable, which means Barcelona would have to pay well over the odds if they wanted to bring the Danish international to Catalonia.

With Eriksen recently signing a new deal in September, worth a reported £75k-a-week, Tottenham have a good bargaining position. However, they may find it difficult to keep Eriksen if he has his head turned by the Catalan giants.

Fortunately, it’s unlikely Eriksen will leave this season, as Spurs seem to be on the rise, but a move after next summer’s World Cup could materialise if Tottenham fail to make progress next season- when they’ll be playing their home games at Wembley.

Revealed: Chelsea Turned Down Chance To Sign European Starlet In Bargain Deal

Chelsea have enjoyed a fantastic campaign under Antonio Conte but criticisms still remain at the West London outfit’s use of youngsters, as they have an abundance of players waiting for their opportunity behind the scenes.

The Blues have remarkably failed to see an academy graduate become a first-team regular at the club since John Terry, who is approaching the end of his career at Stamford Bridge, and it’s difficult to judge where the next Chelsea-developed hero will emerge from.

Sensationally, it’s now emerged that Chelsea turned down the opportunity to sign Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe four years ago for just £17k, The Daily Mirror reports, instead promoting Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke through the youth ranks.

The decision not to sign the now 18-year-old rated at three-figures seems incredibly wrong, especially as neither Solanke or Abraham have been handed a genuine chance to excel in the first-team.

Where are Solanke & Abraham?

Tammy Abraham has excelled on-loan with Championship outfit Bristol City this season, scoring 23 goals, the second-highest in the division, to help the Robins fend off the threat of relegation and he’s due to return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Dominic Solanke, meanwhile, spent last season on-loan at Vitesse Arnheim but remained at Stamford Bridgee this season, although he’s set to leave in the summer after being frozen out of the first-team fold following a breakdown in contract talks.

Solanke, 19, made his Blues debut in the Champions League back in 2014 but has not featured for the first-team since. Abraham, meanwhile, made two substitute appearances in the Premier League last season prior to his loan move in the summer.

Would Mbappe have made it?

Whilst Mbappe is widely regarded to be the hottest prospect in European football right now, it’s debatable as to whether he would have had an opening at Chelsea. Given the Blues track record, it’s likely that the Frenchman would be far from where he is now.

As Mbappe prepares for the Champions League semi-final with Juventus tonight and eyes a spot in France’s World Cup squad next summer, it’s clear the teenager has benefitted from the sequence of events four years ago that led Chelsea not to land his services.

Even if Chelsea were to put up the funds to sign Mbappe this summer, it’s difficult to see how he would be managed in West London- especially due to the mishandling of last season’s Ligue 1 breakthrough star Michy Batshuayi.

Analysis: Would Alvaro Morata Be An Improvement On Diego Costa?

Chelsea will certainly need a striker in the summer if Diego Costa leaves. The Spaniard has refused to rule out a move to China, whilst their remains interest from former club Atletico Madrid. It did seem back in January that Costa would move on as there appeared to be a rift between the manager and himself.

Whilst his goal scoring form has faded since the turn of the year, Costa has still managed to score 19 league goals and in my opinion, when he is focused he is the best center forward in the Premier League. The question is, is he focused now? For me it appears he might already be angling for a move away in the summer.

Chelsea will face a very tough task in replacing Costa though, I recently looked at 3 possible alternatives to Romelu Lukaku they could sign.  One player that continues to be strongly linked is Costa’s international compatriot Alvaro Morata, who continues to struggle for regular game time at Real Madrid. If he can’t get that though, the question is, is he good enough to spearhead a Chelsea attack that will not only be looking to win the Premier League, but also compete in the Champions League?

Chelsea have already secured Champions League football and look the most likely to win the league, could Costa finish at the league’s top scorer and increase his value? Compare free bets and make the most of the Premier League title run in.

Morata physically looks well built for the Premier League. He’s strong and can bring others into play, something Costa also does for his teammates. But is Morata as deadly in front of goal? Considering he has only been given 15 starts (and 19 sub apps), Morata boasts a pretty impressive return of 18 goals this season. It’s worth considering that in La Liga there is the potential to ‘pad’ your stats against the lowly sides, but Morata has always had a reputation of turning up in the big games, and he has shown that at Madrid and Juventus previously. He’s also picked up 5 assists during his limited game time.

Morata has always been a player rated highly wherever he has been and that is telling. Something he has lacked in recent years is a killer instinct in front of goal but now 24, he is coming of age and becoming more prolific in front of goal.

It looks like Lukaku and Morata are the two front runners to replace Costa should he leave. Chelsea fans, who would you prefer? For me, Morata could be a shrewder purchase and he’d probably be a fair bit cheaper than Romelu, with Everton reportedly asking for £100million to sell him. A bid of half that amount would surely be enough to persuade Madrid to part with their second choice striker, especially with the Spanish giants seemingly looking to fund a major move for Monaco forward Kylain Mbappe.

4 New Signings Including Mbappe: How Arsenal Could Look In A 3-4-1-2 Next Season

The Gunners are in desperate need of reinforcements in the summer, and whilst they have looked better with 3 at the back, they still lack the personnel to effectively perform in that system. In this article, I take a look at how the Gunners could look in this formation next season with four next signings…

GK – Petr Cech

Arsenal are looking to bring in a new young keeper in the summer but Cech is likely to keep his place between the sticks for at least one more season. His performances have picked up in recent weeks, though he still hasn’t saved a penalty for Arsenal!

Man United & Arsenal Told It’ll Cost £17m To Sign Former Gunner This Summer

Arsenal, Manchester United and other clubs interested in Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup have been told they will have to stump up £17million to sign the 24-year-old this summer, according to Talk Sport

Arsenal approved the sale of Ozyakup to Besiktas after he failed to break into the first team, but he was always a player that was highly rated in the youth ranks at the club, and it was considered somewhat a disappointment when he chose to leave.

Could he return to Arsenal?

The Gunners on paper, do not need a new central midfielder. But with concerns over Santi Cazorla’s long-term fitness, Wenger could be looking for a new conductor in midfield. Is he good enough to replace Cazorla? I would say no, I wouldn’t rate him as good enough for the starting line up and I would also suggest he is of a different style to Cazorla. Cazorla is a conductor but he links the midfield to attack, I’d suggest Wenger would be better going for someone else, someone more mobile to partner Granit Xhaka in midfield.

Where would he fit in at United?

Ozyakup is known for his passing, boasting an 87% success rate in the Turkish league so far this season. He is a player who likes to play deep in midfield, normally as a defensive midfielder. As well as his good passing range, he is known for his defensive ability. Ozyakup averages 1.2 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 1.6 key passes per game. He’s a player that likes to dictate the pace of the game and could be a replacement for Michael Carrick at United, who can no longer be relied upon week in week out, especially if United go into the Champions League next season.

Whilst United will surely have their eyes on players already established at big clubs, Ozyakup would be a relatively cheap purchase and he’s a player that could provide the perfect foil for the superstars alongside him in midfield, for example, Paul Pogba. Ander Herrera has also excelled this season, but he’s not a player to sit and dictate the tempo of the game, so Ozyakup could work well between the duo in a 4-3-3 formation.

Who is he more likely to join?

There’s no strong evidence that suggests either Arsenal or Manchester United have more than an interest in the player. But I would say of the two clubs he is more likely to move to Old Trafford in the summer. Something I am nearly certain on though is, that Ozyakup will not be at Besiktas next season.

 

3 Better Alternatives To Lukaku That Chelsea Should Sign This Summer

Chelsea are being strongly linked with a big transfer move for Romelu Lukaku in the summer. It looks as if Diego Costa could be on his way out the club and Antonio Conte will be keen to secure a big name striker to lead the line.

Whilst it goes without saying that Lukaku is a very talented striker (the top scorer in the Premier League at the time of writing), he is, in my opinion, not the best option for Chelsea, especially with Everton reportedly slapping a £100million price tag on the player.

Below I take a look at 3 possible alternatives to Lukaku that Chelsea should pursue.

1 – Kylian Mbappe

Chelsea have the money to get this deal done. Most of Europe’s top clubs will be in the market for Mbappe this summer but with the future of Diego Costa up in the air, Chelsea could offer Mbappe both Champions League football and a place in the starting eleven. Wherever he goes, if he does move, Mbappe will want guarantees that he will be playing regular football and I think he’d have a good chance to do that at Chelsea. He would cost a lot but so would Lukaku and for the little bit extra Chelsea would probably have to pay to sign Mbappe, I think they would be getting a player with much more potential. Yes, Lukaku has already proven himself in the Premier League and would probably make more of an instant impact, but Mbappe has the potential to be the next big thing in world football, I feel Lukaku has technical limitations that will never enable him to reach such a level. When you’re spending the kind of money that it would take to sign either of these players, I think you need a player that is capable of being very very special and Mbappe is just that.

3 Giroud Replacements That Would Be Brilliant In A 3-4-2-1 Formation For Arsenal

Arsenal have adapted to a 3-4-2-1 formation and it seems like they are performing well in it in its early stages. Arsene Wenger, should he be in charge next season, will have been encouraged by the positive performances in this new system and may consider changing to it permanently.

But not every player is excelling in the formation. One who has visibly struggled in both games where the formation has been deployed is Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman has been in and out of the XI this season and has been linked with a summer move back to France. If he continues to struggle in what might be Arsenal’s future formation, then the Gunners could be open to selling him in the off-season.

If he does move on, Arsenal would be in the market for a replacement. Below I take a look at 3 possible replacements that would be better suited to this new look Arsenal side.

1 – Andrea Belotti

A phenomenal striker that has somewhat flown under the radar this season. Belotti has scored a ridiculous 25 Serie A goals in 30 appearances, also notching up 5 assists. It’s a brilliant record that at his age (23) deserves more recognition than he is getting.

But the big clubs are not ignoring his form. Arsenal are one of many clubs to be linked with a move for Belotti, who would cost in excess of £40million. It’s extremely hard to find goalscorers in the current market but Belotti is a natural one. He is a striker that works very hard and can play a pressing game from the front, likes Alexis Sanchez. If Alexis were to stay and Arsenal played a 3-4-1-2 formation I think the Chilean would partner perfectly with Belotti. Both are hungry and energetic forwards that can provide width when needed. As an attacking pair they could provide energy and hunger up top and help give Arsenal a new identity. The Gunners are often too passive in attack but if these two partnered up that would all change.

Insider Discusses Possibility of Huge Man United Transfer, Gives Positive News

Manchester United have been heavily linked the services of big-name players this summer, with one particular man attracting a wealth of attention in the back-pages during the past few months.

The man in question is of course Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, who has been identified as the prime-target to bolster the Red Devils front-line next season- and United’s interest in the Frenchman may have risen following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury last week.

However, Manchester United aren’t the only club interested in the services of Antoine Griezmann but the Frenchman’s advisor, Eric Olhats, handed United two huge boosts- stating the Red Devils have shown the most interest, whilst also stating Paris Saint-Germain are no longer keen.

What was said?

Speaking to French outlet Telefoot, Olhat said:

There was Manchester United who came, who inquired, they told us about their project. They were the first and most concrete in their wish.”

Last year, there was a real interest, and this year, no, it’s not part of their plans.”

However, Olhat also reiterated that any interested party will have to match Griezmann’s mammoth release-clause, whilst he questioned whether the Red Devils were a lucrative option for the 26-year-old forward.

We are currently in the area of ​​taking information from clubs that have concrete means. There is a clause, which is 100 million euros, which is unavoidable. Of candidates. These candidates are the English clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea. In Spain, Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid.”

If Diego Simeone, his mentor, is leaving, he has to leave too, and afterwards, in relation to the different choices he has, I think the most obvious, and here I forget the Madrid problem.”

“He’s a great player, but you have to raise trophies, Real Madrid seems to me a lot better than Manchester United because there’s Zizou, there’s a team Where things seem clear, structured.

Manchester United is not yet relaunched, they had to revive themselves this year, even in a transitional year, but they are lagging behind their passing times.”

What does this mean for United?

Although the quotes ended with a damning assessment of Manchester United’s current situation, the possibility of Antoine Griezmann moving across Madrid to join Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu is extremely unlikely.

The same can also be said for Barcelona, who boast the best attacking trident in world football and seem unlikely to make any changes there, so realistically it should just be a one-horse race for Griezmann’s signature- but United will have to convince Griezmann to move.

With Atletico once again in the semi-finals of the Champions League, Griezmann has vast opportunities available to him and can lead Atleti next season in their move away from the Vicente Calderon. Should Simeone leave this summer though, Griezmann will almost definitely follow.

Arsenal boss hands club crucial transfer boost

Arsenal seem to be on the rise again, having sealed their place in next month’s FA Cup final following a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Wembley.

Goals from Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez saw the Gunners come from behind to take the win, having conceded the opening goal to Sergio Aguero, but the positives of that performance could be overshadowed by continued concerns regarding the futures of Arsenal’s star-players.

Match-winner Alexis Sanchez is one of many players who face an uncertain future at Arsenal, as the Chilean is rapidly approaching the final 12 months of his contract and is attracting vast interest from across Europe.

Whilst many feel Alexis will move on this summer, Arsene Wenger has a different view and has issued a huge statement following yesterday’s victory- claiming the former Barcelona man is going nowhere.

What was said?

Quoted by The Sun, Wenger said after yesterday’s win:

“Alexis Sanchez was like the team, he had problems to start with and became stronger and stronger. He is an animal, always ready to kill the opponent. He will never give up.”

“He will be here next year because he has a contract with us and hopefully we will manage to extend it.”

What does this mean?

Wenger’s comments are a major statement of intent from Arsenal, as a sale of Alexis Sanchez now would see a target drawn on the back of the French boss as fans would see him as either going back on a previous promise or simply lying.

However, it’s a risky move from Arsenal as it opens up the possibility of their star-man leaving on a free transfer next summer and the Gunners would be powerless to stop him joining a Premier League rival, whereas they could force a move abroad at the end of this season.

The most crucial comment is therefore Wenger’s hope of extending Alexis’ deal, which suggests that negotiations are not dead in the water and an agreement could still be reached- although Arsenal will have to prove their competitiveness.

Arsenal will be looking to invest heavily this summer and must show Alexis they can build a title-winning side, especially if they fail to secure a position in the top four of the Premier League, which would see Arsenal not feature in the Champions League for the first time under Wenger.

European giant hand Chelsea boost by ending interest in star-man

Chelsea’s fantastic season is at risk of being handed a blow this summer, should star players decide to leave Stamford Bridge this summer in search of new challenges abroad.

One of the big names regularly linked with an exit this season has been that of Eden Hazard, who has been linked with a big-money move to Real Madrid. With Zinedine Zidane a keen admirer, and Hazard seeing the Frenchman as an icon, it’s easy to see why it would appeal to the Belgian ace.

However, The Sun now claims that Real Madrid have ended their interest in Eden Hazard as they will instead focus their attention of developing the talents of young Marco Asensio- who has exploded onto the scene this season.

Instead of spending what could end-up being a three-figure sum on Hazard, Real Madrid’s development of Asensio, who cost them just £3.5m, would see Los Blancos boast a new homegrown hero amongst their ranks.

Could it still happen?

As with any transfer report, you have to take it with a pinch of salt. Whilst Real Madrid may want to develop Asensio, turning down any opportunity to sign Eden Hazard wouldn’t be wise- especially in the coming years as Cristiano Ronaldo approaches the end of his career.

Real Madrid have established themselves as a club who boast some of the best players in the world and missing out on the likes of Paul Pogba and then potentially Hazard and Antoine Griezmann could really cause issues in their fanbase.

On a personal level for Hazard, moving to a club that have won two Champions League finals in three years would be understandable as Chelsea are unlikely to challenge for Europe’s elite crown anytime soon.

Is Asensio the real deal?

Simply put, yes. The 21-year-old has impressed at the Santiago Bernabeu following spells with Mallorca and Espanyol, scoring four goals in 18 La Liga appearances. Here’s also impressed in the Champions League, scoring two goals in five appearances- including a strike against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.

He’s now made his international debut for the Spanish national team and is one of the youngsters to watch at the World Cup next summer, where he could make his full emergence onto the world stage.

Report: Man Utd ‘Willing To Spend Big Money’ To Sign Brazilian Ace

Manchester United are already looking ahead to the summer and would like to make some big money signings it seems. The likes of Antoine Griezmann have been linked, but they are also being linked with a move for a Brazilian defender…

The player in question is Marquinhos. Widely regarded as one of the best young prospects in the game, the PSG man is said to be high on the wish list of Jose Mourinho as he looks for defensive reinforcements in the summer.

The report comes from Goal who state: “Ligue 1 champions PSG are, however, reluctant to sell one of their key players and Goal understands they will not consider a sale in the summer, even for a bid of €100m.

Jose Mourinho’s side would be willing to offer €10m per year in wages to attract one of the top young defensive players in Europe as they look to build a team capable of winning the Premier League title.”

Mourinho has already invested big in his defence with the signing of Eric Bailly, but it seems he would like to add another central defender. Phil Jones continues to struggle with fitness whilst Marcos Rojo and Christ Smalling have failed to perform to the level Jose wants.

Marquinhos would walk into the United XI at the moment, most likely to partner Bailly at the heart of the defence. It would be a fairly inexperienced defence though, which would be something new for Mourinho, who has always favoured having at least one experienced head in his back four.

But it is clear United need some fresh young legs in their team and Marquinhos would be a fine addition. He is a player that can play out from the back with a very impressive 93.5% pass success rate in Ligue 1 and the Champions League this season.

Whilst he has shown promise at PSG, he is far from the finished article, but Mourinho will be confident in helping him become a better player. Mourinho did a great job with Varane at Madrid.

Marquinhos’ defensive statistics are not incredible this season (1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 3.6 clearances per 90) but he has the raw attributes to become a top player.

Another advantage of signing Marquinhos is his versatility. Although United have a top quality right back in Antonio Valencia, they do lack quality depth in that area and Marquinhos has experience of playing in this position.

In my opinion, Mourinho will bring in another defender in the summer and Marquinhos is a very good candidate. He would be a significant investment for United but as we have seen with the signing of Paul Pogba, United are not afraid to do that. Marquinhos would probably cost in excess of £50million, but I don’t think United will be afraid to invest such an amount in a player that is only 22 and has already proven himself at the top level.

Despite his youthful age, Marquinhos has managed to play nearly 100 games for PSG and has already been capped 17 times for his country.

Manchester United look set to spend big this summer with a huge move for Griezmann being talked up.

Report: Arsenal Will Try To Beat Chelsea To Signing Of £50m-Rated Defender This Summer

Arsene Wenger surprised a few on Monday night when he opted to switch Arsenal to a 3-man defence. He hoped that the decision would see similar success to Antonio Conte’s.

Chelsea were struggling in the early stages under Conte but after changing to a 3-man defence they produced stunning form that will surely see them lift the title. Title challenging manager Pochettino has also demonstrated tactical flexibility, successfully implementing 3-man defence on several occasions. Arsenal won against Boro on Monday in the new formation, but they didn’t flatter. It’s clear that if Wenger wants to implement this system in the long-term then Arsenal need to make some signings. According to The Mirror, this is exactly what Wenger wants to do, and he’s willing to heavily invest in a special Premier League talent to do just that. The player said to tickle Wenger’s fancy is Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, a player widely considered amongst the best in his position in the league, however his club value him at £50million. With the likes of Chelsea interested, Arsenal may have to pay close to that amount as a summer bidding war is likely.

But if Arsenal are to seriously compete for major honours, they need to start winning these bidding wars. If van Dijk is the player the club want and the player the club need, then they should do everything in their power to sign him. Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and even Calum Chambers all have the potential to be successful in a 3-man defence, but there is something that Arsenal don’t currently have amongst their rank of central defenders and that is a strong, aerially dominant centre-half. Van Dijk ticks those boxes and also has a lot of technical ability – something that would make him well suited to Arsenal’s style of play and also a great spearhead for the defensive 3.

He’s a good age to invest in too, at 25 years old he has established himself in the league as a top player and still has his prime years ahead of him.

Van Dijk has won on average 4.7 aerial duels per game won in the league this season – greater than Mustafi (3.8) and Koscielny (3.7). The Dutchman’s 6ft 4’ presence will be one of the biggest additions to the Arsenal back line if he were to arrive. Arsenal have lost too many points this season via a lack of defensive authority, particularly in aerial duels and with organisation. A back three of Mustafi, van Dijk and Koscielny would make Arsenal very hard to beat and certainly aid their title challenge next season.

Southampton will be reluctant to sell another top class player this summer, but there must be a reluctance to some degree that van Dijk will want to move on and play European football next season. Will Arsenal flex their financial muscle and beat Chelsea to this signing though? It seems the Gunners missed out on N’Golo Kante for financial reasons and they will not want to let another top quality Premier League established player join a title rival.

Arsenal Fans React As Reports Suggest Bundesliga Defender Has Joined The Gunners

Whilst Arsenal might be having managerial problems, they are also having some consistent problems on the pitch. With the end of the season approaching, Arsenal cannot afford to dither in the market and allow rivals to sign quality talent ahead of them. It seems that despite all the noise around Wenger’s future, he and the club have already managed to sign a very highly rated Bundesliga talent…

Left-back has been an area of concern all season, with the previously consistent Nacho Monreal falling out of form. Kieran Gibbs, Arsenal’s current backup option also hasn’t managed to offer much in terms of quality and I am sure that a new left back will have been high on the wish list for many fans this summer. It seems Arsenal may have already bagged a top talent in this position. With Schalke defender Sead Kolasinac’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, many of Europe’s top clubs have been lining up to agree a pre-contract deal with him. Arsenal appear to have won that race, with Juventus and Everton amongst the clubs who reportedly missed out.

Kolasinac is considered to be a very good player at both ends of the pitch. Defensively he is solid and known for his good tackling. He stands at over 6ft and is good in aerial duels, a rare trait for a full back and something Arsenal need. He has averaged 2.9 tackles, 2.1 clearances and 3.6 interceptions per 90 minutes this season – a very impressive set of defensive statistics.

In an attacking sense he’s scored 3 goals and assisted 5 in 21 Bundesliga appearances this season, a phenomenal return for a full-back.

Another poor performance from Monreal against Middlesbrough just fueled the fans thirst for a new left back. Here’s some reaction to the Kolasinac news…

In my opinion this is a really good signing for Arsenal. Wenger showed he could switch to a wing back system in the game against Middlesbrough, and Kolasinac would thrive in such a system. You can see from the goals and assists he’s produced this season that Kolasinac has the potential to tt

Report: Arsenal Set To Win Race And Sign Highly-Rated Bundesliga Defender For Free

Arsenal’s managerial uncertainty hasn’t stopped them making moves in the transfer market, with the latest reports suggesting that the Gunners are closing in on the signing of a new left-back.

Left-back is certainly one of many areas where Arsenal will be looking to improve over the summer and Schalke full-back Sead Kolasinac could be set to join the club for free, with Goal reporting that the Gunners are confident of landing the Bosnian defender.

The 23-year-old is primarily a left-back, but can also fill in as a central defender or in defensive midfield, so his versatility will certainly be attractive. Juventus are one of a number of top clubs that have been linked with a move for Kolasinac, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Arsenal and other foreign clubs will have been allowed to negotiate a pre-contract with the player since January due to the Bosman rule.

Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal have struggled to consistently convince in the left-back role, and it has been a long time since either put in a memorable attacking or defensive performance. Gibbs is one of a number of squad players that could be set to leave the club in the summer. He has been at the club for some time now but with just one year remaining on his contract and the player not able to hold down a

Gibbs is one of a number of squad players that could be set to leave Arsenal in the summer. He has been at the club for some time now but with just one year remaining on his contract and the player not able to hold down a first-team spot, he could be allowed to leave should a suitable offer arrive.

How good is he?

The calibre of club showing an interest in Kolasinac show that he is a very talented player. Is he what Arsenal need?

Despite being just 23, Kolasinac has been an ever-present in the Schalke XI for some time, making over 100 senior appearances for the club. Kolasinac is considered to be a very good player at both ends of the pitch. Defensively he is solid and known for his good tackling. He stands at over 6ft and is good in aerial duels, a rare trait for a full back and something Arsenal

Kolasinac is considered to be a very good player at both ends of the pitch. Defensively he is solid and known for his good tackling. He stands at over 6ft and is good in aerial duels, a rare trait for a full back and something Arsenal need. He has averaged 2.9 tackles, 2.1 clearances and 3.6 interceptions per 90 minutes this season – a very impressive set of defensive statistics.

In an attacking sense he’s scored 3 goals and assisted 5 in 21 Bundesliga appearances this season, a phenomenal return for a full-back.

He’s nowhere near the speed of Hector Bellerin, but he is deceptively quick for a man of his size and strength – from what I’ve seen he is quicker than Arsenal’s current first choice left back, Monreal.

Of course as a free signing there is little risk involved here and the Gunners could even sign another left back on top of Kolasinac if they wanted to replace both Monreal and Gibbs. The Gunners need to invest a lot of money in their team this summer and the chance to make a first team improvement for free would be brilliant.

 

3 Big Name Players Who Could Be Set To Leave Chelsea This Summer

Chelsea are having a brilliant season on the pitch, but off the pitch it looks like they may have some issues to deal with come the summer. Here are three players that could reportedly be leaving the club in the summer…

1 – Diego Costa

Costa started the season in brilliant form but since the rumours of a move away started in January, he has struggled to score consistently. There have been rumours he is not happy in London and these appear to have been confirmed in his latest quotes.

Costa revealed after his team beat Bournemouth at the weekend: “I am happy at Chelsea, I am not necessarily saying that I am happy with my life in London. But that is something totally different.”

Costa is a player who plays with emotion and when his head is not in a good place, his performance certainly suffers. At his best and his most focussed, in my opinion, he is one of the best number 9’s in the world. It will be very hard to replace him, but the likes of Lukaku have been linked.

Swansea Star Sigurdsson’s Suitors Set For Summer Showdown

The latest Premier League odds for relegation continue to fluctuate. Yet, where Swansea City AFC is concerned, the outlook remains bleaker than a cold front in November across the Gower peninsula.

Unlike the condemned duo beneath them (Sunderland and Middlesbrough), the Swans do remain in realistic contention for survival after a traumatic season. However, a 3-1 home defeat to Tottenham on April 5, provided further illustration of the guile and assertiveness that the Swansea XI sorely lacks on home turf.

Another Swansea defeat at the weekend, 1-0 at the London Stadium, represented a paltry return of one point from the last twelve for Paul Clement’s men. That is prime relegation form by any measure, but more especially so at this stage of the season.

Without the endeavour and diligence of set-piece expert Gylfi Sigurdsson, Paul Clement’s ailing Swansea side would already be consigned to certain relegation. Regardless of Swansea’s Premier League status (or lack thereof) in 2017/18, the Icelandic midfielder will be a wanted man by clubs across the continent this summer.

Blue is the Colour, is Chelsea the Name?

Relegation for Swansea would merely serve to make the probable inevitable. For Sigurdsson, a move to Stamford Bridge would represent just reward for seasons of hard graft with a Swansea squad that, it could be argued, no longer deserves his services.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is now mere weeks away from winning the Premier League title on his first attempt. As a front three, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Pedro have proven to be unplayable at times this season, with Hazard particularly emerging as Chelsea’s most dangerous all-rounder after a poor season in 2015/16.

With Chelsea’s attacking potency taken into account, it is difficult to see how exactly Sigurdsson would fit into Conte’s setup on a regular basis. There will, however, be the additional distraction of Champions League football for Conte and his battling blues next season, which at least makes Sigurdsson’s entry into the starting XI via squad rotation a possibility.

Additionally, Sigurdsson’s ability from set pieces could be an asset when it comes to stealing away goals, at Europe’s most famous fortresses, in the knockout phase.

‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ for Sigurdsson?

Curiously, most bookmakers believe that Goodison Park is by far the likeliest destination for Sigurdsson, with such a move priced at around 4/1.

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku appears all but bound for a summer departure, and on current form, his value should easily hit the £60 million mark. This return on investment, combined with the wealth of Iranian billionaire shareholder Farhad Moshiri, represents a summer of unprecedented opportunity for the blue half of Merseyside.

In the event of his arrival at Goodison Park, Sigurdsson will likely contest the so-called “Number Ten” role with boyhood blue Ross Barkley.

Amongst Everton fans, opinions of Barkley remain mixed. However, Barkley’s omission in favour of a new face could well destroy what is currently a good dressing room spirit, but there is also room for great improvement at set pieces. While the aging Leighton Baines is a certified maestro from the penalty spot, it is also worth noting that Everton have been deprived of a true set piece specialist since the departure of Mikel Arteta in 2011.

The only feasible way in which Sigurdsson could play alongside Barkley would be at the centre of a ‘false nine’, in front of a solid defensive midfield trio of Davies, Schneiderlin and Gana. Ronald Koeman would, however, consider many other alternatives before even dreaming of resorting to a ‘false nine’.

Ultimately, developments around this particular move are worth watching. However, the move itself is not necessarily one to back as of yet.

A fine claret?

With a Chelsea move considered unlikely by bookmakers, Sigurdsson may find solace at another London club. Following in the footsteps of former Swansea teammate Andre Ayew, Sigurdsson would find himself a highly-valued part of an intriguing project at the London Stadium.

In Robert Snodgrass, Slaven Bilic already has a set piece expert at his disposal. Undeniably, the combination of Snodgrass and Sigurdsson in the same starting XI would see West Ham reach peak capability in the centre of the park. Yet, without adequate strengthening in the wide areas, West Ham will continue to experience barren runs of form next season.

In the wing play department, Michael Antonio arguably remains West Ham’s MVP, but like Sigurdsson, he is not without his suitors. Should Antonio depart, Sigurdsson’s task of stabilising West Ham’s playing style could be greatly complicated by the presence of an unknown quantity in the wide area.

Though second-favourites to sign Sigurdsson, at around 7/1, West Ham can offer him a relatively easy transition from Swansea. Whether Bilic can take the initiative is quite another matter. 

 

3 Top Quality Forwards West Ham Are Reportedly Trying To Sign This Summer

There’s no doubt that West Ham need reinforcements in the summer, no matter who their manager may be. One area that certainly needs strengthening is attack. Several players have been linked in recent weeks. We take a look at three of the latest, and how realistic a move for them could be.

1 – Alvaro Morata

West Ham have approached Real Madrid and made an enquiry as to the availability of striker Alvaro Morata according to Don Balon. He was brought back to Madrid from Juventus but despite good goalscoring form, he has not been given the game time that he wants and perhaps deserves. With interest in Monaco’s Mbappe, Madrid could well be open to selling Morata this summer – but would West Ham have a realistic chance of signing him, or would it be a waste of time? Reports suggest he would cost in excess of £50million and demands in excess of £100,000 per week. Add that to the fact that clubs with European football are interested and it looks extremely unlikely that West Ham would be able to tempt Morata to the club. Especially with the way this season is finishing.

£200m Invested: 3 Incredible Summer Signings Man Utd Want To Make This Summer According To Reports

Despite the money Jose Mourinho has spent in his first season at Manchester United, his team still look a long way from title challengers. A long unbeaten run in the league has papered over cracks in all honesty, with several home draws in recent weeks frustrating the fans.

Instead of battling for the title, United now find themselves in a struggle to finish in the top four. There’s a very real possibility that they will miss out on Champions League football again. The United attack is ageing and is struggling to make the difference week in week out. Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could leave the club this summer, and that would free up significant funds for United to go and invest in new attacking midfielders and forwards. We take a look at 3 top quality players United could bring in with an investment of around £200million…

1 – Robert Lewandowski

According to DonBalon, a Spanish source, Mourinho may not choose to extend the contract of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, or at least, he may look to sign a new first-choice striker. According to the same report, Lewandowski of Bayern Munich tops the list. I don’t need to write about what type of player he is, or his statistics in recent years, it goes without saying that adding him to the team would be a significant improvement.

Convincing Munich to sell will not be easy. They have no obvious back up to Lewandowski, and world class strikers are hard to find on the market. A bid in excess of £60million would surely be needed to convince the German’s to part way with the deadly Polish striker.