All for Joomla All for Webmasters
Home Blog Page 2

Premier League alert: Meet Ibrahim Sangare, the next N’Golo Kante

0
Ibrahim Sangare
Ibrahim Sangare

Football fairy tales wouldn’t be complete without Leicester City and N’Golo Kante. The Foxes charmed their way to the hearts of millions with an aggressive expansive brand in 2016 that culminated in winning the Premier League. Kante was the midfield linchpin that pulled all the strings.

Since that remarkable run, the Frenchman has grown in stature and pedigree. He clinched another league crown at Chelsea, picked up an FA Cup winners medal the next and began this term as World champion. This is the sort of achievement many players would only have envisaged in fantasy football.

In Ligue 1 this term, there’s a similar theme. Toulouse is hoping to do a Leicester. At the heart of Les Violets improbable quest to displace monopolistic Paris Saint-Germain is 20-year-old, Ibrahim Sangare, who is acting as it’s own Kante. The only difference, however, he is much younger and much bigger.

Like the Foxes, Toulouse began quite oddly. They were beaten mercilessly by Marseille. That shock slump triggered their campaign. Les Violets have crushed every other opponent that came their way. Bordeaux. Nimes. Guingamp. Only PSG and Dijon have bettered them for points and goals. Young Sangare is leading the club from the centre.

Having made his debut as an 18-year-old back in 2016, the Ivorian only really established himself as a first team regular under Alain Casanova midway through last season, going on to start 18 times in Ligue 1. In that short time, his ball-winning skills was visible, Sangare racked up the most tackles – a feat previously achieved by his idol, Kante.

Toulouse sudden upturn in fortunes isn’t a coincidence. Sangare is largely culpable. He is currently averaging 4.5 tackles per game. No one has before reached such figures. The efficiency of his challenges have seen a huge improvement now too, dribbled past just once, resulting in an outstanding 94.7 per cent tackle success.

Sangare isn’t just a destroyer though. His ball retention and distribution ability are equally superb. He can ghost past bodies and rarely loses possession. He’s the first and only player to reach double figures for tackles and dribbles, highlighting his relevance a Toulouse side that has now won three on the spin.

Besides an impressive physique, the Ivorian flaunts a superior offensive prowess compared to the Chelsea midfielder. Sangare doesn’t just interrupt play or dribble for the fun of it, he takes games by the scruff of the neck. He notched his first goal of the season in the most recent victory at Guingamp. Before that, he registered an assist in the win over Bordeaux.

It’s a big ask for Toulouse to dislodge PSG. The Parisians are extravagant to the extent of purchasing an entirely new XI in the winter. But should Sangare maintain this form till the season’s end, he would definitely be rewarded. Etienne Capoue and Moussa Sissoko are typical examples of Premier League stars who made headway at the Stadium Municipal.

Is Barcelona messing with Paul Pogba’s head?

0
Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

Same plot. Same script. Two characters. First Gerard Pique, next Luis Suarez. Both have one thing in common aside from the obvious Barcelona fraternity, they’ve both publicly welcomed Paul Pogba to the club. Could this be coy on the part of the Catalans?

Barca has been sniffing around Manchester United’s no 6 for some time now. Jose Mourinho’s much-publicised fall out with the Frenchman didn’t help. Not even consoling with the captain armband in the opening two fixtures eased the tension. Pogba considered moving elsewhere while Pique opened Camp Nou’s doors.

“I know very little about what’s happening there [with Pogba and Mourinho]. It’s very private between them, their relationship,” he told The Express.

“What I know is Pogba is a great player and he plays for Manchester United right now. We

will see in the future if he wants to change clubs.

“We will be happy to have him here, obviously. We want the best players to be at Barcelona. But we respect Manchester United because it’s his club. Until he says something or the club says something, he’s a Manchester United player.”

Pique knows quite a lot about United and Mourinho. He spent five years at Old Trafford, albeit struggling to break through in the Premier League. On return to his homeland, he championed a three-year heated El Classico rivalry, when the Portuguese tactician was there.

The Spaniard was made well aware of the consequences of his remark.

United had already turned down a massive bid from Barca. They offered £45m plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes.

The expectation was that the whole saga would finally come to an end. It didn’t, however. Suarez opened what is becoming a can of worms. Worse, the Uruguayan was blatant in his own assessment. He believes the 25-year-old should be challenging for more trophies.

“Pogba’s an elite player who’s won everything,” he told RAC1 on Tuesday.

“He has a lot of quality and he’s one of the references at United. I think he would like to be competing for more than he is at the moment. He’s not a player that belongs to Barca, but he would always be welcome. I think he would like to be competing for more than he is at the moment”

Barcelona were lively in the summer. Arturo Vidal, Arthur and Malcom joined the club in a bid to replace Andres Iniesta. Yet the Blaugrana would clearly jump at Pogba. It isn’t surprising, though.

Supreme athleticism, precocious skill, devastating power – he’s got the lot. When the Frenchman picks the ball up in midfield you can almost hear the opposition scream, “RETREAT!” They know what’s coming – trouble. Pogba is capable of slaloming through challenges, picking a defence-splitting pass or unleashing a piledriver.

Barca failed to persuade United to do business. Perhaps their scheme is to get into the head of the Frenchman by using its own players. If that’s the case then, Lionel Messi may be next.

 

Liverpool plot to move for Croatian World Cup star

0
Crotia Team

Croatia’s improbable run at the FIFA World Cup in Russia hasn’t gone unnoticed.

For the first time in two decades, the Blazers made it to the quarter-final with some incredibly attractive football on display.

While the likes of Luca Modric and Ivan Rakitic stealing all of the plaudits in the final third, Domagoj Vida has been the man keeping things tight at the back.

Liverpool had reportedly been enchanted by the 29-year-old and are said to be weighing up bringing him to Anfield.

Vida plays from the right-side of defense and usually storms forward to contribute to the attack, however Royal Panda sports betting is offering good odds in the betting market that the Reds land the defender this summer.

Due to his incredible calmness and artistry, Croatia conceded just twice in the competition.

Now the Daily Star is quoting Turkish sources that the Reds have joined Everton in the race to sway the Croat from Besiktas.

Jurgen Klopp is in dire need of defensive reinforcements having already strengthened the midfield with Fabinho and Naby Keita from Monaco and RB Leipzig respectively.

The same reports claim Liverpool’s Merseyside neighbours had a bid of around £12m rejected and should the Reds manage to double that figure, then they may just strike gold.

Vida will provide competition for English duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Nathaniel Clyne should a move to Anfield materialise.

What went wrong for the African teams at the World Cup?

0

For the first time in almost three decades, no African nation will partake in the World Cup round of 16. All five of its contingents crashed out of the Russian party at the group stages.

Pele is unarguably the best footballer of all time. Maradona might not agree with that, though. However, the Brazilian legend isn’t the best at making predictions. Among several wrong guesses, he forecasted long ago that an African team will win the World Cup before the turn of the millennium.

At that time, the continent’s football was enjoying a massive boom. African players, Nigeria in particular, became appealing to top sides. Cameroon set the pace reaching the quarter-finals in 1990. The Super Eagles produced a classy team that nearly equaled that feat, only undone by a late Roberto Baggio winner. At the 1998 tournament, Nigeria came close again but slumped agonisingly at the hands of Denmark.

Four years later in Korea/Japan, it seemed as though Pele’s prophesy would finally come to pass. Senegal showed so much courage in their maiden foray. The Terenga Lions sent the defending champions, France home; stunned Sweden in the next round, only to be beaten by Turkey.

The year 2010 was when everyone thought it would happen with the tournament on African soil. Ghana gave a good account and almost broke the African curse. They were left red-faced by a Luis Suarez handball and Asamoah Gyan’s unpardonable penalty miss against Uruguay.

Four out of five African representatives made the second round in Brazil last time out but all crashed out in a rather shameful manner. All attention was shifted to Russia. Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal and Morocco were sent by the continent. But outrageously, they let themselves and the whole region down.

Egypt was handed the easiest draw on paper, paired with Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and host Russia. The South Americans were perceived as their only match. Add to that Mohamed Salah was in the form of his life, the Pharaohs were expected to at least finish behind Suarez and company. They didn’t, however, returning home without a single point.

Neighbours, Morrocco, meanwhile were very unfortunate throughout the competition. In a tough group that had Spain, Portugal and Asian champions, Iran, the Atlas Lions gave a good account of themselves. Even though they picked up just one point, Herve Renard’s team did well and gave a good fight.

Similar to Morocco, Tunisia faced an absolute ‘mission impossible’ progressing. The Carthage Eagles knew their campaign was all for tourism after drawing Belgium and England. They held on firmly against the latter but were horribly outclassed by Belgium, they proved themselves to be a decent side, beating Panama.

Nigeria and Senegal came closest to reaching the Promised land but didn’t step foot in it. Both nations needed a point in their final group games against South American sides Argentina and Colombia respectively. They both however, stuttered.

Pele would have several regrets about what he’s said in the past and must be regretting prophesying a World Cup triumph for an African team.

Jack Wilshere off to Fenerbahce? Ex-Arsenal star spotted in Istanbul

0
Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere may have given a huge hint towards his next career destination after reportedly being spotted in Istanbul on Wednesday. The 26-year-old appeared to be on his way to Turkish capital city giant, Fenerbahce.

The ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia is obviously a major distraction for top Premier League clubs. Not for Arsenal, however. The Gunners has never been more precise and punctual in the transfer space with a massive flow of players to add to Unai Emery’s arrival.

Two players – Wilshere and Santi Carzola were heavily affected by the club’s clearout plans. While the latter has since returned to his native Spain to rejoin Villareal, the Englishman seems to be at crossroads without any specific direction.

The 26-year-old spent an injury-ravaged 17 years at the Emirates, albeit with brief stops on loan at Bolton Wanderers and Bournemouth. Wilshere made 20 league appearances in the just concluded season yet the club’s hierarchy felt the right was right to let him go.

A number of clubs both home and abroad have shown interest in the England international. Amongst them West Ham, Wolves, Everton and Fenerbahce. However, it seems the Stevenage-native may just fancy a switch abroad.

According to Turkish-football, Wilshere is currently in Istanbul meeting with the record champions. Their new president, Ali Koc, is alleged to be a big fan and has earmarked the 26-year-old together with a couple other big names as he begins to put together whats being hailed as the Turkish Galacticos.

The report claims Koc has already taken Wilshere round the club’s Sukru Saracoglul Stadium in a bid to make him feel welcome. He has also met with Dutch coach, Phillip Cocu and former Arsenal scout Damien Comolli who is now the club’s Sporting Director.

Wilshere appears to have been charmed by the Yellow Canaries. He grew up watching Cocu as a midfielder for Barcelona and the Dutch national team. He also had a good relationship with Comolli during his time in North London.

The 26-year-old will be thrilled by the opportunity to play in Europe. Fenerbahce finished second behind Galatasaray in the Super Lig but still secured a Champions League playoff spot.

To add to that, Fenerbahce is offering a pretty lucrative deal and long-term contract too. What this means is that the Englishman may not necessarily need to take a pay cut at his new club. Wilshere was at £90K weekly deal at Arsenal and could keep that in Istanbul.

Should the deal materialise, he would become only the second English man to kit for the Yellow Canaries after Dalian Atkinson who spent one season between 1995 and 1996. Just 14 of his compatriots have played in Turkish top-flight, however, none has done so in almost five years.

West Ham identify Colombian World Cup maestro to replace Lanzini

0
Colombia's player Juan Quintero celebrates his goal during a group stage football match between El Salvador and Colombia at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup on June 28, 2013 at the Kamil Ocak stadium in Gaziantep. AFP PHOTO / TURKPIX / Aykut AKICI (Photo credit should read AYKUT AKICI/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s widely known that West Ham have reportedly spotted the man to fill for the injured playmaker, Manuel Lanzini next season, crafty-little Colombian Juan Quintero. The Hammers received a massive blow when they lost the Argentine during the build-up to the World Cup.

Lanzini was initially reported to only miss the tournament in Russia but later scans revealed he is unlikely to feature next season. This comes as a huge disappointment for the 25-year-old who has been West Harm’s most creative hub since Dimitri Payet’s departure to Marseille in January 2017.

Last season, Lanzini was directly involved in 19 goals in 88 Premier League starts for the Londoners. He found the net five times and assisted one more for his teammates. Without his industry and creativity, the Hammers looked toothless.

According to Argentinian outlet Ole, Manuel Pellegrini has found his fellow South American to do the job perfectly, Quintero one of the shining stars at the World Cup in Russia.

The 25-year-old made a huge statement in Colombia’s opening defeat to Japan, producing an incredible free-kick which caught out the keeper and squeezed over the line. He followed that up with successive assists against Colombia and Senegal. The latter, in particular, was of great significance as it helped his country seal their passage to the round of 16.

Quintero won’t come cheap, though. The small midfielder who spent last season on loan at River Plate from FC Porto is expected to remain in Argentina. The Millionaires have agreed to keep him permanently, then set a new release clause of around £20m.

Considering his abilities, that would seem as a bargain. Real Madrid and Tottenham have also inquired about the man of the moment.

Quintero would suit West Ham’s style, at the World Cup, Joses Pekerman has deployed the 25-year-old in the creative trident behind Falcao, alongside James Rodríguez and Juan Cuadrado.

His versatility makes him a real treasure, like Lanzini, Quintero can slot anywhere in the centre and even on the flanks, this would give Pellegrini options.

However, Quintero’s patchy form could be a major hindrance. The 25-year-old tends to go off the rails after a fine run of form. After making headway at an early age, Quintero’s career has since stagnated. He underwhelmed at Pescara, Rennes and Independiente Medellín.

Even with Lanzini, West Ham struggled to break down their opposition last season, finding the net just 48 times. Any help in that area would be appreciated by Pellegrini who would aim to restore some bite in the final third.

Five Premier League clubs battle for FC Porto star and here is why

0

No less than five English top-tier clubs have reportedly registered an interest in the 27-year-old Porto forward; Moussa Marega. Manchester United apparently spotted the player last winter, and at that point, the Malian had notched an extraordinary 14 Primeira Liga goals in corresponding starts, also registering two assists.

While United appear to have withdrawn their interest, it has triggered others with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, West Ham and most recently Chelsea, as revealed by ZeroZero, have joined the chase.

Marega finished the campaign as the third top scorer in Portugal. His impressive haul of 22 was only bettered by Jonas (34) and Bas Dost (27), but it was the African’s goals which really mattered helping Porto to the league.

A late bloomer, Marega didn’t quite cut it in Europe until 21. Amateur side, Évry FC, handed him his first football breakthrough. Successive moves in two years to Le Poire-sur-Vie and Amiens capitulated his career back to Africa. Marega found himself at Tunisian side Esperance but was ultimately rescued, going back to Europe by Marítimo.

In 2016, he was snapped up by Porto but spent the entire campaign on loan at Victoria. The Malian international returned to his parent club with a bang – stealing the spotlight from Vincent Aboubakar despite slotting on the flanks.

At 27,  Marega doesn’t have the luxury of time, hence would find the Premier League too good to resist. The Malian, himself, admitted to SFR Sport that he might fancy a switch to England. “For me, I think it’s the best time to try my luck elsewhere, to try something new, get to know a new league. The Premier League for example.”

“I’ve liked [the Premier League] for a long time. Then again, who doesn’t? It’s a great league, with great players.

“It’s flattering when clubs are interested in you, but I’ve always dreamed of playing there. I want to be happy, with my family, in a league I love.”

With these clubs in the market for a prolific goal poacher, Marega may just be their man. He posses the requisite physique, pace and skills to trouble defenders. His ability to slot anywhere in attack is another bonus for potential buyers.

But before the 27-year-old can move, interested suitors must cough a reported buyout clause of £38m. That won’t be too much for these sides considering the financial might of the Premier League.

The unknown players who deserve big Premier League moves after the World Cup

0
Premier League
Premier League

The FIFA World Cup doesn’t happen every year and players must take advantage, some practically rehearse three summers before the main event. 

The Premier League is unarguably Europe’s most exciting and best league in the world and every young footballer craves to be a part of the fun.

At the World Cup, a host of talented and promising players have emerged. While just a few are very much known on the continent, a handful are scattered in some obscure leagues around the world, here are four we feel deserve to play in England’s top-tier next season. 

1 – Aleksandr Golovin (Russia, CSKA Moscow) 

Embed from Getty Images

Golovin has been the host nation’s shinning light thus far. The 22-year-old produced an excellent display in the tournament’s curtain raiser, directly involved in three out of five goals scored against Saudi Arabia. He followed that up with another assist against Egypt. 

Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are all reported to be interested in the dynamic midfielder. Golovin who has played over 100 matches for the Army club could move if the English sides are able to meet his £25m valuation. A livewire in the centre, Golovin would be an extremely useful addition.  

2 – Juan Quintero (Colombia, FC Porto) 

Embed from Getty Images

Quintero is the prototype nomad footballer. The 25-year-old showed so much prospect during his teenage days in native Envigado, flaunting an extraordinary skill set. However, he couldn’t live up to the hype and went off the radar in the last five years, changing teams an incredible five times. 

Quintero is currently on loan at River Plate from FC Porto with an option to remain there. The Argentine club won’t hesitate to tie him down following his brilliant showing for Colombia. Like Golovin, the 25-year-old has notched one goal and assisted two others for his teammates. The likes of Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham and Everton are speculative Premier League suitors. 

3 – Hirving Lozano (Mexico, PSV) 

Embed from Getty Images

Germany won’t be defending their title, Die Mannschaft’s bid to retain the crown failed from the word go. Lozano wrecked Joachim Low’s opening party, striking a killer punch, his goal setting the tone for a miserable exit for the Germans. Arsenal and Liverpool were impressed

Lozano’s pace, craftiness and movement frightened Die Mannschaft. He caused further havoc, creating another goal against South Korea. Although the South Americans fell woefully to Sweden, the 22-year-old gave a good account of himself. Last season he contributed to 27 strikes for PSV. 

4 – Andre Carrillo (Peru, Sporting Lisbon)

Embed from Getty Images

The Russian party may have ended too sudden for Peru, but Ricardo Gareca’s men go home with their heads high. Los Incas narrowly lost its first two games against Denmark and France yet showed courage to thrash Australia 2-0. Andre Carrillo was the team’s finest performer, hitting a spectacular volleyed goal. 

Carrillo isn’t new to Premier League audiences, the attacking midfielder spent last season on loan at Watford from Sporting Lisbon, featuring in 28 games. After such a productive World Cup campaign – his country’s first in 40 years – Carrillo is expected to return to England permanently, Everton said to be most interested in his services. 

4 World Cup keepers Liverpool could sign

0
Liverpool
Liverpool

Liverpool has been in a goalkeeping crisis for some time now. Jurgen Klopp’s magical methods somehow kept the whole situation in check, Loris Karius eased those Simon Mignolet’s horrible clangers last season – all the way to the Champions League final. You know the rest. 

Karius was culpable for two of three goals conceded by the Reds against Real Madrid. While the club claimed the German suffered a concussion during the encounter, however, deep down it was apparent to Klopp something urgent must be done. 

Brazilian shot-stopper Alisson is number 1 on the club’s wish list, but it appears the AS Roma shot stopper may not be leaving the Italian capital this summer. Arsenal have already reinforced in that department, adding Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen. 

Liverpool shouldn’t relent in their search, there are plenty of talented goalies in Russia. Any of these four cheaper alternatives could do a great job for Liverpool next season. 

1 – Robin Olsen (Sweden, Copenhagen)
Embed from Getty Images

If Liverpool wants a promising keeper that won’t cost them a fortune, then Olsen is a good bet, before being beaten twice against Germany, the 28-year-old had crossed 500 minutes without conceding. He stepped up in Sweden’s final group game, shutting down the Mexicans. 

Olsen is currently tied to Danish champions, Copenhagen, where he has been since 2016. He is valued at around £1m which is nothing for the Reds, Olsen has two more years on his deal. 

2 – Danijel Subasic (Croatia, Monaco) 
Embed from Getty Images

Croatia has been one of the most outstanding teams in Russia. The Blazers claimed all nine points, scoring an impressive seven goals and shipping just one en route to the last-16. Subasic has been the man behind the sticks for them and was rested when they conceded against Iceland. 

Subasic is on the books of French giants Monaco. The 33-year-old will cost the Reds £5m to lure him away from France. He joined the Municipality club in 2012 and has amassed over 250 appearances. 

3 –  Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico, Standard Liege)

Embed from Getty Images
Ochoa’s heroics has become a regular sight at the World Cup. Four years ago in Brazil, the 32-year-old announced himself to the global audience with unbelievable displays for Mexico which earned him a move to Malaga. Again, he is rewriting history in Russia. 

With 14, Ochoa has made more saves than any other goalkeeper, he has kept one clean sheet too. The Mexican is under the payroll of Standard Liege till next summer but an offer of around £3m could tempt the Belgians to do business with Liverpool.  

 4 – Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark, Leicester City)

Embed from Getty Images

Should the Reds be after an experienced Premier League campaigner, then Schmeichel is their man. The Dane has been around the English game for almost a decade, clinching the most prestigious accolade with Leicester City in 2016. 

Schmeichel has been phenomenal for Denmark. He’s second for most saves with 12 but top in terms of percentage (92.3). Leicester have already signed Ben Hamer, meaning should the Reds make an offer in excess of £10m, then a deal could happen. 

Why Issa Diop is the solution to West Ham’s defensive crisis

0
Issa Diop
Issa Diop

The Manuel Pellegrini and post-David Moyes West Ham regime has begun in earnest. Three new faces have touched down the London Stadium: Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski and Issa Diop and while the first two are well known Premier League campaigners, Diop isn’t. 

West Ham broke their transfer record just for the 21-year-old. The Hammers paid  Toulouse around £22m – to reportedly sway him away from Everton, Monaco, Marseille, RB Leipzig and Sevilla. 

Pellegrini appears to have a clear blueprint of how he wants his team to look and is following it to the letter, the 63-year-old tactician reckons defensive compactness is the best way to start the rebuilding process – hence his first three signings. 

Fabianski who joined from relegated Swansea City will take Joe Hart’s place in goal. The other problematic area was the right where Fredericks has settled, Diop is that last piece of the jigsaw to strengthen their weak backline. 

West Ham struggled to find any stability at the back under Moyes. Either Winston Reid was injured or Angelo Ogbonna, or sometimes both. Either way, The Hammers struggled with the ex-Manchester United manager turning to James Collins or Declan Rice, but the problem was, while Collins was too old, the teenager appeared too young for such responsibility. 

However, in Diop, West Ham has found the stereotypical Premier League defender. He is fast, powerful and intimidating, standing at 1.94 metres tall, the 21-year-old dethrones Andy Carroll (1.93m) as the Hammers’ tallest player and it means the likes of Marko Arnautovic (1.92m), Reid and  Ogbonna (both 1.91m) will have someone to look up to. 

Having such imposing physical attributes comes with its own benefits. Apparently, Diop will be the top man during aerial duels at both ends. He will hardly be beaten in contests, except perhaps if Cristiano Ronaldo is in town. 

Diop found the net three times in 34 Ligue 1 appearances last term. Even more impressive was they came from 19 shots – 17 of which were in set-piece situations. That tally was only bettered by Aaron Cresswell with 21 shots resulting in just one goal. For France, Diop has equally used his height to great effect – with three goals for the U19’s. 

Diop doesn’t depend on his physique to win balls, he fights for it. He made 43 successful tackles last season – nearly twice as many than any of West Ham’s other centre-backs. On average, he picks up 2.2 tackles per game which rank among the highest in the Premier League.

Experience is an extremely expensive asset that only comes with age, but the young Frenchman has got it in abundance despite being just 21. Diop has racked up just a little below a century of top-flight appearances since coming through three years ago and missed just four matches during the whole of last season.     

Yet, Diop’s greatest attribute could be his superb leadership skills, having spotted his aura and charisma, manager Pascal Dupraz made Diop captain last season, a decision which proved to be inspired as the club managed to avoid relegation. 

Marc Navarro: The Barcelona prodigy ready to take Premier League by storm

0
Marc Navarro
Marc Navarro

On the eve of the FIFA World Cup, Spanish football was rocked by the Julen Lopetegui debacle, the newly appointed Real Madrid coach was forcefully withdrawn from the tournament, to be replaced by Fernando Hierro. It was a massive setback to the 2014 champions so close to the start of the competition. 

Amidst the whole tragedy, however, a former Barcelona starlet was fulfilling his Premier League dreams – an unusual career path for a La Masia graduate. Marc Navarro joined Watford on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Espanyol. 

Javi Garcia is gradually setting up something of a Spanish dynasty at Vicarage Road. There won’t be a boring moment for his latest inductee in Hertfordshire as he will have both former Real Madrid and Barca trainees Kiko Femenia and Gerard Deulofeu as company. 

“Marc has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs, therefore we are delighted to have secured his services,” Watford’s chief executive Scott Duxbury told the club’s website.

Navarro is Catalonia born and bred, he grew up and was schooled in the autonomous community, kids in the region dreamt of just two sports; basketball and football, Navarro opted for the latter. 

Building a successful career at Barcelona isn’t a piece of cake, just a few youngsters managed to make it to the big stage. With La Masia talents being deemed just not good enough, the club’s hierarchy has turned to bringing in more and more mercenary imports.  

Navarro was well aware of this and started off at lower side CF Badalona in 2001 at just six. Despite his tender age, he exhibited something quite astute and after just one year with the Segunda club, this was enough to alert the scouts of the big brother; Barcelona. 

The young defender’s progress didn’t stop there, his development was fast-tracked due to a superior skill set and physique beyond his years. He was heralded to break into the main team sooner rather than later but that never happened, Navarro’s progress somehow stalled and Barca was happy to allow him to leave. 

Espanyol saw what their bigger neighbours didn’t, Navarro was just 16 when he made the move and was given comfort at RCDE Stadium. Navarro spent two years with the developmental squad and as soon as he turned 18, the defender was farmed out to Damn to gain first-team experience. 

He returned with plenty. Still, he had to prove his worth with the club’s reserve team. There he spent three years, racking up 44 appearances and eight goals and at that point, there was no way the senior managers could resist. 

Navarro was eager to make good use of his opportunity. He had waited seven years to be considered and the defender didn’t disappoint. Navarro started and scored on his debut in January 2017 in a memorable 3-1 victory over Granada. That made him the first youth graduate to achieve the feat since Raúl Tamudo in 1997. 

Still dissatisfied, he wanted to do more. Navarro was rewarded with another starting berth and further proved his value. He netted the only goal in the club’s 3-1 defeat by Sevilla. Samuele Longo was the last Espanyol player to achieve such in his first two games in the 2012/13 campaign.

Navarro finished the campaign superbly, notching up a dozen appearances. He was rewarded with a bumper deal and played an even bigger role last season featuring 24 times for Quique Sanchez Flores’ team who finished 11th. 

At Watford, Navarro will have to do a little more to displace Daryl Janmaat on the right side of the defence. His versatility will appeal to Garcia who had to deal with a number of injuries last season. 

Forget Fred: Mourinho wants Real Madrid superstar to partner Pogba

0

Jose Mourinho may have acquired Brazilian midfielder Fred over the summer but the Portuguese manager appears unconvinced about his ability to bring the best out of Paul Pogba in the heart of Manchester United midfield. The Reds Devils coughed up around £52m to Shakhtar Donetsk for Fred yet Mourinho still isn’t satisfied.

The incoming Fred, currently at the World Cup with Brazil, was heralded as the perfect partner to the Frenchman after the likes of Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and even the retired Michael Carrick couldn’t do the job perfectly.

Blessed with superb pace, energy and physical presence, the 25-year-old is dynamic and can shield the defence, potentially leveraging Pogba to attack. He’s got those brilliant passes in him too, meaning there won’t be too many headaches playing out from the back.

Yet it appears Mr Mourinho has other plans, Spanish newspaper AS is reporting that the 55-year-old is eyeing a return to his former club for Toni Kroos. The report claims Mourinho has told CEO Ed Woodward that he sees the 28-year-old Real Madrid star as the ideal partner for Pogba.

Kroos has been with the record European champions since 2014 and during this period, among numerous honours, he won the Champions League three times and La Liga once. Even though the German has a running contract till 2022, yet he could be attempted towards a fresh challenge in the English Premier League.

For that to happen, however, the Red Devils must meet an almost impossible £443m release clause, this would potentially make him the world’s most expensive buy, eclipsing Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Being the kind of player that rarely gets noticed in games, Kroos will allow Pogba to enjoy the spotlight alone. The German is content at keeping it simple, distributing the passes without necessarily trying anything spectacular. His superb technique, vision and calmness sets him apart from others in his position.

Kroos was part of the German team that crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages, Joachim Low’s men relinquished their title without a fight after a shock defeat to South Korea but the ex-Bayern Munich superstar still managed to impress.

Unlike Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, Kroos was irreplaceable in the middle, he started all three matches and hit a superb free-kick to win the clash with Sweden.

Should Mourinho succeed to get his man, then we could see a midfield three of Matic, Kroos and Pogba, with the Frenchman playing further forward. In the event of the opposite, then United fans should expect Fred to take the German’s place.

Highly-rated Manchester City keeper wanted by Premier League rival

0
Angus Gunn
Angus Gunn

Manchester City are set to lose promising young goalkeeper, Angus Gunn, to Premier League rivals Southampton. The 22-year-old faces another uncertain season at the Etihad and could jump at the Saints’ proposition to keep him in the Premier League.

Gunn began his career at Norwich City but moved to Manchester in 2011 aged just 14, the youngster left friends and family in the north-east in pursuit of career at one of the country’s biggest clubs but he failed to make it.

After eight years, Gunn is still to realise his dreams of playing between the sticks for the Sky Blues and is yet to make a senior appearance despite showing promise for City’s youth team.

It now appears Southampton could rescue him from his Etihad misery, according to Goal, Saints boss Mark Hughes has earmarked the 22-year-old to strengthen his goalkeeping department.

Hughes already has two dependable custodians in Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster. In fact, the latter recently signed a contract extension after leapfrogging Forster in the pecking order last season, yet the ex-Stoke City boss still isn’t satisfied.

The Times claim City has slapped a £15m price tag on the young goalie as well as a buy-back clause but that has not deterred Hughes who looks hell bent on getting his man.

Southampton seem to mean business in the transfer market after narrowly surviving the drop last season, so far so good they have brought in Stuart Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi from Celtic and Basel respectively while it looks likely that Forster is set to join Dusan Tadic on his way out.

If that happens, then Gunn will almost likely get a run of first-team games at Southampton. Last season the 22-year-old impressed on loan at his boyhood club which even led to an England call-up against Brazil in November, though sadly he didn’t feature.

Gunn racked up unbelievable numbers in the Championship. He was second for most saves with 139, his tally was only bettered by Ipswich’s Bartosz Bialkowski (153). Despite Norwich’s porous defence, the 22-year-old also managed 15 clean sheets.

Gunn is quite aware that Ederson is certain to remain number one, especially after a fine debut season and Claudio Bravo will play in the cup matches, leaving him with practically no games to play if he stays.

Coutinho linked with Barcelona move

0

Brazil international midfield maestro Philippe Coutinho has once again been linked with a move to Barcelona.

According to Catalan Radio RAC1 as reported by the Metro, the highly rated attacking midfielder has reached a personal agreement with Barcelona for a potential switch to Camp Nou. Liverpool fans who have been banking on football accumulators may have to have a rethink if their talented attacker leaves the club.

Report claims that Barcelona representatives are already in England for talks.

The La Liga giants’ initial offer of £72m was rejected by the Reds, but they are expected to make an improved offer in other to secure the star signature.

Coutinho, whose prolific exploits last season helped the Red Devils qualify for next season Champions League has been in the news all summer about a move to the Barcelona.

Coutinho arrival to Nou Camp will no doubt improve Barca’s game, making fans favorite to win bet when trying to get reward for their passions.

It is believed that Barcelona sees Coutinho as a possible replacement for Neymar, who wants to leave Camp Nou for PSG this summer.

Coutinho joined Liverpool in 2013 from Inter Milan in a £8.5 million deal. Since his move to the Merseyside club, the 25-year-old midfielder has made a total of 182 appearances, while finding the back of the net 42 times in all competitions.

He has also featured for the Brazilian national team side 28 times, scoring seven goals.

Fast, skilful and highly creative Coutinho will certainly be a good buy for Barcelona should they be able to prize him away from Liverpool.

However, the South American star is also a target for Ligue 1 giants PSG. The French club are making plans to lure Coutinho to France as they plan to claim the League title next season.

Report according to the Mirror also claims that Liverpool are close to signing RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, having had their two offers rejected.

It is claimed the Bundesliga club are now preparing life without Keita by scouting potential replacement for the African star.

Meanwhile, Coutinho will travel with his team-mate for a pre-season tournament in Germany today.

Manchester United close in on Matic

1

Report according to the Independent claims that Manchester United are in pole position to sign Serbian international midfielder Nemanja Matic.

United have had initial offers of £35 and £40m rejected for Matic this summer as the Blues hold out for a fee of £50m for the defensive midfielder. I suspect you will find many Manchester United fans using their william hill promo code 2017 if they pull this one off.

Earlier report had it that Italian giants Juventus were battling the Red Devils for the experienced midfielder signature, but the Old Lady are now focusing their attention on PSG star Blaise Matuidi.

It is believed Juventus have conceded defeat to United over Matic signature and have switched their attention to Matuidi.

Antonio Conte had secured Monaco ace Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer, to partner fellow national team mate N’golo Kante in the heart of Chelsea’s midfield.

It is believed Bakayoko arrival at Stamford Bridge will see Matic starting chances limited to the bench next season.

Conte is willing to sell the Serbian this summer after he was left out of Chelsea’s pre-season tour squad amid interest from other club.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is desperate to reinforce his team ahead of next season campaign.

Although he has brought in Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof as a first team starter, he however wants to add more forces to his squad.

Mourinho is willing to have a reunion with Matic at Old Trafford, after they both had a successful stint at Chelsea winning the Premier League title and the Capital One Cup.

Conte was initially reluctant to sell Matic to Manchester United after they hijacked Lukaku deal. But report now has it that the Italian tactician could let him join United, having signed a replacement for the 28-year old midfielder.

The Serbia international has made over 120 appearances for Chelsea since his returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 for a second spell.

The Premier League defending champions are also willing to part ways with goal poacher Diego Costa.

Report in Italy has it that Costa’s agent Jorge Mendes met with AC Milan directors yesterday for a possible switch.

The Serie A giants are willing to sanction move for Costa having failed to sign Alvaro Morata.

Although Costa will fancy a move to former club Atletico Madrid, Milan are however willing to hijacked the deal as the La Liga club are currently ban from registering any player.

Mourinho keen on bolstering Manchester United squad

0

Jose Mourinho is keen on bolstering his team ahead of the new season and has made two signings so far, with Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof joining the Europa League winners. Now might be a good time to use the 10bet referrer code on United going for the title as they continue to show great ambition in the transfer window.

But the Portuguese coach is not leaving the club’s academy out of the transfer market and has added to their goalkeeping rank.

As confirmed by his agent Charlie McNicholas, goalkeeper Theo Richardson has secured a permanent move to Manchester United from Leeds United, swelling the number of keepers at the club to seven.

The 18-year-old joins the likes of David de Gea, Sergio Romero, Joel Pereira, Kieran O’Hara, Max Johnstone and Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui at the club.

The Lincoln-born keeper was on trial at Old Trafford towards the end of last season and impressed coaches at the club, prompting Man United to offer him a deal, after Leeds refused to extend his contract which end this summer with them.

McNicholas, who works for World in Motion Agency took to his Twitter account to announce the deal while United have also created a profile for him on the club’s website with the statement:

“Signed on a permanent contract after arriving on a short-term basis towards the end of the 2016/17 season”.

“Formerly with Leeds United, he produced some outstanding performances when thrust into the Reds’ Under-18 team to earn a deal over the course of the summer”.

He made his debut in the academy Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium in March making stunning saves, and his brilliant performance in the match earned him a place on the bench for the U23s’ penultimate game of the season against Arsenal.

He may likely join the U23 team and the UEFA Youth League squad but has the likes of David De Gea and Sergio Romero ahead of him in the first-team.

And he will also compete with Kieran O’Hara, Max Johnstone and Joel Pereira for a starting place in the reserve, while Sam Johnstone and Dean Henderson have moved on loan to Aston Villa and Shrewsbury Town respectively this summer.

Richardson was part of the team that featured against Cortiba, Chivas and Real Salt Lake at the Dallas Cup and may also play in United’s return to the prestigious Super Cup NI tournament in Northern Ireland
this week.

Is It Time For Manchester United To Move On From David De Gea?

0

The transfer window has opened, and yet again, Manchester United fans are wondering whether David De Gea will still be at their club when the season starts again.

Reports have suggested that De Gea has told Mourinho he wants to play for Real Madrid at some point in his career. If that is the case, then why don’t United move on from De Gea? The uncertainty about his long term future can do no good and surely it is best for United to try and find a keeper that is happy at the club and wants to be there long-term.

The Telegraph suggest that United have braced themselves for a bid from Madrid this summer, with the club valuing their keeper at £60million. With just two years left on his current contract, it looks as if De Gea will not extend his contract and if he doesn’t, then United need to sell as soon as possible in order to maximise the amount they will receive for him.

It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not De Gea will make the move this summer, the likes of Ander Herrera and Sergio Romero are desperate for him to stay in Manchester but what is your prediction? Check out some football betting sites like the ones listed on BettingTop10 to have a flutter on your instinct.

My gut tells me that De Gea will still be United’s keeper when the season starts, but I’m not sure that is the best thing for the club and their fans, to continue to delay what seems likely to be the inevitable.

There are some top quality keepers in Europe at the moment that United could start to pursue. Gianluigi Donnarumma now looks unattainable for a while due to recently signing a new contract, but Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid may be a realistic target. Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic is also a name that is regularly linked with the club.

Neither of the aforementioned names would come cheap but they’d almost certainly be attainable for less than the £50million-£60million that United would likely receive for De Gea – so replacing De Gea is unlikely to have any effect on United’s transfer budget this summer.

Mourinho won’t be keen to sell but with the Portuguese manager hoping to be at United for the long term, surely he too will have concerns over the current cloud hovering over De Gea.

 

3 To Stay, 3 To Sell: What Arsenal Need To Do With 6 Transfer-Linked Men

1

Arsenal have spent their summer so far focusing on incoming transfer business but that’s likely to change in the coming weeks, with the Gunners seeing a wealth of interest in numerous players within their squad.

Arsene Wenger is very much determined to see any departures from the squad decided on his terms but interest from top sides from within the Premier League and from elsewhere in Europe may make things difficult for the Gunners.

Despite signing Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac, the success of Arsenal’s transfer window hinges on whether outgoing deals are also good for the Gunners, or whether they’ll be forced to take a few steps back following big losses.

Here, we’ve assessed the futures of six core members of Arsenal’s first-team squad and given a decisive verdict on whether the Gunners should keep them in North London or approve a sale.

Hit the navigation buttons below to advance through pages!

Stay: Olivier Giroud

The French striker’s future has been cast into doubt following Arsenal’s club-record signing of Alexandre Lacazette and the likes of Everton, Marseille and West Ham have been attributed with interest in the services of the 30-year-old.

However, despite the signing of Lacazette, Arsenal are still quite short of striking options and Olivier Giroud is a key part of their side- particularly as he presents a quality alternative for Arsene Wenger’s side, which will be crucial in Arsenal’s involvement in the Europa League next season.

Giroud showed his worth off the bench in the FA Cup final with a superb assist for Aaron Ramsey’s winning goal and his competition for football with compatriot Lacazette could bring the best out of both strikers.

Chelsea Expect £30m Asking-Price To Be Met As Atletico Become Desperate

1

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is making major changes to his Premier League champions this summer and a wealth of significant departures could occur in the coming weeks.

The Blues missed out on the services of striker Romelu Lukaku, who sealed a move from Everton to Manchester United, but have added Willy Caballero and Antonio Rudiger to their ranks ahead of a Premier League title defence.

Conte is still focused on getting further deals done, as he eyes a new striker and a midfielder, and his transfer kitty is likely to be bolstered by a sale of Diego Costa, who has been informed he’s surplus to requirements.

Atletico Madrid, despite their transfer ban that would leave any signings unable to feature until the new year, are keen to bring the striker back to the Spanish capital and The Guardian indicates Diego Simeone’s side are growing increasingly desperate.

That’s left Chelsea confident their asking-price of £30m will be met, with Atletico’s transfer plans falling apart.

What’s happened with Atletico?

Things started relatively positive for Atletico Madrid as they retained the services of Antoine Griezmann amidst interest from Manchester United, securing the Frenchman to a new contract, but their transfer ban was upheld- casting major problems for the club’s recruitment drive.

Initial agreements were in place to sign Alexandre Lacazette, Vitolo, Diego Costa and Sandro before their ban was confirmed to still be going ahead. Since then, Lacazette has joined Arsenal, Sandro has joined Everton and Vitolo is set to sign a new deal with Sevilla.

Simeone’s frustration means that Atletico don’t really have a strong bargaining position when it comes to negotiations with Chelsea and will probably have to pay whatever the Blues desire, although a £30m fee wouldn’t be the end of the world for the Spaniards.

Tottenham Ace Keen To Join Man United With £50m Offer Prepared

7

Manchester United have already spent heavily this summer to bring Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof to Old Trafford but Jose Mourinho is ready to splash the cash once again.

The Red Devils are keen on signing a defensive-minded midfielder to slot into their side, which would allow Paul Pogba and Player of the Year Ander Herrera more freedom in attack- which should significantly improve Mourinho’s side.

Manchester United have been linked with Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Monaco ace Tiemoue Bakayoko but Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier is their priority signing, with The Guardian reporting the boyhood United fan is keen on a transfer.

A fresh approach of £50m is rumoured to be in the works but Manchester United may have to part with an even higher figure, as Tottenham don’t want to sell and Daniel Levy is renowned for being a difficult man to deal with in the transfer window.

Where does a deal stand?

Unfortunately for Manchester United, the early indications are not good. Manchester United made an approach earlier in the season, which came with a bid under instruction from Jose Mourinho, but Levy immediately rejected the approach- and insisted he won’t be selling Dier this summer.

The fact that Dier is open to a move will give Manchester United hope though and Spurs may struggle to keep hold of the England international if he seeks an exit, particularly as the Red Devils can easily double the midfielder’s current £70k-a-week wages.

Dier has also faced problems securing regular opportunities at White Hart Lane during the past 12 months, with the signing of Victor Wanyama last summer dethroning the 23-year-old as Spurs’ first-choice defensive midfielder.

If this deal did go through it could completely switch up Uniteds team and make them a great pre-sesaon bet. To ensure you get the best offer possible when betting it’s essential to check out the best bookmaker offers. Footy Accumulators have pages dedicated to these offers such as their Coral offers page.

Can Spurs fend off interest?

Tottenham will likely fight tooth and nail to keep hold of Dier but they may struggle to retain the services of the England ace as there is still a long way to go in the transfer window- especially as Manchester United’s approach will likely lead to Dier seeking assurances.

Dier will want regular football ahead of the World Cup next summer, as he battles for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, and may demand an increase in wages. However, breaking the £100k-a-week threshold would shatter the Lilywhites wage structure and may lead to further demands from other players.

In all honesty, Dier is probably the most expendable player within Tottenham’s squad, amongst those attracting interest from big sides, and they’d be able to cope with his departure, whereas they’d find it difficult to replace Harry Kane, Dele Alli and company.

West Brom Eye Ambitious Double Swoop To Land Man United Pair

1

West Brom haven’t been known for making waves in the transfer market that much but they’re looking to land a significant double-deal ahead of the new season.

The Daily Mirror indicates Tony Pulis has set his sights on Manchester United’s defensive duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, both of whom have two-years remaining on their contracts at Old Trafford.

Both England aces face uncertain futures in Jose Mourinho’s side following the capture of Victor Lindelof from Benfica, who’s set to partner last summer’s recruit Eric Bailly in the heart of the Red Devils defence- potentially leaving Smalling and Jones in real trouble in their battle to make England’s World Cup squad.

Jones’ versatility appeals to Pulis, who’s also looking to bolster his defensive options with former Manchester United man Jonny Evans attracting interest from elsewhere, Jonas Olsson having already left and Gareth McAuley halfway into a retirement home.

Whether they can persuade Manchester United to sell though is another matter as the departure of the pair would significantly decrease the depth at Mourinho’s disposal.

The England impact

Crucially, moving to West Brom could help both defenders in their quest to establish themselves as key figures within Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of the World Cup next summer, especially as Jake Livermore battled his way back into the set-up after joining the Baggies from Hull in January.

Smalling is probably better placed for a starting spot within the England squad next summer as it stands but the rise of young pairing John Stones and Michael Keane prevents problems, especially as the pair will be assured of regular football this season.

Jones is perhaps the man who desperately needs to move on though as he seems out of Mourinho’s plans and a move to West Brom, who’ll offer regular football and stable surroundings, could spark his career back into life.

Italian Side Eyeing Deal For Liverpool Favourite, Exit Likely

0

Liverpool’s transfer window has commanded as many headlines as many of their fellow Premier League sides but significant moves are still likely to be made.

The Reds secured a big addition in the form of Mohamed Salah from Roma and Jurgen Klopp continues to chase the ideal recruits, whilst he’s also preparing for the potential departure of a wealth of the club’s fringe players.

Lucas Leiva stood as one of those last season and is now available on a free transfer after his contract at Anfield drew to a close earlier this month, although he’s still training with the side where he became a fan favourite following a decade at the club.

The Daily Star, citing Di Marzio, claim Italian outfit Lazio are keen on the services of the Brazilian veteran, who accumulated over 340 appearances for Liverpool during 10 years on Merseyside- and it’s likely his spell in England will come to a close.

Why are Lazio keen?

Lazio are reportedly preparing for life without Argentine ace Lucas Biglia, who looks set to become the latest recruit of AC Milan’s frantic summer transfer push- with the San Siro giants having already secured the likes of Adrien Silva and, for some reason, former Liverpool flop Fabio Borini.

30-year-old Leiva could fill the void left by his fellow South American in Rome and a free transfer would be financially appealing to an Italian side who cannot afford to spend as much as rivals like Juventus and both Milan sides in the market.

Everton Identify £32m Premier League Man As Ideal Lukaku Replacement

0

Everton have been very active in the transfer market thus far and Ronald Koeman shows no signs of stopping, with the Toffees now seeking additions in attack.

Star-man Romelu Lukaku waved goodbye to Goodison Park earlier this week as he sealed a lucrative move to Manchester United, leaving Everton in the market for a replacement striker that can fill the void left by the Belgian forward.

The Toffees have endured frustration in the market as they seek replacements, with Arsenal insisting Olivier Giroud is going nowhere, but Koeman intends to continuing focusing on signing players from the capital.

The Daily Mirror indicates that Everton have set their sights on Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke, although the Eagles are adamant their £32m club-record signing will not be leaving Selhurst Park this summer.

Everton’s newfound financial strength could prove to be difficult for the Eagles to fend-off though and the Toffees could present a bid in the coming days.

Back to Merseyside?

After netting an impressive 42 goals in 89 games for Aston Villa, Christian Benteke earned a big move to Liverpool but it ended up being another striking mishap for the Reds, with the Belgian striker leaving to join Crystal Palace last year.

His form in front of goal helped the Eagles fend off relegation, as he netted 15 times, and Palace believe he’s crucial to their quest to avoid the drop once again this summer- but Everton’s growing ambition could turn Benteke’s head.

Everton have already signed Davy Klaassen, Wayne Rooney, Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane this summer, amongst others, and are assembling a side capable of fighting the Premier League’s elite for European football- something Palace are a long way off being able to offer.

Doubts Raised On Everton Ace’s Future As He Misses Pre-Season Tour

0

Everton have enjoyed a busy transfer window so far but the next few weeks could revolve around further departures, following the loss of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.

Ronald Koeman’s side have showed their ambition this summer by being incredible active, adding the likes of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Wayne Rooney to their squad, but questions remain on the future of one key-asset.

Ross Barkley has still not signed a new contract, despite being informed by the Dutch manager he would be sold this summer if he did not do so, and questions have raised further after he was left out of the club’s pre-season trip to Tanzania.

The Daily Mail states Everton have claimed Barkley is suffering from a groin injury but the likelihood of Barkley leaving rises day by day, as the 23-year-old has entered the final 12 months of his contract- and Everton would rather sell than lose him on a free transfer next summer.

Unfortunately for Barkley, his bargaining position has been weakened due to the fact that interest in his services has cooled significantly- leaving the England international in limbo.

Where does he fit at Everton?

Barkley’s biggest issue at the moment is the fact that Everton see him as expendable, with the Toffees having strengthen their ranks this summer with the additions of Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaasen- both of whom are amongst Everton’s 25-man tour squad and could fit into Barkley’s attacking midfield position.

The Toffees also continue to chase Gylfi Sigurdsson, who could again fit into the slot that Barkley has adopted in recent years, and Everton’s priority is getting a deal for the Icelandic international done, as well as signing a striker to replace Lukaku.

That means Barkley is left in a difficult position as his club’s demands of around £50m have led to a decrease in interest in his services and he currently doesn’t have a strong position to argue his case with Koeman.

What’s a likely outcome?

With Barkley struggling to find his place in Everton’s new-look side and interested parties being put-off by Everton’s £50m asking-price, the young midfielder may have to swallow his pride and work on rebuilding the bridges at Goodison Park.

The Toffees would no doubt be delighted if Barkley committed his future to Everton on a long-term basis and that seems to be the best course of action for him, as even a move to Arsenal or Tottenham wouldn’t give him guaranteed first-team football.

If Barkley sorts his head out, then he could be a crucial part of Everton’s new-look side and it’s a test of his maturity and desire now.

Arsenal Superstar Confirms He Intends To Stay This Summer, Contract Talks Planned

0

Arsenal have been handed a significant boost in the transfer market as one of their superstars has revealed he’s intending to stay with the Gunners this summer.

Arsene Wenger deserves praise for his summer business so far, with Arsenal signing Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette, but the success of Arsenal’s transfer window hinges of whether the Gunners can retain the services of key-men.

Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil have all entered the final 12 months of their deals, with speculation continuing to suggest that they could be lured elsewhere, but the Gunners have been handed a significant boost by the latter.

German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil has confirmed he intends to stay with Arsenal this summer and is poised to hold talks regarding a new deal upon his return to North London, as he’s currently on-tour with the squad in Australia.

What’s been said?

Quoted by The Daily Mail, Ozil said following the launch of Arsenal’s new third-kit:

‘It is definitely my preference to stay. It is such a great club and I have always said that I feel very good at Arsenal. Once everyone is back in London we will sit down and discuss the future.’

‘For now the most important thing is our pre-season and getting through the tour, training and getting fitness. When I’m back in London, we will sit down and discuss.’

What does this mean for Arsenal?

Whilst it doesn’t solve all of Arsenal’s issues this summer, retaining the services of Mesut Ozil is a huge boost for the club- especially as the German’s creativity in midfield will compliment new striker Alexandre Lacazette fantastically.

Keeping Ozil will also help Arsenal in their discussions to keep Alexis and Oxlade-Chamberlain, amongst others, showing that they’re still a force to be reckoned with and have moved away from their issues in the past where they’ve struggled to retain the services of their big players.

The focus will now be on ensuring that Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis both also remain at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal insistent the pair won’t be sold but they risk losing the duo on a free transfer next summer.

Revealed: Wenger Held Long Meeting With Prime-Target, Arsenal Still Chasing

0

Arsenal have already made significant moves on the transfer market to bring Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac to the club but that’s nothing in comparison to what could occur.

The Gunners are one of many European giants interested in the services of Monaco’s starring teenager Kylian Mbappe, following the 18-year-old’s meteoric rise last season for the French champions that left everyone talking.

Monaco are understandably desperate to keep hold of the French international, reportedly demanding as much as £130m, but France Football indicates the Gunners have not ended their pursuit, despite signing Lacazette from Lyon in a club-record deal.

In a significant report, it’s claimed Arsene Wenger had a face-to-face meeting with Mbappe following France’s international friendly with England last month, where he spoke about the possibility of Mbappe emulating his hero Thierry Henry in North London.

Could a deal really happen?

Despite Arsenal’s desire to complete a move that would probably have to be a world-record, the Gunners’ chances of securing Mbappe either now or in the coming years seem to be extremely slim, as they face rival competition from Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and other European giants.

Monaco are desperate not to sell though and Mbappe returned to training with the French principality side this week, suggesting that he’s loyal to the club and will not seek to force an exit- leaving the situation very much in Monaco’s hands.

Potential Spurs XI That Can Win Them The Premier League

0

For two seasons, Spurs have been so close to clinching the Premier League title. Both times they’ve fallen short in the final weeks of the season, something that left many wondering how could they improve their team to go that one step further and win the league?

It’s not an easy question, because Tottenham have, arguably, the best starting eleven in the Premier League. Not many changes can be made except for on the bench, which was one of the problems that people found with Spurs’ squad. Minimal changes are needed from Mauricio Pochettino, but with one or two players expected to leave, their replacements need to be top quality.

Hugo Lloris:
One of the best goalkeepers in the league, Hugo Lloris is the club captain and has built up an incredible relationship with his defence in front of him. He may not be the most physically imposing goalkeeper, but he has the ability to make match-winning saves and has shown that he is a real leader of men.

 

Lloris is incredibly important to Spurs, and it must be said that without him, they wouldn’t even be near the Premier League title. He signed for what is now a bargain of £12.5M from Lyon a few years ago and that is clearly money well spent. His experience is vital in this side and he will help the young players learn across the season and command his defensive line extremely well.

Tottenham Defender Confirms He Wants Departure As Southampton Lurk

0

Tottenham Hotspur have been relatively quiet in the transfer window so far this summer but things could heat up in the coming weeks, with one first-team defender confirming he’s seeking an exit.

The Daily Mirror quotes Spurs’ Austrian centre-half Kevin Wimmer as stating he’s seeking an exit from White Hart Lane this summer in order to secure more regular playing opportunities, ahead of potentially representing his nation at the World Cup next year.

Austria currently trail Serbia, Wales and the Republic of Ireland in Group D of the World Cup qualifiers, sat four points behind the group leaders, and face a major battle to overturn their deficit and seal a spot in Russia.

Wimmer, now 24, has his future on his mind though and revealed he’d prefer to stay in the Premier League, where he could get a chance with Southampton as the Saints are reportedly keen on funding a move.

What’s been said?

Hinting that he’d reject the possibility of a return to German side Cologne in order to remain within English football, Wimmer said:

“It would be the most beautiful to stay in the Premier League. Twenty-four years is exactly the age at which it is most important to play regularly and not only have to train week after week and have to sit down on the bench at the game.”

“In the next few days and weeks, the main focus will certainly be placed on what is there for offers, and we will definitely look around, it’s time to look for something, where the chances of regular use are again higher.”

“In Cologne, I experienced three super years. I believe that Cologne is always a very nice step for me, you have to look at what happens. But I would prefer it if I could remain in the Premier League.”

Would Spurs regret a sale?

Spurs are in a difficult situation with Kevin Wimmer as it’s clear the Austrian has the credentials to be a key-player within the Premier League if given the opportunity, although he’s highly unlikely to oust Belgian duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld from their starting spots.

Tottenham do lack cover in central defence though, with Eric Dier the only real senior alternative excluding Wimmer, and an exit for the 24-year-old could force Spurs into the market- and it may be difficult to lure a player to the club without the offer of regular football.

Spurs are reportedly eyeing a move for Estudiantes 19-year-old Argentine defender Juan Foyth though, who could be developed into a fine successor for either of Spurs’ senior Belgian pairing. However, it remains to be seen whether he’d provide an immediate boost to the squad.

Leicester Hold Crunch Talks With Key Asset Attracting Spurs & Everton Interest

0

Leicester City’s remarkable few seasons now seem to have settled back into mediocrity, with the former Premier League champions preparing for a season without Champions League involvement.

The Foxes will likely be battling for a mid-table finish next term and could see the core of their sensational title-winning squad dissected over the next month or so, with the likes of Riyad Mahrez attracting hefty interest from larger sides.

Leicester may be powerless to stop the Algerian ace from moving, as he’s ready for the next step in his career, but boss Craig Shakespeare is determined to retain the services of excelling youngster Demarai Gray- who’s been linked with Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

Sky Sports quotes the Foxes boss as confirming he’s held talks with Gray and has informed the English youngster he wants him to stay, whilst adding that the club have received no official approach for the former Birmingham City man’s signature.

What’s been said?

Speaking ahead of Leicester’s pre-season campaign, Shakespeare said:

“We’ve had those conversations. I understand the frustration of young players expecting and wanting more time. But on the other hand they have to be respectful of their team-mates and who is in front of them.”

“Hopefully he can get more game time. He’s a player of huge potential who is rated very highly here among the coaching staff and his own players. He’s a young lad and I understand the frustrations but hopefully this season we will see him playing more.”

Can he fill the Mahrez void?

With Riyad Mahrez likely to be on his way out, having been heavily linked with a move across the Premier League to Arsenal, England U21 starlet Demarai Gray may have the perfect avenue into the side that can give him the chance to be a star for the Foxes.

Standing as England’s top-scorer in the U21 European Championships this summer, where the Three Lions lost to eventual winners Germany on penalties, Gray showed his talent and his ability to impress off the bench, having started the tournament as a reserve.

Gray will now be looking to convert those performances onto the domestic stage for Leicester and will seek a breakthrough year with the Foxes, having been a bit-part player during the second-half of Leicester’s Premier League title winning campaign and the entirety of last season.

Newcastle Considering €15m Swoop To Land Stopper From European Giant

0

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is aware of the challenges that his side face next season in their quest to retain a position in the Premier League, which has led to a flurry of links on the transfer market.

The Magpies stormed to Championship success last season but are seeking recruits to help them remain competitive in the top-flight, with one of Benitez’ priorities including signing a new goalkeeper to provide competition for Tim Krul.

Krul spent the season on-loan in Holland last term, initially with Ajax before moving on to AZ Alkmaar in January, but returns to St. James’ Park this summer and is likely to stand as Newcastle’s first-choice goalkeeper.

However, Newcastle want competition for the 29-year-old Dutch international and France Football reports that Benitez is considering a €15m swoop for Paris Saint-Germain’s second-choice goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

Could it happen?

The 24-year-old is an established member of Paris Saint-Germain’s squad, standing as understudy to German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, and any departure would mean the French side would need to sign a replacement- regardless of whether they complete a move for RC Lens goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez.

Areola’s demands for regular first-team football could force PSG’s hands though and it’s understood that the Frenchman is Benitez’ priority signing between the sticks, despite being linked with the services of Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Napoli veteran Pepe Reina.

A fee of €15m is certainly affordable for Newcastle and it would be a significant coup for the club, as Areola has been linked with an array of top sides during the past 12 months and would be considered to be a key-player over the course of the coming years.

Crucially, a move could help Areola in his quest to force his way into France’s senior squad- having been called up to Didier Deschamps’ side on numerous occasions but thus far failing to make his debut for Les Bleus.