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15 Jun

Coutinho struggles at Barca

Philippe Coutinho made a big-money move to FC Barcelona from Liverpool in January of 2018.

Coutinho reportedly cost Barcelona somewhere in the region of £130 million.

However, despite the hefty price tag, Coutinho has not been overly impressive whilst in Spain.

During his first half-season with Barca, Coutinho scored eight and assisted five in 18 La Liga games, a decent record but not that spectacular.

The 2018/19 campaign, however, was pretty poor from the 27-year-old.

In 34 league outings, Coutinho would score just five and assist two, a dismal record considering his price tag, his ability and the fact that he was playing in a Barcelona side.

Philippe Coutinho

SEVILLE, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 23: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 23, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Coutinho grateful for Barcelona fans’ support

Unsurprisingly, given his poor season, some Barcelona fans do not seem that keen on the attacker.

After Liverpool knocked Barca out of the Champions League, Coutinho bore the brunt of the fan backlash.

Coutinho has since been in action for Brazil in their first 2019 Copa America tie.

Brazil beat Bolivia 3-0, with Coutinho having bagged a brace.

After the game, Coutinho spoke about Barcelona’s fans, and how he hasn’t lived up to their expectations:

“I don’t have much to say to them [Barcelona fans].

“I’m grateful for all the support they’ve always given me. I’ve had difficult moments because I’ve not performed as they well as they were expecting on the pitch.

“But that’s football and I’m working hard to improve.

“It’s a happy day having scored two goals. Having helped the team and come away with the win.” As quoted by Marca.

Related: West Ham & Everton linked with Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen – SPORT

Barcelona tipped to sell Ivan Rakitić amid Man United rumours

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15 Jun

Abraham shines for Villa

Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham spent the 2018/19 season on loan with then Championship side, Aston Villa.

Abraham would feature in 37 of Villa’s Championship fixtures this past season.

In those 37 games, the young Englishman would score a very impressive 25 goals and also earn three assists.

Abraham’s goal-scoring prowess was a big part of why Villa were able to finish the season in 5th place.

They then beat West Brom and Derby in the playoffs to secure their return to the English top-flight.

Abraham would find the back of the net in the first leg of the semi-final vs the Baggies.

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 12: Tammy Abraham reacts during a training session ahead of their international match against Italy at St Georges Park on November 12, 2018 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Where will Abraham end up?

After such an impressive loan spell with Villa, their fans may be hoping to have Tammy back for at least another season as they look to secure their place as a Premier League club.

Abraham has recently been asked about a potential return to Villa, to which he replied:

“You can never say never.

 “Chelsea is obviously the club that I have been at since a young so the aim is to try and breakthrough there.

“Like I say, you can never say never. We’ll see how things look.

“It’s good to see Aston Villa in the Premier League so I still follow them on social media – I always look out for them as well.”As quoted by Sky Sports News.

While Abraham does seem open to a return to Villa his priority does look to be Chelsea and with Maurizio Sarri reportedly set for Juventus, Abraham may be hoping for some more first-team chances under a new boss.

Villa have also just recently signed a new striker from Belgium.

Related: Tiemoue Bakayoko speaks out on his future ahead of Chelsea return

Derby to demand Frank Lampard compensation from Chelsea

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15 Jun

No Chelsea transfer for Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain’s agent has claimed the Argentine wants to finish his career with Juventus after spending part of last season on loan with Chelsea.

Higuain initially joined AC Milan on loan at the beginning of last season.

Though, despite impressing at the San Siro, Higuain joined Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea in the January transfer window.

The Argentine scored 13 goals in a pretty mediocre spell at the Blues.

With Sarri reportedly leaving Chelsea to sign for Juventus, Higuain’s future has been thrown into doubt.

Now, his agent and brother Nicolas has claimed the player wants to see out the remainder of his career at Juventus.

Ross Barkley

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 10: Ross Barkley and Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea look dejected after Manchester City’s third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Etihad Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“He has so much strength and determination, and he wants to end his career at Juve”

Speaking to Radio Marte, as cited by Football Italia, Nicolas explained that Gonzalo wishes to stay with Juventus and respect his contract.

Higuain’s agent also rules out a move to any Serie A team that isn’t the Bianconeri.

“I want to clarify that we haven’t talked to anyone else. My brother’s also under contract with Juve,” Nicolas explained.

“Gonzalo wants to respect his contract and therefore stay with Juventus for another two years.

“His performances at Juve have been good and playing for another team in Italy isn’t a workable solution.

“I don’t want to disrespect anyone, but if Gonzalo plays in Italy again then he only will for Juve, who own him.

“I think this could be Gonzalo’s year. He has so much strength and determination, and he wants to end his career at Juve.”

Derby to demand Frank Lampard compensation from Chelsea

With Sarri set to leave Chelsea, the Blues must now move for his replacement.

One manager who has been linked with the job is former midfielder Frank Lampard.

Though, Derby won’t make it easy for Chelsea to snatch their boss.

Click here to find out why. 

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14 Jun

A twist in the transfer of Carrasco

Arsenal are reportedly ‘stalling’ on a deal to sign Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco in hope that they can agree a deal for Ryan Fraser instead.

There’s been much made about the futures of both Yannick Carrasco and Ryan Fraser in recent weeks.

It was reported prior to the Europa League final that Arsenal would make their move for Fraser when the competition was over.

However, a deal has not yet materialised and Fraser admitted this week that it’s likely he will remain at Bournemouth next season. 

“The likelihood is I will be at Bournemouth for another year,” Fraser explained, as quoted by the Mirror. 

“And what will happen, will happen. That is all I can really say about it.”

In the case of Carrasco, it was reported this week that Arsenal were in advanced talks to sign the winger.

However, there’s not been much progression reported in recent days.

Now, a report has emerged claiming that the reason a deal with Carrasco hasn’t been completed is that Arsenal are hoping to sign Fraser instead.

Ryan Fraser

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Ryan Fraser of Scotland runs with the ball during the UEFA Nations League C group one match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park on November 20, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Emery ‘desperate’ to sign Ryan Fraser

According to the Mirror, Arsenal would be willing to snub Carrasco if they could sign the Bournemouth man.

Their report explains ‘Unai Emery is known to be a big fan of Fraser, and would prefer to bring him in than Carrasco.’

They even go as far as saying Emery is ‘allegedly desperate to sign the Scotland international.’

With Fraser’s recent comments, it looks unlikely that Arsenal will get their man and may need to settle for Carrasco instead.

Arsenal-linked Yannick Carrasco on his desire to return to Europe

Yannick Carrasco has been speaking about his future this week.

The Belgian reaffirmed his desire to return to Europe after a spell in the Chinese Super League.

Click here to see what he had to say about his future. 

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14 Jun

Cillessen struggles for game time at Barca

Jasper Cillessen joined Barcelona in 2016 from Dutch outfit Ajax for a fee of around £11.7m.

However, despite being at Barca for three seasons now, the 30-year-old has made just 32 appearances across all competitions.

In those 32 games, Cillessen has kept 14 clean sheets and let in 25 goals.

Cillessen has also maintained his spot as the Netherlands number one keeper.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jasper Cillessen (@jaspercillessen) on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:42am PDT

However, in Spain, the Dutchman must play second fiddle to Marc-André ter Stegen.

This past campaign saw Cillessen feature just 11 times in all competitions.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 28: Marc-Andre ter Stegen of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on October 28, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

West Ham & Everton linked

As a result of his lack of game time, Cillessen is often linked with a move away from the Nou Camp.

Manchester United have recently been linked with a move for the keeper.

However, according to Spanish outlet SPORT, West Ham and Everton are now interested in signing Cillessen.

Valencia are also said to be in the running for Cillessen, according to SPORT.

But Cillessen is unlikely to come cheap for any interested party with the keeper himself admitting his release clause is a bit of stumbling block when it comes to him leaving Barcelona:

“My release clause doesn’t make it easy for me to transfer.

“It’s clear that Barca won’t let me leave for an apple and an egg.

“The market is really crazy. Honestly. It’s true they are paying incredible transfer fees for players that we all know aren’t worth that much.

“But you need to accept that it’s the market which determines the prices and each player’s situation depends on the market at the time.

“The club knows I’ve never been one to kick up a fuss.”As quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

Related: Barcelona tipped to sell Ivan Rakitić amid Man United rumours

Why Matthijs de Ligt has decided to turn down Barcelona – Alfredo Martinez

 

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14 Jun

Rakitic to leave the Camp Nou this summer?

Barcelona are reportedly open to selling midfielder Ivan Rakitic, amid rumours that Manchester United could move to sign the Croatian.

Rakitic has been at Barcelona since 2014, when he signed from Sevilla.

Since then, Rakitic has amassed 268 appearances for the Catalan giants, scoring 34 goals and assisting 37.

He didn’t have the worst campaign last season, either, scoring five goals and assisting 10.

However, the Croatian has been linked with a move away this summer.

It was recently reported that Manchester United were looking to sign Rakitic. 

The Croatian could be seen as a replacement for Ander Herrera, who is set to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer. 

Juan Mata could also leave Old Trafford, with his contract set to expire.

Now, it has been suggested that Ernesto Valverde is willing to sell Rakitic, should Barcelona receive a suitable offer for the midfielder.

Ivan Rakitic Barcelona

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona scores his team’s second goal during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona at Wembley Stadium on October 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Barcelona ready to listen to offers

That suggestion comes from Esports SER presenter Sique Rodriguez. 

While we don’t know much about his track record in terms of transfers, Rodriguez’s information supposedly reveals that Valverde would let Rakitic go if Barcelona receive a ‘good offer’.

The tweet goes on to explain that Barcelona have had meetings over the past few days to establish which players they could let leave this summer, with Rakitic being one of them.

However, no offer has yet been received, and no club has convinced Rakitic over a Camp Nou departure.

Man United & Juventus rival Tottenham for Tanguy Ndombele – Telefoot

Ivan Rakitic isn’t the only midfielder that Man United are being linked with.

That’s because it has been reported this week that the Red Devils will rival Tottenham and Juventus for Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.

Click here to find out more about Man United’s interest in the Frenchman.

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13 Jun

Suarez reveals all about his Arsenal spell

Barcelona’s Denis Suarez has opened up on his disappointing loan spell at Arsenal last season and given an insight into his future beyond the summer.

The Spaniard joined the Gunners on loan in the January transfer window having struggled to make the first team at Barcelona.

Unai Emery knew the player well, coaching him during his time at Sevilla so a deal looked to make sense.

However, it soon turned into a nightmare spell for Suarez.

The player struggled with injury and when he did play, he failed to have much of an impact.

Now, Suarez has opened up on why that was.

Denis Suarez

VALENCIA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 07: Denis Suarez of Barcelona arrives for the La Liga match between Valencia CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on October 7, 2018 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

“From the 16th I wasn’t even at 50%”

Talking to Cadena Ser radio, as cited by the Guardian, Suarez revealed that after he had an oedema on the bone in his pelvis, he never felt the same.

He even reveals that he wasn’t at 50% for the vast majority of his loan spell.

“I thought I had torn something; I was in a lot of pain,” Suarez explained.

“From then on I carried on training with medication and putting up with it as best I could but I didn’t feel right and [Unai] Emery didn’t think I was right. I wasn’t comfortable. I don’t think I was even at 50%.

“After 15 days of being at Arsenal, I wasn’t right. From the 16th I wasn’t even at 50%.”

Denis Suarez targeting Barcelona exit

Suarez then went on to speak about what the future holds for him.

After being put off continuing his career in the Premier League, Suarez is targeting a return to Spain and a move away from Barcelona.

“What I want is to leave and to play. Where? I don’t know. Wherever is best for me. I have to look at everything,” he continued.

“My idea is to stay in the Spanish League, to be near home and compete in La Liga.

“The experience of the Premier League, which is a league I love, didn’t go well because of the injury and I prefer to continue my career in Spain if I can.”

 

See also: Arsenal in ‘advanced talks’ over William Saliba deal – Le10Sport

Ryan Fraser admits he’s likely to remain at Bournemouth for another year

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13 Jun

Man United & Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt

Hopes that Man United may sign Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax have been fading in recent days.

Amid stories that PSG and Barcelona are stepping up efforts to sign the Ajax 19-year-old captain, there’s been little to suggest that Man United will win the De Ligt race.

On Thursday, the Independent’s Miguel Delaney reported the following on Man United and De Ligt:

(Man United) are interested in the 19-year-old and willing to agree a persuasive cash offer, but are said to have greatly fallen behind Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, and otherwise do not really have any targets in the position.

Axel Tuanzebe set for promotion after Aston Villa loan

In a startling statement from the Independent’s reporter, Miguel Delaney also says that if Man United can’t sign De Ligt they are unlikely to sign any centre-half:

Manchester United are once again prepared to go into a new season without a centre-back signing, if they cannot bring in Ajax’s Mattijs de Ligt.

There’s no mention of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in the Independent’s article.

So who will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer play at centre-half next season?

Man United fans are prepped for a pairing of Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe in 2019-20:

Solskjaer is prepared to give Eric Bailly another opportunity to impose himself, while more chances are likely to be given to Axel Tuanzebe, who spent the 2018-19 season at Aston Villa, in an impressive loan spell.

Also see:

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13 Jun

Ndombele impresses for Lyon

Tanguy Ndombele made the switch to Lyon in September of 2018, moving from SC Amines.

Ndombele had previously spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Lyon before the Ligue 1 outfit spent a fee believed to be £7.2m in order to sign him on a permanent basis.

During his two seasons at Lyon Ndombele has proven himself to be a top quality central midfielder.

The 22-year-old has made 96 appearances across all competitions, scoring four and assisting 16.

Ndombele also put on some particularly impressive displays in the Champions League this past season vs Manchester City, in which Lyon managed a 2-1 win and a 2-2 draw with the English champions.

Mauricio Pochettino during Tottenham vs Barcelona

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona at Wembley Stadium on October 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Tottenham value Ndombele at €50m

Manchester City are one of the clubs who have been linked with a move for Ndombele recently.

This would make sense given City need to be looking for a replacement for 33-year-old Fernandinho.

However, it looks to be Tottenham who are edging out in front in the race to sign Ndombele.

But, according to Fabrizio Romano writing for the Guardian, Tottenham and Lyon are €25m apart in their valuations of the midfielder.

Spurs are said to value him at €50m while Lyon want €75m for Ndombele.

As per the report in the Guardian, Mauricio Pochettino has told Danny Levy that Ndombele is exactly the type of player he wants to sign this summer.

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has also admitted that he is negotiating with some top European clubs for the Frenchman:

“I am negotiating with the biggest European clubs for Ndombélé.”As quoted by the Guardian.

Related: Tottenham ‘surprised’ by Danny Rose’s recent comments about his future

How Real Madrid’s Paul Pogba focus has impacted Christian Eriksen’s Tottenham future

 

 

 

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12 Jun

PSG offer de Ligt bumper deal

Matthijs de Ligt had a superb 2018/19 season with Ajax.

The youngster would captain Ajax as they won the Eredivisie and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

De Ligt also reached the Nations League final with the Netherlands.

After such an impressive campaign, the 19-year-old has been attracting a lot of attention from Europe’s top clubs.

ESPN would report on Tuesday that FC Barcelona were set to make one last push to sign the centre-back.

However, reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano writing in the Guardian has reported that PSG have offered de Ligt a five-year contract worth a staggering £340,000-per-week.

De Ligt is now said to be weighing up his options before making a final decision over his future.

PSG’s offer for the Dutchman is believed to be £62m plus add-ons.

BELGRADE, SERBIA – DECEMBER 11: Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain at Rajko Mitic Stadium on December 11, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Cavani set for an extension

Elsewhere in the PSG camp, French outlet RMC Sport are reporting that PSG are open to offering Edison Cavani a contract extension.

Cavani joined PSG in 2013 from Napoli and has gone on to make over 270 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit.

In those games, Cavani has netted 193 and assisted 40.

The Uruguayan has also won five league titles, four French cups and five French league cups during his stint in France.

The 32-year-old’s current deal runs until July of 2020. However, according to RMC, PSG would be willing to extend that contract so that it expires in 2021.

Related: Every Champions League goal 2018/19 | 24 strikes from PSG to Tottenham in Madrid

Kylian Mbappe laughs off his apparent demands in the PSG vs Real Madrid rumour

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