Chelsea star desperate for Barcelona move as contract talks stall

November 18th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

There are reports Chelsea forward Willian is keen to join Spanish giants Barcelona at the end of the season.

The Catalan club are reportedly determined the Brazilian on free transfer as new contract talks have stalled.

In the summer, it was claimed the Catalans had tabled multiple offers for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man – all of which Chelsea were said to have turned down.

And according to reports, the 31-year-old is interested in swapping London for the Catalan capital.

Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claim the Brazilian is stalling on penning a new contract with the Blues in the hope of sealing a move to the Nou Camp.

Willian, who is out of contract in the summer, is said to be comfortable at Stamford Bridge but ‘dreaming’ of linking up with the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, report the Daily Express.

News of Willian’s reported desire to join Barcelona comes a few weeks after he revealed the La Liga champions tried to acquire his services after the 2018 World Cup.

He said: “The only real official offer I had came from Barcelona, last year, after the World Cup. Barcelona indeed presented an offer to Chelsea but it was rejected.”

Willian admits he mulled over the possibility of swapping west London for Barcelona, adding: “That was the only actual time I had to discuss something like this with my family, although we really love it here.

“So there were several factors that helped us in staying.”

Willian is aware his days as a Chelsea player will soon come to an end and plans on playing in his homeland before retiring.

“If I have to return to Brazil, I’d like to play at Corinthians again,” he said. “It represents a lot, I was born and raised there, my footballing career began there when I was nine, I’ve spent my entire childhood there.

“I’ve been a Corinthians fan since I was little, even before I played there, my family also supports the club.

“So when I got there all my relatives were very happy, and then, after I got to the first team, everyone was overjoyed.”

Photo Credit: Twitter @chelseafc.com

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Manchester United prime target’s father spotted at Red Devils’ training ground as Solskjaer puts pressure on club

November 18th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports in England claim Manchester United target Erling Braut Haaland’s father has been seen at the club’s training ground at Carrington as the Red Devils ramp up their pursuit of the in-demand Red Bull Salzburg striker.

The 19-year-old forward is attracting attention from some of Europe’s biggest clubs after a brilliant start to the new season, scoring an astonishing 26 goals in 18 games in all competitions.

While the level in Austria might leave a little to be desired, Haaland has scored seven of his goals in the Champions League – including a strike at Anfield.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows all about Haaland from their time together at Molde and, according to reports in Norway, has tasked the club with securing one of the hottest young talents in Europe.

Salzburg, though, will demand a massive fee for the teenager – who has five hat-tricks this season – and United could consider doing a deal in January and then loaning Haaland back to the club for the rest of the season, report the Metro.

Now The Athletic’s David Ornstein has added more weight to the speculation, reporting that Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, has visited United’s training ground.

The 46-year-old, who has previously rubbished suggestions his own ties to Manchester City could affect his son’s next move, was spotted at Carrington, suggesting United are already rolling out the red carpet.

Any deal could be complicated by Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, who has a rather fractious relationship with United once again as Paul Pogba continues to stall over a new contract.

Alf-Inge famously clashed with Roy Keane during his playing days and was on the receiving end of a brutal challenge from the United midfielder, though has nevertheless talked up interest from the Red Devils.

Speaking to TV2 in September, he said: “It would be nice [interest from United and others]. It is important to distinguish between being a supporter and a job. So, I have a very relaxed relationship. It’s a little different when it’s serious.”

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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Danilo identifies similarities between his former boss Guardiola and Sarri, compares Premier League, Serie A

November 18th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Former Manchester City Danilo has pinpointed the similarities between Gaurdiola and his new boss Maurizio Sarri,saying the two of them are “very similar”, even if the Juventus boss “gives more freedom to individual initiative.”

Danilo traded Manchester City for Juve over the summer, as part of the deal that took Joao Cancelo to the English champions, and the right-back is enjoying life in Turin.

“Turin is very different to Manchester,” the 28-year-old told Globo Esporte as cited by Football Italia.

“The fans are much more passionate, they stop you in the street. I like it, they come across more affectionate and motivated.

“I’m gradually getting to know the city and I feel good. I’ve already realised that the cuisine here is spectacular.

“In Manchester, I only had a handful of options to eat well. In Italy, instead, the culinary culture is extraordinary. We must be careful not to gain any weight!

“In Premier League, the game is much more intense, there’s no comparison. In Italy, instead, it’s much more tactical and positional. It forces you to think more.

“Sarri has modern ideas, he likes to keep a high defensive line and he wants us to keep the ball.

“In this regard, it wasn’t a big change for me and I feel perfectly at ease. Sarri and Guardiola are very similar in many ways, especially in their meticulous approach to tactics and movement.

“They thoroughly study opponents and the moves needed to predict every single situation.

“It was all extremely mechanical at City, working on every step and every inch. Sarri, on the other hand, is a bit more elastic, giving more freedom to individual initiative.

“In any case, their models are the same and it takes time to get used to. It took two years with Guardiola.

“I think this Juventus, despite not being with them for long, are doing well and are on right track.”

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AC Milan snub Arsenal star despite transfer speculation

November 18th, 2019 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Latest reports in Italy claim AC Milan are not keen to sign Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny.

This is not the first time that Elneny has been linked with a move to San Siro, as over the summer he was once again believed to be proposing himself.

Calciomercato.com report that Elneny and an intermediary suggested he would be an interesting option for the January transfer window.

However, Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban are believed to see the 27-year-old Egyptian rather low on the pecking order, report Football Italia.

Elneny is still owned by Arsenal, but joined Besiktas on loan for one season, so far making only nine appearances for his new club.

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