Lille owner confirms he has received “multiple offers” for Victor Osimhen, reveals price tag for striker

Lille’s owner Gerard Lopez reveals that his club have received ‘multiple bids’ for forward Victor Osimhen.

The Ngeria international has scored 18 goals for Lille in his debut season in Ligue 1 and the 21-year-old has attracted interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Lopez wants a fee close to the £72m Arsenal paid for Nicolas Pepe, and the Lille owner told the Daily Mail: “There are multiple offers.

“We turned down one English and one Spanish offer this January transfer window.

“There is a wide array [this summer] and I wouldn’t want to give the names of the clubs who are bidding but what I can tell you is that there are multiple [offers]. There are three championships that have clubs that have bid for him.”

Clubs in Spain and Italy are also keen on the Nigerian international forward, and the Lille owner believes the club can command the same fee as they recouped for Pepe.

“I am not being a sales guy because last year people didn’t believe that we had the offers we had with [Nicolas] Pepe and it turns out we had multiple of them,” Lopez added.

“Let me tell you with Osimhen, it is the same thing, whatever number you heard, the high number I have read is very much on the money of the offers that we have received. That’s where we are.”

Chelsea ahead of Arsenal as Barcelona fix price for Coutinho loan deal

Chelsea have moved ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Philippe Coutinho as Barceloan have finally agreed to a loan deal for the Brazilian.

The former Liverpool star has been widely linked with a return to the Premier League ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Barcelona will request a minimum offer of €10m from any English club looking to secure a loan move for Coutinho.

However, due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, clubs are unlikely to match Barcelona’s €80m asking price.

Coutinho has spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Bundesliga superpower Bayern Munich, but the German club have opted against activating their €120m purchase clause.

Any potential future loan will now include, according to Football Espana, an obligatory purchase clause, rumoured to be set at €70m.

According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, the Catalan giants are now willing to facilitate a second successive loan move.

The Express claim Arsenal and Chelsea are vying for Coutinho’s signature, but the Blues are the frontrunners.

Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has made it clear his client favours a return to the Premier League after producing his best football at Liverpool.

Serie A club chief confirms “offers from Italy and abroad” for Chelsea target

Sassuolo confirm Jeremie Boga ‘has offers from Italy and abroad, but the objective is to keep him’ at the Mapei Stadium.

The 23-year-old is in his second season at Sassuolo, having purchased him for €3m from Chelsea.

Although the Stamford Bridge team does have a buy-back option, it seems they have no real intention of using it.

“When he arrived here with us, few knew who Boga was, so our scouting department deserves credit for finding this talent and our coach Roberto De Zerbi for helping him to grow,” Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali told Rai Radio 1 as cited by Football Italia.

“He has many offers from Italy and abroad. Sassuolo made a real effort to sign him outright and now we will evaluate the situation. The objective is to keep him with us, because we must have a project and focus on growth. Sacrificing the biggest names is sometimes necessary, but not always.

“Boga will continue to have clubs clamouring for him, and it’ll be good for us if he continues to get stronger. The aim is to keep him at Sassuolo.”

Chelsea, Liverpool, others warned to stay away from red-hot striker if they can’t pay massive price tag

RB Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff has warned Liverpool, Chelsea and other Timo Werner’s suitors that his £52m price tag is non-negotiable.

Liverpool lead a host of European clubs that have expressed an interest in the striker, who has scored 24 Bundesliga goals this season.

Mintzlaff told Sport Bild: “It won’t get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year.

“In general, we always have to ask the following question – can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value?

“But, I only think about those things once I have the facts on the table.”

Chelsea legend Michael Ballack explains why he snubbed Manchester United for the Blues

Michael Ballack has revealed why he had no issue with picking a move to Chelsea over joining Manchester United.

Chelsea had won back-to-back titles under Jose Mourinho just before Ballack moved to Stamford Bridge, and the midfielder admits this had a big impact on his decision to join.

The German was out of contract at Bayern and attracting interest from around Europe, so Mourinho moved quickly to sign him up.

“One of the first were Man United to show interest, but they also hasn’t had the best year,” recalled Ballack.

“I remember 2006 they went out in the group stage [of the Champions League].

“Winning the league is one thing but for me it was always the dream to win the Champions League. And what team could I really attack this trophy with? It was not easy to decide because there are so many good clubs but Man United in those days were not as good as before, like Bayern Munich – 2000, 2001 and even 1999 they had their best years.

“And they went out in the first round [the previous year], while Chelsea was winning the league twice with Jose Mourinho. They invested in a lot of players and had an amazing squad.

“For me, when Chelsea came I had to weigh these things. Man United are an amazing club with huge history but Chelsea also had huge ambitions.

“I chose Chelsea and the package was really good. I felt really comfortable with it, and London for me was also a point, an argument to join a great city.

“When you’re 29 and you’ve already got family, it’s important that they feel comfortable. I talked to my family and we made the decision to go to London.

“I gave the sign quite early to my agent that I would prefer Chelsea from the beginning. If we could agree on the numbers and the circumstances, then that would be my preference.”

A Champions League medal would elude Ballack but he did win two FA Cups, the League Cup and the Community Shield with Chelsea in addition to the 2009/10 title.

Ancelotti wanted to keep Ballack at the club but injury in the 2010 FA Cup final against Portsmouth killed any hope of a new deal so he returned to Bayer Leverkusen for two more years before retiring in 2012.

David Luiz confirms Benfica talks as Arsenal legend tells Arteta to allow former Chelsea defender to leave

Arsenal defender David Luiz has confirmed he has held talks with Benfica president LuIs Filipe Vieira over a “dream” return to the club.

The Brazilian was an £8m Deadline Day signing from London rivals Chelsea last August, replacing club captain Laurent Koscielny, who joined Bordeaux the previous day.

“I already spoke with Vieira about the return… my dream is to end my career at Benfica,” he told Portuguese newspaper Record.

“When, I don’t know, but it will happen… it will, if President Vieira allows me and if the fans want me to come back. It will be one of the most beautiful moments of my career.”

Meanwhile, Martin Keown is of the opinion that Arsenal must let David Luiz leave this summer if Mikel Arteta is going to form a long-term centre-back partnership in his defence.

“David Luiz concerns me because if you’re going to pay £8m for him and give him £5m wages and he’s only going to be there for one season, I’m not sure about the wisdom of that,” he told talkSPORT.

“Is he a proper defender? Can he play in a back four? His best defending came when he was in a back three at Chelsea when they won the Premier League [in 2016-17].

“It’s the most crucial area which he [Mikel Arteta] has to get right.

“Holding’s been injured, it’s hard to judge him, he probably deserves another opportunity. I think that Sokratis could be a useful defender but I can understand the uncertainty of giving David Luiz a new deal.

“Do they now start to be harsh and make those key decisions? If David Luiz isn’t the answer, then he has to go now.”

Victor Osimhen’s agent reveals difficult condition he gave Jose Mourinho to sign Super Eagles striker

The agent of Victor Osimhen has confirmed Jose Mourinho’s interest in Lille striker, but reveals the condition he gave the Portuguese to acquire the services of the Nigerian.

The 21-year-old has been linked with Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Everton, but Napoli remain the favourites.

“We told Mourinho that if he wants Victor, will Harry Kane be leaving? If Harry Kane is still playing for Tottenham, will Victor play? Because he will always be benched for him,” agent Ariyo Igbayilola told The Cable in Nigeria.

“He needs a club where he will always play full games, week in, week out. Not to be kept on the bench.”

The agent confirms ‘Napoli are the only club that wants him 100 per cent right now,’ but there’s interest in the Premier League.

“I can confidently tell you that the only club that wants Victor 100% right now is Napoli.

“But the final decision on whether he wants to join them lies with him. Also, Newcastle are in the race just like Tottenham. But it’s just interest alone. No real sign of commitment from them.

“I think with the pressure from different clubs in Europe, I doubt if he will stay with Lille in the coming season.”

Another Chelsea star rejects Juventus transfer link

Emerson Palmieri’s agent says the Blues defense ace is ‘very happy at Chelsea and we haven’t had any contact with other clubs,’ amid Juventus rumours.

The full-back has already worked with Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge and has been linked with the Bianconeri for some time, a move stalled in part by injury.

“Emerson is very happy at Chelsea, he gets along well with his teammates and coach,” agent Fernando Garcia told TuttoJuve.com as cited by Football Italia.

“As of today, I have not had any contact with other clubs. It’s true that Juventus were interested when he was still playing for Roma, but that was the season before he moved to Chelsea.

“As I said, he’s very happy at Chelsea and already in one of the biggest leagues in the world. Only God can say whether Emerson will return to play in Italy or not.”

N’Golo Kante ordered to appear in court

Chelsea star N’Golo Kante has been ordered to appear in court during a testimony in a case against agent Nouari Khiari.

L’Equipe reports that Khiari claims he is owed money over various issues with Kante, totalling £3.42million.

And after out-of-court talks fell apart, Kante is due to appear in court in Paris.

One of the big issues surrounds Kante signing a boot contract with Adidas.

The World Cup winner has previously accused Khiari of “fraud, attempted fraud, breach of trust and illegal exercise fo the profession of sports agent.”

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola identifies Blues stars who “suffered” under Maurizio Sarri

Gianfranco Zola says Eden Hazard and Willian were among the Chelsea players to have “suffered” under former boss Maurizio Sarri.

The Italian manager took charge of Chelsea in 2018, bringing real excitement to the fans after the attractive style he implemented on former club Napoli.

“At the beginning the players were very much behind everything that we were saying, they were brilliant,” Zola told beIN SPORTS.

“They were following everything, but then as the weeks passed due to the repetition and the amount of games they were playing, the players got tired and they also got bored in a way.

“But boring is part of our job. Sometimes you need to get bored but when you get bored you persist in what you’re doing and you get better.

“They were talented players, like Hazard and Willian, players who know how to win games on their own, but they were suffering from the type of exercises and type of training we were doing – but it was necessary for the others,” Zola added.

“I’ll be honest, they were brilliant because they got bored, but they kept doing it throughout and that was the reason why when everyone was dropping we were going up towards the end.”