Manchester United receive transfer boost as free-scoring striker heads to Old Trafford

Reports in England claim that Raul Jimenez is on his way to Manchester United, with Wolves on the verge of signing Portuguese centre forward Paulinho as a replacement.

The Old Trafford club have been heavily linked with Wolves star Raul Jimenez in recent days.

United have been told to cough up £60million if they want to prise the 29-year-old away from Molineux.

The 29-year-old is heading for Old Trafford as Wolves have all but agreed a deal to sign his successor, according to RTP.

And the Mexican is just one of the big names who could be lining up for the Red Devils next season after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s planned summer overhaul.

The Portuguese outlet reports that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are set to sign Paulinho from Sporting de Braga for €30million (£27m), with Jimenez set to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

The Wolves striker has been a huge success since joining from Benfica, scoring an impressive 26 goals from 53 games in all competitions for the club this season.

And if the Red Devils do bring the goalscoring machine to Old Trafford, he could spearhead one of the most intimidating attacking trios in the Premier League alongside Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho – who United have also been linked with.

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Official: Victor Osimhen signs for Napoli, to wear Fernando Llorente jersey number

Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen has finally signed for Napoli protracted negotiations, copuled with the drama of a dispute with his agent, then having to resume the talks with a different representative.

The the Stadio San Paolo side’s President Aurelio De Laurentiis announced the completion of the Nigerian’s move from Lille this afternoon.

He has put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Stadio San Paolo side.

“Can’t wait to put on this iconic jersey, thank you for the warm welcome Napoli,” wrote Osimhen on Twitter.

The 21-year-old Nigerian striker becomes one of the most expensive African players of all time, reportedly at €60m including bonuses, while goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis is moving to Lille as part of the deal.

He is also by far the most expensive signing in Napoli’s history, a record that was set last summer by Hirving Lozano from PSV Eindhoven for €38m plus bonuses.

French and Nigerian reports continue to insist the price was €81m, but that probably includes his salary.

Osimhen already passed his medical in Rome on July 18 and will be presented to the media in Naples after his summer vacation.

Football Italia report that he will wear the Number 9 jersey, which is currently held by Fernando Llorente.

Lille purchased him from RSC Charleroi last summer for €14m and he scored 18 goals with six assists in 38 competitive games for the French side this season.

“SSC Napoli are delighted to announce the signing of Victor Osimhen from Lille on a permanent transfer,” read the Napoli statement.

“The 21-year-old striker was born in Lagos, Nigeria on 29 December 1998.

“Osimhen came through the youth ranks at Ultimate Strikers Academy in Lagos and turned professional shortly after his 18th birthday when he joined Wolfsburg.

“He spent the 2017/18 season in Germany before moving to Charleroi on loan the following year. He was an instant success in the Jupiler Pro League, netting 20 goals in 36 appearances.

“Lille snapped him up in the summer of 2019 and he went on to play 38 times for the French side, bagging 18 goals in the process.

“Osimhen helped Nigeria win the U17 World Cup in 2015, when he finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals. He made his full Nigeria debut in June 2017 and so far has 10 caps and four goals to his name.”

Photo Credit: Twitter @ sscnapoliES

Revealed: How Manchester United missed out on Christian Pulisic

Manchester United missed out on signing Chelsea star Christian Pulisic after ignoring a recommendation from a respected scout.

The American winger is beginning to show his true potential at Stamford Bridge after a slow start following his £58million transfer last summer.

Pulisic has arguably been The Blues’ best player since the restart, scoring four times in 10 appearances, as well as providing two assists.

But it could have turned out very differently for the 21-year-old had Man Utd heeded the advice of former club scout Jorge Alvial.

“When I first got hired one of the people that I recommended right away was Pulisic because I knew him and his background,” Alvial told the MEN.

“I knew how well he was developing in Dortmund and he was just going to keep coming up, and become a superstar because he was doing very well.”

Chelsea “‘vigorously denied’ allegations against director Marina Granovskaia

Chelsea have ‘vigorously denied’ allegations from Germany that director Marina Granovskaia asked her contacts to compile a dossier of Bayer Leverkusen’s hierarchy and their flaws and weaknesses, which could be used in transfer negotiations to lower the price of Kai Havertz.

Chelsea have been in hit pursuit of the attacking midfielder, but his £70m valuation is proving a stumbling block for their recruitment plans.

However, the club have said that the allegations are “complete fabrication” and are considering their options after legal action was taken in Germany.

A Chelsea spokesman told the PA news agency: “We vigorously deny these suggestions; these claims are a complete fabrication,”

According to reports, the Blues are not willing to part with more than £70m so Granovskaia is tasked with striking a deal with the German side.

Liverpool identify Dejan Lovren’s replacement

Liverpool are reportedly set to return to their former target as they are interested in Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly following the departure of Dejan Lovren to Zenit Saint Petersburg.

After six seasons of service at Anfield Lovren departed to join Zenit Saint Petersburg earlier this week, and Jurgen Klopp is now on the look-out for his replacement.

While Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are expected to be the first-choice centre-backs again next season, the Reds are in need of cover for the position, particularly given the hectic schedule which next season will bring.

And according to The Express, Kelly is one of the options Liverpool are considering, with the player also able to fill in at left-back.

Kelly was linked with Liverpool before his move to the Cherries last summer.

The newly-crowned Premier League champions were alerted to Kelly’s potential after the youngster broke into Bristol City’s first-team back in 2017 but were beaten to his signature by Bournemouth last summer.

The Cherries wrapped up a £13million deal for Kelly and Eddie Howe has backed the 21-year-old to ‘go right to the top’ despite a frustrating debut season at the Vitality Stadium plagued by ankle, thigh and hamstring problems.

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Christian Pulisic assures Frank Lampard, Blues fans as Chelsea face Arsenal in FA Cup final

Christian Pulisic has assured Frank Lampard and Chelsea fans that he is fully fit to face Arsenal in Saturday’s FA Cup final.

The American attacking midfielder has been in great form since the end of lockdown, scoring four goals and creating two assists to help his side to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League.

There were some fears he could miss the game against the Gunners, however, as he was substituted with 12 minutes to go of Sunday’s 2-0 win against Wolves.

But speaking to ESPN, Pulisic said: “I never had a real issue. I’m 100% fit.”

He also added that his side were making special plans to deal with the threat of his former Dortmund teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored 28 goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season.

“I know him quite well,” Pulisic continued.

“He is incredible, the way he gets in good areas. He’s always dangerous, so we are definitely going to have to be cautious of that, and they have some other good players. But he is definitely one guy that you have to look out for.

“We’ll always be good friends. I played together with him for a long time. Right now, we are definitely focused and want to win. It is going to be a good battle; and not so much on the pitch, but we will always be friends off the pitch.”

Antonio Rudiger breaks silence over reports he’s trying to lure Kai Harvetz to Chelsea

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has laughed off reports that he has been working behind the scene to ensure Blues’ target Kai Havertz signs for the London club.

Frank Lampard is reportedly keen to add the Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder to his team, having signed Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

But Both Chelsea and Bayern Leverkusen are yet to agree on the transfer fee of the Germany international despite reports that Havertz has sorted out his personal terms with the Blues.

Rudiger has, however, described Havertz as a ‘great talent’ after the Leverkusen star was linked with a move to Chelsea.

The defender played a big part in helping convince Timo Werner to join Chelsea, and there have been rumours that the Blues defender is doing the same with fellow Germany international Havertz.

However, the Blues defender laughed off that but admits he has been impressed with the young forward, report

“Has he been linked with us?” Rudiger joked when asked about his fellow German.

“Yes, he is a great talent and he had a very good season. He is also very young and we will see what happens [with his future].”

After the signing of Werner back in June, the Chelsea defender was given the tag of ‘Agent Rudi’ by Blues supporters for his role in the move.

Rudiger played a key part in trying to convince his fellow Germany international to come to west London, having discussions with his former Stuttgart teammate.

But the Blues centre-back insists he was just doing what he had to do to get the deal done.

“I heard about it from everyone,” Rudiger admitted. “My friends told me about everything but I just tried to help out because everyone knows and can read that we played together.

“There’s a bond somewhere, so I just did what I had to do.

“We spoke a lot during lockdown and I have known him for a long time through playing in the national team and at Stuttgart together.

“So, it is nice to see how his career went and he developed every year, getting better and scoring more goals and getting more assists.

“I am very happy for him that he is now managed to take that step like me to leave Germany and come to the UK.”

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Revealed: Why Chelsea could hijack Manchester City move for Nathan Ake

Reports in England claim Chelsea have the option to match Manchester City’s £41m bid for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake.

According the Mirror, a clause included in the 25-year-old’s contract when he joined the Cherries from Stamford Bridge means an offer would have to be accepted.

Ake could be an option for Lampard if he intends to strengthen at centre-back, although as things stand he appears to be on the verge of a move to City.

The Dutchman might also take some convincing if he is to return to his former club instead of joining up with Pep Guardiola in Manchester.

Bayer Leverkusen chief explains why they are adopting same method toward Chelsea over Havertz move as Borussia Dortmund toward Man Utd over Jadon Sancho

Bayer Leverkusen chief Simon Rolfes has explained why his side are taking a similar approach to Borussia Dortmund as Chelsea and Manchester United’s attempt to sign two of the Bundesliga’s rising stars.

Chelsea are attempting to convince Leverkusen to part with Kai Havertz but the two clubs are £20million apart in their valuations.

Frank Lampard’s side are not willing to pay more than £70m and are finding it difficult to reduce the fee.

Meanwhile, United have been quoted £100m by Dortmund to take former Manchester City youngster Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford.

The two Premier League sides will still have to shell out a substantial amount even though the market has been badly affected by the coronavirus, report the Express.

Leverkusen’s sporting director Rolfes has addressed why his side are taking a similar stance to Dortmund over their star player.

“You have to differentiate,” Rolfes said. “With many normal players, things will change and clubs will also act differently.

“But these are two exceptional players who are very rare and therefore have value. That is why we see the situation very relaxed there.”

It is widely reported that Chelsea are closing in on a deal for Havertz as the two clubs discuss the fee.

However, Rolfes denied that any approach has been made by the west Londoners.

“We have not yet had an offer,” he said. “We know that clubs are interested, but there is no official offer.”

Havertz returned to training last week and is preparing to compete in the Europa League next month.

Chelsea will have to wait until after the final on August 21 before they can make the Germany international their player.

“He is focused,” Rolfes said of the midfielder. “Kai is relaxed with the speculations, is focused, in a good mood.

“He makes a good impression. Like the other players, the holiday did him good.

“In a transfer window, which is particularly long this time, it is normal that not everything is always cleared up early.

“As a club and also as a sports director, clarifying the squad for the new season as early as possible is the desired scenario, however rarely the reality.

“We do our job anyway, always prepare and watch the market. We will see how personal data develop in the near future.”

Official: Portuguese club sign Chelsea starlet

Portuguese club Vitoria have confirmed that they have signed Nicolas Tie from Chelsea on a permanent basis after spending three years at Stamford Bridge.

The young goalkeeper has put pen-to-paper on a five-year contract at the Portuguese club, with Vitoria announcing in a statement that they now hold ‘55% of his economic rights’.

Tie joined Chelsea’s academy in July 2017 from French lower league side Stade Poitevin FC, and signed his first professional contract at the club in July 2018.

However, the 19-year-old struggled to break into the first team picture after a series of injuries restricted him to just a handful of outings, report

The former Blues star represented the Ivory Coast at Under-23 level and has also received a full international call-up without being capped.

Photo Credit: Twitter @ VitoriaSC1922