Footy Extras

Liverpool boss considered transfer of 27-year-old Chelsea midfield star in the summer

Liverpool tried to bring in Denis Zakaria from Juventus before the midfielder’s transfer deadline move to Chelsea, according to reports in Italy.

Man Utd 25-year-old out-of-favour midfielder could sign for Serie A giants in January

Inter Milan have reportedly identified Man United playmaker Donny van de Beek as a top transfer target ahead of the winter window.

The 25-year-old playmaker has returned to the 20-times English champions over the summer after a loan spell at Everton, with the playmaker once again playing under Erik ten Hag, who coached him at Ajax.

Van de Beek has only played 19 minutes of first-team football this term, though, with a number of players ahead of him in the pecking order for the roles in midfield.

A disappointing spell at Old Trafford has seen the 25-year-old midfielder, who still has three years left to run on his current deal, manage just two goals and two assists in 53 games in all competitions.

According to Fichajes, Inter Milan have identified Van de Beek as the ideal addition during the winter market, with the Italian giants eyeing to make an offer at the start of 2023.

The report suggests that Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has personally requested the addition, with the club viewing him as a cheaper alternative to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who is believed to valued at £70m by Lazio.

Van de Beek recently opened up on the competition for places at Old Trafford, with the midfielder impressed by his side’s summer transfer business.

“That will help everyone. Having lots of options will keep everyone sharp, and for this we need lots of good players,” Van de Beek told the United Review.

“I think it’s great to play many games. I love it when we play after a few days [another] game. I prefer more to have games than training sessions, so definitely I like it!

“I know them already, as a player. Some of the players I played against – I played against Christian [Eriksen], against Casemiro as well, with Ajax. Licha [Lisandro Martinez], I played together with him.

“So I know what they are capable of and they are really good players, so they will help us for sure. They are nice people, but they are also team players. I think this is important, to work hard together. As people, they fit very well with the players we have.”

Dutchman also believed that he was “feeling positive” about the rest of the campaign, however, the midfielder has recently been unavailable for selection following to a knock.

“I’m really working hard for it, so I’m positive. I’ll do my best. The last part of last season, I was injured, so I missed a lot,” the former Ajax playmaker added.

“I could feel that in the first few weeks of pre-season, but now I’ve started to feel better and better. So I’m really positive.”

Arsenal in talks to agree deal for 22-year-old Bundesliga star in January

Arsenal have supposedly joined the race to secure services of Eintracht Frankfurt and Denmark midfielder Jesper Lindstrom.

The 22-year-old playmaker rose through the youth ranks at Brondby before signing for Frankfurt back in 2021, and he won the Europa League title in his first campaign with Die Adler.

Lindstrom ended his first year at the Deutsche Bank Park with scoring five goals and providing nine assists from 39 games in all competitions, including an assist against La Liga giants Barcelona in the Europa League.

The Denmark international proceeded to play 70 minutes against Scottish giants, Rangers in the final, and he has started the 2022-23 campaign by founding back of the net three times from 10 games, including the winner against Marseille in the Champions League.

Lindstrom is under contract at Frankfurt until the end of the 2025-26 campaign, however, multiple top teams across Europe are reportedly queuing up to sign him.

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, the Gunners are among the teams interested in a deal for Lindstrom, however, the North London giants are facing stiff competition from four other teams.

Premier League rivals Manchester City are also reported to be keeping tabs on the Dane, as are Serie A trio AC Milan, Juventus and Roma.

Chelsea failed to sign 25-year-old La Liga attacker in January

Chelsea have begun talks with La Liga giants Barcelona to secure services of Frenkie de Jong ahead of Manchester United, according to the latest reports.

The 20-times English champions have been pushing to sign De Jong all summer with Erik ten Hag identifying the Netherlands international as one of their main targets.

An €85 million deal (£71m) was agreed between the Red Devils and Barcelona earlier this summer, however, the Dutchman is believed to be reluctant to join Ten Hag’s team, primarily following to their lack of Champions League football.

La Liga giants are open to selling De Jong as they need to strengthen their financial situation having spent spent over €150m (£125.3m) on adding Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde ahead of the 2022/23 season, while Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have also arrived on free transfers.

However, De Jong’s preference has been to stay at Nou Camp, while the 25-year-old is also refusing to depart from the team until his settle his unpaid salary dispute is settled after he agreed to defer around €17m (£14m) in wages to help the teams financial situation.

According to The Athletic, the Blues are now in talks with Cataln giants for De Jong and are ‘optimistic’ that an agreement can be reached.

Spanish newspaper Sport also claims that the Blues are in talks with Barcelona and the Spanish team are asking for an €80m (£66.8m) fee for De Jong.

The report also suggests that De Jong could now change his mind about staying at Barcelona following to Chelsea being able to offer Champions League football.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have now bid in excess of £50m for Brighton star Marc Cucurella.

PSV Eindhoven 21-goals attacker thought he was signing for Man Utd in the summer

Manchester United allegedly agreed personal terms with Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo in the summer, only for the Netherlands international to stay with his Eredivisie team.

The 23-year-old forward was heavily linked with a move to the Red Devils in the latter stages of the recent transfer market, however, the English giants ultimately prioritised a move for Brazilian forward Antony from Ajax.

According to The Athletic, the Red Devils agreed personal terms with Gakpo, however, Erik ten Hag’s side did not launch an official bid for the Dutchman.

The 23-year-old forward has been in stunning form for PSV during the 2022-23 season, founding back of the net nine times and providing six assists in 12 games in all competitions.

Gakpo recently revealed that he believed he would be joining Man United over the summer, telling PSV TV: “Manchester United had reported at the beginning of the transfer window. We were waiting for that a bit.

“The signals became more and more positive and at a certain point I thought it might fall in that direction. That option faded a bit and completely last week. We worked the whole window towards it. Until last week I thought I would go to Manchester United.

“I spoke to the national coach (Louis van Gaal). I called him and asked for advice. The advice was clear: that I had to follow my gut feeling, but that a transfer before the World Cup is not really ideal for the player, because then you have to get used to something. I agreed with him.

“It was all last minute for me, because until last week I thought I was going to Manchester [United]. Then it was ‘choose another club’ and decide whether I wanted to go there. That is not nice for PSV and also not for me, because it felt rushed.”

Arsenal defensive rock refused to join Serie A giants in the summer

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel insists he remains fully committed to Mikel Arteta’s side, however, admits it was rewarding to have been rumoured with prestigious teams over the summer, including the likes of Juventus and Barcelona.

The Brazil international joined the North London giants, from Lille two years ago and has established himself as a cornerstone of Mikel Arteta’s team.

Gabriel’s form last term in particular attracted the attention of several European heavyweights, however, despite the lack of Champions League football currently on offer at the Emirates Stadium, the 24-year-old stays fully committed to his manager’s rebuilding project.

‘It’s always nice to get that recognition but I’m really focused on Arsenal,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I am very happy here. I’ve got a good relationship with my team-mates and I am fully committed to the project.

‘I am convinced that, with the project we have, we can achieve a lot.’

The Gunners campaign got off to a more than encouraging start last Friday when Gabriel, alongside the returning William Saliba who made a belated and encouraging debut, helped ensure a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace.

Saliba has had to wait three years to make his competitive bow for the North London giants having been loaned out on three separate occasions following a £27m move from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2019.

The wait looks to have been well worth it, but, and such was his form at Selhurst Park, allied to those in pre-season, that it looks as though he will be a permanent fixture in the side over the coming weeks.

‘I have been here for two years now, so I do have experience that I can use to help him,’ said Gabriel of his role in helping Saliba adjust to English football.

‘But at the same time, he can help me. He has a lot of quality and a lot of physical strength out on the pitch.

‘We have similar qualities. I think we complement each other well.’

Chelsea tried to sign 25-year-old EPL star in the summer

Chelsea will consider a move for Man Utd and Arsenal transfer target Kyle Walker-Peters after finalising a deal for Brighton full-back Marc Cucurella.

The West London giants have moved ahead of Man City in the race to sign Spain international Cucurella.

The Citizens appeared set to bring the left-back to the Etihad, however, the deal stalled over Brighton’s asking price and Thomas Tuchel’s side are now favourites to get the deal done.

Chelsea signed Kalidou Koulibaly earlier last month, however, Thomas Tuchel is still keen on to strengthen his defensive options ahead of the 2022/23 season.

According to the latest reports Chelsea joined Man Utd and Arsenal in the race to sign Walker-Peters from Southampton star internally.

Walker-Peters has played 72 games for the Saints over the past three campaigns and was said to be attracting interest from Arsenal and Man Utd.

As United and Arsenal began to be rumoured with Walker-Peters, reports suggested that Southampton would consider offers of £40m for their defender.

Chelsea begin their 2022-23 Premier League season on Saturday, however, will be working on transfers up until the September 1 deadline.

Last month, Tuchel said the Blues had an ‘urgent need’ for new additions, telling reporters: ‘I look at the last season and parts of the game where we struggled, parts of the season where we struggled, and then we got sanctioned and players left us and some players are trying to leave us, and this is where it is.

‘So we had an urgent appeal for quality players, a huge amount of quality players. We got two quality players but we are not competitive like this. Unfortunately you could see it today.’

Creative Inter Milan star emerged as surprise transfer target for Liverpool

Liverpool are reportedly weighing up a January move to secure services of Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella from Inter Milan.

The Merseyside Reds spent the final days of the summer transfer window looking to add another midfielder to their team following a number of injury crisis.

While the Merseyside Reds signed Arthur on season-long loan deal from Juventus on deadline day, they could be set to delve into the Serie A market once again to strengthen their midfield when the transfer window re-opens in January.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the Merseyside Reds are planning to make an approach to add Barella, who will command a €70m (£60m) price tag.

The Merseyside Reds were previously rumoured with adding Barella in 2021, and rumours about a possible move has since continued, despite the 25-year-old having four years left on his current deal.

As well as showing an interest in Barella, Jurgen Klopp’s team are also rumoured to have a verbal agreement in place to add Jude Bellingham next summer.

Liverpool answered their injury crisis by adding Artur Melo on season long-loan deal from Juventus on the deadline day of the transfer window.

Liverpool keen on to agree January deal for 24-year-old Bundesliga star

Liverpool are keen on signing Hoffenheim left-back David Raum, according to the German outlet SportBILD.

The star left Die Kraichgauer’s fellow Bundesliga side, Greuther Furth, last year and has since gone from strength to strength in the German first-tier.

The 24-year-old left-back, Raum has netted an impressive 37 times and picked up 55 assists in 231 matches across all levels including youth action in the country, perhaps implying he’d fit perfectly in the Reds’ bombardment of goal creation from down both flanks.

Now, a transfer to the Premier League could be on the cards as SportBILD report that Jurgen Klopp’s side are among the interested clubs in him.

The report claims that as many as five top-flight clubs are interested in David once hailed as ‘extremely fast’ by the side’s sporting director Alexander Rosen.

It is also stated that he’ll probably move to England this summer should a buy-out clause of €30 million (£25.3 million) be triggered.

Thus far this season the full-back has scored three times and notched 13 assists in 30 Bundesliga games.

However, in spite of Raum’s evident ability, Liverpool already boast two high-class left-backs in the shape of Kostas Tsimikas and Andy Robertson in the roster, aged just 25 and 28 respectively.

Former Arsenal manager regrets of failing to sign Ronaldo

Former Arsenal co-owner and vice-chairman David Dein has claimed which player he most regrets missing out on.

The North London giants have infamously come close to adding many world-class players over the years, only to miss out for a variety of reasons, though how true some of the reported cases remain to be seen.

Notable names that supposedly nearly moved to Highbury and the Emirates over the last two decades include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale, Yaya Toure, Ronaldinho, N’Golo Kante, Kylian Mbappe, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

However, there is one name that stands out the most, given not only the player’s quality and how close the Gunners came to adding them, but however, for the fact that they joined one of the team’s biggest rivals.

‘I was asked by our chief scout if I would go with him to see a young boy playing for the Portugal under-18s and he was only 16,’ Dein, who was at Arsenal from 1983 to 2007, told Sky Sports.

‘You can probably imagine who that young player was. It was Cristiano Ronaldo.

‘The following day Manchester United came and blew us out of the water but these things happen.’

The Red Devils signed Cristano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 for £17million, the most expensive fee for a teenager at the time, after the attacker had starred against the Red Devils in a pre-season friendly.

The rest, as they say, is history, with Ronaldo going onto become one of the greatest footballers of all time, winning seven league titles, five Champions Leagues, the European Championship, and five Ballon d’Ors.

Legendary Arsenal head-coach Arsene Wenger agrees with Dein, having previously opened up about the agony of missing out on the Portuguese striker.

‘The obvious player [that we missed out on] that comes to mind is Ronaldo,’ Wenger told Arsenal’s official website back in 2018.

‘He was here with his mother, and we were very close. Then United came in and they had Carlos Queiroz at the time, who was their coach. United played against Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo was outstanding and they signed him.

‘You could imagine at the time what it would have been like to have Thierry Henry and Ronaldo together. That would certainly have changed a little bit the history of my stay here as well.’