Footy Extras

Creative Spanish midfielder linked with surprise switch to Man Utd

Manchester United have reportedly approached RB Leipzig with an offer for Spanish playmaker Dani Olmo.

The 24-year-old will soon celebrate his third anniversary at the Red Bull Arena after joining from Dinamo Zagreb in 2020, and he has made 106 appearances for Die Roten Bullen since.

Olmo has registered 19 goals and 22 assists for the German giants in that time, including three goals and four assists from 14 matches across all competitions in the current campaign.

The former Zagreb attacker also started all four of Spain’s matches at the 2022 World Cup, scoring one goal and setting up another in the 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica before La Roja were knocked out by Morocco in the last 16.

However, Olmo has now entered the final 18 months of his deal with Leipzig and has only started seven Bundesliga games this season, although he did spend over a month out with a knee injury between September and October.

According to Nacional – via football365 – Man United have now made an offer of an unspecified amount for Olmo, who is also on the radar of Bayern Munich.

Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann worked with Olmo during the pair’s time together at Leipzig and is understood to be keen on a reunion with the versatile playmaker who can play on either wing or as a number 10.

Barcelona supposedly came close to striking a deal for Olmo in January 2022, but Xavi vetoed the £58m signing of the Leipzig man, who he deemed ‘too expensive’ amid the Blaugrana’s financial concerns.

Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan and Real Madrid are also said to be keeping a close eye on the future of Olmo, who could arrive at Old Trafford as an alternative to Cody Gakpo.

The Red Devils fought hard to bring in Gakpo in the summer but have now lost out to Liverpool for the signature of the 23-year-old, who joined Jurgen Klopp’s team for an initial £37m from PSV Eindhoven.

A new attacker is on the agenda for Man United in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s acrimonious exit leaving Erik ten Hag with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as his two central options.

While acknowledging his team’s need for reinforcements in the final third, Ten Hag has warned the Red Devils against “burning money”, telling the press: “We have a good team when all the players are available.

“But with many games coming up, I think there is a need [for a striker]. You need one who can have an impact, otherwise you are just burning money.”

Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix has been strongly linked with a loan move to Old Trafford, but Man United are thought to be reluctant to pay the £18.5m that Atletico are after to sanction a temporary deal.

Barcelona’s Memphis Depay, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram and Al-Nassr’s Vincent Aboubakar – who could be allowed to leave the Saudi Arabian giants after Ronaldo’s arrival – have also been mentioned as potential winter additions for Man United.

Liverpool set to make approach for 25-year-old Wolves star

Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Borussia Dortmund talisman Jude Bellingham and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Matheus Nunes this summer.

Although the Reds progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a narrow 1-0 win over Wolves on Tuesday, they have lost their last two Premier League games.

With Liverpool currently sat in ninth place and 10 points adrift of the top four, there is a suggestion from some quarters that the squad is in need of a revamp.

With Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner out of contract at the end of the season, Liverpool are keen to strengthen their midfield.

Bellingham is regarded as one of their main transfer targets, while Nunes has also been linked with the Merseyside club.

However, rather than choosing between one of the midfielders, the Daily Mail claims that Liverpool want to sign both Bellingham and Nunes this summer.

Since joining Dortmund in the summer of 2021, Bellingham has established himself as a key part of the German side, scoring 19 goals and providing 21 assists in 112 appearances.

While his impressive performances at club level have attracted the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs, he was also praised for his displays at the 2022 World Cup.

Bellingham started all five games for England in Qatar, and he contributed with one goal and one assist before the Three Lions were knocked out by France in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool are facing competition from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, while Dortmund have not given up hope of Bellingham extending his contract, which currently runs until June 2025.

While a recent report claimed that Liverpool were not considering a move for Nunes this month, they are still targeting the 24-year-old.

The Reds were linked with a move for Nunes before he completed a transfer to Wolves from Sporting Lisbon last summer.

Nunes, who has a contract until June 2027 with an option for an additional year, has started 14 of his 16 Premier League appearances this season.

Wolves boss Julen Lopotegui has previously stated that the Portugal international is happy at the club and appeared to rule out a potential departure.

Liverpool are currently preparing to face Chelsea at Anfield on Saturday, with the two sides currently level on 28 points.

Ligue 1 creative attacker emerged as shock transfer target for Arsenal

Arsenal are reportedly keeping tabs on the progress of Rennes playmaker Lovro Majer.

Since he finalise a transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to Rennes in August 2021, Majer has found back of the net seven times and provided 11 assists in 44 games for the Ligue 1 side.

The Croatia international is being monitored by a number of teams across Europe, including the Gunners who are keeping tabs on a player that has been compared to Croatia international midfielder Luka Modric.

According to The Mirror, the North London giants sent scouts to watch the midfielder come off the bench to score the winner in Croatia’s UEFA Nations League meeting with Denmark.

Arsenal could face stiff competition from La Liga giants, Barcelona who are believed to be interested in securing the services of the 24-year-old, while Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have also been linked.

Despite a number of teams pursuing Majer’s services, Rennes would only consider a fee in the region of €60m (£52.3m) for a player who has four years left on his current deal.

Meanwhile, Arsenal also plotting a move for Barcelona frustrated forward Memphis Depay who is believed to keen on to depart from the club following his limited first-team minutes.

Chelsea set to make approach for 21-year-old EPL midfield star

Chelsea have reportedly approached Brighton & Hove Albion with a £65m proposal for Moises Caicedo.

The Blues recently made their fifth signing of the transfer window, after they hijacked Arsenal’s move for Mykhailo Mudryk.

Mudryk became the latest player to join Chelsea’s squad in January following the arrivals of Joao Felix, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana.

However, there transfer business appears to be far from done, with a deal reportedly agreed for PSV Eindoven winger Noni Madueke, while they have also made a bid for Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries.

With Jorginho and N’Golo Kante’s current contract set to expire and the end of the season and the latter sidelined through injury, Chelsea are also believed to be looking to sign a central midfielder before the transfer window shuts.

They had been keen to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, but talks to over a deal ultimately stalled with the Portuguese club demanding to receive the player’s £105m release clause in full.

While efforts to sign Fernandez this month proved fruitless, the Blues appeared to have turned their attention to Caicedo.

According to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs, Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has ‘tested the water’ by proposing a £65m offer.

The bid is likely to be rejected by Brighton, who would be looking to receive a fee in excess of £75m if they were to sell in January.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber has indicated that they are not prepared to sell the 21-year-old unless their asking price is met.

The report suggests that it is currently unclear whether Chelsea are willing to increase their offer, but the imminent transfer of Leandro Trossard from the Seagulls to Arsenal could have a knock-on effect on negotiations.

With Trossard set to join the Gunners in a deal worth up to £27m – including an initial £21m fee – the Seagulls may be more reluctant to sanction Caicedo’s departure.

Chelsea are not the only side interested in securing Caicedo’s signature, with Liverpool also said to be keen on signing the midfielder this month.

With James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all out of contract at the end of the season, the Reds are looking to strengthen their midfield, although Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is believed to be their main target for 2023.

Caicedo, who is under contract until June 2025, has chipped in with one goal and one assist during his 20 competitive appearances this season.

Arsenal eyeing ambitious move to sign EPL No.17 attacker

Arsenal are reportedly firmly in the race to sign Raheem Sterling amid suggestions that Chelsea are open to selling the England international during this summer’s transfer window.

The 28-year-old only arrived at Stamford Bridge from Manchester City last July, and he has been a regular for the Blues this season, featuring on 22 occasions, scoring six goals and contributing three assists.

Sterling has only managed four Premier League goals, though, and a recent report claimed that the Blues were expecting a bigger contribution from the attacker.

Mykhaylo Mudryk’s big-money arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk has allegedly led to the club deciding to listen to offers for Sterling during the summer market.

According to Fichajes, Arsenal, who were linked with the forward last summer, are again showing an interest in the Englishman.

Sterling has a contract at Stamford Bridge until June 2027, but Chelsea will be under pressure to make some sales this summer due to their busy January transfer window.

The forward started his professional career with Liverpool, representing the Reds until 2015, when he made the switch to Man City.

Sterling won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four EFL Cup crowns during his time at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 131 goals and registering 95 assists in 339 appearances in all competitions.

However, he was deemed surplus to requirements by Citizens head coach Pep Guardiola over the summer, and Chelsea won the race for his signature despite a host of competition.

Chelsea boss Graham Potter admitted earlier this month that it has been “a challenge” for Sterling since his arrival at the club.

“It’s been a challenge for him but it’s been a challenging period for everybody,” Potter told reporters. “There’s been a lot of change and a lot has happened, so in that regard, it’s not easy to completely settle or hit the ground running.

“There is more to come from Raheem I’m sure but he gives his best every day and we need to help him get to the level we know he can reach.”

The Englishman is currently on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, suffering the issue during the early stages of the Premier League clash with Man City on January 5.

Liverpool set to agree January bid for 26-year-old Serie A midfield star

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly joined Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.

The Morocco man was one of the standout midfield players at the 2022 World Cup and put in a series of dominant displays to help the Atlas Lions become the first-ever African semi-finalists.

Amrabat’s exploits could to land him a move to a Champions League club in 2023, with both Liverpool and Tottenham expected to battle for his signature in January.

Liverpool apparently view the 26-year-old as a cheaper alternative to Enzo Fernandez and Jude Bellingham, while Tottenham boss Antonio Conte knows Amrabat well from his time in Serie A.

Spurs were understood to have been tracking the Fiorentina man in the summer, but a move did not materialise, and Tuttomercatoweb reports that PSG have now entered the race.

Amrabat shares an international dressing room with Parisiens right-back Achraf Hakimi, who was another integral member of Morocco’s dazzling run in Qatar, which culminated in a fourth-placed finish.

The report states that Amrabat and Hakimi share an “excellent” relationship, and the latter has already expressed his desire to bring the Fiorentina man to the French capital to Kylian Mbappe.

The attacker has had a significant say in transfers since signing his bumper new deal, and Mbappe appears to have given his approval for PSG to begin the groundwork on a deal.

Amrabat is only under contract at Fiorentina for another 18 months, although La Viola can extend his deal until 2025 and are determined to agree fresh terms with the Moroccan.

However, should he decide against extending his stay in Italy, Fiorentina would reportedly accept a fee greater than €30m (£26.4m) to sanction a sale in the next year.

Amrabat’s brother and agent Nordin Amrabat has already issued a public plea to PSG to make a move for the midfielder, telling L’Equipe: “Nasser Al-Khelaifi, if you read my words, take my brother!”

Amrabat previously represented Utrecht, Feyenoord, Club Brugge and Hellas Verona before signing for Fiorentina in 2020, and he has one goal to show from 78 games in a Viola shirt.

The 26-year-old helped Fiorentina make the Europa Conference League with a seventh-placed finish in Serie A last season, and he has already made 20 appearances for his club in the current campaign.

PSG reinforced their midfield with several signings during the summer window, where Fabian Ruiz, Vitinha, Renato Sanches and Carlos Soler all penned permanent deals with the Ligue 1 champions.

Vitinha has often been paired with Marco Verratti – who is apparently on the verge of signing a new four-year contract – in Christophe Galtier’s midfield, where Danilo Pereira is also competing for minutes.

Chelsea keen on to sign Serie A No.2 centre-back

Chelsea have reportedly made a £31m opening offer for Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries, amid interest from Manchester United.

Graham Potter is seeking reinforcements as a result of Reece James’s injury woes, whilst Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have failed to convince Erik ten Hag.

Italian outlet La Repubblica reports that the Blues have made the first move with a £31m bid, but that is likely to be rejected by the Italian club as they seek to start a bidding war.

The report states that Inter are looking for a fee of at least £48m to allow the Dutch international to leave, after his impressive World Cup campaign, but would prefer to keep the player until the summer.

The 26-year-old joined the Italian giants in 2021, after the departure of Achraf Hakimi, and is under contract until 2025 at San Siro.

The 42-cap international has featured 23 times so far this season, contributing to five goals.

Meanwhile, Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku is keen on to make permanent move to Inter Milan after his loan deal expires as he has no intentions to make a return to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United set to make January bid for Brazilian starlet

Manchester United have reportedly joined the race for Athletico Paranaense youngster Vitor Roque.

Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in the 17-year-old, who has a £52.5m release clause in his contract.

Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Red Devils are currently leading the race for the Brazilian’s signature.

However, the report also states that the club will have to act fast to secure the player and may not be willing to pay his full release clause.

Erik ten Hag is keen to bolster his attacking options in the summer, but a big-money move for a striker is expected to be his priority, according to reports.

Manchester United currently occupy the final Champions League qualification spot in the Premier League, six points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.

The Brazilian talent has already made 52 senior appearances, scoring 13 and assisting four goals.

Meanwhile, Manchester United and Chelsea have reportedly joined the race for the signature of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed an impressive 2022-23 campaign between the sticks for the Bees, making more saves (81) than another other goalkeeper in the Premier League.

Raya, who was included in Spain’s 2022 World Cup squad, has made a total of 131 appearances for Brentford across all competitions and has been Thomas Frank’s undisputed number one since arriving at the club from Blackburn Rovers in 2019.

However, Raya’s long-term future in West London has been called into question as his contract is due to expire in 18 months’ time.

Man Utd in private talks to agree deal for Ligue 1 wondekrid

Manchester United are reportedly set to make a late attempt to beat Chelsea to the signature of Lyon right-back Malo Gusto.

The 19-year-old has been a prominent figure in Lyon’s side this season, starting 15 of his 16 league appearances.

Gusto’s impressive performances have led to speculation over a possible departure, with Chelsea believed to be considering a move for the defender.

The Blues have already signed six players this month, but they are looking to add further strength in depth before the transfer window shuts.

With Reece James struggling with injury and Cesar Azpilicueta in the final 18 months of his contract, Chelsea are supposedly planning to submit a bid for the Lyon man.

Although there is speculation that Gusto has already agreed a contract with Chelsea, they could face competition from United, who have signed Wout Weghorst and Jack Butland on loan deals during the current transfer window.

According to RMC Sport, United are aiming to hijack Chelsea’s bid, and they have urged Gusto “not to rush his decision”.

Despite showing an interest in the full-back, it is currently unclear whether United would make an offer this month, or wait until the summer.

The Red Devils appear to be in the market for a new right-sided defender, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s future at the club uncertain.

Erik ten Hag has preferred to use Diogo Dalot for the majority of the season, but Wan-Bissaka has featured regularly since the World Cup break.

With Dalot struggling with injury, the Englishman has played United’s last six Premier League games, and although he has put in a number of impressive performances, he was criticised from some quarters for failing to prevent Eddie Nketiah from scoring Arsenal’s first goal during Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to the Gunners.

Wan-Bissaka’s current contract runs until June 2024, and while United have the option to extend his deal by an additional year, he has recently been linked with a move away.

Although United are looking to strengthen their defence with Gusto, the Frenchman is also attracting interest from Newcastle United.

Gusto, who is a France Under-21 international, is yet to score his first senior goal in club football, but he has provided six assists in 54 appearances for Lyon.

United are currently preparing to face Nottingham Forest in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.

Tottenham could agree deal for 29-year-old Chelsea star next summer

Chelsea reportedly make contact with Tottenham Hotspur with regards to a potential swap deal involving Yves Bissouma and Hakim Ziyech.

The Blues have hit the headlines throughout the January transfer window as they continue the ambitious process of drastically changing their first-team squad.

Already this month, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, Mykhaylo Mudryk and David Datro Fofana have already make the switch to Stamford Bridge, and more fresh faces are expected to follow.

If reports are to be believed, Noni Madueke will arrive from PSV Eindhoven on Friday, leaving Chelsea to focus on a right-back, central midfield and potentially another centre forward.

Without any notable outgoings thus far, it has left Chelsea’s senior ranks heavily populated and unbalanced, and departures will inevitably have to materialise before the closure of the window.

According to The Telegraph, Chelsea are open to negotiating a swap or part-exchange deal involving Bissouma and Ziyech.

Bissouma, a former player of Graham Potter at Brighton & Hove Albion, has failed to impress since making the switch to Spurs, being restricted to nine starts and 13 substitute appearances in all competitions.

The North London outfit have failed to win on any of Bissouma’s last four starts, the most recent coming on New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, Ziyech has slowly worked his way into Potter’s plans at Chelsea, aided by his excellent showings for Morocco at the World Cup and injuries to his club teammates.

The playmaker also provided the assist for Chelsea’s decisive goal versus Crystal Palace last weekend, but the additions of Mudryk and Madueke will put his place in the team at risk.

However, despite the interest from Chelsea, Spurs are said to have no intention of entertaining a proposal which includes Ziyech.

Head coach Antonio Conte is currently considering his options in the final third with another creative player likely to be signed before the January transfer deadline.

Ziyech has 18 months remaining on his contract and there is little prospect of fresh terms being penned at this stage.

He has been linked with Newcastle United and AC Milan at different stages of the month, with more interest expected to materialise over the coming days.