L’Equipe: Juventus interested in Lionel Messi

Juventus are among the teams interested in Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to French newspaper L’Equipe.

The Argentine superstar has reportedly told Barca that he wishes to exercise a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave for free this summer, following a disappointing season, highlighted by an 8-2 hammering by Bayern Munich.

Despite the clause reportedly have an end date of June 2020, Messi’s team are arguing that the lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic was an extenuating circumstance that should allow the date to be extended to the end of the revised football season.

Reports from Spain suggest that the Blaugrana are non-cooperative and club President Josep Maria Bartomeu has refused to meet with Messi to discuss the situation futhre,

By all accounts, Manchester City are the Argentine’s preferred destination where he would be reunited with former coach Pep Guardiola.

L’Equipe claim that while City are … Read the rest

The kids are….a fiscal necessity

Player 2019-20 Premier League minutes
Gabriel Martinelli 475
Joe Willock 696
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 1269
Reiss Nelson 614
Eddie Nketiah 636
Emile Smith Rowe 97
Bukayo Saka 1743
Total 4910

This season, Arsenal gave more than 4,000 minutes to academy graduates [and Gabriel Martinelli] aged 22 or under for the first time in over a decade. They also finished 8th in the Premier League table. This is not to assign blame to the academy players for Arsenal’s poor league season but the two facts are not entirely mutually exclusive.

It’s well established that there is a trade-off between points and development. As Arsene Wenger once said, “You pay for the education of young players with points. At some stage, I must say, as a manager you feel lonely to stand up and say, ‘No, I want this boy to play because he deserves it.’ You learn your job at 23-years of … Read the rest

Reason for United star’s poor recent performances revealed, problems continue

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has been carrying an ankle injury according to the latest reports, which might explain his poor form towards the end of the season.

The young Englishman hasn’t really been himself after the lockdown period, though there are several factors to consider.

Rashford had just returned from a long-term injury and so was clearly struggling for sharpness, which was not helped by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to overplay him.

In fairness, the whole United team were pretty poor in the last few matches of the season as the lack of rotation in a congested period caught up with them.

It seems Rashford’s injury problems aren’t quite over yet but fans have been given some hope for his fitness ahead of the new season.

Read the rest

The Sadio Mane / Lionel Messi transfer story is categorically untrue…

We saw something today that irked us, slightly…

English newspapers have picked up on a one-paragraph report by Italian outlet TMW – notoriously unreliable when it comes to the transfer market – that says Sadio Mane’s entourage have sounded out Barcelona about the Senegalese heading to Camp Nou and replacing Lionel Messi – who has handed in a transfer request.

While it’s very likely that the Argentine legend will depart Barca this summer – most likely to Financial Fair Play’s Manchester City – Mane is going absolutely nowhere.

Not only will Liverpool not sell, but Barcelona cannot afford and the player himself doesn’t want to go. It didn’t take much digging to discover these three vital facts, either!

Mane is arguably the best attacker in the Premier League and we’re backing him to spearhead us to glory again in 2020/21. Barca can wallow in their own demise, entirely of their … Read the rest

Report claims Man United midfielder has retired from international duty after a falling out

It does feel like most club sides see international football as an inconvenience rather than a matter of pride when it comes to letting players play for their country, so there is likely a lot of relief when someone retires from international duty.

Man United midfielder Nemanja Matic has 48 caps and 2 goals for Serbia, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be adding to that after a report from Serbian outlet Mozzart Sport.

They claim that he’s had a falling out with the Serbian FA over how certain things were handled, so he’s decided to retire from international duty.

READ MORE: Man United should move for €20m rated outcast to improve their team and allow youngster to go out on loan

It’s an interesting situation because they go on to suggest that he was going to be in Serbia’s upcoming squad and he’s an important player, so they aren’t … Read the rest

Andrea Pirlo’s staff confirmed

Juventus have officially confirmed the appointment of Igor Tudor as Andrea Pirlo’s assistant coach as well as the remainder of his coaching team.

Tudor was officially released from Hadjuk Split before the weekend, and the Bianconeri have now released an official list of Pirlo’s coaching team for the 2020/21 season:

Coach: Andrea Pirlo

Assistant Coach: Igor Tudor

Technical Collaborator: Roberto Baronio

Technical Collaborator: Antonio Gagliardi

Head of Athletic Preparation: Paolo Bertelli

Athletic Coach: Andrea Pertusio

Athletic Coach: Enrico Maffei

Head of Conditioning & Sport Science: Duccio Ferrari Bravo

Sport Science Collaborator: Antonio Gualtieri

Goalkeeping Coach: Claudio Filippi

Goalkeeping Coach Collaborator: Tommaso Orsini

Head of Match Analysis: Riccardo Scirea

Match Analysis Collaborator: Domenico Vernamonte

Match Analysis Collaborator: Giuseppe Maiuri

Certain members of the team will retain the positions they have been in for several years, such as … Read the rest

Pre-season kicks off with a win + Arteta communication anticipation

Morning.

So we played our first game of pre-season last night, beating MK Dons 4-1, and scoring all the goals in the process. I watched the first half, didn’t see the second, and as ever with games like this there’s not a huge amount to be read into them. First and foremost this was a fitness exercise ahead of the weekend when we face Liverpool in the Community Shield. Still, there were a couple of interesting things.

We got our first look at William Saliba in an Arsenal shirt, for one. With all due respect to last night’s opponents, he’s obviously going to face much more challenging opposition in the Premier League, but you can see what’s going on with him. He’s tall, quick, and good on the ball, his passing was excellent. What I liked most about that was how much intent he put into those passes: the weight … Read the rest

United fans buzzing after club announces new 5 year deal for 23yo star

Manchester United fans were delighted to see Dean Henderson sign a new contract after all the uncertainty over his future.

The young Englishman has seen himself suddenly being pushed for the number one spot after David de Gea‘s error-filled season.

Henderson isn’t just riding his luck, he had a remarkable campaign for Sheffield United and was instrumental in their success.

Those two factors combining has seen the goalkeeping prospect’s stock rise and there’s a real chance he could be United’s first-choice in the upcoming season.

With reports claiming Henderson won’t be loaned out and will compete with De Gea, the new contract certainly seems to confirm that.

Read the rest

Klopp laughs at Thiago question and tells journalist, ‘We have to see…’

Jurgen Klopp has played a straight bat to the Thiago transfer question – but his reaction proves that there is at least something in the story.

If Liverpool were NOT in for Thiago, he’d simply say as much, as he has plenty of times before – but in regards to the Spaniard – he chuckled – before rolling out the familiar (and rather tedious) line about COVID and finances.

Klopp did however admit that Chelsea’s approach to the transfer market has made him laugh – given their reckless spending amidst the pandemic.

“[laughs] There are a lot of interesting players out there, but if someone is interesting for us I can’t say right now. Due to COVID you have to think 5 times about what you can and what you can’t do…” he told an interview with Servus TV, translated by LFC Transfer Room on Twitter.

“We always have to Read the rest

Chelsea can immediately recoup €20m as Chilwell signing frees up outcast to move on

Usually one player coming in results in another leaving the club, and that appears to be the case with Chelsea and Ben Chilwell.

The Guardian reported that Chelsea signed the Leicester City man for a fee of around £50m, so it will be interesting to see if he lives up to that price tag.

Any doubters will wonder if Chelsea have made an error by paying so much, but it looks much better when you realise they can immediately get some money back by selling Emerson Palmieri.

READ MORE: How Chelsea’s new defence will look next season with Ben Chilwell and two additional signings

Football Italia have confirmed that Emerson is now free to join Inter Milan after the arrival of Chilwell, and the Italian side could end up paying as much as €20m to make that happen.

They point out that it’s even more likely after Inter refused to … Read the rest