- TUCHEL AND KLOPP ARE GOING FOR THE BEST TO COUNTER CITY
- FRENKIE DE JONG COULD TASTE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOOTBALL WITH CHELSEA
- CUCURELLA’S MOVE TO STAMFORD BRIDGE CONFIRMED
- MAN UNITED AND CHELSEA EYEING YET ANOTHER SAME TARGET IN SESKO
MAN CITY SQUAD YET TO FULLY GEL
One of Guardiola’s biggest challenges ahead of the new season will be getting his new stars up to speed, in particular Haaland. That was evident in the 3-1 Community Shield defeat to Liverpool where City struggled to get the best from the £51m striker, who made his first competitive start for the club.
It proved to be a frustrating game for the former Borussia Dortmund striker and his new team-mates as they struggled to click going forward, but according to Guardiola, there’s no need to panic. Pep Guardiola’s Premier League title holders are keen to strengthen at left back after the departure of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal and amid Benjamin Mendy’s ongoing absence, with only Joao Cancelo as a senior option in that position.
Pep Gurdiola not worried about Haaland’s first competitive perfomance for City
But City have turned their attention to Anderlecht star Sergio Gomez as an alternative after Chelsea hijacked their move for Cucurella. City are still very much the team to beat, and Guardiola insists his side will be ready to defend the title they won back in May. Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Kalvin Phillips and Stefan Ortega have all arrived at the Etihad Stadium in what was been a particularly busy summer transfer window for the Premier League champions.
It’s also been a busy summer in terms of outgoings with City bidding farewell to Raheem Sterling, who left for Chelsea, and Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who both moved to Arsenal. Fernandinho has also returned to his native Brazil with Athletico Paranaense. They are players that have made huge impact to the most successful era in Man City’s history.
CHELSEA AND MAN UNITED BIDDING RIVALRY PUSHES PRICES IN THE MARKET
Chelsea have begun talks with Barcelona to sign Frenkie de Jong ahead of Manchester united s. United have been pushing to sign De Jong all summer with Erik ten Hag identifying the Netherlands international as one of his top transfer targets. An €85 million deal (£71m) was agreed between United and Barcelona earlier this summer but the midfielder is understood to be reluctant to join Ten Hag’s side, primarily due to their lack of Champions League action.
This is an advantage for Tuchel who feels the midfielder could play a significant role in challenging for titles , mostly the Premiership, which eluded both Tuchel and Klopp in favor of Gurdiola.
Barcelona are open to selling De Jong as they need to improve their financial situation having spent spent over €150m (£125.3m) on signing Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde this summer, while Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have also arrived on free transfers.
However, De Jong’s preference has been to remain at Barcelona, while the 25-year-old is also refusing to leave until his unpaid salary dispute is settled after he agreed to defer around €17m (£14m) in wages to help the club’s financial situation.Barcelona are asking for an €80m (£66.8m) fee for De Jong.
BENJAMIN SESKO UP FOR GRABS
Man United and Chelsea coud yet again lock horns, this time over 19-year-old RB Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko, a Slovenian international . While RB Salzburg are hoping to keep hold of the youngster for another season, there are claims that the decision over a move is down to the player. The claims state that the next few days will be crucial to a transfer away from Austria, which may tell the Blues whether they have managed to land him or not.
Erik ten Hag could yet again bid against Tuchel
Chelsea held a meeting with the agent of Benjamin Sesko last week . The striker is said to be of interest to the Blues as they look to improve their forward line for the future.
It has now been confirmed that Cucurella’s move to Stamford Bridge is complete.The 24-year-old had already agreed to join the club but was awaiting the go-ahead once the finer details of the fee and payment were passed by Brighton’s owners. Cucurella had handed in a transfer request last week after seeing Man City thwarted in their attempt to sign him for under £40m.
The 24-year-old joined Brighton from Getafe for £15m last summer but impressed in his debut season. It had been considered that the former Barcelona academy graduate only wanted to join up with Pep Guardiola but he has been convinced of Chelsea’s project under Thomas Tuchel and new owner Todd Boehly.
Cucurella has completed his move to Tuchel’s Chelsea side. Image Football365
Chelsea stole a march on a host of European rivals on Monday by agreeing a £20million fee with Aston Villa for highly-rated teenager Carney Chukwuemeka. Thomas Tuchel has been itching to bolster his midfield ahead of the Premier League season getting underway and the youngster is ready to become his latest recruit.
Chukwuemeka was born in the small Austrian city of Eisenstadt in October 2003 to Nigerian parents before moving to England, where he was raised in Northampton. As a result, he is eligible to represent three countries, but he has elected to play for England at youth level, and he has already caught the eye for the Under-19s. In just 11 appearances for the team, he has scored five times, and he was a standout performer at this summer’s Under-19 European Championships.
He scored in England’s opening two games of the tournament against Austria and Serbia before being handed the captain’s armband for the final group match against Israel. England went on to play Israel again in the final, and Chukwuemeka scored his third goal of the tournament in extra-time to seal a 3-1 victory and the trophy.
Having rejected an extension to his deal at Villa Park, it was hardly surprising that interested parties started to step up their interest in Chukwuemeka. Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund have both been linked with taking Chukwuemeka away from the Premier League this summer. AC Milan also had a £3m offer rebuffed.
Having lost out to Barcelona for Raphinha and Jules Kounde, Chelsea may have been concerned about the prospect of missing out on a third player to their Spanish counterparts.
Meanwhile Memphis Depay may be heading to a new home as he remains unwanted at Barcelona. Depay joined Barcelona on a free transfer from Lyon last summer, but the Catalans’ financial woes have led to them looking to offload the Netherlands international midway through his two-year deal. Having initially wanted €20m for the forward’s services, the La Liga outfit are now reportedly in negotiations with his lawyer to terminate his contract and make the 28-year-old a free agent.
Depay actually impressed for Barcelona last year, registering 13 goals from 38 appearances. But with the Catalans signing Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen this summer, and having brought in Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang mid-season last year, they need to offload players with the Dutchman a likely casualty, having already fallen down the pecking order as a result of such business.
KLOPP LOOKING TO COUNTER INURY ISSUES AT ANFIELD
Liverpool have suffered a number of injuries in pre-season while one former transfer target could be about to become available Indeed, Liverpool could sign former Manchester United ace, Memphis Depay for free to solve injury issues .Injuries have not been kind to Liverpool throughout pre-season, resulting in the Reds fielding eight teenagers in their final pre-season friendly against Strasbourg on Sunday.
Memphis Depay is unwanted at Barca and could be headed to Anfield. Image by Eurosport
Having sold Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino this summer, along with seeing Divock Origi depart at the end of his contract, Klopp boasts the same number of senior players (25) as he could pick between during the second half of last season, provided everyone stays fit. Should Nat Phillips and Sepp van den Berg not depart again following their return from loan, his squad will be even bigger.
There however could still be room for further recruitment at Anfield, with Liverpool currently only filling 22 places in their would-be 25-man Premier League squad. As a result, given the attacking departures and injuries to Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jota, a further offensive recruit could make sense.
Depay has loosely been linked with Liverpool repeatedly over the years, despite spending a disappointing 18 months with Manchester United after moving to Old Trafford in a £25m move from PSV Eindhoven in 2015. Yet the Reds held talks with the Dutch giants themselves prior to his move to Old Trafford.