Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward is facing race against time for him to secure the transfer of Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.
This is according to the publication from the Daily Star which revealed that Manchester United want to sign Sean Longstaff this summer.
Sean Longstaff has emerged as a top midfield transfer for the Red Devils after his breakthrough for Newcastle United last season.
It was revealed that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told chief executive Ed Woodward to sign Sean Longstaff before the Red Devils jet out to Australia and Asia for their preseason tour.
Manchester United will travel to Perth, Australia on July 8 and Solskjaer wants Sean Longstaff in his squad before then.
The former Premier League champions have already bagged two players this summer after the transfers for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.
Welsh international James signed for Manchester United last month from English Championship club Swansea City.
On his part, Aaron Wan-Bissaka signed for Manchester United at the end of last month from South London club Crystal Palace in a deal reported to be around £50m.
Manchester United want to offer £15m for Sean Longstaff but Newcastle United are holding out for £20m plus add-ons.
Why Arsenal Have To Keep David Luiz For One More Season
Arsenal could lose the services of Brazilian defender David Luiz after the recent revelation that the player signed for just a season. He was an £8m acquisition from London rivals Chelsea last summer.
David Luiz became surplus to requirements when Blues legend Frank Lampard was named the manager in 2019 and the centre back had to leave Stamford Bridge for a new adventure rather than sit on the sidelines at Chelsea. Various media outlets reported on Wednesday that the Brazilian international centre back signed a one-year contract plus the option of an additional year but the Gunners have not taken that ‘extra year’ option until now. The option will expire at the end of next month meaning that the player will become a free agent.
David Luiz is in the latter part of his football career at the age of 33 and this factor could be a major decider on the part of the Arsenal bosses especially with young defender William Saliba expected to return to the club for next season at the end of his loan at Saint Etienne. Arsenal signed Frenchman Saliba from Saint Etienne in a £25m deal before he was loaned back to the French Ligue 1 for the current campaign.
David Luiz is the most experienced player in the Arsenal squad though he didn’t have the best of starts to his career at the club. However, he has been able to recover from an uncertain start to become a key defender for new manager Mikel Arteta. Why Arteta and Arsenal still need him:
1. Experience – David Luiz has been a real force since Mikel Arteta became the Gunners boss and his wealth of experience would be useful for another season.
2. Consistency – He has been the only constant in the Arsenal backline since Arteta became manager in 2019.
3. Quality – Arsenal are blessed with quantity centre backs rather than quality. David Luiz can be a real handful for strikers on his good day.
Chelsea Stars Right To Back Kante On COVID Stance. Yes OR No
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been able to build his reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in world football. He was a relatively unknown quantity at Leicester City before his massive contribution to the miracle of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.
Kante was a major act alongside Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez as Leicester City overcame title-winning odds of 5000/1 to pull off a league title win. The Frenchman formed a potent midfield partnership with Danny Drinkwater who’s also a Chelsea player though he is presently at fellow Premier League side Aston Villa whom he joined on loan in January.
Apart from his quality, N’Golo Kante has also been very consistent until this season. He has rarely been injured, whether it was at Leicester City or at Chelsea who signed him shortly after his Leicester City heroics in 2016. The 2019/20 season has been a disappointing one for Kante in comparison to the four seasons before it.
Kante won the title in his first season at Leicester City during the 2015/16 season before repeating the feat during the feat upon his Chelsea transfer. He went on to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia with the French national team as well as the 2019 Europa League title.
His injury problems have impacted on his once admired consistency in recent months dating back to the Watford game on May 5, 2019. The genesis of his many injuries started with a hamstring problem during that game before a subsequently picked up knee issue almost derailed his appearance in the Europa League final match with Arsenal last year.
The 2019/20 season was been injury filled for Kante and Chelsea until the Coronavirus pandemic halted football in March. The player is now expected to miss the rest of the season as from next month when Premier League football will finally resume as a result of Coronavirus and this decision has been backed by both the club and his teammates.
Kante has not tested positive for the virus but the Frenchman had respiratory issues during the lockdown and he’s almost scared to play football again professionally with the threat of Coronavirus still lurking around. He has a history with respiratory and heart-related issues especially after he fainted in front of his Blues teammates some years ago before he was cleared of any heart problem.
He is a major player for Chelsea who are in the hunt for top four and Champions League football for next season but his teammates have decided that the best thing is to prioritise him and his health over football as pointed out by Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero earlier this week.
Is Timo Werner Really Worth His €60m Price Tag?
One of the biggest news on the transfer scene in the last few hours is the potential collapse of the ‘Timo Werner to Liverpool’ transfer. Several popular media outlets have reported that Premier League heavyweights Liverpool are not ready to pay the money quoted by his club for the transfer thus leading to the question if the petite forward is really worth the €60m release clause in his contract at German Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.
Timo Werner has been performing well for RB Leipzig for some years and the German international is only 24 but the Reds are still not convinced about his price tag. The player is not short of suitors after his impressive displays in RB Leipzig colours this season with the likes of German champions Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Chelsea also interested in the player.
The interest from elsewhere has not stopped Timo Werner from his desire to play for Liverpool. According to reports, the player wants to stay and continue his development at RB Leipzig if a move to Liverpool is not possible.
His stats in front of goal suggest that the player is worth the €60m price tag leading to the summation that the Reds might not have issues with the money if the dreaded Coronavirus had not happened. European clubs have seen their income suffer seriously because of Coronavirus and the situation is likely to deteriorate especially if football takes a while before accommodating fans at match venues.
Liverpool have a formidable front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and the club splashing the cash on another forward that won’t easily displace one of the aforementioned trio amidst the negative financial effects from Coronavirus could be a wishful thinking. Apart from the task of displacing one of Salah, Mane or Firmino, Timo Werner has to also adapt to a new league. A deal is still a possibility especially if RB Leipzig lowers the release clause which expires in a matter of weeks.
Timo Werner has scored 30 goals in all competitions including a league treble during the win over hosts Mainz 05 at the weekend. He has 24 goals in the German Bundesliga this season.
Potential Replacements For Outgoing Odion Ighalo At Manchester United
Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo is almost helpless as his Manchester United dream is set to come to an end after some months. The former Super Eagles star is on the verge of returning to parent club Shanghai Shenshua in the Chinese Super League as his loan deal at the Theatre of Dreams ends in a matter of days.
Ighalo wants to stay on at the Premier League club but the two teams have not been able to reach a conclusion to this effect. Manchester United want the striker to complete the current season with no obligation to sign him permanently, while Shanghai Shenshua are adamant that the Red Devils will have to sign the player if they want to retain his services beyond the May 30 expiration date for his loan transfer to Manchester United as agreed between the two clubs when Ighalo became a Red Devil at the end of January.
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Odion Ighalo has been able to fulfil a lifelong dream of playing for Manchester United at the age of 30 and he has also done well more than expected with a return of four goals in just three starts. Age is however not on his side which is the main reason behind Manchester United’s reluctance to sign him on a permanent deal. The target for Manchester United is to sign a younger striker this summer leading us to possible striker targets to replace Odion Ighalo at the club:
1. Timo Werner – He has scored goals for fun in the German Bundesliga this season including a hattrick during the 5-0 thrashing of hosts Mainz 05 at the weekend. The RB Leipzig star now has 24 league goals.
2. Moussa Dembele – The Frenchman has been the subject of a €70m bid from Manchester United according to earlier reports. The Lyon striker is also a target for rivals Chelsea.
3. Harry Kane – The Spurs player would be the first choice on the list of potential replacements for Odion Ighalo if he’s made available for a transfer.
Will Arsenal Pull Off The Philippe Coutinho Deal This Summer
In the last 24 hours, Arsenal have surprisingly emerged as the favourites to sign Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho in the summer. This has led to the question on whether stingy Arsenal and owner Stan Kroenke can pull off a deal for Coutinho who’s the third most expensive player in the history of the round leather game.
Barcelona splashed the cash on Philippe Coutinho in January 2018 to make him the most expensive player behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, both of French champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG). Around £142m was the transfer fee for the player but he has not been able to repay that money mainly due to his poor performances for the majority of the last two years.
His Barcelona outings were not encouraging for 18 months and that led to him being loaned to Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga. Coutinho has stepped up his form in Germany but that has not convinced the Bavarian giants to make his loan move a permanent one.
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With Bayern Munich reluctant to sign Coutinho permanently, the player has to find a new club this summer and Arsenal have emerged as a potential destination. Barcelona are prepared to cut their losses on the player by selling him for a fee much lower than what they paid Liverpool for his services.
Before now, Chelsea were considered to be the front-runner for his signature but that has cooled off in recent weeks. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is also interested in Coutinho having worked with the player during his time as the Liverpool boss but the Brazilian is not keen on the idea of joining the Foxes this summer.
Arsenal have already held discussions with Coutinho’s agents to show their seriousness in signing the player and this development has led to club fans wondering how they will pull off a transfer that would definitely be expensive including his wages. In addition, Arsenal and other big European sides have seen their income badly affected by Coronavirus. It’s only a matter of time before we find out whether the Coutinho to Arsenal transfer is for real or just like the other ‘could have been’ transfers before now.
Chelsea: Top Three Players Earmarked For New Squad Numbers
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard deserves some accolades for the way that he has been able to introduce a lot of the young players into regular first team football at the club. Several football stakeholders had their reservations about Lampard and how he will thrive in his first big job as a professional football manager but he has been able to prove the doubters wrong in his first season as the Blues boss.
Lampard is very popular amongst the Chelsea supporters having enjoyed a hugely successful playing career with the club. He holds the record for the most goals in a Chelsea shirt even as a midfielder.
The ex-England international was very impressive in his first managerial job at Derby County last season and that prompted his elevation from the English Championship to the Premier League after just one season with the Rams. His appointment coincided with a transfer ban imposed on the Blues for breaching rules on the transfer of young players and this left Frank Lampard with just old players plus young players to work with for the current season. Lampard has been able to get the best out of these young players from leading goalscorer Tammy Abraham to teen midfielder Billy Gilmour to teen right-back Recce James and many more.
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Some of these young players have been lined up for new squad numbers as from next season which will kick off in few months time. Here are the top three players earmarked for new squad numbers:
1. Reece James – The England junior international has made the right-back spot his own at Chelsea. He currently wears the jersey number 24 at the club.
2. Fikayo Tomori – The Chelsea no. 29 has been able to establish himself as one of the four centre backs at the club upon his return from a successful loan spell at Derby County last season.
3. Billy Gilmour – The young midfielder wears jersey number 47 and he’s the youngest player on the Chelsea first team.
What Man United Will Miss If Ighalo Leaves On May 30
Lifelong Manchester United supporter Odion Ighalo could leave the club at the end of May as talks over the extension of his loan deal at Old Trafford continues to stall. His parent club Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League and the Red Devils have not been able to reach an agreement over an extension for the ex-Super Eagles attacker.
Ighalo was handed a remarkable opportunity to fulfil his dream of playing for boyhood club Manchester United in January 2020 when the Red Devils secured a four-month loan deal for him from Shanghai Shenhua. He was seen as the short-term replacement for star forward Marcus Rashford who had a long-term injury as at then.
His loan transfer to Manchester United was heavily criticised by fans and stakeholders but the player was able to silence his doubters with impressive performances on the pitch before Coronavirus struck and caused football to be suspended. Odion Ighalo scored four goals in just three starts for his new club including a memorable strike in the 5-0 away win at LASK Linz of Austria in the first leg, Europa League round of 16 clash.
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Football was suspended in March until recently when leagues like the German Bundesliga and the Korean league resumed activities once again. The Premier League is also preparing to resume football as from next month and that could be without Ighalo.
His Chinese club wants him back as they prepare for the resumption of the Super League. Shanghai Shenhua are open to a permanent deal for the player but Manchester United prefer a loan extension till the present season ends. On his own part, Ighalo’s preference is to continue to play for his dream club either on loan or permanently.
Manchester United are reluctant to negotiate a permanent deal for 30-year-old Ighalo with the club keen to sign a younger striker this summer. The situation is likely to end with Ighalo’s exit from Manchester United on May 30. What will the club miss if he leaves.
1. Goals – Odion Ighalo has been very prolific in his short time at the club and his goals would certainly be missed.
2. Plan B – The Nigerian striker was seen as a Plan B when he signed for the Red Devils on loan and the club will definitely miss that. No other Manchester United attacker has the aerial prowess that Odion Ighalo offers.
Is It Time For Alexander Lacazette To Find A New Club?
One of the biggest news on the transfer front in recent days is the revelation that Arsenal are open to the idea of letting striker Alexander Lacazette. As reported by several reliable news portals, the Gunners are open to an offer for the player this summer thus leading to the question: ‘If this is the right time for the player to move on from Arsenal after three years’.
Lacazette was the record signing when he moved to Arsenal from Lyon at the start of the 2017/18 campaign. The Gunners spent around £46m to secure his signing shortly after his move to Atletico Madrid fell through mainly due to the transfer ban on the part of the Spaniards. His transfer beat the previous record held by German playmaker Mesut Ozil who moved to Arsenal from Real Madrid for £42m in 2013.
The Frenchman held the record for just six months before the club spent £57m to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund at the start of 2018.
Alexandre Lacazette had a great start to his Arsenal career as he took him just some minutes to get his first goal for the club during the Premier League opener for the 2017/18 campaign, a 4-3 win at home to Leicester City. He was the main striker at Arsenal during that period and even ahead of compatriot Olivier Giroud who was referred to him by manager Didier Deschamps in the French national team setup.
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His position as the main attacker at Arsenal lasted for six months until the arrival of the aforementioned Aubameyang but he was still able to produce his best goal/game at the club till date during that season. Lacazette scored 17 goals plus 4 assists in 39 games.
The French striker scored more goals (19 in 52 games) in the second season but his goal/game output was lesser than that of his debut campaign as an Arsenal player. He made more assists (10) and was rewarded with the Player of the Season award. However, things have gone from good to bad for him this season.
The ex-Lyon skipper struggled with an injury at the start of the current season having picked it up during pre-season and that seemed to affect him as he failed to rediscover the form of his last two seasons at the club. Young attackers like Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah have been picked ahead of him in the Arsenal attack this season after he failed to ignite the frontline with goals and assists. Lacazette has just nine goals and three assists in 35 games for the Gunners in the present campaign.
Lacazette is now seen as someone dispensable in the Arsenal attack thereby leading to the suggestion that a new club could be the catalyst for him to resurrect his ailing football career. Atletico Madrid are long-term admirers and the La Liga giants are also in the market for a new striker thus making it a big possibility for him to move to Madrid this summer.