Lille striker Victor Osimhen is definitely one of the most sought-after youngsters ahead of the winter transfer window as reports claimed that he is being targeted by at least four clubs.
It was Newcastle who first showed interest in signing the youngster as the Magpies seek to replace Ayoze Perez who left for Leicester City in the summer.
Some days later, Spanish media outlet AS revealed that Barcelona have joined in the race for the youngster as Valverde is in search of a young but proven goalscorer who will replace aging Luis Suarez at Camp Nou.
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Manchester United were later said to be eyeing the youngster, who has scored seven goals from 11 league games, as part of Solskjaer’s desire to provide long-term solution to his team’s attacking problems.
Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich were also linked with a move for the player as they seem to be preparing for Thomas Muller’s departure in January.
However, latest report via Calcio Mercato reveals that Serie A giants AC Milan have joined in the race for the player’s service and they are ready to slug it out with the other suitors.
As much as Lille will be happy with the number of clubs showing interest in the youngster, it remains unknown if they will let go of the former Sporting Charleroi striker in January.
Man United Make Transfer Decision On £50m Defender
Manchester United would no longer be pursuing a deal for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti according to the report via the Daily Star.
It was revealed that Manchester United are not ready to pay the £50m transfer fee slammed on Samuel Umtiti by his club.
Barcelona are willing to let French centre back Umtiti leave the club in the summer after the player struggled to find his form and fitness for the better part of the last two years.
Samuel Umtiti had a very good first season at Barcelona following his transfer to the Nou Camp from French giants Lyon in the summer of 2017. He helped France to the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia after his stellar debut campaign for Barcelona.
Since that World Cup win in Russia, he has not been consistent in his displays for Barcelona.
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Manchester United might consider a summer transfer for him again on the condition that Barcelona lower their high asking price for him.
The Red Devils have improved defensively in the past weeks and months but that has not stopped the Samuel Umtiti links.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were under serious pressure after the 2-0 home loss to Burnley in the Premier League but they have bounced back from that disappointing result with an unbeaten run spanning 11 games and based on a solid defensive base as marshalled by Harry Maguire who’s in his first season at the Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United have kept nine clean sheets during that unbeaten run across all competitions.
The defensive players like the aforementioned Harry Maguire plus his preferred centre back partner Victor Lindelof and others like Ivorian centre back Eric Bailly, fullbacks Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have all played their parts in the current run of solid defensive showing which has yielded just two goals conceded in 11 games in all competitions.
Man United Target To Be Offered £16m Annual Salary At Barcelona
According to the Daily Star, Spanish La Liga leaders Barcelona are prepared to offer Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez a lucrative contract offer for him to join the club this summer.
Argentine international Lautaro Martinez is also a major transfer target for Premier League heavyweight Manchester United. The player has a release clause of €100m in his Inter Milan contract at the moment and it is easily accessible financially for both Barcelona and Manchester United.
Spanish giants Barcelona are ready to offer the young striker an annual salary worth £16m and Manchester United will have to match that offer at least to have a chance of signing him in the summer.
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Lautaro Martinez has been able to forge a potent strike partnership with Romelu Lukaku in the Inter Milan and their goals have propelled the Nerazzurri into the Italian Serie A title equation under the watchful eyes of Italian tactician Antonio Conte. Inter Milan are nine points off top spot having played a game less than league leaders Juventus.
Barcelona are in the market for the long-term successor to the central striker role presently occupied by Luis Suarez and Lautaro Martinez is the man identified for the job. Luis Suarez has missed virtually all the football played this year as he’s recuperating from the knee surgery he had in January.
The ageing Uruguayan international suffered a knee injury against Atletico Madrid during the Spanish Super Cup tournament at the start of the year.
For Manchester United, they are looking to sign a new striker this summer having failed to replace Romelu Lukaku when the Belgian international left them for Inter Milan in a £74m transfer last summer. The Red Devils signed a striker in January in Odion Ighalo but the Nigerian striker is at the club on a temporary role until the summer.
EPL: Man Utd Target Urged To Snub Solskjaer In Favour Of Barcelona Or Juventus
Top Manchester United target Jack Grealish has been told to wait for better placed European clubs at the expense of a move to Old Trafford this summer.
Jack Grealish plays his club football for his boyhood team Aston Villa and he has been immense for the former European champions in the Premier League this season. The Aston Villa Academy graduate has been the shining star for his club in the English top flight this season.
Aston Villa legend Gabriel Agbonlahor told The Sun that Jack Grealish could do better than Manchester United who are keen to sign him at the end of this season.
Grealish is a big transfer target for the Red Devils with newest reports claiming that the player has already agreed to the move this summer. It was also revealed that the former Premier League champions will pay around £70m for him.
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The January signing of Bruno Fernandes has not stopped Manchester United from being linked to Jack Grealish who could earn his first callup to the England national team. Bruno Fernandes has made a bright start to his Manchester United career following his transfer last month.
He has scored one goal and added two assists in three league matches.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has not stopped the club from pursuing a deal for Jack Grealish especially with the future of Paul Pogba in serious doubt.
Pogba could leave the club this summer especially if he fails to put pen to paper on a new contract. The Frenchman has one year remaining on his Manchester United deal though there’s a clause of an extra year.
On Jack Grealish, Gabriel Agbonlahor stated that the player could walk into any team. He went on to mention the likes of Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona and Italian Serie A side Juventus.
Can Benzema win The Pichichi Award ahead of Barcelona striker Lionel Messi?
Lionel Messi has won the Pichichi award for three consecutive seasons now in the Spanish La-Liga, the Barcelona all-time goals scorer still holds a joint Pichichi award with Telmo Zarra, having scooped the award 6 times at Camp now. The Barcelona Striker will hope to scoop the award one more time to become the highest Pichichi award winner.
The Argentinian forward has scored more than 30 League goals in all the six occasions where he barged the award. Messi who is arguably considered as one of the greatest footballers of this generation, the striker is well known for his scoring abilities both in the League and other UEFA competitions.
Goalscoring has not been prolific in the Spanish League this season, the current top scorer in the Spanish League is Lionel Messi, the forward has scored 14 goals in the League, one above Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema who has 13 league goals this campaign. This season is arguably one of the poor seasons in Spain, unlike other top League in Europe in which their strikers have scored more than 20 league goal this season.
The Spanish La-Liga has produced a lot of Top Scorers both in Europe and in the Champion League, the League have been ruling European football for more than a decade now, They have been Producing FIFA best players, Champion League top Scorer for more than ten Year. Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the only players scooping the award. This season has not been impressive for the Ballon d’Or winner, the Argentinian forward has been lagging behind in front of goals this season. however, the question that keeps ruminating in the heart of some football fans is“ can Benzema win the Pichichi award ahead of Lionel Messi this season’’?.
Karim Benzema was signed by Real Madrid from Lyon in the year 2009; the France International has scored 240 goals and 133 assists in 496 appearances at Santiago Bernabeu. The former Lyon forward who just surpassed the Portuguese in Real Madrid assists chart with a decisive pass to Lucas Vazquez against Osasuna in the La-Liga Santander. The match ended in Madrid’s favour, beating the Struggling team 4-1.
Karim who is ready to show the world that he is capable of filling the void left by Christiano Ronaldo; the France international has endured a lot of criticism by many football pundits due to his inability to produce a sterling during Ronaldo’ era at the club.
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It appears that the Real Madrid striker has been under the shadow of Christiano Ronaldo who has won the Ballon d’Or 5 times, Although the Portuguese is never considered a hero in the team despite winning four Championship League and 4 Ballon d’Or at the capital. His impact was overlooked even though he still remains an all-time goal scorer at Real Madrid despite his controversial move to the Serie A.
Their Champions League loss to Ajax in the round of 16 brought a lot of criticism by many football lovers who believe Real Madrid should have edge through if Ronaldo Real is present in the team, Although the Holland team how their class once again by eliminating Juventus in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the Portuguese still shows his class, scoring Onana twice In the two encounters.
The current Madrid team star is Benzema, the France international is arguably the best player in the squad right now, this is the right time to show his class in the squad.
Beating Lionel Messi for the Pichichi award should be one of his major targets. He has not featured for his country for more than a season now, if he can intensify his scoring, he could be considered by the France manager who is losing hope on Oliver Giroud.
Both Messi and Benzema are currently in a looping in goal drought, they have not score a goal in their 3previous matches in League, but have been prolific in these matches creating assists for other players to score.
Benzema who is under Ronaldo’s pressure will want to show the Madrid fans he can perform better. The only way to prove he can shoulder the Spanish team by scoring more goals. The Real Madrid team will be having a difficult Schedule in March they will be playing Man City, Barcelona and Real Sociedad in their next five fixtures.
Madrid are currently leading Barcelona with a point on the League table, their 3 points above Barcelona was reduced after playing 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo in the League.
The team will solemnly depend on the France international since their summer signing from Chelsea, and Eden Hazard is still struggling to adapt with the pattern of play in the Spanish League.
The 3 Clubs That Can Afford Lionel Messi Revealed
Barcelona fans have not had the best of weeks after news broke that star player and club legend Lionel Messi could leave the Nou Camp after he clashed with officials. They had their woes compounded when the five-time European champions were dumped out of the Spanish Copa Del Rey by hosts Atheltic Bilbao at the quarterfinal stage on Thursday night.
Athletic Bilbao are through to the semifinals of the competition after they beat Barcelona 1-0 courtesy the late goal from Inaki Williams.
For Messi, troubles started when Barcelona sporting director and former teammate Eric Abidal called out the players for the dismissal of Ernesto Valverde.
According to him, the attitude of the Barcelona players led to the exit of Valverde who was replaced Quique Setien last month some days after he was sacked. Lionel Messi was swift in his response as he called on Eric Abidal to be specific about his namecalling.
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Lionel Messi has been linked with several clubs on the back of the row with Abidal including Manchester City though manager Pep Guardiola was quick to point out that he wants the great Argentine to finish his career at the Nou Camp. Messi played under Nou Camp legend Guardiola for many years at Barcelona.
Let’s take a look at the clubs that could afford to pay the €40m annual salary of Messi if the 32-year-old decides to do the unthinkable by leaving Barcelona this summer.
1. Manchester City
The Premier League champions have the highest wage bill in the English top-flight with £145m paid to players annually. The Citizens can easily afford Lionel Messi’s salary.
2. Manchester United
The Red Devils have a wage bill of £135m on a yearly basis and they are only second to noisy neighbours Manchester City. The Red Devils gave Chilean flop Alexis Sanchez around £500,000 weekly and they have the capacity to pay Messi.
3. Real Madrid
The second highest-earning football club according to the recently released Deloitte Money League and they can afford to pay Messi that salary but the only stumbling block would be his affiliation with arch-rivals Barcelona.
The Players Likely To Leave Barcelona This Summer
Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona certainly need a major shakeup in the summer especially after a torrid season till date.
Barcelona pulled the plug on Ernesto Valverde as their manager shortly after the Spanish Super Cup tournament last month when a lot of the club’s fans thought that decision would have been made after the Champions League collapse at Liverpool last season.
Barcelona had taken a 3-0 lead at home in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal tie with Liverpool before the team collapsed to a 4-0 defeat to the Reds at Anfield in the second leg thereby losing a three-goal advantage for the second successive season under Valverde.
In his first season at the club, Ernesto Valverde lost a three-goal lead against Italian Serie A capital club AS Roma in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie.
Barcelona had taken a 4-1 lead at home in the first leg before losing the second leg of the last eight tie 3-0 in Rome. The Barcelona hierarchy led by the controversial Jose Bartomeu decided to sack Valverde after the 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup last four in January.
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The Catalans went on to appoint Quique Setien in his place after club legend Xavi Hernandez turned down the job mainly for the treatment of Valverde by the Barcelona board before his sack was announced.
Barcelona were also rocked by the injury to star striker Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan was ruled out of action for four months after knee surgery. The club failed to sign a striker when it was evident that one was required.
The Catalans are expected to be very busy in the transfer market irrespective of what happens between now and the rest of the season. Here are the players that could leave Barcelona this summer.
1. Philippe Coutinho
The Bayern Munich loanee is expected to return to Barcelona this summer after his loan spell with the Germans before being sold to a new club in the summer possibly.
2. Ivan Rakitic
The Croatian has just one year left on his Barcelona contract and a move away from Barcelona this summer is most likely.
Olivier Giroud next club revealed
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has emerged as a shock transfer target for Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona who are looking for a short-term replacement for the injured Luis Suarez.
Barcelona will have to navigate the next four months without star striker Luis Suarez after he underwent knee surgery earlier this month.
The Spanish champions have until Thursday night to sign a striker replacement for Luis Suarez who picked up a knee injury during the Spanish Super Cup competition in Saudi Arabia at the start of this decade.
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Several strikers have been linked with Barcelona over the past few weeks and the latest player to be linked with the Blaugrana is French World Cup winner Olivier Giroud via the Daily Mail.
The Chelsea striker wants to leave Stamford Bridge this month in search of first-team football that will keep him in shape for the 2020 European Championships.
Giroud is the first-choice striker for the French national team and he needs more first-team football at club football to maintain that position with AS Monaco striker Wissem Ben Yedder breathing down his neck.
Wissem Ben Yedder was recently named the Player of the Month for December in the French top flight and he’s also a regular for his team, unlike Giroud.
EPL: Arsenal Say No To Transfer Proposal
According to Catalan news publication SPORT, Premier League giants Arsenal have said NO to the transfer proposal from Spanish La Liga club Barcelona.
The Spanish champions want to take leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a short-term loan until this summer without any obligation to sign him at the end of the loan spell and the proposal was swiftly rejected by Arsenal officials who are clear on their stance that the club skipper is not for sale.
Barcelona wanted to sign either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or RB Leipzig star Timo Werner to cover up for Luis Suarez who will miss the next four months after knee surgery.
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Luis Suarez had to undergo knee surgery that has effectively ended his season after he picked up a knee issue during the Spanish Super Cup tournament in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
Aubameyang has scored 16 goals for Arsenal this season with 14 of those goals coming in the Premier League.
Barcelona have since turned their attention to Valencia striker Rodrigo with the fellow Spanish La Liga club keen to do a deal for their player.
The Catalans want to offer a loan fee of €10m for the Spanish international plus pay his weekly salary with the option to buy him out rightly for €50m this summer.