Tag Archives: Transfers

Ousmane Dembele won’t be renewing Barcelona contract – report

Ousmane Dembele will not be renewing his Barcelona contract beyond this summer after negotiations between the two parties broke down.

The French winger joined the club in a €145m deal from Borussia Dortmund to replace Neymar when he left for Paris Saint-Germain back in 2017, but he has suffered hugely with injuries ever since.

In fact, Dembele has featured just 126 times for the club in four-and-a-half years, scoring 30 times.



The 24-year-old’s contract is due to expire in the summer and Barcelona had been confident that they would be able to convince him to re-sign with the club, with manager Xavi publicly admitting they want to keep him.

However it emerged on Wednesday night that negotiations between the two parties had broken down over wages, with Barcelona claiming they can’t afford his demands.

Dembele’s agent leaked a statement to the press in Spain, where they questioned Barcelona’s claims considering they just signed Ferran Torres in a €55m deal from Man City and are also keen on signing Erling Haaland in the summer from Dortmund for his €75m release clause.

While their statement may be factually correct, the feeling behind it seems more like an excuse than a reason to not re-sign.

Dembele’s injury problems mean he can’t be relied upon for a prolonged period of time and if Barcelona are planning to sign Haaland alongside Torres then they won’t want to waste their wage budget on someone who’s rarely available.

With that said, ‘Dembouz’ is without a doubt one of the most talented wingers in the world when he’s fit and would definitely be a big asset to the club if he were to stay.

Barcelona are right to not be held to ransom by the player, it’s part of the reason they’re in the financial mess they’re in to begin with. But Dembele has every right to feel aggrieved too that Barcelona want to pay others more than him after initially agreeing terms.

All signs point to the end of the road between the two parties now, so it will be very interesting to see if Dembele leaves the club in January so that Barcelona can get some cash for him instead of losing him for nothing.

Jesse Lingard’s decisions leaving him in a rut at Manchester United

Jesse Lingard’s future at Manchester United has been up in the air for the best part of two years, and yet nothing seems to be changing any time soon.

The 29-year-old has been at the club since an infant, coming through the academy at Carrington and making his debut under Louis van Gaal way back in 2014.

His future looked bright, but it just never really took off and for the best part of three seasons the door has been open for the player to leave.



It seemed like he finally got the message last winter, when he joined West Ham United on a six-month loan deal after a severe lack of minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He was brilliant, scoring nine times in 16 appearances as West Ham made it to the Europa League and everything looked set for him to return on a permanent contract.

But despite just 12 months remaining on his contract, the decision was made for him to stay at the club. The same United side that he couldn’t even get on the bench for six months prior, who had added Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo to their attacking ranks, were keeping Lingard again.

Lingard had a bit of a run of form off the bench, scoring the winner against West Ham on his return to the London Stadium and also notching against Newcastle. But since then he saw his minutes deplete again and he rejected a new contract with the club, meaning the expectation was that he’d leave in January.

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Manchester United and BSC Young Boys at Old...

However with Solskjaer getting sacked and Ralf Rangnick coming in, The Athletic are reporting that Lingard will now be staying at Old Trafford for the rest of the season and will only make a decision on his future in the summer – when his contract expires.

Obviously there isn’t much of a sample size under Rangnick, but the chances of him getting greatly improved game time in the second half the season are likely to still be poor.

In a World Cup year, his decision not to push for a move away to get an extra six months of regular football under his belt is just baffling.

There would be plenty of clubs interested in January that would give him regular game time at a high level, but instead he is choosing to stay and fight for his place from the bench with limited opportunities.

Jesse Lingard of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground on December 07, 2021 in Manchester,...

At this point, any loss of form or lack of playing time has lost sympathy among neutrals and United fans. He’s been given ample opportunity to show he is good enough and move away to play elsewhere and he’s done neither.

His career has stalled during his prime years at the club and he’s done nothing to change that. He’s in a rut and he’s stuck there because of his own strange decisions.

Kieran Trippier to Newcastle makes far more sense than Manchester United

It seems as though the January transfer window is moving early as Newcastle are reportedly close to signing Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

The England international is set to enter the final six months of his deal in the Spanish capital, having helped them to the La Liga title last season.

Newcastle are keen to strengthen their team as they look to avoid relegation following significant investment from their new owners PIF of Saudi Arabia, and Trippier has been identified as a priority target.



The 31-year-old spent the entire summer transfer window being linked with a move to Manchester United, only for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club to opt to keep Diogo Dalot instead when Atletico’s asking price was deemed too high.

This season Trippier has struggled for form and Diego Simeone hasn’t picked him regularly. He has started nine La Liga games of a possible 16, while he only started three Champions League group games as they scraped through to the last 16.

Man United’s right-back position is arguably even more up for grabs now than it was in the summer, with a new managerial setup and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s form poor too. Dalot has stepped in well, but there are still question marks around his long-term future.

If United were still interested, January would surely be the perfect time to move for him. But with their interest now cooled, Newcastle are in prime position and that’s a transfer that makes far more sense.

At Old Trafford, Trippier would’ve been competing for the first-team spot but he isn’t a significant upgrade on either of the current options and it would seem like a bit of a sideways signing for the club.

At St James’ Park though, he walks in as a guaranteed starter when fit and he undoubtedly strengthens them in all areas of their play. He is capable of digging in and playing defensive football if needed, having proved that with Atleti, but he has also got some good offensive attributes.

Kieran Trippier of Club Atletico de Madrid runs to take a corner kick during the UEFA Champions League Group A stage match between Atletico Madrid...

His crossing will be helpful to Callum Wilson and his passing will certainly help to free up Allan Saint-Maximin on counter attacks. The profile is right for what Newcastle want now too; a big improvement but not a long term investment.

It may seem weird for him to throw away Champions League football for a relegation scrap, but with the Magpies reportedly doubling his wages and offering him a route back home to England then it’s a no-brainer.

It’s a transfer that actually makes sense, much more than the protracted summer move to Manchester did anyway.

The time is right for Anthony Martial to leave Manchester United

Manchester United are not short of quality attacking options in their squad currently, but that number could drop by one or two in January.

With Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes all vying for starting places, Anthony Martial has found first-team opportunities hard to come by recently.

This has led to his agent publicly announcing that the France international will look to leave the club in January.



This is a player who two seasons ago was the club’s top goalscorer and leading number nine for the whole season as they finished third in the Premier League.

It finally looked to be clicking for him after a thunderous start was somewhat curtailed by Jose Mourinho’s use of him as a substitute, while he was adamant about being a striker and now a left winger.

He was given that chance under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who then brought in Cavani for added competition. Martial didn’t react to that particularly well, scoring just seven goals in a poor season and then United brought in Ronaldo.

Since then, Martial has been a shadow of himself. He has suffered with injury problems in his defence, but that raw ability that struck fear into opposition defences during his first season with the club has completely gone.

He has lost a couple of yards of his pace, he is reluctant to take players on when dribbling, he basically refuses to make runs in-behind the opposition defence and his finishing is nowhere near as reliable as it once was.

He has rightly fallen down the pecking order at the club with the emergence of Greenwood too, which means he just can’t secure a prolonged run in the first-team to get back into tip-top shape anymore.

Martial is now 26-years-old and is entering the prime years of his career. He needs to play regularly and is obviously talented enough to be first-choice at a successful club.

But right here, right now, Manchester United isn’t that club. They have better options than him for their systems, many of whom are younger than him.

Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham...

They have great academy talent coming through too who they will feel can replace him and with time still to run on his contract, they can probably get a pretty good sum of money for a want-away player.

It’s a deal that suits all parties at this point and ultimately is the right decision. If he goes on to be successful elsewhere, United shouldn’t be criticised for his sale, because he’s clearly talented.

For all the qualities he has, he isn’t the best option at Old Trafford now and losing him isn’t really going to put a dent in the squad.

Thanks for the memories Toto, but it’s time to go.

How Dele Alli can revive his dwindling career in January

There was a period in time where Dele Alli was one of the most feared goalscoring midfielders in the country, but that time has long gone.

Dele is currently a bit part player at best for Tottenham after losing that goalscoring touch, and reports suggest he is now likely to leave the club in January either on loan or permanently.

But how can the former England star reignite the flame on his dwindling career? There are a few clubs that could provide the platform for him to do it.



Newcastle United

This seems to be the consensus among many, but Newcastle could do with someone of the profile of Dele and Dele could do with a brand new environment.

Newcastle are in a relegation battle but have got the funds for January to be able to completely turn their fortunes around. Dele would likely come on considerable wages, but if Eddie Howe can get the best out of him once more he could be huge for their season.

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli and Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles during the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle...

With Callum Wilson the club’s only real source for goals, Dele would be given the chance to re-find his taste for the back of the net and the fans would absolutely adore him from the first minute he pulled the shirt on.

Everton

Another team that is desperate for new blood is Rafa Benitez’s Everton side, who have just one win in their last ten Premier League games.

Injuries have plagued them, especially in forward areas, and they have scored only 20 goals in 16 games so far this season. Dele will be seen by any potential signings as a source for goals despite his poor record in recent years, but they know that it is there to be unlocked once again.

Richarlison of Everton challenges for the ball with Dele Alli during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison...

Some fresh blood would be good for them and a potential loan deal would suit all parties, with Rafa Benitez having a natural option to play in the number ten role he likes using.

West Ham

It worked for Jesse Lingard, so why not Dele?

The Hammers are in the hunt for a top four place once again this season, currently occupying the position in the league table as we approach the halfway point of the season.

Jesse Lingard of England celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the International Friendly match between England and United States at...

Last year the arrival of Lingard gave the whole club a boost and his goals and form pushed them to a Europa League spot and revived his career to the point where he got back in the England squad and Manchester United opted to keep him around in the summer.

Dele could have a similar effect in a new squad with great spirit and a style of play that suits him. The rivalry between the clubs could see a deal never materialise, especially with Spurs hopeful of top four themselves, but it could be the perfect move for Dele.

Barcelona keen on signing Ferran Torres from Manchester City

After starting the season as Manchester City’s first-choice striker, it now seems that Ferran Torres could be on his way back to Spain in the January transfer window.

The Spain international started the season well in the number nine role for Pep Guardiola’s side and with his performances for the national team too, Barcelona are reportedly very interested in bringing him to the club.

All three parties are reportedly willing to make a deal happen during the winter window, but what would that mean for Man City’s season?



Torres had made the central striker role his own ahead of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling at the start of the season, before suffering an injury while on international duty with Spain.

It means he hasn’t featured for City since scoring in the 6-1 Carabao Cup win over Wycombe Wanderers back in September.

Despite that though, City have been able to top their Champions League group ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and currently sit second in the Premier League table just one point behind Chelsea.

Only Chelsea and Liverpool have scored more goals than the 27 they have managed in the 13 Premier League games they’ve played so far, while Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and more recently Sterling have all been having good seasons. They’ve not missed him much.

Head coach Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Ferran Torres of Manchester City gestures during the UEFA Champions League group A match between...

However allowing him to leave mid-season is unlikely to be much help to City, so if the reports are true then they will need to replace him adequately.

Whether City will renew their push for Harry Kane as a central striker option or whether they would rather target a wide man to replace Torres is unknown, but the apparent €70million fee would open up plenty of potential options for them.

After spending just €20m on him from cash-strapped Valencia two summers ago, it would be a deal that represent big profit for a player who’s hardly ripped up any trees since joining.

Torres is a good young player with plenty of potential and talent, but he’s far from indispensable to this City side and they’re more than capable of replacing him if they need to.

Ferran Torres of Spain celebrates his team's fifth goal during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Spain and Germany at Estadio de La...

He would fit in well at Barcelona with their new crop of young players coming through and would be able to establish himself with the national team while earning regular minutes at club level.

It’s a move that suits all if they can get it done, but the replacement will be key to if this one gets over the line.

Renato Sanches linked with January move away from Lille

Renato Sanches has admitted he feels ready to make the move to a big club again after reigniting his career with Lille in France.

The 2016 Golden Boy award winner broke onto the scene with Benfica and with the national team during Euro 2016, before securing a big-money move to Bayern Munich.

But after a failed loan move to Swansea in the Premier League, Sanches struggled to make any sort of impact in Germany and eventually found himself falling off everyone’s radar.



That led to a move to Ligue 1 with Lille, who built a squad strong enough to compete and eventually beat Paris Saint-Germain to the domestic league title last season, with Sanches being a key player in the midfield.

That brilliant form led to him being linked with a move away from the club in the summer, before an injury ended any hopes of a potential transfer away.

Now back fit again and performing well once more, Sanches has revealed that he was close to a move to Barcelona before this season started only for the injury to scupper this season. Now however, Sanches feels he’s ready for the move to a big club should the opportunity arise once again.

Nicolas Seiwald of FC Salzburg competes for the ball with Renato Sanches of Lille OSC during the UEFA Champions League group G match between Lille...

“When I arrived at Bayern, I was not ready to play in such a club. I was very young, and when I got ready, the opportunity to play with this team never came.

“Today I feel ready. I understand football better, I have more experience, I know what to do to play in this kind of club and that changes everything.

The 24-year-old has found himself linked with a January move to both Arsenal and AC Milan, and the Portugal international has commented on the links saying he would be open to those moves.

“Maybe Milan and Arsenal are interested but I don’t know.

“I spoke with my agent, I know which clubs are calling and which are not, but I can’t tell now. I know I’m ready.

“If an offer comes in, I’ll find out what’s best for me.”

For Sanches it seems to be the perfect time to make the step up once again. His performances have finally become more consistent and his role is more defined, while he seems to have put his fitness issues behind him for the most part.

Renato Sanches of LOSC Lille and Portugal during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Portugal and Serbia at Estadio da Luz on November...

In France he has achieved all he can, winning the title ahead of PSG, and a move abroad to a bigger club could give him more chance of further improvement and even potential European success at club level.

He has something to prove in the Premier League after failing with Swansea so that could appeal to him, but Italy and Spain certainly seem a better fit stylistically for him.

It will be interesting, but with Lille’s reported financial troubles well reported, he will certainly represent a nice bargain for someone in January or next summer.

Liverpool have a Sadio Mane dilemma

Liverpool continued their brilliant start to the season thanks to a 4-0 win over Arsenal at the weekend, with Sadio Mane once again on the scoresheet for the Reds.

It was the winger’s 106th goal in 234 appearances for the club, as he currently takes part in a sixth season with the club since his £30million move from Southampton back in 2016.

But as the Senegalese star enters the final 18 months of his contract, Liverpool are suddenly in a dilemma with one of the key members of their attacking unit.



Since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, only Mohammed Salah has scored more goals for the club than Mane.

His pace, agility, directness, skill, physicality and technique have set him apart as one of the very best wingers in the Premier League and Europe but now at the age of 29 there is a decision to make for both player and club.

Mane is entering the final 18 months of his contract at the club, just like Salah is. Discussions over a new contract are yet to begin and with the club reportedly keen to re-sign Salah too there may be no space for them to sign both.

Reports suggest that the Egyptian wants a big pay-rise and with his importance to the side completely unquestionable, that could affect the budget in a big way.

Mane is unlikely to want to be second fiddle forever, and rightly so. At any other club in the world he would likely be the main man in the attack, with the ability to score 20+ goals per season and assist a huge amount too.

His ability to go in both directions and use both feet, while also being an aerial threat despite his diminutive stature, makes him an absolute nightmare for defenders.

At 29, Mane will be signing the last long-term contract of his career whether it is at Liverpool or not. He’ll want the one last big payday, like anyone else would, while also wanting some sort of assurances of being a key member of the team.

While Liverpool would no doubt be keen to sign Mane to fresh terms, but are they likely to give him the pay-rise and long-term deal he would crave considering everything else happening at the club? Probably not.

So the decision becomes whether they let him run his contract down and lose him for free, or sell him in the summer.

Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Liverpool FC and...

Should they choose to sell him, they won’t be short of suitors. Barcelona and Real Madrid have been linked to him in the past, while Paris Saint-Germain could potentially be looking to replace Kylian Mbappe in the summer too.

But if they let him go, they will be strengthening a European rival with one of the best players in the world.

The most likely outcome is that they find an agreement to extend his stay for an extra two or three years with a pay-rise that isn’t quite what Mane wanted, but enough to convince him to sign on.

But the club are running out of time to make it all happen, and the longer they wait the more likely an exit becomes.

What is best for Raheem Sterling’s future?

After Euro 2020, it seemed as though Raheem Sterling had got his career back on track after a stellar tournament for England.

The winger chipped in with three goals in the first four games, then assisted Harry Kane’s first goal in the quarter-final against Ukraine before winning a penalty in extra-time of the semi-final against Denmark to help England to their first final since 1966.

But despite that form and level of performance, Sterling has found himself on the periphery at Manchester City once again this season.



After losing his place to Phil Foden in the second half of last season, Sterling was named as a starter in the Champions League final defeat to Chelsea which gave many some hope that he would be involved going forward.

Fast forward to the start of the season though and Pep Guardiola had signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m and only Sergio Aguero had left the club. Sterling’s place was under more threat than ever before.

As we approach the mid-point of November, Sterling has started just four games in the Premier League and Champions League combined. With one goal in each, plus an assist in Europe, it’s not a surprise that he is struggling to get game time.

But for England, it’s a totally different story. Gareth Southgate continues to select him as a key member of the attack and he is performing to a high level still, albeit against lesser opposition.

Raheem Sterling of England is challenged by Ardian Ismajli and Ylber Ramadani of Albania during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between...

With his contract due to expire in June 2023, it’s crunch time for his Manchester City future now.

Reports suggest that clubs such as Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are keen on recruiting the former QPR and Liverpool man, but while Man City won’t stand in his way should he look to move thy will demand a relatively high fee for their asset.

That leaves Sterling in a predicament, as he risks isolating himself by asking for a move and then not getting one.

But as it stands, asking for a move is the best thing he could possibly do. Sterling is 26-years-old and will turn 27 by the time the January transfer window opens, meaning he is in the absolute peak years of his career.

He has done most things at City, winning three Premier League titles with the club, an FA Cup, four Carabao Cups and reaching a Champions League final. He is also the player who has scored the most goals under Pep Guardiola for the club.

Raheem Sterling of Manchester City poses with the Premier League trophy during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester...

But you need to know when to cut your losses, and it seems as this point that Guardiola has moved away from needing Sterling in the team and is taking his squad in a different direction.

Instead of fighting a losing battle, Sterling should cash in on the fact his contract is running down and get the big-money move that is inevitable should he depart.

A move to Barcelona would be great from a status point of view, playing for one of the biggest and most prestigious clubs in the world on a weekly basis and trying to help them re-find their former glory.

But a better option would be a move to the French capital to another mega-rich team in Paris Saint-Germain, who look certain to lose star-man Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid on a free transfer in the summer.

Marco Verratti of PSG, Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester...

They will surely look to make a statement signing to replace him and with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Angel Di Maria in their ranks already, Sterling would add some youth and more top level experience to an already star-studded squad.

PSG would likely be able to afford any fee that City would demand for him and he would be an excellent addition. For Sterling, he almost guarantees more trophies for his own personal cabinet, gets to play for one of the best teams in the world with some of the best players and ultimately get back to competing at the highest level week in and week out.

It seems like a no-brainer, but whether Sterling is serious about potentially playing abroad in the future or not is a different matter. If he is, Paris is likely his best option to get his career back on track.

Dani Alves makes stunning return to Barcelona

Barcelona have re-signed legendary right-back Dani Alves to their playing squad in a shock transfer.

The Brazilian played for Barcelona 391 times between 2008 and 2016, where he made up part of one of the greatest club teams in history and drummed up a brilliant partnership with Lionel Messi.

He left the club on a free transfer and has since played for a number of clubs, but after leaving Sao Paulo recently following a payment dispute he has now returned to the Camp Nou.



Alves is regarded as one of the best attacking full-backs in the history of the game, with his brilliant dribbling, passing, pace and skill all key aspects of his game.

His technical ability was so great that despite playing the vast majority of his career as a right-back, Alves took the number 10 shirt and played in midfield during his latest stint in Brazil.

A disagreement with Sao Paulo over a non-payment of his wages meant he terminated his contract early, midway through his third season with the club and is now a free agent.

That means he is able to sign for any club outside of the transfer window, although he won’t be able to be registered until January. Reports suggest that he has re-joined Barcelona to help new manager and former teammate Xavi set the new standards in the dressing room.

With Barcelona in financial ruin currently, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Alves will be the lowest paid first-team player at the club as part of the deal.

In a brief statement announcing the contract agreement until June 2023, Barcelona said;

“FC Barcelona and Dani Alves have reached an agreement in principle for the player to join the football first team for the remainder of the current season. The Brazilian will be joining training from next week but will not be able to play until January.

The club will announce the full details at his official presentation as a new FC Barcelona player.”

Alves is the most decorated footballer in football history having won an incredible 45 trophies throughout his career with Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Sao Paulo and Brazil, including an Olympic gold medal and three Champions League titles.