- Ahead of Arsenal clash, Guardiola talks about Champions League and Kroos to Manchester United rumours
- Manchester United could miss out on €26m German star
- Moyes eyes move for £25m Liverpool and Arsenal target
- Arsenal set to chase Saints’ starlet as Sagna demands mega-deal
- No ‘Real’ Deal For Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois
- Liverpool player edges closer to Anfield exit
- Man Utd and Liverpool could miss out on £125m Spanish forward
- Liverpool join Chelsea in the race for Serbian attacking star
- 56 tackles, 66 interceptions – Moyes considers €18m Vidic replacement
- Talks ongoing – Manchester United keen to land €45m Arsenal target
- Arsenal: Top 5 Champions League Away Performances
- Arsenal Injury Crisis: Kieran Gibbs ruled out of Bayern clash
Posted: 11 Mar 2014 05:41 AM PDT
Ahead of crucial Round of 16, second leg Champions League tie with Arsenal at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola spoke about the uncertainty of knock-out rounds and shared his opinion on Manchester United target toni Kroos as well.
Kroos whose contract runs out at the end of the season, dropped a huge bombshell yesterday claiming that Premier League could be his possible destination in near future.
Guardiola, the former Barcelona coach, praised Kroos heavily in the media claiming him as a “great talent”. Further, he wants the German midfielder to stay at the club and grow as a better player.
While speaking to promote adidas gamedayplus app, he said:
“Toni played awesome but not just in this game the whole season. We had a lot of problems at the beginning of the season in our midfield because we had a lot of injuries and I hope he maintains this level until the end of this season.”
Guardiola also maintained that this tie is far from over citing that anything can happen in the knock out games. He reflects that Arsenal were the better side in the opening few minutes but the sending off changed the complexion of the game completely.
Check out the video of the interview below:
Posted: 11 Mar 2014 04:02 AM PDT
Manchester United could miss out on €26m German star - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Manchester United could miss out on yet another transfer target, Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels in the summer, as reports in Spain suggests that the highly rated German is apparently looking to move to Barcelona, should he leave Dortmund.
The 25-year-old is one of the most finest ball-playing defenders of this generation and going by the rumours, Manchester United manager David Moyes has been targeting him to replace the departing skipper Nemanja Vidic.
However, Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims that chances of Hummels joining the Catalan giants are more, as he could slot into the team straightaway for club legend Carles Puyol.
Further, the report says, Hummels has confessed to his close friends that he sees his future at the Catalan club and would be trying to impress the Barca officials with his performances in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Mundo Deportivo speculates that Hummels might consider his future, despite the fact he has three years remaining on his contract, having seen quality players gradually departing from Borussia Dortmund to other top clubs. But most importantly, the German star feels he could take his game to a different level and continue to grow as a player at Barcelona.
Posted: 11 Mar 2014 02:39 AM PDT
Moyes eyes move for £25m Liverpool and Arsenal target - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Manchester United are the latest Premier League club to register an interest in Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, and according to ESPN, manager David Moyes is looking to make a serious bid in the summer.
The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the brightest prospects of Madrid, but with only one league start in La Liga this season, Morata has failed to make a big impression while fellow youngster Jesé has jumped ahead of him in coach Carlo Ancelotti's plans.
He was previously linked with a move to Premier League outfit Tottenham as a part of Gareth Bale's record transfer, while Arsenal showed great interest in him over the January transfer window, with reports surfaced that the Gunners want to sign him on loan. Further, they've made enquiries over his availability in the summer and Arsene Wenger may hand to fork out £25m to secure his signature.
Yesterday we reported that Serie A giants Inter Milan are also keen to add him to their squad, while ESPN reports that Liverpool are also one of the interested parties as well.
David Moyes will be handed a hefty transfer war-chest in the summer and although his priorities lie elsewhere, but could delve into the transfer market for a new striker, as both Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez could leave the club in the summer.
Morata has a contract till 2015 and Real Madrid could be looking to cash in on the striker now rather to let him go on free at the end of the current deal.
Posted: 11 Mar 2014 01:57 AM PDT
Arsenal set to chase Saints’ starlet as Sagna demands mega-deal - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Arsenal's French right back Bacary Sagna may just have overplayed his negotiating position with the club over the prospects of signing a new contract with the Gunners in the summer. Arsene Wenger had publicly stated his desire to keep the 31-year-old at the Emirates, declaring that the club would "push very hard" to keep him.
The players demands however may have cooled the manager's ardour somewhat however, and now he is looking at the possibility of lining up Southampton's 19-year-old Calum Chambers as a replacement.
Sagna appeared likely to re-sign with the Gunners, but potential offers from elsewhere, apparently laden with 'loadsamoney' offers have altered the perception of his worth to the club. Only the third player in Arsenal's history to break the 200 appearances barrier for the club, has apparently been made aware of approaches from PSG and Monaco in his native France, plus an approach from Turkish champions Galatasaray, where his old teammate Emanuel Eboue resides.
This has led the player to up his demands for an increase on his current £70,000 per week deal to £120,000, plus a £6million signing-on fee. With Wenger the most prudent of managers with his employers' bank balance, it's unlikely to be a deal that's going to go anywhere, anytime soon, hence the move for Chambers.
Although cast somewhat into the shadows by the dazzling prospect of Luke Shaw on the opposite flank of the Saint's defence, Chambers has nonetheless registered some outstanding performances this season as the Southampton bandwagon has gathered momentum.
Yet another product of the prolific Saints' academy set up, Chambers has notched 17 premier League appearances this season, and already has 13 caps at Under 21 level for England. In a couple of years or so, it's not impossible to imagine Shaw patrolling the left flank of the full England team, and Chambers on the right. With such potential, it's little wonder that Wenger's interest has been piqued.
Southampton are likely to want in the region of £10million to £12million for Chambers which, when balanced against Sagna's demands, and the prospects of a much more reasonable salary, makes Chambers an attractive prospect. Add in the fact that he's also a dozen years the junior of the Frenchman, and the case becomes almost compelling.
Transfer speculation at this time of year is always a bit of a dubious game to play, and Wenger is long enough in the tooth to know how to play his cards. If Sagna has overplayed his hand, there's every likelihood that Arsenal would pursue an option such as Chambers. Public speculation however may also just have the effect of bringing the French defender's extravagant demands back into a more realistic position. Time will tell on this one.
For more from All Blue Daze:
Posted: 11 Mar 2014 12:43 AM PDT
Chelsea fans can now relax. Real Madrid have not agreed a deal to bring Thibaut Courtois to the Bernabeu, claims the player's father.
Reports emerged in Spain that Chelsea goal keeper, who is plying his trade with la Liga outfit Atletico Madrid, has agreed to join Real Madrid, once his contract with the Blues had expired in 2016.
The Belgian goal keeper joined Chelsea in 2011 but has yet to feature for the London club and has been playing on loan for the last two-and-a-half-years with the Rojiblancos.
The 21-year-old has now established himself as one of the finest goal keepers in the world at the moment, but his future with Chelsea has been speculated, as doubts remain whether Jose Mourinho would consider him as first choice in place of Petr Cech.
Real Madrid on the other hand are looking for a long term replacement of club legend Iker Casillas, and Courtois has emerged as one of the candidates to fill that role.
Now, Courtois' father has moved quickly to deny any truth in that report insisting it is a purely a wild rumour meant to destabilise Atletico Madrid.
“It’s an attempt to destabilise Atletico,” Thierry Courtois, is quoted as by La Derniere Heure.
“There hasn’t been any contact with Real. Our negotiations with Chelsea still have to start.
“And Chelsea would never let him go that way, when his contract has expired. Thibaut is now focused on the season with Atletico and the Champions League.”
Courtois himself has insisted though that he wants to play for Chelsea, but the Belgian star also admitted that he would not accept any roles on the bench at Stamford Bridge.
Posted: 11 Mar 2014 12:12 AM PDT
Liverpool goal keeper Pepe Reina, who is currently plying his trade in Italy with Napoli, could be looking to buy himself out of his contract at the end of the season.
Reina was sent on loan at Napoli where he has performed well under former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who originally bought him at the Anfield club in 2005.
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, recently stated that Reina has no future at the club, and now Daily Mirror reports that the goal keeper could be looking to active a contract clause that values him at €5m (£4.1m).
“Pepe made it very clear when he went to Napoli he was looking to move as he penned a great big letter saying he was going to work with the best manager that he’d worked with and thanked everyone for his time for Liverpool,” said Rodgers.
However Reina insists that he hasn’t confirmed his departure. He told BBC Sport:
“Liverpool got another goalkeeper [Simon Mignolet] and they told me they were happy to loan me for a season.
“It was strange but I don’t regret it. The only thing about the letter is that I just could say goodbye in a different way and I couldn’t do it [in person]. There are always ups and downs in a career and in the last two-and-a-half years at Liverpool there were different methods and perhaps I didn’t do as good as I used to with Rafa.”
The ideal situation for Reina would be to secure a move to Napoli or anywhere permanently, as it becomes increasingly clear that Rodgers doesn't want him anymore. The Spanish goal keeper has also hinted of his desire to join MLS at some point in future.
Posted: 10 Mar 2014 11:45 PM PDT
Man Utd and Liverpool could miss out on £125m Spanish forward - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Barcelona have renewed contract talks with Spain international Pedro, who is a reported transfer target of Manchester United and Liverpool, amidst suggestions that the forward could be tempted by a move away from the Nou Camp in the summer.
David Moyes, manager of Manchester United has been credited with an interest in luring the Spanish star while Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is also a keen admirer of his talents.
TalkSport reports that Barcelona fears Pedro might be tempted away from Camp Nou, which has prompted the Catalan club’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta to initiate talks to extend the player’s current deal.
Pedro has been in terrific form this season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions and his meteoric rise could see him being rewarded with a significant pay-rise, provided he pledges a long term future at the club.
The central reason why no Premier League or European clubs have made any official approach for Pedro is because of his staggering £125m release clause.
To be honest, not a single club in the world would be willing to pay such ridiculous amount of money for Pedro and it looks increasingly likely that the Spanish forward will stay with Barcelona.
Posted: 10 Mar 2014 11:30 PM PDT
Liverpool join Chelsea in the race for Serbian attacking star - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Liverpool are set to battle Chelsea for the signature of Benfica’s Lazar Markovic, having sent their chief scout to watch the attacker last week.
Markovic, 20, has been making waves recently for Benfica in the Portuguese top flight, and according to the Daily Mail, Liverpool sent chief scout Barry Hunter to Ireland last Wednesday to watch Serbia’s 2-1 win over Republic of Ireland, in which Markovic played 75 minutes.
Chelsea, says the Mail, have first option on any Benfica player, due to the healthy relationship between the two clubs. But despite this, Markovic is not a priority for the Blues this summer, with Jose Mourinho already with a plethora of attacking midfield stars at his disposal.
Liverpool are in need of further attacking options in midfield, with Raheem Sterling still learning, and Coutinho not quite the finished article. Markovic is adept to playing anywhere along an attacking midfield three, and could be a decent acquisition for Brendan Rodgers.
However, Markovic would not come cheap, with the youngster already a full Serbian international, and a regular feature for Benfica this season, with whom he has a contract until 2018.
Also, with many attacking options still on the Liverpool radar, such as Ukrainian winger Yehven Konoplyanka, it remains to be seen whether the most recent movements of the club’s chief scout is a sign of switched priorities.
What do you think, Liverpool fans? Like the look of Markovic? Get involved in the comments below…
Posted: 10 Mar 2014 11:15 PM PDT
56 tackles, 66 interceptions – Moyes considers €18m Vidic replacement - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Manchester United have been considering Roma's highly rated defender Mehdi Benatia as a possible defensive recruitment in the summer, according to the Daily Mail.
Central defence is one of the key areas where massive investment is required for the Red Devils, as skipper Nemanja Vidic has already agreed to join Inter Milan next season while Rio Ferdinand's future also seems to lie away from Old Trafford as well.
David Moyes will be backed with a hefty transfer war-chest and the Scot is expected to buy at least one quality central defender in the summer, and Benatia certainly could be one of those possible options.
The 26-year-old is enjoying a brilliant season for Roma and could be an ideal replacement for Vidic at Manchester United.
He is a strong defender, who is very good at tackling. This season he has made 56 tackles in the Serie A, more than the combined efforts of Evans, Ferdinand and Vidic.
However, his key attribute lies in proper reading of the game, as he made over 60 interceptions this season. Further, he has an uncanny knack of scoring goals, having netted five times thus far.
With a passing accuracy of 89% (very good for a defender) and 144 total clearances, he is just the type of profile Manchester United manager should look at while recruiting any top defender.
Benatia joined Roma in 2013 from Udinese on a five-year-contract and for a reported fee of €13.5m. Should United show genuine interest in him, they have to pay over €18m to tempt Roma into any negotiation.
Posted: 10 Mar 2014 11:00 PM PDT
Talks ongoing – Manchester United keen to land €45m Arsenal target - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Manchester United have opened talks with Sporting Lisbon about the signing of midfield destroyer William Carvalho, who is also a reported target of Chelsea and Arsenal.
Back in October 2013, Portugal newspaper Record revealed that Manchester United have been continuously monitoring the player. He was watched by United scouts even when he was on loan to Cercle Brugge.
While, several European heavy weights like Juventus were also monitoring his progress, in November, 2013, reports emerged in A Bola that Chelsea have joined the race to sign the midfielder, who has a contract till 2018 with a release clause of €45m.
Sporting are going through a parlous financial situation and could be looking to sell him as well, provided their valuation is met.
The 21-year-old has superb defensive qualities while the maturity he shows in reading of the game is exemplary.
In December, A Bola claimed that Arsenal are also interested in the midfielder, with scout Francis Cagigal watched him many a times and was very much impressed with Carvalho's performance.
However, after Chelsea signed Nemanja Matic in the January transfer window from Benfica, it became quite clear that the Blues would no longer invest on yet another defensive midfielder.
In February, we reported that Manchester United scouts have watched him 12 times while a bid in the summer is all but a foregone conclusion.
Early in the month of March, after Sporting's 2-1 win over Braga, Carvalho, when asked about his future, said:
"It could be Manchester United or Real Madrid. It's just nice to have a great European club after me, but at the moment I'm just totally focused on Sporting and doing my best until the end of the season."
Now, the Daily Mail reveals that Manchester United have opened talks Sporting and want to conclude the business before the summer World Cup. The report says, the Red Devils are willing to pay around £29m, but if Moyes is serious about landing him, he may have to fork out more than their valuation.
Posted: 10 Mar 2014 12:21 PM PDT
Tomorrow night, Arsenal will have to overcome a two goal deficit against the omnipotent Bayern Munich in Germany in order to progress to the quarter finals of the Champions League.
Pep Guardiola’s side triumphed 2-0 at the Emirates last month, and considering the away goals rule, the Gunners have a veritable mountain to climb.
But Arsenal fans can take heart from the history books, with their side experiencing some phenomenal away day performances in the Champions League in recent years, something Arsene Wenger was quick to point out in his press conference today,
Check out our five-strong list of impressive Arsenal victories on the road in Europe’s premier competition:
Roma 1-3 Arsenal - 27 November 2002
Arsenal came from a goal down to beat a plucky Roma outfit thanks to a sumptuous hat-trick from Theirry Henry.
Antonio Cassano had put the Serie A side ahead early on, but three super goals from their now-legendary French striker saw the Gunners gain their first win on Italian soil for 22 years.
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Arsenal - 6 November 2013
Aaron Ramsey’s second half header against last year’s Champions League finalists kept Arsenal on top of Group F, and sent a clear message to the rest of Europe.
With the win, the Gunners became the first English side to win at the Westfalenstadion, and took their unbeaten European away record to 15 games.
Inter Milan 1-5 Arsenal - 25 November 2003
Arsenal’s stunning rout of Inter Milan consolidated England’s dominance over Italy at club level at the time, with Chelsea smashing four past Roberto Mancini’s Lazio in Rome only a month before.
The Gunners’ win was much more dramatic however, with Inter a more potent a force on the world stage, and with Arsenal on the brink of Champions League elimination before the victory.
Bayern Munich 0-2 Arsenal - 13 March 2013
While this is not one of the club’s happiest away days, it was a truly magnificent result, and one they need to replicate if they are to go through to the quarter finals this time around.
Arsenal took Bayern to the sword very early on, with Olivier Giroud tapping in early on to give Arsenal hope, but despite Laurent Koscielny’s late header putting the Gunners two up on the night, it was not enough to see them through.
Since then, Bayern have lost only twice in over 50 games in all competitions, which really proves the magnitude of this win.
Real Madrid 0-1 Arsenal - 21 February 2006
A famous night that has lived long in the memories of Arsenal fans.
A star-studded, Galacticos-infested Real Madrid stood in Arsenal’s way in the last 16 of the Champions League, but despite the quality at the Spanish giants’ disposal, the Gunners came out on top thanks to Thierry Henry’s stunning solo goal.
With the win, they became the first English side ever to win at the Bernabeu.
What do you think? Which was the most impressive victory? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…
Posted: 10 Mar 2014 11:22 AM PDT
Arsenal Injury Crisis: Kieran Gibbs ruled out of Bayern clash - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Arsenal will be without Kieran Gibbs for their crunch Champions League last 16 tie against Bayern Munich tomorrow, Arsene Wenger has revealed.
The Gunners’ boss told a packed press room of the news today, and also said that Thomas Vermaelen could start in Gibbs’ absence, with backup Nacho Monreal missing out through injury.
“We lost Gibbs (from last weekend). He has a chance to play Sunday.” said Wenger,
“Koscielny is back in the squad. Vermaelen has a chance to play at left-back.”
Having picked up a hamstring problem while on international duty, it was doubtful whether Koscielny would be risked tomorrow, with so many important league matches coming up, but with Vermaelen now likely to fill in at left-back, Arsenal may have to through the Frenchman back into the mix a little earlier than they would have liked.
Jack Wilshere misses out, as do long-term absentees Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, with the latter just below first team fitness.
Despite the growing injury list, Arsene Wenger remains positive, as he told the press today,
What do you think? Can Arsenal pull it off tomorrow? Let me know in the comments below…
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