All posts by Joe Nicholas

Manchester United face Real Madrid competition for €35m World Cup star

According to reports from Spanish based Media Outlet Fichajes, Manchester United have been joined by Real Madrid and Barcelona in the race to sign Colombia’s World Cup star Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina. The 26 year old who was United’s top priority target, after long speculations signed a contract extension with the Florence based side but the right winger recently gave vent to his frustrations. The youngster reportedly has a €35m transfer release clause which is set to kick in the January transfer window. Thus the winger could be available to any club who bids the price quoted.

cuadrado

Cuadrado would suit the Red Devils’ bill perfectly in the upcoming winter transfer window. Louis Van Gaal is believed to be a huge admirer of he Colombian and could plot a move yet again for the player in January. Moreover, Cuadrado is capable of playing also in the right back role, something which would be a huge upgrade over Rafael, the Brazilian who is frequently injury prone.

It is believed that Real would also jump at the bandwagon to sign the player given Alvaro Arbeloa’s future in the Spanish capital is in jeopardy. Moreover, Barcelona also have a transfer window ban as directed by FIFA, so the Catalan side’s interest might be insignificant.

United have a sizeable transfer kitty which they can use in January as they target a top four place this season as they look to secure Champions League football for next season. Cuadrado has great potential and is immensely pacy and a great dribbler who comes with great passing ability. Fiorentina had also been resigned to the fact that they could lose their prized asset but it will be interesting to see where Cuadrado ends up in January. Or will he stay put at Florence?

(Picture) Arsenal Receive Injury Boost Ahead Of Manchester United Clash

There is finally some good news for Arsenal fans. French striker Olivier Giroud who has missed since the 2-2 draw at Everton early in the season has finally returned back to training after a long spell on the sidelines. The recent developments come as a huge boost for the Gunners who later take on Manchester United next week in the Premier League.

giru

The striker was expected to be out till the new year after suffering an ankle injury and his return is earlier than expected. The Frenchman made his long-awaited return to full training at the club’s London Colney HQ on Thursday morning.

giroud

This is the second best news that Arsenal fans would welcome after Theo Walcott also made a return on Sunday in the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat at hands of Swansea at the Liberty stadium. Giroud will now compete with Danny Welbeck for a place in the starting line up.

giru

Manager Arsene Wenger might spring in a surprise and might feild both of his striker as the Gunners take on United who look thin at the back.

Chelsea plot move to sign £32m Arsenal target

laporte

While both Manchester United and Arsenal are on the lookout to strengthen their defensive back-line in the upcoming winner transfer window, reports from English Media outlet METRO have suggested that Chelsea too have joined the list. The report claims that the Blues have targeted both Arsenal and United target Aymeric Laporte from Spanish side Athletic Bilbao. Laporte has been a key figure for the Basque based club and his dominant presence in the central defense last season helped the Lions grab a Champions league spot.

Laporte however has a whopping £32m release clause. So isn’t it far fetched for Chelsea to pay huge a price for a 20 year old who relatively has no experience in the Premier League. Moreover the Blues also have Kurt Zouma in their squad while Cesar Azpilicueta can also play in at right back as Branislav Ivanovic can be deployed in the centre back position if club captain John Terry decides to retire at the end of the campaign.

Moreover, the premier league leaders have also been linked with Gerrard Pique from Barcelona over the past few days. There is no doubt that Laporte is such a fantastic talent and the Frenchman would like to move to the Premier League if given a chance. Bilbao though are a tough club to deal with, though they sell their key players to keep in tact their balances a move for the player by Chelsea simply makes no sense.

On the other hand, Arsenal, who are desperately in need of a cover to their defensive unit have also been linked with the Bilabao man. Recent reports from Dailystar, claim that, Arsene Wenger has earmarked Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte as his first-choice January transfer target, while Manchester United are also on the look out.

Chelsea star hints at transfer move; Possible exit on the cards

London based outlet London Evening Standard have published a report that Chelsea legend Didier Drogba could be on his way out of the club in the coming summer. It is believed that the Ivorian has mentioned that it could be last year as a player but he wants to win trophies and go out on a high. Drogba who arrived as a free agent from Turkish outfit Galatasaray in the summer said, “This year the key for me is to enjoy my football and to be with my team-mates and to win trophies. There is one more year to go so let’s do it, let’s win more trophies, let’s make history again.”

drogba

Drogba who was voted as Chelsea’s best ever player in the history of the club has been deployed as a bit part role by manager Jose Mourinho given his age. Drogba though scored in 1-1 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United. The 36 year old claimed, “This relationship between me and the fans goes both ways, the way they show their support and the way they love me. If there is some way I love them even more because of all we achieved together, all the history. I have always said my first eight years here were the best years of my career. I know they enjoyed it because I did. I’m far from all the players who made history here, but I’m also next to them.”

The report thus seem clearly twisted. It might be true that Drogba would hang up his boots at the end of what looks like a to be successful season for the Blues. Moreover, the Stamford Bridge outfit are also in the lookout of a striker. It is believed that Benfica’s Brazilian forward Anderson Talisca is on who i high on Mourinho’s wishlist. Talisca though has also been scouted by Arsenal and Manchester United as the player continues his stupendous start to the season for the Portuguese giants.

Manchester United given green light to sign £18m Dutch star in January

It looks like Manchester United are losing on their first transfer signing for the upcoming January transfer window. English Media Outlet DAILY EXPRESS have reported that the Red Devils have been given the green light to sign Dutch sensation Memphis Depay in the  winter transfer market. It is believed that PSV Eindhoven are resigned to the fact that they will sell their prized asset should the £18m asking price is met.

memphis

Manager Louis Van Gaal has been a keen admirer of Depay and the midfielder was also a transfer target for the Premier League giants in the summer but he finally opted to stay in his homeland. But now it is believed that PSV manager Phillip Cocu has admitted that Depay is set to leave the club. Cocu said: “Of course Memphis will be sold, you can’t stop that but it’s okay.

“It’s great you can build up a player like him, who breaks through, succeeds at PSV then leaves the club when he’s ready for a bigger step. That’s great. I really thought it would be the best for him if he stayed here with us. It’s important for him to play around fifty matches in a season before he makes the next step. Nothing else makes you a better player than a lot of games. He can become way better, he’s so explosive.”

The move though seems a bit surprising. No doubt that Depay is a world class talent but the 20 year old primarily functions as a left winger. With Angel Di Maria already in the squad and Adnan Januzaj already being in Van Gaal’s scheme of things, Depay’s arrival would build further competition for places for one position.

However, in hindsight it might be true that it is a move which is designed to play Di Maria in a more central role where the Argentine can get himself more involved in the attacking build up play. Moreover, DEpay can also function as a supporting striker just off the main man up front or could also be used as an inverted winger.

Twitter Reacts As Oscar Extends Contract With Chelsea

oscar

Chelsea midfielder Ocar has been in firm form this season. The Brazilian has scored three goals and recorded two assists in the Premier League, already as Chelsea sit atop the standings.The 23-year-old, who arrived from Internacional for £25m in 2012, has now signed a contract extension with the Stamford Bridge side which will keep him at the club until 2019. Oscar was delighted to be staying. “I am so happy because I love playing for Chelsea and living in England,” he told the Chelsea official website. “I have enjoyed playing here for two years, and now I have five more, so I am very happy.”

Chelsea fans are happy and they should be.

Perhaps too early, but this guys has in it to go a long way.

Not a bad record, is it?

That’s a bit harsh maybe.

Signs of more to come from the Brazilian.

(Picture) Injured Manchester United Target Makes His Long Awaited Return

stroot

Manchester United’s long term target and Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman made his long term return from injury as Roma beat Torino by 3-0 to stay second in the Serie A. The Dutch international entered as as substitute for his first appearance of the season after recovering from a serious knee injury suffered in April. Strootman also missed the World Cup in Brazil.

Strootman has not played since rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament and returned after a long gap of 7 months. He also came unscathed during his five minute cameo. He had earlier Tweeted his excitement at playing again, thus it was a big moment for him when he was thrown into the action.


Louis van Gaal is a big fan of his countryman and has reportedly made his club’s number one transfer target for the winter. Valued at around £40 million a move in January would seem unlikely but who knows if United can use their persuasive powers to convince him and make a switch in the upcoming winter transfer window.

 

Manchester United and Liverpool suffer blow in pursuit of rising attacker

Saido-Berahino-409689

According to English Media outlet Daily Star, Manchester United and Liverpool have been dealt a massive blow in their pursuit of West Brom attacker Saido Berahino. The English International has been in stunning form this season and has drawn envious glances from top Premier League clubs.

However, West Brom Chairman Jeremy Peace has confirmed that the player will remain at the club and will stay put in the January transfer window. Pearce said, “I wish to assure our supporters that Saido Berahino will not be going anywhere in January or, I hope, next summer. It is not in our minds at all to trade a footballer the club has worked so diligently to develop.”

Pearce continued, “He is contracted to play for West Bromwich Albion until at least the summer of 2017 and we are happy to sit down with him and discuss extending that commitment on terms which recognise his continuing improvement as a footballer and his growing importance to our own plans. We have begun that process by opening preliminary talks with Saido’s representatives.”

The recent developments thus comes as a fresh blow to both United and Liverpool who might have been on the lookout for an impact striker in the winter transfer window. While Mario Balotelli has struggled to make an impact at the Anfield side, the Red Devils are also sweating over the fitness of Radamel Falcao. Moreover, Robin Van Persie looks way past his best and James Wilson is inexperienced while Wayne Rooney now plays in a more deeper role. North London outfit Tottenham were also looking at Berahino as Roberto Soldado and Emanuel Adebayor has failed to hit the ground running this season.

Berahino’s terrific form has seen him earn a call to England’s national team squad and the player will be desperate to make an impact for the Three Lions as he aims to cement a Euro 2016 place for himself under Roy Hodgson.