Hazard: I’ll think about Chelsea future at end of season

Eden Hazard has reiterated that he is not thinking about leaving Chelsea at the moment, but may reconsider his stance after the season ends.

The Belgian winger continues to be linked to a move to Real Madrid after suggesting he was on the way to the Spanish capital in the wake of the World Cup, but remains vital to the Blues this season and is contracted to the club until 2020.

With the January transfer window coming up, the speculation surrounding him will only increase, but he will postpone considering a switch for a bit longer.

“I’m only thinking about Chelsea now,” he told Sporza . “The competition lasts seven or eight months, after that I’ll see what happens.

“The coach has the same football philosophy as I. He always thinks about the ball. How we as players think about football, that is also his way of thinking.

“If you see how Napoli play, it’s thanks to Maurizio Sarri, his style is now reflected in Chelsea, he also has players who fit into the system. So yes, we’re very happy, we play football well.”

Hazard’s team are one of several around Europe to be named in the latest Football Leaks reports, which allege many clubs are determined to start a European Super League, while the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been accused of forcing their way around UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

And the 27-year-old is keeping on top of the latest claims.

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“I try to read the reports, and there’s something new every day,” he added.

“I like to stay informed and if I can help, I want to do that too, but I mainly concentrate on my job on the pitch. As a player you do not have the ability to clean up football, there are others who do that.

“Football Leaks is not just a problem of agents, but of football in general. Of course I am in favour of putting things in order, not only in Belgium but also internationally, we know that a lot of money is involved in football, and there are some figures around who do not mean well.”


Pulisic drops Premier League move hint as USMNT prepare for England friendly

Borussia Dortmund winger and U.S. national team star Christian Pulisic has confirmed he would like to one day play in the Premier League.

A host of Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, have been linked with an approach for Pulisic in the past year.

The 20-year-old has trained under Jurgen Klopp after moving to Dortmund as a 16-year-old but never played under the current Liverpool manager.

Liverpool are reported to have previously made an £11 million offer for Pulisic, while Spurs are thought to have opened talks only to have then been priced out of a move.

Bundesliga table toppers Dortmund will be keen to renew their youngster’s contract, which expires in 2020, but Pulisic, who spent a year living in England with his parents in a tiny Oxfordshire village called Tackley, where he trained at non-league side Brackley Town, says a Premier League move would interest him in the future.

“As you can see, we are having a great year at Dortmund and I am enjoying every moment of that,” Pulisic said at the USMNT’s hotel in west London ahead of Thursday’s friendly against England at Wembley. “Then, when the time comes for me to talk in the breaks about my future, then that’s when those things happen.

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“Like I said before, reading these articles [about me], I tend to stay away from that stuff. I know it is going to be there but it is not my priority. England and the Premier League, it is a league where lots of kids dream of playing, so there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here.”

Pulisic was a regular for Dortmund last season but now he is locked in a battle for a place with team-mate and England’s Jadon Sancho, who could earn his first start on Thursday night for his country.

The USMNT’s game against England will also see Wayne Rooney honoured with a farewell appearance to earn his 120th cap.


Lenglet plays down Dembele Barcelona exit reports amid Liverpool links

Clement Lenglet has moved to deny reports that Ousmane Dembele is restless at Barcelona, despite the forward’s ongoing struggle to carve out a regular place in the club’s starting line-up. 

Dembele was considered one of football’s top young talents when he swapped Borussia Dortmund for Camp Nou in 2017, after a single, scintillating season in the Bundesliga put his name on everyone’s lips. 

The France international has, however, found life in Spain hard going, struggling with a lack of opportunities and a series of niggling injuries in his debut season which impeded efforts to make a name for himself at his new club.

While Dembele started 2018-19 as a starter he has been relegated to the bench for Barca’s most recent outings, and did not even make Ernesto Valverde’s matchday squad for Sunday’s defeat at the hands of Betis. 

Rumours have linked the forward with a switch to Liverpool in recent times but Lenglet believes his team-mate is content at Camp Nou, while also explaining his absence at the weekend. 

“If Dembele looked serious in the stands I think that is understandable,” the defender explained to  Goal  when asked about his compatriot’s behaviour. 

“We were losing and if he started to laugh people would not understand that either. I don’t think there is any problem with him, he was ill, he couldn’t make training and the coach chose another player. 

“These are things that happen at every club and we all have to pull in the same direction to reach our goals.”

Unlike Dembele, who was part of the France squad that lifted the World Cup over the summer, Lenglet is yet to make his bow at senior level after starring for Les Bleus from the Under-16s to U-21s. 

The defender was overlooked again by Didier Deschamps for November’s clashes against Netherlands and Uruguay, but he is remaining patient while waiting for his opportunity. 

“I have a lot to learn still. If I am not on the list it is because there are still things I have to improve but I am working at Barcelona with the best in the world and that helps me to grow,” he added. 

“I am not impatient. If the call comes I will be very happy but in the meantime I will keep working as always to wait for my moment, I am focused on enjoying the day-to-day.”

Lenglet also believes that at 23 he can continue to hone his game at Barcelona, where talent on the ball is fundamental. 

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“It is a different style to that of any other club. You have to think before receiving the ball, always position yourself well to go from one side to the other and think about the pitch all the time,” he said. 

“It is hard for defenders because we defend far from our goal and we have to press constantly. That is difficult to adapt to but it is a great thing. 

“When we manage it we will be able to play the way we want to, and that is the toughest thing in football.” 


Former Juventus CEO Marotta set to land new role at rivals Inter

Former Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta has agreed to a move to Serie A rivals Inter.

The Italian spent eight years with the Bianconeri as the club’s CEO and oversaw a successful period in which they won seven consecutive Serie A titles and made two Champions League final appearances.

Just two weeks after announcing his imminent departure from Juve in October, however, Marotta began to be linked with taking on a similar role at Inter following their recent takeover.

And Goal understands that the two parties have reached an agreement for the 61-year-old to come in and manage the sporting aspect of the club’s business, while CEO Alessandro Antonello manages the business side.

Marotta, who had previously been linked with taking a position at Manchester United, revealed on Monday that he was planning on staying in his homeland.

“I will not go abroad. Italy represents the best of sport and more. For my part I want to stay here and I intend to continue working with an Italian team,” he told Radicchio d’Oro.

When asked about his thoughts on Inter, he replied: “They have no competitors in Italy for their qualities and for their organisation.”

New Inter president Steven Zhang is ready to welcome the famous director to San Siro as they look to mount a serious challenge for the Italian crown.

The ex-Varese and Sampdoria director is expected to begin work in Milan in January to begin evolving Luciano Spalletti’s team.

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Another former Juve director, Luciano Moggi, believes Marotta’s departure will be a big blow to the Serie A giants, and will work out well for Inter. 

“There is no doubt that Juventus has lost a very good employee, and this is demonstrated by the fact that they have won many titles in a row, but on 25 October the mandate expired and was not renewed,” he told ANSA. 

“He is an excellent manager and will certainly find a place. With Marotta everyone makes a good purchase, no doubt, but we must see how it goes because he is certainly not a sports manager. Marotta is an administrator of a company that can carry out projects, and he is very good for one.”


‘Sancho rejected Bayern for Dortmund’ – Salihamidzic confirms offer

Jadon Sancho was approached by Bayern Munich, but rejected their offer in favour of joining Borussia Dortmund, according to the Bundesliga champions’ sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

In recent seasons, several star names have swapped the yellow and black of Dortmund for the red of Bayern, with Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels all making that switch. 

But it appears that Dortmund beat their rivals to the signature of teenage wing wizard Sancho, who is taking the Bundesliga by storm this season, having originally joined from Manchester City in 2017. 

Sancho has helped Lucien Favre’s side to the top of the table, scoring five goals and recording eight assists so far this season, and Salihamidzic has now confirmed that Bayern missed out on signing the 18-year-old.

“The truth is that Bayern Munich did want to sign Jadon Sancho and made him an offer which he, unfortunately, refused,” Salihamidzic told Sport Bild .

Dortmund’s own sporting director, Michael Zorc, admitted that there was a great deal of competition for Sancho, but explains that the club moved quickly to acquire their target.

“In the course of the talks, it was clear that top clubs from home and abroad also had great interest in [Sancho]. Fortunately, we tried very hard for him at an early stage,” Zorc said.

The player himself explained the decision to join the Ruhr club, citing their excellent track record of developing young players as a key factor in his decision.

“I chose [Borussia Dortmund] because the club showed me a great perspective. If you decide to change, you have to know which way you want to go, where you see your future – I have seen mine in Dortmund,” said Sancho. 

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“[Dortmund] tried their best early and very intensively, which gave me a good feeling. In addition, in recent years, many young players have developed incredibly here.”

Sancho’s Dortmund beat Bayern 3-2 in a thrilling Klassiker  last weekend and will look to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the table – seven points ahead of Bayern – when they face Mainz in their next game.

However, Sancho has international duty to think about first, having been called up to England’s senior squad for the second time ahead of their friendly against the USA, before a Nations League fixture against Croatia.