Ospina sees summer move ruled out as Napoli intend to make Arsenal loan permanent

Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti has said Arsenal loanee and goalkeeper David Ospina will stay at the Serie A club next season.

Ospina is on loan from Premier League side Arsenal but the Colombia international revealed a move to South America could be a “possibility” after the return of Alex Meret, though he was in the XI for Sunday’s goalless draw against Torino.

The 30-year-old Ospina has made 11 Serie A appearances this term since arriving on a season-long loan deal, which includes a clause for a permanent transfer depending on the number of games played.

Discussing Ospina post-match, Ancelotti told reporters: “Ospina was meant to play on Thursday in the Europa League, but wasn’t feeling up to it, so I switched things around and used him [against Torino] instead.

“Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, regardless of how many games he plays.”

Napoli signed Ospina on loan at the start of the season after Meret broke his arm just six days following his €22 million (£19m/$25m) arrival from Udinese.

Ospina is third in the pecking order at Arsenal, where Bernd Leno has established himself as the Gunners’ first choice ahead of Petr Cech, who will retire at the end of the campaign.

It was a frustrating outing for Ancelotti’s Napoli against Torino, who managed to hold on for a share of the spoils.

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Napoli attempted 26 shots without finding the back of the net as they slipped 13 points behind Serie A leaders and reigning champions Juventus.

“From what we see on the pitch, from a mental point of view, the team looks very motivated, very focused,” Ancelotti said. “We play very well, but we are not able to score the goals that we should score. In a match like this you are supposed to win for the way you performed. But if we didn’t win, we can’t put the blame on anyone else but ourselves, because in two matches [against Fiorentina and Torino] we had 18 chances and we didn’t score a single goal.”

Ancelotti added: “It is a bit funny the fact that we find ourselves here complaining about a draw when the team performed very well. The team performed well in Florence, they did very well tonight. We should have had six points [from these two matches], we only have two instead. We can’t say that we were unlucky. No, it’s our fault and our fault only. And that’s it.”


Can looking forward to ‘champion’ Ramsey’s arrival at Juventus

Emre Can has said he believes Aaron Ramsey will help improve the already talented squad at Juventus.

The former Liverpool man grew well accustomed to battles with Ramsey in the centre of the park during his time in the Premier League, but now is looking forward to having the Welshman lining-up alongside him.

It was announced on Monday that Ramsey will sign a four-year deal with the Italian champions when his current deal expires at the end of the campaign for Arsenal.

Goal understands the midfielder will earn €7 million (£6m/$8m) plus bonuses per year, when he joins up with his new team next summer.

Can, who also moved to the Old Lady last summer on a free transfer thinks Ramsey’s record at Arsenal shows what a great player he is.

“If he has played for Arsenal for all these years and has scored so many goals, then it means that he’s a champion,’ Can told Tuttosport

“I have been up against him a few times, and he has always impressed me. He will be a good arrival for us.”

Can also believes it’s easy for a new player to fit in with Juventus, saying the club offers a family atmosphere.

“Really, the club is like a big family. The locker-room spirit is also similar to what I had experienced at Liverpool, but I really like it here at Juventus, because not just because it’s a set of champions, but the sense of a team, the group, is strongly felt,” he added.

Ramsey took to social media after the deal was announced on Monday thanking the fans for their years of support: “It is with a heavy heart that I leave after 11 incredible years in North London,” he claimed via Instagram.

“Thank you. I will continue to give the 100% and hope to finish the season strongly, before heading on to my next chapter in Turin.”

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The 28-year-old joined Arsenal from Cardiff City in 2008 and has since gone on to make over 350 appearances for the Gunners.

It that time he has won three FA Cups and even netted the winner in the 2014 and 2016 finals.

However it is the lack of success in the league that has proven decisive in him leaving to join Juventus. La Bianconeri, on the other hand, have won a remarkable seven titles in a row.


‘Negotiations will continue’ – Marotta does not expect captaincy row to prevent Icardi contract talks

Mauro Icardi will still be offered a new Inter contract despite being replaced as the club’s captain due to his behaviour, according to chief executive Beppe Marotta.

Icardi, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, was stripped of the captaincy this week with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic installed as his replacement.

The striker subsequently pulled out of the Inter squad to face Rapid Vienna in the Europa League, using Instagram to hint he was being treated for an injury.

Icardi, whose wife Wanda Nara is his agent, was not named in the squad for Inter’s Serie A game at home to his old club Sampdoria on Sunday, the Argentine taking a watching brief from the stands at San Siro.

Inter are yet to give a formal reason in public for the move to strip Icardi of the captaincy, but Marotta confirmed the decision was made by coach Luciano Spalletti.

“It was not a disciplinary matter against the lad,” Marotta said to Sky Sport Italia. “But rather a change that we considered better for the team, club and Icardi himself.

“It was not degrading for him, but sometimes these changes have to be made. Icardi is only 25 years old, let’s not forget, it’s unfair to expect too much from him. We wanted to keep the culture of victory and winning mentality, to cultivate it.

“It’s a growth process and we decided to make this change to help everyone progress together as a group. Sometimes the head of a household has to take an unpopular decision for the good of the familly.”

Tensions between Inter and Nara have reportedly grown over the ongoing Icardi contract talks and this week her car was attacked, an incident Spalletti has condemned.

“I exchanged some messages with her and showed our utmost solidarity, because let’s not forget also there are five children involved here. It was absolutely unacceptable,” Marotta added.

“She was very nice and appreciative of our affection, as she always has been. We have never had a problem dealing with her.

“I told Wanda, as the player’s representative, that we will send a [contract] proposal over the next few weeks. There are some issues to be dealt with first and we must evaluate some figures. The contract has nothing to do with it.”

There has been speculation over the severity of Icardi’s apparent injury but Marotta says Inter have no reason to doubt the striker’s honesty over the issue.

“When a player feels pain, it is our duty to believe them,” he said. “We will see if his condition improves. We have a long campaign, we want to continue in the Europa League too, and we trust this will be resolved.

“It was said you don’t air your dirty laundry in public, but that’s impossible nowadays with social media and constant coverage, so we had to be open.

“The armband is not just symbolic, the person who wears it must be considered a leader. We want to all grow together and eliminate certain toxins that had perhaps crept in during recent months.

“I read many things, but the contract has nothing to do with it. The negotiations will continue in the predicted timeframe and we will make our proposal at the right time.

“This is a different situation, it relates to the group dynamics, dealing with the club and dealing with the fans outside of the dressing room.”


Southampton and Watford scouting Nantes defender Kwateng

Premier League sides Southampton and Watford are keen on signing Nantes defender Enock Kwateng this summer.

Goal understands both clubs sent delegates to watch the full-back during Nantes’ 1-0 defeat to Monaco on Saturday, as did a yet unconfirmed German team.

Kwateng played 90 minutes in the Ligue 1 clash, his 24th appearance in all competitions this season, and had to contend with the trickery of Rony Lopes and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou at Stade Louis II.

The full-back looks set to leave Nantes in the summer with his contract due to expire at the end of the current campaign. Talks are ongoing between the two parties about a new deal, which is now becoming increasingly less and less likely.

The 21-year-old plays predominately on the right of a back four but can also operate in the centre and at left-back.

Kwateng came through the youth system at Nantes and made his debut in August 2015. He has been capped at underage French level and was part of the side who won the Under-19 European Championships in 2016 alongside Kylian Mbappe.

His impressive showings now mean he has become a highly-coveted defender.

Southampton in particular are in need of a new right-back and lack depth in this area since allowing Cedric Soares to leave the club in January.

In his stead, their only natural right-back is Yan Valery, and James Ward-Prowse was even forced to take up that position in the Saints’ recent 1-1 draw with Burnley.

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Watford too are are interested in signing Kwateng and see the Frenchman as competition for Daryl Janmaat. The Dutchman has established himself as first-choice right-back at Vicarage Road ahead of the likes of Kiko Femenia and Marc Navarro.

Kwateng follows in a long line of talented French full-backs to emerge from Ligue 1, with the likes of Mathieu Debuchy, Djibril Sidibe and Kenny Lala all currently operating in the France.

However, during last summer’s World Cup eventual winners France opted to play Benjamin Pavard in this position, although he naturally operates as a centre-back for his club side Stuttgart.


African All Stars Transfer News & Rumours: Manchester United plot record £90m move for Kalidou Koulibaly

Man Utd plot £90m move for Koulibaly

Manchester United are prepared to splash £90m to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer, according to The Sun.

The Red Devils reportedly had their top scout to watch the Senegal international in action against Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi Stadium last Saturday.

The planned swoop would make Koulibaly the world most expensive defender after Liverpool’s £75m star Virgil van Dijk.

Aluko set for Chinese Super League move

Reading forward Sone Aluko is set to complete a move to Chinese Super League outfit Beijing Renhe before next Thursday’s Chinese transfer window deadline.

Football London reports that the nature of the move is unknown yet but the Royals are looking to complete the transfer soon for manager Jose Gomes to continue his squad’s clear-out.

Aluko joined the Madjeski Stadium outfit from on club-record deal in 2017 and still has two and a half years left on his contract.

Atletico Madrid keen on Siass

Atletico Madrid are keen on bringing Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Romain Saiss to the Spanish top-flight in the summer, according to Lions de Atlas.

The Morocco international has featured sparingly in the Premier League this season, playing 13 matches for the Wolves and scoring a goal each against Fulham and West Ham United.

The report stated the Saiss received an offer that was four times his current wages at the Molineux Stadium from an unnamed Saudi club.

Boateng set to join Dalian Yifang

Levante forward Emmanuel Boateng to set to join Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang this month, according to Football Espana .

The Ghana international will take on a new challenge in China having struggled for form this season, scoring just a goal in 16 league outings.

Boateng joined Paco Lopez’s men in August 2017 and scored six goals in his debut La Liga season which included a hat-trick against Barcelona last May. 

Tottenham send scouts to watch Kessie

Tottenham Hotspur had scouts at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia to watch AC Milan midfielder in action in their 3-1 win over Atalanta on Saturday.

TMW claimed that Saturday’s scouting mission was the second from London for the Ivorian midfielder who has been in outstanding form for the Rossoneri this term.

Premier League rivals Chelsea are also interested in having Kessie in a swap deal for Tiemoue Bakayoko.

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Arsenal & Man Utd track Brahimi

Arsenal and Manchester United have shown interested in signing Porto’s Yacine Brahimi who will be out of contract in the summer, Correio da Manha reports.

Brahimi joined the Dragons in 2014 and has established himself in the team with 45 goals in over 170 matches.

Several clubs are lining up for his services but Everton are reported to be leading the hunt with a bid on the table to take the Algerian playmaker as a free agent in June.