Liverpool target Dabbur to undergo Sevilla medical

Sevilla have revealed that Salzburg striker Munas Dabbur will undergo a medical with them. 

Dabbur has been linked with a £22 million (€25m/$28m) move to Liverpool but the Israel international instead looks set to sign for the Andalusian side.

The La Liga side posted a photograph of Dabbur arriving in Seville for a medical on Wednesday.

Salzburg confirmed Dabbur is in talks over a move away, but said he will stay at the club for the rest of the season.

Dabbur has hit nine goals in 18 league appearances for the Austrian outfit this season, having found the net 22 times in the league last term.

The 26-year-old also scored six goals as Salzburg recorded a perfect record in the group stage of the Europa League under highly rated coach Marco Rose. They face Club Brugge in the last 32 next month.

Salzburg are 14 points clear at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga table, seeking to defend the title they have won five years in a row.

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Sevilla, third in La Liga, have already boosted their attacking options this month with the signing of striker Munir El Haddadi from Barcelona.

Pablo Machin’s side were also linked with a deal for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, but have been priced out of the proposed move.

Their surprise title challenge has fallen away of late, with Sevilla having only won one of their last six La Liga matches to fall 10 points adrift of Barca. 

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Mislintat set to leave as Arsenal continue search for technical director

Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is set to leave his post a year after being appointed, with the club scouring their global network in the search for a new technical director, Goal understands.

The German, nicknamed ‘Diamond Eye’ for his track record of finding top players, was appointed in November 2017 and immediately brought in highly-rated Greek centre back Konstantinos Mavropanos as his first signing.

Mavropanos was expected to go out on loan immediately after joining but such was his impressive form in training that then manager Arsene Wenger decided to keep him among the first team instead.

Former Dortmund chief scout Mislintat was keen on filling the newly formed technical director role at Arsenal but with the hierarchy looking elsewhere, it appears that his influence with regards to transfers is likely to decrease.

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Responsible for bringing in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the Gunners last January as well as the summer signings of Lucas Torreira and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, the influence of Mislintat has been evident since his arrival at the end of 2017.

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Mislintat was unavailable for comment when contacted by Goal, although it’s understood that head of football Raul Sanllehi is already making contact with potential technical directors including former Arsenal players Edu Gaspar and Marc Overmars.

Edu is currently technical coordinator for the Brazilian football federation while Overmars is sports director at Ajax. The latter was mooted to be in contention for a technical director role when Wenger was still manager two years ago, but the Frenchman turned down the chance to work with him.

Head coach Unai Emery remains keen on signing Denis Suarez from Barcelona on an initial loan deal which looks set to include an option to buy him in the summer. Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega has also been linked but Suarez remains the priority in the January transfer window.

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James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac

Bayern Munich head coach Nico Kovac expects James Rodriguez to retain his motivation and focus for the rest of the season because he is “playing for his future” at the club.

James joined Bayern on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid at the start of last season, and while he has impressed in spells, consistency has been lacking.

Bayern officials suggested in James’ first season that they had every intention of exercising their purchase option, but with that still to happen and more recent comments hinting at a change of mind, the Colombia international’s future remains in the air.

James has started just five times in the Bundesliga this term, as he has struggled with a knee injury that has kept him sidelined since Novermber. 

As Bayern prepare to return from Germany’s mid-season break away to Hoffenheim on Friday, Kovac is urging the playmaker to kick on and force the club into a decision.

“The competition is very big, but anyone can earn [their place],” Kovac told reporters on Wednesday.

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“All the players signing a contract here know that you can be out of the team.

“James is playing for his future. I expect him to keep pushing. I see that he is motivated and focused, he wants to play more than in the past.

“As a coach, I can only rate what I see on the pitch, which is the standard for him, but also for everyone else. Nothing else matters.”

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Stephane M’Bia terminates contract with Toulouse

Stephane M’Bia has terminated his contract with French Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse.

The 32-year-old has been limited to five appearances this season since joining the side last summer on a year deal after ending his contract with Hebei China Fortune by mutual agreement.

And on Wednesday, the Stadium Municipal outfit announced the departure of the former Rennes midfielder.

“In agreement with the management of the TFC, Stephane M’Bia decided to terminate his contract with the TFC,” read a statement from the club’s website.

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“Stephane wishes to thank the TFC for allowing him a return to the French league and wishes the club, its leaders and its supporters a beautiful second half of the season.

“The TFC also salutes Stephane for his commitment, his experience and his professionalism and wishes him the best in the pursuit of his great career.”

Toulouse, four points above the relegation zone, will continue their survival battle in the absence of the midfielder when they take on Lyon on Wednesday evening.

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Chelsea holding up Batshuayi to Monaco move in hope of permanent sale

Monaco have revealed that Chelsea are holding up Michy Batshuayi’s move to the Ligue 1 outfit, with the Blues keen to offload the striker permanently rather than on loan.

Batshuayi has spent the first half of the season on loan at Valencia but has struggled to make an impact, scoring just three goals in 23 appearances.

As such his time in Spain is set to be cut short, and it was understood he would be moving to Monaco on a temporary basis to reunite with Thierry Henry, who he worked with during the former Barcelona forward’s time with Belgium.

Monaco now claim, however, that despite there being an agreement with the player as well as Valencia, Chelsea are now pushing for the move to become permanent.

“We are happy with our transfer window so far,” vice-president Vadim Vasilyev told a press conference. 

“It’s true that a striker could help the team. We’re just looking to good opportunities on the market.

“Batshuayi? We have an agreement with the player and with Valencia but not with Chelsea.

“They want a [permanent] transfer. Everything could go very quickly in football so we’ll see.”

Everton had previously shown an interest in Batshuayi, with it understood the Toffees would be willing to pay up to £18 million ($23m) to sign the former Marseille hotshot.

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However, Chelsea’s policy is to recoup as much of their original outlay as possible when selling players, and given Batshuayi cost £33m in the summer of 2016, it is likely they would demand a similar amount.

Henry and Monaco are hopeful the 25-year-old can come in and help fire the 2017 Ligue 1 champions to safety, with the club currently sitting 19th in the table.

They have already signed one Chelsea player in Cesc Fabregas during the January window and are next in action on Wednesday when they take on Nice – a match that will see Arsenal legends Henry and Patrick Vieira face off for the first time as managers.

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