Bayern & Tottenham target Pavard better off at Stuttgart – Reschke

Benjamin Pavard remains fully committed to Stuttgart despite his obvious potential to play at the highest level, according to club sporting director Michael Reschke.

The versatile defender reportedly attracted interest from Bayern Munich and Tottenham in the aftermath of an excellent World Cup for France.

Bayern boss Niko Kovac admitted he was a fan of the 22-year-old, but talk of a potential move to Bavaria has quietened as the new Bundesliga season draws near.

Reschke is confident Pavard will stay at Stuttgart for the upcoming campaign, citing stability as important for the former Lille man.

“Benji is a player for the big clubs, sure,” the former Bayern technical director told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

“But another year in Stuttgart will do him some good. He will continue to mature here.

“The fact that he came back from vacation early, that he is already a totally positive part of the team, speaks for itself.”

Pavard, who joined Stuttgart in August 2016, started 34 top-flight matches last term.

He featured in six of France’s seven games in Russia, with his superb volley in the last-16 win over Argentina being voted goal of the tournament.

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Pavard earned special praise from France boss Didier Deschamps after the competition, saying: “Benjamin has become a star and he deserves it.

“He’s not so media-focused. He’s very friendly, appreciated by his team-mates, and has an incredible amount of self-confidence.

“He once said to me: ‘I’m not afraid of anyone!’ So I told him: ‘You can think that, but never say it to the media’.”

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Balotelli talk is of no interest to Marseille manager Garcia as striker search ruled out

Nice striker Mario Balotelli’s next destination is unlikely to be Marseille after manager Rudi Garcia insisted his club were not seeking another forward.

Patrick Vieira has confirmed Balotelli is “unlikely” to remain with his Nice side having expressed his wish to leave following two years with the club and the 28-year-old Italy international was left out their opening Ligue 1 game last weekend.

A move to Marseille has been mooted yet Garcia has poured cold water on that possibility by declaring his happiness with the club’s current strikers.

Asked about Balotelli at his media conference, Garcia said: “You talk about it, we do not especially inside the club. The priority is not a centre-forward.

 

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“I am delighted. Valere [Germain] started very well. Kostas [Mitroglou] made a very good preparation when he arrived last summer on August 31 with a muscle injury.

“On last season, he has the best ratio of European goals scored [to] time spent on the field, or almost. I am satisfied with these two, there is no reason to go looking for others, no particular debate.”

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Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Pogba to receive huge bonus if he snubs Barca

Sarri was braced for star to move on

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted he was was concerned about losing Eden Hazard during the transfer window, but says that he has since had reassurances that the Belgian will remain at Stamford Bridge despite interest from Real Madrid.

Hazard, who has less than two years left to run on his current deal with the Blues, has yet to put pen to paper on a new £300,000-a-week deal, which remains on the table amid speculation that the 27-year-old could be set to join Los Blancos.

Read the full story on Goal!

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Wolfsburg striker Weghorst still dreaming of Liverpool transfer

Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst believes a “dream” move to Liverpool will become a reality if he keeps up his hard work.

The 26-year-old has had an excellent 2018, making his first appearances for Netherlands national team and making a summer move to the Bundesliga after an excellent season at AZ, scoring 18 times in 31 Eredivisie appearances.

And the forward hopes his rise continues from here and that his determination and work rate take him to an even higher level.

“I’ve dreamt of [playing for Liverpool] since childhood,” he told De Telegraaf. “If I continue to train with full commitment, I think that opportunity will come.

“Of course, something like that depends on several factors. You have to stay fit and a coach and club must see it in you, but apart from that you can create many things in life for yourself.”

The forward says he cannot help but wonder what he would have achieved had he been blessed with more natural talent, as he believes his devotion to football is greater than most of his fellow players.

“I’ve always been surprised by the fact that people apparently don’t get everything out of it,” he added. “Sometimes I think it really is a pity that I don’t have that exceptional talent. If I had, I would probably have been able to reach the absolute top. 

“I’m now going for my own personal limit, but because I don’t have that exceptional talent, I don’t know how high it will be.

“Ultimately, everyone wants to be talked about in a positive way, but my urge to reach my personal best exceeds everything. 

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“If all the people who criticise me knew my whole path and how I hurt myself again every day to become the best version of myself, they would probably better understand that a lot comes loose when I score. 

“Do not get me wrong, by the way, I’m not pathetic and I don’t want pity. I choose this for myself and accept the consequences.

“Just look at Cristiano Ronaldo. How do you think he often feels? He plays for the biggest clubs in the world, but still gets a lot of criticism. I would love to talk to him about that kind of thing. I’m already aware that I will experience that at Wolfsburg.”

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Inter to sue La Liga president over Modric transfer comments

Inter have confirmed they will take legal action against Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga.

In an interview with ABC, Tebas criticised Inter over the club’s pursuit of Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.

Madrid have made a complaint to FIFA accusing Inter of making an illegal approach for the Croatia star and Tebas subsequently weighed into the row.

The La Liga chief suggested Inter had offered Modric “an awful lot of money” despite having “no money”, allegations that have angered the Nerazzuri.

“Inter announces that it will take legal action against Mr Javier Tebas in the face of statements made today in the press,” read the club’s statement.

Lega Serie A also hit out at Tebas over the comments he made to ABC.

“The Lega Serie A is surprised and upset by the declarations of LaLiga president Javier Tebas,” said the league’s statement.

“These comments were made without having any knowledge, yet damage the reputation and put into doubt the integrity of two Italian clubs and the league.

“Lega Serie A cannot passively accept comments that use the media to destabilise us on the international stage.

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“Serie A clubs operate within the parameters set by all international rules, which is why Lega Serie A is going through a period of great optimism and enthusiasm, shared by media and fans all over the world, who grew exponentially in recent seasons.

“At the start of a season that will bring four Serie A clubs back into the Champions League group phase, we are certain that the rediscovered spirit and prestige of Serie A should not frighten opponents, but rather motivate the European panorama towards new heights of competitiveness and entertainment.”

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