Juventus working on new contract for record-breaker Kean

Juventus are looking to tie record-breaking frontman Moise Kean to a new deal, Goal understands.

The 18-year-old, who has re-written the history books since making a senior breakthrough in Turin, is currently working on a contract through to 2020.

Interest in luring him away from the Serie A champions has been shown, with La Liga outfit Leganes and Ligue 1 heavyweights Marseille having made approaches over the summer.

Juve are eager to ensure that they remain the ones to benefit from Kean’s considerable potential, however, and are planning to table fresh terms.

It could be that another loan switch is sanctioned for the youngster once a deal is agreed, with the 2017-18 campaign having been spent with Verona.

By the time that move was made, Kean had already become the first player born in the 21st century to make his debut in one of Europe’s top five divisions.

Juve handed him his bow as a 16-year-old in November 2016.

He has since become the first player born in the 2000s to grace a Champions League game and the first to score in an elite league – having netted against Bologna on the final day of the 2016-17 campaign.

More record-breaking was achieved in his most recent outing – once again relating to his date of birth – as Kean opened his goal account for Italy’s U21 side in a 2-0 victory over Tunisia 

He has also taken in another European outing for Juve this season, in a meeting with Young Boys, and is considered by Massimiliano Allegri to be a useful option for the present and future.

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The Bianconeri are pleased with the progress being made in his development and feel that upward curve can be maintained with an extended stay in Turin.

Working alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo in training is expected to present Kean with the opportunity to learn from and emulate some of the finest performers in the business.

He may face fierce competition for attacking berths at the Allianz Stadium, but the Vercelli native is held in the highest regard by Juve and they will be doing all they can to ensure that contract extension talks reach a positive conclusion.


Pato refusing to rule out AC Milan return after China stint

Alexandre Pato has admitted to receiving “some offers from Serie A teams” during his time at Tianjin Quanjian and has refused to rule out a possible return to AC Milan.

The Brazilian striker burst onto the European scene with the Rossoneri following a move from Internacional.

He spent six years at San Siro before heading home, netting 63 goals in 150 appearances.

Pato’s career has since taken him to England, Spain and China, but the 29-year-old admits there may be further chapters for him to write in Italy.

A man working on a contract in Asia until December 2019 told Corriere dello Sport: “I’ve received some offers from Serie A teams and also from other European leagues.

“We’ll see at the end of the year. I’m very happy that Leonardo and [Paolo] Maldini have returned to Milan, for them and also for the fans who needed people to be the face of Milan.

“I’ve spoken to Leo a few times, and of course there were some jokes about my possible return to Milan.

“Joking aside though, I have a year on my contract here in China and we’ll see what happens. I receive so many comments every day from Milan fans on social media, from Italy and around the world.

“That makes me happy, and it makes me think that despite some years having passed since I left, the affection from the fans has never gone away.

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“Who would I like to play with at Milan? That’s a question I’d ask the fans: with whom would you like to see me play in this Milan?”

Any future move to Milan could see Pato join forces with fellow Brazilian Lucas Paqueta, with the 21-year-old midfielder due to complete a €35 million (£31m/$40m) switch to San Siro from Flamengo in January.

“Paqueta is very good, my advice is to learn Italian quickly and try in every way to do well immediately. The Milan fans are incredible and will love him,” said Pato.


‘I like this torture!’ – Man Utd & Arsenal-linked Maier ‘living the dream’ at Hertha

Arne Maier is “living the dream” at Hertha and has told Goal that he enjoys the “torture” of trying to maintain the standards which have seen him linked with Arsenal and Manchester United.

At just 19 years of age, the highly-rated midfielder is being billed as one of the most exciting prospects in European football.

He is now an established star in Berlin and a regular for the Germany U21 side, having progressed through the youth levels with his country from the U15 set-up.

Big things are expected of Maier, but he claims to be relishing the challenge of proving himself at the very highest level.

“It is always a nice feeling to be praised,” Maier told Goal.

“But no matter how much I may be praised at the moment, on the field that does not help me. There I am on my own and every time I have to go to my limits and not rest.

“But I want to emphasise that I like this torture. I’m living my dream.”

Maier’s efforts are already seeing him linked with leading sides from the Bundesliga, Premier League and beyond, but that is nothing new for a youngster who was targeted by Ajax, United and Bayern Munich shortly after his 13th birthday.

“Of course, on the one hand, it was a cool feeling that such big clubs were interested in me,” he added.

“On the other hand, I was only 13 years old, had my school in Berlin, my family and my friends, which is why I decided against a change at that time.”

It may be that Maier’s future lies outside of Hertha, with Arsenal and Juventus reported to have joined the hunt for his services, but for now he is fully focused on the present.

That includes trying to earn senior international recognition, with there a number of exciting youngsters knocking on the door of Joachim Low’s Germany squad.

Kai Havertz, Germany, Bayer Leverkusen

Asked to name those most likely to make the breakthrough, Maier said: “First of all Kai Havertz [of Bayer Leverkusen].

“I have known him for several years. He is a good friend of mine and I have followed his development closely.

“But there is not only Havertz, also players like Thilo Kehrer [at Paris Saint-Germain] have a lot of potential and can play an important role in the national team at some point.

“Of course, each of us wants to someday play for Die Mannschaft – me too. That’s the dream.”

If Maier is able to take that step up, then he will be following in the footsteps of a player he has looked to for inspiration throughout his career to date – PSG star Julian Draxler.

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“When I was young I saw on TV how he scored for Schalke in the DFB Cup against Nuremberg and was immediately impressed,” said Maier.

“On the field he has superior quality. He is a great guy that I admire greatly. In my apartment there is one of his jerseys on the wall.”

Maier may soon get the opportunity to grace a jersey alongside Draxler, with it expected that an upward career curve will continue for a hot prospect determined to fulfil his potential.


Kaka tips bright future for Paqueta after Milan agreement

AC Milan great Kaka has predicted a bright future for Lucas Paqueta as the Flamengo star looks set to move to San Siro.

General manager Leonardo revealed the Serie A side have a “basic agreement” with Flamengo to bring highly rated attacking midfielder Paqueta to Milan in January.

Kaka discussed Paqueta and tried to play down the hype surrounding the two-time Brazil international.

“He’s a player who has a bright future ahead of him,” Kaka – who won the Champions League and Serie A with Milan – told Milan TV.

“He’s already been called up to the Brazilian national team, but it’s better for him that we don’t make comparisons.

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“I’ve seen so many of them in recent days, with me, with [Alexandre] Pato, with Ronaldinho, Cafu, Rivaldo… with all the Brazilians who have been part of Milan’s history.

“We need to avoid these comparisons so he can come here and play calmly and peacefully. I’m confident.”

The 21-year-old – who is set to join Milan in a reported €35million deal – has also been linked with Liverpool, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.


Usain Bolt earns contract offer from Maltese champions Valletta

Central Coast Mariners trialist Usain Bolt has a two-year contract offer from Valletta, the Maltese champions have confirmed.

Former sprint king and eight-time Olympic champion Bolt – on trial with Australian side the Mariners in his bid to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer – was linked with an unnamed European club following his two-goal haul on Friday.

Bolt scored twice in his first start against Macarthur South West United before the 32-year-old Jamaican’s agent Tony Rallis revealed a two-year deal was on the table.

Now Valletta, who were taken over by Abu Dhabi-based Sanban Group in September, want Bolt to spearhead their Champions League aspirations.

“A champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible,” Valletta managing director and CEO Ghasston Slimen told ESPN.

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Bolt – who retired from track and field in 2017 – has been training with A-League outfit the Mariners since August.

He previously spent time training with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, Mamelodi Sundowns and Stromsgodset