Griezmann, Hernandez & Lemar agree Atletico deals

Less than a week after “La Decision” Antoine Griezmann has officially ended speculation on a move to Barcelona, putting pen to paper on a new deal with Atletico Madrid, along with France team-mates Lucas Hernandez and Thomas Lemar.

Griezmann has been heavily linked with a move away from Atletico for two straight summers, with talk of a move to Manchester United in 2017 being followed by reports of a switch to La Liga champions Barca this year.

The France international announced last week he would announce his future on a televised documentary, during which he said had decided to stay at Atletico Madrid.

That has now been made official as Atletico announced Griezmann has signed a contract which ties him to Diego Simeone’s side until 2023. Griezmann’s previous contract ran through 2022.

In addition to Griezmann, Atletico Chief Executive Officer Miguel Angel Gil Marin and sporting director Andrea Berta were in Russia at the French camp to finalise contracts with two of Griezmann’s international team-mates.

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Thomas Lemar has now agreed to personal terms with the Liga club. Last week, Atletico announced they had come to an agreement with Monaco over a reported €60 million (£52.9m/$70.5m) move for the winger.

However, Lemar’s move to the Spanish capital is not yet official, as a medical and the formalisation of the transfer with Monaco are still pending.

Defender Lucas Hernandez has been also seen his deal with the club extended to 2024. The 22-year-old full-back has made 88 appearances with the club since making his first team debut in 2014-15.

Hernandez has become an ever-increasing presence in Diego Simeone’s line-up over the past three campaigns, and he made a career-high 24 starts for Atletico last season.

The defender’s strong campaign saw a battle over his international future this year, but he chose to remain with France and started Les Blues’ World Cup opener, a 2-1 win over Australia.

Their club futures seemingly all but secure, the France trio will next be in action at the World Cup on June 21 against Peru. 


De Jong fuels Barcelona transfer talk as Ajax wait on offers

Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong is unable to rule out a summer move to Barcelona after being identified as a possible replacement for Andres Iniesta.

Goal revealed recently that the 21-year-old has registered on the transfer radar at Camp Nou for some time.

Initial contact has been made with Ajax, with tentative talks held before Barca discovered that Antoine Griezmann would be snubbing them to remain at Atletico Madrid.

With that switch ruled out, the La Liga giants have money to invest in other areas – with De Jong considered to be a useful addition for the present and future.

The Netherlands U21 international is aware of the rumours and concedes that something could be done, telling AT5: “Of course, you can never promise that [staying at Ajax] as a footballer.

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“There may be a club tomorrow that offers so much that you are away. But, as it stands, I play at Ajax.

“First, I have to get fit. And just see if I can play football a bit, then we’ll see further.”

Quizzed specifically on the links to Barcelona, De Jong added: “I do not really read the Spanish newspapers.

“Right now it is not so serious for me that I have to keep myself busy with it. I leave that to my agent.

“I do not know if he is working on it. Maybe, maybe not.”

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De Jong has made just 27 Eredivisie appearances for Ajax after stepping up from their youth side.

He has recorded only one goal, but is considered to fit the ball player mould that Barcelona are looking for.

Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan is another to have been linked with a switch to Catalunya to fill Iniesta’s boots, but the Germany international has sought to distance himself from such talk.


Arsenal & Liverpool target Lozano considered ready for the Premier League after Mexico heroics

Hirving Lozano has etched his name in Mexico football folklore and could soon be heading to the Premier League, according to his national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

The PSV winger, affectionately known as ‘Chucky’, netted the only goal for El Tri in their opening game at World Cup 2018 as they stunned reigning champions Germany.

His effort led to an earthquake being recorded in Mexico City, with the 22-year-old having cemented his status as a national hero with one giant-killing effort.

The former Pachuca star had already been generating transfer talk prior to this summer’s showpiece in Russia, with a 17-goal haul in an Eredivisie title triumph for PSV attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

Mexico boss Osorio believes a highly-rated forward is ready to take another step up in his career, after just one season in the Netherlands, and feels Lozano would shine in the English top-flight.

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He told Sky Sports News: “I think Hirving, since he moved to PSV Eindhoven, I think he has made the next step up. He’s an unbelievable prospect.

“His pace, his ability to take people on makes me believe that he is a player that will go very far, hopefully he can show that in the next game.

“I just think that whoever takes a chance on him will do well. His pace and again his ability to take people on, he can play in any league and any place.

“I think he will be able to – and he has the tools to play – in the Premier League.”

Juan Carlos Osorio Mexico

While Lozano has enhanced his reputation with a star showing in a global shop window, Osorio has also earned plenty of praise for his efforts.

The 57-year-old pieced together plans to down Germany many months ago, with his tactics executed to perfection by an ambitious side hoping to go deep into a major international tournament.

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He added: “We decided a plan a couple of months ago and confirmed the plan once we saw Germany against Spain, Brazil and their final preparation game against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen, a game that I watched live.

“We prevented them from playing a top, top game. We put a lot of pressure on them and made their lives very tough and very difficult.

“I think we can go far, yes. I think it’s too soon to say we can win the World Cup. But watching the other games and seeing the way we performed yesterday I honestly think we can compete against any team.”


Gundogan addresses talk of filling Iniesta’s boots at Barcelona

Ilkay Gundogan is “happy” at Manchester City and has no intention of pushing for a summer move to Barcelona, amid talk that the Liga giants want him to replace Andres Iniesta.

Those at Camp Nou are in the market for another creative midfielder after seeing a club legend depart for J. League side Vissel Kobe.

Attention has turned to Germany international Gundogan, with the 27-year-old having tasted title success in the Bundesliga and Premier League while earning 26 caps for his country.

He does face fierce competition for places at the Etihad Stadium, with the promise of more to come as City chase down the likes of Jorginho, but he is a favoured option of Pep Guardiola.

Gundogan made 46 appearances for City across all competitions last season and, as he remains tied to terms through to 2020, will only be on the move this summer if he is deemed surplus to requirements.

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He told Arab News on the transfer rumours: “I have plenty of time on my current contract, two years to go.

“But it also depends on the club if they want me to stay. Everyone can see and feel I am really happy here.

“With the way we play, with the people around me, in the city, in the community, I really enjoy it here and really enjoy my life. I’m happy.

“It was great to win the Premier League title, but there are plenty of things still to achieve.

“We are committed to this every year at City, not just the players, but the coaching staff, to try to win the biggest trophies.

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“That’s what we will be trying to do next season and the season after.”

Gundogan joined City from Borussia Dortmund in a £20 million ($26m) deal back in the summer of 2016.

Knee ligament damage brought his debut campaign to a premature close, but he returned from nine months on the sidelines in September 2017 to become a key figure in a record-breaking team which collected Premier League and Carabao Cup honours.


Transfer news & rumours LIVE: €25m Leno set for Arsenal switch

 €25m Leno set for Arsenal switch

Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno is set to complete a €25 million (£21.9m/$29m) move to Arsenal, reports Kicker .

Leno has attracted attention from across Europe this summer, with Atletico Madrid and Napoli further rumoured destinations. 

But he has ultimately plumped for the Emirates Stadium, where he will sign a five-year contract on Tuesday pending a medical.

Man Utd ready £60m Willian bid

Manchester United are ready to lodge a £60 million (€69m/$80m) bid for Chelsea winger Willian, reports the Daily Mail .

The Brazil international has been a long-standing target for former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, and that interest is about to be stepped up.

Willian is currently away on World Cup duty and has two years remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard drops Madrid transfer hint

Eden Hazard has suggested he would be interested in a move to Real Madrid, insisting “they know what to do” if they want to sign him.

While the Chelsea star did not rule out remaining at Stamford Bridge, with him saying a lot will depend on the new manager and the players he brings in, he was also open to potentially moving to Spain.

Check out the full story on Goal!

Juventus to move for Boateng

Juventus are considering a move for Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng, Abendzeitung reports.

The Germany international defender has suggested he is looking to leave the Bundesliga champions , with Juve apparently keen to make a move as they bid to improve their options at the back.

Alisson picks Madrid over Liverpool

Alisson Becker has opted to join Real Madrid over Liverpool but Roma are still holding out for €70 million (£61m/$81m), Marca reports.

Florentino Perez is currently offering €50m (£44m/$58m) for the Brazil No.1 and is hoping the Serie A side will meet him halfway and settle for a deal of around €60m (£53m/$70m), with the player keen to make the move.

Man City to make Kroos move

Manchester City will look to bolster their midfield ranks this summer with a €70 million (£61m/$81m) move for Real Madrid star Toni Kroos, claims Don Balon .

The Germany international has tasted La Liga and Champions League success during his time in Spain, but Pep Guardiola is hoping to lure him to England for a new challenge.

Tottenham open Ndombele talks

Tottenham have started talking with Lyon over a possible deal for midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, L’Equipe reports.

Spurs are set to open the bidding at €40 million (£34m/$46m), though it is believed that the Ligue 1 side will only sell for around €60m (£52m/$69m). 

Chelsea could come into the picture, too, if N’Golo Kante is allowed to depart.

Liverpool to trigger Telles clause

Liverpool are willing to trigger the £35 million (€40m/$46m) release clause in the contract of Porto defender Alex Telles, according to A Bola .

The Brazilian full-back is also a target for the Reds’ Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Navas & $150m for Salah?

Real Madrid have pieced together a new plan in their efforts to land Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, with Diario Gol suggesting that the Blancos are willing to offer Keylor Navas and €150 million (£131m/$174m) for the Egyptian.

Those at Anfield are believed to be in the market for a new goalkeeper, but they are understandably reluctant to part with a man who netted 44 times last season.

Arsenal offered N’Zonzi hope

Arsenal have been offered fresh hope in their long-running pursuit of Steven N’Zonzi, according to AS .

Sevilla are aware of the interest being shown in the Frenchman from Emirates Stadium and have stepped up their efforts to land Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente as a result.

Kante coy on Chelsea exit talk

N’Golo Kante is paying little attention to talk of a possible summer switch to Paris Saint-Germain, with the Chelsea midfielder the latest man to have sparked exit speculation at Stamford Bridge.

The France midfielder has joined the likes of Antonio Conte, Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard in generating rumours of a summer move elsewhere.

Read the full story on Goal!

Madrid join Man Utd in SMS chase

New boss Julen Lopetegui has told Real Madrid’s hierarchy to make a move for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports Corriere dello Sport .

The Serbia international has been heavily linked with Manchester United, but could now be the subject of a big-money offer from the Santiago Bernabeu side.

Brewster to remain at Anfield

Rhian Brewster is set to commit his future to Liverpool by signing a first professional contract, reports Sky Sports .

The 18-year-old striker has been linked with German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach, but is set to pen a five-year deal at Anfield.

Khedira to stay at Juventus

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is set to open talks over a new contract with the club, reports

The German international has seen his place at the club called into question with the expected arrival of Emre Can from Liverpool. 

But Khedira is now expected to sign an extension to a contract that expires at the end of the 2018-19 season. 

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OM move talked up for Mario

Mario Balotelli would be well suited to a move to Marseille, according to agent Mino Raiola, who said the Italian striker can “marry well with the Marseillais mentality”.

The enigmatic 27-year-old is approaching the end of his contract at Nice, but could be set to remain in France.

Read the full story on Goal!