Argentina Officially Announce 23-Man Squad for 2019 Copa America

?Argentina have officially announced their 23-man squad for the 2019 Copa America in Brazil this summer.

Head coach Lionel Scaloni initially revealed a 40-man squad for the tournament, but he whittled that number down to 23 on Tuesday.

The biggest omission from the squad is ??Inter’s ?Mauro Icardi, who has been left out of the squad after missing a large portion of the season following a public falling out with the club. That, coupled with the fact that the striker has struggled for form since coming back into the side, has left Scaloni with little choice other than to leave him out.

Similarly unsurprising is the inclusion of ?Lionel Messi, who brought his temporary hiatus from international football to an end in March. He’ll no doubt be desperate to end his long wait for a trophy with Argentina after agonisingly missing out in the previous two Copa America finals.

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There are also inclusions for a handful of Premier League players, including Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi, Watford’s Roberto Pereyra and Tottenham defender Juan Foyth.

This is the first time Aguero has been called up to represent the national side since Scaloni took over the reigns following La Seleccion’s disappointing World Cup campaign, so it remains to be seen how big a role he will end up playing in Brazil.

Argentina have been drawn in Group B  against Colombia, Paraguay and guest nation Qatar and will get their tournament underway on June 15.


Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Agustin Marchesin (Club America), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors)

Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Renzo Saravia (Racing), Juan Foyth (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Angel Di Maria (PSG), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis), Leandro Paredes (PSG), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate), Guido Rodriguez (Club America)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Lautaro Martinez (Inter), Matias Suarez (River Plate)?

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Liverpool Give Fitness Update on Roberto Firmino Ahead of Champions League Final

?Liverpool forward ?Roberto Firmino has returned to training in his race to be fully fit to face ??Tottenham? in the all-English Champions League final on 1 June.

The forward suffered a muscle strain which saw him miss the Reds previous three matches, aggravating the problem during the first leg of their semi final against Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Liverpool have revealed via their ?website the Brazilian is training alongside his teammates as he looks to return to full fitness before Madrid’s final.

Roberto Firmino

They state: “Roberto Firmino today (Tuesday) trained alongside his teammates following a muscle strain that ruled him out of Liverpool’s last three matches.

“The Brazilian took part in the Reds’ first session of their Marbella training camp on Tuesday morning as he works his way back to full fitness.

“Firmino has been working with the club’s medical staff on his rehabilitation from the issue and his reintroduction into full team training will be carefully managed under their supervision, with specialised programmes planned over the coming days.”


Firmino has still played a major role in what has been a very successful campaign for his side despite his injury woes, accumulating 16 goals and seven assists en route to ?Liverpool’s 97 point Premier League finish and Champions League final spot.

Firmino is part of Klopp’s 26-man squad for the visit to Marbella but with a European final to prepare for, this will be far from a summer holiday for the Liverpool lads.

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Fans will be pleased to hear that the rest of the squad was as expected. The other two thirds of Liverpool’s deadly attacking trio, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, both travelled, as well as PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also continues his comeback from a long-term injury by attending the six-day training camp.

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Matthijs de Ligt Drops Fresh Barcelona Hint as Ajax Sign (Replacement?) Centre Back

Matthijs de Ligt has hinted at a possible reunion with Barcelona-bound Frenkie de Jong amidst speculation linking the defender with a summer move to the Spanish champions.

Barcelona have been the front runners to land De Ligt’s signature over the past few months, but the Blaugrana have failed to negotiate a deal just yet and the highly-rated defender’s future remains up in the air. De Ligt’s Ajax teammate, De Jong, has already been snapped up by Barcelona and will join up with the club this summer.

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?Recent reports have suggested that a move could be jeopardised by ?Barcelona’s crippling wage bill, but De Ligt’s comments on De Jong may fill supporters with a renewed sense of optimism.

“I think he had a great season. He deserves to sign for Barcelona,” De Ligt said of De Jong to ?Voetbal Primeur. 

“Play with him there? It would be good to play with Frenkie at a club, but in these moments I don’t know what will happen.”

Both De Ligt and De Jong played central roles to Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals this season and the pair are set to be in action together again in the summer when they represent the Netherlands at the UEFA Nations League Finals in Portugal.

While his future destination is still up for debate, De Ligt’s departure from Ajax is looking increasingly likely after the Dutch outfit recently completed the signing of defender Lisandro Martinez from Defensa y Justicia.

Rafael Santos Borre,Lisandro Martinez

“Martinez is a left-footed player who can handle multiple positions at the back. He is a defender who wants to play football,” sporting director Marc Overmars told ?Ajax’s website.

“And Lisandro is still young, so we expect him to continue in the coming years to be an even better player.”

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Transfer Rumours: Lukaku to Inter, Malcom to Dortmund, Real Madrid Hesitate Over Jovic & More

It will come as no surprise to learn that the summer transfer window is going to be a busy one – at least it will be if all the various rumours actually come to fruition.

We’ve got big money moves for some of the biggest clubs in Europe to discuss, a spanner in the works for Real Madrid’s plans to sign Luka Jovic and, most importantly, transfer news involving Carl Jenkinson.

Here’s the latest edition of the transfer rumour mill.


Carl Jenkinson Deemed Surplus to Requirements By Arsenal?

Carl Jenkinson

No one really understands why Carl Jenkinson is still lingering about at the Emirates in the first place, but the right-back’s time with ?Arsenal appears to be coming to an end this summer.

TEAMtalk are reporting that Arsenal have spoken with the right-back and are happy for him to seek pastures new this summer. If any bids do come in for the 27-year-old, Arsenal will not stand in the way and, given that his current deal expires next year, you can understand why the Gunners are looking to sell him as soon as possible.

Playoff finalists ?Aston Villa are said to be the leading candidates to land the full back, but their interest may hinge on whether they are able to overcome Derby at Wembley next week.


Liverpool Join the Race to Sign Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser’s future remains rather uncertain and his current contract situation has provided some encouragement for a host of top teams who are looking to bolster their attacking ranks this summer.

The ?Bournemouth winger has been a top target for Arsenal for quite some time but, according to ?The Sun, they’ll face some stiff competition from ?Liverpool this summer. The Cherries aren’t willing to part ways with Fraser too easily, but they’ll be well aware that his current deal expires next summer, so they may be forced to consider a generous bid.

The Sun claim that £30m is likely to be enough to twist Bournemouth’s arm, but they also suggest that Liverpool’s interest is with a view to snapping him up on a free deal next summer. 


Borussia Dortmund Eyeing Up Move for Barcelona’s Malcom

Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira

?Borussia Dortmund already know that Christian Pulisic is leaving for Chelsea, so finding a suitable replacement will be at the top of their wishlist for the summer transfer window.

After the successful signing of ?Barcelona outcast Paco Alcacer last year, BVB are once again looking to the fringes of the Blaugrana’s squad for inspiration. ?Sport are reporting that Dortmund have been keeping tabs on Malcom for quite some time and are seriously considering a move for the 22-year-old – although it is unclear whether it will be a loan offer or a permanent bid.

Barcelona are well aware of the fact that Malcom will be widely sought-after and they may be more willing to let the Brazilian leave for the Premier League in order to make a profit on the 41m they paid last summer.


Atletico Madrid Express Interest in Giovani Lo Celso and Mario Fernandes

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?Atletico Madrid look set for an extensive overhaul this summer, with the likes of Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann and Juanfran all heading for the exit door.

Reinforcements are already being lined up and, according to Spanish journalist ?Antonio Ruiz, Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso and CSKA Moscow right-back ?Mario Fernandes have been added to Atletico’s summer portfolio.

Lo Celso only recently joined Betis on a permanent deal when the Spanish outfit triggered an option to buy clause in his loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, but that fact hasn’t distracted Atletico from remaining interested.


Real Madrid Hesitate Over Luka Jovic Fee

Luka Jovic

Various reports suggested that ?Real Madrid had already agreed a deal to sign Bundesliga hotshot Luka Jovic last week, but it now appears that Los Blancos are starting to hesitate over the signing.

Spanish television channel ?El Chiringuito claim that Real Madrid are now saying no to the asking price of 100m for the Serbian striker, which could potentially open the door for Barcelona to make an approach.

Despite this, Spanish journalist Sergio Valentin has commented on the matter, writing on ?Twitter: “I’ll just say one little thing: the players play where they want. Jovic wants to play at Real Madrid.”


Romelu Lukaku’s Name At the Top of Inter’s List

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Romelu Lukaku has previously expressed his desire to play in Italy and it now appears that his wishes may be coming reality a little sooner than expected.

?Inter are already planning for next season – despite having not yet qualified for the Champions League – and are in contact with Lukaku’s representatives over a potential deal. Inter are looking for a replacement for the troublesome Mauro Icardi and ?FCInterNews are reporting that CEO Giuseppe Marotta has identified Lukaku as his top target. 

Inter may well present €20-30m plus Ivan Perisic as a potential bargaining chip to secure the deal and ?Manchester United are looking increasingly likely to allow the Belgian striker to make the move over to Milan.


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Gareth Bale Demands €51m Payout From Real Madrid in Order to Leave This Summer

?Out-of-favour Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has offered to leave the club this summer, provided he’s paid €51m for the remainder of his contract. 

The 29-year-old has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu ever since the reappointment of Zinedine Zidane in March. 

The Welshman failed to appear in any of Los Blancos’ final three league games, with Zidane claiming the reason he was an unused substitute for the final game of the season against Real Betis was ?due to his day-to-day attitude. 

Gareth Bale

It’s led to increasing speculation that ?Bale will leave the 13-time Champions League winners during the summer, although according to ?El Confidencial, it’s going to cost ?Real Madrid an enormous sum in order to do so.

That’s because the Spanish media outlet is claiming that Bale is asking for €51m in order leave, as he seeks to be paid the remainder of his contract, which is set to run until 2022.

Real Madrid are desperate to offload the Welsh international, although the price-tag of close to the £86m they paid ?Tottenham to sign him in 2013 is just one of many reasons as to why potential suitors are yet to come forward. 

Bale finished with just 11 goals and five assists in the league and Champions League in 2018/19, as Real Madrid failed to win any of ?La Liga, the Copa del Rey or the UEFA Champions League. 

To add insult to injury, Toni Kross, 29, ?recently received a contract extension until 2023, while Bale is likely to be one of a few players shipped out by Los Blancos to fund a major squad overhaul with targets including Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard. 

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