Ter Stegen: There is no Man City agreement

The former Borussia Monchengladbach stopper stated there was no truth in rumours linking him with a move to the Premier League giants in the summer

Marc-Andre ter Stegen has denied he has agreed to leave Barcelona for Manchester City at the end of the season.

The Germany international encouraged speculation over his future last month when he admitted he will seek talks with the Camp Nou hierarchy after growing frustrated with a lack of Liga exposure under boss Luis Enrique.

Reports in England last week claimed Ter Stegen was on the verge of sealing a move to City, with incoming boss Pep Guardiola having identified him as a priority target.


GOALREAD MORE  | Luis Enrique: Suarez looks half-Catalan!


However, the 23-year-old has refuted the rumours and says his future will become clear once the season has come to a close.

“It’s best not to talk about my future at this moment, it’s better to do nothing until the end of the season. We’ll wait until the summer,” he told Onda Cero.

“Barcelona is an incredible team, but we’ll see how things go. Although it’s not true that I’m going to City.”

Ter Stegen played in Barca’s 2-1 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, in which Fernando Torres opened the scoring before being sent off for two yellow cards in the first half.

Filipe Luis accused the officials of protecting Barca after the match, while Diego Simeone refused to risk voicing his true opinion on the red card, but Ter Stegen felt referee Felix Brych was correct.

“For me it was a correct dismissal,” he said. “It was the decision of the referee, who I think did very well.”

Ter Stegen rejects talk of Manchester City move

The former Borussia Monchengladbach stopper stated there was no truth in rumours linking him with a move to the Premier League giants in the summer

Marc-Andre ter Stegen has denied he has agreed to leave Barcelona for Manchester City at the end of the season.

The Germany international encouraged speculation over his future last month when he admitted he will seek talks with the Camp Nou hierarchy after growing frustrated with a lack of Liga exposure under boss Luis Enrique.

Reports in England last week claimed Ter Stegen was on the verge of sealing a move to City, with incoming boss Pep Guardiola having identified him as a priority target.


GOALREAD MORE  | Luis Enrique: Suarez looks half-Catalan!


However, the 23-year-old has refuted the rumours and says his future will become clear once the season has come to a close.

“It’s best not to talk about my future at this moment, it’s better to do nothing until the end of the season. We’ll wait until the summer,” he told Onda Cero.

“Barcelona is an incredible team, but we’ll see how things go. Although it’s not true that I’m going to City.”

Ter Stegen played in Barca’s 2-1 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, in which Fernando Torres opened the scoring before being sent off for two yellow cards in the first half.

Filipe Luis accused the officials of protecting Barca after the match, while Diego Simeone refused to risk voicing his true opinion on the red card, but Ter Stegen felt referee Felix Brych was correct.

“For me it was a correct dismissal,” he said. “It was the decision of the referee, who I think did very well.”

Morata: I almost signed for Wolfsburg

The striker has opened up about how he held talks with the German outfit days before opting to join Juventus instead, stating how he was attracted by the Old Lady’s rich history


GOALEXCLUSIVE


It’s almost a season old now but Alvaro Morata’s strike which dumped Real Madrid out of the Champions League last term must still send shivers down the spines of Los Blancos supporters.

Morata, who left Madrid to join Juventus in pursuit of more first-team football, silenced his boyhood club on his return to the Santiago Bernabeu as his second-half strike helped the Bianconeri beat Real and reach the Champions League final with a 3-2 aggregate victory in the semis. 

And as Madrid dust themselves down and gear up for another crack at winning their 11th European Cup by taking on Wolfsburg in this year’s quarter-finals, the memories of Morata’s strike in the last campaign come flooding back because it could have all been so different.

Days before deciding to join Juventus in the summer of 2014, Morata held talks with Madrid’s next opponents Wolfsburg, who viewed him as the missing piece in their exciting young squad oozing with talent.

Looking back on the discussions he had with Wolfsburg, Morata has revealed how the Germans showed plenty of admiration and offered him a lucrative deal financially. 

However, the 23-year-old says the deciding factor in him opting to join Juventus instead was to do with the Old Lady’s appealing grand stature.

“Yes it’s true,” Morata told Goal when asked about holding talks with Wolfsburg. ”It was two or three days before going to sign the contract in Turin, when the Wolfsburg president came to Madrid.


GOALRUMOURS | Real propose Morata-Aubameyang exchange


“I had a chat with him, along with my father, my trainer and my sporting director. Wolfsburg really wanted me to join them, offering me a very economically-rewarding contract.

“But I was attracted to the Old Lady, to their history, the chance to play in the Champions League and win the Scudetto.

“Wolfsburg would have been a great choice for me, because back at Madrid I wasn’t playing many minutes.

“Still, I decided to take my chance with an important club like Juventus and look what happened!”

What has happened is that Morata, alongside that memorable strike for Juventus against Madrid last season, has won three trophies in Italy so far, but is being strongly linked with a return move to Real, who have a buy-back option.

RUMOURS: Bayern star high on Conte wishlist

Arturo Vidal has already made public his desire to play under the new Chelsea manager again and the Bavarians are bracing themselves for a summer bid


Bayern Munich are bracing themselves for a summer bid from Chelsea for Arturo Vidal, according to the Daily Mail.

The Chile international and new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte have traded compliments in recent weeks, with the former leaving the door open for a reunion despite excelling at the Germain giants.

Conte has placed Vidal, who he worked with at Juventus, high on his transfer wishlist ahead of starting his new role at Stamford Bridge in the summer, with central midfield and defence his priority areas.

Vidal moved to Bayern last summer for around £31 million and the Bundesliga champions are expected to hold out for a profit if a move is sanctioned.


CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE LATEST RUMOURS


'The new Pirlo' – Meet Arsenal target Manuel Locatelli

The Gunners have been monitoring the 18-year-old closely but face a tough task in prying him away from San Siro as the jewel of the youth system nears his professional debut

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has already christened him ‘The new Pirlo’, while coach Sinisa Mihajlovic is preaching caution and care in anticipation of the opening of a box that seems to contain something truly magical, and Arsenal are already looking to sign him.

At Milan, everyone is in total agreement: the next Gianluigi Donnarumma will be Manuel Locatelli, a cornerstone of Cristian Brocchi’s Primavera side but a member of the first-team squad on a permanent basis since the January transfer window closed.


GOALHIS STORY


The 18-year-old from Galbiate (in the province of Lecco) has followed a straight path to the top thus far. Already the talk of Pescate at just nine years of age, Locatelli was first picked up by Paolo Rota, who took him to Atalanta. In 2009, Milan prised Locatelli away from the Bergamo-based club thanks to the work of their head of scouting Mauro Bianchessi.

It was a dream come true for Locatelli, who has always been a Rossoneri supporter. He progressed through the youth team ranks and started the current campaign as vice-captain of the youth team. Since February, though, he has been a member of Mihajlovic’s squad, having already previously trained with the first team under past managers Massimiliano Allegri and Filippo Inzaghi, who included him among the substitutes for Milan’s trip to Fiorentina in March 2015.

Locatelli’s senior debut is now just around the corner, although Mihajlovic is intent on handling this precious jewel with great care. “Locatelli is a good player but he’s arrived from the Primavera and is not yet quite ready for the pace and intensity of the first team,” the Serb stated after adding the youngster to his panel.

“However, with intelligence and training, he can make it. From here, we’ll see how he goes.”

In the meantime, ‘il Loca’ is spending training sessions studying Italy and Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo at first-hand and preparing himself for July’s European Under-19 Championship in Germany, where he is expected to be one of the stars of the show. 


GOALSCOUTING REPORT


Over the years, Locatelli’s role has changed from an attacking midfielder to a masterful playmaker stationed in front of the defence – his best role given his technical and athletic characteristics, although he is also equally adept at playing as an orthodox central midfielder.

Physically slight yet mentally tough, Locatelli is well versed at mixing up his game with long and short passes depending on how the game is developing. He has great vision and reads the play well, making him a real leader from a technical point of view and a reference point for his team-mates.

In Mihajlovic’s opinion, “he must improve his vertical play” as well as his aerial prowess given his stature. However, his value to Milan is beyond dispute.

“He’s a player of great quality. He has been with us since he was 11 and he will be captain of Milan inside three years,” Bianchessi predicted in a recent interview with Corriere della Sera.


GOALFACTS & FIGURES


He has racked up 14 appearances for the Under 19s this term, scoring twice, against Cesena and Como, with the goal against the latter coming from the penalty spot.

Although yet to make his professional debut, he has been on the bench for a total of 10 games – including Milan’s last five outings. That eagerly-awaited first-team bow is edging ever closer.


GOALTHE FUTURE


Until now, there has not been any doubt that Locatelli’s future is dyed in red and black. Last year, he signed his first professional contract with Milan (alongside Donnarumma), binding himself to the Diavolo until June 30, 2018.

That deal, though, is likely to be improved and extended in the coming months, given several clubs are already casting admiring glances in Locatelli’s direction, chief among them Arsenal, who Goal revealed have already sent their chief scout, Neil Banfield, to Italy to observe Milan’s new prodigy at close quarters.

Locatelli would be an investment in the future from the Gunners’ perspective, not a player likely to go straight into the first team, but at Milan the plan is to carefully nurture the player in the coming months so as to give him the best possible chance to follow in the footsteps of Donnarumma on the path to quickly becoming a staple of the first team.