Barcelona and Manchester United chase Chelsea midfielder Willian

Embed from Getty Images

European giants Barcelona and Manchester United are both seeking to sign Chelsea midfielder Willian.

Willian, currently preparing to play in Brazil’s last 16 tie at the World Cup, was a standout for a Chelsea side that struggled (relatively) last season. He scored six times and provided a further 8 assists.

Barcelona are reported to have had a £50 million bid for the 29-year-old turned down by Chelsea. Barca may have won a league and Cup double last season, but they want more strength in depth, especially for their pursuit of the Champions League title.

United have been rumoured to have an interest in Willian for some time – he worked with manager Jose Mourinho at Chelsea – but now that Barcelona have broken cover with a bid, they may well now firm their interest up.

The Daily Mail report that Willian’s representatives have met with Barcelona, and a move to Spain – including the opportunity to link up with international teammate Phillipe Coutinho – could be very attractive.

Chelsea will be reluctant to lose one of their stars but a bid of in excess of £50 million for a player who turns 30 later this year may be too tempting as they seek to rebuild the squad to mount a title challenge.

Chelsea set to beat Real Madrid to signing of £62 million goalkeeper Alisson

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea look set to sign Roma and Brazil goalkeeper Alisson – beating Spanish champions Real Madrid in the process – according to reports in Spain.

Spanish newspaper Marca has reported that Chelsea are close to signing the 25-year-old and have matched Roma’s £62 million valuation of him.

Real Madrid have also made a bid for Alisson, but are thought reluctant to go much above their initial £35 million bid.
Should Chelsea sign Alisson, then it would likely spell the end of

Thibault Coutois’ time at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian has a year left on his contract but has been stalling on signing a new deal and it thought Chelsea have run out of patience with him and will look to cash in on him.

Should Chelsea do that, Real Madrid could be a destination, as it is thought Courtois would prefer a move back to the Spanish capital, having spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid earlier in his career and it is close to where his children live.

Roma appear to accept that they will struggle to hold on to Alisson, currently starring at the World Cup for Brazil, with their sporting director, Monchi, admitting that there is no such thing as an unsellable player.

All the factz on England v Belgium and Panama v Tunisia in Group G, including which TV channel its on

Embed from Getty Images

Group G has only the final positions to settle: England and Belgium are both going for top spot, while Panama will want to overcome Tunisia and avoid the wooden spoon. The matches kick off at 7pm BST and England’s match is live on ITV. Here are the factz you need to know:

England v Belgium

• Both sides have already qualified – who ever does better will top the group. In the event of a draw, it could come down to which side has the fewer bookings.
• England haven’t lost to Belgium in their last 11 meetings.
• England have only scored more than the 8 goals they have already netted at one previous World Cup, in 1966. And we all know what happened there.
• Belgium won their opening 2 matches by 3 clear goals – no side has ever done this in 3 consecutive matches.
• Belgium are unbeaten in their last 11 group games in the World Cup – and have won their last 5.

Panama v Tunisia

• Both sides are out; the winner will finish third. If it is a draw, Tunisia will finish 3rd on goal difference.
• This is the first meeting between the sides.
• No debutant at the World Cup has lost all 3 games at a World Cup since Serbia and Togo did it in 2006.
• Tunisia haven’t won in 13 World Cup finals matches – a run going back to 1978.
• Tunisia have their worst defensive record at any World Cup finals – the most they had previously conceded was 6 in 2006.

Wayne Rooney to complete DC United move

Embed from Getty Images

Everton striker Wayne Rooney is expected to confirm his is to join MLS side DC United this summer, and sign a three and half year deal with the Washington-based outfit.

It was revealed in May that Rooney had agreed in principle to join DC United, but the deal was by no means certain. It now appears that the deal has been done, and Rooney has secured a the visa and work permit he needs to work in the US.

England’s record goalscorer could be training with his new teammates before the end of the week, although he can’t officially join DC United until the US transfer window opens on 10 July.

Rooney could make his debut on 14 July against Vancouver Whitecaps at the opening of DC’s new 20,000 seat Audi Field Stadium, which has cost £140 million to build.

It is also thought that at the end of the deal Rooney has the option to return to Everton as a coach, having negotiated a deal with the club’s management, according to Sky Sports News.

All the factz on Japan v Poland and Senegal v Columbia in World Cup group H, including which TV channel its on

Embed from Getty Images

Another tight group at the World Cup, where three of the four nations could still go through, so expect tense but exciting games. The matches kick off at 3pm BST. Senegal v Columbia is live on BBC1, while Japan v Poland is on BBC4. Here are the factz you need to know:

Japan v Poland

* Japan need a win to qualify and top the group. A draw would be enough to qualify. A loss may be enough if the Senegal v Columbia match doesn’t end in a draw.
* Poland cannot make it to the knockout phase.
* Japan have beaten Poland both times in their previous meetings – 5-0 and 2-0.
* By scoring against Senegal, Kaisuke Honda became the first Japanese man to score in 3 World Cup finals (2010, 2014 and 2018).
* This is the third World Cup in a row that Poland have gone out at the group stage.

Senegal v Columbia

* A win or a draw will be enough for Senegal to progress to the knockout stage. A loss may be enough – but only if Japan lose heavily to Poland.

* A win for Columbia will take them through. A draw may be enough – but only if Japan lose.
* The sides have met once before, in a friendly in 2014, which ended 2-2.
* Columbia have had just 7 shots on target so far this World Cup – but they’ve scored 4 goals from them.
* In the 15 matches in which Sadio Mane has scored for Senegal, the side have never lost (9 wins)