Tag Archives: world cup

Manchester United line up double swoop for Croatian World Cup heroes

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Manchester United are reportedly lining up bids for Croatian World Cup stars Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic.

Reports in Italy say that United are preparing a £44 million bid for Rebic, who plays for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.

In addition, the club are also said to be in advanced talks over a deal to bring Perisic to Old Trafford from Inter Milan, according to reports in France.

Both players were integral parts of the Croatian side that finished runners-up to France in the World Cup.

Rebic, 24, scored against Argentina in the group stage, but also committed the most fouls in the tournament. However, he could provide some steel up front that manager Jose Mourinho wants.

Meanwhile Perisic, 29, scored against England in Croatia’s semi-final win. He has been a long-term target for United and, as a more traditional winger, is something different to the current squad. His representatives are said to be flying to England with a view to doing a deal.

No values have been mentioned, but it would doubtless be north of £50 million as Inter will not want to lose one of their stars.

Should either or both of these deals be concluded, then it could hasten Anthony Martial’s departure from Old Trafford. He is known to want more playing time and may seek pastures new. If he did, his fee would likely cover the cost of bringing one of Rebic or Perisic in.

Eden Hazard drops huge hint over his future

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Chelsea playmaker has dropped a huge hint that his future could lie away from Stamford Bridge and that a transfer could be coming this summer.

The Belgian, speaking after his side secured third place at the World Cup, also said that he has a “preferred destination.”

Hazard said: “After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different.

“I can decide if I want to stay or go. Chelsea will make the final decision – if they want to let me go.”

Real Madrid are known to have a long-standing interest in Hazard and this may be stepped up after they sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus earlier in the season.

However, their fierce La Liga rivals Barcelona have also recently been linked with a bid for him.

But Chelsea would want £150 million for the 27-year-Old who is at the peak of his career and also has two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City are also believed to be interested but that move would seem a non-starter as Chelsea wouldn’t want to sell to a Premier League rival and it is believed Hazard wants to move to Spain.

The news will come as a blow to new Blues manager Maurizio Sarri who was finally announced as manager earlier in the week. Where Hazard figures in his plans is not yet known.

Paul Pogba open to move to Barcelona – reports

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Barcelona have been offered the chance to sign Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba – and he is said to be open to such a move, according to reports from Spain.

The news has emerged after his agent, Mino Raiola, visited Barcelona’s training ground this week to discuss several of his clients this week.

Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo said that Pogba was also discussed at the meeting.

Barca have previously expressed an interest in Pogba, but that was back in 2015 when he was with Juventus. At the time, he elected to stay in Turin.

Pogba had an inconsistent season in 2017/18 as well as an apparent fractious relationship with manager Jose Mourinho.

This has fuelled speculation that he could be looking for a route out of Manchester. At the same time, Barcelona are looking for midfield reinforcements after Andres Iniesta departed for Japan.

However, it is not known if any bid from Barca will be forthcoming. If – and it’s a big if – there is one, it would likely be have to be well in excess of £100 million to tempt United into selling.

Paris St-Germain target £100 million N’Golo Kante transfer

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French champions Paris St-Germain have set their sights on signing Chelsea linchpin N’Golo Kante this summer, but the Stamford Bridge outfit want £100 million for him.

Kante has won the Premier League title with Leicester City and Chelsea in recent seasons and is one of the most highly-rated defensive midfielders in the division.

PSG have been linked with Kante in the past, but now they seem to be firming up their interest, according to Goal.com. The news outlet also say they could offer the France international a contract worth £220,000 per week – a £100,000 increase on his current wage.

Goal.com also speculate that PSG could be willing to offer fellow French international Adrien Rabiot in part exchange for Kante.

The Blues may be willing to consider a deal, as they have shown an interest in 21-year-old Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, who could be seen as a replacement for Kante. That said, Chelsea will be loathe to lose one of their stars as they look to rebuild their squad to mount a title challenge again next season and could open up new contract talks with him to try and persuade him to remain in west London.

However, any potential deal would have to wait until the player returns from World Cup duty in Russia later this month.

Andres Iniesta announces international retirement

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Spain legend Andres Iniesta has announced his retirement from international football following Spain’s exit from the World Cup.

Iniesta made his 131st and last appearance in a Spain shirt as the side lost on penalties to Russia in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Iniesta’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise as the 34-year-old is leaving Barcelona to join Japanese side Vissel Kobe this summer.

“It is a reality that is my last match with the national team,” he said after the match.

Spain’s defeat brought a downbeat end to an outstanding career at international level. After making his debut in 2006, Iniesta helped Spain win Euro 2008 and 2012, and scored the winner in the 2010 World Cup final.

He has also had a stellar career at club level with Barcelona, winning numerous Champions League and La Liga titles.

An emotional Iniesta concluded: “Sometimes the endings are not as one dreams. This is the saddest day of my career.”