Transfer deadline day: Chelsea working on record Fernandez deal, Cancelo to go and Caicedo to stay?

By Sports Desk January 31, 2023

Chelsea have splashed the cash this month and could break the Premier League record by landing Enzo Fernandez before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

The Blues have already spent big to bring Mykhailo Mudryk to Stamford Bridge, while Noni Madueke, Joao Felix and Benoit Badiashile are among their other recruits.

Fernandez could follow from Benfica on what promises to be a busy deadline day as clubs across Europe scramble to get late deals done.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal can tempt Brighton and Hove Albion to part with Moises Caicedo.

Joao Cancelo looks set to swap Manchester City for Bayern Munich on loan and Paris Saint-Germain could finally seal a deal for long-time target Milan Skriniar along with Hakim Ziyech.

Stats Perform has picked out the standout transfers that could go through before the deadline.

 

BLUES TO SHOW THE COLOUR OF THEIR MONEY FOR WORLD-CUP WINNER?

Fernandez emerged as a target for Chelsea following his influential displays for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar.

The London club have wasted no time in building a new-look squad since a Todd Boehly-led consortium completed a takeover and Graham Potter arrived as head coach.

They have already made huge statements this month, none more so than snaring winger Mudryk from under the noses of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Chelsea are working on trying to secure the services of Fernandez for a reported fee of £105.5million (€120m), which would break the Premier League record of £100m City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish.

CAICEDO A NO-GO?

Arsenal have already raided Brighton to bring wantaway winger Leonadro Trossard to the capital.

The Gunners have failed with big-money offers for centre midfielder Caicedo, who last week made it clear he wants to join the Premier League leaders.

Arsenal are said to be ready to test the Seagulls' resolve again on deadline-day with a third bid of £75m, but Brighton want to keep him for the rest of the season.

If they do not get an offer they cannot refuse, Arsenal could turn to Leicester City's Youri Tielemans or Chelsea's Jorginho.

CANCELO BAYERN-BOUND

Eyebrows were raised on Monday when it came to light that Bayern are poised to bring Cancelo to the Bundesliga from City.

The Portugal full-back Cancelo has fallen out of favour at the Etihad Stadium, having reportedly had a bust-up with Pep Guardiola.

A loan deal would be great business for Bayern as they hunt more trophies and this one is expected to go through.

PSG'S SKRINIAR PERSISTENCE COULD PAY OFF, ZIYECH TO FOLLOW?

While Bayern's move for Cancelo has come late in the window, Skriniar has long since been a target for PSG.

The Inter centre-back is only under contract at the end of the season and with the Serie A giants unable to tie him to a deal, it has been seemingly only a matter of time before he moves on.

PSG should finally get their man before the window closes, with the defender having already confirmed he has agreed terms with the Ligue 1 champions. Chelsea winger Ziyech could also be on his way to the French capital.

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  • Newcastle United co-owner challenges £36m bankruptcy petition in court Newcastle United co-owner challenges £36m bankruptcy petition in court

    Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley has made a bid to throw out a bankruptcy petition against her alleging she owes a shipping tycoon more than £36 million, the High Court heard.

    Ms Staveley, who headed the Saudi-backed consortium that took over the football club in 2021, asked the Insolvency and Companies Court to set aside a demand served by Greek businessman Victor Restis in May last year.

    The claimed figure comprises £3.4 million in principal, £2.1 million in “legal costs and expenses” and £31.3 million in interest, totalling £36.8 million, according to Ms Staveley’s lawyers.

    The specialist court heard it is “common ground” that Mr Restis agreed in 2008 to arrange a £10 million investment in Ms Staveley’s business ventures, but that there was “some ambiguity” about whether this was a loan or some other form of investment.

    In May 2016, the parties entered an agreement.

    According to written submissions by Ms Staveley’s lawyer, Ted Loveday, his client was told to sign various other documents and instruments between 2017 and 2021, which ultimately said she was personally liable and which incrementally topped up that liability.

    “The various post-2016 instruments… were procured by duress, undue influence and/or misrepresentation,” Mr Loveday said.

    “The debt of £3.4 million had morphed into a debt in excess of £10 million, and which was said to exceed £36 million by May 2023,” he added.

    Ms Staveley claimed she felt intimidated into signing the post-2016 documents, the court heard.

    A specialist judge was told that Mr Restis’ lawyer, John Neocleous, allegedly told Ms Staveley that the shipping magnate “was not a man to be messed with, that he was dangerous and that (she) should not cross him”.

    Mr Loveday said in written submissions that she “worried for the safety of herself and her family”.

    “Ms Staveley felt understandably intimidated and felt she had no option but to sign,” he added.

    Mr Loveday also said that Ms Staveley claimed her Huntington’s disease, which she allegedly made no secret of from Mr Restis or Mr Neocleous, affected her thinking and judgment.

    But lawyers for Mr Restis said there is “no evidence” of “undue influence or duress”.

    Raquel Agnello KC told the court that Ms Staveley was sent documents, given time to look over them and given opportunities to make revisions before she signed them.

    In written submissions, Ms Agnello said: “There is a real lack of reality in relation to an assertion of duress as to the agreements.

    “There is no evidence of any unlawful conduct by either Mr Restis or Mr Neocleous.”

    She told the court there is no evidence “beyond (Ms Staveley’s) bare assertion” that Mr Restis is a dangerous man.

    Referring to Ms Staveley’s medical condition in written arguments, Ms Agnello said: “There is no evidence that the debtor actually informed either Mr Restis or Mr Neocleous that she had Huntington’s.

    “Importantly, the debtor does not assert that she informed either of them as to how that affected her in negotiations for the repayment of an outstanding loan.”

    Ms Agnello also said an agreement signed on January 7 2021 “supersedes all previous agreements” and that under it, Ms Staveley is liable.

    Mr Loveday asked the court to set aside the demand for over £36 million because it “raises a claim which ought to be determined by arbitration” and because Ms Staveley has “substantial ground for denying liability”.

    He claimed that the 2016 agreement decided parties would submit their disputes to arbitration and that the same agreement said Ms Staveley is not personally liable and provided for her company PCP Capital Partners to pay.

    Mr Loveday called the interest claims and claimed legal costs levelled against Ms Staveley “stratospheric”, and the imposition of personal liability as having come “out of the blue” in 2019.

    The hearing before Judge Daniel Schaffer is due to continue on March 19, where Ms Agnello will continue her submissions and invite the court to dismiss Ms Staveley’s application to set aside the statutory demand.

  • T&T miss out after 0-3 loss to group winners Canada; Haiti also through with Jamaica to be confirmed T&T miss out after 0-3 loss to group winners Canada; Haiti also through with Jamaica to be confirmed

    Trinidad and Tobago missed out on a spot in the Concacaf Men's Under-20 Championship round, after they were beaten 3-0 by Canada in their final Group D qualifying contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday.

    Myles Morgan (10th), Santiago Lopez (54th) and Kevaughn Tavernier (79th) got the goals for Canada, who secured the coveted top spot with nine points, as Trinidad and Tobago had to settle for second on six points. St Vincent and the Grenadines ended their campaign on a high with a dramatic 3-2 win over Dominica, to finish third in the group on six points.

    Frankroy Cain (10th), Kirtney Franklyn (44th) and Steven Pierre (90+2) found the back of the net for St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Dominica got goals from Ajani Richards (40th) and Keeyan Thomas (90+5).

    By virtue of topping the group, Canada along with Group E winners, Haiti, progressed to the Concacaf Championships round where the top six teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic -awaits.

     The final round will be staged in Mexico in July, where four spots to the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be up for grabs.

    After securing two wins early on, Haiti did just enough to secure the point needed for group honours in a 1-1 stalemate with Puerto Rico. That top-of-the-table clash in St Kitts and Nevis, saw Fabian Menendez (39th) putting Puerto Rico in front, before Joseph Belmar (71st) secured the precious equailiser for the French-speaking Caribbean nation.

    Group host Saint Kitts and Nevis gave locals something to celebrate as they topped Cayman Islands 3-0 in a game of academic interest.  De Quan Hamilton (16th, 45+1, 81st) got all three goals for the young Sugar Boyz.

    Meanwhile, Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz will be aiming to join Canada and Haiti in the next round, as they only require a point against Bermuda in Wednesday's Group F decider.

    Jamaica, on six points are three ahead of Bermuda, on three and, as such, only needs to avoid defeat in the feature contest in St Kitts and Nevis, to confirm their spot in the next round.

    Martinique, who also have three points, could make things interesting provided they defeat Grenada by a wide margin in the curtain-raiser, and Jamaica lose by a single goal to Bermuda. 

    Elsewhere on Tuesday: 

    Group A

    British Virgin Islands topped Belize 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua.

    BVI got their goals from Azarni Callwood (38th, 45+2), Curtis Lane (40th) and Johari Lacey (70th), while the Belize goals were produced by Jaheim Mena (16th), Isaac Taegar (54th) aFelix Martinez (58th).

    Host Nicaragua, moved to the summit of the group on nine points, following their 5-0 hammering of Anguilla. Oliver Bello (19th), Francis Castillo (37th), Juban Uriarte (53rd), Andres Martinez (60th) and Kenler Cayasso (69th) got the job done for Nicaragua.

    Group B

    Antigua and Barbuda and Suriname continue to chart the course in the battle for group honours, as both registered wins at the ABFA Technical Centre.

    Suriname topped Guyana 4-1 courtesy of goals from Robinio Pinas (7th), Jermaine Rijssel (35th), Djaier Prijor (85th) and Donagay Misidjang (89th). Matrim Martin (76th) got Guyana's consolation.

    Antigua and Barbuda emerged 2-1 victors over Turks and Caicos Islands in the second game. Javaughn Jarvis (54th) and Christopher Douglas (82nd) scored for Antigua and Barbuda, before Christopher Louisy (90+4) pulled one back for Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Both Suriname and Antigua and Barbuda are on six points, but the former has a game in hand.

    Group C

    Group C also remains evenly poised between Curacao and host nation Guatemala. This, as Curacao clipped Barbados 1-0 to move to the summit of the group, while Aruba blanked St Martin 4-0 at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City.

    Luigi Iniesa (31st) got the all-important strike for Curacao that moved them to the top on seven points, one ahead of Guatemala, who has a game in hand.

    Joachim Kruydenhof (19th, 39th) and Connor Van Kilsdonk (41st, 45th) both bagged a brace in Aruba's win.

     

     

     

  • Pep Guardiola hails ‘unbelievable’ Erling Haaland goalscoring record Pep Guardiola hails ‘unbelievable’ Erling Haaland goalscoring record

    Pep Guardiola hailed as “unbelievable” Erling Haaland’s goal haul after Manchester City’s top scorer hit five in the FA Cup holders’ fifth-round thrashing of Luton.

    The 23-year-old took his tally for the season in all competitions to 27 as he combined with the excellent Kevin De Bruyne to deliver a goalscoring masterclass in the 6-2 victory at Kenilworth Road.

    It came less than four weeks after his return to the side following nearly two months out with a foot injury, and took his total since joining City in the summer of 2022 to 79 in 83 appearances.

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    “Always we work as a team, providing the chances. Sometimes you score goals, sometimes not. Quite often he scores. But it’s not a big issue because he’s a special talent.

    “The number he has at his age in all competitions, honestly it’s unbelievable. At the end, we know it. He’s our top goalscorer, happy that he’s got the confidence, because the guys who are the top scorers need goals, and he did it (against Luton).”

    Haaland hit a first-half hat-trick against Luton to ease his team into the quarter-finals, with each of his goals set up by De Bruyne who himself returned from a lengthy injury lay-off only in January.

    The pair combined for Haaland’s fourth in the second half after Rob Edwards’ side had briefly threatened a fightback via two goals from Jordan Clark.

    Bernardo Silva set up the Norwegian’s fifth, before a fine finish from Mateo Kovacic made it six as the champions put on an irresistible showing ahead of Sunday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad.

    “The United game will be completely different,” said Guardiola. “They defend differently. They have experienced players.

    “We’ll have two days off, so people don’t see each other. Have to refresh out minds and our legs and have two days to prepare our game.”

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