Rumour Has It: Man City rule out move for Barcelona forward Griezmann

By Sports Desk July 13, 2021

Manchester City's search to replace Sergio Aguero is well known.

Spanish reports have linked Pep Guardiola’s side with Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann.

So, could City - who won the Premier League but lost the Champions League final to Chelsea – be set to bring in the France international? Possibly not...

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN NOT ON CITY RADAR

Manchester City are ready to ramp up their move for a new striker during the transfer window but will not pursue Barcelona forward Griezmann, claims The Sun.

Pep Guardiola's side will instead set their sights on Tottenham's Harry Kane, while Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland is another possibility.

The Sun's report denies Spanish links between City and Frenchman Griezmann, with Barcelona understood to be keen to reduce their wage bill to free up funds to re-sign Lionel Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail reports that Atletico Madrid's signing of midfielder Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese will pave the way for Liverpool's proposed move to sign Saul Niguez. De Paul's arrival means Atleti are free to sell him off, with the Reds and Barcelona reportedly interested.

- Juventus are homing in on a transfer for Manchester City's Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, while they are also keen on bringing back Moise Kean to Turin, according to Tuttosport.

- Manchester United are edging closer to agreeing terms with French defender and long-term target Raphael Varane for a move from Real Madrid, reports the Mail.

- Jadon Sancho's move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United will be confirmed this week with a medical before his post-Euro 2020 holiday, claims The Sun.

- Fabrizio Romano claims that Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio will become Jose Mourinho's first signing at Roma imminently.

Related items

  • Eriksen: Contrasting qualities key to Fernandes relationship Eriksen: Contrasting qualities key to Fernandes relationship

    Christian Eriksen believes he and Bruno Fernandes have formed a strong relationship in Manchester United's midfield due to their complementary qualities. 

    Eriksen has become a key part of Erik ten Hag's new-look United team since swapping Brentford for Old Trafford in July, playing behind Fernandes in a deep-lying midfield role.

    The Denmark international produced a masterful showing in United's last Premier League game against Arsenal, claiming an assist and leading his team-mates for passes completed (33) and chances created (three) in the 3-1 victory.

    Speaking to United's media channels after winning the club's Player of the Month award for September, Eriksen said playing alongside Fernandes was a key reason for his success.

    "Some people see us as very similar players, but they probably only look at the stats and don't see us, the player and the qualities," Eriksen said.

    "We have different qualities, a different style of play and, with Bruno and in general, I think I'm learning to get to know all my team-mates better. 

    "We're starting to get that connection. With Bruno, it's a good connection and it's nice to have such a good footballer in front of me.

    "I think, from my own point of view, it's only been a few months but it feels like I've been here longer. 

    "It's to do with the club, the people working for the club, the team. In general, I've been made to feel very welcome since day one and I felt at home straight away."

    Eriksen carried his strong club form onto the international stage this month, scoring in Denmark's Nations League defeat to Croatia before producing a strong performance in a 2-0 win over France.

    The 30-year-old will hope for a similar result when Denmark are reunited with Didier Deschamps' team in the World Cup group stages in November, but he expects to face a much-improved France side.

    "We play France very often! In the Nations League, also before in the World Cup [in 2018], we played against France and now again," he added.

    "The game was good for us the other day. It was a nice send-off before the World Cup, to get a good feeling before the World Cup. 

    "We know, at the same time, France will be a completely different team when we play them next, with different players compared to what they had, but, for us, as a team, it was a perfect goodbye before the World Cup.

    "Now there's no more breaks and I can be fully focused on United until the World Cup."

    Ten Hag's team will face their toughest test to date when they travel to Manchester City on Sunday – each of United's last five managers have lost their first Manchester Derby in the Premier League (David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick).

    But Eriksen is looking forward to his first trip to the Etihad Stadium as a United player, adding: "It's going to be a tough test. 

    "We're feeling good and in a good place, really flowing and I'm looking forward to the game. 

    "It's a first derby for me personally, in Manchester, and hopefully it's going to be a fun game to play in and a fun game to watch."

  • Ancelotti expects fit-again Benzema to get back to his 'spectacular' best Ancelotti expects fit-again Benzema to get back to his 'spectacular' best

    Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Karim Benzema will start against Osasuna on Sunday and backed the Real Madrid captain to get back to his "spectacular" best.

    Benzema has been sidelined for three weeks due to a knee injury but will be in action in the champions' first LaLiga game after the international break at Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.

    The France striker has scored four goals in six appearances for Los Blanco this season after an outstanding 2021-22 campaign.

    Benzema found the back of the net a staggering 44 times last season as Madrid secured a famous Champions League and LaLiga double. 

    Head coach Ancelotti expects the Ballon d'Or favourite to hit those heights again after recovering from an early-season injury setback.

    "Benzema is doing very well, he is going to start the game," he said. "He's been with the team all week. His physical condition is good because he was able to recover well and then work well."

    When it was put to Ancelotti that Benzema has not looked the same player he was last season, the Italian replied: "Well it's true he didn't score in the last few games – he didn't score because he didn't play.

    "There is nothing different with Karim, he's been training very well. Maybe if he didn't have a problem in pre-season, he would not perform this way, but after this injury and time, he didn't play. I'm absolutely sure we are going to see the same Karim Benzema we saw last season, a spectacular player."

    Ancelotti revealed midfielder Luka Modric will not face Osasuna and could also miss the Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

    He said: "Modric has a minor injury, not a very serious one. I'm not sure he will make it for Wednesday. He will train on Monday, let's see how he feels. If not fit for Wednesday, he will play next weekend [at Getafe]."

    Ancelotti plans to make full use of the options at his disposal with such a hectic schedule to come ahead of the World Cup.

    "It's an important moment, with many games in a short time," he said. "League, Champions [League]... We have to think that rotating would be important, because we play every three days. Everyone will give and put in their quality and commitment."

  • 'World-class' Alexander-Arnold 'judged by the one thing he's not as world class in' – Klopp 'World-class' Alexander-Arnold 'judged by the one thing he's not as world class in' – Klopp

    Jurgen Klopp does not understand why anybody would focus only on Trent Alexander-Arnold's defending when he has "world-class talent" on the ball.

    Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold has been the subject of much debate this week after being left out of England's matchday squad to face Germany on Monday.

    Reece James started the match and Kyle Walker came off the bench, while Kieran Trippier was among the substitutes.

    James appears to be Gareth Southgate's preferred option in that position, but Walker has made 50 appearances under the Three Lions manager. Trippier has turned out 37 times for Southgate, starting in both the 2018 World Cup semi-final and Euro 2020 final.

    That leaves Alexander-Arnold – often outstanding for Liverpool – as fourth-choice and looking highly unlikely to feature at the World Cup, even if selected in the 26-man squad.

    Southgate handed Alexander-Arnold his international debut in 2018, but he has since earned just 17 caps for his country.

    While the 23-year-old's creative abilities are unquestioned – he leads the England quartet in chances created (2.4) and expected assists (0.32) per 90 minutes in the Premier League in 2022 – there are doubts around his defending.

    Klopp has accepted Alexander-Arnold has room for improvement, but ahead of Saturday's game against Brighton and Hove Albion, he also suggested "nobody mentions" when the Liverpool man defends well.

    "It's like you have a list, bad defending and good defending, and bad defending [is] massive, and the good defending [list] is like you can't even see," he said.

    "That's what I see, because I'm not dumb."

    Klopp was also keen to point out some of Alexander-Arnold's shortcomings are due to Liverpool's approach, as they are "extremely brave" in their pressing and "the pitch is too big to be everywhere".

    Yet even when Alexander-Arnold is directly at fault, his club manager believes there is too much focus on those shortcomings.

    "There are other situations where he was not aware of the situation, where they pass the ball through him, where it was a challenge he should've won – true," Klopp said. "Every player in the league has these challenges.

    "With him, you pick it out, analyse so easy. All the experts sitting there, 'in this situation, you see it's a weakness'.

    "Honestly, I just don't get it, I just don't get that part of it – that we just accept that a world-class talent gets judged by the one thing he's not as world-class as in other things."

    And Klopp added: "If he would not be a good defender, he wouldn't play."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.