Rumour Has It: Newcastle shortlist Mesut Ozil for January transfer targets

By Sports Desk October 20, 2021

Newcastle are making plans for the January transfer window following their Saudi ownership takeover.

The Magpies are currently 19th in the Premier League, with three points from eight games and no wins.

Newcastle have been linked with a host of top players at the start of a new era for the club.

 

TOP STORY – OZIL ON NEWCASTLE'S SHORTLIST

Newcastle have shortlisted former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil as one of their transfer targets, according to Ekrem Konur.

Ozil is currently playing in Turkey with Fenerbahce after moving from the Gunners in January.

The Magpies have made no official offer yet, but they see Ozil, along with Fenerbahce goalkeeper Altay Bayindir in their plans.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport reports that Argentina international Paulo Dybala is set to agree to an extension with Juventus , securing his future with the Turin club until 2026.

- Roma have reignited their interest in Aston Villa's Dutch winger Anwar El Ghazi,  according to Football Insider. Villa are ready to let him go in January for £18million (€21m) if Jose Mourinho's side meet their asking price.

- Netherlands international defender Matthijs de Ligt is unhappy with his role at Juventus and his agent has held talks with Barcelona about a potential move, claims Sport.

- Fabrizio Romano claims that Spain international Yeremy Pino, who turned 19 on Wednesdayis set to agree a new five-year deal with Villarreal.

- Mundo Deportivo reports that Ansu Fati is close to renewing with Barcelona, with an in-principle agreement set to tie him down until 2026.

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    Lionel Messi is close to an agreement to join MLS franchise Inter Miami at the end of the 2022-23 European season, according to a report in The Times.

    The Argentina superstar is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the campaign and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, whom he left in 2021, but The Times reports Messi will instead move to MLS.

    Inter Miami are said to be 'confident' Messi will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

    Co-owned by David Beckham, Inter Miami will reportedly make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS history and they are considering further additions to complement his arrival.

    Luis Suarez and Cesc Fabregas, Messi's former team-mates at Barcelona, are specifically named as options, the former having enjoyed a brief second stint Uruguayan side Nacional earlier this year while Fabregas is in the Italian second tier with Como.

    A move for Messi would occur midway through the MLS season, which begins in February, and would provide a huge boost to North American soccer ahead of the World Cup in 2026, which the USA will host alongside Canada and Mexico.

  • Ziyech found Belgium 'easier' to play against than Croatia in famous Morocco win Ziyech found Belgium 'easier' to play against than Croatia in famous Morocco win

    Hakim Ziyech says Morocco found it "easier" to face Belgium than Croatia after they moved top of World Cup Group F with a 2-0 win over the Red Devils.

    Belgium were favourites to secure what would have been a record ninth consecutive victory in a World Cup group game at Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday.

    Morocco were worthy winners, though, following up a goalless draw with Croatia by taking all three points in Doha.

    Romain Saiss got on the end of Abdelhamid Sabiri's set-piece to open the scoring and Zakaria Aboukhlal sealed a famous victory for the Atlas Lions in stoppage time.

    Ziyech was named man of the match after having a first-half goal disallowed for offside and providing an assist for Aboukhlal in the closing stages.

    The Chelsea winger said: "The first game was more difficult for us. We couldn't play our game, Croatia played a very good game. This one was perhaps easier, especially in midfield. They may have made more mistakes than the Croats.

    "We played a very strong, robust game, especially in defence. We were waiting for their mistakes and I think we took the lead from that and scored at the right time."

    Ziyech added: "I don't deserve this player of the match trophy. It's a collective effort, everyone was behind me, it's a collective work."

    The former Ajax man felt Morocco's vociferous fans played a big part in a huge win in the battle for a place in the round of 16.

    He said: "After 60-70 minutes some were tired and when we scored that goal they rallied behind us. It gave us more power, more power. The crowd helped us, they were behind us and I think that really boosted us."

    Morocco’s victory over Belgium was their first in five World Cup matches and put their fate in their own hands heading into a final group game against Canada next Thursday.

  • France must avoid comparisons to 2018 World Cup win, warns Varane France must avoid comparisons to 2018 World Cup win, warns Varane

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    Les Bleus are looking to defend the title they won in Russia, and are into the last 16 after opening victories against Australia and Denmark in Group D.

    Varane, who returned from an injury sustained on club duty with Manchester United to feature in his country's second game, was a member of Didier Deschamps' side that beat Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow four years ago.

    But the centre-back says the current crop must dodge the pitfalls of measuring their current achievements against those set before, despite the presence of several World Cup-winning players.

    "You have to avoid making too many comparisons," he stated. "This is another moment, and you have to be present.

    "Each major tournament has its history, with different players and contexts. Four years in football is an eternity.

    "We can draw inspiration from before, from the state of mind that we had then, but we must not try to copy."

    France – who play Tunisia in their final group game on Wednesday – will be without World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez for the rest of the tournament after he suffered a knee injury in their opening clash with Australia.

    His brother Theo has deputised at left-back since, replacing Hernandez in the first half against Australia and continuing in the position against Denmark.

    Reflecting on his sibling's injury, Theo Hernandez claimed his brother has requested the World Cup be brought back for him, saying: "Since he left [the squad], I have spoken with him every day.

    "He tells me that we have to win, to bring him back the World Cup. We will have to work hard to continue like this though."

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