Rumour Has It: PSG join race for Fiorentina's Vlahovic, Emery to reject Newcastle

By Sports Desk November 03, 2021

Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic is winning plenty of admirers.

The 21-year-old Serbian has netted 10 times in 12 appearances at club level this season.

Vlahovic is currently under contract until June 23, although La Viola want him to sign an extension.

TOP STORY – PSG TO ENTER VLAHOVIC RACE

Paris Saint-Germain will enter the race to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic, claims Le10Sports.

The Parisians are lining up the Serbian striker as a potential successor to Kylian Mbappe should he exit the club when his contract expires at the end of this season, with Real Madrid circling.

Hot property Vlahovic is being pursued by JuventusLiverpool and Tottenham.

ROUND-UP

- Unai Emery will not be the first permanent manager in Newcastle United's new era, BBC Sport journalist and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague understands. The Basque coach is set to stay at Villarreal for now, though his job there is under threat amid a poor start to 2021-22.

- The Sun reports Antonio Conte's arrival at Tottenham has seen Harry Kane abandon any plans he had to quit the club. Kane apparently wished to join Manchester City during the most recent transfer window.

- New Spurs boss Conte wants to sign Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Metro. Conte also has Inter defender Stefan de Vrij in his sights, claims Football Insider.

Milan are in the race to sign talented River Plate star Julian Alvarez in the off-season, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Fiorentina have also shown interest in 21-year-old Alvarez, who has four caps for Argentina.

Norwich City are considering a move to replace embattled manager Daniel Farke with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, claims the Daily Mail. The Canaries have only two points from 10 games following their return to the Premier League. Howe has also been linked with the vacant Newcastle job.

Newcastle want to make Inter's Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic their first major signing in January, says The Sun. Brozovic is out of contract at the end of the season.

Lazio are looking to convince Luiz Felipe to ink a new deal with the club amid interest from BarcelonaSevilla and Real Betis, reports CalcioMercato. The Brazilian centre-back's contract expires at the end of this season.

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    Jota scored twice in a 2-0 win for the Reds at Arsenal on Thursday in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.

    Once more shorn of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who are on international duty with Senegal and Egypt respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool progressed with relative ease to set up a final against Chelsea next month.

    It is the first time the Reds have made a cup final since 2019, when they won the Champions League by defeating Tottenham in Madrid.

    Liverpool spent £41million to sign Jota from Wolves in September 2020 and he has gone on to score 27 goals in 57 appearances across all competitions.

    Since he made his debut on September 24, 2020, only seven Liverpool players have featured more times across all competitions than Jota, with just Salah (51) able to better the Portugal international's goal tally.

    Jota averages a goal every 138 minutes, once again a rate bettered only by Salah (120), while the 25-year-old has had the third-most attempts in Liverpool's squad since his arrival (141), behind Salah (245) and Mane (178).

    Of outfield players to have featured at least five times, Jota has the third-best shooting accuracy (excluding blocks), with 59.1 per cent.

    Jota is second in the Premier League scoring charts this season with 10 goals from 20 appearances, trailing only team-mate Salah (16), although he has slightly underperformed his expected goals (xG) of 11.4, suggesting he has missed some big opportunities.

    After the win at Emirates Stadium, Klopp hailed Jota as a "world-class striker" and, in Friday's news conference to preview the trip to Selhurst Park, Liverpool's manager explained that the forward's quality was already there before he joined the club.

    "Work," Klopp answered when asked what the trick to Jota's success was. "But if you don’t have the basis, nobody can perform miracles.

    "Diogo came in and he was an outstanding player, but it helps if you are a striker when your team has more of the ball. Yesterday he had to do an awful lot to make it happen.

    "Diogo is a really impressive person. Really grown up, a really mature young man. Loves football, loves working, training.

    "He was in the middle of the team after three weeks, there was no time to adapt. I'm really happy for him. If you have this quality it’s nice that you can show it and that's what he's done."

    Klopp also stressed the importance of Liverpool switching focus back to the Premier League and putting thoughts of the EFL Cup final to one side.

    "The boys really wanted it and made it happen and are really looking forward to the final. The only problem is six or seven games to play until then. So we have to put it to the side a little bit but keep the feeling," he said.

    "We were flying after the game, the boys were in a really good mood. That's how it should be. It gives us confidence, everything that was said without [Mane, Salah and Naby Keita] available, it's good for us.

    "But we have to create a different mood until Sunday because Palace away, they don't give any presents, so we have to be in the fighting mood again.

    "We will be, we are not kids anymore. We take the feeling, hopefully can use it but we have to be greedy again, aggressive and fight with all we have. Palace will ask for that. That's what I'm concerned about, not how we can keep this feeling before the final."

    Liverpool have won their last six Premier League away games against Palace, including a 7-0 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, though Klopp is expecting a much sterner test this time.

    "A one-off, a freak of nature. That day was incredible, we scored pretty much with each shot," Klopp added. 

    "We don't expect that again. They've changed and improved under Patrick [Vieira], they look like a really stable team. It's a really good Premier League team with a few unlucky results."

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    The Argentina goalkeeper, who tasted Copa America success in 2021, has been an integral figure at Villa Park since his move from Arsenal ahead of the 2020-21 season.

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    "I won a major tournament with Argentina not long ago and every time I come through the tunnel at Villa Park on a matchday, I can see the crowd, the lights, the fans excited for us to play," he told VillaTV on Friday.

    "Just before coming out [on to the pitch], I see the Champions League trophy and the FA Cup trophy and that's where I want to get.

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    Martinez endured a frustrating time at Arsenal, where he made just 15 appearances as he was loaned out to numerous clubs, but believes he has now settled at Villa.

    "When I signed for Aston Villa, obviously I had massive ambitions about being in Europe and being the best version of myself, and the club have opened a really good door for me," he added.

    "They made me a better goalkeeper, with the goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler, Christian [Purslow], Johan [Lange], they're good people, very loyal and ambitious as well, like the owners."

    "So winning a major tournament for Argentina, thank you to Aston Villa for developing me as a good goalkeeper; and I think actually I can improve much more here and I want to commit my future here.

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    Villa, who also brought in experienced goalkeeper Robin Olsen on loan from Roma on Tuesday, sit 13th in the Premier League on 23 points as they prepare for their next clash with Everton on Saturday.

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    Burnley are winless in their last 11 Premier League away games, drawing four and losing seven, but have not played in the top flight since January 2 due to various coronavirus-enforced postponements.

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    "They are a competitive team and Sean always puts them out there for a difficult game," he added.

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