Rumour Has It: Barcelona give Aston Villa Coutinho ultimatum

By Sports Desk May 04, 2022

Barcelona's financial volatility has necessitated a cut of overall wage spend, and Philippe Coutinho has long been viewed as dispensable.

Since his big-money signing from Liverpool, the incompatibility the Brazil international has represented has only been reinforced with loan spells at Bayern Munich and Aston Villa.

However, in need of funds, the Blaugrana have reportedly set the Birmingham club a timeframe for confirming his permanent signing.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA GIVE ASTON VILLA COUTINHO ULTIMATUM

Barcelona have given Aston Villa until the end of the month to confirm whether they will sign Coutinho on a permanent deal, Sport is reporting.

The cash-strapped Catalan giants loaned Coutinho to Villa in January with a €40million (£33.7m) purchase option, but Villa have now been given until the end of May to finalise the deal.

Barcelona have reportedly insisted that the finances be resolved by the end of June, as it would help balance their accounts for the season. 

The 29-year-old has played erratically despite four goals and three assists in 14 appearances, not directly contributing to a league goal since early March against Leeds.

ROUND-UP

- Romelu Lukaku has no intention of joining Milan or Newcastle United despite frustration over a lack of opportunities, according to the Evening Standard.

- Chelsea want to sign 20-year-old Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, Goal reports.

- Football Insider reports Inter Milan are looking to sell Stefan de Vrij, with Tottenham and Aston Villa among the clubs interested.

- Lazio are willing to lower their asking price for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to around €80million, per Calciomercato.

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  • Tottenham forward Richarlison banned for one game by FA after throwing smoke bomb Tottenham forward Richarlison banned for one game by FA after throwing smoke bomb

    Tottenham forward Richarlison has been banned for one game and fined by the Football Association (FA) for improper conduct, having thrown a smoke bomb during Everton's Premier League win against Chelsea in May.

    The Brazil international recently joined Spurs from the Toffees in a deal reported to be worth an initial £50million, signing a five-year contract.

    But he will miss out on his side's first game of the 2022-23 season after accepting a one-match suspension over his actions with his former club, having thrown a smoke bomb towards the stands after scoring at Goodison Park.

    "An independent Regulatory Commission has suspended Richarlison de Andrade for one match and fined him £25,000 following a breach of FA Rule E3 that took place during a Premier League game on Sunday 1 May 2022," read an FA statement.

    "The Tottenham Hotspur FC forward admitted that his conduct while playing for Everton FC during the 46th minute of this game against Chelsea FC was improper, and his sanction was imposed during a subsequent hearing."

    The ban means Richarlison's competitive debut for Spurs will be delayed past their Premier League opener against Southampton on August 6, leaving him in line for an early reunion with Chelsea on August 13 instead.

    The Selecao star will likely get his first taste of action during Tottenham's pre-season schedule, however, with Antonio Conte's side set to face a host of international opponents including Sevilla, Rangers and Roma.

  • Mourinho's Roma sign right-back Celik from Lille Mourinho's Roma sign right-back Celik from Lille

    Zeki Celik has become Jose Mourinho's third signing of the transfer window at Roma, joining from Lille for a reported €7million fee.

    Celik, who has signed a four-year contract with the Serie A club, was said to be of interest to Mourinho when he was Tottenham coach.

    He follows midfielder Nemanja Matic and goalkeeper Mile Svilar – both of whom were free transfers – to Rome.

    "For me, it is an honour to play for such an important club," Celik said. "I have great ambitions and I want to contribute to the success of the team.

    "I feel ready and focused. I never give up, and you will always see me fighting on the pitch."

    Celik spent four seasons at Lille, winning the Ligue 1 title in 2020-21.

    However, that successful team has been broken up over the past 12 months, with Mike Maignan, Boubakary Soumare, Jonathan Ikone, Sven Botman and now Celik all moved on.

    Renato Sanches is thought to be a transfer target for both Paris Saint-Germain and Milan.

  • Rumour Has It: Cristiano Ronaldo willing to take pay cut to secure Man Utd exit Rumour Has It: Cristiano Ronaldo willing to take pay cut to secure Man Utd exit

    Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United and is willing to make some allowances to secure the move.

    Reports of Ronaldo's transfer request emerged over the weekend, although United are said to be holding firm in their desire to keep the superstar.

    That has not stopped the rumours around a potential destination for the Portugal great, though, and he is doing all he can to get the move he wants.

    TOP STORY – RONALDO WILLING TO TAKE PAY CUT

    The Independent reports Ronaldo is willing to take a "considerable" pay cut in order to move to a Champions League contender.

    The forward's desire to win another European crown was widely cited as key to his decision to push for a departure from United, and the report suggests the player is hopeful a reduced salary could entice leading clubs.

    Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, who employ great rival Lionel Messi, are listed as potential suitors.

    The Athletic also again reports Chelsea's interest following talk of a meeting between Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes and new Stamford Bridge owner Todd Boehly earlier in the close-season.

    The Sun says Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is reluctant to agree to such a transfer, though, while AS claims Mendes has also met with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

    ROUND-UP

    – Corriere dello Sport claims Bayern Munich are looking to bring in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen for a fee in the vicinity of €100million if Robert Lewandowski is to leave.

    – According to Fabrizio Romano, Tottenham have agreed to sign 27-year-old Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet for a fee of £17.2m.

    – The Sun is reporting Arsenal have made a £47m bid for 27-year-old Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

    – After loaning Romelu Lukaku to Inter, Chelsea are also weighing up a potential loan move for Hakim Ziyech to Milan, according to The Athletic.

    – The Mirror claims United representatives have met with Ajax to discuss a £39.6m offer for defender Lisandro Martinez.

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