Rumour Has It: Barcelona, Juventus close to agreeing four-player exchange deal

By Sports Desk May 13, 2020

Barcelona and Juventus are getting close to an incredible exchange deal.

Miralem Pjanic has continued to be linked with a move to Camp Nou, although there has been uncertainty over how, and if, Barcelona could get a transfer done.

It seems they are on the verge of sealing a deal for the midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, JUVENTUS CLOSE TO AGREEING EXCHANGE DEAL

Barcelona and Juventus are close to agreeing an exchange deal involving four players, according to Sport.

It says Pjanic and Mattia De Sciglio will join Barca, with Jean-Clair Todibo – who is on loan at Schalke this season – and Arturo Vidal or Ivan Rakitic heading to Turin.

Barcelona have also been linked with moves for Inter star Lautaro Martinez and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar.

ROUND-UP

- Kingsley Coman is wanted by three of Europe's biggest clubs. Sky reports Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City are interested in the Bayern Munich attacker.

- Linked with a move away from Tottenham, Tanguy Ndombele may be going nowhere. The Mirror says Spurs will not allow the midfielder, reportedly a target for Barcelona, to leave this close season.

- Another Spurs player, however, could leave. Tottenham defender Juan Foyth, who is contracted at the club until 2022, is being eyed by Barca, according to the Mirror.

- It seems Angel Gomes is leaving Manchester United. The Mirror claims Chelsea feel they are close to landing the midfielder, whose deal at Old Trafford expires at the end of June.

- Real Betis and Portugal midfielder William Carvalho is drawing plenty of attention. Diario de Sevilla reports Wolves are the latest club to join the race for Carvalho, who has been linked to Tottenham, Monaco, Leicester City and Watford previously.

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    Ansu Fati has been urged to scale new heights with Barcelona as he marks his 18th birthday with another LaLiga outing.

    The young forward has caught the eye since making his debut for the Camp Nou giants as a 16-year-old, and four goals in his first five league appearances this season have confirmed his progress.

    Fati, the youngest goalscorer in Barcelona's history, has also established himself in the Spain squad and could take the delayed Euro 2020 by storm if his rise continues.

    Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has come to regard Fati as a key component in his team, but the Dutch coach says there are areas where the teenager can still improve.

    As Fati celebrates on Saturday, he and Barcelona head to Alaves for their latest LaLiga clash, looking to bounce back from last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the season's first Clasico.

    Koeman revealed he spoke with Fati on Thursday to offer a timely reminder of how he can take his performances to the next level.

    "I was with Ansu a little while talking about concentration," Koeman said. "I think that he needs to improve in this sense.

    "When he loses the ball, it's because of a question of concentration, not because of his quality. In this sense he can improve and he has our help every day.

    "He's a very talented player, he's a really good player. He's got a really high level of playing so we need to look after him and especially help him with his career projection and his concentration.

    "He needs to be ready and focused to improve."

    Fati himself told the Mundo Deportivo newspaper: "This is just the beginning, I hope to celebrate more years as a Barca player."

    With his goal in the defeat against Madrid last week, Fati became the youngest player in the 21st century to score in El Clasico, at 17 years and 359 days.

    This season he has also become the first player to score more than once in the Champions League before turning 18.

    He was the first LaLiga player born in 2000 or later to score 10 or more goals in all competitions, also becoming in September the youngest player from the top five European leagues to reach double figures in goals since the beginning of last season.

    At 17 years and 311 days, Fati became Spain's youngest ever goalscorer when he marked his first start for the national team with a strike in the 4-0 win over Ukraine on September 6.

    Birthday wishes for Fati came on Saturday from LaLiga, who tweeted to list a string of his achievements and declare: "The world is yours."

  • Rumour Has It: Mbappe eyes Real Madrid, Neymar wants PSG stay Rumour Has It: Mbappe eyes Real Madrid, Neymar wants PSG stay

    Kylian Mbappe seems set to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

    Mbappe's future with the Ligue 1 giants is a constant talking point with the star forward coming out of contract in 2022.

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    TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS PSG EXIT

    Mbappe wants to leave PSG next year, according to OKdiario.

    The report says the France international wants a smooth transfer to Real Madrid, otherwise he will make a move for free in 2022.

    Mbappe has helped PSG win three straight Ligue 1 titles since his arrival, initially on loan, from Monaco in 2017.

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    ROUND-UP

    - Another PSG star coming out of contract in 2022 is Neymar. However, in good news for the Ligue 1 giants, the forward wants to extend his contract, according to Foot Mercato, which says Neymar was ready to sign a five-year deal under the same financial conditions earlier in 2020.

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    - Staying at Manchester City and ESPN says Barcelona will again attempt to sign defender Eric Garcia in January. Garcia was linked with a return to the LaLiga giants earlier this year, but the report adds the incoming president will have to approve any potential deal.

    - Atletico Madrid are pushing hard to sign Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, according to Le 10 Sport.

  • Hat-trick or treat: Premier League history on Halloween Hat-trick or treat: Premier League history on Halloween

    It is that time of year again - Halloween is here!

    October 31 is a date synonymous with apple-bobbing, costume parties, carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating. And football, too, of course.

    This Saturday sees three Premier League fixtures take place, so can we expect to see plenty of ghouls - sorry, goals - during proceedings?

    Manchester City host Sheffield United in the early kick-off, Chelsea travel to Burnley and the schedule concludes with champions Liverpool welcoming West Ham to Anfield.

    With help from Opta, take a (scary) trip down memory lane with a look at Halloween through the years in the English top flight, including some be-witching scoring feats and those left having nightmares.

     

    HAT-TRICK TREATS

    Three players have scored a Premier League hat-trick on the final day of October, the most recent being Demba Ba in a 3-1 win over Stoke City for Newcastle United nine years ago.

    Newcastle were responsible for another of the trebles, with Kevin Nolan finding the net three times in a famous 5-1 win over, fittingly, the Black Cats – their bitter rivals, Sunderland – one year beforehand.

    The other three-goal haul came via Aruna Dindane for Portsmouth against Wigan Athletic in 2009. A spook-tacular feat, indeed!

     

    THE UNLUCKY 13

    It is perhaps somewhat appropriate that 13 red cards have been dished out on Halloween down the years.

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    OG HORRORS

    Arguably the biggest horror show a player can endure is scoring for the opposition, something only four players have done on this day since the Premier League was incepted.

    Alfie Mawson could not mask his misery in Swansea City's 3-1 loss to Stoke City in 2016, turning Ramadan Sobhi's shot into his own net.

    Craig Short did likewise for Everton against Manchester United 22 years ago, while Gary McAllister and Ian Brightwell – both in 1992 – complete the set.

    LONG LIST OF GHOUL-SCORERS

    Halloween is not all about chills, though - there are the occasional thrills, too!

    Eighty-eight different players can hold claim to scoring on the spookiest day of the year, 17 of those bagging more than once.

    As well as the aforementioned hat-trick heroes, the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Philippe Coutinho, Robin van Persie, Odion Ighalo and Ian Wright have scored multiple times.

    Ighalo and Mahrez are two of six current Premier League players to have found the net on Halloween, along with Branislav Ivanovic, Olivier Giroud, Christian Benteke and Jamie Vardy. 

    But Christian Benteke has the special honour of being the only one of those 88 goal-scorers from whose name you can create the words 'trick' and 'treat'.

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