Rumour Has It: Adama Traore offered to Juve, Barca make offer for Man City defender

By Sports Desk September 09, 2020

Adama Traore to team up with Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin?

The Wolves winger has been linked to some of Europe's biggest clubs, but Juventus could sign the Spain international.

Watch this space…

 

TOP STORY – TRAORE OFFERED TO JUVE

Juventus have been offered Wolves star Adama Traore by agent Jorge Mendes, according to Calciomercato.

Juve, Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona have been linked with Traore following his exploits for Wolves in the Premier League.

Traore could be made available to Serie A champions Juve for €70million (£63m) as Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi reportedly near exits.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona have lodged their first bid for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. The 19-year-old, who is out of contract in 2021, join City from Barca in 2017. Barca have offered €8m (£7.2m) plus another €2m (£1.8m) in potential add-ons, though City are asking for €40m (£36m).

- According to Tancredi Palmeri, Juve have struck a deal with Barcelona for veteran forward Luis Suarez. Unwanted by new head coach Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou, Suarez is set to join Ronaldo in Turin.

Moise Kean wants to return to Juventus, however, Calciomercato says Borussia Dortmund are preparing an offer for the Everton forward.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma are closing in on a permanent deal for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling. The English centre-back spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Roma and the Serie A club have reportedly agreed personal terms.

Leeds United have submitted a new bid to sign Dinamo Zagreb sensation Josko Gvardiol, says Fabrizio Romano. The newly promoted Premier League side have offered £19.9m (€22m) plus 20 per cent of a future sale amid interest from RB Leipzig.

- Brescia and Italy star Sandro Tonali will undergo a medical on Wednesday ahead of his move to Milan, reports Tuttomercatoweb and Sportitalia.

Chelsea have not made contact for Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara, reports Romano. Alcantara is wanted by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, while United have held talks with the Spaniard's agent. He has also emerged as a possible target for former club Barca.

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  • Guardiola hoping to 'seduce' Garcia into extending Manchester City contract Guardiola hoping to 'seduce' Garcia into extending Manchester City contract

    Pep Guardiola is optimistic Manchester City can "seduce" Eric Garcia into extending his contract at the Etihad Stadium despite previously telling the club he wants to leave.

    Spanish defender Garcia made City aware back in August that he would not sign a new deal, with the 19-year-old's present contract expiring at the end of June 2021.

    A return to Barcelona, whose academy Garcia was at before joining City in 2017, has been suggested as the most likely destination and Los Cules were linked with a move in the previous transfer window.

    But Garcia was selected to start City's 3-1 Champions League win over Porto alongside Ruben Dias in the absence of Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake on Wednesday, with John Stones on the bench.

    Guardiola explained his reasoning for starting Garcia and also expressed hope he may yet be convinced to stay in Manchester long term.

    "I'm so happy. I know he wanted to leave but he's going to stay and maybe we can seduce him in this year to extend the contract with us," said Guardiola. 

    "He's a guy who is so stable in many, many things and we are so happy."

    Garcia made five clearances, one interception and gained possession four times for City in their Group C triumph over Porto.

    Only Dias (110) had more than his total of 108 passes, 101 of which were completed for a pass success rate of 93.5 per cent. 

    He had 116 touches of the ball in total, as well as contesting three duels and two aerial duels.

  • Talking Point: How does crazy Premier League start compare to other 'big five' divisions? Talking Point: How does crazy Premier League start compare to other 'big five' divisions?

    A pause for October's international break did nothing to check the riotous start to the Premier League season.

    From the action-packed and controversy-laden 2-2 draw between table-topping Everton and champions Liverpool at Goodison Park to West Ham's late comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Tottenham, last weekend was another to baffle and excite.

    England's top flight has long trumpeted a reputation for being the most exciting league in the world.

    Right now, it seems difficult to argue against that viewpoint, but how does the Premier League compare to its other major counterparts in Europe at this unusual time for elite football?

    Goals, goals, goals

    As you might expect from a season that has already seen the champions beaten 7-2 by a team that only escaped relegation on the final day last term and their expected main challengers lose 5-2 at home, the Premier League stands above the other "big five" leagues in terms of goals per game.

    There have been 172 goals in 48 Premier League matches so far, an average of 3.6 every 90 minutes.

    That outstrips the returns so far from LaLiga (2.2), the Bundesliga (3.1) and Ligue 1 (2.8) fairly comfortably, although Serie A runs its English counterpart close with 136 goals in 39 matches for 3.5 per game. We'll take a closer look at Italy's great entertainers later.

    The Premier League is averaging almost a goal more per game than over the entirety of last season, when 1,034 in 380 matches amounted to 2.7 per ninety minutes.

    That edged slightly ahead of Ligue 1 and LaLiga (both 2.5), with Serie A (3.0) and the Bundesliga (3.2) weighing in with more goals, pound for pound.

    Paying the penalty

    One notable feature over the opening weeks of the season has been VAR-emboldened referees pointing at the penalty spot as if it's going out of fashion. Leicester City won and converted three in their 5-2 rout of Manchester City.

    The 29 spot-kicks awarded amounts to 0.6 per game and leads the way among the big five leagues, as does the average of 0.5 penalty goals after 25 found the back of the net.

    Last season, there were only 92 awarded and 72 scored in the Premier League – each an average 0.2 per game.

    Should the current trend continue, the division will far outstrip those numbers and might end up somewhere close to Serie A in 2019-20, where 187 awards and 152 goals amounted to 0.5 and 0.4 per game respectively.

    Errors are fun!

    Of course, the Gunfight at the O.K Corral nature of some Premier League games this season has left a handful of purists bemoaning a lack of quality sometimes underpinning the soaring entertainment.

    There have been more errors leading to shots per game (0.8) in the Premier League than any of the other major divisions this season. However, it's not just defenders getting things wrong. Those mistakes have only yielded 0.3 goals from errors per match – the same as Ligue 1.

    But hang on, before you start to dismiss the Premier League's finest as uncultured, gaffe-prone oafs, consider Opta's numbers on build-up attacks.

    Build-up attacks are open play sequences that contain 10 or more passes and either end in a shot or a touch in the opposition box.

    There have been 208 of these in the Premier League so far this season, averaging 4.3 every 90 minutes. All the other divisions are below four.

    This adeptness when it comes to crafting patiently built attacks also comes with a risk. Teams doing so will generally play out from the back, where any errors have more chance of hitting those shots and goals against numbers.

    Serie A? The defensive masters? Not really

    That's right, the land of Catenaccio is completely giddy on Golazos. Atalanta scored four, four and five in their opening three wins, before shipping four at Napoli. They've netted 14 times overall and sit third.

    Second-placed Sassuolo are only one goal behind Gian Piero Gasperini's freewheelers with 13 goals.

    In terms of shots (25.7), shots on target (9.2), big chances (4.6), big chances scored (2.1) and errors leading to goals (0.4) per game, Serie A comes out on top of the pile in the early days of this raucous, surreal season.

  • Rumour Has It: Griezmann set for new contract at Barcelona Rumour Has It: Griezmann set for new contract at Barcelona

    Antoine Griezmann could be set to renew his contract at Barcelona.

    The France international has faced criticism for failing to live up to expectations since joining Barca from Atletico Madrid last year.

    However, Griezmann may join the list of players renewing with the LaLiga giants.

     

    TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN SET FOR BARCELONA RENEWAL

    Griezmann could be among the next group of players to renew at Barcelona, according to EFE.

    It claims Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto may also re-sign, amid reports players are reducing their wages at the club.

    It comes after Barcelona announced the re-signings of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet on Tuesday.

    Griezmann scored 15 goals in 48 games for Barca last season, while he is yet to net in four appearances in 2020-21.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - A former Barcelona head coach could be set for a new job. Marca reports Palmeiras have made a move for Quique Setien after the departure of Vanderlei Luxemburgo.

    - Despite signing Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias in the close season, Manchester City are reportedly look for another defender. Fabrizio Romano suggested the Premier League giants are monitoring Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres.

    - Christian Eriksen's Inter future remains uncertain. CalcioMercato reports Inter turned down a loan bid from Borussia Dortmund in the close season, but the Serie A club could be open to the midfielder leaving in January.

    - After Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury, Liverpool are linked with defenders. The Sun says Brighton and Hove Albion would demand at least £50million for Ben White if the Premier League champions make a move for the centre-back in January.

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