Footy http://www.footy.to/ Your Daily Football NEws Source Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:37:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.16 Liverpool ‘are pushing hard’ to beat Real Madrid to David Alaba http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/liverpool-are-pushing-hard-to-beat-real-madrid-to-david-alaba/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/liverpool-are-pushing-hard-to-beat-real-madrid-to-david-alaba/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:37:09 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31312

Liverpool ‘are pushing hard’ to beat Real Madrid to David Alaba on a free transfer from Bayern Munich… but the defender’s ‘dream’ is to join the Spanish side at the end of the season

  • David Alaba’s Bayern Munich contract expires at the end of the current season
  • The 28-year-old defender is of interest to Liverpool and giants Real Madrid 
  • It is believed that Austria international Alaba would prefer to join the LaLiga side  

Liverpool have joined Real Madrid in the battle to swoop for Bayern Munich defender David Alaba on a free transfer at the end of the season.

According to The Guardian, Jurgen Klopp’s outfit are ‘pushing hard’ to land the 28-year-old, whose contract expires once the 2020-21 season ends.

But the publication adds that it has been a long held dream of Alaba’s to one day play for Real Madrid and the Spanish giants are very much the favourites for his signature as things stand.

David Alaba is wanted by both Real Madrid and Liverpool with his contract running out

Alaba has won nine Bundesliga titles and the Champions League twice in his time at Bayern

Alaba has won nine Bundesliga titles and the Champions League twice in his time at Bayern

The 28-year-old Austria international, who can play as a centre back or a left back, has been playing for Bayern since 2008.

In his 12 years at the club, Alaba has won nine Bundesliga titles and the Champions League twice, including last season. 

He is not believed to be pushing for a January departure and is happy to see out his contract with Hansi Flick’s side, who sit at the summit of the Bundesliga standings.

Klopp and Liverpool are believed to be planning for the summer transfer window and are not expected to be too busy in January.

It is believed that Alaba's dream is to play for Real Madrid, who are interested in signing him

It is believed that Alaba’s dream is to play for Real Madrid, who are interested in signing him

But Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are said to be pushing hard to convince him to head to Anfield

But Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are said to be pushing hard to convince him to head to Anfield

That comes despite Liverpool’s defensive injury issues piling up, with his three established central defenders sidelined through injury in Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip. 

Liverpool were beaten 1-0 by Southampton in the Premier League on Monday night, where Klopp was forced to play two midfielders in central defence in Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool return to action on Friday when they meet Aston Villa in the FA Cup. 



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Frank Lampard MUST trim his Chelsea squad to get their season back on track http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/frank-lampard-must-trim-his-chelsea-squad-to-get-their-season-back-on-track/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/frank-lampard-must-trim-his-chelsea-squad-to-get-their-season-back-on-track/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:36:07 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31309

It is something of an understatement to say that Frank Lampard has a lot on his plate right now.

The 42-year-old did not need telling when he took the Chelsea job just how much he would need to juggle to find the formula for success. 

He navigated a transfer ban and impressively got into the Champions League but for the first time in his tenure the pressure is mounting, and with results slipping attention has turned to his bloated first-team squad.  

Pressure is building on Frank Lampard and he must work out how to turn Chelsea’s form round

Antonio Rudiger is on the periphery of the squad and has been reported to be unhappy at his diluted role

Danny Drinkwater isn't in Lampard's plans but is still on the club's books

Antonio Rudiger (left) and Danny Drinkwater (right) may need to be moved on in January

In all competitions Chelsea have won just once in their last seven matches – a 3-0 win at home against West Ham.

They have lost four games in that run, away to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and most recently 3-1 at home to Manchester City. 

It has seen Chelsea drop to ninth in the table, just three points above Arsenal, who were widely condemned as being in a relegation battle only a couple of weeks ago. 

As the January transfer window has rolled round there has been added scrutiny on Lampard’s squad – he has three senior goalkeepers, five centre backs jockeying for two places, a deluge of left backs and six central midfielders.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is the world's most expensive goalkeeper but he is stuck on the bench

Emerson Palmieri is in and out of the side and is one of four left back options available to Lampard

Kepa Arrizabalaga (left) has been replaced and is on the bench while Emerson Palmieri (right) is one of four left-back options Lampard is currently having to juggle

There are reported to be tensions among those on the fringes of the team and it is on Lampard to restore harmony in the dressing room if he is going to get their bid for European football back on track after a particularly harsh Christmas.   

Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori are said to be frustrated, while winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is of the belief he deserves more minutes from the start of games having spurned interest from Bayern Munich to commit to the west London side.   

Sportsmail picks apart the players at Lampard’s disposal and looks at whether they will stay, be sent out on loan or will be moved on.  

GOALKEEPERS

Most managers are keen to have a reliable No 1 and a dependable No 2 in case of emergency. By and large this is adopted by most bosses. 

And yet Lampard has found himself in the situation of having three senior goalkeepers who all believe they should be No 1. 

Competition for places is a good thing but two pouting players on the bench does nothing for squad harmony.

Kepa Arrizabalaga remains the world’s most expensive goalkeeper since his £72million move to west London back in 2018. He won’t need reminding of his value nor his talent and yet, while Lampard was determined to replace him, the club were unable to move the Spaniard on. 

Edouard Mendy was brought in last summer and has established himself as Chelsea's No 1

Edouard Mendy was brought in last summer and has established himself as Chelsea’s No 1 

It’s tricky because the club, naturally, don’t want to take a huge loss on a player that is competing to represent Spain at Euro 2020. But the market has seemed reluctant to go all in on a player that has appeared error-strewn since making the move to England. 

A loan could be an option but again it would depend on the interested clubs and whether Kepa wants to head out on a temporary switch.   

Then there is Willy Caballero who, at 39, is approaching the very end of his career. He is a more moveable asset, perhaps somewhere like Major League Soccer could be a destination given he is out of contract at the end of the season. 

It’s tricky as Lampard may well prefer Caballero as a back-up to Edouard Mendy but he simply has to get a handle on the situation before the season is out.  

DEFENDERS

Again, an area where Lampard is well stocked – arguably over-stocked. 

The former Chelsea midfielder has used a back four in every game this season except for the 0-0 away at Manchester United where he elected to have Thiago Silva anchor a back three.

And so he is toying with two centre backs every week, and more often it is Silva partnered with Kurt Zouma. 

Silva brings a wealth of experience and Zouma has been one of the Blues’ most impressive players this campaign. But their continued selection has left Rudiger, Tomori and Andreas Christensen frustrated. 

Thiago Silva provides Lampard with an on pitch leader and he is a regular in the starting XI

Thiago Silva provides Lampard with an on pitch leader and he is a regular in the starting XI

Christensen has played just seven times this season, Rudiger has featured six times and Tomori just three. 

Christensen is likely to stay and compete with Zouma and Silva, particularly the Brazilian given he cannot play every game at the age of 36. 

But one of Rudiger or Tomori could be moved on, Tomori more likely to be allowed to depart on a loan if Lampard decides to keep Rudiger around for his experience. 

Rudiger was a first-choice defender last season but has seen his stock depreciate and he has slipped down the pecking order in this campaign, hampering his Euro 2020 prospects for the Germany squad. 

That may see Rudiger take the situation into his own hands this month, but Lampard will not need reminding that it is a situation that has to find a resolution this month with tensions said to be mounting over the lack of minutes to share around.  

Ben Chilwell has established himself as the first-choice left back after his £50m move last summer

Marcos Alonso has fallen down the pecking order and is likely to move on in January

Ben Chilwell’s (left) £50m arrival has seen Marcos Alonso (right) fall down the pecking order

Then there is the stockpiling at left back. Chelsea have long been seen as a hoarder of players among Premier League sides but four options at left back is bordering on the ridiculous. 

Ben Chilwell arrived for £50m and has subsequently established himself as first choice, playing 20 games so far. But it is too much to have Marcos Alonso, Emerson Palmieri and Baba Rahman as alternative options. 

Alonso has been cast aside, featuring just three times in 2020-21, and appears to be further down the pecking order than Palmieri. The former Bolton wing back is likely to be moved on in January while Chelsea could make another attempt to find a home for Rahman, who has not featured for the first team this season.   

Reece James-Silva-Zouma-Chilwell is Lampard’s preferred defensive quartet but his plethora of options is causing more issues than selection headaches.  

MIDFIELDERS

Whether he elects for a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 or even the 4-2-2-2 he used to start the season, it seems that only three of Lampard’s six central midfielders will be handed starting spots. 

There’s plenty of competition and at times this season it appeared that that competition was inspiring greatness in players to ensure they did not waste any opportunity that came their way.

But, as it does when results slide, the midfield has been placed under the microscope and there is a growing belief that there are simply too many in this squad.   

Mason Mount has elevated his game and has been rewarded with consistent selections by Lampard

Jorginho has featured in 17 games but is not in Lampard's top three used central midfielders

Mason Mount (left) has elevated his game but there are still question marks on Jorginho (right)

Lampard has more of a headache man-managing the egos and personalities than a headache with his selection. 

N’Golo Kante is Chelsea’s second most-used player this season while Mason Mount is third on that list and so those two have proven dependable picks for Lampard, players he regularly wants to turn to. 

Mateo Kovacic, who has featured in 20 games, appears the third go-to for Lampard in the middle of the park and it would be a real surprise to see any of that trio moved on in the winter window.  

Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz are not in any danger of the axe, having arrived in the summer for a combined £126m. Havertz has struggled so far while Ziyech, who is also used on the wing, has impressed when able to avoid injury. Both will be given time to find form and fitness.

That leaves Jorginho, Billy Gilmour and Danny Drinkwater as alternate options in the middle of the park.   

Drinkwater has no future whatsoever under Lampard at Chelsea, hasn’t made a senior appearance for the Blues since 2018 and was recently captured kicking out at Tottenham’s teenage midfielder Alfie Devine in an Under 23s game.

N'Golo Kante is Mr Dependable for Lampard and seems the safest midfielder in any reshuffle

N’Golo Kante is Mr Dependable for Lampard and seems the safest midfielder in any reshuffle

The difficulty will be finding a suitor for the man who cost £35m from Leicester given his disappointing loans at Burnley and Aston Villa. His exit won’t be through any hesitancy on Chelsea’s end. 

His £120,000-a-week deal at Chelsea also complicates any potential exit, particularly mid-season and under the cloud of an ongoing global pandemic.

Jorginho is a trickier one. He is still highly regarded by a number of Serie A clubs and hasn’t been completely cast aside by Lampard – he’s featured in 17 games. His exit could hinge on getting an offer that is too good to turn down.

Gilmour may be allowed to leave on loan but given Lampard has been keen to keep the hugely impressive Scot in house so far in his fledgling career, it would seem odd to now turn the youngster away. 

And all of this with Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tiemoue Bakayoyo, Ethan Ampadu and Marko van Ginkel already sent out on loan. The number of central midfielders on Chelsea’s books really is absurd.

Plenty for Lampard to ponder as he continues to search for the perfect blend.  

ATTACKERS

The Olivier Giroud conundrum, that’s what Lampard must try to work out this month.

The World Cup winner has been a bright spark in recent weeks as £53m summer signing Timo Werner continues to cut an exasperated figure. He has not scored for two months now.

Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo is keen on Giroud and he won’t be alone if it is made clear he is available for transfer. 

The difficulty for Lampard is that Giroud has scored eight in his last eight while Werner falls flat. Long term the German is expected to light up the top flight but right now it would prove a bold call to cast aside the free-scoring Giroud.  

Timo Werner arrived to great expectations but he has struggled to recapture his best form

Timo Werner arrived to great expectations but he has struggled to recapture his best form

Werner can be deployed down the left or the right but then so can Christian Pulisic or Callum Hudson-Odoi. 

Pulisic, who was a big hit last term, has struggled with injuries this season and that has made it somewhat easier on Lampard but he knows that he has a lot of strikers in need of minutes and he does not have enough to go round. 

Against Manchester City it was Werner through the middle with Pulisic down the left and Ziyech down the right. Giroud and Tammy Abraham were unused substitutes. 

Against Arsenal it was Abraham through the middle with Werner down the left and Pulisic down the right. Giroud was again an unused substitute. 

Charly Musonda is not in the squad and is free to move on but there are tougher decisions to be made as to whether Lampard sticks or twists with Giroud.  

Olivier Giroud has proven a real goalscoring asset but continues to be linked with moves away

Olivier Giroud has proven a real goalscoring asset but continues to be linked with moves away

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Sokratis Papastathopoulos wanted by Genoa as Arsenal look to cash-in on out-of-favour defender http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/sokratis-papastathopoulos-wanted-by-genoa-as-arsenal-look-to-cash-in-on-out-of-favour-defender/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/sokratis-papastathopoulos-wanted-by-genoa-as-arsenal-look-to-cash-in-on-out-of-favour-defender/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:34:19 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31306

Sokratis Papastathopoulos wanted by Genoa as Arsenal look to cash-in on out-of-favour defender before his contract expires in the summer

  • Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is wanted by Serie A side Genoa 
  • The centre back has been frozen out by current manager Mikel Arteta 
  • The Gunners are looking to cash-in before his contract expires in the summer

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is wanted by Italian side Genoa. 

The centre back’s contract is set to expire in the summer and the Gunners are looking to cash-in during the winter transfer window. 

Sokratis has been frozen out by manger Mikel Arteta with the 32-year-old missing out on a place in his Premier League and Europa League squads for the 2020-2021 season.

The defender is not part of Mikel Arteta's plans

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (left) is wanted by Serie A side Genoa after being frozen out by manager Mikel Arteta (right)

The defender joined the club in a £17million deal from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and has made 69 appearances for the north London side. 

The Greek international also has interest from Napoli and Fenerbahce.

Genoa have reportedly turned their attentions to Sokratis – who played for them from 2008 to 2010 – after abandoning their pursuit for Lazio defender Denis Vavro.

The Greek international was left out of Arsenal's Premier League and Europa League squads

The Greek international was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads

Vavro had trained with the Italian side but, according to Sky Italia, there were concerns over his fitness.

Arteta is planning an overhaul of his squad with Sead Kolasinac also sealing a move away from the Emirates. The defender has joined Schalke on loan until the end of the season.

William Saliba has joined Nice on loan for the rest of the campaign, six months after signing for the Gunners. Saliba is yet to make his competitive debut for the Premier League side.



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AC Milan struck down by Covid outbreak as Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic test positive http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/ac-milan-struck-down-by-covid-outbreak-as-rade-krunic-and-ante-rebic-test-positive/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/ac-milan-struck-down-by-covid-outbreak-as-rade-krunic-and-ante-rebic-test-positive/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:33:15 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31303

AC Milan struck down by Covid outbreak ahead of tonight’s Juventus game as Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic test positive… with game already in doubt due to multiple cases in Andrea Pirlo’s side and authorities threatening to block them from travelling

  • AC Milan revealed Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic have tested positive for Covid-19
  • Both Rebic and Krunic are asymptomatic and currently self-isolating at home
  • The news comes shortly after Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado tested positive 
  • All four players will miss out on AC Milan clash with Juventus this evening 

AC Milan have revealed that Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic have tested positive for coronavirus ahead of tonight’s fixture against Juventus.

The news comes just hours after Juventus announced that both Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado had been ruled out after also contracting Covid-19.

The statement from AC Milan confirms that both Krunic and Rebic are asymptomatic and currently self-isolating at home.

AC Milan have revealed that Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic (R) have tested positive for Covid-19

After Krunic and Rebic returned a positive result from their swab tests on Tuesday, they under went a second test today. The results are not yet known.

The club revealed that all other Milan players have returned a negative test and will be available for their title showdown with Juventus. 

‘The asymptomatic players remained in isolation at home where a second control swab was taken today. The health authorities were promptly informed,’ a club statement read.

‘All team members were subjected to a further test today with negative results.’ 

Juan Cuadrado has tested positive for Covid-19

Alex Sandro was also confirmed positive on Monday

Juventus duo Juan Cuadrado (left) and Alex Sandro (right) have both tested positive for Covid

The news will come as a blow to Stefano Pioli, who is already missing five other players

The news will come as a blow to Stefano Pioli, who is already missing five other players

However, the news of additional positive cases could throw this evening’s game into further doubt after authorities already threatened to cancel the fixture after Sandro and Cuadrado’s results.

Italian health authorities revealed that they would prevent Juventus from travelling to the game if there was evidence of an uncontrolled outbreak within Pirlo’s side. 

Given that Juventus and AC Milan have both seen players contract the virus, local authorities may look to intervene.   

Should the game go ahead as planned, Krunic and Rebic’s absence will come as a blow to Stefano Pioli. 

The Serie A leaders will also be without suspended midfielder Sandro Tonali and injured players Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ismael Bennacer, Alexis Saelemaekers and Matteo Gabbia.  

Local authorities may step in after previously threatening to stop Juventus from travelling

 Local authorities may step in after previously threatening to stop Juventus from travelling

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Can Mauricio Pochettino make Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Co tick again in new PSG partnership?   http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/can-mauricio-pochettino-make-neymar-kylian-mbappe-and-co-tick-again-in-new-psg-partnership/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/can-mauricio-pochettino-make-neymar-kylian-mbappe-and-co-tick-again-in-new-psg-partnership/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:32:16 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31300

After over a year out of work, Mauricio Pochettino is back in the managerial hotseat with a mouthwatering Parisian project too good to turn down. 

The 48-year-old Argentinian has bided his time since his sacking by Tottenham, following a five-year spell where he won the hearts of Spurs fans and football lovers alike, but as he takes charge at PSG – a club he played for 20 years ago – he is presented with an altogether different proposition.

With expectations sky-high managing a megabucks team with world superstars among them, Sportsmail takes a look at what Pochettino will be looking to change and implement ahead of his first game in charge at St-Etienne on Wednesday night. 

Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed PSG manager for his first job in over 12 months 

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will work under the new boss, but can they adapt to his methods?

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will work under the new boss, but can they adapt to his methods?

WHAT WILL HE BRING TO PSG?

Pochettino made Spurs contenders on the English and European stage by implementing high-pressing and high-intensity tactics where the star of the team, put simply, was the team. Even one containing Harry Kane.

Therefore, he has quite a job on to coerce these team of superstars into a cohesive unit. 

It will be fascinating to see how Pochettino decides to approach this conundrum. Whilst PSG have underperformed so far this season, they’re still the Champions League runners-up and are littered with quality.

To what extent does Pochettino aim to ‘ruffle some feathers’, so to speak? He reportedly said to his players this week that there has ‘been enough nonsense’ and the ‘time for laughing is over’. Bold early words. 

Tactically, very early indications suggest a 3-5-2 formation could be utilised, given the tactics board set out during Pochettino’s first meeting with the players. 

Of course, that could be a red herring, with the coach preferring a 4-2-3-1 formation at Spurs. He certainly has the players and resources to persevere with either set-up.  

Pochettino briefs his new players, with a tactics board in the corner showing a 3-5-2 formation

Pochettino briefs his new players, with a tactics board in the corner showing a 3-5-2 formation

He is pictured issuing orders while taking training for the first time earlier this week

He is pictured issuing orders while taking training for the first time earlier this week

CAN HE HANDLE THE SUPERSTARS? 

This will be the question which may well define Pochettino’s time at PSG. 

It is no secret that Thomas Tuchel found dealing with star players Neymar and Mbappe difficult throughout his tenure, with a very public falling out on the touchline with the young French star a particularly memorable clash. 

Pochettino developed stars such as Kane and Dele Alli at Spurs, but none with the pure quality and worldwide aura of these two. 

Pochettino smiles as he meets Neymar before talking to the squad in his first day on the job

Pochettino smiles as he meets Neymar before talking to the squad in his first day on the job

The Argentinian coach speaks to Kylian Mbappe during his first training session at the club

The Argentinian coach speaks to Kylian Mbappe during his first training session at the club 

Known to have direct communication with the board too, the pair do on occasions look to wield their influence and, with this link unlikely to be terminated, Pochettino will have to find a simple balance. 

He bases his sides on a cohesive unit – yet in Paris, the individual star is certainly the primary attraction. 

Will Poch try and change the culture, or weave his methods into the current environment? Time will tell.  

ANY JANUARY SIGNINGS? 

As you would expect, the rumour mill has been in full flow since Pochettino’s arrival was confirmed. 

Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Kane are all star attractions who have been linked with a move to the French capital, though any big-money move is likely to come in the summer and could only materialise if Mbappe makes a switch to Real Madrid. 

More pressingly, Pochettino could secure his first signing this month in making Moise Kean’s loan deal from Everton a permanent one, for a reported £31m. 

Moise Kean (left) has thrived on loan at Paris Saint-Germain this season, scoring nine goals

Moise Kean (left) has thrived on loan at Paris Saint-Germain this season, scoring nine goals

The Italian striker has been one of the standout players this season and is second in the team’s goalscoring charts on nine. 

Beyond that, talk of a loan move for Alli has gone quiet for now, while France’s World Cup winning-captain Hugo Lloris is also likely to stay put in north London despite links of a return to his homeland. 

Instead, as Sportmail has revealed, Pochettino is more likely to raid Inter Milan for another of his former charges: Christian Eriksen. The Dane is having a torrid time in Italy but was the creative star of Pochettino’s Spurs until he decided he wanted a new challenge. Eriksen is unwanted at Inter so is a realistic January target.

AND THE AIM FOR THIS SEASON?

No change here – European success is the priority at PSG. 

That being said, unlike years gone by when the Ligue 1 title has been a foregone conclusion by Christmas, Pochettino’s new team currently sit third in the French top-flight and have work to do. 

Their efforts to leapfrog Lille and Lyon start at St-Etienne on Wednesday night, but the main event for Pochettino will be the Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona, which kicks off next month. 

The 48-year-old next to president Nasser Al-Khelafi and sporting director Leonardo this week

The 48-year-old next to president Nasser Al-Khelafi and sporting director Leonardo this week

Before last season’s run to the final – and defeat by Bayern Munich – in the shortened version of the knockout-stages in the summer, PSG had failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals and an inability to reach the latter stages has seen numerous managers fall by the wayside over the past decade. 

Though Pochettino can win a trophy as early as next Wednesday – against Marseille in the French equivalent of the Community Shield – his 18-month deal indicates that he will not be afford maximum time and patience at the Parc des Princes. 

Though clinching the Ligue 1 title again will be a priority, a deep European run would guarantee at least a summer’s work on and off the pitch.

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Marcus Rashford is now the world’s MOST VALUABLE footballer at £150m http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/marcus-rashford-is-now-the-worlds-most-valuable-footballer-at-150m/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/marcus-rashford-is-now-the-worlds-most-valuable-footballer-at-150m/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:31:14 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31297

Marcus Rashford is now the world’s MOST VALUABLE footballer at £150m, with Erling Haaland second and Kylian Mbappe fifth… but which Premier League stars top the CIES chart in their positions?

  • Marcus Rashford is ranked as the world’s most valuable player in new list
  • CIES Football Observatory values the Manchester United striker at £150million
  • He has jumped to the top as PSG striker Kylian Mbappe drops down the list
  • French star is valued at £135m now as he enters last 18 months of his contract
  • Erling Haaland, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Bruno Fernandes make the top five
  • But Barcelona star Lionel Messi barely scrapes into top 100 as contract runs out 

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford is the world’s most valuable player and worth a staggering £150million, according to the latest calculations by CIES Football Observatory.

While Rashford’s value has skyrocketed on account of a free-scoring season for United, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe has slumped to fifth place on their list as he enters the last 18 months of his contract.

They value Mbappe at £135m now, below Rashford, Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland (£137.3m), Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (£137m) and United attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes (£135.1m).

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is considered the most valuable player worldwide

But Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has slipped to fifth because of his contract

But Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has slipped to fifth because of his contract 

Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland comes in second with a value of £137.3m

Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland comes in second with a value of £137.3m

The CIES survey takes into account recent player performances as well as their age, contract situation and career progression plus their club’s wealth and success.

Rashford’s value has soared this season on account of the 14 goals and seven assists he has racked up for United and the fact Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team can be considered Premier League title contenders for the first time in a while.

The England forward is also young at the age of 23 and is contracted to the Old Trafford club until 2023 with the option of a further year.

France international Mbappe, 22, actually has an identical goals and assists record to Rashford this season but his value has ebbed away because he hasn’t yet committed to a long-term PSG contract.

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold is considered the most valuable defender in the world

Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes is the most valuable midfielder

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) and Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes (right) are regarded as the most valuable defender and midfielder respectively

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (right) barely scrapes into the top 100 while Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus (left) is ranked 131st in the latest CIES ranking

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (right) barely scrapes into the top 100 while Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus (left) is ranked 131st in the latest CIES ranking

Top 10 most valuable 

1. Marcus Rashford (Man United) £149.8m

2. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) £137.3m

3.Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) £137.1m

4. Bruno Fernandes (Man United) £137m

5. Kylian Mbappe (PSG) £135m

6. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) £134.1m

7. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid) £128m

8. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) £126m

9. Raheem Sterling (Man City) £123.9m

10. Kai Havertz (Chelsea) £123m

Source: CIES Football Observatory  

Haaland, 20, continues to see his stock rise fast after 17 goals for Dortmund so far this season. The Norwegian will be in demand in the summer with Manchester United and Chelsea among a number of heavyweight clubs linked with him.

Alexander-Arnold, 22, is ranked as the world’s most valuable defender off the back of an outstanding couple of years in which Liverpool won first the Champions League and then the Premier League.

Fourth-placed Fernandes, meanwhile, has been a revelation for United since he arrived from Sporting Lisbon almost a year ago, contributing 27 goals and 17 assists in 46 matches to transform United into title challengers.

Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho makes the top 10 despite stuttering form at times this season and is valued at £134m, ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix on £127.9m.

Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Chelsea’s Kai Havertz close out the top 10 on the CIES list.

Manchester City’s Ederson Moraes is ranked as the most valuable goalkeeper at £71.9m.

With his Barcelona contract into its final six months, Lionel Messi only just scrapes into the top 100 with an estimated value of £48.8m.

But that’s still higher than Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, ranked 131st at £42.5m because of his age and the relatively short time left on his Juventus contract, which runs until June 2022.

Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho comes in sixth on the list at £134million

Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho comes in sixth on the list at £134million

Manchester City's Ederson Moraes comes in as the most valuable goalkeeper on the list

Manchester City’s Ederson Moraes comes in as the most valuable goalkeeper on the list



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UEFA may run a lopsided Euros with some games being played behind closed doors and others with fans http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/uefa-may-run-a-lopsided-euros-with-some-games-being-played-behind-closed-doors-and-others-with-fans/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/uefa-may-run-a-lopsided-euros-with-some-games-being-played-behind-closed-doors-and-others-with-fans/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:30:12 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31294

UEFA may run a lopsided Euros with some matches played behind closed doors and others in front of fans in its 12 host cities – with plans set to be announced in March as Covid crisis continues to cause havoc

  • All 12 host cities for the delayed Euro 2020 are in lockdown or enforcing curfews
  • But UEFA remain committed to running the Euros on a pan-European basis
  • All 12 venues have until end of next month to produce detailed plans for hosting
  • It’s understood UEFA are willing to have grounds operating at various capacities

UEFA could run a lopsided European Championship this summer featuring a combination of behind-closed-doors matches and some with fans.

All 12 of the proposed host cities for the delayed Euro 2020 are in lockdown or enforcing curfews, with new restrictions being implemented almost daily.

But European football’s governing body remain committed to running the tournament on a pan-European basis in front of crowds if at all possible.

It is unclear how many fans, if any, will be able to attend delayed Euro 2020 games at Wembley

Wembley will host England's group matches, and both semi-finals and the final this summer

Wembley will host England’s group matches, and both semi-finals and the final this summer

These are understood to include stadiums being at full capacity; 50 per cent to 100 per cent capacity with mitigations in place; 20 to 30 per cent capacity and a behind-closed-doors tournament. 

A decision is expected to be made at the beginning of March.

Sportsmail has learned that UEFA are even willing to have host stadiums operating at different capacities in each city despite concerns over the integrity of the competition.

The Stadio Olimpico is due to host the first match of the tournament between Italy and Turkey

The Stadio Olimpico is due to host the first match of the tournament between Italy and Turkey

This is magnified in cases such as England and Italy who have been granted matches in front of their own fans.

Italy are due to kick off the tournament with a home game against Turkey in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome June 11, but all of England matches under Gareth Southgate are scheduled to take place at Wembley, as are both semi-finals and the final.

The European governing body have considered other options, including switching to a single host country with the United Kingdom touted as potential hosts before the third wave of the virus took hold this winter. However, they will only pursue such a change as a last resort.

UEFA remain committed to hosting the tournament this summer on a pan-European basis

UEFA remain committed to hosting the tournament this summer on a pan-European basis

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Phil Neville: Outgoing England manager’s Team GB job in doubt after Inter Miami link http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/phil-neville-outgoing-england-managers-team-gb-job-in-doubt-after-inter-miami-link/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/phil-neville-outgoing-england-managers-team-gb-job-in-doubt-after-inter-miami-link/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:29:11 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31291
Phil Neville will step down as England manager in July

Phil Neville’s role as Great Britain’s women’s football manager at the Tokyo Olympics would be in doubt were he to take charge at Inter Miami.

But it was hoped he would coach Team GB at the postponed Olympics which will take place the same month.

Those plans would appear to be over if he decides to take on a managerial role at Inter Miami.

Neville’s former Manchester United team-mate and friend David Beckham owns the Major League Soccer (MLS) side.

The Press Association has reported that Neville had been approached for the Inter Miami job and that preliminary talks had taken place.

Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman will replace Neville in the England role in September.

But with the Dutch coach choosing to stay with her country for the delayed Olympics – rescheduled for this July and August – the Football Association planned to announce Neville as Team GB boss in November.

They are yet to confirm that position, and Neville now faces the enticing prospect of linking up with fellow Salford City co-owner Beckham.

Inter Miami are managed by Uruguayan Diego Alonso, whose team finished 10th of 14 teams in the Eastern Conference in their debut season, and lost in the first round of the play-offs.

In November, MLS said it hoped the 2021 season would begin in March.

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Real Madrid ‘are coming to terms with Gareth Bale RETURNING’ at the end of the season http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/real-madrid-are-coming-to-terms-with-gareth-bale-returning-at-the-end-of-the-season/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/real-madrid-are-coming-to-terms-with-gareth-bale-returning-at-the-end-of-the-season/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:28:11 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31288

Real Madrid ‘are coming to terms with Gareth Bale RETURNING’ at the end of the season – forcing them to pay him another £13MILLION in wages – as his Tottenham loan falters again after his latest injury

  • Gareth Bale has only played 11 times since joining Tottenham on loan last year
  • Bale went off at half-time with a calf injury after scoring against Stoke last month
  • Real Madrid are concerned Tottenham will send him back when the season ends

Real Madrid believe Tottenham will cut their losses and send Gareth Bale back at the end of the season as the Welshman struggles to kick-start his second spell at Spurs.

Bale, 31, completed a stunning return to north London on loan in September but has struggled to maintain a consistent level of fitness.

The Wales international’s latest injury issue is a calf problem sustained in the 3-1 win over Stoke in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on December 23.

Gareth Bale hurt his calf in Tottenham’s win at Stoke – and it has caused worry at Real Madrid

Bale has struggled to make a consistent impact at Tottenham since joining on loan from Real

Bale has struggled to make a consistent impact at Tottenham since joining on loan from Real

Bale scored in that cup tie but was forced off at half-time and Sportsmail reported last week that Tottenham will be without Bale for the first few weeks of 2021.

And on Wednesday, reports in Spanish publication AS said that Real chiefs are now fearing that Bale will be sent back to the club at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, rather than Tottenham taking up the option to extend the deal for another season.

For Real, that would be particularly bad due to Bale being on a mega contract. Tottenham are currently covering a large percentage of his wages. 

His deal is worth around £13m-a-year and Madrid, more so than most clubs, are counting the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

AS add that having to pay Bale such a wage – which prices him out of a move to most teams – could dent their summer transfer plans. Furthermore, Real boss Zinedine Zidane has long been clear that he doesn’t see Bale featuring in his plans.

Next season, Bale will enter the final year of his Madrid contract and the deal will expire in the summer of 2022. 

Bale knows that he does not feature prominently in Zinedine Zidane's plans for the club

Bale knows that he does not feature prominently in Zinedine Zidane’s plans for the club

Bale has scored three times in 11 appearances since rejoining Tottenham last September

Bale has scored three times in 11 appearances since rejoining Tottenham last September

Since clinching his return to Tottenham, Bale has only played 11 times for the club despite Jose Mourinho’s side negotiating battles in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup – where they have reached the final – and a gruelling Europa League campaign.

Bale has scored three times so far this season but it now remains to be seen when he will be back on the pitch with a chance to add to that tally.

Tottenham defeated Championship side Brentford 2-0 on Tuesday night to advance to the Carabao Cup final and are next in action on Sunday, when they face non-League side Marine in one of the stand-out ties of the FA Cup third round. 



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Danny Drinkwater in talks over a move to Kasimpasa until the end of the season http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/danny-drinkwater-in-talks-over-a-move-to-kasimpasa-until-the-end-of-the-season/ http://www.footy.to/2021/01/06/danny-drinkwater-in-talks-over-a-move-to-kasimpasa-until-the-end-of-the-season/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:27:11 +0000 http://www.footy.to/?p=31285

Danny Drinkwater in talks over a move to Kasimpasa – 14th in the Turkish Super League – until the end of the season as Chelsea look to offload the midfield outcast

  • Danny Drinkwater is looking for a fresh start away from Stamford Bridge 
  • Drinkwater has struggled since joining Chelsea from Leicester in 2017
  • He has 18 months left on his deal but the Blues are looking to cut their wage bill
  • The midfielder is in talks with Turkish side Kasimpasa over a January move 

Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater was in talks on Wednesday night over a move to Kasimpasa in Turkey.

The 30-year-old has been looking for the right move to resurrect his career after unsuccessful loan moves to Aston Villa and Burnley. 

Drinkwater joined Chelsea for £35m in 2017 and has made just 23 appearances for the club with his last competitive game for them coming in the Community Shield against Manchester City in August 2018.

Danny Drinkwater is in talks to leave Chelsea to join Kasimpasa in the Turkish Super League

A Premier League title winner with Leicester City, he has been training and playing with Chelsea’s U23s and has considered moves to the Bundesliga with tentative interest from Schalke and Cologne.

However, Turkish side Kasimpasa, who are 14th in the Turkish Super Lig, are pushing to take him away from Stamford Bridge this month. 

Drinkwater was sent off during Chelsea's Under 23s clash with Tottenham last month

Drinkwater was sent off during Chelsea’s Under 23s clash with Tottenham last month

The 30-year-old kicked out when 16-year-old Alfie Devine caught him with a two-footed tackle

The 30-year-old kicked out when 16-year-old Alfie Devine caught him with a two-footed tackle 

Talks advanced on Wednesday with Chelsea keen to trim their wage bill and Drinkwater having 18 months left on his contract.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Lucas Piazon has cut short his loan to Rio Ave. 

The Argentine has six months left on his contract but Chelsea have an option for an extra year. Bordeaux, Norwich and Stoke have all enquired.

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