Robert Lewandowski to spark auction with Manchester United, Man City and Chelsea in for £70m striker
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been put on alert about a potential £70m summer move for the Bayern Munich centre-forward Robert Lewandowski this summer, with the Polish striker considering his future with the German champions.
All of England’s leading clubs had been interested in Lewandowski when he left Borussia Dortmund in 2014, only for the Polish striker to opt for Bayern. The Independent on Sunday has learned he is now reconsidering his situation.
It is understood that stance is not down to manager Pep Guardiola leaving Bayern in the summer – probably for Manchester City – but because Lewandowski wants a new challenge. At 27, he also wants to experience a new league while he is in the prime of his career.
If Lewandowski is to leave the Bundesliga, English clubs would face strong competition from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, and with Lewandowski contracted until 2019 the fee will be at least £70m. Enriched by the money from the forthcoming lucrative TV deal, the English clubs are likely to get involved in an auction.
Eden Hazard has made up his mind to leave Chelsea but he will not be sold this month.
Paris Saint-Germain believe they are the frontrunners to sign Hazard in the summer but face competition from Spain's Real Madrid (New Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for Hazard) and Germany's Bayern Munich.
Hazard's move to the Bernabeu could prompt Gareth Bale to move in the opposite direction. (The Mirror)
1. Manchester United are ready to bid £75m for Gareth Bale this month following Rafa Benitez's Real Madrid sacking.
2. Chelsea are ready to lock horns with Tottenham Hotspur to sign Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel. The Premier League champions held talks with the 26-year-old last summer.
3. Chelsea will offer Patrick Bamford a first-team chance, despite his unsuccessful Crystal Palace loan spell.
4. Francesco Totti's wife has hinted that the Roma forward is considering hanging up his boots after his latest injury setback. The 39-year-old has not played for three months due to a thigh injury.
5. Bournemouth will rival Sunderland for QPR defender Steven Caulker, who is currently on loan at Southampton.
6. Leeds, QPR and Derby all want to sign Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish on loan.
1. Gareth Bale is a target for Chelsea as well as United, and Zinedine Zidane's interest in Eden Hazard could swing things the way of the Blues.
2. Crystal Palace and Manchester United will fight it out for the services of Fulham starlet Moussa Dembele.
3. Chelsea flop Radamel Falcao is being chased by MLS side Columbus Crew.
4. West Ham's and France's "artist" Dimitri Payet has been backed for a Euro 2016 spot by France legend Frank Leboeuf.
5. Manchester United have rejected an approach from AC Milan for Marouane Fellaini.
6. Aston Villa have already started to prepare for life in the Championship by ordering scouts to look at players with experience outside the top flight.
7. Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi says Pep Guardiola will be a success as a coach in the Premier League.
8. Crystal Palace have made a move for £10m Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar.
1. Manchester United must move for Pep Guardiola now to keep him out of Manchester City's hands.
2. United have been told they can have Lazio's Felipe Anderson if they stump up £36m.
3. Loic Remy has been told he will probably stay at Chelsea. Newcastle, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace have all been linked with moves to sign the French striker during January's transfer window.
4. Tottenham and Everton look like losing out to Roma in the race for Fulham striker Moussa Dembele.
5. Nottingham Forest boss Dougie Freedman is ready to sign Manchester United's Nick Powell after a five-year battle for the midfielder.
1. Manchester United have agreed to let Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes leave for nothing. The former Barcelona No 1 joined United last year on a free transfer but has fallen out with manager Louis van Gaal.
2. Patrick Bamford is set to snub interest in his services during the January transfer window and stay at Chelsea for the rest of the season and fight for his place.
3. Ronald Koeman has stepped up his interest in Feyenoord midfielder Tonny Vilhena while insisting Victor Wanyama will stay at Southampton.
4. Eden Hazard's Chelsea future has been cast into doubt, with Real Madrid ready to make a £100m summer move.
1. Gareth Bale has no plans to leave Real Madrid but his future could largely hinge on where new boss Zinedine Zidane plays him, with the Welshman keen to retain a central position.
Since Pep Guardiola confirmed that he'd be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season to be replaced Carlo Ancelotti there's been a lot of speculation about where next. Guardiola has now confirmed exactly why he's leaving the Allianz Arena in the summer...
Guardiola has now confirmed exactly why he's leaving Germany and it'll put a few big names on very high alert!
Guardiola: "I want to coach in the Premier League in England."
Louis van Gaal struggling at Manchester United, Chelsea without a permanent manager and Manchester City constantly linked with the Spaniard it will make for a very interesting end of season in the Premier League.
Shocking article I found on Yahoo today... but is it?? :
1. Branislav Ivanovic - Shocking selection, I know. Last season he was a defensive wonder of the football world. A giant boulder who had stamina and guile to operate as a wingback and striker’s instincts in set pieces. The transformation to the sorry state he is suffering now was not wholly unexpected, but the speed with which it happened is what is surprising. Chelsea have a policy of not holding on to players past the age of 30, but Mourinho was adamant to keep him, rewarding him with vice-captainship. If you ask anybody who knows anything about the EPL, they’ll almost certainly say Ivanovic should be the first to go.
2. Cesc Fabregas - Imagine you have to buy a new car that can take the wife and the kids around. It is a car that needs to be reliable, and you have enough money to buy it because you are a Russian oil mogul. So you choose to buy an Alfa Romeo from 1992. It surely must be a great purchase! It had its glory days in the past, it has excellent reputation, and it has wonderful flair. But it’s an Alfa. And it’s way past its due date. After a one year romance it begins to disappoint you. But it’s your only car, so you suffer in silence, and remain indignant about your investment. That is basically what Fabregas is. A lackluster burden that Jose Mourinho chooses to keep playing, despite him being completely impotent in every aspect of the game. The marquee signing of last year with the great assists has become complacent and lazy. No pace, no defensive determination, no creative effect. Time to sell the Alfa. To Turkey. Or MLS.
3. Ramires - After a long battle with injury, Ramires returned to the squad and Jose was delighted that he “had his Ramires back.” A definitive box-to-box player with goalscoring abilities coupled with tackling back with aplomb. He hit a howitzer against Newcastle, and as great as it was, I’d happily accept that as a final contribution of his career in London. He was woeful against Southampton, and the Brazilian was supposed to continue his super-sub magic from Tyneside but failed horribly, in the most important part of the pitch, next to the least appropriate defensive midfielder, Fabregas.
4. John Terry - Chelsea’s leader, legend, and liability. He is so committed to the club and to playing for them as exemplified by the embarrassing tag-along at the Champions League final in 2012, appearing in full kit at the final whistle despite being banned for the match. He was a stalwart last year, his positional sense and anticipation was second to none. In the entirety of the season he had TWO yellow cards. He got one in the first match of this year against Swansea for protesting. And obviously screwed the pooch against West Brom with a sending off. Controversial and almost universally hated, nationally hated for sure, John Terry is a mixed bag of good and bad. Again, I think the ride is over for him, but he can still be useful. In the backroom, and at Cobham. Once a new center back is bought, Jose should have “the talk” with John and say he can either bring a neck pillow to the bench for the games, or go out gracefully and immediately to take a background role, still teaching the youngsters and giving coaching advice. Like they say, “Those who cant do, teach.”
5. John Obi Mikel - This one is a mercy killing. He was inches away from a move to Turkey that would have seen him get regular playing time. A chance to play while he’s still relatively young, and a chance to express himself in ways to make Chelsea regret keeping him in reserve for so many years. It’s such a sad story of John Obi Mikel, a dedicated, dutiful servant to the club. The man who carved out a new temporal part of games known as “John Obi Mikel Time,” when the game needs to be shut down, usually with the win in the bag. If Abramovich let Čech go because he earned it from his service, the same should apply to Mikel. I think Andreas Christensen from the youth squad would make a great successor. Just don’t let him go to Arsenal, he doesn’t deserve to be reviled by the Chelsea faithful.
6. Loïc Remy - Ugh… I just-… There’s no reason wh-… He’s so-… Just get rid of him.
7. Pedro - Playing fourth fiddle to Barcelona’s front line has Pedro dealing with repressed feelings of discontent like a man in a midlife crisis. He is trying to make up for lost time on the bench in Spain by trying to be the Messi of Chelsea. 28 years old, Pedrito is tired of being treated like a kid and as a sideshow. He is snatching at shots and dawdling on the ball with desperate faith in his impressive displays of footballing grace. I was blown away with his contributions at West Brom, a goal and an assist on a debut is a remarkable thing. His goal was a sort of frustrated expression at Chelsea’s wastefulness. Like he was saying, “Okay, guys. It’s been twenty minutes. Let’s get this show on the road.” He took the onus on himself, running through defenders with a point to prove, and scuffing the ball into the corner. Since then he has failed to impress. Being caught in possession, scoring rugby tries instead of football goals, and generally displaying symptoms of the Chelsea Plague that the rest of the squad is suffering from. I don’t think he should be sold, but he should be given a good, hard shake, and snapped back to reality.
8. Ruben Loftus-Cheek - “Drop” is the wrong word, but “loan” is almost certainly the best course of action for a midfielder with so much promise. Ross Barkley isn’t much older than RLC, and he is a starter for Everton, with fantastic displays of passing range and creativity. He had to prove himself as a younger player, but that is predicated on the manager at least selecting him. RLC isn’t getting a look into the first team, and many Chelsea fans see him as our savior as a fresh injection into midfield. This lack of involvement looks to be endemic of the type of treatment poor Obi Mikel has suffered. Either play him or loan him out to a team where he can make an impact, Jose. He has potential not seen every day.
9. Falcao - Every hedge fund and asset manager in the world must be equal parts jealous and impressed by Monaco for making a profit off of a depreciating asset. He made astounding amounts of money at Man Utd, and although he is making half the amount at Chelsea, the French Riviera club are enjoying their cigars and martinis with a little more relish knowing his utter failure as a footballer grates no skin off their back. When Mourinho spoke out about how he was willing to take the Colombian under his wing, I bet Monaco was more than happy to dump their lemon on him. Passing on the buy-option, he’s just another wart on the face of Chelsea that’ll be gone soon. Here’s to hoping the blemish doesn’t become septic.
10. Diego Costa - Oh, Diego. How we love you. We chant your name at away matches where you aren’t even on the bench. We chant your name at will, because you make us happy. You are the quintessential bad guy who we root for. But the cost you bring with the occasional goal is far too high. Dribbling in from the left wing always ends in failure. Your hold-up play leads to naught. And you punch too many people in the face too often. You have forced Chelsea fans to defend you and the image you project on us by association. You are no altar boy, you said it yourself, but being an effective striker does not entail being a sociopathic one. A great finisher with height and strength is a wonderful asset. A violent, ineffective, sluggish, and selfish player is a millstone.
Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Manchester United, and probably the Premier League title. (Picture Yahoo.com)
Chelsea: Courtois 7, Ivanovic 6, Cahill 6, Terry 6, Azpilicueta 6, Zouma 7, Matic 6, Oscar 6, Fabregas 6, Hazard 7, Drogba 6. Subs: Mikel 6, Ramires 6, Willian 6.
Manchester United: De Gea 6, Valencia 6, Smalling 6, McNair 6, Shaw 7, Mata 6, Rooney 6, Herrera 6, Young 6, Fellaini 5, Falcao 6. Subs: Blackett 6, Di Maria 6, Januzaj 5.
This was an awful night for all number of reasons for Chelsea This was a game, which brought shame on the club from London. Their antics in putting pressure on the referee were distasteful after Ibra faul , Costa crossed the line with his confrontational approach. Mourinho has always been a master of the dark arts and it usually works. But when it doesn’t, like last night, he ends up looking very silly indeed. Especially when Chelsea have the ability to win games the right way.
This PSG team is just full of technique, a really good footballing team they deserved a place in top 8.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Manuel Neuer have been named on a three-man shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014.
Joachim Loew, Real’s Carlo Ancelotti and Atletico’s Diego Simeone were nominated for the Coach of the Year award.
The winners will be announced on January 12 at FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will spend £47 million to bring his top defensive target to Old Trafford.
Manchester United will aim to move for Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund defender) next summer, after the club's executive vice chairman Ed Woodward indicated the transfer window at the end of the season will be the focus of their activity, and not this January. Woodward said the club was not looking for "short-term fixes", but Hummels is seen as a long-term investment. The Daily Star reports that Dortmund are likely to demand around £47m for him and United would face competition from Arsenal, who are also interested in theGermany international.
United may have announced their revenues are down following their failure to qualify for this season's Champions League, but if this report is to be believed, that hasn't affected their spending power too much.
Its about the time Louis!
Van Gaal: "United could be my hardest job" hahaha This is what happens when you bring in managers who don't understand English football. Man Utd just went out and bought all of the other clubs rejects (for big prices) and they got rid of their one decent player - Danny Welbeck.
Dortmund terrific; Arsenal horrific. Arsenal were outplayed, out fought and out thought, again.
Will Wenger do anything about this, of course not. He will carry on living in his own little world where he is right all the time.
His excuse for a number of years was "The club haven't got the money to buy the right players". Well now they have bought the "Right players" and the team look a joke, they can't defend, attack or even pass now. I wonder what his excuse will be now? BTW Where was Ozil? Send him back to Germany he obviously isn't happy.
"To any young kid who wants to be a footballer, I would simply say: Have fun playing football and enjoy the team - spirit. That's the right attitude; that will bring you pleasure and fulfillment in football. A baker cannot live on bread he made yesterday, and a footballer cannot live on his last game. It's about the here and now."
Manchester United have made no official comment on the matter, but it is understood a fee has been agreed between United and Real Madrid. The 26-year old Argentina international would be set for a debut in Saturday's Premier League match at Burnley, but on my opinion Manchester need 3 more Angels in their team if they really thinking about Premier League title.