Category: Italian

Big Lovren upgrade: Liverpool should be challenging bitter rivals for £30.5m defensive leader


Roma defender Kostas Manolas’ £30.5million release clause becomes active in the summer, according to the Daily Mirror, and Manchester United are reportedly interested in reinforcing their defence with the Greece defender. Liverpool, though, should not miss the chance to join the queue, as they look to bolster a weak backline.

What’s the word?

Manolas has emerged as one of the finest defenders in European football during his time at Roma.

The 27-year-old has a wealth of experience at the very highest level, and is able to both defend superbly and provide a cutting edge at the other end of the pitch, notably scoring in Roma’s dramatic Champions League triumph over Barcelona last season.

He is terrific in the air and also remarkably quick, qualities that would surely see him become an invaluable asset to any Premier League club.

If United are interested, Liverpool should be too.

Bolstering a thin backline

Virgil van Dijk has emerged as one of the finest defenders in world football since his move to Liverpool from Southampton, but he does not have many equals in the Reds squad.

Joe Gomez is an excellent young prospect, but he has yet to reach the level of the Dutchman.

Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, furthermore, have been composed whenever fielded alongside Van Dijk, but neither of them have the ability to marshal a defence without him.

Manolas, though, is an accomplished defender, a leader, and his release clause makes him more than attainable for a club of Liverpool’s size and stature.

Of course, Van Dijk became the most expensive defender in world football when Liverpool secured his signature, and they should do everything possible to lure Manolas to Anfield and partner him up with the brilliant Dutchman.

FFC’s James Jones has identified the one thing that could cost Liverpool the title. Find out what it is in the video below…

Revealed: 100% of West Ham fans want Pellegrini to sign fellow South American


According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, West Ham United want to sign Inter Milan forward Gabriel Barbosa.

Inter signed Gabriel from Santos in August 2016, but he has only made 10 first-team appearances for the Italian outfit, scoring just once in the process.

Gabriel has seemingly got his career back on track at Santos, having scored 27 times in 53 appearances whilst back on loan at the Brazilian club.

The Brazilian will see his loan with Santos expire at the end of this month, however, and is heading back to parent club Inter.

Di Marzio says that ‘several English teams’ are interested in Gabriel, but West Ham currently lead the race for the 22-year-old, who has scored 85 times in 222 first-team appearances during his career.

With that in mind, we recently asked the West Ham fans whether they wanted head coach Manuel Pellegrini to move for his fellow South American next month.

And 100% of those polled urged their club to sign him.

The full results of the poll can be seen below:

'Foreign Hugill', 'Yes please' – These West Ham fans are split over potential January arrival


According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, West Ham United want to sign Inter Milan forward Gabriel Barbosa.

Gabriel has seemingly got his career back on track at Santos, having scored 27 times in 53 appearances whilst on loan at the Brazilian club.

Inter signed Gabriel from Santos in August 2016, but he has only made 10 first-team appearances for the Italian outfit, scoring just once in the process.

An unsuccessful loan spell at Benfica preceded a move back to Santos, and the forward has certainly found his shooting boots once again.

According to Di Marzio, there is interest from a number of English clubs, but West Ham currently lead the race for the four-time Brazil international.

Gabriel is only 22 years old, and his overall record in professional football stands at 85 goals in 222 first-team appearances.

The West Ham supporters have been offering their views on the interest, and it would be fair to say that the fanbase is split.

A selection of the Twitter reaction can be seen below:

Opinion: West Ham must move for 5ft 9in ace who would thrive alongside fellow Brazilian Anderson


According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, West Ham United want to sign Inter Milan forward Gabriel Barbosa.

What’s the story?

Gabriel has seemingly got his career back on track at Santos, having scored 27 times in 53 appearances whilst back on loan at the Brazilian club.

The Brazilian will see his loan with Santos expire at the end of this month, however, and is heading back to parent club Inter, who have struggled to see the best of the attacker.

Indeed, Inter signed Gabriel from Santos in August 2016, but he has only made 10 first-team appearances for the Italian outfit, scoring just once in the process.

According to Di Marzio, ‘several English teams’ are interested in Gabriel, but West Ham currently lead the race for the talented South American.

The Hammers are fairly well-stocked in the final third following the return of Andy Carroll, but there is no question that the club should attempt to sign Gabriel if he is indeed interested in a switch to English football.

What would Gabriel bring to West Ham?

An unsuccessful loan spell at Benfica preceded a move back to Santos, and the forward has certainly found his shooting boots once again.

Gabriel is only 22 years old, and his overall record in professional football stands at 85 goals in 222 first-team appearances, which is very impressive.

He has also scored twice in four appearances for the Brazilian national team, and will be hoping for a recall in time for the 2022 World Cup.

The 5ft 9in ace has a lot to prove as he prepares to return to Europe, and whilst Inter might not want him, there are plenty of teams who will be monitoring developments.

The chance to link-up with fellow Brazilian Felipe Anderson in London will appeal to the Inter attacker though, and those two could form some partnership in the final third.

Gabriel is a very talented footballer. It has not worked out at Inter, but a move to West Ham could be just what the striker needs at this stage of his career.

Mourinho's most important signing: 31-time international would transform Manchester United


Manchester United are preparing a £100m bid for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly – as reported by the London Evening Standard – as head coach Jose Mourinho looks to transform his defence.

The Chalkboard

Without being disrespectful, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling is not exactly a list of outstanding centre-backs.

Mourinho tried and failed to sign a new defender during the summer, with Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld and Leicester City’s Harry Maguire both strongly linked with moves to Old Trafford.

It appears that Koulibaly has become the number one target, however, and his arrival has the potential to make a similar impact to the one that Virgil van Dijk has enjoyed at Liverpool.

Having already had two bids rejected for Koulibaly, United will seemingly have to make the 31-time Senegal international the most expensive defender in the world if they wish to bring him to the club.

What will Koulibaly bring to United?

Pace, power, height and experience to name a few things.

Standing at close to 6ft 2in, Koulibaly is aerially dominant, while he has the turn of speed and physical attributes to escape potentially tricky situations.

The 27-year-old is also closing on 200 appearances for Napoli in all competitions, and played 92 times for Genk ahead of a move to Naples.

Koulibaly is at the perfect age to make the move to United, who would be signing one of the outstanding central defenders in world football.

At the moment, teams feel that they can get at Mourinho’s side, with their current crop of defenders not exactly dominant.

Koulibaly is absolutely everything that Mourinho wants at the heart of his defence though, and it would be a stunning capture for the Red Devils if they pull it off.

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