Category: La Liga

Arsenal on alert as European giants make plans for £45m-rated superstar


According to Marca, via the Daily Express, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil is one of five January signings that Barcelona are intending to make when the transfer window reopens.

The German international’s contract expires at the end of the current season, and the 29-year-old is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club when the window opens on the 1st of January.

What’s the story?

It is being reported that Barcelona are preparing to make five signings in the new year at relatively cheap rates to bolster Ernesto Valverde’s squad.

Rather famously, Barca underwent a summer of vast spending – much of which was evoked by the departure of Neymar to PSG – accordingly they’re hoping to make financially shrewd deals in the upcoming window.

Is Ozil the right fit?

Since joining Arsenal from Barca’s arch rivals, Real Madrid, in the summer of 2013, Ozil has amassed 177 first-team appearances for the Gunners, scoring 36 goals. Last season was the German’s most prolific term from a goal-scoring perspective for the North London team, and he’s highly regarded for his tendency to create goals.

Real Madrid’s former playmaker, who is valued at £45m by transfermartk.com, has started this season in fine form having scored four goals and registered five assists in 16 league games for the FA Cup winners. There’s no denying that the German international provides an abundance of creativity, a quality that would augment Barcelona’s attack enormously.

Will Wenger let him go?

While the thought of losing one of their star players at a reduced fee may evoke concern among Arsenal supporters, the likelihood is that Wenger would rather see Ozil return to Spain in January – with Arsenal recouping some money – than see their number 11 join someone like Manchester United on a free transfer in the summer.

Arsenal and Liverpool January target may be more suited to Wenger's style


According to Diario Gol, Arsenal and Liverpool have supposedly contacted Dani Ceballos’ agent in an attempt to organise a move for the promising Spanish midfielder.

The 21-year-old enjoyed a fruitful spell at Real Betis that earned him his move to Real Madrid, yet the Spaniard has only made six La Liga appearances for the champions this season.

The story so far

Despite favouring a summer move to Real Madrid over Catalan giants, Barcelona, Ceballos’ career with the Los Blancos is failing to develop as he would have hoped for.

The promising midfielder has only made two starts in La Liga for Madrid this season, and every single one of his Champions League appearances has been as a substitute.

It is believed that the Real Madrid man is keen to secure consistent first-team football elsewhere to continue his progression as a player.

What’s the deal?

It is reported that the La Liga champions are unwilling to allow their summer signing to depart in the forthcoming January transfer window and they would rather him leave on loan at the start of next season.

It will be interesting to see how the story develops and if Arsenal or Liverpool can alter Real Madrid’s current stance on the matter.

How good is Ceballos?

Despite only playing in six league games for the champions this term, Ceballos has scored twice – an average of a goal every three games.  He is widely recognised for his astute dribbling ability and his valuable capacity to retain possession of the ball.

In addition to his attacking qualities, Ceballos flaunts good defensive capabilities, most notably is his ability to complete tackles.

His arrival is likely to augment the midfield of both Arsenal and Liverpool, yet perhaps he’ll be more tailored to the Gunners’ style of play.

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Spanish giants prepare shock move for £27m-rated Chelsea international


As per Telefoot, via Daily Express, Barcelona have launched an audacious loan offer to sign Chelsea’s David Luiz.

The 30-year-old defender has been displaced in the Blues’ back three due to the rise of Andreas Christensen, and his immediate future at Chelsea is undoubtedly in the balance.

What’s the story?

Despite persistent and public denials by the Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, there have been reports of discontent between coach and the player, seemingly Barcelona are looking to exploit the uncertainty that characterises Luiz’s current predicament.

It appears that the Catalan giants urgently require defensive reinforcement as Javier Mascherano is poised to join Hebei China Fortune in the forthcoming January transfer window. The fact that Luiz, who is valued at £27m by transfermarkt.com, is no longer considered a starter for Chelsea could impact the situation enormously.

Can he still do it?

Last season’s indelible title success for Chelsea illustrated Luiz’s ability to thrive at the highest level. During his first stint with the West London team, the Brazilian was often criticised for being too impulsive and erratic in his defensive work. He was often seen as the team’s liability, last season he displayed a greater sense of maturity and leadership as he orchestrated Chelsea’s defence.

In addition to these qualities, PSG’s former centre-half is endowed with superb technical ability which will ensure that he adapts well to Barcelona’s style of play if he joins the La Liga side.

Will Conte let him go?

Antonio Conte has stressed on numerous occasions his concern regarding the size of his Chelsea squad, and it is unlikely that the impassioned Italian will want to witness another departure in the upcoming transfer window.

Whether reports of a falling out between the manager and player are accurate or not, Chelsea will be keen to ensure that they have a replacement in mind, if Luiz departs in the new year.

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Ready to swoop! Tottenham Hotspur target available in January


The agent of Tottenham Hotspur target Nicolas Gaitan has told Foot Mercato that the midfielder will leave Atletico Madrid in January, reports talkSPORT.

What’s the word?

The North London outfit, as well as Manchester United, were registered with an interest in the Argentine earlier this year.

Gaitan has found it difficult trying to cement a place in the first team having started just six La Liga games this season.

The midfielder’s agent Jose Iribarren has told Foot Mercato that a number of English clubs are interested in his client, who intends to move on next month.

“I can tell you English clubs are interested. Yes, he’ll undoubtedly leave Atletico in January. He has a lot of concrete offers. Nicolas was an important player when he played in Argentina, at Benfica and with the national team.

“He can’t continue in these conditions. If he can’t play a string of matches, nor win the coach’s trust. A player wants to play. We’re going to see with Atletico which solution we can find.”

The 29-year-old has been at the Spanish outfit since 2016 when he made the switch from Benfica, where he made more than 250 appearances.

Do Tottenham need him?

The Premier League club may not necessarily be crying out for Gaitan, but he is certainly capable of providing the team with some attacking flair.

So far, Mauricio Pochettino has been reliant on Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli to lead the way from midfield.

However, both players have experienced dips in form in recent weeks, which could be down to the amount of games they are feating in.

Gaitan would be a decent player to call upon for an injection of quality, plus the midfielder has Champions League experience.

The fact that the player’s agent has confirmed his client has a desire to move in January, puts Tottenham in a good position in terms of negotiations.

Man United preparing £27m bid for Real Madrid star – report


According to Don Balon, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants to sign Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic in the January transfer window.

What’s the story?

Mourinho recently refused to rule out January signings at Old Trafford as the Portuguese considers boosting his squad at the mid-point of the campaign.

Michael Carrick’s absence has been a big one for United this term, while the uncertainty surrounding the future of Marouane Fellaini has left the Red Devils short of options in the middle of the park.

Scott McTominay has emerged impressively in recent weeks, but it is thought that Mourinho wants another central midfielder in his first-team squad.

According to Don Balon, Real Madrid midfielder Kovacic has been identified as the perfect signing, with the United boss believing that a bid in the region of £27m would be enough to convince the Spanish and European champions to sell.

Would Kovacic be a good fit at United?

Kovacic, 23, joined Real Madrid from Inter Milan in the summer of 2015.

He is fast closing on 100 appearances for the Spanish giants, but the presence of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro at the Bernabeu has made it difficult for the Croatian international to gain a regular spot in the team.

Indeed, Kovacic, who is a 38-time Croatia international, has not started a single league match for Real Madrid this season.

An energetic midfielder with an impressive range of passing, there is no question that Kovacic has the attributes to play in the Premier League. He is still young, but has a wealth of experience at the top level.

United need a player that will complement Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in the middle of the park, and Kovacic could prove to be a very smart signing for the 20-time English champions.