Category: La Liga

Arsenal want nine-goal forward in £35m summer deal


According to Diario Gol, Arsenal are prepared to offer £35m for Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema in this summer’s transfer window.

What’s the story?

Benzema has scored 189 goals for Real Madrid since joining the Spanish giants from Lyon in the summer of 2009.

The Frenchman has won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and three Champions League crowns with the club, meanwhile, and has often been credited with helping Cristiano Ronaldo thrive at the Bernabeu.

Benzema has only managed nine goals for Los Blancos this season, however, and his performances have been called into question by the Spanish media.

According to Diario Gol, Arsenal will attempt to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the striker’s future by launching a £35m bid at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Much will depend on whether Real Madrid follow up on their interest in Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, but it is certainly an offer that would grab the Spanish club’s attention.

Would Benzema be a good signing?

The question is not so much whether Benzema would be a good signing, but whether he is needed when considering Arsenal’s recent transfer business.

Indeed, the Gunners broke their transfer record to bring Alexandre Lacazette to the club last summer, before smashing it again in January to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund.

Benzema, who has also been linked with a shock move to West Ham United, is a different type of player, however, and the 30-year-old must be respected for the type of numbers that he has posted in the Spanish capital.

Much has been made of Benzema’s form this term, but there is absolutely no doubting that he has the quality to score goals in the Premier League, and a change of scenery might be just what he needs at this stage of his career.

It is certainly one to watch ahead of this summer’s transfer window, and it would be a big statement of intent from Arsenal if they managed to pull off the deal.

Liverpool get massive boost in hunt for £10.8m-rated talent


Real Madrid are willing to sell Dani Ceballos to Liverpool as long as the Premier League club agree to a buy-back clause, according to Don Balon.

What’s the story?

Liverpool may be in the market for a midfielder this summer due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of Emre Can.

The Germany international will come to the end of his current contract this summer, and fans are not convinced that he will pen a new deal.

Manager Jurgen Klopp is believed to be targeting 21-year-old Ceballos as Can’s replacement, but according to reports in Spain, the club will only be able to sign the midfielder on one condition.

According to Don Balon, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has claimed that he will give the green light for a transfer as long as a buy-back clause is inserted in the agreement.

This season, Ceballos, who moved to the Bernabeu from Real Betis last year, has started just two La Liga games.

Is Ceballos a good replacement for Can?

The midfielder has bags of talent in the middle of the park but he has been able to show it consistently due to a lack of minutes under Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

In total, Ceballos has made 10 league appearances this season, but has played just 237 minutes of top-flight football.

Despite the limited game time, the Spaniard has still contributed with two goals.

Ceballos’s age and the fact that he has not been given a regular run-out in Zidane’s team indicates that it may be risky throwing him into the deep end in the Premier League.

However, Klopp is the type of manager that young players love to learn from and he has a track record of giving youth a chance at the top level.

If an agreement can be made with Madrid, the Reds will snap up a potential gem for the future.

'Cutting the grass' … Liverpool fans react to return of six-goal star


Philippe Coutinho’s departure seemed inevitable during the summer months due to the constant speculation linking the Liverpool star to Barcelona.

The Merseyside outfit managed to keep hold of the playmaker until the January transfer window.

Coutinho’s exit was met with unhappiness from the majority of Liverpool fans, many of whom were frustrated by the club’s decision to sell mid-season.

At the time, the 25-year-old was widely regarded as the Reds’ best player, but it did not take long to notice that Jurgen Klopp’s side were more than capable of succeeding without him.

Since Coutinho left, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have taken centre-stage, with the Egyptian in particular impressing with 40 goals in all competitions.

The team have secured a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League – something that Coutinho’s Barcelona were unable to do – and they are on course for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Given that there was a lot of upset and anger among the Liverpool fanbase when the playmaker opted to leave, news that he is likely to return to Anfield with national team Brazil has sparked an interesting reaction.

The Reds confirmed on their official website that the stadium will host a World Cup warm-up fixture between Brazil and Croatia on June 3.

In response to the news, many fans poked fun at the back injury that Coutinho allegedly suffered with prior to his move to Barcelona.

Rafa Benitez's Pb Facts: Arsenal, Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo


Rafael Benitez has a renowned penchant for the facts. Now, every Monday, he’s here to save us from water cooler small talk and that one guy in the pub who thinks he has all the answers.

With a mix of unbelievable stats from the weekend’s action and truly random knowledge from the world of football, Rafa’s got you covered so you’re never caught without something better to say than “What was Wenger thinking?” ever again.

This week, Arsenal are worse than Grimsby Town, Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Man Utd and CSKA Moscow are older than The Kremlin…

Man United must beat Arsenal to £45m-rated transfer target


According to Diario Gol, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is considering making the move to Manchester United at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

What’s the story?

United are expected to be in the market for at least one new central midfielder this summer due to the fact that Michael Carrick is approaching retirement and Marouane Fellaini is preparing to leave on a free transfer.

Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho wants a new midfielder to play alongside Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, and a number of players have been linked with a move.

According to Diario Gol, United have decided that they will make an attempt to sign Rakitic this summer, and the Croatia international is coming round to the idea of leaving Camp Nou.

The report claims that the 30-year-old will hold talks with Barcelona chiefs before making up his mind, but is leaning towards a departure in this summer’s transfer window.

Would Rakitic be a good signing?

Rakitic was outstanding during his three and a half seasons at Sevilla – scoring 34 times in 149 appearances for the club before making the move to Barcelona in the summer of 2014.

The midfielder has been even more impressive at Camp Nou, however, with 30 goals in 208 appearances since arriving at the Catalan giants.

This term, Rakitic, who has also been linked with Arsenal, has managed four goals and four assists in 49 appearances for Barcelona, and his form has been key to the club’s outstanding La Liga campaign.

Barcelona were shocked in the Champions League by Roma on Tuesday night, however, and it is thought that there will be big changes this summer.

United need an established performer to play in a 4-3-3 formation alongside Matic and Pogba, and Rakitic’s all-round midfield game would be a perfect fit for the Red Devils.

According to transfermarkt.co.uk, Rakitic is valued at £45m, and that sounds about right when considering what price the Croatian may command this summer.