Author Archives: giang

Former Man United winger Nani joins Lazio on season loan

Portugal winger Nani has moved on loan from Valencia to Lazio in a busy day for the capital club.

Lazio appeared the most active of the top clubs in Italy on the final day of the transfer window, as it was also completing deals for Nani’s teenage compatriots Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao.

Lazio has the right to buy Nani on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

No financial details were given by the clubs, but reports in Italy say Lazio will pay Valencia 3.5 million euros ($4 million) for the inital loan and then 8 million euros ($9.5 million) if the move is made permanent. There could be a further 3 million euros ($3.5 million) in bonuses.

Nani won four Premier League titles and the Champions League during a seven-year stint at Manchester United, before rejoining first club Sporting Lisbon on a season-long loan in 2014.

He moved to Fenerbahce on a permanent basis in 2015 before transferring to Valencia the following year.

The 30-year-old has played more than 100 times for Portugal, winning the European Championship in 2016.

Neto and Jordao, who are 17 and 18 respectively, are currently undergoing medicals at Lazio and are expected to complete their moves from Braga later.
Lazio unexpectedly beat Juventus to win the Italian Super Cup, but then drew its opening league match against newly promoted Spal and needed a last-minute goal to win at Chievo Verona last weekend.

After signing 11 new players in the offseason, AC Milan needed to offload players with French striker M’Baye Niang going on loan to Torino.

Niang has previously had loan stints at Montpellier, Genoa and Watford during his five years at Milan.

Also, Fiorentina has signed forward Cyril Thereau from Udinese.

Thereau scored 12 goals last season and has already netted two in the opening two matches of this campaign.

Tottenham set to sign Andre Gomes from Barcelona after beating off competition from West Ham

Tottenham are set to sign Andre Gomes from Barcelona after beating off competition from West Ham .

The Portugal international will join on an initial loan with Spurs having the option to make it permanent.
The 24-year-old will hope to recapture his form ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

Mauricio Pochettino will have the option of fielding a third centre-midfielder in Gomes, who can play box-to-box, something that will prove especially useful in the Champions League.

Spurs are frantically spending at the end of the window to bolster their squad ahead of a tough-looking group that includes Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Gomes only made 17 appearances for the Blaugrana last term and does not feature in Ernesto Valverde’s plans moving forward.



Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez expected to join Chelsea after £45m bid

Riyad Mahrez is close to completing his much-anticipated exit from Leicester City after Chelsea had a £45m bid accepted for the former PFA Players’ Player of the Year. The 26-year-old had reportedly been in talks with Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur, but will instead move to the Premier League champions on deadline day.

According to beIN SPORTS, Mahrez is expected to move to Stamford Bridge after months of speculation over his future. Algeria have released Mahrez to allow him to complete his exit from the Foxes, and that is likely to end with him moving to the Blues.

After suffering a tough campaign with Leicester during which he netted just six goals in the top flight, Mahrez declared his intent to leave the club citing his desire to play regularly in the Champions League. An offer from Roma was rejected earlier this summer but no further offers have been received. Leicester have refused to deviate from their £50m valuation; a price tag which Mahrez himself lamented, but the club appears to have scaled back their expectations

It appears that Craig Shakespeare’s side looks set to budge with Mahrez now destined to move to Chelsea who are finally about to land a player who has been coveted by their rivals. Manchester United were linked with a late move for the ex-Le Havre man but Antonio Conte looks set to land the winger.

Should the deal go through it will come as some relief to Conte, who has lost out on key targets such as Romelu Lukaku and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; while Fernando Llorente is now expected to join Tottenham from Swansea City despite being set to sign for Chelsea.

Nemanja Matic has meanwhile moved to United, with Conte claiming that the Serbian was sold without his permission. The likes of John Terry and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have also departed in a largely unconvincing summer for the defending champions.

Mahrez could yet be joined by further arrivals with Torino’s Davide Zappacosta braced to move to Chelsea for £23m. The 25-year-old has a strong relationship with Conte having been given his first senior international call-up by the Italian and was included in the provisional squad for the 2016 European Championships.

Meanwhile, Ross Barkley could accompany the duo in moving to Chelsea but the club are running out of time to complete a deal. The Everton midfielder has been told he can leave Goodison Park after turning down a new contract but his £35m valuation means any deal will come down to the final hours of the transfer window, according to The Guardian.


Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio can lead Spain into another ‘glorious era’ – David Villa

David Villa believes Marco Asensio can replicate his fine form for Madrid for Spain, potentially leading the team to another ‘glorious’ era.
Villa was part of the historic Spain squad that lifted two European Championships as well as World Cup, and the 33-year-old veteran now believes that the new batch of youngsters – including Madrid star Asensio – will bring success back to La Furia Roja. The former Barcelona star got his first international call-up in three years ahead of his side’s qualifying ties against Italy and Liechtenstein, and praised the young potential of the Spain squad.

“We have to see [Asensio] to enjoy him,” Villa said. “He’s spectacular and he has had an incredible evolution in the last few months.

“We’ll enjoy him as a Spanish player for many years. He’s making a case to be a starter in Madrid – but that’s not up to me, it’s up to the coach.”

The young Asensio, despite only being 21 years of age, has already impressed in his short stint for the Blancos. Featuring in 43 appearances across all competitions Madrid in just over a year, the youngster scored a fine 25-yard finish in a 3-1 win against Barcelona during the Spanish Supercopa.

Villa is hopeful that the current Spanish team will enjoy another period of success with their young talent after crashing out of the 2014 World Cup in the group stages in what was a disappointing tournament. It was also the last time Villa featured for his international side.

“I have seen very well the evolution of the team at this time. It has huge talent with many great players,” he said.

“We all said that we had to have patience after winning the World Cup and that streak of five or six years. The quality of the squad now is amazing.

“Why is there not going to be another glorious time like the one we had?”

The 33-year-old’s surprise inclusion in the Spain squad came due to Diego Costa’s omission. Costa remains in Brazil after being told that he is no longer part of Antonio Conte’s plans for Chelsea, and his future still remains in question. Villa was Costa’s teammate at Atletico, and had nothing but praise for the wantaway Chelsea striker.

“I do not care if I’m here because of Diego Costa’s situation or not,” Villa said. “He’s a great friend and I want him to solve his problem.”



Jan Oblak open to leaving Atletico Madrid in 2018 amid £92m PSG links

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak says he will not leave Diego Simeone’s side this season but he won’t rule out a move next summer.
The 24-year-old is rated as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and has twice won Spain’s Zamora Trophy, awarded to La Liga’s best shot-stopper.

He has been linked to PSG, who are believed to be willing to meet the £92m release clause in his contract.

The Slovak international says he is unsure of his future at the club beyond this season.

In quotes reported by Spanish publication Marca, Oblak said: “I can’t say much about what has happened in recent weeks, I really can’t. What I can say is that for now I’m an Atletico player and will be until the end of the season.

“After that, I don’t know, we’ll see. You never know, sometimes things change from day to day. So, for now I can only talk about Atletico, with whom I am happy.”

Oblak, like his Atletico team-mates Antoinne Griezmann and Koke, have committed their immediate futures to the club after Atletico were hit by a FIFA-sanctioned transfer ban.

Prior to the ban, France striker Griezmann was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United, but the transfer collapsed after Atletico were forbidden from signing any new players in the current transfer window.

Oblak is currently on international duty with the Slovakian national squad as he prepares for a key World Cup qualifying fixture against Slovenia.

Slovakia are in the same group as England, whom they trail by just two points.

Diego Costa’s return to Atletico off?
Meanwhile, the possible return of disgruntled and want-away Chelsea striker Diego Costa has hit a potential stumbling block over wages.

The 28-year-old was an integral part of Antonio Conte’s title-winning side last season, scoring 20 goals in 35 league games.

However, relations between the player and club took a massive hit after Conte’s infamous text message told him he would surplus to requirements at the Bridge this season.

Since then, talk of a return to Atletico has been frequent and a £50m fee, including add-ons, was agreed between the two clubs according to the Evening Standard, only for Costa’s wage demands to create a problem.

Chelsea agree deal for Torino’s Davide Zappacosta

Davide Zappacosta was called up by Antonio Conte for Italy last summer

The 25-year old has agreed to move to Stamford Bridge for a reported £23m, plus add-ons, where he will link up again with Antonio Conte – who selected the defender for Italy in 2016.

Zappacosta, who has made four international appearances for his country, joined Torino from Atalanta in 2015, where he has since featured in 58 Serie A games.

Chelsea boss Conte has been in the market for a right-sided player this summer, with bids being rejected for Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bayern Munich’s Rafinha.

In Zappacosta, Conte will have a player renowned for featuring in the right-wing-back position, a role Conte has utilised successfully in his 3-4-3 formation since arriving at Chelsea last summer.

Electric Liverpool too good for Arsenal

Firmino, Mane, Salah and Sturridge all score in 4-0 Anfield win as Reds extend unbeaten start

Liverpool continued their unbeaten start to the season with a scintillating 4-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield.

Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge scored as they won a third Premier League match in a row against the Gunners for the first time in 19 years.

Firmino broke the deadlock on 17 minutes, heading in Joe Gomez’s cross shortly after the busy Petr Cech had somehow kept out Salah’s six-yard shot.

Mane doubled the lead before half-time when he took on Firmino’s through-ball and curled into the far corner for his third goal of the campaign.

Arsenal pushed after the break but their hopes were crushed when Salah robbed Hector Bellerin and ran 60 yards to make it 3-0.

Salah turned provider for Liverpool’s fourth, dinking to the back post for substitute Sturridge to take Jurgen Klopp’s side second in the table.

Morata sets record on ‘perfect day’

Chelsea forward uses his head to good effect for assist and goal in Stamford Bridge win over Everton

Alvaro Morata has taken little time to adapt to life in the Premier League with Chelsea, setting a record during the 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday.

The forward signed from Real Madrid in the summer set up Cesc Fabregas for the opener at Stamford Bridge yesterday, then doubled the lead with a header before half-time.

That made it consecutive home matches that Morata had scored and assisted in, having done so in the 3-2 defeat by Burnley on the opening weekend.

He is the first player both to score and assist in each of his first two home matches, although the Spaniard played down setting the record.

“I always think this is a team sport,” he told “If I begin by thinking how many goals for myself, probably I should play tennis!”

Interestingly, for all four goals that Morata has been involved in this season he has used his head for the decisive pass or shot.

Almost half of the Spaniard’s 17 goals in the league for Real and Chelsea (eight) since the start of the 2016/17 season have come via his head, something for Leicester City, the champions’ next opponents in the Premier League, to consider.

Rashford maintains Man Utd’s winning start

Substitute scores four minutes after coming on to spark 2-0 win over Leicester City and take United top of table

Marcus Rashford helped maintain Manchester United’s 100% start to the season with the opener in a 2-0 win over Leicester City.

The substitute ended Leicester’s resistance within four minutes of coming off the bench before Marouane Fellaini, also a late replacement, made sure of the win.

After a frustrating first half for United, who had a Juan Mata strike ruled out for offside, they were denied again shortly after the break.

Kasper Schmeichel stopped Romelu Lukaku from becoming the first player to score in each of his first three United appearances by saving his penalty after Danny Simpson had handled Anthony Martial’s cross.

But Rashford struck from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 70th-minute corner, the Armenian’s fifth assist of the season, to Old Trafford’s relief.

Fellaini then converted Jesse Lingard’s cross with eight minutes remaining to take Jose Mourinho’s side back to the top.

Man of the match: Paul Pogba (Man Utd)

Sterling scores dramatic winner for Man City

Winger scores in seventh minute of stoppage time before being sent off in 2-1 victory

A goal from Raheem Sterling in the seventh minute of stoppage time earned Manchester City a dramatic 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth.

The home team started dangerously and led through Charlie Daniels’ superb half-volley from the corner of the area on 12 minutes.

City were level on 21 minutes.

David Silva threaded the ball through to Gabriel Jesus, who finished for his first goal of the season.

Thereafter City largely dominated, although Joshua King hit a post on 61 minutes.

Nicolas Otamendi also hit the woodwork but just when it looked as if it would end a draw, City broke and Sterling’s deflected shot found the corner of the net.

Sterling then was sent off for a second yellow card after celebrating with the away fans.