Chelsea have officially agreed the signing of Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic after the German club announced that a €64m (£58m) deal is in place for the United States international to move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
The 20-year-old American, who was due to be out of contract at Dortmund, immediately becomes Chelsea's player but will remain at Westfalenstadion until summer. There is no 'loan fee' payable by Dortmund to keep him for the next six months.
"It was always Christian's dream to play in the Premier League," Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told BVB.de as the arranged transfer was confirmed.
"That certainly has to do with his American background, and as a result we were unable to extend his contract. In this context, we have decided to accept an extremely lucrative bid by Chelsea, given the low contract maturity," he added.
Zorc also remains in little doubt that Pulisic will continue to give his all for Dortmund in the remaining six months of his time with the club as they fight for the Bundesliga title.
"Christian Pulisic is a perfect character. I am sure that in the coming months he will do everything in his power to bring his high quality to the team and to achieve his sporting goals with his team-mates Borussia Dortmund," he said.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1998, Pulisic has previously briefly lived in England for a year as a young child before returning to his native USA. After developing under the eye of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system, he joined Dortmund as a 16-year-old in February 2015 and made his first team debut just under 12 months later.
He later went on to become a regular in the side, playing 85 games across 2016/17 and 2017/18, also establishing himself as a generational star of the United States national team.
Injury worries and competition from emerging England starlet Jadon Sancho had seen Pulisic struggle to match his previous Dortmund impact during the first half of this season.
Everton Will Not Let Dortmund Target Leave
Everton manager Marco Silva is adamant that he wants teenage prospect Anthony Gordon to stay at the club this season, following rumours that a number of clubs across Europe were weighing up a bid in January.
It is understood that Arsenal have been scouting the 17-year-old midfielder, while Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund want to continue the current trend of bringing young English players to Germany.
However, Silva will advise against any transfer similar to that which saw Ademola Lookman move to the Bundesliga, claiming that Everton have to be able to hold onto their most promising young players.
"He's a really young player, he's a talent and he's a player we want to keep of course," Silva said, quoted by the Liverpool Echo. "It's our goal to keep our best players and not just the players from our first team but the young talents in our club too. It's our goal if we want to grow and we want to achieve something important.
"We have to keep our best players and our young players are improving and showing they want something more at the club. We have to support them and work with them improve them to prepare them to play in our first team."
Gordon has been a regular part of Everton's Under-18 side this season, and he already has five appearances with the Under-23 side this term.
Last year, Gordon made his debut for the senior side as a second-half substitute during their Europa League group stage victory over Cypriot outfit Apollon Limassol.
Bayern Midfielder Will See Out His Contract.
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcântara is adamant that he will see out the remainder of his contract in Bavaria, following rumours of a potential move back to Barcelona.
The Spain international's future was uncertain over the summer as Bayern Munich transitioned into life under new manager Niko Kovač, and Thiago's brother Rafinha even admitted that he wanted the midfielder to return to the Camp Nou.
However, the 27-year-old has insisted that he has no plans to leave the Allianz Arena, adding that he doesn't want to unsettle his family who are accustomed to life in south-east Germany.
"In sport and in life, it’s not just about titles," Thiago told 11Freunde (via Bundesliga.com). "When I sign a contract, I think within the terms of the deal. In football, everything happens so fast.
"But it became obvious early on that everything fits in Munich and my family likes it. And now I have a contract until 2021. I never thought I’d stay at Bayern so long. To me, it’s very important to see out a contract."
Thiago is currently sidelined through injury but at this stage, it looks likely that the midfielder will be able to add to his nine Bundesliga appearances before the Winterpause.
Bayern Munich's last game of the first half of the season is against manager Kovač's former side Eintracht Frankfurt on December 22.
French midfielder Corentin Tolisso won't return until 2019, but fellow absentees James Rodriguez, Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben are all expected to return to full fitness over the next few weeks.
Dortmund Make Alcacer Move Permanent
Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Paco Alcacer from Barcelona on a permanent deal following a successful loan spell at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund signed Alcacer on loan from the Spanish champions during the summer, with an option to make the move permanent for a fixed fee.
After Alcacer scored eight goals in six Bundesliga appearances, it was an easy decision to activate that option, with the 25-year-old signing a contract until 2023.
"Paco is wholeheartedly with us, he has quickly integrated and has become an integral part of our squad," Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc told the club's official website.
"He is a real goalscorer of high footballing quality, and has already played a decisive part in some important games for us. We look forward to many more goals and assists from Paco in the coming years."
Alcacer expressed his delight at having made the next step in his career.
"I am very happy in Dortmund, at BVB and in this wonderful team," he said. "Borussia Dortmund was and is exactly the right decision for me. I will do everything I can to say thank you for your trust."
Alcacer's eight Bundesliga goals have come in just 235 minutes of action, meaning that he has scored at an average of one goal every 29 minutes.
His form has also earned him a recall to the Spain squad for his first international action since 2016. His excellent form continued with two goals in a friendly against Wales and one against England in the Nations League.
Barcelona to Give Dortmund Huge Payout if They Sell Dembele
La Liga giants Barcelona will be forced to pay Borussia Dortmund an additional £26m if they decide to cash in on their out-of-favour winger Ousmane Dembélé.
The France international swapped Signal Iduna Park for the Camp Nou last year in a £96m transfer, with a further £35m in potential add-ons.
Barcelona have already paid £9m of the add-ons for Dembélé, but German outlet Die Welt (via the Mirror) claim that they will be made to pay the remaining £26m if the 21-year-old is sold in the near future.
Dembélé has a contract in Catalonia until 2022, so any sale would see Barcelona increase their already high asking price to accommodate whatever they still have left to pay Borussia Dortmund.
Barça's reasoning behind considering letting one of their most expensive ever signings - second only to Philippe Coutinho - leave is largely down to the player's attitude, something which often landed himself in hot water with Dortmund's hierarchy too.
There have also been claims that, as well as problems with punctuality and even rumours of a possible video game addiction, Dembélé still hasn't integrated himself into the squad and has so far failed to fall into any specific friendship group at the club, despite Barcelona's high number of French players.
If Barcelona do decide to sell then they will not be short of suitors, although many clubs across Europe will be put off by Dembélé's expected asking price which will likely break the £100m barrier once again.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for the World Cup-winning forward, but Jürgen Klopp's side could have the inside track due to his personal relationship with Dembélé.
The youngster was renting a property from Klopp during his time at Borussia Dortmund, although things didn't end on good terms when Dembélé moved to Barcelona as he left the property trashed while he was forcing through the transfer.
Arsenal do, however, have a fighting chance when it comes to convincing Dembélé of a move thanks to their contingent of his former teammates, most notably including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Bayern Legend Oliver Kahn Favourite to Become Club President!
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is keen to step down from the position in the near future, with legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn lined up as his replacement.
Kahn, now 49 years old, spent the majority of his playing career with Bayern, making 632 appearances during his 14 years with the club. He is widely regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers of his generation and won the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper award on three separate occasions.
News of Kahn's potential future role comes from German outlet Bild, who state that Hoeness has until the end of November to decide whether he will be running in the club's next presidential election.
However, he is unlikely to do so, with Hoeness reportedly prepared to step down as soon as a potential successor is identified. He is quoted by Bild as saying: "If I knew who could do that, I would stop next year."
Kahn and Hoeness are known to be close friends, with the former goalkeeper often meeting Hoeness for confidential meetings about the club. Those involved with the club are said to have complete faith in Kahn, should he assume the role of club president.
Lothar Matthaus, another Bayern legend, has also tipped Kahn to take charge of the club in the future, but instead as the chairman of the club, with current chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge becoming the new president.
In an interview with Onefootball, “Oliver Kahn should take over the office of chairman of the board from Rummenigge. He’s a face of FC Bayern, he has Bayern-DNA in him.
“Oliver is an outstanding expert in soccer. He was always ambitious, always educated himself further, including in economic matters.
“I trust him to lead FC Bayern into the future.”
Kahn enjoyed an outstanding playing career with Bayern. After joining from Karlsruher in 1994, Kahn went on to capture eight Bundesliga titles and also won the Champions League in 2001.
He was also a key figure for Germany during his career. Kahn earned 86 caps for his country after making his debut in 1995, and he helped Germany to glory at Euro 1996.
Christian Pulisic 'Set for January Chelsea Move'
Chelsea are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmunder's representatives and his club stalled.
Despite impressing in Germany since his arrival in 2016, Pulisic has been outshone by Jadon Sancho so far this season, and has only registered one goal and two assists in seven Bundesliga appearances.
The Mail report that, despite being at the club since the age of 16, Pulisic is refusing to enter into any further contract talks with Dortmund and the club – feeling that their hand is being forced – are said to be preparing to cash in on the youngster, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool for many
With Chelsea facing a future that may not contain Eden Hazard – but may include a lengthy transfer ban from FIFA – the Mail report claims that the Blues are looking to push a move for the USMNT star through as soon as this January.
While no figure has yet been revealed, Pulisic has been valued around £70m in the not too distant past – although Dortmund may be forced to be flexible on that figure to avoid losing a valuable asset for free in 18 months.
Pulisic has previously spoken of his wish to play in the Premier League, saying before his USA side played England on Thursday: “England, the Premier League, is a league where lots of kids dream of playing so there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here.
"As you can see, we are having a great year at Dortmund and I am enjoying every moment of that. Then when the time comes for me to talk in the breaks about my future, then that’s when those things happen. Like I said before, reading these articles [about me], I tend to stay away from that stuff. I know it is going to be there but it is not my priority.”
West Ham Target Yarmolenko Has 'Completed Medical'
Andriy Yarmolenko has completed a medical with West Ham ahead of a now likely move from Borussia Dortmund.
The Ukrainian winger emerged as a transfer target for the Hammers following the fact that their current pursuit of Lazio's Felipe Anderson has recently stalled. Yarmolenko signed for BVB last summer after signing from Dynamo Kyiv, but has failed to nail down a place in the starting XI for the German outfit - making just 26 appearances in all competitions.
He did however manage to bag himself a reasonable six goals and six assists in those 26 appearances, which has done enough to catch the eye of West Ham, who are looking to rebuild their squad under their new manager Manuel Pellegrini.
A permanent deal was said to be being negotiated between the two clubs with the Daily Mail reporting that West Ham had laid down a £17.5m bid for the 28-year-old.
Now, the deal looks set to become a certainty as Ukrainian news outlet Zbirna are claiming that West Ham completed a medical with Yarmolenko on Saturday evening. Furthermore, German outlet Kicker are reporting that the transfer will be announced tomorrow.
If West Ham are able to push the deal over the line then then Yarmolenko would be the next in a procession of new players joining the Hammers this summer.
Time will tell as to whether Yarmolenko is a success in east London given his relative lack of experience playing at the top level. His solitary season with Dortmund has been his only one outside of playing in Ukraine so he may well be a high risk signing.
RB Leipzig Join Tottenham Hotspur in Race to Sign Lyon Starlet Ndombele
RB Leipzig have shown interested in signing Tottenham transfer target and Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, according to reports.According to German newspaper BILD, RB Leipzig are looking to sign the 21-year-old as a replacement for Liverpool bound Naby Keita.Ralf Rangnick’s side will be hoping to bolster their midfield for next season following their sixth place finish in the Bundesliga last campaign.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are also believed to be interested in Ndombele as a potential like for like replacement for Mousa Dembele, who has been linked with a move away from Spurs.Tottenham are thought to have made an enquiry in June, with the Ligue 1 side demanding a substantial transfer fee for the defensive midfielder.Fellow Premier League outlet Liverpool have been linked with Ndombele in recent times, despite also tracking a potential move for fellow Lyon player Nabil Fekir.Lyon won’t let Ndombele go easy however, having only signed the middle man on a permanent deal this summer from Amiens, following a successful loan spell.Tanguy Ndombele made 50 appearances for Lyon in all competitions last season, finding the net just once from his deep lying central midfield position.
[embedded content]The young midfielder has made nine appearances for his home nation France at Under-21 level, and is very likely to make his way into the first team in the years to come.
Southampton Reportedly Decline Opportunity to Sign Troubled Schalke Starlet
Schalke 04 star Max Meyer is looking for a new club this Summer, but will not be going to relegation candidates Southampton, who have reportedly turned down the opportunity to sign the troubled attacker.
According to the German publication Bild, Meyer's agent Roger Wittmann offered the Saints the attacking midfielder's services, but were turned down by the Premier League club.
Since deciding on not signing a new deal in February, Meyer has seen little first team action. His last appearance for Schalke came on the 15th April in a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund.
The 22-year-old is currently suspended for criticising Heidel, after Meyer accused Schalke of bullying him.
Meyer told Bild: “I was never concerned about the money, otherwise I would have accepted the second improved offer.
“That’s why I find it a mess for Clemens Tonnies to say it on TV as if it were all about money. I simply did not want to stay with Schalke and work under Heidel. It’s all about this. Lately, it just feels like bullying to me.
“I did not want to come out and talk. I’ve just had enough of always reading something about myself, but neither Heidel nor Tonnies talked to me. Now they can read how the last two years have been for me at Schalke.”
There is little good to come from this story for both Southampton and Meyer. Southampton are not necessarily in need of such a player, while Meyer has no doubt tarnished his reputation through this bizarre story.
Bild have suggested that Southampton may have been put off by the player asking for a signing-on fee of around €10m.