Manchester City have €20 million bid for Espanyol’s Aarón Martín rejected

Manchester City have had a €20 million bid for Espanyol left-back Aarón Martín rejected by the Catalan club as they look to hold out in the hope that Pep Guardiola’s side will splash out the €30 million required to activate his release clause.

The club are believed to be open to selling, with former player Didac Villa already lined up as a replacement. However, they have rejected this initial bid, likely as they hope to squeeze more money out of one of the world’s richest clubs.

The 20-year-old established himself in Quique Sanchez Flores’ side last season. Having made his first team debut in October, he rapidly became first choice and signed a six year contract in January after being promoted from the B team indefinitely.

Good on the ball and often seen dribbling down the left flank, it is clear to see why Guardiola may be keen to bring the Catalan to work with him as an alternative to ex-Monaco man Benjamin Mendy at left-back.

The sooner a deal can be reached the better for both clubs as Espanyol may look to invest some of the money elsewhere in the squad with a lack of depth evident in several positions, potentially making a sale necessary.

Source: La Liga News

Italian side Napoli make another Rulli move

Serie A side Napoli have made a move for Real Sociedad stopper Geronimo Rulli, according to reports.

The 25-year-old joined La Real last season on a permanent deal from Manchester City but the English club do hold a buy-back clause, which they have been interested to use this summer.

Interest from a number of clubs has since emerged, with Napoli making a move after the season end and whilst they were unsuccessful then – it is reported by Radio Marca, that a new and improved offer has been made.

Speaking of the Italian side’s interest last month, Rulli said: “I’m happy Napoli asked after me, as all Argentines know what Napoli and Diego Maradona represent.

“But Real Sociedad is my home and I’m challenging for a place at the World Cup. If Argentina qualify, it’ll be a great opportunity for me. I have Russia 2018 in my mind.

“That means I need to play consistently for the Coach to see me in action. San Sebastian feels like home now and I’ve been living here for three years. I doubled the number of appearances I had with Estudiantes, am happy and hope to remain for a long time.”

The youngster was an important member of La Real’s side last season and helped them achieve Europa League qualification.

Source: La Liga News

Man City ‘complete’ move for Real Madrid’s Danilo

Manchester City have completed a deal to sign Real Madrid defender Danilo, according to reports.

Interest from England in the Brazilian has been rife this summer with Manchester United, Chelsea and Pep Guardiola’s City showing interest.

Danilo joined Real Madrid back in 2015 from Porto and has made 55 appearances at the club, but he saw his playing time come under pressure from both Dani Carvajal and Marcelo last season, prompting his availability.

Madrid are happy to sell but have indicated to interested parties that they would only let him go for a fee in the region of £30m.

And, the defender is now set to move to the Etihad stadium after Sky Sport Italia broke the news on Wednesday afternoon that Guardiola would be willing to pay that amount.

His arrival at the club would see him join Kyle Walker, who arrived from Tottenham Hotspur in a £50m deal last week.

Having began his career in Brazil with America-MG, the full-back moved to Santos where he further impressed and gained a move to Portuguese side Porto.

He would later help them to win the Primeira Liga on two occasions before joining Madrid, where he has won two Champions League winners medals.

Source: La Liga News

Man City look to beat Chelsea in Danilo race

Manchester City are attempting to beat Premier League rivals Chelsea to the signing of Real Madrid defender Danilo, according to London Evening Standard.

Interest from Stamford Bridge in the Brazilian has been rife this summer but a fee is yet to be agreed, leading to other European clubs to make a move.

Danilo joined Real Madrid back in 2015 from Porto and has made 55 appearances at the club, but he saw his playing time come under pressure from both Dani Carvajal and Marcelo last season, prompting his availability.

Madrid are happy to sell but have indicated that they would only let him go for a fee in the region of £30m.

Manchester City are now showing interest, despite signing Kyle Walker in a £50m, a record for a defender.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes Danilo would be a great addition to the club, but the pressure is now on from City to get the deal done.

Having began his career in Brazil with America-MG, the full-back moved to Santos where he further impressed and gained a move to Portugeuse side Porto.

He would later help them to win the Primeira Liga on two occasions before joining Madrid, where he has won two Champions League winners medals.

Source: La Liga News

Jesus Navas due to arrive in Seville on Tuesday

Jesus Navas will arrive in Seville on Tuesday to discuss a return to Sevilla, according to reports.

Following his exit from Premier League side Manchester City last month – Navas is now free to discuss terms with interested clubs and has been linked with a number of English and Spanish sides.

Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United have been linked, whilst Sevilla has been long-term admirers on bringing the winger back to the club.

And, according to reports in the Spanish press, a meeting between the former Spanish international and officials from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan – will take place on Tuesday afternoon.

The 31-year-old is keen to return to his boyhood club after leaving in 2016 to complete a €20m deal to City.

Previous to his stint in England, Navas made 393 appearances for Sevilla and won two UEFA Cup and two Copa del Rey titles.

Source: La Liga News

Alaves complete deal for Manchester City striker

Alaves have completed a deal for Manchester City striker Ruben Sobrino, the club has confirmed.

The 25-year-old forward spent a loan spell with the Basque side last season but only made five appearances, scoring twice.

However, those performances have been enough to warrant a permanent move back to La Liga from Premier League parent club Man City.

Sobrino, a Real Madrid youth graduate left Spanish football in 2015 but failed to make an appearance for the Manchester-based club.

A loan spell with Catalan side Girona later followed before he moved to Alaves on loan in 2016.

Having now agreed on a move to the Mendizorrotza – Sobrino will sign a four-year contract at the club.

 

Source: La Liga News

Super January best EPL matchups

Best January Premier League Matchups

January is one of the most critical months in the Premier League. Champions League is on hold until February and International matches are few, with only an occasional friendly taking players away from their professional clubs. With the January transfer window upon the sport, many of the sides will try to shore up their defence, add some offence or do some of both. Usually, signings at this time involve less money, but nevertheless a significant move can keep a team out of the relegation zone or help secure a coveted Champion's League or even a Europa League spot. No matter what happens, these are the matches you should watch.

Wednesday, January 4

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea

The second half of this all-London derby at White Hart Lane is the last match of the Premier League festive season. The Spurs will seek revenge for the last match in which Chelsea held superstar striker Harry Kane scoreless while young phenom Dele Alli only had a single assist in a match that Chelsea won by a 2-1 score. That contest handed the Spurs their first loss of the season as previous Tottenham had either ended in a win or a draw.

Sunday, January 15

Manchester United vs. Liverpool

Although technically not a derby, this match might as well be as the two cities in Northwest England are only about 40 miles apart. Look for drama at some point in the match from the self-avowed "Special One," Jose Mourinho, United manager, particularly if his side remains outside of a coveted Champion's League spot. Liverpool has had difficulty with its defense all season. Watch for maneuvering by colorful Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp to do some creative maneuvering later in the match, particularly if his side is trailing.

Everton vs. Manchester City

The two blue teams from Manchester and Liverpool will face each other on the same day at Goodison Park in Liverpool. The big question for this contest is whether Pep Guardiola's Manchester City crew will have settled into the possession-style of football that the Spaniard prefers. City have struggled with with Guardiola's style all season, playing erratically, even in games that they have won. The last meeting between the two clubs in October ended in a 1-1 draw. Look for the Evertonians, always a mid-table squad, to give City a run for the money.

Tuesday, January 31

Liverpool vs. Chelsea

This match closes out January at Anfield in Liverpool where the two cross-country rivals may possibly battle for first place. A revived Chelsea, led by manager Antonio Conte, has led the table almost all season. Liverpool won the previous match 2-1 between the two clubs in September, but Chelsea has gained strength since that time. Look for striker Diego Costa to take advantage of holes in Liverpool's defence.

600 appearances for Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry notched up his 600th appearance in the Premier League today with his side 3-1 win over Middlesbrough. He is now nine behind Frank Lampard and 32 appearances behind Ryan Giggs, and seems likely he will inevitably grace the No.2 position by the end of the season, barring injury.

Everton went down early to a goal which appeared to be a foul on Steklenberg but which was bizarrely given by the ref, after Negrado had clashed into the keeper nudging the ball from his hands into the net.

Koeman said later "“We needed the mistake of the referee because after that we were more aggressive”. “The start was not good, but after that we saw the Everton we expect.”

Gareth Barry marked his 600th appearance with a goal 3 minutes later. Coleman got the second after a neat one two, and Lukaku deftly brushed the ball with his laces into the net for the third, after a Yannick Bolasie cross.

Islam Slimani got a dream debut at the King Power Stadium with a brace on the 46th and 48th minute as Leicester beat Burnley 3-0. The £29m signing known as the 'Dragon Slayer' for scoring goals againsts rivals Porto. Riyad Mahrez was also excellent as a cross from him forced Ben Mee to turn it into his own net.

Kevin De Bruyne was brilliant today as Man City took Bournemouth apart in a 4-0 win at The Etihad. Goals from De Bruyne, Iheanacho, Sterling, and Gündogan sealed the visitors fate as the City side looked polished. Guardiola said later regarding City's new found vigour and that they started last season in similar fashion

“We will not think it is easy because I am here. I have heard for a long time that the Premier League is the toughest so we know that it is September and we have won nothing.”

It remains to be seen how they will cope through winter as the fixtures start stacking up.

West Ham seem to be having opposing problems as the rails seem to have well and truly come off their premier league hopes. Down 4-0 at half time and with a consolation recovery in the second half with goals from Lanzini and Antonio again, which bizarrely puts Antonio the head of the goal scoring table tonight. West Brom had only managed six goals in 13 Premier League matches and not scored four in a Premier League match for two years. In another bizarre stat they only had 25% possession yet Chadli, bought for 13m from Spurs, on his home debut managed a brace, with Rondon and McClean grabbing the others in some of the worst defending experienced. Tony Pulis was not available for comment afterwards which is only furthering recent speculation of his departure.

Arsenal carried on their run with a 4-1 win away to Hull City. Hull’s game plan has worked well under Mike Phelan, who remains caretaker manager despite the offer of a permanent contract last week, with 9 men behind the ball soaking up the pressure, but Arsenal are a dangerous side to relentlessly soak up this kind of pressure. Particularly as Hull went down to 10 men with Livermore sent off. Arsenal with over 60% possession soon took control with a shot from Iwobi glancing off Sanchez. Arsenal should have gone 2 up but Sanchez's penalty was saved. A discussion needed on who takes penalty's as this is not Sanchez's first miss. A one two with Iwobi had Walcott chipping the keeper to make it two. A shot blocked from Walcott had Sanchez tapping in the rebound which should by all rights have been his hat-trick. Dieumerci Mbokani was brought down by Cech which resulted in a Hull penalty which enabled Snodgrass to provide a lesson in taking penalties to Sanchez. A 30 yard strike from Granit Xhaka sealed their doom deep into injury time.

On Friday night Chelsea lost to Liverpool who were at their Klopp best for their meeting at the Bridge. Chelsea were a demure side in the first half and gave themselves too much to do in the second. The first goal was typical of Liverpool's eagerness to win. Coutinho took a short free kick to Milner. He then passed back to Coutinho on the left wing who then crossed the ball to the back post. With the Chelsea defenders all running to the near post leaving 4 Liverpool shirts at the back post and Dejan Lovren to head in past Courtois. Willian and Hazard were isolated, Costa barely got more than one touch each time he had the ball. Chelsea's signing from Leicester Kante, seemed the only one in midfield in grabbing hold of the game but thats no good when his fellow players seem devoid of ideas. The second goal sealed their fate with a weak clearance from Cahill that fell to Henderson 25 yards out whose strike beat Courtois mainly because of his poor position after the previous attack. Chelsea got their consolation through some excellent work by Matic who received a previously played ball from Hazard, skipped past Matip and Lallana on the byline and crossed to Costa who belted it in from close range. They never looked liked they would get a second. Conte will rue some of his decisions and in particular his substitutions which he didn't make until 70 minutes and brought all three on at once in Fabregas, Pedro and Moses. He left his second striker on the bench in Michy Batshuayi. Abromovich will be thinking!