Arsenal have been linked with an interest in Christian Pulisic, but my understanding is still that Mykhaylo Mudryk is their priority for January. Chelsea were not too keen to loan out Pulisic in the summer, but we’ll see what offers come in for him this January.
And just to clarify after a question yesterday from Muhammet – I’m not aware of Shakhtar lowering their demands for Mudryk. He was valued at closer to €40m in the summer but his incredible form means it’s changed and it can keep changing. Last I was told, it’s likely to be at least €65m.
Dani Olmo is impressing with Spain at the World Cup and I can reveal there was strong interest from Barcelona one year ago, in 2021; but then they invested €55m on Ferran Torres so nothing happened. I think Olmo is a big talent and could be great for Premier League too; but there’s nothing imminent or close as of today.
Barcelona proposal to Alejandro Balde for new contract will be a five year deal with an increased salary — also a release clause will be discussed, potentially worth €1bn, same as Gavi, Pedri, Jules Kounde, Ferran Torres and more.
Lothar Matthaus on Jamal Musiala: “He can be the Messi of the future, he is excellent. I have loved him for the last two years, I love his style of football and I love his personality. He is 19 years old, he is doing the things that will make him a top footballer. He has great passing, he is clever with his thinking and he loves football.”
It’s still a bit too early to be talking about the best players of the World Cup, but for sure Enzo Fernandez’s impact has been great. He’s young, inexperienced, but he looks right at home on the biggest stage with Argentina. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if top English clubs will try to jump on him in summer 2023.
Official, confirmed yesterday: Bournemouth have appointed Gary O’Neill as the club’s hew manager on an 18-month contract. The deal includes an option of another 12 months.
Christian Pulisic is the subject of transfer gossip and speculation again, so here’s my take on links with Manchester United and Arsenal…
Pulisic was already on Man United’s list in the summer, but Chelsea didn’t want to loan him out at that time. What happens next with his future depends on the proposals, at the moment the situation is still quiet; Arsenal’s priority remains Mykhaylo Mudryk for January, but it’s still early.
Josko Gvardiol at the World Cup so far:
- 2 games
- 180 minutes
- 166 passes
- 88% pass accuracy
- 6/9 accurate long balls
- 3 tackles
- 5 interceptions
- 8 clearances
- 2 blocked shots
- 0 times dribbles past
- 7/10 duels won
Still only 20 years old – this is why he is expected to make a big move in 2023!
Wayne Rooney: “Gareth Southgate needs to make changes for Tuesday’s game with Wales and given that it would almost take a miracle not to qualify, it’s the perfect opportunity for him to give minutes to players who have not been used much so far.
“Top of the list is Phil Foden. I found it very strange that Foden did not come on as a substitute against the USA. He would be a key part of my starting XI if I were the England boss. Technically, he is the best footballer England have.”
Christian Pulisic was on Manchester United’s list in the summer, but Chelsea didn’t want to loan him out at that time. What happens next is not clear, it will depend on the offers that come in for Pulisic in January.
After being asked about this by Andrew yesterday, I also wanted to confirm I’m not aware of Michael Edwards to Manchester United being close. He wants a break from football and rejected Chelsea because of this. We’ll see what happens with him next season.
Morocco’s results have surprised me, congrats to them as they’re really doing something special as team and with a great group. They’re undoubtedly one of the stories of the World Cup so far, I’ve really enjoyed watching them.
Morocco manager Regragui on Hakim Ziyech: “He’s incredible. A lot of people talk about Hakim as a difficult guy to manage but what I see is that, when you give him love and confidence, he will die for you. It is what I give him and he returns my confidence.”
Morocco head coach Regragui: “Trust me, Amrabat is a world-class player. He is a ‘key’ player in my plans. I expect him to move to one of the major European clubs after the World Cup.”
I had the chance to speak with people close to Lionel Messi and the message from his camp is very clear – he has not decided his future, he has not agreed a deal with any club, there are no advanced negotiations with any club. And it’s important to say he’s 100% focused on the World Cup with Argentina, not on transfer negotiations. Nothing will happen until 2023. Then he will decide his future.
It’s true that Inter Miami want Messi, and they are planning for him in their future. They want him as part of their team, but at the moment nothing is agreed. It’s also important to say that Paris Saint-Germain want to keep him for one more season, and they are trying to extend his contract. We also know Barcelona want to bring him back, but there are no negotiations yet.
These are the three possibilities for Messi, but nothing is decided yet. Reports saying it’s done or it’s close are wide of the mark, as far as I understand from talking to Messi’s people. This is the situation and I’ll keep looking into it to keep you posted.
Spezia want €15-20m to sell Jakub Kiwior in 2023 as there are many clubs interested in Serie A. Spezia hope to keep Kiwior until at least June.
West Ham approached Spezia to sign Kiwior last summer but the deal collapsed as he was considered untouchable.
There’s already speculation about Djed Spence’s future after a difficult start at Tottenham. My understanding is that Spence is not playing because Antonio Conte wants experienced players and Spence is considered a talent for the future. Tottenham were always frontrunners in the summer and they are convinced he’s going to be a great investment for the future of the club.
In terms of a January loan, no decision has been made yet; we will see what happens when Conte meets the board and decides the next steps.
I got a question from Cameron yesterday about this, but at the moment no, I don’t have this info of Spurs being keen on signing Manuel Ugarte; for sure he’s good player with many scouts keeping an eye on him, but nothing more yet.