Fenerbahce want Arsenal ‘to pay £5.5m’ in Ozil loan move

Fenerbahce want Arsenal to pick up a large percentage of Mesut Ozil’s wages if they are to sign him on loan this summer, according to reports.

Reports in Turkey claim that Unai Emery has given Ozil the all-clear to leave the club this summer as he wants to free up his wages for other transfers.

Ozil’s inconsistent performances have not been good enough for a lot of Arsenal supporters considering his huge £350,000 a week wages.

The German only made 24 appearances last term and there has been speculation that he will move this summer, with Turkish side Fenerbahce linked.

And Fanatik (via The Metro) claims that Fenerbahce are looking to seal a season-long loan deal for Ozil with Arsenal paying £5.5m of his £13.5m annual wages, while the Turkish outfit pick up the other £8m.

The report adds that despite it being a chunk off the Gunners wage bill, it would be unlikely that Fenerbahce would be able to include a loan fee in the deal.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol also provided an update on Ozil’s situation at Arsenal.

He told The Transfer Show: “Fenerbahce are looking into the possibility of signing Mesut Ozil from Arsenal.

“I don’t think Fenerbahce could really afford to buy him outright so what they’re looking for is a loan deal whereby Arsenal would continue to pay a percentage of his wages.

“Ozil earns £350,000-a-week but I don’t think there’s any way Fenerbahce could afford that, but if there was a way they could come to some sort of agreement with Arsenal where they would carry on paying some of those wages then it could happen.”

 

Arsenal sounded out over £18m cut-price deal for Spurs target

Arsenal have been offered striker Mariano Diaz by Real Madrid in an £18million deal, according to reports.

Mariano joined Real from French side Lyon for £33million last summer, with the Spanish-born forward scoring just four goals in 22 appearances last season for Los Blancos.

And now the Daily Mirror claims that the Gunners have been ‘sounded out’ over a ‘cut-price deal’ of £18million for the 25-year-old.

Arsenal need all the help they can get in the transfer market as their budget is only £40m or £45m depending on which newspaper you read.

They have sealed a deal for William Saliba this week – but he will go back on loan to Saint-Etienne – while they are yet to make a breakthrough in negotiations over other targets with Kieran Tierney and Wilfried Zaha both linked.

A report last week claimed Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino ‘has asked for Mariano Díaz’ as part of their never-ending quest ‘for a substitute striker to complement Harry Kane’.

Spanish TV station El Chiringuito added that he wants to stay at Real Madrid. But the Spanish side ‘prefer to cash in’ and they would ‘welcome his departure’ as part of their squad renovation.

The Daily Mirror adds that a deal for Mariano ‘was not dismissed out of hand’ by Arsenal boss Unai Emery but it is believed Spurs have ‘other priorities’.

 

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Wilder commits long-term future to Sheff Utd with new deal

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has signed a new three-year contract, the Premier League club have announced.

Wilder guided the Blades back to the top flight last season following a 12-year exile after leading them to the League One title in his first season in charge.

Sheffield United chief executive Stephen Bettis told the club’s official website: “On behalf of the board, I’m delighted the formalities have been concluded and Chris has been rewarded.

“Chris signing a new contract underpins everything we are attempting to do at Bramall Lane.

“He’s been the catalyst for our success over the past few years, he is a driven individual and his focus since promotion was secured has been preparing the club for the Premier League.”

Wilder started his professional career at Bramall Lane in 1986 as a right back and spent six years at the club, including loan spells at Walsall, Charlton and Leyton Orient.

He returned to the Steel City in 1998 for a brief spell.

Wilder took charge at his boyhood club in 2016 after the exit of Nigel Adkins and engineered a return to the Championship.

The 51-year-old secured automatic promotion to the Premier League this season and won the LMA Manager of the Year award.

 

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Why Man Utd will finish in the top four this season…

Send your mails to theditor@football365.com…

 

Reasons for optimism at Man Utd
Since the departure of Ferguson, Manchester United has continued to flounder, be it in the transfer market, appointment of managers or even when it comes to negotiating contracts with existing players. Until a Director of Football is appointed, they are unlikely to sort out this mess. However, despite all these misgivings, I believe United will finish in the top 4 this year.

Liverpool and City are too far ahead for United to catch up to until they fix the issues highlighted above. Tottenham has a great first 11 but lack depth yet will probably still finish ahead of United. However, the 4th spot is United’s for the taking.

Chelsea have a novice manager who may need time to settle in. But more importantly, they have just lost their best player. Have been hit with a transfer ban so they can’t sign any replacements. Do not have a capable striker other than an ageing Giroud and an unproven Bathsuayi. Even with Hazard, they scored the lowest number of goals in the PL last season and that stat is likely to get worse this year. Their squad also lacks depth and 6th place is where they will likely end up.

That only leaves Arsenal to compete with for the CL spot and given the limited budget Emery has to operate with, one would not expect Arsenal to put up that strong a challenge. They do have a strong forward line which should push United but will probably fall short. Even if United finish 5th, there’s always the backup of the UEFA cup where too, their strongest challengers will be Arsenal.

As far as United is concerned, they seem well on their way to fixing the back line. Bissaka is a great addition (if a tad expensive) while getting someone like Maguire will sort out the CBs issues that United had last year. Shaw remains an unknown entity and this season will show whether he can finally flourish or will he be their weakest link in defense.

The forward line has immense amounts of potential, but they still lack a goal scorer in the mould of Kane or Salah who can guarantee them 20 goals each season. That looks unlikely to be fixed this year.

The midfield too remains a quandry. If Pogba stays and Bruno Fernandes is added to the ranks, they will still lack a top class Central midfielder. None of the rumors in the transfer market seem to suggest that United will be able to secure one this summer. They have been strongly linked to Longstaff but he too is an unknown entity and definitely not the level yet that they require. For me, this this is the biggest weakness and an area they will be repeatedly found wanting this year..

These are definitely reasons for concern for United and why we will not see them even close to the top 3 this year, but given the travails of Chelsea and Arsenal, the 4th spot is theirs for the taking.
Adeel

 

Local teams – by travel time and flight availability
On the subject of local teams, it occurred to me that it would be interesting to slightly modify the thought experiment – focusing on travel times rather than distances. Particularly with those of us living overseas.

If I’m not mistaken, Brentford FC is the local club for most of us living outside of England, based on:
– flight to London Heathrow
– 0-15 minute wait for the tube
– 30 minute tube from Heathrow T5 to South Ealing
– 0-10 minute wait for the bus
– 10 minute bus ride from South Ealing to Griffin Park

(Same logistics for the return journey, other than likely walking instead of taking the bus).

This means foreign fans can attend a Brentford FC Saturday 3PM kickoff, without spending the night, as long as your flight lands at LHR before 1PM, and departs from LHR after 6:30PM.

For me personally, it means I can leave my apartment in Switzerland at 10:30AM CET, and be home by 11:15PM CET. (I did this once – it was fun, but tiring!)

I imagine that other fans with other flight connections have similar itinerary proposals. Geneva doesn’t have frequent connections to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham – but I bet Irish and Scandinavian fans could do something similar “up north”. There is also potential to look into the same with Southend United, Crawley/Palace/Brighton (Gatwick), and Tottenham (Stansted).

I would be hugely surprised, however, if anyone can come up with a more convenient 1 day itinerary than the one for Brentford!
Oliver (in case you’re wondering, I was dragged along by a friend who was obsessed with the show People Just Do Nothing) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland

 

Comparing football transfers to pension transfers…
I’m an assistant technical specialist in the pension industry (yawn I hear!).

Having read your article on ‘ridiculous’ transfer fees in football, I thought that a way of explaining these valuations is similar to certain transfers in pensions (yawn I hear you repeat but hear me out).

Pensions are very valuable and saving for them and using them wisely is very important for individuals and will depend on their own circumstances.

The two main types of pensions are Defined Benefit (DB)/ Final Salary schemes or Defined Contribution (DC) Money Purchase schemes.

DB schemes provide a guaranteed income when you retire whereas DC schemes provide a pot of money for you to utilise to purchase various products/options and are more flexible.

Now if you transfer a DB pension to a DC pension pot you might be surprised at how high the CETV (cash equivalent transfer) value is. However, you will be giving up a valuable guaranteed asset and investing it where there are risks. However, it’s easier to access and you will be able to take it earlier potentially making it more useful for you depending on your circumstances.

Now, if you have a CETV worth £30K+ which probably will be more than likely, even with short service, financial advice is required before transferring because you’re giving up a valuable asset.

If anybody is still awake: Zaha, for example, is a DB pension to Palace whereas Arsenal want him for their DC pot so whereas I don’t think he’s worth it and Arsenal should look elsewhere, I totally understand why Palace value him at that price.

Seriously, I’m more fun down the pub… honestly ! ?
Chris, Croydon

 

The Champions League starts today
Most people who follow the English Premier League may well have missed the fact that the Champions League starts today for all those clubs who don’t already have the benefit of a bottomless pit of TV money.

My adopted club and previous winners of the old European Cup, PSV Eindhoven, are actually fortunate in that, starting in a couple of weeks, we only have to play six matches over three rounds just to get to the group stage! I haven’t added them all up, but more games are probably played before the group stage actually starts than after.

If I sound a bit bitter, it’s because I am. In the 25 years that I’ve lived in the Netherlands, the Champions League has gradually been altered to the point where I am sure that there are now fewer genuine champions of European leagues in the main competition than non-champions.

Surely the time has come to restore a bit of balance. Balance out the number of clubs from the major leagues in the Champions League that I accept bring in the most money for UEFA (surely three per country is more than enough) with the minor leagues, move the fourth club to the Europa League and balance out the prize money there to make it less of an ugly duckling competition and so more attractive to TV and audiences.
Tim Royall GFC

 

England v Sweden
Bit late with this but here goes; a great competition even if USA winning felt a bit like Man U in the 90s/00s. Note, they had an English coach and a Swedish assistant coach to get them there. ;-)First to the “nonsense match” – it seems third place matches don’t matter… to the losers (note see Argentina v Chile where neither appeared to care before, then fought like crazy to win and then both appeared not to care after). So, I would like to see Phil Neville telling the Swedish players that Bronze didn’t matter, starting with Nilla Fischer. Yesterday over 20000 people crammed into a square in Gothenburg to celebrate them coming home (this would be equivalent to over 100000 in England) and it was live on tv. I know these things are relative (to expectation, whether realistic or not) but it’s a freakin bronze medal from the world cup! Hell in some light it even looks gold! ?

The match itself wasn’t great, but Sofia (please pass more!!!) Jakobsson’s finish was good, and Fran Kirby’s goal was great. Sweden did well to win after losing three players to injury and third is (to reiterate) a great accomplishment.

The final was also a bit disappointing, strange that the Netherlands are World Cup runners up despite apparently playing badly the whole competition. Funny that the BBC website reader’s player ratings had every Dutch player above any US player and I couldn’t find any comment on that from the BBC. Was the BBC’s choice of Rapinoe as player of the match (good as she was) political when Van Veenendaal gave a 9/10 performance in goal for the Netherlands?

Which brings me to my overall highlight, the generally excellent goalkeeping. There’s a lot of criticism of women’s goalkeeping (as there was to African teams’ keeping 20+ years ago) but at the world cup there were some amazing displays. I hope this encourages girls to play in goal because (here at least) no one ever wants to play in goal!

As for how to get more girls playing football, it has to start young and attitudes have to change. It’s interesting, my daughter is currently on a football camp in England and she commented that she instantly noticed that English boys are a lot more sexist and derisory to the girls than here. First step, there have to be clubs formed so girls can play, I know friends in England who quit simply because there was no team.

I agree with others who have said girls need to be encouraged to watch football too. There seems to be a lot of complaining that men don’t watch women’s football whilst ignoring the fact that not many women watch women’s football. In a country proud of its equality the Damallsvenskan (Swedish women’s top league) has an average gate of 908 and the Allsvenskan (men’s) has 9042! A crowd of 900 is not going to support wages. Clubs need to be more active in schools and communities to get people to matches.
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Rob, of Sweden (Lucy Bronze didn’t win Bronze but won the Silver ball, confusing…)

 

An XI of refusing to turn up for work players
JC STFC wants an XI of players who refused to turn up for work. oh go on then I will deliver you all one, a classic 3-4-3 formation, just don’t expect any of them to actually play a game for the team and not disrupt the dressing room.

GK: Courtois (Trying to force a move from Chelsea to Madrid)

DEF: Sebastian Squillaci (From Sevilla to Arsenal, refused to play in a Champions League qualifier for Sevilla because he knew it would cup-tie him, was it even worth it?)
DEF: William Gallas (Wanted more money, said if he was played he would score own goals)
DEF: Marcos Rojo (Rojo refused to train at Sporting when he tried to force through a move to Manchester United)

MID: Dimitri Payet (Moved back to Marseille after going on strike at West Ham, apparently he didnt like Bilic’s style of play)
MID: Paul Scholes (in protest at being left out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side for a 3-1 loss at Liverpool, the ginger maestro refused to play in a League Cup tie at Arsenal later that week)
MID: George Best (After going on a three-day bender after Manchester United’s lost to QPR in January 1974, he returned only to be dropped and then go on strike, refused to play until November of that year, when FIFA oversaw his release.)
MID: Kieron Dyer (The midfielder refused to play on the right side of midfield in a match against Middlesbrough, during a run of results which led to Sir Bobby losing his job.)

FWD: Pierre Van Hooijdonk (He asked for a transfer, and when one was refused he simply decided to stop turning up, going back to Holland to train with NAC Breda)
FWD: Dimitar Berbatov (Refused to come on for Tottenham in a league game after being annoyed at being named on the bench, a year later, he threw in a second strike aimed at forcing through a move to United)
FWD: Diego Costa (Disappeared to Brazil after the infamous Conte text message saga, later sold to Atletico)
Mikey, CFC (Apart from the defence, this is quite a strong line up)

 

Liverpool star reveals Klopp’s opening message for new season

Joe Gomez admits he would prefer to nail down one position as his own at Liverpool rather than filling in across the back four.

The 22-year-old has been at Anfield for four years now after arriving from Charlton for £3.5million as a raw 18-year-old.

The England man has now made 66 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s men, but just as he inferred when he arrived, he has reiterated his desire to make one position his own.

Gomez, who missed four months of last season with an ankle injury, said at the time he signed for the Reds that he would “like to play centre-back eventually in the coming years”.

Instead though Gomez has been used across the back four by Klopp with Joel Matip often getting the nod to partner Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defence last season.

“I’ve played a number of positions over the years I’ve been here,” Gomez told the club’s website.

“I like to excel in one and nail that spot but I’m happy to play wherever for the team and the manager.

“It’s just about development in whatever way I can and doing all the extra bits I can to develop off the pitch as well as on it. Hopefully things fall into place.

“This is my fifth season now and I’ve had a lot of experience at the club and learned a lot here. But I’m still so young, I’ve got so much left to learn. I’ve got to keep developing, keep progressing and stay hungry.”

Gomez is in full pre-season training and gearing up to the start of the campaign – a season which Klopp says has an air of unfinished business about it.

“Definitely. He [Klopp] said that this morning in the meeting,” added Gomez. “We can be happy and proud of the achievement but we’ve got so much more work to do and so many ways to improve as well.

“The Premier League was so close and I think that’s all the motivation we need, that we were so close but so far at the same time in the fact that we didn’t get it.

“It’s something we want to get this year and to do so we can’t get complacent or dwell on what happened last season, we have to hit the ground running again now.”

The Reds have two pre-season fixtures this week with a game against Tranmere at Prenton Park on Thursday, before tackling Bradford City on Sunday.

“Obviously it is as intense as you’d expect when you first come back, a lot of running and dusting the cobwebs off,” Gomez added.

“But it feels good, it’s nice to be back. It was nice to end on such a high last season and we just want to carry on where we left off and keep the momentum going.”

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Herrera reveals ‘differences’ between him, Solskjaer at Man Utd

Ander Herrera had “already made the decision to play in Paris” by the time Manchester United tried to tempt him to stay.

Herrera joined PSG for a football-f**king amount of cash earlier this month, bringing to an end his five-year spell with United.

The Spaniard was reported to have felt ‘disrespected’ by the club’s offer of a pay cut, but “differences” over his “importance” within Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s “project” played a part.

“I don’t like looking at the past,” Herrera told Marca. “But there were differences regarding the project and my importance within it.”

Not British, young or buzzy enough, fella.

“I was very happy, I have a lot to thank the club for, the fans and also Solskjaer. He did a lot for me to stay, but things didn’t happen. They arrived late and, by then, I’d already made the decision to play in Paris.

“I am very happy to have made that decision because I am enjoying this magnificent city, this beautiful stadium and this club, which has a glamour few can match.

“To leave United, the biggest team in England, you need something like PSG, which is the biggest in France. I could not play in another English club. PSG is a group in continuous development and which is in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

“I visited it as a tourist and I fell in love. Now I have the chance to play for his team, which has a very high ceiling and goals, and which has some of the best players in the world.”

 

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Man Utd ‘one step away’ from signing €75m Fernandes alternative

Manchester United are ‘one step away’ from signing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio.

Milinovic-Savic has re-emerged as a United target after being heavily linked to the club last summer.

Jose Mourinho even went as far as to personally scout the midfielder during his time as manager, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revisiting the possibility of signing him.

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The club have been unable to strike a deal for Bruno Fernandes of Sporting Lisbon as yet, and have thus identified Milinkovic-Savic as a viable alternative.

SportMediaSet say the deal is ‘one step away’ from completion, with Lazio president Claudio Lotito ‘finally persuaded’ to sell ‘the most precious jewel’.

Gazzetta are ‘ready to put €75m euros on the plate’ for the 24-year-old – thank you to Sport Witness – but that Lotito ‘wants €120m’.

Rooney offers Sancho advice over Premier League return

Wayne Rooney has urged Jadon Sancho to remain at Borussia Dortmund for now.

Sancho has been linked with a return to the Premier League after a hugely impressive season in the Bundesliga following his move from Manchester City.

The England winger was said to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s primary transfer target for Manchester United this summer but the Red Devils’ failure to secure Champions League football is said to have made Sancho wary of making the move to Old Trafford just yet.

Former United captain Rooney reckons Sancho should sit tight in Dortmund while he gets the regular football he needs at this stage in his development.

“Dortmund is a great club with great fans, they trust their young players and you can see that in Sancho and the progress he has made in the last 12 months,” Rooney told Bild.

“Now Jadon has to ask himself whether he would get the playing time he gets in Dortmund when he moves to England, or would he just sit on the bench?

“Playing time is so important for a young player like Jadon, so if he gets the most playing time in Dortmund, he should stay there.”

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Messi’s claims of ‘corruption’ are dismissed by federation

The South American football confederation said questioning the integrity of the Copa America is “unacceptable” after Lionel Messi alleged Argentina were victims of “corruption” in their 2-1 win over Chile.

Messi saw red towards the end of the first half of their third-place play-off in Sao Paolo and refused to take part in the medal ceremony.

The Barcelona star was dismissed following a confrontation with former Cardiff midfielder Gary Medel, who was also shown a red card.

Messi appeared to have been hard done by, with Chile defender Medel appearing to push his head towards the Argentina playmaker as they squared up, chest to chest.

The Argentina captain suggested he had been singled out following his comments over the “crazy” officiating in the wake of their 2-0 semi-final defeat by hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte.

“We don’t need to be part of the corruption that we’ve suffered at this tournament,” Messi said, as quoted by Spanish media outlet AS.

“Medel is always right at the limit. With a yellow that would have been the end of it for both of us, but well, maybe what I said recently had an impact.

“What’s important is that the team finished well in the tournament. Maybe this was ordered and I ended up suffering because of what I said.”

In the aftermath, CONMEBOL said a “fundamental pillar of fair play is to accept the results with loyalty and respect”.

Although it does not mention Messi by name, the statement said: “The same goes for refereeing decisions, which are human and will always be improvable.

“It is unacceptable that as a result of incidents typical in competitions, involving 12 teams, all on equal terms, unfounded accusations have been launched that lack the truth and question the integrity of the Copa America.

“These accusations represent a lack of respect for the competition, all the participating players and the hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL, an institution that since 2016 has been working tirelessly to make transparent, professionalise and develop South American football.”

Messi had helped set up an early goal for Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, with Argentina going 2-0 up through Paulo Dybala.

Chile were handed a way back into the match following another controversial VAR review which resulted in a penalty being awarded after Argentina’s Giovani Lo Celso was adjudged to have fouled Charles Aranguiz. Arturo Vidal dispatched the spot-kick.

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Ex-Man Utd midfielder tells Liverpool to sign free Brazilian

Ex-Manchester United midfielder Kleberson has told Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to consider signing Dani Alves this summer.

The 34-year-old left Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season and is still yet to sign a deal with a new club, though at the moment the strongest links appear to be with Antonio Conte’s Inter.

Alves has had spells in Spain, Italy and France – winning 42 trophies overall in the process – but is yet to try his luck in the Premier League.

Kleberson believes that the three-time Champions League winner would be a perfect signing for Liverpool, despite the fact they already have Trent Alexander-Arnold in that position.

“I wanted to get Dani Alves to join me in the MLS! He’s a phenomenal player with amazing quality,” he is quoted as saying by the Express.

“I feel maybe could fit in well at Liverpool and Klopp would like him as a style of player.

“He’s very technical, fast and has an incredible temperament in the big games. He’s a winner.”