Rumour Has It: Real Madrid plot move for Liverpool's Salah

By Sports Desk July 16, 2021

Real Madrid's desire to sign a new forward is not a secret.

The Spanish giants missed out on silverware in 2020-21, much to their dismay.

Carlo Ancelotti has replaced Zinedine Zidane as head coach with big expectations.

 

TOP STORY - MADRID TARGET SALAH IF MBAPPE FAILS

Ancelotti has told Real Madrid president Florentino Perez he wants to sign Liverpool's Mohamed Salah , reports Fichajes.

The Italian believes Los Blancos needs another forward, with Salah seen as his back-up plan if they fail to land Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

Madrid's financial situation is complicated, with the club not making any major signings in 2020-21 amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, but they appear determined to land a major forward this off-season.

 

ROUND-UP

- 90min reports that Manchester United's Jesse Lingard has emerged as a target for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, having caught Diego Simeone's eye during his loan spell at West Ham United.

- Chelsea have shopped around striker Tammy Abraham and Arsenal are interested, according to The Telegraph.

- The Athletic believes Tottenham may make a move for Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini, although he has a £26m (€30m) release clause.

-  Poor relations between Spurs and Southampton, stemming from 2020's Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg deal, may scupper a proposed move for Danny Ings, according to Standard Sport.

- Newly promoted Brentford are set to splash a club record transfer fee of £13.5m to land Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, claims The Telegraph.

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  • 'If I play a bad game, they kill me' – Alba feels 'singled out' at Barcelona 'If I play a bad game, they kill me' – Alba feels 'singled out' at Barcelona

    Jordi Alba feels "singled out" at Barcelona and says he is "killed" by his critics every time he has a bad performance.

    The Spain international is approaching a decade at Camp Nou and remains a regular for Barca, who have endured another difficult campaign.

    He has featured 408 times for the Catalan giants in all competitions since his debut in August 2012 and has helped the club to 15 trophies.

    But Alba has come in for criticism of late, with Barca losing to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semi-finals before exiting the Copa del Rey to Athletic Bilbao. 

    After impressing in Sunday's 1-0 win over Deportivo Alaves, a game in which he led the way for touches (112) and fouls won (four), Alba expressed his frustration.

    "I have felt singled out for many years, it is not the first time it has happened to me," he told Movistar+. "I accept the criticism that there is in this circus. Criticism will always be there, I have assumed it.

    "If I play a good game they won't talk about me, if I don't play well like the other day [against Athletic], I admit it, they will kill me. I have accepted it.

    "I don't care because I have respect from my team-mates and from all the coaching staff I've had.

    "It seems that there are only 'veterans' in Barcelona. There has been talk of veterans for four or five years, and I was 28, damn it. But I've always accepted it."

    Alba has started 23 games under Ronald Koeman and successor Xavi this season – only Marc-Andre ter Stegen (27) and Sergio Busquets (29) have done so more times.

    No defender has more assists than Alba's four in LaLiga this term, while his 1.62 chances created per 90 minutes is the fourth-best among those to have played more than once.

    Responding to Alba's comments following the win over Alaves, Xavi praised the 32-year-old for learning to live with the weight that comes with playing for Barcelona.

    "Alba was criticised and he played a great game," Xavi said at his post-match news conference. "At Barca, the shirt is 20 kilos more than at another club."

  • Rumour Has It: Newcastle considering Alli move Rumour Has It: Newcastle considering Alli move

    Newcastle United have been eager to make some big moves in January, as their wealthy owners look to splash the cash in order to secure Premier League survival.

    They have already brought in Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood, though a move for Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos appears to have hit an impasse.

    However, Eddie Howe also wants more attacking reinforcements and Tottenham's out-of-favour Dele Alli is the latest name to be linked with a move to the north east.

     

    TOP STORY – ALLI TO SWITCH SPURS FOR ST JAMES' PARK?

    Alli was omitted from Spurs' squad for Sunday's defeat to Chelsea and it seems that the England midfielder is surplus to requirements under Antonio Conte.

    Once a bona fide star under Mauricio Pochettino, it has been a stark fall from grace for Alli, though at 25 he will still no doubt feel he has much to offer.

    The Athletic reported on Sunday that Alli would be allowed to leave Tottenham on loan before the end of the window, and the Daily Mail have now claimed that Newcastle want to add him to their squad. 

     

    ROUND UP

    - Newcastle  are now being rivalled by Serie A giants Milan in the race to sign Diego Carlos from Sevilla, who have put a high valuation on the defender. The Athletic reported last week that another Premier League club were also interested in the Brazilian.

    - Fabrizio Romano says that Gedson Fernandes, who spent an unsuccessful loan spell at Spurs last season, is to join Galatasaray from Benfica.

    - Romano has also reported that Christian Eriksen is in advanced talks with Brentford over signing a short-term deal with the Bees. The Denmark playmaker, who had a cardiac arrest on the pitch at Euro 2020, left Inter last year.

    - Goal are reporting that Spurs are also open to letting Giovani Lo Celso leave the club. The Argentina midfielder was also left out of their squad on Sunday.

    - Multiple sources are reporting that Aston Villa are in talks with Juventus over midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.

    - The Times and Tuttosport have both suggested Juve will look to use funds from the sale of Bentancur to push on with a deal for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic

  • Xavi: Alaves win shows there is life in Barcelona yet Xavi: Alaves win shows there is life in Barcelona yet

    Barcelona head coach Xavi says Sunday's 1-0 win at Alaves shows that there is life in the Blaugrana yet.

    Frenkie de Jong netted an 88th-minute winner to clinch the points for Xavi's side, who move up to fifth in LaLiga, one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

    Barcelona bossed possession (76-24 percent) and generated 10-6 shots with 4-2 on target, getting their just reward with the Dutchman's late goal.

    "It cost us a lot, but they were three crucial points and the team needed and deserved them," Xavi told reporters. "The sun has risen again, this victory shows that there is life."

    He added: "It means a lot of confidence, continuing to believe in what we do."

    Barcelona will enjoy a break before their next league game against Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on Sunday 6 February.

    “We are in the fight, one point away from the Champions League," Xavi said. "These days are going to come in handy. They will come in very handy."

    The Barcelona boss was also complimentary towards teenager Pedri, who has only just returned to the fold following a thigh injury. Pedri made his first LaLiga start since August.

    "He’s a marvellous little player, and at 19, to do everything well is spectacular," Xavi said.

    "How he looks in possession, how he perceives the game, he is excellent and the model player. He can lead by character, quality, ambition, it’s great to have him back in the team."

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