EPL

Rumour Has It: West Ham's Rice could be heading to Chelsea

By Sports Desk May 23, 2021

The Premier League's big-money clubs are circling for Declan Rice.

The England international has been a key figure in West Ham's quest for European football in 2021-22.

Will the Hammers hold on to the defensive midfielder? 

 

TOP STORY - WEST HAM'S RICE IN DEMAND

Interest in 22-year-old Declan Rice is heating up, the Telegraph reports.

Chelsea may be the strongest suitors for the West Ham player, potentially using Tammy Abraham in a swap deal to land him.

Manchester United also are said to be monitoring Rice's status as he could be set to move on from Upton Park in a £90million deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- If Cristiano Ronaldo departs Juventus, La Stampa says Barcelona's France international Antoine Griezmann is being lined up as a potential replacement.

- Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is drawing interest from Everton and Juventus after failing to find regular playing time at Old Trafford, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Lautaro Martinez could be on the move from Italy to Spain as the Inter Milan striker's agent met with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Marca claimed.

- Loanee Dani Ceballos will leave Arsenal this summer as parent club Real Madrid invite permanent offers for the midfielder, Fabrizio Romano reports.

Newcastle are eyeing a move for USA international Cameron Carter-Vickers, who spent the season with Bournemouth on loan from Tottenham, according to SBI Soccer.

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    De Ligt joined Juve from Ajax in 2019 but his future has been a topic of discussion.

    Barcelona were strongly linked with him before he left the Eredivisie and are reportedly still keen admirers.

     

    TOP STORY – DE LIGT A BARCA TARGET

    Barcelona are keen on signing Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to Le10 Sport.

    LaLiga giants Barca have already brought in Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, while they are also said to be interested in Memphis Depay of Lyon and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

    But it is claimed they are particularly eager to further bolster their defence in addition to Garcia's arrival, though they could face competition for De Ligt – Manchester United have long been linked with the Netherlands international.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Mundo Deportivo reports Leicester City are considering a move for Barca outcast Philippe Coutinho. It would be a reunion for Brendan Rodgers and Coutinho after working together at Liverpool.

    Atletico Madrid are eyeing Hakan Calhanoglu as an alternative to Udinese star Rodrigo de Paul. LaLiga champions Atletico want De Paul, who has also been linked with JuveInter and Leeds United. Should they miss out on the Argentina international, Calhanoglu is an option – the Milan star's contract expires at the end of June.

    United have held further talks with Borussia Dortmund in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho, says Fabrizio Romano. Dortmund reportedly want £81million (€95m), though United are currently unwilling to pay more than £60m (€70m). Liverpool and Chelsea have also been linked previously.

    - Romano also reports Gianluigi Donnarumma's contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2026 has been agreed. The Italy international goalkeeper is set to join PSG on a free transfer following the end of his Milan deal.

    - According to Corriere dello Sport, Milan are in talks to sign Real Madrid pair Brahim Diaz and Alvaro Odriozola on loan. The Rossoneri have also been linked with Luka Jovic and are seemingly poised to secure the permanent signing of Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea as well.

  • Messi has Copa concerns amid 'biggest dream' of Argentina glory Messi has Copa concerns amid 'biggest dream' of Argentina glory

    Lionel Messi admitted he is concerned about the coronavirus situation as the superstar captain targets a long-awaited title with Argentina at the Copa America.

    Messi's Argentina will open their Copa America campaign against rivals Chile in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday.

    Brazil is hosting the Copa after CONMEBOL controversially removed Argentina and Colombia as co-hosts due to respective political and COVID-19 issues.

    Despite being one of the country's worst hit by the coronavirus health crisis, Brazil was awarded hosting duties for this year's showpiece event, which was already pushed back a year because of COVID-19.

    Defending champions Brazil won 3-0 on Sunday against a Venezuela side that had reported 12 positive coronavirus tests amongst their ranks earlier in the week.

    Speaking on the eve of Argentina's first match, Messi told reporters: "We are concerned about the situation because it is a risk for all of us to catch COVID-19.

    "Although we try to take care of ourselves and do everything they tell us is not easy, because then these things happen and we face other national teams where there is a risk of contagion.

    "We will try to do our best so that it does not happen to us, but this does not depend only on us and anything can happen."

    Despite his remarkable Barcelona success, Messi is yet to win a senior trophy with Argentina following back-to-back runners-up performances at the Copa America 2015 and 2016, having also fallen short in the 2007 final against Brazil.

    La Albiceleste and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi also lost in the 2014 World Cup decider – beaten by Germany.

    "I always said that I am available to try to be with the national team and give my best," the 33-year-old Messi said.

    "My biggest dream is to achieve something with the Argentina, I was close many times and unfortunately it was not given to me, but I will try to keep looking for it until it is given to me.

    "If the coach who is there thinks that I can continue contributing to the team, I will always want to be there and fight for that dream. I was lucky to win everything with my club and individually, and it would be very nice to win something with the national team."

    Messi was directly involved in 50 goals (38 scored, 12 assisted) in 47 games for Barca in 2020-21. Only three players in Europe's top-five leagues managed more.

    He has now recorded 25-plus goals in each his past 12 league seasons, while the veteran scored 11 LaLiga goals direct following a ball carry last season – the most of any player in Europe's top-five leagues.

  • Brazil boss Tite hails Neymar but stops short of Ronaldo and Romario comparisons Brazil boss Tite hails Neymar but stops short of Ronaldo and Romario comparisons

    Brazil head coach Tite lauded Neymar after the superstar inspired the Copa America champions to a 3-0 win against Venezuela in Sunday's curtain-raiser.

    Neymar scored and was involved in the two other goals as Brazil kicked off their title defence in victorious fashion behind closed doors in Brasilia.

    Marquinhos opened the scoring following Neymar's corner in the 23rd minute before the latter converted a penalty after the hour mark.

    It was Neymar's 67th international goal – just 10 shy of Pele's all-time record. Since making his Brazil debut in August 2010, the Paris Saint-Germain forward has scored 48 more goals than any of his Selecao team-mates.

    Neymar then provided the cross for substitute Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa to complete the scoring in the final minute of regulation as Tite refused to make comparisons with Brazil greats Ronaldo and Romario.

    "When Neymar is well physically and well in his head, good things happen," Tite told reporters after the 29-year-old created seven chances against Venezuela – the most by any Brazil player in the Copa America since his international bow.

    "When you have a player with the technical quality that he has, you gain in assist ability, with the left foot or with the right foot, and he becomes an unpredictable player.

    "When you stop him in a more advanced position on the field of play it is better for him, because the opponents are afraid of making him an infraction in a dangerous place on the field, so we structure the team so that he receives fewer balls, but to do it in a more efficient way for the creation of the game.

    "It would be an injustice to compare players from different eras, because the players of my generation were extraordinary, Neymar is also extraordinary, and a while ago Ronaldo and Romario were also extraordinary.

    "There are different stages and moments, so you have to be very careful not to compare them."

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