Rumour Has It: Barcelona pay Griezmann's release clause

By Sports Desk July 12, 2019

Antoine Griezmann's proposed move to Barcelona appears close to completion.

Griezmann has been tipped to join Barca after notifying Atletico Madrid of his desire to leave following five years in the Spanish capital.

And after months of speculation, a big-money transfer to LaLiga's champions is looming large.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA PAY FOR GRIEZMANN

According to L'Equipe, Barcelona have paid the €120million release clause to sign Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.

Tensions between the two LaLiga clubs have been high after Atletico claimed Barca and Griezmann secretly negotiated a transfer in February.

Griezmann has been available for €120m since his release clause dropped from €200m on July 1.

While Barca and Atletico have reportedly denied the sum has been paid, the French World Cup winner seems destined for Camp Nou.

 

ROUND-UP

- Roma will sign Atalanta defender Gianluca Mancini instead of Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. After losing Kostas Manolas to Serie A rivals Napoli, Roma identified Alderweireld due to his £25m release clause, which lasts until August. However, his contract demands have reportedly proved excessive.

- According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain have relaunched their bid to sign Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. PSG wanted to sign Gueye in January, but they were unsuccessful.

Inter will look to sign Eintracht Frankfurt forward Ante Rebic if they are unable to prise Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, per Gianluca Di Marzio.

Manchester United have been quoted £50m to sign Newcastle United's Sean Longstaff, The Telegraph reports. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to bolster his midfield, having lost Ander Herrera and amid doubts over futures of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. The Red Devils are also said to be confident a compromise can be reached with Leicester City over centre-back Harry Maguire, who is valued at £90m by the Foxes.

- After missing out on Maxi Gomez to Valencia and losing Marko Arnautovic to the Chinese Super League, The Sun says West Ham will turn to Colombia forward Duvan Zapata – who spent last season on loan at Atalanta from Sampdoria – in a £40m deal.

- According to Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport, Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa wants to join Juventus.

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    Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr was not disheartened by his team's semi-final defeat, convinced the Super Eagles pushed Algeria all the way as they prepare to tussle with Tunisia in the Africa Cup of Nations third-place play-off.

    Rohr's men looked to have forced an extra 30 minutes in their last-four clash on Sunday, as Odion Ighalo's 72nd-minute penalty cancelled out William Troost-Ekong's first-half own goal.

    But Riyad Mahrez struck at the end with a gorgeous free-kick, sending Algeria – who have not lost at this year's tournament – into the final, where they will face Senegal.

    Although the prospect of a third-place finish is rather underwhelming given how close they were to a final spot, Rohr insists he is not disappointed by Nigeria's showing, pointing out how they shaded Algeria in several areas last time out.

    "After our loss to Algeria, we were a bit disappointed because it's disappointing when you lose a game in the last seconds," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

    "We've analysed the match, we saw the video with the players yesterday [Monday] and we saw also it was a good match and we gave a good fight.

    "The statistics were even better for us, because we had 11 shots on goal, they had only six. We had better possession of the ball against probably the best team so far in the tournament.

    "So, losing to them is not a shame and we have to be positive as we want to finish this competition well together."

    Tunisia's semi-final was similarly close, as they were defeated 1-0 by Senegal thanks to a Dylan Bronn own goal in extra time.

    Most of the Carthage Eagles' matches in the tournament have been tight, with their 3-0 quarter-final win over minnows Madagascar the only game they have emerged victorious from in 90 minutes.

    Having gone into extra time twice so far, coach Alain Giresse accepts his side might be struggling with fatigue, suggesting Nigeria may have a physical edge on Wednesday.

    "The match will be very difficult, physically and technically," Giresse said. "We'll try everything we can to finish third.

    "Of course, we wanted to reach the final, but now we focus on the third-place match. I can't say all my players are perfectly fit, we have a little time to know how ready the players are."

     

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Tunisia - Wahbi Khazri

    Even though he was a little quieter than usual against Senegal, Khazri was still one of Tunisia's more threatening players, creating three opportunities. Giresse will certainly be looking to him to make the difference.

    Nigeria - Samuel Chukwueze

    A lively, dazzling winger at his very best, Chukwueze has simmered at the AFCON without truly exploding. Nevertheless, he crafted three scoring chances against Algeria, more than any of his team-mates.

     

    KEY OPTA FACTS

    - Nigeria have never lost against Tunisia in four encounters in the AFCON (W2 D2). They will face each other for a third-place game in the competition for the second time after 1978 (Nigeria won 2-0).
    - Tunisia have won only one of their three third-place games in the AFCON (D1 L1). It was in 1962 against Uganda (3-0).
    - Nigeria have won each of their six third-place games. The Super Eagles can become the team with the most third-place games played in the tournament (seven).
    - Tunisia's midfielder Youssef Msakni is the only player involved in at least one goal in each of the last six AFCON editions. He has completed 93.3 per cent of his dribbles in the 2019 event, the highest ratio among players with more than five dribbles attempted.
    - Ighalo has been involved in five goals in the 2019 AFCON (four goals, one assist), more than any other player. The striker has been involved in 63 per cent of Nigeria's goals in this edition (five of eight).

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    Juventus will be known as Piemonte Calcio on FIFA 20 due to the Italian's club's new exclusive partnership with Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), EA Sports has confirmed.

    The Old Lady jersey was used on the front cover of FIFA 19 with Cristiano Ronaldo, but Konami now have use of official trademarks and intellectual property for the new PES game.

    Instead, a club called Piemonte Calcio shall be created in their place on FIFA, using a custom badge and kits across all game modes.

    The fictious club will, however, still include Juve's real-world players in FIFA 20 and FIFA Ultimate Team

    EA Sports' loss is a result of PES' gain, with the game striking an exclusive "long-term" deal with Juve that will see the club's players recreated via a "full-body 3D scan in order to recreate their likeness in the game as accurately as possible".

    eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020, the next edition's official title, will also boast a link-up with Barcelona, whose players have featured on the covers of the past three PES titles, albeit the deal with the Blaugrana is not exclusive.

    Among the other PES "partnered clubs" that will be fully licensed - though not exclusive - in the game are: Manchester United, Arsenal, River Plate, Palmeiras, Boca Juniors, Bayern Munich, Flamengo, Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Vasco Da Gama and Colo Colo.

    It is not all bad news for EA Sports, however.

    Champions League winners Liverpool have struck a "long-term" deal of their own with the FIFA developers, who will become the Reds' "official football simulation game partner".

  • Paris Saint-Germain bring in Diallo from Borussia Dortmund Paris Saint-Germain bring in Diallo from Borussia Dortmund

    Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of defender Abdou Diallo from Borussia Dortmund for a reported €32million fee.

    Diallo signed for Dortmund from fellow Bundesliga side Mainz in June 2018 and had an impressive season at Signal Iduna Park, making 28 league appearances.

    But with Mats Hummels returning to Dortmund from Bayern Munich, Diallo has been allowed to depart, with Thomas Tuchel going back to his former club to bring in the 23-year-old.

    The Frenchman, who came through the academy at Monaco and can play at both centre-back and full-back, has penned a five-year contract at Parc des Princes.

    "It is a great honour to be involved with such a prestigious club as Paris Saint-Germain," Diallo said.

    "I have always said that the Parisian project was very attractive. Joining the capital club is another important step in my career.

    "I am committed to giving my all for my new club and look forward to bringing my qualities and desire to this team renowned for its high quality and high ambitions."

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