Rumour Has It: Real Madrid consider Haaland-Jovic swap, Mbappe move on hold

By Sports Desk April 07, 2020

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  • Rumour Has It: Barca remain keen on Lautaro Martinez, Chelsea eye Atletico's Oblak Rumour Has It: Barca remain keen on Lautaro Martinez, Chelsea eye Atletico's Oblak

    For most of the year, Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona.

    Barca are eyeing a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez, though, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted their transfer plans.

    However, a blockbuster move could still be on the cards.

     

    TOP STORY – BARCA STILL WANT TO SIGN LAUTARO

    Barcelona remain keen on signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

    Barca's interest in Martinez is well documented but a transfer has been put on hold as the LaLiga giants re-assess their plans after the Argentina forward's €111million release clause expired at the start of the month.

    However, Barca head coach Quique Setien is reportedly considering three options in his pursuit to recruit Martinez.

    Ousmane Dembele could be sold to raise funds or a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti could be proposed to Inter, while a player plus cash offer including Junior Firpo is the third alternative.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to swap goalkeepers. Unhappy with the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea are ready to use the Spaniard as a makeweight in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

    Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing in-demand Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, reports Tuttosport. The Hungary teenager has been heavily linked to Milan and Napoli, as well as Arsenal.

    Ajax are hopeful of keeping star goalkeeper Andre Onana for one more season, claims De Telegraaf. Onana has been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

    - Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Napoli are confident of reaching an agreement with Lille forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been tipped to join the Serie A side, who have prepared a five-year contract worth €3.5m per season amid talk of an €80m transfer.

    - While Osimhen could arrive, Napoli are set to lose Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claims Italian champions Juventus are interested, while the likes of Atletico, Tottenham and Roma are also keen. Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette is an alternative for Juve, as well as Atletico.

    - According to Calciomercato, Edinson Cavani has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. A free agent since leaving PSG, Cavani is reportedly wanted by Roma.

    Everton and PSG both want to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, says Calciomercato. Napoli are looking to raise funds.

    Manchester City will accelerate their rebuilding plans after having their Champions League ban overturned, claims the Telegraph. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – also linked to United, Liverpool and Real Madrid previously – is reportedly high on the list of targets, which includes Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Atletico star Saul Niguez.

  • Athletic Bilbao great Susaeta leaves Melbourne City Athletic Bilbao great Susaeta leaves Melbourne City

    Athletic Bilbao great Markel Susaeta will not return for the resumption of the 2019-20 coronavirus-affected A-League season after terminating his Melbourne City contract.

    City confirmed on Tuesday that former Athletic captain Susaeta mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect due to family reasons.

    Susaeta, who joined City from Japanese giants Gamba Osaka in January on a six-month deal, has returned to Spain after not joining his team-mates in New South Wales quarantine ahead of the season restart.

    The 32-year-old winger scored two goals and set up another for City – part of the City Football Group (CFG) – in 10 appearances before the league was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "The club would like to thank Markel for his contribution over the past season and wishes him well for the future," City said in a statement.

    City were second in the table after 23 matches prior to the coronavirus crisis, eight points behind leaders and defending champions Sydney FC.

  • Man Utd boss Solskjaer upbeat despite missed opportunity in Champions League race Man Utd boss Solskjaer upbeat despite missed opportunity in Champions League race

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains upbeat about his team's top-four chances as he defended their mentality after Monday's last-gasp 2-2 Premier League draw with Southampton.

    In-form United missed the chance to go third in the table after conceding a 96th-minute equaliser to substitute Michael Obafemi and Southampton at Old Trafford.

    After rivals Chelsea and Leicester City both lost over the weekend, United had a golden opportunity to boost their Champions League qualification hopes on matchday 35.

    Having fallen behind to a Stuart Armstrong strike, United looked on track to leapfrog Leicester and Chelsea thanks to quick-fire goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial prior to half-time.

    But United were unable to hold on against a tenacious Southampton side, who restored parity in the sixth minute of additional time following a head injury to substitute Brandon Williams, which left the Red Devils down to 10 men.

    Solskjaer, however, defended his United team after they ended the match level on points with fourth-placed Leicester and one adrift of Chelsea in third.

    "Absolutely not," Solskjaer told reporters when asked if United have a mental block, having failed to capitalise on Chelsea's slip-up. "I don't think any of our players have though, 'Oh what have Chelsea done this weekend'. Not at all.

    "It's just the way the games go and we all play against the same teams and we've all got 38 games to get through and it'll even itself out over the long season. You deserve the position you get in the end."

    Solskjaer, whose United extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches across all competitions, added: "I have to say the mentality of the boys has been brilliant. We've had a few setbacks over the season, of course. This is another challenge for us.

    "I'm very confident in the mentality of them, very disappointed of course. But you have to take the disappointment as well as the positives when you win games. It's disappointing when you concede with the last kick of the ball, lose two points.

    "It's just part of football and we've learned a hard lesson today hopefully. We'll make it right, we'll put it right. I trust the boys in that respect."

    Solskjaer is also hoping for "good news" after full-back Luke Shaw was forced off with an ankle injury in the 75th minute – replaced by Williams.

    United are next in action on Thursday as they travel to Crystal Palace.

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