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Report: Man City begins talks with Arsenal over Alexis Sanchez

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According to a report by ESPN’s Pete O’Rourke, Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez could be a Manchester City player as soon as the end of the week as the clubs have opened formal discussions for the Chilean.

The Gunners are in a position of weakness regarding the status of Sanchez, given that he is out of contract in the summer and has refused to discuss a new deal. Despite knowledge that the 29-year-old would likely not sign a new deal, Arsenal decided to keep Sanchez in the face of numerous transfer offers this summer. Now, they will almost certainly be forced to accept a cut-rate deal in order to get anything for his services and avoid letting him walk this summer for free.

The ESPN report states Manchester City is hoping to secure a deal of around $41 million, while a report by John Cross of The Mirror released soon after quoted City’s expectations at $34 million.

Cross points out that City was previously ready to wait until the summer to make their move for Sanchez, but the serious injury suffered by Gabriel Jesus plus knocks to Kevin De Bruyne have given them reason to go after the Chilean now.

While Arsenal has come to the table willing to talk, they are not yet convinced by that low of a price, given the recent deals for superstars of Sanchez’s value, namely Philippe Coutinho who was sold by Liverpool to Barcelona for $192 million. While it’s out of the question for Arsenal to expect anything remotely close to that return for Sanchez given the club’s position of weakness, the Gunners reportedly believe City’s initial valuation of the player is still well below their asking price.

Manchester City, already on track for the most dominant title run in years – and maybe ever – would only be bolstered by the addition of a player who played 41 matches for Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and whom the City boss already attempted to acquire last summer. Their attacking prowess this season has proven unprecedented, with Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, and the rest of the City strike force playing with a cohesiveness and cutting edge that has been held goalless just once all season in any competition.

The addition of Sanchez would only make that team even more fearsome, although it would be a bigger burden on the manager to fit all the key players together and get them all the playing time they deserve.

Meanwhile, for Arsenal, while they would obviously love to avoid letting Sanchez walk for free, the Gunners are still very much alive in the battle for the final Champions League place, currently two points back of Tottenham in fifth place and five points behind Liverpool in fourth. The loss of Sanchez would be a massive blow to their hopes of a second-half surge, and it could be the difference between a return to the Champions League and a second straight season outside Europe’s top competition.

Barcelona issue statement on Antoine Griezmann

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Hmm, this is an interesting tactic from Barcelona.

On Saturday the Catalan club released a statement about Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann.

The forward has long been linked with a move to Barca and media reports in Spain have gone into overdrive regarding a move to the Nou Camp for the 26-year-old.

Below is the statement from Barca in full.

FC Barcelona strongly denies the information that has appeared over the course of the last few hours in different media regarding Atletico Madrid player, Antoine Griezmann, and an alleged deal with our club.

FC Barcelona expresses its objections in the face of these events and reiterates its full respect for the institution of Atletico Madrid.

This feels very similar to the situation with Virgil Van Dijk between Liverpool and Southampton.

Media speculation reached incredible levels back in June 2017 that VVD had agreed to sign for Liverpool, but the Anfield club then issued a public apology to Saints and ended their pursuit of Van Dijk. He then signed for Liverpool in January in a $100 million move.

With Atletico said to be incredibly unhappy that Griezmann continues to be linked with a move to Barca, plus reports suggesting the Madrid club want to report Barcelona to FIFA for an alleged approach for their star striker, it’s not too surprising to see Barca take this very unusual approach to try and calm the situation down.

Will it work? Who knows. Is it likely Griezmann will end up at Barcelona anyway? This statement suggests that the two clubs are in dialogue and Barcelona are trying to patch up their relationship to try and move for Griezmann in the summer.

Call me cynical, but that’s the way I see this.

VIDEO: Chelsea score stunning team goal

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Take a bow, Chelsea.

Willian put the Blues 2-0 up at Brighton early on Saturday and the goal was a thing of beauty.

Latching onto an error from Brighton, Chelsea surged forward through Willian who played the ball into Eden Hazard.

The Belgian played a delicious back heel to Michy Batshuayi and the forward then followed suit to flick the ball into Willian’s path who fired home.

Take a look at the stunning goal in the video above.

Watch Live: Brighton v. Chelsea

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Brighton & Hove Albion host Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via

With just one win in their last 12 games, Brighton are being dragged into a relegation battle, while Chelsea aren’t in glittering form with five draws on the spin in all competitions.


In team news, Brighton start with Tomer Hemed up top and have top scorer Glenn Murray on the bench. New club-record signing Jurgen Locadia isn’t illegible to make his Brighton debut after his signing was only confirmed late Friday, plus the former PSV Eindhoven forward is struggling with an injury..

Chelsea are without star goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who has suffered an ankle injury in training, with Willy Caballero coming in to replace him. Alvaro Morata and Pedro are suspended, while Ross Barkley is on the bench and he could make his Chelsea debut.


Brighton: Ryan; Goldson, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner, Schelotto; Stephens, Propper; March, Gross, Hemed. Subs: Hunemeier, Kayal, Baldock, Murray, Izquierdo, Rosenior, Krul

Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Hazard. SubsEduardo, David Luiz, Zappacosta, Sterling, Ampadu, Barkley, Musonda

PL Preview: Manchester City vs. Newcastle

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  • Newcastle has lost 8 PL away matches in a row
  • Man City last lost at home in PL play to Chelsea in Dec 2016
  • Newcastle has picked up 1 of a possible 30 points vs. PL top half this season

Manchester City has a great chance to rebound from its first loss of the season as they host struggling Newcastle at the Etihad on Saturday, live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC or live online at


The Magpies have picked up their terrible mid-season form of late, but still remain just three points above the drop. They are unbeaten in three, with a win and two draws, and have lost just once in their last five.

Through Newcastle’s losing streak, the Magpies struggled to keep the ball out of their own net, with defensive issues all over the place. They suffered through a nine-game winless run where they conceded 19 goals. However, of late, the roles have reversed, and suddenly they can’t score. In their last four games, they have just two goals.

City, meanwhile, have a few injuries to deal with on the defensive side of things, where they cannot afford them. Fabian Delph went down in the last match and could be out for significant time, along with Vincent Kompany who continues to show his age and history of fitness issues.

INJURIES: Manchester City – OUT: Fabian Delph (knee), Benjamin Mendy (knee). QUESTIONABLE: David Silva (illness), Vincent Kompany (fitness). Newcastle – OUT: Jesus Gamez (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: Dwight Gayle (knock).

What they’re saying

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on build-up of injuries: “In these situations, it always depends on the mentality of the players, if they can make a step forward. If they can they play in positions that are not natural positions and the other guys help them, everything is going well.”

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez on not having a full squad: “When you have a short blanket, if you pull it to your face, your feet are cold, if you cover your feet, your top half is cold.”


Newcastle has been ok of late, but not nearly enough to keep Manchester City out of the back of the net. This could get ugly, with the Citizens looking to rebound from their season’s first loss. 3-0 Man City with the possibility that it could get much worse if Newcastle gives up.