Wojciech Szczęsny

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Napoli takes commanding Serie A lead after Juventus loss

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Six-time Serie A defending champions Juventus are in trouble. Not a lot, but the heat has been turned up.

A wild 3-2 loss to Sampdoria means the Italian giants are now four points back of Napoli in the Serie A table, and heading into their Champions League matchup with Barcelona, there is plenty of soul-searching to do in Turin.

Juventus nearly mounted what would have been a monumental comeback, down 3-0 heading into stoppage-time but posting goals by Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in the first and fourth minutes of injury time. It was not to be, and the four-point deficit through 13 games not only leaves Juventus looking at Napoli more than a game in front of them, but also over their shoulders at Roma and Inter Milan both a point behind in third and fourth.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was kept out of the lineup as he continues to deal emotionally with the World Cup miss, and it showed. After a scoreless first half at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Duzan Zapata beat Stephan Lichtensteiner in the air and sent a looping header over a flatfooted Wojciech Szczesny for the opening goal.

With 20 minutes to go, Sampdoria struck again as former Premier League creator Gaston Ramirez fed 21-year-old Lucas Torreira at the top of the box, and with nobody closing him down, he fired into the bottom-left corner of the net. They got the eventual winner nine minutes later after an embarrassing defensive breakdown by the visitors. A free-kick saw two attackers in front of net against five defenders, but somehow Gianmarco Ferrari was completely unmarked in front of the net for a tap-in.

Higuain struck from the penalty spot and Dybala hit on the counter to beat Emiliano Vivaldo at his near post, but it wasn’t enough for Juventus. The defensive frailty will need to be corrected moving forward, as they face a vital match at Napoli on December 1st, and a loss there could spell disaster for their title charge.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Walker to City close, Inter wants Szczesny

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With the start of preseason getting closer, teams are hoping to do their business in time to get new players a full bill of health and fitness before the new season. With that in mind, the transfer action truly begins to heat up with clubs under the crunch of time.

With Manchester City heading to the United States for a preseason tour of America, they’re looking to do deals before the trip begins to have everyone on board. Kyle Walker has been heavily linked with City, and it looks like Daniel Levy’s steadfasness will pay off yet again for the London side.

[ MORE: Saturday Roundup | Fri | Thurs ]

According to a report in the Daily Mail, Tottenham will wriggle nearly $62 million from City for Walker’s services. Levy knows that Pep Guardiola is desperate for top-tier full-backs after seeing his full bank of players in that position struggle mightily. Now, Levy may successfully extract a small fortune for his England international, and with plenty of time to re-invest on his replacement. The report suggests the deal could be done in time for Walker to face Spurs in their friendly on July 29th in Nashville.


Sticking to full-backs, Juventus may be looking to replace both its standout performers on the flanks last season. Dani Alves seems set to move on, while Alex Sandro has been heavily linked to Chelsea.

Hoping to pull in top-level replacements in a position that proves to be quite top-heavy throughout the world, Juventus has turned to Southampton’s Cedric Soares. The 25-year-old has enjoyed a bright Confederations Cup on duty with Portugal, and may have turned heads in Italy as a result.

The report from Italian publication Tuttosport linking Cedric to the Old Lady states that, while Juventus will first look to pry Danilo from Real Madrid, Cedric could be a cheaper option with his price tag under $22 million. The article also mentions Valencia’s Joao Cancelo as an option for Juventus at the right-back spot.


Alexandre Lacazette is a top striker option on the market this summer, and while it feels like his domino is waiting to fall after Kylian Mbappe’s, there could be a wrinkle involved with the Lyon frontman.

Atletico Madrid was heavily linked to Lacazette as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann before their transfer ban was handed down. Now, with Griezmann staying, those links cooled as Atleti is unable to register new players until the January transfer window. Yet, there may still be a chance for the Spanish side to land yet another French striker.

According to loose-lipped Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, Atletico Madrid submitted a large offer for Lacazette, and the Spanish side is still a heavy player in the story. Should Atleti’s bid be accepted, Lacazette would likely stay at Lyon for the first half of the season and complete his transfer to Spain in the winter transfer window. Aulas said Atletico’s offer was in the area of $75 million, including bonuses. That’s some stiff competition for Arsenal or any other big-name club hoping to secure Lacazette’s signature.

Aulas also confirmed he met with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on June 13th during the match between England and France. Just yesterday, there were reports that Arsenal was preparing a large bid for the Frenchman.


In the same interview, Aulas also confirmed that Chelsea youngster Bertrand Traore is close to a move to Lyon. Aulas said that the 21-year-old is currently in Lyon to finalize the move, although the fee had yet to be finalized, only saying that it was “considerable.”

Traore, a Burkina Faso international, was an AJ Auxerre youth product before joining Chelsea’s youth ranks in 2013. The young attacker spent last season on loan at Dutch club Ajax where he made 39 appearances across all competitions, scoring 13 goals and assisting six.


Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has benefitted greatly from his two-year loan spell at AS Roma. Despite his future looking bleak with the Gunners, Szczesny is a wanted man in Italy.

Linked with a bid from Juventus earlier this month, Szczesny has now been heavily connected to his former Roma manager Luciano Spaletti who has recently taken charge at Inter Milan. Spaletti already has one of the best pure shot-stoppers in Europe in Samir Handanovic, but according to reports in Italy, Spaletti wants Handanovic to improve with the ball at his feet, something which he praised Szczesny for earlier this week.

Spaletti, hoping to diffuse interest in Szczesny, told Sky Sports Italia on Thursday, “We already have Samir Handanovic, who is very experienced and strong. I’ve already worked with him and I know his quality. For the moment we’ve got him. Obviously Szczesny is a modern player, because he can use his feet and in modern football you need that to start moves from the back.”

Now, reports in Italy say Spaletti has asked Handanovic to undergo targeted training hoping to improve his ability with the ball at his feet. Should he refuse, the club would look to sell the Serbian in favor of Szczesny, a move which could also potentially net the club some cash.


With Romelu Lukaku rumors seeing renewed fervor after the player enjoyed a pickup game on a field branded with Chelsea logos, the Everton striker has taken to social media to vent his frustration.

Lukaku has told reporters multiple times that returning to Everton is not really an option, and that he has an agreement with a club already, but otherwise, the Chelsea links are all fans have to go off at this time.

Report: Juventus to buy Szczesny from Arsenal as eventual Buffon fix

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Juventus has found its eventual replacement for legendary backstop Gianluigi Buffon.

The UEFA Champions League finalists announced an agreement to purchase 27-year-old Wojciech Szczesny from Arsenal

The fee is said to be around $18 million for Szczesny, who has been on loan at Roma since Arsenal supplanted him with Petr Cech.

[ MORE: Cheick Tiote dies, aged 30 ]

Szczesny has impressed with i Lupi, after winning two FA Cups during his time at Arsenal.

Buffon has said he’d retire at, but not before, the age of 40. He’ll hit that milestone next season, and there was some thought he could retire Juventus beat Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final. Real won 4-1.

Arsenal loans Szczesny to Roma for 2nd straight season

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LONDON (AP) Arsenal has sent goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny on a season-long loan to Roma for a second straight year.

[ MORE: Projecting Southampton’s first season under Claude Puel ]

Arsenal announced the deal on Thursday, with Szczesny behind Petr Cech and David Ospina in the list of goalkeepers at Emirates Stadium.

Szczesny, who has been at Arsenal since 2006, played 34 matches in Serie A for Roma last season and helped the team finish in third place.

In the second-tier League Championship, Aston Villa signed Scotland striker Ross McCormack from Fulham for 12 million pounds ($15.75 million).

Wojciech Szczesny won’t reveal future plans, praises Roma boss Spalletti

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On-loan goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny wasn’t letting his summer plans slip, with his future caught between parent club Arsenal and last season’s home Roma. But he had some seriously high praise for the Italian side and its current manager.

The 26-year-old told Italian newspaper Il Tempo, “I learned more in four months under [Roma manager Luciano] Spalletti than in 10 years in England.”

“He puts a lot of importance on playing the ball to feet. One day we trained for over 45 minutes just on goal kicks. I really get on with goalkeeping coach [Guido] Nanni too, as he is a great professional and I never get bored. We’ve got a strong friendship. If I have made steps forward in my career, it is thanks to him.”

However, amid the praise for his Italian loan side, Szczesny stopped short of saying where he hoped to be next season or where he thought was most realistic. “I know where I will be playing next season, but I won’t tell,” he said.

There seem to be multiple options on the table for Szczesny. He can obviously return to Arsenal and compete with Petr Cech and David Ospina for next season’s starting spot, but with Cech still performing as one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers at 34 years old, that seems to be a losing battle.

If Sczcesny wishes to stay at Roma, recent reports have tabbed his price tag at around $22 million, which the Italian club has found difficulty justifying. However, there is also noise that the Gunners would be willing to allow Roma to renew his loan for another season should they be willing to pay his wages in full.

The Polish netminder has said in the recent past he wishes to stay at Roma.