Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Barcelona adds $42m center back Lenglet from Sevilla

Leave a comment

Barcelona has confirmed the signing of Clement Lenglet from Sevilla for $42 million.

That was the value of the defender’s release clause, and his new one has jumped up a bit.

[ MORE: Kenedy seals loan ]

Barca is slapping a $350 million release clause on the 23-year-old French center back, who spent a year-and-a-half with Sevilla after moving from Nancy.

Lenglet has been capped by France at every level from U-16 to U-21, and played the most amount of minutes (3002) in league play for Sevilla last season.

It’s Barcelona’s second $40-million plus move this week, as its capture of Gremio’s Arthur could reach as high as $47 million.

Lenglet joins a Barca corps of backs which includes countryman Samuel Umtiti as well as Gerard Pique, Yerry Mina, and Marlon Santos.

Reports: Conte out at Chelsea

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
1 Comment

Multiple reports say Chelsea has parted ways with head coach Antonio Conte, ending a tumultuous year at Stamford Bridge.

Conte led Chelsea back to a Premier League title in 2016-17, but this season was rife with acrimony.

[ MORE: Kenedy seals loan ]

The Londoners are expected to appoint ex-Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri as Conte’s replacement.

Chelsea won the FA Cup this season, but finished five points back of the Top Four in league play. The Blues fell to Barcelona in the Champions League’s Round of 16.

Conte was vocal about his desire for player signings before last season, and it seemed unhappy marriage from very early in the campaign.

Newcastle gets 2nd Kenedy loan, sells Merino to La Liga

nufc.co.uk
Leave a comment

Kenedy is returning to Newcastle United.

The Chelsea man will take a second loan season with Rafa Benitez after making a strong impression on Tyneside in the second half of the 2017-18 season.

The Magpies will have the option to buy Kenedy.

[ MORE: Mourinho on England, Croatia ]

The Brazilian left-sided man can play virtually any field position besides center back, and scored two goals with two assists for the Magpies last season.

“I am so happy with this interest from Rafa Benítez, that he came back for me,” said Kenedy. “I want to keep it going, the work that I did here before, for the new season.

Meanwhile, Mikel Merino‘s whirlwind time at St. James’ Park is done after just one season.

Newcastle is selling the Spaniard to Real Sociedad. Merino burst onto the scene on loan from Borussia Dortmund, and the Magpies quickly exercised an option to buy the silky midfielder.

But Merino dropped down the depth chart, making just two starts after New Year’s Day.

Transfer rumor roundup: Jorginho, Pjanic, Kenedy in the news

Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jorginho is in focus on Monday, as a Premier League club is reportedly offering a big fee to convince Napoli and the Italian that it is a better home than Manchester City.

The Etihad Stadium has seemed a foregone conclusion when it comes to the 26-year-old midfielder, a mainstay of Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli and a breakout member of the Italian national team.

[ MORE: Bobby Wood staying in Bundesliga ]

Sarri is under contract with Napoli, but no longer the manager at Napoli. Chelsea has been unable to land the manager due to an unwillingness to pay his release clause, and Football Italia says that the Serie A club is willing to pay about $71 million — $12 more than Man City’s offer — to bring Jorginho to Stamford Bridge. That would theoretically make amends for not Chelsea meeting the Sarri release clause (that they’d essentially be meeting. Yeah, it’s hard to keep up).

And Jorginho in the same midfield as N'Golo Kante and a more comfortable Tiemoue Bakayoko is frightening for much of the Premier League’s attack-minded midfielders.

Got that? Good, cause Man City understands and allegedly has a back-up plan who is also currently a Serie A star.

Miralem Pjanic is older and more expensive than Jorginho, but Calcio Mercato says Juventus may now be willing to move the Bosnian midfielder.

The 28-year-old former Roma midfielder had, oddly enough, been linked with Chelsea earlier in the summer.

With a $95 million asking price, the move would further fly in the face of what Pep Guardiola expected to be a summer without massive outlays. The report does say that Man City would start at approximately half that fee.

Back to Chelsea, they look ready to loan Kenedy back to Newcastle United after a Tuesday medical. The Brazilian left-sided man was a huge hit for Rafa Benitez in a half-season loan last season.

It would be another loan deal this year with a view to a Summer 2019 purchase should things go well. Newcastle wouldn’t be able to use him against Chelsea, obviously, but he was a game-changer in several of Newcastle’s notable second-half upsets.

Newcastle makes pivotal goalkeeper’s loan move permanent

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
1 Comment

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez was reportedly chasing a new goalkeeper all last summer, finally getting a starting caliber backstop on loan in January.

That keeper was 29-year-old Martin Dubravka, and that loan from Sparta Prague had an option to buy.

[ MORE: Lewandowski wants to leave Bayern ]

Newcastle has purchased Dubravka and signed him through 2021-22 after an outstanding 12-match stint between the sticks.

Dubravka kept three clean sheets and allowed just one total goal in a trio of wins over Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

Here’s Benitez, from NUFC.co.uk:

“Ever since he arrived with us on loan he has shown a fantastic attitude and great work ethic, and of course we have been very impressed with his performances for us on the pitch last season.

“This was one of the key positions we had identified we needed to strengthen and had been concerned about, so it is excellent news that we are able now to sign him on a permanent basis.”

That one fix was as important as any in Newcastle’s second half revival, with Kenedy‘s loan from Chelsea another revelation. A clinical striker, something they’ve lacked in Premier League play dating back to Demba Ba, Loic Remy, and Papiss Cisse‘s early days, would catapult them into a higher table discussion.