Starting in north London, a report from the Daily Express claims that Antoine Griezmann is unhappy at Barcelona after being left on the bench for the 2-2 draw against his former team Atletico Madrid. It goes on to state that Arsenal and Inter Milan want to sign Griezmann.
Griezmann, 29, joined Barcelona last summer for $125 million but it’s fair to say the move hasn’t worked out so far. Barcelona coach Quique Setien said that Griezmann isn’t in the starting lineup because they are not balanced with him in the team so as long as Setien is around, the French star is probably going to struggle for minutes.
He has scored eight goals and added four assists this season and things just haven’t clicked up top with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The report claims that Arsenal remain interested in Griezmann and with Barcelona being linked with a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, could a swap deal plus cash be on the cards?
Of course, Aubameyang is slightly older and has just one year left on his current contract at Barcelona but maybe Griezmann could head to Arsenal on a loan deal a la Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich?
Not the craziest idea, right? Arsenal have Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette who could both move on this summer and they can use them as bargaining chips to try and sign Griezmann and possibly Thomas Partey from Atletico. Inter Milan have a striker Barcelona want, Lautaro Martinez, so maybe a swap deal could be sorted out on their end too?
With the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic hitting everyone, but particular soccer, hard, finding ways to swap players and not spend cash could be the theme of the next few seasons. If that is the case, Aubameyang to Barcelona for Griezmann makes sense. Now, do the finances line up and would Griezmann want to leave Spain for north London? Arsenal don’t want to lose Aubameyang but if they gain Griezmann, that would help to soften the blow.
Switching our focus to Manchester, it is believed Man City are keen on signing Bayern Munich and Austria defender David Alaba, according to the Guardian.
Alaba, 28, has one more year left on his Bayern contract and Pep Guardiola knows him well from his time in charge of the Bavarian giants.
The versatile defender can play at center back and left back, plus also in midfield, and Man City will need plenty of rebuilding in the coming years. With David Silva leaving this summer, plus Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero coming towards the end of their careers, this Man City side will look very different in 12-18 months’ time.
With Leroy Sane heading to Bayern Munich, there have been plenty deals discussed between the two clubs and Alaba would be perfect for Man City. He is calm on the ball, defensively solid and he could play in multiple positions for Guardiola.
Alaba is set to be offered a new deal at Bayern as Man City and Inter Milan both want to sign him. Man City’s main issue has been a lack of defensive depth and if Alaba arrives, that will go a long way to plugging multiple gaps.
Szoboszlai starred in Salzburg’s Austrian Cup win and has 10 goals and 16 assists in 37 appearances across all competitions. He also has eight Hungary caps with a goal and can play across the midfield.
Salzburg has an eight-point lead on LASK with three matches to play, so the league title is imminent.
The Austrian side is expected to want around $33 million for the teenager, who is being chased by Arsenal, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain according to a report out of France.
Alaba to Chelsea
Chelsea continues to look at the Bundesliga in bid to buttress their Premier League title hopes.
The Blues have already signed RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner and been linked with Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.
There’s a third name on the list now, and it’s versatile Austrian star David Alaba of Bayern Munich.
Alaba, who turned 28 this week, has been with the Bavarians since 2008 apart from a 2011 loan to Hoffenheim.
Long considered one of the best left backs in the world, Alaba has moved inside this season due to center back injuries for Bayern and the emergence of Alphonso Davies.
He has also played plenty of center mid, left mid, and even attacking mid for Austria, but you have to expect Lampard would look to him as a left back.
The Blues have also been linked with Leicester City left back Ben Chilwell who is younger but… decidedly not David Alaba.
A new, natural left-back may be on his way to Stamford Bridge this winter.
Chelsea are weighing in on placing a $78-million (£60 million) bid for Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, according to a report.
Longtime left-back favorite, Marcos Alonso, has fallen in Frank Lampard‘s pecking order, making just eight Premier League appearances this season. As a result, the 41-year-old has recently instead shifted captain Cesar Azpilicueta from his natural right-back position to the left side.
20-year-old Reece James now features as the Blues’ right-back, a glaring indicator that Lampard isn’t sold on either Alonso or 25-year-old Emerson Palmieri.
Alaba, 27, has a contract with the German giants until the summer of 2021, meaning that the transfer price is not coming at a reduced price.
Debuting for Bayern’s first team in 2010, Alaba has since made 250 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 22 goals and jotting 25 assists. This season, he’s featured 17 times for the champions throughout all competitions.
At the age of 17, Alaba earned his first cap with Austria; since then, he’s registered a total of 72 caps.
The Blues are free to engage in the transfer market after their appeal on a two-window transfer ban was ratified by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in early December.
Wagner, 47, was the Borussia Dortmund II manager before taking the job at Huddersfield Town and guiding the Terriers to the Premier League, but left the club in January en route to relegation.
Now with Schalke having dodged relegation and beaten rivals Borussia Dortmund this weekend under interim boss Huub Stevens, who himself has led the club on two other occasions.
The German-born Wagner won the UEFA Cup during a short stint as a player at Schalke, and was capped eight times by the United States.
But the move, whether Wagner or not, is significant for American soccer.
McKennie doesn’t turn 21 until the start of next season, and already boasts 44 Bundesliga appearances, a half-dozen Champions League matches, and six more German Cup slots.
He’s played in every central midfield position, as well as right back, right mid, and even a little center back and center forward. McKennie is one of the most industrious and experienced young players in USMNT history, but how much of his experience at the club level will even matter to Gregg Berhalter?
I mean, look at his positional usage at Schalke this season via Transfermarkt (right).
This could also become a David Alaba situation. The Austrian has played the majority of his Bayern Munich career as a left back, and then a center back. Yet the 26-year-old has only recently made the move to left mid or left back for Das Team, having been a center midfielder in World Cups and EURO tournaments.
So perhaps Wagner takes over at Schalke, and slots McKennie at right back. Does Berhalter think at all about whether Tyler Adams should go into the middle role and McKennie play a more natural right back? Or does Berhalter say Adams is his right back and McKennie a center mid, end of story?
Also, Wagner was a Danny Williams fan, so perhaps he’d consider the option of an All-American midfield with McKennie and Williams. Half-kidding aside, Schalke’s next manager and their intention for McKennie will be one of the more intriguing and important moves for the future of the U.S. midfield.