AP

Transfer rumors: Morata out, Icardi in at Chelsea; Perisic to Man United

Leave a comment

Chelsea’s search for a new striker continues, as Alvaro Morata’s time at Stamford Bridge appears to be almost up.

A report from ESPN says that Morata’s agent, who flew to London today, will discuss the future of the Spanish striker with Chelsea’s hierarchy as Sevilla want to sign him on loan. Another report from Cope states that Atletico Madrid have also entered the race to sign Morata.

It is believed the deal for the 26-year-old would initially be a loan move for the rest of the season, with an option to buy.

Per the report Sevilla are extremely keen on signing Morata to boost their chances of a top four finish in La Liga, and it is quite clear that Maurizio Sarri isn’t a fan of the former Real Madrid and Juventus star as he’s played Eden Hazard up top as the false nine in recent matches. The report claims that Morata is also willing to take a pay cut to join Sevilla.

Morata’s time at Chelsea has been riddled with small injuries and a lack of confidence and form, with the Spanish international scoring 24 goals in 72 appearances in all competitions since arriving from Real Madrid for a fee of up to $89 million in the summer of 2017.

Who could replace Morata? Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson is high on their list but he would cost over $70 million to buy in January, and Sarri is said to favor bringing in Gonzalo Higuain but he is embroiled in a complex deal between Juventus and AC Milan.

Mauro Icardi is said to be their top target but Inter Milan’s Argentine striker would not come cheap.

But his agent and wife, Wanda Nara, has said the following after stating that Icardi signing a new deal at Inter is a “very long way off” as things stand, as he has just just over two years left on his current contract.

“We have a very good relationship with the two biggest clubs in Spain, who are very interested in Mauro. As well as one in France and one in England.”

Intriguing.

The other option for Chelsea is bringing in veteran Higuain on loan, which is something we talked about at Pro Soccer Talk yesterday. Higuain would be the cheapest option and Sarri trusts him from their time working together at Napoli in the past. It appears that both Morata and Olivier Giroud are surplus to requirements for the rest of the season at Chelsea.


In non-Chelsea striker related news, Manchester United have once again been linked with a move for Ivan Perisic.

The Croatian winger has been linked with a move United time and time again over the past 12 months, and the 29-year-old was said to be a transfer target of Jose Mourinho.

According to Tuttosport in Italy, Inter Milan is said to be willing to part with Perisic in January so that they can get the funds together to sign Luka Modric from Real Madrid in the summer. The 33-year-old reigning World Player of the Year has been long linked with a move to Italy’s Serie A.

Do United need Perisic? Probably not anymore.

Anthony Martial is back in the picture, so too is Alexis Sanchez as they can help Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford support Romelu Lukaku from wide areas. The last thing United’s caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs is a new winger, as his creaking defense is in dire need of reinforcements. This move for Perisic, despite him being a fine player, would not make any sense.

Then again, let me know when the transfer window has made much sense in recent years…

Reports: Inter to tempt Man Utd with Pogba for players, cash

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Several reports are linking Paul Pogba with a move back to Italy, and the destination would not be limited to Turin.

Inter Milan is said to want Pogba at the San Siro as it attempts to again become a rival for the scudetto. Inter is level on points with second place Napoli, who has a match-in-hand, and nine points back of leaders Juventus.

[ MORE: Chaos at Copa Libertadores final ]

Several back page reports have claimed that Inter chief Beppe Marotta would like to tempt Manchester United with money and a pair of players, including one that embattled manager Jose Mourinho has chased in the past.

The deal could fit the bill for both Mourinho, should he stay at Old Trafford, and chairman Ed Woodward.

Mourinho wanted Ivan Perisic, but Woodward is said to be unwilling to sanction a big money move for a 29-year-old player.

Certainly both men would have no problem with the addition of the second player, Milan Skriniar.

The 23-year-old Slovakia center back has been outstanding for a few years at Inter, and has been linked with a $90 million move to Chelsea in recent days.

Perisic, Rebic linked with moves to Man United

Getty Images
2 Comments

Following their superb displays for Croatia at the 2018 World Cup, Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic are being linked with moves to Manchester United via a report from the Sun.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match ]

It’s no secret that Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of Perisic as he tried to buy the left winger from Inter Milan last summer but saw plenty of bids turned down as United missed out.

Perisic, 29, then went on to become one of Croatia’s star performers this summer as he scored three goals and grabbed two assists combined with tireless displays on the left flank. Perisic grabbed 11 goals and added nine assists last season as Inter qualified for the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Alisson to Liverpool back on?

Rebic, 24, also had a fine tournament with his powerful surges forward from the right flank as the Eintracht Frankfurt star scored in the win against Argentina and went close to scoring in the World Cup final but his drive was saved by Hugo Lloris. He also committed more fouls than any other player at the tournament as he tracked back and dug deep in Croatia’s best-ever finish at a World Cup.

Do United really need these two attacking wide men?

Mourinho loves to add pace and power to his teams and they certainly fit the bill in that regard, with the likes of Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and even Alexis Sanchez not out-and-out wingers. The transfer values of Perisic and Rebic will have soared due to Croatia finishing the tournament as runners up with Perisic valued at around $63 million and Rebic at $57 million.

Perisic only signed a new contract at Inter last season but given United’s long-time pursuit of him, he may feel like this could be his last chance to move to the Premier League, if that’s what his heart desires. While Rebic only just arrived at Frankfurt on a permanent deal after scoring twice in their German Cup final win last season, helping them win their first trophy since 1988.

If one or both of these players arrive at Old Trafford, serious doubt will be put on the future of Martial and Rashford as neither will seriously challenge Romelu Lukaku for the central strikers role.

Video: France back ahead through VAR decision, Griezmann PK

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
1 Comment

The World Cup final is off to an absolutely flying start… and it’s not even halfway over yet.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

France has retaken the lead against Croatia, 2-1, through an Antoine Griezmann penalty kick.

The decision came minutes after Ivan Perisic was charged with a handball inside his own area following a Blaise Matuidi header, which was only given by the referee after a video replay review.

The goal for Griezmann is his fourth of the World Cup, putting him two behind England’s Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race.

Video: Croatia tenacity, Perisic blast levels at 1-1

Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Croatians may have felt disappointed in the French opener, but Ivan Perisic has his country level at 1-1.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

A tenacious Croatia came back with a ton of pressure off of a free kick of their own just prior to the half-hour mark, and the Inter Milan man brilliantly struck a left-footed blast into the far corner to equalize in the 28th minute.

When the ball finally found Perisic at the top of the box, he did well to create enough space and bury the shot past Hugo Lloris.