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Transfer Gossip: Fekir update; Chelsea waiting

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Could Liverpool get its star attacking midfield target after all?

That’s what seems to be the case, as the agent for Lyon and France midfielder Nabil Fekir told French TV channel LCI Monday evening that negotiations aren’t over between Liverpool and Lyon.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“He didn’t sign because um… it is not over! This is not the end of the story,” Fekir’s agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes reportedly said.

It was just two weeks ago when Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas stated that Fekir, Lyon’s captain, would remain with the club for the upcoming season, after negotiations with Liverpool fell through. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds wanted a second opinion on a previous knee injury, and had balked at the $70 million price tag.

But now it appears Liverpool and Aulas could still be in conversations to try and find a mutually accepted fee.

At the same time, stirring up transfer drama is in Bernes interest, as it could drive other teams into the race to sign Fekir and raise his transfer fee, meaning more money to him, Fekir (if he gets a cut) and Lyon. Watch this space for more to come during and after the World Cup.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from across the Premier League and Europe:

(more…)

Transfer gossip: Gotze, Boateng, Miazga linked with moves

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As Antoine Griezmann commits to staying at Atletico Madrid, other players may be looking to find news homes.

[ MORE: Lopetegui speaks at Real unveiling ]

A couple of German World Cup winners are being linked with moves away from their respective Bundesliga giants.

Mario Gotze was left off the German squad for this summer’s tournament, and is said to be looking at clubs other than Borussia Dortmund.

Gotze, 26, is being linked with desire to play Premier League football, with Metro saying Arsenal, West Ham, and Everton are interested in his services.

Liverpool will naturally be mentioned as well, given his former manager Jurgen Klopp‘s status at Anfield, though Gotze scored just twice with four assists in 23 appearances last season.

Twenty-nine year old German center back Jerome Boateng could leave Bayern Munich, and Manchester United would be interesting in buying the former Man City man.

Boateng, 29, could leave Bayern if an “important” offer arrives and the player is interested in the location, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells Bild.

The center back is a serial winner in Germany but recently sounded a bit bored by the tasks of winning German hardware. From Manchester Evening News:

“I’ve experienced everything at FC Bayern, and I am slowly coming to a point where I must answer myself certain questions,” he previously told Socrates magazine.

“What are the goals I have not reached yet? Do I, time and time again, want to prove myself at the same club with the same pre-conditions?

MSG’s Kristian Dyer says Matt Miazga is a wanted man in Europe. The USMNT center back, now 22, is Chelsea property but has spent the last two seasons on loan to Vitesse in the Eredivisie.

The Netherlands outfit would like him back, but Dyer said other Premier League clubs have interest as do sides in the Bundesliga (video link). Would it be a full-time move, or a third loan? It’s hard to say with Chelsea, who also may have a new boss in town to assess what the depth looks like at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere…

  • A former Juventus director says Manchester United is set to miss out on Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who will move to Turin and join The Old Lady (Manchester Evening News).
  • Le10 Sport claims that Arsenal’s Unai Emery has lodged a $23 million bid for David Luiz of cross-London rival Chelsea.

Transfer rumor roundup: Pope to Liverpool? Chelsea targeting Florenzi

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PST examines some of the day’s biggest transfer stories, including Liverpool’s pursuit of a new number one goalkeeper.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s transfer talk ]


We start in Merseyside, as Liverpool aims to find a new number one goalkeeper.

Despite names like Alisson being thrown around, the Reds could look inside the Premier League for that option, according to the Sun.

Burnley keeper and England international Nick Pope is being viewed as a more realistic option for the Reds considering the sizable price tag that would come with signing a player like Alisson.

The Brazilian is estimated at a value of around $94 million, which is quite pricy for a shot-stopper.


Meanwhile, Chelsea are intrigued by Alessandro Florenzi, who could be prepared to complete a move outside of Serie A.

The 27-year-old has spent his entire professional career at Roma, after coming up through the club’s academy system.

He has experience playing both as a full back and midfielder, which could give the Blues options if he does move to Stamford Bridge.


Finally, one of the summer’s best-valued players could really cash in at the World Cup if he has a successful tournament.

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has drawn a lot of interest from the Premier League, including Manchester United, however, Real Madrid are prepared to bid over $175 million for the Serbia international.

At 23, the 6-foot-3-inch Milinkovic-Savic will be the subject of a lot of transfer talk throughout the tournament in Russia, especially if Serbia makes a run out of the group stage.

Nabil Fekir’s move from Lyon to Liverpool falls through

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LYON, France (AP) — France forward Nabil Fekir’s move from Lyon to Champions League runner-up Liverpool fell through on Saturday.

Lyon said in a brief statement it decided to “end negotiations.”

The 24-year-old Fekir reportedly had his medical with a view to a move for$77 million, plus eventual bonuses.

Even though Lyon said joining Liverpool was Fekir’s “priority,” the seven-time French champion was “delighted” to count on him for next season.

Fekir had a fine season, scoring 18 league goals as Lyon finished third to qualify for the Champions League playoffs.

A product of Lyon’s successful youth academy, the skillful forward has 58 goals in 161 games for Lyon. He is in France’s World Cup squad.

How would Liverpool line up with Fekir? And can they catch Man City?

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Liverpool’s attack has not been questioned much, and for good reason, but the addition of Nabil Fekir asks two big questions.

  1. Is his playmaking ability in the center of the park, combined with Fabinho and Naby Keita behind him, enough to push Liverpool to Manchester City’s level?
  2. Is he enough to lead Jurgen Klopp to abandon a 4-3-3 that served him so following the sale of Philippe Coutinho?

First things first, Fekir is a great get. Even coming off a career year that begs a comparison to Liverpool selling high on Coutinho, this is a nice add for the Reds.

[ MORE: PST talks with Omar Gonzalez ]

Fekir brings a silky skill set and a very good 85 percent pass completion rate given he plays in an advanced part of the pitch and takes a lot of audacious chances will the ball. Eighteen league goals and eight assists are no jokes, either.

He was, however, deployed in a manner inconsistent with how Jurgen Klopp uses his midfielders in a 4-3-3. Fekir played a lot in the 4-2-3-1, a formation Klopp stopped using after the sale of Philippe Coutinho.

In fact, when Lyon boss Bruno Génésio opted for a 4-3-3, it was usually because Fekir was injured or unavailable. Génésio used Fekir once as a right wing in the 4-3-3, and twice as a right central midfielder in an inverted triangle. One time, they beat PSG. Conversely, they also lost to Bordeaux.

Klopp could easily opt to go back to a 4-2-3-1, especially with more safety in defensive midfield thanks to the arrivals of Fabinho and Naby Keita (It’s also worth noting that the trio combined for 23 yellow cards and two red cards last season, so Liverpool could set some sort of record there).

Liverpool used a 4-3-3 in all four of their meetings with Man City last season, the only loss coming when the Reds had 10 men. City used a 4-3-3 twice against Liverpool, a 3-1-4-2 in the 5-0 win, an a 3-5-2 when chasing the second leg of the UEFA Champions League tie.

The Reds had so much success in the 4-3-3 late last season, and especially against City, even if the formation was demanded largely due to injury. Klopp will probably use both, but perhaps it’s best to expect a lot more 4-2-3-1.

And it would probably look like this:

— Karius —

— Alexander-Arnold — Matip — Van Dijk — Robertson —

— Fabinho — Keita —

— Salah — Fekir — Mane —

— Firmino —

That is a very good lineup, and it’s unreasonable to think any of the players take a dramatic step back next season.

But going to a 4-3-3 with Fekir in the center of the park is not a formation I’d hazard against Man City. And using Fekir on the wing means benching Sadio Mane (likely to use Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita on top of Fabinho).

As good as Man City was last season, it’s difficult to believe they are going to find another 100-point season. Bounces alone should knock them down to 95. Can the Reds be 15-20 points better?

It’s possible, sure, but don’t forget that City is going to be improved by familiarity with the system alone (not to mention additions like (probably) Riyad Mahrez).

Is it August yet? Oh yeah, we’ve got a World Cup first.

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