Luka Jovic

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Transfer news: Dembele to Man United; Jovic to Arsenal

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In the latest edition of transfer news we look at claims that Man United have secured a deal for Moussa Dembele, while

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Man United are linked with pretty much everyone but a report from Spain says that they’ve agreed a $75 million with Lyon for Moussa Dembele.

Dembele, 23, has scored 42 goals in 88 games for Lyon after arriving from Celtic in 2018 and the former Fulham striker has long been linked with a move to the Premier League. The French striker was linked with a move to Chelsea but it appears Man United have beaten them to signing Dembele, as Lyon are eager to sell on Dembele and Houssem Ouar to make up for the loss of European action next season as the points-per-game model used to end the 2019-20 season in France saw them finish in seventh.

Do Man United need another forward?

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are their current options, while it looks unlikely that Odion Ighalo’s loan deal will be extended or made permanent. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would probably like one more forward to add to his squad and Dembele is able to play centrally or out wide. Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and many others have been linked with a move to Man United but Dembele makes sense.

He fits Solskjaer’s model of being young, hungry and is full of attacking talent and alongside Martial and Rashford and with Bruno Fernandes pulling the strings, Dembele is a poacher who is their leading goalscorer this season with 22 goals.

Talking about a goalscorer, that moves us nicely onto Luka Jovic. The Serbian center forward has been linked with a move to Arsenal, as Real Madrid try and offload the troublesome striker.

Jovic, 22, recently broke his foot during the La Liga suspension and that caps off a horrid year for him at Real Madrid after his $65 million move from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer.

According to Mundo Deportivo, AC Milan are keen on signing Jovic on loan with the details stating that a possible loan deal would include an obligation to buy for $53 million. The Sun claim that Arsenal have been long-time admirers of Jovic.

Jovic has scored just twice in 24 outings at Real Madrid and during the coronavirus pandemic he has been heavily criticized for breaking lockdown orders back in Serbia. If you can look past some of the issues off the pitch, on the pitch he was prolific for Eintracht Frankfurt last season, scoring 27 goals in 48 games for the Bundesliga side as they reached the UEFA Europa League semifinals.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to move on when the 2019-20 season ends as he has just one year left on his current contract, Jovic is seen as his replacement. The striker is great in the air, can hold the ball up and his movement is very intelligent but he doesn’t quite work the channels the same way Aubameyang does.

With Arsenal having success loaning Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid this season, perhaps the clubs could link up again for a loan deal for Jovic?  Given Arsenal’s financial position — they have agreed with their players to a pay cut over the next 12 months amid the coronavirus pandemic — Mikel Arteta will have to get creative in the transfer market and this loan deal makes sense.

Real Madrid striker returns to training with broken bone in foot

Luka Jovic
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Luka Jovic’s troubled season continues with the news that he returned to Real Madrid on a broken foot.

The striker was previously under investigation in Serbia for flouting self-isolation measures.

Jovic, 22, had an incredible 2018-19 season, scoring 27 times with seven assists in all competitions for Eintracht Frankfurt last year.

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Real purchased Jovic for about $67 million last year, the presumed long-term answer to Karim Benzema at center forward.

He’s struggled to adjust to Spain, scoring twice with two assists in 24 appearances for Real.

Amusingly, a translation quirk on Real’s official site says the injury is “pending evolution.”

After the tests carried out today on our player Luka Jović by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with an extra-articular fracture in the calcaneus bone of his right foot. Pending evolution.

Jovic felt like a can’t miss prospect, and three forwards who left Eintracht last season have failed to replicate their feats at new clubs. At least Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic have shown signs at West Ham United and AC Milan, respectively.

Real Madrid striker Jovic investigated for flouting isolation

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic is being investigated by Serbian authorities for allegedly flouting a mandatory self-isolation measure after returning home from a coronavirus-infected state, local media reported Thursday.

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The 22-year-old Jovic returned from Spain last week and was seen on the streets of Belgrade and pictured at his girlfriends’s birthday party.

Serbian state of emergency law introduced as an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus calls for all those returning from states battling the virus to self-isolate for up to 28 days.

Without mentioning Luka Jovic, Serbian officials have blasted “millionaire” soccer players for flouting the measure.

“The fact that they are known sportsmen, and that they are rich, will not stop them from being punished,” Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Thursday. “Either they will respect the law, or they’ll go to jail.”

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Stefanovic said the law calls for 1-to-12 years in jail for ignoring self-isolation or quarantine.

Jovic did not comment after reportedly self-isolating at his parents’ apartment following the public criticism.

Jovic, who joined Real Madrid last year from Eintract Frankfurt and also plays for his country’s national team, also reportedly broke his Spanish club’s coronavirus quarantine orders by leaving for Serbia.

La Liga roundup: Real Madrid held to back-to-back draw (video)

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Real Madrid’s second consecutive league draw highlights La Liga’s Sunday action.

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Real Madrid 0-0 Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona head into La Liga’s mid-season break with a two point cushion as Real Madrid were held to a draw by Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It’s Zinedine Zidane and company second consecutive draw as Los Blancos are just days removed from Wednesday’s stalemate at Camp Nou in El Clasico.

Despite controlling possession completely, Real Madrid were unable to break the deadlock. Nacho and Luka Modric each hit the crossbar, while subsitute Luka Jovic struck the post in the dying minutes of Sunday’s bout.

“I’m very disappointed for my players,”Zidane said in his post-match press conference. “They put in a lot of effort and had a good match, but we lacked a goal again. In football, it’s true that you have to score them. We had three or four in the first half where if you score then the match could be different.”

“It’s only a couple of matches without scoring, so we have to remain calm because the performance was good,” he added. “I think we’ve gotten better and we’re strong defensively. Today, we just lacked a goal, but the important thing is to create chances. After the match I spoke to the players and told them that the most important thing was that they gave their all. Today, the ball just didn’t want to go in. We hit the post three times.”

When the home side managed to put shots on target, Bilbao’s Unai Simon was there to prevent a goal. The Basque goalkeeper registered eight saves throughout the 90 minutes.

With the draw, defending champions Barcelona go two points clear of Los Blancos, who return to action January 4 when they visit Getafe, while Bilbao – now seventh on the table – go against Sevilla to start the new year.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Leganes 2-0 Espanyol 

Osasuna 3-4 Real Sociedad

Real Betis 1-2 Atletico Madrid

Levante 3-1 Celta Vigo

La Liga wrap: Benzema stars, Real Madrid routs Leganes

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Real Madrid answered the performance of title rivals Barcelona by climbing back into second place via a five-star performance at the Bernabeu, while Athletic Bilbao also posted a comfortable win and Nabil Fekir played last-minute hero for Real Betis.

All of the above is in La Liga’s wrap-up of action from Wednesday.

Valencia 1-1 Sevilla

Ruben Subrino’s goal in the 81st minute sent the home crowd home a bit happier than it would’ve been had Lucas Ocampos’ late first half goal been the only marker, but a drab match will have both sides well aware of what it left on, or off of, the table.

Real Madrid 5-0 Leganes

Zinedine Zidane’s men got the feel-good, straight-forward win it wanted when Rodrygo and Toni Kroos scored a minute apart to make it 2-0 within eight minutes of kickoff, and Luka Jovic scored his first Real goal in stoppage time to hopefully signal a return to the form the left at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Karim Benzema had a goal and two assists for Madrid, who also got one from a Sergio Ramos penalty in their move back into second place.

Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Espanyol

Iker Munian is not having the career many expected, but he was the man on Wednesday. Munian scored his second and third goals of the season as the Basque side denied its Catalan visitors the chance to climb out of the drop zone.

Real Sociedad 1-2 Levante

Goals from Enis Bardhi and Borja Mayoral held up to boost the hosts into sixth.

Real Betis 2-1 Celta Vigo

Nabil Fekir scored in the 90th minute as Real Betis overcame a blown lead to claim all three points for what, at least for the moment, was a relegation six-pointer.

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Barcelona 10 7 1 2 28 11 17 5-0-0 2-1-2 22
 Real Madrid 10 6 3 1 21 9 12 4-1-0 2-2-1 21
 Granada 10 6 2 2 17 10 7 4-0-1 2-2-1 20
 Atlético Madrid 11 5 5 1 11 6 5 3-3-0 2-2-1 20
 Sevilla 11 6 2 3 14 12 2 3-1-1 3-1-2 20
 Real Sociedad 11 6 1 4 18 12 6 3-0-2 3-1-2 19
 Villarreal 10 5 2 3 24 14 10 3-2-0 2-0-3 17
 Athletic Club 11 4 4 3 11 7 4 4-1-1 0-3-2 16
 Osasuna 10 3 5 2 10 9 1 2-3-0 1-2-2 14
 Levante 11 4 2 5 12 13 -1 2-2-1 2-0-4 14
 València 11 3 5 3 15 17 -2 2-4-0 1-1-3 14
 Valladolid 11 3 5 3 11 14 -3 1-3-0 2-2-3 14
 Getafe 10 3 4 3 14 14 0 2-2-1 1-2-2 13
 Alavés 11 3 3 5 9 14 -5 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Betis 11 3 3 5 14 21 -7 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Mallorca 10 3 1 6 7 13 -6 3-1-2 0-0-4 10
 Eibar 10 2 3 5 10 15 -5 2-0-2 0-3-3 9
 Celta Vigo 11 2 3 6 6 14 -8 2-1-3 0-2-3 9
 Espanyol 11 2 2 7 5 18 -13 0-0-5 2-2-2 8
 Leganés 11 1 2 8 5 19 -14 1-1-4 0-1-4 5