French striker Antoine Griezmann is no stranger to seeing his name in the transfer rumor mill, but that familiarity doesn’t make it any more enjoyable for the Atletico Madrid attacker (who celebrates his 27th birthday on Wednesday).
Long-tipped for a move to either Barcelona or Manchester United, Griezmann knows one thing: He wants his future sorted before the World Cup.
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“I want to travel to Russia without this concern,” he told L’Equipe. “It’s not about knowing where I’ll play, but about having the peace of mind if I’m still in one place or another.
“It may be boring, but I have told my sister that, whether I stay or not, this will have to be resolved beforehand. What bothers me the most is that everyone asks me about this issue.”
That’s both honest and reasonable, and we can imagine it’s not a blast to answer questions on your future every day. He also has a contract through 2021-22, which won’t make any transfer a simple one.
Griezmann has 23 goals and 13 assists in all competitions for Atleti this season, as La Liga’s second place side remains alive in the UEFA Europa League. He’s scored 106 goals for Atleti since arriving from Real Sociedad.
At least one and erhaps two big Premier League clubs are going to finish outside of the UEFA Champions League this year.
As it stands now, those clubs are Arsenal and Chelsea. The former could still seal a spot in the UCL via winning the Europa League but Chelsea needs wins and help from the field to find a way into the fray.
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An absence for either side will send UCL-bound vultures over the rosters of the failed clubs, hoping to woo the best players with Champions League dreams.
N'Golo Kante has been a name bandied about as a potential departure should Chelsea miss its mark, with the French star mentioned as high atop Paris Saint-Germain’s wish list.
The midfielder, who turns 27 at the end of the month, has moved to squash those rumors (from The London Evening Standard):
“I am at home. It is my club, I am a Chelsea player.
“We will fight until the end to finish in the top four and to get in a Champions League position. We also have the FA Cup to play for – it is a good competition. Last season we failed in the final. It is the only trophy we can win this season, so we have to give everything to get to the final and win it.”
That’s good, because we’re looking forward to seeing what a midfield with Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko could do with an offseason together.
Yet is there anyone out there doubting Kante’s intentions?
Monday’s transfer rumor roundup begins with wobbling Chelsea, who has already added Ross Barkley this January.
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The Blues apparently prefer to take Andy Carroll off of West Ham’s hands, viewing the Irons’ tall striker as the ideal backup for Alvaro Morata and an upgrade or competition for Michy Batshuayi.
Goal.com also says the Blues are readying a move for Watford discovery Richarlison in the summer, with the Hornets unwilling to part with the electric Brazilian this month.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s edge over Man City in the chase for Alexis Sanchez may come down to salary, as the Arsenal star could nab as much as $25 million a year in wages from the Red Devils (really, it’s peanuts after taxes).
United also wants to pry Cagliari youngster Nicolo Barella from Serie A, though Liverpool is also after the $61 million 20-year-old with two goals this season.
Finally, Jack Rodwell is set to become a free agent, as Sunderland is willing to cancel his contract in order to let the ex-Man City and Everton man skip town. Does David Moyes want him at West Ham for a third stint together?
The long and winding road for USMNT striker Terrence Boyd appears headed for yet another turn.
The 25-year-old German striker has fallen down the pecking order at RB Leipzig, the second-placed team in the Bundeliga.
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That’s an understandable drop given his ACL tear and the new money club’s big summer purchases. ESPN translates a Bild quote from Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnickon on Boyd’s future here:
“There were concrete enquiries for him in August. I expect it to be similar in winter, and if there are any then we will sit down and look for the best solution for Terrence and us,” Rangnick said.
Boyd has been scoring regularly for RB Leipzig’s reserve side, with four goals in 7 matches, and has been a double-digit scorer at his four previous stops (Rapid Wien, Borussia Dortmund II, Hertha Berlin II).
The striker will certainly get offers at the second-tier level, and perhaps lower end Bundesliga sides will also take interest. America will always be an option as well. Boyd’s name is a good one to keep in your search browser over the next few months.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is taking the high road when discussing his lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho, and is also fueling fire in Major League Soccer’s rumor mill (along with China, India, and Qatar).
Schweinsteiger, 32, has trained with United’s U-21 side under Mourinho and has also retired from Germany duty.
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He took to Twitter on Wednesday to talk to his fan about his “current situation”, saying that United was a dream of his and that he will not be moving to another club in Europe.
Many have speculated that Schweinsteiger could come to Major League Soccer, a league that impressed him when Bayern Munich played the MLS All Stars last summer.
If that happened, who could do with a little “Schweiny”?
- Atlanta United — You think Carlos Bocanegra doesn’t know the value of a steady, veteran presence in the middle of his park?
- New England Revolution — Remember what the Jermaine Jones signing did for a struggling and off-balance Jay Heaps squad?
- DC United and Chicago Fire — This has less to do with need or fit, and more to do with me wanting to see two fan bases getting deserved excitement. And lest we forget that Chicago was done wrong in the Jermaine Jones saga.