Everton has indicated their interest in signing up Benfica and Mexican striker, Raul Jimenez as they head into the season with gusto and in high spirits. The summer which heralded the opening of the transfer window has seen Ronald Koeman, Everton’s manager sign a host of players.

However, Koeman seems not to be satisfied yet as he is still hoping to sign another striker. His main target at the moment is Jimenez. Benfica has gone ahead to inform Everton that they would let him off for a fee of £45 million. (more…)

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Leicester City ace Daniel Amartey has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Stuttgart, who are back in the Bundesliga this season. The Ghana international has largely played a backup role to the first-team, and his future has been put into doubt following Matty James’ return to the squad.

Amartey joined the Foxes from Danish giants Copenhagen back in the summer of 2016, and he has since been restricted to just 25 appearances in the top-flight. In his first season, he had played second fiddle to none other than N’Golo Kante, who took the Premier League by storm with his workrate which guided the Foxes to a maiden Premier League title. (more…)

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Everton striker Romelu Lukaku is trying his luck again this summer as he reveals he has agreed personal terms with another Premier League side. The Belgium international refused to name the club but many can guess.

Lukaku said he knows the direction his career is headed and that his reps are aware of his decision. The former Chelsea forward said his reps and him are “staying calm” as there is a direction to be followed. The Toffees star, who is on international duty, told the Belgian media that he would be playing in the Champions League next season, claiming his innermost desires is to win trophies. (more…)

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There was a period of time when Jordi Alba was a regular starter in Barcelona but unfortunately for the Spanish defender, he just is not playing any real influential or important role at the Camp Nou.

Jordi Alba has stated on various occasions that his relationship with the head coach Luis Enrique is not healthy as he does not get any kind of confidence from the Barcelona manager and this is something that every player should get in order to help the players perform at a higher level.

On March 24 of 2017, Spain locked horns against Israel for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match and Jordi Alba was called up. This game concluded in a 4-1 triumph for the Spanish side and the 28 year old defender went on to voice his concerns in relation to his current situation in Barcelona as Jordi Alba said:

“I feel the total confidence of the boss here in the Spain camp, which for me is a compliment and something that fills me with confidence. It’s something I’m not having at Barcelona and that I’d maybe like to have’’

“To come here and to have the confidence of Julen gives me a lot of strength. He asks me what I’ve been used to doing in the national team and at Barca in recent years. I notice the trust of the boss and the technical team is at 100 per cent.”

Jordi Alba still plays a significant role in Barcelona as he does get time on the pitch but in comparison to a few years ago when he was an undisputed starter, it’s a big difference as Jordi Alba just isn’t an impactful figure in Camp Nou.

This current La Liga season of 2017-18 is the last one of Luis Enrique as the head coach of Barcelona and the approaching departure of Enrique could be good news for Jordi Alba as the I Love AC MilanSpanish defender could get a 2nd chance to become a regular starter when the new manager arrives.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is looking forward to stopping the run of Wolves and their manager Paul Lambert when both sides clash in the FA Cup.

The pair are set to meet again after their earlier clash in Italy.

When Conte used to play football, he was sidelined so he could not appear, as Juventus were defeated 3-1 by rivals Borussia Dortmund in the 1996 /97 Champions League final. Lambert lined up for Dortmund so emotions could be stirred up when they meet this time as managers, however with both present.

Also, Lambert has ended the run of two Premier League sides Stoke City and Liverpool in the tournament this term. They would be looking at another upset – a major one if they can push out the Premier League leaders who are beaming with confidence.

“This is one of the three finals I lost. We were favourites. I remember that they were the underdog before the game, but they won very well against us. He was a good player. I remember very well,” Conte said of the time they met as players.

“Revenge is not a good word. Now we started a new career me and Lambert, as coaches. I wish for him the best for his career – after the game. For me it will be a great pleasure to shake his hand,” Conte added.

Both sides will go head to head at Molineux in the evening. Chelsea are the favourites ahead of the clash but the coach would likely rest a few senior players whilst giving the youngsters time to shine.

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It is the hope of Mikkel Beck, Lucas Digne’s agent, that his client can go on to take over from Jordi Alba as Barcelona’s first choice in the left-back position, and as a legendary player as well.

Last summer saw Digne in a move from Paris St. Germain to the Catalonian Giants for a fee of €16.5 million.

With the kind of injury problems besotting Alba, the new left-back has gone on to make no less than 15 appearances with the club. However, Luis Enrique always picks Alba as his first choice whenever he is fit, but Beck hopes this can change in no distant time.

Speaking to Get French Football News, Digne’s agent said:
“In time we hope that [Digne] will take over from Alba and become a Barca legend in years to come.

“That is the reason why we signed [for Barca]. He respects Alba for being a great player and he has a really good relationship with him and for the moment they have shared the playing time very well.

“I think that Luis Enrique is very happy to have two left-backs who can play whenever he needs them to.”

The agent of the 23-year old also mentioned that a top club like Barcelona always needs no less than two players in each position, so as to sharply fill up any vacuums, if they wish to continue picking up the titles they have been getting in a while.

Last season, Digne was on a loan spell with Roma but the Italian club decided to sign him off in the summer. Also, they got an interest from a club in the Premier League, but according to Beck, choosing to move to Barca wasn’t a difficult decision.

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Barcelona were hoping Jordi Alba’s injury would not be that serious to some level after he was forced off in the first half of Spain’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy, he was immediately replaced by Riccardo Montolivo.

The 24-time Spanish La Liga winner later announced that the left-back Jordi Alba will be sidelined for 10 days due to a thigh injury, which means he is expected be ready for the crunch clash with England Side, Manchester City.

The 27-year old was medically attended to before limping off the pitch in the 22nd minute of Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Turin to be replaced by Real Madrid stopper, Nacho.

The Barcelona defender, Alba, was the subject of medical tests on Friday morning which confirmed a muscular injury on his left thigh, which insinuates he will return home.
“The RFEF’s medical services have contacted FC Barcelona to inform them of the diagnostics,”a statement culled from Spain’s press release.

The Spain international was forced off the pitch in the first half of Spain’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Italy in Turin on Thursday after pulling up in an unpleasant physical discomfort.

The former Valencia full-back has gone through different medical tests which the outcome proved that the defender has sustained minor injury to his left thigh, which was said to keep him out of the clash forthcoming between Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna next Saturday in Spanish La Liga.

Jordi Alba is however expected to be fit enough for the UEFA Champions’ League group game-stage against Pep Guardiola’s men at Camp Nou the following Wednesday after league game.

“Medical tests have confirmed that Jordi Alba has an elongation of the femoral biceps in his left thigh,” a Barca statement said. “The approximate time out will be 10 days.”

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Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique hailed the Barcelona team that defeated Real Betis 6-2 despite the injury concerns ahead of the game.

Lionel Messi tried getting his third after hitting a brace but couldn’t. However, Luis Suarez got his with Messi assisting him. Ardan Turan was the one who opened scoring in the first half before Ruben Castro equalised through a free kick for the visitors. The 1-1 scoreline quickly changed with a Barca team that was missing seven first team players scoring goal after goal with Messi being the clear star in the match. The second goal for Betis came in the final minutes of the game.

Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Javier Mascherano , Jeremy Mathieu, Andre Gomes, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Rafinha were not on the list for the game due to injury, suspension or being in another event (Neymar). Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique were in defence leaving Ivan Rakitic, Turan, Sergio Busquets in the middle as they started their La Liga title defence.

“The players were very motivated and very active both in attack and defence. We were brave and very effective. A complete game,” Enrique told the club’s official website.

Sergi Roberto received a lot of acclaim for his effort in the game as full back. “Sergio Roberto, down the flank as always, very attentive in his defensive aspect of his game, and showed good anticipation. In attack, he was very good, looking for space and creating chances,” Enrique added.
Claudio Bravo was in front of goal but may felt he could have done more to stop the two goals from Real Betis. After the game, it was announced that he would be moving to Manchester City to join former coach Pep Guardiola. Guardiola benched former No 1 Joe Hart with the hope of bring in another, so may would wonder if Bravo is supposed to be the upgrade.

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Often the choice of a player for a team is best judged by others who have played with him.

This is the case for Andres Iniesta who has been taken up by Barcelona team and Jordi Alba has been vouched for his talents. He states that Spain will definitely be able to benefit from this player’s contribution. Andres has a good reputation and achievements to showcase as well. He was the star player for Spain when they won the game against the Czech Republic. The midfielder is known to have been pivotal for many crucial goals for the team. His team mates vouches for his skills as Jordi feels that his skills are definitely different from others.

The midfielder of Barcelona was made man of the match in the Group D win that the country had over the Czech Republic. Iniesta has several achievements under his belt like being a World Cup winner as well as a winner of the European Championship two times. Alba is his team mate, he is able to point out the ways this player is special for the team. He states that Andres is the man they turn to when they face difficult situations.

Many people would admit the same when they have seen Andres in action in the opening game of Euro 2016. He provided the cross for Gerard Pique and proved his creative skills on the field. Alba admitted to the influence Andres can wield on the field and how the team is dependent on his skills. Alba states that he helps the team when they are put in a difficult situation. Indeed, the country had gone on to defend their title against Turkey. Alba feels that the team took the right decision when they decided to take him on and he has definitely proved himself to be an asset for the team.

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It is understood that Roque Santa Cruz would bid good bye to the international game with Copa America being his last assignment with his national team, Paraguay.

The striker has served Paraguay to the maximum of his strength scoring more times than anybody else for La Albirroja.

But, other than his success, what makes Santa Cruz to be held in high regard in the Football world is his simplicity.

It doesn’t take long for a player to change his lifestyle considerably when he comes from a poor background and starts having a lot of money playing in overseas leagues.

But, for Santa Cruz, his motherland always remained in his heart in spite of the fact that he earned big.

There was an interesting thing that he had said in an interview 4-5 years back regarding a not so flamboyant car that he used back then.

Being a Manchester City player, he would have been earning enough to afford a more expensive car, but, he didn’t buy one because he thought using such a car in a country, where the lives of the most of the people are nothing less than misery, would be unbefitting.

His words in that interview were, “Considering the kind of situation in Paraguay in terms of the standard of living of a large part of the population, the moral sense in me doesn’t allow me to have a highly expensive car.”

“Of course, the reason you earn is to lead a good life, but, my theory is that you should only have as much as your requirements, not in surplus.”

The words themselves show his greatness, there is no need to add to that and Santa Cruz has not changed since then, he is still like that, very down to earth and always humble.

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