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Barcelona join Manchester United, PSG in pursuit of Chelsea midfielder:- could solve Xavi’s midfield problem



Barcelona are reportedly ready to rival Manchester United and PSG in the race to sign Chelsea midfield mainstay N’Golo Kante in the summer.

According to Fichajes, Barcelona are considering making a play for the signing of Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante in the summer, who is also attracting interest from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

Kante has been with Chelsea since 2016 and has forged an excellent career for himself at Stamford Bridge, winning almost every trophy he has contested for. However, the 31-year-old is entering the final year of his contract with the west London giants and talks over a renewal are yet to take place due to the change in ownership.

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While the UK Government has given the green signal for the takeover, it does not guarantee that the contract negotiations with Kante will bear the desired results. And if talks do not go as planned, Chelsea would be open to offers for the midfielder as they would be keen on avoiding more scenarios like the ones with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, who will depart on free transfers this year.

It has seemingly alerted Barcelona, who have been long-term admirers of Kante. Initial reports had claimed that the Catalans would consider a Bosman move for the Frenchman next year. However, his potential availability this summer, coupled with manager Xavi Hernandez’s need for a new defensive midfielder to cover for and compete with Sergio Busquets, could prompt Barcelona to move for Kante in the summer.

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However, signing Kante will not be straightforward for Barcelona as they are set to face competition from two cash-rich clubs in Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United are in the market for a new defensive midfielder as incoming manager Erik ten Hag wants to add more quality to his squad and take the team back to the top. The Dutchman has reportedly identified Kante as a target for the No. 6 position which makes sense given the lack of options in the holding role for Manchester United.

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As for PSG, they have been admirers of the Chelsea midfield mainstay for years and have been keen on taking him back to his homeland. With Leandro Paredes staring at an uncertain future at the Parc des Princes, there will be room for a new midfielder on the roster and signing a quality operator like Kante could help PSG build a team capable of realising their European dream.

Kante has endured an injury-riddled 2021/22 campaign but continues to be an integral part of coach Thomas Tuchel’s plans. But amid rising interest in his services, Chelsea must act swiftly to tie him down to a new contract.


Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract




The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

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Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

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Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

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Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one




Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

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However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

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Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

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Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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Report: Arsenal in ‘lead’ for ‘remarkable’ £33m attacker; agents braced for potential talks




Arsenal have been heavily linked with Villarreal’s Yeremy Pino in recent days.

According to El Periodico Mediterraneo, the Gunners are the most interested club in the race for the 19-year-old.

Meanwhile, Spanish outlet AS claim Villarreal would be likely to accept any bid in the region of €40-50m (£33-42m).

Now, Marca and EPM have provided further updates on Arsenal’s pursuit of Pino, as transcribed by Sport Witness.

Marca has claimed that the Gunners and Liverpool are in the ‘lead’ to sign the Spain international.

Villarreal are currently ‘waiting’ because ‘any movement’ could lead to Premier League interest intensifying.

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Meanwhile, EPM have reported that the La Liga club hasn’t yet received an offer from Arsenal or elsewhere.

Apparently, there has been only ‘one communication of a principle of interest’.

Namely, to know the intention of the player and Unai Emery’s side to carry out the potential transfer.

The report doesn’t mention which club made this approach.

However, they do explain Pino’s agents have maintained contacts with important Premier League sides.

The representatives have ‘seen with interest the possibility of starting talks for his signing’.

As per the AS report, EPM claim a deal Pino can happen for a fee of around €40-50m this summer.

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‘His composure belies his age’

Arsenal have (reportedly) picked out a superb target in Pino, one of the most talented youngsters in Spanish football.

He enjoyed a breakout campaign for the Spanish side last year, scoring six goals and adding four assists in 21 starts.

Pino also featured seven times as Unai Emery’s side reached the Champions League semi-finals.

He’s young, very talented, and has a fair bit of experience at the top level too.

Earlier this year, Squawka published a scouting report on Pino.

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‘Yeremi’s finishing is remarkable’, they wrote.

‘He has a natural ability to get himself into goalscoring positions through his movement and well-timed runs, and once he’s there, his composure belies his age.’

They also said Pino was ‘among the most prolific dribblers within Villarreal’s squad, and brings great value to Emery’s squad with that attribute and his blistering pace.

‘He is crucial in the transition, and that is why the former Arsenal coach has opted for Pino in games where the counter-attack has been crucial.’

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