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Man United can hijack Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea dream to resolve Anthony Martial headache



Barcelona has reportedly told Ousmane Dembele that he would be sold this month after refusing to come to the table over a contract extension.

Barcelona has public financial problems, most recently shown by their inability to register Ferran Torres after moving from Manchester City to the Spanish club.

Hence, it seems they want to secure a fee for Dembele before his contract expires in the summer and also get his wages off their books.

As reported by Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona’s Director of Football Mateu Alemany, announced: “It’s clear that Dembele does not want to continue with Barcelona. He doesn’t want to be part of our project. We told Dembele he has to leave immediately. We expect Ousmane to be sold before January 31st.”

As reported by Carefree Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has long been an admirer of the player so that the London club could be seen as a potential destination for the French winger.

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The former Borussia Dortmund coach said of the player before the Champions League final when he was asked who is one of the most talented players he’s ever managed: “One of the first names that pops into my mind is Ousmane Dembele when he stepped in at Dortmund. Like that was a pretty natural talent and very, very outstanding.”

“Dembele was of the craziest natural talents because he was shooting free-kicks with the left, shooting corners with the left. Going to the other corners doing the inswing with the right. Going to penalties, shooting with left, shooting with right, dribbling, running, passing.”

But if Dembele is available, should Manchester United be doing more to sign him and could a swap deal involving Anthony Martial be possible?

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Now it’s clear neither French winger wants to be at their respective clubs nor suits how either manager wants their forwards to play, but if you reverse their roles, they are much better fits.

Martial likes to be more involved in the build-up and interplay, coming narrow to receive the ball and then quickly play it off before finding more space on the pitch. It’s why he thrived in the ‘number nine’ role in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fluid attacking unit originally at United.

Dembele is a classic winger; he likes to stay wide and take on defenders before playing it into the box for other attackers to get onto the end of. This would offer another option to solve Ralf Rangnick’s creative headache.

Dembele has two glaring issues: his injury record and his potential wage demands.

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Dembele has missed 102 club games in his career through injury, and 14 of those games are just this year, showing how it is an ongoing problem for the forward to stay fit. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best player in the world if you’re never available, so United will have to gain assurance that he can improve this record.

There is also the issue of wages, and given that United are trying to offload the £250k a week wage packet of Martial, signing a player who could potentially want more might be seen as a problem.

Overall, the Dembele question boils down to whether he improves United on the pitch, and can he be an option for Rangnick and whoever United’s next permanent manager is? If the answer is yes, maybe it would be worth considering a move.


Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend



Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

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With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.


Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

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Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

See also  Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann ‘chooses next club’ amid Man Utd and Chelsea interest


The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker



Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

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However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

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The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

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It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

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And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

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Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

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The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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