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Manchester United and Chelsea ‘had talks over Erling Haaland transfer’ but two rivals lead race



Man United and Chelsea were involved in talks over a deal to sign Erling Haaland earlier in the season, according to reports.

But it’s now Man City and Real Madrid who are in pole position to sign the Norway international. Borussia Dortmund are bracing themselves for a potential exit, with the 21-year-old one of the hottest prospects in world football.

Manchester United had hoped to sign Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg back in the January transfer window of 2020.

However, they ultimately ended up missing out to Borussia Dortmund with the Red Devils unhappy at the financial demands of the striker’s controversial agent, Mino Raiola.

In recent weeks and months, amid a troublesome season for United, talk of them potentially signing Haaland has died down.

Yet Sport say they were involved in conversations with the striker’s entourage earlier in the campaign.

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Raiola and Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, visited various top-tier European clubs also including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Chelsea had designs on landing the 21-year-old back in the summer, with Thomas Tuchel a huge admirer.

Yet when it became clear Dortmund wouldn’t cash in on their prized asset, the Blues then proceeded to spend nearly £100million on Romelu Lukaku instead.

Chelsea’s current situation means it’s hard to imagine them landing Haaland at the end of the campaign, like United.

And both teams are now lagging behind Real Madrid and City when it comes to snaring the striker, who has scored 16 goals from 18 Bundesliga games this term.

Real’s priority is Paris Saint-Germain hitman Kylian Mbappe, who seems set to leave the Parc des Princes for free.

But they’re eyeing Haaland, too, and it’s feasible the duo will move to the Bernabeu and play alongside Karim Benzema up top.

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City lost Sergio Aguero last summer and failed to replace him, missing out on Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

Yet they’re now focused on Haaland instead, with the Dortmund star available for a fee close to £66million due to a clause in his contract.

City boss Pep Guardiola was recently asked about Haaland – but he made it clear he didn’t want to discuss the matter.

“Since I am here, every month or two months people say we are going to sign 50 players,” Guardiola said recently.

“Right now, listen, It’s impossible that I am going to talk about some guy who is not here.

“He’s a Dortmund player and we’ve an incredible run ahead of us.

“At the end of the season it is the transfer window and many things are going to happen.

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“Maybe I speak about this club needing a striker for the next five, six, seven years, maybe once in the last 12 months.

“I’m not going to be the guy saying we are a success or not a success because we didn’t have a striker.

“We have to play good and arrive with seven or eight players in the box. This is the best way to score goals.”

Haaland said in January that things would ‘start to happen’ now revolving his future, with Dortmund resigned to losing their star striker.

“The last six months I have chosen not to say anything out of respect for Dortmund, but now the club has started to press me into making a decision,” he said.

“All I want to do is play football.

“But they press me… about my future, so that means I have to make a decision soon.”



Barcelona youngster in line to bench Jordi Alba for Real Sociedad clash – report



As Barcelona drew 0-0 against Rayo Vallecano for the season opener, Jordi Alba was among the five to be substituted off to make way for offensive depth. The Spaniard is usually among the brightest offensive outlets in the team, but failed to make an impact last week.

Alba also looked out of his depth during pre-season, and it was reported that people within Barcelona were surprised that he started over Alejandro Balde.

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The 18-year-old was impressive during the run-up to the league opener, and was expected to take Alba’s place in the lineup.

While that did not happen vs Rayo, Javi Miguel reports that he is in line to start against Real Sociedad as the left-back. Xavi has informed Balde about his decision, and has told him to train with high intensity leading up to the game.

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Balde has been linked with an exit from Barcelona, especially given Marcos Alonso’s imminent arrival. However, an impressive performance at Anoeta could open the doors for his continuity.

The Chelsea defender has reportedly completed his move to Barcelona, subject to registrations and signatures. The club plan to announce it in the coming days if they are able to register Jules Kounde in time for the game.

Balde played in every single one of Barça’s pre-season fixtures, even registering an assist — to Raphinha —, against Inter Miami.

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Barcelona fans will hope the gamble pays dues, especially because it will likely not go down well with Alba, who is one of the team captains

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Barcelona yet to receive any offers for exit-bound right back, price tag sits at €20m



Barcelona are said to be pushing Sergino Dest towards an exit, but a recent report from journalist Adria Albets has confirmed that the player does not have any offer at the moment.

Regardless of what has been said in the past, neither have Manchester United tabled any formal offer for the right-back, nor have they made contacts with the 21-year-old’s representative.

For the moment, Barcelona are clear pretty clear about offloading Dest but in order to fulfil the operation, they are demanding in excess of €20 million.

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For that particular reason, his agents are finding it hard to find a suitor as no club is willing to match the valuation for a player who is already fallen down the pecking order.

Xavi has so far preferred to use make-shift centre-back, Ronald Araujo, as a full-back. And while the Uruguayan has done well at times, it’s pretty clear that the team is looking to bring in a full-time right-back this summer.

For that, several players such as Hector Bellerin, Juan Foyth, Diogo Dalot, Thomas Meunier and Jeremie Frimpong have been considered, but there remain several complications in carrying out the operation

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To begin with, Villarreal’s valuation of €42 million for Juan Foyth is proving to be a hindrance.

Barcelona are finding themselves in this situation mostly because their attempt to sign a certain Cesar Azpilicueta failed.

Meanwhile, as far as Dest is concerned, he knows in order to get regular minutes, he needs to move away from Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s asking price of €20 million is putting a stop to his desire.

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Manchester United were thought to be weighing up a fresh move worth €20 million for the defender, but the Premier League side is yet to make any formal move. Hence, the Dutch-born American defender continues to train within the Barcelona ranks for the time being.

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m



Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

Chelsea would reportedly prefer to sell Christian Pulisic rather than loan him out this summer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are interested in signing the 23-year-old Blues attacker on loan

is understood that Chelsea would rather offload the American on a permanent basis, though.

The report says they’ll listen to offers for Pulisic during the next couple of weeks, but want to recuperate the full £58million they paid for him a few years ago.

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With Chelsea demanding nearly £60million for the forward, will any club step forward with a bid?

Chelsea prefer to sell Pulisic

It makes little sense doing Man United a favour by sending them Pulisic on loan, so you can fully understand why a permanent transfer would make much more sense.

Described as a “huge talent” earlier this year by Gary Neville, Pulisic is a player that frustrates supporters at Stamford Bridge.

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The winger can produce moments of brilliance in the final third, but there’s no major consistency in his game.

He finished last season with eight goals and five assists in 38 matches across all competitions, which wasn’t a bad return considering he missed a couple of months with an ankle problem

However, the United States international can’t seem to become a real favourite under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

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His 2019/20 campaign is proof of what a talented player he can be.

The forward had 21 direct goal contributions in 34 Blues appearances, but it was a familiar case of injuries interrupting him whenever he builds up some momentum.

It would be quite a surprise if a clubs willing to fork out a near-£60million sum for him.

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