Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel has defended Ousmane Dembele’s decision to join Barcelona. Tuchel signed Dembele while managing the Bundesliga club and after an impressive debut season from the Frenchman things turned ugly when he forced through a move to Barcelona by going on strike.
Juventus are plotting a move which would see Leon Goretzka reunite with his former Schalke captain, Benedikt Howedes in Turin. The centre-back initially joined on loan to fill the void left by Leonardo Bonucci’s departure to AC Milan, but the deal includes an option to make the move permanently in the summer.
Goretzka, reportedly linked with Bayern Munich and Liverpool, has just 10 months remaining on his current deal and is free to negotiate a move in January. Juventus are looking to capitalise on this opportunity after missing out on Emre Can.
Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti believes his side were fortunate to miss out on some of their other targets after securing the services of Matias Vecino. The Uruguay international, who was on Tottenham’s radar in early June, arrived from Fiorentina that month for €24m (£22m).
And Spalletti, who only took over at the San Siro in the summer, has been full of praise for his new recruit, believing the club managed to bag themselves a bargain when compared to the fees quoted for Arturo Vidal, Naby Keita and Radja Nainggolan.
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Inter Milan are also plotting a January move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Lucas Moura. The Brazil international has dropped down the pecking order following the arrivals of Julian Draxler in January and then Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the summer. Inter want the Brazilian to provide the ammunition for Mauro Icardi at the San Siro.
Former Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli and Lionel Messi are under intense pressure from the Argentine public after the national side drew 1-1 with Ecuador to leave their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup hanging in the balance. Messi put in an underwhelming performance while Sampaoli’s tactics were heavily criticised.
Tottenham target Carles Alena has signed a new three-year deal with Barcelona which could be extended by a further two years if he breaks into the first-team at the Nou Camp. He does, however, have a release clause in his new deal which would allow him to move clubs if they were prepared to part with €75m (£68.7).
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Marseille’s highly-rated playmaker Maxime Lopez is being courted by Barcelona. Lopez has been likened to former Barcelona legend Xavi and is wanted by some of the best teams in Europe. It was reported that Liverpool spoke to him about succeeding Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho in their midfield.