Liverpool want January loan move for PSG star while Courtois is linked with Atletico

David Cooper 23/11/2017
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The transfer window may not open again until January 1 2018 but that hasn’t put an end to plenty of speculation throughout Europe.

Here, we take a look at three big stories dominating the headlines on Thursday.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts.

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JULIAN DRAXLER

Liverpool want to sign Julian Draxler on loan from PSG in January, according to L’Equipe.

The 24-year-old has been restricted to seven Ligue 1 starts this season with the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe pushing him further out of the first-team picture and a move away could be on the cards.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Jurgen Klopp is a known admirer having tried to sign Draxler before he signed for PSG. In a World Cup season a move for more first-team action would appeal although given the Reds’ wealth of options in attack you have to wonder where he fits into their starting XI.

Still, the 24-year-old has undoubted quality and will likely attract the attention of Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Arsenal should he become available so he won’t be short of options.

THIBAUT COURTOIS

Atletico Madrid are hoping they can bring back Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea if current No1 Jan Oblak departs next summer, according to AS.

Oblak has been linked with a move to Manchester United and should the goalkeeper merry-go-round see David De Gea leave for Real Madrid then Courtois could also be tempted in a return to Spain.

RATING: 5/10

VERDICT

Perhaps a perfect storm could be on the horizon with Courtois yet to sign an extension to a deal which expires in 2019 and Atletico at risk of losing Oblak.

Goalkeepers could dominate the headlines next summer with Man United’s De Gea a target for Real and Oblak linked to the Red Devils, but given Courtois’ importance to Chelsea and a lack of world-class alternatives on the market you would suspect he’s virtually unsellable.

Thibaut Courtois has been linked to a return to Atletico Madrid

Thibaut Courtois has been linked to a return to Atletico Madrid

MOUSSA DEMBELE 

Manchester United have held preliminary talks with Celtic as they explored the possibility of signing French striker Moussa Dembele last summer, according to L’Equipe.

The 21-year-old is one of the most in-demand young forwards in Europe and was reportedly set to move to Chelsea in the previous transfer window but for a late collapse on deadline day.

RATING: 5/10

VERDICT

After scoring against PSG it’s probably no surprise to see him linked with Europe’s big hitters once more and if United have already touched base with the Hoops then don’t be surprised if they reignite their interest in January.

It seems a matter of when, not if, he leaves the Scottish top flight and there will be a whole host of interested parties chasing his signature.

Dembele in action against PSG after Celtic were battered by the French giants

Dembele in action against PSG after Celtic were battered by the French giants

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A look at all every iteration of the iconic Predator boots as Paul Pogba launches the Predator 18+ 360

The adidas Predator is one of football's most iconic boots. Since the launch of the original in 1994, the Predator line has gone down in legend, being worn by some of football's finest operators, including Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, and Kaka.

It's graced the game's biggest occasions, making appearances in World Cup and Champions League finals - Zidane being the common thread, scoring twice in the 1998 World Cup final (with his head, it must be said) and netting his classic volley in the 2002 Champions League final, wearing a Predator both times.

The boot which is so steeped in modern football's history has just been given its latest avatar, with Paul Pogba launching the adidas Predator 18+ 360 on Wednesday. A new generation of players is set to write the latest chapter of the Predator story.

Including the 1994 original, this is the 13th release of the Predator, which comes with the famous tagline: 100% legal. 0% fair. Have a look at all of the iconic boots in our gallery above.

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Player Ratings as Ter Stegen proves again why he's one of world's best keepers

Alex Rea 23/11/2017
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Barcelona advanced to the Champions League last 16 after clinching top spot in Group D following a 0-0 draw against Juventus in Turin.

Last season’s finalists Juve remain second in the group, a point ahead of third-place Sporting Lisbon, and can secure their qualification with victory at Olympiakos on December 5.

Here are the player ratings from the Juventus Stadium.

JUVENTUS

Buffon 7 – Didn’t have many saves to make but was resolute when needed and kept a clean sheet in the week he celebrated 22 years as a professional.

Barzagli 7 – A performance of defensive rigour, good in the air and quick on the ground on his return to the starting XI.

Benatia 8 – These are the performances Juve fans want to see from the Moroccan who was consistently in the right place at the right time.

Rugani 7 – Crucial the 23-year-old gets big-game experience and this will do his development a world of good after a solid performance. 

Cuadrado 4 – Careless in possession a display littered with errors as he was completely nullified by the impressive Digne.   

Pjanic 6 – Busquets destroying him with a neat turn in the second-half probably best summed up his game. 

Khedira 4 – Have to wonder why he is in the team. Marchisio’s return to fitness should see him dropped because his marking and overall contribution was dire.

Alex Sandro 5 – Nowhere close to the monster form of last season as he committed foul after foul and offered very little going forward. 

Dybala 6 – Was desperately close to netting the winner late on but for a superb stop from ter Stegen.  

Douglas Costa 7 – Showed exactly why he deserves to be starting ahead of Mandzukic with his speed and direct mentality unsettling Semedo.   

Higuain 5 – Non-existent and barely had a touch with his lack of movement combining with little service for an abject display.

Costa was a standout for Juve on a dire night

Costa was a standout for Juve on a dire night

SUBS

Bentancur 6 

Marchisio 7

Matuidi 6

Messi battles for the ball with Bentancur and Marchisio (R)

Messi battles for the ball with Bentancur and Marchisio (R)

BARCELONA

Ter Stegen 8 – A German colossus, he made a couple of solid stops in the first half and then proved yet again why he’s one of the world’s best keepers to deny Dybala late on.

Nelson Semedo 7 – Another excellent game from one of Barca’s most consistent performers this season. 

Pique 7 – Higuain offered very little in their match-up but he won every duel with the Argentine. 

Umtiti 7 – Yet again the man to give Barca strength and structure at the back.

Digne 6 – Completely eliminated the threat of Cuadrado but going forward was poor, a dreadful attempted pass to Suarez in a good position a testament to that.

Rakitic 5 – Barca’s ability to get on the front foot was negated by Rakitic’s perpetually poor touches and unimaginative passing.

Busquets 7 – His schooling of Pjanic was sweet enough and kept his side calmly ticking over.

Iniesta 6 – The only real source of creative threat for Barca which is a concern given his advancing years.

Deulofeu 6 – Looked dangerous his decision making when in good areas let him down, just doesn’t seem to fit into Barca’s style.

Luis Suarez 6 – Close with a free-kick but still looks like he is missing some sharpness despite starting as the centre-forward.

Paulinho 6 – Valverde dropped Messi in favour of Paulinho for a more pragmatic approach but he did play with some enterprise.

Ter Stegen has been Barca's outstanding player this season

Ter Stegen has been Barca’s outstanding player this season

SUBS

Messi 7 

Alba 6

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