Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta confirms move to Japan with Vissel Kobe

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Andres Iniesta.

Andres Iniesta looks set to join Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

The 34-year-old playmaker left Barcelona at the end of the Spanish season and has since been strongly linked with the J1 League club.

Iniesta wrote on Instagram on Wednesday: “Heading to my new home, with my friend @hiroshi.mikitani”

In the accompanying picture, Iniesta is shown on an aeroplane locking hands with Mikitani, who owns Vissel Kobe and is the founder and chief executive of e-commerce giant Rakuten.

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Antoine Griezmann would be a very good signing for Barcelona, says Jordi Alba

David Cooper 23/05/2018
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Jordi Alba has said it would be great of Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona.

The Atletico Madrid forward has been heavily linked to the Catalans with a summer transfer seemingly in the works.

“It depends on the clubs agreeing, and also on the player,” Alba said, according to Marca.

“I made the decision to go to the best club in the world but it took a lot of time for me to leave Valencia, where I was very comfortable,” the left-back recounted of his own transfer to the Camp Nou.

“I suppose he will have the same feelings, but any player wants to progress.”

Griezmann scored a brace as Atletico beat Marsielle to lift the Europa League last week and Alba is certain the Frenchman will boost an already potent Barca attack.

“He is a player who links well, who has an eye for goal and can play in several attacking positions.

“He would be a good signing for Barcelona.”

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Transfer Predictor: Matthijs de Ligt to Man City gets a 7, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Juventus is a 4

David Cooper 23/05/2018
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The Premier League transfer window is now open and the market in the rest of Europe will spark into life soon.

With the transfer rumours growing in pace and volume during this ‘silly season’, it can be difficult and painstaking to separate the stories of some legitimacy from the rest of the noise.

Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do it for you.

Below, you’ll find some of the latest transfer news churned out of the rumour mill broken down and analysed for your benefit along with our calculated predictions.

MATTHIJS DE LIGT – From Ajax to Man City

Manchester City are lining up a £50m (Dh 248.5m) bid for the Ajax star, according to the Guardian.

Why it will happen: With Vincent Kompany entering the final year of his contract, de Ligt is being viewed as a long-term successor to the Belgian’s reign as the fulcrum of the City defence. And with the potential to win silverware at the Etihad Stadium, it looks like a difficult move to turn down for the young Dutchman.

Why it won’t happen: With Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Kompany as frontline centre-backs, the youngster may opt against a move due to a potential lack of minutes next season.

Prediction: Ajax will want to keep their star man for another season, but de Ligt may feel now is the right time to move on from the Johan Cruijff Arena in a bid to further his development.

Rating – 7/10

SERGEJ MILINKOVIC-SAVIC – From Lazio to Juventus

Juventus have entered the race to sign the £80m-rated (Dh 397.5m) Lazio hitman, Tuttosport claims.

Why it will happen: Sergej has been in stunning form for Lazio this term and is eager for a new challenge. Juventus are desperate to add a star man to their ranks as they look to compete strongly in the Champions League.

Why it won’t happen: If the Serb is on the move, Manchester United would be his preferred destination. It is highly unlikely the Serie A champions will fork out a mammoth fee for his services.

Prediction: It can’t be ruled out but it’s very unlikely that Sergej would choose to go to another Serie A outfit, especially with the Red Devils reportedly on the brink of signing the player.

Rating – 4/10

22-year-old Milinkovic-Savic is a hot property in Serie A.

23-year-old Milinkovic-Savic is a hot property in Serie A.

SLAVISA JOKANOVIC – Fulham to Chelsea

The Fulham boss has been linked with the Chelsea manager’s job should Antonio Conte leave this summer, according to the Evening Standard.

Why it will happen: The Chelsea hierarchy have been impressed with the manner in which the Serb has revived Fulham’s fortunes and they are now on the brink of sealing a place in next season’s Premier League.

Why it won’t happen: Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique and Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri are also on the short-list to take over if Conte leaves West London.

Prediction: If the high wage demands of Enrique and Sarri prove a problem then expect Jokanovic to be in the hot seat at Stamford Bridge for the start of next season.

Rating – 6/10

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