Jurgen Klopp plays down Christian Pulisic to Liverpool talk despite interest in the teenager

David Cooper 22/07/2018
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Christian Pulisic.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed his admiration of Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic but denies plans of making a move for the teenage sensation.

The American prodigy has quickly become the face of the US national team and has been making waves in the Bundesliga.

Given that Klopp was in charge of Dortmund while Pulisic came through the youth ranks, the winger has regularly been linked with a move to Anfield since the German took over in Merseyside.

The Liverpool boss however believes a transfer away from Dortmund at this time would be a premature move for the budding star.

“He has a contract at Dortmund, no? That’s the first problem,” Klopp told a press conference

“I like Christian, I’ve known him since he was a kid. He’s still not really old, he’s a fantastic player, and it’s deserved people think highly of him in America.

“In Germany it’s the same. If he wants to play in England or whatever one day then for sure he has the chance to do so but he’s at a really good club for his development at this moment.

“It’s really good to be at a club where they know him already.”

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Why Inter Milan star Mauro Icardi is the perfect fit for Real Madrid

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Hotshot: Icardi.

The tremors can be felt across the football community. Real Madrid can’t simply part ways with the biggest star on the planet and carry on without a response.

The Champions League winners in four of the last five seasons, are primed to spend big and murmurs of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois’ arrivals have reverberated across the transfer market like a foreshock preceding an imminent earthquake.

It’s hard to see the Spanish giants stopping their though as the Chelsea and Belgium duo don’t replace the goalscoring contributions of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese’s €100 million transfer to Juventus demands the acquisition of a new striker and while bigger names have been touted, Mauro Icardi might be just the man for the job.

CLINICAL

Karim Benzema’s woeful return in recent years as Madrid’s first choice striker is well documented. When leading the line for an absolute powerhouse of a team which has dominated Europe, his tally of 12 goals across all competitions last season is unacceptable.

For Madrid fans who have grown increasingly frustrated with the misfiring Frenchman, Icardi would be a welcome change in that regard.

The Argentine is as clinical as they come, scoring 55 times over 77 appearances in the last two seasons at Inter Milan. Even more impressive is his conversion rate as he averaged just 1.83 shots per goal in Serie A last season.

NEW DYNAMIC

Benzema’s saving grace and the reason why Zinedine Zidane deemed him indispensable is his contribution to the team’s overall play.

While he may not be especially efficient in front of goal, his influence was in his movement off the ball, creating space for others, and linking up with his team-mates. He’s been largely credited for getting the best out of Ronaldo as well.

With the Portuguese gone though, it’s time for Madrid to go down a different path. Apart from his goalscoring, Icardi’s physicality is one of his chief assets.

Not only is he able to bully defences into submission, but his tenacity would bring a level of aggression to Madrid’s forward line which has been lacking during Benzema’s languid reign.

AGE 

Robert Lewandowski has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, but at this stage, his age is a big drawback. The Pole will be 30 next month and is unlikely to come cheaply.

Edinson Cavani is another one of Europe’s top marksmen to feature on Madrid’s radar. At 31 though, perhaps his best years are behind him as well.

Icardi on the other hand is only 25 and just entering the prime of his career – a frightening thought given his record over the past couple of seasons. He’s already shown plenty of maturity though as Inter’s captain and is unlikely to be daunted by such a high-profile move.

AVAILABILITY

In a perfect world of course Madrid would break the bank for Harry Kane. However, the World Cup Golden Boot winner committed his future to Tottenham ahead of the tournament in Russia having signed a new six-year deal.

With a release clause of €110 million, Icardi is still significantly cheaper than what the England skipper would’ve cost Los Blancos – not to mention the travails of negotiating with Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy.

The Argentine has plenty of years ahead of him to prove his worth in gold while the Serie A outfit appear resigned to losing their star striker.

Primed for a move: Mauro Icardi.

Primed for a move: Mauro Icardi.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

Despite his incredible form in recent times, Icardi still divides opinion among some sections of Inter’s support. His character has long since been in question, especially after he sparked controversy by marrying the ex-wife of international team-mate and friend Maxi Lopez.

The Argentine has had some run-ins with the Nerazzurri ultras as well, which is concerning given the Bernabeu faithful’s tendency to quickly turn on an under-performing player – something even Ronaldo couldn’t escape.

Icardi has also often been at loggerheads with his coaches and that’s where Julen Lopetegui may face an issue as well. The 25-year-old has only really taken to Luciano Spalletti, largely because both are aggressive and intense characters, and value those attributes.

The striker has rather surprisingly grown into a leading figure at Inter, suggesting that with the right management, he can produce his best without disruption.

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Man United to trigger Anthony Martial one-year extension despite player's desire to leave

David Cooper 22/07/2018
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The summer transfer window is open and across the globe there is a frenzy of speculation as players and coaches look for their next moves.

Activity has hit hyper-speed and numerous stories have got football fans talking.

Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen very soon.

Let us know your thoughts via Twitter and Facebook.

ANTHONY MARTIAL

Manchester United are set to exercise a one-year option on Anthony Martial’s contract, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The Frenchman has been angling for a move away from Old Trafford with his agent confirming the player’s desire to leave last month but the Red Devils are determined to keep him at the club.

“After thinking about all the factors and possibilities, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United,” Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley has said.

A lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho has left the 22-year-old frustrated with the likes of Tottenham interested in swooping in for his signature.

Anthony Martial.

Anthony Martial.

DOMAGOJ VIDA

West Ham United have been among the more active Premier League clubs in the transfer market this summer but have had their latest pursuit rebuffed.

Beskitas have turned down a £20 million bid from the Hammers for Domagoj Vida, according to Turkish outlet Aksam (H/T Sport Witness).

The versatile defender was one of the stars of Croatia’s incredible run to the finals of the World Cup in Russia where they eventually lost to France.

The Turkish outfit insist West Ham meet their asking price of £23 million for Vida with Liverpool and Everton also interested in the defender.

Domagoj Vida.

Domagoj Vida.

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