Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti moves into sights of Juventus

David Cooper 14/04/2019
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Juventus could take advantage of Samuel Umtiti’s uncertainty at Barcelona if they snap up coveted Ajax centre-back Mattijs de Ligt, according to reports.

Umtiti, 25, has endured a frustrating 2018/19. The World Cup 2018 winner with France faced a five-month spell out because of a knee problem and then lost his spot in the starting XI to uncapped countryman Clement Lenglet.

This situation could be further complicated this summer if, as expected, the La Liga champions win the €60 million battle to sign De Ligt.

Rai Sport have declared that Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici is contemplating an approach for the ex-Lyon defender. Umtiti signed a signed a contract extension in June 2018 until 2023 that contained a €500m release clause, plus a significant salary hike.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has also expressed an interest in signing him if a sale is countenanced by Barca during pre-season.

The Frenchman has scored twice in 95 appearances for Barca since a €25m move from Lyon in June 2016.

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How Juventus plan to land coveted Benfica starlet Joao Felix involves Paulo Dybala

David Cooper 13/04/2019
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Juventus would be prepared to cash-in on Argentina forward Paulo Dybala and fund a €100 million move for Benfica wonder kid Joao Felix, according to reports.

Felix, 19, has emerged as a breakout star in 2018/19 thanks to a staggering record of 15 goals and seven assists in 36 appearances. Scouts were wowed again on Thursday when the teenager excelled in a 4-2 quarter-final, first-leg victory versus Eintracht Frankfurt, becoming the Europa League’s youngest-ever hat-trick scorer.

Tuttosport have stated that the perennial Serie A champions have joined the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and the two Manchester giants in holding an interest in the youngster. In order to meet their valuation of him, that is €20m less than his €120m buyout clause, a sale of Dybala is being countenanced.

The attacker has scored 10 times in 37 matches for Juve this term, but has struggled for regular starts.

The 25-year-old does, however, retain a transfer valuation higher than Felix’s. If a buyer can be found, this cash would be funnelled into the chase for the Portugal Under-21 sensation.

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Lack of communication from the club major reason for Ander Herrera leaving Man United

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Manchester United‘s lack of communication with Ander Herrera has played a major part in the midfielder’s plans to leave Old Trafford at the end of his contract, Press Association Sport understands.

The 29-year-old has been with the Old Trafford giants since making a big-money switch from Athletic Bilbao in 2014, signing a four-year deal with the option of a further season.

United invoked that clause just before last year’s deadline but have failed to negotiate a new deal with the club’s 2016-17 player of the season, despite the midfielder’s initial, and long-standing, intention to stay beyond the summer.

Press Association Sport understands that communication lines went quiet for three months around the start of the year – an unsettling period in which Herrera is believed to have committed to Paris St Germain over another option.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as manager is understood to have brought about a renewed push from United to agree terms, but it looks to have been too little, too late – despite his current club being prepared to make an offer in excess of the wages reported.

This week Herrera was quoted by Diario ABC as saying that “Manchester and I are not thinking alike” at the moment, but his pledge to “listen to United” raises questions over the binding the nature of his commitment.

As it stands, though, the Spaniard will not be at Old Trafford next season, which would represent an unsatisfactory end to Herrera’s five-year stint at a club where he became a popular and influential figure.

The Spanish midfielder would join club captain Antonio Valencia in leaving United at the end of his contract, while it remains to be seen whether popular midfielder Juan Mata will agree a new deal with United.

The 30-year-old is attracting widespread interest but, like Herrera, there has been an impasse in negotiations.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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