Manchester City Nearing Deal for Valencia’s Ferran Torres

Ferran Torres is thisclose to heading to England.

Manchester City is close to agreeing a fee with Valencia for the 20-year-old Spanish professional footballer, according to ESPN.

Ferran Torres

Man City is set to pay €23 million plus add-ons for the right winger, a SpainUnder-21 international. Negotiations are ongoing but Manchester City is hopeful a deal will be concluded.

Torres was made a prime target for manager Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain following the sale of Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich.

Valencia has been resigned to losing Torres, who had just one year left on his contract. He has made 97 appearances for the La Liga side, scoring nine times. He has won six caps for Spain’s U21s.

Man City has moved quickly for Torres, who has also attracted interest from a host of Europe’s top clubs. Personal terms should not be a problem with Torres keen to link up with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

David Luiz Looking to Extend Contract with Arsenal

David Luiz could be staying put…

The 33-year-old Brazilian professional footballer’s future will be resolved this week with all parties working towards extending his stay at Arsenal, according to the player’s agent Kia Joorabchian.

David Luiz

Luiz’s existing agreement expires at the end of this month (June 30) having only signed a one-year contract when joining the club from Chelsea in an £8 million deal last summer.

The Gunners have an option to sign him for another year but a decision hasn’t been made yet and Luiz’s case wasn’t helped by a calamitous performance in Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

After being dropped from the starting lineup, Luiz came on as a first-half substitute for Pablo Mari, made a mistake for the opening goal and was then sent off for conceding a penalty, which Kevin De Bruyneconverted.

His appearance lasted 25 minutes. Afterwards, Luiz decided to conduct a live television interview in which he expressed his regret that his contract situation has not been resolved before now.

For players whose contracts expire this summer, the deadline to extend for the end of the 2019-20 season is June 23.

And Joorabchian hinted in an interview with talkSPORTon Thursday morning that the delay is linked to ongoing contractual negotiations with several other players including Mari, Cedric SoaresBukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who are about to enter the final year of their deals.

“The situation from Arsenal’s point of view will be resolved this week,” he said. “I think it’s just not Luiz’s situation. There are several issues within the whole structure that will get resolved. June 23 is the deadline for most of the clubs to renew their contracts so that they can finish the season off and beyond. So irrespective of any situation, by June 23 everyone’s situation should be resolved.

Juan Manuel Lillo Named Pep Guardiola’s Assistant at Manchester City

Juan Manuel Lillo is Pep’s Man (City)…

Manchester City has announced the 54-year-old  Spanish football manager’sappointment as Pep Guardiola‘s assistant.

Juan Manuel Lillo

Lillo replaces Mikel Artetawho left the Etihad Stadium to become Arsenal manager in December.

Lillo arrives from Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai having coached Guardiola during a spell in Mexico with Dorados Sinaloa in 2006.

Guadiola once called him the “best coach I ever had,” while Lillo has previously described the City boss as “one of the most important people in my life, like a son to me.”

“I am delighted to have joined Manchester City’s coaching staff,” Lillo said in a statement. “My relationship with Pep goes back many years and I am thrilled to be joining him as part of this exciting team.

“Manchester City has enjoyed much success over recent seasons and played a brand of beautiful football we have come to expect from this club and its manager.

“It’s a pleasure to become a part of this group and I hope to make an important contribution to the club’s success going forwards.”

Lillo became the youngest head coach in the Spanish top flight when he took UD Salamanca to the Primera Divisionin 1995 at the age of 29. He has had spells in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Japan and China, where he left Qingdao Huanghai due to the coronavirus pandemic after leading the team to promotion to the Chinese Super League.

“We are delighted to welcome Juanma to Manchester City,” director of football Txiki Begiristain said.

“His vast experience working across three continents and with some of the most famous names in world football will be an invaluable asset to Pep and his team. “We look forward to him playing a vital role as we return to football.”

Barcelona Expresses Interest in Eric Garcia

There’s growing interest in Eric Garcia… 

Futbol Club Barcelona has enquired about the 19-year-old Spanish footballer’s situation at Manchester City as they line up a potential move to bring the defender back to Camp Nou, according to ESPN.

Eric Garcia

Manchester City was quick to knock back Barca‘s initial approach, with high-ranking executives at the English club making it clear that Garcia isn’t for sale. 

Team manager Pep Guardiola is especially fond of Garcia and, while ManCity hope to sign a new centerback this summer, they also want to keep him involved as part of the first-team squad.

However, there is also an understanding at the club that the uncertainty over Guardiola’s long-term future could become a problem at some point. Players are also in the dark and with two years left on his contract, Garcia is in a strong negotiating position.

This provoked Barca to ask about his availability during recent talks between the two clubs regarding a possible swap deal involving right-backs Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo.

Garcia was considered one of the brightest prospects in Barca’s La Masia academy when he decided to leave in 2017 to join Premier League champions Manchester City,

Guardiola handed him his full debut in a League Cup game against Leicester in 2018 and he has made 11 appearances this season, starting twice in the league and once in the Champions League.

He’s also been capped five times by Spain under-21s and Barca have followed his development closely since he left three years ago.

A number of different sources at Barca said the club view Garcia as a “good fit” centerback for the team’s style of football. He was brought up on the club’s philosophy and one of his major strengths is his ability on the ball.

Barca, who missed out on Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus last summer, have been searching for a central defender for a long time as they contemplate a future without Gerard Pique, who turned 33 in February.

Manchester City’s reluctance to sell makes a move for Garcia this summer unlikely, especially as Barca expect to be less active in the transfer market due to the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on their budget. They will focus on their main target, Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, and will not have money left over to invest elsewhere.

But sources tell ESPN that Barca will not give up on Barcelona native Garcia in the long-term and will continue to monitor his situation as he moves into the final two years of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Pablo Mari to Join Arsenal on Loan

Pablo Mari is headed to Londontown…

The 26-year-old Spanish professional footballer, currently a central defender for the Brazilian club Flamengo, has agreed a move to Arsenal on loan until the end of the season, with the option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Pablo Mari

The move ends what turned out to be a topsy-turvy transfer deal that initally stalled and saw the defender return to Brazil.

The clubs seemingly agreed to the deal last weekend, with Mari traveling from Rio de Janeiro to London to undergo a medical and sign with the Premier Leagueside.

However, negotiations suffered a setback on Mondaywith Mari then returning to Brazil.

Mari put pressure on the Flamengo’s hierarchy to accept Arsenal’s offer and sources told ESPN the deal was never dead despite Flamengo putting out a statement criticizing Arsenal’s attitude.

Nonetheless, the deal now sees Mari reunite with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. Mari was on Manchester City‘s books between 2016 and 2019 — where Arteta served as an assistant for Pep Guardiola— but never actually played for the first team.

He’s due to return to London now that the deal is agreed and become Arteta’s first signing at Arsenal.

“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality,” Arsenal technical director Edusaid.

“We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season.

“Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”

Mikel Arteta Reportedly to be Named Next Arsenal FC Manager

Mikel Arteta could be leading the Arsenal Football Club in the near future…

The 37-year-old Spanish professional football coach and former player, the current Manchester City assistant, is set to be named the next Arsenal manager in the coming days, according to ESPN, despite the Etihad club’s disappointment with the way the Gunners have pursued their former club captain.

Mikel Arteta

Chief negotiator Huss Fahmyand managing director Vinai Venkateshamtraveled to Manchester after Arsenal’s defeat to City over the weekend and spent more than two hours at Arteta’s home in Cheshire, discussing the job.

Arteta was set to meet with Josh Kroenke, the son of owner Stan Kroenke, on Monday. The American was at the game on Sunday and was set to interview the Spaniard alongside Raul Sanllehi, the head of football at the club, and Venkatesham and Fahmy.

City have not yet received a formal approach for Arteta and were left bewildered by the images appearing to show the Sunday meeting at Arteta’s home. And sources have told ESPN that City bosses were surprised they were not approached for talks — either formal or informal — on Sunday despite spending the day at the Emirates, although they will not stand in the way of the Spaniard if he decides to take the job at the Emirates.

Should Arteta be offered the job and decide to succeed interim manager Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal would have to pay a substantial compensation fee, believed to be seven figures.

Arteta spent five years at the Emirates under Arsene Wenger(2011 to 2016) before spending the past three and a half years as Pep Guardiola‘s assistant at the Etihad. He has a contract with City until 2021 but is keen on rejoining Arsenal.

Arteta was nearly handed the job 18 months ago, but Unai Emerywas preferred by then-CEO Ivan Gazidis.

Freddie Ljungberg has been interim manager since the sacking of Emery last month, but the Swede, who pleaded with the club to resolve its manager situation quickly, has struggled to have an impact. The former Gunner could remain in Arteta’s staff, though, if the Spaniard does indeed replace him.

Arteta certainly lacks managerial experience, as he has never been in charge of a club’s first team, but he is highly thought of by the Arsenal hierarchy and by the people who have worked with him at Manchester City.The Gunners are in crisis at the moment with just one win in their past 12 matches in all competitions. Yet, they are still only seven points from fourth place in the table. and sources say Arteta believes he can turn things around once in charge.

Gabriel Jesus Leads Brazil to Copa America Title

Gabriel Jesus is being hailed a hero in his home country…

The 22-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, a forward for Premier League club Manchester City and the Brazil national team, scored and assisted on goals before being sent off in Brazil‘s 3-1 win over Peru in the Copa America final on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.

Gabriel Jesus

The hosts opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Jesus slipped past two defenders and crossed the ball for Everton to finish first time past Peru keeper Pedro Gallese.

The two teams traded goals right before halftime with Paolo Guerreroconverting a spot kick for Peru after Thiago Silva was whistled for handball and Jesus cooly finishing from the top of the penalty area to restore Brazil’s lead at 2-1 before the break.

Peru had not won this tournament since 1975 and they bounced back quickly with an equalizer a minute before halftime when Paolo Guerrero scored from the penalty spot after Silva was adjudged to have handled the ball.

The goal was the first Brazil had conceded in six games since the Copa America began.

Jesus was controversially sent off in the 70th minute for a foul on Carlos Zambrano with the Man Citystriker being shown his second yellow card and leaving Brazil to finish the match with 10 players.

“I want to apologize,” said Jesus. “I could have avoided it and I also need to grow up a lot.”

Despite being down a man, Brazil was still able to force the issue on the field and goalscorer Everton drew a penalty, which substitute Richarlison converted to give Brazil their ninth Copa America title and first major trophy since 2007.

Peru coach Ricardo Garecarecognized Brazil was the superior side but said his team, who played at their first World Cupin 36 years in 2018, were competitive throughout.

“It was fair that Brazil won,” he said. “We had our momentum but the second goal…

“They took advantage of their opportunities.

“We came here hoping to win but they were very effective,” he added. “But looking beyond the pain of the defeat, I think we are on the right path, that is the feeling that I have.”

An injured Neymar and his son sat close to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro among the crowd of nearly 70,000 at the Maracana as the Selecao secured a historic one for Brazil manager Tite, who becomes the first coach to oversee a win in the Copa America, the Copa Libertadores( Corinthians, 2012) and the Copa Sudamericana(Internacional, 2008).

Arteta Joins Coaching Staff at Manchester City

Mikel Arteta is headed back to the field in a new role…

The 34-year-old retired Spanish professional footballer, a former captain for the Arsenal Football Club, is joining Pep Guardiola‘s coaching staff at the Manchester City Football Club.

Mikel Arteta

The midfielder’s contract with Arsenal expired on June 30 after a five-year stint at the club, and he had already stated that he expected to take up a coaching role next season.

His move to Manchester City had been widely expected, with Guardiola keen on making him part of the new backroom staff at the Etihad as the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach prepares for his first season in the Premier League.

“The opportunity to join Pep Guardiola and his team was an amazing opportunity for me and I am incredibly excited for the future,” Arteta wrote in a statement he posted on social media.

Arteta captained Arsenal over the last two seasons but struggled with injuries over the last year and was rarely part of Arsene Wenger‘s first-team squad.

He came on as a late substitute for a farewell appearance in the final game of the Premier League season in May and was given a rousing send-off by the Emirates crowd.

He leaves the club having won two Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) titles, and also spent the last couple of years working on his coaching badges at Arsenal as he prepared for life after his playing career.

“Throughout my career I have always been interested in more than just the playing side and have had a passion for helping progress and develop the team outside of just my own role as a player,” Arteta said.

“Coaching has always been something I’ve been keen to go in to and over the past few years I’ve worked hard off the pitch as well as on it to develop my skills in order to put me in a position to be able to pursue a coaching role once I finished playing.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play under some amazing coaches and managers during my playing career and I hope to use elements of everything I’ve learnt from them as well as experience from my own playing career to help City achieve success.”

Robinho Reportedly Joining Chinese Club Guangzhou Evergrande

It looks like Robinho is headed to Asia…

The 31-year-old Brazilian soccer player, known for his ball control, attacking instinct and dribbling, is reportedly set to join former Seleção Brasileira de Futebol coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande, according to Brazilian media.

Robinho

The news comes as Robinho wrapped up his third spell at Santos Futebol Clube.

The former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan attacker, known for his elaborate stepovers, said he was hopeful of returning to Santos in the future after the club said they couldn’t afford to match the offers from overseas.

“Unfortunately it will not be possible to renew my contract. But Santos FC will always be in my heart,” Robinho said in a statement.

“FC Santos will go great, because it is above any player. I will try to remain happy doing what I like best, which is play football and hopefully one day return.”

Brazil media said Robinho, who was part of the Brazil side that exited the Copa America on Thursday following a quarterfinal penalty shootout defeat by Paraguay, would be joining four-times reigning Chinese champions Guangzhou.

The Chinese club appointed 2002 World Cup winning coach Scolari earlier this month after sacking Italian Fabio Cannavaro after less than half a season in charge.

Scolari has been quick to make changes and signed Brazilian midfielder Paulinho from English outfit Tottenham Hotspur on Monday for a reported fee of around $15 million.

Manchester United Agrees to Loan Deal with AS Monaco for Falcao

Radamel Falcao is the man(chester)

Manchester United has agreed to a loan deal with AS Monaco for the 28-year-old Colombian footballer, who also plays for the Colombia national football team.

 

Radamel Falcao

Falcao, who cost Monaco 60 million euros last summer, is set to join Louis van Gaal’s squad subject to a medical and terms, according to ESPN FC.

Falcao had also been a target of Real Madrid and had been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City.

His arrival will be one of two transfers United is expected to complete on deadline day, along with finalizing Daley Blind‘s move from Ajax.

Van Gaal had already brought in Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo and Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria.

European champion Madrid had been the favorite to sign Falcao, whose departure from Monaco seemed to be signaled when he was omitted from their squad to face Lille on Saturday.

Falcao, who missed the World Cup due to a cruciate ligament injury, scored 70 goals in 91 games for Atletico Madrid and 72 goals in 87 matches for Porto before joining Monaco.