Chelsea & Benfica Remain Locked In Talks Over Enzo Fernandez

The fight is on for Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea and Benfica remain locked in talks over what could turn into a British record transfer fee for the 21-year-old Argentina midfielder, according to ESPN.

Enzo FernandezFernandez is keen on moving to Stamford Bridge and Benfica are willing to agree to the move if their €120 million release clause is met in full.

Negotiations are ongoing amid conflicting messages from sources close to both clubs. Those close to Benfica suggest Chelsea have indicated they could pay up to €127m, with the extra money designed to entice the Portuguese club into accepting a series of installments over several years.

However, sources with knowledge of Chelsea’s position insist they are yet to commit themselves to such a sum and are hoping to negotiate Benfica down to a lower figure. Payments are likely to be staggered in any agreement that is reached.

This is a common occurrence in many transfers but while Chelsea are confident they have significant headroom regarding UEFA‘s Financial Fair Play rules, the club have plans to continue an expensive overhaul after committing £278.4m in the summer.

A lower initial fee for Fernandez would give them more space to move on other deals, the first of which is likely to be the imminent €37m signing of Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile.

The British transfer record is £100m, paid by Manchester City to Aston Villa for Jack Grealish in 2021.

Chelsea’s interest in Fernandez is genuine and he is their top midfield target in this window. The club have engaged the services of agent Jorge Mendes in an effort to broker an agreement.

Sources have told ESPN that Fernandez is hopeful of completing a transfer to Chelsea this month with personal terms not thought to be an issue if the two clubs can finalize a fee.

Real Madrid Has Agreed to Sign Endrick on Five-Year Contract from Palmeiras

Things are about to get Real for Endrick

Real Madrid has agreed a deal to sign the 16-year-old Brazilian soccer wonderkid on a five-year contract from Palmeiras, according to ESPN.

Endrick,Sources said the transfer is worth €72 million, although Endrick will only be able to move to Madrid in 2024, when he turns 18. The deal will begin when the transfer window opens in July 2024, according to sources.

The official announcement depends on Endrick signing the contract and other details thought to be formalities, given both sides have reached an agreement on the terms of the transfer.

Endrick’s release clause was set at €60m, and sources said Real Madrid added €12m to that figure to ward off competition from other clubs and account for taxes.

Sources had told ESPN the forward was being pursued by Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, but the 14-time Champions League winners now appear to have won the race for his signature.

ESPN previously reported that Real Madrid were using a similar strategy to the one which helped them sign Vinicius Junior in 2017 to incorporate another young Brazilian into their squad.

Endrick only made his senior Palmeiras debut on October 6 but helped the Sao Paulo team win this year’s Brasileirao title and became the youngest goal scorer in the club’s history when he scored twice against Athletico Paranaense on October 25.

Several European Soccer Clubs Vying for Brazilian Wonderkid Endrick

He’s still a teenager, but Endrick could be playing soccer in Europe soon…

Paris Saint-Germain has made a €45 million offer for the 16-year-old Palmeiras teenager, but the Brazilian team swiftly dismissed the proposal for the forward, according to ESPN Brazil sources.

Endrick, In a meeting with the player’s agents, the Ligue 1 champions said they were willing to extend the negotiations and meet the player’s release clause of €60 million, sources said.

PSG has been in contact with Endrick’s family for some time and have enlisted their Brazilian forward Neymar to reach out to him. The French giants are confident of getting a deal over the line, sources added.

Chelsea is another team that have been following Endrick’s development and showed interest in matching the €60 million price for the Brazilian wonderkid.

Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea has hosted the player and his family at the club’s training ground, with the Blues’ Brazilian defender Thiago Silva invited to meet his compatriot and convince him to move to London.

People close to Endrick tell ESPN that the final decision will rest with the player and that his dream is to play in the Premier League.

“I don’t pay attention to rumors, I know that to play in Europe, I have to perform well here,” Endrick said this week to the French website So Foot.

“I watch the Champions League, the Premier League, LaLiga, the French championship, the Bundesliga. I look to learn from these stars and see what I can imitate, but I don’t have a favorite club.”

Sources told ESPN that Real Madrid and Barcelona also showed interest in acquiring Endrick and may intensify their pursuits in the coming days.

Endrick could only go to Europe in 2024 when he turns 18. His contract with the Brazilian champions runs until 2025.

Since his debut with Palmeiras on October 6, Endrick has scored three goals and provided one assist in six matches, helping the Sao Paulo team win the 2022 Brasileirao title.

Aged 16 years, three months and four days, he became the youngest goal-scorer in Palmeiras history when scoring twice against Athletico Paranaense on October 25.

Alexia Putellas Wins Ballon d’Or Feminin for Second Consecutive Year

Alexia Putellas has earned a place in soccer history…

The 28-year-old Spanish professional footballer and Barcelona midfielder has won the Ballon d’Or Feminin for the second consecutive year, becoming the first woman to win the award twice since it launched in 2018.

Alexia PutellasPutellas was named the best women’s player in the world at the Monday gala in Paris despite being sidelined since June with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. 

She finished ahead of Arsenal‘s Beth Mead and Chelsea‘s Sam Kerr, who were second and third, respectively.

“Without my teammates this would not have been possible,” Putellas said after receiving the award. “I want to thank the staff and the coach and everyone involved at Barcelona.

“I’m very happy to be back here and pleased because a year ago I was able to win this prize and it pushed me to want to be even better.”

Prior to her injury in the summer, Putellas captained Barcelona to a third successive Primera Division title. The Catalan side made history by winning all 30 of their league games throughout the 2021-22 campaign.

She also led Barcelona to success in the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa de la Reina to complete a domestic treble, although they came up short in the Champions League.

Putellas’ strike in the final was not enough to stop French side Lyon from beating Barcelona 3-1 in Turin.

However, after scoring 11 goals in the Champions League, more than any other player in the competition, Putellas was later named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year ahead of Mead and Lena Oberdorf.

In addition to those 11 goals in Europe, she scored 18 league goals from midfield, four in the Copa de la Reina and one in the Super Cup.

Putellas had hoped success would follow for Spain in the summer, but she tore her left ACL in training with the national team ahead of the European Championship in England.

She has not played since and is expected to remain out of action for several more months.

Last year, Putellas became the first Spanish winner of a Ballon d’Or since Luis Suarez in 1960. She was also named the Best FIFA Women’s Player.

The Ballon d’Or Feminin was launched in 2018 when it was won by Lyon’s Ada HegerbergMegan Rapinoe won it the following year before it was suspended in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Thiago Silva Hints at Future AC Milan Coaching Job, But Not Before Clarifying Chelsea Future

Thiago Silva is hinting at future coaching career…

The 38-year-old Brazilian professional footballer has said he would consider managing AC Milan one day. But right now he’s more concerned about his Chelsea future.

Thiago SilvaSilva’s contract expires at the end of the season and it is unclear whether Silva will be offered the chance to extend his stay after moving to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.

Silva previously spent three years at AC Milan between 2009 and 2012, where he won one Serie A title and an Italian Super Cup.

Speaking on Monday ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash against the Rossoneri, the centerback was asked about a possible return to San Siro and said: “I can tell you that I already made my history here at AC Milan, so I believe this is not the case at the moment.

“If it could happen at any case, it would have been before me joining Chelsea. But I don’t know about the future. Who knows what will happen in the future, we’ll have to see. But I am very happy now to be at Chelsea, a very big club, great professionals. In the future, we will see. Maybe the coach? Who knows?”

New head coach Graham Potter suggested “the decision is Thiago’s” over whether he signs a new deal with Chelsea. Potter has started the Brazil international in three of his four matches since succeeding Thomas Tuchel as head coach.

“It is probably not the right time to talk about new contracts,” Silva added. “What I can tell you is that the most important thing for me now is to continue playing at a high level and helping the team achieve the best possible results.

“For sure there will be the time where we need to talk. It could be before the World Cup or after the World Cup.

“Of course I need to know whether I will have a new contract with Chelsea, also for my family arrangements. It is not easy if I don’t have a new contract — I will have to decide what to do. I must involve my family. This is an important decision and so we will see what will happen.”

Potter also revealed that N’Golo Kante has suffered a fresh setback in his bid to recover from a hamstring problem and will miss Tuesday’s game against Milan.

Kante has not featured since the Blues’ 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on August 14.

“[On] N’Golo, we’re just waiting,” Potter said. “He had a reaction in training. So we’re just waiting for the news of that.

“It’s not ideal. It’s disappointing for him and us, but we have to wait and see the extent of it and go from there.”

Kante’s fitness is also a concern for France ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, which starts on November 20 and will see Didier Deschamps‘ defending champions compete against Australia, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.

Bayer Leverkusen Considering Xabi Alonso for Manager Role

Xabi Alonso may be headed to Germany…

Bayer Leverkusen is considering firing current manager Gerardo Seoane and looking to appoint the 40-year-old Spanish football manager and former professional player as his replacement, according to ESPN.

Xabi AlonsoSeoane will be in charge for Leverkusen’s Champions League Group B game with FC Porto on Tuesday, but his future is uncertain after a poor start to the Bundesliga season with the club sitting 17th after picking up five points from eight games.

Alonso has been out of work since leaving Real Sociedad B in May after a successful three years in charge.

Sources told ESPN that he would welcome the challenge of turning around Leverkusen’s season.

Seoane managed Leverkusen to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga in his debut campaign last year, qualifying for the Champions League, but they have struggled so far this season.

Sources told ESPN that Alonso has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Seoane over the last week.

Germany’s Sport1 reported that Leverkusen had contacted Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked by Chelsea last month, but the former Borussia Dortmund coach turned down the approach.

Alonso is highly rated as a managerial prospect. He starred as a player for Real SociedadLiverpoolReal Madrid and Bayern Munich before retiring in 2017.

He began his coaching career with Real Madrid’s academy before taking over Sociedad’s B team in 2019, leading them to promotion to the Second Division in 2021 for the first time in 60 years before departing this summer.

Sociedad had been keen to keep him on board as a potential future first-team manager, but the performance of Imanol Alguacil in the role meant that was not an option in the short-term, and Alonso preferred to seek a new opportunity.

Chelsea Reportedly Submit €50 Million Bid for Ajax’s Edson Alvarez

Edson Alvarez could be heading to

Chelsea have made a €50million bid for the 24-year-old Mexican professional footballer, a midfielder for Ajax and Mexico, according to ESPN sources.

Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel is thought to be concerned about the club’s midfield options in the wake of Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Southampton and nagging injury concerns over key midfielder N’Golo Kante, who is set to be sidelined for around a month with a hamstring problem.

Sources have told ESPN that Ajax are under no pressure to sell having already allowed AntonyLisandro MartinezSebastien HallerRyan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui to leave the club in the summer transfer window.

Chelsea were keen on a move for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong but the Dutchman has so far shown no interest in leaving Camp Nou.

The Blues are mindful that both N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who has endured a difficult start to the season, have less than a year remaining on their current deals and believe Alvarez could be a long-term solution.

The transfer window in the Netherlands also closes 24 hours earlier than most of Europe due to an administrative error made by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) meaning less time is available to complete a deal.

Gio Reyna & His U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team Mates to Be Subject of World Cup-Themed Docuseries

Gio Reyna’s World Cup preparations are headed to the small screen…

The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) will be the subject of a new documentary series as they gear up for the international soccer competition featuring the 19-year-old half-Argentine American soccer player and his teammates.

Giovanni Reyna Park Stories and H.wood Media have teamed up with the U.S. Soccer Federation and Soccer United Marketing on the untitled all-access docuseries.

The series is expected to launch on a streamer around the Qatar World Cup in November.

The series will bring fans into the locker room and visit the players in their hometowns as they prepare for the tournament.

The team is competing in its first World Cup since 2014 and has an exciting team of youngsters including Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, JuventusWeston McKennie, Barcelona’s Sergiño Dest and Borussia Dortmund’s Reyna.

Led by head coach Gregg Berhalter, the first person in U.S. history to represent the country at the World Cup as a player and a head coach, the team will fight it out against England, Wales and Iran in the group stages.

They kick off against Gareth Bale-led Wales on November 21 before facing Euros finalists England on the day after Thanksgiving before competing against Iran on November 29.

The games will air on Fox and Telemundo.

The docuseries is exec produced by Rand Getlin and Janina Pelayo for Park Stories, and John Terzian, Jeremy Allen and Brian Toll are producing for H.wood Media.

The show is directed by Getlin and Luke Korver, and Nikle Guzijan will co-produce.

“Five billion people are projected to tune in for the 2022 World Cup, and this team has the potential to impact each of them in profoundly transformative ways,” said directors Getlin and Korver. “We know it starts with their play on the field, but we’re most excited for viewers to see them as sons, brothers, fathers and leaders who care deeply about their loved ones and bringing the world closer together.”

After representing the United States at several youth levels, Reyna received his first call up to the senior United States squad for matches against Wales and Panama in November 2020.. On November 12, 2020, a day before his 18th birthday, Reyna made his senior national team debut against Wales. In the following game, a 6–2 friendly victory over Panama, Reyna started and scored his first senior goal directly from a free kick.

Cesar Azpilicueta Extends Chelsea FC Contract for Two More Years

Cesar Azpilicueta is staying put…

The 32-year-old Spanish soccer player has decided to extend his contract with Chelsea for another two years instead of moving to FC Barcelona.

Cesar Azpilicueta ESPN sources report that the Spain international reached an agreement to join Barcelona a few months ago but negotiations between both clubs stalled more than expected and Azpilicueta has opted to stay at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta had been hoping to resolve his future before Chelsea’s Premier League opening game at Everton on Saturday.

He has already informed Barca of his decision and signed a contract extension with the London club for the next two seasons.

“I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home,” Azpilicueta said ion Chelsea’s announcement. “It is almost 10 years since I first arrived and joined the club so I really feel the love and I am really excited for the new project we have in our hands.

“I would like to say thank you to [chairman and co-controlling owner] Mr Todd [Boehly] and [co-controlling owner] Mr Behdad [Eghbali] for giving me the opportunity to keep my journey at this amazing club and I am really looking forward to continuing our adventure. I am a really proud captain and I hope we can share many good memories together.”

Manager Thomas Tuchel wasn’t keen on letting his captain leave this summer and new owner Boehly stood by his wish, according to ESPN.

According to sources, Tuchel sees Azpilicueta as a key member in the dressing room and his presence brings stability amid upheaval at Chelsea in recent months.

“We are so happy that Cesar is staying at Chelsea for a minimum of two more years,” Boehly said. “We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment and leadership yet again. There is still so much to do together.”

ESPN reported in November that Xavi told Barca to sign Azpilicueta to strengthen his defensive options.

Barca obliged and reached a verbal agreement for the defender to move to Camp Nou as a free agent. However, an appearance-related clause triggered an automatic one-year extension for the player at the end of the season.

Xavi was so interested in bringing the defender to the club that Barca were ready to pay a small fee to Chelsea to sign Azpilicueta. But the LaLiga giants prioritiszed other signings and decided to delay their pursuit of Chelsea’s captain.

Cesc Fabregas Signs with Italian Club Como

Cesc Fabregas is Italy bound…

The 35-year-old Spanish professional footballer has signed a two-year deal with second-tier Italian club Como.

Cesc FabregasThe former Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder, an ex-Spain international, became a free agent after his release from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in the close season.

Como finished 13th in Serie B last season following their promotion from the third tier in 2020-21.

They announced Fabregas’ arrival in a video on Instagram with the caption: “All the rumours are true, yeah.”

Speaking at his presentation on Monday, Fabregas said: “The MLS was not part of my plans. I wanted to remain in Europe and I believe this is the right project for me.

“I wasn’t interested in money, I wanted to join a long-term project that I would be enthusiastic about. I’m very ambitious and I would like to help Como return to where it deserves, that is in Serie A. I’m here to play and to win games. I see a long-term future with this club.

“Como offered me not just a two-year contract as a player but a long-term project. Last season at Monaco was rather difficult but the past is in the past and now I’m looking ahead. The important thing is that I’m here. I’m not only here to play but to give a helping hand off the pitch in what will be a long-term project.”

Fabregas was part of Spain’s World Cup-winning team in 2010 and won the Premier League twice with Chelsea.

Como club administrator Dennis Wise added: “Cesc will be a part of this club long term. I believe it’s a great signing. It’s not just a two-year contract as a player, as Cesc will become a Como shareholder.”