Barca target Anthony Martial
Barcelona reportedly plan to sign Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return fuelling their hopes.
Martial has enjoyed a stunning start to the new season for Manchester United, scoring five goals and weighing in with six assists.
However, despite his impressive form, the France international
continues to be overlooked for a starting berth by manager Jose
Arsenal have been tipped to sign him, with uncertainty still continuing
to surround wing wizard Alexis Sanchez.
But Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claim Barcelona have an
ambitious plan to sign Martial at the end of the season.
It is said they are monitoring the player’s situation with great
interest – and have liked what they have seen.
Real Madrid and Barcelona set for fight
Real Madrid are preparing for a transfer battle with Barcelona over one of the Catalan club’s top targets for next summer.
Barcelona are desperate to bring young recruits into the side to ensure they have the best Spanish talent in La Liga.
Their famed La Masia academy has dried up in recent years, with fewer and fewer graduates making it into Ernesto Valverde’s first team.
And Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo claim scouts have
earmarked two top talents to sign at the end of the season.
However, Real are also watching one of those prospects.
The player in question is Real Sociedad right-back Alvaro Odriozola.
Barca’s technical director Robert Fernandez is said to be a fan of
the 21-year-old, who can also play as a winger if required.
Odriozola only made his Sociedad debut last season but is now a
regular in their first team, making nine appearances this season and
his Spain debut in the 3-0 win over Albania on Friday night.
Mundo Deportivo claim Barcelona are aware of Real’s interest in
Odriozola, with Zinedine Zidane’s current right-back Dani Carvajal
Zidane has also supposedly lost patience with 18-year-old Achraf Hakimi, so a move for Odriozola makes sense.
Dybala is not for sale
Juventus chief Giuseppe Marotta insists Manchester United target Paulo Dybala is going nowhere.
Manchester United are said to be interested in Dybala, with reports in
Italy suggesting Mino Raiola attempted to become his agent in the
summer ti engineer a move to Old Trafford.
Raiola brokered United’s deals for the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Paul
Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sergio Romero.
But Juventus chief Marotta has dismissed claims that Dybala could
join former Juve team-mate Pogba at Old Trafford, claiming the
Argentina forward is more likely to pen a new deal.
“The lad is priceless, because we are not a selling club. I always
repeat that a player has his future in his hands and Paulo just said
he wants to tie himself to our club for life,” Marrotta said.
“Translated, that means we will make another big financial sacrifice
to keep him. We will soon lock him down to a new contract – it’s
what he asked us for.”
Luis Suarez will undergo knee surgery potentially ruling him out for two to three weeks, so who could start for Barcelona in his absence?
Suarez is set to undergo surgery on his knee next month, having
played through the pain since his return from an injury sustained
during the Spanish Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid.
Barcelona have identified the November international break as the
opportune moment for Suarez to go under the knife, with the Uruguayan needing treatment on a cyst.
The 30-year-old had postponed treatment following Ousmane Dembele’s hamstring injury, but will need the procedure if he is to
regain full fitness.
With both Suarez and Dembele out, the door is open for several
fringe players to make a name for themselves in the first team.
Reds won’t crumble
Liverpool will refuse to cave in and let Barcelona snatch Philippe Coutinho in January, according to reports.
Philippe Coutinho was the subject of intense interest from Barcelona
over the summer, but he ended up staying at Anfield.
Liverpool received and rejected bids, the last of which was £118million, and they dug their heels in over the Brazilian.
After missing the start of the campaign with a back injury, Coutinho’s reintegration into the first team has paid dividends, and he has scored two goals in three Premier League starts.
However, the Coutinho saga is far from over.
The Sunday Mirror report Barcelona are set to test the Reds’ resolve
with a fresh bid when the transfer window reopens in January.
It is suggested Coutinho is prepared to make his feelings clear and
he has supposedly stayed in touch with the officials of the La Liga
Nevertheless, it is claimed Liverpool refuse to crumble and won’t