16 June 2023

Round up of latest top football stories

16 June 2023

Liverpool have initiated talks with Nice to sign Newcastle United target Khephren Thuram. The 22-year-old midfielder, valued at £51 million, reportedly prefers a move to Anfield and has allegedly agreed personal terms. However, Liverpool deny these claims. Nice hope to attract other clubs, such as Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain, to increase the final selling price. Thuram, who earned his first senior France call-up in March, has two years left on his current contract and scored two goals in 48 appearances for Nice in the 2022-23 season.

Evan Ndicka has agreed to join Italian football team, Roma, after rejecting a new contract with Eintracht Frankfurt. The 23-year-old French defender will depart Frankfurt on July 1 when his contract expires. Ndicka was previously linked with a £20 million move to the Premier League, with clubs like Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Manchester United showing interest. However, Roma have secured Ndicka on a free transfer, making him their second signing of the summer following Houssem Aouar from Lyon.

The 2023 summer transfer window has commenced, with several deals already finalised in the Scottish Premiership and more anticipated in the following weeks. Over the past five seasons, major transactions involving Celtic and Rangers have led to significant transfer fees, resulting in either net profit or loss. This article compares the net spend of these two Glasgow clubs with the other ten Scottish Premiership sides from the 2022/23 season.

Arsenal midfielder Matt Smith has confirmed his departure from the club after 16 years. The 23-year-old, who spent time on loan at Swindon Town, Charlton Athletic, and Doncaster Rovers, leaves without making a senior appearance for the Gunners. Smith was part of the 2022/23 Europa League squad and expressed gratitude to the club on Instagram. In addition, winger Joel Ideho will also leave Arsenal, as the club decided not to extend his contract due to the size of their current academy squad.

Liverpool are seeking a versatile, young, and possibly left-footed centre-back to strengthen their defence, with candidates such as Chelsea's Levi Colwill and Wolfsburg's Micky van de Veen among those linked. The Reds have previously rebuilt their midfield, welcoming Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister. Manager Jurgen Klopp acknowledges the rarity and premium of left-sided centre-backs, having signed only one left-footed player during his time at Anfield: Ragnar Klavan. With Trent Alexander-Arnold moving into midfield and Andy Robertson taking on a more defensive role, a left-footed central defender could prove essential for the team's balance and build-up play.

The Premier League fixtures have been unveiled, and fans eagerly discuss the fate of their clubs in the 2023/24 season. Burnley, Sheffield United, and Luton Town have been promoted from the Championship, replacing Leicester City, Leeds United, and Southampton. Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers aim for progress under new managers, and Tottenham and Chelsea hope to reclaim European spots. Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United face challenges in juggling Europa League and Premier League commitments. Odds from Sky Bet suggest a closely contested season at both ends of the table.

Former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani is likely to become the new owner of the club, with an announcement expected within days or even hours. Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the owner of INEOS, have publicly bid for the club after the Glazers expressed their intention to seek outside investment in November. A Qatar news organisation owned by Sheikh Jassim's father reported his bid as successful earlier this week, and Ferdinand has confirmed this claim, saying the takeover could be completed imminently.

Arsenal starlet Ismail Oulad M'Hand is on the verge of signing his first professional contract with the club, according to LondonWorld. The 18-year-old midfielder, who joined the Gunners on a scholarship deal in January 2021 from Feyenoord, is the younger brother of Salah-Eddine, another promising talent expected to feature in Arsenal's pre-season tour. Meanwhile, defender Omar Rekik is set to go out on loan, while winger Joel Ideho has been released by the club after they decided against extending his contract due to the academy's sizeable player roster.

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez is reportedly targeted by Saudi Pro League clubs backed by Newcastle United's majority owners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF). Following PIF's acquisition of stakes in Al Ahli, Al Nassr, Al Hilal, and Al Ittihad, several iconic players have been approached, including Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims that Al Ahli have submitted an official contract offer for Mahrez, who is under contract at the Etihad Stadium until 2025. Other Premier League stars like Paul Pogba and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang have also received offers from Saudi Pro League clubs.

Bristol Rovers are set to make transfers now that the summer window is open. With up to five new signings anticipated by Joey Barton, the team is likely to strengthen its roster. Former Bristol City defender James Wilson is expected to sign with Rovers and potentially take on the captaincy. Meanwhile, former Rovers striker Brett Pitman has joined Shaftesbury, and Jake Gosling has moved to National League North team Rushall Olympic after leaving Bristol Manor Farm.

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