Krzysztof Piatek aiming to be worth €70m by the time he leaves AC Milan

Krzysztof Piatek is determined to double in value during his time at AC Milan, despite a difficult start to the 2019-20 season

AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek wants to be worth as much as €70million by the time he eventually leaves the club.

Piatek signed for Milan in January after enjoying an extraordinary start to life in Serie A at Genoa.

The Poland striker scored 13 league goals in 19 appearances during the first half of the 2018-19 season, leading to a big-money move for a reported fee of €35m.

He had no trouble maintaining his form following his switch to San Siro – scoring a further nine league goals – but has failed to recapture those levels so far this campaign, netting just three times.

However, Piatek remains confident in his ability to succeed with the Rossoneri.

“When I moved to Milan it all happened so fast that I didn’t even ask questions,” the 24-year-old, who scored in Poland’s 2-1 win over Israel on Saturday, told television channel TVP Sport.

 

“I was focused on work, in football yes, it’s always about setting new goals. Now I’m worth €38m, the next time I change clubs, I’d like to be worth €60-70m.

“I have to be ambitious, I’ll work for it, I’m at the beginning of my career, it’s only my second season in Serie A, one of the top five leagues [in Europe].”

Piatek also believes the reaction of the Italian press to his loss of form has made matters more difficult at Milan, who sacked coach Marco Giampaolo earlier in the season and currently languish down in 14th place in the table.

“I look in the mirror and look for the blame inside of me. At the beginning, as a team, we didn’t create so many opportunities. We’re improving, I’m going to score again,” he said during the interview.

“For Italian journalists, one day you’re the soccer pope and the next day you’re the worst player.

“I accept it. Nobody put themselves in my shoes, the covers of the newspapers don’t impact me.”

Gladbach star Denis Zakaria won’t leave in January amid United & Inter links – agent

Defensive midfielder Denis Zakaria, 22, has no plans to leave Borussia Monchengladbach before the end of the season.

Borussia Monchengladbach star Denis Zakaria will not be leaving the Bundesliga leaders in January, according to his agent.

Zakaria has been linked with Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, as well as Serie A side Inter and German champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

But the 22-year-old defensive midfielder has no plans to leave Gladbach before the end of the season.

“Denis will not leave Borussia in the winter, a change is 100 per cent excluded,” Mathieu Beda told Sport BILD.

“Denis is in very good shape in Gladbach and has been playing really well for weeks, but he still has more potential and he wants to show that in Gladbach now instead of dealing with a change.”

Switzerland international Zakaria swapped Young Boys for Monchengladbach in 2017.

Zakaria has scored two goals in 11 matches as Gladbach top the Bundesliga table by four points during the international break.

Reports: Blow for Manchester United as Real Madrid, Barcelona join race for Serie A star

Reports: Manchester United fans demand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sign top target in January

Several areas of concern remain for Manchester United despite a big spending spree in the summer. The Red Devils have already lost four of their twelve matches in the league and are outside the top four spots. The English giants had pinned down one player as a potential target but now might face difficulties in signing him as Real Madrid and Barcelona have entered the race. 

According to a report by Corriere dello Sport, via Mirror, Real Madrid and Barcelona have joined Manchester United in the race for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar. The Red Devils were reportedly keeping tabs on the Slovakian centre-back this summer and even had a bid rejected in the region of £50 Million before they decided to sign Harry Maguire.

Now, both Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are also after his services, as they look to replace key parts of their backline. While Los Blancos are looking for a long-term replacement for captain Sergio Ramos, the Blaugrana are hoping to replace Samuel Umtiti.

However, signing Skriniar won’t be easy for any interested club. The Inter Milan star recently signed a new long-term contract and is a key part of Antonio Conte’s side. He has started every game for the Nerazzurri so far in the domestic league and the UEFA Champions League.

Reports: Chelsea enter race for £70 Million rated Brazilian wonder-kid

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard

There might just be light at the end of the tunnel for Chelsea FC, with Court of Arbitration for Sports set to hear their appeal regarding a transfer ban. The Blues will appear in front of the CAS on November 20 and will hope to get a verdict before the January window begins. They have identified a player to sign as well, should the ban be lifted. 

According to a report by Express, Chelsea FC have entered the race for Brazilian wonder-kid Reinier Jesus. The 17-year-old is the latest South American talent to create waves with his displays, with top European clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, vying for his signature.

The report states that the Blues have identified the youngster as one of their top targets, as they look to add squad depth and prepare for the eventual departures of Pedro and Willian. However, they must hope that their transfer embargo is lifted in time for the January window before they can make an official move. If the rumours are to be believed, Flamengo will ask any interested club £60-£70 Million for his services.

Meanwhile, Arsenal too are said to be keen on the attacking midfielder, especially after the success of Gabriel Martinelli. The Gunners have reportedly contacted Reinier’s father in order to discuss a potential move to the Emirates.

Reports: Manchester United list two strikers as Erling Haaland alternatives

‘He means Manchester United’ – world premiere of film about legendary manager Sir Matt Busby

Manchester United are seemingly on the road to recovery following a poor start to the season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have already lost four games in the league this season but are still within range of a top-four spot. They have identified Erling Haaland as a player to improve their offence and have also listed his alternatives in case a move to bring him to Old Trafford breaks down. 

According to a report by ESPN, Manchester United have also listed Moussa Dembele of Lyon and Callum Wilson of Bournemouth in their striker shortlist. Erling Haaland, meanwhile, remains the club’s key target up front following incredible start to the season which has seen him score twenty-six times in eighteen appearances.

Haaland is courted by Europe’s top clubs, including Juventus, Real Madrid, and Manchester City. Manchester United, however, have a slight advantage with the player familiar with head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The pair were together for a short while at Molde before Solskjaer joined United and Haaland signed for RB Salzburg.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, have reportedly drawn up an eight-man shortlist, containing the likes of Haaland, Wilson, and Dembele. They are also after England international Jadon Sancho and Premier League breakout star, John McGinn.

Barcelona sporting director Eric Aidal confirms club’s interest in Argentina star

The search for Luis Suarez’s replacement at Barcelona is underway. The Blaugrana are reportedly keen on several players, including one Argentina international. And now, the club’s sporting director, Eric Abidal, has confirmed their interest in the attacker. 

Barcelona sporting director praised Inter Milan striker and reported club target, Lautaro Martinez. Abidal claimed that the Argentine striker is indeed a player they are following with a view over a future move.

“He is a complete player, I think he is performing at a great level,” Abidal told Mundo Deportivo.

“He is a player we know, there are other players who also have a lot of quality.

“I know Barca, I know what adaptation is like, but I don’t pay much attention to the player who plays every weekend, I look at others.”

Meanwhile, Abidal also revealed that he has informed Luis Suarez that a search for his replacement is already underway, a notion which the Uruguayan seemingly accepted.

“I am transparent with the players, Luis can tell you because last year I already told him that it was going to be like that, that we were going to look for an offensive player and I don’t say he did not accept it, he accepted it because he wants the best for the team.

“Today I can tell you that there is no priority, the planning will always be done, no matter the position in the field, the only change will be the decision. It may be the first signing, the second, it depends on whether there are injuries, exits, ethics, etc.”

Barcelona currently sit top of La Liga with twenty-five points, edging rivals Real Madrid on goal difference.

Reports: Arsenal look to take lead in race for Brazil wonder-kid by contacting his father

As things stand, Gabriel Martinelli is looking like one of the signings of the season. The young Brazilian attacker was signed by Arsenal for just 6 Million and has since scored seven times. Meanwhile, the Gunners are now looking to replicate their success with Martinelli by signing another Brazilian wonderkid. Reports claim that they have made direct contact with his father too! 

According to a report by Mundo Deportivo, via The Sun, Arsenal have contacted the father of Brazilian wonderkid, Reinier Jesus, to discuss a possible move. Reinier’s father is said to have visited Europe in order to find the perfect club for his son, following interest from some heavyweights such as Real Madrid and Juventus.

The 17-year-old, meanwhile, confirmed the interest of at least one club – Atletico Madrid – recently, when he claimed he was honoured to be linked with them.

“It’s an honour that Atlético are interested in me because they are a huge club,” he said.

“It’s another honour to know that one of the biggest clubs in the world is watching me. But I’m a Flamengo player and my objective is to keep doing a good job here to win many titles in Brazil.”

Nevertheless, Arsenal will have to submit a huge bid if they hope to sign the Brazil starlet. Reports claim that his current club, Flamengo, inserted a £60 Million release clause in his contract given the interest in their player.

Reports: Manchester United monitoring Championship revelation ahead of possible move

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides injury update on Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire after Manchester United's win over Chelsea

Manchester United are already planning for the future, with the next transfer windows earmarked for several signings. The Red Devils have taken to a somewhat new strategy and have moved away from ‘Galacticos’ to focus on players which fit the team. One Championship player, as such, is being monitored ahead of a potential move. 

According to a report by the Mirror, Manchester United are monitoring the development of on-loan West Bromwich Albion star, Matheus Pereira. The 23-year-old has joined the Baggies from Sporting Club de Portugal for the season and is helping them push on for promotion to the Premier League.

West Brom currently have the option to make Pereira’s move permanent for £8.25 Million – a clause which they could trigger towards the end of the current season. However, with the Red Devils interested, the young Brazilian might reject the chance to join Slaven Bilic’s men on a permanent basis.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are linked with several other names such as Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish, and John McGinn. The former Premier League champions’ somewhat new policy sees them focus on talent in close proximity, such as the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, and Harry Maguire, who were signed this summer.

Dani Olmo leaves door open to Barcelona return

Despite never making a senior appearance for Barcelona, Dani Olmo said his time at the club’s academy shaped his career

Barcelona academy product Dani Olmo did not rule out a return to Camp Nou after his impressive form for Dinamo Zagreb led to speculation that the Spanish champions could seek to re-sign him.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has scored two goals in six league appearances for Dinamo this season, but it was his performances in Spain’s European Under-21 Championship triumph that helped propel him into contention for a transfer to LaLiga.

Olmo netted three times to help Spain’s young players to glory and his form in big games has continue in the Champions League, with four goals in nine appearances for a Dinamo side still in contention to reach the knockout stages.

Asked whether his displays might carry him back to Spain, Olmo told Sport: “I hope I can come back, but we’ve just started the season really well.

 

“We’re doing well in the Champions League. There are two games left and we depend on ourselves to get through. There’s a lot of work to be done.

“The Champions League is a shop window for all young players, especially if you’re in a smaller league like Croatia.”

Olmo did not make a senior appearance for Barcelona before joining Dinamo as a 17-year-old, but he paid tribute to the training academy at La Masia for giving him strong foundations.

On the speculation over a possible transfer back to Catalonia, Olmo said: “We will see what happens.

“I don’t close the door on any club, but I’m a Dinamo player, what happens with Dinamo, we will see.

“Barcelona’s style: touch, movement – that’s added to what I have learned in Croatia.

“They’ve made me the player I am now.”

 

Marco Giampaolo not given the time he needed at Milan, says Daniele Bonera

Daniele Bonera described how there is “never much time” at AC Milan, where Marco Giampaolo was given just seven games as coach

Marco Giampaolo needed more time to have a genuine chance of implementing his plans for AC Milan, according to assistant coach Daniele Bonera.

Milan sacked Giampaolo following a 2-1 win over Genoa in October, his seventh match in charge.

The former Sampdoria boss presided over three victories and four defeats before the Rossoneri rushed to appoint Stefano Pioli – a move that, so far, has failed to lead to an upturn in the team’s fortunes.

Pioli has led the team to four points from five games since his arrival, with their solitary triumph coming at home to lowly SPAL.

 

“In a few months, two coaches arrived with different working methods, two ways of thinking on a defensive level,” Bonera, an assistant under both coaches, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“With Giampaolo, we thought more about the ball. With Pioli, we are more practical and we work on the positioning of players.

“Giampaolo did not have the time he needed, but at a club like Milan there is never much time.”

Asked about the players, Bonera said: “I see guys who are very committed. Many are really young, in their twenties. It takes time.

“We need patience, which is a rare commodity in football. We are trying to do better every day. I’ve never seen any of the players holding back because of fatigue.”

Milan’s problems could grow further if Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain launch a January bid to sign goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, as has been rumoured in recent days.

Bonera, who made over 150 Serie A appearances for Milan during his nine-year spell with the club as a player, recommends the 20-year-old Donnarumma remains with his boyhood club.

“As a fan and someone in love with Milan, I would recommend he stay with us,” Bonera said.

“But he has staff and family who advise him.”

 

Kalidou Koulibaly at home with Napoli amid Man United links

Star centre-back and Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly said he is happy in Naples.

Kalidou Koulibaly reaffirmed his affection for Napoli amid ongoing links to Premier League giants Manchester United.

United continue to be linked with a move for highly rated Napoli defender Koulibaly, despite the world-record signing of Harry Maguire at the start of the season.

The Red Devils are reportedly keen to bolster their backline, which has been problematic in recent seasons, even after the arrivals of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

However, star centre-back and Senegal international Koulibaly said he is happy in Naples.

 

“This is where my children were born,” Koulibaly wrote via Twitter. “This is where I grew up as a man and a player.

“This is where my family and I feel at home #Napoli.”

Koulibaly has established himself as one of the world’s best defenders since swapping Genk for Napoli in 2014.

The 28-year-old has made 10 Serie A appearances this season and 14 across all competitions for Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli.

 

Lionel Messi in talks with Barcelona over new contract, confirms Eric Abidal

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi’s future has recently been called into question but Eric Abidal is hopeful a new deal can soon be agreed

Lionel Messi is in talks with Barcelona over a new contract, the Spanish club’s sporting director Eric Abidal has confirmed.

The Argentina international has spent 18 years with Barca but his future has been called into question after it emerged earlier this year he can leave Camp Nou for free at the end of any season.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is officially contracted to the LaLiga champions until 2021, but Abidal is hopeful fresh terms can soon be agreed.

“They are already talking,” he told Mundo Deportivo. “I do not know if we will have news soon because the decision will depend on the player, but for us as a club I hope it is sorted as soon as possible.”

 

Asked when he expects an agreement to be announced, Abidal said: “It will be known when it is known, but I am positive.”

Abidal also confirmed academy product Ansu Fati is in line for a contract extension, having impressed in his breakthrough campaign.

“We are also talking to him,” Abidal said. “He is a young player that we have to protect. We have to talk to his family and representatives.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to keep me, claims Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku says he made the decision to leave Manchester United in March, five months before he joined Inter.

Romelu Lukaku claimed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to keep him at Manchester United, contradicting the Red Devils manager’s claim he was happy to let the Belgian international join Inter in August.

Solskjaer told Sky Sports that starting the season a striker short due to Lukaku’s departure was “the decision that I made and I made it happily”, but Lukaku said there was a time when the move did not have the United boss’ approval.

Inter paid United £74million on the final day of the Premier League transfer window in August, ending months of speculation over the striker’s future.

But in an interview with Het Belang van Limburg, Lukaku said his departure was decided as early as March.

“Solskjaer has my eternal respect,” said Lukaku.

“He understood me when I said in March that it was time for me to leave.

“I had been in the Premier League as an 18-year-old boy and now I am 26. Solskjaer wanted to keep me, but I was ready for something new.”

Lukaku has scored nine goals in 12 Serie A appearances for Inter, but was subjected to racist abuse by Cagliari fans in September.

He said he knew what to expect when he arrived in Italy, and insisted he is enjoying his time in Milan.

“I knew it would happen,” said Lukaku.

“I was prepared because I had spoken to other footballers about it.

“But I’m having a good time in Italy. The people on the street are very good to me and it’s on that, that I want to focus.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic open to Bologna move, claims Serie A side’s sporting director

Zlatan Ibrahimovic during his time with LA Galaxy

Bologna have been in touch with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and are closely monitoring his situation as he looks for a new club.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has informed Bologna of his willingness to consider joining them in January, according to the Serie A side’s sporting director Riccardo Bigon.

Ibrahimovic this week confirmed his departure from LA Galaxy after two seasons in MLS.

The 38-year-old intends to see out his career in Italy, Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto claimed, and will not be short on options given his free agent status.

AC Milan, Fiorentina and Napoli are among those to have been linked but Bologna could have the inside running thanks to Ibrahimovic’s rapport with Rossoblu boss Sinisa Mihajlovic, who crossed paths with the Swede at Inter.

“There is a month and a half to go until to the transfer window opens,” Bigon told Sky Sport Italia.

“As has been said, Ibrahimovic and the coach have a strong personal relationship.

“He expressed an openness to the idea of ​​coming to Bologna but now he will take time, after announcing the farewell to MLS, to evaluate all the possibilities for his future.

“We are very fascinated by this situation but it is clear that we do not control it 100 per cent.

“The choice is exclusively down to the player. We will wait in case [Ibrahimovic confirms his interest], then we will be ready and more than positive.”