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See how much Chelsea is to pay Hazard to stop Real Madrid move

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Former Chelsea defender, Jason Cundy, has urged the club to increase Eden Hazard’s wages to £750,000-a-week to fend off interest from Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old has been in fine form this season, scoring seven goals in his first eight Premier League appearances.

However, Hazard is still refusing to rule out a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, which he admits is his “dream”.

Cundy, who played at Stamford Bridge between 1988 and 1992, believes that the club should make him the highest-paid player in world football.

“I think it’s a very open and a very honest statement.

“If they come in with a big enough offer, I think we have to accept that there is a time and a place in a player’s career and he wants to go on and play for one of the biggest clubs, if not THE biggest club, in world football.

“But, from my point of view, I want him to stay – of course I do. I would make him the highest paid player in the world.

“I would give him £650k, £700k, £750k-a-week. What’s he worth on the open market, say £150million? You’re not going to be able to replace him!” Cundy told talkSPORT.

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Hazard torn between Chelsea and Madrid

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Eden Hazard says he is torn between signing a new contract at Chelsea and a move to Real Madrid, Sky Sports reports.

The Belgium international insists he is ready to discuss extending his deal with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, but says he still has the ambition to pursue his dream of playing for the Spanish giants.

Hazard will enter the final year of his current contract at the end of this season, but insists he does not want to go down the same route as Thibaut Courtois, who fell out with Chelsea as he pushed through a move to Real Madrid this summer.

“I don’t want that,” Hazard told reporters after scoring his eighth Chelsea goal of the campaign in the 3-0 win at Southampton on Sunday. “I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything.

“I don’t want to say: ‘Yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing. So I will see. Sometimes in my head, I wake up in the morning and think I want to go.

“Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future. I am 27 and I will turn 28 in January.”

Hazard spoke of his desire to leave for Real Madrid after the World Cup, and he still believes he has one big move left in his career.

“That’s why I spoke after the World Cup and I said that I think it is time to change because I played a great World Cup,” he said.

“I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment. Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today.

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Ronaldo releases official statement on rape allegations [Read Statement]

Juventus superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo has “firmly” denied raping a woman in a US hotel room almost a decade ago.

Ronaldo insists he has a “clear” conscience over the allegation he attacked Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

He spoke out ahead of her lawyers giving a press conference on Wednesday.

He had previously said the allegation, first reported in German magazine Der Spiegel, was “fake news”.

On Wednesday, he issued a statement through his official Twitter account and wrote:

“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me.

“Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.

“Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.

“My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.”

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Chelsea midfielder ruled out of Liverpool game [See Details]

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Chelsea have suffered a major injury blow as its midfielder, Ruben Loftus-Cheek reportedly suffered a fresh injury setback that will keep him out of the Blues’ midweek Carabao Cup clash against Liverpool.

According to The Telegraph, the England international will not be included in Chelsea’s squad to face Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday evening in the EFL Cup tie.

The report claimed that the midfielder had an injection before Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with West Ham in the Premier League last weekend, keeping him out for around a week.

Loftus-Cheek was back on the bench for Maurizio Sarri’s side during their Europa League encounter with PAOK, having not previously been involved since the 2-0 victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League on September 1.

The 22-year-old has not started a game for the Stamford Bridge club so far into the new campaign.

Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri has however featured the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley, N’Golo Kante, and Jorginho ahead of Loftus-Cheek in a three-man midfield.

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Luka Modric wins FIFA Best Player of the Year award

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Croatian and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric on Monday night pipped Liverpool’s talisman Mohammad Salah and Ronaldo to win the 2018 FIFA Best Player of the Year Award.

The Real Madrid winner has won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for guiding Croatia to the World Cup final and winning a third consecutive Champions League trophy with Real Madrid.

Details Later.

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Cardiff City 0-5 Manchester City [Premier League Highlights] [Watch Video]

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Sergio Aguero scored on his 300th appearance for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s side bounced back from their midweek Champions League disappointment with a resounding 5-0 win at Cardiff City.

The club’s all-time leading goalscorer, who signed a contract extension this week that will keep him at the club until 2021, opened the scoring after 32 minutes.

Get video on your device HERE

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Manchester United 1-1 Wolves [Premier League Highlights] [Watch Video]

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Manchester United dropped points for a second successive Premier League home match on Saturday, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by promoted Wolves.

Former manager Alex Ferguson was back at Old Trafford for the first time since his May health scare, but United failed to put on much of a show for him, instead producing a performance which surely would have resulted in the Scot’s infamous “hairdryer” treatment.

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Five Manchester United Players to Miss Clash with Wolves

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Manchester United will be missing five players for Saturday’s Premier League home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Diogo Dalot to be rested, Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera not fully fit and Nemanja Matic and Marcus Rashford suspended.

Dalot, who was signed from Porto in the closed season, impressed on his United debut in their 3-0 Champions League win over Switzerland’s Young Boys on Wednesday, but manager Jose Mourinho intends to ease the fullback into the side.

The Portuguese youngster joined United while he was still recovering from a knee injury and Mourinho intends to give him his next run out in the League Cup against Derby County on Tuesday.

“I want him in this process of adaption to play totally fresh, so he’s not playing tomorrow, he plays on Tuesday again,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday.

“To play for Manchester United is difficult enough for a kid of 19 years old coming from another country and after an important injury and surgery… he doesn’t need to face more difficulties from the accumulation of matches.”

United came through their midweek European encounter on an artificial pitch relatively unscathed and Mourinho will be able to field a strong starting XI against Wolves, who are a place and a point below his team in the standings.

“No injuries from the match, small things but nothing important,” Mourinho added. “Marcos Rojo is the one that is still not training with the team and Ander Herrera is not ready to play but is in the final phase of his recovery process.

“(Phil) Jones is okay now, so it’s Rashford and Matic with suspension, the ones that are not available.”

United have recovered well after hitting a rough patch in August when they were beaten twice in succession in the league, and have won three matches in a row in all competitions this month.

Mourinho is particularly pleased by his team’s defensive improvement, which he attributes to a collective effort rather than any particular combination of players.

“I think the team as a team is resolving the defensive problems better than before,” he said. “I don’t want to say it was (Eric) Bailly or Jones and is now (Chris) Smalling or (Victor) Lindelof.

“I think the team is more compact, more solid. The spirit, the cooperation, the empathy, the communication, all of that has improved and good results bring confidence.

“I think we’re improving as a team. “I don’t want to say our improvement has the name of Chris or Victor, the team is playing better and they are part of the team that plays these matches.”

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Chelsea coach, Sarri, gives update about Pedro’s injury

Pedro injury
The winger went off towards the end of the game clutching his shoulder but the coach does not expect it to be severe

Maurizio Sarri has calmed fears over Pedro after the winger suffered an injury at the end of Chelsea’s 1-0 win over PAOK in the Europa League.

Pedro was brought down in second-half injury time on Thursday, and appeared to have dislocated his shoulder as he left the field.

The 31-year-old has had a productive start to the season, scoring three goals in his first seven matches for the in-form Blues.

Although the Chelsea manager admits he is unsure on the details of the Spain international’s injury, he does not expect it to be severe.

“The problem is his shoulder, but I don’t know exactly the situation,” he told reporters after the game. “I’ve spoken with the doctor, but only for a few seconds. The doctor told me that probably it’s not a very serious injury.”

Willian’s first-half strike proved the decisive moment in the game as the London side opened their Europa League campaign with a victory in Greece.

And although Sarri saw his side as the dominant team, he was disappointed that they did not score more.

“I think we were in control of the match for 90 minutes,” he said. “We had a lot of opportunities. So I am really very happy with the three points, very happy with the performance I think, but I am not very happy with the result. When it is time to kill the match, we have to kill the match.

“I think we played very well. We were in control of the match. It was difficult for everybody to play against us this evening. I hope we were so good and it’s not PAOK’s fault.

“I have seen five or six matches of PAOK and I think there are very good players,” he added. “For example the number 10, Dimitris Pelkas, I think he is a very good player. Maybe not in this match. But they have some good players.”

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Super Eagles move one place up in new FIFA ranking [See Top 10]

The Super Eagles have now moved one place from 49th position to 48th in the new FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as Belgium and France share the top spot for the first time in the table’s 25-year history.

According to the rankings posted by FIFA on its official website, the Super Eagles has 1415 points to finish 48th in the month of September.

Belgium had a couple of wins, including a victory over Iceland in the inaugural Nations League competition which leveled them with the World Cup champions, France, the team that defeated them in the World Cup semi-finals.

Brazil remains in the third position ahead of World Cup finalists Croatia, while the only other nation in the top 10 whose position has changed was Denmark, who dropped one place from ninth.

See top 10 below…
1=. Belgium (+1) 1,729 pts
1=. France 1,729
3. Brazil 1,663
4. Croatia 1,634
5. Uruguay 1,632
6. England 1,612
7. Portugal 1,606
8. Switzerland 1,598
9. Spain 1,597
10. Denmark (-1) 1,581

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Rafael Nadal out of China tournaments with knee injury

World number one Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from upcoming tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai due to the right knee injury that forced him to retire from the US Open earlier this month.

Nadal had to pull out during his semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in New York and also missed Spain’s Davis Cup defeat by France last weekend.

The 32-year-old said he visited doctors in Barcelona on Monday and has subsequently made the decision to play neither the ATP 500 event in Beijing nor the Masters 1000 in Shanghai.

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Chelsea coach Sarri makes record in Chelsea’s victory over Cardiff City

Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri, on Saturday made record in Chelsea’s 4-1 victory against Cardiff City in the Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge.
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Sol Bamba shocked the Blues with Cardiff’s first away goal of the season, but Eden Hazard’s treble and a late goal by Willian ensured victory for the West London club.

The win means that Sarri became the fourth manager to win his first five Premier League games in the competition history.

The Italian joined an elite club of Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) and Craig Shakespeare (Leicester).

Sarri’s men are now currently occupying the number one position on the EPL log with a goal difference of plus 1, just above second placed, Liverpool.

Eden Hazard had a blast in the game and his hat-trick showed he is so much ready for the season.

However, Sarri believes Hazard can be even more prolific if he preserves his energy more to make the difference in the final third:

“I thought that Hazard was one of the best players in Europe. But now I change my mind because maybe he is the best,” said Sarri of the man crowned the second-best player at the World Cup this summer.

“Hazard can improve more. I think he can spend less energy than now at 50 or 60 metres from the opposition goal,” added the former Napoli boss. “I told him… for me you can score 40 goals but you have to spend less energy. You have to play in the last 25 metres.”

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Top 5 Weekend Fixtures: Premier League Preview

English Premier League Premier League resumes after the first International break this season.

Some old rivalries will continue, and some new ones will be forged in the cauldron of the best league in the World this weekend.

Several teams were dealt a tough hand as players got injured on International duty while others are boosted by returns of medical room regulars as the two-week break was just what the doctor ordered for them.

Some teams were disappointed by a schism in their rich vein of form while others were delighted to get some time on the training ground to set their affairs and charges in order.

With some potential real banana skins and possible ripsnorters, here are top 5 fixtures to cure your weekend blues:

Tottenham vs. Liverpool

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Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool FC – Premier League

Wembley will be the stage for the pulsating red and white rivalry!

Pregame analysis:

The Box office Saturday gets an early start as table-toppers Liverpool visit Wembley to lock horns with fifth-place Tottenham.

The two of the most aggressive and hard-pressing sides in the league are emblazoned with richest of creative talents in their midfield and attack — Likes of Kane, Eriksen, Moura on one side and Salah, Mané and Keita on the other.

Liverpool and Tottenham also have the most in-form fullbacks in the league as well. Liverpool boasts of the 24-year-old Scottish captain Andy Robertson who has created more chances than Mesut Ozil, David Silva or Paul Pogba.

Alexander Arnold is equally threatening on the right flank, making a fearsome twosome for the Reds.For Tottenham, 27-year-old Trippier his leading the charge for his side doing as the team’s designated set-piece specialist.

Another fullback Ben Davies is also a leading assist-maker for Tottenham this year.

Tottenham will be hoping to get their form back on track with a win against a high-octane Liverpool.

Pochettino’s side claimed a 4-1 victory last season and did a double over the Merseyside Reds last year.

Liverpool will be looking to cement their dominance before the likes of PSG, Napoli comes knocking at their door.

The fixture list is not kind to them with matches against Southampton, Chelsea (twice) and Manchester City over the next four weeks, appending to the Champions League meat-grinder.

They will be banking on the red-hot Sadio Mané, has come out all guns blazing and is the joint-top scorer with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (4 each).

Team News: Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren will be missing in action for Liverpool. The likes of Firmino and Fabinho might be rested having arrived on Thursday.

Fabinho has not started for Liverpool yet but played for Brazil during the International break.

Spurs will be without midfielder Dele Alli and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Juan Foyth and Moussa Sissoko are also not ready to join the action on the pitch.

South Korean Heung-Min Son has returned from the Asian Games after his country won the tournament in Indonesia and will bolstering Spurs’ ranks.

Manchester City vs. Fulham

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Manchester City will host exciting Fulham side on Saturday

Pregame analysis:The reigning champions Manchester City take on a dangerous Fulham side at the fortress Etihad. Manchester City has been unblemished in their first two home fixtures. City has won the last five meetings between the two, including the last three home games against Fulham, who have conceded ten goals without a reply over that span.

Pep Guardiola has won all eight Premier League matches in September with a goal difference of +23 (28 scored and three conceded).

Overarchingly, Pep is unbeaten in 42 domestic games (Spain, Germany, and England) in September, since 2010 with 36 victories and six draws.

For City, it is the defender Benjamin Mendy who has sparkled the brightest this season.

He has played every minute for City this season and has the joint highest number of assists with Watford’s José Holebas at four apiece.

Mendy’s tally of 27 crosses in open play is also the highest in the league.

His long layoff after a knee injury last campaign seems like a distant memory and £48.88 m price tag seems like a bargain at the moment.

Fulham has scored 16 goals their four league games, joint highest with Arsenal.

Manager Slavisa Jokanovic will be hoping that striker Mitrovic, leading the Premier League scoring chart, can add to his impressive haul. He has aggregated 16 league goals since making his Fulham debut in February, highest in the top two tiers of English football.

However, they must plug the defensive holes that were manifest in their showing as Brighton erased a two-goal deficit.

Fulham has just one point away from home this season and remains without a clean sheet in their last 20 Premier League matches.

City’s devastating attack does not require any external assistance from Fulham’s shaky defense. Fulham last won on their visit to the Etihad in 2009 after going down 1-0.

Team News:For Manchester City, defender Danilo and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and shot stopper Claudio Bravo will remain absent.

However, Raheem Sterling is has recovered from the back injury which forced him to withdraw from international action.Fulham defender Tim Ream and midfielders Tom Cairney and Neeskens Kebano are still in the physio room.

Newcastle United vs. Arsenal

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Battle of the Spanish wits

Pregame analysis:Newcastle only has a solitary victory in their last nine Premier League games, and a defeat would equal their lowest ever return after the first five fixtures of a Premier League season with a single point.

Overall, Newcastle has lost to Arsenal 16 times out of the last 23 meetings in all competitions.

However, they did win the previous meeting 2-1 at home last April. Before that, they had lost ten league meetings in a row. Rafa Benitez’s tally of 6 losses to Arsenal is only bettered by nine losses against Chelsea and Manchester United respectively.

Last time around, the Gunners conceded lead twice against Cardiff before clinching a 3-2 victory. Notwithstanding that victory, Arsenal has a terrible away record this year with only two wins in their last 10 Premier League away games.

On a more positive note, the Gunners’ have eight different players, seven from their team sheet and one from the opponents’: West Ham’s Issa Diop.

Interestingly, the Arsenal talisman, Mesut Ozil has never played at St James’ Park but has two goals and one assist in three Premier League games against Newcastle.

The in-form striker, Alexandre Lacazette has five goals, and two assists in his last five Premier League starts.

Team News:Newcastle United’s Salomon Rondon and defender DeAndre Yedlin are facing a possible rest after their international exploits and delayed return. Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey are back in training are expected to feature.Arsenal has no new injury concerns and could name the same side as against Cardiff. Alex Iwobi has recovered from illness and should be involved.

Chelsea vs. Cardiff City

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Clash of conflicting footballing philosophies

Pregame analysis:Chelsea has won both previous Premier League in 2013-14. At Stamford Bridge, Cardiff has not won since 1981. That’s the enormity of the task that Cardiff face this Saturday.

Maurizio Sarri can become only the fourth manager to win his first five Premier League fixtures.

He would be the second Chelsea boos to achieve the feat after Italian Carlo Ancelotti.

The Blues won their opening four Premier League games of a season for the sixth a Premier League record.

The toughest challenge for Sarri would be to scrimmage enough players without fatigue or jet leg with nine of their expected line-up away on International duty.

Cardiff had almost all their squad members available and amply rested.

They will need all that rest in their legs as Neil Warnock’s defense will be under the cosh for most of the game.

The Blues have completed the most number of passes in the current campaign at a staggering 2,677.

Cardiff boss is on a six games winless streak in all competitions, but they would be buoyed by their tenacity against Arsenal in 2-3 loss. The match saw them ending their 6 hours and 55 minutes without a goal in the league.

Team News:Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek picked up a shin injury for England and could miss out.

Cesc Fabregas could return to the bench after recuperating from a knee injury.For Cardiff City, Josh Murphy and Aron Gunnarsson might be risked with early returns from their respective injury lay-offs.

Watford vs. Manchester United

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Jose will be hoping to avoid becoming Watford’s fifth victim this season

Pregame analysis:Manchester United would want to ease the pressure on their manager by securing the first succession of wins this season.

However, Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat to the same opponents must be taken as a wakeup call, not that he needed one.

Jose Mourinho must remember the 3-1 reverse at Vicarage Road in his first season even though it was a breezy 4-2 last time out. In his entire managerial stint in England, he has five wins out of six Premier League tussles with Watford with last three on the bounce.

Watford is the surprise high flyers this season winning their opening four league games. It is a first for them in the highest tier of English football.

Javier Gracia has only suffered one home loss since getting the reigns at Watford in February. Over that period they have accumulated 23 points at home, highest in the league.

In the last 15 outings, Watford has lost 14 in all competitions to Manchester United. Their only win, a 3-1 victory came at home in 2016.

Watford full-back Jose Holebas, with one goal and four assists, is the in-form player of the league.

Team News:Watford is likely to stick to the same squad that beat Tottenham at Vicarage Road.

Midfielders Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley are still sidelined.

Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw is likely to be in the squad having recovered from his head injury playing for England.

Ander Herrera is sidelined with an ankle injury while striker Marcus Rashford has a three-game suspension after being dismissed at Burnley.

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Frank Lampard names the Chelsea player he desperately wanted to sign at Derby County this summer

Frank Lampard’s fresh journey as a manager is something that the footballing world is looking at with keen interest. The former Chelsea player and Premier League legend etched his name in football folklore over the course of his time at Stamford Bridge.

The Derby County manager is now focussed on getting Derby County back in the Premier League. Lampard landed Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on loan from Chelsea this summer to bolster his squad but has now revealed whom he desperately wanted at his club this summer.

It’s none other than the 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu. The youngster joined from Exeter City last season and featured 7 times while Antonio Conte was in charge of Chelsea.

Ampadu’s exploits were quite impressive for a player his age and he was given his first international start for Wales last week in their 4-1 win in the UEFA Nations League over the Republic of Ireland.

Ampadu impressed once again and the Chelsea fans are urging Maurizio Sarri to give the youngster more chances.

Lampard, speaking to Derby Telegraph, revealed that he was desperate to lure Ampadu to Derby County.

“I looked at him (Ampadu). I spoke to the (Chelsea) manager and he told me he wants him in their squad, so it was a very short conversation.”

“I was very impressed with Sarri. I think he is a great manager, great character. He was very nice to me about it.”Quite rightly, he probably wants Ampadu as part of his squad. He is a fantastic talent.”It was a question (we asked), and we have fully moved on.”

Lampard was also quite impressed by Ampadu’s performance against the Republic of Ireland. He said,

“I shed a tear when he played so well!”I know him, and similar to Mason Mount, he is a young player with real ability and a fantastic attitude.”

Will Ethan Ampadu stay with the Blues or will he be shipped off like so many youngsters have been over the past few
years? Only time will tell.

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Manchester United preparing a €90M bid for Brazilian winger

Manchester United are willing to spend €90 million for the Brazilian winger, Douglas Costa. The Juventus forward has been linked with the Red Devils during his Bayern Munich days. However, he was then loaned to Juventus.

In case you didn’t know…The Italian giants made the loan-deal permanent in the recent transfer window. Italian outlet SportMediaSet claims that he could be sacrificed in the January transfer window in order to balance the books.

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus has marked a question mark over Douglas Costa’s future in Turin.

Douglas Costa

The heart of the matterPaul Pogba looks set to part ways with Old Trafford and the Red Devils might use Paul Pogba to initiate the deal.

The report also claims that both the Manchester clubs would be in a battle to sign the 27-year-old Brazilian.

However, Manchester United’s chances seem little realistic considering Anthony Martial’s future speculations and on the other hand, the Citizens have already signed Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City.

Douglas Costa has only scored 6 goals for Juventus from the last 50 appearances. However, the Brazilian winger possesses excellent dribbling and playmaking skills which might solve the right-wing problem in Jose’s team.

Paul Pogba is being linked with Juventus and FC Barcelona while Martial is being linked with Chelsea. Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba’s futures in the Theatre of Dreams are uncertain as both the Frenchmen are having an unhealthy relationship with the United boss.

However, if Pogba ends up being a Juventus player United might use it as an opportunity to bring Douglas Costa in. Jose Mourinho has talked about having a Brazilian in the team and Costa might be the last piece of the puzzle in Jose’s squad