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31 Jul 2021 15:59:11
Hi Ed’s, what’s the situation with lautaro of inter? Seems a top player but then linked with arsenal.

{Ed002's Note - Lautaro Martinez (S) Inter don't want to sell and long-term admirers Barcelona and Manchester City are looking elsewhere although Barcelona would like to add him in 2022, but significant sales would still be required and they have added Aguero and Depay. Real Madrid are trying to convince the club otherwise and will offer an assortment of players they no longer want in exchange. Atletico Madrid are interested if he becomes available but money would be an issue without a major sale. There is support for him from an ex-Chelsea player who is a potential Director of Football at the club but he would be a little down the list of targets Chelsea has. I am not aware of any formal approach from Arsenal to Inter but they do want a striker and will have used a third party to understand if there is an opportunity for them. But it is difficult to see how they could fund a move which would see any negotiations start around €100M. The player would also want Champions League football.}

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01 Aug 2021 00:27:38
Thanks Ed incredible as always!

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17 Jul 2021 15:30:25
Hey Ed
What's the plan for Ronaldo and Juventus this summer?

{Ed002's Note - {Ed002's Note - Ronaldo (F) will leave in 2022 in all probability but if Juventus decide to cash in this summer and get his wages off the bill, then PSG and Inter Miami will have offers on the table for him. His agent will also offer him to Manchester United. The fee would be small but the wages high.}

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26 Jul 2021 23:42:34
Would man united try bringing him back though?

{Ed002's Note - I would doubt it.}

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15 Jul 2021 15:11:57
Hi ed002,

Is there any interest in Barella? Seems an excellent player and was wondering if Inter might cash in to bring in some funds.

Many thanks for your time.

{Ed002's Note - Yes there has been interest but he won't be moving.}

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15 Jul 2021 11:30:29
Hi Ed002, is there any interest in Sergej Milinkovic Savic of Lazio?

No doubt an excellent player who I would guess would be extremely expensive. Transfermarket has his value at circa £65mil which is massive, although I'm guessing with C.V. that figure would be lesser.

I know in the past he's been of interest to Man City and Man United but was wondering if their interest still stood and what other clubs are in a position to potentially sign him.

Many thanks.

{Ed002's Note - Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (CM) No intention of selling and it would take a huge offer of perhaps €80M-€100M to make them reconsider. At that price the interested parties, Juventus and PSG, would want to include players in any deal. Will stay.}

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15 Jul 2021 23:09:36
Thanks for the info as always.

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26 Jun 2021 23:20:04
Ed002 who is interested in maehle from atlanta thanks.

{Ed002's Note - Nobody. He has only just joined them.}

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09 Jun 2021 19:48:44
Good day Ed, just wondering if you have any info on Cristian Romero? Thanks in advance and keep up the good work.

{Ed002's Note - Cristian Romero (CB) is only on loan and has another year to go before Atalanta are expected to buy him - Atlanta cannot sell him until that happens.}

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09 Jun 2021 10:26:42
ED002, Can you please provide an update on Hakimi from Inter.

Thank you.

{Ed002's Note - Nothing has changed really.
Achraf Hakimi (RB) Inter spoke with Chelsea and wanted to offer an exchange for Kante, but started negotiating by asking for both Kante and Emerson. Nothing came of it but he would be an eventual Azpilicueta replacement and Chelsea remain keen on trying to find an acceptable deal. As they have financial issues they would like a straight circa €60M cash or €80M with payments spread out for him which interested sides, including Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Leicester, see as high. Arsenal enquired after him but are not an attractive option and the cost would be an issue. PSG see the price as more than they wish to pay and losing him to AFCON is always a consideration so that will end their interest. The player is happy where he is for now but Inter need to generate cash through sales before they can look to add players - and he can help with resolving their issues.}

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22 Jun 2021 10:32:54
Hi Ed, with all the reports circulating about Hakimi to PSG, has much changed in the last few weeks? Understandable if you don't want to do play by play updates, many thanks.

{Ed002's Note - Nothing has changed.}

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05 Jun 2021 00:10:54
Hi Ed002, hope you’re well. If you had the time, could you please tell me an update for the ins and outs for AC Milan? Thanks mate.

{Ed002's Note - I don't have the time to do that I am afraid.}

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03 Jun 2021 15:59:03
Hi, Long time lurker, just never got to making an account since I have not been invested in football for some time to be frank.

I remembered this website when I heard news of the European Super League and recalled that a certain Ed had been talking about it as far back as 2017 (I think) and had even suggested that 2022 would be a breakaway date, which is eerily close. Great work!

What do you make of Mourinho at Roma Ed? Is it the right move for him at the time? Do you reckon his stint at Roma will go better than the ones he had at United and Spurs? Thank you

{Ed002's Note - Mr Mourinho was not going to get the move he wanted and Roma offer a very good solution. Money is a little tight there and they have to comply with FFP but the new owner will be supportive. I expect he will do well but there is an aging squad with 10 players over 30.}

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04 Jun 2021 05:18:21
Thanks Ed!

What was the move that he wanted though? Did he have his eyes on the Inter job?

{Ed002's Note - He had a desire to return to Inter.}

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04 Jun 2021 12:08:18

Sorry for being greedy but I have one last question, could you please tell me about Romas transfer targets for the summer? Thank you!

{Ed002's Note - It will be changing rather.}

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03 Jun 2021 10:33:54
Hi Ed002, any interest in Hysaj of Napoli on a free?

{Ed002's Note - LAzio are interested.}

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03 Jun 2021 19:40:24
Cheers for the info.

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28 May 2021 19:21:26

Just wanted to find out if anything has changed with Bennacer's situation in Milan since last season.

With his injury and the impressive performances by Tonali and Kessie, is a move possible this summer?

I also heard rumours that Milan were thinking of removing his release clause.


{Ed002's Note - The situation is that he is liked by a number of clubs such as Manchester City, but Milan will want a deal including Gabriel Jesus. PSG may look to a deal including Leandro Paredes. I don't understand what you mean about removing his "release clause".}

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26 May 2021 21:33:44
Hi there Ed's. Now that Gattuso has been named as Fiorentina's new manager, might I trouble you for some info on possible transfer dealings for them this summer? Many thanks.

{Ed002's Note - Nothing will have changed overnight. The likes of Pol Lirola (RB), Nikola Milenkovic (CB), Erick Pulgar (CM) and Dusan Vlahovic (S) may leave.}

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28 May 2021 19:03:59
Thanks Ed.

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25 May 2021 11:58:34
Hello Ed is there anything new on Hazard Future? Could he move for Chelsea or to PSG and the same question for Donnarumma is there a chance he Moves to Paris or London? Merci.

{Ed002's Note - Eden Hazard (LW/RW) Real Madrid have problems one way or another with all of their wingers and there is no guarantee any will be at the club next season. He will be another that Real Madrid listen to offers for. There is someone senior at Chelsea advocating his return to the club which I understand would suit the player - but the club are already making efforts to sign another.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (G) was first choice in 2020 and will be first choice in 2021 if Chelsea push with their plan to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga and use Mendy as a second choice. There are three issues with renewing in Milan: a contract clause, agent fees and wages (and that problem has now worsened). PSG, Inter and Juventus remain keen to take him - Inter can likely be discounted but Juventus might offer a decent option although the Milanese supporters will be very unhappy and the player will be aware of that.}

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25 May 2021 11:57:57
Hi Ed.
I was wondering if Milan getting Mike Maignan changes Donnarumma's situation? To me Maignan seems like a keeper that's too good to be benched!

{Ed002's Note - Gianluigi Donnarumma (G) was first choice in 2020 and will be first choice in 2021 if Chelsea push with their plan to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga and use Mendy as a second choice. There are three issues with renewing in Milan: a contract clause, agent fees and wages (and that problem has now worsened). PSG, Inter and Juventus remain keen to take him - Inter can likely be discounted but Juventus might offer a decent option although the Milanese supporters will be very unhappy and the player will be aware of that.}

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25 May 2021 15:11:42
Thanks for a very fast reply!

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20 May 2021 16:53:51
Ed002, I see that Matic has been linked with joining his old pal Jose at AS Roma. Any truth in this or just the same old typical rags linking a player with a former manager. Cheers.

{Ed002's Note - Nemanja Matic (DM) Jose Mourinho would like to take him to Rome with him but he will not be first choice - although the first choice is not looking to be attainable - and there may be some reliance on the sale of Amadou Diawara and Manchester United, who gave him a new contract, being willing to sell him at a reasonable price. If he leaves Manchester United would look to replace him as they don't plan for the careers of players like James Garner.}

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19 May 2021 14:49:59
Hi ed,

Any clubs showing an interest in Theo Hernandez of AC Milan at the moment?


{Ed002's Note - There has been interest but he will not be sold.}

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17 May 2021 06:19:25
Can I ask what is expected to happen with Donarumma this summer? Will he sign a new contract or join another club this summer?

{Ed002's Note - I expect the two remaining issues will be resolved and he will extend.}

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10 May 2021 16:49:59
Ed 002.
Do you know if juve will stick with pirlo or go for a new coach?

{Ed002's Note - I suspect he will go but for now Juve aren't saying that but they, like several other sides, have taken advice over where next with coaching staff.}

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10 May 2021 19:33:43
If they finish outside the top 4 it will be a rude awakening. Appointing pirlo looks like a gamble that didn't pay off not unlike Lampard, ole hanging in there at united.

{Ed002's Note - Yes they would not be expecting that but for now they are outwardly OK with the situation. Inwardly they have taken advice from a third party already as I have explained. This is common - Spurs did it when they still had Mr Mourinho for example - and other clubs have done it this year.}

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11 May 2021 06:48:53
I'm not sure that I'd said the gamle with Frank Lampard did not pay off. It might have ended sourly, but he's the one who somehow brought us into the Champion's League this season, and to an FA Cup final last year. Of course this season didn't go the way it should have, but in the grand scheme of things, I think Lampard very much paid off. I have a very hard time seeing other managers that were available that season give players like Mount, James, Gilmour and Tomori so many chances! Just by trusting these players, Lampard has made sure that Tomori might get sold for £28 mil and that we've gotten some huge, proven talents.

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10 May 2021 21:48:02
It's prudent to do so I guess. thanks.

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07 May 2021 18:57:42
Ed002 who is interested in vlahovic thanks.

{Ed002's Note - Dusan Vlahovic (S) Milan see the player as an Ibrahimovic back up and possible replacement - Spurs have the same view in respect of Kane - and Dortmund do in respect of Haaland. Roma, Juventus and Atletico Madrid offer another option which would see him as a starter. Manchester City approached Fiorentina and were told that the aking price will be set above €50M which came as a surprise.}

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04 May 2021 15:56:53
Inter have had a brilliant season winning their first Scudetto in over a decade.
Would the eds be able to give any insight into the situation and any potential ins and outs?

{Ed002's Note - They have significant financial issues which means they need significant sales before they can then sell to buy.}

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23 Apr 2021 00:59:46
Hi ed002
Any chance of a quick update on ins and outs at Juventus if you get a second.
Also what do you think of Pirlo as a coach?

{Ed002's Note - It is difficult now because of the Agnelli situation, but previously:

Juventus must fund purchases through sales which means the likes of Pogba will not happen unless the likes of Lukaku or Martinez leave. The big buy will be Aouar.
Potential Outgoings:
Alex Sandro (LB) time has come to move on.
Radu Dragusin (CB) Crystal Palace and Cagliari have shown an interest in the kiddie who Juve will look to move on.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) Barcelona have a declared interest but Juventus will resist selling.
Paulo Dybala (AM/F) is available to sell or trade as the situation degrades further as again a problem with a certain individual arises - but the club want to agree a new deal but scratch the clause which is causing another problem. The original issue that blighted contract negotiations for two years would be an issue for potential buyers. The player is open to a move and may well have thrown away a year of his career. Was available at €100M last summer, but they would need to halve to find a cash buyer. If he can get over fitness and injury issues, Mr Mourinho was keen to take him to Spurs if the right deal can be struck but that will no longer happen. Manchester United my be offered him in a part exchange deal. Paratici
Manolas Portanova (AM) will likely move to Genoa from Juve as part of the deal for Rovella.
Franco Tongya (AM) Juventus youngster who wants opportunities which Juve cannot offer.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) Juventus are looking to sell AR to raise funds to complete the Aouar transfer. Manchester United my look to offload van der Beek in an exchange but Juventus want cash - or perhaps Pogba. Barcelona may offer an option but would want to include at least one player in any deal. Could be offered to Everton to try and tempt Kean back.
Aaron Ramsey (CM) He may well have proven to be a reasonable Wijnaldum replacement at his best but those days appear gone. I am aware of an enquiry from West Ham - perhaps at the prompting of his agent but I am not aware of Liverpool looking to him but the supporters keep asking. May be difficult to find a home for.
Douglas Costa (RW) Option to FT for Milan but BM would need to strike a deal with Juventus which they don't seem keen on. Juve will need to find a buyer but the only declared interest is from clubs in Turkey and Tigres who can't afford his wages. Might become a problem child.
Federico Bernardeschi (RW) available for sale or trade and offered for Depay and Mino has offered him to Milan and an English side.
Dejan Kulusevski (RW/AM/F) Will return from loan at Parma this summer and will be given the opportunity to replace Dybala or Bernardeschi in the first team. Has been watched by a number of sides but not available.
Paulo Dybala (F/AM) Juventus are willing to finally take the money and running with Dybala and will use the difficulty over a particular contract clause as the reason - they will look to try to bring in €60M for the player and that rules out most - but PSG and Spurs could beome options if the price were to reduce to perhaps €40M and he can prove his fitness - he has a serious knee ligament injury at the moment and has suffered a great deal of injury and illness over the past couple of years. I am not aware of any approach by Arsenal. Could be offered to PSG as part of a deal for Icardi.
Ronaldo (F) will leave in 2022 in all probability but if Juventus decide to cash in this summer and get his wages off the bill, then PSG and Inter Miami will have offers on the table for him. The fee would be small but the wages high.
Interest has been shown in:
Gianluigi Donnarumma (G) Won't happen for Juventus.
David de Gea (G) Manchester United may need to choose between Henderson and De Gea with the other moving on. Italy might have a solution with Juventus or perhaps PSG. I would scratch him.
Bryan Reynolds (RB) wanted by Brugge, PSV, Roma and Juventus. If he joins Juventus he will go on loan to partner club Benevento due to non European player quotas.
Emerson Palmieri (LWB)
Antonio Rudiger (CB) declared interest from Barcelona, Milan and Juventus on a loan to buy deal.
Gianluca Mancini (CB) Roma do not wish to sell but there is clear interest from Juventus and Inter Milan. Prior interest of Everton would appear to have gone.
Nikola Milenkovic (CB) Inter Milan, Manchester United and Juventus have all expressed and interest in Milenkovic who Fiorentina will possibly be open to selling for €50M-€60M in the summer. His representatives are pushing him toward Manchester United who already have a lengthy list of targets and their prior interest could return - he was an alternative to Maguire.
Nicolo Rovella (DM) Genoa youngster - one for the future moving to Juve.
Manuel Locatelli (DM) Juventus have tried and failed on a number tried to take him from Milan and now Sassuolo without luck with the player saying he wants the move but cannot see how he will get a game in Turin. Real Madrid have him on their list of optional targets to Camavinga. Milan would like him back whilst his agent has said both Chelsea and Manchester CIty provide options. Juventus will push for him.
Jorginho (DM) perhaps an option to their preferred choice.
Lorenzo Pellegrini (CM/DM/AM) Juventus have tried very hard to strike a deal but the player says that he is open to signing a new contract with Roma.
Paul Pogba (CM) offered to Barcelona - may be available as a Free Agent in 2022 - Manchester United have wrecked the relationship with his agent. I doubt that the club would meet any demands which Mino Raiola would want to agree a new contract. They have extended his contract to 2022 and will need to strike a deal with Mino over any sale next summer (I am sure he would be open to taking, say, half of the sale fee) and hope a buyer can be found - this will need to be through a third party. PSG are in discussions to add two MF players, one possibly as early as January. I don't think paying a significant fee for Pogba is part of their plans right now. Real Madrid have a preferred target although their current coach would like Pogba. Juventus have other priorities in CM but there have been talks and he might be a realistic option at the right price - but Juventus may look to including a player in the deal or an initial loan but I suspect they will wait to agree a pre-contract in January 2022.
Billy Gilmour (CM) Chelsea are open to an 18 month loan for Gilmour but want a long-term contract agreed first. During discussions with Juventus over another matter, they have proposed to take him but they want an obligation to buy at the end.
Houssem Aouar (CM) Lyon were frustrated by Arsenal not taking a realistic approach to trying to complete the transfer of the player last summer and with PSG for failing to make a suitable offer. With the impact of the broadcasting losses, clubs in France are facing a difficult time and Lyon may reduce their €60M asking price this summer to ensure a sale. Juventus interest had previously drifted as they had a preferred target in mind but he is now ther primary target. Real Madrid were approached by his agent but have suggested that they would ideally want to offer a player in any deal. That won't suit Lyon so it might be difficult but is the preferred choice for the player - but he will accept a move to Turin. Barcelona were approached but they will not be in a position to do anything unless Frenkie de Jong is tempted away from the club.
Corentin Tolisso (CM) BM are looking to upgrade. Juventus may provide a solution after a rejection from Lyon.
Ryan Gravenberch (CM) The player is keen to test himself in Germany but the interest right now is from Juventus (who have held discussions with his agent), Roma and Milan (who won't be able to afford him) with him also being discussed with Barcelona and Chelsea. Ajax will accept a bid above €50M and they have informed Mino of this - I suspect he has told them that €50M is too high. Whilst he would make an excellent replacement for Wijnaldum, my understanding is they have made no approach to his agent at this time.
Weston McKenzie (CM) Loan to permanent. Done.
Rodrigo De Paul (CM) Leeds are keen but well short of Udinese's €40M asking price. Inter have spoken with Lazio but will not progress matters unless Udinese are willing to accept at least one player as part of the transaction. Juventus have enquired after De Paul as they are unable to sign their primary target but it has gone no further than that. Sevilla have shown an interest and can be discounted. I am not aware of any approach from Liverpool to Udinese and they don't appear to have a slot for him in the side.
Gabriel Menino (RM/CM/DM/RB) Both Atletico and Real Madrid have spoken with Palmeiras about the player and his agent has spoken with Spurs and Chelsea - who are not looking to a player of his type right now but could look to an immediate loan back. Juventus might take the same approach as Chelsea after an approach from his agent - but it means assigning money they don't have for such ventures.
Gabriel Veron (RW) Palmeiras have quoted €50M as the asking price for the young RW which has made Barcelona and Juventus consider options. Manchester City will probably look to see how he progresses rather than agree such a large sum. Manchesteer United have added Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo in a similar position already and have not addressed their Jadon Sancho shambles. Palmeiras may accept a single cash payment at a more reasonable price.
Hakan Calhanoglu (AM/LW) Player wants a new contract - Milan could oblige - it may depend on what happens with loanee Bahim Diaz. Atletico and Juventus have asked his German-based agent if a move is possible for them. The agent remains keen on the idea to try the player out in England or Germany.
Ansu Fati (LW) Barcelona would not sell last summer and will resist again if Juventus return. Seen as a Ronaldo replacement. Don't hold your breath.
Marcus Thuram (LW/S) Milan are hoping to persuade Mino Raiola to help ease Thuram toward them but are aware of the desires of Barcelona and, significantly, Juventus.
Ousmane Dembele (LW/RW/F) Barcelona could be stuck with the player as it is unlikely other clubs will match their valuation - unless he can be used as part of another transfer, loaned or the price drops considerably. Liverpool had enquired after his price earlier in last year but likely only wanted a loan with an option to buy - if that were to become an obligation to buy then it could be possible if Mane or Salah were to leave in the summer. PSG may provide an option as a Di Maria replacement - but I doubt he would be their first choice. Juventus could be open to a loan but will not want to buy the player. This could be very disruptive to other transfer plans. Manchester United has him on their list of Jadon Sancho alternatives. It is possble he could be offered to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal for Haaland but it would need negotiation over his value. The player is not keen on leaving Barcelona and has been working hard to prove himself to the new coach - but Barcelona do have him on their lengthy list of players they want to sell or exchange - but he cannot be forced to move which may mean they have to negotiate a new deal. Barcelona have enough others for sale that they will likely look to avoid losing out on their investment and will maybe look to an extension and sale next year.
Elias Solberg (RW/LW) Norweigan kiddie Chelsea were blocked from signing by Brexit will likely move to Juventus. Brondby and Molde will ask to take him on loan when he is 18.}
Abdallah Sima (LW/S)
Marley Aké (LW) moving to Juve.
Memphis Depay (F) the chances of him agreeing an extension are dwindling and offers are being considered. Interest from Barcelona remains after coming very close to signing him last summer. Juventus, the Milanese sides (who I would discount) and PSG all have declared an interest. May get his desired move to Juventus to replace Ronaldo if they decide to sell this summer or Morata if the option isnot taken up - but PSG may just look to Depay if they cannot add their preferred option.
Alvaro Morato (S) Option exists for a second year on loan at €10M - Juventus see the price as too high and will try and reduce it - but financial issues may drive them down this route.
Donyell Malen (S/F) Arsenal want to resign the player to replace Lacazette - but it seems very unlikely he would want to return and Arsenal may well turn their attention to Patson Daka. Borussia Dortmund have him on their list of potential Sancho replacements. Milan are also keen on the player but finances are in a rough state and it may prove difficult. Juventus see Malen as an option to Memphis Depay who they have lost out on. He would make a fine replacement for Roberto Firmino at Liverpool but I am not aware of any approach to PSV and the club has not spoken to Mino Riaola about him at this time.
Olivier Giroud (S) out of contract in the summer. West Ham would offer a good solution as he can stay in London. Crystal Palace offered the same solution but there is no interest. Napoli, Juventus and Inter have all raised the subject with Chelsea. Lyon and Bordeaux have likely moved on from their prior interest. Milan will offer an option. There was a discussion with Rennes but that will only come in to play if M'Baye Niang were to leave. The lady from Marseille knows him well and may offer a solution but they really want a younger player.
Pedro Neto (LW/RW/S) At this time I am not aware of any approach to Wolves for the versatile Neto, although clubs may have spoken with his agent. The advantage Neto has is that he could prove a cost efficient alternative to Sancho and Grealish whilst Diallo gains experience - and Manchester United have watched him, along with Manchester City. Whilst I would expect Wolves to resist a sale a significant offer may prove tempting. And an offer from Juventus will be the starting point for his agent to try and extract him from Wolves.
Kylian Mbappe (RW/S/F) is the primary target for Real Madrid in 2021 - they will face a challenge from Juventus who will be open to include players in the deal. PSG don't want to sell him and at the very least will expect him to extend a one or two year extension to his existing contract that runs until 2022, that will keep his price buayant. But Ideally PSG want him to agree a new long term deal and are willing to offer him €750k per week for a minimum two yer extension.
Erling Braut Haaland (S) Won't be moving to Juventus.
Moise Kean (S) Needs to move on as soon as possible - PSG or Juventus will offer options. His agent will try to find a way to have him return to Turin.
Kaio Jorge (S) Santos are already beginning an auction of the striker with Juventus, Roma and Napoli keen.
Mauro Icardi (S) If Moise Kean stays with PSG efforts will be made to engineer a move from PSG to Juventus. Others may also show their hand.
Lionel Messi (F) The plan was to leave in the summer although a new contract might be possible, but he would need to take a significant cut in wages. In terms of clubs who could potentially put a suitable package together, there would only likely be Manchester City (who could have used Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia in exchange last summer but didn't want plans disrupted) can be discounted as they turn their attention elsewhere, Juventus (who can also likely be discounted as they are working to a fixed plan for other targets), PSG (who could have looked to use Neymar in a deal last summer - but they would be less attractive to the player and Neymar is no longer in the plans of Barcelona, but they may be the only viable option, but also have other plans) and Inter Milan (who had the chance to offer Lautaro Martinez in any transaction and Javier Zanetti could yet look to sell the project and tax laws which would keep the cost to the club to lower than competitors). Other sides who are financially in a position to take him (Bayern Munich, Chelsea etc.) have other plans. He will have no interest in playing in China or the Middle East. My expectation is that Messi will stay another year or two years to play with Aguero at Barcelona. One day perhaps a season at Inter Miami, Boca or Newell's OB before retirement.}

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24 Apr 2021 09:42:33
Brilliant, read. Thanks.

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18 Apr 2021 17:31:47
Hi ed. a few years back you gave us a synopsis of the European super League, I've been reading articles today on the breakaway league, and I was wondering if you could post a link to your original post, I tried the search function. I remember it was long so I won't ask you to re-type it.

Enjoy your day.

{Ed002's Note - It is something like this right now:

There are several counter-proposals to the proposed pan-European breakaway that have been backed by UEFA to try and save their own skin. The first proposal was to rename and change the format of the UEFA Champions League to make it an elite closed-shop pan-European league with a fixed number of teams – and these would be the same teams every year and be based on past winners of the Champions League and European Cup and a few (not specified) more. It would then require the restructuring of the Europa League and the introduction of a lower-tier European competition again (which is happening regardless). Although they have yet to flesh out the detail and there is now a major concern that the impetus for this is not coming from Europe, although one major Football Association has given their support and discussions have also been held with the leading clubs from England (Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal). The American backer, Stephen Ross of the Miami Dolphins, has on several occasions requested a meeting with an extant group of sides considering the pan-European breakaway to discuss his proposals. They have no interest in such a discussion but having identified the source of much of the funding (and that raising a concern) will wish to discuss it between themselves again. This has dragged on for three years and nothing has happened - and I doubt it will. Ross with the help of Liverpool owners FSG organised a meeting of a number of clubs in Paris during January 2020 including Arsenal, Bayern Munich, PSG, Atletico, Manchester United, Juventus, Liverpool in order to discuss expanding the pre-season International Champions Cup to a much larger event where clubs would be members of the tournament through a debenture type system but need to commit to playing their first team in all games. Ajax, Chelsea, both Milan sides, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Marseille, Real Madrid and Spurs refused invitations to attend. Ross wants UEFA to formally recognise the tournament (there has been a discussion already) which would be a money spinner but will add many more first team games to the annual schedule.

However, UEFA are still also considering a variant proposal that would see some places in the CL fixed (probably to previous winners) and then see it supplemented by Champions and second place sides each season. This complicates matters again as it means the re-introduction of a third competition or the significant restructuring of the EL. The plan being put to clubs is a summer/preseason tournament that will evolve into a parallel league, and of course eventually into a complete breakaway for these clubs. As a first step to all of this, UEFA have negotiated minor changes that will see the four entrants from England, Germany, Spain and Italy enter the existing Champions’ League group stages without any qualification beyond their National League position (so no entry to qualifying rounds). This has been agreed by the European Club Association but UEFA did not want to discuss it with the separate group of “elite” sides discussing the Pan European League (and that “elite” group includes three English sides) as they are aware they will get no more than a shrug and no long-term support - and that is where we are now.

The new UEFA plans, which would come into force in 2024, state that the 32-team Champions League for the 2024/25 season would be chosen based on UEFAs domestic club rankings from the period between the 2020/21 and 2023/24 seasons, effectively shutting out clubs who are not doing well prior to 2024. What it does is make an early start for a breakaway (pre 2024) very unlikely. Timing wise, two very prominent clubs wanted it to happen as soon as possible (2021 was the most recently proposed date) and they have the support of a third club - but most are looking at 2023 to 2025 being a good option. A few clubs are looking at 2025 to 2028 and I suspect that could end up as the reality. Changes to this proposal (which would see the expansion to 36 sides and other minor changes are being voted on April 19. Some clubs want leverage, and this is the likely reason for the announcement today.

Right now, of the 21 clubs involved in the “elite” club discussions, two have said they will not be in any breakaway league and three have said they may not compete. That will likely change by the time anything eventually happens and talks will continue. The primary UEFA plans, which would come into force in 2024, state that the 32-team Champions League for the 2024/25 season would be chosen based on UEFAs domestic club rankings from the period between the 2020/21 and 2023/24 seasons, effectively shutting out clubs who are not doing well prior to 2024. What it does is make an early start for the Elite to move on (pre 2024) very unlikely. Timing wise, two very prominent clubs wanted it to happen as soon as possible (2021 was the most recently proposed date) and they have the support of a third club - but most are looking at 2023 to 2025 being a good option. A few clubs are looking at 2025 to 2028 and I suspect that could end up as the reality. They will meet later this week to consider what UEFA have sais and some clubs are involved in this latest proposal.

The other major counter proposal is a Chinese proposal from the Dalian Wanda Group proposes to open up the lucrative Chinese and Far Eastern media markets by extending the league to include Chinese and South American clubs. This has yet to be discussed by the "elite" sides as a group although the proposals have been presented to a number of them already on an individual basis. The proposals are very broad-based and lack detail - their selling point is significant additional income for the "elite". The general feeling from informal discussions over cocktails is that the "elite" would not want it on a league basis but could be open to including other sides in some sort of expanded World Club – and that is where FIFA would come in. The pandemic will have done for this for now.

Liverpool has failed in attempt to disrupt the English game to support an expanded Club World Cup on a debenture basis. The FA have tried to work a proposal that would see a smaller Premier League and introduce a Premier League 2 - the idea being with fewer Premier League games the higher-profile sides would be able to compete in any reshaped European competition whilst maintaining a their position in England - this appeals to some clubs (e.g. Chelsea) and allows The FA to keep control. Liverpool and Manchester United were involved in discussions but turned against it wanting more control themselves - and that led Liverpool to say they will form their own breakaway league. Attempts at a compromise solution have fallen apart. This was Project Big Foot and is about FSG wanting more money, and that is to some extent what is behind this and why JP Morgan have been roped in.

If the proposal for a breakaway goes ahead, there is every likelihood that the big money from television, sponsorship etc. would go with a breakaway league. It would completely rupture the operations of UEFA and I would expect it would require national associations like the FA to restructure their leagues. Nobody wants this but it is the eventual consequence I would expect. Initially it could be that there is a single 16 team league with 2 or 3 EPL teams making the initial plunge. If I had to speculate, I would think (1) you might eventually see something like five or six EPL teams leave for two-tier pan European league - but it won't be based on the UEFA rankings; (2) the Premier League would be disbanded as an organisation; (3) the FA would restructure in to two 20 team divisions with lower leagues regionalised as they were many years ago; (4) FIFA would ban all players from the breakaway teams from International football - perhaps rescinding that position to stop FIFA breaking up as well - they don't want further issues but the troubles are not going to go away. I could also see many teams lose their professional status. I would think we are probably 10 years away from any significant move at this time. UEFA would exclude all of the teams from their competitions.

I hold a reasonably strong view in terms of the need to restructure football in Europe in any case. For me an eventual a breakaway pan-European league would force the restructuring of many of the national leagues, possibly resulting in a British league with perhaps only a couple of professional tiers and then regionalised amateur leagues below that. Financially I do not see that so many pro sides can be sustained within the sport which, like it or not, will see more and more money going in to the highest levels of the game. Governments will ensure that grassroots sport get funding but everything in the middle (Southern, Northern, Conference, Division 2, Scottish Divisions 1-3, League of Wales will not get the funding needed to continue on any sort of professional basis. For me, clubs should already recognise this and put their efforts in to getting there finances in order to see if they can make it to a British professional league that will need to flourish without perhaps six sides that have eventually gone down the pan-European route - and have gone for good (it would be two or perhaps three initially). Clubs like Accrington Stanley will need to carry on as amateurs or face extinction (yet again). Recently Hartlepool has been struggling - again it needs to adapt. The mighty Third Lanark have started their long journey back to the top - it can be done.

The game has changed significantly and will continue to do so whether the Liverpool supporters like it or not. Football at the highest level is big business and attracts the sponsorship it does because the sponsors wish to tap into the disposable income of the fans and ride the back of the advertising that flows naturally from the success some clubs achieve. Long gone are the days of the cloth-capped, hobnailed-booted, chimney sweep making his way, rattle in hand, to cheer on his team at Anfield on a Saturday afternoon. I have explained that there will be changes, probably within the next 10 to 12 years, which will force the restructuring of all of the leagues in Europe and likely do away with the likes of UEFA. You will have the opportunity to see the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus and the other major European sides play in week-on-week regular competition at The Emirates, St James Park, Stamford Bridge or wherever. Fans of the sides who take the plunge will have the opportunity to visit cities such as Milan, Barcelona, Munich, etc. every couple of weeks to watch their team play. If you want to don your cloth cap, have a pint of wallop with your chums before going off to the local match through the grim, wet and cobbled streets of the Northwest of England where there is smog, dead & dying pit ponies laying on the street and only chips and fried curry to eat., perhaps one of the sides from the suburbs will have survived so you can go and watch them?

It was thought that a possible option might have resulted from a potential landmark decision that UEFA were to make in June or July 2017 - and that could facilitate the ownership of lower-tier sides by the more senior sides and then work as a feeder club. However – the need to make that decision was avoided.

The ramifications will be that clubs are kicked out of domestic, UEFA and FIFA competition - and this is just another option that is on the table for now. Nothing will happen overnight and there are huge legal issues that would need to be addressed before the UEFA proposed changes for 2024 which they will further amend and vote on tomorrow). There will be a push by some clubs to make the Champions League a closed shop to some extent (but not completely) and this will be used to leverage they situation with UEFA. In reality some clubs just want leverage. The “elite” sides will meet later this week after one side requested it today (April 18). That might be more telling.

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16 Apr 2021 01:07:36
Ed002 who is interested in belotti.

{Ed002's Note - Andrea Belotti (S) Torino will sell this summer but Milan don't want to pay the full asking price but include a player or players in any deal. The only other interest has been West Ham who have a real need to add a striker and from Roma who need a replacement for Dzeko.}

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08 Apr 2021 18:43:50
Ed would it be possible to get a list of ins and outs at lnter Milan when you get a minute

{Ed002's Note - Maybe next month if you remind me. It will be clearer then.}

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08 Apr 2021 20:15:09
Will do thanks.

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05 Apr 2021 15:09:30
Ed002, who is interested in Lautaro Martinez?

{Ed002's Note - They are no looking to sell.}

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