Barcelona’s and Actual Madrid’s curiosity in rising MLS and USMNT expertise headlines this week’s ESPN’s Insider Pocket book. PLUS: Chelsea’s squad overhaul continues.
MLS, USMNT expertise on Barcelona’s, Actual Madrid’s radar
With El Clasico every week away, Barcelona and Real Madrid are already battling off the sector, with a cluster of U.S. prospects and established expertise on each La Liga golf equipment’ radars, sources instructed ESPN.
Actual Madrid are monitoring the progress of Borussia Dortmund‘s Giovanni Reyna, membership sources confirmed, with the membership conscious of his potential as a gifted playmaker, and off the pitch as a marketable USMNT star-in-waiting. Reyna, 17, has caught the attention for Dortmund this season, recording a hat trick of assists in a 4-0 Bundesliga win over Freiburg earlier this month.
Sources stated Madrid are actively monitoring Reyna — and can watch how he develops for membership and nation over the 2020-21 season — and the identical goes for numerous gifted kids of the identical age as a part of the membership’s in depth scouting division.
Madrid have already got Martin Odegaard lined up as a long-term attacking midfield alternative for veteran Luka Modric, 35, in addition to Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo in large positions — and 18-year-old Brazilian Reiner, who joined Reyna at Dortmund this summer season on a two-year mortgage deal.
Whereas Madrid are casting an eye fixed over Reyna, Barcelona are stepping up their scouting operation within the U.S. and Canada, with Brenden Aaronson, Gianluca Busio and Cade Cowell all into consideration, sources stated.
Barca have carefully adopted the North American marketplace for a number of years. In 2018 they signed Ballou Tabla from Montreal Impact, though he returned to the Canadian aspect completely earlier this yr. Since signing Ballou, Barca have prolonged their presence in North America and have acquired glowing studies on plenty of younger gamers making their identify in MLS.
Aaronson, 19, is an attacking midfielder who completed a move to FC Salzburg from Philadelphia Union on Friday. He has already been capped by the USMNT and was named within the Finest XI on the MLS is Again Match earlier this yr. Busio, 18, is one other participant who has caught the attention. The Sporting Kansas City ahead, who’s of Italian descent, has already made 44 appearances in MLS and has been capped by the USMNT at youth degree. Cowell, at 17, is the youngest participant on Barca’s radar. The California-born ahead made his MLS debut for the San Jose Earthquakes earlier this yr and scored his first goal for the club in a 3-2 loss towards the LA Galaxy in August.
All three are being carefully adopted by Barca as they ponder additional including to a rising American contingent on the membership. They accomplished a deal price as much as €26 million for USMNT right-back Sergino Dest earlier this month, whereas U.S under-20 worldwide Konrad de la Fuente has been commonly coaching with the primary crew. Elsewhere, there are two gifted People within the membership’s U15 crew: goalkeeper Diego Kochen and midfielder Adrian Simon Gill.
Except for the expertise rising in the united statesand Canada, Barca have additionally focused America as a key marketplace for development on a advertising and marketing and sponsorship degree. They commonly play video games there in the summertime as a part of the Worldwide Champions trophy and sources say they’re already seeing the advantages of getting Dest and De la Fuente on the membership. — Moises Llorens, Sam Marsden, Rodrigo Faez and Alex Kirkland
Chelsea plotting Rice transfer
ESPN reported on July 7 that the Hammers were determined to keep Rice this summer regardless of the Blues registering their curiosity in him, and that place by no means modified all through the summer season window. Chelsea selected to not make any formal bid for Rice, 21, with West Ham demanding round £80m. They as an alternative opted to commit £220m on strengthening different areas of their squad.
Nonetheless, sources stated Rice stays a high goal for Frank Lampard and Chelsea could be keen to make a transfer in January if situations permit. A deal is extra probably subsequent summer season however West Ham’s monetary issues are sophisticated. They’re about to commit round £30m to signal Said Benrahma from Championship aspect Brentford however they’re additionally exploring short-term funding choices. Rice has a contract till 2024 and the participant has not agitated to depart however the membership might select to money in ought to wider circumstances create contemporary pressures.
Equally, Lampard might want to make house in his squad. Rice is utilized by West Ham and England as a defensive midfielder, however Chelsea are attracted by his versatility to play at centre-back.
The Blues stored midfielders Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, along with centre-backs Fikayo Tomori and Antonio Rudiger, within the switch window. At the least a kind of gamers must depart earlier than Rice could possibly be acquired however regardless, they continue to be actively on the case. — James Olley
ESPN FC’s Alejandro Moreno says Chelsea lined all their weaknesses in the summertime switch window.
… as Kante edges to exit door
What does the longer term maintain for Kante? The France worldwide has over two years left on his contract at Chelsea however there are indications that this could possibly be his final season on the membership. Whereas he’s pleased in London and enjoying within the Premier League, the 29-year-old doesn’t really feel he’s a part of the longer term plans at Stamford Bridge, sources have instructed ESPN.
Kante can also be conscious of aforementioned rumoured arrival of Rice. It was clear to Kante that Chelsea have been to carry again former academy product Rice, who additionally counts Mason Mount as his greatest buddy.
It nearly felt at occasions that Chelsea have been ready for a suggestion for Kante to let him go and substitute him with Rice. Inter Milan by no means bid for the Frenchman and as such, he stays pleased to remain at Chelsea. However even of their communication, the London membership and Lampard have been by no means too clear about Kante.
Kante additionally did not take properly that Lampard denied his request to take a break day coaching to attend one among his greatest mates’ marriage ceremony. Chelsea deny the story however French sources have confirmed it to ESPN — whereas Kante himself might have denied it whereas on worldwide obligation with Les Bleus final week however selected to not.
As amicable as the previous Leicester City star is, he additionally has a robust character. Nonetheless, he’ll give his best possible all season for Lampard and Chelsea as he has carried out since arriving in 2016. However subsequent summer season is likely to be a completely completely different dynamic round him than compared to the final switch window. — Julien Laurens
Gab Marcotti outlines the impression N’Golo Kante has on the pitch for Chelsea and explains why he could possibly be up on the market.
Solskjaer to maintain religion with Maguire
Maguire has endured a nightmare begin to the marketing campaign, together with selecting up a crimson card in England‘s 1-0 defeat to Denmark on Wednesday, following his arrest while on holiday in Greece this summer.
Sources stated that Solskjaer has had issues in regards to the impression the continued authorized proceedings in Greece have had on Maguire, however the United boss is eager to maintain selecting his captain, together with for the journey to Newcastle on Saturday. United have shipped 11 objectives in three Premier League video games and Solskjaer’s principal difficulty is selecting a companion for Maguire quite than developing with a brand new mixture on the again, although Sevilla’s Jules Kounde has been added to their listing of targets.
Victor Lindelof was first alternative final season however was dropped for the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham. Eric Bailly began towards Spurs however there are issues over his damage report, and that of Axel Tuanzebe. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are decrease down the pecking order after each have been unnoticed of the Champions League squad.
Solskjaer checked on Maguire when he returned to Carrington on Thursday. Sources stated he’ll belief Maguire to resolve whether or not he is able to play towards Newcastle however absolutely expects to choose the 27-year-old at St James’ Park. — Rob Dawson
Steve Nicol chimes in on Harry Maguire’s erratic kind for membership and nation, however does not suppose he needs to be dropped.
Man United pissed off as golf equipment ramp up costs
Bournemouth’s negotiations with West Ham for striker Josh King have brought on a stir at Manchester United, sources instructed ESPN.
Bournemouth are quoting West Ham within the area of £18m to signal King, regardless of telling United they valued the Norwegian at near £50m in January. Solskjaer was eager to herald King final season when Marcus Rashford suffered a again damage, however after being delay by the worth tag, turned his consideration to Odion Ighalo,
United are pointing to the disparity over King as proof of the difficulties they imagine they face within the switch market. Sources instructed ESPN that in January, analysts relayed to Solskjaer and govt vice-chairman Ed Woodward that King’s market worth was round £15m.
They have been ready to go increased given their want for a striker however have been shocked when Bournemouth requested for a price that might have made King, a former Previous Trafford academy graduate, the fifth most costly participant within the membership’s historical past regardless of having simply 18 months left on his contract. — Rob Dawson
Mark Ogden blasts Paul Pogba’s current feedback about eager to play for Actual Madrid someday.
Wenger rewrites historical past somewhat
The discharge of Arsene Wenger’s autobiography was a reminder of how a lot his oratory and appeal are missed together with his weekly Arsenal information conferences a factor of the previous. Nonetheless, it additionally supplied examples of the 70-year-old’s hazy reminiscence which generally had journalists at London Colney fact-checking the element of whichever eloquent argument he was making on the time.
– Wenger’s ebook: The best bits
Few managers final 22 years in a single job, so Wenger’s sheer longevity affords him a level of latitude. However in defending the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United and his archrival Sir Alex Ferguson in 2012, the Frenchman wrote: “After three of the 4 years that he signed for, he was injured and Ferguson offered him to the Turkish membership Fenerbahce.”
But when Van Persie left Previous Trafford in 2015, Ferguson had been retired for 2 seasons, United had already employed and sacked David Moyes with Louis van Gaal then in cost.
Equally, in explaining Arsenal‘s £40,000,001 provide for Luis Suarez at Liverpool, Wenger cites the Gunners’ pursuit going down in 2014, including they failed partly as a result of “there was already a suggestion from Barca on the horizon.”
Arsenal’s bid really got here a yr earlier. Suarez moved to Barcelona in 2014. — James Olley