World Football Gossip Roundup: Lewandowski, Eriksen, Sanchez, Mourinho
It’s not every day that a manager dominates the gossip sections, but Jose Mourinho—as he, himself, would freely admit—is not most managers.
Rumours of player transfers, meanwhile, almost invariably involve Bayern Munich these days. With the club’s success, bulging purse and impending arrival of Pep Guardiola, the Bundesliga giants seem to have replaced The Special One’s current side as the most rumour-friendly subject for both agents and journalists.
This installment also features the latest talk regarding Danish prodigy Christian Eriksen, want-away Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez and more.
Keep reading for all the details.
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Manchester United remain at or near the front of the pack to sign Borussia Dortmund marksman Robert Lewandowski (Express), but now it looks as though Bayern Munich are considering a move for the Poland international as well.
Lewandowski, 24, scored 22 Bundesliga goals as Dortmund won the title last season, and with his tally in a 6-1 win over Greuther Furth on Saturday equalled that amount with five games yet to play this term.
His potency in front of goal has not go unnoticed at Bayern Munich, who have a history of acquiring their top rivals’ best players.
The Bavarian giants would like to add some depth up front during the summer, and it seems as though they have now prioritized Lewandowski over Liverpool’s Luis Suarez to accomplish just that (Mirror).
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Out of contract at the end of next season, Christian Eriksen has admitted he’ll consider a move away from Dutch giants Ajax if the right offer comes in (Daily Mail).
The 21-year-old Denmark international is completing his fourth season at the Amsterdam Arena and has been the centre-piece of an Ajax side that has won two consecutive titles and could claim a third in succession should they be able to hold off challenges from PSV Eindhoven, Vitesse and Feyenoord in the next few weeks.
Eriksen has bagged 11 goals in all competitions so far this season, but his most impressive statistic is the 19 assists he has contributed to the Eredivisie league leaders.
Manchester City are keeping an eye on him as they look to increase their attacking options in the summer.
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A lot is made of Bayern Munich’s options in the attacking third of the park, and rightfully so.
But a serious injury to Holger Badstuber has revealed something of a shortage in depth among the back four, and had one other central defender gone down this season Bayern’s fortunes could well have had a rather different look to them.
With that in mind, the recently-crowned Bundesliga champions have targeted Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny in their bid to boost defensive depth (Daily Mail).
The 27-year-old had a solid campaign last season and has returned to that form in recent matches, catching Bayern’s eye in the process.
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Chile international Alexis Sanchez got plenty of first-team football at Barcelona after David Villa suffered a serious leg-break early last season, but his form has dropped so noticeably this term that the Primera Division champions will consider moving him over the next few months.
Juventus are reported to be his most amorous suitor (Gazzetta dello Sport).
It seems the Bianconeri’s heavy loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League has put the Scudetto holders on alert for available forwards, and with Sanchez out of favour at Camp Nou—nevermind his previous success in Serie A—there could be a deal to be done.
The 24-year-old played some of the best football of his career in his final season with Udinese, scoring 12 Serie A goals and assisting on six others. He’s used to Italian football, and he’s used to the black and white strip, as well.
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Modibo Diakite had a breakout season for Lazio in 2011-12 and will be out of contract this summer.
In other words, he’ll be available on a free transfer, and with Brendan Rodgers desperate to add at least one central defender to the ranks over the next few months it looks as though Liverpool will be among the most serious contenders for his signature (talkSPORT).
Diakite, 26, is an imposing figure at 6'4", and there has also been talk he could stick it to his former employers by joining city rivals Roma ahead of next season.
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A Chelsea return for The Special One appears more and more likely with each passing day, and on Saturday the Mirror reported the 50-year-old was “confident” he had “negotiated his way out of Real Madrid—to set up a dream return to Chelsea.”
“Mourinho and his representatives believe they have struck an agreement to allow him to leave at the end of the season, but he will be expected to avoid any further controversies at the Bernabeu,” the article claimed.
Mourinho, who won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups during his first stint at Stamford Bridge from 2004 until his sudden departure in 2007, owns a house in London and has spoke often of his love of both the English lifestyle and its football.
And even though PSG are preparing a £12 million compensation package to tempt Mourinho to the French capital, it seems his fondness for his former club will be the ultimate factor in his decision.