Matthijs de Ligt’s Possible Transfer Options

Matthijs de Ligt has managed to emerge as one of the hottest topics in this summer’s European transfer window after he captained Ajax to the semi-finals of the Champions League at only 19 years of age.

Paris-Saint Germain, Manchester United have tracked the centre-back, and Barcelona, with speculation, also linking the football star to Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Juventus. De Ligt has recently stated that he will take his time to decide where he will go after his much-needed vacation this month. However, with all these elite clubs at his feet, which one will be the best for his career?

Barcelona

The most significant selling point when you consider a club like Barcelona is the fact that you will get to play alongside Lionel Messi and call him a teammate. However, with Gerard Pique now at 32 years old, the team needs to rebuild and improve their defence. De Ligt can easily be regarded as the kingpin for the Barca defence which can last for the next decade. This will allow him to take his game to a brand-new level while playing next to Pique. He will also be guaranteed to win massive trophies while playing with Frenkie de Jong who is also from the Netherlands.

Paris-Saint Germain

Reporters have recently stated that PSG is currently ahead of every other club in the race to acquire De Ligt. Should he decide to join PGS, he could be looking at a cabinet full of domestic trophies with the French champions. Learning more about football while playing next to Thiago Silva is another appealing factor that De Ligt will consider. There’s no denying that a move to PSG would be one of the most lucrative decisions of his career.

Manchester United

A transfer over to Manchester United would be extremely lucrative for a young player like De Ligt. Once he arrives, he would play every single week and will have a defence formed around the young star. Manchester United are currently in a difficult situation, but they are still considered one of the largest clubs in the world. De Ligt might be interested in the challenge to get the team back on track. Thanks to his incredible skills and abilities, he would be ideally suited for the English Premier League.

Liverpool

The prospect of forming a defensive partnership with Virgil van Dijk in the Liverpool squad is a compelling aspect for De Ligt. And thanks to the recent victory at the Champions League, Liverpool can offer De Ligt the chance to play with the best European club in the world and probably the next Premier League winners for 2020 due to the extraordinary leadership qualities of Jurgen Klopp.

Verdict

Regardless of what De Ligt decided to do this summer, he will undoubtedly find himself at one of the most elite clubs in Europe. However, if he is smart and has the opportunity to hand-pick a club, Liverpool should be his top pick.

Barcelona Want €60 Million in Sales by 30 June 2019

Barcelona is hoping to bring in a minimum of €60 million through player sales before 30 June 2019 with the primary objective of balancing their accounts for the upcoming season, several sources have recently reported.

Ernesto Valverde is also hoping to add another 3 or 4 football players to his current squad during the summer. However, he has recently been warned that the delicate financial situation of the club dictates that football players need to be sold before new players can join.

Barcelona’s Signing Plans

After the unexpected Champions League defeat against Liverpool earlier this year, Barcelona has decided to make Philippe Coutinho available as a transfer and are hoping that he has a fantastic tournament with Brazil during the Copa America as they want to receive at least million for his services.

Samuel Umtiti and Ivan Rakitic are also well aware that Barca will look for decent offers for them as the club aims to make close to €300 million for the two players before the next season gets underway. However, both players have recently expressed their desire to remain at the club. However, sources have recently revealed that it’s the fringe players that Barcelona is desperately searching to transfer before the end of June 2019.

The Spanish champions already committed to signing Frenkie de Jong from Ajax for an initial €75 million. The club is also interested in Antoine Griezmann who recently informed Atletico Madrid that he wants to leave the club and will be available on 1 July 2019 for €120 million.

Barcelona also has an agreement with the Dutch club Ajax to sign a contract with Matthijs de Ligt eventually. However, the club hasn’t had any discussions with the player as of yet. The club will re-open a contract agreement with his agent later this week. However, it seems like Paris Saint-Germain might be in the best position to grab the player. Obtaining de Ligt will also see Umtiti moving closer to the exit door.

Barcelona Players that Might Leave

Andre Gomes should be the first player to leave. The midfielder from Portugal has multiple suitors across England after he spent the last season on loan at Everton. The player already rejected offers from West Ham and Everton are keen to keep him on permanently. Barcelona is confident that he will fetch at least €30 million for the club.

Barcelona is also looking for new homes for Jasper Cillessen, Malcolm, Rafinha, and Denis Suarez. Atletico Madrid and Valencia are interested in Denis Suarez, while Jasper Cillessen recently requested to leave and return to regular football. Barcelona is currently asking for €30 million for the Dutch goalkeeper.

The club also believes that they can claim back €40 million that paid for Malcolm last year. The player didn’t have many opportunities during his first season with Barcelona, and his agents will soon meet with the club to discuss possible options. This will assist in obtaining enough money for other transfers.

Liverpool Claim Glory at the Champions League Final

None of the Liverpool fans will care too much about the banners that were unfolded in Madrid and the fact that they now look completely outdated. Liverpool managed to claim their sixth star and when the team returns next season, we will undoubtedly see ‘Madrid, 2019’ added to the white, yellow, and red flags that have been flapping from lampposts, hotel windows, and balconies in Spain in memory of Paris, 1981, Wembley, 1978, Rome, 1984 and 1977, and Istanbul, 2005.

Liverpool’s Glorious Victory

For Liverpool, this will be the sixth time in the history of the prestigious football club where they managed to bring back the shiny old pot. Only Real Madrid, with a total of 13 times, and AC Milan, with a total of 7 times, boast with a more superior record when it comes to the Champions League. In the English Premier League, Liverpool has managed to win the tournament more than any of the other clubs combined.

Mohamed Salah will finally understand the feeling of scoring a decisive goal in the biggest soccer tournament Europe has to offer, along with Divock Origi who is now considered the ultimate hero for his club after scoring a phenomenal goal during the 83rd minute of the match. The rewards that come at this level will be so prestigious that Jurgen Klopp and his team won’t be bothered with the fact that they could have performed at a much more sophisticated level.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Pain

As for Tottenham Hotspur, it gave the impression of a breath-taking painting being torn apart. The players in the team along with Mauricio Pochettino will never be able to forget the evening where they had the opportunity to claim the most prestigious trophy in the 137 years since the club’s inception.

They will feel especially hurt that the goalkeeper for Liverpool didn’t make any significant saves until the second half of the match and realized the hard way that there’s no glory in a final while the other team is on the winner’s podium. It must be a genuinely numbing feeling to witness the trophy in all its glory and not being able to hold it in your hands at the end of the night.

Liverpool’s Remarkable Performance

Although Liverpool completely understands how Tottenham felt in the evening, they made 100% sure that they wouldn’t feel like it again. Liverpool had Salah on the field for a more extended period this time around which helped. The Reds were also playing against a club that was 26 points behind them in the Premier League.

Origi was another unlikely hero for the evening that many did not expect, but his goal during the 87th minute was the end of the duel and everything in the stadium, and those watching from around the world, knew it. After Liverpool scored the 2nd goal, it didn’t take long for the club to throw Jurgen Klopp in the air.

Manchester City Players – Dump or Keep

We were under the impression that completing this exercise for Man City would be pretty straight forward. You claim a domestic treble, win a second league title, everything is perfect, right? Not precisely, and that’s not due to the UEFA investigations either.

There’s loads of work that needs to be done with this club if they wish to stay in front in the 2019/20 season. Between players that are leaving, like Vincent Kompany, players that might want to go, including Nicolas Otamendi and Ilkay Gundogan, and players that are coming to an end on their contracts, such as David Silva and Fernandinho, there are urgent calls to make.

So, here is our assessment of the Manchester City squad and what might happen during the summer transfer window.

Goalkeepers

  • Ederson: Contract expires in 2025, and he is still only 25 years old, so it’s worth keeping him on.
  • Claudio Bravo: He’s been injured throughout the year and, due to his age, might want to return to regular football. He will never be number 1 again, and therefore it’s wise to sell him.
  • Arijanet Muric: The club loves him, but require a veteran backup for the team. Therefore, it’s advisable to send him on loan.
  • Daniel Grimshaw: Keep him on.

Defenders

  • John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Kyle Walker: Keep
  • Nicolas Otamendi: Pep doesn’t trust this player and won’t play much once you get an elite central defender on the team to replace Kompany. So sell him while you can.
  • Vincent Kompany: Free transfer to Anderlecht.
  • Eliaqium Mangala: Man City have been trying to get rid of this player for years. Sell him while the opportunity is still there or give him away.
  • Benjamin Mendy: Concerns are growing over his commitment, and he is unable to stay fit. Sell him and upgrade his position.
  • Danilo: He’s dependable and reliable in various positions, so it’s wise to keep him.
  • Tosin Adarabioyo: Homegrown player with loads of value. Keep and extend.

Midfielders

  • Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden: Keep
  • Douglas Luiz: Still a young player that can mature elsewhere, so loan him
  • Fernandinho: Vital player for the team that cannot be replaced at the moment, so keep him.
  • Ilkay Gundogan: He stated that he wouldn’t sign a new contract, so its best to sell him now.
  • Fabian Delph: Sell
  • David Silva: Keep player unless he decides to leave.
  • Leroy Sane: Still young and packed with skills. Keep and extend.
  • Riyad Mahrez: Give player time to adapt at Manchester City.

Forwards

  • Sergio Aguero: Keep player until he wants to leave.
  • Gabriel Jesus: Keep
  • Patrick Roberts: Another club should take him off Man City’s hands. Alternatively, you can also loan this player to gain experience as he is still very young.
  • Jack Harrison: You can extend his contract to preserve his value. Alternatively, Pep can send him to another club with a similar manager to allow the player to grow.

How Solskjaer Can Fix Manchester United

The Manchester United manager ripped into each of his players following a horrible 2-0 defeat at home against Cardiff City on the last day of the Premier League, informing them that they were an embarrassment to both themselves and the club. Solskjaer is spot on, but it will necessarily be him that will lose his job if things don’t turn around after an awful 2018/19 season.

Finishing in sixth place, with 32 points behind Manchester City is a complete disgrace for Manchester United. However, the Norwegian has a clear picture of which players are a problem and which players need to stay. He had a total of 6 months to evaluate the team and allowed each of them to prove themselves on the pitch.

Solskjaer as Head Coach

Some are under the impression that it was a huge mistake to make Solskjaer a full-time head coach in March. However, no one said anything when he defeated Paris-Saint Germain during the Champions League two months ago. Unfortunately, Manchester United has been rotten ever since then, and Solskjaer must take some blame. However, there’s loads of credit still left for the head coach, and most of the fans remain on his side.


One huge advantage when he was appointed in March was that he was allowed to plan carefully for next season. He understood that recruitment was a major priority and requested that Mike Phelan become a permanent staff member on his team. Solskjaer’s request came to life after his employers drew up a contract for Mike Phelan last week.

Manchester United’s Plan for 2019/20 Season

Manchester United are well aware of which areas need to be strengthened in the team and the type of footballers the club needs. Solskjaer is planning to get players in early to lift the spirit and hopes in fans around the world. Avoiding the unnecessary mess that was created last year will help too. Manchester United was also taken by surprise when they were informed late that another central midfielder was required on the pitch.

These types of players are complicated to find, especially from now-wealthy clubs, such as Leicester City. If the head coach doesn’t get it right, the club will slip behind the likes of Wolves, Everton, and Leicester.

Manchester United’s recruitment is being monitored very carefully because it previously fell short and turned out to be a disaster. Solskjaer also wants each of his players to be much fitter as well, which is why there have been loads of changes when it comes to his fitness staff too.

Solskjaer is not a puppet or an idiot when it comes to the club and dismissing the necessary team members. He understands that the job will eat him alive if he doesn’t get his players to perform, and he knows he needs to make a few bold moves to get rid of the problematic players in the dressing room. He can make these decisions without hesitating once.

Liverpool and Manchester City Complete a Phenomenal Season

There weren’t any unexpected twists on the last day of the Premier League. Just two of the best clubs that England has ever seen doing precisely what they’ve been doing in every league game in the last couple of months: winning.

Manchester City has managed to accumulate 198 Premier League points out of a possible 228 over the last two seasons. That showcases a level of dominance that has never been seen before in the Premier League, and it offers cause to think when it comes to those that ridiculed the achievements by Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Equally impressive is the fact that Manchester City was pushed until the end by the Reds, which is a true statement of the work done by their rivals. Most of us were too focused on the overall storylines that we never stopped to marvel at the work both these managers achieved in the 2018/19 Premier League season. Both individually and collectively as well as in the way they represented their clubs in the campaign. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at each of these clubs.

Manchester City

Manchester City was defeated 2-1 by Newcastle towards the end of January. From there on in, Man City only conceded four goals in the last 14 games. This occurred although Fernandinho only started in 5 of these games even though he is considered irreplaceable when it comes to the defence. Down the field, Pep Guardiola put his trust in two footballers who only a handful would have seen as critical contributors to their victory, one old, one young.

Oleksandr Zinchenko started as a winger but was under the radar for most of last year. However, in the previous 3 months, he was an ever-present left back, which gave the impression that he’d been part of the team for years. Vincent Kompany, a player who was slowed by injuries, seemed to have become a non-playing footballer in the last couple of years.

However, he was a secret weapon in the final weeks, especially when he scored his phenomenal goal while playing against Leicester City. He is one of the reasons why Manchester City lifted the trophy.

Liverpool

Liverpool, on the other hand, only lost one league match the entire season while boasting with the best defensive record within the league. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson as full-backs, along with Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, received loads of praise.

However, has anyone considered Joel Matip? Eighteen months ago, when he suffered from injuries and when van Dijk arrived, he seemed the had fallen behind. However, he joined the starting line-up in January and has been ever-present ever since.

Look at Naby Keita and Fabinho, two wildly expensive players that didn’t do much during the first three months. Klopp worked on them during the season, and both of them played vital roles in midfield.

Vincent Kompany’s Extravagant Goal for Manchester City

There was no way that Vincent Kompany would score a goal from there. His manager knew it, his teammates knew it, and more importantly, the Leicester City players knew it too.

There were only 20 minutes left in a game of cloying tension at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening when Aymeric Laporte passed the ball to Vincent Kompany halfway inside the Leicester half of the field. This is the situation Manchester City was in, the team’s centre-backs were camping on the halfway line, while their forwards were ineffectively clustering around the penalty area. They managed to throw everything at Leicester City without any results.

With a record of 12 consecutive victories that preceded this match, Manchester City only took the lead after the 63rd minute of the game. For Pep Guardiola’s side, this w1as considered uncomfortable and unfamiliar terrain.

Vincent Kompany’s Goal

Kompany decided to kick the ball a couple of feet in front of him. The opposition was in Manchester City’s faces throughout the match, but here, they surprisingly decided to back off due to the identity of the player. Both Hamza Choudhury and Wilfred Ndidi continued to run across the outer edge of the penalty area, while James Maddison decided to stay off. Therefore, Kompany agreed to take another touch before he decided to let the ball fly.

The perfect camera angle to witness the shot was behind Kompany as it provided the best story for his remarkable goal. He managed to strike the ball with his right foot, lifting both his feet off the ground in his effort to get the most out of his shot. The ball travelled high towards the goal, far beyond the capable hands of Kasper Schmeichel, ending up in the top-right corner to give Manchester City the lead.

This was considered a one-in-a-million strike, a wonder goal, and the more you look at it, the more sensational it becomes. This was the first goal for Kompany in more than a year. It also provided his primary goal in the Premier League from outside the box. He hasn’t been able to hit the goalie from outside the penalty area since December 2013.

The Reaction After the Goal

In Manchester City stands, there was a massive explosion of relief and joy. When the cameras focused on the Manchester City manager, Pep was in a messianic pose with his hands towards the sky along with a sea of limbs in the background.

When Pep was asked what he thought before Vincent went for goal, he responded that he didn’t want Kompany to go for the play at all. However, once the ball landed in the back of the net, he stated that it was a sensational goal and was relieved it managed to pass the goalkeeper. This will be the last season for Kompany at Manchester City as his contract comes to an end. However, if this is his good-bye, he certainly did it in style.

Manchester City’s Lead Over Liverpool Comes Down to Millimetres

It would be fitting, after a relentless chase between Liverpool and Manchester City, if the title race of the season was won by the leanest of margins. However, it will also feel cruel at the same time. At Merseyside, hearts must have sunk when the referee signalled the close-range effort from Sergio Aguero after it crossed the line. It managed to beat the desperate lunge of Matt Lowton by only 29.51 millimetres.

In two weeks, Jurgen Klopp could be looking back at the priceless moment that occurred in January when both contenders clashed, and John Stones managed to stretch out to his limit much like Lowton, hooking the ball away from the goal line even though nine-tenths of it crossed the line. Before the technology surrounding the goal-line was introduced, when officials had to rely on guesswork and instinct, the two decisions could have been reversed. It’s quite clear that justice has been done. However, never has the thinnest of distances been felt quite in the same manner as the contingency by Manchester City.

Manchester City’s Victory Over Burnley

Manchester City did not expect anything for free while playing at Turf Moor. In the previous season, the team endured a 1-1 draw in the same location against Burnley. However, it proved to be far less consequential when it came to their title hopes compared to any stumble that might have occurred on Sunday. It had all the ingredients to be considered another upset, and it should have been one at the end.

Instead, Manchester City managed to avoid a couple of awkward moments in the beginning, shut out the suggestion made by Klopp that it would be a difficult assignment on Thursday, and brilliantly completed the job. It was mainly an afternoon filled with experienced and calm heads where Guardiola was purring after the occasion.

During the first 20 minutes, it looked like Vincent Kompany could have been in for an enormous battle against Barnes, a player who scored while playing against Chelsea and is renowned for taking down the big guns in soccer. However, Kompany managed to end the struggle at the top, and Sergio Aguero, who didn’t see much of the ball during the first half, also got much stronger. This was the 20th goal in the Premier League for Aguero and managed to achieve this for five consecutive seasons.

Manchester City resembled a thunderstorm during the first 18 minutes of the second half, and once Aguero pounced, it was inevitable that a goal would be scored. On a day where Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling completely misfired, it was no coincidence that Aguero would be the one to settle the nerves for the team. Manchester City continues to win games in the Premier League, even if the win is calculated by millimetres. It’s these close encounters, with difficult VAR decisions that will see Manchester City take the title this year if they can continue winning in their last remaining games.

Liverpool Claims Victory over Porto in Champions League Quarterfinal


A first leg, by definition, is all about preparing the groundwork for an upcoming fixture. However, the 2-0 victory by Liverpool at Anfield against Porto isn’t just remarkable in relation to the second leg of the Champions League in Portugal, but in relation to Liverpool’s run-in as well. Five matches from the end of a magnificent and potential title-winning Premier League season, Jurgen Klopp somehow realised a brand-new midfield system, including Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, and Fabinho.

The New Midfield of Liverpool

None of the three midfielders have played consistent campaigns. For instance, Fabinho, after he arrived from Ligue 1 and Monaco, struggled initially to get into the Liverpool side due to his fitness levels. He only found his feet after three months of getting used to the system incorporated by Klopp. Keita has primarily been a disappointment since he made the transfer from RB Leipzig, while Jordan Henderson was partially a victim to the improvement of Fabinho where he lost his holding role position to the Brazilian.

However, Friday evening’s come-from-behind win against Southampton came equipped with a Keita equaliser where he burst forward to provide a goal. Then after Salah placed Liverpool in the lead, Jordan Henderson – a substitute with game-changing abilities who injected energy, tenacity, and fright – made his way to the penalty box to provide a remarkable pull-back for Roberto Firmino, sparking celebrations that gave everyone the impression that this is definitely the season for Liverpool.

Then, for the game against Porto in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal, the midfield of Klopp didn’t come with Georginio Wijnaldum, who is the most consistent midfielder for Liverpool this season. It also didn’t feature James Milner, Adam Lallana, or Xherdan Shaqiri. This midfield had Henderson, Keita, and Fabinho that represented the high-pressure triangle of Jurgen Klopp.

During an open match with opportunities on both sides, Liverpool managed to score within 25 minutes of the game, with both Henderson and Keita vital in the two goals. The initial goal was fortunate, with the shot by Keita from the edge of the penalty box being deflected off a player to pass Iker Casillas. The 2nd goal was brilliant. Keita managed to spread the ball from left to right, allowing Henderson to slip the ball between defenders before he placed it in the back of the net.

Henderson, Keita, and Fabinho

Both Henderson and Keita were brilliant in the recent matches they have played. Henderson and Fabinho are undoubtedly the best beneficiaries for Liverpool at the moment, contributing loads of skilful and clever playing tactics to get past defenders in midfield. The most recent victory is Liverpool’s 44th game in this campaign, signalling the first time that the trio played together on the field. If this trio is used again throughout the remainder of the Premier League season and the Champions League campaign, they will have a real chance to bring home some trophies at the end.

Liverpool Claims Another Win Against Southampton

Jurgen Klopp informed reporters that they shouldn’t stress about Mohamed Salah. Fifty-five days after he scored his 49th goal for Liverpool, he managed to score his 50th goal to transform what seemed like a nervous draw against Southampton into a phenomenal 3-1 victory on Friday that allowed Liverpool to reclaim the Premier League top spot for at least another nine days.

Mohamed Salah on His 50th Goal for Liverpool

Mohamed Salah seemed jittery all evening. Nothing he tried was on point. His passes were a little off, the ball seemed to get caught under his feet, and he was stumbling here and there for most of the game. Similar to previous games, he seemed desperate to score a goal, frantically attempting to put a stop to his poor form of late.

However, when he eventually got the ball from the header of Jordan Henderson, he made a run for goal on a counterattack, and it seemed like he entered a state of trance 50 yards away from goal. Although he had several passing options, he decided not to use it and instead go for glory. Salah was never going to miss this little opportunity. While the world was on pause, he selected his spot and drove the ball into the back of the net like a real football star.

“I never considered passing the ball as you need to score when you are a striker,” stated Salah after the match. He provided the perfect combination of nerve and technique when he made his way down the pitch to score his 50th goal. It was even more impressive when Henderson managed to score the third goal of the game which was considered the nerve-settler of the match. Also though he is not regarded as the most exceptional player in the team, he provides the necessary caution that brings with it certainty and control.

Jurgen Klopp’s Decisions with Liverpool

Klopp initially wanted to provide his captain the evening off, leaving James Milner and Jordan Henderson on the bench, while Fabinho and Naby Keita were brought onto the field. However, when Southampton made another run down the pitch passed the wispy midfield of Liverpool, changes had to be made, and Henderson was brought onto the field to make an impact. It worked beautifully in Klopp’s favour as Henderson provided the crucial goal to ensure Southampton couldn’t end the game in a tie.

You can easily make a case that this match was the most difficult when compared to the remaining games Liverpool still need to play. The revival of Southampton included wins against Arsenal and Tottenham. This is quite impressive when you consider that Southampton was below Huddersfield when Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived at the club.

Liverpool now needs to face Wolves, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Cardiff City, and Chelsea in the Premier League before the campaign comes to an end. They will also need to face Porto on two occasions in the Champions League before then.