Pochettino confirms he wanted to sign Inter Milan striker Keita Balde;…

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has said he wanted to sign Keita Balde, while Juventus want a key Chelsea man, according to Tuesday’s European papers.

 

SPURS BOSS WANTED KEITA BALDE

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he wanted to sign Keita Balde.

Speaking ahead of the Champions League clash with Inter Milan Pochettino claimed he has always been a fan of the Inter striker, who could line up against Spurs tonight.

“Yes, it’s true. I’ve been following him since he grew up in Barcelona while I was at Espanyol. He is a player with an interesting profile for us, I wanted him but then he chose Monaco. But he remains an excellent striker,” Pochettino told Sky Sport, cited by Calciomercato.

Keita joined Monaco from Lazio on a five-year contract for a reported €30million in July 2017, but he struggled in Ligue 1 and managed only eight goals.

He then made a €6million loan move to Inter last month, with a €30 million option to buy at the end of the season

 

 

MAN UTD GIVEN GREEN LIGHT TO SIGN DEFENSIVE TARGET

Jose Mourinho is hopeful of strengthening Manchester United’s defensive options in January after Lionel Messi cleared the way for a Barcelona defender to leave.

Nelson Semedo – a player Mourinho tracked from the player’s days at his former club Benfica – has struggled to make a significant impact at the Nou Camp since his €30.5million move in the summer of 2017.

The right-back – signed as a long-term successor for Dani Alves, who left for Juventus the summer before – made 36 appearances in all competitions, though a loss of form and a series of niggling injuries saw him fail to command a regular shirt under Ernesto Valverde.

And now it’s claimed in Don Balon that Lionel Messi wants the Portugal star out of the Nou Camp, with the Spanish outlet suggesting the Barca skipper doesn’t think the full-back contributes enough to the Barca cause.

It’s suggested Messi prefers to see Sergi Roberto start at right-back and that he wants the player moved on when the transfer window re-opens in January. A move to Manchester United, where Mourinho is seeking a long-term replacement for Antonio Valencia, has been mooted.

 

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AND THE REST

N’Golo Kante and Isco are targets for Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri (AS)

Paris Saint-Germain made David Alaba a top target during the transfer window before they ended up signing Juan Bernat instead (Le10 Sport)

Agent Giuseppe Bozzo says he thinks Barcelona are in pole position to sign Adrien Rabiot (Calciomercato)

Wanda Icardi has defended her husband Mauro Icardi’s poor form this season (Calciomercato)

Parma coach Roberto D’aversa says Antonio Conte is unlikely to take over a team in the middle of their season (RMC Sport)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has described the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo as “a real coup” for Juventus (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann believes he has a good chance of lifting the Champions League this season (Diario AS)

Kalidou Koulibaly believes he and his Napoli teammates have already ‘improved together’ under new boss Carlo Ancelotti (various)

Shaka Hislop has advised Leon Bailey to stay with Bayer Leverkusen rather than make a €50m move to Chelsea in January as he may be forced to play second fiddle to Eden Hazard for quite some time (ESPN)

Manchester United have opened talks to sign Brazil starlet Lucas Paqueta. The Flamengo playmaker is also wanted by AC Milan, PSG and Liverpool (Le10 Sport)

Mexico and PSV winger Hirving Lozano – a reported target for Man Utd and Arsenal – says it would be his dream to join Barcelona (various)

Manchester United, Manchester City and PSG have been put on alert by the news that Barcelona have told Ivan Rakitic they won’t be improving his contract any time soon (Onda Cero)

Barcelona are tracking PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet as a possible replacement for Jasper Cillessen (AS)

Roma defender Kostas Manolas believes they should have reached last year’s Champions League final after being denied two cast-iron penalties in their semi-final with Liverpool (Marca)

Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race to sign €30m-rated Lille winger Nicolas Pepe (Telefoot)

Bayern Munich’s injury issues continue to mount ahead of their Champions League clash with Benfica, with Kingsley Coman (ankle), Rafinha (ankle) and Corentin Tolisso (knee) being joined on the sidelines by Leon Goretzka (Bild)

Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar has described Tottenham’s Harry Kane as one of the best strikers in world football (various)

 

 

Roma sporting director Monchi has admitted that the club were forced to sell Mohamed Salah to Liverpool due to Financial Fair Play restrictions (El Mundo)

Karim Benzema has threatened to join either Chelsea or Man Utd if Real Madrid don’t offer him the wage rise he feels he deserves (Don Balon)

Standard Liege goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has released an interview to confirm Napoli tried to sign him this summer and to explain why the move broke down (Tuttomercatoweb)

Paris-Saint Germain star Adrien Rabiot remains a Barcelona transfer target and the La Liga champions may attempt to bring him to the Nou Camp in January (Sport)

Gareth Bale has left the door open on a possible future move to Manchester United and a return to the Premier League

Roma’s sporting director Monchi claims that Real Madrid have become even more motivated to succeed following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo (ABC)

 



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