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Chelsea star yet to act on Granovskaia pleas leaving door open for ‘dream’ exit

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A Chelsea star is yet to act on Marina Granovskaia’s pleas to sign a new contract according to his agent, leaving the door open for his “dream” exit.

Winning the ‘Club of the Year’ award at the Ballon d’Or ceremony this week shows just how strong a position the Blues are in. They have a world class coach in Thomas Tuchel.

And their squad is packed with talent. Though a number of them aren’t happy with where they stand.

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Mason Mount, for example, reportedly feels like he isn’t being treated like the rest of his peers. Contract talks with defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are faltering too.

And now their team-mate Jorginho could be another problem for the Stamford Bridge hierarchy. His deal with the club is up in the summer of 2023.

And Granovskaia has already made it clear she wants to extend the Italy international’s contract, as per his representative Joao Santos.

But Santos has now revealed they are yet to hold discussions.

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He told TuttoMercatoWeb: “We still have a year and a half on the contract. There was no talk of renewal, maybe we will do it later.”

It could be the case that Chelsea are prioritising other talks at the moment, as they do have several expiry dates coming up.

However, Santos previously spoke of Jorginho’s desire to return to Italy. And at 29 years old, the window for that to happen is closing.

“He has a contract with Chelsea until 2023. Obviously it would be a dream for him to return to Italy, hopefully after winning the World Cup,” Santos said earlier this year.

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“We’ll have to see what the market looks like in a couple of years and what the other situations are.”

Jorginho has been one of the first names on the teamsheet under Tuchel. But the German manager will be helpless if a new deal cannot be agreed.


Tottenham and Arsenal firmly in running to raid Serie A for deadly striker

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Ballon d’Or finish commended

The midfielder moved to the Premier League from Napoli in 2018 in a deal worth roughly £50m.

And a whole host of Serie A clubs would no doubt be lining up if he was available, with his third-placed Ballon d’Or finish exemplifying his quality.

On that achievement, Santos added: “Ballon d’Or? Jorginho came behind Messi and Lewandowski, two incredible top players.

“Arriving in front of CR7, Neymar and many other champions is certainly not devoid of pride and satisfaction for the work done.

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“I would have given it to Lewandowski, I thought he would win. But Messi has already won six, his global career has been evaluated and not just the last year. He is an indisputable player.”

READ MORETuchel’s team selection has Barcelona ‘concerned’ over Chelsea transfer raids

 

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Man City ‘closing in’ on Man Utd striker target with replacement already lined up

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1642786803 Julian.Alvarez 1

Manchester City are ‘about to close’ a deal to sign Manchester United striker target Julian Alvarez, according to one journalist.

Alvarez, 21, has been making headlines in his native Argentina thanks to his promising form at River Plate. He hit 18 goals in 21 games during the most recent Liga Profesional season as River Plate won the domestic crown.

Alvarez is clearly good enough to make it at a top club in Europe and transfer rumours surrounding his future are rife.

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Aston Villa and Tottenham were the original clubs eyeing his signature, before Man Utd came in.

Reports claim Ralf Rangnick is eager to sign Alvarez, as soon as Anthony Martial’s future is sorted.

However, the Red Devils boss could be left disappointed as rivals City are marching ahead in the pursuit.

According to Sport Illustrated, who cite journalist Hernan Castillo, Pep Guardiola’s side will soon finalise an agreement for Alvarez.

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Two Julian Alvarez proposals made

Castillo is not the only person to provide a transfer update. According to Cesar Luis Merlo, City have made two proposals for a deal.

They are willing to sign him this month or in the summer, depending on River Plate’s preference.

There are also rumours of an initial loan move which will become permanent after a six-month spell at the Etihad.

Whatever form it may take, Alvarez’s transfer may be imminent as River Plate already have his replacement in mind. They are attempting to sign Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco.

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City were not expecting to bring in a new centre-forward this month, although Ferran Torres’ exit seems to have changed their stance.

The player left for Barcelona after informing City officials of his desire to make it at the five-time Champions League winners.

With Gabriel Jesus now wanting to play out wide, a successor to Sergio Aguero needs to be found. Alvarez seems to have the capability to fill his boots, although it will not be an easy task.


When will Salah, Mahrez, Mane and the rest of AFCON Premier League players return?

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Spanish club plan Man City raid

Meanwhile, Spanish club Real Betis are reportedly ready to test the waters by making an approach for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Zinchenko’s reputation as a utility man means he does not start in the Premier League as much as some of his team-mates. Indeed, he has only made seven appearances in the competition this season, registering one assist in that time.

The player’s contract runs until June 2024, putting City in a strong position in terms of a transfer.

Nevertheless, The Sun report Real Betis are aiming to test their resolve by preparing to move in. They have already made an ‘enquiry’ about Zinchenko’s availability, too.

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However, it looks set to be good news for Guardiola and City as the player has no intention of leaving Manchester.

He wants to continue being a part of the trophy-laden squad and to help them win more silverware this season.

Zinchenko is also gunning for a new deal at the Etihad, which could see him spend the majority of his prime with the club.

READ MORE: Ajax starlet with ‘unprecedented’ talent backed to join Man City amid Tottenham rumours

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Burnley out for Chris Wood revenge after bidding for reported Newcastle target as replacement

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Wendel and Sardar Azmoun celebrating for Zenit Saint Petersburg

Various sources are indicating that Burnley have made a bid for Lyon striker Sardar Azmoun, who could become their replacement for Chris Wood.

Burnley recently lost Wood to Premier League relegation rivals Newcastle. The Magpies activated a release clause in the New Zealand international’s contract. As such, the Clarets were powerless to keep one of their most successful players of recent years.

Now, if they are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop, they need to use the last 10 days of the transfer window to find a new source of goals.

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And according to multiple reports, one man they have identified as a potential replacement is Sardar Azmoun.

The Iran international is out of contract with Zenit Saint Petersburg at the end of the season. He appears to be ready for a move to one of Europe’s bigger leagues.

Azmoun has admirers in France, where Lyon are aiming to snap him up. But the Ligue 1 outfit have been aware of competition for some time.

Ironically, one of the supposed threats to their pursuit of the player – according to reports towards the start of the month – has been Newcastle.

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It is not clear if their interest in Azmoun remains, but if it does, Burnley could be about to try and get their own back.

Football Insider are among the sources reporting that the Lancashire side have made an offer to Zenit for the 27-year-old.

The offer is reportedly worth around €10m (or £8.3m), which would be a decent fee for Zenit to receive just before his contract ends. The Russian side are yet to respond, though.

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Azmoun’s scoring record suggests he would be worth the investment. He has found the net on 62 occasions from 104 Zenit appearances. At international level, he has 39 goals from 60 Iran caps.


When will Salah, Mahrez, Mane and the rest of AFCON Premier League players return?


Burnley still favourites to sign another striker

Meanwhile, TEAMtalk understands that Andy Carroll has rejected an initial offer from Burnley, but talks are continuing over a return to the Premier League.

The 33-year-old is now out-of-contract after his short-term deal with Reading came to an end at the weekend. Carroll returned to action in November, joining Reading following his exit from Newcastle United in the summer.

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Carroll performed well for the Royals with two goals and an assist from six starts. We understand that Reading boss Veljko Paunovic is desperate to keep him and they have offered a new deal.

However, Burnley have opened talks to land Carroll, who they believe could help fill the void vacated by Wood.

We now understand that Burnley’s opening offer was shunned by Carroll, who is now training by himself. However, there is an anticipation of another offer and the Clarets remain favourites to land him.

READ MORE: Arsenal have competition for Tottenham conqueror as Burnley plan £10m move

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