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Granovskaia given new transfer task as Chelsea get Lewandowski offer, with swap eyed

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Super-agent Pini Zahavi has offered Chelsea transfer director Marina Granovskaia a potential swap deal for Robert Lewandowski, according to a report.

Lewandowski has been at the top of his game throughout his whole career. However, he has begun to reap the rewards in the past couple of years. Had the Ballon d’Or gone ahead in 2020, he would likely have scooped the prize.

This year, meanwhile, he is the highest goalscorer in Europe’s top five leagues with 40 strikes in 51 games. As such, he finished second behind Lionel Messi in Monday’s Ballon d’Or result.

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As the 33-year-old approaches the final portion of his contract, which expires in 2023, speculation is growing over his future. He could extend his deal but he could also seek a move away after starring in Germany for most of his career.

Should he choose to move on, Bayern’s priority would be to find his long-term replacement.

According to transfer expert Ian McGarry, Chelsea’s Timo Werner could be that man. Indeed, the Germany international could reportedly feature in a swap deal for Lewandowski.

McGarry told the Transfer Window podcast: “Pini Zahavi, often described as the original super-agent, represents Lewandowski and has done for more than two years.

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“Zahavi is also a close-confidant of Granovskaia and it is certainly the case that he has offered Lewandowski to Chelsea and Granovskaia.

“It’s a move which could include Werner going to Bayern.”

Werner was Chelsea’s most expensive signing last summer, arriving after significant interest from Liverpool.


Benitez on the brink – Lampard and Potter in the mix to replace the Spaniard at Everton

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However, he has struggled to find any kind of consistent form in a blue shirt. As a result, the former RB Leipzig man has had growing links with a move away, including a move back to Germany.

Meanwhile, another Chelsea forward is also not clear of links with a move away.

Ziyech facing Chelsea transfer links

According to reports, Morocco international Hakim Ziyech is a target for Barcelona.

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Chelsea are reportedly not against him leaving, but owner Roman Abramovich has supposedly stepped in.

The chief wants to see whether Barcelona will make it to the Champions League knockout stages – they could draw Chelsea if they do – before agreeing to let him go.

Barca face a crucial final group match against Bayern next week to determine their fate.

 

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Ralf Rangnick Has No Concerns About Selecting Paul Pogba During The Final Months Of His Manchester United Contract

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Pogba has entered the final six month of his current Old Trafford terms, with little progress made in discussions over a renewal and a departure on a free transfer in the summer considered likely.

The 28-year-old is yet to make an appearance under interim manager Rangnick after suffering a thigh injury while on international duty in November, though returned to full training on Monday.

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Rangnick expects Pogba to be available for selection ahead of the FA Cup fourth round tie with Middlesbrough after the January international break, and is ready to call on United’s record signing.

The United interim manager said that Pogba wants to show the fans, board and “the whole world” what kind of player he can be, but added that he will be “highly motivated” even if he is only playing to put himself in the shop window.

When asked if there is much point playing Pogba given the likelihood of him leaving, Rangnick said: “Yes, of course.

“By the way, my contract as a manager is also expiring in the summer. For us we have the same goal. We have the same ambition to be as successful as we can possibly be in the next three or four months.

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“For me, it’s not a question if a player has an expiring contract. The question is how much does he still want to be a part of this group? How much does he still feel emotionally and physically on board?

“As long as this is the case, why shouldn’t Paul Pogba [play] now after two and half months of injury, fully fit again now?

“And he also wants to show up, he wants to show the fans of Manchester United, the board, the whole world what kind of player he can be. And even if it’s only to show enough for a new contract elsewhere, he will be highly motivated to do that and why should I then not play him?

“As I said, there is a difference in how players deal with their current situation. How do they handle that? If they handle that in a professional way, an ambitious way, of course I will play players although they have a contract expiring in the summer.”

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Pogba will be one of the most sought-after free agents in world football if his contract expires before reaching a new agreement with United, as appears likely.

Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are among the possible destinations for a player who broke the world transfer record when joining United in a €105m (£89m) fee in 2016. Pogba has not signed another

Rangnick also revealed that he was impressed with what he saw from Pogba in his first training session back since his recovery.

“Paul Pogba had his first day of training with the whole group and he showed what an extraordinary player he could be,” Rangnick said. “He won’t be available for the two games this week but after the international break against Middlesbrough and Burnley he could be.”

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Juventus Cruise To A 4-1 Win Over Sampdoria In The Coppa Italia On Tuesday Night

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The home side were rather comfortable throughout the 90 minutes, with their opponents Samp looking completely out of their depth at the Allianz Stadium.

As you’d expect, it was all Juventus from the first whistle to the last, as the home side dominated possession while Sampdoria could barely string two passes together. Juan Cuadrado caused the visitors particular problems with his movement in and around the penalty area – forcing Wladimiro Falcone into a smart save at his near post in the 15th minute.

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Cuadrado got his just rewards for a great first-half performance ten minutes later, as the Colombian drilled a free-kick from just outside the box under the Samp wall, and through the fairly hapless Falcone (it was pretty bad goalkeeping to be honest).

Seconds later, Cuadrado proved to be the catalyst for what Juve thought was their second goal of the evening. The winger squared the ball to Alvaro Morata, who duly converted from inside the penalty with a sweeping shot. However, the goal was disallowed due to a foul from Adrien Rabiot in the build-up.

Falcone went some way to making amends for his earlier mistake by denying Rugani and Morata. The Samp goalkeeper reacted quickly to save an effort on goal from just inside the six-yard box from Rugani, before denying Morata with similar heroics on the stroke of half-time.

The second half was much the same as the first, with Sampdoria being absolutely terrible and Juventus being fairly competent.

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Juve deservedly bagged the second goal of the evening on the 50th minute mark, with Rugani rising highest from an Arthur cross to score his first ever Coppa Italia goal.

Despite the home side dominating proceedings, out of absolutely nowhere, Samp pulled a goal back on the hour. The goal came from former Milan man Andrea Conti, who drilled a great volley from the edge of the penalty area past Mattia Perin.

The momentary panic caused by Conti’s goal was arrested pretty much immediately by subsitute Paulo Dybala. After Manuel Locatelli stole possession on the edge of Samp’s box, the Juve number ten confidently curled the ball into the bottom right corner.

It was 4-1 in the 75th minute, when Dybala converted a penalty kick won by debutant Marley Ake.

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