Football news

Lyon in talks to sign Traore

Olympique Lyonnais are expecting competition from various clubs as they hold “advanced talks” to sign midfielder Bertrand Traore from Premier League champions Chelsea, the Ligue 1 team’s president Jean-Michel Aulas said.

The 21-year-old, who made 12 appearances for Chelsea in the 2015-16 season, was loaned out to Ajax Amsterdam last season, where he scored 13 goals to help them reach the Europa League final and finish second in the Dutch league.

“We want to bring Bertrand Traore to the club,” Aulas told reporters.

“There are advanced talks there, but many clubs are interested.

“We absolutely want to do the deal.”

Laporta keen to return at Barca

Joan Laporta says he would fight Josep Maria Bartomeu for the Barcelona presidency if an election was to be held in the immediate future, and called on the current board to resign.

Laporta was Barca president for seven years between 2003 and 2010 and was responsible for the appointment of Pep Guardiola in 2008.

Sandro Rosell replaced him in 2010, but he was forced to resign less than four years later over the signing of Neymar from Santos and was subsequently succeeded by current president Bartomeu.

“If (the board) resigned now, I’d definitely stand (for election),” said Laporta. “The problem is (the current board’s mandate)ends in 2021. If they continue for three, four years, I don’t think so.”

Messi will end up in China – Soriano

Lionel Messi will either finish his career at Barcelona or in the US or China – but not at Manchester City – according to the Premier League club’s chief executive Ferran Soriano.

Messi’s Barca contract expires in 2018 and he is currently in talks over a new deal to extend his stay at the Camp Nou.

“No, I don’t think so,” Soriano told Marca after being asked if Messi could still end up at City one day.

“I know Messi very well. Our families are really good friends. He’s really happy in Barcelona.

“I think he will end his career there. If he doesn’t, afterwards maybe he could play in the US or China.”

Calderon issues Ronaldo warning

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon said it will be “difficult to change” Cristiano Ronaldo’s mind if he has decided to leave the club, but he is sure that is not the case.

Ronaldo wants to leave Los Blancos after being accused of tax evasion.

“Maybe he’s just upset,” Calderon said. “Maybe it is something he said in a moment when he’s really angry. We don’t know yet. He’s been happy here, he helped us to win three Champions Leagues over the past four years, so I hope he will stay.

“But, if he’s made his mind up, I don’t think it’s going to be easy to change. He’s very strong-minded and clear in what he wants.”

Morata perfect for United – Karanka

Aitor Karanka says reported Manchester United target Alvaro Morata would take the Premier League by storm and that the Real Madrid striker “has everything” to succeed at Old Trafford.

Marca claims that Morata, who reportedly wants to leave Madrid this summer, has an offer from United.

“Alvaro fits anywhere,” Karanka said.

“We knew (about his talent) since he was with us at the age of 19 and I have known him since he was 17 because he came to the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria (with a Spain team Karanka coached).

“Alvaro is the classic player that can fit anywhere.”

Inter step up Bernardeschi pursuit

Inter have stepped up their interest in Fiorentina winger Federico Bernardeschi, reports in Italy said yesterday.

The Viola set a €50m price-tag on the Italy international who has refused to sign a new contract. Juventus, Arsenal and Chelsea are all reportedly interested to the player.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter are offering €35m plus a player.

The preference for new Viola coach Stefano Pioli would be Eder, but it’s more likely they’ll be offered Gianluca Caprari, returning from his loan spell with Pescara.


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