When scoring sensation Erling Haaland joined Manchester City his father Alf Inge Haaland said he might stay for four years. He is contracted to City until June 2027. He said when his son moved to Manchester the plan was four years in the Premier League, two and half years in Germany and then move to Spain followed by Italy and finally France. However, Erling has settled brilliantly into both the club and Manchester life and following his £51million move from Borussia Dortmund has scored 23 goals in only 18 appearances. His father says that despite what he has already said, Erling could stay at City for 15 years and spend his whole career there. If he does decide to leave in a few years, his agent Rafaela Pimenta says he could become the first billion pound player. Erling is set to continue againsty Liverpool on January 22nd which is a fourth round clash of the EFL Cup.
Torres good cover for Jesus
Arsenal are discussing a possible move to sign Ferran Torres from Barcelona. He moved to the Nou Camp in 2021 after club President Joan Laporta made all the arrangements. Barca coach Xavi has never been convinced and Torres has scored only six goals and made four assists in 31 La Liga matches. Xavi would have preferred the club going after Robert Lewandowski, Raphina or Ousmane Dembele. I am told that the Barca executive board might be willing to give Xavi his preference and put Torres up for sale. That could bring Arsenal into the picture. He can play on either wing and through the middle which means he is perfect to cover for Gabriel Jesus who had surgery last week and will be absent for approximately three months. After a successful World Cup run Adrien Rabiot is also on the Gunner’s radar and coach Mikel Arteta wants another top midfielder who will be competition for Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.
Kane takes a week off
Tottenham’s medical team have been on duty this week in order to assess the injury which Richarlison sustained during the World Cup. His hamstring injury could keep him out of the team for up to a month. Antonio Conte has already given Harry Kane a week off and he could take time to return to his best. If Richarlison cannot play Conte is concerned he will not be unable to field his strongest team for the London derby against Arsenal on January 15th and the journey to Manchester City four days later. The Brazilian had scans this week but no word has yet been received as to the severity of the injury. He scored three goals in four games playing as a central striker for Brazil and if Kane doesn’t return to full fitness Richarlison would have been the obvious back-up choice.
Sancho receiving mental help
Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag and his assistants are worried about the mental health of Jadon Sancho and have sent him to Holland where the 22 year-old is working on a special programme which has been prepared for him. The plan will also concentrate on his physical improvement. After his early season excellence he dramatically lost form and was left out of the England World Cup squad and benched by United. Ten Hag decided he was not fit enough to join the squad who are at their warm weather training camp in Spain.
De Gea could move on
The future of David De Gea is in the balance despite him becoming an iconic figure at Manchester United. The Spaniard’s deal currently runs until the summer and United do have a twelve-month option to keep him. Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, De Gea has been the player who has saved United on many occasions, gaining results by great performances instead of losing by one or two goals. However, De Gea earns a huge £375k a week and if coach Erik Ten Hag signs a new No1 he will undoubtedly leave. Ten Hag prefers a goalkeeper who is more athletic and can play more comfortably with his feet. I hear whispers that FC Porto’s Diego Costa is Ten Hag’s choice and the 23 year-old produced several blistering performances in Champions League matches including saving three penalties.
Should Foden play winger or midfield?
In what position should the incredibly talented Phil Foden play? In the forward line out on the wing or in the midfield? Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola thinks Foden will inevitably move to midfield but says he is not ready yet. However, with the futures of Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan uncertain it might mean that Pep has to push along Foden’s schedule and slot him into midfield much earlier than he planned. Many England supporters think that a midfield which included Foden and two City targets, Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice, would be the best in the world and a match for all the world’s most elite club sides. Guardiola’s reason to keep Foden out on the wing is explained by his comments: “He has an unbelievable natural instinct to play football but when you play in the middle you have to pay attention to what happens around you. On the wing it is easier. In the middle many things happen, especially without the ball. It is in this area where he needs to improve but it is normal progress in a player’s career.”
Indian billionaire has eye on Arsenal
Mukesh Ambani is an Indian billionaire and the world’s tenth richest man. He is a football enthusiast and has set his sights on purchasing a UK Premier League club. Ambani has made enquiries about Liverpool and Manchester United but his son is devoted to Arsenal and Ambani is now focusing on preparing a bid for the Gunners. Owner Stan Kroenke has no plans to sell but Ambani is still going ahead with his plan to make an offer. Ambani also owns IPL cricket giants Mumbai Indians and the Indian Football Super League. It looks as though India could be the next big footballing continent along with Saudi Arabia who are planning on spending billions on developing football and hence their offer to Cristiano Ronaldo of £173 million a year for two years.
Tough time for Kane
Spur’s manager Antonio Conte has given Harry Kane permission to take a week off after returning from Qatar and the horrible missed penalty which helped put England out of the World Cup. Kane returned to England last Sunday and is taking seven days break to get over his misery and returns to the Tottenham squad on Monday. Eric Dier, who was not used in Qatar, also returns on Monday. Tottenham face a tricky match against Brentford in a London derby on Boxing Day, 26th December and Conte intends to take time with Kane to help him with his state of mind and confidence after such an emotional experience. Harry launched his own charitable foundation this year and its motto is “Resilience” which the striker needs now more than ever. His club captain Hugo Lloris, who was in goal for France when Harry missed his penalty, comforted his friend and the two have been texting all week and Loris admitted it was difficult to find words to help heal Kane’s disappointment.