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Chelsea would be big losers if they replace talisman with this Barcelona struggler in the summer

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Philippe Coutinho

Why Chelsea shouldn’t sign Philippe Coutinho to replace Hazard

ESPN have broken the news that Chelsea will look to bring in former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho as a replacement to Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard. Reports suggest that Los Blancos have assured the Belgian that they will make a bid for him in the summer. Hazard was quoted in an interview with French radio station RMC saying that he has made a decision and will reveal it at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old has publicly stated that a move to the Spanish capital would be a dream and he wants to make it happen. Chelsea value him at more than £100million, despite the fact his contract will only have 12 months to run at the end of the season.

Boss Maurizio Sarri was quoted saying said: “Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go.” Chelsea have tabled a £300,000-a-week offer to keep Hazard at Stamford Bridge but the Belgian hasn’t responded to that. While the news would no doubt come as a huge blow to Chelsea, it would not be an unexpected one, as the fear within the club of their star man leaving has increased in the past few months.

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Chelsea will need a replacement and report stated that they are looking at Barcelona’s attacking midfielder Phillippe Coutinho to take over the reins from the Belgian. While, the Brazilian did very well for Liverpool in his years at Anfield, but he is not the type of player who will replace what Hazard does.

In 20 appearances for Barcelona this season, Coutinho has scored four goals and has two assists. Hazard, on the other hand, has 12 goals and 10 assists in 24 appearances, more than double of what the former has this season. The Belgian averages more key passes, dribbles, shots and long passes per game than Coutinho this season.

Coutinho’s best campaign in his career was with Liverpool in 2016/17 season. The Brazilian scored a career-best 13 goals and picked up seven assists. Hazard has better numbers this season with 13 games to spare.

It is a cliche that the Belgian has been Chelsea’s best player for over six years now and to replace him will be a massive ask for any player in the world.

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Read More: Chelsea should blindly avoid this successful young manager and give Sarri more time – opinion

Instead of signing Coutinho, the Blues will be better off with youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has the potential to deliver the goods on the left wing. Chelsea should keep the 18-year-old and invest on players elsewhere instead of wasting money on the ex-Liverpool man.

Barcelona

“We have only ourselves to blame”, “Total overhaul required”: Some Man United fans livid with drab 3-0 loss to Barcelona + Player Ratings

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Barcelona vs United Ratings: Manchester United Ratings + Fans’ Reaction

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first ever at attempt at clearing the quarterfinal stage of the Champions League came to a rather abrupt halt when Manchester United were quite simply outclassed by a highly superior looking Barcelona side at the Camp Nou Stadium in Catalonia.

Two first half goals from Lionel Messi effectively sealed the win while a brilliant curling effort from former Merseyside man Philippe Coutinho assured the La Liga giants’ progress to the semifinal of the continent’s biggest and most valuable footballing competition.

Here are the Manchester United Player Ratings:

David de Gea 3

The Spaniard had a night to forget in Spain as a grave error from his side led to Barca’s second goal.

Phil Jones 3

Another player who really struggled to get into the pace of the game, Jones was given a proper running around by Messi.

Chris Smalling 5

Didn’t position himself too well in both of Messi’s goals but was far more dependable than his English counterpart.

Victor Lindelof 5

Brought into the right-back role in Ole’s attempt to include Jones in the side, Lindelof didn’t offer much on the night.

Ashley Young 2

Another week, another disgraceful Ashley Young performance. It’s time for United to find a new wing-back.

Scott McTominay 4

Quite possibly their best midfielder on the pitch, despite his inexperience, he showed good composure on the ball at times.

Fred 4

Had a torrid time facing Messi in the middle of the park as he was nutmegged in the build-up to Barca’s opener.

Paul Pogba 3

Other than a good move in the first minute, the Frenchman was merely a spectator for the entirety of the tie.

Jesse Lingard 4

Showed his collectedness on the ball in the opening stages but gradually fizzled out over the course of the game. 

Anthony Martial 4

The Frenchman offered next to nothing going forward and deserves to be dropped in the coming weeks. 

Marcus Rashford 4

The young English striker had massive expectations on his shoulder and unfortunately for him, he couldn’t deliver. 

Substitutes

Diogo Dalot 4

Came on in place of Martial in the final stages but didn’t really have enough time to announce himself. 

Romelu Lukaku 3

Showed some poor touches after coming on and didn’t look his usual clinical self on the night. 

Read More Manchester United News, Click Here: Manchester United News

Alexis Sanchez 6

The introduction of the Chilean changed the course of the tie as he nearly found the Barcelona net. 

Here’s how some disappointed Manchester United fans reacted to this abysmal display by the boys:

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Barcelona

Wolves must do everything to retain this £2m star at all cost amidst interest from Barcelona

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Wolves Opinion: Why Nuno should keep hold of Ruben Vinagre at any cost?

According to a report from Portuguese news outlet O Jogo, Wolves starlet Ruben Vinagre has attracted interest from Liverpool and Barcelona.

The left-back, 20, arrived at the Molineux last summer after impressing on a loan deal from AS Monaco in the Championship. Since his permanent move to Wolves, the youngster has been brilliant and has made 16 appearances across all competitions this season.

Ruben Vinagre played a big role in eliminating Manchester United out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals last month. However, Wolves were knocked out of the competition by Watford, who came back from two goals down to win 3-2 in the semi-finals at the Wembley Stadium.

Despite his lack of game time, the 20-year-old’s potential is very much visible. Barcelona and Liverpool are rumoured to be keen on his signature in the summer but Nuno Espirito Santo should do everything possible to keep hold of one of his rising stars.

Wolves have done incredibly well in the Premier League since achieving promotion last summer and its credit must go to Nuno Espirito Santo. Nuno has built an exciting Wolves side, a brilliant counter-attacking team that has given a tough time to every single ‘Big Six’ side.

The players Nuno signed in the summer have all performed well, barring Adama Traore. Raul Jimenez has been a standout performer for the Wolves, with the Mexican scoring 12 goals and assisting seven times. Joao Moutinho, Jonny Otto, Rui Patricio and Leander Dendoncker have all played their part this season, while Vinagre—despite limited opportunities—has managed to make an impact.

If Nuno is building a team for the future, keeping hold of a player like Vinagre is a must. He is just 20 but his positional awareness, game-reading skills and maturity certainly belie his age. Whenever he has been given an opportunity, the teenager has seized it with both the hands, most notably against Manchester United in the FA Cup where Vinagre gave Ashley Young all kinds of problems.

Read more Wolves news, click here: Wolves latest news

Blessed with great pace, energy and passing skills, the Portuguese has shown flashes of his potential but is yet to embark on an extended run in the side. He was signed for just £2million last summer and to land a player of his talent for such a small fee in this age and market is an outstanding piece of business.

Verdict

Vinagre attracting interest from the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool doesn’t come as a surprise. But Nuno should not sanction the 20-year-old’s sale whatsoever; instead, he should give the Portuguese wing-back an extended run in the Wolves starting XI next season.

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Arsenal

Arsenal rekindling interest in this 29-year-old shot-stopper would do Emery and Bernd Leno a world of good

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Arsenal Opinion: Why the Gunners should make a move for Jasper Cillessen

Back in June 2018, a report from ESPN claimed Arsenal were interested in signing Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Jasper Cillessen, 29, joined Barcelona from Ajax in 2016 but has only ever been second choice at Camp Nou as a result of failing to dislodge number one Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The Dutchman has made just 28 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona, including just 7 appearances this season.

He has mainly been used in the Copa del Rey this season and according to a report from AS, this campaign’s final against Valencia on May 25 is set to be his last game for Barcelona. If that’s the case, Arsenal should reignite their interest in Cillessen and sign him in the summer transfer window.

Arsenal signed Bernd Leno last summer and after some questionable performances from the German, he has come really good since the last couple of months. And while Leno has become Unai Emery’s first-choice goalkeeper, Petr Cech intends to retire at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

David Ospina will also leave the club after spending this season on loan at Napoli that’ll leave the Gunners with Leno and Emiliano Martinez, who has spent the majority of his Arsenal career on loan at various lower division clubs in England. This further underlines why Emery needs a new goalkeeper to replace Cech ahead of the next season.

Cillessen should be an ideal choice for Arsenal as the 29-year-old needs to leave Barcelona to reignite his stuttering career. He is an experienced goalkeeper but never ever has come close to challenging Ter Stegen for the no.1 spot at Camp Nou. But the Dutchman will likely get a chance to stake his claim at the Emirates, with Leno still to convince on a whole.

Signing Cillessen would not only see the Gunners replace the veteran Cech but also compete with Leno. His ability to pull off breathtaking saves is among the best in Europe, and he’ll be a big asset to Emery if the Gunners manage to sign him.

To Read More Arsenal News, Click Here:- Latest Arsenal news

Reliable, a fine shot-stopper, comfortable in possession and bags of experience, the former Ajax man has everything to be an inspired addition for the north Londoners.

Conclusion

Without any second thoughts, Arsenal need a new goalkeeper next season. Emery just cannot rely on Leno and Martinez for the entire season if he truly wants to challenge for the title and silverware. Thus, signing Cillessen would be a step in the right direction for Arsenal and Emery must do everything possible to get a deal over the line.

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