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Liverpool beating Man City to sign this pacy 19-year-old winger with £54m release clause should be a no-brainer

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Liverpool Opinion: Reds should beat Man City to sign Samuel Chukwueze

According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool and Man City have identified Villarreal’s Nigerian international winger Samuel Chukwueze as a potential transfer target in the summer after closely monitoring his development over the past year or so.

The same report claims that the 19-year-old, who has been likened to Arjen Robben due to his style of play, was the subject of interest from Atletico Madrid, as well as Premier League clubs Arsenal and Leicester City last summer. However, his scintillating run of form in his breakout season in the La Liga has put him on the radar of Liverpool and Man City.

The Daily Mail understands that Samuel Chukwueze has a release clause of
£54million in his current contract at Villarreal, though the Spanish outfit might entertain offers below that in the summer.

Chukwueze has accumulated 10 goals and 4 assists from 45 appearances for Villarreal in all competitions this season and has also scored in the Europa League. Those are incredible stats for a player who made his first-team debut only in September last year and his meteoric rise in the La Liga earned him his maiden international cap for Nigeria in November.

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The 19-year-old has made a massive impact in his first season at the highest level and was named as Nigeria Football Federation’s 2018 Young Player of the Year earlier in April.

Essentially a right-winger by trade, Chukwueze has earned rave reviews for his lightning pace and mesmerizing dribbling skills in the La Liga.

A pacy and skilful player, who likes to cut inside from the flanks and shoot with his favourite left foot, the Nigerian is noted for his exceptional ball control and well-rounded passing and crossing attributes.

He has also been used in a multitude of positions in the attacking third, with Villarreal manager Javier Calleja often using him in a No.10 role or as a centre-forward to lead the line.

To put things into perspective, Samuel Chukwueze looks like a real talent, having shown plenty of promise so early in his career, and he would be an ideal long-term investment for both the title-contending Premier League clubs.

However, Liverpool would do themselves a world of good if they manage to have the final say in this transfer tug of war, though it remains to be seen whether Jurgen Klopp would be interested in splashing such a huge amount on a player who is not likely to fit into the first-team plans immediately next season.

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In Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, Liverpool have two of the most feared wide attackers in Europe and a youngster like Chukwueze would find it extremely difficult to get regular minutes under his belt.

The Reds also have the luxury of calling upon the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi, though the latter is likely to head for the exit door at the end of the season. However, Klopp knows exactly how to handle the young players and channelise their development in the right direction.

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Liverpool have enjoyed a brilliant run in the Premier League and the Champions League this season and they are well and truly on course to ending their long drought for silverware.

Few would argue that this Liverpool team has all the hallmarks of establishing themselves as the best in Europe and a promising youngster like Samuel Chukwueze would only increase competition for places and add to squad depth. That said, the Reds should not hesitate to spend big on the emerging Nigerian talent in the summer.

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Much-needed steel and substance – Cardiff City’s midfield would get a new look if they sign this all-action 25-year-old midfielder

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Cardiff City Opinion: Bluebirds should go all out in their pursuit of Will Vaulks

According to BBC, Cardiff City are interested in signing Welsh international midfielder Will Vaulks from recently-relegated outfit Rotherham United in the summer.

BBC understands that Bluebirds’ manager Neil Warnock is under pressure to rebuild his midfield following the club’s relegation to the Championship.

Vaulks was one of the very few shining lights of Rotherham’s otherwise calamitous campaign in the second-tier which ended in relegation to League One.

The 25-year-old was one of the standout performers for the Millers this season and Cardiff want to get him on board in the summer transfer window, although the Welshman signed a new one-year deal with the club back in March.

The defensive midfielder was an ever-present for the Millers in the Championship this past season as he finished the campaign with 7 goals and 7 assists in 41 appearances.

The 25-year-old caught the eye with his consistently impressive performances for a team that spent almost the entire season in a relegation dogfight and move to a bigger club looks very much on the cards for Vaulks.

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A youth product of Tranmere Rovers, Vaulks enjoyed a fruitful spell at Falkirk in the Scottish Championship before making his move to Rotherham United back in 2016.

His first season at the club ended in relegation but the 25-year-old was one of the architects of the Millers promotion-winning League One campaign in the following season, bagging the award for the club’s Player of the Year in the process.

Vaulks once again suffered relegation this time around but his stellar run of form didn’t go unnoticed, with Wales boss Ryan Giggs handing him his senior international debut in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago back in March.

Essentially a defensive midfielder by trade, Vaulks has shown the versatility to switch between holding and box-to-box roles in the middle of the park. A tough-tackling and all-action midfield enforcer noted for his drive, determination, tenacity and work-ethics, Vaulks is adept at cutting out the attacks and breaking up the play with crucial tackles and interceptions.

A set-piece specialist, who is also a very good reader of the game, the Welshman responds very well to the transitions in play and holds things together with his work-rate and range of passing.

Strong in the air and blessed with good distance-shooting abilities, Vaulks excels with his ability to increase cohesion in the middle of the park, while also playing the role of a ball-carrier from the deep areas.

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To add to that, the Welshman is also quite creative and has a good eye for picking out key passes in the final third, meaning that he is a good all-around midfielder who can shoulder both attacking and defensive responsibilities.

The 25-year-old averaged 1.5 key passes, 4.3 successful long balls, 2.2 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game in the Championship this season, figures which should prompt any promotion-chasing side in the second-tier to make a move for him.

To put things into perspective, Cardiff need to look at bargain deals in the market and Will Vaulks is a player who can offer very good value for money.

The Welshman’s stocks are clearly on the rise after his international debut and an impressive season in the Championship. The Bluebirds should look at him as someone who can add a lot of steel and substance to their midfield.

Long-standing Icelandic international Aaron Gunnarsson left the club on a free transfer, while loanees Victor Camarasa and Harry Arter have also returned to their parent clubs, Real Betis and Bournemouth respectively. Hence, it is clear that the Bluebirds need to look to reinforcements to ensure that they have the perfect balance in their squad.

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Cardiff should aim to secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and the acquisition of Will Vaulks could prove to be a massive coup and certainly a step in the right direction.

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Derby County signing this 33-year-old defensive stalwart would turn their backline into a formidable force

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Derby County Opinion: Why Gary Cahill will be a superb signing for the Rams

According to a report from the Daily Mirror, Derby County want to sign Chelsea defender Gary Cahill in the summer transfer window.

Gary Cahill, 33, is out of contract at Chelsea and will leave the club on a free transfer next month. The former England international played only eight games all season and has not started a match since November.

The veteran defender will be a free agent after seven years at Stamford Bridge and Frank Lampard wants to reunite with his former teammate at Pride Park. The report claims Premier League promotion could be the ticket to seal the deal for Cahill, as Lampard plans to make the English defender his first summer signing.

Thus, the Rams know they will have to achieve promotion to stand any chance of beating the likes of West Ham, Southampton and Sheffield United to Cahill’s signature.

Lampard’s Derby are one win away from promotion to the Premier League. They face Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday. The Rams’ sole aim for now will be to play Premier League football next season but with the summer transfer now in full swing, Lampard needs to start bring in quality reinforcements.

One area that needs thorough reinforcing is the defence, with a couple of central defenders required at the club. Derby did sign free agent Efe Ambrose in February on a short-term deal until the end of the season but he hasn’t played a single game. As it stands, there are no signs he will still be with the club once the play-off final is over.

Curtis Davies and Richard Keogh are coming towards the end of their careers, while Fikayo Tomori is likely to return back to Chelsea after the expiry of his loan at the end of the season. Thus, to avoid a potential burn out of options, Lampard should bring in Gary Cahill.

Cahill will turn 34 in December but he still can give two-three years of high-quality football. The English defender is physically strong and a dominant presence at both ends of the pitch. He can also play the ball out from the back and a real leader, who will have a crucial role especially when the chips are down.

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Plus, his volumes of Premier League experience will make him such a fantastic addition for the Rams.

Verdict

The former England international would not only add quality to Derby’s defence but also depth to the squad. All in all, Lampard’s Rams will make a statement of intent ahead of the next season by signing Cahill on a free transfer.

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17 goals, 10 assists – Newcastle’s frontline would receive a piercing edge by signing this 22-year-old hitman

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Newcastle United Opinion: Wesley Moraes could be the perfect replacement for Rondon

According to Chronicle Live, Newcastle United are in the race to sign Brazilian centre-forward Wesley Moraes from Belgian giants Club Brugge this summer.

The Chronicle Live understands that the 22-year-old hitman has attracted plenty of interest from clubs in Germany, Italy and England, with recently-crowned Italian cup winners Lazio, as well as east London giants West Ham, believed to be hot on his trail.

Moraes has been in terrific form form Club Brugge this season and shed tears after playing his final game in Belgium. The Brazilian impressed with 17 goals and 10 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions this season and his red-hot form has put him on the radar of some of the Premier League clubs.

The 22-year-old rose through the youth ranks at Brazilian club Itabuna before making his move to Europe with Slovakian club Trencin, where he carved out a reputation for himself as a bright emerging prospect.

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Wesley earned a move to Belgian giants Club Brugge back in 2016 and he hasn’t looked back ever since, establishing himself as one of the most lethal strikers in the Belgian top-flight over the course of three-and-a-half seasons at the club.

The Brazilian netted twice in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League this term, including goals against Monaco in both the legs to ensure that the club finished third in their group and qualified to the Europa League. He scored in the Round of 32 tie against Salzburg but that wasn’t enough to send Brugge through to the next round.

Moraes has made a total of 130 appearances for Brugge in all competitions, accumulating 38 goals and 14 assists, and few would argue that he certainly deserves a chance to prove his credentials at a higher level.

Still only 22, he is very much in the developmental stage of his career but he already has plenty of experience and a move to the Premier League could help him announce himself on the bigger stage.

To put things into perspective, Newcastle United can bag a massive coup if they manage to beat off competition and strike a deal for the talented Brazilian frontman this summer.

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A young and talented player with potentially high resale value- the 22-year-old perfectly fits the profile of players that owner Mike Ashley likes to target in the transfer market, and the Magpies could have a gem on their hands if he goes on to fulfil his potential at St. James’ Park.

Ayoze Perez finished the Premier League season with a career-best tally of 12 goals and his form has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Napoli and Inter Milan (h/t Guardian).

Newcastle are also unlikely to trigger the release clause in West Brom loanee Salomon Rondon’s contract, despite the Venezuelan playing a key role up front this season. Joselu, on the other hand, has fallen way down the pecking order and few would be surprised if the Spaniard decides to move elsewhere.

Suffice to say, Newcastle need to bring in a promising out-and-out centre-forward this summer and Wesley Moraes certainly fits the bill. Standing at 6ft. 3 inches with a towering and sinewy frame, the Brazilian is capable of making an impact in the Premier League with his physicality, aerial ability and poaching instincts in front of goal.

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Blessed with a good turn of pace and plenty of flair and trickery on the ball, Moraes has the intelligence, agility and sharpness to lose his marker and outsmart the opposition with his clever movement inside the box.

To add to that, he shields the ball really well and often brings his physique into play to hold the ball up with his back to the goal. The youngster has a good eye for a pass and is adept at using short and deft exchanges to link up with his teammates in and around the penalty area, meaning that he is also capable of setting up goals and creating chances.

Having managed to beat the drop in the Premier League for the past two seasons, it is now time for the Magpies to consolidate their position and challenge for a top-ten finish next term.

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If Wesley Moraes manages to replicate the kind of form that he has shown in Belgium, the Magpies could give their mid-table rivals a good run for their money in the league.

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