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Transfer window: Xavi wants Salah at all costs but Barcelona will settle for Sterling

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New Barcelona manager, Xavi Hernández, reportedly wants to sign Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah as he aims to rebuild his team.

The Catalan giants are currently ninth in La Liga, 11 points behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand.

According to Spanish outlet El Nacional, Xavi wants Salah, 29, “at all costs” with rivals Real Madrid closing in on the free transfer of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe.

Barcelona are reportedly more than £1billion in debt and lost Lionel Messi to PSG and Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid during the summer as a result.

Xavi’s alleged interest in Salah depends on his employers’ financial recovery and the player’s contract situation at Liverpool.

The Egyptian is out of contract in June 2023 and could become available for transfer if the Reds don’t agree an extension with him before the end of the season.

read also:Leicester boss Rodgers ‘house-hunting in Cheshire’ as he becomes top target for Man Utd job

Liverpool are thought to be alert to the danger of losing Salah and will do “everything possible” to prevent him from following in the footsteps of Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

Xavi is a long-term admirer of Salah and described him as one of the best players in the world following Liverpool’s victory against Flamengo at the Club World Cup final in 2019.

The ex-midfielder told reporters: “They [Liverpool] are one of the best teams in the world… they also have great players like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and [Roberto] Firmino.

“Salah is one of the top 10 players in the world right now and always gives his best performance. I’ve watched him in the final, he is a great player and deserves to get the best player of the tournament award.”

 

 

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Serie A: Juve’s Chiesa set to be missing until new year

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Federico Chiesa 211128 injured G 1050

Italy forward Federico Chiesa could be out of action until after the Serie A winter break, his club Juventus confirmed on Sunday, after he picked up a thigh injury in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Atalanta.

Juve’s fifth defeat of the Serie A season on Saturday, at home to Atalanta, leaves them eighth in the standings, and they will have to try to turn around their fortunes during a busy December without one of their key players.

Read Also: EPL: Jorginho penalty earns point for Chelsea after howler gifts Man Utd opener

The Turin club said in a short statement on Sunday that Chiesa had picked up a “low-grade lesion of the hamstring of the left thigh”.

They added he was expected to be unavailable until after the winter break in Italy, which runs from 22 December to 6 January.

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Man United’s Carrick frustrated with draw at Chelsea

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Michael Carrick 211128 Dejected G 1050

Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick said he was leaving Stamford Bridge disappointed after his side were pegged back by Chelsea in a 1-1 draw for his first and perhaps last Premier League game in charge.

“At the moment we’re feeling a little bit frustrated and disappointed really,” Carrick told reporters. “Being in front and suffering from a penalty that I don’t think was a penalty is disappointment.”

Jadon Sancho scored a breakaway goal in the 50th minute, setting United on course for their second win in two games under Carrick, who steered them to a 2-0 Champions League win over Villarreal in midweek after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.

But Chelsea – who dominated the match – drew level 19 minutes later when Jorginho, who was at fault for United’s opener, converted a penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was adjudged to have fouled Thiago Silva.

Talking points from the Premier League weekend

Read Also: EPL: Jorginho penalty earns point for Chelsea after howler gifts Man Utd opener

Carrick said he did not know if he would still be in charge on Thursday when Manchester United host Arsenal or whether Ralf Rangnick, who is due to take over as interim manager until the end of the season, will have arrived at Old Trafford by then.

“As of now I haven’t got any more news for you,” Carrick, a former United midfielder said. “I was purely focused on the game. I am sure I will be updated and then see what happens in the next few days.”

Asked if his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench was something suggested by Rangnick ahead of his arrival in Manchester, Carrick was blunt: “That’s not the case.”

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Tuchel hails courage of captain Jorginho after howler

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Jorginho 211128 celebrating G 1050

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel praised his captain Jorginho for overcoming a howler of a mistake that gifted Manchester United a breakaway goal, and recovering his confidence to score a penalty that earned the Premier League leaders a point on Sunday.

Tuchel said Jorginho had been dazzled by the Stamford Bridge floodlights when he failed to control a ball dropping from the heavens which allowed United’s Jadon Sancho to speed past him and score with ease.

“It’s very unusual, a mistake like this and to concede a goal like this for us in general, and especially with Jorgi,” Tuchel told reporters.

“I think he misjudged the situation and he was heavily disturbed from the lights so he did not see the ball in the end. But it takes a lot of courage and personality to not be affected during the match, to have the courage to take the penalty for the equaliser in a crucial moment.”

Jorginho has missed penalties playing for Italy recently and for a moment on Sunday it looked like Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso wanted to take the spot kick after United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Thiago Silva in the box.

But Jorginho held his nerve and sent David de Gea the wrong way with a low strike into the bottom corner of the net.

The result – Chelsea’s second 1-1 home draw in a row in the Premier League after they were held by Burnley earlier this month – leaves the Blues just a point clear of Manchester City and two ahead of Liverpool.

League leaders Chelsea held by Man United

Read Also: EPL: Jorginho penalty earns point for Chelsea after howler gifts Man Utd opener

But Tuchel said he was not unhappy with the way his team played as they dominated their visitors and created 24 chances to United’s three.

“For sure, this match, it’s hard to imagine that you can drop points because we were the better team and we were the team who set the rhythm and intensity,” he said.

“We’re disappointed but we have no regrets. This can happen in football, we know it. It does not feel good when it happens, but it’s like this.”

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