Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman has urged Justin Kluivert to continue his development at Ajax rather than pursue a big-club move during the summer. The 18-year-old is reportedly attracting interest from Manchester United, but Koeman believes the teenager is better off staying with his current club. Speaking in a pre-match press conference, he said: “I spoke to him about this,’ admitted Koeman. He’s in talks with Ajax about his contract. I think the best is for him stay in Holland because he’s only 18.”
Kluivert had a personal chat with manager Jose Mourinho following Ajax’s 2-0 defeat to United in the Europa League final, and he has since continued to be linked with the Red Devils. Despite this, United appear unlikely to make a transfer approach this summer with Mourinho highlighting that the club are focused on bolstering other areas of the pitch other than the attack. Continue reading →
Chelsea scout Eddie Newton has confirmed that the Blues had kept a keen interest Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Özyakup in the past, though he admits that the Turk is more suited to Arsenal’s style of play. Ozyakup had been tipped for a return to the Emirates during the winter transfer window, but the Gunners were only willing to pay half of Besiktas’ €12m valuation for the midfielder.
Speaking to Aksam, Newton rated the 25-year-old highly after watching the players in close quarters. He continued to praise the player’s composure with the ball at his feet, and believes he could be ideal signing for Arsene Wenger’s side, he said: “We followed him before. For me he will suit the Arsenal system. He’s technically strong, calm, and composed on the ball and also a good passer.” Continue reading →
Turkish giants Besiktas have reportedly identified Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck as a potential replacement for Cenk Tosun, who joined Everton earlier this month. Tosun joined the Merseyside outfit in a £27m deal, and the Istanbul outfit are now aiming to push through a potential replacement.
According to Aspor, Welbeck is the prime target on the club’s shortlist, and club president Fikret Orman is likely to open up negotiations with the Gunners over a proposed move. The England international began the campaign in fine fashion as he netted three goals prior to the first international break. Continue reading →
Dick Advocaat resigned from the Netherlands’ head coach role following their 3-0 win over Romania in an international friendly this week. Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Luuk de Jong found the scoresheet in the second-half as Advocaat received the perfect send-off at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest.
Netherlands international Ryan Babel has said that he struggled during his time at Liverpool due to the poor handling from then-manager Rafa Benitez. The Dutch winger is currently in the ranks of Besiktas, where he has become an influential player in the starting lineup.
Speaking about his time at Anfield, Babel revealed that the change of position from Benitez did not help his chances of adapting to the Premier League, he said: “This was my first time going abroad and also living by myself. The adaptation… every day was a new surprise. I soon figured that in the Premier League they call you a flop very quick. I was only used to 4-3-3. For me as a left-winger you have also a left midfielder and a left-back behind you. But in a 4-4-2 you are basically also the left midfielder so you have to help more in defence and I wasn’t used to that. That was mostly the criticism I got, that they couldn’t trust me in defensive work.” Continue reading →
Former Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel has been named in Dick Advocaat’s Netherlands squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Sweden.
The 30-year-old makes his comeback to the national side after a six-year hiatus, where he has played across Europe.
Babel, who made 91 appearances for the Reds between 2007 and 2011, has hit form with Besiktas this term with goals in the Champions League games against RB Leipzig and Porto. On top, he has also managed three goals in the Turkish Super Lig, and that form has made it hard for Advocaat to ignore him for selection.
Netherlands are currently in a precarious position of missing out on the World Cup qualifiers, and Babel will hope to contribute in must-win games against Belarus and Sweden. The Flying Dutchmen are currently in a straight fight with Sweden for the playoff spot in second place, and they will have to beat them by a significant margin in order to overcome the goal difference. Continue reading →
Turkish giants Besiktas are reportedly prepared to lodge a late raid to sign Spanish striker Diego Costa from Chelsea.
The 28-year-old is currently on an indefinite strike in his native Brazil after Antonio Conte decided to exclude him from his first-team plans via a text message in June.
According to OK Diario, Costa could leave Stamford Bridge on a temporary basis to Istanbul this week with the Turkish transfer window only due to close on Friday. Costa has recently been included in the Blues’ Premier League squad for the current campaign, but he has yet to end his self-imposed exile in Brazil after his move to Atletico Madrid fell through.
Diego Simeone’s side were eager to wrap up a deadline-day move for their former striker, but they could not finalise an agreement with the Blues, who were reluctant to negotiate on their £50m asking price. As a result, Atleti are likely to return for the marksman in the New Year when they will have their transfer ban lifted. Continue reading →
Jeremain Lens has exited Championship side Sunderland for Besiktas to play alongside Ryan Babel. It was widely reported that the player would exit soon but the club has now confirmed that the winger has left the club. Before the Black Cats acknowledged the sale, the Turkish side had posted a video online that showed the player and another addition Alvaro Negredo.
Lens was also pictured on the club’s social media links on Twitter and Instagram hinting that the deal had been completed – before Sunderland later confirmed the sale. The player in questioned had even retweeted the online picture of him posted by the Super Lig side and added a message that a Besiktas player Ryan Babel sent to him. It was later that Sunderland announced that the deal had been completed.
Lens netted four times in the preseason to confuse fans over his next move as reports were rife that he was certainly leaving during the summer. The Dutch international played a key role in the team since he joined in Dick Advocaat’s tenure. The former manger managed the player at PSV Eindhoven and even at the international stage before bringing him to England.
Lens played at Fenerbahce last term on a season-long loan, where he piqued Besiktas’ interest. The player stated his interest in continuing in the league with Fenerbahce but the deal did not happen so the rivals made the move. Whilst Fenerbahce are the title favourites – click here for the latest odds – Galatasaray and Besiktas have both strengthened and will put up a fierce challenge.
At Besiktas, there is opportunity to feature in the Champions League and reunite with former players at the various clubs he has played for. Sunderland managers Sam Allardyce, David Moyes and now Simon Grayson did not have the player in their plans else they might have sought to retain him. He was somewhat underwhelming during the time he spent at the club.
Meanwhile, French club Nice have secured the signing of midfielder Wesley Sneijder following his release from Turkish giants Galatasaray. The Netherlands international has signed a one-year contract with the Ligue 1 outfit after he decided to buy himself out of his Galatasaray contract for €4.5m. The Turkish League will be sad to see him go.
Sneijder, who is the Netherlands’ most-capped player in history, bagged five goals and 17 assists for the Istanbul outfit last season. MLS expansion franchise Los Angeles and Sampdoria were both keen on pursuing his services earlier last week, but he opted to join the French league instead where he will hold a fresh challenge with Nice.
“It’s now official. OGC Nice’s 2017-18 squad now has a third UEFA Champions League winner in it. After Dante and Mario Balotelli, former European champion Wesley Sneijder will also wear the red-and-black shirt this season after passing a medical on Monday. He also knows which shirt he’ll be wearing this season. Mika Le Bihan respectfully agreed to ‘give up’ the number 10 he had been wearing it to present it to the new arrival in the dressing room,” a statement on the club’s website said.
Sneijder’s addition is likely to have a direct influence of Ivorian midfielder Jean Seri, who has been strongly linked with a summer exit from Allianz Riviera. Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur are all said to be in the hunt for his services, and he could be cashed in in order to recruit a couple more players to the ranks.
The French outfit have done extremely well in their domestic league over the past few seasons, and they will have the chance to qualify for the Champions League proper, should they beat Napoli across two-legs in the playoff round. Despite his trailing age, Sneijder continues to be an influential player for the Holland national team for whom he has managed 131 caps to date.
Sunderland manager Simon Grayson says he is working hard to get more players in ahead of the August 31 deadline.
The team moved to the second round of the Carabao Cup recently after defeating Bury by the slimmest of margins. The Black Cats are poised to clash with Norwich in a Championship clash next but the manager is focused on getting an attacker.
Sunderland have been linked with Grant Leadbitter but Grayson refused to confirm the interest in the city-bon star. So far they are in negotiations with Aston Villa over a possible transfer for Ross McCormack.
The Chronicle claims the club would likely complete the deal for cheap but decent attacking option YassineAyoubfrom FC Ultrecht this summer. Leicester City are also on the case of the Dutch winger and being a top flight side it might appeal more to the player.
Ayoubis a product of the Ajax academy. He can play in central and left midfield. He is in his final 12 months with his current side but seems interested in a move away from the club. The 23-year old has been a major player in the team since he joined in 2012 but he could move to England soon. Continue reading →
Liverpool fans are still emotional over the departure of long serving star Lucas Leiva.
The Brazilian joined the Merseyside in 2007 from his home country. He used to feature for Gremio before he made his switch when Rafa Benitez convinced him to move.
Of all the additions that year by the Spanish coach, Leiva was the least exciting. Israeli Yossi Benayoun was a creative force, Ryan Babel was a Dutch striker and Fernando Torres was the goal machine from Atletico Madrid.
Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso were the generals in the midfield so Leiva had to fight for a spot in the team from day one. The pressure from the beginning could have overwhelmed him but his resilience and calm is exceptional. He made many mistakes as he tried handling the pressure of expectations and that of his roles. Continue reading →