The football transfer market never sleeps and MyBettingSites sat down with transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio who shared his insights on Newcastle United’s manager shortlist, the big moves lined up by Real Madrid, Raheem Sterling’s situation at Manchester City, Mohamed Salah’s contract talks and more.
Di Marzio has spoken out on Newcastle’s search for a new manager, and revealed that the Magpies’ first choice would be to appoint former manager Rafa Benitez as their new boss at St James’ Park, although a move for the former Liverpool boss seems almost impossible according to the journalist.
It’s also been revealed that Steven Gerrard is in the running for the vacancy at Newcastle, although it remains to be seen as to which manager is the frontrunner at this stage.
“Their dream, for Newcastle, was and would be to convince Rafa to accept immediately. It is really really difficult that Rafa will leave Everton now. They met Rafa twice even because the new sporting director who will be appointed in an official way, Frank McFarland. He worked with Rafa at Liverpool and was responsible for the young players in the academy. He knows Rafa really well. But it is almost impossible that Rafa will go.”
“They spoke to Paulo Fonseca and I don’t know if they are really really close but he is in the short list. The interviews and meetings with him were very good and he has good opportunities to go. I think Fonseca is a good choice. It’s a strange club because the sporting director is not official and a lot of persons want to decide. It is strange to take a final decision but Fonseca is a good choice.”
“Steven Gerrard is in the running too, as he is a good friend of McFarland. They would have liked to have (Ralf) Rangnick as well. He is now at Lokomotiv Moscow and is a sporting director who likes to work with the coaches but Newcastle needs to have a coach at the bench.”
The journalist also spoke out on Antonio Conte, with the Italian being linked with a move to Newcastle, although it’s now been reported that he’s keen to sign up for a project where they’re competitive in both Europe and on the domestic front.
“A lot of people spoke about Antonio Conte but he never thought to accept it now. He wants an immediately winning project and to be competitive in the Premier League or La Liga or Serie A and try to be competitive in the Champions League. He already won the tournament in Italy and the Premier League, so he wants to take a club that can immediately be competitive in the Champions League.
“I think only Man Utd, or PSG if Pocchettino will not give the results or a good style of play, will be interested in Conte. These are the clubs that can think of Conte but nothing concrete at the moment. After the first half between Man Utd and Atalanta, I thought Conte would become the Man Utd coach but they won.”
Despite Newcastle’s well-documented wealth in world football nowadays, Di Marzio has warned that the Magpies could find it tough to sign so-called ‘big names’ in football so soon, with some ‘big names’ not likely to be up for a relegation scrap.
“Which player will go now to Newcastle, leaving their club, leaving the Champions League, leaving the Europa League? It is not easy for a big name in an important moment of his career to go to Newcastle now. Probably in the summer but in January, it is difficult to move in the transfer market.”
“I don’t know if one big name can change a team. In modern football, it’s not one big name that can save the club from relegation. So probably they will need 2,3 or 4 important names and not only 1 big name because there are problems in every situation on the field. They need an important transfer market in January.”
“It depends on the coach. If Paulo Fonseca arrives, he needs players that want to take the ball. If Steven Gerrard arrives, then he needs physical players. You have to think of the team with the coach. They will get the coach first, speak with him, have an analysis and speak to him about the players to get.”
Raheem Sterling hasn’t had all his own way when it comes to his game time with Manchester City, and Di Marzio has exclusively revealed that the England international faces an uncertain future with the Premier League champions, although a potential return to Anfield with Liverpool doesn’t seem as though it’s being considered by Sterling.
“He had problems with Guardiola last year and at the end of last season, they had problems. Human problems. Character problems. They discussed and something improved in the last few months but during the summer Guardiola wanted him to leave.”
When Ronaldo was close to Man City, Guardiola told his managers, directors that they can get him (Ronaldo) but Sterling should leave. They had problems with Sterling leaving because of the price. You cannot let him leave for free. He has a price and is an important player for Man City and the national team. It depends on which team needs his position.”
“There are problems with Guardiola and when there are these kind of problems it is difficult to stay for long. Guardiola said Sterling can go. He probably did not accept his attitude in some training or match. It is not a “technical” problem. Probably it is the way of not following Guardiola in training or a match.”
“Liverpool want young players that can become stars. They are just working towards the summer market because they will have to do different deals. In that position they have Salah and Mane and need to reinforce other positions. They do not have central defenders or a lot of young midfielders. They also have a lot of young interested players in offense, in their squad and in their academy.”
“It (Sterling’s move) is possible during the summer, not January because in January, Barcelona cannot afford investment of money. Sterling can leave next summer but summer is so far from now. It is difficult to say where he can go and it depends on a lot of things. In the summer it depends on the financial situation with Barcelona. We’ll see if Barcelona will go for any deal with payment of money in the summer.”
Mo Salah’s contract with Liverpool is set to expire at the end of the 2022/23 season, and with no new deal signed yet, the Anfield faithful will be fearing the worst for his future at the club. However, Di Marzio has stated that he expects Salah to sign a new deal with the Reds, simply because other clubs can’t afford the finances involved in a potential agreement with the Egyptian winger.
“I think he will sign a new contract with Liverpool. No other clubs can afford him. No other clubs need that position. Barcelona have no money. Real Madrid, I think, will get Mbappe. PSG have Neymar and Messi. In Italy, nobody.”
“(The move) Depends on him (Salah). Salah is a strange player. When he was in Florence, he wanted to go to Rome. When he was in Rome, he wanted to go to different clubs. It depends on his feelings and emotions at the end of this season.”
“He will decide about his future, if he wants to stay there (Liverpool) and continue his terrific scoring form in Liverpool. He will sign, otherwise, it will create problems for the club if he wants to go away.”
“(PSG) have Messi and Neymar. They are too many with Mbappe now. I don’t think so as Salah is similar to Neymar as a player. He does not have the same characteristics of Mbappe. PSG get players like figures. They don’t think of logical tactics. They need defenders, and midfielders. They do not need another striker. The most difficult situation for the coach is to find a squad.”
If you want to bet on Mo Salah’s next club potentially being Real Madrid, then you can wager your funds on Unibet, who are offering odds of 7/1 for the winger to head over to Spain.
Di Marzio has exclusively revealed that PSG star Kylian Mbappe will head to Spanish giants Real Madrid this summer, by stating that the French international wants a new challenge, with it also being claimed that on an ‘incredible surprise’ can change Mbappe’s decision to potentially head to Spain with Real Madrid.
“Mbappe has decided to take a new chance. It is not a question of money. It is not a question of leaving PSG or France. It’s because he wants a new challenge and wants to play with Real Madrid. When the will is strong, it is difficult to change his ideas.”
“He already has an agreement with Real Madrid. He can only sign in February. Only an incredible surprise can change this final decision of Kylian (Mbappe). He has already decided.”
However, it doesn’t seem as though Real Madrid will stop there though, as Di Marzio has also revealed that they’re targeting a move for Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland this summer, who reportedly has a release clause of £75million.
“Haaland has an exit clause of 75 million. It is normal for a lot of clubs to start moving for him. Real Madrid will try to get Håland too, with Mbappe. They want to do it and I don’t know if they’ll manage to do it.”
“They didn’t do too much in the market this summer. They only get Camavinga. So next year they will not just stop at Mbappe. They will try to get Håland. 75 million for him is like paying nothing. It’s too important for them to create a new era with Håland and Mbappe.”
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has caught the eye with a number of strong performances for the Blues since signing for the club, and it appears as though those showings haven’t gone unnoticed. Di Marzio has revealed that he’s reportedly in talks with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus, and PSG over a potential deal, with it being labelled as ‘difficult’ for the defender to sign a new deal with Chelsea.
“Rudiger is talking with Juventus, Man City, Tottenham, and even with PSG, who need another defender. It is difficult that he will sign a new contract. He will join one of the 4 teams I mentioned.”
One player that could be on the move with a return to football is Christian Eriksen, with the Danish international looking to return to the game after recovering from a cardiac arrest whilst playing for Denmark. Di Marzio has revealed that Inter Milan will allow Eriksen all the time he needs to make a return to the club.
“Inter respect him a lot. They are waiting to know what will happen. There are medical situations that have to go away, for him to go forward. Everybody is waiting for Christian to come back. His life is more important.”