According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Christian Pulisic will discuss his future with the Chelsea management and may push to quit the squad if his chances of playing regularly for the first team seem dim.
It would affect Pulisic, who sources claim is worried about playing frequently enough to ensure he travels to the World Cup finals in Qatar with the United States national team in the best possible shape. Attacking duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona and Anthony Gordon from Everton would both potentially arrive.
The 23-year-contract old’s has two years left, and this week Manchester United became the newest team to inquire about him. The other clubs that have shown interest thus far are Newcastle United, Juventus, and Atletico Madrid, with middlemen speculating that Chelsea would prefer a permanent exit over a loan arrangement. Even on loan, as United’s proposal hinted, Chelsea had initially been reluctant to let Pulisic join a historic rival, but insiders say the club is open to considering offers and testing the market.
With the window closing in less than two weeks, Pulisic is now in a precarious situation. The winger has appeared in both of Chelsea’s Premier League matches so far, twice coming off the bench for a combined 30 minutes. According to one source, Pulisic is also dissatisfied with how coach Thomas Tuchel is managing the situation, especially given that he has experience playing in a range of positions, such as the False No. 9 and the left wing-back.
Although Pulisic’s job this season appears to be as an impact player, there are worries the USMNT star could become even more marginalised if Chelsea is successful in bringing in players before the end of the transfer window. His team is reportedly looking for clarification on this.
While a last-minute transfer for Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona has not been ruled out, discussions with Barcelona on moves for Aubameyang, Gordon, Wesley Fofana of Leicester City, and Cesare Casadei of Inter Milan are still ongoing.
Departures from other teams can potentially have an impact on Pulisic’s predicament. While AC Milan is showing interest in Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi has been told he can move on loan. Without first bolstering their forward options, Chelsea will not permit the departure of all three.
Although Pulisic is willing to consider joining another English club, United is still hoping that a loan deal can be made with him. More information on Pulisic’s future is anticipated in the next few days. Jimmy Olley
Ten Hag’s De Gea concerns
Before the season began, Erik ten Hag was well aware of David de Gea’s limitations on the ball, but the Manchester United manager chose to stick with him out of concern that making too many changes in his first summer would create too much chaos, sources told ESPN
De Gea has received criticism for his passing in losses to Brighton and Brentford, and at the Gtech Community Stadium, he was responsible for the second goal after playing a risky pass into midfield.
Ten Hag wants his teams to develop from the ground up, and some fans have questioned him about his choice to trust De Gea. Prior to the new season, sources told ESPN that the goalkeeping situation was recognised as a problem; nonetheless, Ten Hag thought the best course of action was to continue with the 31-year-old in his first season while other more urgent problems were resolved.
Meanwhile, United made a point of just allowing Dean Henderson to go on loan in the summer and did not let Nottingham Forest add a contract-binding condition to his short-term transfer to the City Ground. Although Henderson is thought to be a superior ball player than De Gea, he was keen for more first team action after making only three appearances the previous year.
Before the transfer deadline on September 1st, according to sources, United is looking to add another goalkeeper to compete with De Gea. However, they anticipate Henderson, who has already made an impression at Forest, to return to Old Trafford at the end of the season and contend for the No. 1 spot. Robert Dawson
Xavi tells Dest: It’s time to go
Right-back for the United States Coach Xavi has advised Sergino Dest to leave Barcelona in search of first-team football, according to sources who spoke to ESPN.
Dest had been promised he would be deployed as cover at left-back before the season began, but the defender has since been told he can leave due to a change in the team’s desired style of play and the continuing financial strain on the organisation. The LaLiga heavyweights have had trouble signing their new players, including Jules Kounde, who signed from Sevilla last month, and maybe Marcos Alonso, whose transfer from Chelsea is in limbo.
The 21-year-old was a key member of the U.S. team that will compete at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which starts in November. He joined Barca from Ajax for €20 million in 2020, and sources informed ESPN that he would prefer to stay at the Camp Nou despite the club’s change of heart.
His Barca employment is under contract until 2025, but leaving the club seems unlikely. Potential suitors Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid have added right back Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax and Udinese, respectively. Dest had been linked to Manchester United, but Chelsea, whose transfer strategy is being overseen by new American owner Todd Boehly, has also lost interest. — Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden
Atleti stands firm over Felix
According to sources speaking to ESPN, Atletico Madrid has informed Manchester United and other interested parties that their efforts over Joao Felix are pointless.
Although it has been reported that United offered €130 million to buy the forward, sources claim that Atletico’s position is that “the player is non-transferable.” A source at Manchester United, who would not disclose a bid for Felix, claimed the team had previously kept an eye on the midfielder. Felix, 22, has a €350 million release clause in his contract with Atletico until June 2026.
Erik ten Hag is frantically trying to add a forward to United before the transfer window closes, and the team is eager to strengthen their assault. Diego Simeone counts on Felix as a key member of his team at Atletico, and the club and its supporters are enthusiastic about the potent attacking duo that the Portugal international has developed with Alvaro Morata, who returned to Atletico last month after spending the previous two seasons on loan at Juventus.
In Monday’s 3-0 victory at Getafe, Felix assisted on all three of Atletico’s goals, including two from Morata. Felix only made 24 league games for Atletico last season due to injuries; he scored eight goals and assisted four more. In the previous transfer window, there was talk that he wanted to leave the Rojiblancos since Simeone’s style of play did not play to his abilities. Felix, though, has received plaudits from Simeone, who thinks the midfielder may play a major part this season.
After the victory at Getafe, he said: “Joao Felix appears to be getting stronger and more mature. He is maturing, gaining weight, and has better vision than the others. He is experiencing a very strong spell. He is at the best point in his career, so hopefully he develops more.”
Felix, who joined Atletico from Benfica in 2019 for a club-record €126 million sum, recently declared that he has no plans to leave the club, despite increased interest in his services from Premier League clubs.
“A departure from Atletico is not on the table,” he said. “I’m well and focused on Atletico. I’m calm about my future. I’m aware of what I can do and I’m happy with myself.” — Adriana Garcia
Coca Cola off the menu at PSG
After the team renewed their sponsorship agreement with Coca Cola a few months ago, Paris Saint-new Germain’s nutritionist has prohibited the beverage from the training facility.
In the past, the club had a single specialist who worked with everyone from the academy to the first squad. However, the move was made this summer because Christophe Galtier’s team needed a full-time dietician who worked just with the first team, according to new athletic director Luis Campos.
Due to PSG’s new hire’s surprise at how far behind other elite teams in Europe the club was in terms of nutrition, sugary drinks and a number of sauces have been eliminated. According to sources, the players have been instructed to report to the practise field for breakfast and lunch while specific dietary needs and programmes will also be implemented.
For the past 24 years, Coca-Cola has sponsored PSG, and their new contract with the Ligue 1 team lasts through 2024. — Laurens Julien
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