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Liverpool ‘to move for Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi’

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liverpool to move for real betis defender aissa mandi

Liverpool are reportedly ready to turn to La Liga to flesh out their defensive ranks by registering their interest in Real Betis full-back Aissa Mandi.

Reports in Spain suggest the newly crowned Premier League champions are monitoring the situation with the 28-year-old Algeria international.

With the player entering the final year of his contract it would be a ‘miracle’ if Mandi agrees to stay on with Betis, as report Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo

Real Betis' Algerian international defender is reportedly being monitored by Liverpool

Real Betis' Algerian international defender is reportedly being monitored by Liverpool

Real Betis’ Algerian international defender is reportedly being monitored by Liverpool

Now Liverpool’s famed recruitment department are said to have been put on alert as a result, sensing a cut-price deal can be done. 

Mandi could be available for as little as £10million as Betis look to raise funds following the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the disruption it has caused.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer, as they search for experienced cover for flying full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The 28-year-old, seen challenging Barcelona's Sergio Busquets, has one year left on his deal

The 28-year-old, seen challenging Barcelona's Sergio Busquets, has one year left on his deal

The 28-year-old, seen challenging Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets, has one year left on his deal

Mandi’s versatility it believed to be an attractive proposition for the Reds, who also value cover at the centre of defence. 

The Merseyside club are set to lose Dejan Lovren this summer, with the Croatian in the processing of finalising his £10.9m move to Zenit St Petersburg.  

Steve Bruce’s Newcastle are also said to be monitoring the availability of Mandi, who has been at Betis since 2016.

The 28-year-old has 29 La Liga appearances to his name this season, along with one outing in the Copa Del Rey.

Liverpool are looking out for defensive cover for Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool are looking out for defensive cover for Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool are looking out for defensive cover for Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold

In February Mandi featured as centre back for Betis and captained the club in a five-goal thriller against Barcelona.

Betis twice took the lead in the match, though a late Barca rally and a Clement Lenglet header saw the Catalan giants steal a 3-2 victory.

Betis have struggled this season and finished a disappointing 15th in the Spanish top flight, with 41 points from 38 matches played.

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Dimitar Berbatov fears Romelu Lukaku ‘will want revenge’ if Inter face United in Europa League final

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dimitar berbatov fears romelu lukaku will want revenge if inter face united in europa league final

Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has warned the club to fear Romelu Lukaku if they meet Inter Milan in the Europa League final.

United needed extra-time to beat Copenhagen in their quarter-final, thanks to a penalty from Bruno Fernandes. Meanwhile, the Serie A side won a hard-fought contest against Bayer Leverkusen with goals coming from Nicolo Barella and Lukaku. 

The Belgian striker endured a turbulent time at Manchester United before his move to Italy, but he has since found his feet in Antonio Conte‘s side and Berbatov said will be a ‘concern’ for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should they meet in the final.

Dimitar Berbatov has warned Manchester United to fear Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku

Dimitar Berbatov has warned Manchester United to fear Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku

Dimitar Berbatov has warned Manchester United to fear Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side could meet their former striker in the Europa League final

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side could meet their former striker in the Europa League final

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could meet their former striker in the Europa League final 

Lukaku is a concern for me, he’s scored 23 goals for Inter this season which is a great achievement,’ Berbatov told Betfair.

‘I always said I liked him as a player, that if he got chances he would score goals. He’s very quick, and very strong, and his goal on Monday was spectacular. He’s the main danger for whoever they play against.

‘Inter also have Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Young, who will know United very well. If they play United in the final, these players will want revenge, to show United that they were wrong to let them go.’ 

Manchester United have a tough semi-final date ahead against Europa League veterans and the most decorated team in the competition’s history with five wins, Sevilla. The LaLiga side netted a late winner against Premier League side Wolves to book their place in the final four.

Berbatov fears that the Belgian will be out for revenge after his turbulent time at Old Trafford

Berbatov fears that the Belgian will be out for revenge after his turbulent time at Old Trafford

Berbatov fears that the Belgian will be out for revenge after his turbulent time at Old Trafford

Meanwhile, Inter Milan must get past Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, who despatched of Basel in the last round. 

Berbatov said that Lukaku would be out for revenge if he gets pitted against the United defence in the final. 

He added: ‘Lukaku would love the chance to bang in some goals against the team that let him go. Lukaku took a lot of criticism in Manchester, and he was right to leave. Look at him now, he has been fantastic for Inter.’

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Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen having medical at Benfica ahead of three-year deal

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former tottenham defender jan vertonghen having medical at benfica ahead of three year deal

Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Portuguese giants Benfica on Thursday.

The 33-year-old left Spurs earlier this summer after eight years and 315 appearances in north London.

Competition for the Belgian defender’s signature was high, with Italian sides Roma, Lazio and Inter Milan all keen to acquire his services.

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Benfica in Portugal

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Benfica in Portugal

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is having a medical at Benfica in Portugal

But Benfica appear to have won the battle with the defender having his final medicals checks at the Portuguese club before signing a three-year deal.

Vertonghen arrived at Tottenham in 2012 for a deal believed to be around £10million and became a mainstay in the Spurs defence throughout his time in London. 

He featured 23 times for Tottenham last season but was let go after not being offered a new contract.

Upon announcing his departure from Spurs the 33-year-old said: ‘So my time at the club comes to an end. A sad day for many reasons.

The 33-year-old spent eight years at Spurs but is set to sign a three-year deal at Benfica

The 33-year-old spent eight years at Spurs but is set to sign a three-year deal at Benfica

The 33-year-old spent eight years at Spurs but is set to sign a three-year deal at Benfica 

‘I will miss the friends I’ve made here, the staff that make the club run, playing at the amazing new stadium and of course you fans.

‘Thank you for all the support over the years. You’ve been amazing. We had many unbelievable memories but for now, it’s goodbye.’ 

The Belgian had previously come through the ranks at Ajax, where he played over 200 times. 

He left Tottenham without a trophy to his name though did guide the club to the 2015 League Cup Final and the 2019 Champions League final, both of which Spurs lost to English rivals Chelsea and Liverpool respectively. 

The defender helped Belgium win a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia

The defender helped Belgium win a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia

The defender helped Belgium win a bronze medal at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia

He also came close to a winners’ medal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Belgium, but had to settle for bronze after his country lost to eventual winners France in Russia. 

The experienced defender will be hoping for better luck with trophies when he completes his transfer to Benfica, who finished as runners-up in the Portuguese top flight. 

Vertonghen will be the Portuguese club’s fourth signing of the summer after completing deals for Brazilian trio Helton Leite, Gilberto and Pedrinho.  

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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is perfect for Kai Havertz believes Michael Ballack

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chelsea boss frank lampard is perfect for kai havertz believes michael ballack

Chelsea is the ideal destination for £90million target Kai Havertz to ‘further develop’ his goal-scoring talents under Frank Lampard — according to former Blues and Bayer Leverkusen star Michael Ballack.

The 21-year-old is believed to be a top priority for Lampard, with some reports that the Leverkusen star has already agreed a five-year deal to switch to west London. 

And Ballack, who was a team-mate of Lampard during their playing days, believes the Chelsea manager’s goal-scoring prowess as a player makes him the perfect man to help Havertz take his own impressive record to the next level.

Kai Havertz, rated at £90m, is a strongly reported transfer target for Frank Lampard at Chelsea

Kai Havertz, rated at £90m, is a strongly reported transfer target for Frank Lampard at Chelsea

Kai Havertz, rated at £90m, is a strongly reported transfer target for Frank Lampard at Chelsea

‘I firmly believe that Lampard would be 100 per cent behind Havertz’, Ballack told Bild of the influence the 42-year-old could have on the German star.

‘He likes players who are very dangerous in front of goal and there aren’t many of those.

‘Havertz is a player that Lampard would help further develop, not least because he himself was a midfielder with an eye for goal, who was always moving into dangerous areas, looking to finish off a chance.’

31904338 8622965 image m 13 1597318577688

31904338 8622965 image m 13 1597318577688

Michael Ballack says Lampard’s eye for goal as a player makes him perfect for prolific Havertz

Despite only turning 21 two months ago, Havertz has already featured 150 times for Leverkusen, scoring an astonishing 46 goals and registering 31 assists. 

Chelsea are believed to be the frontrunners for the prolific forward, with Lampard keen to bolster an attack that will already include Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech next season.

The two clubs still have to thrash out negotiations over a fee for the starlet, with the Germans unwilling to lower their £90million valuation of the attacker.

The pair were team-mates together in a successful period for the Blues between 2006-2010

The pair were team-mates together in a successful period for the Blues between 2006-2010

The pair were team-mates together in a successful period for the Blues between 2006-2010

The Blues remain optimistic, though, that a deal can be done in the coming days, with staggered payments preferable for the club, given the financial uncertainties inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Havertz scored his side’s only goal as their Europa League campaign came to an end at the hands of Inter Milan in the quarter-final, his 18th of the season. 

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