Tag Archives: transfer

Fernando Torres set to leave Atletico by end of the season

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Fernando Torres has revealed his plans to leave Atletico Madrid when his contract expires at the end of the season to seek more game time.

The Spaniard is in his second spell at the club he left in 2007 to sign for Liverpool, and also had stints at Chelsea and Milan before returning to Spain in 2015.

Torres, 34, has only made three starts in La Liga this season and made 17 appearances from the bench, scoring two goals.

“I want to take advantage of this opportunity to say this will be my last season at the club,” Torres said at a promotional event. “It has not been an easy decision. Looking at the reality, the circumstances, perhaps it’s for the best. I accept that I’m not having much of a role, so perhaps this is the moment to step aside for others.”

“It’s difficult to say goodbye for a second time because I wanted to retire here but things don’t always go as you want. I feel physically and mentally able to keep playing. I am in good shape and I will look elsewhere for games.”

“I still feel I can play, and want to keep playing,” he added. “I have not listened to any offers [from other clubs] yet, but I will now. We will sit down and look at what we have, before making a decision when the time comes.”

Atletico will honour Torres at their last home game of the season against Eibar on 20 May and will make it an “unforgettable” occasion.

“Fernando is a legend of our club,” said Atletico president Enrique Cerezo. “The doors of Atletico de Madrid will always be open for him.”

“We have always said that he would have the decision about his future because this is his home and if he has decided to continue his professional career from the next season in another place, I can only thank him for everything he has given us, which is a lot.”

Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez regrets reactions to failed City move

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Riyad Mahrez admits that he regrets his reactions after seeing his potential move to Manchester City fall through in the January transfer window.

Mahrez, 26, was absent for two Leicester City matches after missing out on a move to join the ranks of the Premier League leaders, who reportedly made a £60 million offer on deadline day two months ago.

However, the Algeria international denied he had been on strike after the disappointment of the failed move, but concedes he should have handled the situation better when he took a leave of absence from the Leicester squad.

“I was away from here because I needed some time to think, it was a difficult situation,” he said. “You’ll always have regrets but at that time I thought it was the best thing to do.”

“Manchester City is a good move for everyone but it is the past. It is behind me. If we start talking about this it’s like coming back to the transfer window and now I’m moving forward, trying to give my best for the team.”

Following his leave, Mahrez returned to action in Leicester’s 5-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side on February 10 and has played in all three matches since, including the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last Saturday, in which he scored a dramatic late free-kick to help his team steal a point.

He also added that he was grateful to his teammates who had stood by him when he returned.

“I spoke with the players, I spoke with the manager, I spoke with everyone. Everyone was OK, was good.”

“It was difficult, I’ve always been in contact with the club. The club handled it very well. When the team-mates and the club were behind me it was okay, it was very easy to come back here.”

On Wednesday, Leicester were forced to deny Mahrez had retired after hackers posted a message announcing he was quitting football on his Facebook page.

“I wasn’t bothered,” the player said about the case. “It won’t affect me, so I don’t know why they try to do that. I think everyone knew it had been hacked.”

Barca vice-president blames Neymar for inflated transfer fees

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FC Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre said that Neymar’s behaviour prior to his switch to Paris St-Germain is the reason for football’s inflated transfer fees.

Mestre reportedly claimed that Brazil forward, 25, played “cat and mouse” with the Catalan club before his exit in August, when PSG paid 220m euros for Neymar, making him the most expensive player in history.

“We would have saved a lot of money and a lot of media noise,” Mestre added. “What hurt me the most was the way it happened.”

“If he came to us and said, ‘I want to go’, we would have reached an agreement. What you can’t do is rock the boat. He told us nothing. If he had done, PSG would have been able to buy him for less money and it would have cost us less to sign players too.”

Before Neymar’s parting of ways from Barca, he had signed a new five-year new deal with the club in July 2016, which included a 8.5m euro renewal bonus, and added at the time of his move to PSG that he had “followed his heart”.

“The decision was difficult to take,” the Olympic gold winner added. “I didn’t come for the money. I came for the motivation and the challenge.”

Since Neymar’s departure, Barcelona have spent £142m on signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, having brought in Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for an initial £97m, which could rise to £136m.

Following Neymar’s departure, Barcelona said they would withhold a further 26m euro (£23m) loyalty bonus, with FIFA currently investigating following an official complaint from Neymar regarding the issue.

“It arrived at a point where we saw where things were going, so we told him we would not pay his contract renewal loyalty fee,” said Mestre.

Dortmund ready to release Aubameyang as Arsenal deal nears completion

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Borussia Dortmund could release Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from their squad soon as the Bundesliga club could soon settle an agreement with Arsenal for the Gabon striker for a fee said to be around £60m.

The club has said they are prepared to sell him if “certain parameters are fully met”.

However, Dortmund has also made clear that the transfer will not be sanctioned until Dortmund have a replacement striker lined up, with Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud among the reported options.

It was known that Arsenal have already had two bids for the striker this month, both of which has been rejected by Dortmund. One of the rejected bids, worth 50m Euros, was made last Wednesday.

Aubameyang, 28, started for Dortmund for the first time since 16 December as they drew 2-2 with Freiburg on Saturday, after he was suspended by the club for their match against Wolfsburg two weeks ago for missing a team meeting.

The Gabon forward was also left out of the squad for the game at Hertha Berlin last weekend because club officials felt he was not focused enough, but he played 90 minutes in the draw with Freiburg.

“We are ready to realise a transfer under certain parameters but only if these are fully met,” sporting director Michael Zorc said.

“We have a clear position. Arsenal has started several attempts so far. We have up to now refused them all.”

Arsenal are looking to Aubameyang to replace Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, who joined Manchester United earlier this month in a swap deal with midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.