Valencia: 7 Players Who Could Move This Summer After Copa del Rey Triumph

​A 2-1 victory over La Liga champions Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday capped what has been an impressive season for Valencia in fine style.

Marcelino’s side finished fourth in the Spanish top flight to secure their place in next season’s Champions League, having reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, before a cup final victory over the Spanish champions rewarded Los Ches’ considerable progress this season with silverware.


However, Valencia have often been victims of their own success in recent times, with progress on the field often undercut by subsequent sales of star names such as David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata to name just a few.

Marcelino ​described Saturday’s Copa del Rey victory as his ‘happiest day as a Valencianista’, but the victory could come at a cost which could take a heavy toll on Los Ches’ bright young squad. Here is a look at seven Valencia players who could move this summer after the cup victory.


Neto

Alexandre Lacazette,Norberto Murara Neto,Gabriel Paulista

Having starred as a consistently reliable​ figure between the sticks for Valencia this season, Neto has added further weight to what was already a strong reputation as a fine goalkeeper.

The former ​Juventus star has been ​linked with a move to ​Arsenal this summer, as Unai Emery seeks a replacement for the retiring Petr Cech, and the 29-year-old certainly fits the bill with a wealth of experience – and even played against the Gunners in the Europa League this season.

Neto is said to be Emery’s favoured option to step into the north London side’s goalkeeping ranks next term, though a £70m release clause in the goalkeeper’s Valencia contract could prove to be a stumbling block.


Jose Luis Gaya

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Already a well established name in European football despite only being 24, Gaya has continued to perform consistently at left back for Los Ches this season, proving to be a complete full back in both defensive and attacking regards.

With the likes of ​Manchester City and Arsenal said to be on the lookout for a new left back this summer, a move to the Premier League could well be in the offing for the Spaniard, whilst Lucas Hernandez and Filipe Luis’ departures could make ​Atletico Madrid ​another feasible destination.

Gaya has made 49 appearances in all competitions for Valencia this term and is also the club’s third captain. With Juventus potentially set to offload Alex Sandro this summer, a switch to Turin could be another potential destination for Gaya, where he could link up with former Valencia teammate Joao Cancelo once again.


Mouctar Diakhaby

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Another star who has shown considerable promise at the Mestalla this season, Diakhaby is a powerful and versatile defence-minded player, capable of operating both at centre back and as a holding midfielder.

At 6’4″, Diakhaby is an imposing presence, and displayed his power to good effect with a goal against Arsenal at the Emirates in the Europa League, scoring with a header​ which he hardly appeared favourite to win but showed great strength and desire to force home.

Still only 22 and with a great deal of physicality to offer either in defence or midfield, Diakhaby could be an ideal investment for any Premier League side looking to add more steel to their spine next term. His versatility could prove valuable to clubs such as ​Manchester United, ​Tottenham and Arsenal, who are all likely to be on the lookout for defensive reinforcements.


Ferran Torres

Andrei Ratiu,Ferran Torres

One of the more up-and-coming young stars of Valencia’s senior squad, Ferran Torres is still only 19 bu​t has already shown more than enough ability to suggest that he could become Spain’s next midfield superstar.

There can be no greater sign of Torres’ promise than a list of potential suitors which already includes ​Liverpool, ​Chelsea, ​Real Madrid and ​Barcelona, and the youngster’s attacking abilities in midfield or out wide could earn him a big move to one of Europe’s elite sides.

Torres’ Valencia contract ​reportedly contains a 100m release clause, but that is unlikely to deter interested parties. With Barcelona preparing a summer overhaul and Real Madrid in need of fresh impetus, particularly in midfield, Torres could become the latest Valencia star to make the switch to one of Spain’s top sides.


Carlos Soler

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Another player who has already become a first team regular at a relatively young age, Carlos Soler has established himself as one of the most consistent names on Marcelino’s team sheet this season.

Still only 22, the midfielder made 51 appearances in all competitions for Valencia this season, scoring four goals and laying on 11 assists, demonstrating technical and creative abilities which are likely to attract a variety of clubs across Europe.

Soler is another versatile option, capable of playing either out wide or in central midfield, and has a similar playing style to Atletico Madrid star Koke. With his best years still ahead of him and Europe’s top sides always on the look out for creative midfielders, it would be a surprise if significant moves were not made by a number of top clubs to secure Soler’s services.


Goncalo Guedes

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A more familiar name that has done the rounds in the European transfer gossip for a number of years now, Guedes is still only 22 and is yet to fully unlock his huge potential, though the Portuguese’s raw attacking talent is likely to appeal to many potential suitors.

The winger is capable of playing in a variety of positions across the frontline and made his name as one of the brightest young attacking talents on the continent with Benfica, before a short-lived spell with PSG failed to bring out the best in Guedes.

The Portugal international has enjoyed greater success with Valencia following an initial loan spell, having racked up five goals and three assists in 25 La Liga appearances this season. Guedes could be of interest to former PSG boss Emery, who will be desperate for a new wide attacker this summer, and he could finally thrive under the Spaniard at Arsenal.


Rodrigo​

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One of the most potent strikers in Spanish football at present, Rodrigo scored the ​decisive goal in Valencia’s cup final win over Barcelona on Saturday and his clinical finishing ability would be a bonus for any top side next season, not least the Catalan giants.

Ernesto Valverde has struggled to acquire sufficient backup for first choice centre forward Luis Suarez, with Kevin Prince-Boateng’s January move to Camp Nou unsurprisingly proving ill-fated, and that lack of offensive cover cost the Blaugrana greatly at the back end of the season.

Barca are unlikely to spend big on an out-and-out centre forward this summer, having missed out on the signing of Luka Jovic to Real Madrid, and Rodrigo fits the bill perfectly as a supporting option for Suarez. At 28, the striker has the necessary experience and is unlikely to break the bank, with Barca also pursuing the more costly additions of Matthijs de Ligt and Antoine Griezmann.

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Juventus Set to Offer Paulo Dybala & Alex Sandro as Part of Swap Deal for Man Utd Star Paul Pogba

​Juventus are set to ramp up their interest in re-signing Paul Pogba this summer by offering Manchester United Paulo Dybala and Alex Sandro as part of a deal for the Frenchman.

Pogba was at the centre of a turbulent season with the Red Devils, having been the subject of criticism from Jose Mourinho prior to the Portuguese manger’s sacking midway through the season, before turning in some lukewarm displays towards the end of the campaign.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s bright start to life as manager at Old Trafford came to a concerning halt at the back end of the season, with ​Pogba among those widely questioned for his commitment levels and, according to the ​Sunday Express, the 26-year-old is keen to leave ​United in the summer.

It is said that the midfielder would like to join up with Zinedine Zidane at ​Real Madrid next term, with Los Blancos widely linked with a move for the flamboyant Frenchman, though he is also the subject of interest from former club ​Juventus.

Pogba returned to Old Trafford from Turin in 2016, but could be set to return to Italy amid further struggles to find consistent success in the Premier League. The report suggests that the Bianconeri are prepared to make a huge offer to re-sign their former star.

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Juventus appear set for a summer of upheaval following the announcement that manager Massimilano Allegri is set to depart the Allianz Stadium, and those changes are set to bring significant movement in the transfer market.

The Serie A champions will reportedly offer star duo Dybala and Sandro in a potential part-exchange deal to bring Pogba back to Turin, in a move which would see the World Cup winner link up with another former United star in ​Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dybala has been heavily linked with a move away from Juventus in recent months, following a season in which the Argentine struggled to cement his place in Allegri’s attack ahead of the likes of Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic.

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The forward ​recently insisted that he wants to stay at Juve next season, though the club’s apparent will to use him as bait to sign Pogba could yet change the situation.

Meanwhile, Sandro has been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years, with both United and ​Chelsea said to have held long-term interest in the left back, and the Red Devils’ recent defensive struggles could make signing the Brazilian an attractive prospect.

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Sergio Ramos: The Contenders to Sign Him & Where He Might End Up

​Sergio Ramos is truly one of Real Madrid’s greatest ever players. He has led his side to three consecutive Champions League wins. His brilliant defending, leadership skills and ability to score decisive goals over the years have made him a legend at the Bernabéu.

Despite all this, Ramos now finds himself at a crossroads. The 2018/19 season was a disastrous one for both him and the club. Real ended the season trophyless and finished it having had three different managers – Julen Lopetegui, Santi Solari and Zinedine Zidane.

​Ramos suffered injury problems throughout the season and infamously deliberately got himself booked in the first leg of Real’s round of 16 Champions League tie against Ajax, picking up a suspension for the second leg that would allow him to avoid being suspended in the quarter-finals. This decision back-fired horribly as Real struggled to cope with Ajax’s vibrant, attacking young side in the second leg, being destroyed 4-1 in front of their own supporters, as they crashed out of the ​Champions League. Following this game, Ramos reportedly had arguments with his team-mates and senior club officials in the dressing room.

Now there are ​reports suggesting that he is questioning his future at the club. With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the teams that he’s been linked with and the likelihood of him joining each of them.


Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp

There have been reports in the Madrid media that ​Liverpool are one of several sides that are interested in signing Ramos.

This seems to be extremely unlikely considering Liverpool had the best defence in the ​Premier League last season and that manager Jürgen Klopp has shown a preference for signing players in their mid 20s, rather than someone like Ramos who, at 33, may have his best days behind him.

Then there is also the fact that Ramos became public enemy number one amongst Liverpool supporters after being involved in the incident that forced ​Mohamed Salah to be substituted in last year’s Champions League final. 

While a Virgil van Dijk-Ramos defensive partnership would surely be the most feared in the world, it would be unlikely to be welcomed by Liverpool supporters.

Likelihood rating: 1/10


Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United have just endured their worst defensive season in their Premier League history, conceding 54 goals.

Defensive reinforcements must be a priority for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Ramos would provide leadership and quality at the heart of United’s backline which they currently simply do not possess.

He is being linked to United now, just as he was in 2015 when Louis van Gaal was at the helm at Old Trafford. On that occasion Ramos ended up signing a new contract at Real with United suspecting that they were being used by the Spaniard’s representatives as leverage to force Los Blancos to pay him higher wages.

However, Ramos’ relationship with Real seems to be extremely disjointed and he may relish the challenge of fixing United’s porous defence.

Manchester United have had their fingers burnt when it comes to big-name players in recent years with the likes of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Alexis Sanchez all failing to live up to expectations. 

They have also wasted a lot of money in wages on those players and Ramos would likely demand to be one of United’s highest earners should he arrive at Old Trafford. These experiences may dissuade them from making a move for Ramos.

Likelihood rating: 4/10


Paris Saint-German

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PSG have also been linked with Ramos and the Spaniard would provide them with leadership and Champions League know-how that is sorely lacking in their squad.

After being taken over by the State of Qatar in 2011, PSG have received heavy investment, spending large sums of money on players and managers in their quest to dominate European football. They have successfully dominated French football in recent years but have repeatedly suffered disappointment in Europe, failing to get past the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.

On a couple of occasions they seemed to have buckled under the pressure in this tournament, in 2016 they infamously threw away a 4-0 first leg lead in the round of 16 against Barcelona to lose 6-1 in the return leg. This season at the same stage they held a 2-0 first leg lead against Manchester United but proceeded to lose the second leg 3-1 at home to a makeshift United side. 

In both ties they made several fundamental defensive errors and signing a defender with the quality of Ramos could help prevent this in the future. Ramos has captained Real to three consecutive Champions League triumphs and has also won another previously. His experience in this competition will help this current PSG squad who seem to struggle to cope in the high-stakes matches.

However, they already have a central defender in their squad who is of a similar age in Thiago Silva and they may decide to place their trust in the promising young defenders they currently have – Thilo Kehrer, Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos.

Likelihood rating: 5/10


Chinese Super League

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The Chinese Super League has become a popular destination for many European players once they enter the twilight of their careers.

The likes of Moussa Dembélé, Marek Hamšík, Javier Mascherano and Paulinho have all made the move to the league in recent years.

Whilst this move isn’t likely to be fulfilling for Ramos from a football perspective, financially he would benefit greatly. Some Chinese Super League clubs have the capacity to pay wages that even many of the top European sides cannot match and Ramos would surely be paid handsomely if he was to make the move to the Far East.

He would boost his financial security and also experience a part of the world where he has rarely played.

Furthermore, knowing that he would not be likely to play against Los Blancos on a regular basis would be a relief for a man who has been so loyal to the club over the years.

Likelihood rating: 6/10


Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo

​Juventus are also reportedly interesting in signing Ramos. The ​Serie A champions have a proven history of signing aging players and providing them a platform to prolong their careers, with Andrea Pirlo being the most notable example. Pirlo played some of the best football of his career at Juventus after he was released by Milan, who considered they considered to be past his prime.

Joining Juventus would also allow Ramos to be reunited with long time team-mate and friend ​Cristiano Ronaldo. Having a close friend at the club would allow Ramos to integrate quickly into the Juventus dress room and make it easier for him to flourish on the pitch.

Much like PSG, domestic dominance is no longer considered good enough by Juventus, who have announced that manager Massimiliano Allegri will be leaving at the end of the season. The Champions League has become somewhat of an obsession for them and Ramos’ experience of winning this competition could help them secure their first European Cup triumph in over two decades

There is also the fact that slower pace of Serie A will suit Ramos as he gets older and make it less strenuous on his body.

However, I Biaconeri already have two of the best central defenders in world football at the heart of their defence with Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. The aforementioned pair are 34 are 32 respectively and signing another centre-back of a similar age is somewhat questionable but not beyond possibility. 

Likelihood rating: 7/10

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Paulo Dybala Backs Away From Agent’s Quotes on Possible Summer Exit From Juventus

​Paulo Dybala has insisted that he wants to stay at Juventus, despite recent suggestions that he could be on his way out of Turin this summer.

The Argentine has struggled to cement a regular place in Massimiliano Allegri’s side this season as the Bianconeri clinched their eighth consecutive Serie A title, with reports suggesting that the attacker could be keen for a move away amid claims from Gustavo Dybala, his brother and agent.


However, ​Dybala has since moved to distance himself from the transfer speculation, insisting that he want to remain at the Allianz Stadium. As quoted by ​Gianluca Di Marzio, the 25-year-old said: “What did my brother say? He spoke for himself.

“My company knows what I think: I talked to Fabio [Paratici] and he knows I want to continue playing in ​Juventus. Then, clear, does not depend only on me: even the Juventus will have to make its own choices, even thinking that the coach will come. But I want to stay here.”

Allegri’s impending departure as manager has brought a further cloud of uncertainty over Juventus’ immediate future. The Italian is set to depart at the end of the season after a five-year spell in Turin in which the club have won five Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia trophies.

“Not even the company knows who will come,” Dybala added on the managerial situation. “I hope it is a strong one, which allows us to win everything. Allegri? I greeted him like everyone else, he did so much for the team and for me too.


“Grateful. The most important thing for us is for someone to win, as the company says and as the comrades say. All the fans want to see good football, which is the concept of modern football.

“There are so many good coaches who know how to do it, it’s up to society to decide. Not me.”

Dybala has often fallen behind ​Cristiano Ronaldo in the attacking pecking order for Juventus this season, whilst he is likely to face similar competition from ​Barcelona superstar ​Lionel Messi for a place in Argentina’s frontline at this summer’s Copa America.

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“I have always said: I have the pleasure of playing with the two phenomena of our football. He [Ronaldo] in Juve, Messi in Nazionale. For me it is a beautiful experience. Argentina? We want to win the Copa America. We hope to have an important tournament.”

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Chelsea to Demand £5m Fee for Maurizio Sarri as Ex-Real Madrid Boss Eyes Stamford Bridge Position

​Chelsea won’t block a move away from Stamford Bridge for Maurizio Sarri, with the Italian head coach linked with a move to take over at Juventus.

The Bianconeri are desperate to appoint a new manager following the announcement of Massimiliano Allegri’s departure, with former S.S.C. Napoli boss Sarri near the top of their shortlist as they consider replicating his work at the Stadio San Paolo.

Maurizio Sarri,Massimiliano Allegri

Chelsea are willing to let Sarri leave the club if he ends up being offered the position in Turin, but Goal claim that the club will demand £5m is paid in compensation.

Despite guiding Chelsea to a place in the top four as well as to Carabao Cup success and the Europa League final, there is still a cloud looming over Stamford Bridge over concerns that Sarri is the right manager to lead the club through their imminent transfer ban.

The likes of Frank Lampard and even Juve’s Allegri have been linked with taking over at the club if Sarri leaves this summer, but The Times report former Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has made himself available for the position.

The 52-year-old has been out of work since being let go at the Santiago Bernabéu back in October, just months after he was released from his role as Spain’s head coach in the days leading up to the World Cup in Russia.

Lopetegui has been in London to offer his services to a number of different clubs with the help of his agent Jorge Mendes, although the Spaniard won’t hear back from Chelsea until they make a final decision over Sarri’s future after the Europa League final.

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