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Brighton show with Liverpool display progress won’t be stunted by Trossard drama

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From the AMEX – A footballer’s career can be short. The egregious money in modern day football aside, you can understand why some players agitate for moves at a seemingly inopportune moment.

Brighton aren’t the first club in the game to be dealt an upset star set on doing anything to get their way. We’ve all played Football Manager and promised game time to fringe players, fully well knowing they have no place in your FM vision. It’s a tale as old as time.

The south coast side have been flying this season. Ninth place in 2021/22 saw Chelsea come calling for Graham Potter, and after some initial turbulence under incoming boss Roberto De Zerbi they are charming viewers left and right with stylish, high-tempo football, led by up and coming stars like Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo.

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Leandro Trossard have previously been included in the same breath. But at 28, time is ticking for the Belgian, who recently a clause triggered in his Brighton contract to keep him at the AMEX until 2024.

However, allegations of mismanagement have been brought forward by the player’s agent, Josy Comhair, after De Zerbi revealed Trossard had stormed off from training before the FA Cup win at Middlesbrough.

“On Monday [after the game] I spoke to him and I explained I don’t like this attitude and behaviour. He knows very well if he wants to play for Brighton he has to work very hard, run, and be in the right way,” De Zerbi said. “We are not a big team like Barcelona or Real Madrid. We are Brighton and we need others who work like the others.”

That was met later on Friday by a retort from Comhair, who claimed Trossard had indicated his desire for ‘his next step’ and revealed a bust-up with an unnamed teammate took place.

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Part of the statement reads: “The manager told Leandro that he had to train separately. Last Monday, the manager humiliated Leandro in group and indicated that he no longer wanted to see him. A manager who has not communicated directly with his player for four weeks is really incomprehensible. Incidentally, it is also the manager who has indicated several times that a transfer is the most convenient solution.

“It is therefore important that Brighton cooperates with a potential transfer during this transfer period and shows a benevolent attitude, which is beneficial to both parties.”

There are clubs interested in making a move this month. 90min understands Tottenham want to be kept informed of the situation, while Newcastle are also in the mix.

However, the timing of Trossard’s gambit is truly unfortunate. One wonders what he made of Brighton’s 3-0 smashing of Liverpool.

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While admittedly not Barcelona or Real Madrid, Brighton had put together a wonderful run prior to the Reds’ visit on Saturday, rising up to eighth with the opportunity to go seventh. Progression in the FA Cup had also been secured with the thumping of Boro. For a club that was playing at an athletics ground with retractable stands as recently as 2011, they are flying.

A double from Solly March alongside Danny Welbeck’s late strike gave them victory, leaping up to seventh and usurping their opponent in the process.

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey, Toby Cudworth and Tom Gott in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. This week they discuss Chelsea’s hectic transfer strategy, which includes a loan move for Joao Felix and interest in Romeo Lavia and Marcus Thuram among others, Man Utd’s pursuit of Burnley striker Wout Weghorst, Leandro Trossard’s Brighton future and more. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast! 

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Trossard had been a major part of the progress made in recent years, but Brighton’s latest energetic performance shows there is more than enough to be excited about going forward. They’re in a commanding position with both Mac Allister and Caicedo should any clubs come calling, while Kaoru Mitoma has shown his clinical edge since returning from the World Cup – the way the Japan international chewed up Trent Alexander-Arnold was spectacular.

They are all players who have bought into Brighton’s process to help deliver results greater than the sum of the team’s parts. With so many understated ball-players, the Seagulls give every top club a tough time whenever they’re greeted at the seaside.

Brighton may not receive a lucrative transfer fee for Trossard, but they’re not under pressure to come up with a replacement this month. Their start and pressure against Liverpool in the opening 15 minutes had the visitors booting long balls forward at every opportunity as March and Mitoma gave their esteemed full-back opposition tough times out wide.

There will be pressure, however, on Trossard if and when he gets his big move.

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Having made such a high-stakes call in pushing for a move, the former Genk attacker has to cut it at the next level or risk fading into obscurity. Better players have left the AMEX in recent years and struggled to perform at similar levels. The grass isn’t always greener, as most recent star departee Yves Bissouma would reluctantly tell you.

The journey Brighton have been on over the past 20 years shows they’re not afraid of a little adversity. The demands of Trossard and an agent should do little to detract from a Seagulls side full of vibrancy and initiative as they target improving that current best of ninth in the Premier League.





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Cody Gakpo reflects on first month at Liverpool

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Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo has opened up on his first month on the books at Anfield, admitting he is still getting used to Jurgen Klopp’s tactics.

The Dutchman was wanted by a number of elite sides, with Manchester United expected to win the race for his signature, but it was Liverpool who snuck in and agreed to pay an initial £35m to bring Gakpo to England.

The 23-year-old, who made his name as a left winger but has spent time as a striker at Liverpool, is yet to score after four appearances for his new side, but he told club media that is it just a matter of getting to grips with his new surroundings

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“My feeling, personally, is everyone in the team has so much quality,” he said. “That is what I see in training and in phases in the games.

“It is also a part of football, that sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you want them to. We just have to keep improving, working hard, and the quality will come out. Then, you’re going to see the real Liverpool.”

He continued: “From a football perspective, it’s a new environment on the pitch, with new players and a new team. I can tell it’s a really great group. Every day I am looking forward to working with them, to train hard and to play the games. I am trying to adapt as quickly as possible, to improve every day and in the end show the best version of myself.

“Off the pitch, to be honest, I haven’t been in the city so many times yet. Most of the time I have been in the hotel. I am moving this week, actually. That’s also something I’m looking forward to.”

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Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Gakpo also confessed that he is still trying to adapt to his new role in Liverpool’s team.

“It is a little bit different to what I’m used to,” the Dutchman admitted. “Normally, I have played on the left for almost the past three years.

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“It’s something I can improve, playing in the striker role, and I want to show my quality there. It’s a great position and playing there makes me more complete as a technical player.





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Fulham launch bid Fluminense midfielder Andre

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Fulham have made a bid to sign Fluminense midfielder Andre, 90min understands.

The 21-year-old has quickly established himself as one of Fluminense’s top players and a number of sides across Europe have expressed an interest in luring him away from his homeland in 2023.

Sources have confirmed to 90min that Fulham have approached Fluminense to try and thrash out a deal, but the Brazilian side are reluctant to part ways with their star player during the 2023 campaign.

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Andre, who has been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool, has spoken out about the interest and insisted his focus remains solely on his current employers.

“Obviously, I’m focused and very happy,” Andre said recently. “I just renewed my contract until 2026.

“It’s normal to get offers, but I’m focused here on Fluminense and having an excellent season.”

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

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If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Andre’s agent, Carlos Leite, also took to Instagram to confirm that the 21-year-old had agreed to remain with Fluminense until the end of the current campaign, which runs over the entire calendar year.

“Thanks to the great work carried out, Andre entered the radars of some of the biggest European clubs and, with that, he has received several enquiries and some official proposals,” Leite wrote.

“However, the player and Fluminense, through president Mario Bittencourt, sealed an agreement for the midfielder to remain at the club at this time, with all the dedication and commitment, always seeking the best for Fluminense in all competitions.”

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Sporting CP manager makes Pedro Porro admission as Tottenham talks continue

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Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim has warned Tottenham that he will not take right-back Pedro Porro out of his starting lineup until a transfer has been 100% agreed.

90min understands Tottenham are confident they will get a deal over the line for the 23-year-old eventually, but Sporting’s reluctance to budge from their asking price of Porro’s €45m release clause has led to some lengthy negotiations which are not yet over.

And while Porro is still contracted to Sporting, Amorim will not hesitate to use the right-back and risk an injury which could see the entire move collapse.

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“Porro does not leave before the game,” Amorim said ahead of Saturday’s Allianz Cup final against Porto. “Clubs have to come first, and as far as I know, a player who is able to play and is signed up by a club, he has to go to games.

“I realise that [negotiations] involve a lot of players’ minds, but the indication I have is that Porro is fit, and the most important thing for me, as a manager, is that if he wasn’t there, there would be someone else. The game cannot be played with just one player. Porro is fit. Whatever has to happen will happen, we are prepared for all scenarios.”

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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Amorim continued: “Is this Porro’s last game at the club? I don’t know. There are a few days left until February 1, then everyone will know if Porro stays or leaves.

“Porro hasn’t left yet. We are scouting, but not everything is easy, you’re in a real hurry to send Porro away!”

Spurs have repeatedly tried to lower Sporting’s asking price for Porro by including at least one player in the deal, but the Portuguese side have been clear about their determination to hold out for the right-back’s release clause – in full.





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