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Who should sign Joao Felix?

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It’s been a tough few years for Atletico Madrid and Portugal star Joao Felix.

Having set the world alight during a solitary senior season at Benfica, Felix moved to Atleti in 2019 for eye-watering £113m. Unfortunately, the attacker’s creative instincts have been nullified in La Liga, while he’s often had to accommodate ageing star Cristiano Ronaldo at international level.

Hints from Atleti seem to indicate Felix has little future at Estadio Metropolitano, though any imminent transfer will require a hefty bid from the buying club as Atleti try to recoup some of that hefty outlay.

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Here’s who should be looking to snap up the versatile forward.

It’s no secret that Man Utd are on the hunt for a new forward. Ronaldo left in a huff and fitness issues continue to plague Anthony Martial – the Frenchman did play in United’s 4-2 friendly defeat to Cadiz on Wednesday, however.

Marcus Rashford and Antony have been United’s main goal threats so far this season with four and three Premier League efforts apiece. Felix’s numbers are hardly an improvement, striking three times in La Liga this term, while he has only broken the ten-goal barrier once in his young career so far.

He is unlikely to be the Red Devils’ main transfer target in January, though. Erik ten Hag and co have been convinced by the Netherlands’ Cody Gakpo during the World Cup and the PSV Eindhoven star could arrive at Old Trafford before Felix.

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Bayern Munich had a regular supplier of goals for many years in the form of Robert Lewandowski, but his departure earlier in 2022 has left a void up front.

Creative forwards like Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry have fired Bayern to the top of the Bundesliga after a wobbly start, while summer acquisition Sadio Mane is still acclimatising to life at the Allianz Arena.

The renaissance of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting up front has also lessened the German giants’ need for a new striker somewhat.

Todd Boehly has waltzed into Chelsea and made the place his own since taking over Roman Abramovich. The American billionaire even has Blues fans scared that they could sign Ronaldo due to the co-owner’s desire for a high-profile move.

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Chelsea have historically struggled when splashing out for new strikers and the recent failure of Romelu Lukaku’s return could provide doubts on a January move for Felix.

The west Londoners already have a bloated squad which needs trimming and an expensive move for an underperforming player may not prove too appealing to the new hierarchy.

Kylian Mbappe. Lionel Messi. Neymar. Joao Felix? Paris Saint-Germain have already shown they are not afraid to take on the game’s biggest superstars.

Money is also not an issue. Backed by Qatar Sports Investments worth around £338bn, PSG have the capital to make moves in every transfer window so long as they fall within FFP parameters.

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However, manager Christophe Galtier has managed to find that elusive balance between attack and defence and adding another blockbuster attacker into the mix while retaining that stability would be tough.

Swapping Atletico for Real hasn’t proved to be an issue for players in the past. Stars like Alvaro Morata, Jose Antonio Reyes and Thibaut Courtois have all played for both Madrid sides over the years.

Real are planning for the future and have already secured a number of highly promising youngsters like Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Aurelien Tchouameni, but there is no clear successor for Karim Benzema right now.

Benzema has just won the Ballon d’Or but injury ruled him out of the World Cup. Real will hope he can stay knock-free for the next few years until his retirement, but Felix’s link-up play and technical ability could make him the ideal replacement for Benzema.

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EPL

Nottingham Forest announce signing of Andre Ayew

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Nottingham Forest have confirmed the signing of free agent Andre Ayew despite interest from Everton.

The forward has been heavily linked with a move to the Toffees in recent days, but Forest have swooped in to sign the Ghanian.

Speaking to the club’s official website after finalising the move, the forward said:  “It’s a great feeling to sign for Nottingham Forest.

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“I know how big the club is and I know how much the club means to the city and the fanbase. It’s always been difficult whenever I’ve played against Forest and at The City Ground and I love the stadium.

“Steve Cooper is someone who knows me very well and knows how to work with me both on and off the pitch. We have a strong relationship, he’s a special coach and a special human being and someone who I really look up to.”

“I know what I can bring to the team, I’m ready to give my all and make sure that we are able to stay in the Premier League.”



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Wolves vs Liverpool – Premier League: TV channel, team news, lineups & prediction

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Liverpool will be looking to make a statement with a Premier League trip to Wolves this weekend, having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Brighton last Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are without a league win in their last three attempts and have slipped as low as ninth in the table. Depending on what Chelsea do against Fulham on Friday night, the Reds could be 10th by the time they kick-off at Wolves.

Wolves are still yet to really find their groove under Julen Lopetegui, although at least remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference for the time being.

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Wolves vs Liverpool H2H Results (Last Five Games)

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Wolves team news

Wolves have no new injury concerns ahead of this one, with Pedro Neto, Boubacar Traore, Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho all still sidelined.

Wolves predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Sa; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; Neves, Nunes; Traore, Sarabia, Hwang; Jimenez.

Liverpool team news

Centre-back Ibrahima Konate is the latest Liverpool player to join the injury list, ruled out until at least mid-February with a hamstring problem.

Virgil van Dijk is also still out, as are Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. Arthur Melo is making progress but is a couple of weeks away from resuming training.

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Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo.

It’s certainly feasible that Wolves could continue to pile the misery on Liverpool.

The Reds had beaten Wolves in seven consecutive meetings until a recent FA Cup tie ended in 2-2 draw at Anfield. It was then only a single goal that decided the replay in the Merseysiders’ favour.

Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Liverpool

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Mason Greenwood releases statement after Greater Manchester Police drop all charges

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Mason Greenwood has released a short statement stating that he is ‘relieved’ after the Greater Manchester Police dropped all charges against the Man Utd forward.

Greenwood was charged with attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and assault, allegations relating to the same woman last year and, following an investigation, GMP have confirmed that all charges have been dropped.

The GMP confirmed the news in a statement earlier on Thursday: “Given the significant media coverage of this case, it is only fair that we share the news that the 21-year-old man, who had been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal proceedings in relation to this.

“The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.

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“Despite the media and public’s interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.

“I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate GMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected, regardless of their circumstances, throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time for them. An ever increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training and the force is more consistently utilising tools, available via the criminal justice system, to keep people safe and care for victims.”

Greenwood has now responded with a statement of his own, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”

Manchester United are due to conducted their own internal investigation on the matter.

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