Christian Falk’s Fact Files – Liverpool target dreams of Chelsea, Arsenal identify Mudryk alternative, Naby Keita future & more

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One of Julian Brandt’s closest friends is Kai Havertz. They both played for Leverkusen, so when Havertz left for the Premier League, Brandt felt like he too needed to make the next step, so he later switched to Dortmund. Ultimately, it’s not the same given he’s been dreaming for years of making it in the Premier League.

There has always been contact with Arsenal and we’ve heard that the club is interested again. His contract expires in 2024, so there has to be a decision, especially now that he’s found more consistency this term in comparison to recent years at Dortmund.

[? Is Julian Brandt the ideal alternative after failed Mykhailo Mudryk move? Let us know below in the comments! – (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)]

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Now, it could be the time to make the next step and follow Havertz to England. He hasn’t got one club in his head at the moment, but Arsenal are of course more interested than ever before. We also heard that Tottenham have knocked at the club’s door, so Dortmund will be forced to bring a very good offer to keep him in the Bundesliga, otherwise it could be time for a Premier League switch.

Borussia Dortmund

There are plenty of names on Liverpool’s shortlist for the midfield. I think, at the moment, it’s still good news that Daichi Kamada has been involved in negotiations with Dortmund, which means the club is preparing for the possibility of Jude Bellingham leaving in the summer. Of course, he’s also a possible replacement for Mahmoud Dahoud who will leave Dortmund this summer.

Kamada would be an option for the first-XI. Obviously, he’s not an identical option to Bellingham but the club has its eye on the player as a potential replacement.

It’s getting closer between Dortmund and Ramy Bensebaini. A few columns ago, we talked about Nico Shultz who is yet to receive a new offer. I think this could happen for the summer.


Manu Koné is a player every league has an eye on (his contract is still until 2025). Everybody knows there that there is a big chance for other clubs to get him, so that’s why they’ve come up with this price-tag. £26.6m sounds like a crazy amount in England with the pound valuation and in Germany you say it’s €30m, which sounds normal for such a player.

PSG also has an eye on him. We’ve asked him about his future and he told us that it would be interesting to play with Kylian Mbappé (but they can always play together in the national team). He’s been always dreaming of two clubs: one is Real Madrid and the other is Chelsea!

Kone brought up Chelsea because he was a big fan of Didier Drogba, which explains his fascination with the London-based club. There’s nothing concrete at the moment but you see that he’s potentially going to leave in the summer. He’s already talking openly about new clubs and you see he’s interested in England, and there are many clubs that would be on the table. With Chelsea, he’s put another one himself in.

Would Kouadio ‘Manu’ Koné be a great summer signing for Chelsea? Let me know your thoughts below!

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Omar Marmoush is really close to being a done deal for Frankfurt. He’s going to be a free agent, Frankfurt are searching at the moment and will get him. It’s a good next step.

There are plenty of rumours attached to Frankfurt at this point in time. Houssem Aouar could be the replacement for Daichi Kamada (he’s also a free agent). So, you see the falling dominos in action; perhaps Bellingham goes to Liverpool, Kamada to Dortmund and then Aouar to Frankfurt.

Frankfurt have two targets: Marmoush – I think this is very close. They’re in talks with Aouar and we heard about a medical test taking place. On Twitter, he wrote that everyone knows about his future but he doesn’t agree with that so far.


Is Mohamed Salah a genuine target for PSG? Get the inside track on the story below with Jonathan Johnson’s EXCLUSIVE briefing!


? Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing the Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot [Fichajes via CaughtOffside]


Jae-sung Lee’s not a young player anymore at the age of 30, so he’s going for the next big contract. He’s doing very well at the moment and also played at the World Cup. He’s already registered five of Mainz’s seven goals after the winter break.

He’s dreaming of the Premier League and Manchester United would be particularly interesting for him. His big idol was Park Ji-sung, who played at United. If he has the choice, he would hope that United would knock for him but, at the moment, he’s probably more of a mid-table signing. Of course, if he can keep up the quality of his performances, perhaps he could go a step higher in the market.

Manchester City

Manchester City want Hadjuk Split’s 16-year-old centre-back, Luka Vuskovic. City will, however, face competition for player’s signature from PSG. It’s worth noting that Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan are also interested. Bundesliga clubs are also involved in scouting Vuskovic but the price tag of €12-16m is too high for German outfits when it comes to investing in a prospect.

? Man City poach key Newcastle employee who used to work for Liverpool 14 months ago [Shields Gazette via CaughtOffside]

Manchester United

Jeremie Frimpong is getting closer and closer to a United move. Frimpong was also a topic in Winter – United really wanted him then. You know, he’s a Dutch player and his connection to Erik ten Hag is very close. There should have been talks.

So, you see now that Ten Hag is performing well with his team and has good arguments for Frimpong and for United in terms of fulfilling his wish. I think he’s one of Ten Hag’s main targets for the summer.

Naby Keïta

I met Sadio Mané the other week and asked him directly about Naby Keïta. He told me the Bundesliga is making itself so small and it’s such a great league. He’s very sure that, in the next few years, we’re going to see plenty of Premier League stars in the German top-flight.

I know, because he has the same management and is a friend of Keïta, so they’re still in contact. I asked Mané if he knew more and he told me ‘I will tell you when there is news’. I think he knows something.

I think Leipzig are ahead at the moment. Dortmund are not so concrete at the moment but they do have him on their shortlist in the ongoing search for a potential Jude Bellingham replacement. Leipzig yes, Dortmund… so-so.

The rumours from Barcelona are still here; I know that his management was in Spain recently. He’s going to be a free agent and you know what Barcelona do with free agents. So, I think these other clubs are, at the moment, ahead.

RB Leipzig

Since Sunday, it’s a done deal for Nicolas Seiwald to move to RB Leipzig, he’s signed a contract until 2028. I heard that there were very concrete talks between Arsenal and the player’s management. At the end, Seiwald decided for Leipzig. He’s the 20th player moving from Salzburg to Leipzig and always saw the value in making the next step and continuing the education at Leipzig.

[Nicolas Seiwald (far right) in action for RB Salzburg – (Photo by KRUGFOTO/APA/AFP via Getty Images)]

I think the Arsenal rumours and concrete talks are interesting because now we know what kind of player the Gunners are searching for in the summer.

For those who don’t know, Seiwald is referred to as the ‘Alpine Toni Kroos’.

? What positions do Arsenal need to strengthen in the summer to keep competitive? Let us know!

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West Ham

West Ham knocked for Odilon Kossounou in the winter but it was only for a loan deal, so Leverkusen said no. Now, in the summer, it could get more contract.

Nottingham Forest were also asking for the player in the January window because they couldn’t get Jonathan Tah. Leicester are looking for many Bundesliga players at the moment but the links there are more tenuous.

The most concrete link was West Ham and will be West Ham, so perhaps they can find a solution for the summer. But no loan deal – they’ll have to buy him.

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