Barcelona and Ronald Araujo on the same page amid Bayern interest
I want to start today’s column by again clarifying my information on the Ronald Araujo situation. While it’s true that he’s a player Bayern Munich really like, with Thomas Tuchel really insisting for the signing, this is far from a straightforward deal for them.
As things stand, my understanding remains that Araujo’s priority is to stay at Barcelona, while Barca also consider him a key player, so talks over a new contract will happen soon. Araujo is ready to discuss a new deal with Barca, so they are on the same page and that’s what I expect will happen.
Of course, Araujo is a top player so it’s normal that a big club like Bayern would be interested, but there has never really been any change to the situation, despite reports. The message from the player’s camp has always been that he’s very happy at Barca, so let’s see now how contract talks will progress – it’s one of the priorities for the Barca board.
Could this Chelsea defender be heading to Crystal Palace?
One player we can expect to move on from their current club is Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah. It’s been clear for some time now that he will leave this January, after he came close to a move in the summer, though at the time he turned down an offer from Nottingham Forest.
At the moment, however, there is nothing advanced with any particular club, despite recent links with Crystal Palace, while at points there have also been rumours about Tottenham. I’m not currently aware of any talks taking place, but that will happen soon, because Chalobah will be leaving Chelsea this January, for sure.
The plan has been clear for some time – Chalobah wants to play more, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen for him at Chelsea because they have different plans in that position. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see where Chalobah ends up, but we will surely see some talks taking place soon for what looks like an inevitable January move.
Pep Guardiola’s honest words about Kalvin Phillips
Pep Guardiola has been very honest about Kalvin Phillips – another player who seems certain to move on from his current club this January.
Speaking earlier this week, Guardiola publicly apologised to the player for not using him more, saying: “He doesn’t deserve what has happened to him and I’m so sorry. It’s just because I visualise some things and visualise the team and things – and I struggle to see him.”
Guardiola has been very honest, he has appreciated Phillips’ behaviour but he’s simply not a part of his vision. There’s interest from English and Italian clubs, so things will happen in the next weeks for sure. As I’ve been saying for a while now, he will leave in January, there seems to be no doubt about that.
I wanted to pay tribute to Mohamed Salah after he scored his 200th goal for Liverpool – he is a special player and scoring that number of goals for a top club is not something that should be underestimated.
I’m often asked if I could have seen this coming from Salah after watching him in his time in Italy with Fiorentina and Roma. He struggled in a brief spell at Chelsea as a youngster, as fans here will know, but he was incredible in Serie A, first in loan spells at Fiorentina and Roma, and then joining the latter of those clubs permanently. I’m not really surprised that he’s been so good for Liverpool.
In terms of his contract, he signed a new deal recently and all is good between Salah and Liverpool, I wouldn’t want to make any predictions beyond that. I also don’t know if I can predict the Golden Boot race yet as it’s too early, but for sure it looks like Salah can be up there competing with Erling Haaland.
Dominic Solanke’s fine form continues amid West Ham interest
Dominic Solanke’s fine recent form continues as he scored in a memorable 3-0 win for Bournemouth away to Manchester United yesterday. I’ve been impressed with him this season as he always looked like an excellent player with great potential, but he’s now showing it more consistently.
In terms of a transfer, he’s happy at Bournemouth but many clubs are tracking him, including West Ham. Let’s see what will happen, but for the moment I understand he’s happy there and performing very well.
Are Newcastle really tracking Matias Soule?
I’ve had some fans asking me about Newcastle links with Juventus youngster Matias Soule, who is currently on loan at Frosinone. My understanding is that there is nothing concrete there, and he won’t be ending his loan spell at Frosinone this January.
Of course I’m not surprised to see stories about a player like this as he’s a really great talent, he’s been doing doing fantastic. Still, Juventus consider him an important part of their future, and there are talks over a new deal ongoing. I’m also sure the Argentina national team will be tracking him for his first senior call-up soon.