After much speculation regarding his future, French forward Antoine Griezmann will stay with Atletico Madrid.
According to Sky Sports, in an extraordinary TV appearance on Thursday, Griezmann stated he will remain with his current club and pass up a move to Barcelona. The 27-year-old is currently with France for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and is coming off a 19-goal league campaign with Atletico.
Barcelona have been in the running for some time for Griezmann, but will need to look elsewhere if they want another attacking player. Griezmann has scored 79 league goals in 143 appearances for Diego Simeone’s team since joining from Real Sociedad in 2013-14.
Atletico recently acquired Monaco playmaker Thomas Lemar earlier this week, who is a international teammate of Griezmann’s with France. The pair will have their first World Cup action together on Saturday as France open Group A play against Australia.
JEAN MICHAEL SERI COULD BE NEARING A MOVE TO SERIE A
Jean Michael Seri is one of the rising names in international soccer, and the midfielder could be on his way to Italy.
According to Goal, Seri’s agent stated that the 26-year-old would prefer a move to Serie A over the Premier League. Last season’s Serie A runners-up Napoli are one team that are linked to acquiring the Ivorian but will need to trigger his release clause.
Seri joined OGC Nice in 2015 and has made 112 appearances for the Ligue 1 side since, scoring 12 goals and registering 22 assists. It will be hard to retain Seri’s services with Nice finishing eighth in France’s top-flight last season.
“We hope to have positive news from Naples in the next few hours,” Seri’s agent Franklin Mala told CalcioNapoli24 on Thursday. “There’s been informal contact with Napoli, but still no step forward. We’re ready to meet Napoli.”
“Napoli are in pole position, Seri prefers Naples to anywhere else. Napoli need to speed up in every way to close the deal.” Seri’s €40 million release clause closes on July 15th, after that Nice can ask for any amount in return for the midfielder.
RUSSIA’S STRONG WC START TAKES BLOW AS DZAGOEV LIMPED OFF
Russia cruised their way to a 5-0 victory against Saudi Arabia in Thursday’s opening match to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but the hosts lost a key player in the win.
Midfielder Alan Dzagoev limped off after 24 minutes with an apparent hamstring injury, and was replaced by Denis Cheryshev. Cheryshev would later score a brace in the lopsided victory for Russia in Moscow.
Following the match, the national team gave a brief statement on the status of the CSKA Moscow midfielder. “Alan Dzagoev damaged the muscles in the back of the thigh,” said the statement. “The terms of treatment will be determined by the results of the upcoming MRI [scan].”
The last two international tournaments have not been kindly to Dzagoev who left the 2016 EURO’s with a broken foot. He later missed the Confederations Cup last year due to injury, but was an important part to Russia’s past qualifications.
Thursday marked Dzagoev’s 58th cap for Russia, for which he has scored nine goals.