Monday, December 19, 2016

All the very latest football news and gossip across Europe!

With the January transfer window opening in just two weeks time, many clubs across Europe will being doing their best to strengthen their squads, in an effort to lead them to glorious victory or save them from glorious failure, come the end of the season!

Here is a round up of all the latest football news/gossip across Europe today, which includes the likes of: Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Louis van Gaal, Bayern Munich, West Ham, Marseille, Leonardo Bonucci, Morgan Schneiderlin, Mathieu Flamini, Santos, Inter, Juventus and Slaven Bilic to name but a few!

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ready to extend his stay at Manchester United and snub a £120m offer from China - The Sun

Bayern Munich have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Hoffenheim centre-back Niklas Sule, according to Bild. The 21-year-old defender was set to be the subject of a January move from the Premier League leaders, who were reportedly willing to bid £30m.
However Chelsea’s pursuit of Sule is at an end after Bayern agreed an undisclosed fee with Hoffenheim for the defender - Bild (German tabloid newspaper)

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has revealed that the club are looking to tie up Lionel Messi’s new contract in the first few months of 2017. Messi’s current deal is set to enter its final 18 months and the Camp Nou giants are keen to ensure he stays at the club beyond the summer of 2018 - Movistar (Spanish communications operator)

Juventus are still 'dreaming' of signing Alexis Sanchez and will reportedly bid for the unsettled Arsenal forward next summer - The Sun

Arsenal are planning to break the £200,000-a-week barrier at the club to keep striker Alexis Sanchez - Daily Mail

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, 29, is in talks with Ligue 1 side Marseille, after being frozen out by Antonio Conte - Daily Mirror

Axel Witsel has reportedly rejected an SOS call from Chelsea boss Antonio Conte as he prepares to join Juventus. The Belgian midfielder’s contract at Zenit St-Petersburg expires at the end of the season, with a 2017 move to Italian champions Juventus already agreed.

Inter Milan are one of a number of clubs interested in Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 27, who has played just eight times for Jose Mourinho's side this season - Calciomercato (Italian football news site)

Everton have issued a 'come and get him' invitation to try to unload England midfielder Ross Barkley - Daily Express

Crystal Palace could release midfielder Mathieu Flamini, 32, in January. He has been given permission to return to Marseille - Daily Mirror

John Terry is at the centre of a £16million tug of war between two Chinese Super League Clubs with managers who have Chelsea connections. Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai Shenhua both interested in signing the defender - Daily Express

Reported Chelsea target Leonardo Bonucci has signed a new five-year contract with Serie A champions Juventus. Should the Premier League leaders decide to pursue a winter deal for Bonucci, a much greater fee will be demanded, after he signed improved terms that tie him to 'La Vecchia Signora' until 2021.

Tottenham have bid £19m for Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie, 20, with Chelsea and Manchester United also interested - Calciomercato (Italian football news site)

Manchester United will reportedly make a move to sign Feyenoord defender Rick Karsdorp in January - Daily Star

Saido Berahino, the out-of-favour West Brom striker has reportedly alerted clubs in Italy, with reports claiming Roma are keen on signing the former England U21 international. The 23-year-old, who is out of contract next summer, has been frozen out of Tony Pulis’ first team at The Hawthorns and has also attracted interest from Inter Milan -

West Ham
manager Slaven Bilic has cancelled the club's Christmas party despite winning seven points in a week - Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has admitted results have not been good enough in 2016 and is determined to ensure the Eagles enjoy a more productive new year - The Times

Liverpool are interested in 19-year-old Santos striker Thiago Maia - ESPN (in Portuguese)

West Ham and Southampton are targeting 26 year-old Eibar midfielder Dani Garcia - Marca (Spanish national daily sport newspaper)

Fulham could beat Birmingham City to the permanent signing of £1m-rated Burnley striker Lukas Jutkiewicz, due to the recent managerial change at City - Daily Mirror.

Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez, 25, says he may leave the club in January as he searches for more playing time - and Daily Star

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is in the frame to become the new manager at Paris St-Germain - TF1 (Private national French TV channel)

Wolfsburg have dropped defender Philipp Wollscheid for reportedly criticising a member of the club's coaching staff. The 27-year-old Germany international, who is currently on loan from Stoke, was excluded from the squad for Saturday's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. "He's currently training individually, It's one of those things that happens" said coach Valerien Ismael - Wolfsburg Nachrichten newspaper

Celtic and Rangers could miss out on Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane - who is out of contract in the summer - after the Tykes offered him a new deal to stay at Oakwell - Daily Record

Former Everton striker Lacina Traore is a target for Malaga, according to his agent. The 26-year-old is currently on loan at CSKA Moscow from his parent club Monaco but he could be on the move again next month - Tass (Russian news agency)

Ipswich are interested in Dundalk defender Sean Gannon in the wake of the Irish side's impressive performances in the Europa League.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Statistically, the ICT index score of the best performing players in the English Premier League so far this season!

The ICT Index (Influence, Creativity, Threat) is a new feature for the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.

A football statistical index, it has been developed specifically to give a verdict on a player as a Football Premier League asset.

It condenses more than 40 match event statistics for three key areas – Influence, Creativity and Threat, to generate the data into a single score.

This score is what is known as an individual’s ICT Index score, and via this data is able to offer an accurate summary on player performance.

Season 2016/17 - Last update: 12/12/16 at 11am

For those of you currently playing 'Fantasy Premier League Football' you may want to take note!


1. Tom Heaton (Burnley) 45.7 ICT Index (pictured right)
2. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) 39.9
3. Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) 35.5
4. Ben Foster (West Brom) 34.4
5. Artur Boruc (Bournemouth) 29.1
6. Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton) 28.9
7. Petr Cech (Arsenal) 28.7
8. Adrian (West Ham) 26.6
9. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) 25.1
10. Heurelho Gomes (Watford) 25.1


1. Michael Keane (Burnley) 76.6 ICT Index
2. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) 75.3
3. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) 72.8
4. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) 71.8
5. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) 70.6
6. José Holebas (Watford) 67.7
7. Christian Fuchs (Leicester) 67.3
8. Kyle Walker (Tottenham) 64.8
9. Simon Francis (Bournemouth 63.0
10. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) 60.7


1. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) 192.4 ICT Index
2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) 151.0 (pictured right)
3. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) 144.9 (Injured - expected back 14 January '17)
4. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 143.1
5. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) 139.2
6. Dimitri Payet (West Ham) 136.7 50.4
7. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) 136.3
8. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) 136.3
9. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 135.3
10. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) 133.4


1. Diego Costa (Chelsea) 180.4 ICT Index
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd) 167.6
3. Sergio Agüero (Man City) 146.4 (Suspended until 31 December '16)
4. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 135.3
5. Christian Benteke (C. Palace) 120.0 (pictured right)
6. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) 97.9
7. Charlie Austin (Southampton) 94.7 (Injured - unknown return date)
8. Fernando Llorente (Swansea) 90.4
9. Salomón Rondón (West Brom) 90.3
10. Harry Kane (Tottenham) 90.2

1. Influence

Influence is the first measurement. This evaluates the degree to which that player has made an impact on a single match or throughout the season.

It takes into account events and actions that could directly or indirectly effect the outcome of the fixture.

At the top level these are decisive actions like goals and assists. But the Influence score also processes significant defensive actions to analyse the effectiveness of defenders and goalkeepers.

2. Creativity

Creativity assesses player performance in terms of producing goalscoring opportunities for others. It can be used as a guide to identify the players most likely to supply assists.

While this analyses frequency of passing and crossing, it also considers pitch location and quality of the final ball.

3. Threat

This is the third measure, producing a value that examines a player's threat on goal. It gauges individuals most likely to score goals.

While attempts are the key action, the Index looks at pitch location, giving greater weight to actions that are regarded as the best chances to score.

All three of these scores are combined to create an overall ICT Index score. That then offers a single figure that presents a view on that player as a Football Premier League asset.