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Arsenal interested in Fiorentina’s Michael Kayode

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The 2004-born defender was a product of the Juventus youth academy and played for fourth-tier side Gozzano before joining La Viola in 2021, and he is starting to make a name for himself at senior level.

After amassing six goals and four assists in 71 games for Fiorentina’s Primavera side, Kayode made his senior debut as a starter on the opening day of the 2023-24 Serie A season, playing 81 minutes in a 4-1 thumping of Genoa.

Kayode had previously made the bench for the Italian giants in the 2022-23 season, and he has made another three top-flight appearances for La Viola, registering an assist in a 3-0 win over Cagliari on Monday.

In addition, the teenager earned his first continental start in Fiorentina’s Europa Conference League opener with Genk last month, playing the full 90 in a 2-2 stalemate, and he is expected to nail down a place in the first XI as Dodo recovers from a severe ACL injury.

Standing at 5ft 10in tall, Kayode was a key player for Italy’s Under-19s during their run to European Championship glory this summer, scoring the only goal in the final against Portugal.

The right-back – who has also been deployed as a left and right-winger – has since earned his first call-up to the Azzurri’s Under-21s, and his exploits over the past few months have inevitably attracted attention from some of Europe’s leading clubs.

According to Calciomercato, Arsenal have sent scouts to Italy to monitor Kayode’s progress, and they have had their eye on the defender since his European Championship-winning contributions over the summer.

Kayode is only contracted to Fiorentina until the summer of 2025, although his terms include a 12-month extension option, and the report adds that the Europa Conference League finalists are determined to tie him down to a new long-term deal.

La Viola supposedly want to extend his stay in Serie A until 2027 or 2028, but Arsenal remain attentive to the situation and will be ready to pounce if talks between Kayode and Fiorentina lead to nowhere.

Juventus could also try to bring Kayode back to Turin, as the Bianconeri allegedly regret releasing the defender from their academy, having believed that he would not make it to the top level.

Arsenal strengthened their defensive ranks over the summer with the acquisition of Jurrien Timber from Ajax, but the Dutchman sustained an ACL injury on his Premier League debut and will miss most – if not all of – the rest of the season.

Nevertheless, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Cedric Soares all represent out-and-out right-back options for Mikel Arteta, while Thomas Partey has also filled in on that side when needed.

The Gunners are believed to have begun contract talks with White and are confident of reaching an agreement with the Englishman, but Cedric has made just one substitute appearance in the EFL Cup this season and is expected to leave when his deal runs out in 2024.

Arsenal sit third in the Premier League table and can leapfrog current leaders Manchester City should they overcome the champions on Sunday before the international break.

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Transfers

Ex-Chelsea Flop, Timo Werner In Shock Move To Man Utd

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Former Chelsea striker Timo Werner is a shock transfer target for Manchester United, according to Sky Sports Germany’s Florian Plettenberg.

Werner, 27, has been linked with a loan move to a variety of interested clubs in January, including Real Madrid, but Plettenberg believes the German will prefer to see out the season at RB Leipzig before making a permanent move.

Werner is said to be disgruntled with the way things are going in Saxony despite only having rejoined Leipzig from Chelsea in 2022, while Man United are keen to strengthen their attack. Manchester United have enquired about Werner’s availability, but no offer has been made and there haven’t been any negotiations at this stage.

Reds boss Erik Ten Hag will now monitor Werner’s situation over the next couple of weeks before the transfer window opens.

If Werner were to move to Old Trafford in January, he would join the likes of Odion Ighalo and Wout Weghorst on a growing list of stop-gap striking options that the Premier League side have turned to in recent history.

Werner has only scored twice this campaign, but he managed to register 16 goals last season back in the Bundesliga.

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Newcastle eyeing January move for Kalvin Phillips

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Newcastle United are lining up a January move for Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, sources have told ESPN.

The England midfielder has started just one game for City this season and the club are braced for offers ahead of the January window.

Newcastle are keen to bolster their midfield to compensate for the loss of Sandro Tonali, who has been hit with a 10-month suspension for breaching rules around betting. Juventus and Bayern Munich are among the other clubs interested in Phillips.

Kalvin Phillips has largely been restricted to a role from the bench in his time at City. Getty
Phillips, a £43 million ($53.6m) signing from Leeds United in 2022, has struggled to break into Pep Guardiola’s team and according to a source, is keen to find regular football ahead of the Euros in Germany next summer.

The 27-year-old started just four games last season, with both of his Premier League starts coming after City had been confirmed as champions.

His only start this season came in the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle in the Carabao Cup in September and he was left on the bench for league defeats to Wolves and Arsenal despite his competition in central midfield, Rodri, serving a suspension.

Phillips has been named in the latest England squad for games against Malta and North Macedonia during the international break, despite his lack of game time.

Gareth Southgate will name just one more squad — for March internationals against Brazil and Belgium — before finalising his team for Euro 2024.

If he stays at City into the new year, Phillips is set to face even more competition in the new year with Kevin De Bruyne expected back from a hamstring injury.

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Transfers

Nicolò Fagioli signs new Juventus contract

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As expected, Juventus have officially extended their contract with midfielder Nicolò Fagioli until June 2028, although he is suspended for illegal betting.

The Bianconeri youth academy product confessed to the club and the authorities last month that he had been struggling with a gambling addiction that left him needing to borrow money off teammates, pretending that it was to buy luxury watches.

He worked out a plea bargain for a seven-month ban, which will see him available for the final match of this Serie A season.

That ban includes a commitment to undergo treatment for gambling addiction and make several public appearances warning others of the dangers of this misunderstood condition.

His contract had been due to expire in June 2026, but Juventus showed their support for Fagioli by extending it to 2028.

The 22-year-old had joined the club’s academy as a 14-year-old and made his senior debut in 2021.

Fagioli also recently changed management to CAA Stellar.

He is being allowed to train regularly with the rest of the Juventus squad during his ban.

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