Saturday, March 25, 2017

Giannelli Imbula plays down Newcastle talk; Kacaniklic joins Burnley

En Avant de Guingamp midfielder Giannelli Imbula has played down reports linking him with a summer move to Newcastle United.

En Avant de Guingamp midfielder Giannelli Imbula, also known as Gilbert Imbula Wanga, has played down reports linking him with a summer move to Newcastle United, Sky Sports understands.

According to reports in France, William Graham Carr — the Magpies’ head scout — traveled to France to watch the Belgian-born midfielder in action last week.

Since Carr became the club’s head scout in 2012, Newcastle United have signed a number of talented players from across the channel, including the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux and Yohan Cabaye.

In January, The Toon added five new Frenchman — Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier), Yoan Gouffran (Bordeaux), Massadio Haidara (AS Nancy Lorraine) and Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse) — to their ranks, taking the club’s French contingent to 10.

Despite the rumours, the 20-year-old midfielder is fully focused on achieving promotion to Ligue 1 with EA Guingamp, who are currently in fourth-place in the Ligue 2 table despite being level on points with second-place Nantes and third-place Caen.

“I am trying to finish the season strongly,” said Imbula.

“I have a contract until 2015 so let’s see what will happen. Guingamp is my club and they will have their say.

“Newcastle are in the Premier League, you are talking about a big club, but nothing is done. It is only paper talk.”

Imbula, who is under contract at the Stade du Roudourou until the summer of 2015, has also been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea in recent times.

Kačaniklić joins Burnley

Sweden international midfielder Alex Kačaniklić has joined English Championship side Burnley on loan from Fulham until the end of the season, Sky Sports reports.

Kačaniklić, 21, has fallen out-of-favour with Fulham boss Martin Jol in recent weeks, having last featured for the Cottagers against Manchester United in the FA Cup on 26 January.

The 21-year-old started and set up Charley Austin’s match-winning goal for Burnley on Saturday, while subsequently earning praise from manager Sean Dyche.

“He is an exciting young prospect and something different to what we have, which is important. He’s dynamic and can mix up his game,” said Dyche.

“He was with us at Watford last year and was then called back and went into Fulham’s first team, which is obviously a good sign.

“He has started this season in the Premier League and got himself a couple of goals.”

Kačaniklić, a youngster among aging stars at Craven Cottage, has scored three goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for Fulham this season, while netting one goal for Sweden in 2014 World Cup qualifying.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Etemadi


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