Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan has completed his €2 million (£1.8m/$2.2m) transfer to Fiorentina.The 18-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the Serie A outfit, after Liverpool accepted an improved offer on Monday.Fiorentina had seen two loan offers for Duncan rejected by the Reds, who felt that a loan move without an obligation to buy – and with no penalty clauses should the player not feature for the first team – served no purpose. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Duncan had expressed his desire to leave Liverpool last month, and matters came to a head in an incendiary statement released on Twitter by Saif Rubie, his representative, last week.In it, Rubie accused Liverpool of “mentally bullying” and “destroying the life” of Duncan, and singled out sporting director Michael Edwards and Academy director Alex Inglethorpe for criticism. Duncan, he said, had been unable to leave his house due to stress, and would not be returning to the club in any circumstance.Liverpool issued a statement rebutting the claims, and said they would endeavour to find an acceptable resolution. That resolution came over the weekend as Fiorentina came back to the table with a permanent offer, with Liverpool insisting upon a 20 per cent sell-on clause in the deal.Interestingly, sources have told Goal that Rubie, who accompanied Duncan to Italy to undergo his medical on Monday, was not involved in the negotiations. Duncan’s registered agent is Rob Segal.The deal represents a significant profit for Liverpool, who paid just £200,000 to sign Duncan from Manchester City last July. The boyhood Red, whose cousin is Kop legend Steven Gerrard, enjoyed a prolific campaign with the under-18s, scoring 33 goals and helping Barry Lewtas’ side to FA Youth Cup glory – beating, ironically, City in the final in April.Duncan had already featured for Neil Critchley’s under-23 side, and spent pre-season with Jurgen Klopp’s senior squad. He scored in their opening friendly of the summer, a 6-0 win at Tranmere in July, describing it as “a dream come true” and featured on the club’s three-game tour of the USA later that month.Relations, though, have been strained, with Duncan dismayed by the rejection of the loan offers from Fiorentina, as well as one from Danish outfit FC Nordsjaelland. Finally though, on the last day of the summer window, he has got his transfer.
Paco Alcacer believes that his Borussia Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho has what it takes to become one of the world’s best. Sancho enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2018-19, scoring 12 Bundesliga goals and tallying 14 assists, the most of any player in the German top flight. The England international has followed that up with a strong start to the current season, having already scored two and assisted three in just three league games thus far. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? At 19, Sancho has become the youngest Bundesliga player to ever reach 15 career league goals. Alcacer, who has had three of his four Bundesliga goals this season assisted by Sancho, has backed his team-mate to go on to achieve even bigger things.”He’s a kid, 19 years old, with great quality. If he keeps his head, he will be a top player,” Alcacer told Sport.”There’s uncertainty at that age, but as a player and a person in the dressing room, he’s top.”If he improves and picks up other qualities, he will be one of the best in the world.”Alcacer has joined Dortmund permanantly after spending part of the 2018-19 season with the Bundesliga club on loan from Barcelona. After struggling for form at Barca, the 26-year-old had a breakout season with Dortmund last term by scoring 18 goals in Bundesliga play. Asked if this is the most confident he’s felt in his career, Alcacer said: “It could be. The numbers suggest that. I feel confident and comfortable with my teammates — which is a plus on the pitch. “It’s a question of confidence and feeling comfortable on the pitch. Minutes are important. The treatment from my teammates, having an understanding with them, that’s also key.”Alcacer will get a chance to square off against his former club in this season’s Champions League, as Dortmund have been drawn with Barcelona in Group F.When asked if he would celebrate against his former club if he scores, Alcacer wouldn’t rule the possibility out. “I wouldn’t know what to do, because at the end of the day you’re really happy [to score],” Alcacer said.”A lot of people behaved really well with me there, a lot of people also said things that you don’t like, but the respect was always there.”