Behind India’s trade deals in works with UK, Israel, EU, Canada – Hindustan Times

Behind India’s trade deals in works with UK, Israel, EU, Canada - Hindustan Times thumbnail

India has signed free trade agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia on the trot, breaking a dry spell for such pacts that lasted years, and is working to conclude similar arrangements with the UK, the European Union (EU), Israel and Canada.

India entered the post-Covid-19 era with two major free trade agreements (FTAs). On February 18, it signed the comprehensive deal with the UAE. Less than two months later, it inked a comprehensive but interim trade deal – the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) or phonetically “ekta”, which in Hindi means unity – with Australia on April 2.

The negotiation process for the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) with the UAE, signed by commerce minister Piyush Goyal and UAE economy minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, was one of the shortest in recent memory. The two sides began work on the pact last September. Similarly, negotiations for the India-Australia ECTA were formally re-launched barely six months ago, on September 30, 2021.

Two major global economies now keen to forge long-term trade partnerships with India are the UK and the EU. A bilateral free trade agreement will be at the top of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s agenda for his two-day visit to India from April 21. The UK is working overtime to forge new trade arrangements after its exit from the EU, and the deal with India is expected to boost total trade by £28 billion annually by 2035.

India will host the third round of discussions on the FTA with the UK in a hybrid mode from April 25. At the second round of talks in March, the two sides shared the draft treaty text covering 26 chapters or policy areas. The two sides have completed discussions on four chapters and reportedly made significant progress in the remaining 22 chapters. The British side has signalled it will focus on treaty architecture and seeking market access commitments in the third round of talks.

India and the UK agreed to double trade in goods and services to about $100 billion by 2030 as Goyal and UK trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan launched formal negotiations for an FTA on January 13. Total two-way trade is currently around $50 billion, including $35 billion of services and $15 billion of goods.

India and the UK expect expeditious finalisation of tariffs and terms on matters where interests of the two sides converge, but there are some sensitive issues for both, which may be handled after taking the views of all stakeholders. For example, the visa issue for Britain and agriculture, dairy and duty on liquor, particularly Scotch.

India and EU have decided to conceptualise basic frameworks for negotiating a comprehensive deal to raise two-way trade to more than $220 billion in five years. The issue will figure prominently in European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s discussions with Indian interlocutors when she visits New Delhi in the last week of April.

Key discussions with the UK and the EU were also held when a team led by commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam visited London and Brussels this month. While India and the EU earlier eyed the possibility of stitching up an investment treaty before moving towards more contentious trade issues, the European side is now keen to have parallel discussions on investment, trade in goods and services and geographical indications so that a comprehensive package deal can be concluded, people familiar with the matter said.

The EU-related developments are significant because trade negotiations had stopped in 2013 after 16 rounds of talks. Among the contentious issues were movement of Indian professionals and high tariffs on European farm produce. The Netherlands, Germany and France are among EU members pushing for the speedy conclusion of talks, the people cited above said.

“There was a narrative after India withdrew from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2019 that the government was against FTAs. But recent developments have shown that India is willing to sign FTAs when its interests and concerns are addressed,” said an official who declined to be named.

A second government official, asking not to be named, said: “The four deals – two already concluded [the UAE and Australia] and two in the pipeline [EU and UK] have the potential to surpass trade volume of over $500 billion in five years.”

Goyal has said India is also working on FTAs with Canada, Israel and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which brings together the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. Though India and Israel had announced they intend to conclude talks on an FTA by June 2022, the people cited above said the negotiations are expected to take some more time. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s planned visit to New Delhi this month, which was put off after he tested positive for Covid-19, would have given a push to the issue, the people said.

The people added that a trade pact with the US was not on the cards in the immediate future despite some recent engagements on trade issues.

India could successfully negotiate FTAs with the UAE and Australia because of four broad factors – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s excellent relations with top leaders of these two countries, wider consultation with stakeholders (trade and industry), respecting sensitivities of partners, and complementarity instead of competition.

“India earned immense goodwill during the Covid period when Prime Minister Modi distributed vaccines to other countries. In the post-Covid era, India has emerged as a reliable and trusted partner for the developing and developed world,” the official said. The two bilateral deals are strategically fit for all partners. India, which is focused on “Make in India” and “Make for the World”, will source valuable inputs in terms of energy and minerals from the UAE and Australia, and in turn will assure them of an efficient and reliable supply chain for goods and services. Goyal has said the trade pacts with the UAE and Australia have been “very well received” and didn’t elicit “a single negative response” from any sector thanks to the wider consultations.

The CEPA with the UAE was signed during a virtual summit between Modi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on February 18 and is set to enter into force on May 1.

The agreement envisages a comprehensive economic partnership covering trade in goods and services, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade (TBT), sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, dispute settlement, movement of natural persons, telecom, customs procedures, pharmaceutical products, government procurement, IPR, investment and digital trade.

The CEPA covers almost all tariff lines dealt in by India (11,908 tariff lines) and the UAE (7,581 tariff lines). India will benefit from preferential market access provided by the UAE on over 97% of its tariff lines, which account for 99% of Indian exports to the UAE in value terms, especially for labour-intensive sectors such as gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, sports goods, plastics, agricultural and engineering products, medical devices, and automobiles. India will offer preferential access to the UAE on over 90% of its tariff lines.

On services, India offered market access to the UAE in around 100 sub-sectors, while Indian service providers will have access to around 111 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors such as business, communications, construction and related engineering services, distribution, education, environment, finance, health, social services, tourism and travel, culture and sports and transport. Both sides agreed on a separate annexure on pharmaceuticals to facilitate access of Indian pharmaceutical products, with the UAE agreeing on automatic registration and marketing authorisation in 90 days for Indian medicines given regulatory approval in the US, the EU, the UK and Japan.

The UAE’s importance is evident from the fact that bilateral trade has gone from $180 million per annum in the 1970s to $60 billion in FY 2019-20, making it India’s third largest trading partner. India’s exports to the UAE were worth $29 billion in 2019-20, while imports were valued at around $30 billion, including crude oil worth about $11 billion. The UAE is the eight largest investor in India, with estimated investments of $18 billion.

The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA) was signed at a virtual summit on April 2. Modi summed up the significance of the deal in his address on that day: “Our economies have great potential to meet each other’s needs…This agreement will make it easier for us to exchange students, professionals, and tourists, further strengthening these ties.” ECTA is India’s first trade agreement with a developed country after more than a decade. It covers areas such as trade in goods and services, rules of origin, TBT, SPS measures, dispute settlement, movement of natural persons, customs procedures and pharmaceutical products.

The deal is also significant because India and Australia are members of Quad, which was revived to counter Chinese aggressive actions. Trade ministers of the two countries said a shared partnership under the Quad, along with the US and Japan, helped them strike a trade deal that will reduce dependence on China. Australian trade minister Dan Tehan attributed the growing relationship between India and Australia to the Quad’s values. “Keeping the Indo-Pacific free and open as a place where liberal democracies can flourish is just so, so important,” he said. Friction between Canberra and Beijing has resulted in a series of official and unofficial Chinese trade sanctions on Australian exports and India has been looking to boost exports, including by offering an alternative to China at a time when the Ukraine war has caused an East-West division.

ECTA covers almost all the tariff lines dealt in by India and Australia. India will benefit from preferential market access on 100% of its tariff lines. India also offered preferential access to Australia on over 70% of its tariff lines, including raw materials and intermediaries such as coal, mineral ores and wine.

Australia is India’s 17th largest trading partner and India is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner. India-Australia trade for merchandise and services was valued at $27.5 billion in 2021. India’s merchandise exports to Australia grew 135% between 2019 and 2021.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR



    Rezaul H Laskar is the Foreign Affairs Editor at Hindustan Times. His interests include movies and music.

Stop your misguided moralising on Rwanda deal, MPs tell Archbishop of Canterbury – The Telegraph

Stop your misguided moralising on Rwanda deal, MPs tell Archbishop of Canterbury - The Telegraph thumbnail

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been accused of “misguided moralising” after leading the Church of England’s attack on the Government’s Rwanda deal and “partygate”.

The Most Rev Justin Welby was said to have undermined the role of the Church by using his Easter Sunday address to criticise the Prime Minister’s plan to send asylum seekers to the landlocked east African nation.

On the same morning, the Archbishop of York questioned what kind of country people want Britain to be and suggested that public servants should lead by example when it comes to morality.

In what has been perceived as a veiled attack on Boris Johnson over the Downing Street parties scandal, the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell asked whether the UK wants to be known for being a country where “those in public life live to the highest standards, and where we can trust those who lead us to behave with integrity and honour”.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Sunday that the policy on sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda raises “serious ethical questions” and “cannot stand the judgment of God” or “carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values”.

The United Nations and several human rights organisations have also criticised the plans, which have received broad support from Conservative MPs who long bemoaned that Number 10 was not doing enough to stop small boats crossing the Channel.

On Sunday night, the Archbishop was accused of hypocrisy after Whitehall sources pointed out he has warned four times about the problems of illegal immigration.

Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Telegraph that whilst the Church is “authoritative in all matters that pertain to God”, the same cannot be said for “day-to-day practical solutions”.

“This is not an unreasonable perspective for an Archbishop, he is completely entitled to it,” he said. “But he has missed the effect of the policy. It is an informed and important opinion, but it is not revealed truth.”

Tim Loughton, the Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, and a member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said: “There is nothing ungodly about trying to come up with practical solutions to end the vile trade in human misery where criminal gangs daily put lives at risk to profit from trafficking people into the UK illegally, based on ability to pay rather the legitimacy of their claim.

“The people traffickers and those who turn a blind eye to ending this ungodly activity are the ones who should really be the target of the Archbishop’s misguided moralising.”

He went on to say that the Church of England’s failure to distinguish between good and evil is “directly linked to its greatly diminishing influence in our country”.

Ben Bradley, the Tory MP for Mansfield, said that the Archbishop is “way out of tune with public opinion”, adding that “commenting on government policy is not Justin Welby’s job”.

He said: “Given that Welby has previously raised concerns about immigration overburdening communities, and the importance of recognising concerns about immigration, it’s pretty hypocritical to now slate the Government for finding solutions to those issues.”

The Archbishop has previously warned about the problems of small-boat Channel crossings. He described the deaths of at least 27 migrants off the coast in France last November as a “devastating loss of human life”, adding: “This cannot go on.”

At the time, he said Britain needs a “better system based on safety, compassion, justice and co-operation across frontiers”.

He also acknowledged that “we can’t overburden communities, we have to be realistic about that” and called on states, religious groups and civil society to “come together in a spirit of pragmatism and compassion” to find a solution to immigration.

The Archbishop’s Easter sermon is the latest in a series of interventions by him over government policy.

In Sep 2020, he used a Telegraph article to denounce the Prime Minister for “determining the daily details of our lives” by imposing a “rule of six” on household mixing.

Last December, he said political leaders must “put their hands up” and “acknowledge where things have gone wrong”, as he spoke of his “disappointment” over gatherings in Downing Street during lockdown.

Gary Sambrook, the Tory MP for Birmingham Northfield, and another member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said: “Maybe if the Church spent more time talking about the power of God, the love of Jesus and the contribution churches make in communities around the country, rather than making political interventions, the Archbishop might find the pews might have more people sitting in them.”

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace declined to comment, but pointed to the Archbishop’s previous comments that the issues surrounding the asylum system are not “party political matters”, but instead “essential for justice” and the UK’s reputation.

‘Is it April 1 again? Can this be real?’

Elsewhere, the Archbishop of York told BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme: “The message of Easter is that stones are rolled away and barriers are broken down, and therefore it’s truly appalling and distressing. I’m appalled at what’s being proposed and I think we can do better than this.”

He added that the Government was “out of tune with British people” and those arriving on small boats are in “just as much need” as Ukrainians. 

“When it was announced, I think everyone was thinking: is it April 1 again? Can this be real?”

Infosys Rating ‘Buy’; Below-par performance in Q4FY22 – The Financial Express

Infosys Rating ‘Buy’; Below-par performance in Q4FY22 - The Financial Express thumbnail

FY23 guidance suggests strong demand outlook; FY23/24e EPS cut by 3-6% due to margin pressure; Buy retained with TP of Rs 2,050

Infosys’ Q4 results missed estimates mainly due to muted growth of 1.2% q-o-q cc. However, its 13-15% revenue growth guidance for FY23 and all-time high net additions reflect strong demand outlook. Mgmt lowered FY23 margin guidance by 100bps to 21-23% due to ongoing cost pressures. We lower our FY23-24 estimates by 3-6% to factor this in and expect Infosys to deliver 14% EPS CAGR over FY22-24. Maintain Buy with revised PT of Rs 2,050 (30x FY24 EPS) on strong growth outlook.

Q4 results disappoint: Revenue of $4.3 bn, up 1.2% q-o-q in CC terms, missed our/consensus estimates. Lower than expected revenues resulted in a sharp 190bps q-o-q decline in EBIT margins to 21.6%, (below our/consensus estimates) and resulted in 2% q-o-q decline in profits to Rs 57 bn, also below estimates. For FY22, Infosys delivered 19.7% y-o-y cc growth with 150bps margin compression to 23%.

Muted Q4 growth…: Infosys’ growth in Q4 disappointed even considering the seasonal weakness. Muted growth in its top-2 verticals (BFSI and Retail) and top markets (North America and Europe) and sharp decline in Life Sciences vertical resulted in the subdued growth performance. Growth in Manufacturing ( 5% q-o-q), Communications ( 3% q-o-q) and Energy & Utilities ( 3% q-o-q) was strong.

…but encouraging FY23 growth guidance: Large deal bookings in Q4 remained in the $2-2.5 bn range at $2.3 bn, of which c.48% were net new. Despite net-new large deals over H2FY22 dropping by 65% y-o-y and a weak exit in Q4, Infosys surprised by giving a growth guidance of 13-15% for FY23. Per mgmt, this reflects strong deal pipeline and expansion of engagements with existing clients. Infosys’ 22K net hires in Q4 were the highest ever. Its FY23 guidance implies 2.7-3.4% CQGR which seems reasonable. We expect Infosys to grow its revenues at 16% – 1% above its upper end of guided range, as it has beaten it by 1-6% every year under the current mgmt .

Sharp margin decline in Q4: Infosys’ margins were down 190bps q-o-q due to higher than expected pass-through costs (90bps margin hit), higher employee costs (30bps margin hit), rise in travel costs (30bps margin hit). Mgmt said that while quarterly annualised attrition is down 5ppts in Q4, wage hikes in FY23 may be higher than last year. We cut our margin estimates by 100-170bps to factor in the miss and expect 21.9% margin in FY22 – slightly below mid-point of guidance range.

Maintain Buy: Infosys trades at 28x 1-yr fwd PE – 10% discount to TCS, despite having 2% higher earnings growth outlook. While we expect the stock to correct post Q4 results, we note that since FY20, whenever Infosys trades at a 10% discount to TCS, its stock has outperformed TCS by 10% in the following 12 months.

Cashing in: Will Arizona be next to allow high school athletes to enter into NIL deals? – The Arizona Republic

Cashing in: Will Arizona be next to allow high school athletes to enter into NIL deals? - The Arizona Republic thumbnail

It’s starting to become a trend with nine states permitting high school athletes to enter into name, image and likeness endorsement deals like those allowed for college athletes since last July.

Will Arizona be next to at least consider it?

Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Director David Hines says no.

But for how long? Will a parent with a promising young athlete who has the high-profile appeal to cash in now challenge the state’s high school governing organization?

“My coaches and I have been talking about this a lot lately and It is coming,” Peoria Sunrise Mountain football coach Steve Decker said in an email. “People can resist it.

“The AIA can resist it but it’s a right of athletes at all levels to be able to partake in this. I’m not saying I’m supporting it but it is definitely coming. I believe it’s the athletes’ rights.”

California was the first state’s organization to allow high school athletes to enter into NIL, as long as they don’t use the school’s insignia, name, logo, colors in their endorsements.

Louisiana two weeks ago was the latest state to enter into the NIL for high school athletes.

According to opendorse.com, these states permit NIL for high school athletes: California, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Kansas, Alaska, Utah, Nebraska and Maine.

Rob Yowell, who has two college-age sons currently with NIL deals, represents brands engaged in NIL programs with college athletes, one involving former Arizona high school athletes.

“Too early IMO,” Yowell texted about whether high school athletes should be cashing in now, “but can’t deprive someone of capturing their moment of fame.

“I think if you take it in high school, you forfeit college and go straight to pro. At least college athletes, who are a little more mature and prove, have business infrastructure with sponsors, media, etc. HS not equipped.”

On3.com, a recruiting service, already is is putting an NIL value on college and high school athletes with three of the top five among high school athletes, led by the son of Los Angeles Lakers great LeBron James, Bronny James, a basketball player at Chatworth Sierra Canyon, No. 1 overall with a projected worth of $5.1 million.

Quarterback Arch Manning, the nephew of former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, is the top prospect in the nation in the 2023 class out of New Orleans’ Isidore Newman High. He is rated the No. 2 overall football player in NIL value by On3 at $1.6 million. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young leads football players with a worth of $2.6 million.

On3 has Chandler 2024 quarterback Dylan Raiola the top overall rated quarterback in the nation for his class. He rates sixth overall in all high school football classes in NIL value at $144,000, which increased 50% recently after he had his Twitter account verified.

Raiola moved with his family from Texas, another state that doesn’t allow high school athletes to have NIL deals, at the end of December and already has scholarship offers from nearly every major college in the country. 

The AIA isn’t broaching this subject yet.

But what happens if a domino effect of states opening the door for high school NIL deals lands on Arizona and another piece falls? 

There already is a wide gap in Arizona between the haves and the have-not football programs.

As if transfers aren’t already a hot topic in high schools, there could be concern that boosters would get involved, luring athletes with endorsement deals.

The AIA really doesn’t want a recruiting door to open.

States with NIL for high school athletes have said that this would lead to forfeiture of the athlete’s eligibility if a transfer happened due to the NIL.

Will families with top athletes leave Arizona to a state that has NIL opportunities in order to cash in while in high school?

“Not everybody has the ability to move,” said Yowell, whose sons played at Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep. “Some kids are moving to states that allow it, because they’ve got an uncle or an aunt who lives in a state that allows it. The kid moves there, then he’s, let’s say, a resident in California, so he signs an NIL deal to play basketball, as opposed to staying in Arizona.

“Sadly, it’s Pandora’s box. It didn’t get implemented in the right way at the collegiate level. So now you’ve got free agency. You’ve got different rules for different states. The NCAA didn’t do anything to oversee this. They’re asking Congress to take it over, and they’re saying, ‘It’s not our problem.’ “

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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Strategy devised for trade deals with partners – The Daily Star

Strategy devised for trade deals with partners - The Daily Star thumbnail

The government is trying to sign free trade agreements, preferential trade agreements and comprehensive economic partnership agreements with the major trading partners

Bangladesh has devised a strategy for signing trade deals with major trading partners for retaining duty benefits past its United Nations status graduation from a least developed country (LDC) to a developing one in 2026, according to a government official.

The graduation will turn local exporters ineligible for duty benefits the LDCs get. In other words, duties have to be paid ranging from 8 per cent to 16 per cent depending on the export destination.

So the government is trying to sign free trade agreements (FTAs), preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA) with the major trading partners.

For instance, the commerce ministry recently sent letters expressing interest in signing bilateral FTAs with Japan and South Korea as the two are considered to be promising export destinations, said Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary to the commerce ministry.

Negotiations are underway to sign a CEPA with India and an FTA with China, he said.

Bangladesh also wants to sign trade agreements with European Union, Singapore, the US and join Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement among the Asia-Pacific nations, he added.

Bangladesh should also try to avail extensions of duty facilities under the United Nations while a negotiation is underway for continuation of the facility for another 12 years under World Trade Organization (WTO), Ghosh said.

The local garment exporters should also engage their international buyers, especially the Europeans, to lobby the EU authorities for extension of duty facilities, he said.

This is because the EU is also a great beneficiary of the locally made garment items as Bangladesh exports more than $25 billion worth of garment items to the EU in a year, he said.

Ghosh said the commerce ministry has so far prepared 26 studies on FTAs, PTAs and CEPAs but none can be considered dynamic enough to lead to a deal’s signing.

If Bangladesh becomes a higher-middle income country in 2030, negotiations for obtaining GSP Plus to the EU market will not be needed as the EU does not allow the facility to such countries, said the senior secretary.

Ghosh was speaking at a national workshop organised by the commerce ministry at Parjatan Bhaban in Dhaka on a proposed time-bound action plan of two LDC graduation related sub-committees.

Government high-ups, experts, businesspeople, exporters and researchers participated at the workshop.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the LDC graduation was a matter of joy and pride and also of concern for some of its accompanying challenges for local exporters and businesses.

“We have to take serious preparations right at this moment to offset the shocks of LDC graduation challenges,” he said.

Munshi also said when the commerce ministry wants to go for serious negotiations for signing any deal, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) objects, saying that revenue collection would fall drastically if it involved some countries.

Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, suggested private sector entrepreneurs play a bigger role.

If market access is attained yet there is not enough products for export, there is no use for such duty facilities, he added.

Kaikaus suggested for skills building in different sectors so that the country could use the human resources in the time of need.

FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin said currently the average speed of goods laden trucks on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway is 40 kilometres per hour, which should have been 80 km per hour.

Bangladesh also needs to improve the efficiency of its ports and minimise skills gaps, he said.

Sharifa Khan, member (secretary) to the Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions Division of the Planning Commission, said it would not be wise to withdraw government subsidies all on a sudden with the graduation.

She also suggested for improving the services sectors. 

REI has up to 50% off outerwear from Patagonia, The North Face and Outdoor Research – USA TODAY

REI has up to 50% off outerwear from Patagonia, The North Face and Outdoor Research - USA TODAY thumbnail

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

The birds are chirping, the grass is growing and the sun is beaming bright, which means spring is here. It’s the time of year to reemerge from our cozy blankets at home and embark on an energizing hike or bike ride. If you feel a bit unprepared for outdoor fun, we got you covered. This REI sale has everything you need with amazing discounts right now.

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Aston Villa: Ings swap deal for £40m Gerrard target unlikely at Villa Park – GIVEMESPORT

Aston Villa: Ings swap deal for £40m Gerrard target unlikely at Villa Park - GIVEMESPORT thumbnail

Aston Villa ‘can’t really’ include Danny Ings in any potential swap deal for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma unless his price tag drops, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Villans have been linked with a move for the 25-year-old midfielder in recent months as manager Steven Gerrard looks to bolster his options in the middle of the pitch.

What is the latest news involving Bissouma and Ings?

According to The Athletic, Brighton were demanding £50 million to part ways with Bissouma in the January transfer window, with Gerrard confirming his side had an offer ‘turned away’ for his services.

However, the Mali international will only have 12 months remaining on his contract when the current campaign concludes, meaning he could be available in a cut-price deal.

And the Daily Mirror have now claimed that Ings could be included in a ‘swap deal’ for Bissouma after finding himself surplus to requirements at Villa Park.

The 29-year-old only joined the Midlands outfit last summer after completing a £25m move from Southampton, but he’s struggled to adapt to his new surroundings.

Erik ten Hag TALKS Man United job! Hear more on The Football Terrace

After scoring 46 goals in 100 games for the Saints, Ings has found the back on the net on just five occasions throughout his 25 appearances for Villa, highlighting his underwhelming displays.

And it’s believed that Gerrard has made a top-level striker one of his priorities for the summer after becoming frustrated with his current options.

What has Jones said about Bissouma and Ings?

Due to Bissouma’s contract situation, Jones reckons the Seagulls will lower their asking price for the engine room operator by £10m, but he still believes including Ings in the deal would not represent good value for money on Villa’s side.

In an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “Brighton will value Bissouma at, I don’t know, £40 million, at least, I imagine. Aston Villa can’t really be putting Ings into that deal at the same value, can they, at the moment.”

Do Aston Villa need Bissouma?

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed that Arsenal are among the potential suitors for Villa’s first-choice holding midfielder Douglas Luiz.


Kent Nielsen - Aston Villa

Do you know this obscure Aston Villa footballer from the 1990s?

The Brazilian has entered the final 15 months of his existing deal and could seek to take the next step in his career ahead of next season.

As a result, Bissouma, who was previously described as ‘phenomenal’ by Lee Hendrie, may have been identified as an ideal candidate to replace Luiz at the base of Villa’s midfielder for many years to come.


News Now – Sport News

Enzo Fernandez makes feelings clear about Man Utd transfer after ‘impressing’ scouts – Irish Mirror

Enzo Fernandez makes feelings clear about Man Utd transfer after 'impressing' scouts - Irish Mirror thumbnail

Enzo Fernandez is not taking any notice of the rumours linking him with a move to Manchester United.

The River Plate rising star has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for the Red Devils as Erik ten Hag’s rebuild is set to get underway in the summer after verbally agreeing to become the club’s next boss.

It was reported that United sent a scout to Buenos Aires on Wednesday evening for River’s Copa Libertadores clash with Brazilian outfit Fortaleza to take a closer look at the midfielder. Argentine outlet Ole claims United liked what they saw as Fernandez scored the opening goal helping his side secure a 2-0 win with the Old Trafford club impressed’ with his performance.

The report states that Fernandez has been recommended to Ten Hag, who now has the chance to clinch the deal, with a release clause worth £16million in his current contract which rises to just over £20million during the final 10 days of the transfer window in Argentina, running from May 16 to August 7.

Fernandez, who has also been linked with Manchester City and Real Madrid, has three years remaining on his River deal and it’s been reported that the youngster’s representatives have held discussions with both United and Madrid, but no offer has been tabled yet.

The 21-year-old, who has contributed towards seven goals across 11 games in 2022, can comfortably operate anywhere in central midfield, an area that United are desperate to address over the coming months.

But Fernandez has played down the speculation surrounding his future linking him with a move away from River Plate and insists he is not getting too far ahead of himself.

Enzo Fernandez has been linked with a move to Manchester United

Enzo Fernandez has been linked with a move to Manchester United

Would Enzo Fernandez be a good signing for Manchester United? Comment below

He told TyC Sports : “Calmly, humbly, with a low profile. I try to work day by day to keep improving and growing. Luckily I’m finding regularity, continuity and my teammates and the coaching staff help me a lot. I handle it well. I’m grateful for the compliments, I read a lot of the messages they send and I’m happy. I will continue on this path.”

United have also been linked with a move for Aurelien Tchouameni as Ten Hag’s number one priority is to sign a midfielder in the upcoming transfer window.

The French star is a perfect candidate and ESPN claims the Dutchman is ‘keen’ on signing the playmaker and is a huge admirer of his versatility. The report states that Monaco are open to negotiations and want between £50million and £60million for their prized asset.

Borussia Dortmund chief denies Manchester City deal for Erling Braut Haaland – Sports Mole

Borussia Dortmund chief denies Manchester City deal for Erling Braut Haaland - Sports Mole thumbnail

Borussia Dortmund chief Sebastian Kehl insists that Manchester City have not reached an agreement to sign Erling Braut Haaland this summer.

Borussia Dortmund chief Sebastian Kehl has emphatically denied reports claiming that Manchester City have a deal in place to sign Erling Braut Haaland.

Pep Guardiola‘s side are regarded as one of the frontrunners to secure Haaland’s signature, although they are expected to face competition from the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

A recent report claimed that City believe they have already won the race for the signature of the 21-year-old, who is also keen to complete a switch to the Etihad Stadium.

However, Kehl has since pointed to Haaland’s €80m (£67m) buyout option, telling Sky Deutschland: “There is a release clause, you know, and there is a deadline.

“We want to make a decision as soon as possible. Erling always wants to play and you always try to make a good decision together with him.”

When asked if any club had already expressed an interest in forking out Haaland’s release clause, Kehl emphatically responded: “No”.

Haaland has amassed 25 goals and nine assists from 26 appearances in a Dortmund shirt this term and was on target twice in Saturday’s 6-1 Bundesliga success over Wolfsburg.

ID:483552:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect2611:

Portugal deal alert: Flights from Boston, Chicago, Miami and NYC from $372 RT – The Points Guy

Portugal deal alert: Flights from Boston, Chicago, Miami and NYC from $372 RT - The Points Guy thumbnail

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