Ilkay Gundogan: Manchester City know where they have to improve

Ilkay Gundogan has warned newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool that Manchester City know exactly where they have to improve next season.

Pep Guardiola’s side host Liverpool at the Etihad on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, having relinquished their two-year reign at the summit with a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea last Thursday.

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City currently sit 23 points off Liverpool, having lost eight Premier League games this season – more than they lost in the previous two seasons combined.

And although Gundogan readily admits Jurgen Klopp’s side are fully deserving of this season’s crown, he knows exactly how City are going to bounce back.

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“We know where we can improve next season to challenge for the title again,” Gundogan exclusively told Sky Sports News.

“We won the title back-to-back which is always tough but the motivation for next season will be there to win it again.

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Mikel Arteta: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang willing to stay at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta insists captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is willing to stay at Arsenal after his side’s 4-0 victory over Norwich.

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Aubameyang, who scored twice against Norwich to take his tally to 19 Premier League goals for the season, has just a year to run on his contract but, while Arteta insists negotiations do not involve him, he feels the Gabon international is keen to stay put at the Emirates Stadium.

𝟱𝟬 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗴𝘂𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗹

1️⃣ @Aubameyang7 – 79 games
2️⃣ Thierry Henry – 83 games
3️⃣ Ian Wright – 87 games
4️⃣ Alexis – 101 games
5️⃣ Olivier Giroud – 113 games

“He is willing to stay with us,” Arteta said. “He is really happy where he is.

“He can see what we are trying to do and hopefully he can evolve as well some parts of his game he might feel he can improve. We are pushing him every day.

“I leave that to the football club and the senior people that finalise the contracts.

“Auba knows really well what my thoughts are towards him and the project that I want to create, and how much he is part of that. And after that it is not in my hands.”

The Gunners ran out comfortable winners as Aubameyang was gifted two goals as well as laying on Granit Xhaka’s first of the season before Cedric Soares marked his debut with the last in comprehensive win.

Aubameyang’s first, coming after he was gifted possession by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, saw him reach 50 Premier League goals in 79 appearances – making him the fastest Arsenal player to make it to the landmark.

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‘Keep hitting landmarks, Auba’

Speaking after the win, Gunners boss Arteta praised Aubameyang and is hopeful his captain can score another 100 goals for the club.

“A player that is able to score as many goals as he has done in that short space of time tells you everything about the importance that he has for us,” Arteta said of his captain.

“Players that can make the difference in any moment in the game every three days in competitions. That is a big task and he has done that at different clubs.

“[I hope he can score] at least another 100 but I don’t know. I am not a magician.

“What he has achieved today to be the fastest to score 50 in the whole history of this club tells you everything about his mentality and the way he works every day on his finishing, on trying to help the team. He’s decided to be better and better every day. So hopefully we can keep him here for a longer period.”

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Auba: Talks ongoing over new deal

Meanwhile, Aubameyang insists talks over a new deal are ongoing.

With Bukayo Saka committing his long-term future to the Gunners on Wednesday, focus now turns to the Arsenal captain’s future, but he was not giving anything away.

“I know [fans want me to sign a new contract] and I am really happy that Bukayo Saka signed ‘da ting’ and now we’ll see,” he told BT Sport.

“We’ll talk with the football club and see what happens but first of all I am really focused on the games coming until the end of the season, so we’ll see.”

Auba’s impressive stats

Aubameyang’s opener was his 50th Premier League goal in just 79 appearances, with only five players managing to do so at a quicker rate than the Arsenal skipper (Fernando Torres, Mohamed Salah (72), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68), Alan Shearer (66) and Andy Cole (65).

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Arsenal vs Norwich result: Five things we learned as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sinks sorry Canaries

Norwich steamrolled in sacrificial first half

After all the David Luiz-induced chaos, Matteo Guendouzi’s burning effigy of Neal Maupay, and Mesut Ozil’s addition to the missing person’s list, Arsenal accepted a Norwich-shaped sacrificial lamb with welcome glee. Daniel Farke’s side arrived at the Emirates flat and deflated, bloodied and beaten after three successive defeats, nursing their last vanishing hopes of survival.

Instead, rather than a valiant last stand, a Hail Mary throw of the dice, those hopes were steamrolled in a chastening 45 minutes, where the absence of supporters only amplified the sense of this being a training ground exercise. In truth, Arsenal should have already been far ahead by the time Tim Krul bungled an attempt at evoking his countryman Johan Cruyff, chopping a turn straight into the path of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to give the Gunners the lead.

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The second, though, exhibited more artistry than charity. It began with a wonderful lofted ball from Luiz at the base of defence that wiped out Norwich’s midfield. From there, Kieran Tierney combined with Aubameyang, whose cute outside-of-the-foot cutback found Xhaka. The midfielder’s driven finish was ruthless and Arsenal – and Norwich – had what they deserved.

Resurrected Xhaka gives Arsenal stability

There were a few wry smiles of surprise when Xhaka briefly donned the captain’s armband last week in the absence of Aubameyang. For a player who’s sweary departure against Crystal Palace wrote his own Arsenal obituary, his resurrection has been one of the most important, if understated, aspects of Arteta’s reign. Take any match since the restart and the midfielder’s voice can be heard echoing across the pitch. There is little doubt that the qualities that originally had him elected captain by the dressing room are still prominent. But it’s not just the leadership he provides, it’s the constant, ticking metronome of passes. He is the heartbeat at the base of midfield, providing balance to Arsenal’s 3-4-3 formation, and his transformation from ostracised to indispensable is a testament to both himself and the manager.

Norwich fall foul of fine margins

Norwich’s forays forwards were few and far between, characterised by uncertainty and a lack of final ball. Teemu Pukki, yanked at half time, is a shadow of his former self. Emiliano Buendia, once paraded with an eye-watering price-tag, was sloppy and wasteful in possession and also faced the cull at the interval. It’s not to say that Norwich were totally innocuous, though.

Defender Ben Godfrey’s long-range shot, while the score was still at 0-0, clattered off the outside of the post with Emiliano Martinez well beaten, while a free-kick from Kenny McLean forced the goalkeeper into a brilliant save. In a short burst of pressure after the break, teenage striker Adam Idah, who provided a sense of urgency in the Canaries’ attack, also came close.

Ultimately, though, those moments were few and far between to mount any fightback. Another horrendous piece of defending, that saw Josep Drmic play a careless pass to Aubameyang allowed the striker to bag his second of the afternoon and put Arsenal of sight just when any doubts were starting to emerge.

Debut dreams for Cedric as Arsenal’s European hopes are reignited

Cedric Soares, a ghost in the Arsenal squad, the loan signing who never played, the four-year contract to the invisible defender. The signing of the Portuguese full-back and his ties to agent Kia Joorachbian were met with undiluted scorn for a long while. However, finally making his debut after a long rehab from injury, Soares scored a fantastic curled strike from the edge of the box to add Arsenal’s fourth. And, suddenly, all those easy criticisms have been allayed with optimism once again. Three successive wins have Arsenal sixth in the Premier League – albeit having played a game more than most of their rivals – and an FA Cup semi-final booked against Manchester City. There is, somehow, genuine hope of a spot in next season’s Europa League. A reality that, after back-to-back defeats against City and Brighton after the restart, seemed a feat of wild imagination.

‘The situation has not changed’: Guendouzi and Ozil absent again

If there are any similarities between Arteta and Unai Emery – if Arsenal fans can avoid shuddering at the thought – it is most easily found in their treatment of Mesut Ozil. What begins as “tactical reasons” rapidly descends into reports of a back injury – in no way linked to a reclining posture in the stands at St Mary’s – and, just like that, Arsenal are back to square one, attempting to push a boulder up the hill and dump £350,000-a-week’s worth of wages on the other side. This was the bluntest addressing of the playmaker’s situation so far by Arteta. It can be dressed up in all matters of disguise – fitness, formation, injury – but the bottom line is, at the moment, that there is simply no space for Ozil in Arteta’s side. For all Emery’s flaws, and subsequent reversal, he came to the same conclusion too.

For that matter, Guendouzi appears to have met the same fate too – sidelined ever since his outburst against Brighton. He was left out of the matchday squad and, if Arteta is as stubbornly true to his values as we’ve seen so far, there’s little sign of that changing anytime soon.

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Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will ‘attack’ the Premier League title next season

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will attack the Premier League title next season rather than defend it, and expects Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United to lead the challenge.

Liverpool were crowned champions on Thursday night after nearest rivals City lost at Stamford Bridge, ending the Merseyside club’s 30-year wait for the league title.

The Reds travel to face City at the Etihad on Thursday, live on Sky Sports, and Klopp insists there will not be any hangover from his side and expects them to maintain their hunger next season.

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“As long as we stay humble and greedy, we have a good chance to remain a really uncomfortable opponent,” he said.

“When you are a really uncomfortable opponent, you have a chance to win. And when you have a chance to win, then sometimes you have to win.

“There are a lot of challenges, life is constantly a challenge, and our challenge is now being champions and playing seven games against teams that will fight for everything.

“We can show that we don’t run because we have to, we run because we want to.

“Next season, you can write stories about us being the defending champions or whatever, but that is why I say – we will not defend anything, we will attack it.”

When asked if City were likely to be Liverpool’s main rivals for the title again next season, Klopp added: “City will be strong next season, [Manchester] United will be strong next season, Chelsea will be strong next season. They all will be strong next season.

“It is obvious. City are just an outstanding team, United are in outstanding shape and Chelsea are in really good shape and are doing some interesting business. That is clear.

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Manchester United transfer news and rumours

The latest transfer news and gossip on the players linked with Manchester United – and those who could leave the club.

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The latest players linked with a move to Manchester United…

Marc Jurado – Barcelona youngster Marc Jurado is set to join Manchester United after announcing his exit from the Nou Camp. The 16-year-old defender would cost £200,000 in compensation (Metro, June 30).

Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachmin Watzke admits the club are willing to discuss selling Sancho, but doubts anyone could match their asking price – “I don’t think a club will pay the fee we want.” (June 29); United have emerged as Sancho’s only option this summer after Borussia Dortmund set their asking fee at a staggering £117m (Sun, June 25); United have been handed a transfer boost with Dortmund “concerned” over the future of their wonderkid (Sun, June 20); Sancho’s future at Dortmund remains uncertain after head coach Lucien Favre admitted the forward was among players that could leave this summer (Sky Sports, June 16); Sancho looks set to stay with Dortmund for next season (Mail on Sunday, June 14).

Jack Grealish – Manchester United have moved closer to signing Grealish with the Aston Villa captain choosing to buy a new house in the north west (Daily Express, June 28); Aston Villa will demand at least £80m for Grealish during the transfer window and have not given up hope of keeping their captain if they avoid the drop. (Daily Mail, June 17); Aston Villa’s Grealish wants to move to Manchester United and has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford (Daily Star, June 15)

Matteo Guendouzi – Manchester United are interested in signing Guendouzi from Arsenal. Guendouzi was removed from the Arsenal squad to face Southampton on Thursday due to “squad management”, with reports of a bust-up between the midfielder and Mikel Arteta (L’Equipe, June 27)

Jude Bellingham – Bayern Munich will not join Manchester United in trying to sign Bellingham, who has also attracted interest from Borussia Dortmund. (Bild, June 26)

Borussia Dortmund have beaten Manchester United to the signature of highly-rated Birmingham teenager Bellingham, and the Bundesliga club will announce an £18m deal in the coming days (Daily Mail, June 23)

Manchester United have reportedly been handed a boost in their pursuit of Bellingham with Borussia Dortmund said to be struggling to afford him. (The Sun, June 18); Borussia Dortmund believe they have beaten Manchester United in the race to sign Bellingham, the highly-rated young Birmingham City midfielder (Daily Telegraph, June 13); The starlet would rather move to Borussia Dortmund instead of Manchester United (Birmingham Mail, June 8)

David Alaba – Bayern Munich are open to selling the Austria international this summer, with United among his suitors (Daily Telegraph, June 19)

Raul Jimenez – Wolves are to set to fend off United by placing a mammoth £90m transfer valuation on the Mexico striker (Star, June 25); The Wolves forward says rumours linking him with United and Liverpool are inspiring him to keep getting better as he targets a move to a top club. (Daily Mirror, June 18)

Cengiz Under – Manchester United are interested in signing the Roma winger. (Daily Express, June 18)

Moussa Dembele – Manchester United may face pressure from Leicester in the battle to land Lyon striker Dembele. (Daily Star, June 17)

Willian – Manchester United have been offered the opportunity to sign winger Willian on a free transfer with his Chelsea career coming to an end (Daily Star, June 24); Manchester United have made contact with Willian’s agent ahead of a potential free transfer from Chelsea this summer, according to reports. (The Sun, June 17)

Leon Bailey – Manchester United are giving serious consideration to a summer swoop for the Bayer Leverkusen winger (Daily Mail, June 16)

Wilfred Ndidi – United are the latest big European club to add Leicester City midfielder Ndidi to their summer shopping list (Daily Express, June 15)

Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli will not let Koulibaly go cheaply as Manchester City, Manchester United and PSG are all told they will have to pay £90m. (Daily Mail, June 16); The defender has been told to snub Manchester United for their Premier League rivals, Liverpool or Chelsea, this summer (Daily Mirror, June 9); Napoli are unwilling to budge on their £100m valuation of the Senegal international, who has been linked with United (Daily Mirror, June 8)

Donny van de Beek – Manchester United have become the favourites to sign the Ajax midfielder this summer after Real Madrid backtracked in their move to sign him, according to reports in Holland. (Daily Mail, June 17); United have decided to focus their attention on signing Van de Beek rather than Kai Havertz this summer (Manchester Evening News, June 15)

United will sacrifice Andreas Pereira to land Ajax midfield target Van de Beek (Sunday Mirror, June 14); Ajax have reportedly lined up former Everton midfielder Davy Klaasen as a replacement for Donny van de Beek amid speculation of a move to Manchester United (Manchester Evening News, June 10)

Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar has confirmed Manchester United and Real Madrid are interested in the Netherlands international (Daily Mirror, June 8); Manchester United are ready to hijack Real Madrid’s plans to sign Van de Beek with a £49m bid (The Sunday Times, June 7)

Ansu Fati – Manchester United may opt to pursue the Barcelona ace instead of Jadon Sancho because the deal would be cheaper overall (Daily Express, June 11)

Corentin Tolisso – Manchester United have opened talks to sign the Bayern Munich midfielder (Daily Express, June 11)

Wissam Ben Yedder – The striker is said to have told Monaco he wants to leave the club – putting Arsenal and Manchester United on red alert. (The Sun, June 17); Manchester United have held a series of talks with the agent of Monaco forward Ben Yedder ahead of a potential summer move, according to reports (Manchester Evening News, June 10).

Federico Bernardeschi – Manchester United have made enquiries about the Juventus midfielder Federico Bernardeschi with officials ready to make an offer should they fail to sign Jadon Sancho (Daily Mail, June 10)

James Rodriguez – Manchester United have been sounded out over a cut-price deal for the Colombia international, who is a long-term target (The Sun, June 9).

Lautaro Martinez – United and Real Madrid are monitoring the Inter Milan forward’s situation after talks over a move to Barcelona stalled (Marca, June 8)

Timo Werner – Frank Lampard and Petr Cech made an undercover pre-lockdown trip to Germany that helped Chelsea leapfrog Liverpool and Manchester United to convince the forward to move to Stamford Bridge (Daily Telegraph, June 6)

Raul Jimenez – United have been put on alert after Wolves reportedly lowered the asking price for striker Jimenez (Daily Mirror, June 5)

Benoit Badiashile – United are reportedly eyeing the Monaco wonderkid (Sun, June 25)

Marcus Edwards – United have registered an interest in the Vitoria de Guimaraes ace (Star, June 25)

James Maddison – Brendan Rodgers has told James Maddison that Leicester City is the “perfect place” for him after the England midfielder, 23, was linked with Manchester United (Leicester Mercury, June 26)

Other players linked with a move to Old Trafford…

  • Kai Havertz (The Sun, June 2)
  • Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Le10Sport, June 2)
  • Moussa Dembele (L’Equipe, May 30)
  • Josh King (Sky Sports, May 25)
  • Pietro Pellegri (The Sun, May 30; Gianluca Di Marzio, May 29)
  • Riccardo Calafiori (Daily Star, May 29)
  • Adrien Rabiot (Sunday Mirror, May 24)
  • Samuel Umtiti (Daily Star, May 21)
  • Adama Traore (Daily Star, May 20)
  • Fode Ballo-Toure (Daily Mail, May 19)
  • Nuno Mendes (Daily Mirror, May 22)
  • Corentin Tolisso (Sunday Express, May 17; Daily Express, May 18)
  • Milan Skriniar (Daily Mirror, May 18)
  • Federico Chiesa (Gazzetta dello Sport, May 14)
  • Erling Haaland (Daily Star, May 14)
  • Saul Niguez (Daily Star, May 13)

The latest on players linked with a Manchester United exit…

Alexis Sanchez – Inter Milan are yet to agree a loan extension for Sanchez, says Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta (June 29); Brazilian legend Ronaldo has offered Sanchez the chance to return to Spanish football with Real Valladolid and end his Manchester United and Inter Milan nightmare (Daily Mail, June 22)

Chris Smalling – Roma have reportedly made a breakthrough in their negotiations with Manchester United to keep Smalling for next season (Daily Mirror, June 22)

Dean Henderson – The goalkeeper is willing to accept United’s offer of a new contract – but only if he is given the number one spot at Old Trafford (Daily Star, June 23)

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has confirmed initial talks have taken place over bringing goalkeeper Manchester United goalkeeper Henderson back on loan next season (Sky Sports, June 16).

Eric Bailly – Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still has high hopes for Bailly despite the defender’s constant injury problems (Evening Standard, June 4)

Marcos Rojo – Solskjaer’s hopes of boosting transfer funds through the sales of Rojo, Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez are set to be hit by the financial impact of coronavirus (Evening Standard, June 4)

Rojo is set to return to United as the club go for a Champions League spot with Estudiantes coach Leandro Desabato admitting the defender is “unlikely” to see out his loan spell (FM Radio Late 93.1, June 4)

Axel Tuanzebe – The Manchester United defender is set to reject a move abroad to fight for his place (Daily Star, June 3)

Jesse Lingard – Having fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford, Lingard could move on from United to find a new club (Independent, June 2)

Paul Pogba – Real Madrid remain pessimistic about their chances of signing Pogba this summer because the player’s wages would create huge discontent in a dressing room that has already accepted one pay cut and is braced for another (Daily Mail, May 30).

Juventus have effectively pulled themselves out of the race to sign the Frenchman after becoming the first Serie A club to introduce a salary cap (Daily Mail, May 13); Pogba is on the verge of rejoining Juventus for £72m (L’Equipe, May 17); United’s hoes of offloading the Frenchman have been dashed after Juventus duo Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala rejected the club (RAI Sports, May 26); Real Madrid have reportedly offered four players, including James Rodriguez and Martin Odegaard, to Manchester United in an attempt to sign Pogba (The Sun, May 28)

Other players linked with a move away from Old Trafford…

  • Dean Henderson (Daily Telegraph, May 26)
  • Marcos Rojo (Sunday Mirror, May 24)
  • Diogo Dalot (Daily Express, May 21)
  • James Garner (Daily Star, May 20)
  • David de Gea (Sunday Mirror, May 10)
  • Jesse Lingard (Daily Star on Sunday, May 3)
  • Alexis Sanchez (Daily Mail, May 4)
  • Anthony Martial (Gazzetta dello Sport, April 18)
  • Jesse Lingard (The Sun, March 22)
  • Andreas Pereira (The Sun, March 22)
  • Phil Jones (Daily Mirror, March 16)

The latest Manchester United contract talk…

Fred – The Brazil midfielder is open for talks over a new long-term United deal after a stunning turnaround in form (Sun, June 25)

Brandon Williams – The full-back is set to be awarded a new deal by Manchester United just eight months after signing his last (Daily Mirror, June 5)

Joel Pereira – United will recall the Portuguese keeper from his loan spell at Hearts following the conclusion of the Scottish Premiership season (Manchester Evening News, May 19)

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Chelsea transfer news and rumours

The latest transfer news and gossip on the players linked with Chelsea – and those who could leave the club.

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Werner to Chelsea…

Chelsea have completed the signing of RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, subject to a medical.

The latest players linked with a move to Chelsea…

Declan Rice – Chelsea want to bring in Rice to add to their defensive ranks next season (Sun on Sunday, June 28)

Andre Onana – Valencia are plotting a move for a two-year loan for Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea, with their goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen going to Ajax, and Onana going to Chelsea (Marca, June 27); The Ajax goalkeeper is set to join Chelsea or PSG this summer, with the Blues willing to splash £27m on the Cameroon international (The Sun, June 11)

Kai Havertz – Chelsea have outbid rivals Real Madrid after they made an £80m offer for the German (Sun, June 25); Chelsea are leading the race to sign the Bayer Leverkusen talent (Daily Express, June 22); Chelsea could save £20m on their top transfer target – depending on whether Bayer Leverkusen qualify for the Champions League (Mail, June 20)

Chelsea have been boosted in their pursuit of the 21-year-old with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are backing out of signing him (Daily Express, June 19); Chelsea must wait to find out whether or not Bayer Leverkusen stick to their £90m-plus valuation of Havertz as the German club battle for Champions League qualification (Telegraph, June 18); Bayern Munich have emerged as favourites to win the race for Bayer Leverkusen’s Havertz. (Telegraph, June 16); Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen are £15m apart as Frank Lampard looks to beat Liverpool and Manchester United to Havertz’s signature (Daily Mail, June 15)

Real Madrid are set to join the race for the Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid amid Chelsea’s interest in the £70m-rated midfielder (Daily Mail, June 11); Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller says the club “haven’t given up hope” that Havertz will ignore interest from Chelsea and Manchester United to stay with them next season (Daily Star, June 11); Chelsea want to sign the youngster from Bayer Leverkusen this summer (Sky Sports News, June 9)

David Alaba – Chelsea are reportedly lining up a stunning bid for David Alaba as Frank Lampard steps up his hunt for a new left-back. (The Sun, June 26)

Ben Chilwell – Chelsea have been handed a transfer boost for Chilwell’s signature with the news Ajax will sell Nicolas Tagliafico, who could end up taking his place at Leicester (Metro, June 28); Chelsea are in talks with Leicester over the £80m left back as Frank Lampard’s transfer spree steps up a gear (Express, June 20); Leicester’s Chilwell remains Chelsea’s primary left-back target this summer but Frank Lampard has three back-ups. (Daily Star, June 16); Chelsea are confident they will be able to sign Chilwell from Leicester if they secure a place in next season’s Champions League (Daily Mail, June 13); Manchester City are keen to sign Chilwell along with Chelsea (Sky Sports, June 8)

    Leicester are employing the same tactic over Ben Chilwell that they used to secure a record fee for Harry Maguire (Daily Mirror, June 8); Leicester are ready to resist any bids for Ben Chilwell this summer and will insist that the England international is not for sale (Daily Telegraph, June 6); Leicester’s Ben Chilwell has been identified by Chelsea as the club’s No 1 left-back target this summer (Sky Sports, June 5); Chilwell is tempted by a huge move to Chelsea later this summer but has not yet demanded to quit Leicester (Daily Mirror, June 5)

    Adrien Rabiot and Fernando Bernardeschi – Chelsea are set to be offered the pair as Juventus plot an audacious double swoop for Jorginho and Marcos Alonso (The Sun, June 17)

    Said Benrahma – Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is keen on the Brentford winger but Leicester are leading the race for his signature. (Daily Express, June 17)

    Miralem Pjanic – Chelsea have reportedly made an offer for the Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic as he weighs up his options ahead of a likely summer move. (Daily Mail, June 16)

    Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona are ready to pay for a portion of Coutinho’s wages for him to move back to England or stay at Bayern Munich (Daily Telegraph, June 13)

    Kalidou Koulibaly – The defender has been told to snub Manchester United for their Premier League rivals, Liverpool or Chelsea, this summer (Daily Mirror, June 9)

    Jadon Sancho – Sancho’s future at Borussia Dortmund remains uncertain after head coach Lucien Favre admitted the forward was among players that could leave this summer (Sky Sports, June 16); Real Madrid have entered the race for Manchester United and Chelsea target Jadon Sancho, according to reports (Daily Mail, June 3)

    Federico Bernardeschi – Juventus winger Bernardeschi is eyeing a move to the Premier League this summer with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all monitoring the situation (Gazzetta dello Sport, June 1)

    Dayot Upamecano – Chelsea have joined Arsenal in the race for the RB Leipzig star (Sun, June 25)

    Other players recently linked with a move to Stamford Bridge…

    • Jesus Corona (The Sun, May 30)
    • Said Benrahma (The Sun, May 28)
    • Roman Burki (The Sun, May 28)
    • Nicolas Tagliafico (Daily Star, May 27)
    • Andre Onana (Sunday Express, May 24)
    • Kaan Kurt (The Sun, May 23)
    • Lamare Bogarde (Football Insider, May 17)
    • Jeremie Boga (Daily Express, May 16)
    • Miralem Pjanic (Metro, May 14)
    • Angel Gomes (Daily Mirror, May 14)
    • Dries Mertens (Daily Express, May 11)
    • Moussa Dembele (Daily Star, May 11)
    • Thomas Meunier (Sunday Express, May 10)
    • Boubacar Kamara (Le 10 Sport, May 5)
    • Max Bird (Football Insider, May 5)
    • Orkun Kokcu (Daily Express, May 5)
    • Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Daily Star, May 4)

    The latest players linked with a Chelsea exit…

    Victor Moses – Inter Milan are yet to agree a loan extension for Moses, says Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta (June 29)

    Pedro – Willian and Pedro have agreed short-term contracts with Chelsea to see out the remainder of the season. Pedro will join Roma on a two-year deal when his Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season.

    Willian – Manchester United have been offered the opportunity to sign winger Willian on a free transfer with his Chelsea career coming to an end (Daily Mail, June 23); Manchester United have made contact with Willian’s agent ahead of a potential free transfer from Chelsea this summer, according to reports. (The Sun, June 17); Real Madrid have rejected the chance to sign Willian on a free transfer (Daily Mirror, June 2). Arsenal were ready to offer Chelsea’s Brazil forward Willian, 31, a £250,000-a-week contract before the coronavirus pandemic. (Mirror, June 26)

    N’Golo Kante – Chelsea are ready to sell the France international to raise funds for extra transfers (The Times, June 19); Real Madrid have set their sights on Chelsea star Kante for £71m (AS, June 13)

    Tiemoue Bakayoko, Emerson Palmieri, Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater, Michy Batshuayi and Victor Moses have all been made aware that they do not have a future at Stamford Bridge under Frank Lampard.

    Olivier Giroud – The France striker is still a target Tottenham, Inter Milan and Lazio – with clubs not giving up hope of capturing him this summer.

    Jorginho – Chelsea have been offered three Juventus players by Maurizio Sarri as the Italian seeks a reunion with Jorginho this summer (Daily Express, May 31)

    Other players linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge…

    • Tiemoue Bakayoko (The Sun, May 28)
    • Ross Barkley (Football Insider, May 26).
    • Kepa Arrizabalaga (Sunday Express, May 24; Daily Express, May 22).
    • Emerson Palmieri (Daily Express, May 16)
    • Charlie Webster (Daily Telegraph, May 12)
    • Tiemoue Bakayoko (Calciomercato, May 8; France Football, May 3)
    • Emerson Palmieri (Gazzetta dello Sport, March 24)
    • Ethan Ampadu (Daily Express, March 18)

    The latest Chelsea contract talk…

    Jorginho – The midfielder’s agent says they will enter talks about a contract renewal with Chelsea after there were rumours he would follow former manager Maurizio Sarri to Juventus (Calciomercato, April 22)

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    Carlo Ancelotti hopes Everton can ‘soon’ compete for Premier League title

    Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti says he hopes his side will “soon” be competing for the Premier League title. 

    Having taken over from Marco Silva in December with Everton just four points clear of the relegation zone, Ancelotti has guided the club to safety and the fringes of the race for a Europa League qualification spot.

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    The Italian, who won the Premier League as Chelsea boss in the 2009/10 season, believes Everton’s young squad have the potential to develop into title challengers.

    “I hope soon Everton has to be competitive and fight for the first position of the Premier League with Liverpool, with Chelsea, with Tottenham, with Manchester United, with all the big teams,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports News.

    “I don’t know how long it takes but I hope that soon we are able to compete.

    “We have a young squad with young players with a lot of skills, a lot of ability. I think just the fact that we can improve this skill and this ability can give us more opportunity to stay at the top.”

    Merseyside rivals Liverpool last week claimed a first top-flight title for 30 years, and Ancelotti believes Everton can learn from their neighbours.

    “I think that Liverpool did a fantastic job in the last five years,” Ancelotti said. “When Jurgen came, and year-by-year they improved their squad.

    “I think this is the way that we have to follow – to improve the squad year-by-year.

    Ancelotti insists that Everton do not require “a lot” of signings to be able to compete at the top of the table, but appeared to confirm the club’s interest in Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

    Everton were one of four clubs to make an offer for the Brazilian centre-back in March, with Magalhaes finally expected to make a decision over his future in the first week of July.

    Source: Read Full Article


    Steve Bruce on Newcastle’s schedule: It’s tough but bring it on

    Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says of the congested fixture list that will see his side play their fourth game in eleven days on Wednesday: “Bring it on.”

    Bruce’s side were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final, their first loss since returning to action following the season’s disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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    On Wednesday, Newcastle take on Bournemouth live on Sky Sports Premier League, looking to build on the four league points they took from a win over Sheffield United and a draw with Aston Villa. It will be the Magpies’ fourth game in eleven days, but Bruce refused to complain and said all teams are in an identical situation.

    “Look, it’s the same for all of us, we’ll all be saying the same thing,” Bruce told Sky Sports News. “It’s a time where we will be using a few of the other players who are fresher and I think that’s vitally important.

    “It’s different and it’s very difficult to manage, but the one thing about it is we’re all in the same boat, the games are coming thick and fast – so let’s bring it on.”

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    The trip to the Vitality Stadium is the first post-lockdown away game for Newcastle. Bruce says while games away from home are less difficult when there are no fans present, a “desperate” Bournemouth team trying to avoid relegation will still provide a steep challenge.

    “I think when you look at the Premier League results, certainly it’s mirroring the Bundesliga a little bit where there’s more wins away from home than there actually is at home,” he said.

    “[Bournemouth are] fighting for their lives, we know what to expect. We’ve got some big games against the bottom teams and the top teams, so let’s be ready for the challenge of Bournemouth because they’re desperate for a few points.”

    When asked if his team had enough points in the bag to avoid relegation themselves, Bruce said with a smile: “We’ve got to a certain level, yeah, but it’s Newcastle. You can never count your chickens, can you?”

    The 59-year-old challenged his side, who on the surface have little to play for in the league this season besides a top-10 finish, to finish strongly and show they are a better team than they have been over the last five years.

    Source: Read Full Article


    Arsenal vs Norwich live stream: How to watch Premier League fixture online and on TV tonight

    Arsenal have a chance to boost their European prospects for next season on Wednesday night, as they host bottom of the table Norwich City.

    The Gunners started poorly after the Premier League resumed, but have earned successive wins in the past week to boost confidence.

    Norwich will also take the positives from their FA Cup exit, after taking Manchester United to within touching distance of penalties despite being down to 10 men.

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    The Canaries badly need points though, sitting six from safety and the only side currently adrift in the relegation zone.

    Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match.

    When is it and what time is kick-off?

    The match will begin at 6.00pm on Wednesday 1 July at the Emirates Stadium.

    How can I watch it online and on TV?

    The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Extra 1.

    Team news

    Arsenal are without several players, including goalkeeper Bernd Leno and striker Gabriel Martinelli. Pablo Mari, David Luiz and Mesut Ozil are doubts.

    Norwich will be missing Timm Klose through suspension, with Cristoph Zimmermann and Grant Hanley injury absentees.

    Predicted line-ups

    Arsenal: Martinez; Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Tierney, Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang.

    Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Tettey, Godfrey, Lewis, Trybull, McLean, Buendia, Duda, Cantwell, Pukki.


    Arsenal: 10/21

    Draw: 39/10

    Norwich: 7/1

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    Nemanja Matic says he turned his Man Utd career around by earning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s trust

    Nemanja Matic believes he has worked his way back into Manchester United’s first-team picture by earning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s trust.

    The 31-year-old’s Old Trafford career looked to be nearing its end in January with the midfielder open to leaving during the winter window but he forced his way back into Solskjaer’s plans after a string of impressive performances in the early part of 2020 during the absence of the injured Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

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    Matic had even entered the last four months of his contract, but United have since tied him to the club until 2021, with discussions also being held about a new deal.

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    The Serb says he knew he would have to remain patient and wait for his chance to play so he could earn Solskjaer’s trust.

    “I always try to be professional and give my best when I am on the pitch, it doesn’t matter if it is training or a game,” he told Sky Sports.

    “I’ve played football for a long time already and this situation is normal, sometimes you don’t play and the coach doesn’t see you as a first option. You can accept it or not but you have to be professional.

    “You have to work hard, wait for your chance and use it. This is exactly what I did.

    “Now the situation is different, the coach trusts me more. I’m a soldier and I wait for the instructions from my coaching team.

    “To be honest, when you don’t play of course you think about everything but in my head I always try to be positive. I always believe in my quality and I know if work hard my time is going to come again.”

    ‘Bruno’s adaptation a surprise, even for me’

    A large factor in United’s impressive form in the Premier League either side of the lockdown is the arrival and instant impact of January signing Bruno Fernandes.

    Matic, formerly of Benfica, says he had followed the former Sporting Lisbon midfielder during his time in Portugal but even he did not expect the 25-year-old to adapt so quickly to the rigours of English football.

    “I’ve followed him for a long time because I played in the Portuguese league at Benfica,” Matic continued.

    “I knew he would bring quality for us. He played for a big club with a lot of pressure to win, but I didn’t think he would adapt so quick. From the first minute in the Premier League he made the difference.

    “I’m happy for him and happy we have him in the team.

    “He’s playing in the position where he needs to make the difference. He has all the ability to be the leader on the pitch.”

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    ‘McTominay important for Utd’s future’

    One of the reasons why Matic was able to reclaim a spot in United’s midfield was the injury to 23-year-old Scott McTominay in the early part of 2020 after he had established himself as a first-team regular.

    The Scot, a United academy product, signed a new contract last week to extend his stay at Old Trafford until 2025.

    Matic says he will help McTominay along the way as he becomes a vital play in the club’s future.

    Source: Read Full Article