Chelsea and Tottenham chase Dybala, Joao Felix LATEST, Man City through in Europe – Liverpool, Arsenal transfer news
17th March 2021

CHELSEA are reportedly battling Tottenham for Paulo Dybala's signature, while Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus future also hangs in the balance.

All these and the latest updates ahead of three nights of Champions League and Europa League action coming up.

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Follow our LIVE blog below to get the latest from around the clubs…

  • Jake Lambourne

    DOR SLAMMED

    Luis Figo left Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland out of his list of the best six players in the world.

    Haaland, 20, has announced himself as one of the elite talents on the planet this season with an outstanding 31 goals in 30 games for the German side.

    But Portuguese legend Figo omitted the Norwegian from his list of current best players.

    According to Los Blancos Live, when asked for his thoughts on who are the top players right now, Figo named six stars.

    He said: "Cristiano, Messi, Modrić, Salah, Mbappe and Neymar."

  • Jake Lambourne

    T-EDEN PROJECT

    Man Utd starlet Teden Mengi has signed a new three-year deal at the club until June 2024.

    The 18-year-old defender made his senior debut in the Europa League last season.

    Mengi was promoted to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-team squad at the start of this season.

    He joined Wayne Rooney's Derby in January to gain more experience after playing ten times for the Red Devils' Under-23s in the first half of the season.

    Mengi has already starred six times for Rooney's Rams.

    The young centre-back has been at Old Trafford since the age of seven, coming through the academy and captaining age group sides through the ranks.

    Teden Mengi has extended his deal at Manchester United
  • Jake Lambourne

    AL TAKE IT

    Alan Pardew has reportedly expressed an interest in taking the Portsmouth job.

    Pompey sacked Kenny Jackett after their EFL Trophy final defeat to Salford at Wembley on Saturday.

    And former West Ham and Newcastle boss Pardew, 59, fancies a crack at the Fratton Park gig, according to reliable south coast football journalist Alex Crook.

    The TalkSport presenter tweeted: "Am told Alan Pardew and Phil Parkinson have both expressed an interest in the #Pompey job."

    With his side in dire form in League One and slipping out of the play-off places, the Fratton Park board pulled the trigger on Jackett, 59, on Sunday morning.

    Alan Pardew is 'interested' in the Portsmouth job
  • Jake Lambourne

    BRAIN FEARS

    Gary Lineker has said he will get extra checks for dementia and wants heading banned from training at all levels.

    Research shows ex-pros are 3.5 times likelier to die from a brain disorder than the general public.

    Lineker said: “I’ll have my triannual test this summer and ask if there’s anything they can establish around the brain.

    "Because I don’t see how, given the circumstances, any footballer wouldn’t be worried about it.”

    He added: “If I’d known what I know now, I would have certainly limited the amount of heading I did.

    "It’s hard to imagine the game without heading, but maybe it’s worth trialling.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    TOP PHWOAR

    The Premier League season is racing towards what should be a thrilling finale.

    While Manchester City are almost-certain to be crowned champions there is still plenty to play for at both ends of the table.

    But above all, the race for the top-four looks set to go down to the wire.

    Incredibly, should all teams win their games in hand, there are just 13 points separating second from TENTH.

    But who will grab those all-important places? We take a look at each club's run-in to determine who will make the cut…

  • Jake Lambourne

    NEW BRU

    Man Utd are reportedly targeting Sporting Lisbon's Pedro Goncalves as a half-price alternative to signing Jadon Sancho.

    Sporting signed Wolves flop Goncalves in August to fill the void left by Bruno Fernandes' departure to Old Trafford in January 2020.

    And the 22-year-old has bagged 15 goals in just 21 appearances to fire Sporting to the verge of their first league crown for 19 years.

    The Telegraph reports United are looking at Goncalves as a cheaper right-sided forward than last year's No1 target Sancho.

    Goncalves' super form has alerted a number of European giants to his availability for £51.7million, thanks to a buyout clause.

    The latest reports from Germany suggest Borussia Dortmund would be willing to sell Sancho, 20, for around £104m this summer.

    Triggering Goncalves' release clause would therefore be more than 50 per cent less expensive than the cost of a successful bid for Three Lions ace Sancho.

    Manchester United are lining up Sporting Lisbon's Pedro Goncalves
  • Jake Lambourne

    NO MOR OF THAT

    Mikel Arteta was 'wrong and disrespectful' to 'publicly shame' Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after dropping him for the North London derby, according to Piers Morgan.

    The Gunners captain turned up late for the 2-1 victory over bitter rivals Tottenham at the Emirates on Sunday and Arteta axed him from the starting XI as a result.

    Spaniard Arteta told the media there had been a disciplinary breech but did not go into any more detail.

    And former Good Morning Britain presenter and Gunners fan Morgan seems to be channelling the same energy.

    Having apparently been stewing on the situation, Morgan tweeted on Tuesday: "The more I think about the Aubameyang/Arteta thing, the less I like it.

    "Turning up a bit late shouldn’t warrant being dropped for a NLD, and for our manager to publicly shame our captain & best player in the way he did was wrong & disrespectful. I stand with ⁦@Auba⁩. #afc."

  • Jake Lambourne

    HOOP DREAMS

    LeBron James has upped his stake in Liverpool after becoming a partner in their American ownership group Fenway.

    The basketball superstar, 36, owned a two per cent stake in the Premier League champions since 2011.

    But US reports say the NBA great has now also brought an undisclosed number of shares in Fenway Sports Group.

    The company also own legendary baseball team Boston Red Sox.

    John Henry remains in charge at Fenway Sports with Tom Werner the second largest shareholder.

    The pair approved a new £540m investment from RedBird Capital, who became the third largest shareholders in Fenway Sports Group

  • Jake Lambourne

    LING-LAND STAR

    Jesse Lingard is in line for a shock England call-up after his incredible career turnaround on loan at West Ham.

    Manager Gareth Southgate will tomorrow name his squad for the forthcoming qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.

    Southgate also has a number of injury concerns in midfield which could see him turn to Lingard, 28, who has excelled during his stint on loan after leaving Manchester United.

    And this would be a major turnaround for a player whose 24th and final international appearance came against Switzerland in the Uefa Nations League finals in June 2019.

    Southgate will name a large squad for the qualifiers which starts against San Marino in eight days.

  • Jake Lambourne

    GETTING AGGY

    Man City star Sergio Aguero was reportedly heard moaning 'they never pass me the ball' after his side's win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

    The Argentine played the last 15 minutes of the 2-0 Champions Legaue last-16 second-leg win in Hungary but was allegedly unhappy with his team-mates after the victory.

    Aguero replaced Bernardo Silva on 75 minutes with City leading 4-0 on aggregate and the tie already won.

    But the 32-year-old failed to register a shot on target until the full-time whistle and was heard grumbling to a coach after the game, according to ESPN.

    Aguero is understood to have said in Spanish: "No me pasan la pelota."

    Which translates to: 'They don't pass me the ball."

    It is suggested Riyad Mahrez was particularly prone to shooting rather than laying it on for the City legend in the closing stages.

  • Jake Lambourne

    RETURN OF THE KING

    Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United is looking more likely than Real Madrid, according to reports.

    The Spanish side are claimed to have given up on bringing Ronaldo back and instead are focussing their attentions on landing Kylian Mbappe.

    And Tuttosport in Italy report that Man Utd is looking the more viable option than Real Madrid.

    Ronaldo, 36, spent six years at Old Trafford before nine seasons at Real Madrid.

    He joined Serie A champions Juventus in 2018 but could be forced to leave this summer with the club facing a financial crisis.

  • Jake Lambourne

    FER REAL

    Rio Ferdinand reckons Man City should forget about Harry Kane and go all out to sign Erling Haaland.

    The ex-Manchester United defender thinks Haaland’s age and price tag compared to the Spurs marksman would make him a better choice.

    He told BT Sport: “It’s difficult, a season or two ago I think Harry Kane would’ve been their first-choice.

    “He can play that number 10, he can come deep, be part of the midfield and create extra numbers in there.

    “I think because of the age could be a concern and the price tag.

    “When you have people like Haaland, it’s a different proposition in terms of longevity, a player you can build around for a number of years.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    CHRIS OF LIFE

    Christian Eriksen finally appears settled at Inter Milan after forcing his way back into Antonio Conte's plans.

    The Danish international joined the Italian giants in January 2020 but struggled to make an impact in the side.

    Eriksen started five consecutive matches before he was dropped to the bench for their last two matches with a knee issue.

    He came on as a substitute against Torino and helped inspire the club to a dramatic late 2-1 victory.

    After the contest, Eriksen said: "I am really happy at Inter. My knee is OK. Therefore I am ready to play."

  • Jake Lambourne

    ALL IN

    Leeds will plot an ambitious move to land Massimiliano Allegri if Marcelo Bielsa quits this summer, according to reports.

    The Whites are looking to the future as they plan for life if their Argentine boss walks at the end of the season.

    Bielsa, 65, is out of contract at Elland Road this summer but has hinted he will sign a one-year extension.

    He has promised Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani he will give his decision before the end of the season.

  • Jake Lambourne

    NOT SO SPECIAL

    Antonio Cassano has slammed Tottenham's defensive approach in their defeat to Arsenal.

    Former Italy international Cassano told Calciomercato: No one can say that Mourinho’s teams have played and play well.

    "Yet Mourinho has won two Champions Leagues, a genius like [Johan]Cruyff has only won one. But we can’t compare Cruyff to Mourinho in the least.

    “Mourinho’s football will never go down in history, I speak personally by saying that he doesn’t excite me. 

    "I saw Arsenal-Tottenham, Erik Lamela scored a sensational goal but Arsenal have less strong players than Tottenham.

    "Tottenham have an impressive squad but have been defending the whole game except for the last 10 minutes. I can’t think that a coach who has won so much can go on like this.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNING FOR GLORY

    Bernd Leno has praised Arsenal for 'turning the corner' from their shocking slump over the winter.

    The Gunners won only one league game between early October and Boxing Day, leading to minor fears of a relegation battle.

    But Leno, 29, has helped Arsenal bounce back to tenth in the table.

    He told Kicker: "In the autumn, we had big problems, a bad atmosphere. And we turned the corner.

    "Now we're at least getting a taste of [qualifying for] the Europa League again. The Champions League will be very, very difficult."

  • Jake Lambourne

    FINAL BELL

    Dortmund have warned the FA they will block Jude Bellingham from linking up with the England team.

    The England camp were on Monday assured by officials at Dortmund that they would be okay to pick Bellingham.

    They believed he would not have to quarantine for 14 days when returning to Germany after the three matches.

    But after speaking to their local health officials, Dortmund have altered their stance.

    And they insisted they would not allow Bellingham to join up with the England squad or Gio Reyna with the United States.

  • Jake Lambourne

    DOUBLE JOY

    Man Utd have received a huge boost as Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani both returned to training yesterday.

    The Red Devils face a crucial few days as they travel to AC Milan with the score tied at 1-1 for the second-leg of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday.

    And then they travel to Leicester City for an FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday as they aim to end the season with silverware – as well as Champions League qualification.

    Now they have received some positive news on two fronts as both stars took part in this morning’s session at Carrington.

    Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani could feature against AC Milan on Thursday
  • supal

    GOOD MORNING FOOTY FANS

    SunSport can exclusively reveal Man United have received a boost in the race for Jules Kounde – with Sevilla lowering their asking price to around £50million.

    Sevilla had originally wanted around £70m up front for the former Bordeaux ace, with clauses and add-ons included on top of that.

    But SunSport understands it has been indicated that United would be able to land one of their key summer targets for less than they thought.

    United would also be willing to at least double Kounde’s current £70,000-a-week wages if he was to join, alongside incentives for appearances, clean sheets and winning trophies.

    Meanwhile, Tottenham forward Son Heung-Min's injury is 'not as bad as first feared'.

    The South Korean superstar limped off clutching his hamstring just 17 minutes into Sunday's North London derby defeat to Arsenal.

    But according to Football London's Alasdair Gold, the issue isn't as bad as it initially seemed.

    In fact, Son could even return for this weekend's trip to Aston Villa.

    Finally, Jose Mourinho held talks with Antonio Rudiger over a summer switch from Chelsea to Tottenham.

    Rudiger admitted: "I was obviously shocked, though maybe shocked is the wrong word.

    "Some things I saw coming, obviously not being in the squad at all was not something I saw coming.

    "But at the end of the day I took it on the chin. There were two teams – but mainly one team I was considering. That was PSG.

    "There was a call with Mourinho, and with [Thomas] Tuchel, but this is something that didn’t happen."

  • Anthony Chapman

    CLOCK’S TICKING

    Thomas Tuchel has warned his struggling strikers they are running out of time to start delivering goals.

    Tuchel said: “We create enough chances and half- chances to win games. 

    “We had by far enough chances, touches in the box and deliveries against Leeds to win this game comfortably with two goals.

    “If you arrive at elite football at the highest level then there is no time to perform. The time simply doesn’t exist.

    “You are simply in a competition with other players in your team.

    “There is no time to get four or five matches in a row to score regularly. That simply does not exist.”

    Thomas Tuchel warns his strikers must start scoring goals soon
  • Anthony Chapman

    EXCLUSIVE BY CHARLIE WYETT

    Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool players have now got used to their new £50million training ground in Kirkby.

    It boasts three full-size pitches, two gyms, a full-size sports hall, pool, hydrotherapy and specialist rehabilitation suites.

    A dining room has a balcony overlooking the pitches. There is even a beach volleyball area which the players joke is in tribute to the Brazilians Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino.

    But there is one problem with the new HQ — the players hate it.

    They would rather be at the famous old Melwood site. There is nothing wrong with the facilities. It is just windy. Really windy.

    For the players there is no place like home. That was Melwood.

    Liverpool are not enjoying the wind at their new training base
  • Anthony Chapman

    EXCLUSIVE BY PHIL CADDEN

    Mark Halsey has called for delayed offside flag guidelines to be changed — before a player is seriously injured.

    Rui Patricio’s head collision with Wolves team-mate Conor Coady in Monday’s 1-0 home loss to Liverpool came as a result of new Premier League rules to enable VAR checks.

    The SunSport refereeing expert said: “I have had major concerns with the protocol all season, it’s been an accident waiting to happen.

    “Rui Patricio was lucky because the incident looked very serious. If this protocol is not changed now I fear more serious injuries.

    “I remember other incidents when Ben Mee and Eric Bailly have suffered injuries  trying to recover to make a last-ditch challenge.

    “In those cases the flag did not go up but the  forward was later deemed to be offside.

    “Player safety is paramount and we need to learn from what happened to Patricio.”

    Mark Halsey has called for delayed offside flag guidelines to be changed
  • Anthony Chapman

    QUARTER POUNDERS

    Manchester City and Real Madrid both booked a place in the Champions League quarters tonight.

    City beat Gladbach 2-0 thanks to early goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, handing them a 4-0 aggregate win.

    Meanwhile, Real dismantled Atalanta 3-1 with goals from Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Marcos Asensio for a 4-1 aggregate victory.

  • Anthony Chapman

    BOW RETURN

    Lee Bowyer has been confirmed as the new boss of Championship strugglers Birmingham City.

    Brum sacked Aitor Karanka after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Bristol City left them 23rd in the second tier.

    Now they have turned to their former midfielder, who quit his job at Charlton over the weekend, to save them from the drop.

  • Anthony Chapman

    ERL OF MANCHESTER

    Man Utd will prioritise signing Erling Haaland over Harry Kane, according to reports.

    Manchester Evening News claim John Murtough and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer agree that Haaland is the 'ideal long-term replacement for Romelu Lukaku'.

    Haaland has a £66million release clause that comes into effect in 2022 but the Bundesliga giants could be open to selling him this summer.

    A host of top European clubs including Man City and Real Madrid will scrap for his signature – especially if Dortmund fail to qualify for the Champions League.

    The 20-year-old knows competition for his signing is rife and is likely to demand wages in the region of £350,000-a-week.

    Erling Haaland remains Man United's No1 transfer target this summer

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