ARSENAL are plotting to beat West Ham to the permanent signing of Jesse Lingard, SunSport can exclusively reveal.
We’ve also got the latest on Sergio Aguero’s future with Tottenham and Leeds reportedly interested, while Kylian Mbappe could be set for Real Madrid.
Stay up to date with all the latest football news in our rolling blog…
Exclusive: West Ham will tell Manchester United to forget any plans to offer Jesse Lingard as part of a deal to sign Declan Rice.
The Hammers are desperate to tie Lingard down to a permanent deal at the London Stadium following the success of his loan spell at the club.
But United want Rice to help provide the base in their midfield to build a team capable of challenging for the Premier League title next season.
That has led to Old Trafford bosses wondering if they could broker a deal which would see Lingard play a makeweight in an £80million package to take Rice to the North-West.
Yet West Ham are in no mood to be bullied and want to seal a straight deal for Lingard this summer.
And they have no intention of their 22-year-old vice-captain being part of any conversations over a transfer.
THE REAL DEAL
Real Madrid beat rivals Barcelona 2-1 at home in an entertaining, rain-soaked El Clasico on Saturday to go top of LaLiga.
Karim Benzema put the champions in charge at a soggy Bernabeu stadium with a delightful backheel in the 14th minute.
And a deflected Toni Kroos free kick doubled Real’s lead in the 28th.
Barca hit back on the hour mark through Oscar Mingueza to revive their hopes.
And the defender almost found the equaliser later on to rescue a point.
The Catalans also had a huge penalty appeal waved away when Martin Braithwaite fell following a challenge by Ferland Mendy.
Meanwhile, Real midfielder Casemiro was sent off in stoppage time for picking up two yellow cards in the space of a minute.
There was more drama to come when Barca substitute Ilaix Moriba hit the crossbar in the fourth minute of added time.
The hosts survived the nail-biting finish to complete a sensational week.
Exclusive: Paul Pogba is a captain in the Manchester United dressing room and will leave his team-mates devastated if he is sold.
The French World Cup-winning midfielder has a difficult relationship with fans after his agent repeatedly linked him with a move away.
But a source said Pogba is hugely popular in the dressing room.
They said: “Paul may be regarded with suspicion by a lot of the fanbase because of his agent courting other clubs, but there is no doubt where the players stand with him.
“They recognise he is one of the team’s stars and he is as desperate as they are for the club to be successful again.
“He is well-liked by all his team-mates and no one wants him to leave.
“But they also understand if a player is unhappy, it usually leads to his departure.
“They all hope he will start the next season at Old Trafford.”
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM
Exclusive: Manchester United want to bring keeper Sam Johnstone back from West Brom in a shock swoop.
Johnstone’s reputation has grown after a stunning campaign with the Baggies, earning him a first senior England call-up.
United have put him at the head of their wishlist if David De Gea, 30, or Dean Henderson go this summer.
We revealed the Red Devils would not carry on with both De Gea and Henderson, 24, sharing games in the future.
Johnstone, 28, who came through the Old Trafford ranks before a £5million move to Albion in 2018, could be tempted to move as his deal is about to enter its final year.
West Brom might cash in as Johnstone is also one of their top earners.
THAU IS YOURS
Premier League sides Leicester City and Crystal Palace are reportedly interested in signing Newcastle flop Florian Thauvin.
The 28-year-old, who failed to score during his half-season at St James’ Park, is out of contract in the summer – but may yet sign a new deal at Marseille.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, Thauvin’s future remains unclear, despite there being just three months remaining on his contract.
There are, however, reports coming out of Italy suggesting he will commit his future to the club.
According to TuttoMercato, the appointment of former Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli has persuaded Thauvin to stay in France.
It is believed talks between the World Cup winner’s representatives and several clubs – including Leicester and Crystal Palace – have been held.
This was some performance from Chelsea today. Runaway 4-1 winners over Crystal Palace and a breakout display from Kai Havertz.
Jude Bellingham achieved another remarkable milestone with his first Bundesliga goal.
The England midfielder, 17, lashed home from the edge of the area as Borussia Dortmund kept alive their slim hopes of a top-four finish with a 3-2 comeback win at Stuttgart.
Maurizio Sarri has reportedly rejected the chance to become Fiorentina’s new manager.
Football Italia claims the former Chelsea boss, 62, has snubbed the opportunity to take charge of the floundering Tuscans amid links with Napoli and Roma.
Sarri, who has been out of work since being axed by Juventus last year, is eager to return to football this summer.
The tactician has already rejected approaches from Marseille and Fenerbahce as he does not want to take charge of a new club mid-season.
MARRED BY BLUNDER
Referee Andre Marriner forgot to get Manchester City and Leeds players to take the knee before kick-off of their game.
Marriner and the players stood for their period of silence to mark the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh before the start of the match, which Leeds won 2-1.
But the official then didn’t remember to order the usual gesture in support of the fight against discrimination.
When he blew for the start of the game there was some confusion as a number of Leeds players started to kneel, only for play to go on.
The Premier League say the incident was an oversight.
Could a defeat for Spurs tomorrow spell the end for Harry Kane’s time at the club? Their clash with Man Utd really does feel that big…
PREMIER LEAGUE’S SUNDAY SCHEDULE
Here is what Sunday’s Premier League action looks like:
- 12:00 – Burnley v Newcastle
- 14:05 – West Ham v Leicester City
- 16:30 – Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United
- 19:00 – Sheffield United v Arsenal
LOOKING AT LUIS
Luis Suarez could make a shock return to Liverpool, according to reports.
The Atletico Madrid forward, 34, is understood to be frustrated with Diego Simeone’s tactics.
Spanish outlet Todofichajes state the pair have a ‘difficult’ relationship which could result in the striker leaving – with a clause in his contract enabling him to leave this summer with no penalty.
And the report adds Suarez could be open to a transfer back to Liverpool, seven years after leaving Anfield for Barcelona.
SET TO STAY
Manchester United transfer target Paulo Dybala is reportedly set for contract talks with Juventus next month.
The Red Devils were linked with the attacker in January as reports claimed Dybala, 27, was set for an exit if he did not agree a new deal.
Talks had stalled between Juventus and Dybala but the two parties are now believed to be ready to sit down to discuss terms.
And the Argentina international could be offered an £8.7million annual salary to sign, according to Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
That would represent a £2.1m increase on Dybala’s current £6.5m wages , which shows the Old Lady are determined to keep him.
The development will come as a blow for United, who have had Dybala in their sights as far back as 2019.
Hansi Flick has dropped a hint he is prepared to quit Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
The gaffer watched his side lumber to a drab 1-1 draw with Union Berlin to stay five points above RB Leipzig at the top of the table.
Before the contest with Union Berlin, Flick refused to answer questions on his future and said: “I am around 18 months in this job and I have a team that has developed.
“We are absolutely focused on our job. It is important that we stick together.”
When asked about his thoughts on the Bayern hierarchy, he bluntly responded: “Everything has been said.”
Quick update from Selhurst Park as Chelsea have beaten Crystal Palace 4-1.
Christian Benteke managed to pull one back for the hosts but Christian Pulisic doubled his tally for the day to make sure of the points for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
EASY. NIGHT’S. WORK.
Inter Milan are eyeing Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone – as questions linger over Antonio Conte even before the end of the season.
Ex-Chelsea chief Conte is tipped to depart despite Inter leading Serie A by 11 points.
And Todo Fichajes claim Argentinian Simeone, 50, is the clear top target for the Italian giants.
Conte, 51, was thought to have been close to leaving the San Siro last summer amid reports of conflicts with the Inter board.
Now it is thought he could depart as early as this summer, although 2022 and 2023 have also been mentioned.
Grimsby’s first half with Bradford descended into chaos after Stefan Payne headbutted his own team-mate.
The League Two strugglers had just fallen behind when the Bantams’ Anthony O’Connor opened the scoring in the 42nd minute.
With tensions rising, they came to a head just minutes after when team-mates Payne and Filipe Morais were involved in an astonishing bust-up.
It was sparked when Morais played a pass down the line looking for Payne.
The ball was wayward and Payne was apparently furious, making his frustrations known to the Portuguese winger.
Morais, 35, fired back with his own comments before the two squared up as the half-time whistle blew.
Payne then completely lost his cool and pushed his head towards Morais in front of the officials while the players were heading for the tunnel.
Aston Villa ace Trezeguet was left in tears after being forced off injured in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Liverpool.
The Egyptian winger, 26, was subbed off at Anfield with just minutes remaining following a tackle from match-winner Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Trezeguet was clearly distraught as he went down, clutching his face in pain.
Villa medics rushed on to the field to provide treatment in the hope he could see out the game.
But Trezeguet who could be seen being consoled by fellow Egyptian Mo Salah – was unable to continue against the Reds and had to be helped off the field.
As he headed towards the tunnel, the attacker broke down in tears as Jurgen Klopp watched on sympathetically.
TOP FOUR RACE
So with Chelsea set to win and Liverpool already having fought back to take all three points at Anfield, who do we think is best placed to finish the season in the top four.
Tottenham, Leicester and West Ham are all in action tomorrow – the latter two against one another at the London Stadium.
Could this be a defining weekend in the race for a Champions League spot?
Chelsea have raced into a 3-0 lead inside half an hour at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace.
Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Kurt Zouma with the goals.
GOODNIGHT, MISTER THOM
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed the ‘two-minute’ conversation he had with Paris Saint-Germain bosses before he was sacked last year.
In an interview with Sky Germany, Tuchel said: “It was very surprising because on December 22 I felt it for the first time in the evening.
“I had a conversation with my Sporting Director, and another before the match on December 23. I felt that it could be a possibility, but I didn’t feel like it was real.
“We won 4-0… [we had] a conversation that lasted for two minutes. There was not much left to say.
“So I got up, I said that he had to sort out the problem and I left. We got our things together and we went home to celebrate Christmas.”
MORE TO COME
Rangers are tracking Morecambe winger Carlos Mendes Gomes.
The Senegal-born attacker, 22, has been watched a number of times this season and the Scottish champions have contacted the League Two side about a potential move.
SunSport also understands Rangers have done their due diligence on the ex-Atletico Madrid youth.
Gomes is out of contract at the end of this season and could be available on a free if he doesn’t sign a new contract at Morecambe.
ROB-BED OF LEWANDOWSKI
Bayern Munich have been dealt a huge blow after Robert Lewandowski revealed he will NOT be fit for the crunch second-leg with Paris Saint-Germain.
The superstar striker, 32, missed last week’s 3-2 Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat in Bavaria with a knee injury sustained on international duty with Poland.
Despite initially being ruled out for around four weeks, there were hopes Lewandowski could make a miraculous recovery for Bayern’s away leg in the French capital.
But Lewandowski has now confirmed the Champions League holders will have to manage without him once again.
Lewandowski told Sky Sports: “No, [next week] is still too early.
“I’ll do everything I can to get back on the pitch, but only when I feel really good and safe. It’s not a good feeling to sit at home.”
MAKING THEIR MART
Arsenal are keeping tabs on Fluminese star Matheus Martinelli over a £35million summer transfer, according to reports.
Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte claim the Gunners have been scouting the 19-year-old midfielder for the last few months.
Arsenal have been impressed by what they’ve seen so far from the attacking star – no relation to 2019 signing Gabriel Martinelli.
And now Emirates chiefs are set to make a move for the in-demand star who has a £35m release clause in his contract.
SIMPLY THE TRENT
Trent Alexander-Arnold – with Gareth Southgate in the stands – has just hit the winner for Liverpool against Aston Villa.
A message to the England boss?
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk