ROMAN ABRAMOVICH has reportedly ordered Chelsea’s transfer team to sign Erling Haaland ‘at any cost’ as the Blues plot another big-spending summer.
Meanwhile Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is reportedly edging closer to a summer move to PSG, with Tariq Lamptey and Max Aarons lined up as potential replacements.
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Read our live blog below to get the latest from around the clubs…
‘EEZ ONE OF OUR OWN – EXCLUSIVE
Arsenal are in talks with whizkid Miguel Azeez over a new long-term deal.
The England youth international, 18, has impressed in the Gunners academy this season.
Arsenal youngster Miguel Azeez could sign a new lengthy dealCredit: Getty Images – Getty
He made his senior debut as a late sub in December’s 4-2 win at Dundalk in the Europa League.
Azeez’s current deal expires at the end of the season, meaning he will become a free agent on July 1, as things stand.
Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak has opened the door to a Premier League transfer in the future.
The 28-year-old, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, is widely considered to be one of the best keepers in the world.
And while he was unwavering in his praise for Atletico, he also took the time to touch on the attraction of the Premier League.
Speaking to AS, he said: “I live in a great city, in a great country and I play in a great league.
“But, of course, I watch the Premier. It is a special league in which every game is difficult.
“Play there? As a player never you know what will happen in a few years but, of course, the Premier is attractive for any player.”
Luis Suarez has blasted Barcelona for kicking him out in the summer for being ‘too old’.
The Uruguayan, 34, has been a massive success at LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid since his tearful Nou Camp exit at the end of last season.
Former Liverpool star Luis Suarez has hit the ground running at Atletico MadridCredit: Reuters
Suarez is the division’s top scorer on 16 – but the way the striker’s six-year stint at Barcelona came to an end still leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.
He told France Football: “What really bothered me was when they told me that I was old and that I could no longer play at a high level, be up to [leading] a great team.
“That’s what I did not like. If I hadn’t done anything at a club like Barca for three or four seasons, I would have understood.
“But, every year at Barca, I scored more than 20 goals per season. I have always had good statistics, just behind Leo (Messi).”
Diego Costa is reportedly wanted by Sao Paulo FC, the rivals of his boyhood club.
The striker, 32, left Atletico Madrid at the end of December to become a free agent.
Now according to Sky Sports, Costa has been offered the chance to return to his hometown.
Sao Paulo hope to take advantage of his desire to finish his playing career in Brazil.
However, Costa grew up supporting Palmeiras – Sao Paulo’s enemies across the city.
And Palmeiras are themselves in the hunt to sign the former Chelsea man.
They were believed to be leading that race – with many reports claiming Costa had signed a two-year deal worth around £2.6million.
HEC OF A TEAM
With PSG gunning for Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, here’s how Mauricio Pochettino’s side could line up next season.
Kylian Mbappe has insisted he wants a get-out clause in his new Paris Saint-Germain contract before he commits his future to the club.
The 23-year-old superstar’s current deal takes him up to the summer of 2022.
And the French champions are keen to ensure he remains in Paris beyond the end of next season amid interest from European giants such as Liverpool and Real Madrid.
But according to Foot Mercato, Mbappe is demanding his contract contains a clause which would enable him to leave the club before its expiration date.
Mbappe’s stock rose once more last week when he scored a sensational hat-trick at the Nou Camp to hand PSG a 4-1 victory over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
The World Cup winner has netted 21 goals in 30 appearances for PSG so far this season.
Sam Allardyce revealed club chiefs often pressurise managers to play expensive stars even if they are flops on the pitch.
The West Brom boss said having superstar players on huge salaries makes management much tougher.
Speaking on the Harry Redknapp Show podcast, Allardyce, 66, said: “And the agents now demand the sort of money that the club has to pay for that player if they want him, which gives him such a massive contract that now it’s very difficult for you as a manager to manage those players.
“You’ve got the responsibility of being able to control and manage that player that is earning so much for the football club.
“And you’ve got to bring the best out of him. You’ve got to make sure that he earns that money, that he’s worth that money, and he becomes an asset for the club and for you as a manager.
“The amount of money that is paid to players and just what that means because if you were brave enough to leave them out – and sometimes you had to be brave enough – there’d be big frowns from upstairs about the reduction of the asset, the reduction of what might be the sale of the asset.
“That’s them coming to you and saying ‘we paid a lot of money for him, you’re devaluing him, why’s he not in the first team – is it your fault?’ I found that much more difficult to manage. I don’t blame them whatsoever. I think that’s quite within their rights.”
Chelsea are ‘quietly’ growing in confidence that they can sign Erling Haaland this summer, according to reports.
The lethal Borussia Dortmund striker is attracting interest from all around Europe, having scored 43 goals in 43 games for the German giants.
Manchester United, City, Real Madrid and Liverpool are all thought to be monitoring the 20-year-old’s situation, and are attracted by the £65million release clause that will come into play in 2022.
But Chelsea believe that they can get ahead of the chasing pack by placing a bid BEFORE the clause becomes active.
According to Eurosport, the Blues are making ‘progress’ behind the scenes in convincing those close to Haaland that Stamford Bridge is the right destination for him.
JUVE BEEN FRAMED
Juventus are set to star in Amazon’s latest All or Nothing behind the scenes documentary.
And the trailer has revealed some unseen footage of Cristiano Ronaldo sulking in the changing room.
SIL-LY NOT TO – EXCLUSIVE
Manchester United could be offered Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva in the summer if Edinson Cavani’s contract is not renewed.
Silva’s agent Jorge Mendes is hoping to orchestrate the move with Frankfurt needing to raise funds to buy back Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic.
Andre Silva could be offered to Manchester UnitedCredit: Alamy Live News
Portuguese international Silva has been on fire in the Bundesliga this season with 18 goals in 20 appearances – second only to Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski in the scoring charts.
The 25-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the past after leaving Porto to join AC Milan in 2017 for £32m.
Since then, loan switches to Sevilla and then Frankfurt saw him sign for the latter in September, but England remains a luring attraction.
The deal – which could be worth up to £30m in pandemic times – is with bringing Jovic back to the club in mind.
DON THE SHIRT
Manchester United are reportedly lining up a summer move for AC Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
David De Gea’s displays have left plenty to be desired and English No2 Dean Henderson could step in.
Gianluigi Donnarumma could be heading to Old TraffordCredit: AP:Associated Press
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is considering alternatives.
Fichajes reports Donnarumma is one of the names on the Red Devils’ shortlist.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola slammed players leaking team news via Fantasy Football as ‘incredibly unethical and unprofessional’.
HAZ IT ALL
Eden Hazard is in the world’s top three footballers ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, according to old Chelsea team-mate Filipe Luis.
The Flamengo left-back, 35, thinks the Belgian star ranks alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi in the top echelons of the game.
In a single season at Stamford Bridge, Luis witnessed the Belgian at his scintillating best, winning the 2014-15 Premier League and League Cup.
But he was left feeling that Hazard still could have done more to become the very best player around.
Luis told the Mail: “Eden along with Neymar are the best players I have ever played alongside – up there with Messi.”
McQUEEN DEMENTIA DIAGNOSED
Football legend Gordon McQueen has been diagnosed with vascular dementia, his family have confirmed.
The 68-year-old enjoyed a distinguished playing career with the likes of Manchester United, Leeds and Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s.
There’s duping the ref and then there’s slapping yourself in the face with an object and pretending to have been hit with a missile…
Check out this crazy footage from the Guatemalan third-division.
Everton’s plans to redevelop Goodison Park have been approved by Liverpool City Council.
DAVE DON’T SAVE
David De Gea has let in FIVE of the last eight Premier League shots he’s faced from inside the box.
And Paul Scholes reckons the Manchester United goalkeeper is now a ‘real problem’ for the club.
De Gea’s miserable record between the sticks in recent weeks continued on Sunday – hours after SunSport revealed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is plotting to sell either the Spaniard or Dean Henderson this summer.
Newcastle managed two shots on target from inside the penalty area – both from Allan Saint-Maximin.
The first of those ended up in the back of the net, while De Gea did manage to save the other in the 3-1 win which saw the Red Devils leapfrog Leicester back into second.
Here are the Chelsea stars’ wages with Kai Havertz’s return of one goal costing the Blues £7.4million.
Arsenal’s on-loan midfielder Matteo Guendouzi is going through ‘puberty’ at Hertha Berlin, according to the German side’s boss.
Pal Dardai insists the Gunners ace, 21, has plenty to learn if he is going to maximise his career.
Matteo Guendouzi is on loan at Hertha Berlin from ArsenalCredit: AFP or licensors
The Frenchman was shipped out on loan after being frozen out by Mikel Arteta.
Dardai told Bild: “It’s like puberty for him, he’s kind of a rebel. He has to work and learn like an animal.”
Liverpool and Manchester United look braced to rival it out for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, according to reports.
Both Premier League giants are prioritising signing a central defender at the end of the season.
Fiorentinaâs Nikola Milenkovic could be heading to Liverpool or Manchester UnitedCredit: AP:Associated Press
According to Sky Sports’ Max Bielefeld, both clubs have made initial contact with Milenkovic’s agent.
The 23-year-old Serbian international has been a stalwart in Fiorentina’s defence this season with his side struggling in 14th.
Milenkovic is looking increasingly likely to move on at the end of the season with just 17-months left on his current contract.
ON YOUR MARCS
Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso was the subject of bizarre chants from fans in Romania when he arrived for the Champions League last 16 game against Atletico Madrid tonight.
Footage of the Chelsea squad getting off the team bus was accompanied by the chant: “Alonso be fast, don’t be slow.”
The exact origins of the chant, or the reasoning behind it, remain unclear.
England’s mouthwatering Euro 2020 clash with Scotland could be played in front of 24,000 fans despite the Government roadmap’s 10,000 capacity limit.
The bitter rivals meet at Wembley on June 18 and FA chiefs are said to be pushing for the increased supporter allowance.
Boris Johnson announced the roadmap out of lockdown on Monday which caps attendance at large stadiums to 10k fans or 25 per cent of its overall capacity – whichever figure is lower – from May 17.
The Prime Minister confirmed to the House Of Commons that all social distancing will end on June 21 and permitted attendances are expected to rise again from that date.
But with England’s game against the Auld enemy taking place three days before, technically only 10k should be allowed in.
But senior FA figures have identified 24k as a reasonable ambition – for what will be the Three Lions’ second group game – and will push Government to allow it, according to The Telegraph.
Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu revealed he was given no support by Lionel Messi and Co in his last year at the Nou Cam.
Mathieu starred under Luis Enrique between 2014-17 but the boss ‘did not talk to’ the player during his struggles.
Jeremy Mathieu slammed his treatment at BarcaCredit: AFP or licensors
Mathieu told Catalan radio station RAC1: “I had a very bad time in my last year with Barcelona.
“I had the feeling I was blamed for the 3-0 defeat in Turin, but football is played with 11 players, not just one.
“I felt alone in the dressing room.
“No one offered support. For me, that’s not football.”
With Hector Bellerin linked with a move to PSG, SunSport looks at five right-backs who could fill the void at Arsenal.
- Max Aarons
- Tariq Lamptey
- Achraf Hakimi
- James Justin
- Kyle Walker
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly set to hand Thomas Tuchel a £260million transfer warchest – with Erling Haaland No1 priority.
TuttoMercatoWeb reports the Russian chief is ready to invest another eye-watering sum after signing off on over £230m worth of transfers last summer.
Abramovich is believed to want his Blues to land the Norwegian striker ‘at all costs’.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk