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    Brentford transfer chief gives blunt Ivan Toney update amid Arsenal and Chelsea interest

    BRENTFORD chief Phil Giles has revealed he has NEVER received a transfer offer for Ivan Toney.The in-demand striker has been tipped to leave the Bees when the transfer window re-opens.
    Brentford have never received an offer for Ivan ToneyCredit: Rex
    Toney is still serving his gambling ban which ends in January – when the likes of Arsenal or Chelsea could make a bid.
    However director of football Giles has cooled talk of Toney leaving by revealing no club has ever tried to sign the striker since he joined Brentford.
    Giles told BBC 5 Live: “I’ve never had one phone call in three-and-a-half years about Ivan Toney, in terms of interest in buying him.
    “If my phone rings between now and then, I’ll see what’s happening. But I’m really not focused on that at all.”
    SunSport understands Brentford are braced for a three-way transfer tussle between Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in January.
    Spurs have played down speculation linking them to Toney, claiming they are more focused on adding defensive cover in the new year.
    But sources at Chelsea are not convinced and are preparing to go head-to-head with their city neighbours in the transfer market.
    Arsenal are thought to be at the front of the queue for his services but Toney feels he has a “debt to repay” to Brentford and to the club’s manager Thomas Frank which means any move could be held off until the summer.
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    Brentford hope to land teenage Argentinian star Santiago Castro as a potential replacement for Toney.
    The Velez Sarsfield striker has been scouted by the Bees and is very highly-rated. More

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    Heartbroken Marcus Rashford dedicates Man Utd goal to tragic cousin who ‘recently’ died after scoring against Everton

    MARCUS RASHFORD has confirmed the tragic passing of his cousin with a heartfelt message on social media.The Manchester United forward, 26, scored from the penalty spot in a 3-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
    Marcus Rashford dedicated his goal against Everton to his late cousinCredit: Getty
    He lashed a second-half penalty into the top cornerCredit: PA
    On Monday evening, he took to Instagram to share a picture of him looking up to the sky.
    And he added the caption: “I would like to dedicate the goal yesterday to my cousin who recently passed away. GBNF 🕊️.”
    Rashford received a host of heartfelt condolence messages in response to his post.
    One said: “Sending you love Rashy ❤️.”
    Another added: “We are with you Rashy…much love… my condolences…❤️.”
    A third replied: “We’re with you❤️🙏🏾.”
    While a fourth responded: “With you every step of the way ❤️.”
    Last year, Rashford scored two goals for England against Wales at the World Cup and dedicated them to his friend Garfield Hayward after he had died just days earlier.
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    On Sunday, Rashford was handed the penalty by captain Bruno Fernandes – who is Man Utd’s regular taker.
    The England man has struggled so far this season, scoring just one goal in 16 games heading into the Everton clash.
    And Fernandes revealed after the match he gave Rashford the penalty because he has endured a difficult spell.
    He said: “I felt Marcus needed confidence, needed his goal.
    “Marcus is an excellent penalty taker too. I’m sure he could score that penalty.
    “It’s not about who takes it, it’s about scoring that penalty, and Marcus did it perfectly. Strikers, wingers, they want to score goals, they need to score goals.
    “That’s part of the game, it gives you a boost. I think after the penalty, Marcus was unstoppable, he could take on everyone.
    “I think sometimes you need this chance, this opportunity, to get your confidence back. He’s been great for us.” More

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    BBC presenter Mark Chapman shouts ‘whoa… you’ve gone early there Theo!’ after ex-Arsenal star Walcott’s Spurs jibe

    THEO WALCOTT shocked Match of the Day presenter Mark Chapman with his cheeky Tottenham jibe.The former Arsenal star appeared on the highlights show as a pundit alongside Danny Murphy and Jermaine Jenas.
    Theo Walcott poked fun at his old rivals TottenhamCredit: BBC
    Mark Chapman was shocked but found the pundit’s remark amusingCredit: BBC
    And after Murphy analysed Aston Villa’s first goal Walcott took his chance to poke fun at rivals Spurs.
    He broke down Ollie Watkins’ strike – Villa’s second which proved to be the winner – and revealed he loved to get in behind the Tottenham defence just as the current England star did.
    Walcott said: “I lived off running in behind Tottenham in particular so I’m happy with that.”
    Chappers quickly interjected, laughing as he said: “Whoa you’ve gone early there Theo!”
    It was the first comment Walcott made on the show and his colleague Murphy praised him, adding: “Good start there.”
    Walcott, 34, famously enjoys winding up Spurs and once taunted their fans by showing them a 2-0 to the Gunners gesture with his hands after being carried off on a stretcher during a North London Derby in 2014.
    The former winger became a pundit this season after retiring in the summer.
    He spent 12 years at the Emirates where he made 397 appearances, scoring 108 goals.
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    Tottenham were beaten 2-1 by Villa despite taking the lead and have now dropped out of the top four following three defeats on the bounce.
    Meanwhile Villa are now just two points behind table toppers Manchester City.
    Walcott on the stretcher taunting Tottenham fans in 2014Credit: Getty More

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    Man Utd want Chelsea flop Timo Werner in shock January transfer but stunned fans say ‘tell me this is a joke’

    MANCHESTER UNITED have inquired about signing former Chelsea forward Timo Werner, according to shock reports in Germany. Erik ten Hag is in the market for striking reinforcements with £72million summer signing Rasmus Hojlund still without a Premier League goal.
    Timo Werner is linked to a move to Man UtdCredit: Kenny Ramsay
    And according to Sky Sports Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, RB Leipzig’s Werner is on the Old Trafford boss’ wishlist.
    It is claimed United have already asked Leipzig about the striker’s availability, but formal negotiations have yet to take place.
    Werner signed for Chelsea in 2020 for £53million and he struggled during his two years in West London.
    He managed only 23 goals in 89 matches – but did help the Blues to the Champions League trophy in 2021.
    Werner was sold back to Leipzig in the summer of 2022 for £23.5m and he notched 16 goals in his 40 games.
    But the attacker – who can play centrally or out wide – has scored just twice this term after 13 matches in all competitions.
    The 27-year-old is believed to be unsettled again in the Bundesliga, leading to rumours of a return to the Premier League.
    Werner is understood to be ready to see out the remainder of the season but the likes of West Ham and Fulham have also been linked.
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    Real Madrid are also apparently monitoring but now United are the latest big name side to register an interest in Werner – much to the shock of fans.
    One disappointed Red Devils fan wrote: “I’m not a fan of this.”
    Another added: “Tell me that’s a joke.”
    However, given United’s struggles in front of goal this season, others were willing to give Werner a chance.
    One argued: “I’d take him all day.”
    A second agreed: “I’d take this happily.”
    United are in desperate need of goals having scored only 16 so far in 13 Prem games.
    Hojlund is goalless domestically, despite five goals in the Champions League, with Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes instead United’s top league scorers with only three each.
    Marcus Rashford is the only other player with more than one.
    While long-serving attacker Anthony Martial set for the scrapheap as incoming chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe swings the axe.
    Werner is on United’s January transfer listCredit: EPA
    Werner is nowhere near Leipzig’s top scorer this season More

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    FA ‘confident’ Man Utd wonderkid Kobbie Mainoo WILL play for England despite chance to represent another nation

    THE FA are reportedly confident that Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo will NOT switch international allegiances. Mainoo was handed his full senior debut in United’s 3-0 win at Everton.
    The FA are reportedly confident that Manchester United’s Kobbie MainooCredit: Getty
    Erik ten Hag gave the 18-year-old 72 minutes, helping the visitors lead 2-0.
    Mainoo – who was born in Stockport – has represented England at junior level up to the Under-19s but he is also eligible to play for Ghana.
    That has led to fears the starlet could choose to switch.
    However, according to the Daily Mail, FA chiefs are confident Mainoo will stick with England.
    The midfielder has been a regular at St George’s Park in recent years and has staff convinced he wants an international career with the Three Lions.
    It is claimed Mainoo has impressed coaches at England’s training facility with both his ability and work ethic.
    And he has been tipped to one day rival Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Kalvin Phillips to a place in Gareth Southgate’s midfield.
    Lee Carsley’s England U21s are not in action again until March, when they face Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.
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    Mainoo is expected to be in contention for a place in the squad should he continue to feature regularly for United’s first-team.
    The starlet was given a glowing review from Ten Hag following the victory at Goodison Park.
    He said: “He has a lot of abilities and it was a really disappointing moment in pre-season when he got so badly injured.
    “For him but also for our team, because I know he can progress a lot if he plays many of such games as today.
    “I know young players will develop very quickly and we thought it was the moment to bring him in.
    “We prepared him properly but he did a great job and now he has to build on this.”
    Mainoo made his United debut at EvertonCredit: Getty More

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    Two Man Utd stars spotted going mad in away end at Everton as they celebrate Garnacho wonder goal

    TWO Manchester United academy stars were spotted going mad in the away end at Everton as they celebrate Alejandro Garnacho’s goal.Erik ten Hag’s men 3-0 win at Goodison Park saw the Argentine score from a bicycle kick and youth talents Dan Gore and Finley McAllister celebrating in the stands.
    Finley McAllister and Dan Gore were spotted in the away end at EvertonCredit: Twitter @bennymufc
    Gore,19, is in the Manchester United academyCredit: Getty
    McAllister, 17, plays alongside Gore in the United youth teamCredit: Getty
    Just three minutes into the Premier League clash Garnacho, 19 lifted fans off their seats with his spectacular finish.
    Meanwhile, starlet Kobbie Mainoo, 18, made his first start for the Red Devils and put in an impressive display in midfield.
    And watching the victory with the United fans were their former academy teammates Gore, 19, and McAllister, 17.
    An observant United fan captured the pair enjoying the game along with the rest of the supporters on Twitter.
    The post was captioned: “Great to see both Finley McAllister & Dan Gore, in the crowd today at Goodison Park no doubt supporting their academy teammates.
    “I know that McAllister is a regular at away games I’ve seen the lad a few times at different aways, this is the United way. Youth Courage Success #MUFC.”
    United fans were delighted to see the next generation celebrating their team.
    One supporter put: “Really hope that Finley makes his debut for the first team one day. That would truly be special.”
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    Another added: “Finley McAllister will hopefully become the future of this club 🙏captaining your club for the academy and always in there with the fans, what a guy.”
    A third said: “I can’t wait for gore time to come very very special.”
    Meanwhile, as Garnacho channelled his inner Wayne Rooney most jaws on Merseyside dropped when the ball hit the back of the net.
    Including TV pundit Roy Keane who unexpectedly praised the winger’s “brilliant” finish.
    Garnacho’s stellar performance awarded him with the Man of the Match.
    But others disagreed with the decision as captain Bruno Ferndanes and England legend Gary Lineker believed Mainoo should have received the prize.
    Alejandro Garnacho scored an overhead kick against EvertonCredit: PA
    Kobbie Mainoo put on an impressive performance in midfieldCredit: Alamy More

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    Major change to VAR planned that could turn Premier League matches into two hour marathons

    VAR powers could be extended to free-kicks, corners and second yellow cards as new proposals are set to be discussed on Tuesday.Football’s lawmakers on the International FA Board will meet at a Heathrow hotel to confirm changes for next season.
    VAR could be handed more powers under new rules being discussed on TuesdayCredit: AFP
    And despite fan outrage over the interminable delays that have left supporters shaking their heads in fury and disbelief, the idea of adding to the amount of decisions video refs can change is a serious threat.
    Currently VAR can only be used for “match-changing incidents” – goals, penalties and red cards.
    Controversy has followed a spate of decisions in the Premier League alone this season.
    The biggest was the shocking error where miscommunication between the officials at the League’s Stockley Park hub and at the stadium saw Luis Diaz’ onside goal for Liverpool against Spurs ruled out.
    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faces a potential ban for his furious response to Newcastle’s debatable winner at St James’ Park last month.
    Chelsea’s win at Spurs on November 1 brought NINE VAR checks, five disallowed goals, two red cards and 21 minutes of added time across the two halves.
    And England’s Euro 2024 qualifying draw in North Macedonia included a ludicrous penalty decision against Three Lions debut-maker Rico Lewis.
    But things are set to get even more manic if the idea of allowing VAR officials to intervene on more decisions gets support.
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    Red cards for deliberate handballsRED cards for “deliberate” penalty box handballs are set to be introduced next season – in a major clampdown by football’s Law-makers.
    Under current Laws, players are only sent off for “denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity” for box handball offences.
    That is almost always for an offence blocking a goalbound shot on the line.
    Tuesday’s meeting will bring “deliberate” handball offences into line with goal-stopping fouls where there is no intent to play the ball.
    It is understood that the new approach will mean players who are deemed to have deliberately raised their hands above the shoulder to block a cross or shot risk being sent off as well as conceding the spot kick.
    The view is that the change will bring handball offences into line with deliberate fouls in the box – where there is no attempt to play the ball – which should be punished with red cards.

    Under the proposal to be discussed on Tuesday, video refs could recommend changes of decisions on free-kicks, corners and second yellow cards.
    That would arguably undermine the authority of referees and officials even further – and lead to even more stoppages for checks.
    But despite those fears, the idea is gaining strength from some members of the Ifab ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.
    FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, who has one of the eight votes that determine the laws of the game, has vowed to thwart the concept.
    Bullingham said: “I know that is something we will discuss in the Ifab.
    “We would be really reluctant to have a game that was stopped a lot more than it currently is but that will be a proper discussion.”
    Each of the four Home Nations has one vote on Ifab, with Fifa supplying the other four. No Law change can be brought in without six votes in favour.
    Tuesday’s meeting is set to bring in tougher handball laws for next season – with red cards for “deliberate” offences inside the penalty box.
    It will also order penalty kicks to be taken with the ball touching the centre of the spot.
    And there is growing support for two extra trials over player indiscipline that could be rolled out into the Prem over the coming seasons.
    The first would see only captains allowed to talk to referees on the pitch, rather than the current free for all which sees angry players confronting officials.
    And the other could be the first step to rugby-style “sin-bins” for offences that currently bring what many consider “harsh” red cards.
    But there is little or no appetite outside of English football for VAR conversations between the video booth and the referee to be played out “live” either on TV or in the stadium.
    One of the biggest gripes against VAR is fans being “left hanging” for three minutes-plus as the video technology is underway, with the stadium giant screens only explaining the check in the briefest of terms.
    Prem refs’ chief Howard Webb is keen to bring it in as soon as possible and he is backed by Bullingham – but both are walking against a strong headwind.
    Wembley boss Bullingham explained: “We’ve talked about it in multiple Ifabs.
    “Generally there is a split in the room over that, and quite often it’s between the marketing-and-commercial people and the referees.
    “Our point of view would normally be that transparency is a really good thing, and we want to have fans to have the maximum experience.
    “The fans in the stadium should never know less than the fans watching on TV
    “But there is an understandable nervousness from others that the referee’s job is hard enough as it is.”
    GUNNERS fans were enraged Ivan Toney’s equaliser stood as Christian Norgaard was ­offside as he set it up.
    A referees report later admitted that VAR Lee Mason “forgot” to apply the lines while reviewing the goal.
    Gunners fans were enraged Ivan Toney’s equaliser stood as Christian Norgaard was ­offside as he set it upCredit: BBC
    OFFICIALS ruled out Liverpool striker Luis Diaz’s perfectly good goal against Tottenham for offside.
    The howler led referees’ body the PGMOL to issue an apology and release the audio of the Stockley Park decision.
    Officials ruled out Liverpool striker Luis Diaz’s perfectly good goal against Tottenham for offside
    BEES fans were stunned after being denied a penalty when Forest keeper Matt Turner took out Yoane Wissa.
    After the match, Turner even admitted that he was happy blundering VAR officials failed to step in.
    Bees fans were stunned after being denied a penalty when Forest keeper Matt Turner took out Yoane WissaCredit: Getty
    DESPITE four potential infractions, the Magpies were awarded a second-half winner following a lengthy VAR check.
    After the match, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta branded VAR’s failure to rule it out an “absolute disgrace”.
    The Magpies were awarded a second-half winner following a lengthy VAR checkCredit: Sky Sports
    A CHAOTIC match in North London saw five ruled-out goals and two red cards.
    The game had the most VAR checks in a Premier League match, with nine.
    Referee Michael Oliver checks the VAR monitor before awarding Chelsea a penalty and sending off Spurs’ Cristian RomeroCredit: Rex
    That led to 21 minutes of stoppage time. More

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    Newcastle ‘line up PSG striker loan in January but Champions League rivals demand permanent transfer’

    NEWCASTLE are lined up to reignite interest with Paris Saint-Germain’s Hugo Ekitike but the French giants demand a permanent transfer.The Magpies are looking at a loan deal but their Champions League rivals do not see a future for the Frenchman at the Parc Des Princes.
    Newcastle are set to reignite their interest with Hugo EkitikeCredit: Getty
    Ekitike, 21, has not been named in PSG Champions League squad meaning he won’t face Newcastle on Tuesday night.
    So far this term the striker has made just one appearance for the Ligue 1 side and scored only four goals since his arrival from Reims in 2022.
    And the Frenchman is now open to leave in January and is ready to draw a line under his frustrating start in Paris.
    Newcastle alongside other Premier League clubs will have their eye on the striker who is keen on a move to top-flight English football.
    According to Caught Offside, Financial Fair Play is pushing the Magpies to opt for a loan deal rather than a permanent transfer.
    The report also claims Newcastle are insisting on the temporary move as they are “wary” of the French flops underwhelming performance.
    It has been claimed that if an offer of around £30-35million arrives the French Champions will “strongly advise” the player to agree.
    Reims had originally accepted Newcastle’s offer for Ekitike in 2022, but the forward stalled the transfer.
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    PSG recruited the former U20 star on loan last year with an option to buy but his move was said to have a mandatory £30million purchase which kicked in this year.
    Despite the deal, the French side tried to sell him during the summer due to his slow start.
    Frankfurt and Zenit made a bid but the forward was rejected by him and his agent Karl Mwalako Buchmann as they wanted a move to the Premier League.
    But again a deal failed to be agreed at Crystal Palace, West Ham and Everton despite their best efforts to win his signature.
    With Luis Enrique’s side now growing frustrated of Ekitike a move in the new year is on the cards as the Spaniard no longer sees him fit as a footballer or personality. More