Chelsea suffer Haaland transfer blow, Ronaldo new Juventus deal LATEST, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool news

CHELSEA have suffered a big blow in their pursuit of Norwegian wonderkid Erling Haaland, with the Dortmund start reportedly set to choose Man Utd, Man City or Liverpool.

We've also got all the latest from the Premier League, as well as an update on Cristiano Ronaldo's future.

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

  • William Pugh

    WHO'S GUNNAR PLAY

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sweating over who to play at centre-back against Manchester City on Sunday.

    United travel to the Etihad in the Manchester derby and their manager will wait until Sunday to decide whether Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly plays alongside Harry Maguire.

    Lindelof was an unused sub for the Red Devils' 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace yesterday and Solskjaer refused to confirm whether his back injury would keep him out against City.

    After the Palace game, Solskjaer said: "Victor struggled with his back, you know when he plays on a Sunday night, that was a demanding game, he did really well and I didn’t want to play him if I didn’t have to.

    "And Eric is more than capable and he’s played really and he’s played really well tonight as well.

    “So [I'll make a] decision on Sunday, I’m not giving [it] you now. Hopefully Victor’s back is OK, [now] that he’s had that rest that he needs.”

  • Josh Graham

    LIGT'S OUT

    Juventus could be forced to sell Matthijs De Ligt in order to keep Cristiano Ronaldo happy in Turin.

    Reports in Italy claim the former Real Madrid star is keen to extend his stay at the Serie A champions.

    However, due to the financial repercussions of coronavirus, combined with Ronaldo's sky-high wages, Juve could be forced to sell a big-name star.

    Tuttomercatoweb state Ronaldo, 36, wants an additional year on his current contract – set to expire at the end of the 2021-22 season.

    Ronaldo, 36, earns a staggering £540,000 per week – totalling £28million a year.

  • Josh Graham

    EL TAXICO

    Real Madrid and Barcelona face major new tax bills after losing a landmark legal case.

    The European Court of Justice has overturned a previous ruling and ordered the two Spanish giants, plus Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, to pay back what was deemed “illegal state aid”.

    Real Madrid and Barcelona are in trouble with the Spanish tax manCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    And that will see all four clubs having to pay back £4.3m in taxes – just a fraction of the money they avoided over a 20-year period.

    The clubs were initially ordered to pay the refunds by the European Commission in 2016.

    That came after the EC ruled that the Spanish Government provisions allowing them to pay five per cent less tax on their profits for two decades had been an unfair advantage over other clubs.

    In 2019, an appeal to the ECJ’s General Court was upheld, with the tax regime declared to be “lawful”.

    But now the full ruling has gone back to the original EC decision, determining the lower court was wrong in backing the tax situation and that the measures were effectively an “aid scheme”.

  • Josh Graham

    DUBL TROUBLE

    Dublin appears set to forfeit its Euro 2020 hosting rights.

    But Cardiff, rather than another English city, is likely to be given the chance to take up the four matches planned for the Aviva Stadium.

    The FA of Ireland is becoming increasingly resigned to the fact that it will not be able to give Uefa its required guarantees of allowing fans into the Aviva Stadium by next month’s deadline.

    Irish Government scientists are reluctant to open turnstiles to fans given the current state of Covid in the country.

    And unless there is a change of stance in the next four weeks, it seems likely that the Irish will have to hand back the three group games and last-16 clash – which would involve England if Gareth Southgate’s team win their opening phase.

  • Josh Graham

    GUNNS BLAZING

    Arsenal are unhappy that Spurs have been given a leg-up by Uefa ahead of next week’s crunch North London derby.

    The two clubs were drawn to play away in the Europa League next Thursday ahead of their crucial match-up at the Emirates on the Sunday.

    But competition rules state that two games cannot be staged in the same city on the same day.

    Spurs will now play at home in the first leg of their tie against Dinamo Zagreb.

    Arsenal, meanwhile, must make a 4,000-mile round trip to Athens for their game against Olympiakos.

    Asked if it gave Spurs an edge, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “It does, but the decision has been made.

    “We can raise our voices and we should do that because we want to have two teams playing in equal conditions. So I will probably take the decision and use it to help in our motivation.”

  • Josh Graham

    WIJN TASTING

    Liverpool have reportedly identified three possible replacements for Georginio Wijnaldum should the midfielder depart in the summer.

    The 30-year-old is set to become a free agent at the end of the season with contract talks to extend his stay at Anfield believed to have reached a stalemate.

    Despite heavy interest from Barcelona, the Holland international is understood to have reached an agreement to join Inter Milan.

    And according to Goal, the Reds have already compiled a shortlist of players that can replace the ex-Newcastle ace.

    They state that Borussia Monchengladbach star Florian Neuhaus is a serious option, as well as former Arsenal target Houssem Aouar who has impressed at Lyon this term.

    Brighton's Yves Bissouma is another player Liverpool are claimed to be interested in, though they could face competition from Manchester United.

  • Josh Graham

    'WHY WE KNEEL'

    Patrick Van Aanholt became the latest player to be racially abused on social media.

    The full-back helped Crystal Palace to earn a 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Wednesday.

    The Dutch international, 30, shared the vile messages he had received afterwards.

    He posted a shot of the abuse via his Instagram story which he captioned “Why we kneel”.

    That refers to the custom of kneeling carried out by Premier League players prior to kick-off at matches this season to highlight the issue of racism.

  • Josh Graham

    THAT’LL BE DE GEA

    Gary Neville has cast doubt over David De Gea’s Manchester United future after revealing a ‘big decision is coming soon’.

    SunSport exclusively revealed last month that United plan to let either the Spaniard or Dean Henderson leave in the summer.

    Dean Henderson helped earn United a point at Palace
    De Gea, 30, missed last night’s drab 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace for ‘personal reasons’, with Henderson stepping in.

    It was the £120,000-a-week keeper’s first clean sheet in what was only his fourth Premier League appearance since being recalled from Sheffield United.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thanked Henderson after the game for getting him ‘one point, not zero’.

    When pressed on De Gea’s absence, the United boss would only say: “That’s a private matter. [His return] will take the time it takes.”

    Neville also chose his words carefully when asked on Twitter before the game if ‘time is over for De Gea in a United shirt?’. The former Red Devils skipper simply replied: “A big decision is coming soon.”

  • Josh Graham

    FORWARD THINKING

    Gabriel Jesus admits he has been left baffled by Pep Guardiola's decisions to leave him on the bench.

    And the Brazilian striker also revealed Pep has ‘changed’ his managerial style at Manchester City this season.

    Gabriel Jesus has been left baffled by Pep Guardiola's rotationCredit: Reuters

    City are cruising to a third Premier League title in four years after claiming a 21st successive victory in all competitions against Wolves to leave them 14 points clear.

    It has been made even more incredible considering first-choice striker Sergio Aguero has been absent for most of the season through injury – while back-up Jesus has made just 13 league starts with six goals and three assists.

    During City's record-breaking winning run, Pep has often opted to use a false nine with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.

    And Jesus admitted: "There were times when Kun and I stayed on the bench and Bernardo played. I don’t lie. Obviously, we don’t understand much.

    “We win the games. So, I’m happy with the victory. Obviously I want to be helping, I want to be on the pitch. But the team winning is what matters

  • Josh Graham

    TONI AWARD

    Antonio Rudiger has turned out to be just what the doctor ordered… by treating staff at Chelsea's local hospital to a feast.

    The big-hearted Blues defender marked his 28th birthday on Wednesday thanking medics at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital for their work in fighting Covid-19.

    Hospital staff enjoy a feast put on by Antonio RudigerCredit: cwpluscharity

    German international Rudiger laid on a spread of cakes, pastries and drinks at the West London facility, a stone's throw from Stamford Bridge.

    He said in a video message to staff: "I just wanted to say a big thank you. We all can't thank you enough for what you are doing in these difficult circumstances.

    "That's why on my birthday I wanted to share a few cakes and drinks with you people, as a little appreciation for the work you are doing and will still do.

    "I hope it won't be so much any more, and things will get better. I wish you and your families all the best.

    "Stay safe and keep doing what you are doing, because you are doing great work."

  • Josh Graham

    SINC OR SWIM

    Former West Ham and Man City winger Trevor Sinclair believes top clubs will be queuing up to land Tammy Abraham.

    The Chelsea striker's future has been thrown in doubt after he was axed from the matchday squad for the 0-0 draw with Manchester United.

    Tammy Abraham's future is up in the airCredit: PA:Press Association

    With two years left on his contract, clubs across Europe are now closely monitoring his situation.

    West Ham are already preparing to steal a march while Abraham's former club Aston Villa are also ready to make their move, according to The Birmingham Mail.

    Sinclair told talkSPORT: "His link-up play is excellent and he’s obviously a huge guy. He gets his goals.

    “If you look at some of the top sides in the Premier League, so many of them take him.

    “For me, Manchester City take him, Manchester United would need him, Arsenal would take him, Leicester City and West Ham would take him."

  • Josh Graham

    WILL EU HELP US?

    Fifa is trying to persuade South American chiefs to switch some of this month’s World Cup qualifiers to EUROPE – so that Premier League clubs can release their players.

    Liverpool chief Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he will block stars from travelling to their international fixtures.

    Big names such as Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are all due to be banned.

    Klopp will not allow his players to go away as they face ten days on strict hotel quarantine on their return from countries on the UK Government 'red list'.

    Portugal, all of South America and much of Africa is on the list.

    Manchester City are expected to take the same stance with Ederson, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero.

    Manchester United will also be able to keep Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles at Old Trafford rather than jet back home, with Portugal ace Bruno Fernandes set to be blocked.

  • Josh Graham

    EARN-BRU – EXCLUSIVE

    Bruno Fernandes is in line for a double-your-money pay rise at Manchester United at the end of the season.

    The Portuguese midfielder has been the best player in the last two campaigns for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stuttering side but is way behind in the earnings charts.

    SunSport understands he is expected to be handed a boost to his £100,000-a-week flat-rate wage.

    He does earn more in incentives and bonuses, but is still way behind David De Gea, Paul Pogba and Co.

    Fernandes is one of the lowest paid first-team players at Old Trafford, and is keen on a pay rise.

    It is expected his money will go up to around £200,000-a-week flat, with extras on top of that for appearances, goals and trophies.

    The ex-Sampdoria ace is only the seventh highest paid player, and earns only £20,000-a-week more than axed Juan Mata.

  • Josh Graham

    NO HOME COMFORT

    Liverpool will return to Budapest for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Leipzig.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side travelled to the Hungarian capital for a 2-0 first leg win because German Covid restrictions prevented the game being played in Leipzig.

    But the same regulations mean Leipzig could not return from the UK without entering into strict quarantine.

    As a result, Uefa agreed that the match would have to be switched.

    That means Liverpool will lose home advantage at Anfield.

    Now it has been confirmed the second leg will also be played in the Puskas arena.

    That makes it the first Champions League tie to see both matches played in the same stadium since AC Milan played Inter at the San Siro twice in the 2005 quarter-finals.

  • Josh Graham

    PROMISED LAND

    Chelsea will reportedly continue their pursuit of Erling Haaland despite the player having no interest in a move to West London.

    The Blues have not been put off by reports that the young strike sensation is opposed to a Stamford Bridge transfer.

    The Evening Standard report that Chelsea still believe the Norway international, 20, can spearhead their faltering attack.

    It comes after Sport Bild claimed Haaland had narrowed down his potential new clubs to a shortlist of six.

    It's said he would be open to joining Manchester United, Man City and Liverpool in the Premier League.

    Juventus and Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona would also be options – but Chelsea failed to make the cut.

    Borussia Dortmund's head of first-team football Sebastian Kehl said yesterday: "We assume that he will stay beyond the summer and become an even better player with us."

  • Josh Graham

    NO NOU BEGINNINGS

    Lionel Messi's emotional celebration led Barca fans to believe he will stick with the Catalan giants.

    With Ronald Koeman's men trailing 2-1 on aggregate, defender Gerard Pique headed in Antoine Griezmann's cross deep into added time.

    Lionel Messi’s emotional Barcelona celebration during win over Sevilla as fans say he will not quit beloved club

    Martin Braithwaite then sent the hosts into the final with a strike in extra-time against their nine-men opponents.

    And Messi's celebration for Pique's equaliser could have put any doubts of his unhappiness at the Nou Camp to bed.

    The Argentine was seen jumping for joy, pumping his fists on the edge of the box before sprinting over to his team-mates in celebration.

  • Josh Graham

    REAL DEAL

    Here's how Real Madrid could line up next season with a big summer spending spree after a year out of the market.

  • Josh Graham

    POWER SERG

    Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has reportedly targeted Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero as ‘a potential statement arrival’.

    Laporta, who is challenged by Victor Font and Antoni Freixa, will discover whether he is elected on Sunday amid a turbulent week at the Nou Camp.

    Former incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu was sensationally arrested while his replacement will be left to address huge debts that are believed to be around £1.1billion.

    Knowing the financial difficulties the LaLiga giants face, Laporta knows he must be prudent in the transfer market.

    City's all-time top scorer Aguero, 32, is out of contract in the summer and available for free.

    And with talks over an extension yet to take place, the Argentine has stated he will wait until the end of the season to decide his future.

    However, the Daily Mail claims he has been earmarked as a potential new signing by Laporta – and he hopes to pair him up with Lionel Messi in attack.

  • Josh Graham

    STAT'LL DO

    Thomas Tuchel could make Monaco star Aurelien Tchouameni his first major signing as Chelsea boss, according to reports.

    He is thought to be a keen admirer of the 21-year-old defensive midfielder should he want to bolster his options in the middle of the park, reports ESPN.

    Tchouameni has been hugely impressive in Ligue 1 this season, making 26 league starts.

    He has only been with Monaco for just over a year following his transfer from Bordeaux.

    The youngster would certainly add extra steel to Chelsea's midfield judging by his impressive stats this campaign.

    His average of 4.02 tackles per game is in the top two per cent of players in the 'big five leagues.'

    He is also in the top seven per cent of players for the amount of interceptions and aerial battles won.

  • Josh Graham

    'ASK THEM'

    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has blamed Real Madrid for Gareth Bale's slow start to the season.

    The Real winger has endured a difficult campaign following his loan move back to Spurs, who he left in September 2013 to join the Spanish champions.

    Jose Mourinho blamed Gareth Bale's parent club Real Madrid for his slow start at SpursCredit: Tom Jenkins/ The Guardian

    But the Wales international has recently begun to show glimpses of his old self, scoring a brace and bagging an assist in Tottenham's 4-0 rout of Burnley last weekend.

    When asked why it's taken so long for Bale to get up to speed, Mourinho said: "Why for the past two years he had what he had in Madrid. Ask them.

    "Maybe if they answer you, you can understand better why he took a while.

    "Maybe to being patient was the main reason for him to reach the level he showed in the last couple of weeks."

  • Josh Graham

    HAMMER TIME

    West Gan are reportedly eyeing up a £13million move for Besiktas striker Cyle Larin in the summer to replace Sebastien Haller.

    The Hammers failed to bring in a centre-forward in the winter transfer window after allowing Haller to join Ajax for £20m.

    David Moyes has had to rely on Michail Antonio up top, with winger Jarrod Bowen also having to start as a makeshift striker.

    But according to Sabah, the London outfit are poised to return with a second offer for Larin at the end of the season.

    The Turkish news outlet stated that West Ham have retained an interest in the player despite having a £9m bid rejected by Besiktas in January.

    It has been claimed that the Super Lig side would be prepared to let the 25-year-old depart should they receive a fee in the region of £13m.

  • Josh Graham

    FER THE GREATER GOOD

    Manchester United could BLOCK Bruno Fernandes from playing for Portugal this month with the Premier League set to hold crisis talks.

    Portugal have three World Cup qualifiers – against Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg – later in March.

    Bruno Fernandes could be blocked from playing for PortugalCredit: Rex Features

    But Fernandes, 26, could miss all of them, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believed to be considering banning him from taking part.

    Portugal is one of the countries on the ‘red list’ – which would force Fernandes to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for ten days on his return to the UK.

    Fifa recently relaxed rules regarding clubs releasing players for international duty due to coronavirus.

    But Premier League clubs are still worried about placing their stars in the middle of a club versus country row – with 16 of the 20 clubs having players from ‘red list’ countries on their books.

  • Josh Graham

    ‘GENEROUS LIKE GAZZA’

    Ian Wright has fiercely defended Martin Odegaard after criticism from former Arsenal team-mates Martin Keown and Tony Adams.

    And the legendary former goalscorer even sensationally compared the Norwegian loanee to Paul Gascoigne.

    He said on the Wrighty’s House podcast: “People like Odegaard, he brings people into the game, he gives you touches.

    “I remember when I played with Gazza, Gazza was amazing for that. He gives you the ball, you get touches of the ball.

    “I remember playing for England the first time. He said: ‘Wrighty, whenever I’m gonna get it, be behind me, let me know where you are, I’ll turn it round the corner for you, you give it back to me, I’ll pass it out, get yourself some touches early doors and get your confidence up.’

    “That’s what he’s like, a generous player.”

  • Josh Graham

    LAP DOG

    Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona this summer unless Joan Laporta wins the Catalan giants' presidential election.

    That is the claim made by the man himself who suggests the Spanish side cannot compete financially with other offers for the Argentine legend.

    Laporta said: "We will not be able to compete in money with other offers that [Messi] has.

    "What he wants is to win again. I have a great relationship with Leo and he will value the proposal I make. 

    "I am the only one who can ensure his continuity. If I don't win, I'm sure Leo won't continue at Barca. 

    "He was not very happy with Freixa's time, when they let him see that he was expendable.

    "My relationship with the Messi family has always been excellent."

  • Josh Graham

    BLUES LOSE

    Chelsea have 'no chance' of signing Erling Haaland but Manchester United are reportedly one of six possible destinations for the Norwegian.

    The 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund star has bagged 43 goals in 45 games since joining the Bundesliga side from RB Salzburg in January 2020.

    And respected German outlet Sport Bild say that Chelsea have 'no chance' to sign the £150m striker, and neither do Bayern Munich.

    The report in Germany also says that Haaland has narrowed his choices down to six clubs.

    Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City would be the only Premier League sides Haaland might join.

    And the 20-year-old is also interested in joining Juventus or either Spanish giants Real Madrid or Barcelona.

    The report adds that Haaland wants to join a 'top club' and not take another intermediate step.

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