Pogba and Fabinho OUT this weekend, Tiago Tomas to Arsenal EXCLUSIVE, Man Utd, Chelsea, Tottenham transfer news

LIVERPOOL and Leicester kick-off a bumper weekend of Premier League action on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile we've the very latest on a potential swoop from Arsenal for Tiago Tomas, plus an update on Paul Pogba's injury problems.

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Read our live blog below to get the latest from around the clubs…

  • William Pugh

    NO LOVE LLOS

    Arsenal can reportedly turn Dani Ceballos’ loan spell at the Emirates into a permanent deal for just £22million.

    The Spanish midfielder – who is in his second season on loan in North London – has become a firm fan favourite, with supporters loving his tireless work rate.

    According to La Razon, Los Blancos are seeking a fee in the region of £22million for Ceballos.

    The LaLiga giants are in desperate need to raise funds, and believe selling Ceballos is an easy way of doing so.

    However should Arsenal decide to make a move for the midfielder, they are set to face competition from his former employers Real Betis.

    It has been claimed that Betis have identified him as the perfect replacement for Nabil Fekir if the Frenchman departs in the summer.

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  • William Pugh

    KEANE TO GET GOING

    Roy Keane has joined Instagram!

    The Irishman has developed a hard-man reputation from his playing days into his pundit career.

    And fellow player turned TV-favourite Ian Wright shared the news on his own Insta account.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Ian Wright (@wrightyofficial)

  • William Pugh

    BIEL TOLLS

    Marcelo Bielsa is suing former club Lille for £16.6million – and hit out in a French court after being interrupted for speaking over his permitted time.

    On a video conference earlier today, the Leeds boss was given 15 minutes in his appeal over unpaid compensation following his 2017 sacking. But Bielsa spoke for 45 minutes and became ‘angry’ when those overseeing proceedings spoke over him.

    According to Get France Football News, the Argentine said: “I have suffered abuse and you will not allow me to complete my presentation.”

    In December 2017, six months before his Elland Road arrival, he was fired after just 13 games for ‘serious fault’ with Lille in a relegation scrap.

    Having not received the money he believed he was owed after signing a two-year deal worth £7.5m, Bielsa, 65, filed a lawsuit. And he appealed the decision after the claim was rejected in March 2018 and he was ordered to pay £263,000 in damages.

    The case centres on two contracts the ex-Argentina head coach signed at the time of his appointment at the Ligue 1 club in 2017.

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  • William Pugh

    WILL POWER

    Joe Willock has revealed he isn’t thinking about about his future at Arsenal as he insisted his focus is purely on Newcastle.

    The 21-year-old joined the Magpies on loan until the end of the season in the winter transfer window, and made an instant impression on his debut last week.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “When I decided to come here I had a sense of peace. I didn’t ever feel like it was going to be the wrong one (decision). When I came here, everyone was so welcoming.

    “My first day everyone was speaking to me, I was speaking to the manager, that was when I knew it was the right decision and to score on my debut and to get three points is an even bigger plus.

    “I’m trying to focus on what I have to do now, focus on Newcastle United. I’m not really looking at Arsenal at the moment. I’m here to prove to Newcastle United that I can play every week and affect the games and win games for them.

    “I’m not really looking at Arsenal, when that time comes for me to make a decision to go back or not that will come. But right now, I’m focused on Newcastle and I’m loving every minute that I’m here.”

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  • William Pugh

    SO UN-FLAIR

    Ravel Morrison claims he is 'baffled' by Wilfried Zaha blaming their infamous on-pitch bust-up with England Under-21s on his Ronaldinho-style showboating.

    Lion Cub sub Nathan Redmond broke up the duo’s shoving match during a 5-0 win over Lithuania eight years ago.

    Zaha told the On The Judy podcast this week that he got “mad” at ex-Manchester United winger Morrison‘s mix of flicks and tricks – accusing him of “moving like he was Ronaldinho and the rest of us were just no-one”.

    Now Morrison, 28, has responded on social media, telling the Crystal Palace superstar to 'state facts' and 'talk serious'. Morrison, who was with West Ham at the time, has tried to laugh off Zaha’s claims on Instagram.

    He wrote: “Wilfried lol… Come on, let’s jump on a three-way live and state facts, what a dude.”

    And in another post he said: “Silent… please come on, let’s talk serious, haha baffled.”

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  • William Pugh

    IN GOOD NIC

    Mikel Arteta reckons Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe is ready to go to the ‘next level’.

    The 25-year-old has certainly failed to live up to the hype since his whopping £72million move from Lille.

    Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash against Leeds – the club Pepe was shown a straight red card against in November – Arteta said: “I think he’s done much much better.

    “I think there has been a click with him, even in his mentality, how he’s approaching every training session, the importance of every action in the game and how he can sustain his focus and his determination during games.

    “I really like his attitude. What’s he’s done in the last few weeks I think it’s been much better.

    “He still has a lot of room to improve and grow and he’s willing to do that so I’m expecting him to go to the next level very soon.”

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  • William Pugh

    ANTISOCIAL NETWORK

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his players to stay off social media to avoid abuse.

    Personal and racial abuse of players has become rife on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

    Manchester United stars including Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe have received horrific messages recently.

    United boss Solskjaer said: “We’ve already come too far anyway at this concept and the abuse has gone overboard and is unacceptable.

    “We would hope we have educated our players enough to stay away from much of the criticism.

    “To stop this would be easy, should be so easy that people just have to verify who they are and not all those fake name as and stuff. That’s my wish if you want to have an account it has to be verified.”

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  • William Pugh

    YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND

    Jose Mourinho has revealed the true state of his relationship with Pep Guardiola – a friendship where they consoled each over the deaths of parents.

    Mourinho and Guardiola have spent much of their managerial careers in direct competition with each other in Spain and now in England.

    But Tottenham boss Mourinho says there is a secret side the world is unlikely to see when he takes his team to the Etihad to face Manchester City today.

    He said: “Football matches, football problems if you want to call them – for me, I’m from the generation where what happens in a football match stays in the football match and I have only positive feelings and good respect.

    “There are moments in life where we don’t forget things. One of the things I don’t forget was when my father died he knew how important my dad was to me so he had a call.

    “By the way, today would be my dad’s birthday, he would be 83 today and, of course when his mum died I replied the same way. So there are things that people don’t see, we don’t need to share."

  • William Pugh

    GOOD BAY

    Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly one of three clubs that are keen on signing Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun on a free transfer.

    The 19-year-old is set to depart the Emirates in the summer when his contract expires with contract negotiations believed to have stalled.

    Arsenal have been desperate to tie the youngster down to a new deal as they restarted talks with the player in November.

    But there is now growing fears that the club are resigned to losing the England youth international who could move abroad in search of regular game time.

    According to the Mirror, Bayer Leverkusen have emerged a possible destination for Balogun and are ready to offer him a lucrative contract.

    The news outlet also stated that fellow Bundesliga side Stuttgart are interested in the American-born forward, as well as Ligue 1 outfit Rennes.

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  • William Pugh

    NOT SO FAB

    Liverpool's mounting defensive problems have deepened after Fabinho was ruled out of tomorrow’s trip to Leicester City.

    The Brazilian midfielder has been redeployed as an emergency centre-back this season due to the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

    Fabinho had only just returned from a hamstring injury for last weekend’s 4-1 humbling defeat to Manchester City.

    Yet the 27-year-old suffered a relapse this week and Jurgen Klopp revealed ‘a small muscle injury’ has ruled him out of the game against Leicester.

    And Fabinho now faces a fight to be ready for the the first leg of Liverpool’s last 16 Champions League clash with RB Leipzig next week.

    But it does mean that Reds boss Klopp is set to hand a Premier League debut to either Ozan Kabak or Ben Davies alongside Jordan Henderson.

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  • William Pugh

    FLEET FACTOR

    Joey Barton claims he paid backroom staff out of his own pocket and even offered to fund the wages of goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler at Fleetwood.

    Barton, 38, has recently appeared on Robbie Fowler’s podcast to discuss his rollercoaster and controversial career.

    He said: “I brought a number one in (Joel Coleman) and he injured his hamstring. I brought a number two in (Jayson Leutwiler) and he ended up being number one.

    “He [Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley] told me he wasn’t going to renew Leutwiler’s contract and he’d done superbly. I said I’d pay him out of my own money.

    “I was paying for staff. I was paying for stuff for some of the lads myself because I wanted Fleetwood to win. I didn’t take money home really – I was just paying other members of staff who I felt I needed.

    “I offered to pay for Leuts. He said no and I knew at that point he wanted to dictate the team.”

  • William Pugh

    JUST SO SAD

    Leicester City have been handed a crippling blow with the news their outstanding defender James Justin has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

    The 22-year-old was stretchered off during the Foxes’ midweek 1-0 FA Cup win against Brighton after jarring his right knee when he landed awkwardly on the turf.

    Initially manager Brendan Rodgers was hopeful the damage was minimal as Justin was able to walk soon afterwards.

    But those hopes have been cruelly dashed on the eve of tomorrow’s crucial lunchtime clash with champions Liverpool, as Rodgers revealed scans have shown Justin has suffered ACL damage which will require surgery and effectively end his season.

    The news will also come as a setback for England as Gareth Southgate had watched the £8million signing from Luton Town recently after the versatile England Under-21 star was tipped for a senior call-up.

    “The scan hasn’t shown up so well. It looks like he has done his ACL which is a devastating blow for us because he has been incredible,” Rodgers revealed.

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  • William Pugh

    ENGLAND NETS SALMON

    Ebony Salmon has received her first senior call-up to the Lionesses ahead of their friendly clash with Northern Ireland this month.

    The Bristol City striker will join the rest of the squad when they meet at the national team’s training base at St. George’s Park.

    Salmon, 20, who joined the Robins from Manchester United in 2019, has been in fine form for the club this term, netting five goals in 13 WSL appearances.

    England Women’s coach Hege Riise said “Ebony is a player who we have monitored closely for her club and through our development teams and is a young talented player who we think will benefit from exposure to the senior environment.

    “She has been performing consistently at club level, showing great speed and scoring goals so we are excited to welcome her on camp next week.”

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  • William Pugh

    AL BE OK

    Alexandre Lacazette shared a joke with Granit Xhaka after coming off worse during a clash with his Arsenal team-mate.

    The French striker shared a picture of his bloodied sock after he was hurt by the Swiss midfielder during training on Friday.

    Lacazette posted the picture on Instagram and wrote: “By Granit Xhaka, I thought we were friends”.

    Thankfully for Arsenal fans, the 29-year-old is not in any danger of missing this weekend’s home clash against Leeds.

    Lacazette is expected to lead the line at the Emirates after leading the Gunners’ recent revival after a crisis of confidence earlier in the season.

    The former Lyon man will have just a year left on his contract in the summer and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid. Although Arsenal are yet to open talks with Lacazette over a new deal but the club are said to be very happy with his attitude in training.

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  • William Pugh

    NEW START

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promoted Manchester United kids Hannibal Mejbri and Shola Shoretire to his senior squad.

    The Red Devils boss confirmed on Friday that the pair will stay with the first team for a ‘while’ after impressing for the U23s.

    Mejbri, 18, is an attacking midfield playmaker who hails from France and has become a vital member of the youth team.

    Meanwhile, English winger Shoretire, 17, signed his first professional contract earlier this month after netting a hat-trick against Blackburn.

    And both prodigies will now get a chance to impress alongside the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

    Solskjaer revealed: “First of all, the young kids – we’ve moved Shola up with us. Hannibal will join us and we’ll keep them with us for a while. I think it’s the next step in their development."

    Man United youngster Shola Shortire has been promoted to the senior squadCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Hannibal Mejbri is also training with United’s senior starsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • William Pugh

    BEEK OFF THE MENU-NITED

    Donny van de Beek must depart Manchester United to stop being Bruno Fernandes’ 'side dish' and prove he is a special talent, claims Jermaine Jenas.

    Former Spurs midfielder Jenas told the Mirror: “It was a strange move in the first place for Donny to go there.

    ‘It is very similar to the issue Tottenham have with finding a replacement for Harry Kane, which is why they’ve never found anyone of close quality. People know they’re not going to play.

    “The only way you get the best out of any player is you fill them with confidence, especially players like him, by playing them every week, making them feel part of the project and showing they’re not just the side dish.

    “When he was at Ajax I saw a player that was a problem for teams, arriving late in the box, scoring goals. At the minute he just plays safe and because of the position he plays he’s always being compared to another player – their best player (Fernandes).

    ‘Unfortunately the only way I see him getting back to a confident state and playing again is to move. He needs to be the special player.”

  • William Pugh

    PARTEY POOPER

    Arsenal will welcome back Bernd Leno and David Luiz to their squad against Leeds – but will be without Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

    Partey limped off injured in the Gunners’ defeat at Aston Villa last weekend, with manager Mikel Arteta confirming he is out.

    Arteta said: “It is a difficult one, he felt something during the game and we didn’t think it was too bad but after the scan looked a little bit worse.

    “He won’t be available to play against Leeds and we will see how it evolves in the next two days but it is a muscular issue.”

    Left-back Tierney has missed the last four league games with Arteta revealing he is still struggling with a knee problem.

    Keeper Leno and Luiz were both sent off against Wolves and as a result missed the trip to Villa. Mat Ryan filled in between the posts but is likely to be replaced at the Emirates.

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  • William Pugh

    RON AND ONLY

    Cristiano Ronaldo has continued to set records on and off the pitch after reaching 500million followers on social media.

    The Juventus superstar became the first celebrity to hit the historic half a billion figure across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    The 36-year-old pops up on 124m Facebook feeds, 91m users’ Twitter timelines and his photos appear to a whopping 261m people on Instagram.

    Other than Insta’s own personal account with 386m followers, Ronaldo’s page is the most followed of anyone in the world.

    Even on YouTube, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner exceeds a million despite not using the account for four years.

    Ronaldo‘s great rival Lionel Messi only boasts 90m Facebook followers and 183m on Instagram, while the Argentine doesn’t have Twitter.

    undefinedCredit: Instagram / @cristiano
  • William Pugh

    KEI SERA, SERA

    Keisuke Honda has seen his Portimonense contract terminated after just FIVE DAYS.

    The iconic Japanese playmaker, 34, only signed for the Portuguese outfit at the start of the week.

    However, Portimonense were unable to register Honda for their relegation battle in the Primeira Liga, even though he was a free transfer. And the veteran is now without a club after agreeing to axe his deal without making one single appearance.

    But Honda remains hopeful of finding a new side as soon as possible, with the midfielder eager to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

    Honda, who played 98 times for his country before retiring from full international duty in 2018, had only just left Brazilian outfit Botafogo in December.

    His time with the Samba side was not a success, scoring just three goals in 27 games as Botafogo suffered relegation to Serie B.

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  • William Pugh

    BOOTIFUL TOUCH

    Lionel Messi has donated the boots he scored his record-breaking 644th goal in to charity to raise money for children with cancer.

    In December the six-time Ballon d'Or winner hit that total in Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Valencia.

    The goal beat Pele's 643 goals for a single club – though the Brazil legend and his former club Santos dispute this.

    Now the boots are sitting encased in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona.

    They will remain there for a month before they are auctioned off for charity.

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  • William Pugh

    DRUG SHOCK

    The FA have revealed former Cardiff winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing served a three-month ban after testing positive for cocaine.

    Mendez-Laing’s September departure from the Bluebirds was shrouded in mystery after he was only said to have 'breached his contract'.

    The 28-year-old re-emerged at the start of this month when it was announced he had signed for former Cardiff chief Neil Warnock at Championship rivals Middlesbrough on a free transfer.

    But now the FA have stated Mendez-Laing tested positive for the banned drug after the 1-0 win at Bristol City on July 4., in which he played the first 66 minutes. The B-sample confirmed the result the following month.

    Mendez-Laing, who was suspended from August 14 pending the process, told an FA commission he had taken the drug the night before his positive sample – meaning it is considered an 'out of competition' breach under UK anti doping regulations.

    The wideman, in line for his Boro debut at Derby on Saturday, said: “With the help of my family, close friends, my agent, and the PFA during this extremely difficult time, I have been able to overcome my personal hurdles.

    “I now want to leave that period of my life in the past where it belongs. I'm excited about the future and delighted to be back doing what I love."

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  • William Pugh

    DIAL IT DOWN – HOW MAN UTD COULD LINE-UP vs WEST BROM

    Manchester United will restart their Premier League title bid without in-form midfielder Paul Pogba.

    The French World Cup winner is sidelined with a thigh injury meaning there will be a shakeup in midfield.

    But winter signing Amad Diallo is unlikely to come into the starting XI and will instead fight for a space on the subs bench.

    Keeper Dean Henderson was back in between the posts for United’s FA Cup win against West Ham, keeping a clean sheet in the 1-0 win.

    It came days after No1 David de Gea was criticised for conceding three in the 3-3 draw with Everton at Old Trafford.

    Henderson is not expected to keep his position, despite De Gea being at fault for Everton’s first goal.

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  • Marc Mayo

    REMATCH

    Joey Barton has lifted the lid on his version of his infamous training ground fight with Ousmane Dabo at Manchester City – and offered the Frenchman a shot at ‘revenge’ in a charity match.

    The former midfielder, 38, was hit with a six-match ban by the Football Association in 2008 for assaulting his then Etihad team-mate on May 1, 2007.

    Barton told Robbie Fowler’s podcast: “Dabo slapped me at the training ground so he got put a kip.

    “That was his own fault and if I see him any time and he wants to – you see all these Jake Pauls and that on Youtube, if Ousmane wants to give me a shout and he wants to do it for charity and get his own back… 

    “At the end of the day, where I’m from, if someone opens palms or slaps you or comes towards you to hit you, you don’t stand around and go ‘I’ll see what he’s doing, I’ll see if this dig hurts me’.

    “Ousmane went out the next day because he knew he couldn’t have done anything about it.

    “All his mates were there, Distin’s and all that. After I’d knocked him out, and bear in mind after he’d threw the first dig and got knocked out, [Stuart] Pearce separated us.”

  • Marc Mayo

    RAISE THE BAR

    Former Chelsea target Nico Barella is reportedly seen as a future Inter Milan captain.

    La Gazzetta dello Sport report on the Italian midfielder being pushed forward as an armband candidate having impressed at the Giuseppe Meazza.

    With a contract to 2024, Inter are confident Barella will stick around for the long-term and succeed current captain Samir Handanovic.

  • Marc Mayo

    SAFE HANDS

    Siobhan Chamberlain has praised Manchester United boss Casey Stoney for turning the club into WSL title contenders.

    And the ex-United keeper reckons Stoney's development of young starlets in her side has been instrumental in the team's ascent this season.

    Former England star Chamberlain, 37, told the Press Association: "It's definitely happened a lot quicker than I think a lot of people would have expected.

    "Casey has developed those players – young players who probably weren't recognised as much as they are now.

    "She's developed them into quality players who are performing week in, week out, and that's one of the biggest things, the consistency of performance that you've seen from Manchester United this season."

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