Real Madrid trying to fund £150m Mbappe move, Haaland agent meets Barcelona – Chelsea, Liverpool transfer news

ERLING HAALAND'S representatives have held a positive meeting with Barcelona today regarding a potential transfer to the club.

Agent Mino Raiola and dad Alf-Inge Haaland flew to Spain and met with Barca president Joan Laporta as Europe's top clubs vie for the Norwegian's signature.

And no sooner than they were done there did they fly across the country to meet with Real Madrid.

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  • William Pugh

    CHARLIE WYETT

    Gareth Southgate should revert to a back three with wing-backs for Euro2020. And I would still start Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    My formation would be different if Jordan Henderson was definitely going to be fit and ready but this seems unlikely.

    But the current central midfield is not experienced enough to give protection to the defence so I would have three at the back and use Alexander-Arnold’s attacking ability along with Ben Chilwell’s.

    We keep talking about playing to our attacking strengths. But like Portugal in 2016, we have to concentrate on not conceding first and the rest should follow.

    Up front, Phil Foden gets in ahead of Marcus Rashford. Jude Bellingham should scrape into Southgate’s squad of 23 as he offers something different.

    I don’t think Henderson will be 100 per cent fit and on too many occasions – although not the last World Cup – England have taken injured players.

    Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Eric Dier, because of his versatility, all squeeze in. No place for James Maddison, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Trippier or Reece James.

    SQUAD: Pickford, Pope, Henderson, Alexander-Arnold, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Dier, Mings, Chilwell, Shaw, Mount, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Bellingham, Sancho, Foden, Grealish, Kane, Sterling, Rashford, Calvert-Lewin, Ings.

  • William Pugh

    DAVE KIDD

    There are some tough decisions to make – especially at right-back and in wide areas, where England have a wealth of talent.

    Reece James, Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard may all make Southgate’s squad and Kalvin Phillips certainly will, but they all miss out on my 23.

    And Trent Alexander-Arnold’s absence has certainly caused ire on Merseyside but he is now relying on injuries to make the squad.

    The starting line-up is slightly easier, going with Southgate’s preferred 4-2-3-1 – although Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish will be pressing hard for starts.

    SQUAD: Pickford, Pope, D Henderson, Walker, Trippier, Maguire, Stones, Mings, Coady, Chilwell, Shaw, Rice, J Henderson, Bellingham, Ward-Prowse, Mount, Foden, Grealish, Saka, Sterling, Rashford, Kane, Greenwood.

  • William Pugh

    FREE LIONS

    Gareth Southgate has some big decisions ahead as he picks his 23-man squad for the European Championships that start in June.

    And the decisions won’t get any easier as the 50-year-old then has to pick a starting XI and favoured formation for the tournament opener against Croatia on June 13.

    Here, four of SunSport’s esteemed reporters give their squads and starting XI for the Euros…

  • William Pugh

    TEDDY HAPPY RETURNS!

    Manchester United wished their former striker Teddy Sheringham a happy birthday as he turns 55.

    The ex-West Ham and Tottenham striker played for United for four years between 1997 and 2001.

  • Jack Figg

    GOOD MORNING FOOTBALL FANS,

    Jesse Lingard is emerging as a wildcard selection for Gareth Southgate’s 23-man Euros squad.

    The midfielder, a stalwart of England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, has come from nowhere to be a serious contender again.

    His outstanding form on loan at West Ham had earned the Manchester United outcast a shock call-up to Southgate’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers — and Lingard played in all three.

    When naming that party, Southgate admitted Lingard, 28, had been ‘lucky’ to be included, because of injuries to Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.

    But it is believed that Southgate has been so impressed by Lingard’s form, as well as his huge popularity within the squad, that he is trying to figure out who to omit to find room for him.

    That could mean the axe for Sancho or Grealish — both would be huge calls.

    Meanwhile, Harry Kane is set to stay at Tottenham this summer with the club refusing to let him join another Premier League team.

    And unless the big guns in Spain are able to come up with the £175million that would be needed to get the England captain out, Kane, 27, accepts he will be a Spurs player next season.

    Kane realises he might have to quit his boyhood club to win football’s biggest prizes — but he is loyal to Tottenham, he loves the club and is not currently willing to force his way out.

    The star striker has three years to run on the bumper contract he signed in June 2018 and hopes the club will match his ambitions in that time.

    But SunSport understands Spurs are ready to dig their heels in and make it almost impossible for him to get away before then if Kane did make the first move.

    And finally, Sheffield United have put Oostende boss Alexander Blessin on their list of possible replacements for Chris Wilder.

    The Premier League basement boys have had Under 23 chief Paul Heckingbottom in temporary charge since Wilder departed in mid-March.

    And the job that German coach Blessin has done in Belgium is believed to have caught the eye of the Bramall Lane hierarchy.

    It is understood the 47-year-old has met with the Blades top brass on a couple of occasions already and another meeting has been pencilled in.

    Oostende currently sit fourth in their domestic league.

  • Joe Brophy

    LIN BUSINESS

    Exclusive by Dave Kidd: Jesse Lingard is emerging as a wildcard selection for Gareth Southgate’s 23-man Euros squad.

    The midfielder, a stalwart of England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, has come from nowhere to be a serious contender again.

    His outstanding form on loan at West Ham had earned the Manchester United outcast a shock call-up to Southgate’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers — and Lingard played in all three.

    When naming that party, Southgate admitted Lingard, 28, had been ‘lucky’ to be included, because of injuries to Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.

    But it is believed that Southgate has been so impressed by Lingard’s form, as well as his huge popularity within the squad, that he is trying to figure out who to omit to find room for him.

    That could mean the axe for Sancho or Grealish — both would be huge calls.

  • Joe Brophy

    KON-CERNED

    Liverpool target Ibrahima Konate is reportedly growing increasingly frustrated with life at RB Leipzig.

    The centre-back is tipped to make the move to Anfield this summer, via a £34million release clause in his contract.

    A number of teams are said to still be in the running for his signature with no transfer announced yet.

    But Leipzig’s chances of keeping Konate appear to be dwindling amid the latest reports from the Bundesliga club.

    According to Sky Germany, he is growing increasingly dissatisfied with being stuck on the bench.

  • Joe Brophy

    MAD NOT TO

    Real Madrid will sell over £150million worth of talent currently out on loan in order to fund a move for Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe, according to reports.

    Club president Florentino Perez is desperate to land a new superstar striker this summer.

    But to do so, Los Blancos need to permanently offload players currently in their 'loan box', according to AS.

    Among the most valuable assets are Arsenal duo Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos, with the Norwegian in particular having impressed.

  • Joe Brophy

    MARK IRWIN

  • Joe Brophy

    GONE TOO SOON

    Yeovil Town have announced the sad news that their captain Lee Collins had died suddenly aged 32.

    Collins was an unused sub in Yeovil's last game, a 3-1 home win against Barnet on Saturday.

    A police statement added: "Officers attended a report of a sudden death at an address in High Street, West Coker yesterday evening at about 5pm.

    “Sadly, the body of a 32-year-old man was located.

    “His death is not being treated as suspicious and has been referred to the coroner.

    “His family have been informed and our thoughts are with them.”

  • Joe Brophy

    MISS ROO

    Bruno Fernandes has named Wayne Rooney as one of the former Manchester United players he’d loved to have played with.

  • Joe Brophy

    GOOD FOR HER

    Isobel Goodwin has landed her first senior contract with Aston Villa Women days before the team's clash with Everton.

    The teenage striker, who is battling with a knee injury, shared her delight at signing with the WSL team with more than a thousand of her followers on Instagram.

    Goodwin, 19, said: "This is something I've dreamt of and worked very hard for. A proud moment for me and my family.

    "I wouldn’t be where I am now without all the support I’ve had from family, friends and coaches.

    "Determined more than ever to get back on the pitch."

  • Joe Brophy

    CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

    Serbian firefighters have posed with Cristiano Ronaldo's discarded captain's armband, which is being auctioned off for charity.

    The Portuguese legend furiously tossed the armband to the ground in disgust, after being denied a last minute winner against Serbia in Belgrade last weekend.

    It is now being auctioned to the highest bidder, in order to help fund a £2.1million treatment for six-month old youngster Gavril Djurdjevic, who suffers with spinal muscular atrophy.

  • Joe Brophy

    ROCK ON WOOD

    Richard Wood knows about uphill struggles so Rotherham’s fight against relegation is water off a duck’s back.

    The Millers captain’s 12-year-old son Jenson everyday lives with type 1 diabetes.

    It is something Woods and his partner Jade have had to worry about since their son was diagnosed with the condition aged two.

    So a battle against dropping into League One and a crazy schedule – which after Friday’s trip to Millwall and Monday’s home game with Wycombe – includes Rotherham playing four games in just eight days.

    But this pales into insignificance when people like Jenson are battling more serious problems.

    Read Justin Allen's exclusive interview HERE.

  • Joe Brophy

    NEW LANDS

    Erling Haaland would by far be the Premier League’s top earner should he get his £600,000-a-week wage demands.

    The Norwegian superstar is being targeted by plenty of European powerhouses for a summer transfer.

  • Joe Brophy

    OUT OF RANGE

    Jermain Defoe says Celtic-linked Eddie Howe didn’t know how to handle him as a player – and that they had no personal relationship.

    The pair were together at Bournemouth after Defoe returned for a second spell in 2017 on a three-year deal.

    He told talkSPORT: “I went to Bournemouth and just didn’t really get an opportunity, didn’t get a run of games.

    “I didn’t really have a relationship with the manager. I was closer to his assistant Jason Tindall.

    “I just felt like the manager, he probably didn’t know how to manage me for whatever reason. That was it really.

    “I know all the stats – round about that time, in terms of late goals scored, 90 minutes-plus, I think I was first in the Premier League to be honest.

    “So I always thought, okay then, put my ego to the side a little bit, if I’m not starting, at least I can come on and try and get a goal and help the team.

    “But towards the end I almost felt like I was forced out. And then that was it."

  • Joe Brophy

    CHECK MAIT

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles is reportedly planning to QUIT Arsenal when he returns from his West Brom loan this summer.

    The Telegraph claims that Maitland-Niles, 23, is ready to leave the Gunners having joined them aged just SIX years old in 2003.

  • Joe Brophy

    MORE FROM WARNOCK

    Mourinho is on the verge of the sack at Spurs, having alienated fans and some members of his squad with his increasingly negative tactics.

    But Warnock still holds great admiration for the former two-time Champions League winner

    The ex-Cardiff boss added: "He might not be everybody's cup of tea, but have a look at what he's won.

    "I've got a lot of time for him.

    "He always texts me two or three times a year and I do the same.

    "You just admire people like that."

  • Joe Brophy

    WARN WITH PRIDE

    Neil Warnock has lifted the lid on his friendship with Jose Mourinho.

    The EFL veteran told Sky Sports: "I had two wonderful photographs sent to me and my wife Sharon and me and Jose – She loved Jose.

    "On the letter it said 'Dear Sharon, please find enclosed two photographs of your two favourite handsome men'. It was me and Jose.

    "I thought she might have just crossed me out with a pen because he's a good looking lad isn't he?"

  • Joe Brophy

    HOWE ABOUT THAT

    Here's how Celtic could line up with Eddie Howe in charge…

  • Joe Brophy

    AGENT ARREST

    Three men including a UK football agent have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged FA hearing fraud.

    The trio were collared by the North West Regional Organised Crime unit as part of their ‘Operation Peony’ probe.

    In a statement confirming the arrests, police said they were ‘in relation to an ongoing investigation into allegations of perverting the course of justice and fraud at an FA Arbitration Hearing in 2015’.

    It has been alleged that phone retailer Sport Mobile, which provided devices for a large number of major figures in British sport, was able to edit bills – and either ‘invent’ or delete calls and texts.

    The probe centres on allegations that an agent’s bills were altered by the addition of a number of ‘fake calls’ before the hearing in which he was in dispute with a leading player.

    Sport Mobile has denied the claims.

  • Joe Brophy

    KON AND GET ME

    Liverpool target Ibrahima Konate is reportedly growing increasingly frustrated with life at RB Leipzig.

    The centre-back is tipped to make the move to Anfield this summer, via a £34million release clause in his contract.

    A number of teams are said to still be in the running for his signature with no transfer announced yet.

    But Leipzig's chances of keeping Konate appear to be dwindling amid the latest reports from the Bundesliga club.

    According to Sky Germany, he is growing increasingly dissatisfied with being stuck on the bench.

    Not since December has the Frenchman started a game for Leipzig and he watched both defeats to Liverpool in their recent Champions League encounter as a substitute.

  • Joe Brophy

    RED CARD

    A Serbian referee was slapped with a 15-month jail-term and ten-year football ban after awarding a scandalous penalty.

    Srbjan Obradovic gave two highly contentious penalties – both scored – in Spartak Subotica's 2-0 win against Radnicki Nis in the Serbian league in 2018.

    The game was a crucial match in the league's play-off stage and the winner would have a key advantage in securing Europa League qualification.

  • Joe Brophy

    WHO'S NEXT?

    Erling Haaland's dad Alf Inge and agent Mino Raiola have now reportedly flown to Madrid for transfer talks with Real.

    On Thursday morning the pair were seen at Barcelona's El-Prat Airport to meet with representatives from the Catalans.

    Now it is Real Madrid's turn – and there will be another THREE clubs visited, according to Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano.

    He posted on Twitter that Raiola and Haaland Sr are speaking 'with five top clubs interested, their projects, proposals and then decide for the future'.

    The two Manchester clubs and Chelsea are believed to be the other three clubs sniffing around the lethal Borussia Dortmund striker.

  • Joe Brophy

    PIQ YOURSELF UP

    Gerard Pique has revealed he smashed up Barcelona’s dressing room at Anfield after Liverpool inflicted the ‘biggest’ defeat of his career in 2019.

    When asked about the biggest loss of his career by TV show Nexes, the Spaniard replied: “Anfield.

    “I’m not the kind of player who comes into the dressing room throwing things on the floor to express my anger.

    “But because of the first-leg advantage, I did just that.”

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