Barcelona have confirmed they will assist the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Barcelona and the police department after finding certain irregularities during a forensic investigation into the club's financial situation under the previous board.

The Catalan giants' financial issues in recent years have been widely reported, which led to club legend Lionel Messi having to leave for Paris Saint-Germain last year after LaLiga denied his contract renewal due to the salary cap imposed on Barca as a result of financial mismanagement.

Barca president Joan Laporta – who returned to the club for a second spell after winning the election in March last year to replace the outgoing Josep Maria Bartomeu – commissioned a due diligence procedure from Deloitte, which revealed a due debt of €1.173billion and a loss of €481m.

Laporta was joined by the club's vice president Eduard Romeu and Jaume Campaner, a corporate lawyer contracted to work on the investigation, at a media conference on Tuesday to outline the findings of the investigation.

Laporta said "payments without cause, payments with a false cause or disproportionate payments were found" while Campaner explained that the findings showed "very serious criminal behaviour".

One of the more interesting revelations from Campaner included a company apparently being created to work on commissions with the club, saying: "We are talking about millionaire amounts. There are payments to intermediaries without justification, non-existence, or well above normal. Commissions of up to 33 per cent have been detected, while only up to five per cent is normal.

"There is a company that was born solely to work on commissions with Barcelona. Completely artificial accounting benefits were presented that are not the reality of the club."

Romeu explained that when he and Laporta arrived last year, they found that the wage bill was 40 per cent higher than those of rival clubs, and as such they have set about trying to drastically trim it where they can, including asking players to take pay cuts and moving on unwanted players.

"The salary bill is fundamental," Romeu said. "We were 40 per cent above our competitors and that was a completely unsustainable situation. To date, we have already saved €159m from the club's wage bill."

A statement on the club's website following the news conference explained the situation in further detail, confirming: "These sources and the conclusions made therefrom by independent analysts have compelled the FC Barcelona Board of Directors to deliver the said material and the supporting evidence to the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Barcelona as the body that safeguards the principle of legality and which rules on the prosecution of allegedly criminal conduct, with the support of the police departments, whose duty it is to investigate matters involving potential conduct of a criminal nature.

"The allegations filed with the Public Prosecutor's Office are not addressed at any specific persons. They are limited to a description of certain circumstances and it is up to the investigators to determine who might be responsible.

"FC Barcelona is assisting the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Barcelona and the police department with its enquiries in order to support any clarifications and provide any evidence that they might need in order to thoroughly investigate the circumstances.

"It is because of the social importance of FC Barcelona that the Board of Directors has initiated this exercise of responsibility from the conviction that the club's assets, which are the property of all of its members, must be respected and managed not only in an effective manner in economic and sporting terms, but also is good faith and in consideration of the institution and its members."

Dusan Vlahovic is "emotional and proud" to have signed for Juventus, declaring the move an "easy" decision despite rival interest and backlash from Fiorentina fans.

Vlahovic moved from Fiorentina to Juve for €75million in the biggest deal of the January transfer window.

The 17-goal striker – tied with Ciro Immobile at the top of Serie A's scoring charts – was said to have turned down approaches from Arsenal and Newcastle United before heading for Turin.

That was a call that frustrated Fiorentina supporters, who have grown used to seeing their top players poached by rivals Juve.

The Curva Fiesole group described Vlahovic as "another small man without b****, without honour and without respect" and "a coward" for joining the Bianconeri.

Presented as a Juve player on Tuesday, however, Vlahovic was delighted with his choice.

"I am emotional and proud to have signed for Juventus," he said. "I am ready to give my all for this glorious club to reach its objectives.

 

"The choice was easy. The Juventus DNA: the desire to fight, to never give up, to aim to be the best – all these elements are also part of my character. I fit in here.

"I want to the thank the president and everyone else who made this move possible."

Still, Vlahovic had a word for Fiorentina, adding: "I want to thank everyone at Fiorentina who helped me mature and make me the player I am today."

The 22-year-old was the most sought-after forward last month, but fellow superstars Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are expected to be on the move later in the year.

As Vlahovic seemingly emerges as a challenger to those two as his generation's top talent, he said: "I am following my own path. How far I'll reach, I don't know, but I'll give my all to achieve as much as possible."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes Ousmane Dembele already has an agreement to join another club when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Speaking on Tuesday, Laporta gave details of the negotiations that took place to renew the winger's contract.

The 24-year-old was then told to find another club in the January transfer window after those talks broke down – he had been linked with a number of Premier League teams, as well as Paris Saint-Germain – but a move never materialised.

Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany told Dembele last week he must leave "immediately", which prompted the player to issue an angry riposte on social media.

Speaking at a news conference where Barca were outlining the details of the forensic review into financial irregularities by the previous regime, Laporta was asked about Dembele's situation.

"Ousmane said that the renewal offer was very good, then it was an economic issue," he explained. "And when we told him that it was already good enough, the agent took a position in not saying anything.

"Dembele wanted to accept a renewal. Then they wanted more and the issue got stuck. His agent didn't say anything and that has consequences. We've done everything possible and he hasn't accepted."

Dembele has struggled since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for an initial €105million, and has suffered several injuries that have kept him from getting a sustained run in the team.

Laporta also revealed the player turned down an opportunity to sign for an unnamed English suitor and believes this was because he already has an agreement with another club for when his contract at the Camp Nou expires at the end of the current campaign.

"We are very surprised that he didn't accept the offer from the English club either, he prefers to stay here," Laporta said. "It's not good for him or for the club.

"What happened with Dembele is difficult to understand. He is now in the squad and Xavi must work on the present but also on the future.

"We think Dembele has an agreement with another club."

Barcelona signed three players in the January transfer window, registering the returning Dani Alves, along with Ferran Torres and the loan of Adama Traore, while it is also expected the club will announce Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer imminently.

Laporta confirmed: "Aubameyang's documents entered with one minute to go before midnight."

Joao Cancelo is thrilled that he decided to stick it out at Manchester City as he credited the club for elevating his level.

City confirmed on Tuesday that Cancelo had signed a two-year contract extension to keep him on board until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Cancelo joined from Juventus in 2019, though the Portugal international initially struggled to nail down a regular spot in City's side.

Now, however, he is surely one of the first names on the team sheet. He was switched to left-back by Pep Guardiola last season and added an even more dangerous facet to City's attacking play.

While still being able to play at right-back, Cancelo often has the freedom to drift inside from the flank and add more numbers to City's midfield, with his passing range and eye for a blistering long-range shot useful from central positions.

"It makes all the sense to extend my contract with Manchester City," Cancelo told the club's official website.

"I have learned how to become a more versatile player. I feel I can play in different positions now, not only right-back or left-back.

"I feel I can play in several positions on the pitch, and I think [it] is easier in this team because of the quality all the players have. It's easier to play in this team than in any other team."

Cancelo conceded, however, that it was not all plain sailing, with the 27-year-old revealing he initially regretted his decision to leave Juve for City.

"In my first months, I wasn't extremely happy about my decision to join City," he explained.

"I came from a club that I also like a lot, Juventus. I spoke to my girlfriend, and we agreed that I had to make the best out of myself to be able to play.

"As of December [2019], January [2020] onwards, I started playing regularly so that makes a player happier. We players always want to play."

Cancelo made 33 appearances in all competitions in his first season at City, with that figure rising to 43 in 2020-21.

Having created one goal and scored another in 2019-20, Cancelo directly contributed to eight last season (five assists, three goals), while also providing three second assists (which Opta define as a pass or cross that is instrumental in creating a goal-scoring opportunity).

He already has eight assists to his name in 2021-22, and has scored three goals, while also helping City keep 12 clean sheets across the 30 matches he has featured in.

Cancelo has created 87 chances in the Premier League since making his debut, which ranks him eighth in terms of defenders, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (211) leading the way.

Among City players, only Kevin De Bruyne (759) has played more passes or crosses into the box than Cancelo (363) in the Premier League since the latter made his debut, while the Belgium playmaker is also the sole City team-mate to register more successful crosses from open play (39 compared to Cancelo's 27).

Cancelo ranks second in City's squad for tackles (151) and tackles won (92) and duels won (384), behind Rodri in every category.

Joao Cancelo has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at Manchester City until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Cancelo has been a pivotal figure for Pep Guardiola since the start of last season, after initially struggling to make much of an impact in his first campaign at the club.

The 27-year-old Portugal international joined from Juventus in 2019 and has played at both right-back and left-back for City, developing into one of the best full-backs in world football in the process.

Cancelo has now committed his long-term future to the club.

"Manchester City is a fantastic club, so I am incredibly happy to have signed this new agreement," he told City's official website. 

"City players have everything they need to reach their full potential, with amazing facilities, world-class teammates and an incredible manager who pushes us every single day.

"There is nowhere better to play football and it's a pleasure to work here.

"I have so much I want to achieve before my career ends, and Manchester City offers me the best chance of fulfilling my ambitions.

"This new contract means I now have complete focus on improving my game and winning more trophies with this team."

News of Cancelo's extension comes a day after City confirmed the signing of River Plate forward Julian Alvarez.

The highly rated 22-year-old has joined on a five-and-a-half-year deal but will remain on loan at River until at least the end of the season.

Joel Embiid took to Twitter to revel in the Philadelphia 76ers' overtime victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The team's leading scorer was rested for Monday's clash and watched on as Doc Rivers' men made it five wins in a row.

In Embiid's absence, Andre Drummond, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris stepped up to get the job done despite a fine showing from Memphis' All-Star Ja Morant, who put up 37 points.

It was Maxey who snatched a 122-119 triumph in overtime with a driving layup.

And Embiid tweeted: "They hate the process but we will keep thriving. Great Dub!! Hell Yeaa."

Speaking about Embiid, man of the moment Maxey told reporters: "He's a great team-mate; he's our MVP."

Despite leading the way for the Grizzlies, Morant shouldered the blame for the team's loss.

"If there's anybody you want to be mad at, it can be me," he said. "If I made free throws, we probably wouldn't have even gone into overtime."

Drummond offered consolation to his beaten opponent with some warm words of praise for Morant.

He said: "He’s a great athlete, he's able to make spectacular plays, but at the end of the day it's still two points.

"You have to take your hat off to him, but we won the game."

Stephen Curry insists he is the first person to judge how well he played after he put a frustrating January behind him in style on Monday.

Curry had 40 points, five rebounds and nine assists as the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets 122-108 to claim a sixth straight victory.

Of Curry's points haul, which included seven three-pointers, 21 came in the fourth quarter, the highest total of his career in the final period of a game.

He has now scored 20+ points in a quarter on 37 occasions across his NBA career, surpassing a milestone set by Kobe Bryant for the most of any player in the league since the 1996-97 season.

Curry has now scored 40 points or more six times this season. However, his display in Houston bucked the trend of what had been a poor month.

Prior to Monday's game, Curry had managed to score 30 points just once since the turn of the year.

While Curry acknowledged he has not been at his best, he suggested he also comes in for more criticism due to the high standards he has previously set.

"It's the gift and the curse of the bar that you've set," he told reporters.

"You get all the praise when things are going well and obviously it's something to talk about when I don't meet that level.

"It's not so much the commentary, because when I walk off the court I'm the first one to judge the way that I played.

"I understand when I don't meet that level and try to deal with the frustration when that happens over a consistent period of time."

Yet Curry showed no signs of frustration against the Rockets, turning in a scintillating display as the Warriors clocked up a 38th win of the season.

"You always feel like the next shot is going to start that vibe," he said.

"It's no secret how I've been shooting the ball recently, but the confidence is always there and it only takes one to ignite a night like that."

Curry reeled off five points in quick succession in the fourth quarter to nudge the Warriors clear of Houston, who had moved to within four points.

"We've seen Steph do that a million times," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

"It was bound to happen even though it's been a couple of weeks or whatever. Not surprising but fun to see him shake free and have a game like he did."

Rewind to January 2020. At the time, Bruno Fernandes just seemed like he was becoming the latest in a long list of players who had been linked with Manchester United but ultimately never set foot in Old Trafford.

Remember Nico Gaitan?

But, as it happened, United did get a deal done for the Portugal midfielder, who – on the evidence of his time at Sporting CP – was going to bring goals, craft and fire to the Red Devils' engine room.

It would be fair to say he has surpassed the expectations of many fans and neutrals alike. While he undoubtedly has the capacity to frustrate, anyone who doubts his ability is surely just being contrarian.

Tuesday marks two years since his United debut, a disappointing 0-0 draw with – fittingly – Portugal Lite, or Wolves as they are known in the Midlands.

During his two years at United, Fernandes has become arguably their key man, best player and general lynchpin, the individual who most things are built around.

Yet, the noise around him this season would suggest United's wider issues have started to catch up with him – but just how accurate is that? Has his level truly dropped?

Over-reaction or justified criticism?

Regardless of your opinion on Fernandes' form, we can all agree he has been largely an excellent addition for United. Even when you take away the penalties, his 44 Premier League goal involvements since his debut is bettered only by Mohamed Salah (55), Harry Kane (46) and Son Heung-min (45).

His arrival introduced some much-needed creative consistency to the United midfield. Paul Pogba didn't quite provide that – whether that's entirely his fault is a debate for another time, but Fernandes has shown an ability to habitually unlock defences, with his 148 chances created in open play at least 18 more than any other player since February 1, 2020.

But in a season that has proven so tumultuous at Old Trafford, not even Fernandes has escaped criticism, which appears to be levelled at him now more vociferously among fans than at any other point in his two years there.

His off-the-cuff style undoubtedly feeds that. If a player is trying the killer ball at every opportunity and it frequently fails, that's obviously going to feed fan frustrations.

And, to be fair, there has been a slight drop-off in his creative threat. He averaged 0.25 expected assists (xA) per 90 minutes across his Premier League career before 2021-22, the fourth-highest among players to play at least 1,000 minutes, and that's at 0.21 for the current season – though that's still only bettered by six players (minimum 1,000 minutes).

He's never just been about threatening with his passing ability, though. Fernandes has been the club's best source of goals from midfield in years – his nine non-penalty (np) top-flight goals last season has only ever been bettered twice by a United central midfielder in the Premier League era: Paul Scholes in 1995-96 (10) and 2002-03 (14).

To his credit, Fernandes already has seven this season despite his np-xG slipping from 0.17 to 0.24 per 90 minutes. So, although he's not getting into as good goalscoring positions, he remains a potent weapon, which highlights the class he possesses. Of course, some might suggest that goals haul is somewhat skewed by his hat-trick against a notoriously open Leeds United on matchday one, but he still deservers his dues for that performance.

Furthermore, his average of 2.9 chances created every 90 minutes in 2021-22 is actually up slightly on his record for his first 18 months at Old Trafford (2.6) – so, while certain factions of the United support might be growing frustrated by particular aspects of Fernandes' game, it's clear to see he still offers a lot.

Out of his comfort zone

Another key element to be taken into consideration is the overarching institutional mess that has been Manchester United in 2021-22. The club is enduring a difficult season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign coming to an end and Ralf Rangnick coming in.

There have been considerable changes to the backroom staff and the team is undergoing a significant philosophical shift, both in terms of tactics and formation. Solskjaer's plight came down to a collective failing, with so many players suffering a dip in form, and Rangnick's introduction may well have been something of a shock to the system – he and the Norwegian are hardly cut from the same cloth.

This has clearly impacted Fernandes, given his usual 'number 10' role suddenly became less assured. While Rangnick has shown a certain degree of tactical flexibility, with United appearing to operate with a 4-2-3-1 against Brentford, for the most part they have played 4-2-2-2 or 4-3-3.

As such, Fernandes has had to adapt and that's meant becoming something more closely resembling a roaming number eight, but with greater emphasis on operating towards the left.

As his touch locations map shows, Fernandes is averaging as many as 9.8 touches more per 90 minutes on the left flank under Rangnick than he was with Solskjaer this season. While his touch frequency through the middle hasn't changed massively, his numbers are down slightly except for in the zone just past the halfway line, where they have increased.

Perhaps, then, it should come as no surprise that Fernandes is having fewer shots (1.9, down from 2.5) and creating fewer chances (2.4, down from 3.1) under Rangnick than he was for Solskjaer, but there is every chance this is deliberate.

Rangnick may have felt Fernandes wasn't having enough influence in United's general play, with his touches per 90 minutes averaging at 69.1 this season under Solskjaer and Michael Carrick. That was well below his average pre-2021-22 (81.8) but it has since been boosted to 78.7.

Similarly, Fernandes – perhaps owing to operating more in less congested areas of the pitch – is playing 10.4 passes into the box on average every 90 minutes, which is 2.6 more than before.

Again, this may be a deliberate ploy to try to make the most of Fernandes' passing abilities, but it could also be argued this is where he's at odds with the new role and system. With his xA average slipping to 0.19 (per 90) for Rangnick, those extra passes into the box aren't – seemingly – hugely reliable in terms of good chance creation, meaning they are likely more hopeful than expectant.

Given Rangnick's desire for "control", one would think he'd want fewer hopeful deliveries into the box, favouring a more careful approach to attacking, but this could feasibly be put down to Fernandes still requiring time to adapt to a new function, which would be reasonable.

What's clear is the fact Fernandes' two-year anniversary arrives at a time when he's personally going through probably the most testing period of his United career, with the spotlight being shone directly on his contributions amid the wider narrative of team's general woes.

Maybe his levels have dropped slightly, but that's a common theme across this United squad. Either way, he's still proving effective, and it remains difficult to imagine them being a better attacking unit without him.

The Golden State Warriors won a sixth straight game as Stephen Curry returned to form with a 40-point haul in Texas.

Golden State saw off the Houston Rockets 122-108 on Monday, with Curry finishing with 40 points, 21 of which came in the final quarter.

It marked the end of a below-par month for Curry, who had previously had over 30 points on just one occasion since the turn of the year.

Curry has now scored 40 points or more in six games this season. He made seven three-pointers to go along with nine assists and five rebounds.

He has scored 20 points or more in a quarter 37 times in his career, surpassing the late Kobe Bryant for the most by any NBA player since at least 1996-97.

Andrew Wiggins added 23 points for Golden State, while Kevon Looney had 14 rebounds.

Christian Wood offered some resistance for the Rockets with a double-double, but Houston are without a win at home in 11 games.

Sixers do the businesses without Embiid

With Joel Embiid rested, the Philadelphia 76ers nevertheless clinched a fifth straight win as Andre Drummond, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris stepped up against the Memphis Grizzlies.

All-Star Ja Morant had 37 points for Memphis, but it was Maxey (33 points) who snatched a 122-119 victory in overtime with a driving layup.

Drummond had 16 points but amassed a huge 23 rebounds, while Harris also had 31 points, with Desmond Bane's career-high 34 in vain for the Grizzlies.

Heat lose their flame

The Miami Heat lost a second straight game and gave up their place at the top of the Eastern Conference after a 122-92 defeat to the Boston Celtics.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 29 points, as the Celtics moved to 27-25 for the season after a fourth successive win.

The Cleveland Cavaliers posted a fifth straight home win as they overcame the New Orleans Pelicans 93-90, while Isaiah Jackson had a double-double for the Indiana Pacers in a 122-116 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Defending Open Sud de France champion David Goffin rallied from losing the first set to defeat Benjamin Bonzi in Monday's first-round match.

Eighth seed Goffin, ranked at world number 52, prevailed 2-6 7-5 6-1 in Montpellier against the Frenchman.

It looked bleak for Goffin when Bonzi raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set, yet the Belgian reeled off three successive games to get himself back in the fight before snatching a crucial break to make it 6-5, and he did not look back from there.

"During the match I stayed positive even though I was one set and one break down," Goffin said.

"I tried to stay focussed, to stay as long as possible on the court to try to get some confidence, to work on certain things: to be more aggressive, [hit] a better quality of ball.

"At the end it was better and better, so I'm really happy the way I played at the end of the second and in the third."

Next up for Goffin is a tie with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, or another Frenchman in the form of Adrian Mannarino, who lost to eventual Australian Open winner Rafael Nadal in Melbourne last month.

Monday's other match saw sixth seed Alexander Bublik defeat Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5).

Yuki Bhambri was the story at the Tata Open Maharashtra, as the Indian claimed a first tour-level match win in almost four years, beating Jozef Kovalik 6-7 (10-12) 6-2 7-5.

Bhambri, ranked at 863 in the world, had only played two singles matches on the ATP Tour since 2019 due to a knee injury and had last beat Mirza Basic in Miami in 2018.

"It is a privilege to play at home and it is an important win as well playing at my home tournament," he said. "Each match is tough at tour-level so I am just taking it one match at a time."

Radu Albot beat Federico Gaio in straight sets, while seventh seed Ricardas Berankis was shocked by Quentin Halys and Daniel Altmaier also progressed.

Dominic Thiem was forced to delay his comeback as he withdrew from the Cordoba Open due to injury.

The former world number three has not played on the ATP Tour since damaging his wrist in Mallorca last June but was due to face Tomas Martin Etcheverry or Nicolas Jarry in Argentina.

However, the 2020 US Open champion confirmed on Monday: "In the last days, I suffered a minor injury between my knuckles, a little strain of my ligament.

"The positive thing is the wrist is perfectly fine, but I'm suffering pain in my hand and also lacking practice, so I have to pull out.

"I'm very sad, but I'm going to come back once I'm 100 per cent fit, and thank you so much for the great and warm welcome I had here in Cordoba."

Thiem's withdrawal makes for a potentially simpler quarter-final draw for Pedro Martinez, who came through a marathon contest on Monday against Thiago Monteiro.

The eighth seed, who will next face Juan Ignacio Londero, won 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in a match lasting just under three hours.

There was an even longer battle between Juan Pablo Varillas and home favourite Facundo Bagnis, who was defeated 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7-5) after three hours and 17 minutes on court. Varillas will play Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Andrej Martin in the next round.

Jaume Munar also sealed his progress, defeating Benoit Paire in straight sets. 

Tom Brady said on Monday he has yet to decide whether or not he will retire from the NFL before next season.

It was reported by ESPN on Saturday that the record seven-time Super Bowl champion would bow out of the game after 22 seasons, although his agent, Don Yee, later insisted that nothing was certain until Brady himself made an announcement.

Rumours emerged prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Divisional Round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams that the 44-year-old was non-committal about playing beyond the 2021 season.

The New England Patriots great previously expressed a desire to play to age 45 and was open to the idea of continuing until he turned 50, although he admitted after the defeat to the Rams that his family had become a priority when it came to his future plans.

Brady has now made it clear that he will not rush into any decision as he considers his next move.

"I'm still going through the process that I said I was going through," Brady said on the Let's Go! podcast. "Sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel, what you want to do and I think when the time is right I'll be ready to make a decision one way or the other.

"It's always a good line that I'm responsible for what I say and do, and not responsible for what others say or do. I think one thing I've learned about sports is that you control what you can control, and what you can't, you leave to others.

"We're in such an era of information and people want to be in front of the news often and I totally understand that. I understand that's the environment we're in. But I think for me, it's literally day-to-day with me. I'm just trying to do the best I can every day, evaluate things as they come, and I'm trying to make a great decision for me and my family.

"Like I've always said, I'm very blessed to play as long as I have. As things have gone on in the later parts of my career, whether that was five years ago or even this year, there's a lot of interest in when I'm going to stop playing. I understand that. It's not that I don't recognise that. When I know, I'll know. When I don't know, I don't know. I'm not going to race to some conclusion about that."

It was put to Brady that the reports around his supposed retirement could rekindle a desire to keep playing in 2022, but he said: "I think my motivation for playing football is to win and be successful and maybe there's little parts of motivation that comes from different places or what people may say or think, but I'm mostly motivated from inside and wanting to be the best for my team-mates and my coaches and my organisations.

"That's kind of where my motivation has been for a long time."

Everton have completed the signing of Dele Alli from Tottenham, with the England midfielder becoming Frank Lampard's second acquisition as Toffees manager.

Lampard was only officially confirmed as Everton's manager on Monday, though the club have moved quickly to back the former Chelsea boss, whose initial task is to guide the Merseysiders away from the Premier League relegation scrap.

Donny van de Beek came in as Lampard's first signing, with the Netherlands midfielder joining on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season.

And Everton have further bolstered their midfield options by bringing in Alli, who has endured another frustrating season at Tottenham.

The transfer was not confirmed until more than an hour after the 23:00 GMT cut-off point for deals to go through in the Premier League, with Everton being granted extra time to finalise a deal after requesting permission.

It has been reported that the 25-year-old, who has agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park, could cost Everton up to £40million should various clauses be triggered.

"I'm delighted to have signed for Everton, a huge club with a great fanbase and history," Alli said. "I'm eager to get started and can't wait for my first game in an Everton shirt.

"I'm looking forward to helping the team and the opportunity to work with the new manager Frank Lampard."

One of the brightest talents in the Premier League when he burst onto the scene under Mauricio Pochettino in 2015-16, Alli's influence at Spurs has faded in recent seasons.

Alli scored 10 top-flight goals in his first season at Spurs, and improved that tally to 18 in 2016-17. He has not managed double figures in the league since, however, and went the entirety of last season without finding the net in the competition.

He was utilised in a three-man midfield by Nuno Espirito Santo at the start of the season, and scored from the penalty spot in a win over Wolves in August, though that is the only league goal he has managed in 657 minutes of action, and he has not featured regularly under Antonio Conte.

Yet Lampard is seemingly confident he can reinvigorate the former MK Dons player, who has also lost his place in Gareth Southgate's England set up in recent seasons.

Alli joins an Everton side sitting in 16th place, just four points above the relegation places. Like Van de Beek, he is cup-tied for Lampard's first match in charge against Brentford in the FA Cup on Saturday, but his debut could come against fellow strugglers Newcastle United on February 8.

Mauricio Pochettino was made to rue Paris Saint-Germain's lack of creativity during their Coupe de France exit to Nice.

The holders crashed out of the competition as they lost 6-5 on penalties following a goalless draw at Parc des Princes.

PSG loanee Marcin Bulka was the hero during the shoot-out, saving penalties from Leandro Paredes and Xavi Simons to end his parent club's 14-match unbeaten streak in the competition.

Despite registering 10 attempts and 68.2 per cent of possession, Pochettino's side failed to score in the competition for the first time since defeat by Lille in the 2011 showpiece.

Pochettino urged his players to switch focus to their domestic and continental endeavours after a disappointing result.

"We were better than Nice overall," he said. "We didn't create enough chances to score goals and win this game before the penalties. 

"We should have been more efficient in the last few metres. Then, it's a lottery.

"Even though we were better, we didn't do what was necessary to win the game. 

"We must remain optimistic: we still have Ligue 1 and the Champions League as objectives."

Pochettino also defended his decision to start Kylian Mbappe on the bench, before introducing the France international in the 64th minute.

"Kylian Mbappe had physical discomfort in the last days few days," he added.

"With the advice of the medical staff, the agreement was that he would not start the match. If he needed to do 30 or 35 minutes in the game, he could do them."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.