EPL

Football rumours: Chelsea open to offers for Conor Gallagher

By Sports Desk December 12, 2023

What the papers say

Conor Gallagher, 23, could be used to raise funds for new arrivals at Chelsea in January. The Daily Mail reports the club are willing to consider offers for the England midfielder with Brentford striker Ivan Toney, 27, and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen, 24, among the potential targets.

Brentford are looking for a new striker, regardless of whether Toney stays, according to The Daily Telegraph. USA international Brandon Vazquez, 25, who is at FC Cincinnati, is among the players in their sights.

Manchester United are open to offers on a string of internationals, according to The Guardian. England winger Jadon Sancho, 23, France striker Anthony Martial, 28, and defender Raphael Varane, 30, Brazil midfielder Casemiro, 31, and Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, 26, could all be allowed to leave Old Trafford in January.

David Moyes retains the confidence of West Ham says The Daily Telegraph. The 60-year-old manager saw his side lose 5-0 at Fulham on Monday.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mason Holgate: Everton want to recall the defender, 27, from his loan spell at Southampton due a shortage of playing time, reports The Sun.

Reuell Walters: Clubs in the Premier League and Europe are watching the English defender, 18, but Arsenal have held talks to keep him according to the Evening Standard.

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  • Marco Silva wants Andreas Pereira to continue to make the right impression Marco Silva wants Andreas Pereira to continue to make the right impression

    Fulham boss Marco Silva will continue to demand more from Andreas Pereira as the Brazilian looks to maintain his form heading into the closing weeks of the Premier League season.

    Pereira scored both goals in Fulham’s 2-0 victory at West Ham last weekend, which was a first win in four matches.

    The former Manchester United attacking midfielder had not found the net since August, but is top of Fulham’s assists with eight so far.

    The consistency of Pereira, who was born in Belgium, has seen him recalled into the Brazil national team, featuring in both March friendlies against England at Wembley and then Spain.

    Silva feels the 28-year-old, who had a successful loan spell at Flamengo before signing for Fulham in the summer of 2022, still has plenty more to offer.

    “Andreas, last season made a huge impact. Before he joined us, he played more as a second midfielder and not so offensive,” the Fulham boss said.

    “This season, he is going to have one of the best assist records for us – and we will demand more.

    “Last week, he showed the desire to arrive in the right areas.”

    Fulham host Liverpool on Sunday looking to further dent the Reds’ ambitions.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side were knocked out of the Europa League by Atalanta and also slumped to what could prove a costly home defeat against Crystal Palace to lose ground in the Premier League title race.

    Fulham have pushed Liverpool in each of their three meetings this season, being narrowly edged out 4-3 after a dramatic finish at Anfield in their league match at the start of December followed by what was a tight Carabao Cup semi-final over two legs.

    “Probably some of them (have been) too open for a manager to enjoy, but yes, at Anfield and at the Cottage as well, they have been really – in some moments – emotional games, in other moments entertaining,” Silva said at a press conference.

    “Tight games always, in some of them dramatic ends of the match. But even last season, it was really tough for them to come to play at Craven Cottage (in the) Carabao Cup this season, too.”

    Silva added: “We want to make life really difficult for Liverpool, to give them a match.

    “Let’s hope we can get a different result than the last games that we played against them.

    Fulham could yet challenge for a top-10 finish.

    “I think we are in the best moment of the season,” Silva said. “We haven’t had big injuries in the last month and a half, or two months.

    “It, of course, creates a competition inside our squad that helps myself and the players to reach a different level and good headaches for me to decide, which is always the better situation to plan a game and prepare for the next game.”

  • Des Buckingham feels heavy schedule caught up with Oxford Des Buckingham feels heavy schedule caught up with Oxford

    Oxford boss Des Buckingham felt the heavy schedule of three games in six days took its toll on his team as they were held 1-1 by Stevenage at the Kassam Stadium.

    It means it is effectively no longer in Oxford’s hands to reach the League One play-offs because Lincoln are three points behind them with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.

    Buckingham felt the decision not to award the U’s a penalty when Marcus Browne appeared to have been fouled by keeper Craig MacGillivray in the first half was crucial.

    They had to come from behind as Stevenage went in front through a Sam Long own goal in the 32nd minute, Cameron Brannagan replying from the penalty spot on 58 minutes when Carl Piergianni fouled Ruben Rodrigues – though that appeared to have been outside the box.

    Buckingham said: “To play three games in six days is a big ask.

    “We had 26 shots but couldn’t get that second goal we needed.

    “There was a clear penalty not given in the first half, and for us that’s the second game in a row that one hasn’t been given when it should have been. It was a huge moment in the game, and very frustrating.

    “The referee told me he couldn’t see it, but the linesman was only 15 yards away and had a clear view.

    “I’m delighted with the performance but ultimately we’ve got just the four points from these three home games, now we need to make sure we prepare right and get three in the last one at Exeter.

    “When we looked to rearrange the Lincoln game we chose this week because it was a free week, then Sky told us they wanted to bring this Stevenage one forward and show it on the Friday night which meant three games in six days.

    “There was nothing we could do about it, but had we known they were going to do that, we would have played the Lincoln game another week.

    “It’s going to be a tight finish – I wouldn’t rule out Blackpool either, and they’ve got to play Barnsley.”

    Stevenage had lost manager Steve Evans in the week, with Evans heading north to become Rotherham boss.

    Caretaker boss Alex Revell said: “Steve always had two clubs very much in his heart – this one and Rotherham. Believe me, making the decision was probably the hardest thing he’s had to do, he said.

    “I wanted to take today and make the players ready. I really enjoyed it because they gave everything.

    “I’m very proud of what the lads did tonight.

    “We had a great day yesterday in terms of training and getting ready and trying to get a few bits into them.

    “They came to a really tough place and worked so hard for each other.

    “In spells we created some half-chances, probably not enough, but it was about showing our togetherness as a club and our spirit.

    “I think we showed why we have caused teams problems this season, especially with our energy and our workrate.

    “The first penalty shout against us was a penalty and should have been given so we got away with that.

    “But it doesn’t mean that something that started outside the box should be a penalty. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

  • Mauricio Pochettino not expecting a vulnerable Man City in FA Cup semi-final Mauricio Pochettino not expecting a vulnerable Man City in FA Cup semi-final

    Mauricio Pochettino warned his Chelsea players not to expect to come up against a vulnerable Manchester City side when the teams meet in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final.

    City go into the game off the back of playing extra time against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night before eventually being knocked out on penalties, leaving less than 72 hours recovery time ahead of stepping out at Wembley.

    Pep Guardiola has had to deal with fatigue amongst his ranks in recent weeks, with midfielder Rodri admitting to needing a rest earlier this month. He was subsequently left out of the team for last weekend’s win over Luton at the Etihad Stadium but returned to the starting XI for the defeat to Real.

    They are still in contention to retain two of the three trophies they won last season, holding a two-point lead over Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League title race in addition to Saturday’s meeting with Pochettino’s side as they seek a third FA Cup triumph in six seasons.

    Chelsea will return to the scene of their Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool in February, after which they were heavily criticised for failing to overcome a Reds team decimated by injury.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side triumphed in extra time despite finishing the game with four highly inexperienced academy graduates aged 21 or under on the pitch.

    And Pochettino insisted there will be no easy ride for his players as City lick their European wounds.

    “The good example is Liverpool,” he said. “People were talking about too many injured players, how many young kids they had playing. Look what happened after.

    “From our point of view, we are going to compete against Manchester City. If you ask me about their situation, I can give my opinion, but we are not talking about that. We are going to compete against them.

    “Today we were preparing, doing meetings, about the Manchester City that played against Real Madrid, that played against us in the Premier League.

    “We are not talking about playing one (City line-up) or playing another. For me, the strength of Manchester City is that they keep the same idea and the same philosophy.

    “In the last five, six, seven years, even with different players, they play in the same way, they have the structure to dominate and to create chances and to win games and to win trophies.

    “I understand the situation is tough for them after playing 120 minutes in the Champions League. Emotionally, you expend a big energy. It’s about how they recover now.

    “They are going be competitive and they have an amazing staff that look after the players. They’re going to put 11 players that will play with full energy to try and win the game.”

    Pochettino will have Enzo Fernandez available for selection after he missed Monday’s 6-0 demolition of Everton.

    The manager said the World Cup winner’s fitness will be carefully managed following reports this week in Argentina that he requires a hernia operation.

    “We are not looking for heroes,” said Pochettino.

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