Rumour Has It: Manchester City considering January move for Real Madrid's Kroos

By Sports Desk September 07, 2022

Premier League champions Manchester City may be willing to do more business in January.

Pep Guardiola's side added Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Sergio Gomez and Manuel Akanji in the last transfer window.

But City may be looking to further strengthen their squad amid a chaotic schedule in 2022-23.

TOP STORY – CITY CONSIDERING KROOS MOVE IN JANUARY

Manchester City are plotting a January move for Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, according to El Nacional.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season and he has rejected Madrid's offer of an extension.

As a result, Los Blancos may consider selling Kroos in January and Pep Guardiola is a long-time admirer.

ROUND-UP

Galatasaray are set to clinch a loan deal to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Mauro Icardi, reports Fabrizio Romano. The final details of the move are being discussed, with Icardi set to undergo a medical in Turkey soon. The Turkish transfer window closes on Thursday.

– After being heavily pursued prior to the transfer window closing, Aston Villa's Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz is planning to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of this season, according to UOL.

– The Telegraph reports that Wolves will consider signing ex-Newcastle United forward Andy Carroll should their move for Diego Costa collapse. Carroll is a free agent after leaving West Bromwich Albion.

– Southampton's Nathan Redmond will fly to Turkey to complete a move to Besiktas on a one-year deal, claims Fabrizio Romano.

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    Erling Haaland plundered five goals as holders Manchester City powered into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 6-2 victory at Luton.

    The Norwegian notched a first-half hat-trick at Kenilworth Road to put City 3-0 up, with Kevin De Bruyne providing the assist for each of the goals.

    After Luton replied with efforts from Jordan Clark just prior to and just after the interval, Haaland notched his fourth – De Bruyne again registering an assist – and then a fifth, before Mateo Kovacic completed the rout.

    Championship leaders Leicester pulled off a 1-0 win at Bournemouth thanks to an extra-time effort from substitute Abdul Fatawu.

    Fatawu sent a fine shot past Cherries goalkeeper Mark Travers in the final minute of the first half of the additional period.

    Newcastle are also through after getting past Blackburn 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes at Ewood Park.

    The contest went to spot-kicks after Sammie Szmodics’ 79th-minute equaliser for the Championship hosts cancelled out Anthony Gordon’s effort eight minutes earlier.

    In the shootout Martin Dubravka made saves to deny Szmodics and Dominic Hyam as the Magpies prevailed.

  • Kevin De Bruyne earns plaudits as Erling Haaland hits five for Manchester City Kevin De Bruyne earns plaudits as Erling Haaland hits five for Manchester City

    Pep Guardiola praised the “generosity” of Kevin De Bruyne after he set up four of Erling Haaland’s five goals as Manchester City thrashed Luton at Kenilworth Road to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

    Haaland, who returned at the end of January from nearly two months out, grabbed the headlines with his finishing but this 6-2 win owed every bit as much to De Bruyne, the architect of four of his team-mate’s haul and a devastating creative presence throughout.

    The pair combined for City’s opener inside three minutes. Matheus Nunes fed the Belgian with a clever reverse pass, releasing him into a channel down the left, and the cutback came to the left foot of Haaland who wrapped his boot around it for 1-0.

    The same combination created the second, this time a pass threaded through the middle ended with Haaland fending off defender Teden Mengi and crashing it through the legs of Tim Krul.

    The third arrived before the break, with VAR required to adjudicate that the Norwegian had successfully stayed onside as he set off to reach De Bruyne’s through-ball, chipping his finish over the goalkeeper.

    Luton fought gamely in spite of the Haaland onslaught. Jordan Clark curled one brilliantly beyond Stefan Ortega at the end of the half, offering Rob Edwards’ side hope, before thumping in another at the near post after the break as the home fans sniffed a famous fightback.

    They were given all of three minutes to dream. Haaland and City’s fourth was another tap-in from yet another De Bruyne set-up. The fifth cruel on Krul, the ball squirming through the goalkeeper’s body as the cup holders’ top scorer finally declared.

    Mateo Kovacic hit a sixth, and Luton could breathe for the final few minutes after Haaland was withdrawn.

    “The players read the game perfectly,” said Guardiola. “The connection of Kevin with Erling was great but everyone contributed. Happy to be in the quarter-finals, one game away from Wembley.

    “Erling needs a guy with the vision, the quality, the generosity. Kevin is the less selfish player in front of goal. Kevin needs the movement from Erling. We know how aggressive they are.

    “Every pass was good. The finishing from Erling was good. We could have scored more, we had two or three more chances, one against one with Krul. But the players read (the game) really well. They did it perfectly.

    “My only concern was that Erling had been two months stopped, he couldn’t walk, couldn’t make anything. When you lose two months, that rhythm is not easy to get back.

    “Every game he’s getting better. Kevin as well. Step by step, they are coming back.”

    The game was only marred for City by the loss of a visibly upset Jack Grealish just before half-time to injury.

    “I didn’t speak to the doctor but I think he was complaining a bit about his groin,” said Guardiola. “He felt really good but unfortunately was injured again.

    “It’s been a tough season for him. He’ll have to recover well and help us when he’s able to come back.”

    Luton boss Edwards reflected on a masterclass from De Bruyne and Haaland.

    “There’s no doubt about it, they were incredible,” he said. “The played in the space we gave them and did it very well. But our lads were incredibly brave and bold, and stuck to the task.

    “We’re not going change, we just need to get better, to keep improving.”

  • Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool ‘need miracles’ to get a few injured players back Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool ‘need miracles’ to get a few injured players back

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels he needs “miracles” to get a number of his injured players back sooner rather than later.

    Midfielder Ryan Gravenberch was the latest to be ruled out – for at least two matches – after he was carried off on a stretcher in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea.

    But Wataru Endo is also a doubt for Wednesday’s FA Cup visit of Championship high-flyers Southampton after he left Wembley on crutches and wearing a protective boot, which would take the number of first-teamers unavailable to 13.

    And Klopp admitted veteran midfielder Thiago Alcantara – who has made one five-minute substitute appearance since April – may not play again for the club as his contract expires in the summer.

    Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai are closest to returning, but they may not be risked in the cup.

    “We need miracles with a few players,” Klopp said. “I don’t want to rule them out for too long.

    “But it is touch and go with a lot of players who were not available for the final: Darwin, Mo, Dom – we have to see what they can do (on Tuesday).

    “In an ideal world you’d think about these kind of things but we obviously don’t live in an ideal world so we will see when the players arrive and they get checked.

    “When the players arrive and I can look in their eyes and see who might be ready then I will make the line-up.”

    Klopp is likely to have to rely on a number of the younger players who made such an impression at Wembley, with 19-year-olds Bobby Clark, son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee, and James McConnell likely to start against Saints.

    Although the pair have made just one start apiece in cup competitions this season, Klopp has total faith in their ability to step up in the team’s hour of need – although he urged fans to make allowances for them.

    “First and foremost, they don’t have to show anything. Our boys played in youth teams and under-21s and only came up recently and trained with us: absolutely nil experience but a lot of talent and they showed that,” he added.

    “If you play more of them (against Southampton) from the start and we have a look and think, ‘Hmm, they are not as good as I thought on Sunday’, that would be horrendous so there is absolutely no pressure.

    “All what these boys have to do is to really enjoy what they are doing. They have to defend like men, otherwise they cannot play.

    “I saw them doing that (on Sunday) and it obviously helped and it gave confidence and there are so many things you cannot buy. Usually you need years for getting these kind of experiences that they got in a flash.

    “It’s possible and a few of them have to start, that is clear, and if they do they will do the job and we all have to help them with celebrating the right things and not moaning about the wrong things.”

    Following the capture of a record-extending 10th League Cup on Sunday, Liverpool have made tentative moves regarding an end-of-season parade.

    It is not something they would not usually do for a victory in that competition but they want to mark the end of Klopp’s nine-year reign this summer.

    “That is the one part which is not so cool that it could be seen as that (a farewell to him)” he said. “I don’t think that makes sense.

    “But besides that, I am a big supporter of trophy parades and if there is a parade I will be on the bus, no doubt about that.”

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