Rumour Has It: Four-way tussle for Chelsea's Kovacic

By Sports Desk March 26, 2023

Thomas Tuchel's arrival at Bayern Munich has already resulted in fresh transfer links with the Bundesliga giants.

One player said to be of interest to Bayern's new boss is one of his former Chelsea regulars.

However, Bayern could face competition from several Premier League clubs.

 

TOP STORY - FOUR-WAY TUSSLE FOR KOVACIC

Mateo Kovacic is said to be attracting interest from Bayern, Manchester CityManchester United and Liverpool.

Calciomercato report that Bayern's new boss Tuchel, who replaced Julian Nagelsmann in a shock move on Friday, wants to bring in the Croatia international, who he coached at Chelsea.

However, according to 90min, Liverpool, City and United are also monitoring the situation, with Kovacic heading into the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

ROUND UP

- According to Calciomercato, Bayern could also look to sign Edouard Mendy from Chelsea.

- Fabrizio Romano has claimed Newcastle United are keen on signing Scott McTominay.

- Romano also says that Chelsea and Arsenal are interested in Southampton's  Romeo Lavia.

- GiveMeSport's Dean Jones reports that Tottenham will look to sound out ex-Bayern boss Nagelsmann should they sack Antonio Conte.

Related items

  • Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag demands apology from Fulham over Bruno Fernandes post Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag demands apology from Fulham over Bruno Fernandes post

    Erik ten Hag has called on Fulham to apologise for appearing to mock Bruno Fernandes.

    Manchester United boss Ten Hag hit out at criticism implying his captain feigned injury after Wednesday’s FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest.

    Ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester City, Ten Hag was asked about a TikTok post from Fulham showing Fernandes going down during last Saturday’s Premier League contest and accompanied by the caption: “So glad he’s ok…”

    The Dutchman reacted angrily, saying: “I didn’t know this, but if they did it I would say it is not right. It is absolutely not right that a club makes such a statement, because it is totally out of order and they were wrong so they should apologise for this.”

    Ten Hag believes Forest were targeting Fernandes and he added: “He is a very passionate football player and he’s a very creative one, he has created the most chances in the Premier League.

    “You see opponents are targeting him and especially after Saturday when he had the knock and they see it, and then I feel the referee should protect him there. They had to change at the start of the game because it was so obvious they were looking for him.”

    Ten Hag expects Fernandes and Raphael Varane, who was also a doubt for Wednesday, to be fit for the derby, but the likes of Harry Maguire and Rasmus Hojlund are likely to stay on United’s lengthy injury list.

    United go into the clash 15 points behind their neighbours and are currently eight adrift of a Champions League qualifying spot.

    City have not lost since early December, winning 16 of their last 18 games, while Ten Hag has been beaten in three of his four games against Pep Guardiola’s men.

    Last season’s trip to the Etihad ended in a 6-3 defeat for United, but Ten Hag believes his team can take confidence from their form, saying: “We are also in a good run and the spirit is very good, we are united, we have the togetherness to make a good game plan.

    “We have done it before against City, lately also against Liverpool. The players are ready for it, the players are looking forward to it, I can smell it when I am around here, when I speak with the players. We’re excited.

    “They have a good team but there are more good teams. They have won in the last season everything so we know that that’s the challenge, but also Liverpool have a very good team and there are more. We like such challenges.”

    New investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe stated his aim last week for United to knock City and Liverpool off their perch within three years.

    “You always want to play against the best so most of the times we feel and you can also see it that the opposition get their best outputs against Manchester United, and maybe this game is the other way around,” said Ten Hag.

    “We know we have to give everything and show really a team performance if you want to get a result. If you do it, it is possible.

    “From all the games we look back, we had the opportunity to win and we won one time but you need a great day. That is also what we know so the players have to give the best performances.”

  • Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal could rely on goal difference to win Premier League Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal could rely on goal difference to win Premier League

    Mikel Arteta knows his free-scoring Arsenal side could rely on goal difference if they are to win the Premier League this season.

    Despite heading into the weekend two points off the top of the table in third, the Gunners now boast the best goal difference in the league.

    Arteta’s side have doled out 6-0, 5-0 and 4-1 wins in their last three league games and have an aggregate of 25-3 since the turn of the year.

    That sees them ahead of title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City and, with a three-way title race that could go down to the wire, Arteta believes everything will count.

    “Yes, for sure,” he replied when asked if the goalscoring record will be important by the end of the season.

    “First of all you have to earn the right to win the games and then we want to be ruthless and efficient in front of goal. Lately I think we’ve been really good.

    “In the last 15 or 20 minutes against Newcastle we could maybe have done a bit more, and we have to continue to do that especially when you bring the subs in because they can re-energise the team and continue at a really high level. It’s something that we want to continue to do.”

    Arteta will back his side to continue a good run in front of goal as they face bottom club Sheffield United on Monday night, with the Blades having shipped a league-high 66 goals this season.

    “With every team we look at the weaknesses and the strengths, and we look to take the game where we want,””Arteta said of facing Chris Wilder’s side.

    “I’m saying this because I know that team very well. I analysed it many years ago and I learnt from Chris’ teams and I’m telling you it’s going to be a really tough match.


     
    “They are a really difficult team to beat. I’ve watched their last four or five games now. With the City game, against Villa the game took a different route, but they are extremely well-coached.

    “I know Chris Wilder really well and I admire a lot of what he does with his teams. It will be Monday night football and it’s gonna be a tough night.”

    Arsenal could welcome back Thomas Partey and Oleksandr Zinchenko for the game after the pair both recovered from injury.

    Jurrien Timber will not travel, but is closing in on a comeback from a serious knee injury suffered on his Premier League debut in August.

    Jorginho will be hoping to keep his place in the side, too, with Arsenal planning on to open contract negotiations with the Italy midfielder following a string of standout performances.

    The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, but the PA news agency understands that a one-year deal with the option of a further year is planned as an opening point for talks.

    Jorginho joined Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea last January and has so far made 41 appearances across all competitions, scoring once and put in a man-of-the-match display against Newcastle last weekend.

  • Sean Dyche welcomes ‘clarity’ after Everton points deduction reduced Sean Dyche welcomes ‘clarity’ after Everton points deduction reduced

    Everton manager Sean Dyche is grateful for the clarity their successful appeal against a 10-point deduction has brought and insists they will take on the rest of the season “with an open mind”.

    The long wait for a decision on the punishment for breaching profitability and sustainability rules was ended this week when the penalty was reduced to six points, lifting the club out of the relegation zone.

    There is another case still pending for a breach on the latest set of accounts – and the long-running takeover sage by 777 Partners is still dragging on – but for now Dyche is looking to capitalise on the boost it has provided.

    “We’re pleased we have got something back, obviously,” he said.

    “You are always greedy and want more and more but the points the club put forward have been listened to and we have got the four points back.

    “We will take that and now it brings clarity to the situation, which is good for us and the players but good for all actually.

    “We’ve certainly parked that now because it’s become a fact; a line has been drawn under it and the players are clear on it.

    “We take on the rest of the season with an open mind.”

    Dyche admits the long delay in receiving a verdict had started to play on the players’ minds but praised their ability to remain focused.

    And he said the takeover issue would not affect them at all.

    “It does start to creep in eventually. To be fair to these players, it took a long time for that to happen,” he said.

    “We were all waiting, the noise gets bigger and bigger – ‘when’s it coming?’ – and the players hear all that and I thought they have stayed pretty steadfast in performance levels.

    “The league table looks different and now it is about using that wisely and stepping on.

    “They (the players) are not worried about takeovers, that is miles above what you do on the football pitch.

    “I think the points tally and the idea of the appeal was a much different situation.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.