Rumour Has It: Lampard to step in at Chelsea amid Luis Enrique and Conte talks

By Sports Desk April 06, 2023

Chelsea's dismissal of Graham Potter and decision not to rush into an appointment has generated speculation about their next permanent manager.

The Blues are destined to miss out on the Premier League's top four this season, thus will not qualify for the Champions League via the league.

As a result, there appears a lack of urgency as they look to get back on the right direction after sacking both Potter and Thomas Tuchel this term under new owner Todd Boehly.

TOP STORY – BLUES MULL OVER ENRIQUE, NAGELSMANN AND CONTE

Fabrizio Romano reports Frank Lampard will take over as Chelsea's interim manager, but that ex-Spain boss Luis Enrique is 100 per cent interested in the permanent position.

Enrique has flown into London for talks on the role, while the Blues will also continue talks with ex-Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann who is the leading candidate.

The Independent claims the Blues are also considering a shock return for Antonio Conte after initial contact between intermediaries.

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider reports Manchester United are keen on Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse. United may take advantage of the Saints' possible relegation to bolster their midfield with the 28-year-old free-kick specialist. Aston Villa and Newcastle United are also interested in him.

Liverpool are willing to cough up €40 million (£35m) for Atletico Madrid's Argentinian World Cup winner Rodrigo De Paul to bolster their midfield next term, reports Fichajes. Inter Live claims Tottenham are also interested in De Paul.

Arsenal are pondering an off-season move for Lazio midfielder Sergei Milinkovic-Savic who will be a free agent in 2024, claims Gazzetta dello Sport. The reported fee would be around €40m.

Luka Modric is disgruntled with his contract situation at Real Madrid, with his future not yet resolved with only a few months left on his deal, claims Goal.

– Fichajes claims West Ham, Leeds United and Nice are all circling for Real Madrid's Mariano who will be available on a free transfer at the end of this season.

Leicester City have shortlisted Ralph Hasenhuttl, Jesse Marsch and Oscar Garcia for their vacant managerial role according to Fabrizio Romano. The Independent's Miguel Delaney claims the Foxes are also interested in experienced pair Martin O'Neill and Rafa Benitez.

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  • Reus determined to end Dortmund career with European glory Reus determined to end Dortmund career with European glory

    Long considered one of the most talented players of his generation, Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus has failed to taste major success throughout an injury-plagued career, but he is desperate to leave his boyhood club as a Champions League winner.

    The 34-year-old is leaving Dortmund after 12 years at the club and hopes to do so on a high by beating Real Madrid in the Champions League final at Wembley stadium on Saturday.

    "Borussia Dortmund means everything for me," Reus said this week. "When you are 12 years at a club then it just has to mean everything."

    The former Germany international, who also spent a decade at the Ruhr Valley club as a youth player, has scored 170 goals in 428 matches for Dortmund.

    Known for his sublime skills, goalscoring ability and clever play, Reus has been dubbed a "living legend" by Dortmund coach Edin Terzic, having captained the team for five years and won the DFB-Pokal on two occasions.

    However, those remain the only major titles of his career, which has been continually hampered by fitness problems. 

    He missed out on Germany's 2014 World Cup win after suffering an injury in their final warm-up game, while other injuries ruled him out of Euro 2016 and the 2022 World Cup.

    Reus also lost out on the Bundesliga trophy in 2023 when Dortmund slipped up against Mainz on the final matchday.

    "Marco was 12 years here as a pro and also as a youth. He is not yet done," said coach Terzic. 

    "In London he wants to experience an amazing game with a positive outcome so as to complete the circle.

    "I need him on Saturday. I need his qualities because he has this experience and he has played on this stage before."

    Reus is no stranger to a Champions League final or to Wembley, having lost the 2013 showcase game there, against Bayern Munich.

    "That was 11 years ago. Now it is a different opponent and different players," Reus said.

    "There are worse ways to complete your career at a club than to start with a Champions League final in 2013 and end it with a Champions League final in 2024."

  • Hoping for the best: Eve on edge about players' fitness as T&T faces tight window ahead of qualifiers Hoping for the best: Eve on edge about players' fitness as T&T faces tight window ahead of qualifiers

    Having selected what he believes is the best crop of players to secure qualification to the 2026 Fifa World Cup, Trinidad and Tobago’s Head coach Angus Eve is no hoping everything will go accordingly, both where performances and player fitness is concerned.

    In fact, Eve, who named his provisional 39-player squad last Friday, would love nothing but to have his final Soca Warriors squad –when narrowed down –hit the ground running with positive results to start their Concacaf World Cup qualifying campaign against Grenada and then Bahamas on June 5 and 8 respectively. They will host Grenada at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, before visiting Bahamas a few days later.

    "These 39 players are the ones we think can give us the best chance to start off on a positive head and try to win these two matches and start off with six points in the qualifiers, one game at a time,” Eve said in a recent interview with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) media.

    The tactician, who is aiming to host a camp between June 1 and June 3, pointed out that it was a challenge to gather the team earlier due to players’ club obligations. It is for this reason that he is hoping players will come into camp fit and ready to go, given that they will only assemble a few days before kick off.

    “Players' safety (is a concern) and all these kinds of things. It is terrible that the window starts on (June) 3rd and we have to play on the 5th, so players have to travel on the 3rd, most of the players. On the 1st and 2nd we still have players playing matches outside. We have the locally-based players playing in a final this coming week, a couple days before the game. We still have to look and see who will come through those games unscathed,” Eve shared.

    That said, Eve explained the reason behind gifting players such as Tyrese Spicer, Dantaye Gilbert and Steffen Yeates, their first senior team invitation. While Spicer, 23, and Gilbert, 19, has represented the twin island republic at the youth level, Yeates, 24, is breaking into his first national team.

    “Young Spicer has been doing tremendously well for Toronto FC. We did try to get him and [Wayne] Fredericks for the two Jamaica friendlies, but he [Spicer] had an injury at that point in time and also Fredericks had an injury in that time, so we never got them. It is a delight for us to actually have the opportunity to call him [Spicer] up,” Eve noted.

    “We have also been behind Steffen Yeates since last October. We have really been having good conversations with him, but there were some administrative issues. We think we are very close to sorting out his documents, so we wanted to put him in the training squad, so just in case that his documents come through, he will already be in the squad,” he added.

    Like Spicer and Yeates, Eve said Netherlands-based Gilbert was always a part of his plans, but he wanted to bide his time with the young midfielder.

    “We have been following Dantaye; the tricky thing about these things is that when a young player goes to Europe you want (to allow) him to settle in at his club first before you drag him out of his club. If he stays over there for three, four months and get that quality training in that high-intensity environment then he is going to be better for us when he comes back to the national team,” he ended.

    T&T Provisional squad:

    Goalkeepers: Denzil Smith (Club Sando), Aaron Enill (Prison FC), Christopher Biggette (Defence Force), Adrian Foncette (Miscellaneous Police FC).

    Defenders: Andre Raymond (unattached), Jesse Williams (Chattanooga FC—USA), Sheldon Bateau (SK Beveren—Belgium), Leland Archer (Charleston Battery—USA), Triston Hodge (Hartford Athletic—USA), Ross Russell (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Aubrey David (CS Cartagines—Costa Rica), Alvin Jones, Robert Primus (both Miscellaneous Police FC), Isaiah Garcia, Justin Garcia (both Defence Force), Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay Utd—Jamaica), Shannon Gomez (San Antonio FC—USA).

    Midfielders: Duane Muckette, Michel Poon-Angeron (both AC Port of Spain), Kevon Goddard (Defence Force), Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers—Canada), Kristian Lee Him (Eskilstuna), Dantaye Gilbert (Jong PSV—Netherlands), Steffen Yeates (Pacific FC—Canada), Molik Khan (Minnesota Utd II—USA), Daniel Phillips (St Johnstone FC—Scotland), Ajani Fortune (Atlanta United—USA)Matthew Woo Ling (Defence Force), Noah Powder (Northern Colorado Hailstorm—USA).

    Attackers: Kaile Auvray, Nathaniel James (both Mount Pleasant FC—Jamaica), Real Gill (Northern Colorado Hailstorm—USA), Reon Moore (Pacific FC—Canada), Malcolm Shaw (Cavalry FC), Levi Garcia (AEK Athens—Greece), Tyrese Spicer (Toronto FC—Canada), Ezekiel Kesar (Point Fortin Civic), Kevon Woodley (Morvant Caledonia Utd), Ryan Telfer (HFX Wanderers—Canada).

  • Bayern Munich confirm shock appointment of Kompany Bayern Munich confirm shock appointment of Kompany

    Bayern Munich have confirmed the appointment of Vincent Kompany as their new head coach.

    Kompany has joined Bayern on a three-year deal, and comes in as Thomas Tuchel's replacement.

    The former Manchester City captain, who began his coaching career in Belgium with Anderlecht, could not keep Burnley in the Premier League in 2023-24.

    Indeed, the Clarets were relegated following a 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor in their penultimate match of the season.

    Yet, less than two weeks after the campaign's conclusion, Kompany has been installed as boss of one of Europe's biggest clubs. 

    The 38-year-old joins Bayern after Tuchel confirmed talks over potentially reversing the decision for him and the club to part ways, which came in February, had ended.

    Bayern lost their last game of the Bundesliga season to finish in third place, having failed to win any of the four trophies they were in contention for, seeing their dominance of Germany's top tier ended by Xabi Alonso's unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen team.

    Alonso had been Bayern's primary target, but their former midfielder has elected to stay at Leverkusen for next season.

    Bayern were also linked with Roberto De Zerbi, who has just left Brighton, and Brentford coach Thomas Frank, while they were turned down by Austria coach Ralf Rangnick. Mauricio Pochettino, who left Chelsea on Monday, was also rumoured as a potential option.

    Kompany, then, is a surprise pick, but Bayern will be hoping he rediscovers the magic touch he had during his first season at Turf Moor in 2022-23, when he guided the Clarets to promotion from the Championship, earning 101 points in the process.

    However, Kompany's possession-based, front-foot approach was badly exposed in the Premier League, with Burnley winning just five games on their way to taking 24 points as they finished 19th, going back down alongside Luton Town and Sheffield United.

    He leaves Burnley having managed 96 games, winning 41 (42.7 per cent) of those matches.

    In a statement, Burnley said they were "initially confident" of keeping Kompany at the club, but claimed "the changing dynamics of the situation made this impossible". 

    "We understand the allure and prestige of a club like Bayern Munich and respect Vincent's ambition to explore new opportunities," the statement continued. 

    "We wish only the best for Vincent and would like to put on record our appreciation for his dedication every single day he was a part of this football club. 

    "Our priority remains the stability and success of Burnley, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that our ambition is realised, namely our return to the Premier League."

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