EPL

Football rumours: Brentford monitoring Norwich striker Josh Sargent

By Sports Desk March 04, 2024

What the papers say

Brentford are reportedly keeping tabs on Norwich’s in-form American striker Josh Sargent. The Sun says the Bees view the 24-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 17 matches this season, as an ideal replacement for Ivan Toney, who is expected to be sold in the summer.

Miguel Gutierrez is on the radar of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, according to The Sun. Citing a report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the paper says the 22-year-old defender is a high priority transfer target for the United boss, though Gutierrez’s former club are thought to Real Madrid retain 50 per cent of his rights and a buy-back clause and could prove a substantial roadblock for the Red Devils.

And the Daily Mirror reports Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all had scouts in attendance to watch Sporting Lisbon striker Viktor Gyokeres net his 31st goal of the season against Benfica last week.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Andy Robertson: Football Insider says Liverpool are set to open contract talks with the defender, who has been linked with Bayern Munich in recent days.

Francesco Camarda: Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia, reports Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the 15-year-old AC Milan forward.

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    Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions sit two points clear at the top after their rivals slipped up at the weekend, with Mikel Arteta’s Gunners and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds separated only by goal difference.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the top-flight run-in and what promises to be a dramatic finale.

    Manchester City (First, played 32, points 73, goal difference 44)

    Run-in: Brighton (a), Nottingham Forest (a), Wolves (h), Fulham (a), Tottenham (a), West Ham (h).

    In-form City are seeking to become champions for the fourth year in a row and chasing back-to-back trebles. A perfect weekend for Guardiola’s side, which included a 5-1 thrashing of Luton, put those quests back on track. City are unbeaten since December, dropping just eight points from a possible 51 during that time. Star striker Erling Haaland may not have hit the heights of his debut season but is still the division’s leading scorer, while Kevin De Bruyne’s return to fitness following an injury-hit spell has provided a timely boost. City, who are preparing for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid, are now odds-on favourites for title glory and, according to Guardiola, thriving under the pressure.

    Arsenal (Second, played 32, points 71, goal difference 49)

    Run-in: Wolves (a), Chelsea (h), Tottenham (a), Bournemouth (h), Manchester United (a), Everton (h).

    Arsenal are at risk of experiencing deja vu. The Gunners topped the table for much of last season before falling away in the final weeks. Arteta’s men were unbeaten in 2024 – winning 10 of 11 league fixtures – before Sunday’s damaging 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa saw them surrender first place. Arsenal face arguably the toughest run-in of the three contenders. After playing their Champions League quarter-final second leg away to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, they still have to face London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham and take on Manchester United at Old Trafford. Manager Arteta is fortunate to have few injury issues and will be desperate to prevent a campaign which promised so much fizzling out.

    Liverpool (Third, played 32, points 71, goal difference 41)

    Run-in: Fulham (a), Everton (a), West Ham (a), Tottenham (h), Aston Villa (a), Wolves (h).

    Reds boss Klopp is reliant on favours from elsewhere to enjoy a fairytale end to his nine-year Anfield reign following a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace. Aside from game week 28, Liverpool led the division for more than three months between Boxing Day and early April before losing momentum. The 19-time English champions, who this week travel to Italy seeking to overturn a 3-0 aggregate deficit against Atalanta in the last eight of the Europa League, have three successive away matches coming up, including a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Klopp knows his side can afford few, if any, further wobbles if he is to add to the top-flight title won in 2020 before moving on in the summer.

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    Taking over a team second-bottom of the table in October of last season, Alonso worked wonders to lead Leverkusen to a sixth-placed finish and a Europa League semi-final before breaking new ground this season.

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    The manner of their 5-1 win also sounded a warning, while Arsenal were outplayed in the second half as they lost 2-0 to Aston Villa and Liverpool missed a hatful of chances as Crystal Palace held on for a 1-0 upset.

    Commitments in other competitions mean City do not play their next league game until April 25 at Brighton, by which point their rivals will both have played twice more knowing they need wins to put the pressure back on Pep Guardiola’s side.

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