Rumour Has It: Manchester City to turn to Kane if Haaland bid fails

By Sports Desk March 31, 2021

Manchester City will turn to Harry Kane if they cannot land Erling Haaland.

It is widely expected City will go hard to sign the Norway striker, who is being pursued by numerous big clubs.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea are all interested in the Borussia Dortmund man.

 

TOP STORY - KANE IN CITY'S SIGHTS

The Times reports that if City fail to win the race for Haaland's signature they will consider making an offer for Tottenham talisman Kane.

Kane is seven years older than Haaland but has a proven Premier League goal scoring record.

City have already confirmed Sergio Aguero's exit at the end of the season and are in the market to bolster their forward ranks.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail is reporting that City's main priorities in the transfer market are to sign Haaland and Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish, as they turn to a younger generation of talent. The duo are expected to cost £200 million.

- Football Insider has reported Lionel Messi has requested FC Barcelona sign countryman Aguero as part of his own negotiations to stay with the Catalans. Mundo Deportivo claims Aguero is not a priority signing for Barca, with Memphis Depay, Romelu Lukaku and Haaland top of the list.

- Gianluigi Donnarumma has been linked with a host of big clubs and Sky Sport Italia are reporting that contract talks with AC Milan are at a standstill. Milan are allegedly offering €7million per-year deal but the goalkeeper wants more.

- Voetbalkrant are reporting Southampton are interested in Anderlecht's teenage defender Marco Kana.

- Ex-Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin coach Lucien Favre is interested in becoming Celtic's new coach, according to the Daily Mail.

- Fichajes reports Leeds United's Rodrigo is unhappy in England and wants to return to Spain, with Real Betis and Sevilla in the mix.

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  • Pep Guardiola sets his sights on Real Madrid after Manchester City humble Luton Pep Guardiola sets his sights on Real Madrid after Manchester City humble Luton

    Pep Guardiola immediately turned his attention to the challenge of Real Madrid after his Manchester City side thrashed Luton 5-1 on Saturday.

    City enjoyed the perfect preparation for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against the Spanish giants as they cruised past the Hatters in a one-sided encounter.

    An early own goal from Daiki Hashioka set them on their way before second-half strikes from Mateo Kovacic, Erling Haaland, Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol wrapped up a comfortable win.

    With the three points taking City back to the Premier League summit, putting pressure on rivals Arsenal and Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s fixtures, Guardiola could switch his focus to Real.

    “The team is alive,” said the City boss, whose side played out a pulsating 3-3 draw with Real last Tuesday.

    “It’s difficult against Real Madrid but, at the same time, let’s try and go to do it with our people.

    “Whatever happens, we will give everything. There is not one minute when we won’t know what to do.

    “We have all our desire to do it. I want the Etihad full, no seat empty.”

    City are chasing an unprecedented second successive treble.

    Guardiola said: “We have to admit it, what a privilege, still fighting for the Premier League, playing against Real Madrid with a chance to qualify for the semi-final, and the FA Cup next Saturday, a semi-final again.”

    Although City won comfortably, Guardiola felt Luton had made things difficult.

    He said: “It was really hard until the second goal.

    “We played really good and had a lot of chances in the first half but we missed something in the finishing.

    “How many times have I seen in world football that a team is better and doesn’t win the game? Many times. We know how difficult Luton are.”

    Hatters boss Rob Edwards conceded he had not expected his relegation battlers to get anything from the game.

    He said: “It was always going to be difficult. Without sounding very defeatist, I almost made peace with it.

    “They were the dominant team, they were amazing, but we stayed in the game as long as we could. It’s tough but today was never going to derail us.”

    Edwards bemoaned his side’s luck in conceding so early, with the own goal coming as a Haaland shot cannoned into the net off Hashioka’s head.

    He said: “We wanted to try to be aggressive but then Haaland knocks out Hashy with the first goal – one of the few defenders we have left knocked out on the floor and we’re 1-0 down after a minute.

    “What a start that is, that’s tough.”

    Hashioka required treatment before continuing but Edwards later clarified he had not actually been knocked unconscious.

    He said: “No, he was just lying flat. I was just saying that in jest. I was just worried that he was.

    “He just got up and I thought, ‘thank goodness for that’. Otherwise we would have been putting a centre forward at centre-back.”

  • Brendan Rodgers says Celtic are coming alive at the right time Brendan Rodgers says Celtic are coming alive at the right time

    Brendan Rodgers feels Celtic are coming alive at the right time after an impressive second-half display against St Mirren gave them a 3-0 win which sends them four points clear in the cinch Premiership.

    The champions struggled to create chances in a ponderous first-half display which saw St Mirren create the better openings.

    But Celtic upped their intensity at the start of the second half and Reo Hatate produced a classy finish with the outside of his boot in the 52nd minute.

    Kyogo Furuhashi and substitute Adam Idah both headed home to complete a 3-0 victory which keeps the destiny of the title in their hands as well as Rangers, who are due to play twice before the split.

    Rodgers, whose team face Aberdeen in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-finals next weekend, said: “I really look forward to this period, this is when Celtic comes alive. Five games to go, trophies at stake, Scottish Cup at stake, so bring it on.”

    Rodgers, whose side led for the vast majority of last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Rangers, added: “We’re in a really good position and when you know that everything is with you – and you decide what your destiny is.

    “That’s why the result at Ibrox was huge for us, as well as the performance. We played really well last week and when we had to bite down on the gum-shield, we were tough and (have) seen it through in a difficult environment.

    “That bodes well for us. We know we can play football, play with speed, and we can score goals. We’ve also shown a steeliness which will be important in the run-in.”

    Although Celtic have lost Daizen Maeda to a hamstring problem, the return to fitness of Hatate and Callum McGregor has been a major boost.

    On Hatate, Rodgers said: “We are trying to build him up and he was outstanding at Ibrox. When he went off, we lost a wee bit in midfield.

    “But he’s had a really good week’s training and he got his goal, which will be great for his confidence. He’s a huge player for us.

    “Reo had come back a few times and broke down while away with the Japanese squad. He was devastated at that.

    “We have to be careful with all the players. We have to manage him and Callum, who was more like himself and had a fantastic cameo .

    “But with Reo, or any top player, you try to have the right plan for him which allows him to peak at the right time.”

    On Maeda, Rodgers said: “I’m not sure Daizen will feature too much, it’s such a small window now. I’m not sure if he will feature before the end of the season.”

    St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson bemoaned the injuries which disrupted his side’s positive first-half display. Elvis Bwomono went off following a head knock midway through the opening half and others would soon follow.

    “We were excellent for 45 minutes and then we can get undone by two excellent goals,” Robinson said.

    “Kyogo’s movement for the second goal was fantastic and the delivery as well. And the first goal was a super finish. That’s the difference in levels. The first one wasn’t a clear opportunity but they made the best of it.

    “The two injuries before and at half-time stopped a bit of our momentum. It takes players time to get into the rhythm and the shape. Scott Tanser and Elvis going off seemed to stop our rhythm and then Greg Kiltie and Richard Taylor have to come off too.

    “We maybe had five enforced changes that we didn’t want to have to make. Sometimes Lady Luck isn’t shining on you.

    “Credit to Celtic for the quality they showed when they needed to. That’s the difference in levels.”

  • Russell Martin frustrated despite Southampton’s last-gasp victory over Watford Russell Martin frustrated despite Southampton’s last-gasp victory over Watford

    Southampton boss Russell Martin was left frustrated about his side’s “nonsense” performance despite a dramatic last-gasp 3-2 victory over Watford.

    Leicester and Leeds lost this weekend, while Ipswich dropped points to give Saints renewed hope of an automatic promotion spot and an immediate return to the Premier League.

    They needed a stoppage-time winner from Flynn Downes to beat the Hornets after throwing away a two-goal lead.

    And Martin said: “It’s a good day for us in the end with the results elsewhere as well, but we can only focus on ourselves and I’m pleased we got over the line.

    “I’m frustrated with how long it took and what it took, but I’m really pleased we won. We played some brilliant football with plenty of running and energy.

    “The feeling at the end is amazing, but it just shouldn’t be that. Watford were good, and they’re playing with freedom and they’re running so hard for Tom.

    “We have five games now where we just can’t afford to play like that. Unfortunately for us, we’re not in the top two and having a nice time. We’re fighting and chasing for everything we have.

    “I’m frustrated about some of it but really pleased with some of it. I’m delighted with the character and the grit and the willingness to win.

    “You can’t concede two goals again at home after being two up – we have to stop that nonsense.

    “I’ve never stopped believing in the group of players that we have. I think they’ve shown they believe so much in what they’re doing with the late winner today and the fight.”

    Saints were in cruise control after Will Smallbone had headed in their fastest goal of the season after 57 seconds and Che Adams had doubled the lead by tapping in David Brooks’ cross.

    Ryan Porteous pulled one back for the Hornets before the break before they thought they had earned a fifth straight draw when Ismael Kone coolly slotted in an 85th-minute equaliser.

    But West Ham loanee Downes bundled in at the back post with the last kick of the game to send St Mary’s into chaos.

    Watford interim boss Tom Cleverley said: “The red card incident on Porteous, genuine mistake. The handball, his line of sight might have been obscured, genuine mistake.

    “The fact that the corner gets delivered after the 98th minute after seven added on is a worry.

    “For me, our season is sort of mid-table and it’s not affected the way our campaign ends so much, but when there’s hundreds of millions of pounds on the line for Leeds, Ipswich and Leicester.

    “I think they could be arguing that the top referees should be in charge of these games for when the stakes are so big.

    “I will never, ever have a go for genuine mistakes. I’m disappointed the corner was taken. There was no subs, no goals in injury time.

    “It’s a really difficult one to take. But for the first time we’ve been behind in my stint as manager and we showed real character to come back.

    “It feels a really, really bitter pill to swallow that we’ve come out with no points. We’re feeling really hard done by now.”

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