Harry Kane has returned to full Tottenham training as he nears the end of his recovery from an ankle injury.

Kane has been missing since damaging ankle ligaments against Manchester United in January and he was initially expected to be out until March.

The England captain has missed seven matches for Spurs, including last week's impressive 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

But Kane is back in the fold ahead of schedule, with Spurs confirming on Wednesday that the striker had returned to training with the squad.

The comeback raises the possibility that Kane could feature at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman has suggested Arsene Wenger could be the ideal replacement for Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea.

Wenger stepped down as Gunners boss after 22 years in charge at the end of last season, having won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups in north London.

Sarri, meanwhile, is under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge following a string of poor performances and faced a backlash from his own fans during Monday's 2-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Manchester United.

Seaman believes that, if a vacancy should become available, Wenger may feel that he has unfinished business in the Premier League.

"Arsene always said he wouldn't come back to the Premier League because of his love for Arsenal, that he wouldn't feel right competing against Arsenal," former England number one Seaman told talkSPORT.

"But obviously time's a healer and he could think, 'I want to go back there and prove a few people wrong'.

"For me, Arsene got a lot of criticism that wasn't deserved over his last few years at Arsenal.

"It looks like there could be a vacancy at Chelsea quite soon, depending on their next three games which are three big games for Chelsea.

"He'd be great there, I think. He'd be great anywhere, he's a fantastic manager.

"I would love to see him back, but I don't think it would happen."

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri says N'Golo Kante is not being utilised in his favoured defensive midfield position as he does not move the ball quick enough.

One of Sarri's first decisions as boss was to bring deep-lying playmaker Jorginho with him to Stamford Bridge from Napoli, beating Manchester City to the sought-after Italy international.

Initially it looked a fine fit, as both Chelsea and Jorginho began the season well, but teams soon started to put pressure on the Brazil-born midfielder and that has had a knock-on effect on how Sarri wants his team to play.

Jorginho's arrival meant Kante – previously a key player in defensive midfield for title-winning Leicester City and Chelsea teams – was shifted further forward.

Sarri has refused to yield to fan pressure and play Kante deeper, explaining that the France international does not suit his preferred needs for the role.

When reminded Kante won two Premier League titles and a World Cup with France playing holding midfield, Sarri said: "But in a different system. It depends on how you see football.

"In that position, I want to play someone able to move the ball very fast and this is not the best characteristic of N'Golo.

"N'Golo is very useful for us, but this is not his best characteristic."

Sarri was speaking ahead of Thursday's Europa League last-32 second leg against Malmo, for which Pedro, Davide Zappacosta (both ill) and Kepa Arrizabalaga (hamstring) are all doubts. Chelsea are 2-1 up from the away leg.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil he must consistently be available without injury or illness if he is to have a future at the club.

Ozil, 30, is enduring a difficult season with the Gunners, having appeared in just 14 of their 26 Premier League matches.

Injuries and sicknesses have been contributing factors, though when he has been able to play, Ozil has rarely met expectations, prompting Emery to leave him out on several occasions.

But ahead of Thursday's Europa League last-32 second leg against BATE, Emery has been more impressed with Ozil in training, suggesting he could feature.

Emery is not getting carried away, however, telling Ozil – who former boss Arsene Wenger suggests is stuck in his comfort zone – that he needs to show this level consistently.

"The key is in his hands. He is working very well this week," Emery told reporters on Wednesday.

"I ask him in our conversation for consistency, to be available for us for training. When you can train consistently, you can help us with your best performance in the games.

"This week has been good for all the players. I am looking at him doing the training like we want.

"He needs to be available consistently for training, without the injuries, without the sickness."

Arsenal head into Thursday's game trailing 1-0 from the first leg, and while Emery is urging fans to head to Emirates Stadium in their droves, he is not sure whether to expect a capacity crowd due to the 17:55 GMT kick-off time.

"I don't know [if it will be a big crowd], but we want and we need our supporters," Emery said. "A big atmosphere for us is very important.

"After the first result, we must manage the 90 minutes and also know that if we need more minutes, it can be in our mind.

"It's important for us to play in our stadium with our supporters. We need support, I hope there will be a big atmosphere for us. With our supporters I know our players can play."

Antonio Rudiger admits "no player on Earth" would like to have been involved in Chelsea's recent poor run of results under Maurizio Sarri.

The Blues have won only two of their past five games in all competitions, losing 4-0 to Bournemouth, 6-0 to Manchester City and 2-0 to Manchester United.

Their FA Cup exit at home to United on Monday prompted some fans to turn against Sarri, who reportedly requires positive results against Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday and City in the EFL Cup final on Sunday to save his job.

While Rudiger says the squad is playing for Sarri, he concedes it is essential for results to improve.

Asked about the rumours around the head coach's future, he told a news conference: "I make nothing of that. At the end of the day, this is not my thing. I'm a football player, and that's it.

"I'm not the coach. I'm a football player. [The system] is something the coach has to decide and we have to follow.

"You always play for your manager, but you want results. You want to win. No player on Earth likes to have the kind of run we've had."

Sarri has been criticised for perceived tactical stubbornness but Rudiger claims Chelsea's problems are more about mentality.

"It's all based on results," he said. "When we had the results, no one was talking about the things we're talking about today. 

"We are always working in training, trying to do better each day. I think, right now, it's about confidence. It's not a tactical aspect, in my view. It's confidence. We're under-performing."

Rudiger also denied a lack of leadership within the squad is exacerbating the problems.

"People like to say that because we had leaders before here at this club," he said. "That's also fair enough. But we were not talking about leaders when we were having an unbeaten run. It all seems as if it's based on results. If you have the results, we're not speaking about leaders.

"Sometimes it's also hard to replace people like John Terry, who was captain here and a leader. It's hard. You cannot cook a leader these days. But, at the end of the day, we have to try to follow in the footsteps of these players.

"It's always important that the supporters are with us. Sometimes, for example at City, you can understand that they are furious. But at the end of the day, the emotions of the fans, I cannot do anything about that. No player can.

"What we can do is get back results, then they'll always be behind us. They still come to the stadium and support us, so they are behind us. It's based on our performances and the results we give. Then we will always have them behind us."

Chelsea won 2-1 at Malmo in the first leg of their last-32 tie and they are expected to progress to the next round on Thursday.

Rudiger, though, thinks the EFL Cup showdown with City will show how good they really are.

"It's important for us to stay in this [Europa League] competition and fight to win it, definitely," he added. "Then, on Sunday, a big game against City at Wembley. That will show the truth. That will show our way this season."

Maurizio Sarri has conceded there is a problem with his system at Chelsea but insists he is planning on staying at the club for "a long time".

The Blues head coach is under severe pressure following a disappointing run of results, which has included 4-0 and 6-0 Premier League defeats to Bournemouth and Manchester City respectively and a 2-0 FA Cup exit at the hands of Manchester United.

Many fans booed the team's efforts following the final whistle of Monday's loss to United at Stamford Bridge, while others had voiced their displeasure with the tactics on display.

There are reports Sarri could be sacked unless Chelsea see off Malmo in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday and also win Sunday's EFL Cup final against City.

But although he accepts there must be improvement, Sarri says he is focused on the longer term.

"The system is the first problem. I know very well that when we lose, I have to put a striker on the pitch; when we win, I have to put a defender on the pitch. But I want to see football in another way," he said.

"It's not very easy [to improve] because we have no time, but we are trying to solve our problems. It's not easy because on the pitch we have no time at the moment, but we are trying to talk to the players, to avoid some mistakes by video. It's not easy. We have to play every three days.

"I have to think we are able to improve, and we are able to improve immediately. The result is not all in the match.

"In the last match, we played better, especially in the first half. We have to solve a big problem because we stayed in the other half for 75 minutes and we were not able to score. They played only 15, 16 balls in our box and scored two goals, so we have to solve this problem, probably a problem of aggression and determination in both boxes.

"At the moment, we are making mistakes with a lot of players. Everybody is sooner or later involved in a mistake. We need more to change the mentality than the players.

"I have to think I will be the manager of Chelsea for a long time, otherwise I cannot work. I am not sure because I have to work, and I want to work with a long-term target."

Sarri, who said he has not spoken with owner Roman Abramovich or director Marina Granovskaia this week, denies this has been the most difficult spell of his coaching career.

"Not at all. I had a lot of problems in the past, especially in [Italy's equivalent of] League One, League Two - it's very difficult to be a coach in Italy in League One or League Two," he said.

Sarri thinks fans were right to feel angry after the thrashing from City at the Etihad Stadium, but he maintains Chelsea were much improved in their loss to United.

"I think the problem is the performance and the result against City," he said. "We played very badly. We played without mentality, without soul. For that match, I think they are right.

"I don't agree for the last match because we played a good match, especially in the first half. In the second half it was more difficult, they are a physical team and defended very low, very compact, so it's not easy. We played well."

Ashley Young has hailed Paul Pogba as a world-class midfielder but insists Manchester United's resurgence is not only down to the France star.

Pogba has thrived since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as caretaker manager from Jose Mourinho and produced another match-winning display on Monday, setting up Ander Herrera's opener before scoring the second in the 2-0 FA Cup win at Chelsea.

The former Juventus man has been directly involved in 15 goals in just 12 appearances under Solskjaer, helping United to 11 wins and a draw in 13 matches across all competitions.

Young, though, says the whole squad is pulling together to help United progress.

"He's a world-class player - you don't win a World Cup for no reason," he said. "But it's not just about Paul, it's a team game and squad game.

"Everyone that started the game, everyone on the bench, the boys that came on [at Chelsea] were fantastic. Scott [McTominay] was only on for a few minutes but he did his job and played his part. When Andreas [Pereira] and Alexis [Sanchez] came on, they were fantastic as well.

"It's all competition for places and it keeps everyone on their toes. Every day in training you've got to be giving 100 per cent and everyone wants to be in the team. When you're winning games, everyone wants to be in that team and part of it."

United's win at Stamford Bridge came six days on from a 2-0 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, their first loss since Solskjaer took charge.

Young was delighted with the response to that setback, especially with a Premier League match at home to Liverpool to come on Sunday, and was particularly pleased with the way they were able to exploit Chelsea's vulnerabilities.

"We knew Chelsea's weaknesses and we knew how we wanted to play the game and I think we did that superbly well from the start until the end," he said. It was magnificent and I think we had another gear to go. That says a lot about us bouncing back from midweek and getting a result. 

"The first 10, 15 minutes were a bit shaky but after that we stamped our authority on the game, got the first goal and we were on the front foot from then on.

"We scored two unbelievable goals. We had to defend as a team. We have been doing that: attacking as a team, defending as a team.

"It gives us all massive belief. Obviously, you will get confidence from winning games and that's exactly what we have done. We beat Tottenham away, and Arsenal away and now Chelsea away. We knew it would be tough, we had to be on the front foot, and we knew we would have to defend but it's a fantastic result for us."

United were draw away to Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-final, while Manchester City were pitted against Championship side Swansea City, and Young admits he had been expecting to face Pep Guardiola's side.

"I was surprised we didn't get City," he added. "That's what we were looking for, but you have to beat every team in the competition and that's what we'll do: go down there to beat them and get through to the semi-final."

Cesar Azpilicueta says Chelsea will "give everything" to turn their fortunes around under Maurizio Sarri as their season enters a potentially decisive phase.

Pressure is mounting on the head coach after a difficult run of results and there were boos around Stamford Bridge at the full-time whistle of Monday's 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.

The Blues take on Malmo in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday and are heavy favourites to progress, having claimed a 2-1 win in Sweden last week.

However, that match takes place just three days before the EFL Cup final showdown with Manchester City, who thrashed Chelsea 6-0 in the Premier League 10 days ago.

There is talk that Sarri will not keep his job into next week if they do not manage two positive results, and Azpilicueta insists the players will fight to ensure they do.

"It was a tough night because we didn't convert our game into chances, and we didn't score at least one goal to push us until the end, give us belief, bring the atmosphere up and fight until the end, so obviously we are disappointed," he told Chelsea TV after the United loss.

"We are eliminated from the competition, we are the current holders and we reached the final the year before last as well. We know the history of the competition, for the country and the club as well. It's frustrating.

"We know the fans support us in every moment. At Chelsea we are used to winning a lot of trophies and we have been the most successful team in England for the last couple of years. So, the only thing I can say is that we will give everything and work hard.

"We know we have the Europa League game coming up on Thursday. We will then play a final when we are back at Wembley after the FA Cup final last year and the Community Shield.

"We are used to fighting for trophies, so hopefully we can keep calm from Thursday and then win that trophy on Sunday."

City Football Group has made inroads into China with the acquisition of third-tier club Sichuan Jiuniu.

CFG, which owns Manchester City, has bought the Chengdu-based side as part of a joint-purchase deal involving China Sports Capital and robotics firm UBTECH.

City chief executive Ferran Soriano said in a statement on Wednesday: "Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group. China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time.

"We believe strongly in the future of football in China. We are making a long-term, sustainable commitment to grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent. These objectives are equally important.

"Our immediate focus will be strengthening our football performance, using all of our experience and know-how, forging a strong relationship with our fans and building a strong presence in the community."

Sichuan Jiuniu become the seventh club to join CFG's global conglomerate. Alongside Premier League champions City, CFG also controls Melbourne City, New York City and Club Atletico Torque of Uruguay, while it has invested in Girona and Yokohama F. Marinos.

China Sports Capital has held shares in CFG since December 2015, while UBTECH has been one of City's commercial partners since 2016.

Andy Robertson is wary of Manchester United, but said Liverpool's rivals should also be cautious of his team ahead of Sunday's blockbuster clash.

Jurgen Klopp's men make the trip to Old Trafford looking to return to the summit of the Premier League, which is topped by Manchester City on goal difference.

United have found form under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, rising into fourth in the table on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run in the league.

Robertson knows the challenge awaiting his team against United, but said Liverpool had stars of their own capable of causing problems.

"It's a big game against Manchester United, it's always big against them. It's a game in hand as well and we look forward to that," the left-back said after Liverpool's 0-0 Champions League draw with Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

"It's a huge game and they're a different team playing some really good football, I think we need to be wary of them but they know what they're coming up against and they need to be wary of us. It'll be a good game and one we can hopefully come out on top of.

"You look at their teamsheet or squad list and it's full of stars. They came to the party and they have a fantastic team. They've got people back from injury as well which always helps and they've got a strong squad as well.

"We know what we're coming up against and we need to stop their danger men but hopefully we've got enough to cause them problems as well to get the result that we need."

Liverpool were unable to find a breakthrough in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Bayern.

Robertson accepted his team did not deserve victory at Anfield, lamenting their struggles in the attacking third.

"A draw is a fair result and the tie is still alive," he said.

"On another day the lads in front of goal put it away or we make better decisions so you can't really put it down to anything. Maybe it's just somebody has rushed the shot or I or Trent [Alexander-Arnold] have rushed the cross or whatever.

"These things happen, especially in big games, so it's about trying to have a wee bit of composure and that's probably what we lacked in the first half.

"We had the chances to create and then in the second half we were probably better on the ball without really creating anything."

Kevin De Bruyne thinks talk of Manchester City achieving an unprecedented quadruple this season remain far-fetched.

The Premier League leaders return to Champions League action at Schalke on Wednesday and are heavy favourites to progress in a last-16 tie against a team languishing 14th in the Bundesliga.

Sunday brings the EFL Cup final against a Chelsea team City hammered 6-0 earlier this month, while the FA Cup quarter-final draw granted Pep Guardiola's team a trip to Championship outfit Swansea City.

But speaking at a pre-match news conference in Essen, former Wolfsburg star De Bruyne insisted he only had eyes for Schalke.

"I think the goal is not to win the four competitions; the goal is to win every game and, the further you progress, you want to win the next game," he said.

"On Sunday we can win the competition but you cannot say at the beginning we are going to win four.

"We are happy with where we are, we want to progress to the quarter-finals [in the Champions League] and be closer to winning it.

"But to win all four and set that standard is nearly impossible."

Belgium midfielder De Bruyne has had his season interrupted by two medial knee ligament injuries.

"The injuries, in the end, are what they are," he added. "I had two, it's not nice but it's part of football.

"I've been fortunate until now with injuries in my career. I feel okay, I don't know if I feel fresh.

"Sometimes it’s nice to feel a flow and just keep going. That was what happened last season.

"Now it's been difficult, six months is a long time. But I'm feeling better and better, doing better than after my last injury and I'm happy with that."

Maurizio Sarri's preference for using N'Golo Kante in a more advanced role than his usual defensive midfield position at Chelsea is a "good thing" because it aids versatility, according to France coach Didier Deschamps.

After a strong start to the season, Chelsea's form has tailed off badly and they have slipped to sixth in the Premier League, having initially looked well-placed to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for the title.

The pre-season signing of Jorginho was said to be hugely important to Sarri, the pair having worked together at Napoli, and the coach instantly deployed the Italy international in a deep-lying playmaker role, shifting Kante into a more attack-minded position.

Although the change appeared to work well at first, Jorginho's form in recent weeks has been the subject of criticism and many feel Sarri - who is under increasing pressure - should drop the Italian and put Kante back in his usual post.

Deschamps prefers the former Leicester City midfielder in a defensive position, though he is convinced Kante will be benefiting from playing in a slightly different area.

"It happens with other players too. I saw that his coach [Sarri] prefers to see him in a more offensive position because he has a player, Jorginho, who plays a bit deeper," Deschamps told reporters at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco.

"N'Golo Kante is able to play in several positions. He is a modern player, a modern midfielder. When he is with me with the French team, he has great importance in a deeper position.

"He is very important defensively and in the organisation of the game. Each coach has his formation and a different vision, but I'm not worried about that.

"It's actually a good thing that players are versatile and can play in different positions and formations."

France coach Didier Deschamps saluted the resurgence of Anthony Martial at Manchester United and is certain the attacker has everything needed to be among the world's best players.

Martial joined United from Monaco in 2015 in a deal which could reportedly cost £58million and enjoyed a promising first season under Louis van Gaal, scoring 11 goals in 31 Premier League games and winning the Golden Boy award for the best under-21 player in Europe.

But after Van Gaal's exit, Martial seemed to regress under Jose Mourinho's guidance, finding himself in and out of the team in the Portuguese coach's first two seasons and his international career subsequently suffered, missing out on a spot in France's World Cup squad.

Martial looked set for the Old Trafford exit ahead of the current campaign, but he made himself indispensable in the first half of the season, scoring seven of his nine league goals under the former Chelsea boss.

And he has continued to look the part under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, much to the delight of Deschamps.

"It's always difficult to know what will happen, but all players can have periods when they are less successful on the pitch," Deschamps said at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco.

"It's certainly related to confidence. It can be related to the relationship they have with their coach. It happens every season, for all players.

"Anthony Martial is back playing at a very, very good level. He's often decisive. He had some physical problems too.

"He is a player who was with us at Euro 2016. He wasn't there for the World Cup, but he is one of the players we regularly follow.

"He is a young player who is growing in maturity, because he started very early at Manchester United and with the French team too.

"There are always difficult moments, but in terms of potential, he has everything you need to be at the highest level."

Arsene Wenger has suggested Aaron Ramsey would still be an Arsenal player next season if he was in charge of the Premier League club.

Juventus confirmed earlier this month that they had agreed a deal to sign Wales midfielder Ramsey at the end his contract in June, ending an 11-year association with the Gunners.

Unai Emery replaced Wenger after more than 21-and-a-half years at the helm for the start of this season and Ramsey had often been deployed as a substitute under the ex-Sevilla boss.

The 28-year-old's switch to Juve was long mooted but, speaking at the Laureus World Sport Awards – where he received a lifetime achievement prize – Wenger claimed there had been a change of heart after his own Emirates Stadium departure.

"In the case of Ramsey, it's not a question at all of [running down his] contract, not at all," he said.

"I think it was not a financial situation and not a desire of the player to leave. But, as long as I was there, I was convinced that the player would stay.

"What happened after, I don't know. It was not a financial problem, not a desire to leave problem."

Ramsey will reportedly be handsomely remunerated for his services in wage terms, having joined Juventus on a free transfer.

Wenger feels this factor, along with spiralling transfer prices for elite players, is increasingly influential and gives an incentive for players not to commit to contract extensions ahead of time.

"It's very simple: the transfer market is so big now that they think 'if I run out my contract, I will not get the whole [outlay of the] transfer [but] I get the big part of it'," he explained, having seen star names Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil enter the closing stages of their Arsenal deals on his watch.

"Adding that to inflation means that the financial incentive for a player is to run out his contract. You'll see that more and more, because a good player today [costs] between 50 and 100 million.

"So, the player will not be bought for that price. His interest is to run the contract down and say to the club who wants to buy him 'okay, I don't want 50 [million], but I want a part of it'."

Eden Hazard should leave Chelsea and would become a better player at Real Madrid, according to former Belgium international Emile Mpenza.

Hazard's contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of next season and this month he said he has made a decision about his future, though he did not offer any further information.

The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a switch to Madrid, a path trodden by former Chelsea team-mate and Belgium colleague Thibaut Courtois in the close season.

Ex-Manchester City striker Mpenza believes heading to the Santiago Bernabeu would enable Hazard to take his career to new heights.

"I think he wrote a page in Chelsea's history book and now he has to try to go somewhere else," Mpenza told Omnisport.

"A player always wants to move to another team to improve. Real Madrid won three Champions Leagues [in a row], and Hazard hasn't won it with Chelsea.

"If he wants to improve, he can go to Madrid to become stronger."

Mpenza warned City not to underestimate Schalke - another of his former teams - in the Champions League last-16 tie, the first leg of which takes place at the Veltins-Arena on Wednesday.

However, he believes Pep Guardiola's side are the favourites to retain the Premier League title due to Liverpool's history of struggling against teams beneath them in the table.

"We always try to go through, but we failed. This year it's a very tough game against Schalke. People are saying that we are favourites, but it's football, we never know," said Mpenza.

On the domestic battle with City and Liverpool locked on 65 points at the summit, though the Reds have a game in hand, he added: "It's possible [City will win the league]. Now they're tied with Liverpool, but Liverpool are always in the race until the end for the past two-three years.

"And I think City could win again this year because they have a lot of experience … and Liverpool has been losing games they shouldn't lose in the final stretch in the past.

"So I think City has an advantage when it comes to winning the league."

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