Rumour Has It: Madrid want Haaland in 2020 and Mbappe in 2021, Spurs unwilling to sell Kane

By Sports Desk April 13, 2020

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  • Guardiola lauds 'exceptional' Torres after first Man City hat-trick Guardiola lauds 'exceptional' Torres after first Man City hat-trick

    Pep Guardiola hailed Ferran Torres' goalscoring instinct after the youngster plundered his first Manchester City hat-trick in the champions' 4-3 win at Newcastle United.

    Torres, who joined from LaLiga side Valencia ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, put City 2-1 up with a sumptuous flicked finish after Joao Cancelo cancelled out Emil Krafth's opener.

    A penalty from Joelinton and a Joe Willock goal – scored after the on-loan Arsenal man's spot-kick had been saved – put the Magpies ahead, but Torres scored twice in two minutes to seal an English record 12th straight away win for City.

    Torres' Friday evening treble took him to 13 goals for the campaign, with team-mate Phil Foden (14 goals) the only player aged 21 or under to have scored more for a Premier League club across all competitions this term.

    The St James' Park hat-trick hero also became the youngest ever player to score a treble for a team managed by Guardiola, at 21 years and 75 days.

    Guardiola was full of praise for the Spain international, who he believes has all the attributes to be a successful central striker.

    "It's his first season in England and his numbers are exceptional," the City boss told Sky Sports. "He came as a winger, but he has had to think about being a striker. When Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were out, he was there.

    "He didn't have minutes, but when he played he had a sense of goal. I'm really pleased.

    "He can be [a number nine]. We will use him, we used him and he was brilliant. His rhythm, especially defensively, has improved a lot.

    "The movement he makes as a striker. The [third] goal hits the bar and he knew where it would go. Strikers know intuitively where it will arrive. He has this talent, the first goal is fantastic."

    Asked if the emergence of Torres as a central striking option could mean City do not dip into the transfer market to replace the departing Aguero, Guardiola said: "I don't know what's going to happen. Maybe we buy a striker, maybe not.

    "We have a guy, he's young. A good transfer. I can use him on the left, right, or as a striker.

    "The season is too long, we can't play with just 11 players. The best striker we can buy can't play all the minutes."

  • 'What a mess' - Neymar unhappy after being banned for Coupe de France final 'What a mess' - Neymar unhappy after being banned for Coupe de France final

    Neymar has questioned French football's lawmakers after being banned for Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France final against Monaco next week.

    The Brazil international was booked four minutes after being brought off the bench in Wednesday's eventful 2-2 semi-final draw with Montpellier, which PSG won 6-5 on penalties.

    Neymar, who sat out two matches after being sent off against Lille last month, has triggered a one-game suspension linked to his punishment for that previous offence.

    The league's disciplinary committee met and it has been confirmed Neymar will not be available for the showpiece against Monaco at the Stade de France.

    Reacting to the news on his personal Instagram page, Neymar posted: "I would like to understand the reasoning of the guy who takes care of bookings in France! 

    "That deserves applause. What a mess."

    Neymar's outburst could land him in further trouble with disciplinary chiefs, having also hit out at referee Jeremie Pignard following the win against Montpellier.

    "I play five minutes, I commit a foul and he gives me a yellow without even thinking," Neymar posted on social media earlier this week.

    "Thank you for suspending me for the final. I think it was personal."

    Mauricio Pochettino's PSG may be relying on next Wednesday's Coupe de France final to salvage their campaign.

    They trail Ligue 1 leaders Lille by three points with two games to go - the first of those is at home to Reims on Sunday - and were knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester City at the semi-final stage.

    Neymar penned a new four-year deal with PSG last week and has featured 29 times for the French giants in all competitions this season, scoring 16 goals.

  • TT-total! No celebrations for Chelsea, even if they win FA Cup TT-total! No celebrations for Chelsea, even if they win FA Cup

    Thomas Tuchel has told Chelsea's players there will be no time to celebrate if they beat Leicester City in the FA Cup final… because they must immediately begin preparations for another crunch clash with the same opponents.

    The Blues have the opportunity to garnish their impressive recovery under Tuchel with some silverware at Wembley on Saturday.

    However, a lacklustre 1-0 loss to Arsenal in midweek leaves their top-four hopes in the balance.

    They slipped behind Leicester and are now fourth in the standings, knowing Liverpool could be just a point behind them by the time they host Brendan Rodgers' side on Tuesday.

    "There are no celebrations, no celebrations planned. These are special times," Tuchel told reporters.

    "If we win there's nothing planned. It's a bit too close that we play on Tuesday again.

    "The situation in the league does not allow us to celebrate. We have two finals coming up and want to win both of them.

    "Tomorrow will have a huge physical impact and we need to be ready on Sunday to do a good recovery session and on Monday to prepare for the next games.

    "If there are celebrations, we need to delay them to a little bit later."

    Tuchel has a mixed record in finals, winning the DFB-Pokal with Borussia Dortmund in 2016-17, having lost on penalties to Bayern Munich in the domestic showpiece 12 months earlier.

    He won the 2019-20 Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue, having lost – again on penalties to Rennes – in the final of the former a year earlier. However, a 1-0 defeat to Bayern in last August's Champions League final prevented a clean sweep.

    "It's very hard to learn from one final to the next final, because you never know how many years or months in between. Your opponent is different, your team is maybe different," said the 47-year-old, who will lead Chelsea in the Champions League final against Manchester City later this month.

    "A general rule is that the more tension, the more decisive character that a game has, the less new information you give. You have short, clear sessions.

    "It's not the moment to learn new stuff and implement new tactical tricks. It's the moment to be confident and to be well aware what is our style of play, what are our strengths and encourage the players to be on their top level."

    At Dortmund, Tuchel explained his attempts to lighten the mood for such occasions extended to him playing as a goalkeeper in training.

    "I gave a lot of confidence to my players," he chuckled, having confirmed the far more able Kepa Arrizabalaga will be between the posts for Chelsea in the final.

    "Laughter is always very, very welcome, but if you try hard to make the group smile it will not happen. It has to come naturally. If you don't feel it, don't do it

    "The tension will grow once you arrive at Wembley. There will be a certain energy that maybe you cannot prepare for. Adapt to it, go for it and embrace the challenge.

    "It's normal to be excited and nervous."

    In terms of his own preparations when it comes to dealing with those nerves, Tuchel revealed he practices meditation.

    "Just 20 minutes, breathe in, breathe out and try hard to do nothing," he added.

    "Some years ago I came into this. It helped me, it was a nice experience when I was between coaching Mainz and Dortmund.

    "Sometimes I'm very disciplined and do it twice and day, sometimes I am not so disciplined for weeks."

    Discipline will be a watchword for Chelsea this weekend – especially immediately after full-time if they manage to secure the club's ninth FA Cup.

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