Callum Hudson-Odoi has signed a new five-year contract at Chelsea, the club has confirmed.

The England international joins fellow academy products Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount in committing to long-term deals since Frank Lampard's appointment as head coach.

Securing the teenager's signature is significant for Chelsea, who rejected several bids from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich earlier this year.

The German giants made their interest known in January, reportedly leading Hudson-Odoi to submit a transfer request, and are said to have returned with a reduced £22.5million (€25.4m) offer as the winger entered the final 12 months of his previous deal.

Chelsea resisted Bayern's interest and have now tied the talented homegrown prospect to an agreement reportedly worth upwards of £100,000 per week.

"It's an amazing feeling," Hudson-Odoi told Chelsea's official website. "It's been a long wait but it's done now and I'm really happy about that. I've been a Chelsea player since I was eight and this is the right club for me to be at.

"I want to lift as many trophies as possible, win as many games as possible and contribute to as many goals as I can as well. As a team, we just want to work hard to achieve the best results we can.

"I'm delighted everything has been agreed and now I'm just looking forward to properly getting back."

Hudson-Odoi had to be patient before forcing his way into former boss Maurizio Sarri's starting XI in April, only for a ruptured Achilles to end his season in the same month.

The 18-year-old earned made his return in an Under-23 game against Brighton and Hove Albion last week and is nearing a return to first-team action.

England manager Gareth Southgate handed Hudson-Odoi his first senior international cap against Czech Republic in March.

"I have seen Callum come through and he's a fantastic talent," Lampard said. "He is going to be central for us on the pitch and that is the opportunity in front of him now.

"There are things as a young player that he will want to improve but he can be central to this team and for England. I want to work with him, I want to drive him forward and I want to improve him as a player.

"Callum can show, right here at Chelsea, the club he came through the academy at, that he is going to be a world-class player because I truly believe that."

It has been reported the Blues are also looking to tie down Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham to extended new deals.

Ross Barkley said his penalty miss in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Valencia would not have kept him from taking another spot-kick because he swiftly brushed off the disappointment.

Frank Lampard's men fell behind to Rodrigo Moreno's 74th-minute strike in the Champions League clash at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, and the Blues boss sent Barkley on as a substitute six minutes later.

The England international had been on the field for just seven minutes when his side won a penalty and he stepped up despite Willian and Jorginho both appearing to stake their claims to take it.

Barkley's spot-kick grazed the top of the crossbar on its way over and Chelsea began their European campaign with a defeat, but the midfielder told reporters: "If there was another penalty in the game I would have been confident of taking it.

"You can miss penalties. It's not the end of the world.

"We've got five more group games to go that we're aiming to win."

While backing himself to convert penalties in the future, Barkley said his team-mates were not vying to take the kick before he stepped up.

"We've got a lot of good penalty takers in the squad," said Barkley. "On a sheet in the changing room, it says I'm on penalties when I'm on the pitch, otherwise it's Jorginho.

"All players feel confident of taking penalties, but we can all miss them. It's more 'good luck with the penalty' type of thing, encouraging me. They would have been willing to take it as well, but I felt confident.

"They were just encouraging me, encouraging me to score the goal. They are confident of taking penalties as well, but I take penalties every day.

"I don't miss them in training and in pre-season I was scoring penalties. I've missed penalties before, when I was at Everton.

"I'm gutted I missed, but these things happen."

Lionel Messi has his sights on a record set by Real Madrid great Raul when Barcelona face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, as the Champions League proper gets started for the 2019-20 season.

Barca's talisman is back in their squad for the trip to Germany after missing the start of the campaign with a calf injury and, while he is unlikely to start, few would bet against him having a decisive impact if he does make an appearance.

Reigning champions Liverpool begin their title defence at Napoli in what will surely prove to be a tricky test, although Sadio Mane will be aiming to equal a record set by Didier Drogba.

There will also be Champions League bows in the dugout for Frank Lampard and Sylvinho.

Below, we examine the key data for Tuesday's encounters...

Salzburg v Genk

0 - Salzburg have not lost any of their last 18 home matches in European competition (W14 D4 – including qualifiers), with their most recent defeat at home coming in October 2016 against Nice in the Europa League.

1 - Genk forward Mbwana Samatta scored nine goals in 12 appearances in European competition last season and he also finished with 23 goals in the Belgian top flight in 2018-19. Should he play in this match, he will be the first Tanzanian player to make an appearance in the Champions League.

 

Napoli v Liverpool

5 - Napoli have won just one of their past six European meetings with English clubs, losing the other five in this run and failing to score in the most recent three. That one victory was against Liverpool last season, though.

15 - Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has scored 14 goals in 24 Champions League appearances. Should he score in his next outing, he will equal Didier Drogba's record of needing just 25 appearances to score his first 15 goals in the competition, a record for any African player.

 

Inter v Slavia Prague

20 - Inter will be making their 20th appearance in the Champions League/European Cup – only Juventus (34) and AC Milan (28) have had more among Italian sides (including 2019-20).

24 - Inter forward Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 24 goals (12 goals, 12 assists) in his 52 Champions League appearances, but none of these involvements came in six games in the competition for Manchester United, the club he left on loan last month.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Barcelona

33 - Lionel Messi has scored against 32 of the 37 different opponents he has faced in the Champions League. Should he score against Dortmund, the Barcelona star will equal the competition's record for different teams scored against, set by Raul (33 clubs).

2 - Borussia Dortmund have won just two of their past eight Champions League home matches (D2 L4), losing their most recent match 1-0 against Tottenham in the last 16 in 2018-19.

 

Lyon v Zenit

1 - Lyon boss Sylvinho will manage in the Champions League for the first time, also becoming the first non-Frenchman to take charge of the club in Europe's elite competition. The Brazilian made 32 Champions League appearances as a player for Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Arsenal, scoring three goals.

58 - Zenit captain Branislav Ivanovic could make his first Champions League appearance since March 2016 (for Chelsea) in this match. He has made 58 appearances in the competition; only Dejan Stankovic (87) and Predrag Djordjevic (62) have made more among Serbian players.

 

Benfica v RB Leipzig

10 - Benfica are Portugal's sole representative in the 2019-20 Champions League, making it the first time in a decade that there is only one Portuguese club in the competition.

3 - Timo Werner scored three goals from just seven shots on target in the Champions League back in 2017-18, more than any other RB Leipzig player. He went on to net seven times in European competition that term, the highest total by an RB Leipzig player in a single season.

 

Ajax v Lille

6 - Ajax won six games in the 2018-19 Champions League, as many as they did in their previous four participations in the competition.

11 - Including qualifiers, Lille have not won any of their past 11 European matches in all competitions (D6 L5) and scored only five goals in these games.

 

Chelsea v Valencia

102 - Frank Lampard will take charge of a Champions League game for the first time in his managerial career. As a Chelsea player, he made 102 appearances in the competition and is one of only 22 players to have played 100 games or more in the tournament with the same club.

2 - Valencia have reached the Champions League in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-13 (three in a row), which was also the last time they made it to the knockout stages of the competition, before being beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.

Frank Lampard has no set expectations for Tammy Abraham this season but believes the Chelsea striker has given himself every opportunity of earning an England call-up.

Abraham scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Wolves on Saturday, taking his tally of Premier League goals to the season for seven, with all of them coming in Chelsea's last three outings.

The forward missed out on Gareth Southgate's most recent England squad, though he has since moved level with Sergio Aguero at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.

Abraham is also eligible for Nigeria should he decide to snub an England call-up, though Lampard is certain the 21-year-old has the mentality to succeed if he is selected by Gareth Southgate.

Chelsea's head coach also insists he always had full faith in the youngster to lead the line this term regardless of their transfer ban.

"I never had clear expectations for him, only that I believed in him and trusted him," Lampard told a news conference ahead of Chelsea's Champions League meeting with Valencia on Tuesday.

"A lot has been made of the [transfer] ban giving young players the potential opportunities, but I thought the time was right to give Tammy the opportunity at this club anyway because of the quality he's got.

"I'm really delighted he's got his goals, there's more still to come. He's in a place now where he just needs to sustain and improve even more, and I think with his mentality and how he is I hope to see that.

When asked about Abraham's England chances, Lampard said: "It's not a question for me.

"I've just spoken about how I feel about Tammy. He's put himself in the bracket for England with being top scorer at this point.

"It's one for Gareth, I'd hate to step on his toes but it's clear with what Tammy is doing he's going to be wanted."

Prior to this season, Abraham had spent the past three campaigns out on loan at Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa, respectively.

Once dubbed the 'German Messi', Marko Marin has found his home at boyhood club Red Star Belgrade.

Marin's European odyssey has taken him to Borussia Monchengladbach, Werder Bremen, Premier League giants Chelsea, Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Trabzonspor and Olympiacos.

Now, in Belgrade – less than a three-hour drive from where Marin was born in the Bosnian city of Gradiska – the 30-year-old attacker is playing a key role in restoring the global reputation of 1991 European Cup champions Red Star, having disappeared off the radar.

"Even more for me, with my childhood club because I'm a fan from a kid," Marin, a league winner with Red Star and Olympiacos, told Omnisport as he reflected on Red Star's Champions League qualification. "To play Champions League with them is even more special. It's a very nice experience to bring the Champions League back to Serbia after so many years."

Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina to Bosnian Serb parents in 1989, Marin – a Europa League winner with Chelsea (2013) and Sevilla (2014) moved to Germany at the age of two and 16 international caps for his new country followed.

Marin waited for calls from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia but they were not forthcoming as he opted for Germany – he was rewarded with a spot in Joachim Low's 2010 World Cup squad after impressing for Bremen.

While he represented Die Mannschaft, Marin's love for Serbian powerhouse Red Star – who snapped a 26-year drought from Europe's premier club competition last term – runs deep and a second successive season of Champions League football means a lot to the club captain.

"It's different because you play with more passion for the club," Marin said when asked about the satisfaction of qualifying. "You always give everything for the club you represent because it's your job and love football. But it's different if you play for the club you really loved as a kid.

"We have many players in the team like this. The foreign players maybe give us more quality but the main group of the team and the strength – when you grow up as a Red Star fan, many of them trained in the youth team. It's a bit different to play Champions League for Chelsea or Werder Bremen for example."

"After every game, Belgrade and Serbia is so happy and even kids outside of the country," he said. "I grew up in Germany and I was a fan of Red Star and when I went with my friends to school, you would always talk and I said that I'm a Red Star fan but they didn't really know. But now, Red Star are playing in the biggest competition in Europe. You make Red Star big again. They're getting used to it. This is a motivation.

"For sure this season, we will make some good games. Even qualifying for the group stage is a big, big success. If you compare with Manchester City, Barcelona or Real Madrid, their aim is to win the Champions League... ours is to qualify first."

Marin arrived at Red Star from Greek giants Olympiacos prior to the side's 2018-19 Champions League group-stage campaign involving eventual champions Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.

One of the game's most promising talents a decade ago, Marin's switch from Piraeus to Belgrade last year barely made the news outside of Serbia. What could have been is a question often asked about the Bosnian-born German. But what does he think about his career?

"It's a fantastic career," Marin replied. "I played in nearly every big league for the biggest teams. When I was at Bremen, we played for the title and in the Champions League. At Chelsea, I don't have to explain how big this team is and Sevilla.

"Maybe it could be better, for sure. There are some reasons. Maybe I wasn't patient enough in some situations. Injuries didn't help to make it even bigger. But I wouldn't have this experience with Red Star if this didn't happen. I'm very happy with my career. To feel this what I feel at the moment, it's the best part of my career."

Marin, who joined Chelsea on a five-year deal from Bremen in 2012, added: "Who knows what would've happened if I stayed longer in Germany? The experience to play for Chelsea was amazing. To play alongside the best players, the professionals. [Frank] Lampard, [John] Terry – these leaders. How they train every day and the passion and quality. I saw this for the first time in Chelsea. I played before with very good players but that was another level."

Fast forward to this season and Marin's Red Star are preparing to welcome Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, 2019 Champions League runners-up Tottenham and Olympiacos to Rajko Mitic Stadium – also known as the Marakana – in Group B.

Red Star will be relying on their fanatical and daunting home support in the Serbian capital, where Liverpool lost 2-0 in November – one of four defeats for last season's champions in the 2018-19 competition – as Vladan Milojevic's men eye a third-place finish.

"It's difficult for teams coming here because they don't know, they can't expect this," Marin said. "Before last season's game against Liverpool in the news conference I said you will see it's completely different. I know Anfield is amazing with a big crowd, but it's totally different to what they experienced in Belgrade. You cannot explain it.

"They go to warm-up and the stadium is already full. We were waiting to come out of this big, long tunnel that you don't have anywhere in the world. Then you go out and the stadium is exploding. It's not easy for visiting teams. We play 11 against 11 but when they feel this atmosphere, it's different.

"I hope we can challenge for third place. I'm not sure if would be a surprise if we take some points because people know us and how difficult it is to play at Marakana. Our strength is team work and it's even more so at home. Of course we have quality but the biggest strength is teamwork."

And what about the 'German Messi' tag? "I couldn't change this. It didn't come from me. We all know there's only one Messi and no one is even near him. It wasn't big pressure because I don't think they took it seriously when they compared me to Messi. He is the number one. [Cristiano] Ronaldo is another type of player. Maybe they see it as my ability maybe in one-on-one situations. I take it as a compliment but it's not a real comparison."

Gonzalo Higuain says he is determined to prove his worth to Juventus after being handed another chance at the club.

Higuain, 31, struggled to make an impact during loan spells at AC Milan and Chelsea during the 2018-19 campaign.

Chelsea opted against triggering a purchase option in Higuain's loan and he therefore returned to Serie A and reunited with new Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri.

He was not expected to be given opportunities to start, with Juve boasting forward options including Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic.

However, Higuain has started both Serie A games this term, while he scored a brilliant goal as Juve beat his old club Napoli - where he thrived under Sarri - before the international break.

"I am here to prove my worth," Higuain said on Thursday ahead of this weekend's trip to Fiorentina.

"I wanted to stay from the first day I returned. I am happy to be at Juve, at a big club with a great team and a big fanbase, in a city that I know.

"I don't think about the past, I only have the present and the future in mind. It will be an important season, last year was difficult for me but I still went into double figures and won a Europa League title.

"Now I only think of our season: I have good memories against Fiorentina, I made my Juve debut against them.

"It's never easy at the Franchi, but we must be strong as we know we are and take home the victory. I'm back on the same team as Cris [Ronaldo] after a few years and he's even stronger, more complete and ambitious, I'm happy to play with him again."

Higuain has switched shirt number this term and he believes the move to 21 is helping him turn his fortunes around.

"This is a decision that I made," the attacker added.

"I decided to swap from number nine, although it was available, with the day in which my daughter was born, to take her with me in every game - a choice of the heart, which is bringing me luck."

Chelsea have confirmed talented teenager Billy Gilmour has signed a new four-year contract with the club.

Gilmour, who joined from Rangers at the age of 15, has committed his future to Stamford Bridge through to at least 2023.

The Scotland Under-21 international made his Premier League debut from the bench against Sheffield United last month.

Gilmour's new deal is the latest commitment to young players made by new head coach Frank Lampard.

"It's really exciting for me and my family to sign this four-year deal with the club," the 18-year-old told the official Chelsea website.

"Frank has come in and everyone is buzzing, training is really good and there's a high standard to everything we do.

"There are exciting times ahead and hopefully I can work hard to get more opportunities as well."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has drawn a line under an incident involving Danny Drinkwater in which the midfielder was reportedly attacked outside a nightclub.

It was claimed the 29-year-old was ejected from a venue in Manchester before being set upon by a group of six people, one of whom was allegedly armed with a blunt object.

Drinkwater, on loan at Burnley from Chelsea until January, damaged his ankle in the altercation and is unable to play in Saturday's Premier League match at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Dyche says he has spoken to Drinkwater about the incident but is not prepared to be overly critical of the player in public as he attempts to help him get his top-flight career back on track.

"The big picture is he is a 29-year-old footballer and nobody wants to get into this situation," Dyche said to club media on Friday. "He knows that. On the other side, he is a human being and we have all been involved in not-so-good times.

"Forget about the footballer. Sometimes people get into scrapes. But he is wise enough and old enough to know not to. You can't just talk about development when it's good news, though. You have to talk: more so if things aren't going well.

"When you take a player in he becomes a part of us. So we will work with Danny and try to help him and, importantly, he has to get himself fit."

At a later news conference, Dyche added: "We spoke, but only stuff about what he needs to do here. That was more the case. It's just common sense.

"He's 29, he understands these situations happen, but he knows it's not good, and equally he's old enough to know how to conduct himself.

"It's just the way it goes sometimes. Life happens."

Drinkwater, who joined Chelsea from Leicester City for a reported £35million fee in 2017, was frozen out of the first team by Maurizio Sarri and allowed to join Burnley by new boss Frank Lampard in order to find regular football.

Dyche, who worked with the player during a loan spell at Watford in 2010-11, said the former Manchester United man must find the right way to channel his "edge".

"I've known of him for quite a while," Dyche said. "I worked with him before at Watford, and he's a genuinely good lad.

"I like players to have an edge about them, but it still has to be channeled in the right way."

On the ankle problem, Dyche added: "It's not serious, it needs to settle down, but it's not serious, although he won't figure this weekend."

When it came to Paul Pogba during the transfer window, Real Madrid and Juventus were the teams on everyone's lips.

Manchester United star Pogba was reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford in search of a new challenge.

However, another team were apparently poised to lure Pogba from the Theatre of Dreams…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR STOPPED PSG FROM SIGNING POGBA

Neymar prevented Manchester United midfielder Pogba from moving to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Calciomercato.it.

PSG and United reportedly had an agreement in place for the transfer of Pogba, however, the Ligue 1 champions and their inability to offload Barcelona target Neymar stopped the deal.

The report says PSG were ready to pay €150million (£134m) for Pogba, who joined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-record fee of €105m (£89m).

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid have an agreement with Chelsea for midfielder N'Golo Kante. DefensaCentral claims Los Blancos have the first chance to buy the France star should he be made available at Stamford Bridge.

- In-demand Dinamo Zagreb star Dani Olmo wants to leave the Croatian club in January or at the end of the season, according to Fichajes.net. The 21-year-old was linked with Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Valencia during the transfer window.

Juventus have not given up on signing Fiorentina and Italy forward Federico Chiesa, according to Calciomercato.it. The Serie A champions were keen to bring in Chiesa during the off-season but were unable to lure him from Florence.

- Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are beginning their remodelling job, with Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani facing uncertain futures. Silva and Cavani – who has been linked to incoming MLS outfit Inter Miami – are out of contract at the end of the season and are no guarantees to renew their contracts. Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingThomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa are available at the right price in January.

- Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has turned down a move to Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Mandzukic was linked to Manchester United prior to the transfer window closing.

David Beckham and Inter Miami have set their sights on Lionel Messi.

Messi, 32, has regularly been linked with one day switching to MLS and it appears Inter are making their move.

Beckham seems to be trying his best to land the Barcelona superstar.

 

TOP STORY – BECKHAM IN TALKS WITH MESSI OVER INTER MIAMI MOVE

Beckham has spoken to Messi about joining Inter Miami, according to Catalunya Radio.

It comes in the wake of reports the forward can leave Barcelona at the end of any season, regardless of when his contract runs until.

The economic bid for Messi would be "brutal", the report said, as Inter look to sign the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter Miami may not stop there. The MLS club, due to begin playing in 2020, are also eyeing Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, according to AS. Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has previously said he is open to coaching Inter Miami.

- After the latest transfer saga ended with Neymar staying at Paris Saint-Germain, it is set to come back to life in January. PSG sporting director Leonardo wants the Brazil international to leave the Ligue 1 champions, according to Tuttosport, and a move could happen in January, with Barcelona and Real Madrid sure to again be linked.

- Barcelona are already looking ahead and are set to track Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz throughout this season, Mundo Deportivo reports. Fabian joined the Serie A side from Real Betis for a reported €30million in July last year.

- Expecting their transfer ban to be cut, Chelsea have identified Nice defender Youcef Atal as a target, according to The Sun. The Algeria international is also wanted by Valencia, Calciomercato.com reports.

- AC Milan have identified Stade Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga as a player to follow, according to Calciomercato.com. The 16-year-old made seven Ligue 1 appearances last season.

- Gonzalo Higuain is continuing to turn around his career at Juventus. Calciomercato.com says the forward – linked with a move away throughout the close season – will start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo when the Serie A champions face Fiorentina on Saturday.

Emerson Palmieri delivered positive news on his injury status after limping off in the early stages of Italy's win over Finland on Sunday.

The Chelsea left-back pulled up while chasing Teemu Pukki and had be substituted in the eighth minute of the Euro 2020 qualifying match in Tampere.

The sight of defender Emerson making way would have been worrying for Frank Lampard, who has started him in each of Chelsea's four Premier League games this term.

But the 25-year-old took to social media after the match to quell fears over the severity of the suspected muscle issue.

"Very important victory today guys," Emerson wrote on Twitter.

"Unfortunately I had a small injury, but nothing serious. Let's continue like this!"

Roberto Mancini replaced Emerson with Alessandro Florenzi and later confirmed the move was largely for precautionary reasons.

"It's nothing serious," the Azzurri boss said. "He came off to avoid making it any worse."

Italy recovered from the early setback to prevail 2-1 courtesy of second-half goals from Ciro Immobile and Jorginho, Emerson's team-mate at Stamford Bridge.

Mancini's men are now six points clear atop Group J ahead of a home meeting with Greece on October 12.

Jamaica international Michael Hector has officially completed a move from English Premier League (EPL) club Chelsea to Championship club Fulham but will be unable to play until the next transfer window.

The 27-year-old Reggae Boy joined the Blues in a surprise move on deadline day in 2015 but was immediately loaned back to Reading for the 2015-2016 campaign.

 The defender spent the next three seasons on loan at clubs like Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City, and Sheffield Wednesday and never made an appearance for his parent club.  Although he cannot officially beginning playing for the club until January, Hector will join Fulham to immediately begin training with the squad.

“Although Michael can’t officially join our First Team until January, what’s important is he’s now a member of Fulham Football Club,” Fulham’s co-owner Tony Khan said.

“Michael will help us challenge for promotion and make us better in the second half of the season, at a time when depth, experience, and quality will be at a premium in the Championship. Come on Fulham!” he added.

He spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, playing in 37 Championship games for the Owls.

“It was an easy decision to make. My mum’s from Fulham, so it’s nice to join a club that some of my family support,” Hector told Fulham’s official club website.

Hector, who was close to completing a deal to join the club on deadline day before it fell through, signed a two and a half year contract.

 

 

The transfer window may be closed but the rumours do not stop!

Christian Eriksen was unable to secure a move away from Tottenham prior to Monday's deadline.

Since then, the likes of Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Inter have been linked to the Spurs star.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO PREPARING JANUARY MOVE FOR ERIKSEN

Atletico Madrid are set to return for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen in January, according to AS.

Eriksen was linked to the likes of Atletico, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United but a move did not materialise.

Now, Atletico, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly monitoring the situation as Eriksen prepares to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to the Mirror, Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic is set to be offered a chance to move to the Premier League. The Croatian veteran was linked to Manchester United but a move failed to transpire prior to the transfer window closing.

- LaLiga pair Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao are keeping tabs on Chelsea and Spain full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, reports the Mirror. It comes amid concerns the Spaniard could lose his spot in the Chelsea XI to Reece James.

- Brazilian side Flamengo are interested in signing free agent Claudio Marchisio, says Gazzetta dello Sport. Former Juventus star Marchisio is without a club since leaving Zenit. Flamengo were also close to luring Mario Balotelli before he opted for Brescia.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants to sign a new defender in January. The report comes after Aymeric Laporte's knee injury left City with just two fit centre-backs – John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami are set to sign River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios, according to TNT Sports. The expansion franchise – who are backed by the former Manchester United star and will enter MLS in 2020 – have also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez.

Eden Hazard will prove to be a revelation at Real Madrid if he can translate his "extraordinary" Chelsea form to Spain, according to Fernando Morientes.

After years of speculation, Hazard joined Real Madrid in the close season in a €100million deal, seemingly replacing Cristiano Ronaldo a year on from his departure for Juventus.

The Belgium forward has not yet made his competitive Madrid debut due to a thigh injury but will be expected to lift a side that struggled last season and has started the new campaign in unconvincing fashion, drawing two of their first three LaLiga matches.

Former Madrid forward Morientes is certainly expecting a lot from Hazard, believing the club's latest 'Galactico' buy will be a big hit in his new surroundings.

"I believe [he can be a revelation], given the relation between price and what we saw last year," Morientes said at a LaLiga event on Tuesday.

"It is true there were some Liverpool players who were at a spectacular level but, for me, Hazard was by far the [best] Premier League player. The fact he came to LaLiga, I think he has been an extraordinary signing.

"It is not just because of the value added to our competition, but because he is player who created a lot of expectations.

"Many recognised players were supposed to come to Madrid but, at the end, Hazard is the most notable. Everyone expects he can keep last year's level, which was extraordinary."

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