Barcelona are continuing their push for Lautaro Martinez, while Liverpool have renewed their interest in Ousmane Dembele.

Martinez, 22, has been linked with a move to Barcelona, although just whether the LaLiga giants can get a deal done has been questioned.

Inter have insisted the only way Martinez will leave is by his €111million release clause being paid. That has seemingly not put Barca off.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PUSH AHEAD IN LAUTARO PURSUIT

Barcelona are continuing to chase Inter star Martinez, according to Marca.

The report says the LaLiga side remain firm in their intention to sign Martinez despite Inter wanting his release clause paid.

Martinez had scored 16 goals in 31 games this season when the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ROUND-UP

- Linked with a move for Dembele previously, Liverpool could target the Barcelona attacker again. Mundo Deportivo reports the Premier League leaders will consider a move for Dembele if they fail to land RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner.

- Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is out of contract at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2021. However, Sport reports the defender is set to renew with Madrid.

- Kai Havertz continues to attract plenty of interest. But Marca says the Bayer Leverkusen star will have to wait for Real Madrid, who it reports have been in advanced negotiations for the attacker. Havertz is also said to be wanted by Bayern Munich.

- Will Miralem Pjanic get to Barcelona? With the Juventus midfielder linked with a switch to Camp Nou, Sport and Tuttosport report the Serie A giants have asked for 17-year-old forward Ansu Fati to be included in a deal. Arthur has also been linked to Juventus.

- A possible return to Juventus for Paul Pogba appears to be difficult. However, CalcioMercato reports the Italian champions have offered Adrien Rabiot to Manchester United in a deal for the midfielder.

- David Luiz could be set for an Arsenal exit. The Mirror reports the defender will have to take a huge pay cut to secure a return to Benfica if Arsenal opt against triggering a one-year extension to his deal.

If Lautaro Martinez heads to Barcelona, Inter may land Timo Werner as his replacement as Liverpool withdraw from the race for the RB Leipzig star.

Martinez and Werner are two forwards linked with moves during the close season after impressive campaigns at Inter and RB Leipzig respectively.

And Werner could reportedly fill Martinez's boots at San Siro if the Argentina international makes the switch.

 

TOP STORY – WERNER COULD REPLACE BARCELONA TARGET LAUTARO

RB Leipzig star Werner is the leading candidate to replace Martinez if the Inter forward joins Barcelona, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Werner has been heavily linked with a transfer to Liverpool, but the Mirror reports the Premier League leaders have withdrawn from talks as they are unwilling to meet his £49.4million (€55m) release clause.

Meanwhile, AS reports Philippe Coutinho could be part of Barca's bid to land Martinez, even as Inter say the only way the 22-year-old will leave is by his reported €111m clause being paid.

ROUND-UP

- Will Barcelona and Juventus get an exchange deal done? Sport reports Juve are pushing to land Arthur, but the midfielder wants to stay with the LaLiga giants. Miralem Pjanic has been linked with a move to Camp Nou.

- Staying at Barcelona and Mundo Deportivo reports the club are willing to let Ousmane Dembele leave if a good offer arrives. The attacker has been linked with a switch to Paris Saint-Germain, with Neymar reportedly a target for Barcelona.

- David Luiz's future appears uncertain. Sky Sports News reports the defender's stay at Arsenal could be coming to an end after one season as his contract expires next month and no talks are planned over a new deal.

- It seems Tiemoue Bakayoko could be set for another transfer. Le 10 Sport says the midfielder, on loan at Monaco from Chelsea, is being targeted by Milan and West Ham, with PSG's interest having eased.

- With Kepa Arrizabalaga out of favour, Chelsea are said to be looking for a new goalkeeper. The Sun says the Premier League side are lining up a £15m (€16.7m) move for Borussia Dortmund shot-stopper Roman Burki.

- Staying at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are also reportedly eyeing a left-back. The Mirror reports they are keeping an eye on developments around Ajax full-back Nicolas Tagliafico, who could be available for around £22m (€24.5m).

Arsenal's players were able to train at the club's facilities again on Monday, albeit working alone and within strict guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alexandre Lacazette and David Luiz were among the first-team squad members seen driving into the Gunners' London Colney base.

However, the buildings at the site remain closed, with Arsenal making sure social distancing is maintained at all times, as per government guidelines in the United Kingdom during the ongoing lockdown.

There is a strict rota in place, the Premier League side confirmed, and all sessions will be carried out individually on one of the 10 pitches available before players return to their homes.

The move comes amid speculation over a planned return to action in the top flight, with media reports suggesting clubs will be back in full training by May 18, with games then to resume on June 8.

The Premier League has made clear their intention to finish the suspended 2019-20 campaign, with a meeting on April 17 including discussions with stakeholders over possible scheduling models.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus just prior to the Premier League season being halted on March 13, initially until April 3.

The resumption of football in Europe's top five leagues still appears some way off due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving players with plenty of time to analyse their performances this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking, passing, defending and goalkeeping numbers from 2019-20, but who has been letting the side down with shoddy discipline.

We have analysed five metrics for players now operating under the increasing scrutiny of VAR across the elite divisions.

These include the worst offenders in terms of fouls conceded, penalties conceded, offsides, yellow cards and red cards.

Check out our list of shame below, which is not the who's who of hotheads you might expect, while a lack of minutes on the field does not necessarily mean a player cannot irritate the officials.

THE WORST FOUL STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most fouls conceded: Robert Andrich (52) 
Most penalties conceded: Dedryck Boyata (3)
Most offsides: Timo Werner (35)
Most yellow cards: Klaus Gjasula (12)
Most red cards: Leon Bailey (2)

LALIGA:

Most fouls conceded: Jaime Mata (67)
Most penalties conceded: Ruben Duarte (4)
Most offsides: Alvaro Morata (28)
Most yellow cards: Gerard Pique (12)
Most red cards: Facundo Roncaglia, Zouhair Feddal, Clement Lenglet (all 2)

LIGUE 1:

Most fouls conceded: Andy Delort (69)
Most penalties conceded: Mathieu Debuchy (3)
Most offsides: Victor Osimhen (33)
Most yellow cards: Nicolas Pallois (10)
Most red cards: Ruben Aguilar, Racine Coly, Steven Moreira, Boubakary Soumare, Marcal, Anthony Briancon, Jacques-Alaixys Romao (all 2)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most fouls conceded: Etienne Capoue (47)
Most penalties conceded: David Luiz (3)
Most offsides: Chris Wood (31)
Most yellow cards: Jorginho (10)
Most red cards: Christian Kabasele (2)

SERIE A:

Most fouls conceded: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (52)
Most penalties conceded: Koray Gunter (3)
Most offsides: Cristiano Ronaldo, Rodrigo Palacio (both 21)
Most yellow cards: Ismael Bennacer (12)
Most red cards: Bremer, Federico Marchetti, Pawel Dawidowicz, Armando Izzo, Davide Calabria (all 2)

AND THE TOP FIVE:

Most fouls conceded: Andy Delort (69)
Most penalties conceded: Ruben Duarte (4)
Most offsides: Timo Werner (35)
Most yellow cards: Ismael Bennacer (12 in 1,620 minutes played)
Most red cards: Federico Marchetti (2 despite not playing a single minute of Lazio's Serie A season!)

David Luiz credited new Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta with bringing "fun" back to the club, suggesting the squad had become "sad" under his predecessor Unai Emery.

Arteta replaced Emery in December having spent a spell as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City, with the club becoming underwhelmed by the team's direction under the previous coach.

Although Arsenal have only won three of Arteta's nine matches in charge across all competitions, the 2-1 loss to Chelsea is their solitary defeat in that time – in the previous nine outings the Gunners were beaten four times.

For David Luiz, the changes implemented by Arteta have improved the mood of the players, while he also applauded the former Arsenal midfielder for the style of play he is attempting to impose.

"If you sleep four hours happy, you're going to sleep better than eight hours sad," the Brazilian wrote in a column on Arsenal's official website.

"It's like I said in that interview, and I stand by it. The result of people when they are happy is 10 times better than when they are sad. For me, you have to have fun not just in football, but in life. That's the most important thing – and Mikel Arteta has brought that back.

"Working with Mikel has been great since the first day. He's always working straight to the point and he has already shown us his ideas, his goals. He wants to try to bring the shine back to this club with a winning mentality and by working hard every single day.

"He's trying to do everything as well as possible to achieve that. For me, personally, I'm enjoying it a lot. I came from clubs that would always fight for titles and would always fight to win, and Mikel knows that as well.

"He had an opportunity to go to amazing places and different clubs, and he worked a lot as an assistant coach for Pep Guardiola. He learned in the best way, so I think for sure he will be one of the best soon.

"His philosophy is the way I love to play football and that makes it easy for me to adapt to. We try to dominate and control possession and try winning the ball back as soon as we lose it.

"This is the idea I really love when I play football. I think Mikel is just trying to organise us every single day in the details, to make the quality of our work even better.

"It doesn't matter if it's his first job as a coach or not. He knows football, he knows inside the pitch. He prepared himself outside the pitch and he's ready for that.

"I've had the opportunity to work with many, many coaches already in my career and I think he's more than prepared to do the job. The enthusiasm comes naturally when you love something. He loves football, he loves to work, so this enthusiasm is contagious for everybody."

After 25 matches, Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League, 10 points adrift of Chelsea in fourth.

Chelsea failed to make the most of their numerical advantage as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in a thrilling London derby that included a late goal from either side.

Much of the pre-match focus was on the two managers, with Frank Lampard beginning to come in for a bit of criticism after a difficult run, while Mikel Arteta has been accused of doing little to improve Arsenal's fortunes since coming in.

And there were plenty of hints as to why the sides are out of form, with the two sets of defences failing to inspire a great deal of confidence. 

Manchester City avoided dropping points, however, with a substitute sparing their blushes in a 1-0 win at Sheffield United, while there was plenty of drama at the bottom of the table.

DAVID LUIZ SEES RED BUT ARSENAL CLING ON

It was an unhappy return to Stamford Bridge for former Chelsea defender David Luiz, who was given a frosty reception and then sent off for a cynical foul that led to a penalty.

From that spot-kick, Jorginho opened the scoring in the 28th minute, suggesting Chelsea were set to cruise.

But a wonderful solo effort from Gabriel Martinelli restored parity just after the hour, leaving Lampard looking a little nervous.

Chelsea retook the lead with what they thought was a winner from Cesar Azpilicueta, the captain turning in a left-wing cross.

But Hector Bellerin's well-placed left-footed effort from the edge of the box found the bottom-left corner and secured the Gunners a share of the spoils, a commendable achievement given their disadvantage. The draw moves Arsenal up to 10th, while Chelsea go six points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United.

AGUERO THE DIFFERENCE FOR CITY

City handed Aymeric Laporte his first appearance since August at Bramall Lane, the Frenchman having recovered from a serious knee injury.

But he was given some rough treatment by the Blades – with Muhamed Besic catching him with a heavy challenge early on.

City did enough in the first half to take the lead, but Dean Henderson was in excellent form between the United posts, making several impressive saves and keeping out Gabriel Jesus' penalty.

But the visitors' persistence paid off. Sergio Aguero came off the bench to get the winner 17 minutes from time, finishing clinically after a glorious pass from Kevin De Bruyne.

That moves them six clear of Leicester City in third, though the 13-point gap behind leaders Liverpool remains daunting.

CHERRIES STOP THE ROT

After six matches – five of which ended in defeat – without a victory, Bournemouth finally got back to winning ways against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.

Harry Wilson got the ball rolling with a driven effort from the edge of the box after Dominic Solanke teed him up in the 36th minute.

Pascal Gross then put past his own goalkeeper just before the break, diverting in after a Bournemouth corner caused havoc in the visitors' box.

Callum Wilson then wrapped up a comfortable win 16 minutes from time, rounding Mat Ryan and slotting in unchallenged, with Aaron Mooy's late effort a mere consolation in a 3-1 defeat for the Seagulls.

It was not enough to move Bournemouth out of the bottom three, though – Aston Villa's last-gasp 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Watford decisive in that sense, as Tyrone Mings got the all-important clincher.

NEWCASTLE STUN EVERTON WITH COMEBACK

Everton looked to be easing to a 2-0 win over Newcastle United – but it all went wrong in stoppage time.

Moise Kean initially put Everton in front in the 30th minute with his first Premier League goal, though he required a little luck, as he capitalised on Newcastle's inability to clear the ball and then shot under Martin Dubravka, who probably should have done better.

The in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin got his 10th top-flight goal of the season early in the second half, but that two-goal cushion was insufficient.

Florian Lejeune was Newcastle's hero, first scoring with an acrobatic attempt after a Jordan Pickford error, then restoring parity with a volley that just about found its way over the line amid a scramble in the penalty box, both goals coming in stoppage time.

There was no such drama at Selhurst Park, however, as Southampton managed to hang on to their 2-0 lead in an ill-tempered affair, moving them into the top half of the table.

Palace's Wilfried Zaha might find himself in danger of retrospective action as well, after television cameras caught him poking James Ward-Prowse in the face during a half-time altercation.

Mikel Arteta insists it must be the aim of everybody at Arsenal to "be the best", and he is not afraid to confront his players to get more out of them.

With Arsenal having been outplayed by Championship side Leeds United in the first half of Monday's FA Cup meeting, Alexandre Lacazette claimed Arteta shouted at his squad during the interval.

Arteta's anger paid dividends, with a much-improved performance following after the restart as Reiss Nelson's goal secured a 1-0 win and a place in the fourth round.

The former Manchester City assistant acknowledged he is still learning about Arsenal's squad – and they are still getting to know him – but is adamant he will fight for the Gunners to be the best they can possibly be.

"Probably they've seen a different reaction from me," Arteta told a news conference when asked about his reaction at half-time in the Leeds match.

"It's a process both ways. Probably a few were a bit surprised but I was surprised too, with the first half. We have to react naturally depending on the situation and the context.

"I love winning. I can only work to win and this is what this club deserves. I want to be the best. I want excellence from all of my players and everyone in the organisation so I will fight for that. If we don't reach it's because we're not good enough, it's okay, but we have to try at least with that aim."

Arteta has won two of his four matches in charge so far, with Arsenal – who have let young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe join Huddersfield Town on loan – facing Crystal Palace on Saturday, and one player that has stood out for the Spaniard has been defender David Luiz.

"He's a player that has won more trophies than anyone else in the dressing room and I wanted to use that in a very powerful way," Arteta said.

"I wanted him to step up, put all of the qualities – his personality and experiences – towards the team, and he's made a big step forward. I'm very pleased with him.

"The games he has played under me so far has been terrific. His attitude in training, the way he communicates with his team-mates, has been superb so I'm delighted with him."

Dani Ceballos is also nearing a return to fitness following a lengthy injury absence, and Arteta is looking forward to having the Real Madrid loanee available.

"I know him well from Spain, I've watched him many times. He's a player that can fit our style, now he needs to make things difficult for me in my selection," Arteta added.

"I think now he's ready to step in. I like him more when he's closer to the box, rather than coming deep to collect the ball. He's a very creative player, a player who can cause problems in the final third, always wants the ball, has a big personality, I like him."

Granit Xhaka has given Mikel Arteta assurances that he will stay at Arsenal, according to the Gunners head coach, who gave an optimistic view of the midfielder's future at the club.

Xhaka had reportedly agreed to join Hertha Berlin in the transfer window, with his future at Arsenal in doubt ever since he reacted angrily to being replaced during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October.

But after missing Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on December 29, Xhaka started 2020 in positive fashion with a strong performance in his side's 2-0 victory over Manchester United on New Year's Day.

Asked whether the 27-year-old had given him assurances that he would stay at Emirates Stadium, Arteta told reporters: "He did, yes.

"I think he's going to stay. I really like him. If we get him on board, he can be a tremendous player for us."

First-half goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis Papastathopoulos helped Arteta to his first victory since taking over as Arsenal boss and he praised his side's improved performance.

Arteta suggested there is more to come from his players, who he said are not yet at the level of fitness he expects of them.

"Everything we tried to do against them worked really, really well," Arteta told BT Sport.

"I think we had enough chances to put the game to bed much earlier and in the second half we knew that physically we were going to drop: at the moment we are not ready to maintain that level of intensity through 90 minutes.

"But the spirit, the commitment and the desire the boys are playing with at the moment is terrific."

Gunners defender David Luiz echoed his coach's comments, and indicated that Arteta's arrival has transformed the spirit in the Arsenal camp.

"We have to be honest and humble to admit: physically we are not ready," said Luiz. "We showed that in the second half against Chelsea, and we showed that today.

"This team is in a moment now to change a lot of things. We cannot change from zero to 10 in one day, one week or one month.

"Mikel is a great coach. He knows football, he was a great player. I believe in his philosophy and he can improve every single player and in life when you're happy the results can be totally different.

"If you sleep happy you can sleep four hours and it's better than sleeping sad for eight hours. If you work with happiness, believing what you are doing, it's totally different."

Chelsea may have sold David Luiz to rivals Arsenal ahead of this season, but Blues boss Frank Lampard says he will always respect the Brazil defender from his time at Stamford Bridge.

Centre-back David Luiz could come up against Chelsea for the first time since he left on Sunday when Lampard's men visit Emirates Stadium for Mikel Arteta's first home game in charge of the Gunners.

Arteta's predecessor Unai Emery brought David Luiz across London back in August, the 32-year-old sold just a month after Lampard took over at Chelsea.

The emergence of Fikayo Tomori – who won his first England cap last month – and Kurt Zouma's form has meant Chelsea do not appear to have not missed David Luiz, though his old team-mate Lampard was unwilling to make such declarations ahead of the latest London derby.

"What I don't want to do is look like it's a personal question going into a game against a player I respect and played with," he said at a news conference when asked about selling David Luiz.

"If you look at our defenders and the emergence of Tomori, that's obviously been a big plus for us, but it was just a decision that was made and while I'm here I'll be making countless more of those in different ways.

"I certainly wish David well when he leaves this club. He was part of a Champions League-winning team, played with half a hamstring in the final, I know that.

"[He] got himself fit when he was under pressure with the injury and I will always respect that, and he moves on."

Both David Luiz and Lampard faced new Arsenal head coach Arteta during the Spaniard's playing days.

Arteta has taken on his first head coaching post with the Gunners and Lampard feels he was destined for the role.

"[He was] a very good player, a very intelligent player, very technical player," the Chelsea boss added.

"Seemed to be a leader, not a fist-pumping kind of leader, but a leader in whatever teams he was playing in. He looks like he could be well-suited to management.

"I do wish him well – obviously not on Sunday – but I wish him well because when you see a fresh manager come into a job like that, I understand the strains and the pressures of it and the desires to want to do well in it. On a personal level I wish him well."

Arteta has landed a job at a leading Premier League side despite having no previous managerial experience, unlike Lampard, who spent a year with Derby County before returning to Chelsea.

However, Lampard feels Arteta's grounding as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City for three and a half years has prepared him for his new job.

"He's worked under one of the greatest, if not the greatest, for a couple of years there," Lampard said.

"He was always an intelligent player and now has worked for that. I don't buy the whole 'inexperienced' one. I think you don't know until you take the chance with somebody and who's to say that managers are better or worse because they're in their first or 50th year of management? I don't buy it."

David Luiz believes Arsenal's players must take their share of the blame for Unai Emery's sacking.

Head coach Emery was relieved of his duties on Friday, the morning after a 2-1 Europa League loss to Eintracht Frankfurt extended the Gunners' winless run in all competitions to seven matches.

Fans' favourite Freddie Ljungberg will be in interim charge for Sunday's trip to Norwich City and close-season arrival David Luiz – who also played under Emery at Paris Saint-Germain – suggested it is time for Arsenal's players to step up.

"Sad day for everybody, especially because we let u down boss, sorry!!" he tweeted.

"[I] thank you and the amazing staff for everything!! You are a hard worker, passionate for football and a big example always.

"Doesn't matter [about] the results! Good luck for the future!"

David Luiz arrived at Arsenal as a deadline-day signing from Premier League rivals Chelsea, part of an impressive window in the market that also saw club-record signing Nicolas Pepe and Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos move to north London.

However, results have not measured up to expectations and Ljungberg will aim to plot an improvement upon 18 points from 13 Premier League matches.

Granit Xhaka reacted furiously to home supporters booing him as Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners captain cupped his ears to the fans who appeared to ironically cheer him as he left the pitch on the hour mark, before removing his shirt and walking straight down the tunnel.

That is one more headache for manager Unai Emery to contend with after his side threw away a golden opportunity to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League after the defeat to Sheffield United on Monday.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz put them 2-0 up after just nine minutes, but Palace ensured a share of the spoils with a Luka Milivojevic penalty and Jordan Ayew header either side of half-time. Sokratis had a late effort ruled out after a VAR review, as Arsenal's afternoon ended in misery.

David Luiz believes Arsenal are performing well in many respects and must not dwell on the recent Premier League defeat to Sheffield United.

The Gunners slumped to a lacklustre 1-0 loss away from home on Monday, giving rise to criticism of the team's character.

Nicolas Pepe's late intervention helped Unai Emery dodge further embarrassment in the Europa League as his side snatched an unconvincing 3-2 victory over Portuguese visitors Vitoria SC.

Emery acknowledged the dissatisfaction of fans following the Bramall Lane loss, but the experienced David Luiz wants his team-mates to remain true to their highly scrutinised playing style.

"We have to be honest about what went wrong, but we also have to be calm," the centre-back told Sky Sports.

"It's only our second defeat this season. We are doing many things well. We have to keep believing in our philosophy, we have to keep believing in our team, which is the best way for us to improve.

"Football is about the end, not the beginning, so let's see how we finish at the end of the season in May."

Arsenal's next assignment is a home game against Roy Hodgson's impressive Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The teams are separated in fifth and sixth by a single point and David Luiz insists nothing less than a win will do.

"If you want to achieve big goals, you have to think about winning, winning, winning," he said.

"It'll be tough against Crystal Palace, but we want the three points. I want to win titles with Arsenal – that's why I'm here."

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