Mikel Arteta is happy to let William Saliba take his time adapting to life at Arsenal after the teenage defender's arrival in north London.

The Gunners won the race to sign Saliba in July 2019 - reportedly beating rivals Tottenham to his signature - but he spent the 2019-20 campaign back on loan at Saint-Etienne as part of the deal.

He featured 12 times for the Ligue 1 club before the domestic campaign was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, though a foot injury kept him out between November and January, while Arsenal did not grant him permission to feature in the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain in July.

Saliba has been absent from Arteta's matchday squads for their first two Premier League games but, ahead of potentially making his debut in the EFL Cup at Leicester City on Wednesday, the Gunners manager stressed he has been pleased with what he has seen so far from the 19-year-old.

"I think William is doing really well," Arteta told reporters.

"He's adapting to the country, he's adapting to our club. We have to bear in mind that he had a really challenging season last year with the amount of injuries that he had.

"But he's a player who's going to be really important in our future, and sometimes things take some time and we have to respect that."

Arteta led Arsenal to FA Cup glory in the previous campaign and added the Community Shield to the Emirates Stadium trophy cabinet at the start of this season.

He views the EFL Cup as another major prize having been part of the Manchester City coaching staff when Pep Guardiola's team won the trophy in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Asked if bigger clubs were not taking the EFL Cup seriously, he replied: "I think they are. I think [in] the last few seasons, obviously the competition and the clubs have raised.

"There's only one winner in this country with the Premier League and a lot of frustrated clubs, and now everybody wants a title.

"You can see in the last few years, the teams, how strong a line-up they've been using, and the type of finals we've found in recent years.”

Liverpool ruthlessly capitalised on playing against 10 men in the second half as they eased to victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

The reigning champions have won two from two at the start of the new campaign, as is also the case for Leicester City after they saw off Burnley in the late kick-off.

Brighton and Hove Albion are up and running after a worthwhile journey north, while Tottenham leaned heavily on two of their superstars to put Southampton to the sword.

With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on another busy day in the Premier League.

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool: Thiago makes debut as champions triumph

A close contest at Stamford Bridge changed complexion when Andreas Christensen was sent off in first-half stoppage time.

Sadio Mane, the player fouled by the defender, went on to score twice after the break, making him just the third Liverpool player to get a brace of goals at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era. The others? Steve McManaman, back in December 1995, and Philippe Coutinho, who did so in October 2015.

However, the scorer was overshadowed somewhat by new team-mate Thiago Alcantara, who replaced the injured Jordan Henderson at half-time having only completed his move on Friday.

Still, the Spaniard managed to complete more passes (75) than any Chelsea player in the entire match. Indeed, since full passing data became available for the Premier League in the 2003-04 season, his total number of successful passes is the most by a player who featured for a maximum of 45 minutes.

Jorginho missed a penalty for Chelsea too, his first failure in nine attempts for the Blues in all competitions. Alisson not only produced his first save from the spot for Liverpool since joining the club but also his first save of the season.

Southampton 2-5 Tottenham: Bale force! Son and Kane steal the show 

Saturday was all about a returning hero for Spurs fans, as the club confirmed Gareth Bale was coming back from Real Madrid on a season-long loan. Less than 24 hours later, Son Heung-min became the headline act for Tottenham, aided by Harry Kane playing a sublime supporting role in a comprehensive win.

Son scored four of his side's goals at St Mary's Stadium. All of them were set up by Kane, who became just the sixth player to assist four goals in a single Premier League game. No Englishman had previously achieved the feat.

To put that into context, Kane – who also scored Spurs' fifth in the rout – only provided two assists in the 2019-20 season, albeit he did miss a large chunk of that due to injury. 

All this came after Southampton had taken the lead, though their failure to hold onto the advantage given to them by Danny Ings should hardly be a surprise. Since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018, no side has squandered more points from winning positions in the Premier League. 

Still, this was a day to admire the victors, not the vanquished. Son and Kane were simply too much for Southampton; the dynamic duo have now combined for more league goals (24) than any other pairing in the competition since the South Korean joined in August 2015. 

Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls soar thanks to Maupay

What a difference a week makes. Newcastle United were so impressive in their opener at West Ham, while Brighton were well beaten at home by Chelsea. However, the Seagulls' long journey provided plenty of positives, Graham Potter's team running out comfortable winners against accommodating hosts who failed to muster a shot on target. 

Neal Maupay had Brighton two ahead inside seven minutes, the earliest brace for a player in the Premier League since Manchester City's Edin Dzeko scored twice in the opening four minutes against Norwich City back in December 2012. 

Maupay also set up Aaron Connolly for a third goal late on, with the only disappointment for the visitors the late red card shown to the impressive Yves Bissouma, who had more touches (65) than any other player while also recording a 92 per cent passing accuracy. 

Leicester City 4-2 Burnley: Flying Foxes make it two from two

Could history be repeated this term? Leicester have won their first two games of a Premier League season for the first time since their famous title-winning campaign in 2015-16.

For Brendan Rodgers, there was a personal milestone. The Foxes boss recorded his 100th victory in the Premier League, becoming the 23rd different manager to reach a century and needing 210 games. Alex Ferguson (162 games), Kenny Dalglish (197) and Kevin Keegan (209) are the only British managers that did it faster.

James Justin scored his first league goal for Leicester while Harvey Barnes was also on target, meaning he has now been directly involved in five goals in his past three Premier League games against Burnley.

The visitors did not help themselves with Erik Pieters' own goal, Burnley's sixth in the Premier League since the start of the 2018-19 season; the most of any current team in the competition.

Leicester City have completed the signing of winger Cengiz Under on a season-long loan from Roma.

It is reported Brendan Rodgers' team have paid an initial £2.7million loan fee and hold an option to buy the Turkey international for around £22m.

Under has spent three years with Roma after joining them in 2017 from Istanbul Basaksehir, though he only started 42 Serie A games over that period.

"I can't wait to go to Leicester and start training," Under told his new club's website.

"I've always wanted to play in England and this is a great opportunity to play in the Premier League.

"I will try to help my team-mates on the pitch and off the pitch and I believe that I can improve my performance every day. I think I am fast and can create lots of chances for my colleagues. 

"I feel very good because my best friend plays for Leicester City. I am very happy to be able to play with [Turkey team-mate] Caglar [Soyuncu] and I always watched Leicester's games because of him."

Rodgers had discussed the impending arrival of Under on Friday, stating his belief the 23-year-old will offer something different due to his creativity.

"He's a very good player," Rodgers said. "We need a different type of attacking player. Having watched him, he's clearly a talented player.

"We have pace and power at the top end, but we also need some more football in there.

"We need someone who can beat someone in a one-v-one, we need someone who can break down defences who are organised, when it's tight."

Leicester beat West Brom in their opening Premier League match of the new season and host Burnley on Sunday looking to make it two wins from two.

The new 2020-21 season is really kicking into gear as Premier League matchweek two approaches.

After prior European commitments delayed Manchester City and Manchester United starting their respective campaigns, there is a full slate of matches this weekend.

That means there is plenty of opportunity for fantasy managers to make up for missing out on Mohamed Salah, Jamie Vardy or even Jeff Hendrick last week.

Need to get back on track or build on a strong start? This Opta-powered selection provides some must-haves for the coming round of matches.

 

EMILIANO MARTINEZ

Picking an Arsenal goalkeeper heading into the campaign was slightly risky business with two vying for the first-choice spot. Fortunately, with Emiliano Martinez leaving for Aston Villa, the matter has been settled.

From his first start last season on June 25, following Bernd Leno's injury, Martinez made more saves (31) than any other top-flight keeper and only trailed Nick Pope (85.3) and Ederson (81.8) in terms of save percentage (81.1). He kept three clean sheets, too.

Only Bournemouth and Norwich City - both relegated - managed fewer clean sheets than Villa's seven last term, yet one of those came at home to Monday's visitors Sheffield United.

 

LUCAS DIGNE

Everton left-back Lucas Digne was certainly worth having on the opening weekend. He contributed to a clean sheet at Tottenham and also supplied the assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin's decisive goal.

But that display was no one-off.

Only Liverpool pair Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson (both 13) have more Premier League assists from defence than Digne (eight) since the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

Over that same spell, the Frenchman ranks second for chances created (73) and passes played into the box (320) by defenders and third (150) in terms of open-play crosses. He can test out that supply line at home to West Brom.

 

TARIQ LAMPTEY

Although beaten against former club Chelsea last time out, Tariq Lamptey continues to show himself to be an all-round package for Brighton and Hove Albion.

From right-back, the 19-year-old has created the most chances from open play (eight - tied with two others), supplied the most crosses (24), completed the most dribbles (17) and made the most interceptions (19) of any Brighton player since June 2020.

If Brighton get a result at Newcastle United, Lamptey is likely to be in the points.

 

WILLIAN

New signing Willian gave Arsenal fans and fantasy managers alike a taste of what they can expect on opening day.

At Fulham, he became the first player to contribute two assists on his Premier League debut for Arsenal since Ray Parlour against Liverpool in August 1992.

Since June 2020, Willian trails only Robertson (six) in terms of assists (four) and Kevin De Bruyne (40) for chances created (28), with struggling West Ham up next at home.

 

BRUNO FERNANDES

Joining in January, Bruno Fernandes quickly established himself as a star fantasy performer last season. There is little reason to suggest he will not be similarly effective this term.

The Manchester United midfielder has been involved in 20 goals (including eight assists) in all competitions since his arrival from Sporting CP, the most of any of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's players.

Indeed, Fernandes leads the way across the whole Premier League in that regard, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (17 involvements) second. United face Crystal Palace.

 

HARRY KANE

Tottenham talisman Harry Kane has tended to start Premier League seasons slowly, but his record against Southampton - this week's opponents - is particularly impressive.

The England captain has nine goals in his past nine league games against the Saints, only tallying more often in clashes with Leicester City (14) and Arsenal (10).

Kane will no doubt be determined to continue that scoring streak this weekend, having suffered a torn hamstring at Southampton in January that checked his 2019-20 campaign.

 

JAMIE VARDY

Needed to check he has still got it? Vardy again proved his worth with a brace for Leicester against West Brom last week.

Those strikes improved his total since the start of last season to 25 in the league, while he also leads the way for shot conversion rates (27.47 per cent) among those with 10 or more goals in that time.

Even at 33, it is too early to write off Vardy, who will aim to dampen Burnley's new-season optimism on Sunday.

Tottenham could face Chelsea in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, while Liverpool will meet Leicester City or Arsenal if they advance.

With the early rounds of this year's competition packed into the month of September due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fourth-round draw took place on Thursday before next week's third-round fixtures.

The premature process means Spurs and Chelsea each have work to do - against Leyton Orient and Barnsley, respectively - if they are to set up a mouth-watering last-16 meeting.

Former Blues manager Jose Mourinho will hope to guide Tottenham towards their first piece of silverware since 2008, when they won this competition.

With Spurs advancing in the Europa League, they are still on course to play a staggering nine matches before the October international break.

Meanwhile, the pick of the third-round ties takes Arsenal to Leicester, yet the winners are likely to face another difficult fixture as Liverpool will be their opponents if they beat Lincoln City.

Holders Manchester City must beat Bournemouth to reach a trip to either Millwall or Burnley, while Manchester United will go to Preston North End or Brighton and Hove Albion if they get past Luton Town.

 

EFL Cup fourth round draw in full:

Lincoln City or Liverpool v Leicester City or Arsenal
Millwall or Burnley v Manchester City or Bournemouth
West Brom or Brentford v Fulham or Sheffield Wednesday
Fleetwood Town or Everton v West Ham or Hull City
Bristol City or Aston Villa v Stoke City or Gillingham
Leyton Orient or Tottenham v Chelsea or Barnsley
Newport County or Watford v Morecambe or Newcastle United
Preston North End or Brighton and Hove Albion v Luton Town or Manchester United

Gareth Bale is returning to Tottenham.

Linked with a move from Real Madrid after being frozen out, the Wales international was reportedly a target for Manchester United.

But it seems Bale is heading back to Spurs.

 

TOP STORY – BALE TO COMPLETE TOTTENHAM RETURN

Bale is completing a return to Tottenham from Madrid, according to The Daily Mail.

The report says Bale has agreed to a season-long loan deal worth more than £13million, part of which will be financed by Madrid.

It comes as ESPN reported Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho sanctioned the move despite being warned Bale would struggle to meet expectations in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Tottenham and Sergio Reguilon will complete a medical at the club on Thursday before sealing a move from Madrid, according to the Evening Standard. The left-back, who was also linked to United, is set to cost around £25m (€27.5m) and the deal will include a buy-back option for LaLiga's champions. Meanwhile, the Mirror reports Danny Rose is set to leave Tottenham and join Genoa.

- Arsenal could be set to make a move for Lyon star Houssem Aouar. Telefoot reports Arsenal are set to make a £36.4m (€40m) offer for Aouar, who is also apparently a target for Manchester City.

- Still linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, United are also apparently targeting other attackers. The Manchester Evening News reports the Red Devils are considering a move for Atalanta's 18-year-old attacker Amad Traore.

- Barcelona may be close to strengthening. The Daily Telegraph claims the Catalan giants are set to sign Ajax defender Sergino Dest, who was also linked to City and Bayern Munich.

- Could Inter make a move for United defender Chris Smalling? The centre-back seemed set to join Roma, where he was on loan last season, but no switch has materalised. Now, CalcioMercato reports Inter could step in and offer one of Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic or Joao Mario to the Premier League club.

- Leicester City are set to land Cengiz Under from Roma. Fabrizio Romano says a £2.7m (€3m) loan bid with a £21.8m (€24m) obligation to buy the 23-year-old attacker has been accepted.

Leicester City's Timothy Castagne says he decided to leave Atalanta after being left out of the Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Belgium international scored on his debut for Leicester in Sunday's 3-0 Premier League win at West Brom.

He joined Brendan Rodgers' side on a five-year deal after impressing during three seasons with Atalanta, with his versatility as a wing-back capable of playing on either flank helping him to stand out.

However, Castagne says part of the reason he chose to move clubs was because he wanted a more regular playing position.

When he was omitted from the starting line-up for the 2-1 loss to PSG, coming on as a substitute with just eight minutes of normal time remaining, he knew the time was right to leave Bergamo.

"I could have renewed the contract," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The decision came after the game against PSG. The technical situation weighed on me. I'd been tried in the starting XI all week, and the night [of the game] I was left out. Honestly, it was a surprise.

"I needed to play regularly in the same role: once, I was on the right, then on the left, then on the bench. It wasn't exactly the best."

Castagne also suggested he would have preferred a more forthright relationship with Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

"Technically and tactically, he is among the absolute elite, but there wasn't a great relationship on a human level - not because of any particular problem between us," he said.

"He has his own way of doing things. For example, if you're left out, it would be important to have an explanation from the coach. But that's okay: this made me stronger mentally."

Jamie Vardy converted two penalties in Leicester City's clinical 3-0 win at West Brom and matched a Premier League record set by Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Last season's Golden Boot winner converted from the spot in the 74th and 84th minutes at the Hawthorns, after debutant Timothy Castagne gave Brendan Rodgers' side the lead early in the second half.

Right-back Castagne headed in a smartly hoisted cross from Dennis Praet for the 56th-minute breakthrough goal, before Vardy was brought down by Kyle Bartley and slotted his first penalty low into the left corner.

The 33-year-old added a second successful spot-kick for good measure, finding the same corner after Dara O'Shea clipped James Justin, making it a painful first game back in the top flight for Slaven Bilic's Albion.

Vardy has now scored in all five of his Premier League away games against West Brom, and only Van Nistelrooy has played as many matches against one team in the competition and scored each time.

Former Manchester United striker Van Nistelrooy faced Newcastle five times at St James' Park, with the Dutchman scoring on every visit.

Eduardo Camavinga is highly coveted following his exploits for Ligue 1 outfit Rennes.

The 17-year-old's stock has also risen after making his first France appearance.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly vying for his signature.

 

TOP STORY – GIANTS GO HEAD-TO-HEAD FOR CAMAVINGA

Real Madrid face competition from Paris Saint-Germain to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, according to Marca.

Camavinga, who made his international debut for France on Tuesday, has been heavily linked with a move to LaLiga champions Madrid.

However, Ligue 1 holders PSG are reportedly determined to keep the 17-year-old in France.

The front page of Friday's AS Diario adds Camavinga, PSG star Kylian Mbappe and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano are being targeted by Madrid in 2021.

 

ROUND-UP

- TyC Sports claims Barcelona have made a new offer for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez. Repeatedly tipped to swap Inter for Barca, Martinez's agents are believed to be in Spain to discuss another bid.

Ronald Koeman has handed Barca a four-player shortlist, including Lyon's Memphis Depay, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, Inter defender Stefan de Vrij and Manchester City defender Eric Garcia, claims Marca.

- FootMercato reports Madrid are considering a move for City attacker Riyad Mahrez.

- Sky Sport says Inter are convinced they will sign Arturo Vidal from Barca. It comes as Cagliari and Rennes try to sign veteran Nerazzurri defender Diego Godin, while Inter reportedly close in on Parma full-back Matteo Darmian.

- Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud has agreed a provisional contract to join Juventus as the Serie A champions wait on Barca veteran Luis Suarez, claims Sky Sports Italia. Juve have also been linked with Roma's Edin Dzeko, Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik and Alvaro Morata of Atletico Madrid. Andrea Pirlo's Juve have also eyed former forward Moise Kean but Everton are unwilling to do a loan deal, reports Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Fabrizio Romano reports Juve striker Gonzalo Higuain, meanwhile, is set to complete his move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS.

Leicester City want to sign Saint-Etienne defender Wesley Fofana but former Foxes boss Claude Puel is reluctant to part with the centre-back, according to Le10 Sport.

Liverpool kick off their first title defence in 30 years against Leeds United this weekend after storming to Premier League glory with a stunning 99-point haul last time around. 

Given their absolute dominance during the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season, it is hardly surprising Jurgen Klopp has chosen not to tinker with his squad during the shortened off-season, with only Konstantinos Tsimikas arriving from Olympiacos so far. 

That means the same group of players who amassed 97 points on their way to second place in 2018-19 and won the title last season will be tasked with achieving a hat-trick of monster points totals. 

Only Manchester City have won back-to-back league titles since Manchester United made it three in a row in 2008-09. Klopp will hope his side fares better than some recent attempts from their Premier League rivals.

2013-14 – Manchester United
Position: 7th
Points: 64 (22 behind champions Manchester City)

Not only did United fail to defend their crown but they were nowhere near the title picture, with David Moyes' dream job and a six-year contract brought to a shuddering halt before the season was out. A 2-0 defeat to Everton in April ended any faint hope of United qualifying for the Champions League and the Old Trafford board had seen enough, as Liverpool and eventual winners City took the Premier League race to the wire.

2015-16 – Chelsea
Position: 10th
Points: 50 (31 behind champions Leicester City)

It had long been known that Jose Mourinho sides had a tendency to fall away during his third season in charge but the capitulation of his Chelsea side in 2015-16 raised - or lowered - the bar. The tone was set by his public lambasting of club doctor Eva Carneiro, which was duly followed by a string of abysmal results. He was sacked in December following a 2-1 defeat to eventual champions Leicester City, with Guus Hiddink brought in to restore calm.

2016-17 – Leicester City
Position: 12th
Points: 44 (49 behind champions Chelsea)

Few expected Leicester to conjure up a repeat of their incredible title win, but their descent towards the relegation zone and Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal amid accusations of player betrayal came as a shock. Craig Shakespeare took over from the Italian in February, guiding the Foxes away from the drop zone. 

2019-20 – Manchester City
Position: 2nd
Points: 81 (18 behind champions Liverpool)

Most teams would be more than happy with an 81-point haul, but Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are not most teams. After claiming the Premier League title in back-to-back seasons with 100 and 98-point tallies respectively, many expected them to make it three on the spin. A relentless Liverpool outfit had other ideas, though, with Klopp's men never looking back after a 3-1 win over City in November opened up a nine-point lead at the summit that they would go on to double.

Arsenal will travel to Leicester City in the third round of the EFL Cup, while holders Manchester City are to face Bournemouth or Crystal Palace and Liverpool will meet the winners of Bradford City's clash with Lincoln City.

With the competition being squeezed into a tightened schedule due to the late end to last season because of the coronavirus crisis, the draws for the second and third round were both made on Sunday.

The pick of the ties is the Gunners' trip to the King Power Stadium, while City – who defeated Aston Villa to win the trophy for the third year running in February – will have the comfort of a home game.

Liverpool will hit the road to face lower league opposition and Manchester United are also away at Championship opposition against either Reading or Luton Town.

Everton have to get past Salford City in round two with the victor of that match going on to play either Fleetwood Town or Port Vale.

Leyton Orient or Plymouth will host Jose Mourinho's Tottenham in the third round, while Chelsea entertain Middlesbrough or Barnsley.

Round two south region draw in full:

West Ham v Charlton Athletic
Ipswich Town v Fulham
Oxford United v Watford
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Leyton Orient v Plymouth Argyle
Southampton v Brentford
Bristol City v Northampton Town
Reading v Luton Town
Millwall v Cheltenham Town
Brighton and Hove Albion v Portsmouth
Newport County v Cambridge United
Gillingham v Coventry City

Round two north region draw in full:

Burnley v Sheffield United
Burton Albion v Aston Villa
Bradford City v Lincoln City
Leeds United v Hull City
Everton v Salford City
Wolves v Stoke City
Fleetwood Town v Port Vale
Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday
West Brom v Harrogate Town
Middlesbrough v Barnsley
Derby County v Preston North End
Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers
Morecambe v Oldham Athletic

Round three draw in full:

Bradford or Lincoln v Liverpool
Bristol City or Northampton Town v Burton Albion or Aston Villa
Morecambe or Oldham Athletic v Newcastle United or Blackburn Rovers
Reading or Luton Town v Manchester United
Derby County or Preston North End v Brighton and Hove Albion or Portsmouth
Ipswich Town or Fulham v Rochdale or Sheffield Wednesday
Manchester City v Bournemouth or Crystal Palace
Millwall or Cheltenham Town v Burnley or Sheffield United
Chelsea v Middlesbrough or Barnsley
Wolves or Stoke City v Gillingham or Coventry City
Leicester City v Arsenal
West Brom or Harrogate Town v Southampton or Brentford
Newport County or Cambridge United v Oxford United or Watford
Fleetwood Town or Port Vale v Everton or Salford City
Leyton Orient or Plymouth Argyle v Tottenham
West Ham or Charlton Athletic v Leeds United or Hull City

Leicester City have signed Belgium full-back Timothy Castagne from Atalanta on a five-year deal.

The Foxes have paid the Serie A club an undisclosed fee, reported to be £21.5million (€24.1m), to take the versatile 24-year-old to the King Power Stadium subject to Premier League and international clearance.

Castagne joins Brendan Rodgers' side just over a week after England left-back Ben Chilwell made a big-money move to Chelsea.

Capped seven times by Belgium, Castagne can play on either side of the defence and helped Atalanta reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, as well as secure a third-place finish in Serie A.

Castagne will link up with his new team-mates, including compatriots Youri Tielemans and Dennis Praet, after he has been on international duty.

He came through the youth system at Genk and spent three seasons with the club before making the move to Italy.

After three campaigns with Atalanta, Castagne will now get an opportunity to ply his trade in the Premier League for a Leicester side that just missed out on a Champions League spot last season.

Lionel Messi reportedly wants to negotiate his exit from Barcelona, who have other plans.

Messi, 33, has sensationally requested to leave Barca, the club where he has spent his entire professional career.

Talk around the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner continues.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTS TO NEGOTIATE BARCELONA EXIT

Messi wants to negotiate his exit from Barcelona, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Mundo Deportivo claims Barca insist Messi is not for sale, while adding the Argentina international wants a meeting with president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been most strongly linked with moves for Messi.

L'Equipe reports PSG sporting director Leonardo called Messi's father, Jorge, but added City appear to be frontrunners.

It also says Juventus tried a discreet approach for Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Barcelona and the Catalan giants are looking to strengthen. Sport reports they are interested in Lazio star Ciro Immobile, who equalled Gonzalo Higuain's Serie A record with 36 goals in a single season in 2019-20.

- At Real Madrid, James Rodriguez is widely expected to make an exit. The Sun reports Everton have agreed personal terms with James on a £4million-per-year deal.

- Inter could be close to an addition ahead of their 2020-21 season. Fabrizio Romano says the Nerazzurri are close to sealing a deal for Roma left-back Aleksandar Kolarov for around €2m.

- After Ben Chilwell joined Chelsea, Leicester City may have found their replacement at left-back. The Sun reports they have lined up a move for Monaco defender Fode Ballo-Toure.

- Emiliano Martinez took his chance when given his opportunity as Arsenal's number one, but it could give the Premier League side a chance to cash in. The Athletic states Arsenal are prepared to sell the goalkeeper during this transfer window.

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of left-back Ben Chilwell from Premier League rivals Leicester City. 

The England international moves to Stamford Bridge on a five-year deal and, while the fee has not been disclosed, reports have suggested the price to be around £50million. 

Chilwell is the latest arrival at big-spending Chelsea, who have also added Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner ahead of the 2020-21 season under Frank Lampard.

Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva are also said to be close to joining the Blues.

Chilwell said: "I am delighted to be joining Chelsea at this very exciting time for the club.

"I'm looking forward to being a part of this young, dynamic squad led by Frank Lampard as we challenge for honours next season.

"I can't wait to get started and hopefully it won't be long before we're playing in front of the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge."

Chelsea secured a fourth-place finish in the Premier League in Lampard's debut campaign in charge, guaranteeing Champions League football again.

Leicester had for a long time appeared set to qualify for Europe's leading club competition, only for a late dip in form to cost them.

Brendan Rodgers' squad won just twice following the restart in June to end up in fifth spot, meaning they will instead be competing in the Europa League.

Chilwell, who came through Leicester's academy system, missed the final five games through injury.

He made 27 league appearances in 2019-20 and scored three goals, including finding the net against his new employers in a 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium in February.

The 23-year-old has made 11 appearances for England, starting five times in a successful Euro 2020 qualifying phase under Gareth Southgate.

Chelsea start the new Premier League season with a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on September 14.

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of left-back Ben Chilwell from Premier League rivals Leicester City. 

The England international moves to Stamford Bridge on a five-year deal and, while the fee has not been disclosed, reports have suggested the price to be around £50million. 

Chilwell is the latest arrival at big-spending Chelsea, who have also added Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner ahead of the 2020-21 season under Frank Lampard.

Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva are also said to be close to joining the Blues.

Page 1 of 21
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.