Borussia Dortmund held onto Jadon Sancho during the previous transfer window – and they have no plans to sell the star in January.

Sancho was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, but the England international ended up staying at the Bundesliga club.

If United are planning another move in January, it seems it is destined to fail again.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND WON'T SELL MAN UTD TARGET SANCHO IN JANUARY

Borussia Dortmund will not sell Sancho in January, according to Bild.

Sancho, 20, has continued to be linked to Manchester United, while Liverpool and Bayern Munich have also been credited with an interest.

The attacker has scored one goal and provided two assists in three games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- As he recovers from another serious knee injury, Nicolo Zaniolo is set to stay at Roma. Corriere della Sera reports Roma will extend the Italy international's contract – which expires in 2024 – until 2025.

- Staying in the Italian capital and Corriere dello Sport says Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac has been offered to Roma, who are preparing for the January transfer window.

- West Ham appear set to land Brentford forward Said Benrahma. BBC reports the Premier League club are set to sign Benrahma for £30million, with £25m of that being paid up front.

- As Harry Wilson prepares for another loan move from Liverpool, the Premier League champions want a £1m fee as part of a deal, according to The Sun. Swansea City reportedly lead the race for Wilson.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are apparently looking at Swansea City attacker Andre Ayew. However, The Sun reports Ayew's high wages could see him miss out on a move to the Premier League club.

- West Brom appear set to strengthen. Sky Sports reports they have agreed a fee worth around £15m for Huddersfield Town striker Karlan Grant. Grant scored 19 Championship goals last season.

Bruno Fernandes denied reports he had an argument with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the Premier League loss to Tottenham.

Fernandes was reportedly furious at half-time of the clash earlier this month, and the midfielder was substituted at the break with United trailing 4-1 before they suffered a 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

The Portugal international had opened the scoring from the penalty spot, but was said to have had a bust-up with Solskjaer at half-time.

However, Fernandes rubbished those claims after Portugal's 3-0 Nations League win over Sweden on Wednesday.

"There's been a lot of speculation about that," the midfielder told Sport TV, via A Bola.

"First it was a discussion with team-mates, as it did not stick, it was a discussion with only one team-mate [Victor Lindelof], as it did not stick now, it is the discussion with Solskjaer.

"I believe it is a way to destabilise the group. What was said is in no way true.

"I was replaced at half-time, it is true, by technical option. The coach told me that the game was almost over and that we would have a lot of games ahead of us. Got it. I was not satisfied but said nothing that could harm the group."

After just one win from the opening three games of the Premier League season, Solskjaer has been under increasing pressure at United.

But Fernandes insisted Manchester United were ready to respond against Newcastle United on Saturday, while warning the speculation needed to stop.

"Do not use my name, my colleagues or the coach to make trouble at Manchester United," he said.

"The atmosphere is good and the team is ready to give an answer in the next game."

England manager Gareth Southgate pledged to stand by Harry Maguire after the defender was sent off during Wednesday's 1-0 Nations League defeat to Denmark.

Manchester United captain Maguire collected a pair of first-half bookings for rash challenges on Yussuf Poulsen and Kasper Dolberg to continue a miserable few weeks on and off the field.

Christian Eriksen scored the only goal for Denmark shortly afterwards, dispatching a 35th-minute penalty after Kyle Walker was harshly adjudged to have impeded Thomas Delaney.

Southgate praised England's performance with 10 men and felt they had "come through as a more resilient group" after an international break that also featured wins over Wales and Belgium.

But much of the conversation afterwards centred upon Maguire, who missed England's September internationals after being arrested while on holiday in Greece and found guilty of assault and attempted bribery.

The 27-year-old's appeal and pending retrial nullifies that conviction, but he has struggled to find solace in his football amid a ragged opening to 2020-21 with United, who lost 6-1 to Tottenham in their last Premier League outing.

"He's a top player. He's a massive part of what we do," Southgate told Sky Sports.

"He's having a period where he's having a lot of sticks thrown his way. He's big enough to come through that. He has our support and his club will be the same

"We have total belief in him. He's been getting all sorts for a while, from some people who should know better.

"None of us like to be in the centre of that sort of storm. When you're a bit older you can rationalise it and come to terms with it. He's experiencing it for the first time, although no player gets to the level he's been without having setbacks.

"His profile has changed because of the club he plays at and his success with us. He's got to keep going and the tide will turn."

Debutant Reece James also received a red card for dissent after full-time, while Walker was dismissed during England's 1-0 win over Iceland last month.

The Manchester City full-back's penalty concession was the third time England have afforded opponents a chance from 12 yards during the Nations League.

Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell have all been missing at various stages of the Nations League campaign due to violating coronavirus protocols and Southgate conceded questions were there to be asked of the discipline in his squad.

"It's an obvious question that we're going to be asked. We've put ourselves in unnecessary situations off the field," Southgate added.

"The reds we've had - for Kyle in Iceland and Harry here - are with one of the yellows justified and the other one I'm not so certain

"We've got to learn from it because if you go to 10 men in a tournament, historically that means we're out, especially if you're doing it for an hour.

"That why I'm so pleased with the reaction of the players at the end."

Southgate also reserved praise for Chelsea full-back James, who impressed on his full England debut before erring in the aftermath of the final whistle.

"That's a lesson he's got to learn. He had an incredible debut, he's impressed me all week," he said.

"Until that moment he'd showed great maturity. It's ended up something that shouldn't have happened but for the overall week he's made a positive impression."

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was sent off after collecting two first-half bookings during England's Nations League clash with Denmark. 

Maguire was cautioned in the fifth minute after plunging his studs into Yussuf Poulsen and his outing took a further wrong turn shortly after the half hour. 

A heavy touch from the world's most expensive central defender left him lunging in on Kasper Dolberg, leaving referee Jesus Gil Manzano with little option. 

Shortly after England were reduced to 10 men, Christian Eriksen put Denmark ahead from the penalty spot, although they lost Dolberg as the forward failed to shake off the effects of Maguire's challenge.

The 27-year-old is the third England player to be sent off at Wembley, following Paul Scholes against Sweden in 1999 and Steven Gerrard versus Ukraine in 2012. 

Maguire has endured a torrid start to the season, which came after his arrest while on holiday in Greece. He was granted an appeal - meaning the court's initial verdict was nullified - and is awaiting a full retrial against a conviction for assault and attempted bribery. 

On the field, Maguire's fortunes have dwindled and he struggled as part of the United defence who were carved apart 6-1 by Tottenham on their previous Premier League outing. 

There was no chance Bayern Munich would have allowed Kingsley Coman to join Manchester United during the transfer window, says Hasan Salihamidzic.

France international Coman was linked with a move to Old Trafford before the deadline last week.

United were reported to have set their sights on the former Juventus winger after failing to meet Borussia Dortmund's asking price for Jadon Sancho.

Coman scored the winning goal in the Bavarian giants' Champions League final victory over Paris Saint-Germain in August after returning from a muscle injury.

Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic revealed allowing Coman to depart was never considered.

"There was nothing, and we wouldn't have looked into it either," he told Sport Bild. 

"His goal in the Champions League final should explain enough why we are relying on him wholeheartedly."

Salihamidzic also revealed the 2019-20 treble winners were unable agree terms with Chelsea over a deal for winger Callum Hudson-Odoi

He added: "There are transfers that come to the point where you have to say: 'We have to leave this immediately.'

"It is all the more important that one thinks about alternatives or alternative paths right from the start. We negotiated with Chelsea but there was no agreement. That happens."

Sergio Ramos could reportedly leave Real Madrid for Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain, while Paul Pogba is being linked to Barcelona.

Madrid captain Ramos, 34, has been at the LaLiga giants since 2005, but his contract is expiring at the end of the season.

And his situation is catching the eye of two European giants.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS, PSG EYEING RAMOS

Juventus and PSG have tabled contract offers for Madrid star Ramos, according to El Chiringuito.

Ramos is out of contract in June next year, leading to fresh speculation over his future.

The Spain international has won five LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies with Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Amid a difficult financial position, Barcelona could also be looking at players coming out of contract. Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba may become targets.

- Inter reportedly offered Bayern Munich and intriguing exchange during the transfer window. Sky Germany says Christian Eriksen was offered to Bayern by Inter, who wanted Jerome Boateng, but the Bundesliga champions turned down the deal.

- Sergio Romero wants out of Manchester United. The Sun reports the goalkeeper has begged the Premier League giants to let him leave amid apparent interest from MLS.

- Harry Wilson could be set for another loan spell away from Liverpool. After spending last season at Bournemouth, Wilson is being offered to Swansea City, according to The Sun.

- Danny Welbeck may stay in the Premier League. The Daily Mail reports the forward, who was released by Watford earlier this month, is attracting interest from Brighton and Hove Albion.

- West Ham's move for Brentford forward Said Benrahma has stalled, according to The Telegraph, and Aston Villa may make a move for the 25-year-old.

In his heyday, Arsene Wenger was widely praised for his trust in young players and eye for developing talent.

After all, Cesc Fabregas, Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie are just a few of the players he helped nurture into top-level international footballers.

But for every Henry is a superstar who got away… Or so Le Professeur would have us believe.

A football manager can't sign everyone, but as the joke goes, Wenger seems to have tried to buy all of them - all of the players. Or, all the really good ones anyway. Funny, that.

The Frenchman has been doing the media rounds of late and most recently floated the idea of Cristiano Ronaldo playing alongside Henry, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord and Dennis Bergkamp in an interview with the BBC.

So, with that as the jumping-off point, we put together an XI made up entirely of players who supposedly came close to joining Wenger at Arsenal…

GIANLUIGI BUFFON

As the story goes, Wenger's pursuit of Buffon got to the point where the pair had dinner together during his days with Parma, but Juventus soon came along and made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world at the time.

Everything suggests he would've been a remarkable signing in terms of ability and longevity. In 2017 he became the oldest player to captain a side in the Champions League final at 39 years and 126 days – and he's still going, three years on.

RAPHAEL VARANE

Granted, Wenger may not have explicitly said that he almost bought Varane during his formative years, but he was certainly frustrated to have missed out on him in 2013 when he queried why Arsenal hadn't been in for him two years earlier.

Varane has gone on to establish himself as one of the world's best centre-backs and in 2018 became just the third player to be on the winning team in the Champions League and World Cup finals in the same year, emulating Christian Karembeu (1998) and Roberto Carlos (2002).

VINCENT KOMPANY

It's arguable that Arsenal's biggest weakness in Wenger's final 10 years at the helm was their defence – a host of underwhelming options were signed and discarded.

Oh how different it might have been had they signed Vincent Kompany in 2006 when his agent claimed they were interested. He went on to captain Manchester City to two Premier League titles and played 265 times in the top-flight, more than any other Belgian.

GERARD PIQUE

It seems a long time ago that Pique was at Manchester United, struggling to earn a place in the starting XI, but even before then he could have ended up at Arsenal – and, stylistically, one has to wonder whether that would have been the better move for him.

Wenger has previously admitted they tried to get Pique but they were unable to beat United to his signature. He returned to Barcelona in 2008 and has since won three Champions League crowns, just one of three players to play every minute of those finals.

ROBERTO CARLOS

OK, to be fair to Wenger, this isn't one he has specifically claimed – rather Roberto Carlos himself hinted at the move in 2003 as his Real Madrid career appeared to be winding down.

As it was, he ended up staying in Madrid until 2007 before moving on to Fenerbahce, Corinthians, Anzhi Makhachkala (remember them?) and Delhi Dynamos.

N'GOLO KANTE

The one who got away… Twice. That's right, Wenger says he tried to sign the industrious Kante when he was at Caen and Leicester City.

He played a starring role as the Foxes remarkably claimed the Premier League title in 2015-16, before then joining Chelsea and becoming the only player to win the Premier League in successive seasons with different clubs.

PAUL POGBA

When Pogba left United in 2012, a whole host of fellow European heavyweights were linked with him, including Arsenal, but Juventus swiftly struck a deal and the Gunners' attempts fell flat.

He of course left Juve again in 2016, though the then world-record fee United paid was never likely to be matched by Arsenal, and in 2018-19 Pogba became the first United player to appear in the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Team of the Year since Robin van Persie six years earlier.

YAYA TOURE

In hindsight, this one looks a particularly odd miss from Arsenal. Yaya Toure had a trial with the Gunners in 2003, a year after his brother Kolo signed for them, but wasn't particularly outstanding in a trial game and work permit difficulties made it tricky for him to join permanently.

That didn't stop him from enjoying a fine career, however, and he eventually made it to the Premier League in 2010 when joining Manchester City, with whom he became just the second African player to score in both an EFL Cup and FA Cup final.

LIONEL MESSI

That's right, the one you've been waiting for. In an alternate universe, Fabregas, Pique and Messi could have spent the best years of their careers in north London – Wenger attempted to prise all three away.

But six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi had already gotten "too big" reputation-wise when Arsenal made their move. In Barcelona he stayed and he has since become LaLiga's all-time leading scorer with 445 goals in 488 games – a truly remarkable feat, though not as impressive as playing well against Stoke City on a cold Tuesday night, some might have you believe.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC

In fairness to Wenger, he insists he has no regrets about not signing Ibrahimovic when he was a 17-year-old on trial. Whether he says as much privately is another matter.

Regardless, Ibrahimovic can console himself with the fact he has gone on to enjoy an incredibly successful career and scored Champions League goals for six different clubs, more than any other player in the competition's history. Unfortunately for him, however, he has never won European football's top prize.

CRISTIANO RONALDO

And finally, the other one you've been waiting for. Arguably the quintessential Wenger "nearly signed" claim relates to Ronaldo, whom he says almost joined Arsenal before United made their move in 2003. Like Buffon, Ronaldo also had discussions with Wenger over food, but he says the Gunners were pipped at the last.

Wenger apparently regards this as his biggest regret, and understandably so – Ronaldo has gone on to win everything in the game, including five Ballons d'Or, and is the Champions League's top scorer with 130 goals in 170 games.

Marcus Rashford would consider a different approach to his work in helping vulnerable children if he felt his football performance was affected in a negative way.

Rashford, who has been made an MBE for his campaigning, is optimistic he can continue to balance the off-field mission with his England and Manchester United duties.

The 22-year-old has won widespread praise for speaking up for British youngsters facing food poverty during the coronavirus pandemic, persuading the United Kingdom government to provide free school meal vouchers to underprivileged children through the summer months.

Asked about his efforts in an England news conference on Tuesday, Rashford made it clear the campaign was not all on his shoulders.

"I have a team that work behind me and make sure we're on the same page. A lot of the work is done months in advance. I think it's important for me to keep doing that," he said.

"At the moment, I feel in a good headspace. I'm comfortable with doing the two things and I feel ready to train every day and play the games.

"If it was taking a toll, I'd have to look at a different way of doing things and find a way to support the kids and keep my career going in the right direction."

England face Denmark on Wednesday at Wembley in the Nations League, having beaten Belgium in the same competition on Sunday, after a friendly victory over Wales.

Two wins with England, plus recognition in the Queen's Birthday Honours, has made it "a good few days" for Rashford, who was frustrated to miss September's games against Iceland and Denmark with an ankle problem.

He could be battling with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling for a starting place in attack at Euro 2020, which has been delayed until next year, and says the competition in England's squad is healthy.

"We all understand that we're all together as one. Especially in tournament football," Rashford said.

"At the World Cup I realised it the most - you need the squad to do great things. Looking forward, it's a big strength of ours to have so many players that can make differences on the pitch."

Paul Scholes appears to have changed his tune about Anthony Martial, accusing the Manchester United striker of "misleading" fans over his goalscoring prowess.

Martial enjoyed his best season in 2019-20, putting early injury problems behind him to score 23 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions.

The France international was named United's Players' Player of the Year as he repaid the faith shown by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, spearheading the attack to help the Red Devils finish third in the Premier League and reach three cup semi-finals.

In August, Scholes said Martial had finally convinced him he was capable of playing as a central striker, telling BT Sport: "I thought, 'Was he a number nine, or is he a wide player?'

"He's turned himself into a number nine with every game I watch, more and more, so it's great to see. When he's square on to a player and runs at them, I think he's unstoppable."

However, with Martial having failed to score or set up a goal in 2020-21, former United star Scholes feels "almost conned" by the forward's past performances.

"These forwards are exceptionally talented lads. We all know that," he told Stadium Astro. "The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward.

"Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good.

"He's started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn't. It's misleading. That's why I've kept saying we need a top-class number nine."

Since Scholes' positive comments two months ago, Martial has played just 207 minutes of Premier League football.

While he has failed to score, he has also not been presented with a certified big chance and has only attempted two shots, highlighting the wider problems within the United side.

Solskjaer's men lost to Crystal Palace on the opening day and, after a fortunate win at Brighton and Hove Albion, they were thrashed 6-1 at home by Tottenham.

Martial was sent off in that match, meaning he will be suspended for Saturday's visit to Newcastle United.

Manchester United have confirmed Edinson Cavani will not be available to face Newcastle United on Saturday due to self-isolation protocols following his arrival from France.

Cavani signed for United on a free transfer on deadline day, but coronavirus-prevention guidelines in the United Kingdom require people to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival from certain foreign territories.

The Uruguayan striker came directly from France, one of the countries on the list, meaning he has had to train in isolation ever since joining the club.

It was reported United were seeking clarification regarding Cavani's quarantine period and they have now confirmed Cavani, 33, will not be able to make the trip to Newcastle on Saturday.

A statement on the United website read: "Cavani is being forced to self-isolate due to the COVID-19 guidelines, following his arrival into the country from France, which means he is unable to make his debut at St James' Park."

Therefore, Cavani's debut will likely come against his former club Paris Saint-Germain, where he spent seven years and became the club's all-time leading scorer.

Cavani's absence for the weekend match comes as an added blow given Anthony Martial – sent off in the 6-1 humiliation by Tottenham – is starting a three-match domestic ban.

United have not confirmed whether fellow deadline day arrivals Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri are in contention.

Kylian Mbappe has long been coveted by Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has also made no secret of his admiration for fellow Frenchman Zidane.

But Erling Haaland could be a cheaper option for Madrid amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID TURN TO HAALAND?

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland is an alternative transfer target for Real Madrid if Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe does not move to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to the front page of Tuesday's Marca.

Mbappe – also linked to Liverpool – has long been Madrid's number one transfer target and the LaLiga champions are preparing to make a move for the PSG star in 2021.

But if Mbappe does not make the switch from France to Spain, Haaland has emerged as another option for Zinedine Zidane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are targeting a triple transfer swoop in January, reports Tuesday's edition of Mundo Deportivo. After failing in the previous window, Barca are prepared to renew their attempts to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

Manchester United are very interested in Rennes and France sensation Eduardo Camavinga, says AS. The teenage midfielder has been heavily linked with Madrid and PSG.

- Calciomercato says Roma will return for Napoli outcast Arkadiusz Milik in January. Roma tried to sign the forward before the transfer window closed. It comes as Roma could offer Edin Dzeko a new contract after he was poised to join Juventus.

- Football London claims Chelsea are set to hand midfielder Jorginho a new contract after rejecting a move to rivals Arsenal.

Marcus Rashford heads into Wednesday's Nations League clash between England and Denmark with another milestone in his sights.

As a player to score on his debuts in the Premier League, Europa League, Champions League and EFL Cup for Manchester United, as well as his first international outing in 2016, the forward is no stranger to landmarks.

His confident penalty on Sunday helped England defeat Belgium 2-1 at Wembley as Gareth Southgate became the first Three Lions boss to win 10 competitive matches at the new national stadium. It also stretched their unbeaten run on Sundays to 10 years, going back to a 4-1 loss to Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

Rashford has now scored in four consecutive international games. The 22-year-old is the youngest player to do so since Jimmy Greaves way back in 1961.

Greaves is the only England player to score in five England matches in a row while under the age of 23 since the Second World War. Rashford, whose birthday is on October 31, will have one more chance to emulate that feat against Denmark.

The penalty was Rashford's only shot of the half and he only created a goalscoring opportunity for a team-mate once. Indeed, former United captain Roy Keane was less than impressed with the forward's performance in a first half in which England struggled against the world's top-ranked side.

"Rashford, in the first half, was going through the motions," Keane said on ITV. "I just want to make a point: Rashford, his body language in the first half, he needs to do better.

"And then he started doing what he should be doing: running at people, getting forward, doing things quickly. Gareth Southgate should have said something at half-time: 'Cut out this nonsense, kind of standing on the ball'. Remember what got you into this England team and that's running at people. That's your strength."

Southgate also admitted England were caught out at times in the first half but was delighted with their renewed efforts after the break, particularly with the forwards - Rashford chief among them - pressing harder. He and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin contested 11 duels, more than any player except Belgium's Toby Alderweireld.

"The way they used the ball, they showed tremendous composure," Southgate said. "Defensively, the whole team, they defended as a team, and in these games, you have to.

"It's impossible to carry anybody without the ball. Marcus, Mason [Mount], Dominic, then Harry [Kane] - positionally close to perfect, intelligent in their pressing, had the legs to go and press which meant then the midfield players don't have to jump out of position, and then the back players aren't exposed with bodies in between the lines and turned and causing them problems."

Rashford also helped to carve out arguably England's best chance of the half, exchanging passes with Declan Rice in a swift counter-attack before firing a little way over the crossbar.

"Pass it and run, pass it and move," urged Keane, who praised the "excellent" link-up play in the sequence. Such enterprise will be needed if Rashford is to reach another milestone, and if England are to inflict upon Denmark what would be just a third defeat in 40 games.

The United Kingdom government has strongly criticised plans reportedly driven by Manchester United and Liverpool to overhaul the Premier League and English club football.

A report on Sunday by The Telegraph detailed a set of proposals called "Project Big Picture", which would cut the number of teams in the Premier League from 20 to 18 and abolish the competition's one-club, one-vote principle - handing greater power to the nine longest-serving teams in the division.

That number includes all of the so-called "big six", who would have effective veto power on a range of issues, including potential new owners taking control of a rival club.

The plans also focus upon supporting the wider league system amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with a £250million rescue package to be allocated to the English Football League (EFL) and a £100m gift to the Football Association.

EFL chairman Rick Parry - the former Liverpool chief executive and a key figure in the Premier League's breakaway from the Football League in 1992 - has publicly backed the plans, which would see 25 per cent of the Premier League's annual revenue diverted to the EFL and lead to the EFL Cup and Community Shield being scrapped.

However, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport joined the Premier League itself in condemning the mooted changes, decrying Liverpool and United's alleged involvement in "backroom deals".

"We are surprised and disappointed that, at a time of crisis when we have urged the top tiers of professional football to come together and finalise a deal to help lower league clubs, there appear to be backroom deals being cooked up that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game," a statement read.

"Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that may undermine them is deeply troubling.

"Fans must be [at the] front of all our minds and this shows why our fan-led review of football governance will be so critical."

The Premier League, which has come in for criticism over recent days after the announcement of a pay-per-view television model to run while fans are not allowed into stadiums, urged its members to contribute to ongoing restructuring talks "through the proper channels".

"English football is the world's most watched, and has a vibrant, dynamic and competitive league structure that drives interest around the globe," its statement read.

"To maintain this position, it is important that we all work together.

"In the Premier League's view, a number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, Chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support.

"The Premier League has been working in good faith with its clubs and the EFL to seek a resolution to the requirement for COVID-19 rescue funding."

In a statement published on the EFL's official website, Parry confirmed talks around Project Big Picture had been ongoing for some time but insisted the financial pressures of the COVID-19 crisis had sharpened the need for transformative action.

"Now is the time to address both the long-term health of the game and the most challenging short-term crisis it has ever faced," Parry said.

"Project Big Picture provides a new beginning which will revitalise the football pyramid at all levels. This new beginning will reinvigorate clubs in the lower leagues and the communities in which they are based.

"The whole of English football has been negatively impacted by this pandemic and the English football pyramid as a whole is only as healthy as those at its base.

"Through this proposed restructuring we aim to strengthen those who need it most at a time when they need it most. This is about building on what is good and making the most of what works well in order to benefit the game as a whole, while simultaneously tackling those issues which trouble all of us.

"This is a blueprint for the future of English football and for everyone who cherishes it."

Edinson Cavani is excited by the prospect of linking up with fellow Uruguayan Facundo Pellistri at Manchester United as he is already a big fan of the teenager's "mischievous" style of play.

Like Cavani, 18-year-old Pellistri signed for United on transfer deadline day, though his signing came as more of a surprise than the former Paris Saint-German star, who became the source of speculation a few days earlier.

Pellistri had been linked with some major European clubs, including United's local rivals Manchester City, but the Red Devils seemingly worked efficiently to bring the forward in with few media reports catching wind before deadline day.

It remains to be seen how much of a role Pellistri plays during his first season at Old Trafford, given he only broke into the Penarol senior side last year.

As such, the majority of United fans have only just begun to learn about Pellistri since his signing was confirmed on Monday.

But Cavani has seen plenty of him and is already sold on the attacker's abilities, commenting that his style of play resembles that of a playground footballer with a hint of added mischief.

"Pellistri is a young lad and I really love the way he plays the game," Cavani told United's official website.

"He's the typical South American footballer who has that mischievous nature to his game, and the way he lives his football is a bit like, as we say in Uruguay, being on 'el campito', as we call it, a makeshift pitch where you have a kickabout for fun with your mates or whoever.

"He's a youngster who has a lot to learn but who has a lot to offer too. He's already shown what he can do at Penarol in the games where he's featured.

"I've liked him from the moment he made his first-team debut at Penarol, I liked him a lot. He's coming here to the club, without a doubt determined to learn and mature as a player, but also to make a good contribution here himself.

"Learning his trade here is also going to be a great experience for him. So, it's going to be good meeting up with him and travelling together on this journey in this new chapter for us both."

Mauricio Pochettino could find himself back in management sooner rather than later.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham in November, having led Spurs to the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Now, Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly considering moves for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – POCH A MAN IN DEMAND IN MANCHESTER

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are both eyeing Mauricio Pochettino, according to the Mirror.

Pochettino has been out of work since his Tottenham sacking last year, and the former Spurs boss has emerged as the favourite to replace struggling United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reportedly ready to sack Solskjaer if results do not improve, while City are considering Pochettino, with Pep Guardiola yet to sign a contract extension.

 

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- Sport claims Barcelona are already planning for the next transfer window. The LaLiga powerhouse are keen to sign two players, with City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon captain Memphis Depay at the top of the list. Barca are also looking to offload Ousmane Dembele who failed to join United on deadline day.

Liverpool are in talks to sign Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, claims the Mirror. It comes after Adrian struggles to deputise in the absence of injured number one Alisson.

- Tuttosport reports Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The two clubs are eyeing Alaba on a free transfer, with the Austria international's contract expiring at season's end. Alaba has also been linked to the likes of City and Real Madrid.

West Ham are trying to sign Brentford star Said Benrahma in a £17million deal, according to the Telegraph.

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