Kevin De Bruyne has urged his Manchester City team-mates to make 2019-20 a season to remember from the rubble of their failed title defence.

A stunning free-kick from the Belgium midfielder could not avert a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea – a result that ended saw Liverpool crowned Premier League champions and ended City's two-year stint as top dogs in England.

Attention now turns to an FA Cup quarter-final at Newcastle United on Sunday, with Pep Guardiola's side looking to add to the EFL Cup they collected thanks to a 2-1 triumph over Aston Villa in March.

Then there is the small matter of a tilt at an elusive Champions League success, after Gabriel Jesus and De Bruyne gave City a 2-1 advantage over Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 encounter.

Their focus in Europe's elite competition might be further sharpened if the club's appeal against a two-year ban from UEFA tournaments is not overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport next month.

"I think we have still got big chances in the FA Cup and Champions League," De Bruyne said.

"Imagine if we come out after winning these cups, it will be an unbelievable season. We have got a lot to play for and look forward to it."

Thursday's game with Chelsea amounted to City's season in microcosm, as a moment of De Bruyne brilliance nestled frustratingly alongside missed chances and costly defensive errors.

As such, the 28-year-old has no qualms in crediting Jurgen Klopp's side for a richly deserved triumph.

"We didn’t play badly, but at the end of the day, too many mistakes cost us," he said.

"We knew it was impossible [to catch Liverpool after lockdown]. You are always disappointed when you don't win, but I think we are honest enough to say Liverpool were better this year.

"I think we worked really hard, we played really well but we weren't good enough and that's no problem for us to admit.

"If everything goes to plan for us then I think we still have 13 or 14 games, so we still have a lot to play for and a lot of objectives."

Individual awards at the end of the season might be considered an objective for De Bruyne, given his frequently stellar showings and the likelihood of a split Liverpool vote.

His strike at Chelsea took him on to double figures for goals and assists in the Premier League campaign.

Nevertheless, after missing out to Mohamed Salah for the PFA and Football Writers' Association prizes in 2017-18, De Bruyne takes a typically phlegmatic view.

"It is not me who decides that," he added. "Two years ago I was second and we won the title 20 points ahead, so I don’t know how people decide.

"I think I have a chance. It is not me who decides and I think I can make my own analysis of how this season has gone.

"Whatever you get in the end is nice, but we will see."

City welcomed Phil Foden, John Stones and Claudio Bravo back to training ahead of the trip to Newcastle.

Foden picked up a knock during his two-goal showing against Burnley earlier this week, while centre-back Stones (ankle) and back-up goalkeeper Bravo (hamstring) have not featured since City resumed their season.

Andy Carroll and Javier Manquillo have signed new deals with Newcastle United, while Matty Longstaff has agreed to a short-term extension.

Carroll has yet to score since re-joining his boyhood club prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, making 16 appearances in all competitions but only four starts in his second spell at St James' Park. 

The striker, who left for Liverpool on deadline day in January 2011 and then moved on to West Ham, will remain at Newcastle for another year. 

As for Manquillo, the Spanish full-back is now tied to the Premier League club until 2024 after penning a four-year contract, with manager Steve Bruce delighted to retain the duo. 

"I'm delighted Javier Manquillo and Andy Carroll have extended their contracts longer term," Bruce told the club's website. 

"They have both made important contributions this season and I'm really pleased we can continue to call on them beyond the summer." 

Longstaff's long-term future still remains unclear, however. The midfielder's contract was due to expire at the end of June but he has now signed on for the rest of the campaign.

Nabil Bentaleb and Danny Rose will be staying beyond this month too after their loan deals from Schalke and Tottenham respectively were extended. 

Newcastle also confirmed they have an agreement in principle with Inter to keep Valentino Lazaro, who arrived on loan in January, but Rob Elliot, Jack Colback and Jamie Sterry will all be leaving when their contracts expire. 

Anthony Martial scored Manchester United's first Premier League hat-trick since 2013 to boost their Champions League hopes further with a 3-0 win over Sheffield United.

Martial netted twice in the first half as he capitalised on poor Blades defending, and he ended United's wait for a treble scorer, which had stretched back to Robin van Persie more than seven years earlier, in the 74th minute.

United stay fifth but put no breathing room between themselves and sixth-placed Wolves, who dealt Bournemouth's hopes of survival a further blow as Raul Jimenez sealed a 1-0 win at Molineux.

Bournemouth are third-bottom but are only above second-bottom Aston Villa on goal difference. Ahmed El Mohamady earned Villa a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United, his header cancelling out Dwight Gayle's second-half strike.

Villa, Bournemouth and fourth-bottom West Ham are all on 27 points as the fight for survival looks set to go to the wire.

Norwich City look less and less likely to succeed in hauling themselves out of danger, the league's bottom club condemned to another defeat at Carrow Road after Michael Keane gave Everton a 1-0 win. The Canaries are six points adrift of safety with seven to play.

The queue to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho is long.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are all reportedly eyeing the England international.

United, though, are prepared to wait.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TO BIDE TIME OVER SANCHO

Manchester United are waiting for Jadon Sancho's price to drop before making a move for the Borussia Dortmund star, according to the Daily Mail.

Sancho has been tipped to join Premier League giants United at the end of the season, though Liverpool, Chelsea, former club Manchester City and Real Madrid are also believed to be interested.

However, United are hoping to drive down the £100million (€110m) price tag.

 

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Dortmund, meanwhile, have beaten United to the signing of Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. That is according to ESPN, with the Bundesliga side set to announce the 16-year-old's arrival in the coming days.

- Could Arsenal and Roma be involved in a swap deal? The Daily Star says Arsenal are hoping for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to join Roma on a permanent basis, in exchange for Justin Kluivert.

Barcelona are desperate to sell before the end of the month to balance their accounts, claims Sport. The LaLiga giants are working hard on moving Jean-Clair Todibo and Philippe Coutinho out the door. Barca are willing to accept €70m (£63m) for Coutinho, who has been linked to Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle United.

- Il Mattino and Calciomercato.com report Arkadiusz Milik is discussing a new contract with Napoli. The Poland international has been linked to Serie A champions Juventus, Inter, Milan, Tottenham and Arsenal.

- Italian journalist Nicolo Schira says Inter are looking to sign Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Lautaro Martinez joins BarcaParis Saint-Germain have also emerged as a possible destination for Aubameyang.

Jan Vertonghen and Michel Vorm have extended their contracts at Tottenham until the end of the season.

The Premier League club confirmed on Monday the pair have agreed temporary deals to keep them in north London for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign, which has been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Long-serving defender Vertonghen and third-choice goalkeeper Vorm had been due to become free agents on June 30.

Tottenham also announced Danny Rose and Kyle Walker-Peters will complete the season with loan clubs Newcastle United and Southampton respectively.

Vertonghen has been with Tottenham since 2012 but has been strongly tipped to leave when the transfer window opens.

The former Ajax defender recently hinted that Italy and Spain are possible destinations, but boss Jose Mourinho has not ruled out a longer-term deal.

Vorm returned to Spurs on a free transfer in October but has made just one appearance in all competitions.

Tottenham are back in Premier League action on Tuesday with a home match against London rivals West Ham.

Steve Bruce expressed delight for Joelinton after the Newcastle United striker ended his Premier League goal drought in a 3-0 win over Sheffield United.

The Magpies resumed Premier League action following the coronavirus-enforced stoppage and took a significant step towards survival against the 10-man Blades.

After John Egan was sent off in the 50th minute, Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie put Newcastle in control.

Joelinton rounded off the win with his first league goal since his effort in a 1-0 win at Tottenham on August 25.

The Brazilian striker, a club-record signing in the close-season, had seen his previous 39 league shots fail to result in a goal.

Magpies manager Bruce was thrilled to see the former Hoffenheim man end his wait to find the net, revealing Joelinton had endured a tough time during the lockdown measures enforced by the British government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're all delighted for him," Bruce said afterwards. "He probably suffered more in the lockdown, he had no family over and he was stuck in an apartment somewhere.

"It's been difficult for him but I'm delighted for him because he's a really good pro and he can only get better."

Miguel Almiron supplied the assist for Joelinton, the South American pair and Saint-Maximin performing excellently as Newcastle's front three.

Newcastle are now 11 points clear of the bottom three with eight games remaining.

"After the restart the one thing you want to do is get off to a good start," added Bruce. 

"We've got our big players playing at the top of the pitch and as we've seen today they can be a threat."

Joelinton scored his first Premier League goal since August as Newcastle United took a big step towards safety with a 3-0 win over Sheffield United at St James' Park. 

Newcastle took control of the game after John Egan was sent off following a second yellow card in the 50th minute. 

Just over four minutes later Allan Saint-Maximin capitalised on Enda Stevens' failure to clear a cross from Matt Ritchie, beating Dean Henderson at the near post. 

Ritchie then lashed home a second from the edge of the area before Joelinton atoned for spurning a gilt-edged chance in the first half by turning home Miguel Almiron's low cross. 

It ended a run of 39 shots without scoring in the league for the club-record signing, with the win sending Newcastle 11 points clear of the bottom three with eight games left.  

The Blades saw their European hopes dented and remain seventh in the table, two points behind fifth-placed Manchester United. 

Jadon Sancho's future could be resolved sooner rather than later.

The England international is tipped to return to his homeland after leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Premier League leaders Liverpool are reportedly at the front of the queue for the 20-year-old attacker.

 

TOP STORY – REDS IN POLE POSITION FOR SANCHO

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho is a player in demand, the former Manchester City youngster linked with a return to England via Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested, but Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool appear to be favourites to land the England international if Sadio Mane leaves Anfield.

 

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- Calciomercato claims United are considering a move for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile. The Italy international has scored a Serie A-high 27 goals this season amid links to Liverpool and Napoli.

Chelsea are not close to reaching an agreement over Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, says The Athletic. Chelsea have emerged as favourites to sign Havertz, who is also reportedly wanted by United, Liverpool, Madrid and Barcelona. But Chelsea – who are set to bring RB Leipzig's Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge – are apparently nowhere near matching Leverkusen's asking price.

- The Independent reports Dortmund are set to beat United to Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. The 16-year-old is coveted by Dortmund and United, however, the Bundesliga side are viewed as the more attractive option to give the wonderkid game time.

- Could Dries Mertens leave Napoli for Barcelona? Mertens' contract is set to expire, though the Belgium forward has been tipped to sign an extension. Het Nieuwsblad says Barca could turn to the Napoli star if they are unable to prise Lautaro Martinez from Inter.

Chelsea believe Champions League football will convince Leicester City's Ben Chilwell to snub Manchester City for the London club, according to the Daily Mail. Chelsea have been linked to another full-back – France Football claims the Blues are eyeing Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, who is available on a free transfer and wanted by the likes of Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter.

- Tuttosport says Inter are targeting Nice centre-back Malang Sarr. The 21-year-old has also been linked to Pep Guardiola's City.

- According to The Telegraph, Barca are prepared to pay a portion of Philippe Coutinho's wage to help the Brazilian leave Camp Nou. Tottenham and Newcastle United are possible destinations.

Liverpool are eyeing a double transfer raid on Wolves for stars Ruben Neves and Adama Traore, says The Sun.

Jadon Sancho's future has dominated headlines for months, tipped to return to England.

Sancho, who left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017, has been heavily linked to Manchester United, as well as Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Dortmund are reportedly preparing for life without the England star.

 

TOP STORY – BVB BRACED FOR SANCHO DEPARTURE

Borussia Dortmund believe Jadon Sancho's exit at the end of the season is inevitable, according to The Evening Standard.

Dortmund star Sancho has been tipped to join Manchester United, who are determined to boost their attacking stocks.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid have also been linked as Bundesliga outfit Dortmund hold out for €129million (£116m).

Dortmund are also running out of patience with Sancho's off-field issues, after the England international was fined for flouting social-distancing guidelines following a haircut.

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Juventus could raid Italian rivals Roma for Italy star Nicolo Zaniolo. Calciomercato says Roma could be forced to sell their best players due to the club's financial situation, giving Juve the chance to bring the 20-year-old to Turin.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Inter want €80m for Madrid target Milan Skriniar. The Inter defender is seen as a replacement for veteran Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos.

United and Inter are battling to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso, reports RMC Sport. The Frenchman moved to Munich from Lyon in 2017.

Madrid are ready to join the chase for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, according to The Sun. The Germany international is wanted by United, Liverpool and Chelsea and the Premier League reportedly appeals to the 20-year-old.

- Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Gianluigi Donnarumma, however, Tuttosport says Serie A champions Juventus are eyeing a move for the Milan and Italy goalkeeper.

- Sky Sport Italia claims Roma are trying to lock down Lorenzo Pellegrini to a new contract amid interest from Inter, PSG and Dortmund.

Madrid's path to Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga could become complicated. With the Ligue 1 transfer window already open, RMC Sport suggests PSG could try to trump Madrid for the 17-year-old.

- Sport reports Barcelona are willing to lower their asking price to accelerate Philippe Coutinho's departure. The out-of-favour Brazilian has been linked to Tottenham, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

Lautaro Martinez's move to Barcelona is seemingly getting closer.

The star Inter forward has been linked to the LaLiga giants, although questions have been raised over whether Barca can find a deal to land the 22-year-old.

But the Argentina international could be nearing a switch to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – LAUTARO, BARCELONA AGREE TO FIVE-YEAR DEAL

Martinez and Barcelona have reached an agreement on a five-year deal at about €12million per season plus bonuses, according to Sport.

The report says Inter have given up on the star forward, but are yet to reach an agreement with Barcelona.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 games this season.

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- Bayern Munich have already decided not to purchase Philippe Coutinho, who has been linked with an extended stay on loan. However, Sport Bild reports there is no chance the playmaker stays in Munich.

- Timo Werner is reportedly a target for Liverpool, but another Premier League club could be making their move. The Telegraph claims Chelsea are plotting a move for the RB Leipzig forward.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Arsenal future remains uncertain. The Telegraph reports head coach Mikel Arteta is trying to persuade the striker to stay at the Premier League club, while The Sun says Arsenal will keep Aubameyang until the end of his contract in 2021 if they cannot get more than £20m for him this close season.

- Could Eric Garcia return to Barcelona? Sport reports the LaLiga giants are tracking the defender, who came through their youth system before joining Manchester City in 2018.

- Having impressed at Lyon, Houssem Aouar may be ready for a move. According to CalcioMercato, the attacker would prefer a switch to Juventus over Manchester City.

- After contract talks with Newcastle United broke down, Matty Longstaff could be heading abroad. The Times says the midfielder is set for a move to Serie A, with Udinese frontrunners to sign the 20-year-old.

Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin has revealed he received a disheartening text message from his grandfather stating he would be worried for the full-back's life if he lived in the United States.

Protests and riots have erupted within cities across the country following the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck.

USA international Yedlin, who moved to England to join Spurs in 2015, says the systemic racism within his home country makes a mockery of the promise of "liberty and justice for all" - a phrase contained within the national Pledge of Allegiance.

Writing on Twitter, Yedlin said: "A couple days after George Floyd's death, my grandfather texted me and told me he's glad that I am not living in the U.S. right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man. As days have passed, this text from my grandfather has not been able to leave my mind.

"He was born in 1946, lived through the civil rights movement, lived through some terribly racist times in U.S. history, and now 70 years later he STILL fears for the life of his black grandchild, in the country he and his grandchild were born in, in the country his grandchild represents when he plays for the United States, in the country his grandchild represents when he's playing in England.

"I remember being in elementary school, and having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which ends "with liberty and justice for all". Every American needs to ask themselves, "Is there 'liberty and justice for all'" and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem.

"In no way are we asking black lives to matter more than white lives, all we're asking is we are seen as equal, as more than 3/5 of a man, as humans.

"My heart goes out in solidarity to George Floyd, his family, and all of the countless number of victims that have had their lives taken at the hands of meaningless police brutality."

Premier League stars including Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba have issued messages of support towards Black Lives Matter protestors in recent days, while clubs including Newcastle, Liverpool and Chelsea have taken a knee during training in a show of solidarity with the movement.

The FA has promised to adopt a "common-sense approach", as encouraged by FIFA, towards any players who make similar gestures during matches that might ordinarily breach the rules of the game.

FIFA's message to national associations came after the German Football Association (DFB) said it would investigate whether further action was required against players including Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and Marcus Thuram for their actions last weekend.

Borussia Dortmund duo Sancho and Hakimi revealed t-shirts with the words 'Justice for George Floyd' during their 6-1 win over Paderborn, while Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach against Union Berlin.

Liverpool look set to clinch the Premier League title at a neutral venue as part of a request from police.

The 2019-20 top-flight season is set to return on June 17 following a lengthy delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, with all fixtures to be staged behind closed doors.

Most will take place at the scheduled venues, though local police have asked for six – including the game in which Jurgen Klopp's side could wrap up the league – to be moved.

The Reds sit 25 points clear at the top of the table and require just two more victories to be crowned champions for the first time in 30 years.

The Merseyside derby is among the list revealed by police, as well as Liverpool's trips to reigning champions Manchester City and Newcastle United.

City's clash with Newcastle is also included, plus Manchester United against Sheffield United.

Deputy chief constable Mark Roberts – the national football policing lead – said in a statement: "Our discussions with the Premier League throughout this process have been positive, with a shared focus on the priority of public health.

"As such we have reached a consensus that balances the needs of football, while also minimising the demand on policing. The majority of remaining matches will be played at home and away as scheduled, with a small number of fixtures taking place at neutral venues, which, contrary to some reports, have yet to be agreed.

"The views and agreement of forces which host Premier League clubs have been sought and where there were concerns, the Premier League has been supportive in providing flexibility in arranging alternative venues where requested.

"This plan will be kept continually under review to ensure public health and safety and a key part of this is for supporters to continue to respect the social distancing guidelines, and not to attend or gather outside the stadiums."

The FA Cup quarter-finals have been provisionally rescheduled for June 27 and June 28, with the final set to be staged on August 1.

Friday's announcement by the Football Association (FA) came a day after it was revealed the Premier League season is due to restart on June 17.

There has been no football in England since the campaign was halted due to the coronavirus crisis in March.

Norwich City are due to face Manchester United, with Sheffield United taking on Arsenal, Manchester City up against Newcastle United and Leicester City meeting Chelsea in the last eight of the FA Cup.

The weekend of July 11-12 is when the semi-finals are provisionally set to take place, with further information on venues and timings to be announced in due course.

FA chief executive officer Mark Bullingham said: "We are pleased to agree the provisional restart date for the 2019-20 Emirates FA Cup.

"The competition has been an integral part of the English football calendar for nearly 150 years, and we'd like to thank the Premier League executive and clubs for their support in scheduling the remaining matches during this unprecedented time.

"This has been a difficult period for many people and, while this is a positive step, the restart date is dependent on all safety measures being met. The health and wellbeing of players, staff and supporters remains our priority."

Could Spain international Fabian Ruiz be set for a return to his homeland?

Former Real Betis star Fabian, who now plays for Napoli in Serie A, is a reported target for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Spanish rivals are trying to lure Fabian back to LaLiga.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, MADRID DO BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to battle each other for the signing of Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Spanish midfielder Fabian has been linked with a return to LaLiga throughout the season, having left Real Betis for Napoli in 2018.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Napoli are expecting Barca and Madrid to go head-to-head for Fabian – who is contracted to the Serie A side until 2023.

 

ROUND-UP

- L'Equipe says Inter have made an offer for Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette. With Inter star Lautaro Martinez linked to Barca, the Nerazzurri are eyeing alternatives, however, Lacazette is not interested in swapping London for Milan.

- There could be some big changes at Madrid in 2022. AS Diario says Los Blancos want Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland to team up with Eden Hazard in a new strike force. The likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco will be out of contract at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Juventus are ready to negotiate a deal for Santos teenager Kaio Jorge, according to Calciomercato. Santos are demanding €30million for the 18-year-old, though Juve are only prepared to pay €15m.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City and Newcastle United have joined Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the race for 18-year-old Penarol winger Facundo Pellistri.

Odion Ighalo is prepared to pass on a £75m contract with Shanghai Shenhua to stay at Manchester United, reports the Daily Star. Ighalo's loan deal is set to expire at Old Trafford.

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