Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has won plenty of admirers with 13 goals and 15 assists for runaway Serie A leaders Napoli this season.

The 22-year-old Georgian joined Napoli in July 2022, penning a contract until 2027 for a for a reported fee of €10–12 million from Dinamo Batumi.

Kvaratskhelia has helped Napoli into the Champions League quarter-finals, while winning the Serie A's Player of the Month twice.

 

TOP STORY – PSG TO TABLE LUCRATIVE OFFER FOR NAPOLI STAR

Paris Saint-Germain are ready to go all-out and offer Khvicha Kvaratskhelia a whopping €180m deal, claims Le10Sport.

Real Madrid are also reportedly monitoring the winger's status although he has previously shown no interest in exiting Napoli. It has been claimed Napoli would not accept anything below €100m for their emerging star.

The lucrative deal is plausible given PSG hold the record for the two most expensive transfers in world football, signing Neymar for €222m in 2017 and Kylian Mbappe for €180m in 2018.

 

ROUND-UP

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund have placed a bumper €125m (£110m) minimum price tag on midfielder Jude Bellingham as a long list of clubs chase his signature including Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Manchester United are willing to pay the €50m (£44m) release clause in Ousmane Dembele's Barcelona contract as they look to sign the French winger, reports Fichajes. The report claims the Blaugrana may be open to that as they look to sort their financial challenges.

Chelsea are interested in an off-season move for Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier, reports Football Insider. The report claims Blues boss Graham Potter wants a new stopper, with Meslier seen as a cheaper option if Leeds go down. Fichajes claims Chelsea are keen on Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana to take over from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Newcastle United have revived their interest in Bayer Leverkusen pair Moussa Diaby and Mitchel Bakker claims 90min. Arsenal have been linked with Diaby in the past, with the French winger reportedly worth €70m (£62m).

Juventus are still pushing to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante as a free agent despite reports he will re-sign with the Blues, according to Calciomercato.

– The Mirror reports Manchester United are set to hand manager Erik ten Hag a new three-year extension, despite the ongoing uncertainty around the sale of the club.

Christian Pulisic has expressed sympathy for Gregg Berhalter amid what he considers a "childish" saga involving Giovanni Reyna's family and the erstwhile United States head coach.

Berhalter's contract with US Soccer expired at the end of December, with the governing body putting any decision on his future on hold amid an investigation into claims he kicked his wife in a 1992 altercation.

The allegation – which Berhalter has admitted to – was brought to US Soccer's attention by Reyna's mother Danielle, who was angered by Berhalter's treatment of her son at last year's World Cup.

Reyna had limited playing time at the tournament, after which Berhalter suggested the Borussia Dortmund youngster was almost exiled from his squad due to poor behaviour.

US Soccer has appointed Anthony Hudson as interim boss, but it also confirmed Berhalter remains under consideration for a new deal when announcing the findings of the investigation this week, and national team winger Pulisic sympathises with the coach.

"I'm not here to appoint the next manager – it's not my job – and whoever it is, I'm going to play and give it 100 per cent," Chelsea's Pulisic told ESPN.

"Everything that happened with Gregg, first of all, has been handled in an extremely childish manner. I think we've seen what's been going on.

"I think it's childish, it's [like] youth soccer, people complaining about playing time. I don't want to go too far into that, but I think Gregg has been extremely unfortunate to get into the position he is in now."

The USA earned plaudits for their energetic performances as they reached the last 16 in Qatar last year, having failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Asked whether the team required major changes, Pulisic said: "I don't think it's necessary. We are not in a phase like we were after not qualifying, where we needed a complete rebuild.

"We don't need a bunch of new guys coming in. We have a strong core in my opinion, people have seen that and we need to carry on with that.

"It's a tough one for me because we should continue that as soon as we can and build off this World Cup, which I think had a lot of positives in it. We want to get going with that as soon as we can."

Real Madrid have reportedly identified Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and Manchester City's Joao Cancelo as their three primary targets in a €300million plan.

The Spanish giants have been pursuing 19-year-old Bellingham for months, while 22-year-old Kvaratskhelia has emerged as one of world football's breakout prospects during his first Serie A season.

Cancelo's future with City is also up in the air after Pep Guardiola allowed him to be loaned to Bayern Munich, with the German club hesitant to make the move permanent.

They could be three of the biggest names to move in the upcoming transfer window, and Madrid are said to want to bring them all to LaLiga instead of resuming the chase for Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

TOP STORY – MADRID PLAN AMBITIOUS MOVE FOR WORLD-CLASS TRIO

According to Fichajes.net, Madrid will try to secure all three of their top targets for a combined fee in the range of €300m.

The report states they are comfortable with the asking price of Kvaratskhelia, which is said to be a minimum of €100m, while they expect Liverpool to rival them in a €150m chase for Bellingham.

Cancelo has a €70m (£61.5m) buy clause in his loan deal, which is said to be more palatable to Madrid than Bayern, as they view him as a long-term solution at right-back.

 

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider is reporting Manchester United remain keen on 26-year-old Inter defender Denzel Dumfries, and that the Italian club's financial situation could tempt them to accept a bid in the region of €50m (£44m).

– According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter and Milan are enamoured with 21-year-old Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, who is among Ligue 1's top scorers this season during a loan stint with Reims.

Manchester United are concerned with the prospect of a drawn-out pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane and will instead prioritise Napoli's Victor Osimhen or Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic, per ESPN.

– Journalist Ekrem Konur is reporting Atletico Madrid plan to offer Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino a two-year deal with an option for a third year.

– According to The Athletic, 31-year-old Neymar wants to finish his career at Paris Saint-Germain and has no interest in leaving.

Edin Terzic bemoaned the way Borussia Dortmund were drawn into a "wild" Revierderby after Schalke twice came from behind to damage their rivals' title hopes in a dramatic 2-2 draw.

Dortmund were chasing a club record ninth consecutive Bundesliga win when they faced their fierce rivals on Saturday, having played their way into contention with Bayern Munich at the summit. 

While Nico Schlotterbeck's 38th-minute drive put them in the ascendency, Marius Buelter restored parity before Kenan Karaman did likewise after Raphael Guerreiro struck on the hour mark.

The result ended a run of four consecutive Revierderby wins for Dortmund, who sit two points adrift at the top of the table after Bayern's thrilling 5-3 win over Augsburg earlier on Saturday.

Speaking after the draw, Terzic said Schalke had succeeded in dragging Dortmund into an end-to-end contest, which worked to the relegation-threatened hosts' advantage.

"We said before the game that there were two options," Terzic said. 

"[Either] we get involved with Schalke's emotional and passionate game, and then it gets tight. Or we stay clear and try to win the game with football. 

"We showed that in the first half. We had a lot of good phases there, in which we controlled both the ball and the opponent. We were able to create a lot of clear chances. 

"We stopped that in the second half and then it got wild – just like Schalke wanted it to be. In the end we gave up the win and go home with a draw."

The draw means Schalke and Dortmund remain the only two Bundesliga teams to have gone unbeaten since the mid-season break, with Thomas Reis' men just one point adrift of safety after a run of seven games without defeat.

Borussia Dortmund must put their Champions League heartbreak behind them when they attempt to secure a club record ninth consecutive Bundesliga win in the 100th Revierderby against Schalke.

Edin Terzic's side crashed out of Europe's premier club competition in the round-of-16 when they were beaten 2-0 at Chelsea on Tuesday, having won the first leg 1-0.

That ended Dortmund's run of 10 consecutive victories and they felt hard done by, as referee Danny Makkelie allowed Kai Havertz to retake a decisive penalty due to encroachment and he made no mistake after missing his first attempt.

Dortmund must turn their attention back to the battle for the Bundesliga title and resuming their rivalry with relegation-threatened Schalke at the VELTINS-Arena on Saturday, when Marco Reus could make history.

Level on points with Bayern Munich at the top of the table, Dortmund have the opportunity to take their frustration out on the Royal Blues.

Stats Perform picks out the standout Opta data for the big derby.

 

From Champions League misery to cloud nine?

Dortmund have been licking their wounds since the pain of being consigned to a Champions League exit at Stamford Bridge.

They have no time to feel sorry for themselves, with so much at stake as they strive to dethrone Bayern.

Dortmund could win a club record ninth top-flight game in a row this weekend, having matched their best run with a 2-1 victory over RB Leipzig.

They have previously won eight in a row between 2011 and 2012, then again two years ago. 

 

Reus can go out on his way

Dortmund stalwart Reus is one goal away from becoming the outright record scorer for the club after he was on target against Leipzig.

That strike was his 159th for the club in all competitions, drawing him level with Michael Zorc.

Reus has been struggling with a cold, so it remains to be seen if he gets the chance to go out on his own in the home of Dortmund's rivals.

The skipper has had a hand in at least one goal in each of his past three Bundesliga games, scoring twice and setting two up.

 

Derby delight a distant memory for Schalke

Schalke have not only lost their past four encounters with Dortmund, but also failed to score in five matches against their rivals.

The last time they found the back of the Dortmund net was in April 2019, when they celebrated a 4-2 away victory after Reus and Marius Wolf were sent off.

Youssoufa Moukoko scored the only goal of the game when they met in September and Dortmund ran riot when they last travelled to Schalke, Erling Haaland scoring twice in a 4-0 rout just over two years ago – their joint-highest win over the Royal Blues.

Dortmund have only previously won four consecutive games against Schalke when they went on to beat them eight times in a row between 1964 and 1967.

 

Schalke fighting for their lives

The Royal Blues are battling to avoid relegation after securing promotion back to the top flight last season.

They are making a fight of it under Thomas Reis, securing back-to-back wins over fellow strugglers Stuttgart and Bochum to haul themselves off the bottom of the table.

Schalke had reeled off four goalless draws on the spin before defeating Stuttgart and they are unbeaten in the first six games of the second half of Bundesliga season for the first time since 2006.

This will be a battle between the only unbeaten sides in the second half of the season.

Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic said the question of Youssoufa Moukoko's age had never come up in their many discussions, after it was claimed the striker could be four years older than he attests to being.

German publication Bunte this week questioned whether Moukoko was 18 years old, or whether he was 22, citing as evidence a birth certificate.

That was reportedly issued after the birth of a Youssoufa Mohamadou in Yaounde, Cameroon, with the child's date of birth given as July 19, 2000, and the father named as taxi driver Ousman Mohamadou.

Moukoko's stated date of birth is November 20, 2004, and it has been repeatedly asserted during his career that he lived for around 10 years with grandparents in Cameroon before moving to Germany in 2014 to join his father, Joseph Moukoko, in Hamburg.

Joseph Moukoko has insisted he is the player's father.

Bunte also quoted a lawyer for Dortmund youngster Moukoko as denying the player provided false age details, saying: "Youssoufa Moukoko's date of birth is November 20, 2004. This is confirmed by all the official documents that we have, along with his parents."

The teenage Moukoko was a revelation in his early years at Dortmund, scoring 127 goals in 84 appearances at youth level, earning a rapid promotion to the first-team squad.

He has since gone on to represent Germany and featured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup before signing a new Dortmund contract in January.

Terzic was asked in a press conference on Friday about the age debate circling Moukoko, and said: "I don't read Bunte. I exchange ideas with him intensively – I have never spoken to him about that. I can't confirm that it bothers him. The nasty foul in Bremen puts a strain on him."

As Terzic pointed out, Moukoko is out of action at present with an ankle injury sustained against Werder Bremen in February. It means he will miss Saturday's derby against Schalke.

Terzic said: "He's doing well in rehab, improving his performance and feeling better. We hope he will be available to us after the international break."

Dortmund are level on points with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga with 11 rounds of games remaining.

Harry Maguire's future at Manchester United is unclear, having fallen down the pecking order under Erik ten Hag.

The United club captain is contracted until 2025 and his deal includes £200,000 per week wages.

Maguire has only started one of United's last eight Premier League games and did not play in Thursday's Europa League win over Real Betis.

TOP STORY – PSG SET FOR SHOCK MAGUIRE MOVE

Paris Saint-Germain are set for a shock £50million (€56m) move for Manchester United defender Harry Maguire, according to The Sun.

It has been claimed that Maguire is among a list of players that United are willing to sell in the off-season with Newcastle United and West Ham reportedly interested.

According to The Sun's report, PSG tabled a deal for Maguire in January, but time ran out to finalise it and the French champions will move again for him.

ROUND-UP

– The Independent reports Real Madrid are plotting an overhaul to bring in a new generation of young stars, with Manchester City's Erling Haaland top of the list along with Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham.

– The Guardian reports Manchester United will enter the race to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, with interest also from Liverpool and Newcastle United. Mount and Chelsea are currently in the middle of a contract dispute, potentially making him available, with United viewing him as a cheaper alternative to Bellingham.

–  Barcelona are in the market to sign Manchester City's Portuguese full-back Joao Cancelo if Bayern Munich do not make permanent his loan spell, claims Sport.

Newcastle are circling to sign Southampton free-kick specialist James Ward-Prowse, according to Football Insider. Newcastle are one of numerous Premier League clubs interested in him.

– Gazzetta dello Sport reports Inter have tabled a two-year contract offer to Edin Dzeko amid interest from West Ham.

– L'Equipe claims PSG are ramping up their bid to sign Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva in the off-season.

Chelsea are on the right track under Graham Potter, believes Enzo Fernandez, after they sealed a Champions League quarter-final berth against Borussia Dortmund.

Goals for Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz helped overturn a first-leg deficit for the Blues to secure a 2-0 win on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge and a 2-1 aggregate victory across the tie.

After a frustrating few months for Potter that has seen the former Brighton and Hove Albion boss come under mounting pressure, the result marked back-to-back wins for the first time in 2023.

With those improvements in their back pocket, Fernandez feels the club are headed in the right direction under the Englishman, and says they must stay the course with him.

"We're going to be staying on this path, and we keep hope things carry on improving," Fernandez said. 

"It was a great plan from our coaches for the game. We had trust that the team could do it.

"We had more people running in behind and many people working at the back. We just had to do our jobs and follow that game plan.

"When we play at home, it helps the confidence of the group. We played really well and we believe in the path that we are working on."

Fernandez, who followed a World Cup triumph with Argentina by making the move from Benfica to Chelsea in January, has at times struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League so far.

But he delivered one of his stronger performances against Dortmund, and insists he is feeling more settled by the day, with hopes he can help the Blues to another major European run.

"I am really happy here, and I am getting to know my team-mates better," he added. 

"I am feeling more confident - we all are after our second win. We hope that we can be the champions [of Europe] again."

Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly wants to avoid Napoli in the next round of the Champions League in the hope of a potential final against his former club.

Two-time European champions Chelsea beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on Tuesday to progress to the quarter-finals in a 2-1 aggregate victory. 

Meanwhile, Napoli lead 2-0 in their last-16 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of the second leg next week and have emerged as one of the tournament's favourites given their 15-point lead in Serie A.

Koulibaly left the Partenopei for Chelsea at the start of the season and is keen for any reunion to be delayed until June.

"I hope to meet them as far away as possible," Koulibaly told Sky Sports. "Maybe in the final in Istanbul would be better.

"We know how important Napoli is to me, but now I'm focused on my team.

"If we meet them, we will do everything to win, but I hope it is as far as possible because I also wish them to go a long way, and why not face us in the final?"

A second straight victory for Chelsea in all competitions followed a run of just two wins in 15 before last weekend.

The poor run has Graham Potter's side in 10th in the Premier League, raising doubts about the head coach's future.

"It was a bit of a difficult moment," added Koulibaly. "We knew that this game was fundamental for us; we wanted to win it at all costs.

"We played a great game, I think, and we showed the intensity we had to show. We wanted to win at all costs, and we can be happy."

Next for Chelsea is an away trip to Leicester City on Saturday, with the Champions League quarter-final draw taking place on March 17.

Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke has accused referee Danny Makkelie of arrogance over his penalty call in the club's Champions League exit to Chelsea.

The Bundesliga side slipped out of Europe after failing to build on their 1-0 first-leg advantage at Stamford Bridge, with a 2-0 defeat on the night meaning a 2-1 aggregate loss to their Premier League hosts.

Chelsea's ultimate winner came from a Kai Havertz penalty, but only when Makkelie allowed the forward to retake it due to encroachment after he missed his first attempt.

Watzke however felt the Dutch referee was guilty of arrogant behaviour in his decision-making, and suggested he was too easily swayed from his gut decisions by a boisterous home atmosphere.

"You always had the bad feeling that he wanted to be the most important man on the pitch," he told SID.

"His gestures, his facial expressions, he really liked [to perform to the crowd].

"Instinct was a foreign word to him. We lost control of the game too early, and congratulations to Chelsea. They deserve to go through.

"But the decision to retake the penalty was very controversial and the original call itself was a 50-50 decision. There's no question about that at all."

Chelsea were originally awarded the penalty after VAR intervened over a handball offence from Dortmund defender Marius Wolf.

Havertz hit the right post with his first attempt, but Makkelie allowed him to retake it after replays showed players from both teams encroached into the box.

Watzke was far from the only Dortmund figure to express their discontent with the decision, with Jude Bellingham also voicing his frustration after the game.

Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke has accused referee Danny Makkelie of arrogance over his penalty call in the club's Champions League exit to Chelsea.

The Bundesliga side slipped out of Europe after failing to build on their 1-0 first-leg advantage at Stamford Bridge, with a 2-0 defeat on the night meaning a 2-1 aggregate loss to their Premier League hosts.

Chelsea's ultimate winner came from a Kai Havertz penalty, but only when Makkelie allowed the forward to retake it due to encroachment after he missed his first attempt.

Watzke however felt the Dutch referee was guilty of arrogant behaviour in his decision-making, and suggested he was too easily swayed from his gut decisions by a boisterous home atmosphere.

"You always had the bad feeling that he wanted to be the most important man on the pitch," he told SID.

"His gestures, his facial expressions, he really liked [to perform to the crowd].

"Instinct was a foreign word to him. We lost control of the game too early, and congratulations to Chelsea. They deserve to go through.

"But the decision to retake the penalty was very controversial and the original call itself was a 50-50 decision. There's no question about that at all."

Chelsea were originally awarded the penalty after VAR intervened over a handball offence from Dortmund defender Marius Wolf.

Havertz hit the right post with his first attempt, but Makkelie allowed him to retake it after replays showed players from both teams encroached into the box.

Watzke was far from the only Dortmund figure to express their discontent with the decision, with Jude Bellingham also voicing his frustration after the game.

Emre Can launched into a scathing attack on the performance of the referee after Borussia Dortmund were knocked out of the Champions League following a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea. 

Graham Potter's side faced a tough task after losing the first leg 1-0 in Germany, but Raheem Sterling's first-half goal and a Kai Havertz penalty secured a 2-1 aggregate win for the Blues.  

Havertz's penalty was the subject of much controversy after the forward was allowed to retake the spot-kick following encroachment from Salih Ozcan during his first missed attempt, a decision that left Can furious.

"The referee was to blame," the Dortmund midfielder told Prime Video.  

"I don't understand the second penalty. How can you give it? I don't give a damn who ran into the penalty area before. He hits the post, finished."

Speaking further on the performance of Danny Makkelie, he said: "The referee was arrogant throughout the game. I wanted to talk to him normally at half-time, that's where it starts. 

"We're playing here at Stamford Bridge. Maybe the referee is afraid of the fans. UEFA should send another referee. That's just not possible." 

Dortmund had won 10 consecutive games prior to this second-leg encounter, with defeat on Tuesday their first of 2023 and seeing them fail to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League in back-to-back seasons.  

Despite the narrow loss, Can was pleased with his side's performance, suggesting Dortmund were not to blame for the defeat.

He said: "We played a decent game. I am proud to be part of this team. We need not be ashamed. We didn't embarrass ourselves. In the end, we lost undeservedly, also because of the officials."

Mason Mount's future at Chelsea remains uncertain, with his current deal due to expire in 2024.

Mount has rebuffed multiple contract offers from the Blues, prompting speculation he could move on.

Chelsea are determined to hang on to the 24-year-old but if they cannot, the optimal time to sell may be at the end of this season.

TOP STORY – MAGPIES TO RIVAL REDS IN MOUNT RACE

Newcastle United will join the pursuit to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount at the end of this season, claims the Daily Mail.

Liverpool have been linked with Mount given his contract status, but the Magpies could rival that interest given their deep pockets.

Financial Fair Play rules may limit Newcastle's ability to land Mount having spent £165million this season on Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon, Sven Botman and others.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Sun claims Arsenal's top two priorities for the off-season are signing Napoli forward Victor Osimhen and West Ham United's Declan Rice. The Nigerian, who has interest from Manchester United too, wants to play in the Premier League one day.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all retain interest in Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo despite penning a new deal until 2027 last week, claims Football Insider. According to the report, Brighton's asking price is upwards of £90m.

– Footmercato reports Real Madrid head of recruitment Juni Calafat met with Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham at a London hotel on Tuesday, as numerous clubs circle for the England international.

Liverpool sent scouts to watch coveted Benfica defender Antonio Silva and midfielder Florentino Luis last Friday, claims 90min. Real Madrid have been linked with Silva, while Tottenham have a reported interest in the pair.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham are all proactively keeping tabs on Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot's situation and availability, claims 90min.

Bayern Munich will not sign Joao Cancelo permanently after this season, instead letting him return to Manchester City upon the conclusion of his loan spell, according to Calciomercato.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter praised the atmosphere as he hailed a "special night" at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in their Champions League last-16 second leg.

Heading into the game 1-0 down from the first leg in Germany, Chelsea started well and scored either side of half-time through Raheem Sterling and a retaken Kai Havertz penalty.

Dortmund arrived on the back of winning 10 games in a row, but had no answer to a Chelsea team seemingly buoyed by the weekend's victory against Leeds United, which was only their second in 12 games prior to Tuesday. 

"Really pleased. Fantastic atmosphere, fantastic evening," Potter said at his post-match press conference. "The players and supporters were tremendous. We had to be against a team that have 10 wins on the bounce. It was a special night."

The Premier League side were without the injured Thiago Silva and unregistered Benoit Badiashile, with Marc Cucurella coming into the back three, and Potter was impressed with the Spaniard, who has faced criticism from fans for recent performances.

"I think he got man of the match, didn't he?" Potter asked. "I'm delighted for him. When you're having a bad time like we have, you accept the criticism. Marc has dealt with it well. We've tried to shield him a bit and pick the moment. With Benoit not available, he gave us the left foot and balance in a back-three and thankfully he delivered a top performance."

It made it back-to-back wins for Chelsea for the first time since October, and Potter addressed the recent dip in form and fan reaction directed at him.

"I think the supporters have been really fair with us," he said. "Supporters care, so when the results aren't what they want, they feel pain. They need to articulate that pain somehow, to get rid of it.

"They've been really supportive, they really have. They've stuck with the team and helped us on the pitch. You always need a bit of luck. I would say before the World Cup, we had nine players out. If you have all these players out, and tonight [Dortmund] had some players missing and that goes in our favour. I'm not going to complain about that at all."

He later added: "Inevitably, in life, you're going to have bad times and good times. I don't see any other way to look at it. It's how you react to the bad times, get some perspective and analyse it in the correct way. Things are never bad forever but it felt like that sometimes."

Potter was also asked if he had spoken to owner Todd Boehly, who was in attendance, to which he quipped: "Yeah I have, yeah. We're still here, I'm still here."

Jude Bellingham labelled the refereeing in Borussia Dortmund's Champions League defeat at Chelsea a "joke", though he warned he would not talk himself into another fine.

Dortmund took a 1-0 lead to Stamford Bridge for the second leg on Tuesday after Karim Adeyemi's goal at Signal Iduna Park gave them the advantage in the round of 16 tie.

But Raheem Sterling equalised on aggregate in the 43rd minute, before Marius Wolf was adjudged to have handled Ben Chilwell's cross in the Dortmund box from close range shortly after the break.

Kai Havertz hit the post with his initial penalty, but a retake was ordered after a Dortmund player allegedly encroached, with Havertz making no mistake with the second spot-kick by sending Alexander Meyer the wrong way as Chelsea held on to dump Dortmund out.

Bellingham, who was fined €40,000 (£35,665) by the German Football Association (DFB) in 2021 for criticising referee Felix Zwayer, was unhappy with both the decision to award a penalty and the ruling of a retake, blaming Havertz's run-up for his team-mates edging into the area.

"From where I was it looked like he was pretty close and I'm not sure what more he can do with his hands," Bellingham told BT Sport. "It's a yard or two away.

"I don't want to get in trouble, I've paid enough to them lot.

"That in itself was disappointing, and then the fact they've had a retake I think is a joke. For every penalty, especially when you have such a slow run-up, there's going to be people encroaching into the box by a yard or so.

"But that's the game I suppose, he's made a decision and we have to live with it."

Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic was keen to focus on his team's shortcomings rather than blame the referee, though he also felt it was a tight call that went against his side.

"I'm responsible for the performance of our team and my performance," Terzic said. "I don't want to talk about the referee.

"It's now the third time your [media] colleagues are asking me the question. I think it was a tight call and a harsh decision but that's how it goes."

Despite the defeat, Terzic was proud of his players and pointed to Chelsea's huge spending in the transfer market as evidence of his team competing at the top level.

"Fair play to Chelsea and congratulations," Terzic added. "It was two very tight games and in the end, inches decide whether you go to the next round or not.

"We have enough quality in the team and that's the good thing. These two games, this is what we want. We don't want to compete with Chelsea in the transfer market, we want to compete with Chelsea on the matchday and I think we did it twice."

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