Manchester United are reportedly willing to meet Salzburg's £41.8million asking price for 19-year-old Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko.

Sesko, who does not turn 20 until next May and measures in at 195cm tall, scored 11 goals in 37 games last season, and he opened the new Bundesliga campaign with a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over Austria Vienna.

According to The Athletic, United decided against signing Sesko for £2.5m as a 16-year-old, and they will now have to pay up to secure the services of the in-demand forward.


TOP STORY – UNITED PLAN BIG MOVE FOR TOWERING SLOVENIAN STRIKER

The report from Express calls Sesko "a priority target" for new boss Erik ten Hag, but also mentions that the Austrian club is extremely high on him as a prospect – going as far as comparing his future to that of former Salzburg man Erling Haaland.

Meanwhile, Sport Klub claims Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also monitoring the situation, and that Sesko and Salzburg will be meeting in the next week to make a firm decision on his future.

Sesko is also Slovenia's youngest-ever international debutant, having debuted one day after his 18th birthday, and became their youngest international goalscorer a few months later.


ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato claims Tottenham are set to sign 19-year-old defender and Manchester City target Destiny Udogie from Udinese for a deal in the range of £25m.

– The Mirror is reporting that Everton have swooped in to land West Ham target Amadou Onana from Lille with a fee of £33.7m.

Leeds United are making a £22m bid for Paris Saint-Germain forward Arnaud Kalimuendo, according to the Sun.

– A Sky Sports report states Crystal Palace are interested in bringing back defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka from United.

– Liverpool are exploring a potential £50m move to bring in Leroy Sane from Bayern Munich, according to 90min.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hailed the performance of debutants William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus in the Gunners' 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

While Jesus was a thorn in the side of the Eagles' defence with a threatening display, particularly in the first half, at the other end Saliba put in a commanding defensive display – having waited three years for his debut.

Saliba's dominant showing saw the 21-year-old register a team-high seven clearances and win possession seven times, behind only Thomas Partey (eight).

Speaking after the game, Arteta discussed the merits of a partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes.

"You need the right balance," the manager told Sky Sports.

"Physicality in this league is something that you cannot come short, because if you do, you're going to be exposed, and you're going to have to be able to deal with certain games and certain opponents, which demand so much in those aspects.

"The two, for their age, they're really well built, and they give us a different edge, the same with Ben [White].

"That's the resilience we need to win football matches and to see football matches through. We had some moments; you need your goalkeeper because, to be honest, they had the biggest chance in the game, the one against one, and Aaron [Ramsdale] did incredibly well."

Although Jesus was not on the scoresheet for Arsenal, his intent was evident from the start as he put the Palace defence under pressure and contested a team-high 21 duels.

"The fear factor," Arteta said, describing the forward's impact. "He's always on your shoulder, he's always had that ability, the intuition to get the ball off you, and he's never standing still.

"He's always on the move, he's always ready to act, and he's so sharp. For the defenders, it's difficult to play against him."

As well as Jesus, Arsenal have added Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos, but Arteta – who celebrated his 50th league win as Gunners boss – is still on the lookout for further additions before the transfer window shuts on September 1.

"We are going to try," he said. "There are a few things that we have planned, and if we can do them, it would be great.

"But now we'll work with the players we have. We're into the season already, and the focus should be on the players we have, to get the best out of them."

Arsenal began the new Premier League season in fine fashion with a 2-0 victory away to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

New signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko made their debuts for Mikel Arteta's side on Friday and both made an impact, with Jesus catching the eye and Zinchenko providing the assist for the opening goal of the game.

Gabriel Martinelli was the beneficiary, heading in from close range, with Arsenal belatedly adding a second in the closing stages when Bukayo Saka's cross was deflected into his own net by Marc Guehi.

Palace had chances to equalise in the intervening period, forcing strong saves from Aaron Ramsdale, but he and Arsenal stood firm to earn their first three points of the new campaign.

Jesus immediately showed what he will bring to Arsenal by dancing through the Palace defence before seeing his shot deflected into the path of Martinelli, who wastefully missed the target.

Martinelli soon had his goal, however, as Saka's deep corner was headed back across goal by Zinchenko for the forward to nod in.

Early opportunities were few and far between for Palace, but a golden chance fell to Odsonne Edouard before half-time and his header drew a strong save from Ramsdale down to his right.

Ramsdale was again called into action early in the second half, with Wilfried Zaha feeding Eberechi Eze, who aimed his finish too close to the England goalkeeper.

Arsenal invited pressure in the closing stages, but Palace could not capitalise and saw their hopes of rescuing a result dashed unwittingly by Guehi.

Striker Christian Benteke has signed for D.C. United from Crystal Palace as he joins up with Wayne Rooney in MLS.

The 31-year-old has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal in the United States capital as he leaves the Premier League after 280 appearances in which he scored 86 goals.

He arrived in England 10 years ago, joining Aston Villa from Belgian side Genk before going on to score 42 times in 89 Premier League appearances for the Midlands club.

His prolific spell there earned him a big-money move to Liverpool, but he could only manage nine league goals for the Reds before making a switch to Palace in 2016.

Although he scored 15 top-flight goals in his first campaign at Selhurst Park, the Belgium international never quite recaptured his Aston Villa form and has now made the move to MLS.

D.C. United sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, with former Manchester United striker Rooney having taken over in July for the sacked Hernan Losada.

And Rooney is glad to have brought a player of Benteke's quality in, telling the club's website: "Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time.

"His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It's exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference."

Chelsea's ongoing negotiations with Barcelona could produce more than just midfielder Frenkie de Jong, with new reports that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also on the table for a transfer.

The two powerhouse clubs have been in seemingly constant discussion over the past month, with Barcelona openly looking to add Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta after swooping in to claim Blues target Jules Kounde.

Chelsea recently took Azpilicueta out of the equation by signing him to a two-year extension, but the two clubs re-opened their negotiations when the Stamford Bridge outfit decided to put in a bid for De Jong, and in the process they may have found the answer to their striker situation.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA WILLING TO INCLUDE AUBAMEYANG IN CHELSEA TRANSFER DISCUSSIONS

After expensive moves for Leeds United winger Raphinha, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Sevilla centre-back Kounde, the Mirror is reporting Barcelona are "desperate to balance their books" and 33-year-old Aubameyang appears to be the most likely option to be moved on.

The report mentions both De Jong and Aubameyang are seen as surplus to requirements, and with Chelsea yet to bring in a replacement for Romelu Lukaku after he was loaned out to Inter, it could be a perfect match.

No potential asking price is mentioned for the striker who collected 20 goals in 38 club appearances this past season, including 11 goals in 17 LaLiga fixtures.

Meanwhile, ESPN adds that Chelsea were monitoring the Gabon frontman back in 2020 before he signed a contract extension with Arsenal, and that they are still interested.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Times is reporting Chelsea are expected to make a £70million bid for 21-year-old Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana after having a £60m offer turned down.

– According to Foot Mercato, Nottingham Forest and Leicester are competing for the signing of 24-year-old Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, who is valued at €15m.

– The Guardian is reporting 25-year-old Ivory Coast winger Maxwel Cornet only needs to pass a physical to confirm a move from Burnley to West Ham after the Hammers met his £17.5m release clause.

– Radioestadio Noche claims Real Madrid have identified 19-year-old RB Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko or 22-year-old Nice forward Amine Gouiri as potential long-term successors to Karim Benzema.

Crystal Palace are exploring a move for 19-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder Ilaix Moriba – who is a product of Barcelona's youth academy – according to Foot Mercato.

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira wants Premier League players to carry on taking a knee before matches.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that players would no longer make the anti-racism gesture prior to each match in the new season, instead reserving the act for specified occasions. 

The initiative was adopted as a way of supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, which became prominent following George Floyd's death in police custody in May 2020 in the United States.

Some were critical of the gesture, arguing it was politically motivated; England players were even jeered for kneeling ahead of Euro 2020 matches last year.

Certain individual players ended their participation last year, with Palace's Wilfried Zaha suggesting it "doesn't matter whether we kneel or stand" as abuse continued to be aimed at certain players.

Even as the league as a whole now limits use of the gesture, Vieira hopes players understand it is a crucial anti-racism message.

Ahead of Palace's Premier League opener against Arsenal, before which the players of each team will take a knee, Vieira told a news conference: "It's good to keep taking the knee. I think there will be a few occasions that this initiative will be doing it.

"I think it's good because we can't stop it straight away, because there is a statement to make, and I believe it is important to keep taking the knee.

"We all are about [ending] discrimination, so this is the fight that will take long, and that's why I believe we still have to take the knee."

Mikel Arteta expects Gabriel Jesus to offer a lot to Arsenal as the new-look Gunners hope to hit the ground running with an early statement of intent in the new Premier League season.

Arsenal had been in dire need of attacking reinforcements after allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave mid-way through last season and then letting Alexandre Lacazette's contract expire.

Brazil international Jesus was quickly identified as a primary target and Arsenal sealed his £45million signing in early July, allowing him to link up with Arteta once again having worked together at Manchester City.

Some expressed doubts over Jesus being the right sort of player to fill the void given he had rarely been seen as dependable enough at City to be their first-choice striker – he spent most of last season playing on the right wing.

But he has looked extremely sharp in pre-season, scoring seven goals in five games, including a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Sevilla last weekend.

While pre-season form may not count for a lot, Arsenal fans' expectations have understandably increased – not that Arteta is worried.

"When you bring top players, they're coming from top clubs and they've been extremely successful over the years, they're going to expect that [high expectations]," Arteta told reporters ahead of Friday's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.

"The role Gabby has here is going to be very different to the role he had in his previous club, and need some time and adaptation.

"We're all surprised with how quickly he's done it [adapted], but we have to share that responsibility.

"He's an enormous talent and a player with a mentality that's so contagious and is going to give us a lot."

Jesus' arrival and early form have increased positivity around the club, and Arteta is seemingly setting his sights high.

"It's great that people are excited but there's a lot of excitement across the Premier League because a lot of clubs have done a lot of business, getting stronger and stronger, and the competition is really big. We're focusing on what we want to do, and we want to be at the top of that table," he added.

Another major change over pre-season was the appointment of Martin Odegaard as the club's new captain.

Lacazette had been captain until his departure, with the Frenchman taking the armband when Aubameyang was stripped of the role last year.

The Arsenal captaincy has been contentious in recent seasons, with Aubameyang not the first to seemingly struggle with the responsibility, but Arteta has a good feeling with Odegaard.

"This season we had the opportunity to do it in a way I believe could work, picking a player, Martin, who's been with us 18 months, who in my opinion represents values of the club in the perfect way," Arteta said.

"He's well respected by everyone in the team, he's admired by the staff, has experience even if he's 23 because [he is captain] for the national team [Norway], and then he's got that drive and passion for the game that he promotes every single day and in the way he plays.

"I'm very happy to have someone like him and he's onboard, enjoying the responsibility. He'll need support but it's a huge thing for him as well."

Arteta also delivered some positive injury news on the eve of the season's start. While Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe have been struggling with injuries in recent weeks, as many of three of them could travel to Selhurst Park.

However, Arteta would not reveal which is set to miss out.

"Good question," he said. "You'll find out tomorrow [Friday]."

Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards has joined Premier League side Crystal Palace on a five-year deal.

The eight-cap United States international spent the majority of the past two seasons on loan with Hoffenheim, where he made 34 appearances.

He was pushed further down the central-defensive pecking order at Bayern following the arrival of Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus earlier this month.

Palace confirmed on their official website on Wednesday that Richards has put pen to paper on a long-term contract at Selhurst Park.

Patrick Vieira's side are reported to have paid an initial £8.5million (€10m), potentially rising to £11m (€13m), for the 22-year-old.

Richards, who departs Bayern having made 10 first-team appearances after joining from FC Dallas in 2018, is looking forward to a new challenge in England.

"I grew up watching the Premier League and grew up watching [Wilfried] Zaha, so it'll be cool to spend some time on the field with and be a part of this historic club," he said. 

"I'm really excited for it. It's a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight. Palace is a club that seems like they're always fighting."

Richards was given a permanent contract by Bayern after impressing on an initial trial basis four years ago, but he was unable to become a regular in the senior side.

"Chris came to the FC Bayern Campus at the age of 18. He demonstrated his talent in his first year when he played for our reserves," Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said.

"That's why we signed him from FC Dallas, and Chris went on to develop really well on loan at Hoffenheim. 

"Now his big desire is to succeed in the Premier League. We wanted to make that possible and we wish him all the best at Crystal Palace."

Richards is Palace's fourth signing of the window after Sam Johnstone, Malcolm Ebiowei and Cheick Doucoure.

Jesse Marsch is hopeful Luis Sinisterra will not be out for too long after sustaining a hamstring injury against Crystal Palace.

Leeds United completed a deal reportedly worth £21.3million (€25m) for former Feyenoord star Sinisterra earlier this month, in preparation for fellow winger Raphinha joining LaLiga giants Barcelona.

Having also lost key midfielder Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City, Leeds have been busy in the transfer market ahead of Marsch's first full season at Elland Road, making six additions to their first-team squad.

Marsch would have feared the worst when Sinisterra pulled up off the ball after just 11 minutes of Friday's match, in which Leeds drew 1-1 with Palace in Perth, but is now confident the winger's injury is not serious.

"Luis had a little hamstring injury," the American said. "We're hopeful it's not too long, too severe. 

"Any time we have a hamstring injury I'm totally dissatisfied because I think it's reflective of everything we do physically. Adam [Forshaw] tweaked his knee. We're hopeful as well that one's not so bad."

Leeds start their 2022-23 Premier League campaign at home to Wolves on August 6.

Danny van de Beek defended Manchester United captain Harry Maguire after he was booed during a friendly against Crystal Palace, praising the England defender's "aggressive" display.

Maguire was loudly jeered before kick-off and each time he touched the ball throughout the first half at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where a crowd of 76,499 otherwise raucously backed the Red Devils.

The club skipper came in for strong criticism as United limped to sixth in the Premier League last term, conceding more league goals (57) than they had done in a single season since 1978-79 (63).

Maguire was left out of the United side after receiving a bomb threat in April, and was booed by England fans prior to a friendly against Ivory Coast in March.

The defender reacted well to the jeers in Australia, producing a strong defensive display and going close to scoring with a powerful 20-yard drive in the first half, leaving team-mate Van de Beek keen to highlight his impressive performance. 

"I heard [the boos] as well," the midfielder told Sky Sports after the win.

"I didn't know really what happened. But I think if I saw the game today, Harry was playing really well. 

"He was aggressive, he got so many balls, so that means he has a big personality.

"He has a lot of experience, so I think that's positive what he [showed], his performance today."

Goals from Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho ensured United maintained their 100 per cent winning record in their first pre-season under Erik ten Hag despite youngster Will Fish's late red card, with Van de Beek providing a sumptuous assist for Rashford's strike.

United's next pre-season outing sees them face Aston Villa in Perth on Saturday.

Erik ten Hag said he was already seeing improvements in Manchester United's pressing after a 3-1 friendly win against Crystal Palace, but insisted there remains "a lot of work to do" ahead of the new season.

United maintained their 100 per cent winning record across pre-season with a routine triumph over Patrick Vieira's out-of-sorts side in Melbourne, with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho netting before youngster Will Fish received a late red card.

In opening the scoring with a neat volleyed finish, Martial became the first United player to score in three consecutive pre-season contests since 2007, when Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney did so ahead of a season in which United won the Premier League and Champions League.

As United finished a lowly sixth in the Premier League under caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick last season, their lack of an organised pressing style came under fire.

United ranked just 12th in the Premier League for possessions won in both the final and middle thirds of the pitch last season, as Liverpool topped both charts, and 37-year-old forward Ronaldo received particular scrutiny over his contributions outside of his clear goal threat.

After Tuesday's win, Ten Hag told MUTV: "We are happy with the improvement we see, but we see also there is a lot of work to do."

Asked specifically about United's pressing, he said: "That is a demand on the team, we press, we press all day. 

"If we can, we do it high on the pitch, if we can't, we do it in a lower block, but we have to do it together, as a team. The timing of the press, I still see switches we can't afford, we can prepare a better press. 

"I think also on the ball [we can improve]. We played well, but you see at 2-0 up or 3-0 up the belief is increasing, then with the ball we can delay, we can postpone so that opponents come out, and then speed up."

While Ronaldo's future at the club remains subject to speculation after he reportedly asked to leave for a Champions League club, Ten Hag is demanding greater off-the-ball work from all his forwards.

"I hope we can convince them [the attackers] to do a lot of work, a lot of running," he added. "You see, they put a lot of energy into the defence and they get rewarded by scoring goals, winning balls high up the pitch.

"No opponent likes to be pressed on the defensive line. I think it's a big advantage when you can do that, but you need the whole team."

Creative midfielder Bruno Fernandes is also relishing United's new, high-octane style, adding: "I think that we're much more aggressive now, firstly with the three guys up front; when they press, they press really strong.

"It makes where we recover the ball much closer to the goal. We are much more fresh to do that, we have more freedom when we recover the ball and we're playing much better on the ball too."

Erik ten Hag can lead Manchester United to a Premier League title challenge next season, according to Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira.

Ten Hag has enjoyed a fine start to his first pre-season at Old Trafford, with United racking up comfortable victories over Liverpool and Melbourne Victory during their tour of Asia and Australia, netting four goals in each game.

United missed out on Champions League qualification at the end of a dismal 2021-22 season, posting their lowest Premier League points tally (58), but hopes are high that Ten Hag can revitalise the side.

The club have been making moves in the transfer market in a bid to turn things around, adding Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia, former Tottenham and Brentford midfielder Christian Eriksen, and agreeing a deal for versatile Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.

Speaking as his team prepared for a friendly against United at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Vieira said there were already signs the Dutchman had improved the Red Devils. 

"I think when you look at the first game they played against Liverpool and the game that they had against Melbourne, it looked like the new manager has started to implement the way that he wants the team to play," the former Arsenal captain said.

"But you just need to look at the individual talent that you have in that team and to believe that, you know, United, they used to play to win the Premier League.

"I think this year they will be there, trying to get the spot for the Champions League or win the title."

Meanwhile, Palace's hopes of building on their 12th-placed finish last season appear to have been dealt a huge blow, with last term's loan star Conor Gallagher set to fight for his place at Chelsea.

Only Wilfried Zaha (14) scored more Premier League goals than Gallagher's eight for Palace last season, and only Michael Olise (five) bettered the midfielder's tally of three assists for the Eagles. 

But with Gallagher declaring last week he was desperate to earn playing time at Stamford Bridge in the upcoming campaign, Vieira concedes Palace will have to do without his talents.

"At the moment I don't think there is any chance because he is a Chelsea player," he said of a potential return for Gallagher. 

"He did fantastically well for us, but he is in pre-season with Chelsea and honestly we wish him all the best. I don't think there is a way to get him back."

Thomas Tuchel says his decision to loan out Conor Gallagher has been vindicated, with the England international returning to be a "big asset" at Stamford Bridge next season.

Gallagher is yet to play a first-team minute for boyhood club Chelsea, having spent the past two seasons on loan in the Premier League at West Brom and Crystal Palace.

The midfielder was involved in 11 goals in the 2021-22 season with Palace, a tally only Wilfried Zaha (15) bettered for Patrick Vieira's side in the league.

Gallagher revealed earlier in the week that Chelsea boss Tuchel had offered assurances he viewed the 2022-23 campaign as a breakthrough opportunity, having earned his chance after impressive loan spells.

The 22-year-old caught the eye in his first outing in the United States with the Blues, who defeated Mexican side Club America 2-1, and Tuchel again backed the academy graduate.

"Conor trains at a really high level, and you can clearly see it was the right decision to let him go on loan," Tuchel said of Gallagher, who Everton are reportedly interested in.

"He made a huge step in his development at Palace and became an England player. It was a very good start and a good match for him.

"Now it's important he gets used to our principles of the game, to understand when to move and when not to move, and his work rate is outstanding. He can be a big asset for us."

Mason Mount secured the victory in Chelsea's pre-season opener after a Reece James own goal had cancelled out Timo Werner's strike, and the presence of Ben Chilwell served as another positive note for Tuchel.

Chilwell missed a large part of the 2021-22 campaign, playing just 541 Premier League minutes, after requiring knee surgery before returning on the final day of the season against Watford.

"I'm super happy that he's back," Tuchel added. "It's a difference from training to playing a game and he will take time, but he will get there because he deserves it and we will support him on his way back.

"I'm happy that nobody's injured after a very physical game and a very physical two weeks."

While Mount and Werner were on target, Michy Batshuayi and Kai Havertz squandered presentable opportunities but Tuchel expects players to find their feet in time.

"Timo played 45 minutes like everybody else and Timo scored," the German continued. "That's what counts and from there we go. There is always stuff to improve, but it's the first match.

"Kai had a big chance, Michy had a big chance, Timo took the chance and Mason did also.

"I count on the fact that as they become more experienced, they maybe become more calm and adapt more and more.

"They're still young players and what we want from them is that they stay confident, stay focused, and do what they need to do as strikers."

Chelsea face Major League Soccer side Charlotte FC, Arsenal and Udinese to conclude their pre-season campaign ahead of their Premier League opener at Everton on August 6.

Conor Gallagher has no plans of leaving Chelsea this transfer window, labelling the upcoming season as the season to make his breakthrough after support from Thomas Tuchel.

Gallagher is yet to make a Premier League appearance for boyhood club Chelsea, though he has impressed on his last two top-flight loan spells with West Brom and Crystal Palace.

The England international managed 11 goal involvements in the 2021-22 season with Palace, a tally bettered only by Wilfried Zaha (15) for Patrick Vieira's side in the league.

With the upcoming Qatar World Cup in November, Gallagher understands the importance of regular first-team minutes in the 2022-23 season as he looks to make his mark at Stamford Bridge.

N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Billy Gilmour and Mason Mount are among his midfield competitors at Chelsea, but Gallagher expects to be in the running for the starting XI.

"I feel like this is the season," he told reporters. "I've been a Chelsea fan my whole life, my family have, it's been a dream to play [for Chelsea] but I want to try and impress, and play as much football as I can and affect the game when I'm on the pitch.

"[Tuchel] said he wants me to be part of the squad and to prove myself in pre-season, so that's the plan. I'm happy with that and just willing to work as hard as I can to prove to him that I can play for Chelsea.

"It's what I wanted to hear, it was a nice phone call that we had and it gave me a clear plan of pre-season and where I'm going to be. It was great to hear."

Gallagher was quick to credit the influence of Vieira at Palace, expressing his gratitude for the efforts the coaching staff at Selhurst Park made to improve him.

Tuchel has added more international experience to his ranks, with England international Raheem Sterling joining Chelsea, and Gallagher hopes to improve alongside world-class players.

"Everyone wants to play as much as they can, but I'm willing to work as hard as I can to be on the pitch as much as possible," Gallagher said.

"There's world-class players in the squad and it's obviously a tough team to get into, but I feel like if that challenge is there, I think I'd be a bit silly not to take it," he added.

"With Chelsea being my club as well that I've supported, it's very exciting.

"I'm very keen [to play at the World Cup] because every English player wants to play for England and in a World Cup would be very special. And of course, it's very important that I'll be playing games and performing.

"The call-up was a very proud moment, for sure. But it didn't change the way I thought of myself or anything.

"It was nice to get that recognition and belief from the manager. It's very important to stay humble and do everything you can to perform well."

Mount was one of the first Chelsea players to welcome the arrival of Sterling on Wednesday, and Gallagher echoed his team-mate's sentiments as he reflected on the experience the forward will bring to the side.

"I think it's brilliant. It will only benefit Chelsea and himself," Gallagher said of the Sterling signing.

"Everyone's very excited for him to be playing and I know the fans are very excited as well. He's a great professional, very relaxed off the pitch, and does the right things.

"I feel like the young lads feel like they can talk to him as well because he's got a lot of experience in England and in the Premier League. So yeah, it's a massive signing, and I'm sure he's going to do his thing when he's here."

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira insists Wilfried Zaha is content at Selhurst Park as he labelled the winger's transfer links to Roma as "just a report".

Zaha was a standout performer for Palace once again in the 2021-22 campaign, managing 15 goal involvements – four more than any team-mate.

The Ivory Coast international scored 14 times in the English top flight last term, his best return in his Premier League career.

But Zaha is heading into the final year of his contract at Palace, with reports suggesting Jose Mourinho's Roma are interested in signing the 29-year-old.

Zaha did not travel on Palace's pre-season tour of Australia and Singapore, but Vieira is certain the forward does not want to move away.

"It's just a report I think," Vieira said ahead of Friday's friendly against Liverpool in Singapore. "We are in a period where there is a lot of speculation regarding players.

"What is really important for me and the football club is that Wilfried Zaha came back on time and he is working well to have a good season.

"What goes on in the papers, it is difficult for us to control. What I know is that he is happy in our football club and he is looking forward to the new season at our football club."

Zaha has been mooted as a transfer target for clubs such as Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton and Borussia Dortmund in recent seasons, but Palace have managed to keep hold of their talisman.

Vieira will hope to have Zaha available when Palace open their Premier League campaign at home to Arsenal on August 5.

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