Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Granit Xhaka will be a "big, big loss" but insists the Gunners will cope in the absence of the midfielder.

Xhaka has been ruled out for up to three months after suffering a medial knee ligament injury during Sunday's victory over north London rivals Tottenham.

The Switzerland international sustained the blow during an accidental collision with Lucas Moura, and subsequently limped off to be replaced by Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Xhaka is likely to miss the remainder of 2021, although the club confirmed he will not require surgery on the injury.

This is the latest setback for the 29-year-old, who had just returned from a three-match suspension following his red card at Manchester City last month, while he also contracted COVID-19 while on international duty with Switzerland recently.

Arteta is confident the midfielder will use the setback to his advantage, but is adamant there is enough quality within the squad to deal with his absence.

"Obviously, it's really bad news personally for Granit," the head coach said. 

"He's a big, big loss. We're going to lose him for a while. We'll try to keep him as close as possible to the team. 

"He's a strong man; he will use this time to focus on other things, and I'm sure he will be back in the right place when he's back.

"We are here to help him, and I'm sure we'll find some ways around it because we have some really good players who can do the job."

With a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion coming up on October 2, Arteta could opt to revert to the 4-1-4-1 system he utilised in the 1-0 win over Burnley that saw Thomas Partey operate as a lone anchor, with Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard in front of him.

Should the Spaniard decide to bring in a like-for-like replacement for Xhaka instead, he has Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to choose from.

Arsenal have revealed midfielder Granit Xhaka has been ruled out for around three months after sustaining knee ligament damage against Tottenham last weekend.

The Switzerland international returned to Arsenal's starting line-up for the north London derby after serving a three-match ban but was forced off in the 82nd minute.

Xhaka was accidentally caught by Lucas Moura in the Gunners' 3-1 win at Emirates Stadium after the Brazil international had initially been challenged by Thomas Partey.

Speaking after Sunday's victory, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted he was "pretty worried" about a potential injury lay-off for the 29-year-old.

Arsenal have now confirmed that, while Xhaka does not require surgery, the injury is serious enough to potentially keep him out of action for the rest of 2021.

"Further to injuring his right knee during Sunday's match against Tottenham, assessments and scans have confirmed Granit Xhaka suffered a significant injury to his medial knee ligament," a club statement read on Wednesday.

"A specialist consultation took place in London on Tuesday evening, which has determined that Granit does not require surgery. 

"Granit's recovery and rehabilitation programme will start immediately, and we are aiming for him to be back in action in approximately three months.

"Everyone at the club will now be supporting and working hard with Granit to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible."

Xhaka will therefore miss November's meetings with Liverpool and Manchester United and may be doubtful to face Manchester City on New Year's Day. Arsenal visit Spurs two weeks later.

He will also play no further part in Switzerland's World Cup qualifying group-stage campaign.

Despite only Bukayo Saka making more appearances (46) for Arsenal last season in all competitions, Xhaka was heavily tipped to join Roma during the most recent transfer window.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach man instead agreed a contract extension with Arsenal and started four of their opening six Premier League games this term.

Xhaka ranks second to Albert Sambi Lokonga for tackles won among Arsenal players in the Premier League in 2021-22 – seven compared to nine, having played a game fewer than his team-mate – while only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has won more duels (25) than Xhaka's 22.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says "everything can happen" with regards to Alexandre Lacazette's future ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham on Sunday.

Lacazette's contract expires at the end of this season and the striker has been linked with the likes of Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla.

Gunners manager Arteta is unsure whether Lacazette, who has scored two goals in three matches this season, will stay at the club.

The Spaniard said: "We discuss that internally and we discuss that with him. It's a long season ahead of us, everything can happen, everything is open."

Granit Xhaka is available to return against Arsenal's fierce rivals at the Emirates Stadium this weekend after serving a three-match ban.

Arteta has a fully fit squad to choose from and says Xhaka has looked sharp in training, despite the midfielder having also tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Switzerland this month.

"He came back and he was flying [in training], because he really looks after himself," Arteta said. "He gives you the maximum and the best possible attitude to compete and win matches."

While Arsenal have won three consecutive games in all competitions without conceding a goal, Spurs have lost their previous two Premier League matches 3-0.

Arteta does not believe it is necessarily a good time to play Tottenham, who have won just one of their past 28 away league games against Arsenal.

He said: "When the ball is rolling I think we all forget where we are, we're just trying to compete to win that football match, we won't be any different from them."

Arteta added: "We are playing at home, we're going to have our people right behind us, they're going to create an incredible atmosphere that you have to be able to enjoy, empower and make the most of it."

The former Arsenal midfielder says his players are well aware of the magnitude of the game.

"I will make sure that they understand what it means, the history between the two clubs and what it means emotionally to all of our supporters," Arteta said. "You have to play the game with a slightly different skin, because there is a little bit more at stake."

Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka turned down opportunities for a COVID-19 vaccination before testing positive for the coronavirus, it has been revealed.

Coach Murat Yakin and Swiss Football Federation (SFV) communications chief Adrian Arnold declared Xhaka, who was forced out of the World Cup qualifier against Greece on Wednesday, exercised his right not to receive the vaccine.

Xhaka has faced stiff criticism in the Swiss media for snubbing the opportunity to bolster his body's defences as the pandemic continues to surge.

Yakin said: "We can simply give recommendations to the players. It is his decision not to be vaccinated and we must respect it. He's the captain, but he's also a man. It is his own rights."

According to Arnold, Xhaka was the only member of the Switzerland squad not to have had the jab or have already recovered from the virus.

The Arsenal player's case comes in the week that the SFV has written to its 1,400 clubs and 300,000 members urging them to be vaccinated. It also follows Xhaka's red card for a dangerous tackle on Gunners duty in a 5-0 defeat against Manchester City on Saturday.

Arnold said, quoted by several Swiss media: "Granit Xhaka was not vaccinated. He's a player who isn't vaccinated. We left this up to each player, it's a personal decision of each player – just like any other person in Switzerland.

"All the other players in the team have been vaccinated or have recovered – so they are more or less safe, at least from a medical point of view. One is never quite sure.

"Now, unfortunately, Granit caught it. From a sporting point of view, it is a shame for us at this important moment."

Arnold said the Switzerland team were doing all they could to reduce contact within their ranks, with social distancing encouraged where possible and masks worn in meetings.

"I think it would have been irresponsible on our part not to know who in the team is not vaccinated," Arnold said.

"We had intensive discussions with the players already during the Euros. We have done everything to facilitate access to the vaccine, but each person is free to decide whether or not they want to be vaccinated."

It appears unlikely Xhaka will be able to play in Switzerland's next game, which comes against Euro 2020 winners Italy in Basle on Sunday.

However, Arnold, quoted in Blick, said: "We still have hope. On Thursday he will do another PCR test. It is the case that [on Monday] he had a negative PCR test, on Wednesday morning a negative rapid test, now unfortunately a positive one. So we still have the hope that the test on Thursday will be negative."

Arsenal sit bottom of the Premier League table heading into the clash with Norwich City following the international break, though regardless of Xhaka's health by then, the midfielder is facing a three-match suspension so will not be involved.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka has tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Switzerland.

The Swiss team confirmed on Wednesday that the midfielder – who was sent off in Arsenal's 5-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City last weekend – was in isolation after returning a positive PCR test result.

Xhaka, who is Switzerland's captain, showed symptoms early on Wednesday, ahead of his country's friendly against Greece,

An initial test came back negative, but a subsequent PCR test confirmed a positive result. Xhaka will have another test on Thursday.

It was confirmed he had no contact with his team-mates throughout Wednesday and the team doctor deemed no further measures had to be taken as all the other players were either all vaccinated or had previously had COVID-19 and recovered, though a member of staff had to go into quarantine.

Xhaka impressed for Switzerland at Euro 2020 but has failed to bring that form into the Premier League season, with Arsenal losing all three of their games so far.

Mikel Arteta's side sit bottom of the table heading into the clash with Norwich City following the international break, though regardless of Xhaka's mandatory quarantine period, the midfielder is facing a three-match suspension so will not be involved.

Patrick Bamford scored a late equaliser to salvage a point for Leeds United against his former club Burnley on Sunday, having gone through a proper tussle at Turf Moor.

Burnley – accused of "wrestling" last week by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – were full-blooded once again as they fell just short of securing a first Premier League win of the season.

"It's always tough coming here because, you don’t want to be disrespectful, but you know what you're going to get when you play against Burnley and they do make it difficult," Bamford, who had an ongoing skirmish with centre-back James Tarkowski, told Sky Sports.

"I was a little bit annoyed at [James] Tarkowski because it was just that tussle on the floor when he tried to do some weird jiu-jitsu thing on me. I don't know what he's doing!"

A Premier League landmark was also reached at Turf Moor, while Arsenal might just have a different kind of fight on their hands after suffering a third successive defeat.

Here are some of the more curious Opta facts from the latest round of games.


Turf Moor tussle sees Premier League milestone

The new initiative for referees to be somewhat more lenient seems to be paying dividends, although Wolves fans will argue otherwise after their late defeat to Manchester United.

Before what unfolded at Molineux, however, Leeds were also on the receiving end of some rather tough treatment at Turf Moor, with the game seeing seven bookings.

There was a Premier League landmark set in the Lancashire sunshine too, as Chris Wood opened the scoring.

Eric Cantona (100), Alan Shearer (4,000), Dennis Bergkamp (7,000) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (25,000) are some of the names to have previously hit the milestone goals in the competition's history, and now New Zealand forward Wood has cemented his name into the record books.

It was not exactly one to remember, Wood just managing to get a toe onto Matthew Lowton's low shot, with the ball rolling off Illan Meslier's shins and trickling over the line for the competition's 30,000th goal. 

Strangely enough, it was just a third assist for Lowton in his last 84 Premier League matches, but all three have set up goals for Wood, who scored for the first time against former club Leeds for Burnley.

Yet Burnley could not hold on, with the Clarets now on a 12-game winless run at Turf Moor in the league, their longest such streak.

Mikel's misery compounded as Arsenal's lack of fight is shown up once more

It has been a humbling start to the season for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, who is sure to be under plenty of pressure heading into a fixture with Norwich City – one of the other two teams without a point so far – after the international break.

Arsenal ended the weekend at the bottom of the top-flight table having played at least three league matches for the first time since October 25 in 1974, having suffered a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the champions – Manchester City's third successive 5-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

The Gunners are only the second team in Premier League history to lose their first three matches in a season and have a goal difference of -9, after Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2003-04, who went on to finish bottom of the table, while Tottenham's win on Sunday means Spurs top the table and Arsenal sit bottom for the first time in top-flight history.

Arsenal's cause was hardly helped by Granit Xhaka's sending off in the first half on Saturday – the 10th time the Gunners have had a player dismissed in the league under Arteta. In fact, since the Spaniard took over in December 2019, that is four more than any other club.

Xhaka has picked up two of those dismissals, with David Luiz leading the way on three. In those fixtures where they have had a player sent off, Arsenal have failed to win a single one, collecting just five points in total and losing the last three league matches in which they were reduced to 10 men.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus has not lost any of the 43 Premier League games he has scored in, a record bettered only by James Milner (54) and Darius Vassell (46).

A long shot for Son as Lage matches De Boer

Son Heung-min's free-kick handed Spurs a 1-0 win over Watford. It did not look intentional, but the South Korean forward's delivery nevertheless curled into the far corner.

Three of Son's last four goals for Tottenham in all competitions have come from outside the box, as many as his previous 43 for the club, while Sunday's effort was his first Spurs goal from a direct free-kick.

Sunday's headline fixture saw Manchester United – buoyed by the impending return of Cristiano Ronaldo – defeat Wolves thanks to Mason Greenwood's late winner.

Referee Mike Dean chose not to award what looked to be a clear foul from Paul Pogba in the build-up, as Greenwood became only the second teenager in Premier League history to score in each of his side's first three games of a season, after Robbie Fowler for Liverpool in 1994-95.

It was a tight game, with Wolves creating plenty without converting the chances, and new boss Bruno Lage is the first manager to lose his first three Premier League games without his side scoring a goal since Crystal Palace's Frank de Boer in August 2017.

Known for his creativity and goalscoring, United playmaker Bruno Fernandes often cut a frustrated figure, and he was booked for dissent. He has now been cautioned for questioning the referee in each of his last two games – in fact, the Portugal midfielder is responsible for a third of the six yellow cards handed out for dissent so far this season.

Granit Xhaka is happy to be staying at 'home' after confirming he has signed a new contract with Arsenal.

Xhaka's previous deal was due to expire in 2023 but he has reportedly agreed to remain at the Premier League club for an extra year, with the option of a further extension until 2025.

The Gunners captain, who was heavily linked with a move to Roma during the offseason, admitted his delight in a post on Instagram.

"Home is where the heart is - really proud to extend my stay at Arsenal," Xhaka wrote to accompany a picture of him signing the contract.

Mikel Arteta's side are yet to announce the news officially, though the club's website has referenced the extension and Arsenal owners Stan and Josh Kroenke also revealed the news in the programme notes before the home game against Chelsea on Sunday.

Xhaka was a regular last term, with only Bukayo Saka (46) appearing more times among Arsenal midfielders.

The 28-year-old started 42 times, provided two assists and created 20 chances in total, while also adding a goal of his own with a free-kick against Chelsea.

Xhaka recorded a passing accuracy of 89.89 per cent, with only Mohamed Elneny (92.08) and Martin Odegaard (90.38) bettering his success rate.

The Switzerland international led the way in terms of recoveries, regaining possession 281 times and making 74 tackles – ranking him first for both aspects among midfield team-mates.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Granit Xhaka will not be leaving the club in the transfer window.

The Switzerland international has been heavily linked with a move to Jose Mourinho's Roma, although the Gunners have reportedly offered him a new contract to convince him to stay.

Xhaka scored in Arsenal's 2-1 friendly loss to Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Sunday after coming on to replace Thomas Partey, who appeared to injure his ankle in the first half.

With the former Atletico Madrid man set for scans, Arteta appears doubly determined to keep Xhaka in his squad.

"We just had a talk with the doctor and he'll have a scan tomorrow. At the moment, it's not looking good because he was in pain," Arteta said of Partey.

He then added on Xhaka: "Granit is going to stay with us. He's a key member of our squad and he wanted to play today - I think it's a very clear commitment from his side that he wants to be here."

Xhaka's goal cancelled out a good opener from Kai Havertz, but Tammy Abraham secured the win for European champions Chelsea after an error in possession by Hector Bellerin.

Despite the result, Arteta was pleased with elements of his side's display in front of an excitable crowd in north London.

"It was a great atmosphere, the fans were right behind the team. It was a great test for us," he said.

"I think we showed some really positive stuff and some worrying stuff when we gave the ball away in difficult positions."

Manuel Locatelli won plenty of admirers for his displays at Euro 2020.

Locatelli played a key role in Italy's tournament triumph, including two goals against Switzerland.

The former Milan midfielder has established himself with Sassuolo over the past two seasons in Serie A and is now on the radar of several leading European clubs.

 

TOP STORY - LIVERPOOL HIJACK LOCATELLI PURSUIT

Liverpool have joined Juventus and Arsenal in the race to sign Italy international Manuel Locatelli , reports 90min.

The Reds are close to making their opening bid for the Sassuolo midfielder who helped Italy win Euro 2020.

Liverpool are looking to replace Georginio Wijnaldum who has left for Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

- Aston Villa have countered Manchester City's £100million bid on Friday for midfielder Jack Grealish with a club-record contact offer, reports The Daily Star. The deal is believed to be worth £200,000 per week.

- Real Madrid are set to act fast on replacing Manchester United-bound Raphael Varane, with a €60m move for Villarreal defender Pau Torres, according to El Gol Digital.

- Granit Xhaka may stay at Arsenal despite strong links with a transfer to Roma, with the Gunners strongly considering a new contract offer for the Swiss midfielder, reports The Athletic.

- Hector Bellerin is close to exiting Arsenal, with his agent flying to London for talks with the Gunners about a move to Inter, claims Calciomercato. Inter are looking to replace Achraf Hakimi who left for Paris Saint-Germain.

- Sport1 claims that Liverpool have been unable to meet Borussia Moenchengladbach's €40m (£34m) asking price for midfielder Florian Neuhaus but remain interested.

Paul Pogba has one year remaining on his Manchester United contract.

After a strong Euro 2020 with France, he is attracting interest.

Pogba has been linked with a move away from United numerous times in the past and a decision could be looming.

 

ROUND-UP – POGBA'S AGENT IN PSG TALKS

Paul Pogba 's agent Mino Raiola is discussing a potential move to  Paris Saint-Germain , claims the Daily Mail.

Manchester United are feeling the pressure to sell the France international who is set to be a free agent in 12 months' time.

PSG are reportedly eyeing off a £43million move, which is less than half the amount United paid for him in 2016, given his contract status.

 

TOP STORY

–  Chelsea are ready to submit a monster bid worth £135m for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland , claims 90min. Dortmund have insisted they will not sell the Norway forward, but the bumper deal may tempt them.

– Bild claims  Manchester United along with Real Madrid and Barcelona are monitoring Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka 's situation.

–  Milan are looking to prepare another loan deal for Diogo Dalot from Manchester United, reports Fabrizio Romano.

– Sky Sports claims a deal is imminent for Arsenal's Granit Xhaka to move to Roma .

Granit Xhaka could not contain his joy after Switzerland sensationally eliminated world champions France in the last 16 at Euro 2020, describing the triumph as "f****** amazing".

Switzerland completed a remarkable comeback in a penalty shoot-out following Monday's dramatic 3-3 draw in Bucharest, where Yann Sommer emerged the hero after saving Kylian Mbappe's spot-kick.

Having opened the scoring and seen Ricardo Rodriguez's penalty saved by Hugo Lloris early in the second half, Switzerland found themselves 3-1 behind with 15 minutes of regulation time remaining.

But Haris Seferovic netted his second of the game in the 81st minute before Mario Gavranovic's last-gasp strike forced extra-time after cancelling out Karim Benzema's brace and Paul Pogba's stunner.

Sommer then stepped up with the decisive save in the shoot-out after extra time to send Switzerland through to the quarter-finals at a major tournament for the first time since the 1954 World Cup.

"It is f****** amazing man," Switzerland captain and man of the match Xhaka – who refused to rule out a move to Jose Mourinho's Roma from Arsenal – told beIN SPORTS.

"We lose two goals and then we go up. Then the penalty we missed broke us a bit. We showed a beautiful character. It's a hell of a team.

"We showed a lot of character, I don't even know what to say. In 10 minutes, we go back to 3-3. The last 30 minutes we were better, we wanted to finish and win before the penalty shoot-out. In the end, we are qualified. We are writing the history of our national team."

It was the first time in Switzerland's history that they had won a penalty shoot-out at a European Championship or World Cup, thanks to Sommer's save.

As Switzerland look ahead to Friday's showdown with Spain in St Petersburg, Sommer told EURO2020.com: "What a match! What an evening of football.

"It was our chance to finally go through the round of 16, because we never made it before. It's incredible, we played with heart and with character. It’s amazing.

"It was a really difficult situation for us after the penalty miss. I'm really proud of the team, how they came back. We always believed. Even before the game we said no matter what happens in the game, it doesn't matter if we're down, or if things are going well; we play until the end, we never give up.

"It's always 'anything is possible'. We believe. We said before the game that we are a small country, but we have a lot of quality and a lot of experience and we showed it tonight."

Vladimir Petkovic has asked for "solidarity" and "positivity" from Switzerland supporters ahead of the crunch Euro 2020 Group A match against Turkey on Sunday. 

A 1-1 draw with Wales was followed by a resounding 3-0 defeat to Italy to leave Switzerland's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages hanging by a thread. 

They will need to beat Turkey and hope Wales lose to Italy in the group's other game to secure a top-two finish. 

Petkovic and his players have come under intense scrutiny since the Italy defeat, but the head coach has called on Switzerland supporters to get behind the team for Sunday's clash in Baku. 

"Against Turkey we have another chance to qualify for the round of 16 and we have to bring all of our values and virtues back to the pitch, in addition to the correct tactical plan, solidarity, joy and respect. Then we can do it," he wrote in an open letter published in Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende.

"We do not always do what you expect from us. We are people who try to meet these demands, but unfortunately we do not always succeed. And that is why we need the support of all of you before this crucial game. 

"Your solidarity, your positivity. We will do everything we can to ensure that we can all be happy together on Sunday evening."

Turkey, meanwhile, have endured a dismal campaign so far, suffering defeats to Italy and Wales in their opening two games. 

They cannot finish in the top two and must beat Switzerland to come third in the group.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Switzerland – Granit Xhaka

Arsenal midfielder Xhaka was criticised by TV pundits in Switzerland for his display in the defeat to Italy. 

Despite that, no Switzerland player has made more passes (153), had more touches (172) or made more tackles (five) than the 28-year-old at Euro 2020 so far. 

If they are going to get the win they need against Turkey, Xhaka will need to be at his best.

Turkey – Burak Yilmaz

Yilmaz enjoyed a stellar season with Lille as they swept to Ligue 1 glory but he has not got going at this tournament yet. 

He was involved in 50 per cent of Turkey’s 18 shots against Wales last time out (six shots, three chances created), although just one of those attempts was on target. 

This could be the last major tournament for the 35-year-old and he will be desperate to make his mark against the Swiss.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- This will be the second meeting between Switzerland and Turkey at a major tournament. Their first encounter was in the group phase of Euro 2008 where Switzerland, as co-hosts, lost 2-1 to Turkey.
- The last five games between Switzerland and Turkey have produced 17 goals, an average of 3.4 per game.
- Switzerland (D1 L1) are looking to avoid remaining winless in all three of their group stage games at a major tournament for the first time since Euro 2004.
- Turkey have lost both of their games at Euro 2020, by an aggregate score of 0-5. In a full tournament, only Denmark in 2000 (eight) have conceded more goals without reply.
- Switzerland's loss against Italy was their first defeat in all competitions in 2021. The Swiss last lost consecutive matches in October 2020 (vs Croatia and Spain).

European champions Chelsea and French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain have both been in hot pursuit of Achraf Hakimi.

Morocco international Hakimi, 22, helped Inter win the Serie A title.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid full-back is a star on the rise.

 

TOP STORY – HAKIMI AGREES TO CHELSEA MOVE

Chelsea appear to have won the race for Inter defender Hakimi after he "verbally agreed" to join the European champions, according to Calcio in Pillole journalist Ekrem Konur.

Konur claims Inter want £43million (€50m) and full-back Marcos Alonso from Chelsea as part of the deal.

Footmercato reports PSG will table a second bid for Hakimi worth €70m.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have made their move for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane with a £50m (€58m) bid for the French defender, claims the Manchester Evening News. It is alleged Madrid want £80m (€93m) for Varane.

- Roma will turn their attention to Aston Villa's Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz should they fail to sign Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Football Insider reports Everton are keen to pursue Wolves defender Conor Coady.

- Wolves are weighing up a move for ex-Chelsea forward Diego Costa , who is a free agent, according to UOL.

Everton continue their search for Carlo Ancelotti's replacement.

One emerging candidate has plenty of familiarity with Liverpool. 

Could the Toffees turn to a former rival? 

 

TOP STORY – BENITEZ IN MERSEYSIDE RETURN?

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has emerged as a strong contender to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, the Daily Mirror and other outlets report. 

As the Merseyside club's interest in former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has faded, majority owner Farhad Moshiri apparently plans to speak to the 61-year-old Benitez. 

The Spaniard was Liverpool's manager from 2004-10, winning the Champions League title in 2005. He spent 18 months in charge of Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional before leaving by mutual consent in January. 

Others under consideration include Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter, former Lille coach Christophe Galtier and former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea have matched Paris Saint-Germain's offer of about €65million (£56.1m) to Inter for Achraf Hakimi, according to Sky Sport Italia, though Inter value the 22-year-old at €81m (£70m).

- Barcelona see Manchester City's Raheem Sterling as a potential replacement for Ousmane Dembele should the France international depart, according to Sport, and Marca says PSG have interest in Dembele. 

- David de Gea seems inclined to extend his stay at Manchester United and expects to be the first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Dean Henderson, The Sun reports. 

- Atletico Madrid rejected United's £10m bid for England right-back Kieran Trippier, according to Football Insider. 

- Roma are close to completing their long-rumoured signing of Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, Corriere dello Sport claims. 

- West Ham would like to sign Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard on a permanent deal, The Sun reports. 

- Tottenham have had discussions with Borussia Monchengladbach winger Marcus Thuram, RMC Sport reports, and The Athletic says Spurs could also be eyeing RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer

- Former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has emerged as Spurs' preferred option to replace Jose Mourinho and the sides have discussed a three-year contract, the Guardian reports. 

- Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could be in the mix for the Crystal Palace opening, the Daily Mirror reports. 

Borussia Dortmund appear to be more willing to allow Jadon Sancho to depart this off-season.

The England international has been courted by several Premier League clubs in the past.

He almost joined Manchester United 12 months ago in a drawn out transfer saga.

 

TOP STORY - SANCHO DEAL BACK ON FOR UNITED

The Mirror claims that Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho has agreed personal terms on a move to join Manchester United.

The 21-year-old winger came close to signing with the Red Devils 12 months ago but this time around Dortmund are more willing to part ways with him.

Sancho has reportedly settled on the details of the contract offer but United and Dortmund still need to agree on the transfer fee.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham's search for a new manager has moved to Ajax boss Erik van Tag according to the Mirror. Spurs' move for Antonio Conte has collapsed.

- New Roma head coach Jose Mourinho is chasing a goalkeeper, with Tottenham's Hugo Lloris, Juventus' Wojciech Szczesny and Wolverhampton's Rui Patricio top of the list, reports La Gazetta dello Sport.

- Roma are also keen on Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka according to Corriere dello Sport.

- The Mirror also reports that England full-back Kieran Trippier has informed his Atletico Madrid teammates that he wants to join Manchester United this off-season.

- Marca reports that Barcelona plan to offer a new contract to youngster Ilaix Moriba following interest from several top clubs after his breakout season.

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