Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister is drawing enquiries from a number of clubs that could bid for the World Cup winner, his father has revealed.

The 24-year-old has become a key player for Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion, and he has been recently linked with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

Playing a prominent role in Argentina's Qatar 2022 triumph has raised Mac Allister's profile, and his market value.

Brighton would be reluctant to see him leave, but Carlos Mac Allister, who was also capped by Argentina, says his son is wanted elsewhere.

"The clubs are starting to call us about Alexis, but there are no concrete conversations for now," he said, quoted by TNT Sports.

"We will decide together with Brighton, they deserve respect. We will also choose the best project based on the coach, it is not just about money."

Alexis Mac Allister, who has a contract through to the end of the 2024-25 season, recently said his "next step" should be with another Premier League club.

Liverpool may be looking to refresh their midfield at the end of the campaign, while Mac Allister could also be a shrewd replacement for Ilkay Gundogan should the Germany international leave City.

Brighton sit seventh in the Premier League and are firmly in the hunt for a European place, with Mac Allister netting seven goals and adding one assist during their success so far this term in that competition.

They are also through to the FA Cup semi-finals, where Manchester United await them at Wembley.

If Mac Allister stays in England, he would want to play for an elite team.

Mac Allister told TyC Sports, as reported on March 1: "I don't have a particular team where I say 'this is the way I play'. I think that here in the Premier League, there are very strong teams that play very well, like Manchester City and Arsenal.

"Chelsea too, I had [Graham] Potter as coach [at Brighton] and I know the idea he has of playing football.

"Manchester United are returning to be what they were, and Liverpool are going through some ups and downs but they still have a very important team.

"If I have to say a place, I would like my next step to be in the Premier League. But the truth is that I am very focused here in Brighton and enjoying the present."

Bayern Munich have sensationally sacked Julian Nagelsmann, and Thomas Tuchel is in line to take over.

While not officially confirmed by the German club, widespread reports on Thursday suggested Nagelsmann had been dismissed.

Bayern sit second in the Bundesliga, one point behind Borussia Dortmund, and it is one of their rivals' former coaches who is favourite to replace Nagelsmann.

 

TOP STORY – TUCHEL SIGNS BAYERN DEAL

According to Fabrizio Romano, Tuchel – who was sacked by Chelsea in September – has already agreed to become Bayern's new coach.

Tuchel's first game would be against his former team Dortmund on April 1.

Bayern face Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals. Nagelsmann, meanwhile, is sure to be linked with plenty of high-profile job opportunities.

ROUND UP

- The Sun, citing a Sport Bild report, claim that Eintracht Frankfurt have placed an £88million (€99.7m) price tag on Manchester United target Randal Kolo Muani.

- The father of Brighton and Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister has informed ESPN no clubs are in concrete talks with his son, but that there are interested parties.

- According to 90min, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Manchester City are all scouting Juventus winger Samuel Iling-Junior.

- Fabrizio Romano says that Barcelona, Real Madrid and Liverpool are interested in Florian Wirtz, though Bayer Leverkusen are confident of keeping hold of the youngster.

It's fair to say Harry Kane was something of a late bloomer on the international stage, at least in comparison to the man he has surpassed as England's all-time leading goalscorer.

While Wayne Rooney was named in Euro 2004's Team of the Tournament at the age of 18, Kane was 22 by the time he first appeared at a major international competition.

Despite Rooney's head start, the prospect of Kane beating his record of 53 England goals has seemed inevitable for some time after the Tottenham striker took on a talismanic role for Gareth Southgate's side. 

Kane could have broken the record at last the 2022 World Cup. He had already scored one penalty in the quarter-final against France and, with England 2-1 down, he stepped up to take another at Al Bayt Stadium.

Yet his effort soared over, England's chances of World Cup success crashing down around their captain.

Fitting, then, that it was from the penalty spot that Kane broke Rooney's record by netting his 54th England goal, as he put the Three Lions 2-0 up ahead Italy in their first match of 2023.

He has now cemented his place in the pantheon of England greats.

With Kane assuming his place as the country's greatest goalscorer, Stats Perform looks at the legacy he has built on the international stage.

Stepping out of Rooney's shadow and repaying Southgate's faith

Kane wasted no time in introducing himself on the international stage.

Having replaced Rooney as a substitute against Lithuania in March 2015, the Tottenham striker needed just 79 seconds to net in a 4-0 win.

Since 1872, Kane is one of just six players to score inside two minutes on his England debut, while that strike made him the first to do so since Gerry Hitchens in 1961.

 

However, after England's dismal Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland, Kane had scored only five goals in 17 international appearances. Retrospectively, it wasn't quite the flying start one may have expected from a future great.

While Kane entered that tournament having won the Premier League's Golden Boot, he was uninspired as Roy Hodgson sought to find space for both Rooney and Daniel Sturridge in an unbalanced team. 

That stunning defeat in Nice, as well as a corruption scandal that later led to the departure of Sam Allardyce after just one game at the helm, made 2016 a year to forget for England.

However, the appointment of Southgate that November, coupled with the new manager's decision to drop a declining Rooney the following March, set the stage for a dramatic improvement from the Three Lions' new talisman.  

All but five of Kane's 54 international goals have been scored under Southgate, the highest tally scored by any England player under a particular manager by some distance – Gary Lineker is second with 35 goals under Bobby Robson.

The man for the big occasion 

The idea that the England shirt can weigh heavily upon those who regularly star at club level has been a common theme for decades.

Of Rooney's 53 international goals, for instance, only one was scored at a World Cup – an ultimately inconsequential effort in 2014's decisive 2-1 loss to Uruguay in Sao Paulo.

The Manchester United great may have hit the net seven times across his six major tournaments, but four came in his remarkable breakout campaign at Euro 2004, and he was continually criticised for failing to carry his club form onto the international stage.

Rooney is not the only England star to suffer that fate. Frank Lampard scored three times at Euro 2004 but did not net at another major tournament. Fellow midfielder Steven Gerrard hit 21 goals for Three Lions, but just three came at tournaments. 

Despite arriving at the 2018 World Cup having plundered 30 goals across the 2017-18 Premier League season – his most prolific campaign in the competition – Kane was seemingly open to the same criticisms, but a Golden Boot-winning tournament changed perceptions.

 

Kane as England's tournament specialist

While defeats to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Italy in the Euro 2020 final have left Southgate battling accusations of underachievement, England's very presence in some of the biggest international fixtures has owed much to Kane.

Kane's total of six goals in Russia was enough to see off the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Kylian Mbappe for the Golden Boot, and only Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick (both five) bettered his tally of four strikes as England went agonisingly close to Euro 2020 glory.

Having netted against Senegal and France at Qatar 2022, Kane's tally of 12 goals at major tournaments is an outright England record, beating Lineker's total of 10, which came exclusively at World Cups.

With Kane now having eight World Cup goals to his name and looking likely to participate in at least one more edition, the 29-year-old could also claim Lineker's status as England's top marksman in FIFA's flagship tournament.

Nevertheless, some might accuse him of "stat padding" against weak opponents. After all, Kane has scored more international goals against San Marino (five) than any other nation.

However, he has also often been the scourge of the world's elite, as England's old rivals Germany – the opponents for four of Kane's England goals – will attest. 

 

Cementing Kane's legacy: Does more history await in 2026? 

Brazil great Ronaldo, Miroslav Klose, Mario Kempes, Gerd Muller and Eusebio are among the legends to have claimed the honour of top-scoring at a World Cup. None of them – nor any other player – has done so at two separate tournaments.

Kane ultimately could not repeat his 2018 exploits in Qatar. But in terms of other records and future success, age is – just about – on his side. The Spurs striker will be 33 when the 2026 World Cup rolls around. He will likely have set a daunting target for any future England strikers to chase.

Troubling Klose's all-time record of 16 World Cup goals may be unrealistic but claiming a spot in the top five of that list – and beating Pele's tally of 12 – appears a plausible target. 

While Kane's England legacy may be chiefly judged on whether he can inspire the team to bring football home for the first time since 1966, his international goalscoring feats are worthy of lofty praise regardless.

If Kane wins a major trophy during his England career or not, his contribution on the big stage means he should be remembered as one of his country's best ever.

Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus has made an offer to buy Manchester United but will need to leverage the club's huge fanbase in order to pull off a takeover.

Wednesday's bid deadline was extended and Zilliacus became the third bidder to publicly declare his interest, joining Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Zilliacus' proposal is for 50 per cent of the club, with the other half bought by fans, who would become part of the club's decision-making process.

"Any sport club ultimately should belong to its fans. My bid is built on equality with fans," he said.

"The current development, where billionaire sheikhs and oligarchs take over clubs and control them as their personal playgrounds is not a healthy trend.

"The current market value of the club is just under $3.9billion (£3.17billion). That means that if every one of the fans of the club would join in buying the club, the total sum per fan would amount to less than $6 (£4.88).

"My group will finance half of the sum needed to take over the club, and will ask the fans, through a new company that is being set up for this specific purpose, to participate for the other half. If every fan joins it means less than $3 (£2.44) per fan."

While only three bidders have publicly announced their offers, it has been reported there could be as many as eight proposals submitted for the Glazer family's consideration.

Spain striker Iago Aspas wants Premier League target Gabri Veiga to stay with Celta Vigo – but even the club's president is struggling to see that happening.

The 20-year-old Veiga is among the most coveted midfielders in LaLiga, scoring nine goals and adding three assists in the Spanish top flight this season.

He has the most goal involvements – combined goals and assists – of all midfield players in LaLiga in the 2022/23 campaign.

This is despite Veiga only starting 18 league games so far, also coming off the bench seven times.

Aspas spoke at Spain's press conference on Thursday about the youngster, who has been linked with clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle United.

"I would like him to remain with us," Aspas said. "The club is in a good moment both as an institution and in the sporting side. We are doing little but very good steps and next year we have the centenary of the club."

Celta president Carlos Mourino accepts the club are likely to be powerless to prevent Veiga moving on, because he has a release clause in his contract. That is reported to be €40million (£35.4million), potentially a great deal if Veiga continues to excel.

"We do not want to sell Gabri Veiga, but they are going to buy him from us. And there isn't anything we can do about it," Mourino said.

Mourino explained there is extensive interest from England in Veiga, saying: "Of the top 10 in the Premier League, four have asked for him."

Asked whether Real Madrid may also make a move, Mourino said: "They haven't asked us, we don't know if they will have called the player."

Quoted in Mundo Deportivo, Mourino said it was not the case that Veiga is for sale, merely that Celta would be unable to prevent him walking away if the clause is met.

"The decision is Gabri's," Mourino said. "He will play wherever he wants."

Manchester United have been charged by the Football Association (FA) for their players' behaviour towards the referee during Sunday's 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Fulham.

Wolves have also been charged for a similar incident in their 4-2 home defeat to Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday.

United's game against Fulham at Old Trafford took a spectacular turn in the second half when Willian was sent off for the visitors for blocking Jadon Sancho's goalbound shot with his arm, which led to furious reactions from Aleksandar Mitrovic and head coach Marco Silva, who also received red cards.

Mitrovic put his hands on referee Chris Kavanagh, and the FA confirmed that both had been charged, but added that "that standard punishment which would otherwise apply to Aleksandar Mitrovic for the sending off offence of violent conduct that he committed towards the match referee is clearly insufficient."

United's players also surrounded the referee during the incident and the club have been charged with failing to ensure their players "conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or do not behave in a way which is improper."

Meanwhile, Wolves' players and staff were incensed by the decision to award Leeds' fourth goal at Molineux after they felt Adama Traore had been fouled in the build-up.

The fallout led to substitute Matheus Nunes being shown a red card for his reaction, though that was later overturned on appeal.

Wolves have been charged with failing to ensure their players "and/or technical area occupants do not behave in a way which is improper towards an assistant referee and the fourth official."

Both clubs have until Monday to respond.

Any delay in the sale of Manchester United could lead to a "vacuum" that impacts transfers at the end of the season.

That is according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire, who also believes the reportedly high asking price put on the Premier League club by owners the Glazer family is because United are seen as a "trophy asset".

The deadline for bids for the club passed at 9pm GMT on Wednesday, though reports have suggested both British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Al Thani requested an extension before submitting their respective offers.

Speaking to Stats Perform, Maguire detailed why any buyer will likely want to get a deal over the line quickly in preparation for the transfer window at the end of the season.

"I think whoever does acquire Manchester United will want to do it as early as they can into the transfer window for the summer of 2023 because they'll be wanting to make a statement," he said.

"Also, from the Glazers' point of view, they don't want to be committing themselves or committing the club to long-term contracts on players who might not be in favour with any potential new owners.

"So the danger is that if things are dragging on over the summer, there could be a vacuum with regard to player trading."

Though reports suggest that several bids for either a takeover or minority investment have been made, Ratcliffe and Shekh Jassim have been the most public about their interest, though have made it known they do not want to pay over the odds for the Red Devils.

It is expected that any successful bid would need to be above the world-record amount paid for a sports team, which was NFL franchise the Denver Broncos when they were bought for $4.65billion by the Walton-Penner family ownership group in June last year.

Maguire explained that the money involved in acquiring a sports team is rarely based on financial prudence, rather it is a way for billionaires to "win the room" among their peers.

"If you take a look at Chelsea, which was sold for around $3billion last year, that was a distressed asset," Maguire said. "Roman Abramovich had his assets frozen by the UK government at the time and I think that took a lot of people by surprise, because Chelsea had lost well over £1million a week for 19 years under Abramovich.

"You put that into any spreadsheet and the fundamentals say the business isn't worth it, but football is a trophy asset industry.

"There are many billionaires who want to make a statement and the way to do that is to buy a brand, to buy a franchise, which from a financial perspective the prices cannot be justified, but if you've got billions burning a hole in your pocket, what better way to win the room?

"If your social circle is fellow billionaires, everybody's got an apartment in Manhattan and Monaco, everybody owns a yacht, everybody's got a few helicopters, but if you own a sports franchise which is as unique as the Broncos or in the world of football, Manchester United, then you win the room, and that's what the price is going to be linked to.

"On a cash flow basis, on a comparative basis to other football clubs, are Manchester United bigger than Newcastle United? Yes it is, but is it worth 20 times the price of Newcastle? The answer, fundamentally, is no, but that's probably what it's going to take to persuade the Glazer family to sell."

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has apologised after the club were labelled "disrespectful" by supporters when a banner honouring the late Ray Wilkins was altered in an episode of TV series Ted Lasso.

The banner at Stamford Bridge, which reads "They don't make them like Ray anymore" in tribute to Wilkins, was changed to read "They don't make them like Roy anymore" in reference to fictional character Roy Kent.

Wilkins died at the age of 61 in 2018 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The Chelsea Supporters' Trust (CST) expressed disappointment at the edit in a statement released on Wednesday.

"This is a banner paid for by supporters to commemorate a Chelsea legend – Ray Wilkins," the statement read. "Many supporters have seen this edit to be disrespectful, and we have expressed our disappointment to club officials. We expect that CFC will address this in due course."

Chelsea are investigating the matter, but Boehly says the banner edit was down to Apple TV, rather than the Premier League club.

"We had nothing to do these arrangements," Boehly posted on Twitter. "The deal w/ apple was struck in 1Q/22. We are sorry it affected so many and mostly we care about Ray and his family.

"We would also point out that none of the 'Chelsea' players were actual Chelsea players. Hopefully, that was clear."

Wilkins played over 200 games for Chelsea in the 1970s and later served as assistant manager under Gianluca Vialli, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.

He also played for Manchester United, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Rangers and QPR among others during his playing career.

Former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure compared Mesut Ozil to his former team-mate David Silva after the Germany international retired from football.

Ozil announced the end of his 17-year playing career on Wednesday, with the 34-year-old having represented Real Madrid and Arsenal among others.

Speaking at a Football Black List event in London, Toure said it was unfortunate for the game to lose "another good player" but hopes there will be more like Ozil in future.

"For me, he was kind of a flair player, a little bit like [David] Silva," he said. "Very clever, the movement just between the lines. Very good and his last pass was top.

"Another good player has retired, but I think now players understand the level of the game is so high now and unfortunately Mesut will retire, but maybe we'll see the next one in the future."

Former Leicester City captain Wes Morgan also paid tribute to Ozil, remembering the "magical moments" he provided during his spell in England.

Ozil recorded 33 goals and 54 assists for the Gunners in 184 appearances in the Premier League before moving to Fenerbahce in 2020.

"He was great in the Premier League," Morgan said. "I know his Arsenal time probably ended not the way he wanted, but at the same time, we've seen some magical moments for him.

"I remember he came from Real Madrid and lit up the Premier League with his vision and his ability. He was a great player in the Premier League, fantastic to watch and hopefully he'll have a nice retirement."

Chelsea seem to have resigned themselves to making a major loss on Romelu Lukaku, who has only netted five times on loan at Inter this term.

According to a Football Insider report, the Blues are ready to move him on in at the end of the season, with Inter unlikely to try to extend his stay in Milan.

Chelsea spent £97.5milion to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge in August 2021, but they are unlikely to get anywhere near that now.

TOP STORY – GERMAN CHAMPIONS LINE UP SHOCK LUKAKU MOVE

Bayern Munich are lining up a shock move for Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku to bolster their attacking options, claims Fichajes.

The report claims Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is an admirer of the Belgium striker, who he believes is one of the world's best forwards if injury free.

Bayern will not commence negotiations with Chelsea until the end of the season. The German champions had been linked with Harry Kane as they look for someone to replace Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona last year.

Calciomercato reports that Chelsea may try to land a deal with Roma with a swap deal involving Tammy Abraham.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min claims Manchester City have reignited their interest in signing 19-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz following a long-term knee injury which forced him to miss the 2022 World Cup. Fabrizio Romano claims Real Madrid will compete for the German's services too.

Tottenham are interested in Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, reports ESPN. Henderson is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from United, who could use Spurs' interest as leverage in a deal for Harry Kane, per the report

– Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto is drawing interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, while 90min claims Juventus and Napoli are among a list of Italian clubs tracking him too.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Barcelona on the cusp of agreeing to a deal with Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez to join the Blaugrana on a free transfer in the off-season.

– Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to let Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches exit amid interest from Milan along with Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Wolves, reports 90min.

– Football London reports Arsenal are ready to ramp up their interest in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi with a bid to come in the coming months, although he has a €60m release clause in his contract.

With Antonio Conte expected to leave Tottenham by the end of the week, attention is already turning to who might be next to try their hand at what continues to look a near-impossible job.

Spurs are a big club with a fabulous stadium, passionate fanbase and talented squad.

Despite the relative success of Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino in the last two decades, as well as investing in high-profile bosses Jose Mourinho and Conte, none have been able to bring silverware to the north London club.

The only trophy Spurs have claimed since the turn of the century was the EFL Cup in 2007-08, and any new manager/head coach will be tasked with ending that drought as soon as possible, as well as ensuring another season of Champions League football.

Stats Perform looks at some of the early favourites, with Conte seemingly on the brink.

Mauricio Pochettino

The Argentinian was a very popular figure during his time at White Hart Lane – and subsequently Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pochettino may not have won a trophy, but he presided over two title challenges and the run to the 2019 Champions League final, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

He mostly got the best out of his players, too, and took many of them to another level.

His five-year reign included 113 wins from 202 Premier League games, a points-per-game (PPG) average of 1.89, very slightly higher than Conte's 1.88 (32 wins from 56 games).

Pochettino was eventually dismissed by chairman Daniel Levy after appearing to take the club as far as he could, so going back to him when still looking someone to take them to the next level might be a little backwards.

He would likely be a popular choice with the fans, though, and should at the very least provide some stability. Perhaps crucially, he might also be their best bet in convincing Harry Kane to stay.

Ryan Mason

It wouldn't technically be a return for Mason as he never actually left, taking on a first-team coach role after the end of his interim spell at the helm following the sacking of Mourinho in April 2021.

His second game in charge was a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the EFL Cup final, but Mason arguably did well considering his lack of experience.

Given he only took charge of six matches, it seems a little pointless to stake a claim for Mason based on his own PPG record (2.0).

But the former Spurs midfielder is the heavy favourite for the job, even if only on a short-term basis again.

Similarly to Pochettino, the thinking behind that choice would most likely be stability and that decision makers at the club may feel the players are likely to respond positively to someone they already know.

Unless he performs spectacularly, appointing Mason would probably be followed by a full-time hire at the end of the season.

Thomas Tuchel

While Tuchel would be yet another former Chelsea boss taking the reins, following in the footsteps of Glenn Hoddle, Andre Villas-Boas, Mourinho and Conte, it's hard to argue with his credentials.

The German won 35 of 63 Premier League games with the Blues, a PPG average of 1.94, as well as winning the Champions League in 2021.

Considering Spurs are eager to win a first trophy since 2008, the fact Tuchel guided Chelsea to five finals – including the 2021 Club World Cup – in less than two years will no doubt appeal, even if he did lose three of them.

Tuchel reportedly left Stamford Bridge partly due to a disagreement on transfers with owner Todd Boehly, which may not bode well given Conte's consistent complaining about the way Spurs work in the market.

Either way, the man who shared a furious handshake with Conte earlier this season could well be the same person to replace the Italian in the Spurs dugout.

 

Luis Enrique

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona player most recently won 27 of 48 games as Spain head coach, but international football can be a different world to the top-level club game.

Luis Enrique was very successful in his last club job at Barca, though it admittedly helped having a front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all at their peak.

He won two LaLiga titles, three Copa del Rey crowns, a Supercopa de Espana, a European Super Cup and a Club World Cup, as well as the 2014-15 Champions League as part of a historic treble.

Overall, Luis Enrique won 87 of his 114 LaLiga games (2.4 PPG), but it is difficult to compare this to counterparts at Spurs given Barca's relative dominance in Spain.

His record at Roma earlier in his career could be a better barometer, winning 16 of his 38 Serie A games in charge of the Giallorossi (1.5 PPG), before winning 14 of 38 LaLiga matches as head coach of Celta Vigo (1.3 PPG) before heading to Camp Nou. But how relevant are these spells now given he left Balaidos nine years ago?

Similarly, the fact he's not had a club job since 2017 might be seen as problematic by some fans, while it could also be argued he underachieved with Spain.

Roberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi has made his mark on the Premier League very quickly since replacing Graham Potter at Brighton and Hove Albion in September.

Brighton have thrived and find themselves in a genuine fight for Europe, with a top-four finish not out of the question at this stage as they sit seven points behind fourth-placed Spurs with three games in hand.

De Zerbi has won eight of his 19 Premier League games, while the Seagulls rank second in the Premier League for passing accuracy (86.9 per cent), average possession (62.1 per cent) and passes per sequence (4.5). They are also third for goals (35) and fifth for passes played into the opposition's box since his first game, highlighting an attack-minded approach that would certainly be appreciated by a frustrated Spurs fanbase.

Getting him out of Brighton will be easier said than done, however, having already lost one head coach this season, not to mention their renown for getting a good deal – Potter reportedly cost Chelsea £21.5million.

Spurs will almost certainly have to pay through the nose or look elsewhere.

Oliver Glasner

A surprise name that has emerged in recent days is that of Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner, who impressed so many by leading the Bundesliga club to Europa League success last season.

Glasner made a promising start to his coaching career in his native Austria with Ried and LASK, before guiding Wolfsburg to seventh and fourth-placed finishes in the German top-flight.

He then made the switch to Eintracht ahead of the 2021-22 season. He could only guide them to 11th in the Bundesliga, winning just three of their 17 games in the second half of the campaign, but this came amid the backdrop of Europa League glory, eliminating Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham before beating Rangers in the final on penalties.

Some reports suggest Levy has already contacted Glasner, whose contract expires in 2024.

This season, Eintracht sit sixth in the league and were recently knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Napoli.

Leandro Trossard is delighted by his fast start in an Arsenal shirt and is optimistic of his new club's chances of winning the Premier League.

Trossard was a January signing for Mikel Arteta's side after the Belgium forward impressed in the first half of the season at Brighton and Hove Albion, scoring seven goals in 16 league games.

Since joining the league leaders, Trossard has only scored once but provided six assists in just 10 league games to help Arsenal rebuild an eight-point gap to Manchester City in second.

And the former Brighton has been surprised at how quickly he has settled.

"I maybe didn't expect to make that many minutes, but injuries helped me a bit. I’m however more than convinced of my own capabilities," Trossard said, speaking at a national team press conference on Wednesday. 

"I arrived in a great group, filled with great players. That also makes it easier for new players to adapt and reach their levels.

"It was a very busy and weird period for me, but I'm very happy that I have been able to join Arsenal. I think it's been a great step for me.

"We all know how difficult it is to win the league, looking at Man City and Liverpool in recent years, but I think we have a great squad and that we have proven time and time again that we're doing well. 

"There are 10 matches left, we'll see where we end once the season finishes."

The 28-year-old is set to feature heavily for Belgium after the retirement of fellow forward and former captain Eden Hazard.

City's Kevin De Bruyne has taken the armband, and Trossard is confident the midfielder and new head coach Domenico Tedesco will prove the difference as Belgium look to rally following their group-stage exit at the 2022 World Cup.

"[De Bruyne] has a lot of experience at the highest level," Trossard said. "He knows everybody here, since he's been here for a while already. 

"A lot of the younger guys look up to him – I think that's a really big advantage for a national team captain if people look up to you.

"We have a new manager, a new staff, and I'm excited to make this new start as well.

"We're looking sharp, everybody wants to prove themselves. We also have a lot of youngsters, there's a lot of renewed competition, and it's clear everybody wants to give it their all."

Dejan Kulusevski did not take offence to Antonio Conte's criticism of his Tottenham side and is still happy to play under the Spurs coach.

Conte labelled his players "selfish" after Tottenham drew 3-3 with Southampton, despite leading 3-1 with 15 minutes to go.

It came just two weeks after Tottenham, who are fourth in the Premier League, exited both the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of a week.

Conte is widely expected to be sacked, but Kulusevski, when asked if he was offended by the coach's comments, said: "No, because I know what I bring to the team every day.

"I know that I prepare myself to do as good as I can, and that's why I can always look myself in the mirror.

“Sometimes I know I don't play good enough, and I can take responsibility for that, but what he said is for him, that's his word.

“I respect him, and he helped me a lot during my career. So, he's still a very important man in our club and in my work.”

Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg suggested Conte needed to be "a little more precise" with his words, but Kulusevski believes the players can have few complaints after a poor run of form.

"He was very disappointed, as were us players, and we have to accept that," said the winger.

"We lost all the cups, we went out in Champions League also. So, I know that sometimes we have to be sad and angry, and that's how he took it.

"Somebody else will take another way; we just have to respect his words.”

As unlikely as it now seems, Kulusevski was then asked if he would still be happy to play under Conte and replied: "Yeah, absolutely.”

The Premier League has launched the Fan Engagement Standard (FES) to encourage "long-term meaningful" discourse with supporters.

The announcement follows Premier League clubs' initial endorsements of the plans at the division's June 2022 AGM.

It aims to act as a framework within which clubs can tailor their own unique approaches to fan engagement, with themes including accessibility, collaboration, and communication.

Clubs are due to announce their own work in light of the FES in the coming days, and all clubs will publish a Fan Engagement Plan ahead of the 2023-34 season.

Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, said: "Supporters have always been the lifeblood of football, and Premier League fans are known around the world for their passion and enthusiasm.

"Clubs already carry out a great deal of work in this area, and the Standard is the next step in enhancing these collective efforts.

"It is vital we ensure the voices of supporters are not only heard in the stands, but also when it comes to having a say on key issues relating to their clubs. The Standard puts structures in place to establish consistency across the league and improve transparency."

The Premier League said it will oversee clubs' compliance with the FES and aim to promote good practice between club staff and fan representatives, with supporters encouraged to involve themselves in any ways made possible.

A method of assessment will also be developed during the remainder of this season by the league and selected clubs, theoretically to help determine how teams will report on the FES and how to make "recommendations for improvement".

Mesut Ozil's retirement brings to an end the career of one of modern football's great, traditional number 10s.

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid playmaker announced on social media that he was terminating his contract with Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir due to continuing injury issues.

Ex-Germany international Ozil won the World Cup in 2014 and also played for Schalke, Werder Bremen and Fenerbahce during his club career.

Having garnered a big move to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2010 following his superb displays in that year's World Cup, Ozil won a LaLiga title, a Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de Espana.

A move to Arsenal in 2013 saw Ozil flourish into one of the Premier League's greatest creative forces, while he won the FA Cup four times during his stay in north London.

Stints at Fenerbahce and Basaksehir were hampered by injury with Ozil having played just four times this season, but the 34-year-old leaves behind an unforgettable legacy.

Stats Perform takes a look at some of the key numbers behind Ozil's memorable career.

 

Creator in chief

The 2015-16 campaign was arguably Ozil's finest in an Arsenal shirt, with his tally of 146 chances created in the Premier League the most of any player in a single season in the competition. 

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne has come closest to breaking that record when the Belgian crafted 136 goalscoring opportunities for team-mates in the 2019-20 campaign.

Ozil managed six league goals in the 2015-16 campaign but laid on a further 19. That was the only time he registered double figures for assists in a top-flight season while at Arsenal, something he managed in each of his three seasons in LaLiga.

Assist machine

Ozil is one of just four Arsenal players to have registered more than 50 Premier League assists for the club.

His total of 54 is bested by Denis Bergkamp (94), Thierry Henry (74) and Cesc Fabregas (70).

Ozil's prolific record as a creator began well before his move to north London.

His 122 assists across a ten-season stretch between 2008 and 2018 was only eclipsed by Lionel Messi (133).

Starting in 2008, Ozil recorded more than 12 assists for five consecutive seasons. At Werder Bremen, he set up 25 goals two seasons in the Bundesliga before joining Madrid.

His numbers would only improve in the Spanish capital as he created 47 goals between 2010 and 2013.

Eye for goal

While Ozil's creative talents caught the eye, he had a penchant for scoring goals as well as setting them up.

His 33 top-flight goals in an Arsenal shirt stands as the second-best tally of any German in the Premier League, behind City's Ilkay Gundogan (39). Uwe Rosler, Jurgen Klinsmann, and Leroy Sane make up the top five with 29, 29 and 25 respectively.

Ozil's best Premier League goalscoring season was the 2016-17 campaign when he netted eight times.

 

Galactico

It was at the 2010 World Cup where Ozil truly made his name, starring in a youthful Germany side that reached the semi-finals.

Ozil appeared at three World Cup finals, and is one of only five players to have created at least 10 chances from open play in three different World Cups (since 1966), along with Messi, Diego Maradona, Wolfgang Overath and former Germany team-mate Thomas Muller.

Madrid signed him after his leading role in South Africa and Ozil went on to make 159 appearances for Los Blancos. Only three German players have played more matches with the club – Toni Kroos (402), Uli Stielike (308) and Sami Khedira (161). 

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