Mauricio Pochettino declared Paris Saint-Germain are ready to do business before the transfer window closes – but refused to discuss Tanguy Ndombele.

Tottenham midfielder Ndombele is thought to be a target for the Ligue 1 leaders, with reports that a loan deal is being discussed between the clubs.

Pochettino brought Ndombele to Spurs in 2019 and thinks highly of the former Lyon playmaker, but a move back to France is not yet a formality.

The Argentine head coach declined to explain PSG's apparent interest in the 25-year-old when his name was mentioned in a news conference on Saturday.

"I don't like speaking about rumours or players who are at other clubs," said Pochettino. "We have a squad with enormous quality. The club made a huge effort in the summer to put together the best possible squad with the right balance.

"The transfer window is open now. It also depends on the players who are not getting many chances here. Or for whatever reasons it is that they want to leave.

"The window is open, and the club is always open. Not just to listen but also to see what is happening in the transfer market. I am pleased with the squad that I have. We will deal with individual matters as they come up."

Lionel Messi is poised for his first appearance of the year as Pochettino's team tackle Reims on Sunday, with Kylian Mbappe also set to feature after recovering from an adductor problem.

Messi made his PSG debut as a substitute when PSG and Reims met in August, with a double from Mbappe earning a 2-0 away win amid a whirlwind of global interest in the game.

"It will definitely be a different match to the first one we played against them," Pochettino said.

Messi is fit after a brush with COVID-19, and Pochettino added: "Leo Messi has trained this week. We are pleased with how he is coming along. He is going to be in the squad tomorrow.

"It is always good news when players who have been out for a while are able to return and be back in the squad to help the team."

Mbappe scored in last weekend's 2-0 win against Brest, before a midweek medical bulletin pointed to an injury.

"We are happy to see the way that his problem has evolved," Pochettino said. "He trained with us in the last two sessions. He is going to be in the squad tomorrow. We will decide tomorrow if he starts or is on the bench."

Messi has not scored in his last five domestic matches for PSG and has just six goals across all competitions since arriving from Barcelona.

He has hit the woodwork more than anybody in the French top flight this season (six) – more times than the entire Reims squad (five).

PSG have won each of their last three meetings with Reims in Ligue 1 without conceding a goal, achieving as many clean sheets in this sequence as in the first 11 between the two clubs in the 21st century.

Reims will clearly do well to take anything from Sunday's game, having not scored in their last two Ligue 1 games and with PSG having won 12 and drawn one of their last 13 home games in the competition.

Ousmane Dembele's future with Barcelona has been unclear for months.

The 24-year-old has snubbed a fresh contract extension offer at Barca.

On Thursday, it was confirmed the Blaugrana have subsequently put him up for sale in January.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA READY FOR DEMBELE MOVE

Chelsea are ready to make a January move for Barcelona's Dembele, claims The Sun.

France winger Dembele is out of contract at the end of this season and Barca now want him to leave this month.

Chelsea have interest in Dembele, although it is unclear if they want to sign him on loan or permanently.

 

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- Roma are prepared to offer Jordan Veretout in exchange for Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. Goal and The Athletic claim that Paris Saint-Germain  are in talks with Spurs and Ndombele over a loan move.

- The Telegraph claims Tottenham are ready to make a January swoop for Milan's Franck Kessie, whose contract expires at the end of this season.

- Sevilla are still keen to sign Manchester United forward Anthony Martial on loan, according to Marca. The Spanish club had an initial offer rejected and could move for Lyon's Moussa Dembele as an alternative.

- Real Betis want to sign Manchester City full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko this month, with the lure of regular football, claims The Sun.

- Crystal Palace have pulled out of the race to sign Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey, reports the Daily Mail. Ramsey has had interest from Newcastle United, Wolves and Burnley.

Erling Haaland is the hottest property in football right now.

It is expected that Haaland will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season although that is not confirmed.

The 21-year-old Norwegian forward is being chased by several big clubs.

TOP STORY – HAALAND SET TO DECIDE ON CLUB FUTURE

AS claims that Haaland is set to make a definitive call on his future as several top clubs circle for his signature.

Borussia Dortmund are set to meet with Haaland's representatives next week to discuss his plans according to Marca.

Haaland is being pursued by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

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- Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has reached out to Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele about a potential switch to Italy, claims Telefoot. Mourinho worked with Ndombele during his time at Spurs.

- Football Insider reports PSG midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has no interest in a move to cashed-up Newcastle United having been linked with his former club.

- The Telegraph reports that Burnley's New Zealand international forward Chris Wood will undergo a medical with Newcastle on Wednesday ahead of a move to the Magpies.

- Tottenham have contacted Jesse Lingard's representatives to discuss a free agency move in the off-season from Manchester United, claims Football London.

- Sevilla's interest in signing Manchester United's Anthony Martial is fading given the Red Devils' demands for the French forward, reports Marca.

- The Mail claims that Marcus Rashford and Manchester United are set to open talks before the end of the season on a new contract.

Arsenal have fallen out of the Premier League's top tier in recent years.

But the Gunners are determined to re-emerge under manager Mikel Arteta.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to leave, Arsenal are ready to spend.

TOP STORY – ARSENAL DETERMINED TO LAND VLAHOVIC

Arsenal are determined to land Dusan Vlahovic despite the Serbian wanting £300,000 (€360,000) a week in wages, says the Daily Mail.

The Fiorentina forward is being chased by a host of clubs but the Gunners are ready to sign him despite a transfer bill around £150 million (€180m), with La Viola asking for a £58m (€70m) fee.

Juventus, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been linked with the 21-year-old.

 

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- Manchester City could make a move for Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric claims El Nacional. The Croatian is not happy with the terms offered by Madrid on a new deal with his current contract set to expire at the end of this season.

- Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger prefers a move to Real Madrid over Paris Saint-Germain when his current contract expires according to Football London. Both clubs have offered deals to the Germany international.

- The Mirror reports that Edinson Cavani has committed to Manchester United for the remainder of the season after discussions with interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

- Barcelona have approached former Chelsea midfielder Oscar about joining the Catalans, claims TNT Sports Brasil. Oscar is currently contracted with Chinese club Shanghai Port.

- Tottenham are ready to sell record signing Tanguy Ndombele during the January transfer window, reports the Daily Mail. PSG, Milan, Roma, Lyon, Barcelona and Newcastle United are among the clubs interested in Ndombele according to the Star.

Romelu Lukaku cast his Chelsea future in doubt with a recent interview – and the unsettled striker may now be offered a route out of Stamford Bridge by Paris Saint-Germain.

The 28-year-old revealed his regret at leaving Inter for Chelsea and questioned boss Thomas Tuchel's tactics, leading to him being dropped for the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Lukaku has returned for the Blues' two matches since, but doubts remain over whether he will still be a Chelsea player come the start of next season.

TOP STORY – LUKAKU LINED UP AS MBAPPE REPLACEMENT?

PSG look certain to lose Kylian Mbappe at the end of the campaign as the Real Madrid target fast approaches the end of his contract at the Parc des Princes.

The Ligue 1 giants are on the lookout for possible replacements and, according to El Nacional, Lukaku is one of those being considered by the club's wealthy backers.

The report suggests PSG are willing to pay €90million (£75.1m) to persuade Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to part ways with the club's all-time record signing.

Lukaku, who apologised for giving the explosive interview in December, has scored eight goals in 20 appearances since returning to west London five months ago.

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– Tottenham have decided to sell Steven Bergwijn this month amid interest from several clubs, according to Fabrizio Romano. Ajax are said to be among the sides to have already made an offer for the Netherlands international.

– Anthony Martial wants to leave Manchester United and has been touted as a possible target for Barcelona. But Spanish outlet Sport claims that, while Barca are eager to strengthen in the final third, Martial is not on their radar in this window.

– Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is wanted by a number of Europe's heavyweight clubs. According to Foot Mercato, PSG are prepared to pay more than the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, but the latter remains the Germany international's preferred choice.

– A rumoured target for Chelsea and Bayern, Sergino Dest's Barcelona future may become clearer in the coming days. El Nacional claims the defender's representatives are set to hold talks with the Catalan giants.

– After being jeered off the pitch by his own supporters in Tottenham's 3-1 FA Cup win over Morecambe on Sunday, The Athletic reports that club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele is hopeful of ending his tumultuous spell in north London this month.

– The Athletic also reports Aston Villa are now the favourites to sign Everton full-back Lucas Digne, despite previous interest from Chelsea. Newcastle United have also been linked, but Digne is apparently not considering a move to the relegation-threatened side.

Antonio Conte wants Harry Kane to reproduce his "world-class" England form in a Tottenham shirt and believes the striker's World Cup qualifying feats were just the boost he needed.

A desperate start to the Premier League season by Kane has seen the striker net just once in 10 games for Spurs, and provide only a single assist.

After last season's 23 goals from 35 games, which he complemented with a career-high 14 assists, it marks a drastic waning in fortunes for the England captain.

The most widely advanced theory among those questioning that decline is that Kane is fatigued, not only from his exertions with England at Euro 2020 but from a drawn-out saga concerning his own future.

Kane was widely expected to be a Manchester City player by now, but that did not come to pass, with Tottenham resistant to efforts to take their star man.

He failed to deliver in the league for Nuno Espirito Santo during the Portuguese's short-lived spell as Tottenham boss, but new head coach Conte will expect Kane to produce talismanic performances.

After firing a hat-trick against Albania last Friday, followed by four against San Marino, Kane reached 16 goals in the calendar year for England, a new record for the team.

"To score is never easy. I'm happy for him, the national team. England are now ready to play in the World Cup in Qatar," Conte said.

"It's a good achievement. I am happy for Harry because he broke the record with England. We are talking about a world-class striker, an important player for us.

"For sure to score is a boost for him. I am very happy, I have the possibility to get to know him much more.

"He is a top player, he wants to train very hard and improve. It's fantastic for me because my first task is to try and improve the players, bring them to another level. I think in this team, many players can do this."

Kane has managed a minimum of 17 goals in each of the last seven Premier League seasons, but he has serious work to do to threaten that mark this term.

After 10 games last season, he had seven goals and nine assists, clicking sensationally with Son Heung-min as Tottenham made a flying start that saw them lead the table in early December.

Jose Mourinho and his players could not convert that into a sustained title challenge, and Tottenham are already so far back this term that a push for the Premier League trophy is almost a non-starter. They sit ninth heading into the weekend, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

For the home game against Leeds United on Sunday, they will be without the injured Cristian Romero, and Conte has a doubt over Giovani Lo Celso after his return from Argentina duty.

Conte says everyone at Tottenham must "feel important" and have "a sense of belonging".

"You must work with your heart, passion," said the former Inter, Chelsea, Italy and Juventus boss. "This is the right way to improve and extend the sense of belonging to our supporters and our players during the game."

He hopes Tanguy Ndombele, Tottenham's blissfully talented midfielder, feels that way. According to Conte, Ndombele "has to work much more than the others".

The French playmaker endured a poor 2020-21 season, with his contributions nosediving. In a host of departments, his numbers slumped.

Per 90 minutes played in the Premier League, his performances slipped from a promising 2019-20 effort, with goals per 90 falling (0.18 to 0.13), assists going the same way (0.18 to 0.09), along with chances created (1.07 to 0.6), tackles won (1.43 to 0.85) and successful passes ending in the final third (14.39 to 10.64).

Conte said: "I have seen many managers struggle with his position. He has the quality. He has to understand it is a team, and he has to play into the team.

"It is important to do what the position asks you to do. We are working very hard. He has to work much more than the others.

"He has talent, but he has to put it into the team for the team, not for the single player. Every single player has to know what he has to do. If every player just runs around the pitch, it will be a mess."

After their lucrative takeover, Newcastle United are set to make a transfer splash in January.

The Magpies are winless and second last in the Premier League table this season.

Newcastle remain without a manager, following Steve Bruce's dismissal a fortnight ago.

 

TOP STORY – MAGPIES IN FOR COUTINHO LOAN DEAL

Newcastle United look set to make a move for Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho in January, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

Financially embattled LaLiga giants Barca are said to be keen to offload the former Liverpool forward, who arrived at Camp Nou from the Reds in 2018.

Barcelona are reportedly ready to accept a loan deal that includes a mandatory option to buy with Newcastle.

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Barcelona are bullish about signing up Ousmane Dembele to a fresh three-year deal with the option for a further season, claims Mundo Deportivo. Dembele has been linked with LiverpoolManchester United and Juventus.

- Barca are also considering a move to sign Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele on loan, reports Sport. Ndombele has made nine appearances this season.

- Brazilian club Palmeiras have entered the race to sign Manchester United's Edinson Cavani, claims the Daily Express. The Uruguayan signed a one-year contract extension in May.

- Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho wants to bring Spurs midfielder Harry Winks and Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Roma, reports Corriere dello Sport.

- Sky Sports reports ex-Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca is still interested in the vacant Newcastle managerial role. Fonseca nearly took over at Tottenham in the off-season. Magpies candidate Unai Emery announced he was staying with Villarreal on Wednesday.

- La Nazione says Tottenham are firmly in the race to sign Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, who has also been linked with Manchester City, Inter, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Juve.

Erling Haaland has his pick of Europe's elite.

The Borussia Dortmund and Norway star is wanted by the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.

But Premier League champions City are one particular club looking to prise Haaland from Germany if the rumours are to be believed.

 

TOP STORY – CITY HOPING TO CAPITALISE ON PUMA PARTNERSHIP

Manchester City are hoping their Puma sponsorship and a looming boot deal can help land Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to the Daily Star.

City's kits are manufactured by Puma, while Haaland is reportedly poised to sign a boot deal with the German giants.

Haaland has been linked with City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus.

 

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- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juve are planning an approach to bring United midfielder Paul Pogba back to Turin. Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and while United are keen for a renewal, the Frenchman has been linked with Madrid and PSG also.

- United captain and England defender Harry Maguire is poised for a new bumper contract at Old Trafford, reports the Mirror.

Liverpool are considering a move for Barca's Ousmane Dembele with Juve unwilling to part with Federico Chiesa, says Team Talk.

- According to Football Insider, Newcastle United have made star Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly a priority signing in January. It comes after Newcastle's blockbuster takeover.

PSG are targeting Napoli's soon-to-be free agent Lorenzo Insigne, per Le10 Sport. Insigne has also been linked with Inter and Milan.

- Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek is wanted by Serie A powerhouse Juve, claims Corriere dello Sport. Van de Beek was in talks over an Everton switch during the previous window.

- Milan star Franck Kessie is among Barca's midfielder targets for the January window, says Diario Sport. Van de Beek, Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele and Marcelo Brozovic of Inter are also options.

Paul Pogba has been the subject of constant speculation over the past 12 months.

Manchester United's French midfielder is into the final year of his contract.

Pogba has been in excellent early season form, with seven assists in the league already.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID MOVE LOOMS FOR POGBA

Real Madrid are Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba's most likely destination at the end of this season, claims El Nacional.

The France international is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of this season and could leave on a free transfer.

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola is trying to persuade Pogba to join Madrid, despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

 

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Liverpool target Karim Adeyemi is being chased by German pair Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg, reports Sport Bild. RB Leipzig are also monitoring the 19-year-old Salzburg striker.

Marco Asensio appears destined to leave Madrid given his current role, with Sevilla hoping to sign the midfielder, according to El Gol Digital.

– Fichajes reports that Milan are plotting a January move for out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek.

– The Sun claims that Tottenham have revived their interest in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as they seek a successor to Hugo Lloris.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho wants to reunite with Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele by signing him, reports Calciomercato.

– Marca claims that Manchester City are considering tabling an offer to sign Villareal forward Pau Torres .

Nuno Espirito Santo demanded patience with Tanguy Ndombele as Tottenham defeated Wolves 3-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in Wednesday's EFL Cup clash.

Harry Kane and Ndombele had opened a two-goal lead but strikes from Leander Dendoncker and Daniel Podence, who profited from Ndombele's concentration lapse, sent the third-round tie to penalties.

Dendoncker then saw his effort saved by Pierluigi Gollini, with both Conor Coady and Ruben Neves missing as well to hand Spurs a place in the fourth round for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons.

Despite the shoot-out win, Nuno focused on Ndombele as he insisted the France midfielder needs time to regain confidence and settle in.

"Let's try to avoid as much as we can individual analysis," Nuno responded to reporters post-match when asked about the mistake for Wolves' second goal.

"We will do it and we will do it amongst ourselves and I think we have to be patient with Tanguy because of all that happened in pre-season and this is his third game and already we've had however many games we've played so far.

"So let's be patient with all our players and patient with the time that they need to get to the level that I truly believe their talent can allow."

Kane, who has still not scored in the Premier League this term, was also on target and Nuno used his captain as another example for why patience is required with his players.

"In terms of the squad and in terms of the preparation of the squad we have players who have 65, 70 [training] sessions and we have players who have 15 sessions," he continued.

"Until we can balance everything, I think that will be the moment the players improve and get better. Harry [Kane] did a very good game, I think he has much more to give and it's about the team improving and growing together."

Wolves missed three penalties to hand Tottenham a 3-2 shoot-out victory following a 2-2 draw in Wednesday's EFL Cup third-round clash.

Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane fired Tottenham into a two-goal lead inside 23 minutes but Leander Dendoncker responded for Bruno Lage's men before the interval.

Daniel Podence levelled things up 13 minutes after the break following a mistake from Ndombele, but penalties were required at Molineux as neither side could find a late winner.

Pierluigi Gollini managed to save from Dendoncker and with both Conor Coady and Ruben Neves faltering, Spurs marched into the fourth round despite Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg missing.

Ndombele opened the scoring with 14 minutes gone, getting the better of Coady before drifting inside Willy Boly and slotting through John Ruddy's legs.

The visitors doubled their advantage nine minutes later, with Dele Alli carving open the Wolves defence before Kane drilled into the bottom-left corner.

However, Dendoncker halved Spurs' lead as he climbed the highest from Rayan Ait Nouri's outswinging corner to head into the top-right corner.

Alli and Kane attempted to link-up once more after half-time, but Ruddy was on hand to deny the former before Ndombele was at fault for Wolves' equaliser.

The France midfielder was caught in possession by Hwang Hee-chan, with Dendoncker subsequently finding Podence, who curled into the bottom-right corner to level.

Kane's header almost restored Spurs' lead but Ruddy's reflex save kept the scores level before Neves' deflected strike clipped the crossbar as the tie headed towards penalties.

Neves blasted over the fifth spot-kick after the first four had all converted before Dendoncker saw his low effort saved by the Spurs goalkeeper diving to his right.

Hojbjerg could have won it for the visitors but Ruddy denied the Denmark midfielder. However, that did not matter as Coady smashed into the crossbar to hand the away side their place in the fourth round.

Harry Kane made his first appearance for Tottenham this season on Sunday amid speculation about his future.

Kane has been linked with a big-money move to Manchester City, having reportedly told Spurs he wanted to leave late last season.

Spurs have postured that they are steadfast in wanting to keep their star forward, though it has been claimed they may be tempted if City up their bid to around £150million.

TOP STORY - CITY TO MAKE FRESH KANE BID THIS WEEK

The Telegraph claims that Manchester City will make another push to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy remains stubborn.

City want to bring in Kane to bolster their attack but have reportedly been unsuccessful with a £100m bid previously.

The report claims City will make a further bid this week for the England captain ahead of the closure of the transfer window at the end of the month.

 

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Tottenham have reached out to Juventus to discuss a potential deal for United States international Weston McKennie, with Tanguy Ndombele expected to be involved in a player exchange according to Tuttosport.

- Corriere dello Sport claims that Napoli have contacted Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic about a move to Italy. Barca are reportedly hoping to offload several players to ease their financial situation, with midfielder Pjanic among them.

- Sport1 claims that RB Leipzig remain interested in signing Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba and may make a move if Marcel Sabitzer leaves the German club.

- Rennes will permit Eduardo Camavinga to leave for €35m as the closure of the transfer window approaches, reports Fabrizio Romano. Chelsea and Manchester United are among his admirers.

- Romano also reports that Chelsea will sell Davide Zappacosta to Atalanta, with personal terms already agreed.

Burnley will rival Southampton in their interest for Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie, claims the Daily Record. Italian club Sampdoria are also keen on the Scotland international.

The transfer window is not even closed but attention is already turning to next season.

Kylian Mbappe is into the final year of his Paris Saint-Germain contract, while Erling Haaland's Borussia Dortmund deal has clubs queuing up.

Manchester United are reportedly set to pursue both.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE, HAALAND FUTURE RED DEVILS?

Manchester United have made Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe a target for next season, according to ESPN.

Mbappe has long been tipped to join Real Madrid and Saturday's Marca and Diario AS claim the LaLiga giants are still trying to sign the PSG star before the end of the transfer window.

Liverpool have also previously been linked with Mbappe, but United are keeping tabs on his situation, with the Frenchman out of contract at the end of 2021-22.

French journalist Julien Laurens, meanwhile, also suggests next year could be the perfect time for United to prise Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland has no shortage of suitors, linked with Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Bayern Munich as his release clause comes into force at season's end.

 

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- The Daily Mail says City are willing to sell defender Aymeric Laporte for £60million (€69m). The Spain international is reportedly wanted by Juventus and Madrid.

Chelsea remain interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, per The Telegraph. The Blues have also been linked with Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, who has also caught the attention of United and Liverpool.

- Diario AS says wantaway Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is eyeing a switch to Madrid, Barca or Bayern.

Real Sociedad are tracking PSG star Pablo Sarabia, according to Le Parisien. Sevilla could also reportedly rival Sociedad for the Spain international.

- Sky Sport Italia reports Juve are set to meet with Paulo Dybala's agent to discuss a new contract.

Ousmane Dembele has been called up to the France squad for the first time since November 2018 for their World Cup qualifiers later this month. 

The Barcelona forward has scored eight goals in 34 appearances across all competitions this season, and has done enough to convince Didier Deschamps he deserves another chance at international level. 

The 23-year-old's last appearance for Les Bleus came as a substitute in a 2-0 Nations League defeat to Netherlands more than two years ago. 

He is joined in the squad for the games against Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina by Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele and Atletico Madrid's Thomas Lemar.

Ndombele has not played for his country since June 2019, while Lemar last featured for the World Cup winners in November of the same year. 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, who has only just returned to training after missing six weeks with a thigh injury, is also included in Deschamps' penultimate squad ahead of the rearranged Euro 2020. 

Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has been recalled, but there was no place in the 26-man squad for Corentin Tolisso, Dayot Upamecano, Nabil Fekir or Steven Nzonzi.

France begin their qualifying campaign at home to Ukraine on March 24 before away games with Kazakhstan on March 28 and Bosnia-Herzegovina three days later.

 

France squad:

Alphonse Areola (Fulham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Lille); Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea); N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur); Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

Jose Mourinho singled out Gareth Bale and Tanguy Ndombele for criticism after Tottenham's 2-1 north London derby defeat to Arsenal.

Spurs took a first-half lead through an astonishing rabona finish from substitute Erik Lamela, who was later sent off for two bookable offences.

But Martin Odegaard's first Premier League goal for Arsenal had things all square at the break and, much to Mourinho's chagrin, Alexandre Lacazette won and converted a 64th-minute penalty to seal the points.

Lamela entered the fray after Son Heung-min pulled up with a muscular injury and, although Harry Kane had a late header ruled out for offside and hit the post with a free-kick, Spurs' other attacking talents disappointed.

Bale headed into the match with six goals and three assists in his previous seven appearances across all competitions, but he did not manage a single shot or key pass before making way for Moussa Sissoko in the 57th minute.

Five minutes later, having similarly had no impact of note in Arsenal territory, Ndombele was replaced by Dele Alli.

Nevertheless, it was Bale and Ndombele's contribution off the ball that drew Mourinho's ire.

"Gareth and Tanguy, we need more intensity in that game. We need to press more, be more intense in the game," he said.

"We needed initially Sissoko to give us that intensity in the midfield that Tanguy was not giving us. Then Dele was a player who had a desire to play and in the last match he did not complete the 90 minutes.

"He was fresh and had a good understanding with Harry."

However, Mourinho conceded he was also broadly unimpressed with the Tottenham collective.

"It was a very, very poor first half," he said, "We did not have intensity to run.

"Everybody was dropping back and nobody was looking to attack. Apart from Lucas [Moura] with some individual actions.

"If you're a big player you play for Tottenham. I'm not saying it was player A or B. We do not individualise. Players hiding. We were poor.

"The only thing worse than our first half was that penalty."

Spurs are back in Europa League action against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday - a last-16 tie they lead 2-0 after the first leg - although Mourinho is not hopeful over the prospects of Son making a speedy recovery.

"It's muscular. Muscular is usually not easy," he added. "He's normally a guy who recovers quickly.

"It's an accumulation of matches. I gave him 30 minutes' rest in the last match, but it's still 60 minutes."

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