Aston Villa boss Unai Emery was pleased with how his side continued to play “seriously” during their 5-0 romp at Sheffield United.

Villa got their top-four ambitions back on track in style as they put the hapless Blades to the sword in a scintillating opening half-hour where they went 4-0 up thanks to goals from John McGinn, Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey and Youri Tielemans.

Alex Moreno made it five a minute after the break to briefly raise hopes of going for the record Premier League win before Villa took their foot off the gas.

Emery said: “We had control of the game and we were clinical. We got confidence quickly and we were feeling comfortable.

“We finished the first half with a very good result and we tried to be respectful of them firstly and tried to play seriously and practise playing the match thinking of things we needed to improve.

“The most important thing is to win and try to be respectful of the opponent and play seriously in every minute we are facing the match.

“We were scoring goals and we tried to stop them as well, as we did before we scored four goals in the first half.

“In the last moment we conceded one goal before VAR, before we conceded two very good chances for them. I want to be demanding in that moment to play seriously and respect them.

“When you win like that overall we have to be happy but in the next matches we are not always going to be comfortable like that and we have to be serious in our gameplan and be responsible.”

It was another embarrassing day for Sheffield United, just four months after they were beaten 8-0 by Newcastle at Bramall Lane.

Boss Chris Wilder will surely know his side will be playing in the Championship next season as they have taken just 10 points from 23 games and are the same number away from safety.

He said: “No excuses, we were architects of our downfall in terms of the manner of the goals and you’re 4-0 down after half an hour. I am not going to apologise for it but it becomes damage limitation.

“I understand supporters will want to see us get after the opposition in that case but we’ve already had one of those evenings before.

“I didn’t see it coming, I thought I picked the right team, an athletic team, a front-footed team. We were second best all afternoon. As manager I have to stand on the touchline and accept everything that comes my way and it is well and truly deserved.

“The players are on the floor, they are not doing cartwheels in there. It’s a difficult one to take. We are all hurting, a reaction is needed, it is going to be a long week for us. I have to put it right.

“We took a big step backwards today, I can’t hide away from that. That is something that is damaging and something we have to get over.”

Aston Villa returned to winning ways in style as they put Sheffield United to the sword with four goals in the opening 30 minutes in a 5-0 romp at Bramall Lane.

Villa’s Premier League top-four hopes had faltered after winning just one of their last five matches but Unai Emery’s men put that right to move above Tottenham and back into fourth.

Goals from John McGinn, Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey and Youri Tielemans before the half-hour put them in dreamland and Alex Moreno’s second-half goal made it a day to remember for Villa, who registered their biggest Premier League away win since 2004.

At one point they would have had history in their sights as they had more than 45 minutes to try and find four more goals which would have equalled the record victory in the Premier League era, but they took their foot off the gas.

Still, it was bad enough for Sheffield United on another embarrassing day for the club, just four months after they were beaten 8-0 by Newcastle at Bramall Lane.

Boss Chris Wilder will surely know his side will be playing in the Championship next season as they have taken just 10 points from 23 games and are the same number away from safety.

Villa will hope to use this as a springboard for the rest of the campaign as they eye Champions League qualification for the first time.

It was the vision of Douglas Luiz that enabled them to take a two-goal lead within 16 minutes.

First, the midfielder sliced open Sheffield United’s defence with a fine pass which set Watkins through on goal. The England international lifted the ball over the on-rushing Wes Foderingham and onto the post, with McGinn tucking the rebound into an empty net.

Luiz’s assist for the second goal four minutes later was even more eye-catching as he again played in Watkins with an outrageous pass with the outside of his boot and this time the striker found the bottom corner.

It was 3-0 four minutes later with another goal of quality as Bailey cut inside and whipped a brilliant left-footed strike into the top corner.

A section of the home fans were fearing a repeat of that Newcastle nightmare and left the ground and even more headed for the exit 10 minutes later when Tielemans made it 4-0 with another picturebook goal.

The Belgian found acres of space on the edge of the area from a corner, took a touch and then rifled in off the underside of the crossbar to complete a dream half-hour.

Villa needed 83 seconds of the second half to make it five, as some slapdash defending from Auston Trusty allowed Watkins to tee up Moreno to volley home from close range.

United were at least able to stem the tide and threatened to get on the scoresheet but Emiliano Martinez saved from Anel Ahmedhodzic and Jack Robinson.

Their misery was complete late on in the game when Vini Souza poked home from a set-piece but VAR ruled it out for offside.

Boss Unai Emery believes Aston Villa proved their European credentials after an emphatic 4-1 win at AZ Alkmaar.

Leon Bailey, Youri Tielemans, Ollie Watkins and John McGinn struck as dominant Villa cruised to victory in the Europa Conference League.

It was a second 4-1 win in two games – following Sunday’s victory over West Ham – and Villa earned successive Group E triumphs after dispatching last year’s beaten semi-finalists.

“If we want to be a contender we have to show every day and when we are playing those matches, we have to show everybody our wishes. I think we did it,” Emery told a press conference.

“We are respecting them because they played in the semi-final last year against West Ham. They won last year against Lazio, they won last year against Anderlecht and it’s because they have experiences in European competitions.

“I am very happy with the players because I think they have to be mature, responsible and demanding themselves, not only when I’m pushing them. They have to try to increase their own individual and collective level.”

Bailey opened the scoring when Villa cashed in on wasteful play from AZ and Tielemans doubled the lead 10 minutes later.

Watkins made it 3-0 six minutes after the restart when Bailey’s shot was saved by former Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Just five minutes later, McGinn added a fourth when he turned Bailey’s cross in at the near post.

AZ improved and pulled a goal back through Ibrahim Sadiq’s fine drive from the edge of the box with 25 minutes left.

Home defender David Moller-Wolfe said: “I can only speak for myself, but I’ve never played against such a good team.

“I felt when we tried to press them high, they just went in behind us and when we stayed they played in between us. That said, I don’t see why we can’t go to Villa Park in a few weeks and beat them.”

Ollie Watkins continued his red-hot form as Aston Villa cruised to a statement 4-1 Europa Conference League win at AZ Alkmaar.

The striker netted his 10th goal of the season and fourth in Europe this season on Thursday.

Leon Bailey and Youri Tielemans – his first for Villa – put them in control in AZ Stadium after less than 25 minutes.

Vangelis Pavlidis wasted the hosts’ best chances but Watkins and John McGinn added more goals after the break in Holland before Ibrahim Sadiq grabbed a consolation.

It was the second time in two games Villa had scored four after their 4-1 Premier League win over West Ham on Sunday.

Unai Emery celebrated a year in charge on Tuesday and victory underlined the progress his side have made, having been floundering in 14th and three points above the relegation zone 12 months ago.

Villa host Alkmaar in two weeks knowing victory would see them take a giant leap to the knock-out stages, especially following an opening 3-2 defeat at Legia Warsaw in September.

After two games in Group E, all four teams were locked on three points but Villa moved to remedy that quickly, opening the scoring just 13 minutes in.

Watkins seized on a loose pass from Yukinari Sugawara and, while Boubacar Kamara’s ball was cut out, it fell for Bailey to control and rifle in low from the edge of the box.

Alkmaar cried handball but the goal stood and 10 minutes later, the hosts were 2-0 down.

Another poor pass, this time from Sven Mijnans, went straight to McGinn and his angled pass found Tielemans to bag his first Villa goal.

Yet, 90 seconds later, the hosts should have pulled a goal back when Pavlidis fired over with just Emi Martinez to beat after Kamara was dispossessed on the edge of the box.

Pavlidis had a goal disallowed for offside soon after but Villa regrouped and extended their lead six minutes after the break.

AZ were picked apart by Watkins, Tielemans and Bailey, who saw his shot saved by Matt Ryan but it fell perfectly for Watkins to tap in the rebound.

Five minutes later McGinn added a fourth when he turned in Bailey’s low cross at the near post.

Sadiq pulled a surprise goal back with 25 minutes left when he latched onto Bruno Martins Indi’s crossfield pass and drilled the ball into the corner from the edge of the box.

Tiago Dantas came close to a second, Tielemans deflecting his drive behind, with a comeback never on the cards.

Boss Unai Emery insists Aston Villa’s 1-0 win over Zrinjski Mostar proves why their European rivals must be respected.

John McGinn’s added-time header saved Villa’s skins in the Europa Conference League.

Mostar, who beat AZ Alkmaar 4-3 last month, defended heroically and were two minutes away from a battling point at Villa Park.

It leaves Group E delicately poised after Villa lost their opener 3-2 at Legia Warsaw. Their 1-0 defeat at AZ on Thursday leaves all four teams locked on three points.

Emery said: “My message is always you have to respect every team. For them it’s very important to play in Europe, against us, to show their power as well. Their commitment in 90 minutes was amazing. It was not easy to break it.

“In the second half we played very well, we had chances and we scored in the end.

“I knew before the match it was going to be difficult because they are going to defend. That happened in the first half. Hopefully we can build a team with everybody.”

The Prince of Wales was also in the crowd to see Villa’s late show.

Emery added: “It’s the third time I’ve met him, he is welcome for us. He is really feeling emotion with us as well. He met with me, the players and the coaches. We spoke about Aston Villa and his wishes following us this year.”

Mostar threatened early when Antonio Ivancic lobbed over Emi Martinez but lacked any support to follow up and the Villa goalkeeper made a smart save to deny Nemanja Bilbija.

Nicolo Zaniolo saw shots blocked and had an overhead kick saved by the visitors, who were organised and comfortable.

Villa thought they had a penalty early in the second half when Ollie Watkins’ header hit Slobodan Jakovljevic in the face. Referee Urs Schnyder gave the spot-kick for handball but correctly changed his decision after viewing the replays.

Villa then camped in the Mostar half, Diego Carlos, Youri Tielemans and Zaniolo going close before McGinn’s late intervention.

Matty Cash crossed from the right and McGinn glanced in a header from six yards to spare the Premier League side.

Mostar boss Krunoslav Rendulic said: “Aston Villa won deservedly, we gave our maximum.

“We knew we could only put up a good defence in answer to their quality. Unfortunately that effort wasn’t rewarded. If we had defended that goal it would have been a great success.

“I can’t say anything against my players. In the second half we were suffering, we couldn’t go forward. We did defend very well. We couldn’t survive until the end and the final seconds were disastrous for us.”

Youri Tielemans has announced that he is leaving Leicester.

The 26-year-old joined the Foxes from Monaco on loan in 2019 before signing a permanent deal on a four-year contract.

Tielemans is out of contract this summer and his departure comes after Leicester were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season on Sunday.

Their relegation came just seven years after being crowned Premier League champions and two seasons since winning the FA Cup against Chelsea, where Tielemans scored a stunning goal to seal victory.

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A post shared by Youri Tielemans (@youritielemans)

 

“Dear Leicester fans, after four and a half special years and with a lot of gratitude I’m bidding farewell to this incredible club,” the Belgium international said in a video on Instagram.

“From the first day I set foot on this ground, your warmth and passion embraced me.

“Victory and triumph, love, hope and even defeat, we’ve shared many special moments together.

“I am forever grateful for your unwavering support, thank you to Khun Top, the board, the staff, the players and fans for having given me and my family a home.

“This is not a goodbye, but a heartfelt farewell. With pride, love and eternal gratitude, Youri Tielemans.”

What the papers say

Leicester have reportedly been approached over a potential transfer for Youri Tielemans. According to the Leicester Mercury, citing a report from La Gazetta dello Sport, Roma have made enquiries about the 26-year-old midfielder’s potential availability come the end of the season. Several other clubs, including Paris St Germain and Arsenal, have also shown interest in the out-of-contract Belgian.

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is off to the Camp Nou, according to The Sun. Via Spanish outlet Sport, the paper says the 26-year-old has agreed to a four-year deal with Barcelona, with Wolves’ sign off on the deal contingent on getting forward Ansu Fati in return. The 20-year-old is reportedly yet to agree to the move.

The Telegraph reports Nottingham Forest are set to pursue a permanent deal for on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson. The 26-year-old is believed to be keen on the idea, but the situation will ultimately be determined by David de Gea‘s future at Old Trafford.

And The Sun says Crystal Palace are keen on making a move for Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Dusan Vlahovic: Chelsea have made a £70m offer for the Juventus striker, according to ESPN.

Habib Diarra: The Sun reports Wolves and Aston Villa are both in the running to sign the Strasbourg midfielder.

Youri Tielemans remains committed to Leicester’s survival fight, according to boss Dean Smith.

The Foxes are two points from safety ahead of Monday’s crucial visit of Liverpool with time running out to save their Premier League skins.

Captain Tielemans is out of contract in the summer with the club having tried for the last two years to convince him to sign a new deal.

The midfielder is expected to leave on a free transfer but Smith dismissed any suggestions he was not dedicated to keeping the Foxes up.

“I’m completely comfortable with his commitment, I’ve seen nothing but a committed player in and around the training ground and on the pitch,” he said.

“You have to remember our first game against Man City he was coming back from an injury having been out five or six weeks but was committed to play that game to get himself up to speed as quick as he could.

“He’s still playing catch-up a little bit but he’s got qualities that we need in the team.

“I’m very good at reading people and as soon as I met Youri you know that football means a lot to him, the same about Cags (Soyuncu) when I looked him in the eyes and it means a lot to him.”

The Foxes were jeered off at the break in their 5-3 defeat at Fulham on Monday, when they trailed 3-0, but Smith insisted all his squad must handle the criticism.

He said: “I heard the fan reaction at half-time and I understood that but I don’t go off that. Football is about opinions and it always has been, somebody’s favourite player will be somebody else’s not favourite player and that’s football.

“Unfortunately, as players, you have to deal with the opinions of people and that’s their job to deal with that.”

Nottingham Forest and Leeds picked up draws against Chelsea and Newcastle respectively while Everton’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City means victory over Liverpool will lift the Foxes out of the bottom three.

“I think they (the players) know the position they’re in and they have done since the moment we came in here,” said Smith. “That’s what we reminded them of and the reason why we’re here, to keep us in the Premier League.

“The players are more than aware of that and I think a perception is always different from what I see day to day on the training ground. What I see day to day are a group of players that care.”

Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly both in discussions with Benfica about a potential deal for striker Goncalo Ramos – although he is said to be neither team's top choice.

Ramos, 21, has enjoyed a breakout season in Portugal. After scoring eight goals in 46 appearances in the previous campaign, Ramos has replaced Darwin Nunez as Benfica's main man up top and netted 25 goals in 38 games.

He also shone on the world stage, scoring a hat-trick in Portugal's round-of-16 World Cup clash against Switzerland after replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, and despite his contract tying him to Benfica until 2026, the club are willing to listen to substantial offers.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA JOIN UNITED IN MAKING RAMOS THEIR BACKUP PLAN

According to Football Insider, Chelsea's top priority up front is Napoli's Victor Osimhen, while United have Tottenham's Harry Kane at the top of their shopping list, but both view Ramos as the ideal consolation prize.

Kane is expected to fetch a fee in the range of £100million, and Osimhen's asking price is even higher, but while Ramos has a £105m release clause in his contract, the report states Benfica will accept bids around £70m (€79m).

Improving Chelsea's chances is the fact Ramos is represented by the same agency as Joao Felix, who is on loan at Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid.

ROUND-UP

– Cadena SER is reporting Paris Saint-Germain have joined the race for Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham and would be able to pay him more than any other club.

– After recently making his senior debut for Italy, 23-year-old Argentine-born striker Mateo Retegui will make a move to Europe at the end of the season, with Eintracht Frankfurt and Inter showing the most interest, per Fabrizio Romano.

– Football Insider is reporting Newcastle United, Arsenal and Barcelona are all expected to make a run at signing Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Arsenal are still desperate to add a new face in central midfield and will reportedly make late runs at Chelsea's Jorginho and Leicester City's Youri Tielemans before the transfer deadline.

Tielemans is one of Leicester's top talents, appearing in all 20 of their Premier League games this season while contributing three goals and an assist from his 18 starts.

Jorginho is in his fifth season at Stamford Bridge and remains an integral part of Chelsea's squad, making 15 league starts this season, including wearing the captain's armband in their two most recent fixtures.

However, both players are in the final six months of their contracts and are set to become available via free transfers at the end of the campaign, and their clubs may be willing to accept a significantly reduced figure for highly valuable assets.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS GUNNING FOR MIDFIELD ACTION AT THE DEADLINE

According to Football London, Arsenal's pursuit of 21-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion standout Moises Caicedo appears to have been unsuccessful, and they now view Jorginho as an acceptable alternative.

The report states Chelsea are willing to let the Italy international leave, indicating he will become expendable if the impending arrival of Benfica's Enzo Fernandez comes to fruition.

Football London also adds Arsenal will make another push at both Caicedo and Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi, but they are considered unlikely options.

Meanwhile, 90min claims Leicester would be more open to allowing Tielemans to leave if they were not locked in a relegation battle, but as it stands they would need a "huge" bid to prioritise a transfer fee over their Premier League survival.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting Leeds United will try to secure Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo after he snubbed Bournemouth, but Roma are unlikely to accept unless the full transfer fee is paid up front.

– According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a loan move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, who would prefer a loan to France instead of a fellow Premier League side.

– Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has rejected a loan approach from Inter and will instead opt to fight for his place, although he will re-evaluate his future at the end of the season, per the Daily Star.

– El Nacional is reporting Liverpool will make a run at signing Chelsea's N'Golo Kante when his contract expires after the season.

– According to Football Insider, Southampton have agreed to meet the £26.2million (€30m) release clause for 22-year-old Braga forward Vitinha.

Inter and Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries will reportedly be available in the January transfer window for €50million, with Chelsea and Manchester United named as interested parties.

Dumfries, 26, enjoyed a breakout performance in the Netherlands' first knockout game in Qatar, contributing a goal and two assists in the 3-1 win against the United States.

It continues his strong form for his country, also boasting two goals and an assist in five UEFA Nations League fixtures this calendar year, while adding three assists from his 15 Serie A clashes this campaign.

Inter sit fifth in Serie A and the club would like to retain the services of a regular starter in his prime, but a report from Calciomercato claims any bid exceeding €50m would be an offer they cannot refuse.

 

TOP STORY - PREMIER LEAGUE TARGET DUMFRIES AVAILABLE IN JANUARY

According to Calciomercato's report, Simone Inzaghi views Dumfries as invaluable to his plans this season, but the financial aspect of a potential €50m deal would take the decision out of his hands.

Dumfries even addressed the rumours of Chelsea's interest after his man of the match performance against the Americans, saying "of course it’s a big compliment to be linked with Chelsea".

United are the other club mentioned in the report, with Erik ten Hag's search for a new right-back being well-documented since his arrival, including Dumfries' Dutch team-mate Jeremie Frimpong of Bayer Leverkusen.

 

ROUND-UP

Tottenham's interest in 22-year-old out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie has been reignited after starting all four of the United States' World Cup outings, per Calciomercato.

– Fichajes is reporting United's top target at goalkeeper is 29-year-old Atletico Madrid standout Jan Oblak.

– Fichajes also believes Real Madrid could make a move for 33-year-old Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta in January.

– Sky Sports Germany's Florian Plettenberg is reporting Chelsea, United, Real Madrid and Barcelona are the sides interested in 20-year-old RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol, who has been impressive for Croatia at the World Cup.

– Marca is reporting Barcelona believe 25-year-old Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has already made a commitment to another club, as he is unwilling to hold any discussions about Barcelona's interest.

Barcelona are expected to be major players in the January transfer market after a busy pre-season.

The 26-time Spanish champions are top of LaLiga at the World Cup break but crashed out of the Champions League.

The Blaugrana are still battling financial challenges, while they also have some unsettled players on their books.

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLOTTING JANUARY GUNDOGAN MOVE

Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona are planning to move for Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in January, with fears Franck Kessie may exit soon.

The Blaugrana are eager to bolster their midfield options and a move for Bernardo Silva appears difficult despite their ongoing interest.

As a result, Barca have turned to the Germany international, whose contract with City ends in mid-2023. The report also claims the Catalans could move for Leicester City's Youri Tielemans.

Kessie has been linked with Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Fulham by Spanish media outlet Sport. The Ivorian only joined in July, but the club's financial position means they are open to letting players go.

ROUND-UP

– Despite being linked with a long list of names, Sport claims Barcelona will only make one signing in the January transfer window, with a right-back seen as a priority. Manchester United's Diogo Dalot, Bayern Munich's Benjamin Pavard and Villarreal's Juan Foyth are among their options.

– New Aston Villa heard coach Unai Emery wants to bring in Real Madrid's Eden Hazard and Nacho Fernandez, according to El Nacional. Spanish boss Emery left Villarreal for the Villans last month.

Juventus are ready to offer a new contract to French midfielder Adrien Rabiot, claims Tuttosport. Rabiot had been linked with an off-season move, with Manchester United mentioned as a possible destination, but has impressed this term.

– La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Milan are putting together a bid for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech in January. The Moroccan winger is expected to cost less than €20million (£17.5m).

Inter are keen on Valencia left-back Jesus Vazquez in January and a mid-2023 move for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, reports La Gazetta dello Sport.

Barcelona forward Memphis Depay reportedly is looking to leave the club on a free transfer in January, and a trio of high-profile Premier League teams are mentioned as potential suitors.

Depay, 28, played 38 games for the Catalan giants in the 2021-22 campaign, but he has found himself on the outside looking in this season, appearing in only three contests.

With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, and Barcelona looking to shed his salary to increase their financial flexibility, the Netherlands international is hopeful his exit can be arranged mid-season.
 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE TEAMS CIRCLE OUT-OF-FAVOUR BARCA FORWARD

According to Mundo Deportivo, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are paying close attention to Depay's situation with Barcelona.

If he is allowed to leave on a free transfer, United are said to have strong interest in bringing him back to Old Trafford, where he spent two seasons from 2015 to 2017 before being sold to Lyon.

The report also mentions Chelsea and Tottenham, who had interest in the previous transfer window before deciding against a move.

Depay has not played since a September 22 Nations League match for the Netherlands against Poland, but if he puts on a show at the World Cup, interest could skyrocket.


ROUND-UP

– According to The Guardian, Erik ten Hag plans on selling United captain Harry Maguire at the end of the season.

– 90min is reporting Arsenal are planning moves for Leicester City's Youri Tielemans and Palmeiras' 21-year-old Danilo in a bid to strengthen their midfield in January.

Newcastle United will rival Arsenal in the chase for 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk, who will reportedly cost in the range of £100million, per Football Insider.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Chelsea have hosted 16-year-old Palmeiras prodigy Endrick on an official club visit, introducing him to fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva.

Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund have shown interest in 20-year-old Leeds right-back Cody Drameh, per the Daily Mail.

Milan forward Rafael Leao continues to be linked with a host of top European clubs who are plotting January moves.

Leao won last season's Serie A Footballer of the Year and has maintained his fine form this term.

The 23-year-old forward is contracted with Milan until mid-2024, prompting interest to prise him away from the Rossoneri.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN PREPARING FOR BUMPER JANUARY BIDS FOR RAFAEL LEAO

Milan are preparing for January bids from Chelsea and Manchester City of approximately £105 million for Rafael Leao, reports Tuttomercato.

Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have also shown an interest in the Portuguese attacker.

Milan are still working on a new deal with Leao before he departs for the World Cup, hoping to tie him down on a long-term contract.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is considering trying to lure Dusan Vlahovic to Old Trafford as he prepares for life without Cristiano Ronaldo, reports The Sun on Sunday. Juventus forward Vlahovic moved to the Bianconeri from Fiorentina in January for £62million.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has told the club to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans in the January transfer window, claims The Sun. Tielemans is valued at £40m and is out of contract at the end of this season.

– The Mirror reports Arsenal are also interested in a January move for Vitoria Guimaraes midfielder Ibrahima Bamba, having sent scouts to watch him.

– Calciomercato claims Tottenham are looking into a swap deal involving Emerson Royal in order to bring Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries to the club from Inter.

– Serie A leaders Napoli are preparing an offer for Barcelona's Jordi Alba, who is looking for first-team football, according to El Nacional.

Barcelona have reportedly reignited their chase of Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva, and are said to be confident in their ability to get the deal done in January.

Silva, 28, has won four league titles with City since arriving at the club in 2017, and is enjoying another strong season after setting a new career-high with eight Premier League goals in the 2021-22 campaign.

The Portuguese international with 72 senior caps has two goals and five assists in his 12 league appearances this season, and has appeared in all six of City's Champions League group stage fixtures.

Barcelona have been linked with Silva for months, but after recent reports claimed they had moved on, a recent development has positively impacted the Spanish giants' financial situation and put the City star back on their radar.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA REVISIT CITY'S SILVA AFTER PIQUE RETIREMENT

According to Sport, the retirement of Gerard Pique has resulted in significantly improved financial flexibility for Barcelona, allowing them to revisit their long-standing interest in Silva.

The report claims City may be hesitant to part ways with a key contributor in the midst of a title chase, but that Silva had previously asked to leave the club before the failed sale of Frenkie de Jong muddied the waters.

Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo adds Barcelona will look at 31-year-old Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez as their top choice to fill the defensive void left by Pique's departure.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting Chelsea are preparing to terminate the loan of Denis Zakaria, claiming they can not offer him regular starts and have no interest in activating the €28million buy clause in the deal.

– According to ESPN, Liverpool are the favourites ahead of Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United and City to land Borussia Dortmund phenom Jude Bellingham.

– The Leicester Mercury is reporting Leicester City will not allow Youri Tielemans to leave during the January transfer window, despite his contract expiring at the end of the season.

Milan are keeping a close eye on 22-year-old Spezia centre-back Jakub Kiwior, with Gazzetta dello Sport reporting they could make a move in January.

– According to La Razon, Aston Villa manager Unai Emery is interested in 25-year-old centre-back Pau Torres, who he coached at Villarreal.

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