Messi to Man City latest, Southampton vs Chelsea build-up – Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool transfer news

Messi to Man City latest, Southampton vs Chelsea build-up – Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool transfer news

MANCHESTER CITY are weighing up a move for Lionel Messi, but have denied making an official approach for the Barcelona forward.

Meanwhile Chelsea are gearing up for their clash with Southampton, while Liverpool and Everton get set to go head-to-head in the Merseyside derby.

Read our live blog below to get the latest from around the clubs…

  • Jake Lambourne

    FRANK ADMISSION

    Fikayo Tomori has revealed Frank Lampard sent him a 'positive message' after the defender's move to AC Milan and Lamps' sacking on January 25.

    He told the Telegraph: "It was an unusual situation. I wasn't at Chelsea any more and he wasn't the manager.

    "With all he had going on, it was a nice thing to take the time to do. 

    "I appreciated that. I wouldn't say there is a bad feeling, it just is what it is.

    "I've learned to look forward and I'm stronger for the experience."

  • Jake Lambourne

    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Karren Brady – Turning 34 in June, Leo Messi is an antique in footballing terms. But the way things are going, I’d say a priceless one.

    Even now we would be talking a nine-figure fee for the Argentinian genius — but that’s not the case this year as he will be out of contract at Barcelona around the time of his birthday, so he’s on a “free”.

    A giant chunk of the birthday cake will go to the six-time Ballon d’Or winner and his dependants, as the missing transfer fee is bound to find its way into an already-huge salary.

    Daddy Messi does the accounts, not always successfully, Mother Messi is his dearest supporter and the rest of the family stay as close as possible to the source. Or the sauce?

    Whether he remains at the Nou Camp or moves to one of the two clubs often linked with his future — Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain — the sums are dizzying.

    Read more from Brady by clicking HERE.

    Lionel Messi is set to become a free agent at the end of the season
  • Jake Lambourne

    STILL NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY

    EXCLUSIVE – QPR Director of Football Les Ferdinand believes football is now going through the motions when it comes to players take the knee.

    Ferdinand, 54, told SunSport: “When people take the knee, they feel like they are giving us an opportunity to make a gesture.

    “Yes it is a powerful gesture, but now look at everybody who is  taking the knee and the way they are taking it.

    “They’re doing it just for the sake of doing it. There is no change. We need action.

    “In 1995 Eric Cantona went into the stands and kicked somebody. That was 20 odd years ago! But were are STILL talking about the same problem today.

    "Do people want to eradicate it or do they just want to pay lip service? Because that’s what it seems to me, lip service."

  • Jake Lambourne

    LIKE IT OR LAMP IT

    Danny Higginbotham – I was really disappointed when Frank Lampard lost his job at Chelsea.

    He swam the Channel to get them into the top four after losing Eden Hazard and having a transfer ban.

    What he achieved under the circumstances was incredible and personally I do not think he was given enough time to blend the young talent he brought through with the new signings.

    But having said that, Thomas Tuchel has hit the ground running with an undefeated start, winning four matches and drawing one.

    From his perspective it was about making Chelsea defensively more stable.

    Read more from Higginbotham by clicking HERE.

  • Jake Lambourne

    COOK CONTINUED

    “Fighting all forms of discrimination and creating an equal, inclusive society is something that we feel very passionately about.

    “But that is defined by much more than a gesture, which we feel has run its course and is no longer having the effect it first did eight months ago.

    “Since football restarted last June we have taken the knee before every fixture. Instead, we will now stand before games; just as we stand together with our team mates who have suffered racial abuse and as we stand with anyone who is subjected to any form of discrimination.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    WORD OF MOUTH

    Bournemouth have joined Brentford in opting against taking the knee before matches.

    The Cherries' promotion rivals decided to scrap the anti-racism gesture last week after explaining they felt it was 'no longer having an impact.'

    A statement from club captain Steve Cook said: "Following discussions between the squad and with senior staff members, we have decided to no longer take the knee before games, starting this weekend against Queens Park Rangers.

    “At all levels, this club prides itself on its work around equality, diversity and inclusion and as a group of players we fully embrace this.

    “We all strive to ensure that AFC Bournemouth is a club which welcomes anyone, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality or religion."

  • Jake Lambourne

    VARCICAL

    Patrick Bamford believes Leeds were 'robbed' of a point against Wolves after VAR disallowed his equaliser in the second half.

    The 27-year-old thought he had got the Whites back on level terms in the 77th minute at Molineux, only to be judged fractionally offside.

    Taking to social media after the game, Bamford vented that his side should have left the Midlands with a point if it wasn't for VAR.

    He tweeted: "Gutted for the lads tonight, robbed of a point."

    "But at least it’s 'mAkInG tHe GaMe BeTtEr'. We go again Tuesday."

  • Jake Lambourne

    SON OF A GUN

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared Dean Henderson 'is in with a shout' to start ahead of David De Gea for the clash against Newcastle on Sunday.

    Speaking ahead of the encounter against the Magpies at Old Trafford, the Norwegian gaffer said: "Of course Dean is in with a shout.

    "We pick a team on Saturday and Dean was very solid, good kicking and he could or should have had an assist for Marcus, which is another thing we worked on.

    "He was clean in his handling, clean in his short passes and it was a good performance.

    "He is maturing all the time but I have a very, very good goalkeeper in David. He saved us against West Brom so I can’t say to you now.

    "I always speak to the players first before I say who’s playing and they will know."

  • Alex Terrell

    WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN

    Tommy Cloth has wiped the slate well and truly clean at Stamford Bridge, writes Dave Kidd.

    Chelsea's new boss Thomas Tuchel – whose surname translates as 'cloth' – has handed fresh starts to some of Frank Lampard's outcasts and rattled up five straight wins.

    Kepa Arrizabalaga has overcome his confidence crisis with back-to-back clean sheets, Marcos Alonso has been restored to his title-winning best, Callum Hudson-Odoi is rediscovering his early promise and Timo Werner has ended a three-month Premier League goal drought.

    As Chelsea venture to an off-colour Southampton today, Tuchel has already lifted them from ninth to fourth in less than a month with the runners-up spot firmly in their sights.

    Next week it gets serious for Tuchel – a Champions League clash with LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, followed by a visit from second-place Manchester United.

    Kepa, 26, is likely to return to the bench today and Tuchel is adamant it is only a happy coincidence that Werner, 24, is thriving under his fellow German.

  • Alex Terrell

    GO GO GOMES

    Former Manchester United starlet Angel Gomes has shared a video of a wonderful free kick he scored for new club Boavista.

    The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has been at the Portuguese club since he left United on a free at the end of last season.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Santi Gomes (@angel.gomes10)

  • Alex Terrell

    YOU’LL GET AN ‘AER FULL

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants no excuses and no moaning from his players about the relentless run of fixtures.

    Manchester United are still in the FA Cup and having been knocked out of the Champions League have two extra games to play in the Europa League if they go all the way.

    They have played 40 games already this season but if any Red Devils even think about grumbling they will have the boss to answer to.

    Solskjaer said: "Of course it's relentless, of course we demand we turn up every game.

    "You've got to run more than the opposition, you've got to want to win more than the opposition, you've got to put your body on the line.

    "Every game in the Premier League is high demand and that's why the players are paid the money they are to perform every time they are asked to. We ask for relentlessness and attitude every single game."

  • Alex Terrell

    YOUNG STARS COMPARED

    SunSport has tallied up the stats of these three young English stars.

    Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden might be the future of the Three Lions, but will they make it to the Euros?

    Check out the numbers and decide for yourself.

  • Jake Lambourne

    MORNING, FOOTBALL FANS

    Another busy weekend of Premier League football began last night with Wolves edging out Leeds at Molineux, thanks to an Adama Traore thunderbolt that cannoned off the post and in off the unlucky, floored Illan Meslier.

    The games continue to come thick and fast today, beginning with Chelsea’s lunchtime trip to Southampton.

    Set to start is Callum Hudson-Odoi, who appears to have carved out a new niche for himself at right wing-back under new boss Thomas Tuchel.

    And despite having more defensive responsibilities, the homegrown talent isn’t relenting on his attacking targets.

    He told the club’s official website: “You scoring or assisting helps the team win so I look at it like that.

    "If I can get a goal one game and then maybe the next game I get an assist and the next game a goal again, it's helpful for all aspects.”

    Meanwhile, in the Championship, managerless AFC Bournemouth make the trip to the capital this afternoon – in what could be the last game under the guidance of caretaker manager Jonathan Woodgate.

    SunSport told you yesterday that the Cherries have officially approached CF Montreal for their manager Thierry Henry.

    The Gunners legend is believed to have beaten off competition from former team-mate Patrick Vieira, as well as ex-Huddersfield manager David Wagner.

    Finally, SunSport exclusively revealed last night that an England star is addicted to powerful sleeping tablets and mixing them with booze during wild parties

    The Premier League hero has been popping pack after pack of Zopiclone after buying them on the black market.

  • Etienne Fermie

    RED HERRING

    Jurgen Klopp feared Liverpool were ready for all-out war with Everton over Virgil van Dijk’s knee injury.

    But the Reds boss reckons enough time has passed since the October incident and there will be no repercussions in tomorrow's Merseyside derby.

    He said: “Nothing will be carried over into this game.

    “When we got the diagnosis, it was good we did not play Everon immediately again.

    “We are all human beings and, of course, it was not nice.

    “Now, that is long gone and we just don’t think about it any more.

    “But it is still a derby and that is enough for being motivated at the highest level and we will try to play the best football we can.”

    Jurgen Klopp watched on as his side beat RB LeipzigCredit: AP:Associated Press
  • Etienne Fermie

    NEWCLEAR WAR

    Manchester United's clash with Newcastle on Sunday evokes memories of days gone by in which the two sides would tussle for top honours in a series of fiery 90s clashes.

    But former Toon striker Les Ferdinand has admitted that the current complexion is a far cry from what it was in his own playing days.

    He said: "Both teams have moved on from where they were. Man United were THE team of the 90s but since then Man City and Chelsea have come into the fray and Liverpool are back.

    “It’s two totally different teams now.

    “Newcastle, unfortunately, have gone the other way in terms of being the team that was challenging for the title or up there at the top.”

    You can read more from Sir Les by clicking here.

    Sir Les played in some almighty tussles against the Red DevilsCredit: Hulton Archive – Getty
  • Etienne Fermie

    TROY DEENEY

    Watford striker and hard-hitting SunSport columnist may shock some football fans this week, by revealing that most footballers do in fact like referee Mike Dean.

    You can read Troy's observations on Dean in full, as well as his take on the Darren Drysdale incident this week, by clicking here.

    Watford skipper has been officiated by Dean on a number of occasionsCredit: AFP or licensors
  • Etienne Fermie

    WOLVES 1 LEEDS 0

    After Nuno's side edged Marcelo Bielsa's, you can read more about the match by heading straight to Graeme Bryce's match report by clicking here.

    Nuno congratulates match winner TraoreCredit: Reuters
  • Etienne Fermie

    PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE

    It's Wolves who have grabbed all three points at Molineux, edging visitors Leeds by one goal to nil.

    Nuno's side took the lead in the 64th minute… in slightly fortuitous circumstances.

    Adama Traore came in from the left side, before hammering an effort towards goal.

    The ball cannoned off the post – and off the back of floored goalkeeper Illan Meslier before trickling into the net.

    Leeds later thought they'd equalised through Patrick Bamford, only for the England hopeful to be adjudged marginally offside.

  • Etienne Fermie

    SHOUT THE ODS

    Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi has revealed that he is targeting a goal contribution in every game.

    The 20-year-old has been a regular feature at wing-back under Thomas Tuchel since the German arrived at Stamford Bridge.

    He told Chelsea's official website: "In the academy days, when you're seeing numbers like that you're like 'wow' and you want to try and replicate that in the first team as well but it's obviously a much tougher league and it's hard to get goals.

    "You want to be that player who every team fears and where you have a target to get a goal or an assist for the team in every match you play, to help the team as much as possible because that contributes at the end of the game.

    "You scoring or assisting helps the team win so I look at it like that.

    "If I can get a goal one game and then maybe the next game I get an assist and the next game a goal again, it's helpful for all aspects."

    Callum Hudson-Odoi has become a regular at right wing-backCredit: AP:Associated Press
  • Etienne Fermie

    FIK'S BROKEN

    Fikayo Tomori claims his Chelsea axing under Frank Lampard felt "personal" and still bemuses him.

    The AC Milan loanee "went from being at 100 to literally going down to zero" during 2020.

    And the England centre-back was "shocked" to find himself on the brink of a deadline-day loan switch to West Ham before joining Milan.

    The 23-year-old also claims his long "history" with now-sacked Blues' boss Lampard made it even "harder to understand" why he was cast aside.

    Tomori told The Telegraph: "I'll always be grateful for the opportunities he (Lampard) gave me.

    "Maybe because of our history he thought I would accept it, but from my perspective, with that history, it felt more personal and harder to understand.

    "I don't know what happened, it wasn't really explained to me. I was suddenly out of the squad and I don't really know why. 'It was so frustrating,'"

    Fikayo Tomori is enjoying life in MilanCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Etienne Fermie

    DEVIL'S ADVOCATE

    Liverpool legend John Barnes believes David Alaba is not suited to Premier League football.

    Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City are among eight teams battling it out for the Austrian defender.

    But speaking to BonusCodeBets, Barnes said: "As a player, you must look into going to a football team that suits you, and most importantly the way you play.

    "David Alaba is a player who has played a lot of his career at left back and at Bayern, he's been playing centre back.

    "Because of the way Bayern Munich plays, he doesn’t come under anywhere near enough pressure from centre forwards like defenders do in the Premier League.

    "He’s not a great defender, he’s good going forward and good on the ball. David Alaba is quick and more of a full back than a centre back in my opinion.

    "For me, I don’t think he will be suited to teams like Sheffield United and Burnley with direct styles of play, constant pressure and crosses coming in. It’s not right for him."

    David Alaba has won 24 trophies with Bayern MunichCredit: AFP or licensors
  • Etienne Fermie

    PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE

    It's half time at Molineux, where Wolves and visitors Leeds are yet to find a breakthrough.

    Can the likes of Pedro Neto or Patrick Bamford make themselves a hero in the second 45?

  • Etienne Fermie

    DADDY DAY CARE

    Zinedine Zidane has promoted his 18-year-old son Theo to the Real Madrid first-team training squad as the club battles an injury crisis.

    Los Blancos had just 13 senior players to choose from against Getafe last week.

    French boss Zidane, 48, was forced to pack his bench full of youngsters and name two goalkeepers for the 2-0 win.

    Chelsea legend Eden Hazard, skipper Sergio Ramos and Marcelo are just some of the big names heading up the lengthy injury list.

    After being restricted to naming just three fit senior outfield players on the bench for the 2-0 victory against Valencia on Sunday – Zidane has drafted in a batch of kids to plug the gap.

    His third-eldest son Theo – a midfielder like his dad – joins centre-back Marvel, full-back Lorenzo Aguado and midfielder Kenneth Soler in senior training.

    Theo Zidane has represented France at youth levelCredit: Sportsfile – Subscription
  • Etienne Fermie

    STARS ALIGN

    The future's bright for Gareth Southgate and England.

    The Three Lions boss undoubtedly has some of the most exciting talents in world football coming through the ranks.

    And the sky is the limit for three in particular in Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood and Bukayo Saka.

    With a combined age of 58, the trio are already performing well beyond their years having raised the bar this season.

    Let's take a look at each player's respective stats.

    Three young Lions are blossoming nicely for their respective clubs
  • Etienne Fermie

    KEP IN TUCH

    Thomas Tuchel has praised Kepa Arrizabalaga for accepting a fresh
    start at Chelsea – but is adamant Edouard Mendy is still the Blues’ No1 keeper.

    The German said: “I encouraged Kepa to take it as a fresh start and to
    see the possibilities in it.

    “That is what he did. He earned his right to play – he had two clean
    sheets, that is the best a goalkeeper can have for his confidence.

    “But nothing has changed. Edouard is still the No 1, he deserves to be
    the No 1.

    "You need to be clear, you cannot hide your opinion in press
    conferences and in the dressing-room.

    “But we need everybody ready, because the goals are high at this club.”

    Mendy and Kepa are vying for the No1 position at ChelseaCredit: PA:Press Association

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