Arsenal want Odegaard permanent transfer, Aguero linked to Inter, Xabi Alonso gets manager's job

XABI ALONSO is set to become the new manager of Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach.

Meanwhile Arsenal are said to be "so happy" with Martin Odegaard and want to extend his stay at the club beyond the summer.

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  • Jack Figg

    GUNNER GET HIM

    Arsenal are looking to sign Martin Odegaard permanently at the end of the season, reports say.

    The playmaker signed in January on loan from Real Madrid, and has made a huge impact on the field and in training.

    So much so that according to Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal will talk to Madrid bosses on a permanent deal at the end of the season.

    And Bernabeu boss Zinedine Zidane’s future at the club is said to be 'key' in Odegaard future.

  • Jack Figg

    PARTY POOPED

    Belgium striker Tuur Dierckx has been sent to PRISON … for holding a lockdown party.

    The former Club Brugge and Belgium Under-21 ace currently plays for KVC Westerlo.

    But the second-tier promotion hopefuls will now be without their star after a court sentenced him to a month behind bars for breaking coronavirus rules.

    According to Nieuwsblad a judge in Antwerp heard how police raided the player's flat in the city last December after neighbours reported a late-night gathering.

    They found 14 guests, including four other footballers and three women from Holland.

    Dierckx told the court he has recently spent a day at a hospital seeing Covid-19 patients receive treatment, and recognised his mistake in hosting the party.

    Prosecutors had called for him to be locked up for three months and fined £3,600.

    But the court handed him a month-long jail term and a £700 fine, while his guests were fined lesser amounts.

    His lawyer Carl De Munck said: “It was a harsh sentence, but in line with the verdicts in similar cases.”

  • Jack Figg

    CUT PRICE KOULI

    Everton have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

    Napoli are reportedly prepared to cut the hefty £89million price tag for Koulibaly.

    According to Football Insider, Everton have set their sights on the Napoli defender and are ready to make an offer for him.

    But the Toffees will face plenty of competition for the powerful centre-back if they are to sign him.

    Manchester United are keen on Koulibaly and it appears Napoli are prepared to lower their asking price.

    The Italians rejected a £95m offer from the Red Devils in 2018 but reportedly could consider a bid of around £39m this summer.

    The pandemic has crippled the financial position of clubs across Europe and Napoli are set to accept a significantly lower offer for Koulibaly.

  • Jack Figg

    KEAN ON MOISE

    Everton could be offered a player-plus cash by Juventus for their former striker Moise Kean.

    The Toffees shipped out the 21-year-old to PSG on loan for the season after a fruitless spell on Merseyside.

    But Kean has done well in France, scoring 11 goals in 20 appearances.

    While he is behind the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi, Kean has looked a lot sharper.

    According to Tutto Mercato, his form has alerted his old club Juventus.

    They are reportedly prepared to offer Douglas Costa or former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey as a makeweight in any deal.

  • Jack Figg

    ODE TO ERLING

    Arsenal fans want 'agent' Martin Odegaard to convince Erling Haaland to join the club.

    Norway team-mates Odegaard and Haaland were spotted chatting in training and Gunners fans are eyeing a cheeky move.

    Odegaard has been a revelation since joining Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid.

    But now optimistic Gunners fans have encouraged Odegaard to have a word with Borussia Dortmund star Haaland about moving to London.

    Fans described their midfielder as 'Agent Odegaard' on social media as they joked about the prospect of landing Haaland.

    Richard Cozens tweeted: "When you pray he's telling him to come to Arsenal but they'll both end up at City."

  • Jack Figg

    'IT WON'T BREAK ME'

    Granit Xhaka claims he is unfairly singled out for criticism – despite being sent off NINE TIMES for Arsenal.

    The Swiss midfielder has repeatedly fallen out with Arsenal's fan base, resulting in him losing the club captaincy.

    And he came under fire again in December after his latest sending-off against Burnley.

    Xhaka, 28, told Blick: “You have to live with criticism in football, but there have to be limits.

    “There are other players who get red cards, but they don't get criticised as much as I do.

    “I sometimes feel that with me it is deliberately made into a bigger issue than it really is.

    “But it won't break me. I overcome it, and this time it has made me come back stronger – no doubt to many people's surprise.”

  • Jack Figg

    HAYES PRAISE

    Emma Hayes hailed the megabucks deal to air WSL matches on Sky Sports and the BBC as a “big, big day for women’s football”.

    The sport's chiefs sealed a TV agreement with Sky Sports and the BBC worth £24million.

    Hayes said: “I honestly feel this is what we've been working towards. It's all been about driving standards so that it can become marketable and that's where the game has reached.

    “This is a real celebration. It is a really big, big day for women's football.

    “I think the fact that all of them are committed to the studio package piece – so that the build-up to games, the analysis of matches and the level of detail

    "I think that's going to be attributed to our sport – is itself an important marker. It really is a big, big day for women's football.

    “I want my son to be sitting at home and looking watching this every week like it's just normal on the television.

    “I think all of you that know me well enough know that I've been behind driving this with the rest of the people that are involved in the women's game from the onset.

    “But huge credit to the FA for brokering this and also to clubs across the country for the investment they're making without revenue coming in first.”

  • Jack Figg

    SERGI-GO

    Inter Milan have joined the clubs keeping tabs on striker Sergio Aguero’s Manchester City future.

    The Argentina star is out of contract in the summer and has yet to be approached over a new deal.

    Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have an interest although Aguero is also open to staying in England with another top club.

    The 32-year-old wants to make up for lost time after spending months sidelined with injury and then coronavirus.

    Inter are monitoring his situation and are also interested in Manchester United’s South American forward Edinson Cavani.

    Credit: AP

     

  • Jack Figg

    WELL DONE

    Salford sacked Richie Wellens after showdown talks with co-owner Gary Neville.

    The League Two side fell to another defeat at the weekend that leaves them six points off the play-off places.

    Neville, who leads Fergie’s Class of ’92 hierarchy is understood to have called Wellens, 40, into a meeting at 10.30am on Monday morning.

    An hour later Wellens, who took Swindon into League One last season but quit to return to his home town of Manchester, became the second Ammies boss to be dumped this season.

    A statement on the club's official website read: "Salford City Football Club has parted company with Richie Wellens by mutual consent.

    "We would like to thank Richie for his time and efforts at the Club and wish him well for the future.

    "An announcement about a new manager will be made in due course.

    "There will be no further comment."

    SunSport exclusively revealed that co-owner Neville had held a huge inquest into Salford’s shaky promotion campaign.

    Credit: PA
  • Jack Figg

    YOU'RE THE DAN

    Man City are reportedly set to launch a surprise transfer bid for Southampton striker Danny Ings.

    The 28-year-old is entering the final year of his contract at St Mary's, so Saints could be looking to cash in on him this summer.

    And as Man City seek a replacement for the ageing Sergio Aguero, Sky Sports believe Ings could be the man they choose to fill his boots.

    Speculation surrounding Aguero's future at the Etihad continues to ramp up as his place in Pep Guardiola's side appears to be reaching its expiration date.

    Man City's all-time top scorer has featured in just 14 games this season, scoring three goals.

    By contrast, Ings was the joint-second top scorer in the Premier League last season, hitting the back of the net on 22 occasions.

    He then began the 2020-21 campaign in a similar vein of form, but has tailed off in the last few months as Ralph Hasenhuttl's side slide down the table.

    Credit: AP

     

  • Jack Figg

    WINGING IT

    Jadon Sancho has reportedly flown to Dubai ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League clash with Manchester City to speed up his recovery from a muscle injury.

    The Athletic claims Sancho, 20, is desperate to face his old side in the European quarters next month.

    But the England winger has been sidelined since March 2 with a muscle problem.

    And Sancho has been ruled as just 50/50 to make the first-leg trip to Manchester on April 6.

    However, the ace is determined to feature for his side against Pep Guardiola’s quadruple chasers.

    And Sancho has now jetted off to the United Arab Emirates to see a specialist after receiving permission from Dortmund.

    NINTCHDBPICT000638682537Credit: AFP

     

  • Jack Figg

    THAT'S RICH

    Chelsea will be 'scary' next season if they sign Erling Haaland, believes Micah Richards.

    The Blues are among a number of top European sides, including Manchester United, chasing the Norwegian's signature at the end of the campaign.

    Club chiefs are reportedly willing to give the move the green light, IF boss Thomas Tuchel can guide them into next season's Champions League.

    And pundit Richards, 32, believes that they will have it made if they can sign the Borussia Dortmund hotshot.

    Following Chelsea's 2-0 win over Sheffield United, he told the BBC: "I think they've got absolutely everything. They've sorted their defensive problems.

    "The only thing to add that little bit of icing to the cake would be a striker. They've put Werner in there, they've put Havertz in there.

    "It seems like they've not really cracked that offensive aspect of the game.

    "I'm not going to speculate. If you put Haaland in this team, they'll be scary next season."

    Credit: EPA

     

  • Jack Figg

    LAC OF THE NET

    Alexandre Lacazette feels he should have ended the game with two goals as Arsenal drew 3-3 with West Ham.

    The striker thought he had bagged a brace only for his first effort to be awarded as a Soucek own goal instead.

    He said: “I think the first goal is mine. That’s not nice.

    “The second goal, the third goal in the second-half, we came back for the draw.”

    Credit: EPA

     

  • Jack Figg

    BLEAK FOR BEEK

    Mark Hughes believes Manchester United are set to force £40million transfer flop Donny van de Beek out of the club.

    The 23-year-old has managed just one goal and one assist in his 27 games for the Red Devils so far this season.

    Speaking to Stadium Astro, Hughes said: "Clearly it's difficult, he hasn't had enough game time and you can see that in his play.

    "He's wandering and not really getting on the ball, doesn't know how to affect the game, can't demand the ball of his team-mates because they're not quite sure whether or not they have enough confidence in him.

    "He looks like a guy who's wandering around lost on the field. Okay, some of that responsibility he has to take on himself, he has to be more demonstrative, he has to be a key player.

    "He's a big-money signing he's come from a big club in Ajax so he's used to being a top player of influence.

    "But clearly, since he's come to United he hasn't shown anything like what the level he needs to be at to remain a Man United player.

    "He can only have so many opportunities, at some point he's going to have to take them or United will move him on.

    "I think they're edging towards that decision if he's not careful."

  • Jack Figg

    ONE & ONLY

    Jose Mourinho might want to consider wrapping Harry Kane in cotton wool.

    After all, without the England striker, Spurs would be in real trouble this season.

    Kane, 27, has been involved in a staggering 61.2 per cent of all of Tottenham's goals this season.

    In the Premier League, Spurs have scored 49 times – with Kane involved in a barely-believable 30 of those.

    Kane has scored 17 times – the joint-top in the Premier League with Mohamed Salah.

    The forward has also added 13 assists – two more than second-placed Kevin De Bruyne such is his importance to the Tottenham team.

    According to research from TheseAreTheOdds.com, no other Premier League team has been as dependent on one player as Tottenham are on Kane.

    Harry Kane provides nearly two-thirds of all Tottenham's goals
  • Joe Brophy

    WHAT A COU

    Manchester United have been beaten to highly-rated teenage defender Soumaila Coulibaly by Borussia Dortmund.

    The Bundesliga side will acquire the 17-year-old in the summer when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires.

    Speaking to The Mail about his move, Coulibaly was thrilled to be joining the German side.

    "It was nice to have so much interest from so many clubs, but I cannot wait to get started with Dortmund," he said.

    "They are a great club with a proven track record of developing some of the best young talents in the world and I aim to do my best for the club and fans.

    "I am thankful to my agents [Epic Sports] for helping me in making this move to Dortmund and also to Paris Saint-Germain where I have learnt so much already in my career."

  • Joe Brophy

    DEJA BLUE

    Manchester United's new away kit for the 2021-22 has seemingly been leaked online.

    Renowned kit-leak website Footy Headlines have shared what they believe to be United's away strip for next season.

    The top will see new sponsor TeamViewer across the front for the first time from January 2022.

  • Joe Brophy

    NEV-ER SAY NEVER

    Jamie Carragher quickly trolled Gary Neville after his club Salford sacked Richie Wellens.

  • Joe Brophy

    ICE BERGE

    Sheffield United star Sander Berge has reportedly emerged as a target for Liverpool to replace Georginio Wijnaldum.

    The Reds will be in the market for a new midfielder in the summer with the Holland international set to depart on a free transfer.

    Liverpool may have already lined up his replacement, with Eurosport declaring that Berge is being eyed up by the Premier League champions.

    They state that the 23-year-old is likely to depart Bramall Lane should the Blades be relegated, as he would prefer to compete in the top-flight.

  • Joe Brophy

    VAR FETCHED

    Prem club chiefs will help agree how to improve VAR next term when they meet virtually on Thursday.

    The latest meeting of the 20 'shareholder' clubs is due to discuss the feedback from the survey commissioned by League bosses.

    Clubs have been given an extra 48 hours, until Wednesday to return their thoughts on a series of incidents that have taken place this season.

    Fans and players alike have voiced their frustrations over some crunch calls especially over defensive handballs and penalty decisions.

    It is hoped that the responses of players and managers will enable refs’ chief Mike Riley and his officials to agree on a consistent approach for the new campaign from August.

    League bosses and clubs accept that subjective refereeing calls mean there can never be 100 per cent consistency.

    But the aim is to give all officials clearer starting points for their decisions, either on the pitch or in the VAR booth at Stockley Park.

  • Joe Brophy

    LACA CLAIM

    Alexandre Lacazette astonishingly claimed he and Arsenal’s players did not ‘respect’ Mikel Arteta’s tactics and game plan against West Ham.

    He told Sky Sports: “My feeling is mixed between being proud of my team for coming back in the second-half and being disappointed with the first-half.

    “We didn’t respect the game-plan from the coach and we conceded three goals.

    “This is not what we wanted.”

  • Joe Brophy

    KANE-DEPENDANCE

    Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho might want to consider wrapping Harry Kane in cotton wool.

    After all, without the England striker, Spurs would be in real trouble this season.

  • Joe Brophy

    PAUL THE OTHER ONE

    Paul Merson has branded Arsenal's start away at West Ham as 'unacceptable' after they fell 3-0 behind inside 32 minutes.

    He told Sky Sports: "That was Arsenal's season in 90 minutes. One minute they're poor, one minute they're good.

    "They're so inconsistent. It's like a rollercoaster, [Mikel] Arteta's got to sort that out if they want to be successful next season.

    "It's unacceptable if you're playing for Arsenal to start like that, or if you're playing in the Premier League.

    "Fair play to them, they showed a lot of spirit to come back, but it's the consistency – if they want to finish in the Champions League places they can't play 45-minute football."

  • Joe Brophy

    TAKING THE MICHAEL

    Chelsea icon Michael Essien has revealed what made Jose Mourinho such a key figure in his career.

    Now a coach himself with FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark, Essien, 38, explained: "I have played under so many coaches and every one is different. I would take Mourinho as an example – I was very much connected with him.

    "He's a winner, he gives you tactical details and makes sure it's very clear so when you're on the pitch you know what to do.

    "It's one of the things I am going to carry with me and hopefully I can transmit to the boys if one day I become a manager."

    He then added: "I didn't think I would make the transition. When I was playing I always said 'no I don't want to be a coach' but when you love the game so much you always try to be in the game.

    "So two or three years ago I said I am coming toward the end of my career and I want to learn about the coaching side of the game and it will give me the opportunity to be on the pitch and to be around the players.

    "Actually when I started doing it, it was something I wanted to do. The whole project here is very good for my transition into the coaching side of the game."

  • Joe Brophy

    SHEFFIELD KARL-ING

    Oxford manager Karl Robinson is one of the managers being considered to replace Chris Wilder at Sheffield United.

    The Blades are taking their time trying to settle on the right man to lead the club’s attempts to make an instant return to the top-flight once their almost certain relegation is confirmed.

    Former Fulham and Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic is their leading target, as revealed by SunSport last week, but there are others also being considered.

    And it is understood one of those is 40-year-old Robinson, who has gained an impressive reputation operating on a shoestring budget at Oxford and still producing a competitive side playing good football.

    Jokanovic’s CV is strong having twice achieved promotion to the Premier League during his time in charge at Fulham and Watford.

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