Bruce Newcastle press conference latest, Lampard leads Rodgers in odds, Messi news, Chelsea updates – transfer latest

STEVE BRUCE is facing the media for the first time since the Newcastle takeover.

Frank Lampard is edging ahead of Brendan Rodgers in the odds to become the Toon's next manager and Bruce is under intense scrutiny.

There will no doubt be uncomfortable moments for the Magpies boss, who is expected to be replaced in the next few weeks.

Thomas Tuchel is also expected to speak to the press this afternoon with the Chelsea manager sweating over the fitness of the Antonio Rudiger and Christian Pulisic, but any injury problems for Thiago Silva appear to have been overcome.

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre is also in the running to replace Steve Bruce.

Meanwhile Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he thought sporting director Leonardo was playing a joke on him when he was informed Lionel Messi would be joining PSG.

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  • Dylan Terry

    NEW LOOK

    Barcelona have been linked with several players who could arrive on free transfers next summer.

    Chelsea pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen have become the latest stars linked with a move to the Nou Camp.

    But Barcelona are still recovering from the financial turmoil which saw losses of £408million and the departures of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

    That meant the club was restricted to free-agent signings with Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia all arriving for nothing.

    And President Joan Laporta could be planning the same transfer strategy for next summer.

    Paul Pogba is one such target with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid also said to be keen on the midfielder.

    His future is still not clear despite Manchester United reportedly edging closer to agreeing a new deal.

    Liverpool striker Divock Origi is also being looked at by the Catalan giants.

  • Dylan Terry

    BLUE GLORY?

    Chelsea will stroll to Premier League glory this season, according to a supercomputer.

    Thomas Tuchel's Blues will win the league by a comfortable 10-point margin, calculations say.

    Surprise supercomputer calculations also show newly-promoted Brentford will finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

    And Southampton will be relegated without a single win all season – including 17 draws at home.

    Newly-rich Newcastle, meanwhile, will have to sweat on their Premier League status before eventually finishing fourth from bottom.

    Liverpool will be Chelsea's closest challengers and finish 10 points behind the Blues in second place.

    And reigning champions Manchester City will be 13 points further adrift in third place, according to the calculations.

    That means it will be bad news for Manchester United as they'll be made to settle for fifth place.

  • Dylan Terry

    MIKE DROP

    Ralph Hasenhuttl has been charged by the FA for his comments about Mike Dean at Chelsea earlier this month.

    Dean was the VAR match official for Southampton’s 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on October 2.

    He advised referee Martin Atkinson to check the monitor for a possible red card against James Ward-Prowse for a foul on Jorginho.

    Atkinson proceeded to do so and then upgraded the yellow card he had awarded to the Saints skipper to a straight sending-off.

    Hasenhuttl joked in his Zoom press conference later: “You know that when Mike Dean is the VAR, he will send him to have a look at it (the monitor) – and then it was okay from me, I think. He gave it.

    "But this is his job, I don’t want to say it is his fault because I haven’t seen it so far…”

    The Austrian has now been slapped with the prospect of a fine for his words and Saints have until Tuesday to appeal it, though it seems unlikely they will.

  • Dylan Terry

    CALVIN LINE

    Norwich are big admirers of Aberdeen wonderkid Calvin Ramsay, but now Manchester United have reportedly joined the race for the young defender.

    The right-back has been interesting a number of Premier League clubs since bursting onto the scene this season.

    Leicester, Everton and even Man Utd are among the sides monitoring the 18-year-old's progress.

    Norwich are particularly keen and Aberdeen are braced for bids when the transfer window reopens in January.

    Ramsay has shot to prominence in the Dons first team this season and impressed with his rampaging displays down the right.

    The full-back, who can also play in midfield, looks to be from the Andy Robertson mould after providing an impressive seven assists in 15 appearances so far this term.

     

  • Dylan Terry

    MAR TO COME?

    Chelsea are plotting to sign Inter Milan star Marcelo Brozovic when his contract expires next summer, according to reports.

    There are several clubs interested in the midfielder with Inter also keen to hold onto him.

    The Serie A club reportedly sat down with Brozovic this week to begin discussions about a contract renewal, according to Tuttosport.

    Brozovic is said to be happy in Milan but will make demands over wages, with the Croatian seeking around £100,000 a week.

    Tuttosport suggests the pressure is on Inter owners Suning as Brozovic will be free to speak to possible foreign suitors from January onwards.

    Chelsea are said to be monitoring those talks with the aim to swoop in if they are not progressing well.

    The Blues would be willing to offer Brozovic a "hefty package" to persuade him to move to west London.

  • Dylan Terry

    XHAK BACK

    Granit Xhaka is back in the gym less than three weeks after hobbling off in the North London derby win against Tottenham.

    The 29-year-old was initially ruled out for three months with a knee injury – but is working in the gym at Arsenal's London Colney base in a bid to make a return as soon as possible.

    In a post to his 2.2million Instagram followers, the Swiss international shared pictures of him exercising his injured knee while wearing a brace.

    And he simply captioned it: "Work mode."

    The midfielder suffered damage to his medial ligament after an accidental clash with Lucas Moura in September.

    Arsenal confirmed the news in an official statement on September 29, giving a three-month timeline for Xhaka's return.

    Were he to stick to that schedule exactly he would theoretically return for the Boxing Day trip to Norwich, or the home game against Wolves on December 28.

    But it's still too early for an exact return date.

  • Dylan Terry

    'HE'S A GREAT PLAYER'

    Karim Benzema has dropped another huge hint that Kylian Mbappe will sign for Real Madrid.

    Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid and Benzema is desperate for them to play together at club level.

    Los Blancos frontman Benzema, 33, said: "I enjoy playing with him in the national team and in the future, why not?

    "He’s a great player, but you have to respect PSG. I’ve always said it and I’ll say it again; I hope we play together some day.”

    Mbappe's PSG contract is up at the end of the season and will leave on a free if he doesn't sign something before.

  • Dylan Terry

    BAR-GAIN MOVE

    Barcelona are interested in signing Chelsea pair Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, according to reports.

    The two defenders could be available on free transfers next summer with their contracts due to expire at the end of the season.

    And since Barcelona are embroiled in financial turmoil, their only realistic chance at signing players could be to explore the free-agent market, according to Fichajes.

    Azpilicueta, 32, is Chelsea captain and still a key part of Thomas Tuchel's plans, whether he plays in central defence or as a wing-back to cover the injured Reece James.

    Likewise, Christensen, 25, has an important role to play for Blues and the club could be keen to hold onto him given Antonio Rudiger's uncertain future.

    In fact, Chelsea are planning to offer the Dane a new long-term contract.

    And Christensen is reportedly willing to stay with the club ready to match his desired salary of £120,000 a week.

  • Dylan Terry

    GUNNER GO FOR RAZ

    Arsenal are the latest team to declare an interest in Manchester City star Raheem Sterling, according to reports.

    The winger is open to a move away from the Etihad if his game time continues to be limited.

    And the Gunners have joined the race for his signature with Liverpool, according to the Express.

    The North Londoners were said to be keen on the England man in the summer but nothing came to fruition.

    They are currently using Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in the wide positions to reasonable effect but Sterling would add much needed depth with Nicolas Pepe often coming off the bench to have minimal impact.

  • Dylan Terry

    MARC OUR WORDS

    Manchester United want Marcus Rashford to bulk up to prevent further injury, according to reports.

    The England star is fit again after shoulder surgery in August.

    And the Red Devils want him to stay available for as long as possible.

    As a result they will look to him to do some serious work in the gym, according to the Mail.

    Rashford is available for selection against Leicester on Saturday,

    The 23-year-old gained four kilos of lower body muscle during his rehab but has dropped mass in his upper body as a result of his restricted shoulder movement.

    The Red Devils think additional muscle mass up top may help to fend off injury in the future.

  • William Pugh

    OVERNIGHT ROUND-UP

    Barcelona, AC Milan and of course Newcastle are being linked with Raheem Sterling as the Manchester City striker admits he wants regular games.

    England's Euro 2020 star has been struggling at City for seven months, often in a cameo role from the bench.

    And he said: “If I want my happiness at a certain level, I need to be playing football, I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”

    City are the new bookies' favourites ahead of neighbours United to land Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland next summer.

    Meanwhile, Sterling fans Barca and Milan are also tipped to join Premier League clubs in the race for United midfielder Jesse Lingard.

    The ex-West Ham loanee is thought to have rejected a new United deal.

    Elsewhere, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are just about the only top-class players NOT being talked of as possible Newcastle targets (so far).

    The strongest suggestion currently is that the newly-mega rich Magpies will respond to their £300milion takeover with a January move for Juventus playmaker Adrien Rabiot.

    And it's claimed that could then spark United flop Donny van de Beek joining Juve.

    Bayern Munich's Germany centre-back Niklas Sule and Barca's former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho are also at the centre of Toon speculation.

    Newcastle director Amanda Staveley told The Chronicle: “We’re going to invest heavily, obviously. But we have to do it within the confines of the rules of the Premier League.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    POLICE FRUSTRATED BY PREM RESPONSE ON ONLINE ABUSE

    Manchester City, Brighton and Norwich are the only Premier League clubs to say they are willing to work with police to help players deal with online racist abuse.

    Chief Con Mark Roberts wrote to all 92 clubs across the four divisions in the summer as the National Police Chief Council’s football lead.

    But he was left disappointed by the commitment shown – with the lack of interest from the top flight particularly alarming.

    Online hatred has surged since Euro 2020 and clubs have said they will take a firm stance to stamp it out.

    But Roberts said: “We hear all the slogans, we hear all the commitment. But when we try to take some positive steps to support player and clubs, we need a bit more than words.

    “Only 49 have come back with a positive response and so far only eight clubs have facilitated us getting the officers, PFA and Kick it Out in to speak to the players.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    RAHEEM: I NEED TO PLAY TO BE HAPPY

    Raheem Sterling says he cannot be truly happy if he is not playing regularly and scoring goals.

    So that explains why the last seven months have been so difficult for the Manchester City forward.

    Despite starring for England at the Euros, Sterling has scored just twice in his last 26 appearances for the champions, many of which have been from the bench.

    He lost his place for the big games after the Manchester derby defeat to United at the Etihad in early March.

    And as a result City boss Pep Guardiola has made him a substitute for most of the key matches since, including recent league trips to Chelsea and Liverpool.

    Sterling has started just four games so far this season, of which only two have been in the  League. And most of his opportunities have come as a No 9 — a position he is trying to perfect, although he knows it will take time.

    Sterling said: “When I play football, that is where I get my happiness from. And, of course, with family as well but football has a special place in my heart.

    “With everything that comes with football, money, being able to do nice things… at the end of the day, if football for me is not at a certain standard, I’m not really at my happiest.

    “If I want my happiness at a certain level, I need to be playing football, I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    NEW DEVILS

    Man Utd are being tipped to sign a new midfielder next summer as they look to bolster their already impressive squad.

    But how would the Red Devils look with a fresh feel to the centre of their side?

    Check out how United could line up next season:

  • Ian Tuckey

    POGBA AND HAZARD SHOULD BE ON TOON LIST

    EXCLUSIVE: Chris Waddle called on old club Newcastle to dream big – by targeting players like Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Real Madrid playmaker Eden Hazard, writes ETIENNE FERMIE.

    Following their controversial Saudi takeover last week, Toon legend Waddle told SunSport: “Paul Pogba’s out of contract isn’t he?

    “Now people might say about Newcastle — but money talks.

    “If they sell the dream about what we’re going to win and achieve, it might.”

    Ex-England winger Waddle, 60, added: “And then, do you raid the big teams?

    “Your Bayern Munichs and teams like that and say ‘we want him, we want him’.

    “Test them. Could you get somebody like Eden Hazard out from Real Madrid? On loan even until the end of the season and then pay a fee.

    "Federico Chiesa, yes. Moussa Diaby. Anthony Martial, not fitting in to Manchester United — all available. Donny van de Beek.

    “And then do you test teams like Arsenal for your people like Emile Smith Rowe?

    “What about Kalvin Phillips at Leeds? Declan Rice. Marco Asensio at Real Madrid."

  • Ian Tuckey

    I THOUGHT OUR MESSI BID WAS A 'JOKE'

    Mauricio Pochettino admits he thought PSG sporting director Leonardo was 'joking' when he revealed the French giants hoped to sign Lionel Messi.

    PSG landed the legend on a two-year deal soon after Barcelona's shock announcement they could no longer keep the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, 34.

    Now PSG boss Pochettino has revealed: "Leonardo called me and said: 'The possibility is there. Would you like it or not?'

    "The good thing is that he called me to ask. I said to myself: 'Is it a question?' I thought it was a joke, no? 

    "Everyone had assumed that Messi would continue at Barcelona," Pochettino said.

    "Many clubs, if not all clubs, dreamt of having Messi, with him being a free agent. 

    From the moment that PSG showed an interest, Leo wanted to come here. Everything happened very fast."

     

  • Ian Tuckey

    GIROUD TURNED DOWN ‘WEIRD’ SPURS MOVE

    Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud claims he rejected Spurs over the summer because it would have been too “weird”.

    The French World Cup winner, 35, who instead joined AC Milan, told the Mirror:“Tottenham was interested and Jose Mourinho (at Roma) was interested. 

    Credit: Getty

    “But I was so close to signing for Inter, for Lazio, I was desperate for game time

    “Tottenham was there but, to be honest, it was not a clear option because the race for the Premier League top four made it difficult for anything to happen.

    “But also in my heart, as a proper ex-Gunner, and as we always say: ‘Once a Gunner, always a Gunner.’

    “It would have been very weird to have played Tottenham. That’s why it didn’t happen.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    NO OD GAMES

    EXCLUSIVE: Callum Hudson-Odoi has told England boss Gareth Southgate he is not playing games over his international allegiance.

    Questions have been raised about the Chelsea winger’s ambitions after he twice rejected call-ups to the England Under-21s.

    Hudson-Odoi is also being courted by Ghana chiefs who hope he will switch flags and abandon England to feature more.

    Players can now change national teams if they have played no more than three competitive games for one country before the age of 21.

    Hudson-Odoi, 20, has three caps for the Three Lions – winning the last of them back in 2019.

    But he held clear-the-air talks with the FA and assured bosses he is not holding them to ransom.

    Hudson-Odoi said his sole focus is to become a key man for the Blues – in the hope it will earn him a senior recall.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ‘BARCA AND MILAN IN FOR LINGARD’

    Barcelona and AC Milan are tipped to join the race for Jesse Lingard when his Manchester United contract ends next summer.

    The England midfielder is thought to have rejected a new United deal and is sure to interest Prem rivals such as former loan club West Ham.

    Now ESPN say a string of European outfits are also on Lingard’s trail.

    Clubs outside England can negotiate with the 28-year-old from January 1.

    Credit: Getty
  • Ian Tuckey

    STERLING 'OPEN' TO CITY EXIT

    Raheem Sterling is open to a move away from Manchester City if he is not given assurances of regular football.

    And the England ace says playing abroad is still something that appeals to him amid interest from Barcelona and others.

    SunSport revealed on Tuesday that the former Liverpool man, 26, has put contract talks on hold at the Etihad after a difficult few months.

    Raheem Sterling shows off his skills in training

    Sterling has less than two years left on his existing deal and wants to know how much he will play before committing to a new one.

    The star is happy to adapt to playing as a striker for City, rather than his normal left-wing role — but needs game time to improve in that position.

    Three-time Prem title winner Sterling said: “If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time, I would be open to it.

    “Football is the most important thing to me — challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well.

    “As an English player, all I know is the Premier League.

    “I’ve always thought maybe one day I’d love to play abroad — see how I would come up against that challenge.”

    Barca are monitoring his situation and could make a move in January, although Etihad sources indicate the club will not sanction a move mid- season.

  • Ian Tuckey

    STAVELEY: TOON WILL SPLASH OUT

    Newcastle director Amanda Staveley has vowed to provide her new club with ‘heavy investment’.

    But the businesswoman admits Newcastle "can’t have the world’s greatest players with a really terrible changing room".

    Toon fans have been pinching themselves since last week’s stunning £300million Saudi takeover.

    Boss Steve Bruce is expected to be sacked soon.

    And it could even happen before this weekend’s game against Tottenham, with Frank Lampard tipped to come in.

    Meanwhile, a host of top talents have been linked with moving to the North-East.

    Chelsea’s Timo Werner is the latest to be lined up by ambitious Newcastle.

    But Staveley says the new consortium will be providing a balanced injection of cash. That’s because it’s not just Newcastle’s squad that needs fixing, but behind the scenes too.

    However, Staveley told The Chronicle: "We're going to invest, heavily, obviously. But we have to do it within the confines of the rules of the Premier League."

  • Ian Tuckey

    IS HAALAND PERLING YOUR LEG WITH TREBLE TRICKSHOT?

    Manchester United and City target Erling Haaland bamboozled social media with a crazy penalty trickshot… but did he fake it?

    The Borussia Dortmund striker somehow managed to balance three footballs on top of each other, carefully placing them in position.

    At the first attempt, the second ball rolled off – giving the impression he managed to get the physics just right next time around.

    Erling Haaland wows social media with crazy three-ball penalty trick… but did the Man Utd transfer target fake it

    With the three footballs seemingly standing freely, he took a few paces back and then stepped up to sidefoot the highest ball into a target in the top left corner with that lethal left foot of his.

    The other two balls remained perfectly stacked up – and Haaland, kitted out in full Dortmund gear, repeated the trick twice more to obliterate the target and reacted in apparent shock at pulling it off.

    The Bundesliga's official Twitter account posted the 38-second clip on Thursday afternoon and within four hours it had racked up 5.5million views.

    But while it looked mightily impressive, fans on social media were not sure whether the shots were quite as authentic as they appeared.

    One wrote: "The fact that none of the balls fell off when he hit the top one is… hard to believe."

  • Ian Tuckey

    FA CHARGE HASENHUTTL

    Ralph Hasenhuttl has been charged by the FA for comments about Mike Dean after Southampton's 3-1 loss at Chelsea on October 2.

    He advised referee Martin Atkinson to check the monitor for a possible red card against James Ward-Prowse for a foul on Jorginho.

    Atkinson proceeded to do so and then upgraded the yellow card he had awarded to the Saints skipper to a straight sending-off.

    Hasenhuttl joked in his Zoom press conference later: “You know that when Mike Dean is the VAR, he will send him to have a look at it (the monitor) – and then it was okay from me, I think. He gave it. But this is his job, I don’t want to say it is his fault because I haven’t seen it so far…”

    The Austrian has now been slapped with the prospect of a fine for his words and Saints have until Tuesday to appeal it, though it seems unlikely they will.

  • Ian Tuckey

    NO DEJA BLUE IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

    Ex-Chelsea defender Frank Lebeouf warns fans it is 'almost impossible' for the club win the Champions League again this season.

    The Blues won their second ever Champions League trophy in May, overcoming Manchester City 1-0 in Porto thanks to a goal from Kai Havertz.

    But former Chelsea centre-back Lebeouf, 53, has warned the club not to get their hopes up again, suggesting they were 'lucky' to win last year.

    Lebeouf told Labrokes: "A failure for a big club like Chelsea, Liverpool or both from Manchester is to win nothing.

    "I'm not sure if any of the fans of those four clubs would be happy with just the Carabao Cup. 

    "The club doesn't care about it and the fans don't care about it, what they want is at least the FA Cup, if not the Premier League or Champions League.

    "Only one team can win each competition, though, and Chelsea have been lucky enough to win the Champions League last season but it was kind of a miracle really.

    "Tuchel came in and changed some stuff and it worked and nobody expected Chelsea to win. 

    "Right now an FA Cup would be nice for Chelsea and the Premier League or the Champions League would be absolutely fantastic.

    "The Champions League is the most unrealistic of the three because it was only Real Madrid that was able to win it three times consecutively.

    "I would love Chelsea to win it just two times in a row but this is why it is unrealistic.

    "Chelsea won it last season and to win it again would be great but almost impossible if we read the stats."

  • Ian Tuckey

    AGREE WITH FERGIE?

    Alex Ferguson has stirred up fierce social media debate by claiming Arsenal’s unbeaten 2003-4 Premier League season to win the title “stands above anything else”.

    That’s quite something coming from a Manchester United boss who won the Treble amid fierce rival with Arsene Wenger’s Gunners.

    It’s difficult to compare or measure such outstanding achievements but few could doubt Arsenal’s Invincibles’ campaign holds an iconic fascination.

    And the documentary movie Arsene Wenger: Invincible’ is out next month.

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