Arsenal interested in Aguero transfer, Man City want Messi AND Haaland, Donnarumma update – Chelsea, Liverpool news

CHELSEA have been handed a boost in their apparent efforts to land AC Milan goalkeeper Gianliugi Donnarumma.

Meanwhile, Man City are STILL keeping tabs on Lionel Messi, despite their already expensive chase for Erling Haaland.

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  • William Pugh

    KOP THAT

    Liverpool's owners have confirmed a £543million investment from RedBird Capital and have welcomed NBA legend LeBron James to their ownership group.

    The basketball superstar, 36, has owned a two per cent stake in the Premier League champions since 2011. Now James has upped his stake in Liverpool after becoming a partner in their American ownership group Fenway.

    The company also own legendary baseball team Boston Red Sox. John Henry remains in charge at Fenway Sports with Tom Werner the second largest shareholder.

    The pair approved a new £543m investment from RedBird Capital, who became the third largest shareholders in Fenway Sports Group.

    The champions are now hopeful the deal will help bring some financial stability after an estimated £120m loss in revenues since the coronavirus outbrreak.

    It is also expected to help secure the redevelopment of the Anfield Road Stand, which is currently in the process of gaining planning permission, to increase capacity at the Reds’ iconic home to 61,000.

    Credit: AFP
  • William Pugh

    ERLI FLIGHT

    Barcelona could be set to steal a march in the race for Erling Haaland after the player’s representatives began talks with the club.

    On Thursday morning, the striker’s dad and advisor Alf-Inge Haaland and agent Mino Raiola were spotted at Barcelona airport.

    According to Spanish outlet Sport, the pair were then whisked away in a car driven by club president Joan Laporta’s right-hand man.

    The newly-elected Barcelona chief hinted at a move for the Borussia Dortmund striker before winning the post last month. The club is dealing with a difficult financial situation while also attempting to renew Lionel Messi’s contract, which expires in June.

    But reports suggest Raiola and Laporta hold a strong working relationship, potentially standing them in good stead to win the race for Haaland.

    SunSport revealed this week that a deal to sign the 20-year-old could cost as much as £300million. That includes a £150m transfer fee and a five-year contract featuring £600,000-a-week wages.

    Credit: Getty
  • William Pugh

    LUKE-ING GOOD FOR UNITED

    Alex Telles says competition for the left-back spot at Manchester United can only be a good thing.

    He said: "When you've got a situation like that, then the team can only benefit from it.

    “And it's Man Utd that wins from that [situation].

    “In terms of the two of us, we both motivate each other and push each other further forward and we help each other.

    "That's really, really important throughout the team, independent of the positions we play.”

  • William Pugh

    FOR BUK'S SAKE

    Bukayo Saka is yet to return to training, according to Mikel Arteta.

    The Arsenal winger was pulled out of England duty with an injury and Arteta said he still has a way to go.

    He said: "He hasn't trained with the team yet.

    "He's been doing some individual work. We had to pull him out of the England squad, unfortunately.

    "He's feeling better, but he hasn't trained with the team yet."

  • William Pugh

    LOTTA LOVE FOR LACA

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta heaped praise on in form striker Alexandre Lacazette but refused to say whether he would be offered a new contract before the end of the season.

    He said: "He's been in really good form for months now. I think he's sustaining that level. He's scoring goals and he's providing the team with something different as well. His work rate has been phenomenal and it's what we want."

    Lacazette has been linked with a summer departure and Arteta did not rule that out.

    He added: "The situation with Laca will get addressed in the summer. I will speak to him and just propose a future that we want and that's it.

    "Everything is related. At the end of the day, everything is related to where we are, how much we win and where we are playing next season.

    "There are no exceptions and we all need to be clear with that and the context that we have around our industry."

  • William Pugh

    SER IT AIN'T SO

    Barcelona may opt against signing Sergio Aguero amid reports of the striker's high wage demands.

    An extensive squad renewal plan is being set out by Ronald Koeman but the Catalans' significant financial problems will impact how the summer unfolds.

    According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Barcelona bosses are keen on the striker.

    Aguero, 32, will bid a fond farewell to Manchester City when his contract expires at the end of June.

    But, despite being a 'free' transfer, his reported wage demands of £250,000-a-week is a stumbling block for the Blaugrana.

    Koeman hopes to bring in a striker but Lyon's Memphis Depay, a long-term target who is also out of contract in the summer, is another option.

  • William Pugh

    ONE IN DON OUT

    Manchester United are reportedly willing to swap Donny van de Beek for Juventus' Adrien Rabiot.

    The Dutch midfielder has struggled playing second fiddle to Bruno Fernandes after arriving at Old Trafford for an initial £35million last summer.

    And Italian paper Tuttosport claims United are prepared to cut their losses on the former Ajax man in an attempt to lure Rabiot to the club.

    The report states United are determined to land French ace Rabiot at the end of the season. It is claimed that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen on working with the former PSG man.

    Solskjaer has repeatedly defended his sparing use of Van de Beek but the 23-year-old appears to be way down his pecking order in the middle of the park.

    Van de Beek has made just two Premier League starts all season with most of his game time coming in the cup competitions.

  • William Pugh

    HE'S GOOD I TELL YOU!

    Manchester United star Alex Telles says Luke Shaw's sparkling form has pushed the whole team to succeed.

    Telles was backed to replace the Englishman in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team but the former Southampton man has produced the best football of his career to keep the ex-Porto star out the side.

    But Telles is pleased for his team-mate and said: "I've always said that, when you've got players of the highest quality in the team, then the thing that ends up benefiting is Manchester United; the team.

    “Since I've arrived here, I've worked as hard as I can and I've done everything I can to show that I deserve to be here, and I think I've done that.

    “At the same time, I'm really happy for Luke Shaw, who has made great progress and has been playing really well.

    "He trains really well and he's done excellently in the matches as well.”

  • William Pugh

    GOING BOC HOME

    Boca Juniors are reportedly considering a bid for Arsenal exile Lucas Torreira.

    The midfielder was sent on loan to Atletico Madrid last summer but has failed to make a lasting impression on the Spanish club.

    Largely used as a substitute during Los Rojiblancos' LaLiga title push, he is set for an uncertain summer while under contract at Arsenal for two more years. One option emerging for Torreira is a return to South America with Boca Juniors.

    According to ESPN, the Argentine club are eyeing the 25-year-old amid their pursuit of a new defensive midfielder.

    Torreira grew up in the Uruguayan town of Fray Bentos, next to the border with Argentina and only a few hours away from Boca's home city of Buenos Aires.

    He has previously described supporting Los Xeneizes and stated last year: "My love for Boca was born many years ago. We are a very footballing family and Uruguayans watch a lot of Argentine football, and I have been passionate about Boca from a very young age."

  • William Pugh

    GUT PUNCH

    Tottenham have reportedly had a bid for Real Madrid's teenage starlet Miguel Gutierrez rejected.

    Jose Mourinho is said to have been knocked back in an approach for the 19-year-old defender, according to Defensa Central. And it is not the first time The Special One has failed to land his man.

    The report claims the Portuguese boss tried to sign Gutierrez as a 16-year-old when he was in charge at Manchester United in 2017.

    Marca claims Gutierrez turned down Old Trafford in order to avoid disrupting his family as one of his parents would have had to move overseas with him.

    Mourinho looks to have failed again with the player on the verge of the Madrid first team and keen to make his mark in the Spanish capital.

    Gutierrez is still part of the academy system but has been linked with a move to Italy.

  • William Pugh

    NEW LANDS

    Erling Haaland would be by far the Premier League's top earner should he get his £600,000-a-week wage demands.

    The Norwegian superstar is being targeted by plenty of European powerhouses for a summer transfer this summer. That includes English trio Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    With Sergio Aguero leaving the Etihad at the end of the season, Pep Guardiola is in desperate need of a new No9.

    And as revealed by SunSport, City would need to fork out £600,000 per week on his wages – on top of a transfer fee of around £150million.

    Only Paris Saint-Germain would be able to compete on that level of spending.

    But should a Premier League club land Haaland and meet those wages, he would become the highest-paid player in the history of English football, eclipsing Alexis Sanchez.

  • William Pugh

    TAKING THE MIK

    Mikel Arteta laughed off suggestions he could ask Sergio Aguero to join Arsenal.

    The pair worked together at Man City and with the legendary striker leaving on a free at the end of the season, Arsenal have been linked.

    But when asked, Arteta just grinned and said: "We'll see what happens."

  • William Pugh

    NO GLOVE LOST

    Hmmm…

  • William Pugh

    QUESTION FER YA

    Bruno Fernandes is conducting a Q and A on Twitter but left fans hanging after not answering a single one.

    The Portuguese could be filtering out the best inquiries but supporters were not happy.

  • William Pugh

    GOING DUTCH

    Chelsea are looking to scupper Barcelona's plans to land Georginio Wijnaldum this summer, according to reports.

    The Liverpool midfielder looked certain to team up with compatriot Ronald Koeman at the Nou Camp with his contract expiring.

    Jurgen Klopp was believed to be eager to keep the Dutchman but talks have collapsed between club and player.

    It was even reported how Wijnaldum's move to Barcelona was '95 per cent done' after financial constraints meant they missed out on him last summer.

    But Marca write how Premier League rivals Chelsea have joined a growing list of clubs vying for his signature including Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

    The summer will be Thomas Tuchel's first full opportunity to add new faces to his Blues squad following his appointment towards the end of January.

  • William Pugh

    RICE ONE SON!

    West Ham star Declan Rice was man-of-the-match as England beat Poland 2-1 at Wembley last night.

    And the Hammers ace spoke of what an honour it was to win the award.

  • William Pugh

    LEE-VE IT OUT

    Leeds frontman Rodrigo has hit out at reports suggesting his relationship with manager Marcelo Bielsa is on the rocks and he wants to leave.

    The Brazilian-born Spanish international, who joined Leeds in August 2020 from Valencia for a club-record £26million, said he loved being at the Premier League club and he had huge respect for his Chilean coach.

    Ex-Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor claimed earlier this week the 30-year-old was humiliated by Bielsa when he was substituted against Chelsea after being brought on to replace Patrick Bamford in the first half.

    Reports in Spain have suggested the striker, who was left out of manager Luis Enrique’s most-recent squad for the opening 2022 World Cup qualifiers, was unhappy at being played out of position and was pining for a move back to LaLiga.

    But Rodrigo said: “I’m not a person to comment on nonsense stories.
    “However in this case I want to make it clear that stories about me wanting to leave Leeds and a bad relationship with Marcelo are false.

    “I am very sorry that some people try to misinform our fans – my feelings are the opposite. I am happy, focused and working hard to help with my teammates to end this great season in the best possible way. I love being at @leedsunited , I respect my coach and I identify with this club. Come on Leeds.”

  • William Pugh

    HARRY ALONG

    Manchester United were issued a hands-off warning by Tottenham over Harry Kane, according to reports.

    And Tottenham insist their star man is not for sale this summer.

    According to the Manchester Evening News, Tottenham will not even consider letting Kane, 27, join another Premier League team.

    The fact ex-United boss Jose Mourinho is now at Spurs is also unlikely to help any Old Trafford bid.

    The report adds senior figures at White Hart Lane believe there is 'no chance' of the striker moving to either of the Manchester clubs – with both also eyeing Erling Haaland in a mega transfer from Borussia Dortmund.

    And it would take 'crazy money' to convince chairman Daniel Levy to sell – thought to be well in excess of £100million. But Spurs reckon it is unlikely a club will be ready to spend that much on a player who will be 28 before the start of next season amid the financial effects of the pandemic.

  • William Pugh

    BARGAIN HUNT

    Arsenal have joined the growing list of clubs ready to battle for Sergio Aguero's signature, according to reports.

    The Argentine superstar will not be short of options after announcing he is leaving Manchester City on a free transfer at the end of the season.

    Manchester United are plotting an audacious move for their rival's record scorer.

    Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and his boyhood club Independiente are also involved in the transfer tug-of-war.

    But Argentine-based journalist Lucas Scagliola has claimed Arsenal have made their move by making 'contact' with the striker.

    Boss Mikel Arteta is still in the process of transforming his squad and wants a new striker to bolster his ranks next season.

  • William Pugh

    NACH OF THE DAY – EXCLUSIVE

    Kelechi Iheanacho looks set to make a packet after firing Leicester into the last four of the FA Cup.

    The Nigerian striker wrote himself into Foxes folklore with his brilliant brace in their 3-1 win against Manchester United last month.

    And now his name will go down in CRISPORY as Leicester-based snacks giant Walkers are to mark their first semi-final for 39 years by launching a new range of tortilla chips called IheaNACHOS.

    They will be in shops before Brendan Rodgers’ men play Southampton at Wembley on April 18, for the right to face Chelsea or Manchester City in the final. Leicester and England legend Gary Lineker will star in a £1million TV advert­ising campaign, which will also reference another of the current City heroes.

    The Match of the Day host is screened sitting naked in a bath of crisps, eating the IheaNACHOS from the FA Cup before he looks into the camera and says the slogan: “Will you love ’em? Yes Ndidi!”

    Lineker also has a quip at opponents Saints and their manager Hasenhuttl by saying: “They melt in your Ralph.”

  • William Pugh

    WING AND A PRAYER

    Dan James has opened up on the heart-to-heart with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that revived his career.

    The Wales star, 23, continued his red-hot form with the winner over Czech Republic in Tuesday’s vital World Cup qualifier. James has also been flying for Manchester United and is a first-team regular, starting eight of the last ten games under boss Solskjaer.

    But the wideman admits the upturn in his career only came after he knocked on Ole’s door in November. James, who moved from Swansea in June 2019 in a deal worth up to £18million, said: “I wasn’t playing much and I thought, ‘Do I accept this and just be in the background?’.

    “I wanted to be at United — I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I spoke to the gaffer before the Istanbul Champions League game and told him I was ready to play. He said, ‘I can see the way you’re training — and you look back to being you again’.

    “Sometimes it’s hard to go to the gaffer. I speak to him every day but going to see him one-to-one, being confident and saying I’m ready to play means you have to go out of your comfort zone.

    “Coming out of that meeting, I think he loved I did that. He played me, I came on and scored.”

  • William Pugh

    PRAISE MOUNTING

    Roy Keane has hit out at Mason Mount's critics by labelling them 'idiots.'

    The Chelsea midfielder starred once again in England's 2-1 win over Poland on Wednesday night.

    And Keane believes it's time to stop the debate over Mount's quality as he continues to earn his corn on the pitch.

    Speaking on ITV before England's win, he said: "Well that is pretty important, that your manager likes you. Doesn't matter what people outside the game think, there are a lot of idiots out there.

    "Ultimately, I think the players pick the team and he has performed well enough for every manager to say 'listen you are going to be in my starting line up'. Outstanding player. He wants to be an all round midfielder.

    "I never hear anything negative about him off the pitch, he seems a brilliant young kid, he has gone out on loan he has done it the hard way. He is a fantastic player."

  • William Pugh

    CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

    Manchester United heaped praise on their skipper Harry Maguire for his late winner for England at Wembley last night.

    The centre-back thumped home a half volley against Poland to give the Three Lions a 2-1 win.

  • William Pugh

    ED BHOY – EXCLUSIVE

    Eddie Howe has emerged as the leading contender for the vacant Celtic job.

    SunSport understands the former Bournemouth boss is seriously interested in replacing Neil Lennon in the Parkhead hotseat.

    We can exclusively reveal Howe has started his own due diligence on the behind-the-scenes structure of the club.

    That’s seen him sound out trusted contacts within the game who have connections to Celtic.

    Now, after taking advice, Howe is considering the possibility of a shock return to management.

    It would be seen as a major coup for the Parkhead board to lure the highly- respected Englishman north to Scotland. Howe left Bournemouth by mutual consent last summer after eight years in charge.

  • William Pugh

    KNEE BOTHER

    France boss Didier Deschamps has handed Manchester United a boost over Anthony Martial's injury.

    The forward missed the 1-0 win over Bosnia last night after picking up a knock on his knee in the previous outing. Martial, 25, started in the 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan but limped off in the 59th minute.

    Deschamps revealed how he was hoping to have Martial back in his squad to face Bosnia but he failed a late fitness test. He will now be a doubt for United's clash against Brighton on Sunday.

    But the French boss is adamant his injury isn't serious putting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's fears at ease. He said: "Anthony has a small issue on his knee. Nothing is decided yet.

    “He won’t be taking part in the training session a bit later. Anything serious has been dismissed. We’ve run some tests, but there’s still the pain, and having travelled as long as we have, that hasn’t helped.”

    Martial will return to Manchester today and will be assessed by club physios.

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