Headlines today: Vinicius subject to racist abuse during Madrid derby; Juve considering Allegri’s position

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Monday’s national newspapers…

Vinicius updates social media to mock Atletico Madrid

And liked the message “Atletico Madrid lost the Champions League final in a row

Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the Madrid derby and Vinicius mocked his opponent on social media after the match.

Real Madrid once again laughed at the Madrid derby and Vinicius posted after the match saying, “Everything is still the same.”

A fan wrote that Atletico lost back-to-back finals, and Vinicius posted, “It’s all about losing to us Real Madrid.”

Another fan replied to Vinicius: “They cried in Lisbon (Atletico lost the Champions League final in 2014) and they cried in Milan (Atletico lost the Champions League final in 2016).” Vinicius liked the dynamic.

Juve Considering Allegri’s Position

According to a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Fabiana Della Valle, Juventus are currently considering Allegri for the managerial position, but they are unlikely to make a decision to change the manager right away.

Juve lost 0-1 away to Monza in the 7th round of Serie A. They have now suffered a 5-game winless streak in Serie A and the Champions League after not winning a single match at the bottom of the table.

According to Italian journalist Fabiana, never before have all parties within Juve been so estranged as they are now, with the players frustrated and Allegri confused about the team’s situation. After the game yesterday, Allegri arrived at the team bus only after being escorted by security personnel, and his face was very ugly at that time.

In addition this journalist reporter also said that the relationship between Allegri and Di Maria has also broken down, with the latter unhappy with the club’s handling of his physical injury.

Finally, Fabiana’s report still points out that Juve’s doubts about Allegri’s position are increasing and they are considering the Italian coach’s position, but they will more than likely wait until the end of the year during the World Cup to make a decision, Juve’s management wants to determine whether they can enter the knockout rounds of the Champions League first, and for now, a change of manager is unlikely to happen.

Inter are in talks with Chelsea to re-sign Romelu Lukaku on loan at the end of the season for another year for €8m.

Di Marzio sources say that Lukaku has no possibility of returning to Chelsea next summer, the player did his best this summer to ensure a return to Inter.

Di Marzio said, “At first I didn’t think Marina would let Lukaku return to Inter, I think they would have kept him or at least not let him return to Inter on loan, but the situation the club went through contributed to the deal.

“I really don’t think Lukaku will come back to Chelsea, how could he be back in a Chelsea shirt? He has done everything he can to ensure he returns to Inter. I think a solution will be found between the two clubs. The more likely point is to continue the loan. Inter have already paid 8 million euros for him and will probably support another 10 million euros next summer as a way to renew the loan. If they decide to buy out Lukaku, then the transfer fee will go down a lot.”

With 672 goals, Messi has scored more non-penalty goals than Ronaldo in his career, playing 145 fewer games

After scoring one goal against Lyon, Messi has scored 672 non-penalty goals in his career, surpassing Ronaldo.

So far, Messi has scored 775 goals in 985 career appearances, while Ronaldo has scored 816 goals in 1,130 appearances.

Messi has scored 103 penalty kicks, while Ronaldo has scored 145 penalty kicks, and Messi has scored 672 penalty kicks, while Ronaldo has scored 671.

Reinkele wrote: “Messi scored 672 non-penalty goals more than Ronaldo, but less than 150 games, the data of these two people is crazy.”

Reus will miss 3 weeks with ankle ligament injury, can make it to the World Cup

Dott’s sports director Kyle said that Reus, who was injured in the Ruhr derby, was diagnosed with an ankle ligament injury and will miss 3 to 4 weeks, but can make it to the World Cup.

In the previous Ruhr derby against Schalke 04, Reus injured his ankle during a confrontation in the first half and was later carried off the field on a stretcher.

Reus’ injury was updated today by Dott Sporting Director Kyle, who said, “At first this was a shock for all of us, but now I can clarify that the examination we did yesterday showed that Reus did not have a broken ankle.”

“After diagnosing Reus with a lateral ankle ligament injury, he will miss three to four weeks, but it will not affect his World Cup appearance.”

Dortmund’s next match will be against Cologne in 2 weeks at 21:30 on October 1, followed by 2 Champions League clashes with Sevilla on October 6 and October 12 respectively, while they will also play the German national derby against Bayern on October 9.

Manchester United suffered food poisoning after the UEFA Cup, 12 people felt sick

The entire Manchester United squad reportedly suffered food poisoning the day after their UEFA Cup match against Sheriff Tiraspol.

Exclusive information from The Sun says that United’s players and staff suffered suspected food poisoning after returning to England from Moldova. They beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 away last Thursday and returned on a private jet straight away that night, but the players began to feel ill on Friday. It is understood that up to 12 people in the United party were affected and the club is trying to investigate whether they ate anything in Chisinau or on the return flight.

A handful of players missed Friday’s training because of this, but they did participate on Saturday, while others simply missed Saturday’s training all together. Luckily, United’s match against Leeds United in the 8th round of the EPL was postponed, otherwise they would have been seriously affected by this situation.

Brighton official: De Zerbi replaces Porter as the new manager of the team

Brighton has officially announced that Italian coach De Zerbi has become the new manager of the team, replacing Porter who left for Chelsea.

De Zerbi is 43 years old and has coached Donetsk Miners, Sassuolo, Benevento and Palermo. He has signed a four-year contract with Brighton but is still waiting for the job formalities to be completed.

De Zerbi has arrived in England on Friday and watched a closed-door friendly match for Brighton.

Given that September 19 is the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Brighton will officially host a meet and greet for De Zerby on Tuesday local time.

At 15 years and 181 days, Arsenal youngster Nwaneri breaks the record for youngest appearance in Premier League history

Arsenal 15-year-old Nwaneri came on as a substitute in the match against Brentford, breaking the record for the youngest appearance in the history of the Premier League.

In the 92nd minute of the match, 15-year-old 181-day-old Nwaneri made his Premier League debut as a substitute, breaking the record for the youngest appearance in Premier League history held by Elliott (Fulham, 16 years and 30 days).

Bayern Munich in crisis, some players no longer support Nagelsmann

In this round of Bundesliga matches, Bayern Munich lost 0-1 away to Augsburg, and did not win in 4 consecutive rounds in the league. The German soccer media “kicker” news said that after this round of league defeat, Bayern Munich is in crisis, some players no longer support the manager Nagelsmann.

According to Kicker, Bayern is in a crisis, with some players no longer supporting manager Nagelsmann. The team is questioning Nagelsmann more and more. Nagelsmann has been criticized for his management and communication style and certain aspects of his behavior.

Lewan left this summer and reports say he was one of the players in the Bayern squad who had the biggest opinions of Nagelsmann. However with the departure of Lewan, Bayern now lacks a high center forward and this issue is now being discussed within the squad. Bayern hope to solve the problem of high center forward when the winter transfer window opens.

Arsenal 3-0 Brentford | Highlights

In the 8th round of the EPL, Arsenal faced Brentford on the road. In the first half, Saliba broke the deadlock by hitting the net with a header against the post, and Jesus also scored with a header after receiving a pass from Zaka; at the beginning of the second half, Vieira scored a world wave, which was also his first goal after joining, and both goalkeepers contributed wonderful saves, and 15-year-old youngster Nwaneri came on as a substitute, finally Arsenal won 3-0 away to Brentford.

Real Madrid 2-1 Atletico Madrid


The 6th round of La Liga ushered in the Madrid derby, Atletico Madrid was at home in the Civitas Metropolitan Stadium to face Real Madrid, the referee for this game was Munueira Montero. In the first half, Tchouameni’s delicate pick assisted Rodrygo to break the dance; then Vinicius stabbed the post from a small angle and Federico Valverde followed up to add a goal, scoring for the third consecutive match. In the second half, El Morso came on as a substitute and grabbed Courtois’ strike mistake to pull one back for Atletico Madrid before being sent off with two yellow cards in a row. In the end, Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 away from home, and won 9 consecutive matches in all competitions to start the season.

Udinese 3-1 Inter | Highlights

In the 7th round of Serie A, Inter Milan faced Udinese on the road. In the first half, Barrera opened the game with a free kick, Skriniar scored an own goal and Bastoni hit the post with a shot from inside the box. In the second half, Dzeko’s goal was blown, Deulofeu’s low shot hit the post, Bijol’s header reversed the score, and Arslan sealed the victory. Finally, Udinese 3-1 Inter Milan.

Juve 0-1 Monza | Highlights


In the 7th round of Serie A, Juventus faced Monza away from home. The referee of the match was Fabio Maresca. In the first half, Ciurria’s long-range shot missed, Sensi’s long-range shot was confiscated by the goalkeeper and Di Maria dyed red. In the second half, Caprari’s long-range shot was deflected and Gytkaer scored in front of the goal. In the end, Juve defeated Monza 0-1 for 3 rounds without winning in the league, and Monza won the first league match.

Napoli 2-1 Milan | Highlights


A big match in the 7th round of Serie A was played at San Siro, AC Milan played against Napoli, the referee on duty for the match was Mariani. In the first half, Giroud’s shot was parried by the goalkeeper before hitting the crossbar and bouncing out. Then, Krunic’s threatening header was parried. In the second half, Dest kicked down Kvaracshelia in the box and the referee awarded a penalty by watching VAR, which Politano hit. Giroud then equalized the score. Mario Rui assisted Simone to head the goal and Kalulu’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced out. At the end of the match, Napoli defeated AC Milan 2-1 away from home, winning 5 consecutive matches, giving Milan their first defeat in the new league season and topping the table.

PSG 1-0 Lyon | Highlights


In the 8th round of Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain faced Lyon away from home. The referee of the match was Letchshire. In the first half, Neymar assisted Messi to push through the goal, Fabian added a shot high, Lacazette attacked the top of the goal and Neymar’s long-range shot from outside was parried. In the second half, Messi’s shot was cleared by Lukeba’s goal line, Neymar pushed his shot from close range and Messi’s shot was punched out by the goalkeeper, finally, Paris 1-0 Lyon.

Roma 0-1 Atalanta | Highlights


In the 7th round of Serie A, Roma hosted Atalanta. During the pre-match warm-up, Dybala was injured and Matic came into the starting lineup. In the first half, Musso and Demiral collided with each other and got injured. Sportiello came on as a substitute, then Scalvini pushed the goal from the top of the box and Atalanta took the lead, then Abraham missed one chance after another. In the second half, Zaniolo and Okoli fell to the ground, the referee called an offensive foul, Mourinho argued with the referee to eat red, then Abraham key clearance, then Pellegrini, Abraham shot one after another to create danger, the game was close to the end of Xiao Murodov header slightly deflected, long shot slipped through the door. The match ended with Roma 0-1 Atalanta.

THE GUARDIAN

Chelsea are closing on an agreement with Red Bull Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund to take up a similar role at Stamford Bridge under new boss Graham Potter.

Wolves defender Nathan Collins waited after Saturday’s red card for a horror tackle on Jack Grealish to apologise to the Manchester City and England star.

THE SUN

A total of 12 Manchester United players returned from the Europa League trip to face Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova with a reported case of food poisoning.

Leicester City could face a bill of up to £10m if they decide to sack Brendan Rodgers with Brentford’s Thomas Frank a likely candidate to replace him along with former Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

Angel Di Maria issued an apology to Juventus fans after he was sent off during their shock defeat to Serie A minnows Monza on Sunday.

Marcos Rojo was handed an additional suspension for his red card during Boca Juniors’ clash with River Plate last week, with a one-match playing ban supplemented by authorities banning him from captaining his club for a month.

Barcelona are set to revert to a badge they used in the 1970s from next season.

Wayne Rooney has admitted life at DC United is “boring” without wife Coleen and his children being in Washington alongside him.

Wayne Rooney after debut DC Utd win against Orlando

DAILY MIRROR

Charlie Savage impressed Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag during a U21 game on Friday night and was asked to train with the first-team squad the following day.

DAILY MAIL

Antoine Griezmann finally started for Atletico Madrid on Sunday night against rivals Real amid reports that a cut-price £22m deal with Barcelona had been agreed to bring an end to him having to come off the bench to avoid a £35m clause in his loan contract.

Furious Juventus fans called for Thomas Tuchel to become their new head coach after turning on Max Allegri during the surprise defeat by Monza.

Oliver Kahn has dismissed talk that Bayern Munich are considering removing Julian Nagelsmann as head coach after their winless run was extended to four games and led to talk that Thomas Tuchel might be approached to take over.

Arthur Melo has asked to play for Liverpool’s U21 side in a bid to get up to speed and secure more of a role in Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League line-up after the international break.

Nyck De Vries is close to being rewarded for his point-scoring Formula One debut but his first full-time drive could come with Alpha Tauri, not Williams.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

England leg-spinners Archie Lenham and Rehan Ahmed have signed up to play in the Pakistan Junior League, the first Twenty20 franchise league for U19 players.

Jesus, Nunez, Isak – which Premier League clubs got value in the transfer market?

Running a professional football club has never been more like running a traditional business.

To run a successful company, you need to ensure your finances are well-balanced across the board. No club wants to overspend on an incoming player, or undersell an outgoing player — but how can you optimise your dealings in the market?

Transfer windows can be highly volatile — not least in the Premier League — and the value of a player is ultimately the fee that a club is willing to pay for them. However, a data-led approach allows clubs to be more confident in their investment with more objective measures used to determine player valuations.

“The whole point of our company is that it tries to make you more efficient, so you’re not wasting as much in player recruitment, going down blind alleys that you can’t come back from,” says Thomas Randolph, founder and CEO of Delphlyx.

Delphlyx is a software platform that uses data to help sporting directors and executives make informed decisions at their clubs. The platform includes data-derived player valuations, which can be separated into two categories. 

Player value is determined by looking at an individual’s worth from their performances on the pitch, accounting for factors such as league strength, club strength, age, and position played. This model is built around machine learning algorithms, using 200,000 player transfers to see how the market behaved for those players. 

“We look at past transfer fees and how the market reacted to different player profiles to estimate values in the present day,” says Delphlyx’s data scientist, Parth Athale. “It’s a challenging process, considering how factors like league, position, age, and playing statistics can vary a lot.”

However, as The Athletic have previously reported, transfer fees and player values are not the same. Delphlyx defines a player’s transfer value as the cost a club might have to pay to bring them in. This can be heavily influenced by matters off the pitch, including contract length, injury history and non-football factors such as social media presence.

Liverpool’s Naby Keita is a perfect example to underline this distinction. Delphlyx places Keita’s player value between £30-36 million ($35-42m). However, his transfer value is placed closer to £10m, factoring in his contract length, which currently runs out in June 2023 — where he could find a new club for a free transfer from the start of February.

Keita’s ‘player value’ is far higher than his transfer value (Photo: Getty Images)

Of course, there are so many factors that can determine the overall fee spent on a player — including wages, agent fees and performance-related bonuses — but from a buyer’s perspective, finding a discrepancy in a player’s value compared with their transfer value could be a good measure of success in the market. 

Having an objective data-led process could help identify players who might be financially undervalued, leading to a better transfer value. This isn’t new conceptually, but there is still a large proportion of clubs who are failing to maximise the market.  

Unfortunately for Premier League clubs, they are less likely to find true value in the market due to their embarrassment of riches. Most Premier League clubs can afford to take risks that clubs in other leagues simply can’t — and the difference is stark. 

You only have to look as far as Nottingham Forest’s summer to see how much they have turbo-charged their recruitment, safe in the knowledge that their TV revenues will significantly soften the financial blow.

Looking at some of the top signings this summer, we see that the transfer fees paid largely align with Delphlyx’s transfer value models. Most notably, trading within the league has led to some shrewd business among Chelsea and Arsenalto prise away Raheem Sterling (£50.6million) and Gabriel Jesus (£47million) from Manchester City.

Extremely cash-rich clubs like Saudi-owned Newcastle United are less likely to find value in the market, as shown by the £63million fee spent on promising 22-year-old Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad.

“The explosion of wealth in the Premier League has had a negative effect on their ability to buy players at — or below — market rate. Clubs around the world will automatically raise the transfer value of their players by 10-15 per cent when they know a Premier League club is interested.” Randolph says. “Brexit has also inhibited innovative scouting, since British clubs now struggle to sign a player from Ligue 2, for example, as they won’t qualify for a GBE status. Those who do qualify are now at a premium, which is where you see the hugely inflated domestic transfers, like Marc Cucurella to Chelsea.”

Most football clubs are not operating with an astronomical budget, and have to be a little smarter in their transfer approach. There are still some gems to be found across Europe, most recently shown by Napoli’s signing of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia from Dinamo Batumi in Georgia for £9million. Judging by the 21-year-old’s early season performances, that could be the bargain of the window.

None of the teams in the table above would be classed as small clubs in the wider spectrum of European football. However, the further down the leagues you go, the more important player trading can become for a club’s overall success.

“We have 95 leagues on our platform currently. The majority of our users are not in the Premier League, so player trading is fundamental to their business model,” says Randolph. “Delphlyx enables the decision-maker to unearth players in under-valued markets, present them on a bigger stage and sell them for a profit.”

Having a more objective measure of transfer value can help those clubs to maximise their budget when shopping in their specific market. More importantly, it helps to minimise any mistakes and reduce any bias that can skew that final transfer fee.

As with anything in football analytics, using data-informed models should be a benchmark — a useful tool to inform a club’s decision-making, but never a crutch to lean on too heavily.

If you don’t like the idea at all, ask yourself what the alternative might be. Casual viewers of the Netflix documentary Sunderland ‘Til I Die will remember the infamous scene of then-owner Stewart Donald being enticed into a record League One fee of £3million for striker Will Grigg. 

A hardly believable glimpse into the reality of business dealings that can occur at a professional club.

Moving towards impartial stats-driven information rather than crowdsourced, estimated transfer values is likely to give clubs a greater edge in the market.

ARTICLE LINK:https://theathletic.com/3589800/2022/09/15/transfer-market-value-jesus-nunez-isak/

Headlines today: Camavinga, Gavi and Bellingham lead the Golden Boy award list; Sancho celebrated his goal with shinpads given by fans

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Friday’s national newspapers…

Jadon Sancho sticks to his word as he celebrates Man Utd goal with shinpads given by fan


In the 2nd round of UEFA Cup Group E, Manchester United defeated Tiraspol Sheriff 2-0. After the match, Sancho was interviewed about Cairo and the shin guards he lit up while celebrating.

Photo credit: Sancho Social Media
Talking about Cairo’s goal of the match, Sancho said, “When Cairo is confident, he can score 2, 3 or 4 goals and I am happy for him today.”

Sancho opened the scoring for United in the 16th minute of the game and dedicated the goal to a young fan who gave him shin guards.

“He gave me these shin pads to put on earlier, so that was my celebration, I wanted to show him I was wearing the shin pads he gave me.”

After the game, Sancho also posted a photo of him and the shin pads on his personal social media with the caption, “This is dedicated to you, Jacob.”

Chelsea asked about Leao’s situation and Martini rejected it

Before the start of the Champions League group stage 2 match against Dinamo Zagreb, Maldini confirmed that Chelsea did ask about Leao in the summer window.

In an interview with Slo-mo, Maldini said: “The contract extension was something we started to deal with a few months ago, and Leao knows that the solution to become stronger than he is now is to stay with us. We are a young and growing team, he still has a lot to learn and if he reaches a higher level than Milan, then I think it’s normal to choose to leave. But we are planning to do great things and grow with him.”

“Although Chelsea have not submitted a formal offer, they did make a verbal inquiry about Leao, which, of course, we rejected.”

Golden Boy Award 40-person shortlist: Camavinga, Gavi, Bellingham on the list

Gazzetta dello Sport has updated the list of 40 candidates for the 2022 Golden Boy Award.

The Golden Boy Award was created in 2003 and all nominated players must be no older than 21 and must play in the top league of a European country. The last winner of the award was Barcelona midfielder Pedri, who was also nominated for this year’s Golden Boy Award.

Argentina’s new list

Messi leads, Dybala, Lisandro Martinez in the list


The Argentine national team has announced a new edition of its roster, led by Lionel Messi, with Dybala and Lisandro Martinez on the list.
In September, Argentina will play two friendly matches, against Honduras and Jamaica respectively.

Portugal national team new list

On September 15, the Portuguese national team announced the new phase of the list, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Pepe.

England’s new list

Kane leads, Rashford absent, Toni selected for the first time

England announced a new list, led by Kane, Rashford and Sancho are absent, Ivan Toni is selected for the first time and Dier returns.

The new list of the French national team


Mbappe led, Dembele returned, Benzema missed

On September 15, the new list of the French national team was announced, Mbappe and Griezmann led, Dembele returned, Benzema, Lucas Hernandez and others missed due to injury.

The new list of German national team


Muller, Sane lead the way, Ter Stegen returns

On September 15, the latest phase of the German national team list was announced, with Muller and Sane leading the way and Ter Stegen returning.

James Rodriguez joins Olympiacos

James Rodriguez has returned to European football, with Greek club Olympiacos officially announcing that James Rodriguez has joined the team.

After the release of his contract with the Qatari team Laiyan, the Greek team Olympiacos has officially announced that James Rodriguez has joined the team on a free agent basis, and he has been given the team’s number 10 shirt. It is worth mentioning that he will be teammates again with Real Madrid’s old player Marcelo.

In his career, the 31-year-old Colombian star James Rodriguez has played for Porto, Monaco, Real Madrid, Bayern, Everton and Laing. In terms of honors, James Rodriguez has won 2 Champions League titles, 2 La Liga titles, 2 Bundesliga titles, 2 Club World Cup titles, and was the Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup.

Manchester United 2-0 Sheriff

The second round of the UEFA Europa League Group E was held at the Zimbro Stadium, where Manchester United visited the Moldovan team Tiraspol Sheriff. In the first half, Eriksen assisted Sancho to open the record with a low left-footed shot, then Dalot made a penalty and Ronaldo scored his first goal of the season and his first goal in UEFA. In the second half, Bruno Fernandez made a dangerous shot, and Ronaldo was replaced in the 80th minute after he missed a shot. Finally, Manchester United defeated Tiraspol Sheriff 2-0 away from home.

Roma 3-0 Helsinki

The 2nd round of the UEFA Europa League group stage was played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Roma took on Helsinki, with the referee on duty being Radu. In the first half, Helsinki defender Tenho was the last defender to bring down Belotti, and the referee sent him off with a straight red by VAR. Then, Hoskorn’s header hit the post and bounced off the line. In the second half, Dybala came on as a substitute and scored his first goal in the UEFA Europa League, and Pellegrini quickly extended his lead. Belotti scored the first goal of his Roma career. At the end of the match, Roma defeated ten-man Helsinki 3-0 and won their first UEFA Europa League match of the season.

Lazio 1-5 Midtjylland

In the 2nd round of the UEFA Europa League Group F, Lazio played away to CJT. In the first half, Paolo Viktor turned and shot low, and Kaba pushed a shot to extend the score. In the second half, Cataldi sent a penalty, Evander nodded, Milinkovic came on as a substitute and shot from distance, Evander’s penalty was parried, Isakson added a goal and Sviatchenko pushed a shot to the goal.

West Ham United 3-2 Silkeborg

In the 2nd round of the UEFA Europa League group stage, West Ham United faced Silkeborg on the road. In the first half, Cusk pushed through the goal, Kornai made a penalty, Lanchini nodded in, Skamaka scored a world goal and Craig Dawson scored a header. In the second half, Tennstedt added a goal, and finally, Fort Sillkirk 2-3 West Ham United.

afael Leao is set to put an end to talk of a January move to Chelsea or Manchester City by signing a new long-term deal with AC Milan.

THE SUN

Sean Dyche has admitted Burnley were right to sack him last season and hopes to make a return to the Premier League by throwing his hat into the ring for the vacancy at Bournemouth

Arsenal will renew their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk forward Mykhaylo Mudryk in January after being put off by their price tag over the summer.

Todd Boehly has already held talks with clubs in Brazil and Portugal as he looks to begin adding clubs to Chelsea’s portfolio.

Arsenal reportedly wanted to sign then-Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham before his move to Roma in the summer of 2021.

Liverpool are open to terminating Arthur Melo’s loan from Juventus in January, according to reports in Italy, but only if they can secure a long-term replacement.

Juventus' Melo Arthur during the UEFA Champions League, Group H match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Tuesday November 23, 2021.
Image:Arthur Melo could return to Juventus in January if Liverpool find a long-term replacement

Danny Rose is closing on a move to Greece, with AEK Athens set to complete a deal to bring in the former Tottenham and Watford defender on a free transfer.

England supporters heading to the World Cup face having to take pre-travel Covid tests and will need vaccine passports just to enter shops after Qatar introduced tough new rules.

AC Milan are working on striker options to go after in January with summer signing Divock Origi struggling badly since his arrival from Liverpool.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Tickets for Roger Federer’s farewell event, next week’s Laver Cup in London, skyrocketed as high as nearly £24,000 after his shock retirement announcement.

THE TIMES

Yorkshire will pay up to £1.9m in compensation to staff they sacked in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal, after admitting the dismissals were “procedurally unfair.”

Shane Warne’s family say it is “beyond disrespectful” for Nine Network to announce they are turning the cricket legend’s life into a two-part drama series called Warnie.

DAILY MAIL

A US-based consortium has registered firm interest in buying Premier League club Bournemouth from Russia-born businessman Maxim Denim.

Ecuador’s hopes of retaining their place at the World Cup suffered a blow after Byron Castillo failed to appear at FIFA’s Appeal Commission hearing into his nationality on Thursday.

John Terry is set to embark on a career in football business after enrolling on a FIFA diploma course for executives which will also include Fabio Cannavaro and Philippe Senderos.

Kepa Arrizabalaga
Image:Kepa Arrizabalaga is open to Todd Boehly’s idea of an All-Star Premier League game

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has admitted he is open to hearing more about Todd Boehly’s North-South All-Star Game and backed himself to play in it should the game be given the go-ahead.

Didier Deschamps has warned Paul Pogba he is not an automatic selection for the France squad heading to the World Cup in Qatar.

WTA chief executive Steve Simon says the tour will continue to boycott China until there is a firm resolution to the Peng Shuai scandal.

DAILY MIRROR

Former Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette is set to undergo surgery on his vocal chords after battling pain that has been shown to have come from a polyp which has also left him with a higher-pitched voice.

Jon Rahm says there is no truth to the rumours he is the “top 10” player set to become the next LIV Golf signing.

DAILY RECORD

RB Leipzig have suffered a huge injury blow ahead of their Champions League double-header against Celtic with key midfielder Konrad Laimer set to miss both games.

THE SCOTTISH SUN

Former Celtic player Simon Ferry says Ange Postecoglou’s style of football is the best he has ever seen at Parkhead.

Hearts have revealed plans to upgrade Tynecastle significantly, which will include opening a hotel inside the ground’s footprint.

Potter’s Chelsea debut: Quicker passing, more clapping, same attacking problems

It’s hard to be enthused about the start of a new era when it still feels like you’re at the end of the old one. Perhaps that explains the boos that greeted the final whistle following Graham Potter’s first match as Chelsea head coach, rippling more with frustration than anger and swiftly displaced by applause for the effort of a group of players who reflected their mood.

A couple of hours earlier, there had been considerable anticipation before Potter’s first team selection, but it quickly became clear he favoured evolution over revolution.

Chelsea’s fluid 3-5-2 system against Red Bull Salzburg built on Thomas Tuchel’s tactical infrastructure with minor tweaks rather than major departures: Raheem Sterling starting as a nominal left wing-back but spending most of his time as a true winger; Mason Mount forming a midfield three with Jorginhoand Mateo Kovacic rather than operating further forward; Kai Havertz leading the line and the press in tandem with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The sense of an ending rather than a beginning pervaded the whole evening, from the pre-match tributes marking the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the fan-orchestrated 21st-minute applause and chanting for Tuchel to the performance itself, a valiant but ultimately vain attempt to escape the persistent issues that helped hasten the departure of Stamford Bridge’s popular Champions League-winning mastermind.

Potter’s main instruction appeared to be simply to move the ball more quickly, with fewer touches and greater ambition. Salzburg’s relentless press ensured nothing less would do and the tempo for much of the first half was frantic, but that in itself was quietly encouraging; Leeds United and Southampton both successfully smothered Chelsea with similar intensity, but here they rose to the challenge.

Sterling menaced on the left, Mount and Reece James probed from the right and only impressive last-ditch defending from the visitors prevented more shots on target.

Dressed sharp for his Champions League debut in a black suit and skinny tie as if to attend an indie funeral, Potter stood in contrast to Salzburg’s answer to Julian Nagelsmann, the slick-haired, suit and sockless trainers-wearing Matthias Jaissle.

Potter also presented a clearer break from Tuchel in demeanour as well as dress code: observing calmly from his technical area, breaking out of his silent stance to applaud and offer encouragement to his players when passes and touches went awry, rather than turning back to vent at his assistants or harangue the fourth official.

Chelsea’s starters performed with more expression and confidence — up to a point. That point tended to be the Salzburg penalty area, where too many advantageous situations fizzled out without a shot being taken. Sterling’s opener, a wonderful curling shot into the far corner, was a jarring moment of ruthlessness. Aubameyang looked more out of scoring rhythm here than on his debut against Dinamo Zagreb, while netting a late winner against West Hamearlier this month does not appear to have been the breakthrough for Havertz that it might have been.

Aubameyang offered little goal threat as Chelsea again struggled in attacking areas (Photo: Getty Images)

Armando Broja carried greater threat than both combined in his 24 minutes off the bench and surely needs to be under consideration to start sooner rather than later. The same cannot be said for Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic, both introduced to varying degrees of booing in the second half. Confidence is low in each case, but sympathy at Stamford Bridge is lower for two attackers now worryingly far removed from their best football in Chelsea blue.

A late flurry of pressure created the impression that Salzburg had survived a sustained barrage at Stamford Bridge, but the numbers indicated a continuation of Chelsea’s attacking struggles under Tuchel: an expected goals (xG) rating of 1.15 — albeit from 17 shots to the visitors’ four — is only marginally better than was mustered against Southampton and West Ham, and still far below where it should be.

At the other end, Chelsea’s expected goals against (xGA) rating of 0.42 is the best they have produced in any match this season. Potter’s midfielders battled tirelessly to recover possession together with Marc Cucurella and Cesar Azpilicueta on either side of the back three and, between them, Thiago Silvawas spectacular for most of the evening.

The Brazilian only missed one consequential tackle on substitute Junior Adamu, after Jorginho had missed another in front of him, allowing Salzburg to exploit the space Cucurella had largely marshalled well without needing much reinforcement from Sterling. As seems to be the way with Chelsea right now, the worst-case scenario came to pass: a pinpoint cross from Adamu and a low shot from Noah Okafor skimmed through Azpilicueta’s legs and beyond the unconvincing dive of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea now find themselves in a position few would have believed possible when the Champions League draw was made last month: bottom of group E with one point from two matches against Dinamo and Salzburg, and AC Milanhome and away still to come. Any margin for further error is well and truly gone if Potter wants his first Champions League adventure to continue beyond the group stage.

But the situation remains eminently recoverable. September’s unexpected fixture disruption gives Potter precious time to mesh with his new squad in training at Cobham, and he made clear that his choice of system against Salzburg was driven more by the nature of the opponent than tactical ideology. The formation will shift and so too will the personnel within it — and at some stage N’Golo Kante will return and be N’Golo Kante again.

As for the broader gloom around Stamford Bridge at this time of unsettling change, it’s worth remembering that Tuchel also started with an uninspiring draw at home.

ARTICLE LINK:https://theathletic.com/3595077/2022/09/15/chelsea-potter-debut/

Headlines today: Haaland has already scored 13 goals for Man City in one month; Neymar slams the controversial yellow card

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Thursday’s national newspapers…

Haaland: I had long legs to get to the ball, but it was a good cross

Haaland scored a great winning goal in the 83rd minute in Manchester City’s 2-1 home win over Borussia Dortmund in the 2nd round of the Champions League group stage. He was interviewed by TNT Sports Brasil and beIN Sports after the match.

How did you reach that pass?

I think I have long legs and that’s how I was able to get to the ball …… but it was a good cross and in the end I have to say it was a very nice goal.

You didn’t celebrate after the goal, what was it like to score against your old club?

It was a special game for me, there were a lot of good friends there, you know, coaches, staff, etc., all my acquaintances. But I have to be ready and focus on what I have to do, it’s a soccer game. Of course it’s special and full of emotion against the old team, but it’s also a great game.

I visited your hometown of Blarney two weeks ago and I visited the club where you played when you started and now you see yourself in Manchester City, it’s amazing, isn’t it?

Yes, it’s great, I’m living a dream, I’m very happy, there’s still a long way to go.

If you were born in Brazil you would probably be known as Haalandinho, was there a Brazilian footballer who inspired you at a young age?

Brazil has a lot of legends, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Pele… There are a lot of great players, I can’t name just one, you have Ronaldo, that’s probably the best player in history, and Pele as well. And Neymar, he’s incredible and it’s going to be fun to watch him play in the World Cup.

On not touching the ball as much

I stay focused, people might say I touch the ball less, but I don’t care, I know what I need to do and that’s what I did today in this tough game.

My dream is to score five goals with five touches, and that’s a big dream.

Neymar thinks soccer is getting boring after yellowing for celebrating a Champions League goal

After scoring a goal in the Champions League and getting a yellow for celebrating, Neymar updated his personal social media and said that soccer is getting boring.

In the Champions League match with Maccabi Haifa, Neymar scored a goal in the late stages and made the above celebration, for which the Paris striker received a yellow card.

After the match, Neymar updated his social media with the message, “Football is getting boring.” In the video Neymar said, “Celebrating …… yellow card! Another one on Neymar’s list, these things only happen to me. Next time I’m going to tell the referee what I’m going to do ……”

Ziyech conceded possession 8 times in 9 minutes of play, spitting twice and missing 3 crosses

Chelsea attacker Ziyech came on as a substitute against Red Bull Salzburg, but he played extremely disastrously, missing two chances in the box and other poor stats.

Courtois saves 24 of his opponent’s last 25 shots in the Champions League

Real Madrid defeated Leipzig 2-0, Courtois once again completed a shutout in the Champions League.

In this match, Leipzig had 9 shots and 3 shots on goal, and Courtois kept the goal intact.

According to Marca, Courtois has saved 24 of his opponents’ last 25 shots in the Champions League, with Mahrez scoring in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final at the Bernabeu. In the Champions League final, Courtois contributed nine saves in a single match.

Juve team history for the first time in the Champions League group stage all the first two games lost

Juventus lost 1-2 at home to Benfica in a match in the 2nd round of the Champions League group stage.

Following the 1-2 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first round, Juve suffered another defeat, the first time they suffered all losses in the opening two rounds of the Champions League group stage.

In the next round, Juve will host Maccabi Haifa from Israel.

Leipzig official: Laimer suffered a joint ligament injury in his left leg, the player will be out for several weeks

Leipzig officials have announced that Laimer has suffered a joint ligament injury in his left leg and the player will be out for several weeks.

“We will have to deal with Laimer’s absence due to injury in the coming weeks, as our midfielder suffered a joint ligament injury in his left leg against Borussia Dortmund. We wish the player a speedy recovery.”

Laimer, 25, has played six games for the team this season and his contract with Leipzig is set to expire next summer.

Romano says Valverde is a non-sale for Real Madrid, player himself retweeted

In the match against Leipzig, Valverde broke through to help Real Madrid win 2-0. After the match, well-known journalist Romano said that Valverde is a non-sale item for Real Madrid, and the player himself retweeted it to show his affirmation.

After the Champions League match, Romano wrote: “The best player of the match. Pure leadership, one of Carlo Ancelotti’s favorite players, never discussed in the transfer market this August, despite the interest of many Premier League teams, he is untouchable. Federico Valverde, what a great player, Real Madrid signed him for a transfer fee of only 5 million euros.”

Valverde then retweeted this development from Romano on his personal social media, expressing his affirmation.

James Rodriguez has passed the medical examination and is about to sign with Olympiacos

The countdown is on for the signing of James Rodriguez with Olympiacos, according to celebrity journalist Romano.

Romano said that James Rodriguez has just passed the medical examination of Olympiacos and now they will finish the signing soon.

According to previous reports, Rodriguez will join Olympiacos on loan with a buyout clause.

Manchester City 2-1 Dortmund

Manchester City faced Borussia Dortmund at home in the 2nd round of Champions League Group G at the Etihad Stadium. The referee of the match was Daniel Osato. In the first half, Özcan’s shot was confiscated by the goalkeeper and Cancelo’s long-range shot was deflected. Both sides had fewer threatening shots in the first half. In the second half, Royce assisted Bellingham’s header, Haaland pushed a shot to the post, Stones scored a world goal, and Haaland scored with a high teasing shot, finally, Manchester City reversed Dortmund 2-1.

PSG 3-1 Maccabi Haifa

The second round of the UEFA Champions League Group H match started, Maccabi Haifa hosted Paris Saint-Germain. In the first half, Cherie scored a goal with a shot from inside the box, then Pierrot scored a goal with a single shot, but the offside was invalid. In the second half, Messi sent a direct shot to Mbappe, who fired a shot from the penalty area to overtake the score, and then Verratti sent a long pass to Neymar, who scored with a single shot to lock the game. The match ended with Maccabi Haifa 1-3 Paris.

Real Madrid 2-0 Leipzig

Real Madrid hosted RB Leipzig at the Bernabeu in the second round of the UEFA Champions League Group F. The referee was Mariani. In the first half, Courtois made many saves, Nkunku missed a good chance, and Modric was knocked down in the penalty area at the end of the game without getting a penalty. In the second half, Vinicius assisted Federico Valverde to break the deadlock, and Kroos assisted Asensio on a tactical set piece in extra time to seal the win. In the end, Real Madrid defeated Leipzig 2-0 at home, ushering in eight consecutive wins to start the season.

Chelsea 1-1 Red Bull Salzburg

Chelsea hosted Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge in the second round of the Champions League Group E. The referee for the match was Krugerjak. In the first half, Mount’s shot missed and Kepa made a great save. In the second half, Sterling opened the scoring with a shot and Adamu caught Thiago Silva’s mistake and assisted Okafor’s low shot to equalize the score. In the end, Chelsea drew 1-1 at home with Red Bull Salzburg, the bottom of the Champions League group stage; Porter did not have the chance to coach the Blues to open the door.

Juve 1-2 Benfica

Juventus took on Benfica in the 2nd round of the Champions League group stage at Allianz Stadium in Turin, with Zwajar as the referee on duty. Just three minutes into the match, Paredes assisted Milik’s header to achieve a lightning strike. Rafa Fasilva’s shot then bounced off the frame of the goal. At the end of the first half, Miretti sent a penalty to João Mario, who nodded in the equalizer. In the second half, Nérez added a shot to help Benfica go back in front, and Vlahovic scored a goal but the offside was nullified. The match ended with a 1-2 defeat for Juventus against Benfica. The Zebras have lost two consecutive games in the Champions League and have gone four games without a win in all competitions.

Milan 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb

A Champions League Group C 2nd round match was played at the San Siro Stadium between AC Milan at home and visiting Dinamo Zagreb, with Hill Manzano officiating the match. Milan took the initiative quickly in the first half with the strength of the home side. Dias sent a deadly long pass after a counter-attack, but Leao’s one-touch chance was broken by a defender. Then Benacer’s shot from outside the box was parried by the goalkeeper. A counter-attack by Dinamo Zagreb was then played to the right side of the box and Muharami’s shot was just wide. As the half drew to a close, Leao took a penalty and Giroud hit it. Milan started the second half with a nice counter-attack, and after a series of smooth passes, Léo assisted Salmakels to score. Dinamo Zagreb quickly pulled one back with an assist from Petkovic to Orsic. Substitute Pobeda sealed the win. Milan finally won 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb and won at home again after 9 years in the Champions League.

Napoli 3-0 Rangers

Napoli faced Rangers away in the 2nd round of Champions League Group A. The referee of the match was Mateusz Raos. In the first half, Morales’ header went wide, Zielinski’s shot hit the post, Giovanni Simone’s shot from a small angle was blocked, and Arfield’s long-range shot was parried by Meret. In the second half, Arfield’s shot was deflected, Sands saw red, Zielinski’s penalty was parried, Politano followed up with a shot that was blown for a foul and asked for a penalty kick.

DAILY MAIL

Antonio Conte hauled his Tottenham players in for a morning training session just hours after their late capitulation against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday night. Conte is also believed to have tore into his players in the dressing room after full-time.

Two amateur football teams are under investigation for appearing to play a friendly game on the weekend after the Queen’s death despite the cancellation of all football as a mark of respect.

Ollie Pope says he now feels like England’s No 3 after a summer in which coach Brendon McCullum helped him remove the fear of losing his wicket and he has set his sights on playing 100 Tests.

THE ATHLETIC

Mainz 05 head coach Bo Svensson is on Brighton and Hove Albion’s shortlist of potential replacements for Graham Potter.

THE GUARDIAN

Ivan Toney is in Gareth Southgate’s thoughts as the England manager prepares to name his final squad before the World Cup – for the upcoming Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Steve Finn and Nick Knight have emerged as the leading contenders for the role of England national selector, which is being reintroduced.

Brendon McCullum has said both James Anderson and Stuart Broad will be given an Ashes swansong next summer when England play against Australia.

Worcester Warriors’ first home fixture of the season against Exeter Chiefs on Sunday was on Wednesday night thrown into doubt after a 5pm deadline to pay matchday medical staff was missed, leaving the club facing a potential forfeit and raising further questions over their future.

THE TIMES

Paul Pogba’s older brother was placed under arrest on Wednesday on suspicion of participating in a plot to kidnap the France international footballer.

Alec Stewart has emerged as a leading contender to become the new England national selector.

Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are unlikely to be part of England’s Test tour to Pakistan in December despite initial suggestions they would both make themselves available for a return to red-ball cricket.

DAILY MIRROR

Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller had his house burgled during their empathic 2-0 victory over Barcelona on Tuesday.

THE SCOTTISH SUN

Celtic fans were left furious following their Champions League fixture with Shakhtar Donetsk this evening as they were held at the stadium for 80 minutes after the final whistle.

Kulusevski must start for Tottenham against Leicester after Son and Kane struggle

After Tottenham’s breezy and easy 4-1 victory over Southampton on the opening day of the season, Antonio Conte appeared to possess one of the most potent and unstoppable front lines in the land, or perhaps even across Europe.

Harry Kane, Song Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski, the fruitiest London trio since Bananarama, just couldn’t stop scoring. Between February 9 and that day, their names sat in the top three positions for goal involvements of any Premier League players (Son 15 goals and five assists, Kane 12 goals and seven assists, Kulusevski six goals and nine assists). That was 33 goals and 21 assists between them from just 19 league matches.

Since then Spurs have played seven games – five in the league, two in the Champions League. And between them, the same trio have seven goal involvements, a sizeable drop-off from their previous numbers.

Perhaps alarmingly, six of those seven belong to Kane (five goals and one assist), with a solitary Kulusevski assist when teeing up Kane for the opener at Nottingham Forest. Son? Absolutely zilch. The South Korean is now enduring his driest drought in front of goal for four years, when, like now, he started the 2018-19 campaign under Mauricio Pochettino with eight goalless appearances (adding to 10 without a goal to end the previous season). He scored twice in the ninth (a 3-1 EFL Cup victory at West Ham) and has barely stopped scoring since.

Now, in the absence of Son in particular finding the net, Richarlison has clearly stepped up to the plate in recent weeks, forcing his way into the XI and taking Kulusevski’s place.

The fact the band has been broken up isn’t the issue when a player of the Brazilian’s drive, menace and quality comes into the team and delivers. But Conte’s dilemma right now is how best to utilise the sizeable attacking talents at his disposal. Four doesn’t go into three, he is likely to regularly rotate (with Spurs playing nine matches in October he has little choice), and choosing the right attacker at the right moment, or dropping out-of-form players at the right moment, will be one of the defining characteristics of Spurs’ season.

In tempestuous Lisbon, where octopus is one of the local delicacies, it felt like Spurs needed the eight legs of all four of their main attackers. Conte kept faith with Son ahead of Kulusevski in his front trio and, on this occasion, that faith wasn’t justified. Son looked leggy and off the pace at times and didn’t really feature in front of goal.

Kane mostly turned provider, teeing up Emerson Royal for two golden chances early in the second half when Spurs lifted the pace for what was by a distance their best spell of the match. But overall the striker wasn’t at his best — his touch was off and Sporting generally coped with his movement well.

So instead of the Kane and Son show, something we’ve become accustomed to for several years now, it was Richarlison and substitute Kulusevski who carried the bigger threat. The Brazilian evaded defenders to get on the end of crosses, he twice was a fraction away from beating the offside trap from Kane through balls and he went into street fighter mode to bully Sporting in their own half. Kulusevski, on for Son as a late substitute, lifted Spurs’ levels again, created a couple of chances and drifted and sauntered into danger areas. He must surely start against Leicester.

Ultimately it was a late wilting that led to Spurs leaving Lisbon with no points, enduring their first defeat in any competition since April 16 (a 1-0 defeat at Brighton).

And yes Spurs wilted in the final minutes. Yes, Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are both culpable in helping allow Sporting to create a chance for Pedro Porro (the pair were both on a booking and pulled out of tackles), which led to a corner and a goal, swiftly followed by a sucker-punch second in stoppage time. Yes, a 0-0 draw against a stylish Sporting side would have been a very good result.

But had Spurs generated a bit more impetus in their attacking play, like they did all-too-briefly at the start of the second half, or had they created more chances than the meagre 0.85 xG they registered, the game would have been theirs. Again, with his creative talents, Kulusevski from the start would surely help on that front. Son’s xG in two Champions League appearances in the past week is 0.07.

In fact it was the former Tottenham youngster Marcus Edwards who was the game’s most exciting attacking player, channelling his inner Maradona with one astounding first-half run which, had it ended with a goal rather than another Hugo Lloris save, would have been a goal-of-the-season contender. Spurs’ defence melted as he scythed through them one by one.

“I’m here to change the old habits,” Conte said on the eve of the game, referring to squad rotation when asked if Son was still undroppable. “They were used to playing every game. You try to make the players happy, but the big clubs have a big squad. All the players have to accept rotation because especially up front we have four players. It’s very difficult to drop one, but I have to make the best decision for the team and also the players.”

After the game, he focused on those defensive lapses rather than his team’s failure to score.

“For sure we can do much better in the last few minutes,” he said. “I always say to my players that the details make the final result.

“I think maybe we didn’t deserve to win, but at the same time, we didn’t deserve to lose.

“This level is a high level. Against Marseille, it was tough and tonight was tough. If we want to have the ambition to go to the next round we have to fight a lot, this group there is a lot of balance between the teams.

“But last season in November we lost against Mura in the Conference League. I think maybe we (still) did an important step forward.”

Attention may turn to other areas in his squad in the manically busy upcoming month, like in midfield where Yves Bissouma has only made one start so far, or like at right wing-back where Royal has started every game.

But right now Spurs need their greatest strength, their fabulous front line, to fire in tandem again.

ARTICLE LINK:https://theathletic.com/3591636/2022/09/14/tottenham-kulusevski-son-kane-conte/

Headlines today: Salah becomes the top scorer at Anfield in UCL; Real Madrid will go again in bid to sign Mbappe

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Wednesday’s national newspapers…

Salah becomes the Reds’ all-time leading Anfield Champions League goal scorer

Salah opened the scoring for Liverpool at home against Ajax in the Champions League, surpassing Steven Gerrard with 15 goals and becoming the player with the most Champions League goals at Anfield in Liverpool’s history.

After scoring against Ajax, Salah has scored 15 Champions League goals at Anfield in his Liverpool career, surpassing Steven Gerrard (14 goals) and becoming the player with the most Champions League goals at Anfield in team history.

Mbappe: I think there is a story between me and Real Madrid, even if I have not played for it

Previously Mbappe gave an interview to the American media, and recently an audio interview was revealed, which contains questions that were not disclosed in the previous interview. Mbappe said he thinks he has a relationship with Real Madrid, even though he never played for it.

I have been in contact with Real Madrid for many years and we have a good relationship with mutual respect and appreciation,’Mbappe said. I think I have a story with them, even if I’ve never played for them, it’s a different feeling.’

‘Real Madrid is one of the best clubs in the world, maybe take away the word ‘one’, and I wish them all the best.’

Bayern official praise: a wall called Neuer

Bayern Munich defeated Barcelona 2-0 at home in a Champions League match that ended early this morning. During the match Bayern captain Neuer saved several threatening shots from the opponent. The official homepage of Bayern praised Neuer after the match.

Bayern’s official homepage praised Neuer’s performance in the match after the match. Bayern’s homepage uploaded a photo of Neuer’s saves, writing, ‘A wall called Neuer.’

Bayern will play Augsburg in the Bundesliga this weekend and have now drawn three consecutive matches in the Bundesliga

Dzeko scored his 26th Champions League goal, surpassing Van Persie and Crespo

In the 2nd round of the Champions League group stage match between Inter Milan and Pilsen Victory, Dzeko broke the deadlock by pushing a shot from inside the box in the 19th minute.

According to statistics, this is the 36-year-old Dzeko’s 26th goal in the Champions League, and he has thus overtaken Jardim, Harland, Crespo and Robin van Persie to move into a tie for 37th place on the Champions League’s all-time scorers list (equal to Mario Gomez).

Chelsea contacts Campos, offers 8 million euros a year + 300 million transfer budget

French newspaper Le Parisien has reported that Chelsea wants to recruit Paris director Campos and has offered 8 million euros a year salary and a 300 million euros transfer budget.

According to the report, Chelsea boss Burley offered Campos a contract of 8 million euros a year to leave Paris immediately and take over Chelsea’s next two transfer markets, and a transfer budget of 300 million euros at Campos’ disposal.

Le Parisien also revealed that in the contract signed between Campos and Paris this summer, there is no non-compete clause prohibiting him from leaving.

Neymar complained privately about Mbappe not passing the ball, Messi and Ramos intervened

Goal France news, Neymar and Mbappe’s relationship still has not significantly eased.

From the penalty fiasco at the beginning of the season to the controversy of not passing the ball in the Champions League match with Juve, the relationship between Neymar and Mbappe has never been much improved. Reports say that Messi, Marquinhos and Ramos have stepped in to mediate in order to keep the tension between the two from escalating.

Neymar is still complaining about Mbappe to those close to him in private, and he believes Mbappe is not passing the ball because he wants to overshadow him, the report said.

Sources close to the Paris dressing room revealed that Neymar will not let the conflict become public and try to keep a calm attitude in the dressing room for the sake of the upcoming World Cup.

Bayern 2-0 Barcelona

The second round of the UEFA Champions League Group C was the highlight of the match, with Bayern Munich hosting Barcelona at the Allianz Arena in Munich, with Mark Lie as the referee. In the first half, Pavard retired, Lewandowski missed many good chances, Neuer made two key saves; Dembele was tripped by Alfonso Davies at the end of the game and was not awarded a penalty. In the second half, Kimmich assisted Lucas Hernandez on a corner kick to break the deadlock, followed by Musiala assisted Sane on a lightning break to extend the advantage, and Pedri hit the post with a single shot. In the end, Bayern achieved five consecutive kills against Barca 2-0 at home.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Sporting CP

The 2nd round of the UEFA Champions League Group D started with Sporting Portugal hosting Tottenham Hotspur. In the first half, Gonçalves fired a low shot from inside the box, which was parried out by Lori, and then Rishalisong missed a header in front of the goal and the ball was confiscated by the goalkeeper. The second half started with a series of shots from Emmerson, then Kane took a shot from the left, which Adan pounced on, and then Rishalisong jumped on the ball, which was deflected off the line. At the end of the match, Sporting de Portugal beat Tottenham 2-0.

Liverpool 2-1 Ajax

Liverpool played Ajax at home at Anfield in the 2nd round of Champions League Group A. The referee of the match was Suarez Artur. In the first half, Diogo Jota assisted Salah to break through the goal, Luis Dias drew a shot wide, Kudus equalized and Van Dijk’s header was parried by the goalkeeper. In the second half, Van Dijk’s header went high, Blind’s header was deflected and Matip’s header was a winner, finally, Liverpool 2-1 Ajax.

Inter 2-0 Victory Pilsen

In the 2nd round of the UEFA Champions League Group C, Pilsen Victory hosted visiting Inter Milan in a match officiated by Shalal Sandro. The visiting Inter Milan quickly took control of the ball in the first half and opened the scoring with an assist from Correa to Dzeko against a dense defense from Pilsen Victory. The home team, Pilsen, had few chances to counterattack. Towards the end of the half, Inter launched a threatening counter-attack, with Dzeko and Mkhitaryan shooting at the goalkeeper. In the second half, Inter started to pick up the pace, with Dzeko’s header being parried and Dumfries’ header going over the bar. And Bukha of Pilsen Victory was shown a red card for scissor kick over Barrera. Dzeko assisted Dumfries in the counter-attack. Finally, Inter won 2-0 away to Pilsen and got the first win of the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid 0-2 Leverkusen

The second round of the UEFA Champions League, Group B, began at the Bayer Arena with a marquee match between Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid, with Oliver Michael as the referee on duty for the match. In the first half, Tapusoba’s handball in the penalty area was not called by the referee, and El Morso then shot high from close range. In the second half, Schick and Hlozek fired back-to-back shots that bounced off the frame of the goal, and Schick’s shot against an open goal was blocked by Felipe. Before the end of the match, Andrihy fired a shot at the goal, and then Diaby scored a goal to seal the victory. Leverkusen defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 at the end of the match.

Wenger: No one has shown dominance in the EPL this season, Arsenal have a chance to hit the title

Arsenal’s decorated head coach, Wenger has not spoken out on Arsenal related issues for a long time. Recently he finally broke his ‘silence’ and praised Arteta and his team. Wenger believes that the current Arsenal has no weaknesses and the team is likely to win the Premier League.

The 72-year-old French manager said, ‘I would say they are going in the right direction, honestly I don’t think there are any weaknesses in the team, they are young and talented players and they have done a very good job this summer.’

‘We haven’t seen a dominant team in the Premier League this season and Arsenal have a chance to play to their potential. We’ve been in the top four before, so why can’t we be in the top four again? You can’t even rule out that they can even put up a fight for the title, and I hope they can do that.’

Wenger has been in charge of Arsenal for 22 years, leading the team to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, and despite Arteta leading Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League, Wenger does not want to visit the team anytime soon: ‘I haven’t been there since 2018 and after 22 years as a coach, maybe that’s the end of the road for me and people want change.’

‘The club has chosen to go in a different direction and I can totally understand that sometimes you need some completely new staff and my presence can cause a lot of problems. So I left completely and utterly to give the club the opportunity to build a relationship with a new coach and that’s why I never talked about Arsenal or came back to the Emirates because I didn’t want to be a negative presence for the club.’

‘But I still feel that my life is definitely tied to Arsenal, so I’m supporting them now through TV and I’m also busy with some FIFA work and going around the world.’

Maldini loves Asensio, but he wants a high salary + high commission for his agent

According to Antonio Vitiello, chief team reporter of Italian media Milan News, Milan wants to sign Real Madrid star Asensio free of charge.

Asensio’s contract with Real Madrid will expire next summer, and now he has been relegated to the bench at the Galacticos with little chance.

Vitiello said Milan are keeping an eye on Asensio’s situation and they know that currently Asensio intends to leave on a free transfer next June, especially considering the recent tensions between him and Ancelotti, a contract renewal is unlikely.

Milan’s technical director Maldini admires Asensio, who can play on the right side or as a forward, but there are two obstacles standing in front of him now: Asensio wants a high salary, and his agent team wants a high commission.

THE SUN 

Real Madrid’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe is set to start again next summer after full details of his Paris Saint-Germain contract emerged.

Chelsea offered Paris Saint-Germain football advisor Luis Campos a whopping £7m salary to move to Stamford Bridge and spearhead their next transfer spree.

Barcelona star Gavi has already agreed to a new contract that includes a €1bn release clause, according to reports.

Chelsea are reportedly set to dive into the transfer market again this January.

Former Barcelona star Miralem Pjanic has hit out at the club after leaving for United Arab Emirates-based side Sharjah FC.

DAILY STAR

Liverpool attempted a late £86.5m swoop for Real Madrid star Federico Valverde before the transfer window slammed shut earlier this month.

DAILY MAIL 

Jorginho has admitted that Chelsea’s players were at fault for Thomas Tuchel’s sacking as they prepare to embark on their new era under Graham Potter.

FIFA has summoned Byron Castillo to attend Thursday’s hearing of their Appeals Commission following revelations that the Ecuador international confessed to being born in Colombia in an official investigation four years ago.

Jose Mourinho has demanded more from Tammy Abraham despite the fact the 24-year-old scored Roma’s winner against Empoli on Monday night.

Liverpool’s most famous ball boy Oakley Cannonier has taken another step towards representing the Reds’ first team by scoring a hat-trick against Ajax for the under-19s in the UEFA Youth League.

Arsenal are reportedly confident they won’t have to forfeit their Europa League game against PSV following the game’s postponement after the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

THE GUARDIAN 

Brighton will step up their efforts to recruit Graham Potter’s replacement as head coach in the coming days after assessing a shortlist of potential candidates that includes the Norwegian Kjetil Knutsen and the former Shakhtar Donetsk manager Roberto De Zerbi.

Preston North End have issued a lifetime stadium ban to a supporter for a derogatory tweet about the Royal Family.

DAILY MIRROR

Bayern Munich supporters have taken aim at UEFA for their late decisions to significantly alter the arrangements of Champions League and Europa League fixtures following the death of The Queen.

DAILY EXPRESS

Arsenal director Edu is stepping up his efforts to avoid losing three of his first-team stars by tying them down to new and improved contracts as a matter of priority, according to reports.

SCOTTISH SUN

Hibs striker Mykola Kukharevych is edging closer to a debut after finally arriving in Scotland.

Gus MacPherson is set to return to top-flight football as new Head of Football Operations at St Johnstone.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Steve Finn and Nick Knight have emerged as the leading contenders for the role of England national selector, which is being reintroduced.

With Son Heung-min making a slow start to the new season, do South Korea need a Plan B for the FIFA World Cup?

After the lofty standards he set for himself in his Golden Boot-winning Premier League campaign of 2021-22, it would not be too harsh to say that Son Heung-min has had a slow start to the new season.

With six games down in the Premier League, and an additional one in the Champions League, the usually-prolific attacker is yet to open his account this term

Before the appraisal becomes overly critical, it must be said that Son has plenty of credit in his account — not just from last season’s 23-goal haul in the league but throughout his entire seven previous years with Tottenham

After all, every forward will inevitably encounter a similar drought (Spurs teammate Harry Kane famously appeared allergic to scoring in August previously). It must be noted that Son continues to offer his side plenty in other areas even if he is not banging in the goals at the moment.

As such, Tottenham manager Antonio Conte will continue to be patient with his star man, knowing he will come good eventually.

But time is not something that is in abundance for the other man that will be closely monitoring Son’s performances.

Just three months out from the FIFA World CupSouth Korea coach Paulo Bento will be watching on with slight concern if not major alarm.

Given the fact that the Taegeuk Warriors have been handed tough tests in Group H against PortugalUruguay and Ghana, it is no secret that they will need their talismanic captain to be firing on all cylinders if they are to stand any chance of reaching the Round of 16.

It can only be a good thing to have a world-class talent of Son’s ilk at their disposal, but the flipside to that is a potentially unhealthy overreliance on an individual player.

So do South Korea have enough options in reserve as a Plan B?

Firstly, it should be remembered that despite his prolific goalscoring ways, Son is far from a traditional out-and-out striker that serves as the fulcrum in attack.

For South Korea, that role usually falls to Hwang Ui-jo — who recently joined Olympiakos on loan after suffering relegation to Ligue 2 with Bordeaux last season.

With 23 goals in Ligue 1 to his name over the past two years, Hwang’s strike rate in France is healthy enough, as is his international tally of 16 goals from 47 caps.

Nonetheless, there are still doubts if Hwang has the ability to single-handledly win a game for the Taegeuk Warriors — especially at a World Cup — so who else is there?

It has been no secret that Bento’s options are severely limited in that No. 9 position.

The Portuguese tactician has constantly plumped for Cho Gue-sung as Hwang’s deputy even when the 24-year-old was plying his trade in South Korea’s second-tier K League 2. In defence of both, Cho has been a consistent scorer but is unproven away from the domestic stage.

Other striking options are either equally inexperienced like Kim Gun-heeand Cho Young-wook, or have been completely ignored — Joo Min-kyusomehow continuing to await his chance at international level despite becoming the K League 1’s first local top scorer in five years with his impressive 22-goal haul.

So if the strikers are not shaping up as an adequate back-up plan, which other areas of the field could potentially produce an alternative match-winner to Son?

Given he also currently plies his trade in the Premier League, Wolvesattacker Hwang Hee-chan is the most obvious candidate.

The 26-year-old has shown glimpses of the attacking ability that saw him first rise to prominence alongside Erling Haaland and Takumi Minaminoat Red Bull Salzburg, although he is yet to establish himself as a regular starter at Molineux.

Lee Jae-sung, now into his second season playing in the Bundesliga for Mainz, is another Europe-based member of Bento’s squad that could provide a star turn in the attacking third, while Nam Tae-hee — who began his professional career in France — can also offer a creative spark even if he is not the most illustrious of names in the Taegeuk Warriors roster.

Yet, in terms of a genuine game changer, perhaps the standout candidate lies a little further behind in the middle of the park — midfielder Hwang In-beom.

An interesting career that saw his first move abroad take him to the MLSwith Vancouver Whitecaps then led to him emerging as one of South Korea’s brightest prospects after joined Rubin Kazan, although the recent complications in playing for a Russian team have since seen him move on to Olympiakos alongside Hwang Ui-jo.

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While he arguably does his best work as a deep-lying playmaker, the presence of the more defensive-minded Jung Woo-young has seen Hwang In-beom often perform a box-to-box role for the Taegeuk Warriors — one that he has proven equally adept in as he taps on a previously-unseen offensive skillset.

Still, given he is only 25 and still finding his feet in European football, it may be too much of an ask for him to step up and fill Son’s shoes should the need arise.

Then again, it will always be near impossible to stand in for a world-class talent.

Perhaps South Korea will still need to hope that Plan A works out at the World Cup, and there is definitely still enough time for Son to start firing again before their opening tie against Uruguay comes around on Nov. 24.

Barring that, Plan B could just require all the aforementioned alternatives to join forces to fill in for undeniably world-class quality that just cannot be singlehandedly replaced.

ARTICLE LINK:https://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-world-cup/story/4744319/son-heung-min-slow-start-new-season-south-korea-need-plan-b-for-fifa-world-cup

Headlines today: Chelsea vs Liverpool, Man Utd vs Leeds postponed this week; Griezmann close to join Atletico permanently

All the top stories and transfer rumours from Tuesday’s national newspapers…

EPL resumes this weekend, Man Utd vs Leeds Utd, Chelsea vs Liverpool postponed

It’s official, the English Premier League resumes this weekend, but three matches, Manchester United vs. Leeds United, Chelsea vs. Liverpool and Brighton vs. Crystal Palace, have been postponed.

The Premier League has released an announcement that Premier League matches will resume this weekend, with seven of this weekend’s 10 Premier League matches continuing, three of which have been postponed due to the Queen’s funeral.

Including Chelsea vs Liverpool, Manchester United vs Leeds United and Brighton vs Crystal Palace, the rest of the matches will continue.

Two of the matches, Chelsea vs Liverpool and Manchester United vs Leeds United, were scheduled to be played on September 18, local time, while the Queen’s funeral will take place on September 19, local time.

Antoine Griezmann is about to permanently join Atletico Madrid.

Full agreement very close: FC Barcelona will receive €25M.

According to previous media reports, Griezmann’s buyout clause is 40 million euros, and the condition for triggering the mandatory buyout clause is that Griezmann plays 50% of the matches (at least 45 minutes of playing time). He was sent out after the 60th minute of every game.

Reports say that Barca and Atletico are very close to reaching an agreement on Griezmann’s 25 million Euro buyout clause, and Barca wants to conclude negotiations before the start of the international matchday.

Roma 2-1 Empoli | Highlights

In the 6th round of Serie A, Roma faced Empoli on the road. In the first half, Dybala hit the post with a shot, then Dybala shot from a distance, Satriano’s header was parried, and Bandinelli equalized with a header. In the second half, Dybala assisted Abraham to push the goal, Ibanez made a penalty, Pellegrini took the penalty and hit the goal frame, Akpa Akpro dyed red, finally, Roma 2-1 Empoli.

FIFA23 ability value of the top ten: Messi, Mbappe, De Bruyne, Benzema, Lewandowski are 91

FIFA23 announced the top 23 players ability value, Messi, Mbappe, De Bruyne, Benzema, Lewandowski five people 91 points, C Luo 90 points.

FIFA23 players ability value of the top 23

1 Benzema 91: speed 80, disc 87, shooting 88, defending 39, passing 83, body 78

2 Levan 91: speed 75, dish 86, shooting 91, defense 44, passing 79, body 83

3 Mbappe 91: speed 97, dribbling 92, shooting 89, defending 36, passing 80, body 76

4 De Bruyne 91: speed 74, dispossession 87, shooting 88, defense 64, passing 93, body 77

5 Lionel Messi 91: speed 81, dribbling 94, shooting 89, defending 34, passing 90, body 64

6 Salah 90: speed 90, dribbling 90, shooting 89, defense 45, passing 82, body 75

7 Van Dyke 90: speed 81, dribbling 72, shooting 68, defending 91, passing 71, body 86

8 C Luo 90: speed 81, disc 85, shot 92, defense 34, pass 78, body 75

9 Courtois 90: fish leap 84, reaction 90, hand type 89, speed 44, kick-off 75, stand 89

10 Neuer 90: fish leap 87, reaction 88, hand type 88, speed 56, kick-off 91, standing 91

11 Neymar 89: speed 87, dispossession 93, shooting 83, defending 37, passing 85, body 61

12 Son 89: Speed 88, Dispossession 86, Shooting 89, Defending 34, Passing 78, Body 75

13 Mane 89: Speed 90, Disposable 88, Shot 83, Defense 44, Passing 80, Body 77

14 Kimmich 89: speed 68, disposable 84, shooting 72, defense 83, passing 87, body 79

15 Casemiro 89: speed 63, disposable 72, shooting 73, defense 87, passing 75, body 90

16 Alisson 89: fish leap 86, reaction 89, hand type 85, speed 54, kick-off 85, stance 90

17 Kane 89: speed 68, dispossession 82, shooting 91, defense 47, passing 83, body 82

18 Edson 89: fish leap 87, reaction 88, hand type 82, speed 64, kick-off 93, stance 88

19 Kante 89: speed 72, dispossession 81, shooting 66, defense 87, passing 74, body 82

20 Oblak 89: fish leap 86, reaction 89, hand type 90, speed 49, kick-off 78, stance 87

21 Harland 88: speed 89, dispossession 80, shooting 91, defense 49, passing 65, body 87

22 Kroos 88: speed 53, dispossession 81, shooting 81, defense 71, passing 90, body 68

23 Marquinhos 88: speed 79, dispossession 74, shooting 56, defense 89, passing 75, body 80

Ligue 1 official August best player candidates: Lionel Messi, Neymar, Sotoca

The French Professional Players’ Union (UNFP) has announced the candidates for Ligue 1 Player of the Month for August: Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sotoca.

In August, Paris played 5 Ligue 1 matches and won 4 and drew 1. Messi started all 4 matches and gave 3 goals and 4 assists, while Neymar also made 5 appearances and gave 7 goals and 6 assists.

Lens also won 4 and drew 1 of their 5 Ligue 1 matches in August, with 5 goals and 1 assist in 5 appearances for striker Sotoka, who was the first player to score a hat-trick in the top 5 leagues this season.

Referee Association: Bonucci was ruled offside because VAR could not use the machine in question

The Italian Referees Association gave their explanation for Juventus’ stunning goal against Salernitana being blown because Bonucci was offside.

The Italian Referees’ Association said: ‘The episode about the Juventus-Salernitana match and a video that was released after the match were first published on the internet and then reproduced by several media outlets. However the technical body of the National Referee Commission has checked all the images provided by VAR and VAR assistants regarding the match and found no correspondence with any of the videos in question.’

‘The technical body of the National Referee Commission also explicitly asked the company providing the technical services for VAR whether the VAR officials could use the cameras, known as ‘tactical positions’, during the match at Juventus Stadium. The answer was that the VAR could not use the cameras and therefore the referee could not use them. We are now confident that we have clarified the incident.’

Laporte is training with the team and is expected to return after the international day

Manchester City officials announced that Laporte, who suffered a knee injury at the end of last season, has trained with the team and is expected to return after this month’s international match day.

Laporte suffered serious knee injuries against Wolves and West Ham United last season and has been absent from City’s games since then.

City officials announced that Laporte has returned to training today and manager Pep Guardiola predicts that he will be available to play after this month’s international day.

Laporte, who previously missed pre-season preparations due to the injury, has had enough time to fully recover.

Crystal Palace game postponed due to rail strike

Chief executive Paul Barber said, “Both clubs wanted the match to take place on the original date and there has been a continued dialogue in order to achieve this with all relevant authorities, including Sussex and Surrey Police, other local emergency services and agencies, Brighton & Hove City Council, the Premier League and Crystal Palace. 

“Following these discussions, and having carefully evaluated all the factors, the unanimous recommendation of the Safety Advisory Group was to postpone the fixture with the full support of the Premier League.

“While we fully appreciate this will be of huge disappointment to both sets of fans, and causes disruption to both teams’ fixture schedules as well as those of supporters, the safety of fans of both clubs, our matchday staff, players and officials must be the priority.

“We have taken into consideration how difficult it would be for fans of both clubs to attend the match without access to the rail network and we looked at a number of options and various contingency plans.

“This included additional travel options or moving the match to earlier or later in the same week, with Sunday afternoon the latest the fixture could be played on that weekend due to the international break, but it simply was not possible to play the match with a full capacity crowd in attendance.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused fans of both teams, but we feel that the right decision has been reached. We would also like to thank Crystal Palace, the Premier League and the authorities for their support in this matter.”

At this stage there is no new date for the fixture and ticket holders should retain their tickets. Once a new date is confirmed, match-ticket purchasing supporters unable to attend the game will have seven days to apply for a refund.

Brighton’s weekend Premier League match with Crystal Palace has been postponed due to a strike in the local transport system, so Brighton will not be able to play their league matches as scheduled for the second week in a row.

Liverpool had 100 million euros offer Valverde in the last two days of the summer window

Liverpool had tried to bid for Federico Valverde from Real Madrid with 100 million euros in the last moments of the summer window.

The 24-year-old Valverde’s existing 2027 expires with Real Madrid, and this season he has become an absolute starter under Carlo Ancelotti, who has played in all seven of Real Madrid’s games so far this season, starting six of them, and has contributed two goals and two assists.

Liverpool had the idea of playing Valverde this summer, they offered 100 million euros to Real Madrid to bring in the Uruguayan international two days before the summer window closed, but the Galacticos chose to reject it.

Balverde’s existing contract with Real Madrid is up to 1 billion euros in default, and he is currently valued at 70 million euros on the German transfer.

Muller: Mane reminded me not to pass the ball to Lewandowski by mistake during the game

Bayern is about to have a Champions League match with Barcelona at home on Tuesday night, local time. Before the match, Bayern star Muller attended a press conference, where Muller talked about the opponent Barcelona and his former teammate Lewandowski.

About the match with Barcelona

Muller said: “In the last 10 days, Mane has always jokingly reminded me to be careful in the game and not to pass the ball to Lewandowski by mistake. We have to play our own style in tomorrow’s game and not focus too much on Lewand.”

“We want to win the game and when we lose the ball, we have to be proactive and go for the ball. The game will be very open. In the Bundesliga our recent opponents have been teams with great defenses. I think tomorrow’s game will be good for the neutral fans.”

On Bayern being without Lewandowski now

Muller said, “Our connection on the pitch has been getting better and better in recent years. But now that we have a lot of flexible players up front, we don’t have a target player. Opponents don’t know who we are targeting on our attacking line, but we have to make such an attack work.”

On Bayern’s starting XI

Muller said, “Of course we will exchange ideas with the coach. But the coach is an expert in management, tactics and starting. He doesn’t need to get advice from us. We will discuss, that’s normal. But ultimately it’s up to the coach to decide.”

Will the Champions League be more motivating than the Bundesliga?

Muller said, “Some games in the Champions League will have more attention, like the Champions League game at the San Siro or against Barca. That has extra motivation. The attacking line might run farther, maybe not in the Bundesliga. There are times when it is like that.”

On whether he keeps in touch with Lewandowski

Muller said, “I have a good relationship with Lewandowski, especially on the pitch. But off the field we don’t have too much together, apart from golf. After he left, we were in contact via cell phone. Of course after the draw, the conversation was hot. Soccer players are no different from anyone else.”

“He didn’t tell us before why or where he was leaving. And there was news in the media first that Barca was where he was going. He didn’t tell us before, but if it were me, I would have done the same.”

On tomorrow’s match

Muller said, “When the top teams in Europe meet, everyone is very motivated. Of course we know that Barcelona has started the season well. They have scored a lot of goals. I like them, but we will also take our game tomorrow to the limit.”

Bayern Munich is currently third in the Bundesliga with 12 points after 6 rounds of matches with 3 wins and 3 draws. Barcelona is in second place in La Liga with 4 wins and 1 draw after 5 rounds of matches.

Barca hopes to complete the contract extension with Gavi this Thursday, release money 1 billion euros

According to the Daily Sport, Barca hope to complete the contract extension with Gavi this Thursday.

The 18-year-old Gavi’s contract with Barca is set to expire in the summer of 2023.

According to the report, Barca hopes to renew Gavi’s contract until 2026 this Thursday. The renewal will bring Gavi’s contractual fee to 1 billion euros. Barca hopes to complete the extension before the international match day.

Gave’s signing ceremony will be done without the presence of fans, just like Marcos Alonso and Bellerin.

THE SUN 

Everton are ready to make a bid for Ferencvaros winger Adama Traore, according to reports.

Paris Saint-Germain Ultras are boycotting an away clash against Israeli side Maccabi Haifa due to “excessive” security restrictions.

Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech could be in line for a shock recall to the Morocco squad ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, according to reports.

Hakim Ziyech is under contract at Chelsea until 2025 but is reportedly 'desperate' to leave
Image:Hakim Ziyech is under contract at Chelsea until 2025 but was linked with a move away from the club in the summer

Manchester City’s new centre-back Manuel Akanji has owned up to being a former Manchester United fan.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is making his players undergo training sessions where they use just their weaker foot, according to reports.

DAILY MAIL 

Paul Pogba faces a race against time to be fit for the 2022 World Cup after it was confirmed he will return from injury just 10 days before the first ball is kicked in Qatar.

Ecuador face being kicked out of the World Cup after new evidence revealed a shocking admission from one of their players of using a false birth certificate, with the confession made in an official investigation that was covered up by the Ecuador Football Federation [FEF].

DAILY EXPRESS

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly tried to keep Billy Gilmour at the club by warning him that his situation could soon change prior to his deadline-day move to Brighton, according to reports.

Billy Gilmour was named man of the match when Scotland faced England at Euro 2020
Image:Billy Gilmour was named man of the match when Scotland faced England at Euro 2020, but was allowed to leave Chelsea for £9m on Deadline Day

Liverpool may be about to lose out on signing Barcelona midfielder Gavi as he could reportedly sign a new contract this week.

DAILY MIRROR

Manchester United are reportedly set to extend the contracts of five players in the coming months to avoid them leaving for nothing next summer.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at Manchester United could be nearing its end as the 37-year-old starts to explore interest from Saudi Arabian clubs as a serious option.

Manchester United reportedly believe that only their own ‘indecisiveness’ scuppered a blockbuster deal for Frenkie de Jong in the summer – and that the Dutchman would have joined them, despite claims to the contrary.

Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong during a La Liga match between Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano
Image:Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong has only started two of their five La Liga games this season

THE ATHLETIC

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim believes former Tottenham winger Marcus Edwards can play for England in the future.

The lead domestic scout at Rangers has left to head the English FA’s talent ID programme from U18s up to senior level.

DAILY RECORD 

British clubs will reportedly not play the Champions League anthem before home games this week due to the mourning period following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

SCOTTISH SUN

Mark Fotheringham is in talks with Bundesliga strugglers Bochum to take over as boss and make history – as there’s never been a Scottish manager in the German top flight.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Christian Wade has revealed that he was unable to join Wasps earlier this summer due to the club’s recruitment freeze, after Racing 92 announced he had signed for the club on Monday.

After Graham Potter joined Chelsea, what now for Brighton?

Losing Graham Potter to Chelsea just over halfway through their head coach’s long-term contract is a big setback for Brighton and Hove Albion.

There’s no getting away from that fact — and the disappointment is exacerbated by the decimation of his backroom staff, too.

Potter has taken assistant Billy Reid, coach Bjorn Hamberg and recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay with him to Stamford Bridge, together with two Brighton stalwarts in captain-turned-coach Bruno Saltor and goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts.

Nevertheless, there’s no panic at the Amex Stadium about the departure of the man who steered them to their highest-ever Premier League finish of ninth last season and who leaves them in fourth place, six matches into the new one.

A buyout clause of £20million ($23m) softens the blow, which just goes to show what an inspired decision owner-chairman Tony Bloom made in hiring Potter at the end of the 2018-19 season and then, just six months and 13 matches later, awarding him a two-year contract extension to June 2025.

It’s a huge ‘transfer fee’ for a manager/head coach, equivalent to around £150,000 a week for the 33 months that were left on that six-year deal.

Potter has transformed Brighton from resilient, top-flight survivors into a team thriving in the sport’s No 1 domestic league, gradually instilling his progressive playing style into a squad which blends experience with mobile energy and athleticism.

He’ll be a hard act to follow, but Brighton have been planning for the day they might lose him since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020.

Brighton have a select shortlist of potential successors, managers working both in the UK and abroad, and will concentrate their efforts on getting one of these candidates over the line based on factors such as availability, cost and the likelihood of landing them.

Potter first made his name by taking Ostersunds from the Swedish fourth tier to the knockout phase of the Europa League in seven years.

Kjetil Knutsen, who is highly rated in the corridors of power at the Amex, has performed similar miracles during four years in charge at Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt.

The 53-year-old has delivered back-to-back domestic titles in his homeland, and Glimt destroyed Jose Mourinho’s Roma 6-1 in the Europa Conference League last season (then drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture two weeks later) before a 5-1 aggregate win over Scottish title-bound Celtic in the knockout phase.

Facing Roma again in the quarter-finals, they beat them for a second time (2-1) in Norway, but lost 4-0 in the Italian capital in what was their last outing of a marathon 61-match, 11-month season. Roma went on to win the competition.

KnutsenKnutsen has enjoyed European success with Bodo/Glimt (Photo: Patrick Goosen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Knutsen’s side are currently second in the Norwegian league and are in the Europa League this season, where they have been drawn in the same group as Arsenal.

Closer to home, former Brighton defender — and, for two games in 2014, caretaker manager — Nathan Jones has done superbly in two spells at Luton Town, delivering promotion to the Championship in the first one and steering them to the second tier’s play-offs earlier this year in the second, although his CV was blemished by a troubled nine-month spell at Stoke City in the same division three years ago.

It would be expensive to get former Swansea manager Steve Cooper out of Nottingham Forest, who he led to Premier League promotion last season via the play-offs after taking over in the September when they were bottom of the table.

Continuing the Swansea theme (Potter spent 2018-19 there after leaving Ostersunds, coping with financial constraints following their relegation to the Championship. His move to Brighton then saw the Welsh club appoint Cooper, who led them to the play-offs in both of his two seasons), their current manager Russell Martin is Brighton-born and a disciple of Potter’s passing style.

Russell Martin, MK DonsSwansea manager Russell Martin is an admirer of Potter’s passing style (Photo: Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

The postponement of Brighton’s home game against Crystal Palace on September 17, due to a clashing rail strike, is inadvertently helpful.

It creates a three-week gap between Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth (which may also be postponed) and the visit to Liverpool on October 1.

Anfield may seem like a severe start for Potter’s successor, but it is arguably preferable to facing Brighton’s bitter rivals Palace amid a frenzied weight of expectation.

Under-21s coach Andrew Crofts — who began his career as an apprentice at Chelsea, before two spells in Brighton’s midfield — takes the reins for now with assistant Shannon Ruth and vastly-experienced midfielder Adam Lallana, who is currently out with a calf injury. Set-piece coach Nick Stanley and assistant goalkeeping coach Jack Stern will also be part of the group.

Potter’s successor will inherit a talented squad which is disrupting the normal pecking order at the Premier League summit.

It’s a small and early sample, of course, and as such, should be treated with caution — especially after Potter’s exit — but Brighton are performing at a high level so far when it comes to dominating opponents, as illustrated by the chart below.

This is demonstrated both by chance creation (non-penalty xG per 90 minutes) and in terms of territory (the percentage of time Brighton spend in the other teams’ defensive third versus the time opponents spend in theirs).

Further tough fixtures await in October, including a visit to back-to-back champions Manchester City, but Brighton have shown themselves to be capable of getting results against anyone, home or away.

Their start to 2022-23 — including beating Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford — isn’t a flash in the pan.

They finished last season strongly to claim that ninth spot, and have taken 30 points from the last 14 matches since early April.

That’s Champions League form: an average of 2.14 points per match over a 38-game season equates to more than 81 points. For context, Chelsea finished third last season with 74 points.

Another factor to take into consideration in the foundation laid by Potter in these opening weeks is the teams who would have been expected to be vying for European qualification getting off to poor starts.

West Ham’s 3-1 defeat at the Amex on the final day last season, having led at half-time, cost them a Europa League place. They had to settle for the Europa Conference League instead.

David Moyes’ side are currently in the relegation zone, already nine points behind Brighton, who beat them 2-0 at the London Stadium last month.

It’s been even worse for Leicester City, who finished a point above Brighton in eighth last season. Thrashed 5-2 at the Amex on Sunday in what turned out to be Potter’s final game in charge, they are bottom of the table with 12 fewer points than Brighton after six matches.

BrightonMoises Caicedo and Leandro Trossard celebrate Brighton’s second goal against Leicester (Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Wolves, the club who ended up immediately behind Brighton in 10th last time, are now 14th with six points and only three goals.

Brighton appear to be moving past their closest competitors from 2021-22 as well as other, bigger, clubs such as Aston Villa and Everton.

Bloom is already looking forward to Europa League group-stage journeys to Germany, Portugal and Sweden this season with Union Saint-Gilloise, the Belgian club he co-owns, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility for Brighton to follow suit.

Speaking at the end of May 2021 after Brighton had just finished 16th in Potter’s second season, Bloom said: “If being top 10 is realistic, so is getting into Europe.

“The first year we are in Europe would hold massive excitement for our fanbase, myself included — travelling to many places.

“It’s something to look forward to, but we’ve got to earn that. Absolutely, it would be great to be there.”

The European dream has been dented by losing Potter and so many of his support staff — but Brighton are still an attractive proposition for whoever his successor turns out to be.

ARTICLE LINK:https://theathletic.com/3567263/2022/09/09/graham-potter-chelsea-brighton-future/