Manchester United sign Memphis Depay 1 There are only a few days until the transfer window shuts for another summer.Plenty of business has been done so far as the Premier League sides look to strengthen their squads.With some indifferent starts from some of the usual contenders for the top four places, it seems like we might see some more big moves before the deadline next Tuesday.But which of last season’s top six sides need to do the most in the transfer market?Let us know in our poll below…
1 Joey Barton Joey Barton is co-hosting Drivetime with Adrian Durham on Friday and we want to know your views on the Burnley new boy…
Inter Milan are weighing up a move for Manchester City and Manchester United target Fabinho.The 21-year-old Brazil full-back has been linked with both Manchester clubs after his fine displays during club side Monaco’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals last season.And he could be the latest player to leave the principality after the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Aymen Abdennour and Dimitar Berbatov departed over the summer.RaiSport claim he could be set to join Kondogbia at Inter, with Roberto Mancini said to be keen to bring the Brazilian to San Siro.That means either Manchester club would have to move quickly if they want to sign the highly-rated youngster. Monaco full-back Fabinho 1
Five players have withdrawn from the England squad following the 2-0 win over Estonia.England won their ninth straight Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday with a comfortable yet uninspiring 2-0 victory over their Baltic visitors thanks to goals from Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling.After the game, manager Roy Hodgson confirmed five of the squad would not travel to Lithuania on Monday for the final qualifier in Vilnius.Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney, who missed the victory in London through injury, will return to Manchester United tonight.Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and James Milner, who all played 90 minutes against the Estonians, will also not travel to Vilnius, Hodgson confirmed.However, Hodgson was pleased to see his team keep their concentration and come through to maintain their 100 per cent qualifying record in front of a crowd of 75,427 at Wembley.He told ITV1: “It was as tough as we thought it would be. We played against a well-organised team and a team that’s quite intelligent in the way they played. We had to work very hard for it.“We attacked a lot and we had a lot of the ball. We had quite a few chances but it was a question of whether we could put them away. The goal just before half time was so important for us.“I think we were really good value for our 2-0 win and these type of games you have to go through them and if you’re not careful you lose a bit of concentration and can slip up. I’m pleased we didn’t.”Hodgson was impressed with Harry Kane’s performance and also the impact made by Jamie Vardy after coming off the bench.He added: “I thought Harry Kane’s performance at centre forward despite the fact he didn’t actually score was good. He did some fantastic work, setting things up. Jamie Vardy’s only been on the pitch a few minutes before he sets something up.“We’re really satisfied with the victory and if it’s true what people are telling me this victory will ensure that we’re seeded for the European Championships in France and that’s really important too because it fluctuates with this FIFA ranking.” 1 Gary Cahill
Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi is learning English and ‘preparing for the possibility’ of a move to the Premier League, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.Messi has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City tenuously over the last few months after reports emerged that the Argentine striker had grown unsettled in Catalonia.Balague, a regular Sky Sports pundit, revealed that Messi has ‘never been closer to leaving Barcelona’ earlier this week – and reiterated that sentiment on the Sports Bar on Thursday night.“He’s never been closer to leaving Barcelona, he is thinking about it,” Balague said.“He has heard from Sergio Aguero and Cesc Fabregas how wonderful England and the Premier League is. There’s an attraction there for a new challenge.“He’s maturing, he wants to imagine himself in England and he watches the Premier League. He’s learning English in case he needs it. He is preparing for that possibility.”Messi has spent the entirety of his career with the European giants, claiming 25 major titles and the Ballon d’Or on four occasions, although Cristiano Ronaldo has pipped him to the award in the last two seasons.Balague insists a number of Europe’s heavyweights have attempted to prise the 28-year-old away from Barcelona in the past, including both the Catalans’ arch rivals Real Madrid and even Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.Balague added: “Real Madrid tried – so did Arsenal.“At the time when Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas were agreed [the former moving to Manchester United and the latter switching to Arsenal], the three of them were in the same team and Messi was approached as well.”Messi is currently sidelined after damaging knee ligaments in September but is expected to be back for the first El Clasico of the season against Madrid on November 21.
Alan Smith says Wednesday’s crushing defeat to Bayern Munich proves Arsene Wenger has still yet to solve Arsenal’s defensive issues.The Gunners were completely overwhelmed by the Bundesliga champions at the Allianz Arena as they suffered a 5-1 reverse.It was a woeful display from the Premier League title hopefuls and Smith says Wenger, not for the first time, got his tactics all wrong.“I was expecting it to be difficult but not that difficult,” said the former Arsenal striker, speaking on talkSPORT.“They made it that way themselves the way they set up, the way they defended. They have still got that in them Arsenal and I was hoping with all the great performances they have had this season that they would be able to iron out those horrific defensive displays that come along now and again. But it is still in their make-up and Arsene Wenger has got to find an answer. He is responsible for it.“As we saw last night, Arsenal are still a long way behind the big clubs. You have to sort out those defensive aspects against the very best and I thought Arsene Wenger picked the wrong side. “The boys made it far too easy for probably the best side in the world.”Arsenal have been in fine form in the Premier League in recent weeks, but Smith fears their Munich humbling could have a damaging effect on the squad ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.“It will knock everybody at the club after all the good work they have done over the last few months and they have got to bounce back in the derby,” he added.“They look a proper team Spurs now so they will go to the Emirates pretty optimistic.”
David Wagner 1 David Wagner has vowed to follow close friend Jurgen Klopp’s lead and bring ‘full-throttle’ football to Huddersfield.The former Borussia Dortmund reserve team coach was unveiled as the Terriers’ new manager on Monday and he outlined his desire to implement the same fast, attacking philosophy that brought the Bundesliga club so much success under Klopp.“We’d like to bring some German influence to English culture,” said Wagner.“Everybody knows where we are from. We are from Dortmund and everybody knows what kind of football we play there and this is exactly what we would like to bring to Huddersfield.“I’m sure you saw some games from Borussia Dortmund in the last four years, especially in the first two years.“Their game was very good and this is what I like to do. I prefer passion in the game, I like speed. I like my teams to score goals.“Everybody knows the ‘full-throttle’ football that we try to create. This is what I like to do.“But you have to work hard to do this, to do this you need a lot of fitness and I know this is possible on each (league) level.“We did it in the second team at Dortmund and we did it in the first team at Dortmund. It depends on the players you have, but in the end it is possible to create this style.”Wagner had been tipped to join Klopp’s staff at Liverpool after he took charge of the Premier League giants in the summer.But the 44-year-old, who was best man at Klopp’s wedding, refused to confirm whether he rejected an approach from the Reds.“We don’t discuss about this,” he said.“I think we have very good ideas, similar ideas and of course when he went to Liverpool we spoke about his staff and everything like this, but at that moment I was under contract at Dortmund, so this was not the plan for me.”
Watch a 14-year-old Neymar calmly score after receiving a pass from former Brazil and Barcelona star Romario.This footage is from a 2006 charity match organised by Romario, who scored 53 goals in 82 games for the Spanish champions, and Robinho.And given Neymar was holding his own here, it looks like he was always going to become the player he has for Barca.
Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason has been drafted into the England squad for the friendly with France at Wembley on Tuesday night.Injuries to Michael Carrick, Jamie Vardy and mostly recently Fabian Delph created some spaces for Roy Hodgson, which he has duly filled with Manchester United youngster Jesse Lingard and now Mason.Mason made his international debut as a substitute against Italy in April but wasn’t named in Hodgson’s initial squad for the games with Spain and France after sustaining a knee injury with Spurs in September.The encounter at Wembley is set to be a highly emotional affair given the immediacy of the Paris terror attacks on Friday night.FA chief executive Martin Glenn has urged fans to arrive early with security checks increased and eyes the occasion as an opportunity to show solidarity with France and its people. Ryan Mason 1
Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen) – Another talented German, shot-stopper, Leno is brave, if occasionally clumsy. Hes a safe pair of hands overall between the sticks and has only conceded 20 goals in his 17 appearances this season. Reports in October linked the Reds with Leno but whether he would quit Leverkusen for Liverpool is another matter. 5 Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona) – Reportedly frustrated with the amount of playing time he is currently getting at the Camp Nou, Ter Stegen could be tempted to leave the Catalan giants. The Telegraph suggest Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has got his eyes on the 23-year-old, who has made just 14 appearances this season. 5 Liverpool could be in the market for a goalkeeper this January. Cologne star Timo Horn is one player they’re in the hunt for. Click the arrow above, right, for more targets… – Klopp has picked out the 22-year-old as a possible target, according to German newspaper Bild. Having already made more than 100 appearances for his hometown club, Horn has plenty of experience at a young age and is good shot-stopper who could be available for as little as £6.5m. His propensity to punch, though, might make Liverpool think again. After letting in three goals against Arsenal, Liverpool may be considering their goalkeeper options.Reports had suggested Simon Mignolet was set to sign a new contract with the Reds but, after another error against the Gunners where Olivier Giroud was able to nudge home a corner with ease, supporters have again criticised their no.1.Back-up Adam Bogdan hasn’t covered himself in glory when he has deputised, leading to the Reds recalling Danny Ward from his loan spell with Aberdeen.So who could manager Jurgen Klopp move for in the January transfer window? talkSPORT takes a look.Click the right arrow to see goalkeepers Liverpool could… 5 Mattia Perin (Genoa) – The scraggy Italian has been on Liverpools radar for a while but less so since Jurgen Klopp has taken charge. The Reds will have extensively scouted Perin, who has made 12 Serie A appearances this season, so if they are unable to secure other targets there is a chance they could turn to the 23-year-old talent who offers a solid but unspectacular alternative. 5 5 Guillaume Hubert (Standard Liege) – The Daily Mail reported earlier in January that Liverpool, along with Leicester City, have earmarked the 21-year-old Belgian as a transfer target. Once wanted by Stoke while at French side Valenciennes, Hubert has only just broken into the first team and could be bought on the cheap with an offer of around £1m.