Upacemano to Bayern 'DONE', Pogba and Fabinho OUT, Tomas to Arsenal EXCLUSIVE, Man Utd, Chelsea, Tottenham transfer news

LIVERPOOL and Leicester kick-off a bumper weekend of Premier League action on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile we've the very latest on a potential swoop from Arsenal for Tiago Tomas, plus an update on Dayot Upacemano who is reportedly on his way to Bayern Munich.


Read our live blog below to get the latest from around the clubs…

  • William Pugh


    Talk about out of the fire and into the frying pan…

    In a bid to prevent the European Super League, Uefa have come up with Champions League plans that amount to little more than a closed shop.

    Their proposals would offer a free pass to clubs who fail to qualify through merit. It must never happen.

    Uefa’s idea is that of the additional clubs the competition would be open to, England would probably have two extra spots, making six qualifying clubs in all. But here’s the problem… two of them would qualify based on their previous history in Europe, rather than merit.

    Based on the proposals, if Everton and Leicester came fifth and sixth in the Premier League, say, but Arsenal and Spurs were seventh and eighth, the North London teams who would go into the Champions League.

    And that would be at the cost of Everton and Leicester based on Uefa’s ‘coefficient’ — which weights previous experience in the Champions League over merit in any season…

  • William Pugh


    Jose Mourinho says Tottenham selling Carabao Cup Final merchandise is not the act of a small club but of a desperate need to raise money.

    Spurs were ridiculed on social media this week when they unveiled a range of souvenirs marking their Wembley clash with Manchester City on April 25 – with rival fans claiming teams should only celebrate winning trophies.

    But Mourinho, who has been trying to instil a winning mentality at the London club, has no problem with keyrings, lanyards and commemorative mugs being sold after the pandemic hit finances hard.

    He said: “We have empty stadiums, an incredible stadium always empty. How many millions is Tottenham losing every match we play at home?

    “How many millions is Tottenham losing per month?

    “We have to make money so we go to a final, try to sell some pins, some shirts, key-rings, anything. So well done.”

  • William Pugh

    Salihamidzic told Bild: “I can [confirm reports we’ve won the race], and we are very happy about it.

    “We had very good, intensive and professional discussions with Dayot and his advisor for many months. We knew we had strong competition.

    “Upamecano is a young player whose qualities have already developed extraordinarily. I was always convinced we had presented a good concept.

    “We presented him with our vision of his career at Bayern. During the past week I had further talks with everyone involved.

    “At the end of a long process, the player, family and management were convinced that Bayern was the right club.

    “Upamecano will play for Bayern for the next five years.”

  • William Pugh


    Bayern Munich have won the race to sign RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano.

    Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed the French centre-back will be heading to Bavaria this summer despite strong interest from the Premier League.

    Bayern will meet Upamecano’s £37million release clause after he agreed a five-year contract.

    And it means suitors Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool will not be getting their hands on the 22-year-old, rated as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe.

    Upamecano made his decision as Bayern became just the second team to win the Sextuple following Thursday’s Club World Cup triumph.

    And he will head to the Allianz Arena as a direct replacement for David Alaba, who is leaving Bayern on a free transfer…

  • William Pugh


    Arsenal legend David Seaman has begged Mikel Arteta not to settle for Gunners being a ‘cup team’ and aim for Premier League glory.

    Former keeper Seaman said: “Around 1993 we dropped off in the league but in the cups we were doing OK.

    "When Arsenal are not challenging it is a bad season and we were well off it — and it wasn’t until Arsene Wenger came in that things started to change.

    “And even then it took two years to win the league and the first Double.
    “It’s maybe like what’s going on now. The team’s focus has changed towards the cups with the league out of reach.

    “But it’s a dangerous game to play if you want to end your bad league form. You can’t just turn it on for the cup. You have to start building confidence in the league or you could be cut adrift.

    “I like what I am seeing so far, the team just needs to be more consistent. We are getting performances and little runs, then we get beat and I think, ‘Really? We got beat by them?’.

    undefinedCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • William Pugh


    Roy Keane played his first ever Instagram post straight down the line.

    He posted a picture of himself and his trusty doggo and simply wrote: "A man's best friend."

    The post received more than 218,000 likes and more than 8,800 comments.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Roy Keane (@officialkeane16)

  • William Pugh

    But we might just see him return to his old ways by stretching the game to exploit Liverpool’s slow makeshift defence.

    Despite turning 34 last month, he is now smartly conserving his energy more to still have that explosive turn of pace.

    And by doing that he will create that space between the defence and midfield bringing James Maddison into the game who can make things happen.

    He has five assists in the Premier League this season and does not shy away from a goal either.

    But while Foden was forced to find that space, Maddison will have it made for him with Vardy’s pace along with Harvey Barnes and Marc Albrighton down the flanks.

    So while Rodgers will set Leicester up differently to City they can still have the same effect and expose Liverpool’s weak spots.

  • William Pugh


    Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers would have seen how Manchester City exposed Liverpool’s weaknesses and quietly smiled.

    As the Northern Irishman knows, his Leicester side are capable of doing the same thing — without having to copy Pep Guardiola’s blueprint.

    By keeping the likes of Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez wide, City were able to stretch Liverpool and exploit the space left by both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

    And what Phil Foden did as the false nine was highlight the space in between their midfield and defence with his constant movement.

    While Alisson’s mistakes were key in the final moments, it was clear Liverpool were struggling to deal with City’s game plan. Leicester’s approach will be similar but with a completely different set-up.

    In recent seasons Jamie Vardy has evolved into the complete centre-forward who can drop deep and link up…

  • William Pugh


    Arsenal can reportedly turn Dani Ceballos’ loan spell at the Emirates into a permanent deal for just £22million.

    The Spanish midfielder – who is in his second season on loan in North London – has become a firm fan favourite, with supporters loving his tireless work rate.

    According to La Razon, Los Blancos are seeking a fee in the region of £22million for Ceballos.

    The LaLiga giants are in desperate need to raise funds, and believe selling Ceballos is an easy way of doing so.

    However should Arsenal decide to make a move for the midfielder, they are set to face competition from his former employers Real Betis.

    It has been claimed that Betis have identified him as the perfect replacement for Nabil Fekir if the Frenchman departs in the summer.

    undefinedCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • William Pugh


    Roy Keane has joined Instagram!

    The Irishman has developed a hard-man reputation from his playing days into his pundit career.

    And fellow player turned TV-favourite Ian Wright shared the news on his own Insta account.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Ian Wright (@wrightyofficial)

  • William Pugh


    Marcelo Bielsa is suing former club Lille for £16.6million – and hit out in a French court after being interrupted for speaking over his permitted time.

    On a video conference earlier today, the Leeds boss was given 15 minutes in his appeal over unpaid compensation following his 2017 sacking. But Bielsa spoke for 45 minutes and became ‘angry’ when those overseeing proceedings spoke over him.

    According to Get France Football News, the Argentine said: “I have suffered abuse and you will not allow me to complete my presentation.”

    In December 2017, six months before his Elland Road arrival, he was fired after just 13 games for ‘serious fault’ with Lille in a relegation scrap.

    Having not received the money he believed he was owed after signing a two-year deal worth £7.5m, Bielsa, 65, filed a lawsuit. And he appealed the decision after the claim was rejected in March 2018 and he was ordered to pay £263,000 in damages.

    The case centres on two contracts the ex-Argentina head coach signed at the time of his appointment at the Ligue 1 club in 2017.

    undefinedCredit: AFP or licensors
  • William Pugh


    Joe Willock has revealed he isn’t thinking about about his future at Arsenal as he insisted his focus is purely on Newcastle.

    The 21-year-old joined the Magpies on loan until the end of the season in the winter transfer window, and made an instant impression on his debut last week.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “When I decided to come here I had a sense of peace. I didn’t ever feel like it was going to be the wrong one (decision). When I came here, everyone was so welcoming.

    “My first day everyone was speaking to me, I was speaking to the manager, that was when I knew it was the right decision and to score on my debut and to get three points is an even bigger plus.

    “I’m trying to focus on what I have to do now, focus on Newcastle United. I’m not really looking at Arsenal at the moment. I’m here to prove to Newcastle United that I can play every week and affect the games and win games for them.

    “I’m not really looking at Arsenal, when that time comes for me to make a decision to go back or not that will come. But right now, I’m focused on Newcastle and I’m loving every minute that I’m here.”

    undefinedCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • William Pugh


    Ravel Morrison claims he is 'baffled' by Wilfried Zaha blaming their infamous on-pitch bust-up with England Under-21s on his Ronaldinho-style showboating.

    Lion Cub sub Nathan Redmond broke up the duo’s shoving match during a 5-0 win over Lithuania eight years ago.

    Zaha told the On The Judy podcast this week that he got “mad” at ex-Manchester United winger Morrison‘s mix of flicks and tricks – accusing him of “moving like he was Ronaldinho and the rest of us were just no-one”.

    Now Morrison, 28, has responded on social media, telling the Crystal Palace superstar to 'state facts' and 'talk serious'. Morrison, who was with West Ham at the time, has tried to laugh off Zaha’s claims on Instagram.

    He wrote: “Wilfried lol… Come on, let’s jump on a three-way live and state facts, what a dude.”

    And in another post he said: “Silent… please come on, let’s talk serious, haha baffled.”

  • William Pugh


    Mikel Arteta reckons Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe is ready to go to the ‘next level’.

    The 25-year-old has certainly failed to live up to the hype since his whopping £72million move from Lille.

    Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash against Leeds – the club Pepe was shown a straight red card against in November – Arteta said: “I think he’s done much much better.

    “I think there has been a click with him, even in his mentality, how he’s approaching every training session, the importance of every action in the game and how he can sustain his focus and his determination during games.

    “I really like his attitude. What’s he’s done in the last few weeks I think it’s been much better.

    “He still has a lot of room to improve and grow and he’s willing to do that so I’m expecting him to go to the next level very soon.”

    undefinedCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • William Pugh


    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants his players to stay off social media to avoid abuse.

    Personal and racial abuse of players has become rife on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

    Manchester United stars including Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe have received horrific messages recently.

    United boss Solskjaer said: “We’ve already come too far anyway at this concept and the abuse has gone overboard and is unacceptable.

    “We would hope we have educated our players enough to stay away from much of the criticism.

    “To stop this would be easy, should be so easy that people just have to verify who they are and not all those fake name as and stuff. That’s my wish if you want to have an account it has to be verified.”

    undefinedCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • William Pugh


    Jose Mourinho has revealed the true state of his relationship with Pep Guardiola – a friendship where they consoled each over the deaths of parents.

    Mourinho and Guardiola have spent much of their managerial careers in direct competition with each other in Spain and now in England.

    But Tottenham boss Mourinho says there is a secret side the world is unlikely to see when he takes his team to the Etihad to face Manchester City today.

    He said: “Football matches, football problems if you want to call them – for me, I’m from the generation where what happens in a football match stays in the football match and I have only positive feelings and good respect.

    “There are moments in life where we don’t forget things. One of the things I don’t forget was when my father died he knew how important my dad was to me so he had a call.

    “By the way, today would be my dad’s birthday, he would be 83 today and, of course when his mum died I replied the same way. So there are things that people don’t see, we don’t need to share."

  • William Pugh


    Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly one of three clubs that are keen on signing Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun on a free transfer.

    The 19-year-old is set to depart the Emirates in the summer when his contract expires with contract negotiations believed to have stalled.

    Arsenal have been desperate to tie the youngster down to a new deal as they restarted talks with the player in November.

    But there is now growing fears that the club are resigned to losing the England youth international who could move abroad in search of regular game time.

    According to the Mirror, Bayer Leverkusen have emerged a possible destination for Balogun and are ready to offer him a lucrative contract.

    The news outlet also stated that fellow Bundesliga side Stuttgart are interested in the American-born forward, as well as Ligue 1 outfit Rennes.

    undefinedCredit: Reuters
  • William Pugh


    Liverpool's mounting defensive problems have deepened after Fabinho was ruled out of tomorrow’s trip to Leicester City.

    The Brazilian midfielder has been redeployed as an emergency centre-back this season due to the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

    Fabinho had only just returned from a hamstring injury for last weekend’s 4-1 humbling defeat to Manchester City.

    Yet the 27-year-old suffered a relapse this week and Jurgen Klopp revealed ‘a small muscle injury’ has ruled him out of the game against Leicester.

    And Fabinho now faces a fight to be ready for the the first leg of Liverpool’s last 16 Champions League clash with RB Leipzig next week.

    But it does mean that Reds boss Klopp is set to hand a Premier League debut to either Ozan Kabak or Ben Davies alongside Jordan Henderson.

    undefinedCredit: Reuters
  • William Pugh


    Joey Barton claims he paid backroom staff out of his own pocket and even offered to fund the wages of goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler at Fleetwood.

    Barton, 38, has recently appeared on Robbie Fowler’s podcast to discuss his rollercoaster and controversial career.

    He said: “I brought a number one in (Joel Coleman) and he injured his hamstring. I brought a number two in (Jayson Leutwiler) and he ended up being number one.

    “He [Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley] told me he wasn’t going to renew Leutwiler’s contract and he’d done superbly. I said I’d pay him out of my own money.

    “I was paying for staff. I was paying for stuff for some of the lads myself because I wanted Fleetwood to win. I didn’t take money home really – I was just paying other members of staff who I felt I needed.

    “I offered to pay for Leuts. He said no and I knew at that point he wanted to dictate the team.”

  • William Pugh


    Leicester City have been handed a crippling blow with the news their outstanding defender James Justin has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

    The 22-year-old was stretchered off during the Foxes’ midweek 1-0 FA Cup win against Brighton after jarring his right knee when he landed awkwardly on the turf.

    Initially manager Brendan Rodgers was hopeful the damage was minimal as Justin was able to walk soon afterwards.

    But those hopes have been cruelly dashed on the eve of tomorrow’s crucial lunchtime clash with champions Liverpool, as Rodgers revealed scans have shown Justin has suffered ACL damage which will require surgery and effectively end his season.

    The news will also come as a setback for England as Gareth Southgate had watched the £8million signing from Luton Town recently after the versatile England Under-21 star was tipped for a senior call-up.

    “The scan hasn’t shown up so well. It looks like he has done his ACL which is a devastating blow for us because he has been incredible,” Rodgers revealed.

    undefinedCredit: PA:Press Association


  • William Pugh


    Ebony Salmon has received her first senior call-up to the Lionesses ahead of their friendly clash with Northern Ireland this month.

    The Bristol City striker will join the rest of the squad when they meet at the national team’s training base at St. George’s Park.

    Salmon, 20, who joined the Robins from Manchester United in 2019, has been in fine form for the club this term, netting five goals in 13 WSL appearances.

    England Women’s coach Hege Riise said “Ebony is a player who we have monitored closely for her club and through our development teams and is a young talented player who we think will benefit from exposure to the senior environment.

    “She has been performing consistently at club level, showing great speed and scoring goals so we are excited to welcome her on camp next week.”

    undefinedCredit: PA


  • William Pugh

    AL BE OK

    Alexandre Lacazette shared a joke with Granit Xhaka after coming off worse during a clash with his Arsenal team-mate.

    The French striker shared a picture of his bloodied sock after he was hurt by the Swiss midfielder during training on Friday.

    Lacazette posted the picture on Instagram and wrote: “By Granit Xhaka, I thought we were friends”.

    Thankfully for Arsenal fans, the 29-year-old is not in any danger of missing this weekend’s home clash against Leeds.

    Lacazette is expected to lead the line at the Emirates after leading the Gunners’ recent revival after a crisis of confidence earlier in the season.

    The former Lyon man will have just a year left on his contract in the summer and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid. Although Arsenal are yet to open talks with Lacazette over a new deal but the club are said to be very happy with his attitude in training.



  • William Pugh


    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promoted Manchester United kids Hannibal Mejbri and Shola Shoretire to his senior squad.

    The Red Devils boss confirmed on Friday that the pair will stay with the first team for a ‘while’ after impressing for the U23s.

    Mejbri, 18, is an attacking midfield playmaker who hails from France and has become a vital member of the youth team.

    Meanwhile, English winger Shoretire, 17, signed his first professional contract earlier this month after netting a hat-trick against Blackburn.

    And both prodigies will now get a chance to impress alongside the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

    Solskjaer revealed: “First of all, the young kids – we’ve moved Shola up with us. Hannibal will join us and we’ll keep them with us for a while. I think it’s the next step in their development."

    Man United youngster Shola Shortire has been promoted to the senior squadCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Hannibal Mejbri is also training with United’s senior starsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • William Pugh


    Donny van de Beek must depart Manchester United to stop being Bruno Fernandes’ 'side dish' and prove he is a special talent, claims Jermaine Jenas.

    Former Spurs midfielder Jenas told the Mirror: “It was a strange move in the first place for Donny to go there.

    ‘It is very similar to the issue Tottenham have with finding a replacement for Harry Kane, which is why they’ve never found anyone of close quality. People know they’re not going to play.

    “The only way you get the best out of any player is you fill them with confidence, especially players like him, by playing them every week, making them feel part of the project and showing they’re not just the side dish.

    “When he was at Ajax I saw a player that was a problem for teams, arriving late in the box, scoring goals. At the minute he just plays safe and because of the position he plays he’s always being compared to another player – their best player (Fernandes).

    ‘Unfortunately the only way I see him getting back to a confident state and playing again is to move. He needs to be the special player.”

  • William Pugh


    Arsenal will welcome back Bernd Leno and David Luiz to their squad against Leeds – but will be without Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

    Partey limped off injured in the Gunners’ defeat at Aston Villa last weekend, with manager Mikel Arteta confirming he is out.

    Arteta said: “It is a difficult one, he felt something during the game and we didn’t think it was too bad but after the scan looked a little bit worse.

    “He won’t be available to play against Leeds and we will see how it evolves in the next two days but it is a muscular issue.”

    Left-back Tierney has missed the last four league games with Arteta revealing he is still struggling with a knee problem.

    Keeper Leno and Luiz were both sent off against Wolves and as a result missed the trip to Villa. Mat Ryan filled in between the posts but is likely to be replaced at the Emirates.



Source: Read Full Article