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Chelsea continue defender search, Kylian Mbappe to sign for Real Madrid or FREE, Erling Haaland UPDATES – latest news

The US Sun
 2021-09-03

CHELSEA failed to bring in Sevilla's Jules Kounde before the transfer window slammed shut but will be looking to make moves for a defender in January.

Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe also failed to get his dream move to Real Madrid, with the Spanish club set to sign him on a free in a pre-contract agreement in the new year.

Real reportedly offered PSG close to £170m for the French forward's signature, but the Parisian club failed to budge.

And clubs all over Europe will now cast their minds onto Erling Haaland, who looks set to leave Borussia Dortmund next summer.

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Follow ALL the lates news and gossip with our live blog below…

CRISTIANO BACK TO WIN SILVERWARE

Cristiano Ronaldo has already issued a rallying call to his new Manchester United team-mates and told them ‘I’m here to win’.

The five times Ballon d’Or winner has made clear that he wants to bag another Premier League title, to the delight of the squad.

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Ronaldo, 36, landed in Manchester on Thursday and is expected to train at Carrington for the first time on Wednesday once he completes a five-day quarantine period.

But prior to joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, he has already sent his expectations via Portuguese compatriot Bruno Fernandes.

A source said: “The players are so excited about the arrival of Ronaldo. They have been given this huge boost, and they feel very confident.

“The players and coaching staff now believe they have the best squad in the league and can win the Premier League this season.

“Ronaldo has also spoken to Bruno Fernandes and told him to tell the other players that they need to win it this year.

“They need to work hard and start to believe in themselves. The players have not stopped talking about Ronaldo since he signed and they can’t wait to train and play alongside.”

WENGER BACKS WORLD CUP EVERY 2 YEARS

Ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is ramping up the push for a World Cup every TWO YEARS.

And Wenger has drafted a plan to see ALL tournament qualifiers players in a single elongated window every October.

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Frenchman Wenger, now Fifa’s head of global football development, has been a strong advocate of world chief Gianni Infantino’s new masterplan.

That will see the World Cup becoming a biannual tournament, effectively from the 2026 event, due to be staged in the USA, Mexico and Canada.

Wenger has embarked on a series of interviews across Europe, with the latest coming in L’Equipe.

The 71-year-old said: “The principle would be a grouping of qualifiers every year and, at the end of the season, a major competition, World Cup or continental championship.

“Between the two qualifying windows, the player would stay in his club all year.

“There must be less of a mix in the calendar between periods of club and international football, and therefore fewer trans-continental trips for the players, for example.”

WOLVES' RECORD OFFER TO KEEP ADAMA

EXCLUSIVE: Wolves are set to offer Adama Traore a £25million golden carrot to sign a new four-year-deal worth a hefty £120,000 a week, writes GRAEME BRYCE.

After more than a year of contract wrangling, the long-standing deal Wolves offered Traore last October remains unsigned as the Spaniard stubbornly refuses to commit his long-term future to the club.

Now, after rejecting two deadline-day bids from Tottenham - including a £30 million bid to re-unite Traore with his former boss Nuno EspIrito Santo - Wolves are set to dramatically raise the stakes.

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They are willing to make the 25-year-old speedster the highest paid player at Molineux, ahead of Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves, to keep their £50million-rated asset out of the clutches of their Premier League rivals.

And they will step up talks with Traore over the next few weeks, once he returns from Spain's upcoming world cup ties against Georgia and Kosovo over a double-your-money-deal.

Traore currently earns around £55,000-a-week but Wolves are willing to more than double it, rather than watch their attacking asset's value decrease as his current deal runs down.

The powerhouse forward has entered the final two years of the five-year-contract he signed when he arrived from Middlesbrough in a then club-record £18million move in August 2018.

Wolves' failure to make any deadline day signings - despite head coach Bruno Lage's pleas for three or four 'top quality,' additions - went down badly with frustrated Wolves fans.

RON’S ‘STILL IMPROVING AS A FINISHER’

Manchester United legend Denis Irwin claims Cristiano Ronaldo is still “getting better” as a goalscorer – aged 36.

Former Republic of Ireland full-back Irwin agrees the returning superstar has changed his game in recent years, having been more of a dashing wideman than central forward in his first United spell of 2003-9.

But he told Sky Sports of last season’s to Serie A marksman: “He is a fantastic goalscorer, he always has been and he always will be, and he is getting better and better in that respect.

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Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd

“People might question him because he is 36 but he has really looked after himself, you can tell that.

“I know Mother Nature catches up with you, I know the Premier League is the most physical league in the world for me, it is 90 minutes of pace, and he is not the same type of player he was going back to when he first joined United, in the first part of his career.

“But he will certainly score goals in the Premier League this season and I think the United fans are excited about him coming over.

“We remember he gave six great years, he went from being a boy to a man and he has gone on to do great things at Real Madrid and Juventus, with different techniques and different qualities in each league.”

YES – BUT WHO’S THE BETTER PLAYER?

Arsenal’s £50million summer signing Ben White could prove better value in central defence than new £42m Manchester United recruit Raphael Varane over the next four years at least according to the tweet below.

But no financial predictions can replace the basic question: Which of them is and will be the ‘better’ player?

That’s without even considering other issues, such as how they gel with team-mates and tactics, plus their facts and figures ON the pitch.

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French World Cup winner Varane, 27, has the greater pedigree after ten years with Real Madrid.

But White, twice capped by England, is four years younger.

Gunners’ fans, though, will want to know if has the stature, mentally as well as physically, to help Mikel Arteta’s men recover from opening with three straight Prem defeats – including conceding nine goals.

Let’s discuss this again in 2025…!

RONDON: RAFA CHANGED ME

New Everton striker Salomon Rondon has hailed Rafa Benitez for "changing my mentality" in the 31-year-old's two previous spells under the Spaniard.

The former West Brom star told evertontv: "Rafa changed the vision I have of football because the team is the most important thing for a club and the players.

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"His management of the team is special because, in some games, you have to do extra work, or work really hard to get the points.

"He showed to the players, you can go to the limits.

“I enjoy playing for Rafa a lot because he is the manager who changed my mentality and how I see the game, what he needs from me to help the team and my team-mates."

CELTIC COULD FORM THE THE KYLE HIGH CLUB

Celtic are looking up in the world with reported interest in Britain's tallest footballer - Solihull Moors' 6ft 9ins striker Kyle Hudlin.

It surely wouldn't take a sky high bid to land the 21-year-old, although he only joined his National League side on a two-year deal from Sunday football in October 2020.

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Football Insider suggest Celtic scout Andy Thorne has watched Hudlin this season.

And back in January SunSport reported just how ambitious he is after an incredible rise over the past year.

He said then: “I am enjoying life at Solihull right now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have aspirations in England and in the Champions League.

“I don’t want to run before I can walk and I understand how high the jump is to that level, but I want to make that jump.

“If all goes well I will be playing in the EFL soon."

PAU REBUFFED SPURS

Spain centre-back Pau Torres says he rejected Tottenham this summer to stay at boyhood club Villarreal.

The LaLiga club reportedly accepted a £43million bid from Spurs for the 24-year-old.

And 14-cap Torres said: “I was told there was interest in me from another club, which was Tottenham.

“However, I was very clear in what I wanted to do. I took the decision [to stay at Villarreal] calmly."

“It was the best decision for me and what I wanted to do; staying with my boyhood club and with an exciting season ahead with big goals and big challenges to achieve."

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UTD ‘BACK IN FOR ARSENAL TARGET TRIPPIER’

Manchester United are tipped to re-open their hunt for Arsenal target Kieran Tripper in January.

United bid £18m for Atletico Madrid’s England right-back shortly before the transfer window shut on Tuesday, Sport1 journalist Patrick Berger claimed.

And Arsenal too were understood to have monitored the 30-year-old over the summer.

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Now Mundo Deportivo say ‘Manchester United are expected to return to the fray’ when the January transfer window re-opens.”

LINGARD ‘WANTED TO STAY AT UTD’

Jesse Lingard made it clear to West Ham he’d prefer to fight for his place at Manchester United, 90min claim.

The England midfielder, 28, was reportedly wanted by the Hammers in August following his loan success there last season.

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CLUBS QUEUE FOR CITY WHIZKID DELAP

Championship clubs are queuing up for Manchester City whizkid Liam Delap.

That's according to Football League World, who suggest Middlesbrough, Millwall and Stoke fancy a January move for the striker, 18.

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RON IS ED OVER HEELS AT RECLAMING NO7 SHIRT

Cristiano Ronaldo has thanked Edinson Cavani for the “incredible gesture” that allowed him to reclaim the Manchester United No7 shirt.

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Credit: AFP or licensors

The Premier League let Cavani take outgoing Dan James’ No21 top – with incoming old boy Ronaldo restored to 7.

The Portugal superstar, 36, said: “I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the number seven shirt again.

“So I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi (Cavani) for this incredible gesture.”

UTD TO NAB ARSENAL WHIZKID

Manchester United are tipped to sign one of the country’s top defensive prospects after he left Arsenal.

Harrison Parker, 15, had “all the top clubs in England chasing him” – according to Rising Ballers.

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TORR'S TO BE RECKONED WITH

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has broken his silence on why he left Arsenal to head to Fiorentina on loan.

And the midfielder simply says it’s because he feels ‘good’ in Italy, where he played before he joined the Gunners.

He said: “I wanted to go back to Italy, where I felt good.

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Credit: ACF Fiorentina

“For me the most important thing is to play.

“It’s true that we have been talking about Fiorentina for many years, I want to make the most of this experience now that I’m here.”

YES – BUT WHO’S THE BETTER PLAYER?

Arsenal’s £50million summer signing Ben White could prove better value in central defence than new £42m Manchester United recruit Raphael Varane over the next four years at least according to the tweet below.

But no financial predictions can replace the basic question: Which of them is and will be the ‘better’ player?

That’s without even considering other issues, such as how they gel with team-mates and tactics, plus their facts and figures ON the pitch.

French World Cup winner Varane, 27, has the greater pedigree after ten years with Real Madrid.

But White, twice capped by England, is four years younger.

Gunners’ fans, though, will want to know if has the stature, mentally as well as physically, to help Mikel Arteta’s men recover from opening with three straight Prem defeats – including conceding nine goals.

Let’s discuss this again in 2025…!

MUSTAFI JOY AT LEVANTE DEAL

Former Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi claims he was instantly impressed with Levante as he joined the Spaniards following his release from Schalke.

The 20-cap Germany star, 29, held talks with Torino last month but the Serie A club chose not to pursue a deal.

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Credit: AFP

Instead LaLiga club Levante have handed the ex-Valencia ace an 18-month contract.

Mustafi said: “From the first moment I liked the idea of coming to Levante.

“We are going to give everything to take the club as high as possible.”

SAUL FOLLOWS HAZARD AND SALAH

New Chelsea loanee Saul Niguez has been given the number 17 shirt following Eden Hazard and Mo Salah.

The midfielder, 26, was a deadline recruit from Atletico Madrid for the season.

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But Chelsea also have the option to make the move permanent if the Spain star impresses.

Legend Hazard was initally given the number 17 before proving his value to the club - he was later given No10 and stuck with that until he left.

Mo Salah has also worn No17 for Chelsea but with less success compared to Hazard, as has fellow winger Pedro.

Most recently, Mateo Kovacic represented 17 but switched to number eight this season, highlighting his growing importance under Thomas Tuchel.

LINDLEOF FINE WITH BIT-PART UTD ROLE

Victor Lindelof will likely lose his spot in Manchester United’s first team following the arrival of mega-star Raphael Varane.

But the Swede has no issues with Varane replacing him in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s back-four, and even welcomed the ex-Real Madrid ace’s arrival.

Because Lindelof, who started United’s first two Premier League games this season, feels Varane will help him and the United squad get better.

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And that’s what is supposed to be at a club like United, Lindelof claimed.

Speaking to Afton Bladet, the 27-year-old said: “I think it’s really good. I play in one of the biggest clubs in the world, so of course you want good players.

“There will always be a situation of competition. I see it as a positive that we have an influx of good players joining the club.

“It will help us to develop further, and for myself I see no issue with that.

“Sometimes I won’t play games, but for me that’s alright.”

BERND OUT TO INTER?

Inter Milan are eyeing Arsenal No1 Bernd Leno, reports say.

According to Italian outlet Tuttosport, the cash-strapped Serie A champions Inter will target affordable alternatives in the next transfer window.

Leno, 29, is coming into the final year of his contract meaning Inter can negotiate a pre-contract from January 2022.

SUB PLOT

Victor Lindelof will likely lose his spot in Manchester United’s first team following the arrival of mega-star Raphael Varane, writes JUSTIN LAWRENCE.

But the Swede has no issues with Varane replacing him in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s back-four, and even welcomed the ex-Real Madrid ace’s arrival.

Because Lindelof, who started United’s first two Premier League games this season, feels Varane will help him and the United squad get better.

And that’s what is supposed to be at a club like United’s, Lindelof claimed.

Speaking to Afton Bladet, the 27-year-old said: “I think it’s really good. I play in one of the biggest clubs in the world, so of course you want good players.

“There will always be a situation of competition. I see it as a positive that we have an influx of good players joining the club.

“It will help us to develop further, and for myself I see no issue with that.

“Sometimes I won’t play games, but for me that’s alright.”

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TORREIRA SPEAKS

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has broken his silence on why he left Arsenal to head to Fiorentina on loan.

And the midfielder simply says it’s because he feels ‘good’ in Italy, where he played before he joined the Gunners.

He said: “I wanted to go back to Italy, where I felt good.

“For me the most important thing is to play.

“It’s true that we have been talking about Fiorentina for many years, I want to make the most of this experience now that I’m here.”

BLUES EYE KOULIBALY

Chelsea may turn their attention towards Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly after missing out on Jules Kounde.

According to Football.London, the European champions Chelsea will now turn to Koulibaly after failing to sign France international Kounde.

The Blues failed to meet Kounde's £68million price tag, meaning they missed out on their top target.

But boss Thomas Tuchel remains keen to bring in a defender.

And Koulibaly - who has previously been linked with Man Utd - appears to be that target.

CRIS CROSS

It’s been a long and thrilling summer, but the transfer window has come to an end, writes ASIF NORAT.

Manchester United were one of the busiest teams, as they made four new signings and offloaded seven players.

For once, there were signs going into the transfer market that the club had clearly identified which areas they were looking to address and strengthen.

Because of the proactive planning from the board, it resulted with the business being done with ease and no panic buys on deadline day.

With the Glazers and the key members at Old Trafford deciding to act like a big club once and for all, they have left United’s supporters with a very satisfied summer and no room for complaints.

HEATH JOINS ARSENAL

Arsenal Women have announced the signing of USA international Tobin Heath.

The 33-year-old has an incredible record.

Boss Jonas Eidevall said: “Tobin’s record speaks for itself.

“She’s an incredibly talented player who will bring so much experience to our squad.

“This is an exciting time for the club, and I’m delighted we could secure Tobin’s signing as we prepare to kick off the new season at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.”

INTER PLOT LENO SWOOP

Inter Milan are plotting a transfer swoop for Arsenal first team goalkeeper Bernd Leno, reports say.

According to Italian outlet Tuttosport, the cash-strapped Serie A champions Inter will target affordable alternatives in the next transfer window.

Leno, 29, is coming into the final year of his contract meaning Inter can negotiate a pre-contract from January 2022.

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