Rumour Has It: Chelsea pursue Haaland interest, Donnarumma set for PSG and Man Utd make Sancho progress

By Sports Desk June 08, 2021

Chelsea won the Champions League last month but they are not sitting still.

Thomas Tuchel is determined to strengthen his attack as he seeks to dethrone Premier League champions Manchester City in 2021-22.

Erling Haaland is reportedly Chelsea's number one target.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

Chelsea are "working intensely" on a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to the Telegraph.

Haaland has been linked with Real MadridManchester CityBarcelonaParis Saint-GermainManchester UnitedJuventusLiverpoolChelsea and Bayern Munich.

Tottenham's Harry Kane and Inter forward Romelu Lukaku have emerged as options for Chelsea, though the Champions League winners appear set on Haaland.

 

ROUND-UP

PSG are poised to sign Italy international goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free transfer, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. Out of contract at Milan, Donnarumma was also linked with Juve and Barca.

- The Times says United are moving closer to reaching an agreement with Dortmund for Jadon Sancho. The England international was heavily tipped to move to Old Trafford ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

City are chasing Spurs star Kane and Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, per ESPN. Pep Guardiola's side are willing to buy both if they are able to do so. Kane and Grealish have also been linked with Manchester neighbours United.

Atletico Madrid have offered Saul Niguez to City in exchange for Bernardo Silva, according to the Times. Unsettled at LaLiga champions Atletico, Saul has also reportedly caught the attention of United, Chelsea and Bayern.

- The Daily Mail claims Brighton and Hove Albion are looking to keep England international defender Ben White by demanding £50million amid interest from clubs such as United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Milan are eyeing Chelsea trio Olivier Giroud, Fikayo Tomori and Hakim Ziyech, claims the Gazzetta dello Sport. Ziyech has also been linked with Napoli.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are hopeful of re-signing Nicolo Barella and Atletico Madrid target Lautaro Martinez by the end of the off-season.

- Juventus are interested in Roma veteran Edin Dzeko and are ready to offer a two-year deal, reports Corriere dello Sport.

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    Kylian Mbappe looks set to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, and reports of his decision to turn down a move to Real Madrid have been welcomed by the mayor of the French capital.

    Anne Hidalgo, who has been serving as the mayor of Paris since 2014, was quick to react to news that the superstar striker is seemingly poised to extend his contract.

    The saga that had seen PSG and Madrid in a tug-of-war over the France international's services looks to have been won by the Ligue 1 champions.

    Widespread reports in France and Spain on Saturday assured that the decision has been made, and that 23-year-old World Cup winner Mbappe has picked his home city club over the Spanish champions.

    Reacting to a report by RMC Sport, Hidalgo wrote on Twitter, "Que bien!!!!", which translates as "How good!!!!", accompanied by red and blue hearts – the colours of PSG.

    Assuming it is confirmed, the coup of PSG keeping Mbappe will be widely seen as a major fillip for the city of Paris, which will host the 2024 Olympic Games and Paralympics.

  • Guardiola hails Liverpool for pushing Man City to new heights Guardiola hails Liverpool for pushing Man City to new heights

    Pep Guardiola hailed the efforts of Liverpool for pushing Manchester City to new heights in the battle for the Premier League title.

    City are one point ahead of the Reds heading into their final match of the season against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium, with Jurgen Klopp's side at home to Wolves on Sunday.

    Victory over Steven Gerrard's Villa would ensure a fourth Premier League title of the Guardiola era in just five years at City, with only Alex Ferguson winning more (13).

    It would also make the Spaniard the outright leader for English top-flight titles among non-British managers, going one clear of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.

    Guardiola believes his side would not have achieved what they have without the competition from Liverpool, who remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.

    "We would not achieve what we have without them [Liverpool]," Guardiola told Sky Sports. "We have our opponent who brings you to the limits, otherwise complacency arrives.

    "The players are not stupid, I do not need to tell them how good they are. They play against them and see them on TV and I said, 'wow, if we want to be there, we have to do it'.

    "I think it is quite similar like they should think about us."

    Guardiola heaped praise on his players as they stand on the brink of back-to-back titles.

    "Incredible, top human quality players and persons," he added. "Without that, no tactics, no ideas. Nothing, nothing, top-quality players.

    "All the other managers have amazing ideas and tactics. The praise in the football world is so suspicious. Every time you give good praise to me, I do not believe you. Not for one second, I'm so suspicious.

    "Behind that is the players, the quality, the talent, the effort. When we are good is when we try to altogether follow one idea, but my ideas are not more special than the other ones.

    "I have found a lot of incredibly talented managers in the Championship, or the Premier League who do not have success. Do you know why? They do not have the good players that we have, it is as simple as that."

    Victory over Villa would secure City's eighth top-flight title, the outright fifth-most in history since its inception in 1888, while it will be their sixth Premier League title (outright second-most after Manchester United’s 13).

  • Mata: Anyone who doesn't meet Man Utd standards should not be here Mata: Anyone who doesn't meet Man Utd standards should not be here

    Juan Mata has called for a reset at Manchester United as he suggested any player who does not meet the standards should not be at Old Trafford.

    United have suffered another dismal season and, regardless of the result in their final game at Crystal Palace on Sunday, will finish the campaign with their lowest points tally in Premier League history.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was dismissed in late November before the short-term appointment of Ralf Rangnick, who will leave with the lowest win rate of any United manager in Premier League history (currently 43.5 per cent – 10 wins from 23 games).

    Erik ten Hag is the next man tasked with transforming United's fortunes, and midfielder Mata urged improvements from his side next term as questions persist over the players' commitment and attitude.

    "It's clear that on the pitch, we have made many mistakes," Mata told The Athletic. "We could have also dealt better with certain situations that were happening in the club, managers changing, negative things.

    "At the end of the day, we let that maybe affect too much the energy of Carrington.

    "Certain standards were not met. Whether that's attitude, level of training, off the pitch, which doesn't include players, we haven't been good enough. So that's where we could learn.

    "Also, certain things were out of our control, which we shouldn't let affect us. You feel that way when you see certain things are not good enough. But we shouldn't have let things happen.

    "Many circumstances can affect certain behaviours. If you don't have a solid base, when bad things come, it is difficult to stay all together.

    "We need a reset in the culture of the club. That's how I feel. The standards, what it means to represent this club to any player, what entitles you to play for Manchester United, what is expected on the pitch and off the pitch.

    "Many things that need to be clear – this is Manchester United and anyone who doesn't meet those standards is not up to the task and should not be here. That's as clear as I can be."

    United require victory over Palace to guarantee they do not drop to seventh, which would mark their joint-worst finish in the Premier League (alongside the 2013-14 season) and see them play Europa Conference League football next term.

    Cristiano Ronaldo will look to add to his 18 Premier League goals this season, only netting more in a single campaign in 2007-08 (31), while goalkeeper David de Gea will aim to end a positive season on a personal level on a high note.

    De Gea implored United to perform for the fans when they visit Palace, who have never won in 12 Premier League home games against the Red Devils (D4 L8), which is the most one team has faced another at home without ever winning in the competition.

    "We know [this season has] been difficult," he told MUTV. "But at least just for [the fans] and for our pride [we will] try to win the game.

    "[I want to] at least give a win for the fans because they have been absolutely amazing for the whole season and it's great to have them at every single game.

    "It will always have been a tough season for us, but I am very proud of my season, to be honest.

    "I worked really hard in the summer to be here and be ready to play and show my qualities for the team. I think I did very well. I played very consistent this season and helped the team a lot."

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