A stunning move for Cristiano Ronaldo could be in the works.

The Portugal captain may end up back with a former club in a swap deal.

The price for Manchester United would be high.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO SWAP DEAL RUMOURED

If Manchester United want to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, they may have to surrender Paul Pogba.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Juventus would consider using the 36-year-old forward in a swap deal for Pogba, who has a year left on his contract.

The question is whether United would part with the 28-year-old France midfielder in return.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City could land Harry Kane via a cash-plus-swap deal that sends Gabriel Jesus to Tottenham, the Daily Star reports. 

- Arsenal are interested in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba, according to The Athletic. 

- Barcelona have not given up in their attempts to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, Marca reports.

- Lazio have joined Roma as suitors for veteran centre-back Jerome Boateng with the Germany international set to leave Bayern Munich. 

- Granit Xhaka is a target for Jose Mourinho's Roma, and Arsenal have said they want £17million for the midfielder, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. 

- Pedrinho will leave Benfica before next season, ESPN reports, with Shakhtar Donetsk the likely destination for the 23-year-old Brazilian. 

- Crystal Palace will speak to former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo about replacing Roy Hodgson, The Sun reports. 

The Premier League race is run. A season that has seemingly been a never-ending story finally concluded on Sunday with the focus centred on the top four.

Chelsea lost but still ended up securing Champions League qualification, Liverpool won to astonishingly end an eventful campaign in third and poor Leicester City missed out after a crazy game at home to Tottenham as Harry Kane clinched the Golden Boot.

West Ham finish above Spurs in sixth to make the Europa League, while Manchester United ruined Nuno Espirito Santo's last game in charge of Wolves. There was yet another goal for Joe Willock, while David McGoldrick made sure he will no doubt be the subject of a pub quiz question in years to come.

Manchester City had clinched the title long ago, but a home game with Everton offered a chance for their returning fans to say farewell to a club legend.


Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea: Tuchel slips up on the road as Blues lose

Thomas Tuchel's side held on to their top-four spot thanks to the result at the King Power Stadium, with the German coach able to celebrate despite suffering his first away defeat in the league since taking charge at Stamford Bridge.

Bertrand Traore scored the opener for Villa, in the process becoming the 25th different player to manage a Premier League goal against Chelsea having previously been at the Blues. Anwar El Ghazi doubled the lead with the 100th penalty scored in the competition this season, the first time a campaign has reached triple figures.

On the subject of penalties, Jorginho finished with the most goals for Chelsea in the league with seven – all from the spot. It is the lowest number for the club’s leading scorer in a top-flight season since 1974-75, when Ian Hutchinson also managed seven.

Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace: Mane helps Reds prosper at Anfield

Jurgen Klopp has now finished in the top four at the end of the five full seasons he has had in charge of the Reds, who handed their former boss Roy Hodgson a 2-0 defeat in his Palace swansong.

Sadio Mane got both goals, the second with the aid of a huge deflection. He has scored 10 or more in all seven of his Premier League campaigns, including his two with Southampton before moving to Anfield in June 2016.

Liverpool won their meetings with Palace by a combined 9-0 score; only against Ipswich in 2001-02 (11-0) have they enjoyed a bigger aggregate margin across two Premier League games in the same season. While he had no need to conjure up another last-gasp goal this time, Alisson Becker did manage to keep a clean sheet on his 100th league outing for Klopp's side.

Leicester City 2-4 Tottenham: Foxes run into trouble against Bale and Kane

Leicester spent 242 days in the Premier League's top four this term, only to end the final one sitting in fifth place. For a second successive year, a late loss of form has cost them a Champions League place.

A sixth defeat in 13 matches did not appear on the cards when they twice led against Spurs thanks to Jamie Vardy, who scored two penalties in a match for a third time this season. However, a Kasper Schmeichel own goal – his second in the top tier – levelled matters, with the visitors then moving clear in a frantic finish.

Gareth Bale scored twice late on in potentially his final game for Tottenham, but will Kane still be there when the transfer window shuts? The striker's 41st-minute effort lifted him to 23 for this term as he became only the third player to win the Golden Boot award as many as three times, following in the footsteps of Thierry Henry (four) and Alan Shearer (also three).

Aguero at the double, Willock matches Shearer (yes, really)

In scoring twice after coming on as a substitute, Aguero ended his City career as he had started it – with a brace off the bench (he had done just the same on debut against Swansea City, way back in August 2011). His double takes his final tally to 184 Premier League goals, in the process surpassing Wayne Rooney (183) for the most by a player for a single club.

As for Manchester United, a 2-1 triumph at Wolves sees them become just the fourth side to remain unbeaten away across an entire top-tier season, a feat most recently achieved by Arsenal in 2003-04. The current-day Gunners beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0, though still finished eighth for a second year in a row.

At Fulham, Willock was on target once more in a 2-0 win for Newcastle United. It means the on-loan Arsenal midfielder becomes only the second Newcastle player to score in seven consecutive Premier League appearances, after hall-of-famer Shearer in 1996.

West Ham secured a top-six finish for only the second time in the Premier League era thanks to a 3-0 win over a Southampton team who do not prosper on their travels – they ended up losing 10 of their 11 away fixtures in 2021, during which they leaked 33 goals and scored just seven times.

There was a win for Leeds United at home to West Brom, taking them up to 59 points – the most by a promoted club since Ipswich Town (66) in 2000-01. Sheffield United finished bottom, but at least signed off on a winning note. Striker McGoldrick grabbed the only goal against Burnley to earn his own place in history: it was the 1,000th scored in the Premier League during the 2020-21 season.

Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to his squad's togetherness in tough moments after Liverpool ended a testing season by claiming a place in the Champions League.

Top of the Premier League at the turn of the year, the Reds' title defence began to unravel as the absences of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and countless other injury blows began to take their toll.

With 10 games of their campaign remaining, Klopp's side sat in eighth place, seven points shy of Chelsea in fourth and 10 behind third-placed Leicester.

But a run of eight wins and two draws – including victory over Crystal Palace on the final day – saw them climb to third and book their place in Europe's premier cup competition.

And Klopp was understandably delighted with how his players dealt with every challenge thrown at them to enjoy a successful end to the season.

He said: "It's great, it's absolutely great, it's outstanding. From outside you cannot really understand because we are just Liverpool: we have to perform, we have to win, we have to become champion or whatever. 

"It was not possible for us this year so you have to fight through and in the harder moments you can learn the most. In the harder moments you can show the most and we really stuck together all the time. 

"There was no argument or whatever about different things, we just knew some things are tough [and] we have to improve. That's true, we have to, but football is a game based on confidence and we did not have a lot of opportunities to gain confidence. 

"We were constantly sorting problems and that's so nice to see that we could use the last five, six, seven weeks to give this season a proper turnaround.

"I'm really happy for the Champions League that they don't have to play without us! So, we are in it, that will be great, can’t wait for that. Outstanding achievement from the boys. 

Klopp was also asked about Georginio Wijnaldum, who confirmed after full-time that his five-year stay at Anfield will come to an end when his contract expires on July 1.

Unsurprisingly, the German paid a heartfelt tribute to a player who has been a virtual ever-present as the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup were secured in his tenure.

He continued: "Where can I start? I met this wonderful player for the first time – we played, obviously, against him, and the first time I met him was in my living room at home because I had to see him and talk to him. 

"From the first moment it clicked between us. He is a very friendly, very smart, very open person, and that never changed, that just improved. 

"Yes, it is very emotional for me because I lose a friend and I will miss him, that's how it is. But it's normal in football that these kinds of things happen – it's not always nice, but normal, and I am really sure he will find a great place. 

"Each club who is interested in him should call me and ask about him. Then you will take him, definitely, because I could not be more positive about what he did here. It's incredible. He was not only always available, he played 90 per cent of the time really, really good."

Georginio Wijnaldum has confirmed he will leave Liverpool on a free transfer this off season and suggested that the decision to depart was not his own.

The Dutchman is approaching the end of the five-year contract he signed upon arriving from Newcastle United in a £25m deal in July 2016.

In the build-up to his final appearance for the Reds – a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace that secured Champions League football for next season – both club and player had not let much slip over what the future held.

But, speaking after he was given a guard of honour by his team-mates, Wijnaldum explained that he will be leaving Anfield – and not of his own volition.

He told Sky Sports: "I'm fighting against tears right now. The people in Liverpool have shown me love during the five years. I will miss them, you know? 

"I hoped to have played many more years for the club but unfortunately things went different. I have to start a new adventure. 

"I knew I went to a big club. I remember that I was sitting in the living room and the manager said when I come to Liverpool we would win prizes. 

"I am happy it went that well. It would have been really painful to leave the club without any.

"It's really special. Since I've joined the fans have sung my name. Week-in, week-out they saw I was giving 100 per cent to give everything for this club. 

"That's what the supporters want to see and that's what they appreciate from me. It is something I'm going to miss."

Barcelona were linked with a cut-price move for Wijnaldum last summer, while Bayern Munich have emerged as potential suitors in recent weeks.

However, the 30-year-old insists no decision over his next move has yet been made.

He added: "I didn't sign somewhere else. Everyone knows in football everything can happen. The situation is right now that on 1 July I am not a Liverpool player. 

"We will see what I will do in the next couple of weeks. I will rest a little bit then go to the national team. I will have to look at my story and how everything went. 

"The fans deserve to know the story behind it."

Liverpool secured their place in next season's Champions League and a third-placed Premier League finish as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Anfield.

Goals in each half from Sadio Mane helped the Reds spoil former boss Roy Hodgson's final game in management and claim a place in the top four that looked a distant dream just a few weeks ago.

There was also an emotional farewell for Georginio Wijnaldum, who, with his contract expiring in the coming days, looks to have played his final game for the club.

Liverpool's returning fans were given an early scare when a loose Trent Alexander-Arnold pass inadvertently played in Andros Townsend, who should have done better than to miss the target in a one-v-one situation.

But that let-off sparked the hosts into life, with Rhys Williams heading a corner over before Mohamed Salah stung Vicente Guaita's palms and Mane missed the target from a promising position in quick succession.

The latter in particular looked to be reenergised by the return of supporters, and so it was no surprise to see him react first to toe home a Williams corner flick-on that had bounced off Roberto Firmino.

Mane's strike proved sufficient to give the Reds the lead at the end of a half that was extended by head injuries to both of their centre-backs - perhaps fitting in the context of their season.

Having no doubt learned at half-time that results elsewhere were going in their favour, Liverpool prioritised control over the desperate search for a second goal.

But they were not finding it too difficult to get into dangerous positions, and eventually grabbed a deserved second as Salah picked out Mane to fire one in off Gary Cahill.

That goal was followed by emotional scenes as Wijnaldum left the pitch to a huge ovation after playing a typically understated by crucial role in another important win for Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp hopes the return of fans to Anfield can help spur Liverpool on as they aim to come through an "intense" clash with Crystal Palace and clinch a Champions League spot.

A 3-0 triumph at Burnley on Wednesday lifted Liverpool up to fourth in the table, above Leicester City on goal difference and just a point behind third-placed Chelsea.

The Reds wrap up an eventful season by hosting Palace on Sunday, with 10,000 fans allowed to attend the fixture following changes in social distancing restrictions.

The game will see outgoing Eagles boss Roy Hodgson come up against one of his former clubs, too, with Klopp well aware of the challenge the visitors will pose to his team.

However, the German – who admitted he has become accustomed to coping with stress on the final day – wants those inside the ground to show a little patience if things do not go immediately to plan, acknowledging there is still work to do despite a recent upturn in fortunes.

"You have to fight to it, I respect Crystal Palace too much and what they want to do for Roy in possibly his last game as a manager," he said of a top-four finish being in Liverpool's hands.

"I'm pretty sure they will want to give absolutely everything, and rightly so, just like the last few opponents did.

"Obviously we will have supporters back and I'd like to take the opportunity to welcome them all – you cannot imagine how much I'm looking forward to seeing them again, at least 10,000 of you.

"But it's really important that with all the excitement we feel, we don't lose patience after a minute or something like that. We need the best support possible, very supportive, very encouraging, just like we left each other what feels like years ago.

"It will be a really intense game and, when you fight for the Champions League, it should be intense."

Klopp added during his pre-game media conference: "The door opened a little bit for us, but when that happens you must step through. That's what the boys have done so far, but there is still one game to go. That's what we have to focus on.

"It was a strange season; nothing will change that. It was an intense season; nothing will change that. But we have it now in our hands to make a top, top finish.

"It's not done yet. There is an opponent and this is football, that is why we are really, really not even close to any kind of celebration or whatever. We are only focused on the 95 minutes we will play."

Liverpool won the reverse fixture against Palace 7-0 back in December, a stunning result on the road that moved the defending champions five points clear at the top.

A run of just three victories in their next 14 league outings led to a slide down the table, yet a rejuvenated Reds have moved into a strong position to clinch Champions League qualification with a four-game winning streak down the stretch.

Klopp insists he will not be taking anything from that stunning result at Selhurst Park, making clear the final scoreline was not a fair reflection of how the game panned out.

"It's not really helpful, apart from a goal difference point of view," the former Borussia Dortmund boss said.

"It was not a 7-0 game that day, Palace had chances of their own, it was more a crazy one, really open with chances here and there.

"The difference was we took ours; I think we had seven shots on target and scored seven goals. It was one of these lucky days you do not have a lot of in your life.

"This game will not be like that. Palace will want to make sure those kind of things don't happen. Nobody has to worry that it will be like that, we just have to win the game.

"We know we will have to fight for this, the result from the first game is 0.0 relevant to us. There are moments when you use pictures from the first game [in team meetings], but none from that game will be shown to the boys."

It all comes down to this.

Whether you're flying high at the top of your local leagues, battling for the top 100 nationally or just desperate not to lose face with friends, matchday 38 of the Premier League is a decisive moment for fantasy football players the world over.

Amid last-minute transfers, wildcards and triple-captaincies, it can be difficult to find true value in selections that could give you the edge over your rivals.

That's where we come in.

Using Opta data, we have compiled a final selection of seven recommended players to draft in for this most dramatic of weekends...

 

MARTIN DUBRAVKA

If you were considering a Newcastle United goalkeeper but just didn't have the guts previously, now is the time to be bold.

Martin Dubravka kept his first clean sheet of the season last time out as the Magpies beat Sheffield United 1-0.

Next up, they face another relegated side in Fulham, who have scored a league-low nine goals at home in the whole of 2020-21 – and only one since February.

 

AARON CRESSWELL

West Ham's unlikely quest for Europe looks set to end in success, and Aaron Cresswell has played no small part.

The full-back has recorded eight assists this season, the most of any defender in the division. The last time a West Ham player assisted more was when Dimitri Payet set up 12 goals in 2015-16.

The Hammers conclude their campaign at home to Southampton, who haven't beaten David Moyes' side in their most recent six attempts.

STUART DALLAS

Only Patrick Bamford (16) has scored more league goals for Leeds United this season than Stuart Dallas (eight).

On Sunday, Marcelo Bielsa's men host West Brom, who have the leakiest defence in the whole of the division, conceding 73 times in 37 matches.

Leeds are also unbeaten in four against the Baggies, winning three of those games by 10-0 on aggregate, while they have not lost a league game at home to this weekend's visitors since January 2007.

JESSE LINGARD

Part of the reason Jesse Lingard found getting regular football tricky at Manchester United was the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, so it's fitting he should be chasing a record held by the Portugal star.

Last season, Fernandes set a Premier League best by registering 15 goal involvements (eight scored, seven assisted) despite not appearing in the competition until as late as February.

Lingard, who made his Hammers debut on February 3, has recorded nine goals and four assists for Moyes' men, a tally bettered only by Kelechi Iheanacho (12 goals, two assists) over the same time frame. Two more direct goal involvements against Southampton would see Lingard match Fernandes' exploits in 2020.

 

JOE WILLOCK

With his midweek winner for Newcastle against Sheffield United, Joe Willock became the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League appearances.

Remarkably, the Arsenal loanee – who is being tipped for a permanent move to the Magpies – has the best minutes-per-goal rate (127) of any Newcastle player in the league this season with at least three goals.

Should he net against Fulham, Willock will become only the second player for the club to score in seven Premier League games in a row, after Alan Shearer in 1996.

HARRY KANE

Whether he stays at Tottenham or not, Harry Kane will be eager to get on the scoresheet at Leicester and boost his chances of claiming the Golden Boot.

His record against the Foxes is promising. Kane has managed 14 goals in 11 Premier League meetings with the team now bossed by Brendan Rodgers, more than he has scored against any other opposition. Those goals have come at an average of one every 65 minutes.

He has hit seven of those at the King Power Stadium, including four in one game in May 2017.

 

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE

Could Liverpool's top-four hopes be dashed by a former Reds player?

Christian Benteke has scored 10 league goals this term, his first double-figure return since he got 15 in 2016-17.

That season's haul included a double away to Liverpool in April and, throughout his career, Benteke has enjoyed facing his old employers: only Andy Cole (eight) has scored more Premier League goals as a visiting player at Anfield than Benteke (five in four games).

Liverpool took a huge step towards a top-four finish on an action-packed Wednesday in the Premier League.

Jurgen Klopp's men beat Burnley 3-0 and, with every team in the division now having played 37 games, they head into the final weekend in fourth – ahead of FA Cup winners Leicester City on goal difference.

There were also away wins for Arsenal and West Ham as two former England managers bade farewell, while the current Three Lions captain saw Tottenham's season take another turn for the worst.

Joe Willock also claimed a piece of history for himself and here we look at that and some of the other best facts as the last midweek round of a condensed campaign came to a close.

Burnley 0-3 Liverpool: Klopp's men go fourth and prosper

Liverpool needed goalkeeper Alisson to head home an improbable last-gasp winner at West Brom last weekend, although this latest victory was more comfortable and arrived via conventional means.

Roberto Firmino became the second player to score in three consecutive Premier League games at Turf Moor after Anthony Martial. Following a difficult season, the Brazil forward's past three league appearances have yielded as many goals (three) as the 19 before.

Three days after Alisson, Nat Phillips also headed his first goal for Liverpool, while Andy Robertson claimed his second assist of the game when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wrapped up the points two minutes from time.

Scotland left-back Robertson has 35 assists since the start of the 2017-18 season. Only Kevin De Bruyne (49) has more in that period.

Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners late show ruins Roy's farewell

Roy Hodgson was given a guard of honour and a rapturous reception for his final home game in charge of Palace and Christian Benteke continued his recent hot streak to keep hopes of a memorable victory alive.

The Belgium striker cancelled out Nicolas Pepe's opener after the hour, meaning he has scored in four consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time since April 2013.

Benteke is also on to double figures for the first time since he netted 15 times in 2016-17, although stoppage-time goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Pepe stole the points.

The strike from the 19-year-old Martinelli means the Gunners are now 60 matches unbeaten (W50 D10) in Premier League games where a teenager has scored.

West Brom 1-3 West Ham: Moyes sends Allardyce through exit door

Arsenal will not finish in the top six, though, as West Ham's brilliant season continued with a 3-1 win over relegated West Brom – after which Sam Allardyce announced he will leave the Hawthorns.

West Ham's 31 points away from home are their most in a top-flight season since they compiled the same amount in 1985-86, even if victory did not necessarily look likely when Declan Rice recorded the earliest penalty miss in Premier League history after two minutes and four seconds.

Matheus Pereira put the Baggies ahead. His 17 goal involvements (11 goals, six assists) are the most in a single campaign since Romelu Lukaku in 2012-13 (21).

Tomas Soucek's 10th goals of the season levelled matters and Angelo Ogbonna headed in from an Aaron Cresswell corner – the full-back's eighth assist of the season – before Michail Antonio made sure David Moyes enjoyed his eighth consecutive win over the departing Allardyce.

 

Tottenham 1-2 Aston Villa: Spurs slide again

Harry Kane was warmly applauded by the Spurs faithful despite reports of his desire to leave, something a sixth home loss – their most since 2014-15 – did plenty to explain.

All four of Steve Bergwijn's Tottenham goals have arrived as opening goals on home turf, but Sergio Reguilon's own goal brought Villa level.

It was the 1,000th own goal in Premier League history, 41 of which Spurs have been responsible for.

A familiar face proved to be Villa's matchwinner. Ollie Watkins' 14th goal of the season means he has the most by an Englishman in a Premier League debut year since Charlie Austin for QPR in 2014-15 – something that is unlikely to have escaped Gareth Southgate's attention.

Newcastle United 1-0 Sheffield United: Six of the best for Willock

Willock headed the only goal in first-half stoppage time for Newcastle, becoming the youngest player in Premier League history to score in six consecutive games at 21 years and 272 days.

The Arsenal loanee is the third player to complete the feat for Newcastle in the division after Papiss Cisse in 2012 and Alan Shearer in 1996.

It was not for the wont of trying on the part of Allan Saint-Maximin that Steve Bruce's men were unable to add to their advantage. The winger completed 15 dribbles, the joint-most by a player in the top five European leagues this season alongside Lionel Messi against Celta Vigo.

Sheffield United will hope to avoid an unwanted record of their own when they host Burnley on Sunday. This was their 29th defeat of the season, matching the hauls suffered by Derby County (2007-08), Sunderland (2005-06) and Ipswich Town (1994-95). No side has ever lost 30 games in a Premier League campaign.

Everton 1-0 Wolves: Richarlison lifts Goodison Park blues

Richarlison's winner ended a poor home season on a high for Everton.

Their 22 points amassed at Goodison Park in 2020-21 is their lowest in any league campaign in their history when converting to three points for a win.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was a familiar provider from the corner. Since his debut in the competition in January 2012, only Chris Brunt (25) and Christian Eriksen (24) have managed more set-piece assists.

Everton's 14 headed goals are the most of any Premier League side this term.

Mikel Arteta described Arsenal's form in the last six months as "an incredible run" after a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace kept their hopes of qualifying for Europe alive.

West Ham's win at West Brom means that the highest Arsenal can finish, should they beat Brighton and Hove Albion on the final day of the season and both Tottenham and Everton fail to win, is seventh.

That would earn them a place in the Europa Conference League play-off round, with West Ham's result ruling Arsenal out of both major European club competitions for the first time since 1995-96.

But Arteta recalled a run of seven winless Premier League matches towards the end of 2020 as he reflected on the improvement in their season.

"If somebody would have said to us in November or December when we were in the position that we were in that we were going to have the chance to qualify for Europe, we'd have said you are crazy," the Gunners boss said. "But we've done it.

"I think with the results and the number of points we have managed to get in the months, we have earned the right to be in that position. Now it's time to deliver on the final day but unfortunately, it's not in our hands."

Arteta praised Nicolas Pepe for his role in the win at Selhurst Park and in helping to revive Arsenal's campaign.

Pepe opened the scoring with a close-range volley and capped the victory with a mazy dribble and finish for his side's third.

Arteta said of the 25-year-old Ivorian: "It's my feeling and it's everybody's feeling in the coaching staff, and his own feeling that he's come a long way this season.

"He hasn't had the consistency sometimes in the gametime, but I think in Europe he’s been terrific and in the Premier League he's started to show much more what he's like, and he's very hungry. 

"I think he's changed a lot in his mentality and his willingness to do much more."

Roy Hodgson admitted that the occasion of his final home game in charge of Crystal Palace somewhat overshadowed the football as his side lost 3-1 to Arsenal.

Christian Benteke looked to have salvaged a proud point for Hodgson's men when his diving header cancelled out Nicolas Pepe's opener. But Gabriel Martinelli and Pepe netted in injury time to keep Arsenal's European qualification hopes alive with a win.

Hodgson, who was given a guard of honour before the game and gave an emotional speech to the Selhurst Park crowd afterwards, said that it was not easy to concentrate on the match as his managerial career neared its end.

"It's been a very long journey," he told BT Sport.

"It was an emotional night tonight. I think the players have done exceptionally well to deal with the circumstances.

"It was a bitter disappointment that we couldn't at least go away with the draw because I thought our second-half performance merited that.

"It was probably the strangest feeling I've had in a dugout for a long, long time. We're all human, we try to make the best of situations and say the right things and do the right things, but you can't get away from the fact you're a human being with emotions."

Hodgson spoke about the experience of taking charge of the club he watched as a young boy, having been born and raised in Palace's locality of Croydon.

He replaced Frank de Boer as Palace manager in September 2017 before steering the club to 11th place in the Premier League in his first season, despite them having lost their first seven games.

"It's been very special," added Hodgson.

"It's been not an easy ride; keeping Palace in the Premier League is certainly not one of the easier jobs around, but it has been a real privilege to do it.

"It's quite strange that the circle that has lasted so long ends up here now with the club of my boyhood."

Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe scored dramatic injury-time goals as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park to keep their hopes of European football next season alive.

Brazilian teenager Martinelli came off the bench to rescue his side, who remain in with a chance of a top-six finish with one game left of the Premier League campaign.

Christian Benteke's diving header had cancelled out Pepe's opener and put Palace on course to earn an impressive draw in Roy Hodgson's final home game as manager.

But Arsenal's attacking quality shone through as Martinelli tipped the game back in their favour before Pepe added a third with a superb individual effort.

Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe scored dramatic injury-time goals as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park to keep their hopes of European football next season alive.

Brazilian teenager Martinelli came off the bench to rescue his side, who go into the final day of the Premier League campaign with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League.

Christian Benteke's diving header had cancelled out Pepe's opener and put Palace on course to earn an impressive draw in Roy Hodgson's final home game as manager.

But Arsenal's attacking quality shone through as Martinelli tipped the game back in their favour before Pepe added a third with a superb individual effort.

Robert Lewandowski may be contracted to Bayern Munich until 2023 but speculation is mounting about his future.

Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the Poland international, particularly if the Parisians lose Kylian Mbappe.

The agent of the Bundesliga record-breaker is reportedly putting pressure on Bayern to re-negotiate his current deal, fuelling the rumours of a switch.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA MAKE LEWANDOWSKI ENQUIRY

Chelsea have reached out to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to discuss a potential move for Robert Lewandowski, according to Sky Sport Germany.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea would face stiff competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, in the event Lewandowski decides to leave Munich, where he has been based since 2014.

Chelsea have been linked with a big-money move for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, showcasing their financial strength which could be switched to Lewandowski should they miss out on the Norwegian.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester City have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Tottenham star Harry Kane reports the Daily Mail. Kane has reportedly asked to leave Spurs amid links with City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Chelsea are also interested in signing Atalanta's Ruslan Malinovskyi, claims The Sun. Wolfsburg defender Maxence Lacroix is also a target for the Blues, reports Sky Germany.

- The Sun says David Beckham's MLS franchise Inter Miami are pursuing Arsenal attacker Willian, who is reportedly keen on the opportunity.

Frank Lampard is on Crystal Palace's radar as they plan for Roy Hodgson's successor, according to Talksport. Hodgson will leave the Premier League club at the end of the season.  

- Corriere dello Sport claims Gennaro Gattuso is ready to leave Napoli as Fiorentina circle and he wants club captain Lorenzo Insigne to join him.

Jurgen Klopp has praised Roy Hodgson for his work at Crystal Palace but has no plans to match his fellow Premier League manager in working until he is 73.

Hodgson confirmed on Tuesday that he is leaving his role at Palace at the end of the season, insisting the moment feels right to step away from full-time coaching in the top flight.

The former Liverpool boss will conclude his Eagles tenure against the Reds at Anfield on the final day of the 2020-21 campaign, though Klopp is not sure the septuagenarian - who had spells in charge of Switzerland and England at international level - is ready to retire from the game just yet.

The German also revealed how Hodgson had an influence on his own managerial career, as well as congratulating him for his more recent work at Selhurst Park.

"Roy is one of the greats of our business," Klopp told the media.

"Years and years ago, my former manager who introduced the ball-orientated defending, he showed us a lot of videos of Arrigo Sacchi but as well from Roy Hodgson from his time in Switzerland, so he was obviously part of the inventive team of this kind of style.

"I knew him long, long before I met him, but when I met him it was even better, because he's a really, really nice guy, I have to say, and obviously highly energetic that he thinks he has to do this stressful job in this slightly advanced age.

"He did a great job. Staying in the Premier League when you are not fighting around the European spots is a massive achievement and he did that again and again with Crystal Palace. I couldn't have more respect for what he did, how long he did it and which level he did it.

"I'm not sure he will retire, maybe he stops only at Crystal Palace, searching for the next challenge, I would not be surprised about that, but on the day when he finally finishes, football will lose a really great person."

Asked if he planned to follow Hodgson's lead and work into his seventies, Klopp replied: "Nope, no chance. Hopefully I'm healthy and alive then, that would already be a great achievement, but no I will not coach anymore.

"If I'm still on the bench then you can remind me on that and tell me what rubbish I spoke years ago, but it's not in my plans at all."

While Palace are safe, this weekend's fixture could still have huge signifcance for Liverpool, albeit their first priority is picking up three points away at Burnley on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Alisson's dramatic winner at West Brom helped keep alive their push to finish in the top four, though Klopp made clear ahead of the trip to Turf Moor that there is still plenty of work to do if his squad are to seal Champions League qualification.

"I don't want to speak about it [finishing in the top four]. For us it's very, very, very, very important, you saw that in the faces of the players when Alisson scored the goal," he said.

"We can speak about what it means if we have to speak about it on Sunday. Now we play Burnley and I really don't like this talk like we would have made it already before we play Burnley and Crystal Palace.

"It would be in my mind, at least, disrespectful, and I don't want to think about what it means.

"If we have on Sunday still a final for us then we had a positive result at Turf Moor. If we don't win on Wednesday then we don't have a final on Sunday, but we only have to focus on this one game."

Burnley sensationally ended Liverpool's 68-game unbeaten Anfield run earlier in the season, though Sean Dyche's side are winless in their last nine Premier League home games, their longest ever run without a win at Turf Moor in the top tier.

Mikel Arteta paid a glowing tribute to David Luiz after the Brazil defender's departure from Arsenal at the end of this season was confirmed.

The 34-year-old moved across London to join the Gunners from Chelsea in August 2019.

He has played 73 times in all competitions, scoring on four occasions and contributing to 18 clean sheets.

Arsenal have won 32 of the 69 games he has started during that time – a win percentage of 46.4 per cent – but Arteta and David Luiz mutually agreed to a parting of the ways when his contract expires at the end of his season.

"David and I, we discussed it on a few occasions and the other day we made the final decision on that," he said ahead of Wednesday's trip to Crystal Palace, which will be Roy Hodgson's final home game in charge of the Eagles.

"He's won everything in football and he has earned every right to do so because of who he is as a player and a person. I had the privilege of working with him for 18 months.

"I really enjoyed working with him, we had some great moments together and he's been really helpful. He's someone we really like and appreciate so much.

"Just to say thank you to him and wish him the best of luck in his next chapter. Knowing David, he will have many more to come – as a player and also in the future, somehow related to the game."

David Luiz's countryman and fellow former Chelsea player Willian has endured a difficult maiden season at Arsenal.

The 32-year-old belatedly scored his first Premier League goal for the Gunners in the 3-1 win over West Brom earlier this month, while five assists in the top flight is below the return from each of his last three seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Inter Miami have been linked to a move for Willian, but Arteta expects him to remain at Arsenal and will work to improve his output.

"He's a player with an incredible talent and a proven performance level in this league," he said.

"This season has been difficult and I take full responsibility because I have to be getting the best out of him.

"We had moments, but not to the level like he did before.

"These are the assessments that we are going to do individually with the players and as well, obviously, with [director of football] Edu, the board and the ownership to make the right decisions for the future.

"Every player that is under contract is very likely to be here with us next season."

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