The thought of Harry Kane joining Newcastle United prompted a Kevin Keegan impression from Rob Lee, who told Stats Perform: "I would love it!"

Kane's Tottenham visit St James' Park on Sunday for Newcastle's first game since their takeover was approved.

Widely unpopular owner Mike Ashley has been replaced by a consortium fronted by Amanda Staveley, whose PCP Capital Partners has purchased 10 per cent of the club, and backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The PIF, which bought 80 per cent of Newcastle, has become the richest football club owner in the world, prompting links to a host of high-profile signings.

Kane has not been among those, but he pushed for a move away from Spurs ahead of this season.

The England captain has scored five Premier League goals at St James' Park as a visiting player, yet ex-Newcastle skipper Lee, who was signed by Keegan in 1992, would like to see him turning out on Tyneside on a more regular basis.

He told Stats Perform: "I would love to see him at Newcastle. I would love it, absolutely love it."

Kane has not scored in the league yet this season, his six-game barren run his longest since a sequence of eight goalless games back in 2014.

His streak of netting in England qualifiers also ended at 15 matches on Tuesday when he failed to find a way past Hungary's Peter Gulacsi.

There are concerns Kane has not recovered from his failure to secure a move to Manchester City, which is understandable to Lee.

"It depends on what's gone on behind the scenes," he said. "We don't know what's gone on.

"I don't know him at all, but it seems to me like he's a level-headed guy, and he's not one to make a fuss.

"If he had an agreement with Daniel Levy of some sort, then I'm sure he did. And if someone's gone back on that, then obviously he's going to be a little bit peed off."

Whether Newcastle or City, though, Lee still believes Kane is worth whatever fee it would take to prise him away from Tottenham.

"I still expect him to play to the best of his ability. For him to come out and say, 'I want to leave', surely he thought it was sorted," Lee said.

"Whatever you pay for Harry Kane, whether it's £150million, it's worth every penny."

Gareth Southgate refused to assess the individual performances of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling or rush to judgement on Phil Foden's role in the England team after their draw with Hungary.

The Three Lions were held 1-1 at Wembley on Tuesday, ending a run of 21 consecutive home qualifying wins.

They had to come from behind, too, with Roland Sallai dispatching a penalty after Luke Shaw was penalised for a high boot, before John Stones nodded a leveller.

Southgate sought to change the game – avoiding a repeat of the Poland game, where he made no substitutions in an England match for the first time since Euro 96 – but Jack Grealish was an odd choice for the first withdrawal.

Grealish had caused Hungary problems, unlike Kane and Sterling, who both followed.

Although Sterling had two of England's biggest chances, he could not beat Peter Gulacsi, while Kane's run of goals in 15 consecutive qualifiers came to an end without the struggling Tottenham superstar netting.

Southgate was asked if poor club form, with Sterling out of the first team at Manchester City, had contributed to below-par showings from two of England's most consistent performers.

But he told ITV: "I don't think we should look at individuals, because collectively we didn't perform at the level we needed to.

"When you have that sort of situation, it's difficult for individuals as well."

Southgate took a similar tact when asked about the make-up of his midfield, where Foden again played a central role – as in Andorra on Saturday – but this time joined Mason Mount alongside Declan Rice.

Mount represents a similarly adventurous option, and Southgate had recognised a need to look at "the balance of the team" after Hungary posed England "a tactical problem".

"We've got to go away and reflect," the manager said. "We shouldn't just judge things on one game in terms of that experiment, if you like, because I think right across the board, from the start, we weren't sharp with our play, gave the ball away, we were overrunning things.

"I just think we were underneath it. It's the first time in a long time, but we've got to hold our hands up to that."

Despite the difficult outing, which was further marred by clashes between police and the Hungary fans, one of whom was arrested for a "racially aggravated public order offence", England remain in control of Group I.

And discounting penalty shoot-outs, Southgate's side are now unbeaten in 18 – their longest such sequence since a run of 19 that included their 1966 World Cup win.

England manager Gareth Southgate believes Harry Kane's underwhelming Tottenham form is at least partly down to upheaval and "changes" at the club, something he has not had to contend with at international level.

Kane finished 2020-21 with more Premier League goals (23) and assists (14) than any other player, becoming the first to top both charts in a single season since Andy Cole in 1993-94.

But after unsuccessfully attempting to force a move away from Spurs in pre-season, Kane's productivity and decisiveness have taken a massive hit.

In six league games this term, he is without a single goal – the last time Kane went more Premier League appearances games without a goal was eight matches between April and October 2014.

Some have put his struggles down to playing under a new head coach in Nuno Espirito Santo, and Southgate agrees that upheaval can have an impact, particularly if a manager implements a change of system.

"What's going on with his club is none of my business, really," Southgate said told reporters ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Hungary.

"There's a lot changes at the club, a new manager and new tactical formations, so like all players there will be an adaptation to that.

"In terms of what we ask him to do, I think we've obviously got a settled way of playing here. His team-mates know him, he knows his team-mates, he knows the patterns of play that we play towards.

"I can't talk about the club, but I think he feels settled in our environment. It's an environment where he knows we have belief, but we have to push him. We want improvement from the team all the time.

"Of course, as the captain, he knows he has to set the standard in the training sessions every day as well. I can't fault his application and dedication to what we're doing. He's got a real desire to go well with us."

Kane's form with England certainly is not of concern, however.

He has scored in each of his previous 15 World Cup and European Championship qualifying appearances and is closing in on a number of goals records.

Firstly, he is just one away from equalling England's all-time record for most competitive goals (Wayne Rooney, 37).

And after that Kane – whose overall goals tally for England is 41 – will undoubtedly have his eye on the most sought-after England record of them all: Rooney's unrivalled haul of 53.

The only other players to have scored more for England than the current captain are Jimmy Greaves (44), Gary Lineker (48) and Bobby Charlton (49) – to be anywhere near such feats further highlights just how reliable Kane is for the Three Lions.

"When you compare with the five or six other players at the top of that scoring chart, and you look at those names, it's a reminder of how much Harry has already achieved at a personal level," Southgate continued.

"And I know what's been more important to him, it's the team getting to two semi-finals and a final. Without a doubt, he's a player who has to keep proving himself.

"I think he knows that, I think he relishes that, and we know that when those chances fall, you've got huge faith they're going to hit the back of the net, such is his technical ability and his mentality and calmness when those chances come."

Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici said in-demand Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic is not part of the Premier League club's transfer plans.

Vlahovic will not re-sign with Fiorentina and the Serbia international – out of contract at the end of 2022-23 – has been linked to the likes of Tottenham, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Arsenal, Liverpool and Inter.

The 21-year-old forward scored 21 Serie A goals last season. Of players aged 22 or under in Europe's top five leagues in 2020-21, only Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland (27) scored more top-flight goals than Vlahovic.

Vlahovic – who also became the first player born after the year 2000 to reach 20 Serie A goals – already has four league goals in seven appearances this term, and six across all competitions.

However, Paratici said Tottenham will not be making a move for Vlahovic amid uncertainty over the future of Spurs star Harry Kane.

"Many clubs like the Serbian's profile, but for now he is not in Tottenham's plans," Paratici said at the Festival dello Sport event on Sunday.

Kane was tipped to leave Tottenham for Premier League champions City at the start of the season but a transfer to Manchester did not materialise.

The England international is yet to find the net in any of his opening six Premier League matches of the campaign, though he scored a Europa Conference League hat-trick prior to the international break to take his tally to five goals for the 2021-22 tournament.

As rumours continue regarding his Tottenham future, Paratici said: "Harry Kane loves Tottenham.

"We've decided to keep Harry last summer to start the re-building, and we're happy with our choice. There's no need of any new talk with Harry.

"He knows how to share the sense of belonging to Spurs."

Harry Kane sits fifth in England's all-time scoring charts, but he could overtake Wayne Rooney's competitive record for the Three Lions against Andorra.

Kane has found the net nine times in 13 appearances in 2021 for Gareth Southgate's men to leave him 12 goals behind Rooney (53) as England's leading scorer.

However, the Tottenham forward has 36 goals to his name in competitive international fixtures – one fewer than Rooney – before the trip to the Estadi Nacional on Saturday.

Kane is also one shy of becoming just the second player to score 10 or more in two separate calendar years for the Three Lions, after Vivian Woodward in 1908 and 1909.

But comparisons between Kane and Rooney are likely to be the focus in the coming months, as the England captain targets his records – starting with this competitive benchmark.

Kane quicker to this point

Since opening his account on debut against Lithuania in March 2015, Kane has scored 36 times across 53 competitive fixtures – averaging a goal every 118 minutes.

By contrast, Rooney played 21 more matches for his 37 goals, netting once every 156 minutes on average having played an additional 1,545 minutes.

Kane, who is still waiting on his first Premier League strike of the season, has needed just 82 shots on target to reach his 36-goal mark as well, with Rooney requiring 32 more to achieve his tally.

Overall, Rooney has attempted 99 more shots than his counterpart, which translates into a 13.8 per cent conversion rate. Kane has turned 21.3 per cent of his 169 shots into goals.

 

Kane delivers on the biggest stage

Rooney may have scored five more goals than Kane (25) in major tournament qualifiers, but the latter shines when it comes to the showpiece events.

Despite playing in just one World Cup, Kane impresses ahead of Rooney in terms of goals at the finals, with his six to claim the 2018 Golden Boot towering above the former Manchester United forward's one across three tournaments between 2006 and 2014.

While Kane's goals were subsequently not enough to see England past Croatia in the semi-finals in Russia, the current Three Lions captain also guided his side to their first major tournament final in 55 years at Euro 2020.

However, Rooney (six) has scored two more European Championship goals than Kane, netting four times at Euro 2004 as he briefly became the youngest scorer in the tournament's history.

Nevertheless, Kane outscores Rooney by three at major tournaments, having proven himself the man for the big occasion on the international stage.

 

Rooney filled his boots with five competitive goals versus San Marino, against whom Kane has netted just once, but England's record scorer had an impressive four against both Croatia and Switzerland.

Kane's best hauls have been his four against Bulgaria and Montenegro, although he did score three in one match against Panama at the World Cup.

Two stars similar finishers

Strangely, Kane and Rooney have almost identical records when it comes to the breakdown of how their goals have been scored.

The pair have each scored four with their left feet and 24 with their favoured right boots, with Rooney heading in nine to Kane's eight.

Kane's swerving long-range finish against Poland last time out was his sole goal from outside the box to date, however, whereas Rooney has smashed in six goals from outside the area – two of those being free-kicks.

Rooney has six from the penalty spot, too, where Kane has proved particularly prolific, his 10 conversions from 12 yards allowing him to close quickly on a fellow great.

Could Darwin Nunez be the next Benfica star to make a big move?

Portuguese sensation Joao Felix swapped Benfica for Atletico Madrid in a club-record deal in 2019.

Now, Uruguay international Nunez is attracting interest from across Europe.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FRONT OF QUEUE FOR NUNEZ

Manchester City are leading the race to sign Darwin Nunez from Portuguese giants Benfica, according to the Daily Star.

Premier League champions City are desperate to sign a forward amid links with Tottenham's Harry Kane, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.

Nunez has also reportedly attracted interest from BarcelonaLiverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

– United forward Edinson Cavani could join Real Madrid in January, claims Mundo Deportivo. It comes as Cavani finds himself battling Cristiano Ronaldo for regular game time at Old Trafford, where the club's hierarchy are concerned amid their form under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

- The Daily Star reports Arsenal are weighing up a move for out-of-favour City forward Raheem SterlingBarca are also believed to be interested in Sterling, according to The Sun, as they face the prospect of missing out on Leipzig's Dani Olmo. The Spain international has been linked with United, Juventus and Bayern.

Liverpool are eyeing Pogon Szczecin midfielder Kacper Kozlowski, says the Mirror. The 17-year-old has been linked with Bayer Leverkusen, Milan, RB Leipzig and Salzburg.

Harry Kane insisted now is the time for Tottenham to rally behind Nuno Espirito Santo and get their Premier League season back on track. 

The England striker came off the bench to score a hat-trick and lead his side to a 5-1 win over Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday. 

Kane became the first Spurs player to score a hat-trick as a substitute since Ronny Rosenthal in the FA Cup back in 1995, while he is only the third man to hit three goals in a game in three separate major UEFA club competitions. 

Spurs fans will hope he can continue that form against Aston Villa on Sunday, Kane having failed to find the net in any of his first five Premier League appearances in 2021-22. 

With pressure mounting on head coach Nuno after three consecutive league losses and nine goals conceded, Kane said the Villa game will be key to turning around their fortunes. 

"Us as players and staff need to stick together and work hard," he told BT Sport. "Our recent form has not been great, but we need to try to turn it around next game. 

"Every striker wants to score goals. I probably wasn't expecting to come on today, but it's nice to get the minutes. Whenever you see the ball hit the back of the net it's a good feeling. Hopefully, we can take it into the weekend." 

Spurs were 2-0 up after only eight minutes but Nuno opted to bring on Kane, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura after Ziga Kous scored a stunning volley for Mura early in the second half. 

"We started the game really well, went two ahead, but we lost our way a little bit. They scored a great goal," said Kane. 

"We made it harder than we needed to. The momentum shifted in their favour. It was about coming on and doing a job for the team." 

Nuno himself was happy enough with his side's performance, saying: "We started very well, our dynamic was good. 

"The beginning of the second half, they scored. After that, we played good. A good game. 

"It [the triple substitution] was needed. The best way to prepare the players is to play. The minutes were important for the boys. 

"[There were] a lot of positives." 

Harry Kane scored a hat-trick off the bench to help Tottenham to a 5-1 Europa Conference League win over Mura. 

The England striker was summoned along with Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura to settle some nerves after Spurs had allowed their early grip on the game to slip. 

Dele Alli's penalty and a fine strike from Giovani Lo Celso had put Nuno Espirito Santo's men in control early on, but a stunning volley from Ziga Kous gave the Slovenian side a lifeline and made things a little nervy for the hosts. 

That was until Kane's clinical finishes killed the contest and ensured no further pressure was applied to the Spurs boss, whose position has come under scrutiny in the wake of a humbling 3-1 loss to Arsenal. 

Spurs were in control with just eight minutes on the clock. Alli converted from the spot after being felled by goalkeeper Matko Obradovic, and Lo Celso's fine run and finish into the net from a tight angle made it 2-0. 

They did little to build on their advantage in front of a sparse crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and Mura sensed the chance of a shock comeback 53 minutes in when Kous blasted in a superb strike from the edge of the box that bounced back out of the net. 

Nuno then made the telling change, Lucas sliding the ball into the box to meet the run of Kane, who toe-poked a good finish past Obradovic. 

Kane got a second with 14 minutes remaining, duly side-footing home after Son skipped into space and cut the ball back from the left, and he completed his treble by firing low across Obradovic's goal after Lo Celso's precise throughball. 

Gareth Southgate backed Harry Kane to return to form with England as they prepare for October's World Cup qualifiers.

Southgate's side are set to face Andorra and Hungary but their captain Kane comes into next month's internationals out of form with Tottenham.

Despite collecting the Premier League Golden Boot last campaign, the 28-year-old has struggled this term, failing to score or assist in 378 top-flight minutes - attempting just nine shots and creating only four chances.

Kane's international form, by contrast, has not dropped, with the forward netting in 15 consecutive games across the World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.

However, Southgate remained firm on his stance about his star striker as he expressed his support for Kane, who is on his longest drought since August 2016.

"I can only talk from an England perspective," Southgate responded to reporters when asked about Kane's lack of form on Thursday after announcing his 23-man squad.

"Every couple of months I sit here and have to answer similar questions, and then Harry goes out and scores a lot of goals for us.

"That's the life of a high-profile player - you have to accept there's going to be that speculation and intensity, that analysis of performances.

"Last month we had three games, he played in all three and scored goals in all three. He's still a critical part of what we do and I'm sure he's going to be highly motivated when he comes to see us next week.

"He's closing in on a number of incredible goalscorers. We had the sad news of Jimmy Greaves in the last couple of weeks, and Harry is in that echelon of incredible names."

Tottenham were most recently downed 3-1 by fierce rivals Arsenal, with Kane making just five passes and recording 25 touches across 90 minutes at Emirates Stadium.

Youngster Emile Smith-Rowe was on the scoresheet for the Gunners and, despite impressing, Southgate wants the Arsenal academy product to maintain his form if he is to earn a place in the England squad.

"[Smith-Rowe] is a player we like a lot and was very close to making this squad," Southgate answered when asked about a potential call-up for the 21-year-old.

"At this moment in time I don't want to bring in any more younger players out of the Under-21s. They have got to earn that right over a longer period.

"I thought his performance against Tottenham was very good. We know how he finished last season as well. I can only say he is a player we really like and he was close."

Teddy Sheringham is "amazed" Harry Kane did not leave Tottenham in the transfer window and believes his below-par performances show the England captain is "unhappy".

Kane finished last season with the Premier League Golden Boot and also supplied the most assists in the division before starring in England's run to the Euro 2020 final.

That form has continued in a Three Lions shirt this term, with the forward now having netted in 15 consecutive World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, but he is still to get off the mark for Spurs in the Premier League.

Despite three goals in three games across the EFL Cup and Europa Conference League, Kane has looked out of sorts in Tottenham's biggest matches.

Without a goal or assist in 378 minutes in the Premier League, he has attempted just nine shots and created only four chances. He is averaging a touch in the opposition box once every 29 minutes, too often too deep to have an impact in the final third.

Kane has endured slow starts to seasons previously, although this is his longest drought since August 2016.

Former Tottenham and England striker Sheringham told Stats Perform he is a "lover" of Kane, who has "everything as a centre-forward" and is "still the best" in the Premier League.

But Sheringham feels a failed transfer to Manchester City continues to hamper the Spurs number 10.

"I'm amazed that he's still there," he said. "I must admit, when he came out with the interview with Gary Neville about saying that he wanted to go and play with [Kevin] De Bruyne, I thought the writing was on the wall and that he would be leaving that summer.

"For me, looking on the outside, I don't know, but he must have had some sort of assurances from the chairman that he would be able to leave. That has changed.

"And I think that's showing in his performance now that he's not happy with something. He's definitely not firing on all cylinders.

"And that's not like Harry Kane, because when he's fit and raring to go, he is one of the best players in the world, the best number nine in the world, for me.

"But he's not showing that at the moment, so he must be unhappy with something."

Manchester City made something of a statement in their 1-0 win over potential title challengers Chelsea on Saturday, whereas Manchester United seemed to take another step back as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign stuttered again.

But Solskjaer is certainly not the only top-flight manager feeling the heat – Nuno Espirito Santo's honeymoon period as Tottenham boss is well and truly over, with the Portuguese now among the favourites to be the first Premier League boss sacked this season following a 3-1 defeat in the north London derby.

Without any further ado, here are some of the more curious facts and stats from across the Premier League this past weekend…

City defence putting the 'guard' in Guardiola

It may not have been the thrill ride neutrals were likely hoping for, but City's 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge was another impressive indicator of just how good Pep Guardiola's team is as a unit.

Of course, they won the Premier League only a few months ago, so saying City are "good" probably won't cut it for analysis – but what is really making people sit up and take note at the moment is how their unity and cohesion is translating into defensive solidity.

City have conceded just one goal in their six Premier League games this term, the fewest they've ever shipped at this stage of any league campaign.

Let's not forget that Chelsea had been widely praised for their own start to 2021-22, yet on Saturday they were prevented from having a single shot on target in a home league game since November 2012, which coincidentally was also against City.

But even more impressive from City's perspective was the fact Chelsea's expected goals (xG) value was just 0.2, the worst they've recorded in a home Premier League game since Opta records began in 2008-09.

While Chelsea fans will understandably be frustrated, it would seem their struggles on Saturday were more down to City being in a groove defensively.

They've only faced six shots on target this season, a record no Premier League has bettered over the first six matches in a campaign since at least 2003-04. If they keep this up, the title will surely be staying at the Etihad Stadium.

Fernandes' penalty miss not Man Utd's big issue

It was another day to forget for United on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa.

They were presented with a great opportunity to equalise in second-half stoppage time, but Bruno Fernandes sent his penalty over the crossbar.

Much of the focus afterwards was on Fernandes and his miss, though it would be unfair to pin the blame on him – after all, of the 23 spot-kicks he has taken since his United debut, he's only failed to convert two.

In the same time period, Cristiano Ronaldo – seemingly Fernandes' main penalty rival now – has taken 22 and missed four. This is not a problem that United need to dwell on much.

Instead, they'd be wise to look into their glaring tactical inefficiencies, with Solskjaer's team sorely lacking identity, cohesion and a defined playing style. Too often they are bailed out by moments of individual brilliance, which is an unsustainable approach to solely rely on in a title challenge.

Against Villa, those instances of individual excellence never arrived, despite United mustering 28 shots. That was the most efforts attempted by United without scoring in a home league game since October 2016 (38 shots in 0-0 draw with Burnley).

They have now conceded in each of their past eight league games at Old Trafford, their worst such run in 49 years, and lost three successive home matches (all competitions) for the first time since 1962.

Norwich set new benchmark for worst start

With every match that passes, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to become ever dimmer for Norwich City.

A 2-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday leaves Norwich pointless and with a -14 goal difference after six matches – that makes their start to the season the worst after six matches in Premier League history.

Only twice before had a Premier League side begun a campaign without a single point from six games, the last of which was Frank de Boer's infamous Crystal Palace team in 2017-18 – the Dutchman was sacked after the fourth match in that sequence.

Norwich have at least been a little more patient than Palace, with Daniel Farke's record of overseeing two promotions seemingly ensuring he retains some good will at the club, even if he now has the highest loss percentage (75 per cent, 33/44) of any manager to take charge of at least 20 games in the Premier League.

Most would already consider Norwich to be doomed for relegation, though perhaps there is some reason for optimism.

There have only been nine teams to start a top-flight season (prior to 2021-22) with six or more successive losses, but four of them – including Palace – have avoided relegation.

Vardy joins exclusive club

Jamie Vardy ended up having a peculiar day when Leicester City drew 2-2 with Burnley on Saturday, the former England striker scoring three of the four goals.

It was his own goal that gave Burnley an early lead, while he also got both Leicester equalisers, including one late in the day.

That was his first own goal ever in 360 appearances for Leicester, while he became the first player to net at both ends for the club in a single Premier League game.

It's happened to some of the best, though. He joins an illustrious list containing 11 others who have scored at least 100 goals but also put past their own goalkeeper, with Harry Kane, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney among them.

On top of that, Vardy is now only one of five players in Premier League history to score at least twice at the right end and an own goal in the same game after John Barnes (Liverpool v Spurs 1995), Niall Quinn (Sunderland v Charlton Athletic 2001), Rooney (Man Utd v Stoke City 2012) and Tammy Abraham (Chelsea v Wolves 2019).

But he is still doing more than his fair share at the other end, his brace in this game taking him to eight goal involvements in his past seven league games, which is 89 per cent (8/9) of Leicester's goals in that time.

Bad omens stacking up for Nuno

After three wins from his first three Premier League games in charge, everything was looking rather rosy for Tottenham boss Nuno.

Three matches and three defeats later, some will doubt whether he'll still be in charge this time next month, let alone this time next season.

Sunday's north London derby was his 10th in charge of Spurs and the 3-1 loss made him the first manager to lose as many as four of his first 10 matches at the helm of the club since Glenn Hoddle in 2001.

Hoddle was also the last Spurs boss to conceded at least three goals in three consecutive league games in September 2003, and he was sacked after that run.

Nuno will probably make it to the next match but the last team to begin a season with three wins and then lost the next three (Everton, 1993-94) finish as low down as 17th.

His future arguably rests on getting something out of Kane, who's failed to score in five straight league games for the first time since August 2016, but things aren't looking great given Spurs' 35 open-play shots is the second fewest in the division and their expected goals (xG) total is just 3.2, only higher than three teams.

While a lack of quality chances might usually be masked by Kane's excellence, he's not bailing them out any longer – if that continues, it's difficult to see Nuno keeping his job for the long term.

Is the end nigh for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford?
 
Wan-Bisakka joined Manchester United in a big-money deal in 2019 but the Red Devils are reportedly ready to replace the Englishman.
 
A talented RB Leipzig defender could be the team's next right-back.

 

TOP STORY – NEW RIGHT-BACK SET FOR OLD TRAFFORD?

Manchester United are eyeing RB Leipzig right-back Nordi Mukiele, according Fichajes.net.

United are reportedly keen to sign a replacement after losing patience with Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be interested in Leipzig's 23-year-old star Mukiele.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Milan and Juventus are interested in United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi. The 18-year-old has also been linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

- Inter are willing to let Alexis Sanchez leave the Serie A champions, reports Calciomercato. Marseille, Real Betis and Sevilla are among the possible options for the 32-year-old Chilean.

Tottenham are weighing up a move for Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, per Fichajes. It comes amid continued uncertainty over Spurs star Harry Kane, who has been linked with Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus as well as United.

 

Gary Neville claims Harry Kane is playing as though someone pooped his party after the Tottenham star drew a fifth successive blank in the Premier League.

The England skipper had not experienced such a league goals drought since August 2016, and his loss of form follows a turbulent period in his career when he looked set to leave Spurs.

Kane appeared destined for a move to Manchester City, but that transfer did not materialise as the Premier League champions could not prise him from the north London club's clutches.

He had five goal attempts in Sunday's 3-1 derby defeat to Arsenal but could not find a way past Aaron Ramsdale.

"He doesn't look happy," Neville said.

Pointing to Tottenham's 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in their previous game, Neville said: "Last week was a risk, I thought, shoving him out on the left wing. He was out on the left wing last week.

"Today I thought he did play higher, to be fair, but the balls played up to him were just long punts in the first 20 minutes.

"Harry doesn't look himself in terms of his body language. He looks like he's still carrying over the situation from over the summer.

"He could still have had two or three goals today and a penalty, so there's still a contribution, but he's just not himself. Neither is Son [Heung-min].

"Son and him look like they've had their balloons burst at a party as a kid. That's what it looks like."

Neville said Spurs have "good senior pros" in their ranks, as he sought an explanation for why their form has nosedived since starting the league campaign with three straight wins.

Rough losses to Crystal Palace, Chelsea and now Arsenal have seen them plummet from the top of the league and into mid-table.

Nuno Espirito Santo may have a big job on his hands in turning Spurs back into a winning side, and Neville suspects some players are pining for a coach in the mould of former boss Mauricio Pochettino.

"Those players to me look like they want a high-pressing, Pochettino-style coach that plays out from the back and gets the centre-backs on the six-yard line, rather than one that sits behind the ball and counter-attacks," former Manchester United captain Neville said on Sky Sports.

With the derby defeat, Nuno became the first Spurs boss to lose as many as four times in his opening 10 fixtures since Glenn Hoddle in 2001.

Kane attempted just four passes in the first half at Emirates Stadium and was successful with only five of his 11 passes across the 90 minutes.

He has also failed to get a goal in back-to-back games against Arsenal for the first time in his Tottenham career.

Former Spurs captain Ledley King said of his old team-mate: "He cares, but there's no doubt he's out of shape at the moment. He's out of form. He's a big part for the club so when he's not playing well we struggle."

Nuno Espirito Santo knows Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal is a "special" occasion, as Tottenham look to return to form by defeating their rivals.

Spurs have lost their past two top-flight games 3-0, with both matches being London derbies. They have never lost three consecutive league games by three or more goals in their entire history.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have recovered from losing their first three matches of the season by an aggregate score of 9-0 by beating Norwich City and Burnley, winning 1-0 on each occasion. The Gunners last won three in a row without conceding in July 2020, while they last had three consecutive 1-0 victories in August 2008.

Heading into the September international break, Arsenal were bottom and Spurs were at the summit for the first time in top-flight history, though the rivals will be on level points should Mikel Arteta's team win at Emirates Stadium.

Just one of the previous 10 Tottenham managers to take charge in a north London derby has won their first top-flight meeting against Arsenal, though it was Jose Mourinho in July 2020, and Nuno is relishing the biggest match of his tenure so far.

"It is not another game. It is a special game," he told a news conference on Friday.

"It is a special game for us, a special game for our fans. It is going to be a tough match and it's a different game.

"It is a special moment for us. The attendance will be 66,000 people. That is huge.

"We have to compete, we have to play. We have to compete well. Give everything that we can and play well.

"Finding the right balance. Improvements have to be made, but we had a lot of positives that we take from the previous games."

Harry Kane is the all-time highest goalscorer in competitive meetings between Arsenal and Tottenham, with 11 goals. He failed to score against Arsenal in their last meeting in March, but has never gone without a goal against the Gunners in back-to-back games.

However, the England captain has had a stuttering start to the season and is yet to score a Premier League goal after opting to stay at the club.

It is the first time Kane has failed to score in his first four Premier League appearances of a season since 2015-16, while he has attempted just four shots so far.

"He always looks forward to playing [against Arsenal]," Nuno said of Kane, whose tendency to drop deep has been the subject of some criticism in recent weeks, especially after the defeats to Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

Pressed on Kane's role, Nuno added: "What I look more is to create the best for the team. What do you want is to create a situation where our players work well in positions that they feel more comfortable.

"It is up to the team. What we are looking for is how we can build the team so all our players feel natural to play in the best positions they can do it.

"I think that we are improving. We have a lot of problems and situations to improve and get better for the mistakes that we make but the recent performances are getting better. I am confident that we will be much better."

Nuno Espirito Santo demanded patience with Tanguy Ndombele as Tottenham defeated Wolves 3-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in Wednesday's EFL Cup clash.

Harry Kane and Ndombele had opened a two-goal lead but strikes from Leander Dendoncker and Daniel Podence, who profited from Ndombele's concentration lapse, sent the third-round tie to penalties.

Dendoncker then saw his effort saved by Pierluigi Gollini, with both Conor Coady and Ruben Neves missing as well to hand Spurs a place in the fourth round for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons.

Despite the shoot-out win, Nuno focused on Ndombele as he insisted the France midfielder needs time to regain confidence and settle in.

"Let's try to avoid as much as we can individual analysis," Nuno responded to reporters post-match when asked about the mistake for Wolves' second goal.

"We will do it and we will do it amongst ourselves and I think we have to be patient with Tanguy because of all that happened in pre-season and this is his third game and already we've had however many games we've played so far.

"So let's be patient with all our players and patient with the time that they need to get to the level that I truly believe their talent can allow."

Kane, who has still not scored in the Premier League this term, was also on target and Nuno used his captain as another example for why patience is required with his players.

"In terms of the squad and in terms of the preparation of the squad we have players who have 65, 70 [training] sessions and we have players who have 15 sessions," he continued.

"Until we can balance everything, I think that will be the moment the players improve and get better. Harry [Kane] did a very good game, I think he has much more to give and it's about the team improving and growing together."

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