Pep Guardiola hailed Gabriel Jesus' display in Manchester City's 5-0 win against Norwich City and said he feels fortunate to be able to work with a player as selfless as the Brazilian.

Jesus was brought into City's starting line-up as one of five changes from last weekend's defeat to Tottenham as City produced a five-star showing against Norwich.

The Brazil international was fielded to the right of a front three that also contained Ferran Torres and Jack Grealish in Saturday's Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

While Jesus did not find the net, he played a game-high three key passes, which included assists for Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling.

He also sent in the ball that led to Grant Hanley and Tim Krul inadvertently combining for City's opener and was heavily praised by Guardiola after the impressive display.

"If one person deserves respect and man of the match prizes then it's him. His mum and dad have to be so proud to have someone like him," Guardiola told BBC Sport.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, the Catalan coach added: "He's a player who likes to be wider than central position.

"One of the reasons I'm a manager is when you can work with people and humans like Gabriel. He never complains, he plays five minutes, he plays the best five minutes he can.

"He's happy on left, right or centre and today the connection with Kyle [Walker] was exceptional. I'm pleased with his performance – he was involved in three of our goals and is an incredibly important player for us.

"He made an exceptional performance today, and I repeat, if he plays three minutes he plays the best three minutes for the club and everyone. The more you have in this position the better we are. When someone plays like this they deserve to play.

"He's so young, big congratulations because he deserves in life the best. He's so generous and as I say, I'm incredibly satisfied for him."

Jesus has experience of playing in a wide role with the Brazil national team, whom he helped reach the final of the Copa America last month.

The 24-year-old was given an extended break following his Copa exploits but took little time to find his groove on his first start of the season, having been introduced as a second-half substitute against Tottenham last week.

"I play more on the right for the national team," Jesus told BBC Sport. "We have a lot of good wingers here and a very good team overall.

"I feel good and I'm getting my confidence and energy back. I like to play all the time, wherever the manager tries to play me, I try to do my best always.

"I was the last one to come back after the holidays. I didn't lose too much power. I'm a little bit lucky that I can come back, train two days or one week and get back my fitness."

Grealish, Aymeric Laporte, Sterling and Riyad Mahrez were all on target for City in their routine victory after Krul had opened the scoring win an early own goal.

Since Guardiola arrived in the Premier League at the start of the 2016-17 season, City have now been responsible for 23 of the 49 games won by a five-goal margin (47 per cent).

It was a timely win for City, ending a run of three defeats in a row in competitive games without scoring stretching back into last season.

"This result was the consequence of how many good things we have done," Guardiola said.

"We are still not at the top – there are still many things to do. We trained, we were refreshed and I'm happy for these first points.... hopefully they will not be the last!"

Grealish's goal was his first for City since arriving in a British record £100million deal from Aston Villa this month on what was his home debut and third appearance overall.

The England international knew little about the goal, with Jesus' powerful cross hitting his thigh before he could react and flying past Krul.

Citing the example of "machine" Sterling, who has built a reputation for being in the right place to finish off moves, Guardiola expects Grealish to become a regular goalscorer.

"If he gets the mentality to score goals like Raheem, yeah [he can score more]," Guardiola said. "When Raheem was here when I first arrived he didn't have goals in his mind and we immediately changed his arrival.

"Today Raheem scored because he arrives in the centre, he's a machine there. He changed his mind and decided he was going to score. Jack has this mentality to score goals and win games. If he has the Raheem mentality then he can do it, too."

Jack Grealish was among the scorers as Manchester City eased past Norwich City 5-0 on Saturday for their first win of the Premier League season.

The reigning champions fell to a 1-0 loss at Tottenham in their opening game but had no trouble in seeing off their newly promoted opponents at the Etihad Stadium.

British record signing Grealish scored in an unconventional manner 22 minutes into his home debut after Tim Krul's unfortunate own goal had given the hosts an early lead.

Aymeric Laporte added to the scoring in the second half and substitutes Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez piled the misery on Norwich, who slipped to a second successive defeat on their return to the top tier.

City had won their previous three home league games against Norwich by an aggregate score of 14-1 and were ahead inside seven minutes of this latest one-sided encounter.

Gabriel Jesus chested down Rodri's diagonal pass and fired a low cross into the six-yard box, Grant Hanley diverting the ball against goalkeeper Krul and into the net.

Ferran Torres was denied a goal by VAR for Bernardo Silva's trip on Milot Rashica in the build-up, but Grealish netted soon after as Jesus' cross hit his thigh and beat Krul.

Having played a part in those opening two goals, Jesus went close to scoring one of his own early in the second half when dragging a shot just wide from range.

City's third did arrive nine minutes later when Laporte stroked home after Norwich failed to deal with a corner and the ball bounced around in the box.

Sterling was next to register with a close-range finish after being teed up by the impressive Jesus, while Mahrez rounded out the scoring late on, brilliantly controlling Ruben Dias' long pass and tucking in off the inside of the post.

Mohamed Salah does not need extra motivation to break records and achieve potential legendary status, according to Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds cruised to a 3-0 victory against Norwich in their Premier League opener on Sunday, Salah scoring one and assisting twice.

His 74th-minute curler marked his fifth consecutive goal on the opening day of a Premier League season, a feat never achieved before.

As Klopp's men prepare for Saturday against Burnley, who ended Liverpool's 68-game unbeaten run at Anfield last term, Salah nears another Premier League milestone.

The Egypt forward has scored 98 goals in 159 Premier League games, with only four players ever reaching 100 in their first 160 matches in the competition – Alan Shearer (124), Harry Kane (141), Sergio Aguero (147) and Thierry Henry (160).

Klopp, though, says his part in motivating Salah to achieve such accolades is limited.

"I don't have to," Klopp responded when asked if he needed to encourage Salah. "He knows that, he is aware of all these things.

"He enjoys the time here. I didn't know when he broke the record last week. When he plays as hard as he does, he comes in situations that he can score.

"He is very hungry for goals. There is no doubt about that. With his quality, he can set records in assists as well.

"I have never told him that he could be the, or one of the biggest Liverpool legends ever. That is nothing you go for. Records, yes, but becoming a legend… it [is for] after your career is over. Hopefully, he can stay like this."

Since Salah's return to the Premier League in June 2017, no Liverpool player has created more chances than his 252, while only Andy Robertson can boast as many as his 35 assists.

In the same time period, no top-flight player can match his 96 goals for the Reds, Tottenham's Harry Kane eight goals behind in second.

Indeed, Salah ran riot at Carrow Road as he was involved in nine of Liverpool's 19 shots against - no player was involved in more of their side's attempts on matchday one.

While the 29-year-old continues to cause chaos on the pitch, there is still speculation off the field with his current contract due to expire in 2023.

Asked if there was any progress with a new deal, Klopp said: "I am involved with pretty much everything in the club. We don't speak about these things.

"From the first day he came back, he has been absolutely great. We are all professionals. There are talks and there are talks.

"When there is a decision, we will tell you. Until then, it is only important how the parts work together. Two years left, you can imagine that there are talks."

Pep Guardiola had no interest in discussing a potential move for Robert Lewandowski as Manchester City still wait to make a striker signing.

Guardiola was speaking at City's news conference ahead of Saturday's game against Norwich City, where he revealed Kevin De Bruyne is a doubt with an ankle issue.

Even without De Bruyne, City should have enough in creative areas against Norwich, having signed Jack Grealish for a British record £100million fee.

But Guardiola's men remain light up front, with Sergio Aguero departing for Barcelona and a move for Harry Kane so far failing to come to fruition.

Reports this week of Lewandowski's unhappiness at Bayern Munich, Guardiola's former club, prompted questions about possible interest.

Lewandowski was at Bayern for just two of Guardiola's three seasons but still trailed only Thomas Muller (79 and 115) for goals (67) and goal involvements (79) during the Catalan coach's tenure.

It might be an effective link-up, but Guardiola does not anticipate Lewandowski heading to the Premier League any time soon.

"Next question," he replied, as the news conference opened on Lewandowski. "Listen, Lewy is a so important player for Bayern Munich. He will stay in Bayern Munich.

"I'm not going to talk to you and your colleagues today, with 11 days left, about the transfer market. I don't know what's going to happen, nobody knows.

"Tomorrow we have a game, prepare the Arsenal game when we finish. When we come back after the international break, we'll have all the squad to fight for every game in the season."

Even if neither Kane nor an alternative like Lewandowski were signed, Guardiola would be "more than happy" with his City squad.

"It's the same team, except Sergio for Jack Grealish, that we had last season," he explained.

Asked about team news for the Norwich game, Guardiola initially said there was "no news, good news" before a specific query about De Bruyne.

"Kevin couldn't train today, so there is news," he said. "He couldn't train today, a little disturbance, so we will see tomorrow if he can play or not."

City lost their season opener 1-0 at Tottenham and only rivals Manchester United (in 1992-93, 1995-96 and 2012-13) have previously won the Premier League title after being beaten in their first match.

The reigning champions have lost their past three games in all competitions 1-0, part of a run of five defeats in seven, as many as in their previous 56 matches.

Were that miserable run to continue against Norwich, though, it would be unprecedented for a Guardiola side, as he has never seen a team lose four in a row or go four without scoring.

City last lost four straight in August 2006 and have not lost four without reply since March 1986.

Guardiola certainly is not worrying yet, adding: "We have 111 points to play, 37 games.

"I cannot deny I would have preferred to have three points, but tomorrow we have the challenge to win the first three.

"We have to win games, of course, if we want to be there close to the top of the league, but it's the second fixture.

"Many games and many things are going to happen this season. What I would like to see is the team getting better."

Liverpool have condemned an "offensive and inappropriate" chant heard during their Premier League win over Norwich City on Saturday.

The homophobic chant, which could clearly be heard on television coverage of the match, appeared to be aimed at Norwich's on-loan Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour.

Liverpool's LGBTQ+ fan group, Kop Outs!, highlighted the issue on social media.

"Great result today marred by homophobic chanting by some of our fans targeting Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour," the group posted.

"If you can't support without resorting to bigoted nonsense, you don't understand YNWA [you'll never walk alone]."

The club have previously criticised airings of the same chant and shared the post.

Liverpool added: "The chant is offensive and inappropriate – a message we have repeatedly communicated alongside Kop Outs. 

"We urge supporters to remember the inclusive values of the club and to refrain from using it in the future."

Capacity crowds returned to Premier League stadiums this week for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jurgen Klopp conceded his Liverpool players will have to get used to playing in front of crowds again after overseeing an opening 3-0 Premier League win at Norwich City.

Mohamed Salah set a new Premier League record by scoring on a fifth successive opening weekend, having laid on goals for Diogo Jota and substitute Roberto Firmino.

But Klopp felt Liverpool were not at their best before Jota's 26th-minute opener and suggested the capacity Carrow Road crowd was a factor.

"We saw on Sunday and Monday playing against [Athletic] Bilbao and Osasuna, we were sensationally lively from the start," he told Sky Sports, referencing Liverpool's final pre-season friendlies played out in front of fans at Anfield.

"It was not the case today. Let's get used to it. I could see it in the eyes of the players. That's fine for the first game but, of course, we want to start differently.

"And, yes, everybody has to get used to an atmosphere again. Hopefully we have a great atmosphere next Saturday [against Burnley at Anfield] and let's try to use it.

"We scored goals and controlled the game apart from two or three situations.

"It was not perfect, of course, but that's not important. It's important that we get the result and can build on it and work with it. We can work with this performance very well."

Virgil van Dijk came through 90 minutes on his first competitive appearance since last October.

"Top," Klopp said of the Dutch centre-back's display. "After that long time being out, having the pre-season he had and now being back on the pitch… it feels different.

"You could see all his quality, all his class in all moments. It was hard for him to go 90 minutes, maybe he will need a mobile ice bath.

"Kostas [Tsimikas] did really well on his first Premier League start until about 80 minutes when somebody pulled the plug. It was a very professional performance."

There was a clinical edge to Liverpool's play, one exemplified by the prolific Salah.

"They are all in good shape up front, in training they all look really sharp. But Mo is just a good footballer and he loves the competitions," Klopp added.

"As soon as it starts getting competitive again, he goes to the next gear and you saw that today."

Paul Pogba assisted four of Manchester United's goals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side started their 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds United.

Bruno Fernandes netted three of them, with Mason Greenwood and Fred also getting in on the action as United issued a statement of intent.

Chelsea followed up that victory with a 3-0 win over Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, while Liverpool rounded out the day by beating newly promoted Norwich City by the same scoreline.

Leicester City, Everton, Watford and Brighton and Hove Albion also claimed wins to get their seasons started in style.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key statistics from across Saturday's fixtures.

 

Manchester United 5-1 Leeds United: Pogba and Fernandes leave Whites reeling

Pogba became the seventh player in Premier League history to assist four goals in a single game on Saturday, as he and Fernandes helped United seal a record 20th opening-day win. 

Dennis Bergkamp, Jose Antonio Reyes, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor, Santi Cazorla and Harry Kane had previously teed up four goals in a Premier League match.

Two of Pogba's assists were for Fernandes, whose hat-trick was the 10th scored on the opening weekend of a Premier League season, while the playmaker was the first United player to achieve the feat since Lou Macari in 1977.

Mason Greenwood benefitted from a sublime Pogba pass shortly after Luke Ayling's sensational equaliser – the full-back's first top-flight goal – and he is now the fifth-highest scoring teenager in the history of the competition with 18 goals.

United netted five goals in their opening game of a Premier League game for only the second time, after beating Fulham 5-1 in August 2006, while Leeds shipped five in an opener for the first time.

Norwich City 0-3 Liverpool: Records tumble as Salah stars

Liverpool might have relinquished their Premier League title last season, but Mohamed Salah picked up where he left off last term as he scored and provided two assists in Liverpool's 3-0 win at Norwich.

Salah teed up both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino before netting himself in the 74th minute. It means he has scored on matchday one in all five of his Premier League seasons with Liverpool, while he is the first player in the competition's history to find the net on five consecutive opening weekends.

Norwich have now lost 11 successive top-flight games – only Sunderland have had a longer losing streak in the competition.

Firmino came on from the bench to score Liverpool's second. It was the 49th league goal scored by a substitute under Jurgen Klopp, the most of any side in the competition since the German joined in 2015, while the Brazil international also brought up the Reds' 8,000th league goal in the process.

Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace: Pulisic predictably punishes Eagles again

This trip to Stamford Bridge played out in painfully familiar fashion for Palace, who have lost more Premier League games against Chelsea (19) than versus any other side in the competition's history.

In a routine 3-0 opening-day victory, the Blues became the third team – after Tottenham (nine) and Liverpool (eight) – to win eight in a row against Palace in the Premier League era.

The nature of the first two strikes was predictable, too, with Marcos Alonso netting Chelsea's 50th direct free-kick goal in the competition – trailing only United (64) – before Christian Pulisic grabbed his fifth in five games against Palace, more than versus any other opponent.

The third was slightly more surprising, as centre-back Trevoh Chalobah's superb strike made him the second youngest Chelsea player to score on their Premier League debut for the club after Paul Hughes (22y 40d for Chalobah, 20y 274d for Hughes against Derby County in 1997).

Everton 3-1 Southampton: Benitez off to a winning start

Rafael Benitez was a contentious appointment at Everton but his tenure started with a 3-1 win over Southampton. It was the first time the Toffees have won a league match in which they trailed at half-time since September 2015.

On the other hand, since Ralph Hasenhuttl took over at Southampton in December 2018, they have lost 60 points from winning positions in the Premier League, more than any other side.

Adam Armstrong opened his Southampton account to put the visitors ahead at Goodison Park. Since the start of 2019-20, only Ivan Toney (55) has scored more goals in the top four tiers of English football.

Fresh from Olympic glory with Brazil, Richarlison scored the equaliser and has now netted in each of his last four league games against Southampton.

With Abdoulaye Doucoure lashing Everton ahead, Dominic Calvert-Lewin made it 3-1 with a diving header. He has now netted 12 headed goals in the league since the start of 2019-20, four more than any other player.

Elsewhere, Leicester City saw off Wolves 1-0 thanks to Jamie Vardy's first-half effort. The Foxes have lost just one of their last 25 home league games against the Midlands club.

Only Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer (all eight) have scored more goals on the opening weekend of Premier League campaigns than Vardy (seven).

Watford 3-2 Aston Villa: Ings on the spot but post-Grealish era starts in defeat

Watford have now lost their opening league match in just one of the past 15 campaigns (W8 D6), after the Hornets overcame Aston Villa 3-2.

Emmanuel Dennis became the fourth different Nigerian player to score on his Premier League debut to put Watford ahead, with Ismaila Sarr registering his 20th goal for the club before Cucho Hernandez became the first Colombian to net on his debut in the competition.

John McGinn scored his second goal in the space of four league appearances, as many as he had in his previous 55, to pull one back, before Danny Ings converted a late penalty.

He is the 24th player to score on his Premier League bow for Villa, while his spot-kick was the 2,000th penalty scored in Premier League history.

Meanwhile, Burnley are now winless in their last 11 home league games (D5 L6) since beating Villa 3-2 in January, equaling their longest run without a win at Turf Moor, after Brighton came from behind to win 2-1.

Virgil van Dijk stated Liverpool had room for improvement despite a 3-0 win at Norwich City on his long-awaited Premier League return.

Van Dijk was playing a competitive match for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury in a collision with Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park last October.

Goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino either side of half-time put Liverpool in control before Mohamed Salah established a new Premier League record by scoring for a fifth consecutive opening weekend.

The Reds were able to close out a clean sheet but a final Opta expected goals (xG) calculation of 1.6-1.4 in Norwich's favour suggested Liverpool rode their luck at times and Van Dijk certainly thought this was the case.

"Winning here 3-0 sounds comfortable but at times we made it difficult for ourselves," he told Sky Sports.

"Maybe that's fatigue, we have to do better. But we can’t be negative about tonight.

"I need games. The manger knows it, I know it. It's time to recover and hopefully I'm ready for next week and it’s going to be a very tough one again against Burnley."

Van Dijk explained how tough it was to watch on from the sidelines as an injury-ravaged Liverpool squad saw their title defence subside last time around.

"In the beginning, mentally it’s tough," he said. "You are going from one day being fully fit to the next day you can't walk, you're full of medication and you can't sleep.

"Everyone has their opinion and you read those things because you have nothing to do.

"We struggled last season with key injuries in key positions. We couldn't play our game with high pressure. When you have midfielders playing centre-back it's not easy and the guys did a fantastic job coming third."

In terms of whether Liverpool can mount a sustained title bid against the likes of champions Manchester City, Manchester United and European champions Chelsea this time around, Van Dijk was keen not to be drawn – instead focusing upon his excitement over being back in the heat of battle.

"I don't know. The only thing we can focus on is the next game," he added, having topped the Liverpool charts for touches (92), passes (85) and successful passes (79) over the course of the 90 minutes.

"I think it's exciting to see the Premier League like this. The quality that the Premier League has with the players coming in and coming back is exciting.

"I enjoy that. If I'm thinking about our team, if we stay fit, we have a good chance to be up there. We'll see what the season brings, we have to enjoy it.

"To play against world class strikers and world class teams against where you can't predict. It’s amazing."

Liverpool got their Premier League title bid off to an untroubled start with a 3-0 win at newly promoted Norwich City.

Diogo Jota opened the scoring in the 26th minute, having been selected to start alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane up front.

Roberto Firmino, recently back in training following Brazil's run to the Copa America final, replaced Jota with an hour played at Carrow Road and swiftly got on the scoresheet.

Salah claimed both assists – the second seemingly far more intentional than the first – and duly got in on the act, finishing emphatically with 16 minutes remaining and becoming the first player to score on five consecutive Premier League opening weekends.

Tim Krul extended himself to tip over an 11th-minute header from Portugal forward Jota before his opposite number was given some work.

Teemu Pukki got in behind the returning Virgil van Dijk on the end of Todd Cantwell's dinked throughball and Alisson had to save sharply at his near post in the 19th minute.

A pleasing back and forth had developed as Salah crashed a volley just wide from Mane's chipped delivery and it was Liverpool who found the breakthrough when the Egypt star failed to control Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross, with the ball falling kindly for Jota to slot home.

Salah made a truer contact on the volley when a left-wing corner was partially cleared, with his strike blocked by Ben Gibson before Pierre Lees-Melou got in the way of Joel Matip's follow-up.

Last-ditch Norwich defending continued early in the second half as Max Aarons and Grant Hanley combined to thwart Mane.

Konstantinos Tsimikas, playing at left-back for Liverpool in the absence of Andy Robertson, stung Krul's palms after the hour and the second goal inevitably arrived when Salah retrieved another blocked Mane effort and cut the ball into Firmino's path for a simple finish.

The goal Salah's endeavours deserved arrived when he snaffled a Gibson clearance and curled impeccably beyond Krul.

Curtis Jones has been ruled out of Liverpool's opening Premier League game of the season at Norwich City through concussion.

The 20-year-old has featured in three of Liverpool's four pre-season friendlies and was pushing for inclusion for Saturday's trip to Carrow Road.

However, Jones was replaced during the first half of Monday's 3-1 win over Osasuna following a collision and will not be available this weekend as per concussion protocols.

"He had a slight concussion so we just have to follow the protocol," Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told the club's official website.

"He is fine, he feels fine again, but that’s the protocol. He is available for training from Sunday on I think."

Liverpool will also be without influential left-back Andy Robertson for their meeting with Norwich, one which Jones would have been in contention to start.

The academy product made 24 appearances in the Premier League for the Reds last term, averaging 68.07 successful passes per 90 minutes, sitting him behind only Thiago Alcantara (74.64) and Jordan Henderson (83.51) among Liverpool midfielders.

Thiago and Henderson both made substitute appearances against Osasuna after returning to Liverpool following Euro 2020 duty - and both are in contention to play a part against Norwich.

Asked if there are any other fitness doubts besides Robertson and Jones, Klopp said: "No, not from an injury point of view.

"But yeah, a few players had a shorter pre-season than others. All the others are healthy."

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League matches against Norwich ahead of this latest meeting, scoring 44 goals across that period at an average of 3.1 per game.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is fit and raring to go as Liverpool prepare for their Premier League opener against Norwich City on Saturday.

The right-back, who signed a new long-term contract at Anfield in July, suffered a thigh injury in June, forcing him to pull out of England's Euro 2020 squad.

Alexander-Arnold has been eased back into pre-season action and finally completed a full 90-minute outing in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

"Yes, definitely," the 22-year-old responded when asked if he was 100 per cent ready. "I’ve started pre-season quite well, in training I've been putting the work in, got the all-clear from the medical staff early doors in pre-season and have been able to push on, get fit and get the full 90 under my belt today.

"I think we've timed it well and it gives us a good couple of days to recover and then go on to Norwich next week."

Jurgen Klopp provided Alexander-Arnold his opportunity down the right flank and the wing-back has appeared in over 40 games a season for the last three campaigns – in which time the Reds have won the Champions League and the Premier League.

Since the start of 2018-19, no Liverpool player has created more chances than Alexander Arnold's 212, while he also leads the assist charts with 32 in that period.

Despite failing to recreate his best form from the 2019-20 season which saw him net four times and provided 13 assists, Alexander-Arnold still managed 34 starts and two goals last campaign but was part of a defence hampered by the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as Liverpool failed to retain their top-flight crown.

But Klopp has potential problems ahead of the Norwich opener on the other flank, with Andrew Robertson sustaining a suspected ankle injury in Sunday's outing against Bilbao.

"No, I haven't seen him, to be fair, but I think you know it’s going to be quite bad if Robbo has to come off," Alexander-Arnold said after being asked if he had spoken to his full-back partner.

"It's not something that he normally does so it’s disappointing to see, but I’m sure he will bounce back as soon as he can."

With or without Robertson, after a taste of the Anfield crowd returning for the Bilbao friendly, Alexander-Arnold is excited to perform in front of them during the 2021-22 term.

"This is the moment we’ve been waiting for," he added on seeing a near-full Anfield. "Obviously last season it was very quiet in here but to have the fans back today was special for us all. We've all been waiting for this moment."

Where will Lionel Messi land?

Barcelona's shock announcement of his departure set rumours flying.

Will it be Paris, Manchester or somewhere else?

 

TOP STORY - MESSI ON THE MARKET

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are rumoured to be the top suitors for Lionel Messi.

The French giants have already made contact with Messi's representatives, according to Fabrizio Romano, and are seen in many quarters as the favourites to land the Argentine forward.

It remains to be seen wherher PSG can take on Messi after making several major moves during the transfer window, while City may be in a similarly difficult situation after finalising their £100million deal for Jack Grealish on Thursday.

A reunion with Pep Guardiola may still be a possibility, though, especially if Tottenham refuse to engage in talks around a Harry Kane deal.

Major League Soccer could also be a possibility, though Messi is expected to remain in Europe for at least a few more years.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have not given up on a move for Kieran Trippier, though they have not come close to Atletico Madrid's £34million demands for the England international, The Sun says.

- West Ham are in talks with Fiorentina for centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, Fabrizio Romano reports, with the Serie A side eyeing Matija Nastasic of Schalke as a replacement.

- Arsenal have bid £17m for Lazio striker Joaquin Correa, claims Corriere dello Sport.

- Juventus are interested in bringing back Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic on either a loan or a permanent deal, says Calciomercato.

- Roma are lining up a £21m bid for Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, says Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Crystal Palace are among multiple clubs hoping to lure Adam Armstrong from Blackburn, with the Daily Mail saying they are favoured ahead of Norwich City and Southampton.

Jack Grealish's mooted move to Manchester City appears set to imminently go through.

City manager Pep Guardiola has long admired the 25-year-old England midfielder.

English champions City have also been linked with Harry Kane as they chase an elusive Champions League crown.

TOP STORY - GREALISH BOOKED IN FOR MAN CITY MEDICAL

Aston Villa's Grealish is on the cusp of completing his £100million transfer to join Manchester City, according to the Birmingham Mail.

The report claims Grealish was due to arrive in Manchester on Wednesday, with a medical booked in.

Grealish returned from a holiday after Euro 2020 this week and was spotted at Villa training on Wednesday but has since reportedly headed north.

ROUND-UP

- Sky Sports claims Aston Villa are lining up a move for Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell as they prepare for Grealish to depart.

- Tottenham are plotting moves for PSV's Noni Madueke and Denmark's Euro 2020 star Mikkel Damsgaard according to the Evening Standard, as they plan their windfall from Harry Kane's potential sale to Manchester City.

- Fresh from Danny Ings leaving for Villa, Southampton are closing in on Blackburn forward Adam Armstrong, reports Football League World.

- The Sun claims Norwich City are looking to launch a £15m bid for Blackburn's Armstrong too. Irish prospect Adam Idah could be included in a player-plus-cash deal.

- Atalanta are set to hold talks with Chelsea for a move for striker Tammy Abraham according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

Jack Grealish has been holidaying following Euro 2020, but it is now decision time on his club future.

Speculation has mounted over the past few days about a potential move to Manchester City.

City manager Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer of Grealish, and a big-money bid has apparently been sanctioned by chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.

TOP STORY - GREALISH SET FOR MONDAY TALKS WITH VILLA

Grealish has returned from his off-season holiday and will hold showdown talks with Aston Villa on Monday as a move to City looms, reports The Mirror.

Grealish has been linked with a £100million move to the English champions and is expected to inform Villa of his intention to leave.

Villa have reportedly offered Grealish a bumper new deal worth £200,000-a-week.

 

ROUND-UP

Tottenham have turned their attention to Wolves winger Adama Traore, according to the Daily Mail. Wolves reportedly want £45m for the Spain international, who would be re-acquainted with manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Goal claims Leeds United are also interested in Traore.

Atletico Madrid are preparing for Kieran Trippier to exit the club as links with Manchester United intensify, with the Spanish champions lining up a move for Roma's Alessandro Florenzi, claims AS.

Atletico are also pursuing Inter's Lautaro Martinez and have moved ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign the Argentina international, according to Tuttosport.

- Borussia Dortmund's Denmark international Thomas Delaney is being pursued SouthamptonNorwich City and Crystal Palace, reports Ruhr Nachrichten.

- ABC claims Real Madrid will offer forward Karim Benzema a new one-year contract extension.

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has signed a new four-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2025.

The German arrived at Carrow Road in 2017 after he departed from Borussia Dortmund and guided the Canaries to the Premier League in his second season.

Relegation followed in 2020, but the 44-year-old led his side to an immediate return at the first time of asking as Norwich collected 97 points on their way to the Championship title last campaign, the second time of being crowned champions under Farke. 

"I'm absolutely over the moon and feel pretty emotional in such a moment. I'm unbelievably grateful for all of the trust and support," Farke told the club's media on Wednesday.

"It is a pleasure to be allowed to continue to work on this level with such a special club and our unbelievable owners, Delia and Michael."

Farke's assistant manager Eddie Riemer, head of performance Chris Domogalla and first-team coach Christopher John all signed new terms for the same period, too.

Despite losing Emiliano Buendia to Aston Villa, Norwich have enjoyed a productive transfer window so far, perhaps courtesy of Farke's close relationship with sporting director Stuart Webber.

Farke has managed to bring in Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica, centre-back Ben Gibson and goalkeeper Angus Gunn, as well as the loan signing of Scotland international Billy Gilmour.

"I must also thank Stuart Webber for his trust and backing, my staff and players, as well as the supporters. We have a pretty special relationship in this club," Farke added.

"Now it's about going the next step, doing everything we can to make sure this club becomes an established Premier League side.

"We're in a much better position, both as a club and as a group, and we want to continue to build something unique and special."

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