The Premier League's big-money clubs are circling for Aston Villa's Jack Grealish.

The England midfielder is drawing interest from multiple suitors keen to lure him away from Villa Park.

Could a move be on the cards after the Euros? 

 

TOP STORY – BLUES WANT GREALISH

Chelsea are strong contenders to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, Football Insider reports. 

The England international has also drawn interest from Manchester City, but the Blues' involvement could change the dynamic. 

Football Insider claims owner Roman Abramovich has approved the type of expenditures that would be necessary to land players like Grealish, and winning the Champions League will only loosen the reins on Chelsea's spending. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Kylian Mbappe wants to move on from Paris Saint-Germain, according to RMC Sport, which says the France international will depart on a free transfer when his contract expires next year if he does not move during this window. 

- Lionel Messi's long-anticipated new contract with Barcelona could be announced as soon as Thursday, according to Le 10 Sport. 

- If Man City are to complete a deal to land Harry Kane from Tottenham, they will need to do it without using Raheem Sterling in a swap deal. Sterling has no interested in joining Spurs as part of the reported £100million move for Kane, ESPN said. 

- Sergio Ramos plans to join PSG, AS reports, spurning interest from City and Manchester United

- Chelsea see Villarreal's Gerard Moreno as a fall-back option if they cannot sign Erling Haaland, according to Fichajes. 

- Milan are looking at Rafinha of PSG as a potential addition as Hakan Calhanoglu moves on, Calciomercato reports. 

- England defender James Tarkowski is drawing interest from Wolves and West Ham, the Telegraph reports, while the Mail says Leicester City also are eyeing the Burnley man. 

- Scott Parker is set to depart Fulham and become Bournemouth's new manager, The Athletic reports. 

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City have a worrying pitch problem as they attempt to land an unprecedented quadruple this season.

The City manager has been impressed by playing surfaces at stadiums his team have visited recently, pointing to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United as clubs who have pristine grass.

However, the boss of the Premier League leaders says his team are playing on a pitch that is ill-suited to players of their prowess, and he wants a solution to be found.

Guardiola revealed his turf torment when assessing that the pitch at Fulham's Craven Cottage, where City play on Saturday, is also not one of the best around.

"I know the stadium is always difficult, the grass is not in good condition, quite similar to our grass that is not good," Guardiola said.

When asked how much of a problem it was to City that their Etihad Stadium conditions were not ideal, Guardiola replied: "A lot. They're working a lot trying to find a solution, but the grass is not good.

"All the players know how good the grass is and sometimes is not. I know the weather conditions here are tough, but there are stadiums where the grass is good. We were in London against Arsenal, we were in Anfield and Old Trafford and the grass was better.

"We were in Budapest in the Champions League and the grass was a red carpet, it was amazing, but the grass here is not good."

Such an inconvenience did not prevent City recently running up a 28-game unbeaten streak, which ended on home soil against United last weekend.

Guardiola's star-studded team thumped Southampton 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, restoring a 14-point lead over second-placed United.

With the end of City's unbeaten run coming so recently, Fulham may fancy causing a shock on Saturday evening, despite losing their past six games against City across all competitions by an 18-0 aggregate.

City have lost just one of their 13 Premier League away games against Fulham (W7 D5), going down 2-1 in November 2005 under Stuart Pearce.

Guardiola spoke passionately about Fulham's qualities, and he ranks Cottagers boss Scott Parker highly in the group of forward-thinking young managers who are emerging across Europe.

On the style front, Guardiola admits he will struggle to compete against the sharply dressed Parker, saying: "He's younger, he has hair, he's better than me, definitely. I accept a draw against him."

On the pitch, however that pitch may look under his close scrutiny, Guardiola will not want to settle for a point in west London.

He namechecked Brighton's Graham Potter - "Mr Potter" - as another bright young coach, and said he admired young managers who compelled their teams to play football with bravado, even if results are slow in coming.

"They are the ones I admire the most," Guardiola said. "They're doing this in the beginning and it's not going well, they continue to do it and in the end the results come.

"Both teams want to attack, both teams want to create, not just speculate, not just wait for one mistake or wait for one action to do it. I have a feeling the new generation of managers, all of them, have this quality.

"Just take a look in Spain, Germany, Italy. All the new managers, they play like they are managers of Bayern Munich. So go forward and try to do it. Sometimes they can do it."

Jose Mourinho cited "individual mistakes" as the reason for Tottenham's tendency to drop points from winning positions.

Spurs looked set to be heading to third place in the Premier League thanks to Harry Kane's header against Fulham, but Mourinho's team were pegged back by Ivan Cavaleiro's brilliant 74th-minute effort.

After winning their opening three games of 2021 in all competitions by an aggregate score of 10-0, it was a reminder to Tottenham of their fragility when defending leads.

Tottenham have now dropped 10 points from winning positions in league games this season, and Mourinho blamed individual errors, while also rueing some glaring opportunities which were missed, with Son Heung-min twice failing to beat Alphonse Areola from close range prior to Kane's opener, before the South Korea forward hit the post in the second half.

"Three or four big chances in the first half to have a different result, the biggest chance of the second half would have killed the game and then again we concede a goal that is completely avoidable," a frustrated Mourinho told Amazon Prime Sport.

"We could have killed the game and again we lose a man in the box. That happens the majority of time in set-pieces, this time it was in open play.

"Of course it is costing points, especially away we are winning and then we don't show that ambition to kill the game and many times it happens that in the last part of the game we concede.

"There are things that are individual, that are down to individual qualities and individual mistakes. Basically I cannot say much more than that.

"It's good that we play [soon]. It's not good that after that game on Sunday we have 10 days. At this moment though we just have to accept that."

Tottenham are at least unbeaten in their past eight London derbies in the Premier League (W3 D5), since a defeat to Mourinho's former club Chelsea last February.

Spurs managed just five attempts in the second half, compared to eight from Fulham, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sees vast room for improvement.

"Very disappointing. I think we have to do better, in a couple of aspects of the game, it's difficult to speak right now because of the emotions," the midfielder told Amazon Prime Sport.

"More bravery, more focus in terms of organising the team and being solid as a team.

"It doesn't mean you have to stand in your own box and defend, it means that the team is compact, closes the lines. Executing the chances, I had a chance and had to score. Many details that we have to do better."

Fulham, meanwhile, have drawn five consecutive Premier League games, their longest such run since January 2007 (six games).

Scott Parker was angered by the Premier League rearranging this fixture in the wake of Aston Villa's coronavirus outbreak, but was delighted with the performance his team put in.

"Very impressed, I thought it was outstanding, everything about us," Parker said.

"Nobody knows what we've been through in the last couple of weeks, players in the squad who have had one day of training, to prepare and play like we did is what I'm pleased the most with.

"I'm proud of the team because of how we played in the circumstances but I'm even more proud of them because they showed some real quality."

Jose Mourinho welcomed the Premier League's decision to have Tottenham play Fulham on Wednesday as Aston Villa attempt to recover from a coronavirus outbreak.

Spurs will host Fulham when they were scheduled to instead take on Villa, who had to field an academy side against Liverpool in the FA Cup after COVID-19 wiped out their first team.

The Fulham fixture had been postponed from December due to their own problems with the virus, a short-notice call that frustrated Mourinho.

The Tottenham coach was rather more enthused by the league's resolution this week, hailing it as a crucial step in order to keep the season going.

"The biggest impact is to have matches postponed. That is the biggest impact," Mourinho said.

"The changing of the order of the matches, the impact is minimal because, in the end, you have to play 19 matches at home and 19 matches away, you have to play two matches against every team.

"If it is to help the Premier League to go and to end properly, I think it is a solution we all have to accept as a positive solution."

But Fulham see the change rather differently, with the move only confirmed on Monday when Scott Parker's side otherwise expected a week off.

Given the last-minute nature of the initial postponement, the relegation battlers received little sympathy from Mourinho, however.

Asked if the switch was fair on Fulham, Mourinho replied: "Are you serious?

"They had 48 hours to prepare for this game? You think so? I had the news I was not going to play them two hours before the game started."

Parker, a former player of Mourinho's at Chelsea, was not impressed by the shake-up.

"It was a possibility on Saturday afternoon," said Parker. "I didn't think it was realistic.

"We were then told on Monday at 0930 we had to fill in for Villa. I realise we live in unpredictable times. We have to move things and it is not ideal.

"I am normally the last one to moan or whine. To confirm a Premier League game at 0930 on Monday morning is scandalous.

"It's not about the fixture. I accept we have to play but it's the notice. The people making these decisions don't understand."

Fulham have not played since Boxing Day, with a second fixture - against Burnley - also postponed, although Parker's men are unbeaten in five in all competitions.

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