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).

Manchester City great Francis Lee said a move for Harry Kane would be "very difficult" as he questioned whether the England captain would be a long-term option.

Kane has given his strongest indication yet that he wants to leave Tottenham at the end of the season, stating his desire to play for a trophy-winning side.

Premier League champions City would fit that bill, while Kane has also been linked with the likes of Chelsea and neighbours Manchester United.

Kane, who will turn 28 in July, is level with Mohamed Salah at the top of the Premier League scoring charts heading into the final weekend of the season.

That suggests he remains in the very top bracket of Europe's top strikers, but Lee needs convincing that Kane would be capable of being a force for City for longer than a handful of seasons.

"There's three or four players who would suit us down to the ground and another three or four others who could slot into the team and probably be a sensation as well," Lee told Stats Perform.

He pointed to reports linking 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish with City, before adding Kane's name to the list of possible candidates for a close-season move.

"It'd be very difficult for Harry Kane to move to Manchester City because it would be big money for ... not a short period but maybe two or three years, something like that," Lee said.

Lee, who starred as a City forward from 1967 to 1974 and had a spell as the club's chairman from 1994 to 1998, knows there are plenty of prolific strikers who could potentially step into the City squad and replace Sergio Aguero, the record scorer who will leave on a free transfer at the end of this campaign.

Whether they are the right age and have the right qualities is a question for City manager Pep Guardiola, with Lee suggesting Romelu Lukaku, the 28-year-old former Manchester United and Everton forward, now at Inter, may have what it takes.

"There's a lot of players, there's quite a few players who would fit the bill," Lee said.

"Lukaku would fit the bill. But he didn't fit the bill when he played in the Premier League before. With Pep, a lot of it is attitude. If your attitude is right, and your training is right, and your fitness is right, everything is going on within the Pep plan, you get there."

Since Kane became a Tottenham regular in the 2014-15 season, he has scored 162 goals in 230 Premier League games, with Aguero managing 130 in 187 appearances over the same period.

Kane has managed a marginally better conversion rate when presented with what Opta defines as 'big chances', scoring from 54.77 per cent of such openings, compared to 51.48 per cent by Argentine frontman Aguero.

Aguero's minutes-per-goal record is better though, with one every 105.78 minutes to Kane's one every 120.83 minutes.

But ostensibly, they are well matched, in both being highly prolific. Their total shot conversion rate over the last seven league seasons is almost identical, with Kane netting 18.39 per cent of his efforts on goal and Aguero sticking away 18.34 per cent of his attempts.

That suggests it would be a near like-for-like replacement operation if Kane – five years younger than Aguero – came in from Spurs.

Lee is certain that City must replace Aguero. Although they have had success without him in their starting XI lately, and when deploying a 'false nine' system, Lee, 77, has no doubt Guardiola has to bring in a recognised goal-getter.

Lee said: "I think with the retirement of Sergio, that we definitely need one big striker. I'm not talking in size, I'm talking in reputation and ability. But who could it be? Because if you can't play in this team, you can't play in any team."

Tottenham star Harry Kane wants talks with chairman Daniel Levy after admitting he is considering his future with the club.

Reports emerged in England this week that Kane was considering a move away from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after the club's deeply disappointing season.

Spurs are seventh in the Premier League after Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Aston Villa and could find themselves without European football next season should they lose to Leicester City on the final day.

Tottenham were Champions League finalists two years ago under Mauricio Pochettino but will spend another season out of the competition in 2021-22, while they again failed to win a trophy this term, losing the EFL Cup final to Manchester City in April.

Their poor performances have been in spite of Kane's best efforts. The England striker is joint-top of the league's golden boot standings with 22, level with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, and has provided a league-high 13 assists.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been credited with an interest in Kane and the 27-year-old has now confirmed he is questioning whether Spurs can match his ambitions.

After agreeing he had reached a "crossroads" in his career, Kane told former England and Manchester United defender Gary Neville on The Overlap: "I think there's definitely a conversation to be had with the club. I want to be playing in the biggest games, biggest moments.

"This season, I'm watching the Champions League, the English teams in there doing amazing and they're the games I want to be involved in.

"It's a moment in my career where I have to reflect and see where I'm at and have a good, honest conversation with the chairman. I hope we can have that conversation.

"I'm sure he'll want to set out the plan of where he sees it but, ultimately, it's going to be down to me, how I feel and what's going to be the best for me in my career.

"He's always rewarded me with contracts. He's been fair with me, never just held me to a contract, so we've always had a good relationship.

"I don't know how that conversation is going to go, to be honest. He might want to sell me! He might be thinking, 'If I get 100million for you, why not?'. I'm not going to be worth that for the next two, three years.

"I've been there 16 years of my life, so I hope we can have a good, honest conversation."

Kane has lost three finals with Spurs, who were Premier League runners-up in 2016-17, but he has yet to win a trophy with the club he joined back in 2004.

While he admits "it's hard to hear" suggestions Spurs too often lose their nerve in big games, Kane does not wish to look back on a career of near misses.

"We've been so close and things could've been a lot different, but I understand we haven't got over the line as a club," he said. "We haven't won things, we haven't been dominant when you could say we've had the best team we've had for a very long time.

"For sure, you hear those comments and they eat at you a little bit inside. They almost get you going a little bit, trying to prove people wrong, and that's been my whole career in all aspects, really, getting called a one-season wonder and all stuff like that.

"When you hear stuff about your club, it's never easy. I know what it's like working day in, day out with the players, working hard in training, in the gym to try and win trophies. It hasn't happened but it doesn't mean we're not working as hard as everyone else.

"There have been some amazing moments, some amazing years for the club, so there are some positives there, but my profession is about winning. I want to win.

"I don't want to come to the end of my career and have regrets. I want to be the best I can be. I'd never say I'd stay at Spurs for the rest of my career; I'd never say I'd leave Spurs.

"People might look at it and say, 'He's desperate for trophies'. I still feel I've got almost another career to play. I'm not rushing anything; I'm not desperate to do anything.

"I feel like I can be even better, produce better numbers than I'm producing at the moment. I'm not afraid to say I want to be the best, to try to get on the level [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi got to. That's my aim: winning trophies, scoring 50, 60, 70 goals season in, season out. That's the standard I want to set myself."

Harry Kane looks set to be the centre of rumours and speculation this off-season after reportedly informing Tottenham he wants to leave the club.

The England international forward, who has scored 22 league goals this season, is contracted for another three years at Tottenham.

However Kane has not hidden his desire to win silverware, which has gone unfulfilled at Spurs.

 

TOP STORY – SKY BLUE PREFERENCE FOR KANE

Harry Kane has nominated Manchester City as his preferred destination and believes he has a verbal agreement with Tottenham to allow him to leave, claims The Times.

It is understood that Kane was convinced to remain with Spurs last year but as part of that he struck an agreement with chairman Daniel Levy to allow him to depart upon interest from City.

Kane will make renewed efforts to convince Levy and the Tottenham hierarchy to sell him this off-season. Spurs lost 2-1 to Aston Villa on Wednesday, and they may well miss out on Europe altogether.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United are willing to offer up Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard as part of a move for Kane , claims Football Insider.

- The Red Devils are also ready to make a move for Southampton forward Danny Ings as they look to strength their front line reports The Telegraph.

- Another United target, Jadon Sancho , is being pursued by Chelsea , who have launched an £80m bid for the Borussia Dortmund talent according to The Sun.

- The list of suitors for United goalkeeper Dean Henderson is long according to Sky Sports, with Tottenham, Chelsea, Dortmund and Milan among those interested.

- Gazzetta dello Sport reports that veteran Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud could be set to link up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Milan .

- Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has attracted interest from Qatari club Al Duhail according to Sky Sport Italia.

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.

Harry Kane's future was the topic on everyone's lips after Tottenham's loss to Aston Villa, although Ryan Mason was more concerned with a result that put a dent in Spurs' hopes of qualifying for Europe.

Star forward Kane has been linked with a move away and signed off this season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 2-1 defeat, leaving Spurs vulnerable to dropping out of the Premier League's top seven with one game to go.

The 10,000 fans inside the ground will hope Kane's lap of the pitch after the full-time whistle did not constitute a final farewell, but for interim boss Mason it was not the time to comment on speculation.

"I don't think at the moment it's time to answer questions on Harry Kane," he told the BBC's Match of the Day.

"Right now we've just lost a game in the Premier League. I will speak about the game all day long but not about individuals."

Reflecting on a match in which Spurs led early on through Steven Bergwijn's stunning strike, Mason lamented errors and slack defending as Sergio Reguilon put through his own net and Ollie Watkins completed the turnaround before the break.

"We started the game brightly, unfortunate circumstances for their first goal and they didn't have to earn the second one either," he said.

"I didn't think there was much in the game, just those moments. When you make an unfortunate mistake as we did it gives them a good feeling. We tried to break them down but didn't take those crucial moments.

"It was just about trying to keep our discipline. We lost our shape at times. It was about trying to stay patient and calm. They had pace on the counter and were always a threat. It is a disappointing evening."

Spurs conclude their season at FA Cup winners Leicester City on Sunday.

Tottenham slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against Aston Villa in their first game since reports emerged Harry Kane is intent on leaving the club at the end of the season. 

Kane, who has been linked with a move to a host of Premier League rivals, was a peripheral figure as Spurs suffered a second defeat in three top-flight games in front of 10,000 returning fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following the loosening of coronavirus restrictions.  

Steven Bergwijn had put Ryan Mason's side ahead with his first goal of the season, but a spectacular Sergio Reguilon own goal and an Ollie Watkins strike before half-time put the visitors ahead. 

While Spurs improved after the interval, they never really looked like finding a goal that would have prevented Dean Smith's side securing just a second win against them in their last 14 matches. 

Tottenham went ahead in the eighth minute when Bergwijn picked Marvelous Nakamba's pocket, powered into the penalty and unleashed a superb half-volley past Emiliano Martinez.

Watkins was convinced he should have been given a penalty soon after when Hugo Lloris clattered into him, but referee Craig Pawson and VAR were unmoved.

The visitors pulled level in slapstick fashion after 20 minutes, however, when Reguilon inexplicably sliced Nakamba's cross into his own net from 15 yards.

It went from bad to worse for the Spanish left-back six minutes before the interval, Watkins slotting in from close range after his attempted pass had been cut out by Bertrand Traore.

Martinez twice denied Bergwijn inside the opening five minutes of the second half, while Traore curled wide for Villa after a swift counter-attacking move on the hour mark. 

Kane's first shot did not arrive until the 75th minute, Martinez keeping him out at his near post.

But Tottenham's home campaign this season ended with a whimper, with Villa debutant Carney Chukwuemeka striking the post in the best chance of the final moments.

 

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.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to rule out signing another striker amid links to Tottenham star Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

United re-signed Edinson Cavani for another season and the veteran forward was on target in Tuesday's disappointing 1-1 Premier League draw against relegated Fulham.

Despite Cavani's renewal, Solskjaer is open to further bolstering his attack as speculation mounts over Kane, who reportedly wants to leave Tottenham in the offseason.

"Yes Edi [Cavani] signs but how many good strikers have we had at this club," Solskjaer said during his post-match news conference.

"I can't say that we're not signing a striker. Of course not, because we're building, we're working towards a better squad. We're top three two years on the bounce, but still nowhere where we want to be. 

"So hopefully we will end up with the strongest squad when we start next season and be more consistent than the ones in front of us."

Cavani's stunning 15th-minute opener was cancelled out by Joe Bryan with 14 minutes remaining as a capped crowd returned to Old Trafford amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paris Saint-Germain's all-time leading goalscorer Cavani became only the third United player to reach 10-plus goals in a single Premier League season while aged 33 or over at the start of that campaign, after Teddy Sheringham in 2000-01 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2016-17.

Cavani also became the 25th different player to score 10 or more goals in a single Premier League season for the Red Devils – more than any other team in the competition's history.

"You know, we've already voted on the goal of the season, but if that was in the vote, I think it might have had a chance to win it," said Solskjaer. "It was composed.

"He had a chance like that earlier on in the season in the Champions League and he didn't score. And the way he took this chance was just amazing. So, very pleased for him very pleased for the Stretford Enders that they experienced that in their first meeting between them, between them and Edi."

United – second behind champions Manchester City – have dropped 10 points from winning positions at home this season, their highest ever such total at Old Trafford in a Premier League season.

Solskjaer's United have conceded 28 home goals in the Premier League this season – they last conceded more on home soil in a single league campaign back in 1962-63 (38).

As United prepare for the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26 amid a three-match winless run, Solskjaer added: "We need to play better against Villarreal than what we've done in the last three games. But I think you've seen so many times this season when we've been backed into the corner, when we've lost, when we've been criticised, we've always come back stuck together.

"I think it might be a wake-up call because we tried to do the fanciest of the flicks, the extraordinary things like the things that please the fans. That's not what we're about. We should be more efficient. Have a look at Cavani. Have a look at how he plays the game. Just every single one of us just look at him. The back tackles, the runs, he scores. There is no fluff. And we cannot have fluff in a game of football."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn on speculation linking the Premier League champions with Tottenham star Harry Kane.

Kane has reportedly told Tottenham he wants to leave, sparking apparent interest from City, neighbours Manchester United and Chelsea.

Speaking after City's 3-2 Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, Guardiola declined to fuel the rumours.

"Next question," Guardiola said during his post-match news conference. "He's a Tottenham Hotspurs player. Please."

Kane's future is unclear given his ambition to win trophies which has been unfulfilled at boyhood club Spurs.

City are in the market for a new forward with free agent Sergio Aguero exiting this off-season, although the club have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

Meanwhile, Guardiola insisted he was not concerned by City's recent form ahead of the Champions League final against Premier League rivals Chelsea on May 29.

Guardiola's City have lost two of their past three matches, conceding eight goals in the process.

City have lost six Premier League games having led by two or more goals – only Tottenham (eight) have suffered more such defeats in the competition's history.

Against Brighton, City's possession figure was just 37 per cent, the lowest recorded by a side managed by Guardiola in a single top-flight match.

"On Sunday, with our people, we are going to lift the trophy," Guardiola said. "And after we are going to go for the final of the Champions League.

"I am concerned because this is the final of the Champions League, because the opponent is so tough. I saw incredible things today in the pitch with 11 against 10 for 80 minutes in the Premier League.

"We are fortunate to lift the [Premier League] trophy and we did it ourselves. Nobody gave us absolutely anything; nothing.

"That's why I am so proud of the team; it means how difficult is the Premier League again, and now we're going to prepare as best as possible for the final of the Champions League."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to talk about the possibility of Manchester United signing Harry Kane despite a disappointing performance in their 1-1 draw with Fulham.

Edinson Cavani's stunning 10th-minute lob seemingly had United on course for a routine win against relegated opposition that would have secured second place in the Premier League.

But a failure to make their dominance count saw them pegged back late on by Joe Bryan's header, meaning United are three games without a win.

United have now conceded 28 home goals in the Premier League this season – they last conceded more at Old Trafford in a single campaign back in 1962-63 (38).

Solskjaer's men have also dropped 10 points from winning positions at home, their highest total at Old Trafford in a Premier League season.

But United were arguably fortunate to claim a share of the spoils, Fulham finishing the game with a minor edge in expected goals of 1.0 to 0.8

Kane reportedly wants to leave Tottenham and has scored 22 league goals this season, outperforming an xG of 19.8.

But asked about the potential availability of the Spurs star, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: "I can't talk about players that are on other teams. I don't think that's respectful of any team, any players. I can't talk about that."

On United's display in front of 10,000 returning fans, he said: "I don't think we put on the performance that they wanted and maybe deserved. We had some good spells but not enough.

"We were too loose, giving the ball away too often, maybe it's because the crowd came in and we wanted to entertain them, maybe it would be more entertaining if we played properly and scored goals.

"We've lost eight points in a period where we should be bouncing going into the next game, looking forward to it, looking forward to the [Europa League] final, going into that confident, but we need to sort a few things out."

Ryan Mason insists his only conversations with Tottenham star Harry Kane have related to Wednesday's Premier League match against Aston Villa.

Reports this week suggested Spurs were left reeling by England captain Kane expressing a desire to leave his boyhood club at the end of the season.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been linked with a move for the prolific striker, who has 22 goals and 13 assists in 33 top-flight games this season.

Mason insists Kane is feeling good and is excited about the home match with Villa, though he could not provide clarity on his close friend's transfer decision.

Asked if Kane had indeed asked to leave, Mason said: "No, not that I'm aware of.

"All this speculation - I'm not sure. All of my conversations I've had with H have been about the game the other day [against Wolves] and also preparing for the game tomorrow. So no - I don't know."

 

Spurs are sixth in the table and Mason does not think there is any awkwardness regarding Kane, instead focusing on the return of supporters to the ground.

Interim Spurs boss Mason added: "I speak to Harry pretty much every day - before I got this job it was the same.

"I have asked him how he is feeling. He feels fine. Looking forward to tomorrow. He's going to be 100 per cent committed. I'm looking forward to seeing him play, in our beautiful stadium, in front of our fans. So we're excited.

"He's excited along with me about the game. Our only discussions have been about that, we are looking forward to it.

"No, I don't think anything is awkward. There's always speculation around the best players.

"There's been speculation in the last three or four weeks about the new manager coming in, all these question marks which is normal when you're at a big club.

"Our focus – and I've said it all along – is on the next game. My mind hasn't deviated from that, I'm sure Harry's hasn't.

"I'm sure in the rest of the group, every individual, their minds haven't deviated from that."

Mason did not agree with a question suggesting the Villa game could be a send-off for Kane.

He replied: "A send-off? No, we've got a game at the weekend as well [against Leicester City] so Harry is definitely going to be involved in them.

"Like I've said all along, I can't speak about next season, whether that's a manager or a player.

"What I do know is that the fans will get behind us. They're excited about the game, along with the players.

"I think [Kane] starts as he is our best striker and one of the best in the world.

"I've said all along, I am here for the next two games and that's my main focus. Hopefully we can win with Harry up front.

"No, there's no sadness [about the Kane situation]. I'm happy because we have our fans back in our stadium. I'm looking forward to it. The fans will make a big difference. The focus is: can we get three points tomorrow? We have to respect Villa."

Kane was impressive in the 2-0 weekend win over Wolves and will now set his sights on another team from the midlands.

"I think what we've seen with Harry this season, and all players, is that they're committed," Mason said. "The weekend was an exceptional performance – best he's been in the last five games. So I'm sure this will be no different.

"The fans will love seeing him play. He's been at the club since a young age. Fans are excited to be there."

Harry Kane will cost a premium for any club wanting to prise him away from Tottenham, according to former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

England captain Kane is reportedly keen to end a career-long association with the north London club in order to pursue major honours.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all been linked to the 27-year-old, along with Paris Saint-Germain and his ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino.

However, Redknapp knows first half what a tough negotiator Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is and he expects his old boss to extract top dollar.

"It will not be easy. You are dealing with Daniel Levy and he's not easy to deal with," Redknapp told talkSPORT.

"He is not going to go, 'Okay, Harry, I understand, off you go mate, we will sell you for cheap'.

"He is going to cost a king's ransom, believe you me."

Redknapp expressed surprise at Kane apparently agitating for a move, given his exulted status at Spurs.

"I thought he would stay," he said. "His life is fantastic, he is the leader of the club, his family is here.

"But I suppose he has got to the stage now where he has won all the individual accolades and now wants to get some trophies on the board."

As such, Redknapp feels the Tottenham faithful should be understanding towards their talisman, who he thinks would be a transformative singing if he ends up at Old Trafford.

"If they are sensible, they [the fans] will look at and think he deserves the opportunity to go and win a few trophies," he said.

"I would be surprised if he went to Chelsea. If the fans have any sense, they would understand his situation.

"If you want a guarantee to win trophies you go to Man City or Liverpool, but he could turn Man United into title winners. He is that good.

"With his goals and everything he brings, they would be very close. Whoever gets him, he will improve them massively. He will be a great signing for somebody."

Redknapp added: "He is a great lad, a great professional and an absolute gent to work with. He would be amazing to have at your football club."

Where will Harry Kane play in 2021-22?

The Tottenham star Kane reportedly wants out of his boyhood club.

Premier League rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are ready to pounce…

 

TOP STORY – KANE SEEKING SPURS DEPARTURE

Harry Kane has told Tottenham he wants to leave the club in the off-season, according to widespread reports in England.

Frustrated at a lack of silverware in London, Spurs star Kane would reportedly prefer to remain in the Premier League amid links to champions Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Kane is believed to be open to a LaLiga switch, with Barcelona among his admirers.

 

ROUND-UP

- The front page of Diario AS claims former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane if the Frenchman leaves Real Madrid. Club great Raul, who is currently in charge of the Castilla team, is another option. It comes as Madrid push to bring in a franchise player in the form of Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, while Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich's David Alaba are also wanted amid links to Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga and United midfielder Paul Pogba.

- The Sun says City are considering a mega move for Barca superstar Lionel Messi, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Messi is reportedly open to reuniting with Pep Guardiola in Manchester on a one-year deal.

Barca are weighing up the futures of Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Antoine Griezmann and Sergi Roberto, reports Mundo Deportivo. Due to their financial situation, the players could be asked to take a pay cut as Lyon captain Memphis Depay prepares to arrive on a free transfer. City forward Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia, Haaland and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum have also been linked.

- Lille's Jonathan Ikone is Dortmund's top priority as the Bundesliga club prepare for life without Jadon Sancho, according to France Football. Sancho has been tipped to join United or Liverpool, while Dortmund are also eyeing PSV sensation Donyell Malen, Ajax forward David Neres and Pedro Goncalves of Sporting CP.

Tottenham have urged "everyone" to focus on finishing the 2020-21 season as well as possible amid reports Harry Kane has informed the club he wishes to leave.

Kane is a product of Spurs' academy and has developed into one of the world's best strikers, but over the past two years the club have seemingly struggled to match his ambitions.

The England captain has regularly been linked with moves away from Tottenham over the years, though those reports have rarely appeared to carry much substance – until now.

Sky Sports News claimed on Monday that Kane has told the club he wants to leave at the end of the season, with trophies on his agenda.

Spurs have not won silverware since the 2007-08 EFL Cup, with Kane a part of the sides that lost the finals of the 2018-19 Champions League and this season's EFL Cup.

He reiterated his need to challenge for major trophies after that EFL Cup defeat to Manchester City last month when he was named Premier League Player of the Year at the London Football Awards.

He said: "Individual awards are great, they are fantastic achievements. Probably when I look back at the end of my career, I will go over and take in a little bit more.

"The goal right now as a player is to win team trophies. As much as this is great, I want to be winning the biggest prizes that there is to offer as a team, and we are not quite doing that.

"It is bittersweet. I would rather be winning team trophies than this one. It is what it is. I am proud to win it. It means it has been a good season on the pitch, so I have just got to try to continue what I am doing."

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all thought to be keen on Kane given their respective desires for reinforcements at the top end of the pitch.

Spurs responded to the rumours with a statement that will likely do little to ease the worries of supporters dreading Kane's exit.

The widely reported statement read: "Our focus is on finishing the season as strongly as possible. That's what everyone should be focused on."

Kane has been in excellent form again this season, his 35 goal involvements (22 goals, 13 assists) in the Premier League being the third-most among Europe's top five leagues – only Robert Lewandowski (47 – 40 goals, seven assists) and Lionel Messi (39 – 30 goals, nine assists) boast a better record in 2020-21.

His overall Premier League tally stands at 165, meaning he has a very real chance of breaking Alan Shearer's all-time record of 260, an achievement that would clearly be aided by him staying in England should he leave Spurs.

Kane's 22 goals this season have him level with Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot, though he has played two matches fewer than the Egypt forward, who has also netted six penalties to his rival's four.

Should he beat Salah and the rest, Kane would become only the third player after Shearer and Thierry Henry to win the Golden Boot three times, having also claimed it in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Despite Kane's brilliance, Spurs look unlikely to secure a return to the Champions League for 2021-22, as they head into their final two matches of the season five points adrift of Chelsea in fourth.

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