Aston Villa have signed Ashley Young on a free transfer following the winger's exit from Inter.

Young has agreed a one-year contract at Villa Park, a decade after departing the club for Manchester United.

The former England international spent four and a half years with Villa during his previous spell and made 190 appearances in all competitions.

Villa confirmed Young's arrival on their official website on Thursday and the versatile wide player added: "It feels amazing to be back, it feels like I've not left.

"I'm just delighted to be back, seeing some old faces, being back at the training ground, seeing the facilities and how well they've grown.

"You can see how much the club has evolved since my time and I'm just ready to get down to work now."

Young featured 34 times for Scudetto winners Inter in the 2020-21 campaign, including 26 outings in their successful Serie A campaign.

He scored one goal – coming in last month's 5-1 win against Udinese – and set up four more in the Italian top flight last season.

Prior to joining Inter, Young won the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League with United.

The 35-year-old is Villa's second signing of the close season following the club-record capture of Emiliano Buendia last week, while it has been reported they had a bid in the region of £25million for Emile Smith Rowe rejected by Arsenal.

Milan will sign Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori on a permanent deal on July 1.

The Serie A club have exercised an option to secure the 23-year-old's services until 2025.

Blues academy graduate Tomori has impressed on loan at San Siro during a spell in which he made 22 appearances in all competitions. 

Milan are reported to have paid £25million to seal the deal, which could rise to £30m depending on performance factors.

"Chelsea is grateful to Fikayo for his contributions at the club, from youth level to men’s first-team squad, and wishes him the very best in his future career," read a statement from the Premier League side.

Tomori, who had 17 top-flight outings during his time at Stamford Bridge, has one England cap to his name.

There were two main winners from England's defeat of Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener: England themselves, obviously, and Kalvin Phillips.

The Leeds United midfielder received widespread praise for his role in the victory, with pundits such as Alan Shearer, Gary Neville and even Jose Mourinho applauding the man dubbed by fans on social media as the 'Yorkshire Pirlo'.

Now, this isn't going to be a straight comparison between Phillips and Andrea Pirlo because that just wouldn't be fair on the 2006 World Cup winner.

No, instead our goal here is to understand whether Phillips always plays in the manner of his showing against Croatia – have many people been sleeping on his talents for too long?

The shield becomes the weapon

The short answer to whether that was a typical Phillips display is, technically, no.

For Leeds, Phillips tends to act as the screen in front of the defence, taking the ball off those at the back and distributing it further forward to get Leeds on the front foot.

He fits the role perfectly for Leeds because his excellent athleticism lends itself ideally to Marcelo Bielsa's intense pressing setup, which is identified by the fact they allowed the opposition fewer passes per defensive action (PPDA) in 2020-21 (9.3) than any other team, meaning they commit bodies to winning possession back earlier than everyone else in the Premier League.

But there is much more to Phillips than his ability to run – he also has significant destructive qualities and is a fine passer of the ball.

Some England fans might've been frustrated to initially see Phillips named in the starting XI alongside Declan Rice. The optics of such a duo based on their club roles would have led to some worrying Southgate was being excessively cautious – again – and creativity would subsequently be missing.

Former England midfielder Darren Anderton was among those concerned in that sense.

"I think, sometimes when you look at that, it looks like it's two defensive midfielders, and I don't like that too much," Anderton told Stats Perform. "I think it makes it a little bit one-dimensional. I think central midfielders should be able to make those good passes forward as well, but I think he can do all of that.

"And his energy as well was outstanding on the day. He was the best player for England."

As it happened, Phillips created the winning goal, and it was in this action that you got the clearest glimpse of just how different a role he was playing, much to Anderton's satisfaction.

"His moment of quality is what won the game for England," he continued. "He's a great player, he was the difference on the day, there's no doubt about it. He made the surging run forward and he also made the perfect pass for Sterling.

"But he still had a great game getting around the pitch, breaking play up, and was good going forward as well."

 

Unleashed

As touched upon by Anderton, the main difference between how Phillips was deployed against Croatia and how Marcelo Bielsa uses him for Leeds is that Southgate encouraged him to play a more advanced role.

There was much less emphasis on Phillips to get on the ball and dictate the play. After all, with Rice alongside him and seemingly having a slightly less well-rounded skillset, why would you have Phillips playing deep as well?

Of course, that will have been the concern of many England fans pre-game, but the fact Phillips' total passes (33) and touches (44) were actually significantly down on his Premier League per-90 minute averages (52 passes, 69.8 touches) highlights just how different Southgate was asking him to play.

But it doesn't end there.

Granted, his 20 passes in the opposing half was also down on his average for 2020-21 (23.8), but those were from a much smaller total. When you consider that those 20 equate to 61 per cent as opposed to his usual 46 per cent, the picture becomes clearer still.

Similarly, his tackles and interceptions (one each) were down on his Leeds numbers (2.7 tackles per 90 mins, 1.7 interceptions) because he wasn't being used to screen the back four, he was operating higher up the pitch.

On top of that, his five recoveries in the middle third of the pitch was a major increase on the 3.6 he records each game for Leeds, while his one in the final third set against the 0.3 he averages in that area normally again showcases a significant change.

It's also worth pointing out that Phillips was actually caught offside against Croatia, something he hasn't ever done in 116 matches under Bielsa.

Now, of course a single match is a small sample size to consider, but the data does go some way to showing how smart Southgate's selection was, and Phillips' assist for Sterling hasn't even been the focus here.

However, his work in that instance certainly warrants praise as the move was 90 per cent him – his progressive off-the-ball run into space showed his exceptional spatial awareness, before then beating a defender with a lovely touch and offloading the inch-perfect pass.

It encapsulated his performance perfectly, but it'll be intriguing to see whether these trends continue or if Phillips thriving in a more advanced role was a fluke.

Those who've seen him play regularly won't have any concerns about him repeating certain feats against Scotland in what promises to be an intense and high-octane rivalry clash, when his all-action approach will surely be vital.

After 16 years, Sergio Ramos is moving on from Real Madrid.

The 35-year-old is far from finished, though, as his wage demands indicate.

His next club will have to meet high salary expectations. 

 

TOP STORY – BIG CLUBS IN MIX FOR RAMOS

Manchester City has been in contact with Ramos' representatives for some time, AS reported, and the Premier League champions should be able to handle the Spaniard's reported €12million annual salary demands. 

That number figures to limit the number of serious contenders to sign the superstar centre-back, with Manchester United also reportedly in the mix. 

Paris Saint-Germain could also turn to Ramos after failing to find a suitable replacement for Thiago Silva in central defence. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Bernardo Silva's agent has had talks with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid over a move to LaLiga for the Manchester City man, the Daily Mail says. 

- Juventus lead the race to sign Euro 2020 star Manuel Locatelli, Fabrizio Romano reports, with Sassuolo seeking a fee of around €40million (£34m). 

- Chelsea's Emerson Palmieri is Napoli's top target during this transfer window, Gazzetta dello Sport reports, with the Blues seeking a €15m (£13m) fee. 

- Everton face competition from Inter in their pursuit of PSV Eindhoven defender and Netherlands international Denzel Dumfries, according to Voetbal International. 

- Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma will join PSG on a five-year contract, Romano reports, adding that the 22-year-old goalkeeper is expected to undergo his medical Monday in Florence. 

- Brighton have agreed a £25m fee with Stuttgart for forward Nicolas Gonzalez, the Guardian reports, while Sky Sports says the Seagulls rejected Arsenal's £40m bid for England international Ben White

- Arsenal are also in pursuit of Porto winger Jesus Corona along with Sevilla and Fiorentina, according to the Daily Mail. 

The Premier League fixture release for the 2021-22 has thrown up some intriguing opening-day clashes.

Champions Manchester City head to Tottenham, with the future of Harry Kane and speculation over which club he might be representing by August 14 still up in the air.

Arsenal are at newly promoted Brentford, while there is a familiar feel to Liverpool travelling to Championship winners Norwich City.

Manchester United v Leeds United is very much in the conversation when it comes to what might be the pick of the initial games, while Chelsea's quest to add domestic dominance to European glory begins against Crystal Palace.

Here, with help from Opta, Stats Perform looks at some of the landmark numbers thrown up by the big kick-off and who might be gunning for a piece of history this time around.

Chelsea to soar against the Eagles?

Still without a manager and facing a close season of extensive squad turnover, Palace certainly have a daunting assignment in prospect at Stamford Bridge against Thomas Tuchel's Champions League winners.

Chelsea boast the biggest opening-day win in Premier League history, a 6-0 thrashing of West Brom in August 2010.

That result replaced the previous most emphatic triumph by Liverpool, who won 6-1 away from home back in 1994. Their opponents? Crystal Palace.

Klopp and Salah send out another welcome party

For a third consecutive season, Liverpool will face a promoted team in their first match of the campaign, having thumped Norwich 4-1 at Anfield in 2019-20 before sharing a 4-3 thriller with Leeds last time around.

Mohamed Salah fired a hat-trick against Marcelo Bielsa's men – the ninth opening-day treble in the competition – and was also on target versus the Canaries.

Salah's six goals on the first weekend place him joint third in the Premier League's all-time standings, level with Leicester City's Jamie Vardy. Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer (eight) have more matchday one goals than any other player.

Rooney's five assists leave him out in front on 13 goal involvements, ahead of Shearer and Teddy Sheringham (10).

More capital punishment from Sterling?

Alongside Salah, Raheem Sterling is the only other active Premier League star to have an opening-day hat-trick to his name, having claimed the matchball in Manchester City's 5-0 win at West Ham in 2019.

Overall, the England winger has five goals and two assists on matchday one, and Pep Guardiola's side will be looking to continue a habit of making flying starts.

City have won all of their opening day fixtures in Guardiola's previous five seasons in charge. Indeed, they have won each of their past 10 games on the opening weekend, dating back to a 4-0 triumph over newly promoted Swansea City in 2011.

However, the last time they failed to take an initial three points was in a 0-0 draw at Spurs in 2010. Additionally, in three visits to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions since its 2019 opening, City have suffered three defeats and failed to score a goal.

Gunners must keep cool to avoid Bees sting

History is to repeat itself on a historic day for Brentford. Arsenal's visit will be their first top-flight game for 74 years, since a 1-0 defeat to the Gunners in May 1947.

Thomas Frank might be able to count on ill-discipline afflicting Mikel Arteta's side if Arsenal's previous efforts are anything to go by.

No team in Premier League history has collected as many as the north London club's six opening-day red cards, one more than Charlton Athletic – a fairly remarkable return given the Addicks were relegated in 2007 and are yet to return.

Premier League new boys Watford have signed former Tottenham and England defender Danny Rose on a two-year deal.

Rose was released by Spurs at the end of last season, 14 years after joining the London club from Leeds United.

The left-back was left out in the cold at Tottenham in the 2020-21 campaign, training with the Under-23s after being loaned to Newcastle United in the previous season.

Rose has been given the opportunity to remain in the top flight by the newly-promoted Hornets, a club he played for seven times in a loan spell back in 2009.

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— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) June 16, 2021

The 30-year-old has been capped 29 times by England, featuring for his country at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup and last appearing against the Czech Republic in October 2019.

He was included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Rose started for Spurs in the 2015 League Cup final defeat to Chelsea and the Champions League final loss to Liverpool two years ago.

Tottenham will begin their 2021-22 Premier League campaign at home to champions Manchester City – a fixture that will only heighten intrigue around the future of star striker Harry Kane.

England captain Kane is reportedly set on leaving Spurs, with City touted as the most likely destination for the 27-year-old as Pep Guardiola seeks a replacement for Sergio Aguero.

City's visit to north London kicks off an interesting initial run for still-managerless Tottenham, who are next at home to Watford in between trips to Wolves and Crystal Palace, with derby clashes against Chelsea and Arsenal also coming before the end of September.

Liverpool are at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 18, preceding a run of festive fixtures against Crystal Palace, Southampton and Watford.

Spurs' home north London derby is on January 15, a week before they face Thomas Tuchel's European champions at Stamford Bridge.

Leicester City at home and Liverpool away look like tough propositions during the run-in before Spurs wrap up by hosting Burnley and travelling to Norwich City.

Tottenham's 2021-22 Premier League fixtures in full:

14/08/2021 - Manchester City (h)
21/08/2021 - Wolves (a)
28/08/2021 - Watford (h)
11/09/2021 - Crystal Palace (a)
18/09/2021 - Chelsea (h)
25/09/2021 - Arsenal (a)
02/10/2021 - Aston Villa (h)
16/10/2021 - Newcastle United (a)
23/10/2021 - West Ham (a)
30/10/2021 - Manchester United (h)
06/11/2021 - Everton (a)
20/11/2021 - Leeds United (h)
27/11/2021 - Burnley (a)
01/12/2021 - Brentford (h)
04/12/2021 - Norwich City (h)
11/12/2021 - Brighton and Hove Albion (a)
14/12/2021 - Leicester City (a)
18/12/2021 - Liverpool (h)
26/12/2021 - Crystal Palace (h)
28/12/2021 - Southampton (a)
01/01/2022 - Watford (a)
15/01/2022 - Arsenal (h)
22/01/2022 - Chelsea (a)
09/02/2022 - Southampton (h)
12/02/2022 - Wolves (h)
19/02/2022 - Manchester City (a)
26/02/2022 - Leeds United (a)
05/03/2022 - Everton (h)
12/03/2022 - Manchester United (a)
19/03/2022 - West Ham (h)
02/04/2022 - Newcastle United (h)
09/04/2022 - Aston Villa (a)
16/04/2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
23/04/2022 - Brentford (a)
30/04/2022 - Leicester City (h)
07/05/2022 - Liverpool (a)
15/05/2022 - Burnley (h)
22/05/2022 - Norwich City (a)

Arsenal will go to promoted Brentford on the opening weekend of the 2021-22 Premier League season before the prospect of a double-header against Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Gunners endured a hugely underwhelming 2020-21 as they could only muster an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League, and they will be given an early examination to determine their level of improvement – or otherwise – as they host Chelsea on August 21 and then go to the defending champions a week later.

Coming a few weeks after that is the first north London derby of the campaign as Tottenham visit the Emirates Stadium on September 25.

A testing start to 2022 is also in store for Mikel Arteta's men as the return clash with Spurs on January 15 follows a New Year's Day visit from City.

However, Arsenal's run-in looks somewhat kinder on paper, with their final three games comprised of Newcastle United away in between home clashes with Leeds United and Everton, the latter of which is on the final day.

Arsenal's 2021-22 Premier League fixtures in full:

14/08/2021 - Brentford (a) 
21/08/2021 - Chelsea (h) 
28/08/2021 - Manchester City (a) 
11/09/2021 - Norwich City (h)
18/09/2021 - Burnley (a) 
25/09/2021 - Tottenham (h) 
02/10/2021 - Brighton and Hove Albion (a) 
16/10/2021 - Crystal Palace (h) 
23/10/2021 - Aston Villa (h) 
30/10/2021 - Leicester City (a) 
06/11/2021 - Watford (h) 
20/11/2021 - Liverpool (a) 
27/11/2021 - Newcastle (h) 
30/11/2021 - Manchester United (a) 
04/12/2021 - Everton (a) 
11/12/2021 - Southampton (h) 
14/12/2021 - West Ham (h)
18/12/2021 - Leeds United (a) 
26/12/2021 - Norwich City (a) 
28/12/2021 - Wolves (h) 
01/01/2022 - Manchester City (h) 
15/01/2022 - Tottenham (a) 
22/01/2022 - Burnley (h) 
08/02/2022 - Wolves (a) 
12/02/2022 - Chelsea (a) 
19/02/2022 - Brentford (h)
26/02/2022 - Liverpool (h) 
05/03/2022 - Watford (a) 
12/03/2022 - Leicester City (h) 
19/03/2022 - Aston Villa (a) 
02/04/2022 - Crystal Palace (a) 
09/04/2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion (h) 
16/04/2022 - Southampton (a) 
23/04/2022 - Manchester United (h) 
30/04/2022 - West Ham (a) 
07/05/2022 - Leeds United (h) 
15/05/2022 - Newcastle United (a) 
22/05/2022 - Everton (h) 

European champions Chelsea will begin their tilt at domestic glory at home to Crystal Palace on the first weekend of the Premier League season.

Thomas Tuchel's side then face tough back-to-back away trips to Arsenal and Liverpool before the end of August.

The Blues made it three consecutive victories over Premier League champions Manchester City in all competitions when they beat Pep Guardiola's side 1-0 in last month's Champions League final.

City visit Stamford Bridge on September 25 – a week after Spurs v Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - with the return clash at the Etihad Stadium on January 15.

That game comes amid a tricky start to 2022, with Liverpool on New Year's Day, Tottenham and Arsenal standing as Chelsea's first three home league games after the turn of the year.

Tuchel's men wrap up their campaign by hosting Watford, following a potentially pivotal penultimate fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

 

Chelsea's 2021-22 Premier League fixtures in full:

14/08/2021 - Crystal Palace (h)
21/08/2021 - Arsenal (a)
28/08/2021 - Liverpool (a)
11/09/2021 - Aston Villa (h)
18/09/2021 - Tottenham (a)
25/09/2021 - Manchester City (h)
02/10/2021 - Southampton (h)
16/10/2021 - Brentford (a)
23/10/2021 - Norwich City (h)
30/10/2021 - Newcastle United (a)
06/11/2021 - Burnley (h)
20/11/2021 - Leicester City (a)
27/11/2021 - Manchester United (h)
30/11/2021 - Watford (a)
04/12/2021 - West Ham (a)
11/12/2021 - Leeds United (h)
15/12/2021 - Everton (h)
18/12/2021 - Wolves (a)
26/12/2021 - Aston Villa (a)
28/12/2021 - Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
01/01/2022 - Liverpool (h)
15/01/2022 - Manchester City (a)
22/01/2022 - Tottenham (h)
08/02/2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion (a)
12/02/2022 - Arsenal (h)
19/02/2022 - Crystal Palace (a)
26/02/2022 - Leicester City (h)
05/03/2022 - Burnley (a)
12/03/2022 - Newcastle United (h)
19/03/2022 - Norwich City (a)
02/04/2022 - Brentford (h)
09/04/2022 - Southampton (a)
16/04/2022 - Leeds United (a)
23/04/2022 - West Ham (h)
30/04/2022 - Everton (a)
07/05/2022 - Wolves (h)
15/05/2022 - Manchester United (a)
22/05/2022 - Watford (h)

Manchester United host Leeds United on the opening weekend of the Premier League season as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims to go one better than last season's second-place finish behind Manchester City.

The Red Devils won the corresponding fixture against Marcelo Bielsa's men 6-2 last season and they might fancy their chances of making a strong start this time around.

An October 23 meeting with Liverpool at Old Trafford is United's first of the campaign against a fellow "big six" side, although they will go on to face Tottenham, City, Chelsea and Arsenal before the end of November.

United have won three and drawn one of the past four Manchester derbies in the Premier League and are at the Etihad Stadium on March 5 after City travel across town on November 6.

Newcastle United away followed by back-to-back home games against Burnley and Wolves comprise a favourable-looking festive period from December 26 – January 1.

The always-anticipated trip to Anfield arrives on March 19, while United's last home game of the season is a potentially crunch clash with European champions Chelsea before a final-day trip to Crystal Palace.

Manchester United's 2021-22 fixtures in full:

14/08/2021 - Leeds United (h)
21/08/2021 - Southampton (a)
28/08/2021 - Wolves (a)
11/09/2021 - Newcastle United (h)
18/09/2021 - West Ham (a)
25/09/2021 - Aston Villa (h)
02/10/2021 - Everton (h)
16/10/2021 - Leicester City (a)
23/10/2021 - Liverpool (h)
30/10/2021 - Tottenham (a)
06/11/2021 - Manchester City (h)
20/11/2021 - Watford (a)
27/11/2021 - Chelsea (a)
30/11/2021 - Arsenal (h)
04/12/2021 - Crystal Palace (h)
11/12/2021 - Norwich City (a)
14/12/2021 - Brentford (a)
18/12/2021 - Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
26/12/2021 - Newcastle United (a)
28/12/2021 - Burnley (h)
01/01/2022 - Wolves (h)
15/01/2022 - Aston Villa (a)
22/01/2022 - West Ham (h)
08/02/2022 - Burnley (a)
12/02/2022 - Southampton (h)
19/02/2022 - Leeds United (a)
26/02/2022 - Watford (h)
05/03/2022 - Manchester City (a)
12/03/2022 - Tottenham (h)
19/03/2022 - Liverpool (a)
02/04/2022 - Leicester City (h)
09/04/2022 - Everton (a)
16/04/2022 - Norwich City (h)
23/04/2022 - Arsenal (a)
30/04/2022 - Brentford (h)
07/05/2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion (a)
15/05/2022 - Chelsea (h)
22/05/2022 - Crystal Palace (a)

Manchester City will begin their Premier League title defence at Tottenham.

Pep Guardiola's side won their third top-flight crown in four seasons in 2020-21 and there is likely to be plenty of intrigue in the build-up to the August 14 encounter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, given Spurs striker Harry Kane has been touted as a potential replacement for Sergio Aguero.

Chelsea denied City European glory with a 1-0 win in last month's Champions League final and Thomas Tuchel's side start their bid to unseat Guardiola's men domestically by hosting Crystal Palace, who like Spurs remain without a manager.

Manchester United were runners-up last term and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's third full season in charge will launch with a mouth-watering clash against Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United at Old Trafford.

Newly promoted Brentford have a similarly eye-catching assignment at home to Arsenal, who have no European commitments for the first time since 1995-96.

Liverpool are also away to one of the newcomers in the form of Championship winners Norwich City, while Watford host Aston Villa on their top-flight return.

Tricky start for Guardiola, Tuchel facing January Blues

City claimed a first victory at Anfield since 2003 last season and Jurgen Klopp will enjoy his latest battle with Pep Guardiola on Merseyside on October 2, a week after the champions get their shot at revenge over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Those matches all come within City's first seven fixtures, which also include Arsenal visiting the Etihad Stadium on August 28, the same day Chelsea travel to Liverpool and a week after Mikel Arteta's men welcome the European champions.

The season's first Manchester United v Liverpool encounter comes at Old Trafford on October 23, two weeks before United host City in the Manchester derby.

The return meetings for those two rivalries are at Anfield on March 19 and the Etihad Stadium on March 5.

Those games could prove key to the title run-in, much like Chelsea's trip to Old Trafford on the penultimate weekend.

The Blues have a tough January schedule, with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on New Year's Day, followed by City away a fortnight later and a home derby against Tottenham.

Spurs and Arsenal are each aiming to improve upon dispiriting campaigns last time around. The first north London derby of the season is at Emirates Stadium on September 25, with Tottenham hosting their neighbours on January 15.

 

Premier League opening weekend fixtures
Brentford v Arsenal
Burnley v Brighton and Hove Albion
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Everton v Southampton
Leicester City v Wolves
Manchester United v Leeds United
Newcastle United v West Ham 
Norwich City v Liverpool
Tottenham v Manchester City
Watford v Aston Villa

Manchester City were a class above en route to winning a third Premier League title in four seasons last term but Pep Guardiola's champions face a tricky beginning to the 2021-22 campaign.

Indeed, the Citizens play four of their fellow-dubbed "big six" sides in their opening seven fixtures, with a trip to Tottenham on the opening day starting their title defence.

City host Arsenal on August 28, before heading to Leicester City on September 11 after the international break. Back-to-back fixtures against Chelsea and Liverpool take place on September 25 and October 2.

The first Manchester derby of the season will take place at Old Trafford on November 6, with United returning for the reverse fixture on March 3.

A traditional busy Christmas period has City scheduled to face Leicester at home, and Brentford - promoted to the top flight this term - and Arsenal away between December 26 and January 1.

City's home fixture with Liverpool on April 9 stands out as potentially key, though they face none of their other big-six rivals in their final six matches – a home game with Aston Villa rounding out their campaign on May 22.

Manchester City's 2021-22 fixtures in full:

14/08/2021 - Tottenham (a)
21/08/2021 - Norwich City (h)
28/08/2021 - Arsenal (h)
11/09/2021 - Leicester City (a)
18/09/2021 - Southampton (h)
25/09/2021 - Chelsea (a)
02/10/2021 - Liverpool (a)
16/10/2021 - Burnley (h)
23/10/2021 - Brighton (a)
30/10/2021 - Crystal Palace (h)
06/11/2021 - Manchester United (a)
20/11/2021 - Everton (h)
27/11/2021 - West Ham (h)
30/11/2021 - Aston Villa (a)
04/12/2021 - Watford (a)
11/12/2021 - Wolves (h)
15/12/2021 - Leeds United (h)
18/12/2021 - Newcastle United (a)
26/12/2021 - Leicester City (h)
28/12/2021 - Brentford (a)
01/01/2022 - Arsenal (a)
15/01/2022 - Chelsea (h)
22/01/2022 - Southampton (a)
09/02/2022 - Brentford (h)
12/02/2022 - Norwich City (a)
19/02/2022 - Tottenham (h)
26/02/2022 - Everton (a)
05/03/2022 - Manchester United (h)
12/03/2022 - Crystal Palace (a)
19/03/2022 - Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
02/04/2022 - Burnley (a)
09/04/2022 - Liverpool (h)
16/04/2022 - Wolves (a)
23/04/2022 - Watford (h)
30/04/2022 - Leeds United (a)
07/05/2022 - Newcastle United (h)
15/05/2022 - West Ham (a)
22/05/2022 - Aston Villa (h)

Is Erling Haaland's future close to being resolved?

Borussia Dortmund, up until now, have been unwilling to part with their top asset.

But Chelsea are reportedly making progress to bring Haaland to London.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA CLOSING IN ON HAALAND?

Chelsea have agreed personal terms with Erling Haaland and now just need to agree a fee with Borussia Dortmund, according to the Transfer Window Podcast.

Haaland is a player in demand, linked with Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

But Chelsea have reportedly made a breakthrough in their pursuit to prise the Norway forward to Stamford Bridge.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Madrid are targeting Inter star Nicolo Barella or Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli. Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has also been linked. Locatelli is attracting interest this off-season, with Juventus, Arsenal, Inter, Dortmund and City reported admirers.

Arsenal are chasing Leicester City's James Maddison, according to Chris Wheatley. Chelsea and Liverpool are believed to be also tracking the England international.

- Eurosport reports Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal is on City's radar. Pep Guardiola's side could make a move if Bernardo Silva – linked with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – or Raheem Sterling leave.

Atletico are set to sign Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese, says Fabrizio Romano. The Argentina international has been wanted by Liverpool, Juve and Leeds United.

Milan are looking to sign Stuttgart forward Sasa Kalajdzic, according to Calciomercato. Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, Torino star Andrea Belotti and Madrid outcast Luka Jokic have also been linked.

- Bild claims Bayern would be willing to sell Kingsley Coman for the right price amid interest from United and Liverpool. The Bundesliga champions are also considering the futures of Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso.

Inter star Achraf Hakimi is more likely to leave the Serie A champions than team-mate Lautaro Martinez, according to agent Alejandro Camano.

Hakimi has been heavily linked with a move away from Inter as Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea reportedly battle to sign the Moroccan full-back.

After arriving from Real Madrid ahead of 2020-21, Hakimi helped Inter to their first Scudetto in 10 years, but his future has been in doubt amid Inter's financial problems.

With Inter trying to cut costs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Hakimi, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid target Martinez, Romelu Lukaku and Alessandro Bastoni could reportedly be sold following Antonio Conte's departure.

Camano represents both Hakimi and Martinez and believes the former is currently headed for the exit door.

"Balance sheets rule the world, so if Inter were to lose Lautaro, it wouldn't be for cheap," Camano told Radio Colonia's Como Te Va program.

"The only one who could leave Inter now is Hakimi, and I represent him too."

There has been talk regarding a contract extension for Martinez, but Camano added: "We have to work on the Lautaro issue, as the situation is still not clear.

"What were normal price-tags two years ago for transfers now seem to have lost their value after the pandemic. There is nothing concrete with regards to Lautaro. Inter have a very strong position with the player and they don't want to let him go.

"We also need to see what it is that Lautaro wants, as he is 23 years old and his opinion is very important here. I think he can become one of the greatest players in Europe and the world."

Is another move on the cards for Keylor Navas?

Navas felt he had little choice but to leave when Real Madrid signed Thibaut Courtois in 2019.

He is facing a similar situation at Paris Saint-Germain, who are trying to lure Gianluigi Donnarumma to the French capital.

 

TOP STORY – TRIO EYEING NAVAS

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas is attracting interest from Manchester United, Juventus and Milan, according to Marca.

Navas' future is in doubt, with PSG reportedly poised to sign Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free transfer.

This comes despite Costa Rica international Navas extending his PSG contract until 2024 in April.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS reports Real Madrid are prepared to offer star captain Sergio Ramos a new contract. Ramos is set to become a free agent and the Spaniard is said to have been unhappy with the club's offering of a short-term deal on a reduced salary. The 35-year-old has been linked with former club Sevilla, United and PSG among others.

- Juventus have started preliminary talks to sign Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso, says Sky Sport Italia. Juve are also interested in Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

- The Telegraph reports Manchester City are now open to giving Raheem Sterling a new deal. Sterling has been linked with Arsenal and Madrid.

- Atalanta are dreaming of signing Juve defender Merih Demiral, reports Calciomercato. Lille's Sven Botman and Torino defender Lyanco are also targets amid centre-back Cristian Romero's links with United.

- Fabrizio Romano says there have been no talks between Arsenal and United regarding Donny van de Beek. The Netherlands international struggled for game time in his first season at Old Trafford.

- According to the Daily Star, United could tempt Tottenham into selling Harry Kane by offering Anthony Martial, who has also reportedly been offered to Madrid. Kane is believed to be keen on an exit amid links with City, Chelsea, Madrid, Barcelona and PSG.

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