Jurgen Klopp rejected an outlandish attempt to lure him back to Borussia Dortmund in 2018 but the Liverpool boss has admitted he would consider returning in future. 

The German left Signal Iduna Park after seven seasons - during which time he won two Bundesliga titles - shortly before moving to the Premier League in October 2015.

Last season's Champions League triumph cemented his rich reputation at Liverpool but just a year earlier he had been offered a route back to Dortmund.

The audacious effort to persuade Klopp to leave behind his work on Merseyside has come to light in Hans-Joachim Watzke's new book, 'Real Love: A life with BVB'.

Dortmund were searching for a permanent successor to the sacked Peter Bosz in May of last year when chief executive Watzke placed a call to Klopp, who was in the middle of a plane trip.

"At some point my phone rang while I was on the plane and Aki [Watzke] was on it, 'Jurgen, you have to come back'," Klopp said, according to an excerpt published by Sport Bild.

"I laughed, I thought he was kidding. 'Are you stupid, have you been drinking? How do you get that idea? I have a few more years in Liverpool'.

"I do not know how serious he was at that moment, but I realised that he wanted me to be more willing to respond."

Watzke conceded he "knew" Klopp would honour his contract at Liverpool but said he felt obligated to pose the question to Dortmund's longest-serving coach.

There could, however, be hope for the future, with the Reds boss not willing to rule out a second stint with his former employers.

"As a rescuer, if the club really needs my help, why should I not do it? It's very nice that I would even have the opportunity," he said.

"But I do not think it's very likely that it will happen."

Jose Mourinho rejected the chance to hold talks with Lyon regarding their vacant head coach position because he has "already chosen another" team, according to the Ligue 1 club's president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Mourinho has been out of work since December last year, when he was sacked by Manchester United following a run of poor results.

The Portuguese coach has this season made regular television appearances as a pundit, widely attracting acclaim for his insight, demeanour and analysis.

Lyon sacked Sylvinho on Monday after just one win in his last nine matches at the helm and Aulas had identified Mourinho as a target, though the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss apparently turned them down on account of having another job lined up.

"We had some fairly flattering exchanges over text," Aulas told reporters via a telephone news conference.

"It was nice for everyone. He did not accept our proposal to meet because he has already chosen another club."

Sylvinho's arrival coincided with the return of club icon Juninho Pernambucano as sporting director in pre-season.

Aulas confirmed the decision to dismiss the former Manchester City and Barcelona defender came from Juninho, with Sylvinho's perceived negative brand of football doing little to endear himself.

"It was indeed Juninho who took the decision to change coach, he even had this view a little earlier on," Aulas said. "He is going to continue to take responsibility on the football side in the same way.

"He is a boy who breathes football. In the first matches, he detected a certain number of problems. It is he who explained his decision to Sylvinho.

"I didn't know of him [Sylvinho] before Juninho told me about him. The defensive style he offered created a destabilising effect in terms of the normal attacking style of Lyon. We made a mistake, but in general we don't make a mistake twice."

While Aulas seemed to confirm Patrick Vieira will not be considered as he is under contract at Nice, Remi Garde – who coached Lyon between 2011 and 2014 – is an option.

"He hasn't been contacted yet, but that is a possible route. For the moment, talks haven't happened, but maybe they will," Aulas added.

Dani Ceballos insists he has not given up on his Real Madrid "dream" despite being sent out on loan to Arsenal this season.

Spain international Ceballos joined Madrid in 2017 after emerging as one of LaLiga's most promising talents at Real Betis, but he struggled to secure regular football under Zinedine Zidane.

After Zidane's departure, Ceballos began to play more regularly for Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, but that did not continue when the Frenchman returned in March.

He was allowed to leave for Arsenal on loan and has shown flashes of his ability in London, with Gunners fans quickly taking to the playmaker.

Though it seems they should not get used to his presence, as he still sees his long-term future at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"When I don't play, I don't enjoy myself," he told Radio Marca. "These two years [at Real Madrid] I've learned a lot from the club, but now I'm enjoying it [football].

"I knew it was an important year, the coach has doubts and he who doesn't play doesn't go [to Euro 2020], so it was a good time to go on loan.

"With [Arsenal coach Unai] Emery's confidence I may have many chances to be in the Euros squad.

"I never thought about going permanently. My goal is to succeed at Real Madrid. I will fight to fulfil my dream."

Martin Odegaard is another Madrid-owned player thriving on loan this season, with his performances at Real Sociedad marking him out as one of LaLiga's standout stars in 2019-20.

Ceballos has consequently come to the conclusion it might be a good season to be away from Los Blancos.

"You're seeing that maybe it wasn't the year to play for Real Madrid," he added. "It has been a very successful decision [for Odegaard], he has a lot of room for improvement.

"From now to the next few years, he will be a very important player for Real Madrid."

Euro 2020 is not the only international tournament Ceballos hopes of featuring in over the next year, as he will do everything he can to get Madrid to approve his decision to play at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"It's something that I may not play in my life again," Ceballos said. "I would put my dream on the table to the club.

"I have spoken with people from the [Royal Spanish Football] Federation who know that I would like to go, I would be delighted. I want to go to the Olympics and to the Euros.

"There are two tournaments that demand a lot of responsibility. I don't care if I don't have a holiday. I'm 23 years old and I'll rest when I'm older."

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola insists he would not consider selling midfielder Phil Foden for €500m (£460m) because he is the only player at the could who cannot be sold "under any circumstances".

Foden, 19, has long been championed as a star of the future for City and England, having been around Guardiola's first-team squad for almost three years already.

He played named player of the tournament after England's Under-17 World Cup success in 2017 and has steadily become a more prominent player in City's senior squad, playing 26 matches across all competitions last season.

The midfielder has featured for just 10 minutes in the Premier League this term, sparking suggestions he is being held back by City.

But, with David Silva set to leave the club when his contract expires next year, Guardiola is convinced Foden will take over from the former Spain international.

"He [Foden] is the only player that can’t be sold under any circumstances — the only one. Not even for €500m," Guardiola says in the new book Pep's City: The Making of a Superteam, which was written by Spanish journalists Pol Ballus and Lu Martin and is being serialised by in The Sun.

"Phil's going nowhere — Phil is City. We won't be signing anyone else for that position. When David Silva leaves, we know exactly who our new magician will be.

"He's grown up with us. He's one of us and he's going to be brilliant — one of the Premier League's best. One thing is clear, Foden has a place in City's first-team.

"I'd be interested to see if a different manager would have given him his chance to develop or loan him out.

"I don't like leaving him out of certain games, but I must think of the whole squad. Phil understands that."

Another day, another rumour about Christian Eriksen.

The soon-to-be free agent Eriksen wants a new challenge after flagging his intent during the previous transfer window.

A move to LaLiga appeals and a Spanish giant from the capital are reportedly ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID EYE ERIKSEN 

AS and Marca claim Real Madrid are ready to make a move for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in January.

Eriksen is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Spurs star has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Inter.

However, Madrid are reportedly unwilling to wait until season's end as they look to strengthen their midfield.

ROUND-UP

Inter are eyeing Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, says FC Inter News. Matic has found himself out of favour under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a switch to Serie A could be on the cards for the Serbia international, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to Calciomercato, Serie A champions Juventus are looking to sign Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri. The Italy international worked with Maurizio Sarri during the former Chelsea boss' time at Stamford Bridge.

Massimiliano Allegri has handed United a "deadline" for him to be given the job at Old Trafford, says La Gazzetta dello Sport. Solskjaer is under growing pressure, with the Red Devils enduring a difficult season and former Juventus boss Allegri has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil fears he has played his last game for the Gunners, according to the Mirror. Ozil has struggled to establish himself since Unai Emery's arrival and the former Germany international has been linked to MLS outfit DC United and Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- Le10Sport claims former Chile, Sevilla and Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is on the shortlist to fill the Lyon vacancy following Sylvinho's sacking. Sampaoli is in charge of Brazilian side Santos.

- Gianluca Di Marzio reports Claudio Ranieri is in the mix to take over at Sampdoria, who sacked Eusebio Di Francesco prior to the international break. Ranieri – who sensationally led Leicester City to Premier League glory in 2015-16 – last oversaw Roma on a temporary basis last term. Ex-AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reportedly turned down the job.

- Manchester United are among the admirers of rising Mexico star Sebastian Cordova, reports Record. The 22-year-old America playmaker made his international debut for El Tri last week. The attacking third and midfield are areas of concern for United, who have also been linked to Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is delighted to be compared to illustrious footballing names but Liverpool great Steven Gerrard remains the benchmark for Anfield's latest homegrown hero.

England right-back Alexander-Arnold has been an ever-present during the Reds' 100 per cent start to the season that has seen them open up an early eight-point advantage over champions Manchester City.

Along with being part of the league's most miserly defence, the 21-year-old's threat from dead balls and open play in an attacking sense frequently catches the eye.

He rifled in a superb free-kick during the 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and already has a pair of assists to his name this term.

City's Kevin de Bruyne is top of those particular standings with a remarkable eight already, although ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Alexander-Arnold's future could lie in being a comparable assist king from midfield.

Another former favourite from the red side of Stanley Park, Danny Murphy, has likened the youngster's crossing to David Beckham but one particular player is still the ultimate for Alexander-Arnold.

Speaking to reporters ahead of England's Euro 2020 qualifier in the Czech Republic, he was asked whether he modelled himself on a particular player and replied: "Gerrard, really. Everything about his game I always admired. I always studied him and wanted to be like him.

"If I had to pick a player it'd be him.

"I never thought I want to cross a ball like that. It's just happened naturally and I've developed it into a decent trait.

"That's what I try and do. It's probably the best asset going forward for me so I try and use it as much as I can."

Comparisons to lofty names are something Alexander-Arnold takes in his stride.

"It's maybe not that important to compare because at a young age you haven't achieved what those players have," he said. "It’s difficult to say whether you will or whether you won't. Who knows?

"For now it's about having an open mind and wanting to achieve those type of levels and be like those type of players. Reaching the levels they reached and being regarded in the same bracket as them is something that the best players want.

"Those are people's opinions. It's nice to be thought of in that way but for me it's about trying to reach those levels, trying to reach higher and trying to become one of the best in the world."

Much like his club side, England have won every match in their present campaign and are expected to confirm qualification over the next week.

However, a helter-skelter 5-3 win over Kosovo at St Mary's suggested there is work to be done for the defensive unit.

"If we want to be regarded as one of the best teams in Europe, get far in the Euros and try and win the competition then our goals conceded need to be few and we need to concede fewer goals and score more," Alexander-Arnold added.

"As defenders, as a team, as a unit we need to improve and that's what we'll be working on – analyse what went wrong and make sure it doesn't happen again.

"Kosovo are a really under-estimated side. We had massive respect for them before the game and knew they had threats.

"Luckily for us we've been able to outscore them but we weren't happy with the goals that we conceded. That's something that we need to work on."

Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has signed for ice hockey team Guildford Phoenix.

The 37-year-old ended his football career after making his final appearance as the Gunners lost the Europa League final 4-1 to Chelsea in May.

Cech has wasted little time in getting back into competitive sport, though, having agreed a deal to turn out for Guildford Phoenix in his debut season.

Speaking to his new side's official website, Cech said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get match experience.

"I hope I can help this young team to achieve their goals for the season and try to win as many games as possible when I have the chance to play.

"After 20 years of professional football, this is going to be a wonderful experience for me to play the game I loved to watch and play as a kid."

Head coach Andy Hemmings added: "The signing of Petr is massive for the Phoenix. He is a great guy who trains hard and I cannot wait to see him make his debut."

A four-time Premier League champion and a Champions League winner with Chelsea, Cech is the most-capped player in the Czech Republic's history, with 124 senior appearances.

He won the FA Cup with Arsenal after spending four years with the Gunners following his exit from Stamford Bridge.

Cech rejoined Chelsea after his retirement to take up the role of Technical Advisor.

Crystal Palace say they are taking action after Wilfried Zaha received further racist abuse on social media.

The Eagles released a statement on Wednesday threatening legal action against the perpetrators and calling for co-operation from other Premier League clubs.

"Crystal Palace Football Club has taken action after one of our players, Wilfried Zaha, has again been subjected to racist abuse on social media," the statement said.

"We will not tolerate this behaviour being directed at any of our players and will fully support them in dealing with such incidents.

"Any action we can take unilaterally as a club will be taken immediately and we will also seek cooperation from other clubs where relevant, following that we will pursue the matter criminally with the full force of whatever the law allows."

Ivory Coast international Zaha previously said he received racist abuse and death threats on social media after winning a penalty in a 2-2 Premier League draw with Arsenal last October.

In an Instagram post at the time, he said: "For all the people taking it one step further and being racist and wishing death on my family, I wish you and your families the best too.

"My life is still very good despite your hate."

Bernardo Silva has been granted an extension until October 21 to respond to the Football Association (FA) charge relating to his racially insensitive tweet to Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Silva last month tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of a young Mendy and a dated image from Conguitos, a Spanish confectionary brand that has been criticised for having racist connotations. The post was captioned "Guess who?".

A week ago, the FA charged the 25-year-old playmaker with an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 on account of the post being "insulting and/or improper and/or [bringing] the game into disrepute".

It was further alleged the offence amounts to an "aggravated breach" because it included "reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin".

Silva was given until Wednesday, October 9 to provide a response, but Omnisport understands the extension of 12 days was granted following an application to the chairman of the judicial panel.

If found guilty, Silva could face a fine and/or a suspension and be enrolled on an education course.

The FA this year increased its minimum ban for instances of racist abuse during matches to six games, although this does not automatically apply to social media posts.

Silva and Mendy are firm friends from their time together at Monaco, before each signed for City in 2017. As part of a submission to the FA, in which Silva expressed regret for any hurt unintentionally caused, Mendy issued support on his team-mate's behalf – stating he took no offence over the post.

City manager Pep Guardiola and forward Raheem Sterling are among those to have defended Silva's character in the aftermath of the tweet, which was condemned by anti-discrimination pressure group Kick It Out.

Rebekah Vardy has denied leaking private Instagram stories from Coleen Rooney to a national newspaper, in a startling case of claim and counter-claim between the wives of two former England strikers.

Rooney, who is married to England's record scorer Wayne Rooney, posted a tweet on Wednesday in which she revealed how she came to suspect Vardy, who denies any wrongdoing.

In the message, she said Vardy – wife of Leicester City's Jamie Vardy – held the only account that had access to her Instagram stories.

Rooney said she had removed access to all users except Rebekah Vardy, and alleged a series of "false" stories that she posted on there found their way to UK tabloid The Sun.

Rebekah Vardy responded by tweeting a lengthy message to Coleen Rooney, who she claimed to have discussed the matter with on the phone, to reject the claim.

"This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it……" Coleen Rooney tweeted, along with an image of a longer statement.

Coleen Rooney's statement read: "For a few years now, someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The SUN newspaper of my private posts and stories.

"There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family – all without my permission or knowledge.

"After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion.

"To try and prove this I came up with an idea. I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram stories except ONE account. (Those on my private account must have been wondering why I haven't had stories on there for a while.)

"Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper. And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding in my new house.

"It's been tough keeping it to myself and not making any comment at all, especially when the stories have been leaked, however I had to. Now I know for certain which account/individual it's come from.

"I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.

"It's………. Rebekah Vardy's account."

In a tweeted reply, Rebekah Vardy said she had never passed on such information – despite claiming to have been approached to do so by journalists.

She blamed "various people having access to my insta" and was "disgusted" to have to deny involvement at a time when she was "heavily pregnant".

"As I have just said to you on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought this," Rebekah Vardy's statement read.

"I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for.

"If you thought this was happening you could have told me & I could have changed my passwords to see if it stopped.

"Over the years various people have had access to my insta and just this week I found I was following people I didn't know and have never followed myself.

"I'm not being funny but I don't need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you?

"I liked you a lot Coleen & I'm upset you have chosen to do this, especially when I'm heavily pregnant. I'm disgusted that I'm even having to deny this.

"You should have called me the first time this happened."

Rooney, who is also Manchester United's record goalscorer, will return to English football following his time with MLS team DC United when he joins Championship club Derby County in January.

Vardy has scored five Premier League goals for Leicester this season, with Brendan Rodgers' men riding high in fourth position.

As pressure builds on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is speculation Manchester United are already looking around for future managers.

According to reports, one such potential candidate is a man making waves in the Bundesliga, now with RB Leipzig.

Even though Solskjaer appears to have the backing of United's hierarchy, the time might come to look to the future - just like the club's former manager Jose Mourinho, who has his eye on a comeback.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED CONSIDER NAGELSMANN

Manchester United are interested in Julian Nagelsmann as a future manager, according to the Daily Mail.

Just 32, Nagelsmann has impressed in the Bundesliga, initially with Hoffenheim and this season at RB Leipzig.

Although Ole Solskjaer still has support at the club despite their worst league start for 30 years, it is reported by the newspaper that United are "gathering information" on Nagelsmann with a view to a future approach to take charge of the first team.

ROUND-UP

- Jose Mourinho, is plotting a Premier League return and is keeping an eye on Mauricio Pochettino's situation at Tottenham, according to the Daily Mail.

- Whatever happens with the United manager job, transfer plans for next year are already being drawn up. The big names being eyed for next season are Kalidou Koulibaly and Declan RiceGoal reports.

- In Italy, Juventus have made it clear they will not sell Paulo Dybala in the January transfer window, Calciomercato says. Dybala was linked with United and Spurs in the previous window.

Gareth Bale, meanwhile, considers being left out of the Champions League draw with Club Brugge to be the final straw at Real Madrid, and he wants out next year, AS claims.

- Finally, in more news concerning United bosses of the past, the Mirror and the Daily Mail say there is a growing chance David Moyes could return to Everton if the under-fire Marco Silva is sacked, with the Scot now odds-on in some places to take charge again.

Dean Henderson has been called up to the England squad for the first time to replace the injured Tom Heaton.

The goalkeeper, on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, is to join up with Gareth Southgate's squad at St George's Park on Wednesday.

"The decision was taken after Heaton returned to his club for further assessment on an injury sustained during Aston Villa's win against Norwich City last weekend," the FA added in a statement.

Henderson, who has represented England from Under-16 to Under-21 level, has impressed with Sheffield United in the past year, helping them secure promotion to the Premier League.

The 22-year-old rejoined the Blades in July for another season after signing a new three-year contract with Manchester United.

"This is what dreams are made of... it's a dream come true to receive my first England senior call up!!" he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

England face the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifiers on October 11 and 14 respectively.

Newcastle United have defended owner Mike Ashley in the wake of criticism from UK politician Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour leader Corbyn singled out Ashley as one of many "bad owners" who "put their business interests ahead of everything else, marginalise supporters and even put the financial security of clubs at risk".

Corbyn was speaking to Labour supporters to outline his party's commitment to banning zero-hour contracts and introducing a higher National Living Wage for staff at all Premier League clubs.

Ashley has long been unpopular with Newcastle fans but, despite reports of interest from several prospective buyers in recent years, the club remains under his ownership.

However, a statement released by Newcastle on Tuesday criticised Corbyn for voicing "damaging and misinformed opinions" about Ashley and his running of affairs at St James' Park.

"In overlooking existing governance and regulation, as well as the hugely positive impact Newcastle United and other professional clubs have in their communities, Mr Corbyn has demonstrated a surprising lack of knowledge about our national game," the club said.

"Financially, other than sums provided to the club on a short-term, interest-free basis and repaid to him as intended, we would like to make it clear that Mike Ashley has not taken a penny out of Newcastle United in interest, salary or dividend, as is customary at many clubs.

"As stated on numerous occasions before, every penny Newcastle United has will continue to be available to it. In this financial year, the club will use an overdraft facility to manage its cashflow following a significant spend on talent in the summer. As a well-run, responsible club, that amount will be repaid in full and on time and our other regulatory obligations will be met.

"We will not apologise for being financially sustainable, but we will push the boundaries of our budgets as far as possible to maximise the impact on the team.

"We agree with Mr Corbyn that 'a football club is more than just a club; it is an institution at the heart of our communities'.

"That is why our vast work across the local community will continue, with Newcastle United Foundation providing services and support to tens of thousands of people in our region each year who truly need them.

"Often, Newcastle United Foundation's projects fill in significant gaps that the public sector sadly cannot stretch to, particularly at a time when government cuts are so prevalent.

"We would like to invite Mr Corbyn to visit one of these initiatives to experience at first hand the incredible work that is being undertaken by the Foundation in our local community every day."

Dani Ceballos says the revivals of Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez at Real Madrid does not make him regret leaving Los Blancos for Arsenal.

Bale appeared certain to depart the Spanish capital for Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning after being ostracised by Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, before the board pulled the plug on the deal.

James' future was equally unclear after he returned from a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, but rumoured interest from Napoli and Atletico Madrid failed to materialise.

Both players have subsequently featured regularly for a Madrid side sitting top of LaLiga after eight matches, two points clear of Clasico rivals Barcelona.

Spain international Ceballos opted to make the move to the Premier League with the Gunners on loan after struggling for regular minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu over the past two seasons.

Ceballos has featured on 11 occasions in all competitions so far and is content with the decision he made as he was not enjoying life in Madrid.

"Madrid is pretty good. Yes, they've had many injuries but I don't feel sorry for not being there," he told a news conference while on international duty.

"I know what I have in my head and that was to play and enjoy. I am very happy at Arsenal, I played 10 (11) games where I showed my best level. Now I am where I want to be." 

When asked about Bale and James' upturn in fortunes at Madrid, he replied: "My idea was clear from the outset, play and enjoy football because in the previous two years I had not and I have been successful going out to Arsenal."

Ceballos also paid tribute to Madrid great Sergio Ramos, who is set to become Spain's outright most-capped player during the international break – where Spain face qualifiers against Norway and Sweden – having equalled Iker Casillas' tally of 167 last month.

"Sergio Ramos has won everything at the club and national team level," he added. 

"Despite having a lot of experience he continues to demonstrate the ambition of a young man, that ambition makes him different from the others."

Christian Eriksen concedes he is going through the toughest spell of his Tottenham career but insists it has nothing to do with the rumours that surrounded his future during the transfer window.

Spurs headed into the international break on the back of a dismal week in which a 3-0 Premier League defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion followed an embarrassing 7-2 home loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Tottenham are already 13 points adrift of leaders Liverpool after eight matches and questions have been raised about the long-term future of boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Eriksen was one of several Spurs stars linked with a move away from the club during the window, with Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all having been tipped to head for the exit door.

The Denmark international is adamant such talk has no effect on a player's performances on the pitch, though.

"It doesn't matter at all. Everyone is professional and in all clubs there is talk of players going away," Eriksen told Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet.

"That side of the matter has no bearing on how we have performed so far this season.

"If I, as a football player, took all the rumours to me, I would float on a cloud. But I know that it can't all be true. It does not affect me what is written."

Eriksen says Tottenham, Champions League finalists last term, are dealing with different expectation levels than they were when he joined from Ajax in 2013.

"It's definitely my hardest time right now at Tottenham," he added. "The first year when I came was probably a bit up and down, but since Pochettino came in 2014 it has been a success story.

"Expectations for us are at a completely different level now. We have to win every time and it's the same feeling we have as players as well.

"We as players must try to keep all the negative things completely out. But the reason for our results is actually hard to answer. We can't close the matches, even though we are ahead. But we have also been unlucky."

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