Barcelona have seemingly given up on their pursuit of Rodrigo, while Manchester United are finally getting their man.

LaLiga giants Barca are eyeing a forward with Luis Suarez set to miss most of the rest of the season due to a knee injury.

But while they reportedly targeted Rodrigo, their bid to land the Valencia forward appears over.

Meanwhile, a long-running saga is set to come to an end in Manchester.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA GIVE UP ON RODRIGO

'Rodrigo no' reads the cover of Sport, which reports Barcelona have stopped negotiations with Valencia for the forward.

The report says Barca cannot reach an economic agreement with Valencia, but are considering other options in their bid to sign a forward.

Rodrigo has scored just two goals in 18 LaLiga games for Valencia this season.

ROUND-UP

- It is finally set to be over. Bruno Fernandes' move from Sporting CP to Manchester United is practically done, according to Record. The Premier League club will pay £46.5million (€55m) for the midfielder, plus £8.5m (€10m) in add-ons with the potential for a further £12.7m (€15m).

- There could be some movement at Stamford Bridge in the coming days. AS reports Roma have made contact with Chelsea regarding Pedro, who has made just five Premier League appearances this season.

- Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are ready to launch bids for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Lemar, according to The Sun. The LaLiga club want £51m (€60.3m) for the Frenchman.

- Also at Spurs, the Mirror reports Tottenham are set to sign PSV attacker Steven Bergwijn for £25.4m (€30m).

- Pablo Mari's move to Arsenal appears set to become official. Globo Esporte reports the Flamengo defender will join the Premier League club on loan until June, with his club receiving £4.2m (€5m) and Arsenal holding an option to make the move permanent.

Bruno Fernandes said moving to the Premier League has "always" been his preference after Manchester United reportedly struck a deal to sign the Sporting CP captain.

One of football's most drawn-out transfer sagas is believed to be reaching its conclusion, with Fernandes poised to swap Sporting for United in a deal initially worth £47million (€55m) plus add-ons ahead of Friday's deadline.

Fernandes – heavily linked to struggling Premier League giants United this month and in the previous transfer window – is reportedly set to travel to Manchester on Wednesday.

Asked if the Premier League was his preference following reports of a possible move to either LaLiga champions Barcelona or Valencia, Fernandes told SIC: "It always was."

Pressed on whether United was his specific preference, the Portugal international midfielder replied: "Anything really."

Fernandes, linked to Tottenham and Real Madrid previously, has scored 15 goals in all competitions for Sporting this season.

The 25-year-old netted 31 goals last term, including 20 in Primeira Liga.

United, meanwhile, face Manchester City in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final – trailing 3-1.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils then play Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday before their mid-season break.

Manchester United will ban for life any supporters who were involved in an attack on the home of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on Tuesday.

The Mirror reported between 20 and 30 fans threw flares at Woodward's house on the eve of United's EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester City.

In a statement provided to Omnisport, the Premier League club criticised the attack, saying there was "no excuse" for the "unwarranted" act.

"Manchester United Football Club have tonight been made aware of the incident outside the home of one of our employees," the statement read.

"We know that the football world will unite behind us as we work with Greater Manchester Police to identify the perpetrators of this unwarranted attack.

"Anybody found guilty of a criminal offence, or found to be trespassing on this property, will be banned for life by the club.

"Fans expressing opinion is one thing, criminal damage and intent to endanger life and property is another. There is simply no excuse for this."

United fans had chanted about Woodward - who was understood not to be at home at the time of the incident - and the club's owners, the Glazers, during a 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers on Sunday.

Sitting fifth in the Premier League, United have been increasingly criticised amid a difficult run of form that has seen them win only three of their previous eight games in all competitions.

It also comes as they reportedly continue to work on bringing in reinforcements in January, with Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes a target.

Liverpool number one Alisson is the best performing goalkeeper in the Premier League according to a metric from Stats Perform.

Looking at clean sheets, goals conceded and save percentages only provides a limited analysis of a keeper's performances, as the metrics can be biased by team and defensive strengths.

The expected goals on target (xGOT) model moved things forward and provided a comparison to the performance of an 'average' keeper, but with each of them facing different shots it was difficult to compare the values.

By taking goals conceded away from the xGOT, Vicente Guaita is the best-performing keeper, preventing 6.6 goals (an xGOT of 29.6 minus the 23 goals he has conceded, excluding own goals), while Alisson has a differential of just 0.3 (an xGOT of 6.3 minus the six goals conceded).

The Stats Perform Goalkeeper Index, however, builds on the xGOT model, personalising the estimates to each keeper and simulating how they would perform over the exact same sample of shots.

On top of the start and end location of shots, the index considers a keeper's historic ability to make saves based on factors including shot destination (left, middle or right of the goal) and the angle to the shot trajectory (straight at them, to the left or to the right).

Premier League keepers have faced 2,108 shots this season and the Goalkeeper Index simulates how many goals every number one would have conceded against that set.

When looked at on a game-by-game basis, as well as in comparison to the league average, the impact becomes clear.

At the top of the Goalkeeper Index is Alisson, who is expected to prevent 0.58 more goals per game than the league average – putting him comfortably clear of Manchester City counterpart Ederson (0.27) in the rankings.

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris' back-up Paulo Gazzaniga (0.16), Manchester United's David de Gea (0.16) and Bernd Leno (0.13) of Arsenal round out the top five.

At the other end of the scale for keepers to play in at least 10 games, Southampton keeper Angus Gunn is expected to concede 0.50 more goals per game than the league average.

Alisson would therefore be expected to prevent 1.08 more goals per game than Gunn.

The Brazil international has conceded one goal every 214 minutes in the Premier League this season. If he maintains his form, he could break Petr Cech's record for minutes per goal conceded by a keeper in the Premier League (242).

Fernandinho will not be leaving Manchester City at the end of the season after the Brazilian secured a one-year contract extension.

The 34-year-old was seemingly set to depart in July, with his previous deal approaching its conclusion, but City have ensured he will be around for at least another season.

An intelligent combative midfielder, Fernandinho joined City from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 and has been a revelation, appearing in at least 29 Premier League matches in every campaign.

He has remained a key figure this term, playing 20 of the champions' 24 top-flight games, filling in at centre-back for many of those due to City's defensive injury crisis.

And choosing to remain at the club for another season was a straightforward decision.

"It was easy," he told City's official website.

"There is a time in your life when you don't think just about yourself, but especially about your family and your kids. They were one of the reasons I decided to sign another contract.

"I am happy, my family is happy, so I hope the City fans are happy as well."

City are already set to lose David Silva this year, with the Spaniard previously confirming his plan to return to Spain to be closer to his family.

Fernandinho has won three Premier League titles at City, though he looks unlikely to add to that tally this season with Liverpool 16 points clear of Pep Guardiola's men at the summit.

Jurgen Klopp defended his decision to rest players and not take charge of Liverpool's upcoming FA Cup fourth-round replay with Shrewsbury Town, insisting he is taking a stand for the good of English football.

Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw by Shrewsbury at the New Meadow on Sunday, meaning the League One side will play a lucrative replay at Anfield next week.

But that match is due to fall within the Premier League's inaugural mid-season break, when Klopp had promised his senior players they would be afforded time off to recover before the campaign's final push.

Klopp received criticism for his decision, with some suggesting he was disrespecting the FA Cup and others calling him "lazy", but the German will not renege on his promises.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Premier League meeting with West Ham, Klopp launched a lengthy and impassioned defence of his plans.

He said: "I have to make decisions based on the situation we are in, some people made other decisions before the season. Whoever it was – and okay, the FA tried to do something with moving games to midweek to decrease intensity – but it came out and whoever was involved, if someone from our club was involved and forgot to say no, I don't know exactly how it was discussed.

"The situation ends up, we are given two weeks [off]. In the first moment I thought, okay, two weeks, but it was not clear which week you get, and then we started going a bit into it and then we saw if we get the second week we probably get a Champions League game in that week.

"We cannot make then a week off and say there are two days to prepare for Atletico Madrid in this case, so the other week was the first week, for the Champions League teams it's the better week as there's no Champions League games.

"And then it came up, 'Oh, there could be a potential [FA Cup] replay.' Because we plan in the long term, I cannot plan like this [at short notice], especially in a really decisive period of the season coming up, so I decided we will have a mid-season break, based on a letter [from the FA] that we got in April 2019 when we were asked to respect a mid-season break.

"I know how it sounds now and I don't want to be in the middle of all discussions, I'm not a revolution guy or trying to show the whole world how strong I can be or whatever, it's not the reason. If people think that I'm lazy because I'm not here [for the match], I cannot change that.

"People can name me whatever, I'm not too interested in that because the only responsibility I have is for my players, and for all the [Premier League] players as well.

"If we react now in the way we always react, like, 'We have to sort it somehow, we'll be here and find a way to do it,' then nothing will change. I think all people in football agree that something has to change, and people have to speak.

"I don't know who was there [at the FA meeting to discuss the mid-season break], I know the FA said all the clubs agreed, but no sports-responsible people were there. There was not a manager or a sporting director there, that's what we need, that must change as well, otherwise next year we have exactly the same.

"I made a decision and now it looks like people want something different from me, so I cannot do what all the people want. Could I be here for the game? Of course I could, but that's again a complete misunderstanding of managing and coaching.

"The mid-season break is now something that has to be settled for the next years and all the different parties need to find a solution, so it will not be like this year again, where it's possible that you have one [a break], but you may not.

"We do it to make a clear standpoint, and again, if people call me lazy or disrespectful to cup competitions, it's all not true.

"Every year we are trying to find our way through the season and it's absolutely okay, it's our job, but if then part of these long-term plans is a mid-season break, then it has to be a mid-season break and you cannot get it [taken] away a week before you have it. That's not possible."

Fernandinho will not be leaving Manchester City at the end of the season after the Brazilian secured a one-year contract extension.

The 34-year-old was seemingly set to depart in July, with his previous deal approaching its conclusion, but City have ensured he will be around for at least another season.

An intelligent combative midfielder, Fernandinho joined City from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 and has been a revelation, appearing in at least 29 Premier League matches in every campaign.

He has remained a key figure this term, playing 20 of the champions' 24 top-flight games, filling in at centre-back for many of those due to City's defensive injury crisis.

City are already set to lose David Silva this year, with the Spaniard previously confirming his plan to return to Spain to be closer to his family.

Fernandinho has won three Premier League titles at City, though he looks unlikely to add to that tally this season with Liverpool 16 points clear of Pep Guardiola's men at the summit.

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed forward Sadio Mane is likely to miss Liverpool's next two matches with a small muscle tear.

Senegal international Mane pulled up in the first half of Liverpool's 2-1 win at Wolves last Thursday with a hamstring complaint.

The 27-year-old was absent for the 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday and will miss the Premier League trip to West Ham on Wednesday.

However, Klopp only expects Mane to miss one other match - a home clash against his former club Southampton on Saturday - as the damage is not as bad as first feared.

"Sadio will not be involved for West Ham and probably not Southampton," Klopp said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"Afterwards he should be fine, then the week after that should be perfect for him to get back on track. 

"He has a small muscle tear, which is serious enough to rule him out, but we've been a little bit lucky with the injury as well so it's not that serious. 

"But when you have three games in a week it means he's out for three games."

Mane has started 21 of Liverpool's 23 Premier League matches this season and has been used 31 times in all competitions.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to use Manchester United's famous Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain as inspiration when his side take on Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

United go into Wednesday's semi-final, second leg at the Etihad Stadium trailing 3-1.

That is a similar predicament to the one they found themselves in against PSG in March, when they overturned a 2-0 first-leg loss at home to progress in the Champions League.

Solskjaer knows United need a flawless display if they are to repeat the feat, but draws hope from that PSG encounter as well as United's 2-1 Premier League derby win in December.

"It looked like it was over at half-time," Solskjaer said of the first leg. "I have to say the second part of that first half they outplayed us for a while and it's hard, but then we got the goal, back in it.

"We hoped for another one but we have got to go into the memory bank and think PSG. 

"We have done it against good teams before and that gives us hope and the game in December [against City] gives us hope.

"We can't just defend, we have to try to keep the ball and make them run after the ball. 

"It has to be a perfect performance but we've done amazing things before at this club and the PSG game is, for me, a very, very good example of how you can make a two-goal deficit work in your favour. We need the first goal."

Solskjaer did acknowledge United's Etihad win over City came under different circumstances.

He added: "They are getting players back as well, we hit them last time when they were struggling a bit and since then they have played really well.

"We have lost Scott [McTominay] and Marcus [Rashford] since that game, a little bit lighter in the playing department.

"It has to be a perfect performance to win with two goals against such a good team away from home. For us it's not about away goals, we just need to score two more than them.

"It would be good not to concede first, because that makes it less difficult."

Christian Eriksen has joined Inter in a move from Tottenham that is reportedly worth €20million.

Eriksen, 27, arrived in Milan on Monday to pass his medical and sign a contract that will run to June 30, 2024, with the Serie A club announcing the completed transfer on Tuesday.

The Denmark international spent six and a half years with Spurs but, with his contract set to expire at the end of this season, he had long been expected to leave.

Despite links with Manchester United and Real Madrid, among others, Inter have managed to bring the playmaker to San Siro.

In a statement in which they also announced the signing of Giovani Lo Celso on a permanent deal, Spurs said: "The club can also confirm the departure of Christian Eriksen after agreement was reached with FC Internazionale Milano for the Denmark international's transfer.

"He made 305 appearances for us following his move from Ajax in August, 2013, and scored 69 times.

"We wish Christian well for the future."

With his future in question, Eriksen had spent the first part of the season in and out of the Spurs team – his 20 Premier League appearances split evenly between starts and substitute outings.

His form unsurprisingly suffered as dip as a result as he mustered just two goals and two assists from those 20 games.

Fans had become increasingly critical of Eriksen's performances in recent times, with Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho acknowledging last week that the Dane had not been at his best despite insisting his application in training remained positive.

His form has not put off Inter, who will hope the signing helps to give them added impetus in the Serie A title race having fallen behind pacesetters Juventus since the turn of the year.

Antonio Conte's men are three points adrift of Juve following three successive league draws, the latest a 1-1 result at home to Cagliari on Sunday.

Eriksen is Inter's third signing of the month, with all three coming from Premier League sides following the arrivals of Ashley Young and Victor Moses from Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively.

Tottenham have completed the permanent signing of Giovani Lo Celso, who has signed a contract until 2025.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho revealed on Saturday the club were poised to convert the 23-year-old's initial loan move from Real Betis into a full switch, saying the player's form had made it "an easy decision".

The move was completed on Tuesday, just as the sale of Christian Eriksen to Inter was officially confirmed.

"We are delighted to announce that we have exercised the option to convert the loan of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis to a permanent transfer," read Tottenham's statement.

"Gio has signed a contract with the club until 2025.

"The midfielder has produced impressive performances after establishing himself in the team following a hip injury which restricted his playing time in the early part of his loan."

A superb individual run from Lo Celso helped to set up Spurs' goal as Son Heung-min struck in the 1-1 FA Cup fourth-round draw against Southampton, a game in which he also had a goal disallowed.

After the impressive performance, Mourinho had said: "It's not an obligation [to sign him], it's an option, but I think the boy is earning the decision. 

"He's making an easy decision for the club to execute the option. Incredible evolution since I arrived.

"Barely played a game [before I arrived], I think he played against Red Star Belgrade and with me it was a little bit difficult to come in the first few weeks.

"But he understood what we wanted. Good learner, good kid and I think by himself he made the decision that the club is going to execute the option. That's normal, he earned it."

Christian Eriksen has joined Inter in a reported €20million from Tottenham, the Serie A club have announced.

Eriksen, 27, arrived in Milan on Monday to pass his medical and sign a contract that will run to June 30, 2024.

The Denmark international spent six and a half years with Spurs but, with his contract set to expire at the end of this season, he had long been expected to leave.

Despite links with Manchester United and Real Madrid, among others, Inter have managed to bring the playmaker to San Siro.

In a statement in which they also announced the signing of Giovani Lo Celso on a permanent deal, Spurs said: "The club can also confirm the departure of Christian Eriksen after agreement was reached with FC Internazionale Milano for the Denmark international's transfer.

"He made 305 appearances for us following his move from Ajax in August, 2013, and scored 69 times.

"We wish Christian well for the future."

With his future in question, Eriksen had spent the first part of the season in and out of the Spurs team – his 20 Premier League appearances split evenly between starts and substitute outings.

His form unsurprisingly suffered as dip as a result as he mustered just two goals and two assists from those 20 games.

Fans had become increasingly critical of Eriksen's performances in recent times, with Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho acknowledging last week that the Dane had not been at his best despite insisting his application in training remained positive.

His form has not put off Inter, who will hope the signing helps to give them added impetus in the Serie A title race having fallen behind pacesetters Juventus since the turn of the year.

Antonio Conte's men are three points adrift of Juve following three successive league draws, the latest a 1-1 stalemate at home to Cagliari on Sunday.

Eriksen is Inter's third signing of the month, with all three coming from Premier League sides following the arrivals of Ashley Young and Victor Moses from Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively.

Paul Pogba has had his ankle cast removed as he steps up his attempt to return from injury for Manchester United.

The France international has only started one Premier League match since August in a campaign heavily interrupted by his fitness woes.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to put a timescale on Pogba's return to action ahead of Wednesday's derby against Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

But Solskjaer reported Pogba has made a key step in his recovery following surgery, as has fellow midfielder Scott McTominay, who is no longer wearing a knee brace.

"It's hard to put timescales on long-term injuries because they also need the training before [being] injury-free and need to be fitter," Solskjaer told reporters.

"Paul's had his cast off and Scott took his brace off so at least they can now start doing some work on the grass."

Reports have suggested Pogba and McTominay are both targeting injury returns after the mid-season break, with United to play Chelsea on February 17 after a 16-day stint without a game.

After suffering a small issue in United's 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers on Sunday, Nemanja Matic is in a race to be fit for the EFL clash with rivals City, who lead the tie 3-1 after a win at Old Trafford this month.

Solskjaer added: "Just Nemanja got a slight problem, so he had to come off at half-time. He has played loads of football so hopefully we can get him back on the pitch, but I haven't seen him. 

"Let's see how he is in training. To make sure we give him the best possible chance for Wednesday night we took him off. I think he should be all right but let's see."

Eric Bailly is pushing for a return to the line-up, while David de Gea and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be back after getting a rest against Tranmere.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed the much-maligned Alexis Sanchez to return to Manchester United at the end of the season after his loan at Inter and "prove us all wrong".

Sanchez was sent to Inter at the start of the season after a woeful first 18 months at Old Trafford, as he scored just three Premier League goals in 32 matches.

The Chile international had arrived to much fanfare from Arsenal in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January 2018, but he failed to meet expectations.

He is yet to make much of an impact at Inter either, making just five Serie A appearances – though injuries have played a part.

Reports had suggested Inter players were keen on Sanchez staying regardless, but Solskjaer is seemingly expecting the forward to return to Old Trafford at the end of the season, as he appeared resigned to not bringing in any reinforcements this month.

After being asked about United's hopes of signing reported target Bruno Fernandes, Solskjaer – who was speaking ahead of the EFL Cup semi-final second leg with Manchester City – said: "I haven't got any updates for you on transfers, I think it was a waste [of a question].

"I gave you the option. I haven't got anything to say now, my mind is on the game.

"We've got players here that we're working hard to get back as well, and if there is something out there, then the club is pursuing that and it's difficult.

"I can't remember how many good ones [signings] we've brought in with good deals in January.

"Henrik [Larsson] was good, Nemanja [Vidic] and Patrice [Evra], I'm talking about it's hard, very hard, the clubs don't want to lose their best players.

"And then Alexis will come back in the summer and will prove us all wrong."

One player heavily linked with leaving the club is Marcos Rojo, who had emerged as a target for his former team Estudiantes in Argentina – their sporting director and one-time United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron previously confirming the interest.

But Solskjaer has no plans to part with the Argentina international.

"I wouldn't think so," was Solskjaer's response when asked if Rojo could leave this month. "Marcos has been injured and is working to get back and get fit again."

Steven Bergwijn has been granted permission by PSV to travel to England as a prospective move to Tottenham nears completion.

The 22-year-old winger has been heavily linked with Spurs and, following reports of the two clubs agreeing a £27million (€32m) fee, PSV have allowed Bergwijn to finalise his departure.

A club statement, also confirming the impending exit of apparent Cagliari target Gaston Pereiro, read: "Steven Bergwijn and Gaston Pereiro are not training with PSV on Tuesday morning.

"Bergwijn has received permission from PSV to travel to England with a view to an upcoming transfer. Pereiro stays outside group training pending the completion of a transfer."

Bergwijn, a Netherlands international, has been a revelation for the Eredivisie side over the past three seasons, scoring 27 league goals and setting up another 29.

He missed Sunday's 1-1 draw at home to Twente following reports he was refusing to play, but he denied those claims soon after, insisting caretaker boss Ernest Faber had given him permission.

Nevertheless, his absence seemed to be the beginning of the end given the accompanying media reports of Spurs' interest.

Bergwijn's arrival could pave the way for Erik Lamela to leave, with speculation suggesting the club are willing to offer him to Milan as part of the deal to sign Krzysztof Piatek from the faltering Serie A giants.

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