Callum Hudson-Odoi took a significant step forward in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest, but Frank Lampard has no doubt there is more to come.

Chelsea beat Championship side Forest 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Hudson-Odoi opening the scoring before Ross Barkley also found the back of the net.

Lampard suggested in his pre-match news conference that the Blues may have been expecting too much of the 19-year-old winger, who returned from five months out with a ruptured Achilles in September.

Hudson-Odoi has struggled for form since then, but Lampard was impressed by his display against Forest.

"It was a good performance. I was pleased to see him high up the pitch, pleased to see him being aggressive in how he gets at people, which is what he is there for. He gets his goal with a great strike," said Lampard.

"It has been an interesting 12 months for him considering how young he is, when you take that into account. Last year everyone was talking about him for different reasons. He gets a terrible injury, he comes back very early and when he did come back there were issues getting him tip top.

"This was a nice step forward for him. Next time it will be, 'Can you do more?'

"When you are a player of speed and sharpness, when you have an injury like that it can be slightly held back. There is a lot of strength work he needs to do – stuff on the pitch and in the gym now we're getting him towards the point where he has that acceleration.

"As a player he is 19 and he has had that injury so there is a lot more to come from him."

Danny Drinkwater has returned from an unsuccessful loan to Burnley and Lampard said it was "a possibility" he could head straight back out in another temporary switch.

The future of Olivier Giroud, an unused substitute against Forest with Michy Batshuayi deputising for the rested Tammy Abraham, also remains up in the air.

Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Lyon have been linked with Giroud and Lampard did not rule out the France international leaving the club.

"There's no update on Oli and my answer remains the same as it has done recently," added the Chelsea head coach.

"I have spoken with him. If the conditions are that it is something Oli really wants to do and it works for the club and for me and the squad, then it's something that could happen.

"But it's only when all three bases are covered. So, we're still there."

Bayern Munich are not interested in selling David Alaba, according to interim head coach Hansi Flick, who described the Austria international as a leader.

Alaba impressed at centre-back alongside Javi Martinez, Benjamin Pavard and Jerome Boateng in a string of Bundesliga victories before the mid-season break, and his performances fuelled speculation over a possible move to Chelsea.

But Flick, who has overseen five wins and two defeats in the league since being placed in temporary charge of the champions on November 3, said there were no plans to allow the versatile defender to leave the club.

"Alaba is doing very well at centre-back at the moment," Flick told reporters at the club's training camp in Doha.

"He's not for sale.

"He can lead a team, he showed that. He fulfills the criteria of a player who can marshall a defence."

Flick was reluctant to comment on the signing of goalkeeper Alexander Nubel from Schalke in a deal that will see the 23-year-old arrive in Munich at the end of the season.

Manuel Neuer has been ever-present in goal for Bayern this season and Flick said he is happy with Sven Ulreich in the role of deputy to the Germany international.

Nubel is seen as a potential long-term successor to Neuer, but Flick said: "I'm not interested in that now.

"Bayern took the chance to bring a talented goalkeeper to Munich. But Nubel will be a Bayern player in July.

"I'm satisfied with the current situation and Sven Ulreich is doing very well. Competition enables performances."

Another day, another Paul Pogba story.

The Manchester United star continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford.

Inter have reportedly emerged as a possible destination for Pogba, though United want a player in return…

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT MARTINEZ IN POGBA DEAL

Manchester United want to swap midfielder Paul Pogba for Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to The Mirror.

Pogba has been linked with a return to Serie A champions Juventus and LaLiga giants Real Madrid as his future dominates headlines.

But a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte at Inter could be in the pipeline. However, the Italian club might have to part with Barcelona target Martinez to prise Pogba to Milan.

 

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- Staying at Old Trafford and The Mirror also claims United have set their sights on Wolves forward Raul Jimenez after missing out on Erling Haaland, who opted to swap Salzburg for Borussia Dortmund.

- It comes as the Mirror says United are set to offer cash plus Jesse Lingard for Leicester City star James Maddison. The Sun, meanwhile, claims United want Toni Kroos in return if Pogba heads to Madrid.

- According to Sky Sport Italia, Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo is on his way to join Milan, with the LaLiga champions keen to agree a loan deal with a counter-option should they wish to recall him. Meanwhile, the Gazzetta dello Sport says Atalanta want to re-sign Milan centre-back Mattia Caldara.

- The Daily Express reports West Ham have emerged as shock contenders to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The star defender has been linked to United and Manchester City.

- Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa has said goodbye to Flamengo supporters via social media, prompting speculation in The Sun that the Inter-owned striker is on his way to either Chelsea or West Ham.

Chris Smalling is keen to secure a permanent deal at Roma and is ready to snub United should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempt to persuade him to return to Old Trafford, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

- The Mirror says Carlo Ancelotti's Everton are eyeing a loan move for Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez.

Real Madrid are said to be close to signing yet another rising Brazilian star.

Zinedine Zidane's side have reportedly agreed a fee for Flamengo's Reinier, who could move to Spain this month.

Chelsea, meanwhile, may have to wait until after the season has finished until their top targets become available.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID TO SIGN REINIER FOR €30M

According to widespread reports, Real Madrid are close to finalising a deal to sign Flamengo's Reinier.

The 17-year-old could move to the Spanish capital in January and spend the rest of the season with Raul's Castilla team.

Reinier, who turns 18 on January 19 and will therefore become an easier deal to complete, will apparently cost €30m plus potential add-ons.

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 - Chelsea want to sign Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner, but the Premier League club know they are likely to have to wait until the end of the season to complete the deals, according to Goal.

- Elsewhere in London, Sky Sports say West Ham have held talks with Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes, a reported target for Manchester United. David Moyes said of the club's interest: "He is a name mentioned alongside many."

Inter are the latest team to be interested in Christian Eriksen, say Tuttomercatoweb. Directors Giuseppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio want to close the deal quickly but Tottenham's £30m asking price is a problem.

Nikola Kalinic has been offered to Newcastle United as he has struggled for football since joining Roma on loan from Atletico Madrid, say Marca.

- Still with Marca, Real Madrid have apparently earmarked three Lille players as potential signings for 2020: Boubakary Soumare, Victor Osimhen and Gabriel.

- Sky Sports claim Jan Vertonghen is now more likely to join Napoli from Tottenham this month, as Ajax have apparently cooled their interest in their former defender.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami are set to appoint a new coach in the form of Anthony Pulis, the son of ex-Stoke City boss Tony. Pulis will work as assistant to Diego Alonso, say The Telegraph.

Olivier Giroud will only leave Chelsea if it is to the benefit of the club and does not leave the Blues short, assistant coach Jody Morris suggested.

France international Giroud has found playing time limited under Frank Lampard this season, racking up just 191 minutes in the Premier League thus far after finding himself behind Tammy Abraham in the pecking order.

Giroud previously stated he may leave Stamford Bridge as he aims to play regular football ahead of Euro 2020 and there have been suggestions the ex-Arsenal striker could be used as a makeweight in Chelsea's reported pursuit of Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

However, Morris – who praised Giroud's professionalism amid the uncertainty – was clear Chelsea will only sell if it makes sense for the squad.

"He still plays for Chelsea. It has got to be for the benefit of the club," said Morris, who was on pre-match media duties for Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie with Nottingham Forest as Lampard battles a bug.

"We can't just let people walk out the door of the club if that means we're left short somewhere.

"Sometimes you have to look at the individual as well and if it is beneficial for them to be here or be happy.

"I've got to say Giroud has been nothing but a class act and top professional since he's been here. I don't envisage there being any problems along those lines."

Chelsea have been tipped to be busy in the January window after having a transfer ban reduced on appeal, with Zaha, Lyon striker Moussa Dembele and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho among those having been tipped with a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Morris says work is going on behind the scenes but any incomings must be able to improve the squad.

"There's a couple of areas you'd be looking at but it will all depend on what the movements are from within the club as well," he added. 

"I'm not as privy to those conversations as the manager is but I'm sure there's a little bit of work going on behind the scenes. 

"Any movements or anybody brought in or going out the door will need to be for the benefit of the club and improve the squad. 

"There isn't any point in bringing anybody in that isn't going to improve us and I know that the manager and powers that be are looking at those."

Morris was also quizzed about a social-media post appearing to mock now Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho in November.

Then working as a pundit for Sky Sports, former Chelsea manager Mourinho said he had concerns over how Lampard's squad would fare against the Premier League's better teams following a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Morris replied to a clip of Mourinho's comments with the post "Jose is still worried" alongside three laughing emojis, but he insists his intentions were misconstrued.

"A lot of people misread my laughing at Jose's comments," Morris said when asked about the post. "Listen, I've got nothing but the utmost respect for Jose.

"He's an absolute legend and one of the best managers in the game. I personally was just laughing at the fact that he was worried whether we would be winning that much.

"I don't think he's that bothered whether we're winning that much. And neither should he be, as a pundit."

Real Madrid are already eyeing a move for Liverpool star Sadio Mane at the end of the season.

Mane has developed into one of the world's best attackers, starring for the Premier League leaders and finishing fourth in the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

Now, another one of Europe's biggest clubs are making initial moves for the 27-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID MAKE CONTACT OVER MANE MOVE

Real Madrid have spoken to Mane's representatives about a possible move, according to Le 10 Sport.

Mane is contracted at Liverpool until 2023, but appears to be attracting interest from the LaLiga giants.

The Senegal international has scored 14 goals and provided eight assists in 27 games in all competitions this season.

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- The January transfer window will see Chelsea and Manchester City enter a bidding war for Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell, according to The I.

- Similarities between Moussa Dembele and Didier Drogba have made the Lyon striker a target for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, according to Sky Sports News, with the 23-year-old having scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for the Ligue 1 side this season.

- Mikel Arteta is keen to assess all of his options as he aims to lift Arsenal back into the top half of the Premier League table, and he is considering a recall for £27million centre-back William Saliba from his season-long loan at Saint-Etienne according to The Mirror.

- Also on Arsenal's to-do list is a bid for promising RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, who is also a target for Tottenham and Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

- Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce wants to bolster his midfield with the addition of Burnley pair Danny Drinkwater and Dwight McNeil, and reports in The Telegraph say Genk striker Mbwana Samatta is also on his radar.

- Carlo Ancelotti said he will wait until January 5 before discussing potential transfer targets with the Everton board and when he does El Desmarque has suggested Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez could be one of the names on his list.

Some of Europe's top clubs are already making signings ahead of the January transfer window, but Real Madrid's focus, at least for now, looks to be on securing the services of a current player.

Karim Benzema remains one of Madrid's key men, with 12 goals in 17 LaLiga matches this term.

Los Blancos will reportedly reward the striker's fine form with a contract renewal in the coming months, keeping him at the Santiago Bernabeu for another two seasons.

 

TOP STORY – BENZEMA TO STAY UNTIL 2022

Karim Benzema has agreed to sign a new contract with LaLiga giants Real Madrid, according to Marca.

Benzema's current deal had been set to expire in 2021, but an extension is imminent. The newspaper reports the Frenchman will be rewarded improved terms on a new contract to run until 2022 due to his outstanding form.

With Madrid enjoying a midseason break, they are said to have agreed a deal with Benzema that will be made formal at the end of the campaign.

Benzema's future is apparently a priority for Madrid, with the report suggesting the deal was only capped at an additional year as the player is determined not to outstay his welcome, leaving before his outstanding career wanes.

 

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Manchester United reportedly have an interest in Benfica star Gedson Fernandes. Sky Sports say the 20-year-old midfielder, who has fallen out of favour with his club, could be available for £34million (€39.8m) following a loan, rather than for a loftier release clause of £102m. United are desperate to bolster their midfield, with Nemanja Matic tipped to join Inter, Milan or Atletico Madrid.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Suns says United are eyeing £50m-rated Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin after Erling Haaland signed for Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

- The Mirror claims Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will leave Emirates Stadium at the end of the season in pursuit of silverware. Aubameyang has 18 months remaining on his contract.

Chelsea have made enquiries about the release clause in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner's contract, says The Telegraph. Werner has been linked to Liverpool, United and Bayern Munich.

- El Desmarque says Everton are leading the race to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti worked with James during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Serie A champions Juventus lead the race to sign Dejan Kulusevski, according to Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport. The 19-year-old, on loan at Parma from Atalanta, has been linked to United, Arsenal, Napoli, Inter and Liverpool. But Juve are reportedly poised to pay Atalanta €40-50m, while allowing Kulusevski to remain on loan at Parma until the end of the season.

- Calciomercato.com reports Jean-Clair Todibo has an offer from Milan. A deal is said to be done for the Barcelona defender - an initial loan, followed by a €20m fee with no buyback option - but he has not yet agreed to the transfer.

- Having already signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan must move on others in the next month. However, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Rossoneri are only interested in selling Ricardo Rodriguez and Suso, rather than accommodating loan deals that would suit Watford and Sevilla, respectively.

Napoli are set to announce the signing of Stanislav Lobotka for an initial €16m, according to Calciomercato.com. The midfielder will leave Celta Vigo and sign a contract with the Partenopei until 2024.

Erling Haaland's decision to join Borussia Dortmund brought an end to one of Europe's most fascinating transfer stories.

Manchester United had been in the frame for his signature but were reportedly put off by a key demand from the striker's representatives.

As often seems to be the case for the Red Devils, Mino Raiola's involvement led to complications.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED PULLED PLUG ON HAALAND BID

According to The Guardian, United abandoned their bid for the highly sought-after Haaland after learning of a request from his agent, Raiola, and father Alf-Inge Haaland.

The pair reportedly asked for a share of any future transfer fee for the 19-year-old, a stipulation the Old Trafford outfit were unwilling to meet despite their firm interest.

Haaland settled on Dortmund after the Bundesliga side activated his Salzburg buyout clause.

He had been linked to RB Leipzig, Juventus and several more top European clubs after emerging as a Champions League star.

 

ROUND-UP

- Haaland's arrival at Dortmund could lead LaLiga side  Atletico Madrid to narrow the transfer focus on Spanish striker Paco Alcacer, according to Marca. The former Barcelona player has struggled to cement a place in BVB's starting XI and represents a cheaper option in terms of wages than Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, an apparent favourite of Diego Simeone.

- AS, meanwhile, reports on potential movements elsewhere in the Spanish capital. The newspaper claims Real Madrid are preparing to recall Jesus Vallejo from his loan spell at Wolves, with a view to finding him more playing time. That could lead to a short-term switch to Leganes or Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Juventus are close to extending Wojciech Szczesny's contract yet the Serie A champions remain admirers of Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tammy Abraham wants a better deal at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea are not yet prepared to accept his demand for parity with Callum Hudson-Odoi's £180,000 per week salary, reports The Athletic.

- Manchester City are set to beat Premier League rivals United, Arsenal and Liverpool to the January signing of Barcelona's teenage left-back Juan Larios, says the Daily Star.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the 2010s in terms of individual awards and moments of pure inspiration.

Future generations will look back on this past decade as a period obsessed with the two generational talents - their often-exaggerated rivalry exacerbated by spending such a long time on opposite sides of the Clasico divide.

But, while Ronaldo and Messi have filled more column inches than any other player on the planet, there are plenty of others who have been world leaders in their respective positions.

Having looked back over the last 10 years, using Opta data for inspiration, we have selected a Team of the Decade. But who makes the cut?

Is David de Gea selected in goal? Does Luis Suarez join Messi in attack? Has Virgil van Dijk done enough for inclusion? Find out below...

OMNISPORT TEAM OF THE DECADE

Manuel Neuer

There is not much more Manuel Neuer could have achieved over the past 10 years. For much of that time he has been one of the globe's most dependable goalkeepers, even if he has shown signs of decline since a spate of foot injuries. A veteran of seven Bundesliga title triumphs and a World Cup winner with Germany, Neuer boasts a save percentage of 74.2 per cent and has comfortably the most clean sheets (139) this decade in the German top flight.

Dani Alves

Has there ever been a better right-back than Dani Alves? The Brazilian stands to leave an impressive legacy, not just through his thrilling style of play, but with his record-breaking trophy haul of 43 after captaining Brazil to Copa America success this year. Despite being a right-back, he claimed 67 assists in league action through the 2010s, though his greatest contribution came in LaLiga with Barcelona, for whom he set up 51 goals. Marcelo (48) is the closest to him, but he has played 77 times more than the current Sao Paulo star.

Vincent Kompany

Although a brilliant player at his best, it is understandable to suggest Vincent Kompany never reached his ceiling due to injuries. Nevertheless, the Belgian will go down as a Premier League great such has been his impact with Manchester City, with whom he enjoyed four title wins. Kompany recorded 83 Premier League clean sheets in the 2010s, just 10 fewer than record-setter Kyle Walker, who has played 57 more matches. His leadership qualities have been missed by City this season.

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is a player who often polarises opinion, but he's one of only three players to have been at Madrid for the entire decade, so he must be doing something right. An undisputed leader and fierce competitor, Ramos is a big-game player like few others and boasts a goal-scoring record even many midfielders would be happy with, having netted 43 times in LaLiga since the start of 2010, more than any other defender. Over the past 10 years, he's helped Los Blancos to a remarkable four Champions League titles, while he won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain.

Jordi Alba

At his best, Jordi Alba was almost unstoppable. The flying left-back became a staple and key outlet for one of the great Barcelona teams, with his driving runs – on or off the ball – often creating havoc. A master at making a darting run into the box before cutting a pass back to create a chance, Alba has 38 LaLiga assists to his name for Barca, a record bettered by only Dani Alves and Marcelo among defenders. He gets the nod ahead of his Madrid counterpart as his assist haul is from 72 fewer matches.

Luka Modric

The only player to break the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or duopoly, Luka Modric has enjoyed a wonderful decade. A vital part of the Croatia team that enjoyed an historic run to the 2018 World Cup final, Modric also played a big role in Madrid's incredible Champions League domination. Toni Kroos (11,260) is the only midfielder to have completed more passes in LaLiga than Modric (10,759), while he laid on 42 assists and created 522 chances.

N'Golo Kante

If there was an award for the most likeable player of the decade, N'Golo Kante would surely be a frontrunner. Sadly there is no such thing, so he'll have to contend with inclusion in this team. Arguably the key cog in Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title win, Kante followed that up with similarly impressive form at Chelsea and with France, winning the World Cup with Les Bleus last year. He has made 912 tackles and interceptions in the Premier League, putting him fifth among players with 200 appearances or fewer this decade, and each of those who rank higher have played at least 20 matches more.

David Silva

When David Silva leaves Man City at the end of the season, there will inevitably be a debate as to whether he can be regarded the Premier League's greatest 'import'. That this will even be suggested tells you the impact he has had. No one gets close to Silva's record of 89 Premier League assists in the 2010s, with the Spaniard almost certainly the most consistent creator the division has seen in the past 10 years. He was similarly important for Spain until his post-World Cup retirement last year, having previously lifted the trophy in South Africa in 2010 and at Euro 2012, eventually accumulating 125 caps.

Lionel Messi

Where does one even begin with Lionel Messi? If any single player has defined the 2010s – from an individual perspective – in world football, it is surely the Barcelona talisman. In LaLiga, Messi has amassed 505 goal involvements (369 goals, 136 assist) in 343 matches since the start of the decade, routinely carrying Barca to victory. He has won every trophy possible with the Blaugrana over the past 10 years and claimed five Ballons d'Or, with his 2019 victory giving him a record-breaking sixth. Although now 32, he remains frighteningly decisive – all that eludes him is international success with Argentina.

Robert Lewandowski

A long list of immense strikers have starred throughout the 2010s, but arguably chief among them – Ronaldo aside – is Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. Having moved from Borussia Dortmund, whom he helped turn into Champions League contenders, the Poland international has developed into a remarkable all-round striker. In 307 Bundesliga games he has 221 goals from 1,163 attempts, meaning he scores every 5.2 shots – by contrast, Ronaldo needs 6.4 efforts per goal. Although he is yet to win Europe's elite club competition, there is little doubt the Pole appears to be getting better with age having already notched 19 league goals this term, just three short of his total for 2018-19.

Cristiano Ronaldo

In the somewhat tiresome 'Ronaldo or Messi' debate about which superstar is "better", the former can at least point to his international successes with Portugal as something that sets him apart, having lifted Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 Nations League. That is just the tip of the iceberg for his brilliance in the 2010s, however. Across spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo has scored 335 league goals and laid on 95 assists. With Los Blancos he helped inspire four Champions League successes, also winning a couple of LaLiga titles. What a privilege it has been to see Ronaldo and Messi in the same era.

Could Gareth Bale's time in Madrid be coming to an end?

Linked to the Chinese Super League previously, former club Tottenham have emerged as a possible destination for Real Madrid's Bale.

A Spurs star could move in the opposite direction as part of the deal…

 

TOP STORY – SPURS WANT BALE BACK IN EXCHANGE FOR ERIKSEN

Tottenham want to bring Gareth Bale back to North London in a swap deal that would see want-away midfielder Christian Eriksen join Real Madrid, claims The Sun.

It is said that LaLiga giants Madrid would receive £25.7million (€30m) as well as Eriksen in a deal that could reunite Bale with the club he left in 2013.

Eriksen has been linked to Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and other clubs in Europe as his contract runs out at the end of the season.

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- Chelsea have pulled out of the race to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, paving the way for the England winger to join Liverpool, according to the Daily Express. United and Madrid have also been linked to the 19-year-old.

United and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are in the race to sign Leicester City's in-form right-back Ricardo Pereira in January, according to the Daily Mail.

- Wolves' push for a top-five Premier League finish this season could be bolstered by the addition of South Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan, should the Molineux club persuade Salzburg to part with the £23m (€26.9m)-rated forward in a deal mooted by Sky Sports News.

- Sky in Germany reports that Werder Bremen are keen on re-signing Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard in January.

- Le10sport claims PSG sounded out Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as a possible replacement for Thomas Tuchel. The report says PSG sporting director Leonardo spoke to Klopp but the German made it clear he is happy at Anfield.

- Sky Sports News claims David Moyes is poised for a return to West Ham to replace Manuel Pellegrini following his sacking. Moyes spent a brief period in charge of West Ham in 2018.

Arsenal have set their sights on RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano. A move for the 21-year-old depends on whether Leipzig can sign Tanguy Kouassi from PSG, according to Le Parisien.

Pedro would "drop everything" to return to Barcelona as he prepares to enter the last six months of his Chelsea contract.

Former Spain winger Pedro has been heavily linked with an exit from Chelsea, who will be able to sign players in January after seeing their transfer ban halved on appeal.

The 32-year-old has made just 10 appearances for the Blues this season and made no attempt to hide his interest in moving back to Camp Nou.

Pedro was handed his senior debut by Pep Guardiola, who coached him in the B team, and went on to win LaLiga five times and the Champions League on three occasions with Barca.

"If Barca call me, I'll drop everything," Pedro told L'Esportiu.

"There was a moment in pre-season when we played against Barca that, after talking with the coach, I saw a chance, but the door closed quickly.

"At this point, I don't know what will happen to me, just that I'm contracted to Chelsea until the end of the season."

On rumours he could move across London to West Ham, Pedro said: "I don't know, we'll see … What I know is that I want to continue having fun playing football."

Mino Raiola holds all the cards when it comes to Manchester United's transfer plans.

United are interested in Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland, while Paul Pogba wants to reportedly leave Old Trafford.

With that in mind, the Red Devils may be forced to pick between the two.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND IN, POGBA OUT?

Manchester United are worried signing Salzburg striker Erling Haaland may force Paul Pogba out of the club, according to the Daily Star. 

United are interest in-demand sensation Haaland, who has also been linked to Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig

Haaland is represented by Mino Raiola, who is also the agent of United star Pogba – previously linked to former club Juve and LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

United fear Raiola could throw a spanner in the works as doubts remain over Pogba's future in Manchester.

 

ROUND-UP

- Premier League champions Manchester City have identified Villarreal's Pau Torres and Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias as possible defensive reinforcements in January, reports The Telegraph.

- Express Sport says Chelsea are unwilling to meet Dortmund's £100million (€117m) valuation of star Jadon Sancho, who has also been linked to United, Liverpool and Madrid. Chelsea are believed to be keeping tabs on Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

Arsenal pair Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi could leave Arsenal in January, reports Football London. Turkish giants Fenerbahce have emerged as a possible destination for Ozil.

Rangers have made contact with out-of-favour Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud over a possible move to Glasgow, according to L'Equipe.  Coming off contract at the end of the season, Giroud has also been linked to Inter.

Tottenham have failed in their bid to get Son Heung-min's red card against Chelsea overturned.

The Spurs forward was sent-off after 62 minutes of Sunday's 2-0 defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following a clash with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

Son kicked Rudiger in the ribs and, following a VAR review, referee Anthony Taylor dismissed him.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho immediately indicated the club would appeal and suggested the Germany international had made the most of the situation - claims dismissed by his Chelsea counterpart Frank Lampard.

The Football Association (FA) confirmed on Tuesday that Son's dismissal would stand, meaning the former Bayer Leverkusen man will now miss Premier League fixtures against Brighton and Hove Albion, Norwich City and Southampton over the next eight days.

In 23 appearances across all competitions this season, Son has scored 10 goals for Tottenham.

 

Frank Lampard aimed a sly dig at Jose Mourinho after insisting he will stand by Chelsea's talented youngsters rather than cast them aside.

With Chelsea under a transfer embargo when Lampard took over, he was forced to promote from within, handing chances to the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori.

The trio have seized their opportunities with a string of fine displays that have led to call-ups to the England squad.

And even though the Court of Arbitration for Sport have reduced Chelsea's sanction, enabling them to buy again in the January window, Lampard insists he will not repeat mistakes made by Mourinho and allow young players to move on and become world class elsewhere.

Mourinho sold Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg during his second spell in charge at Chelsea, while he barely played Mohamed Salah before sending him out on loan to Fiorentina and then Roma.

Both men are now established as among the best players in the world due to their exploits with Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively.

Lampard said: "I believe in the young players.

"I thought Mason Mount’s performance [during the 2-0 win at Tottenham on Sunday], not just to isolate Mason as I thought Tammy was fantastic and Tomori was too, but his performance was a great example of why you want to stick with and have patience with these young players because he is a young boy and there will be moments where the game will be difficult for him and he will learn.

"And then there will be games like the other day when you can see the player that he is.

"If we are not patient and stick with the players we might be in a situation before where absolutely top world-class players at this minute have been at Chelsea when they were 20 or 21 and managers maybe did not stick with them so much then.

"I am in a position where I will stick with them."

Lampard's criticism of Mourinho forms part of a very public ongoing spat started by the Portuguese after he accused Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger of playacting to get Son Heung-min sent off during the weekend game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Frank Lampard has described Jose Mourinho's criticism of Antonio Rudiger as "disappointing" and insisted the defender's integrity should not be questioned.

Mourinho accused Rudiger of playacting to get Son Heung-min sent-off during Chelsea's 2-0 win at Tottenham on Sunday, but Lampard felt the Spurs boss's barbs were ill-timed.

Germany international Rudiger was the victim of racist abuse from home supporters at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with an investigation ongoing.

Lampard said: "With Toni, in this incident when he’s having to post after the game about something we know is a huge deal [racism], I think to question his integrity in that time is disappointing for sure.

"Pretty universally, certainly what I heard in the commentary and the post-match reflection was that the Son incident was a red card.

"It wasn’t brutal but it was instinctive and that warrants a red card in the modern day.

"It was pretty clear that was the case. I wouldn’t question Toni’s integrity on that.

"If it becomes a question of people standing up or falling down in the Premier League, I think there were a couple of incidents in the last 15 minutes of the game where Tottenham players were going over in the box attempting to win a penalty.

"So we can open up that debate, not just the red card but on mini incidents across many games. I do defend Toni firmly on it."

Lampard will speak to Rudiger on Tuesday to talk through the racist incident that has prompted the Professional Footballers' Association to demand a government-led enquiry into an increase in racism in the sport.

He added: "I spoke to him briefly after the game, but I haven’t had a one-on-one to speak to him about the incident.

“I saw Toni’s social media post, I thought it was well put, from the heart and something that he feels very strongly about.

"I’ll speak to him today when I see him.

"I would like to think the players know I am with them on anything like this.

"I’ll have the same conversation with Toni that I had with Tammy [Abraham] after the incident earlier this year.

"And I will tell them and take the time to make sure he knows I support him, and that I support all my players in this situation."

The incidents overshadowed what was an excellent performance from Lampard's men at the weekend.

Asked if it was the best during his reign, he said: "I think it was. Going to Tottenham, in good form. The character, the fight and strength makes it the best performance.

"Hopefully within the group that gives us confidence."

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