Leroy Sane is facing around seven months on the sidelines with his anterior cruciate ligament injury, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

The Germany international was forced off after just 13 minutes of the Community Shield clash with Liverpool at Wembley last Sunday after a challenge with Trent Alexander-Arnold.

City confirmed this week that Sane will require surgery on his right ACL, although the club did not put a time frame on his recovery.

Guardiola, though, does not expect the winger to be available until at least February next year.

When asked if he had an estimate on Sane's recovery time, Guardiola said: "No, I don't know. I'm not a doctor or physio. Normally this type of injury is six, seven months; hopefully February, March he can come back with us."

Sane has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich, with head coach Niko Kovac even forced to apologise in July for publicly stating he was confident of a deal for the former Schalke star.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic refused to say whether Sane's injury meant Bayern's interest in the player was over on Thursday.

Guardiola, for his part, has few doubts over Sane's future and is simply frustrated to see another of his players struck down by an ACL problem, with Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy each having suffered similar injuries during his City tenure.

"I didn't think about him leaving," he said. The player didn't tell me 'I want to leave'. I always thought he was our player. Unfortunately, it's incredibly bad news because in three seasons we had three ACL [injuries].

"He is a young player. He will hopefully recover well. He's in the best hands possible. The people here will try to help him."

The Premier League transfer window has closed ahead of the start of the new season and managers up and down England will now take stock.

Have the rest of the top six done enough to catch Manchester City? Are the promoted sides suitably stocked to secure top-flight survival?

We will soon find out but, in the meantime, we pick out five signings that look pretty shrewd.

 

5. Pablo Fornals (West Ham)

At a reported fee of £24million, West Ham made what looks like being a clever addition.

Fornals' form fell away a little last season but he was generally a brilliant attacking threat for Villarreal after initially impressing with Malaga in LaLiga.

The relatively modest fee means he will likely have to do little to repay West Ham's faith and they could expect a huge increase on that fee if he does enough to impress an elite suitor in the coming seasons.

 

4. Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

Arsenal quite desperately needed defensive reinforcements, but it took until deadline day to get them over the line.

Tierney, at least, should be worth the wait. A consistent performer for Celtic, the Gunners have done well to bring in the Scotland full-back for a fee in the region of £25million.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon mentioned Aaron Wan-Bissaka's £50m move to Manchester United when talking up Tierney's potential price, so to pay half that sum to solve the left-back problem is a huge coup for Unai Emery's side.

3. Rodri (Manchester City)

How do you improve the treble-winning champions? Well, Pep Guardiola has finally brought in a player in an area they had long seemed light.

Fernandinho is now 34 and City struggled to replace the Brazilian when he was out of action last season. That will no longer be an issue with Rodri's arrival.

The former Atletico Madrid midfielder looks to be an excellent long-term replacement for Fernandinho and has hit the ground running, impressing in the Community Shield win over Liverpool.

2. Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham)

Tottenham did not make a single signing last season but they secured one of the best deals of the new campaign when Ndombele arrived in London.

Spurs' lack of depth in the centre of midfield was far more concerning than City's last term, with Victor Wanyama called in from the cold to partner Moussa Sissoko for stretches of their Champions League run.

Ndombele will now look to link up with Sissoko and Harry Winks in a potentially dominant midfield.

 

1. Moise Kean (Everton)

Juventus have attacked the transfer market again this year and this led to Kean being the odd man out despite an outstanding end to the 2018-19 season.

The 19-year-old scored six Juve goals from March onwards, while also netting twice for the senior Italy team in that sensational run to establish himself as a star name.

With Everton's numerous creative players, Kean should be a success at Goodison Park and belatedly replace Romelu Lukaku in the central striking role.

Andy Carroll has returned to Newcastle United on a free transfer, eight and a half years after leaving the club in a British record deal.

The striker departed his hometown club for Liverpool in a £35million move in January 2011, having scored 33 goals in 91 games for Newcastle.

Carroll, then an England international, failed to fulfil his potential at Anfield and moved on to West Ham. He spent seven years in London, including an initial loan.

But injuries further rocked Carroll's progress and he was released by West Ham this close season after starting just three Premier League matches last term.

Talk emerged of an unlikely return to Newcastle and a one-year deal was sealed on Thursday ahead of the transfer deadline.

"It feels very good. My friends and family are here, and it's the club that I support – it is home," Carroll told the club's website.

"I enjoyed the time I spent here, and hopefully I can carry on where I left off. When I left eight and a half years ago, I was scoring goals and I was enjoying my football.

"It's been a pretty tough time since then and I just want to get back to that.

"I know it's home. I've played here, I've spoken to the fans, I am a fan, and my family is here. For me to get back to where I was, I think this is the only place for me."

It is reported past fitness concerns have seen Carroll agree to lower wages, with big bonuses for appearances and goals.

The 30-year-old is likely to provide back-up to record £40m buy Joelinton.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have sent winger Jacob Murphy to Sheffield Wednesday on a season-long loan.

Jurgen Klopp's complaint over the Premier League start date is sure to infiltrate the season opener when Liverpool entertain Norwich City on Friday.

A combination of Copa America and Africa Cup of Nations commitments robbed Klopp of several stars for much of pre-season, leading the Reds boss to call for the English football calendar to be pushed back.

As the minutes tick down to that first whistle at Anfield, managers will be monitoring the condition of their players and making calls on fitness.

Do those in charge of globe-trotting squads have reason to fear sluggish starts, or can players push past heavy legs to set the league alight in the early weeks?

To consider the question, we have mined the Opta data to assess how three high-profile stars fared at the outset of the two seasons either side of last year's World Cup.

 

No concern over Kane

Harry Kane recently told reporters he feels as sharp as he has "for a long while" after a rare, relaxing off-season, which some view as the gateway to a fast start for the Tottenham striker.

Yet even in the aftermath of last year's long and emotionally exhausting run to the semi-finals in Russia, the England captain seemed to have no trouble getting right back up to speed for Spurs.

Kane scored five times over the course of the opening seven games last season, second only to a player he faced in the third-place play-off at the World Cup: Eden Hazard.

The haul was one fewer than he managed in the same period in 2017-18, which followed a tournament-free off-season.

Fitness did become an issue for Kane as a long 2018-19 campaign wore on and his workload for club and country warrants close inspection, but a longer holiday did little to boost his numbers at the beginning of the season.

Of course, not every player returned from the World Cup in the same psychological state as the tournament's Golden Boot winner.

De Gea better for the break?

David de Gea was simply not himself last season.

Confidence sapped by a poor World Cup, the Spain star dipped well below his usually impeccable standards back at Old Trafford and might have lost the number one shirt had Sergio Romero not suffered ill-timed injuries.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ultimately kept faith with Manchester United's first-choice keeper and can reasonably expect a rejuvenated De Gea to make the kind of solid start to the season he enjoyed in 2017-18.

Then, the former Atletico Madrid man posted a league-high save percentage of 88.2 through to the end of September.

Fast forward 12 months and, with international matters perhaps still on his mind, De Gea did not rank in the top 10 for that statistic across the same period.

Poorer save percentages plagued other Premier League goalkeepers in the immediate aftermath of attending the World Cup.

Manchester City's Ederson, Mat Ryan of Brighton and Hove Albion and Leicester City mainstay Kasper Schmeichel all failed to meet their respective averages after travelling to Russia.

The latter, like De Gea, failed to claw his way into the Premier League's top 10 over the first seven games last term.

Silva sets elite standard

As other players endure peaks and troughs, David Silva simply gets on with sustaining a level of excellence even in his advancing years.

The experienced midfielder started in Manchester City's triumph over Liverpool in the Community Shield last weekend and deserves a good deal of attention when the champions travel to London Stadium on Saturday.

Silva started the 2017-18 season in sublime style, registering a league-high six assists in the space of seven games and creating 23 chances in total – only team-mate Kevin De Bruyne (24) managed more.

He went on to win the title, attended the World Cup, and eased back into the Premier League by creating 20 chances before the end of September last season, more than any other player. All without real time to pause.

Could the 33-year-old help City set the pace yet again? West Ham would be safe to assume so: Silva has scored in four of his past five matches against them in all competitions.

West Ham believe teenage Portuguese defender Goncalo Cardoso can make a Premier League impact after he joined from Boavista.

The 18-year-old goes straight into Manuel Pellegrini's first-team squad after agreeing a five-year contract, with the fee involved undisclosed.

The Hammers begin their Premier League season against champions Manchester City on Saturday.

Cardoso said of his move: "I am very excited and it's a dream come true. I always dreamt of coming to England and now I'm here at this big, historic club, so I'm very happy."

West Ham director of football Mario Husillos told the club's website: "He is of course a player for the future, with a lot of potential in front of him, but we feel he is ready to be with the first-team squad from both a physical and technical point of view."

Declan Rice thinks anything less than European qualification this season should be a deemed a failure for West Ham.

Manuel Pellegrini guided the Hammers to a commendable 10th-placed finish in the Premier League last term.

The Chilean returns for a second season with a squad boosted by the acquisitions of Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals and striker Sebastien Haller, a club-record signing from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Mercurial forward Marko Arnautovic left for Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG but England international Rice insists there can be no excuses for not moving up the table.

"We have to be aiming for Europe with the squad we have now," Rice told the BBC.

"Anything below that is a failure and most of the players would say that.

"We finished 10th, but we had so many chances to finish seventh. We have to improve our away form and our consistency."

Rice, 20, will have a big say on West Ham's fortunes from the base of the midfield.

The academy product made 34 top-flight appearances last season after bouncing back from a tough first match against Liverpool at Anfield, where he was withdrawn at half-time of a 4-0 defeat.

"If you had said to me then I would have played three times for England, played nearly every game, won man-of-the-match awards and club awards, I would have said, 'No chance'," Rice said.

"I am really happy thinking about it, but I know I have to build on that this season."

New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long hopes the United Kingdom's "strange" work permit system will not deny him the chance to join West Ham.

Manuel Pellegrini is reportedly keen on signing the 26-year-old to bolster his options at centre-back.

Long started five times for the United States at the recent Gold Cup but has not yet satisfied the Football Association's requirements for endorsement of a work permit.

Premier League clubs must submit their applications before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

"As our biggest ally, it seems strange that a football player from the US can't automatically get a work visa to play in England," Long told Sky Sports.

"Every kid in the USA dreams of playing in the English Premier League.

"Not many players get the chance, so of course I would like to play there some day."

Multiple Ligue 1 clubs including Marseille have been linked to Long, the MLS Defender of the Year for 2018.

"I just signed a new contract, so the decision is up to my club and the other team," he said.

West Ham have allowed young defender Reece Oxford to leave for Bundesliga side Augsburg on a permanent deal.

Oxford, 20, became the youngest ever player to feature for West Ham in 2015, when Slaven Bilic handed him his first-team debut in a Europa League qualifier aged 16 years and 198 days.

The centre-back had been considered a major prospect for the Hammers and England at the time, making seven Premier League appearances in the 2015-16 campaign and reportedly snubbing Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City to sign a new deal.

However, he subsequently struggled to hold down a spot in the first-team squad and was underwhelming during loan spells with Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Oxford made eight Bundesliga appearances for Augsburg last season after joining in January, helping them narrowly avoid relegation.

Although a permanent move reportedly fell through initially due to disagreements over a relegation release clause, talks resumed and have been concluded with Oxford signing a four-year deal.

Manchester United could end up with not one but two Juventus attackers by the end of the transfer window.

Heavily linked to Paulo Dybala as they look to sell Romelu Lukaku, Mario Mandzukic has emerged as another target for the Red Devils.

It is going to be a busy couple of days, with the Premier League window set to slam shut on August 8.

 

TOP STORY – MANDUZKIC TO FOLLOW DYBALA TO OLD TRAFFORD?

Growing reports suggest Juventus pair Mandzukic and Dybala are being pushed to join Manchester United.

United striker Lukaku has agreed a €9million salary with Juventus, according to Goal, as the Red Devils look to sign Dybala in exchange.

Dybala is reportedly demanding €12m to make the move to Manchester, with the deal hinging on the Argentina international swapping Turin for Old Trafford.

Tuttosport, Goal and other outlets are also claiming Mandzukic has been discussed with United, in what would be a separate transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Manchester City have set Leroy Sane's asking price at €158m (£145m) as Bayern Munich look to sign the Germany international.

Real Madrid are seriously considering a move for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, Marca reports. Manchester United star Paul Pogba has emerged as a key target for Madrid. However, Zinedine Zidane's side are eyeing a €60m bid for Van de Beek.

- Champions League holders Liverpool are pondering a bid for Bordeaux forward Francois Kamano as Jurgen Klopp looks to add depth to his attacking options, according to The Sun.

- The Sun also reports that Arsenal have been put off by West Ham's £60m valuation of defender Issa Diop, who has also been linked to Manchester United. Arsenal have already signed William Saliba but the teenage defender has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign.

Radamel Falcao will not be leaving Monaco for Turkish side Galatasaray, according to Fabrizio Romano. The 33-year-old has been hampered by injuries since moving to Monaco in 2013.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United and Leicester City are £15m apart in their valuation of centre-back Harry Maguire. In one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas this off-season, United have been tipped to sign Maguire in a world-record transfer for a defender, however, the England international is yet to arrive at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are reportedly offering £70m plus add-ons, while Leicester want £85m plus add-ons.

Juventus and Marseille have made offers for Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda, claims Sport. Juve reportedly want the 19-year-old on a permanent deal, while Marseille are open to bringing him to Ligue 1 on loan.

- As Lukaku nears a switch to Juventus, FCInterNews says Inter have turned to Atalanta's Duvan Zapata. The Colombia forward, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season, is valued at €60m and Inter are willing to include Matteo Politano in exchange.

Arthur Masuaku has signed a new contract with West Ham that will keep him at the Premier League club until 2024.

The deal with the Democratic Republic of Congo international includes an option to extend for a further two years.

Masuaku joined from Olympiacos in 2016 and has gone on to make 75 appearances across all competitions, scoring once.

"I am very happy and very proud," the 25-year-old told the club's official website. "For me it was an easy decision.

"The club wanted me to stay and so I didn’t even need to think about it – it was just a matter of time."

West Ham have signed Pablo Fornals ahead of the new season, while they broke the club's transfer record for striker Sebastien Haller.

 

Former Manchester United and Juventus defender Patrice Evra has announced his retirement from football.

The 38-year-old – who made 81 appearances for France – also played for Monaco, Nice and Marseille during a glittering career, which ended with West Ham in 2018.

Evra has revealed that he has started preparations to become a coach and says he has the backing of legendary United manager Alex Ferguson.

"My playing career is officially over," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I started training for the UEFA B Coaching License in 2013, now I want to finish it and then go on to get the UEFA A license.

"In a year and a half, if everything goes well, I'll be ready to lead a team. Sir Alex Ferguson had predicted at the time that two of his players would become coaches of a high level: Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra."

Evra started his career with Italian sides Marsala and Monza before six seasons in France with Nice and Monaco. His form at the latter attracted the interest of Ferguson, who brought him to Old Trafford in 2006.

He then developed into one of Europe's best left-backs and enjoyed seven and a half fruitful years with the club, winning five Premier League titles and the 2007-08 Champions League.

Evra left the Red Devils for Juventus in 2014 and won two Serie A titles before returning to France with Marseille.

But Evra's time there ended in controversy after he kicked one of his side's supporters during the warm-up of a Europa League tie against Vitoria de Guimaraes.

He was subsequently banned by UEFA for seven months, returning to the Premier League to make five appearances for West Ham during the closing months of the 2017-18 season. 

Evra has also become famous for his exploits on social media, which included putting the leg of a raw chicken in his mouth during an Instagram video meant as a Thanksgiving message.

Frank Lampard called for Chelsea supporters to abandon a chant that features his name alongside a reference to West Ham as "the pikeys", saying: "I don't want to hear that."

The chant was heard at the Madejski Stadium as Chelsea beat Reading 4-3 in a friendly on Sunday, prompting Lampard to remind his side's fans of the work the club has done to combat prejudice.

The use of the word "pikeys" to refer to West Ham is considered a slur as historically it has been used as a term of abuse against traveller communities including the Romani.

Chelsea supporters were condemned by anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out last season following chants directed at Mohamed Salah, while four fans were suspended during investigations into the alleged racial abuse of Manchester City's Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard told reporters he didn't hear the "pikeys" song, but added: "If there's a song in the modern day or any day that has offensive words, I don't want to hear that.

"That's me saying that as a big Chelsea man who really appreciates the support I've had over the years. We don't want songs with offensive words. If the fans could sing other songs then I'll back that. We don't want to hear that.

"The club are very clear with the work we do off the pitch about anything that's offensive or prejudiced and we've made a big mark on that."

Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has missed Chelsea's pre-season preparations while recovering from surgery on his Achilles tendon, is reportedly close to signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge.

Asked whether a deal had been agreed for Bayern Munich target Hudson-Odoi, Lampard said: "I think agreed would mean signed so we're not quite there but what's very clear is the club are working towards that.

"Talks moved on very well in the last week or two but it's not done yet. The one thing that's clear to me is I want to keep him here.

"He's a player we cherish. Players who come through the academy are the present and the future of the club so we're doing everything we can to get there. I hope it's news to be confirmed soon."

Hudson-Odoi made 10 Premier League appearances last season, but Lampard indicated the teenager may struggle to be fit to face Manchester United on August 11.

"There will be a period for Callum where his injury is fine and then he needs to get fit to play in this team because it will be demanding with the way I want to play, from front to back," said Lampard.

"He's not far away and I know he's done everything he can to be fit through the summer and the medical team have been very good. We're getting close."

Pedro Obiang has left West Ham for Serie A side Sassuolo in a deal reportedly worth €9million (£8m).

Obiang, 27, joined the Hammers from Sampdoria in 2015 after showing potential in Italy, but he has been unable to hold down a first-team spot in the Premier League.

Although the Spain-born Equatorial Guinea international played 24 times in the league last term, only 12 of those outings were as a starter and he has opted for a return to Serie A.

Obiang reportedly secured a four-year deal, though Sassuolo did not confirm the length of his contract or the fee paid to sign him.

Manchester City failed to collect their first trophy of the 2019-20 season after losing the Premier League Asia Trophy final to Wolves on penalties.

Following a goalless draw in Shanghai on Saturday, Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved three penalties to seal a 3-2 shoot-out victory for Nuno Espirito Santo's side.

Pep Guardiola's men completed a domestic clean sweep of silverware last term but must wait until next month's Community Shield for a chance to add to their growing collection of medals.

City were gifted the chance to take a first-half lead when Adama Traore fouled Leroy Sane in the box and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the penalty spot.

But Raheem Sterling, who started in a central attacking role after he scored twice against West Ham to send City into the final, blazed his effort from 12 yards well over the angle of post and bar.

David Silva's 77th-minute free-kick tested Patricio, who earlier needed lengthy treatment on a facial injury, as City continued to fruitlessly probe for the breakthrough.

Conor Coady and Ilkay Gundogan were each denied in the first round of penalties, with Patricio also keeping out Silva's strike before Maximilian Kilman fired his kick wide for Wolves.

Danilo made it 1-1 after three kicks each with a low shot that squeezed under Patricio, who then saved the decisive effort from Lukas Nmecha to secure the trophy.

Earlier in the day, with new head coach Steve Bruce watching from the stands, Newcastle United beat West Ham 1-0 in the third-place play-off thanks to Japan striker Yoshinori Muto's goal.

Raheem Sterling struck a brace and Rodri made his debut as Manchester City came from behind to comfortably beat West Ham 4-1 in a pre-season friendly in China.

Mark Noble converted a 26th-minute penalty but David Silva and Lukas Nmecha, who also scored from the spot, combined to overturn City's deficit by the break.

England star Sterling took charge from there, scoring twice after his half-time introduction to give Pep Guardiola a winning start to the tour of Asia.

Club-record signing Rodri lasted almost 70 minutes on his first appearance since joining from Atletico Madrid for a reported £62.8m.

Left-back Angelino, brought back to Manchester after a season at Eredivisie side PSV, also started and it was his blatant handball that gifted Hammers captain Noble the opener.

Spanish midfielder Silva quickly equalised following a superb pass from teenage compatriot Adrian Bernabe and young forward Nmecha stroked the Premier League champions ahead after bring tripped by Angelo Ogbonna.

Two composed finishes from Sterling in the space of 13 second-half minutes completed the scoring and booked City's place alongside Wolves, 4-0 victors over Newcastle United, in Saturday's final of the Premier League Asia Trophy.

West Ham meet Newcastle in the tournament's third-place play-off before returning home to face Fulham, for which new signing Sebastian Haller should be available.

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