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."

Liverpool thrashed second-placed Leicester City 4-0 to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 13 points with a game in hand.

Club World Cup hero Roberto Firmino scored either side of a James Milner penalty and Trent Alexander-Arnold capped a phenomenal display by completing the scoring at the King Power Stadium.

Manchester United were also big winners, coming from behind to beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford, while elsewhere in the Premier League two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the result of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Spurs moved back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a result repeated in the south of the capital as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard, but better news for Solskjaer

Leicester's designs on a title push have been checked by defeats to Manchester City and now Liverpool, who have won 17 of their 18 Premier League games this season.

They last lost in the competition on January 3 and Alexander-Arnold, who set up both of Firmino's goals, gave an awesome demonstration of the quality at their disposal.

By contrast, Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour. Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time.

Spurs were facing a fresh setback in their game against Brighton when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick, but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his Manchester United turn on the style after going behind to an early Matty Longstaff goal against Newcastle.

As memories of a painful 1-0 defeat to the Magpies in October came flooding back, the hosts found an extra gear at Old Trafford to turn the match around, with Martial, Greenwood and Rashford showing a clinical touch.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

The Clarets are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Palace had a day to remember against West Ham despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Southampton shocked Chelsea and Manchester United thrashed Newcastle on Boxing Day, while elsewhere in the Premier League two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the result of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Manchester United swept aside Newcastle United 4-1 with two goals from Anthony Martial, who also struck the post, and one each from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

Spurs moved back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a result repeated in the south of the capital as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard, but better news for Solskjaer

Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour.

Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time and Chelsea got what they deserved after bearing no more than a passing resemblance to the side that outplayed Tottenham at the weekend.

Spurs were facing a fresh setback in their game against Brighton when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick, but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his Manchester United turn on the style after going behind to an early Matty Longstaff goal against Newcastle. As memories of a painful 1-0 defeat to the Magpies in October came flooding back, the hosts found an extra gear at Old Trafford to turn the match around, with Martial, Greenwood and Rashford showing a clinical touch.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

Burnley are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Palace had a day to remember against West Ham despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Southampton shocked Chelsea with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day as two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way in the Premier League.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the story of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Spurs are back to within three points of their London rivals and the top four after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a feat repeated in the south of the capital later in the day as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard

Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour.

Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time and Chelsea got what they deserved after bearing no more than a passing resemblance to the side that outplayed Tottenham at the weekend.

Spurs were facing a further setback when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

Burnley are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Ahead of Manchester United's later kick-off at home to Newcastle United, Palace moved up to eighth despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Martin Peters, who was part of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup on home soil, has died aged 76.

The midfielder scored England's second in a 4-2 final win over West Germany at Wembley, joining West Ham team-mate Geoff Hurst – who famously grabbed a hat-trick in a thrilling game that went to extra time – on the scoresheet.

Peters had helped the Hammers lift the European Cup Winners' Cup the previous year and spent over a decade with the London club, eventually leaving in 1970 after over 300 appearances.

His departure to Tottenham made transfer history, as he became Britain's first £200,000 player in a deal that also saw Jimmy Greaves move in the opposite direction.

Nicknamed 'The Ghost' for his ability to get into scoring positions unnoticed, Peters lifted the League Cup twice with Spurs, with a UEFA Cup triumph in 1972 sandwiched between those triumphs.

He also played for Norwich City and Sheffield United, where he had a brief spell in charge in 1981, and made 67 appearances for England, scoring 20 goals during his international career.

"It is with profound sadness that we announce that Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at 4am this morning," a statement from Peters' family, released via West Ham's website on Saturday, read.

"A beloved husband, dad and grandad, and a kind, gentle and private man, we are devastated by his loss but so very proud of all that he achieved and comforted by the many happy memories we shared. 

"We will be making no further comment and kindly ask that the privacy of our family is respected at this extremely difficult time."

Manchester United could be set to land the most sought-after striker in Europe.

According to a new report, Erling Haaland has identified the Red Devils as his preferred choice from a long list of suitors containing Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

The teenager met with the two Bundesliga clubs in midweek, but United appear to have moved to the front of the queue.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND SENDS MESSAGE TO SOLSKJAER

Salzburg star Haaland has told compatriot Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he wants to move to Old Trafford, according to the Mirror.

United have been linked with the 19-year-old for several months and the Norwegian connection could lead him to the Premier League.

However, Haaland's high-profile agent Mino Raiola reportedly wants to keep all options on the table as the January transfer window moves nearer.

The striker's father, Alf-Inge, was said to have visited United's training ground in November, while Haaland held talks with Bundesliga teams Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig this week.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter's firm interest in Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa could lead to a transfer tug-of-war with Serie A title rivals Juventus, according to CalcioMercato.

- The Nerazzurri have been linked Alessandro Florenzi, but Atalanta are now in pole position to sign the Italy international if he leaves Roma in January, says Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Rest time might be at a minimum for Kylian Mbappe when the club season winds down. According to Le Parisien, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet will give the Paris Saint-Germain star the chance to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which begin less than two weeks after the Euro 2020 final.

- Chelsea are considering launching a January bid for Leeds United loanee Ben White, claims the Daily Mail. Brighton and Hove Albion, White's parent club, are reportedly willing to accept offers of £25million.

- Mundo Deportivo suggests LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona are monitoring Thiago Alcantara's situation amid rumours the midfielder has become unhappy at Bayern Munich. Thiago swapped Barca for Bayern in 2013.

- West Ham's victory over Southampton will not be enough to save Manuel Pellegrini from the sack, says the Daily Star. Carlo Ancelotti and David Moyes are among the possible replacements.

Everton are set to make the first move for Carlo Ancelotti.

The Toffees will reportedly begin talks with the Italian following his departure from Napoli on Tuesday.

Ancelotti was sacked three hours after a 4-0 win over Genk, which confirmed the Serie A club's place in the Champions League knockout rounds.

 

TOP STORY – EVERTON TO RIVAL ARSENAL FOR ANCELOTTI

Everton will waste no time in opening contract talks with free agent Ancelotti in the wake of his Napoli exit, according to Sky Sports.

Managerless Arsenal are also said to be considering the 60-year-old former Chelsea, Milan and Real Madrid boss as a possible replacement for Unai Emery.

But the Toffees could get the jump on their Premier League rivals after Shanghai SIPG's Vitor Pereira pulled out of the race to succeed Marco Silva, although David Moyes reportedly remains an option to take charge on an interim basis.

Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times as a coach and secured league titles in England, France, Germany and Italy.

ROUND-UP

- Napoli could announce the appointment of Gennaro Gattuso on a short-term contract as soon as Wednesday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Ex-Everton manager Moyes and former Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton are in line to replace Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham if the Hammers lose to Southampton on Saturday, says The Mirror.

- Manchester United are considering Ajax's Donny van de Beek and Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid as they prepare for Paul Pogba's end-of-season exit, reports the Daily Mail.

- The Daily Mail also claims Leicester City have opened contract talks with rumoured Manchester City target Caglar Soyuncu, who has been in good form this season.

- Barcelona have cooled their interest in Lautaro Martinez due to Inter's demand for €100million, according to ESPN.

Freddie Ljungberg always knew it would take Nicolas Pepe time to find his feet in the Premier League - so he was thrilled to see the Arsenal forward turn on the style.

Signed in August from Lille for an Arsenal club record fee of £72million, the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international has struggled to make the transition to the English top flight.

However, a sparkling goal and an assist from Pepe against West Ham on Monday helped interim boss Ljungberg guide Arsenal to a 3-1 win at London Stadium.

Pepe's all-round performance impressed Ljungberg, with the former Gunners midfielder acknowledging the price tag for Pepe means there is an expectation that he should consistently deliver.

"People always ask me about Nico and I try to explain," Ljungberg said. "He comes from the French league to the Premier League, in my opinion, the best league in the world, it's a lot faster and a lot harder.

"He needs to adapt and people put pressure on him and it's not easy, but I thought what he did [on Monday], he worked really hard offensively and defensively and showed his quality.

"I'm so pleased for him because at the same time he was a big, big buy for the club and there comes pressure with that as well."

Ljungberg predicted Pepe would "fall asleep with a smile on his face" after his goal, which was sandwiched by strikes from team-mates Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal's goals came in a nine-minute burst midway through the second half, after Angelo Ogbonna gave West Ham a 38th-minute lead.

It meant that for the first time since beating Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge in October 2011, the Gunners managed to win a Premier League away game in which they were trailing at half-time.

Victory lifted Arsenal to ninth place - two points off Manchester United in fifth - and left West Ham struggling in 16th.

Freddie Ljungberg identified belief as the key to a turnaround that ended a seven-game Premier League winless run for Arsenal after they beat West Ham 3-1.

With Ljungberg having overseen a draw with Norwich City and a home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in his first two games since replacing Unai Emery on an interim basis, it looked as if he was set for further disappointment when Angelo Ogbonna put West Ham ahead in the 38th minute.

Arsenal lost Hector Bellerin in the warm-up on Monday and Kieran Tierney suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, but the Gunners bounced back from those setbacks and a lifeless first-half display to get back to winning ways against their London rivals.

Gabriel Martinelli's first Premier League goal levelled matters and Nicolas Pepe bent home a stunning effort before teeing up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal scored three in the space of nine minutes.

The win moves Arsenal up to ninth in the table, seven points off the top four, and afterwards Ljungberg told Sky Sports: "It means so much for the players. They have been living under enormous pressure and you see it in their performances.

"I could feel West Ham getting tired and our passing getting crisper. The boys did amazing.

"The boys stepped up in the second half. They worked so hard and that's something we talked about.

"This is down to the players. I'm just there to guide them.

"You can see the players have been a bit low and you see in the dressing room the relief and how happy they are. We enjoy tonight and we continue working tomorrow. We have to work on our belief - that was the difference."

Mesut Ozil and Aubameyang echoed the sentiments of Ljungberg post-game.

"Especially in the second half, we showed what we can do on the pitch if we believe in ourselves," Ozil said to Sky Sports. "We deserved to win and we are now happy, especially for our supporters."

Aubameyang added: "At half-time, Freddie told us to play with a higher tempo. It was tough but we have the quality in the squad, and if we believe in ourselves, we can go forward and win games.

"We will take this second half as an example for the rest of the season."

Arsenal ended a seven-match Premier League winless run as they came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 and give Freddie Ljungberg his first victory as interim head coach.

The sacking of Unai Emery had not yielded the expected upturn in fortunes most would have expected, with Ljungberg overseeing a 2-2 draw at Norwich City and a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in his first two games in charge.

It looked set to be another chastening evening for Ljungberg when Angelo Ogbonna put West Ham ahead in the 38th minute at London Stadium.

Arsenal's display had been limp and lifeless in the first half but Gabriel Martinelli's goal on his full Premier League debut sparked them into life.

A spectacular Nicolas Pepe strike made it 2-1 and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted a cross from the former Lille star for the Gunners' third goal in the space of nine minutes, a blitz Manuel Pellegrini's struggling Hammers never recovered from.

The early omens for Arsenal were worrying as they lost Hector Bellerin to injury in the warm-up.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles took his place in the starting XI and, having been deprived of one full-back, the Gunners then saw another forced off as Kieran Tierney suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by Sead Kolasinac.

There was further frustration for the visitors when Mesut Ozil headed over from point-blank range from Aubameyang's left-wing cross.

The impact of that miss was exacerbated as Ogbonna broke the deadlock.

Arsenal failed to clear a Snodgrass corner and Pablo Fornals whipped a right-wing delivery in for Ogbonna, whose effort deflected in off Maitland-Niles and was allowed to stand despite it appearing to come off his shoulder.

Ljungberg's men had offered little to suggest a fightback was on the cards but, against the run of play, they levelled matters as Martinelli got off the mark in the Premier League.

Kolasinac did excellently to pick out the Brazilian, who found the bottom-right corner with a confident first-time finish, and six minutes later the turnaround was completed in stunning fashion.

Pepe cut in from the right and bent an unstoppable strike into the far corner before then lofting a cross into the box for Aubameyang to fire an acrobatic strike into the ground and beyond David Martin, who, despite getting a hand to the ball, could not keep out a shot that proved the telling blow in the contest.

Rafael Benitez says he would like to go back to the Premier League in the future but insists there is "no chance" of an imminent return.

The Spaniard left Newcastle United following the expiry of his contract at the end of June before joining Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang – a move Magpies managing director, Lee Charnley, said was motivated by money.

Everton and Arsenal are in the market for new managers after recently sacking Marco Silva and Unai Emery respectively, while West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is under intense pressure.

Benitez says he remains open to a return to the English top flight but has no intention of leaving China just yet.

"Obviously in the future I would like to come back to the Premier League, but at the moment I must be very clear, there is no chance I will come back now," he told Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

"I am happy, really pleased, they trust me, we have a lot of staff working on a big project.

"We want to leave a legacy, it's a challenge for me, and I'm learning a lot, it's a great experience, and I'm quite happy at the moment."

Benitez enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, guiding them to Champions League success in 2005, before leading Chelsea to the Europa League as caretaker boss in 2013.

Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg plans to rely on experienced players during his time in charge and is adamant a top-four finish in the Premier League should not be considered beyond them yet.

The Gunners travel to West Ham on Monday having not won any of their past nine matches in all competitions, with their most recent fixture a 2-1 loss at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.

They have taken 19 points from 15 league games this season and are 10 points adrift of the Champions League spots, while Manchester United and Tottenham look considerably more fluent than the Gunners in their respective bids to reach the top four.

But Ljungberg, who replaced Unai Emery at the end of November, does not think Arsenal can be written off as top-four challengers yet.

"No, I don't think we should stop talking about the top four," Ljungberg told reporters.

"But for us it's to focus on what we're doing here now, not looking up, down, here, sideways [in terms of the table], we just need to work on our own game and our own confidence."

One element of Emery's tenure that did attract praise was his willingness to use the team's younger players, though Ljungberg is putting the onus on the squad's more experienced stars to taking a leading role in improving their position.

When asked whether he is building his team around Mesut Ozil, a player who found game time hard to come by under Emery, Ljungberg said: "Mesut is a very good footballer. When he's on the ball, he can do things, things happen, but we have a big squad, so I haven't said I'm going to build the squad [around] certain players.

"I wanted to play the experienced players [against Brighton] when it's such a difficult situation as it is at the moment.

"To put down all the younger players, [and expect them] to change the future of the football club [would not be fair], so I've made a conscious decision to put down the more experienced players to take that responsibility and change the games."

Christian Eriksen is back on Manchester United's transfer radar.

The Red Devils are said to be preparing a January bid for the Tottenham midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Eriksen reportedly turned down a move to Old Trafford earlier this year.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED REIGNITE ERIKSEN INTEREST

Could Jose Mourinho unintentionally do his old employers another favour?

Tottenham lost to United in midweek and are now about to receive an offer for playmaker Eriksen from their Premier League rivals, reports The Mirror.

The Denmark international has not featured in the starting XI since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino and, though he prefers a move abroad, might have a decision to make when the transfer window reopens.

Seemingly not convinced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side a few months ago, Eriksen can sign a pre-contract agreement with clubs overseas from January.

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City are set to hand in-demand manager Brendan Rodgers a bumper new deal in a bid to end interest from Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

- David Moyes wants a long-term commitment from Everton before agreeing to a second stint in charge at Goodison Park, says The Sun.

- Contrary to recent reports, ESPN suggests Patrick Vieira is not at the top of Arsenal's shortlist of potential managers.

- Error-riddled Roberto's ill-fated period as a Premier League goalkeeper could soon be over. The Guardian reports West Ham will look to sell or loan the Spaniard in January, with Turkey a likely destination, as they pursue stronger competition for the injured Lukasz Fabianski.

- Serie A side  Milan have offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic a contract that could run for 18 months and will demand an answer from his agent Mino Raiola next week, claims CalcioMercato.

- Diego Simeone wants Atletico Madrid to prioritise signing a striker over Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to AS. The Spanish newspaper links Krzysztof Piatek, Andrea Belotti of Torino, Chelsea centre-forward Olivier Giroud and Valencia's Rodrigo with moves to the Wanda Metropolitano.

- Staying with Atletico and the Rojiblancos have entered the race for rumoured Juventus, Inter and Borussia Dortmund target Sandro Tonali, says CalcioMercato. Tonali, 19, is in his third season in Brescia's first-team squad.

Liverpool blew Everton away in the Merseyside derby and Jose Mourinho suffered his first loss as Tottenham head coach on his return to Manchester United.

Jurgen Klopp's Premier League leaders have an eight-point cushion at the top after a 5-2 win at Anfield on Wednesday that increases the pressure on the Toffees' beleaguered boss Marco Silva.

Leicester remain the Reds' nearest challengers after Brendan Rodgers' side saw off his old club Watford 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison.

Chelsea, Southampton and Wolves completed a clean sweep of home wins with victories over Aston Villa, Norwich City and West Ham respectively.

 

Divock the derby hero again

Divock Origi and Sadio Mane were the stars for Liverpool as their 5-2 victory in the Merseyside derby left stricken Silva surely on the verge of losing his job.

A remarkable first half saw six goals – Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri helping the Reds race ahead, though Michael Keane pulled Everton back into contention.

Another for Origi – his fifth Merseyside derby strike – restored Liverpool's two-goal advantage with Mane slotting home their fourth before Richarlison reduced the deficit again.

That effort failed to lift Everton and Georginio Wijnaldum delivered a likely final blow to Silva as counterpart Klopp claimed his 100th Premier League win.

Unhappy return for Mourinho

Spurs had won three games out of three under Mourinho but fell to a 2-1 loss away to Manchester United with Marcus Rashford scoring both goals for the Red Devils.

Rashford scored either side of a superb individual effort from Dele Alli to take his Premier League tally to nine for the season, with Spurs well off the pace.

United move into the top six, leapfrogging Mourinho's men, thanks to a much-needed victory that ends their run of three matches without a win in all competitions.

Abraham nets again for Blues

Tammy Abraham returned from injury to help sink former club Aston Villa as Chelsea got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory on John Terry's return to Stamford Bridge.

Back from a hip problem, Abraham opened the scoring with a first-half header and provided a chested assist that allowed Mason Mount to volley a superb winner after Trezeguet's fortuitous equaliser.

Willian excelled throughout on the right flank and Chelsea, who had lost their past two league games to Manchester City and West Ham, should have won by more against opponents who had Blues legend Terry on the bench as assistant manager.

Penalty drama for Leicester

A 2-0 home win against managerless Watford was routine for Leicester, but striker Vardy was booked for diving when he seemed to be clearly fouled, despite the incident being checked by the VAR.

Vardy later converted from the spot, scoring for the seventh straight league game, and Leicester's winning streak also stretched to seven matches in the league after Maddison netted deep into added time.

Elsewhere, Southampton moved out of the bottom three at Everton's expense with Ralph Hasenhuttl's side sealing successive home wins with first-half strikes by Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand setting up a 2-1 victory over Norwich at St. Mary's.

Wolves are fifth after goals from Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone downed West Ham 2-0. Nuno Espirito Santo's side are now unbeaten in 10 Premier League matches.

Paul Pogba remains on the sidelines but his club future is at the centre of the rumour mill.

According to a new report, Zinedine Zidane wants the Manchester United midfielder "at all costs".

Links between Pogba and Real Madrid have long been established, but it seems not all in the Spanish capital are keen on the move.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE WANTS TO POACH POGBA

Zidane views compatriot Pogba as "the final piece of the puzzle" for Madrid and has implored the club to secure his signature, reports Marca.

The Los Blancos boss reportedly made Pogba's arrival his only demand when he returned to the Santiago Bernabeu in March for a second stint as head coach.

However, Madrid executives are said to be sceptical about splashing at least €120million for a player who would potentially take a first-team spot from the improving Federico Valverde.

Zidane and Pogba had a "chance" encounter in Dubai in October, where the 26-year-old was undergoing warm-weather rehabilitation on his injured ankle.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain have been impressed with Mauro Icardi and will look to tie the on-loan striker to a permanent deal, claims CalcioMercato. The Ligue 1 champions can reportedly land the Inter outcast for €70m.

- Arsenal, West Ham and any other Premier League teams aiming to appoint Rafael Benitez would have to pay £20m to release him from his Dalian Yifang contract, says the Daily Mail.

- Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo could pull the plug on a bid for Gabriel Barbosa after growing frustrated with the forward's reluctance to finalise the arrangement, according to Fox Sports Brazil. 'Gabigol' is on loan from Inter and reportedly coverts a second chance in Europe.

- CalcioMercato reports Milan are plotting to sign PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa when his contract expires at the end of the season.

- Jose Mourinho's Tottenham hope to capture Norwich City centre-back Ben Godfrey in January for around £25m, reports Football Insider.

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