Rumour Has It: Barcelona contact Pochettino over coaching job

By Sports Desk January 13, 2020

Barcelona appear ready to turn to their next coaching target as the LaLiga giants eye Mauricio Pochettino.

Ernesto Valverde is under enormous pressure after the Supercopa de Espana semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid, but Xavi has reportedly turned down the job – for now.

Amid contrasting reports over Barca's next decision, they may be lining up a move for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA CONTACT POCHETTINO OVER COACHING JOB

Barcelona contacted former Tottenham manager Pochettino to be their next boss, according to RAC1.

It comes as widespread reports in Spain say Al Sadd boss and former Barcelona star Xavi turned down the position.

Meanwhile, Catalunya Radio reported Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman also rejected the opportunity.

After a meeting on Sunday, Barca decided to stick with Valverde for now, according to Sport.

ROUND-UP

- Amid reports Manchester United had agreed to terms with Bruno Fernandes, the Mirror says the Premier League club are set to bid £65million (€76.1m) for the Sporting CP midfielder this week.

- Tottenham are set to sign Benfica's Gedson Fernandes as further details about a possible move emerge. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports Spurs will sign the Portugal international on loan with an option to buy for between £42.7m (€50m) and £51.2m (€60m) in 2021.

- Jerome Boateng continues to be linked with a Bayern Munich exit. Milan are ready to challenge Arsenal for the defender, according to Sky Germany.

- Coming out of contract at season's end, it appears Layvin Kurzawa's future is away from Paris Saint-Germain. L'Equipe reports the left-back – who has made just five Ligue 1 starts this campaign – recently rejected Inter but the Serie A club remain hopeful of signing the 27-year-old this month.

- Juventus are looking to the future. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A champions are keeping an eye on teenage Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and AZ forward Calvin Stengs.

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  • Rumour Has It: PSG yet to begin contract talks with Neymar Rumour Has It: PSG yet to begin contract talks with Neymar

    Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly yet to begin talks with Neymar over a new deal.

    The Brazil international was linked with a return to Barcelona before the start of this season, but ended up staying in Paris.

    Yet after claims last month that Neymar wanted a new deal at PSG, it is reported no negotiations have been held just yet.

     

    TOP STORY – PSG YET TO BEGIN CONTRACT TALKS WITH NEYMAR

    PSG and Neymar are yet to meet to discuss a possible extension, according to Le Parisien.

    Neymar, 28, is contracted to PSG until 2022, but there have been no talks over a stay beyond then.

    The forward is expected to return from injury in PSG's Champions League last-16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

    ROUND-UP

    - Barcelona appear to have found their replacement for the injured Ousmane Dembele. Sport reports the LaLiga giants have decided to pay Leganes forward Martin Braithwaite's release clause of €18million. Braithwaite has six goals in 24 LaLiga games this season.

    - Bayern Munich are lining up a replacement for Jerome Boateng. France Football reports RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, who has a €60m release clause, has become a priority for Bayern.

    - With Champions League football next season slipping away from Roma, the Serie A club may be unable to sign Chris Smalling. Corriere dello Sport reports Tottenham, Everton and Juventus are interested in Smalling, with Manchester United wanting €20m (£16.7m) for the 30-year-old.

    - Two of Arsenal 18-year-olds are apparently attracting interest from Liverpool. Football Insider reports the runaway Premier League leaders are looking at Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.

    - Roma are considering a move for RB Leipzig right-back Lukas Klostermann, according to CalcioMercato. Klostermann, 23, has been capped eight times by Germany.

  • Lampard laments Chelsea's missed chances Lampard laments Chelsea's missed chances

    Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard lamented his side's failure to take their chances after a 2-0 loss to Manchester United on Monday.

    Goals from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire saw Chelsea's winless run in the Premier League extend to four games.

    Chelsea hold just a one-point advantage in fourth, ahead of Tottenham, while seventh-placed United are within three.

    Lampard wants to see his team capitalise on their opportunities, with their tally of 43 Premier League goals well below the top three of Liverpool (61), Manchester City (65) and Leicester City (54).

    "I don't like losing games," he told a news conference.

    "I don't like the way we are losing games because we're losing games that clearly, particularly at home, where we have had big share of possession, big chances in the game, lots of shots on goal, at goal, around goal and we're not finishing them and it is a reality that is getting clearer all the time.

    "We are not getting enough goals from striker areas. Tammy [Abraham] had his period earlier in the season, now we are not getting enough. We're not getting enough goals from wide areas. That is a fact.

    "It is hard to win games. You can dominate them as much as you want, but this Premier League not many teams can keep clean sheets week in, week out.

    "You have to score goals to give you a feeling of superiority in the game and we start a lot of games very well. I can hardly ever really look at the team and go 'started slow, bit sloppy today'. There was a couple of games but not that many."

    While Abraham has scored 13 Premier League goals this season, he has just one in 2020, while Christian Pulisic – who alongside Mason Mount has five – is out injured.

    Lampard added: "We start pretty well but if you don't score you leave teams in the game.

    "Obviously we made a couple of silly moments in terms of allowing them headers in our box, particularly the set-piece that obviously changed the result."

    Chelsea are next in action with a crucial clash at home to Tottenham on Saturday.

  • Fernandes' set-pieces among best I've seen – Solskjaer Fernandes' set-pieces among best I've seen – Solskjaer

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Bruno Fernandes' performance against Chelsea and said the Manchester United midfielder's set-pieces were "top class".

    Fernandes' superb corner was headed in by Harry Maguire in the second half of United's 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on Monday.

    Solskjaer was delighted with the midfielder, who arrived at United for a reported £47million in January, and hailed his set-piece ability.

    "He's a top player, he wants to get on the ball," the United manager told a news conference.

    "But at set-ball delivery he's top class, one of the better ones I've seen. And Harry, we know if he can get a run on the ball he's dangerous and he got the goal."

    The win, set up by Anthony Martial's first-half header, moved United into seventh and within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

    But Solskjaer still wants to see more from his team, who visit Club Brugge in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday.

    "Of course we want to be in the Champions League next year, and we've given ourselves a chance by this result, but we know that we need to improve," he said.

    "On creating chances, scoring goals. We showed a clean sheet again today, a foundation to build from.

    "We're going to work hard, recover now because we've got a game on Thursday. So thanks for the help, all the recovery we get in Europe."

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