Rumour Has It: Liverpool lead Sancho race, Man Utd eye Lazio's Immobile

By Sports Desk June 13, 2020

Jadon Sancho's future could be resolved sooner rather than later.

The England international is tipped to return to his homeland after leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Premier League leaders Liverpool are reportedly at the front of the queue for the 20-year-old attacker.

 

TOP STORY – REDS IN POLE POSITION FOR SANCHO

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho is a player in demand, the former Manchester City youngster linked with a return to England via Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested, but Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool appear to be favourites to land the England international if Sadio Mane leaves Anfield.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims United are considering a move for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile. The Italy international has scored a Serie A-high 27 goals this season amid links to Liverpool and Napoli.

Chelsea are not close to reaching an agreement over Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, says The Athletic. Chelsea have emerged as favourites to sign Havertz, who is also reportedly wanted by United, Liverpool, Madrid and Barcelona. But Chelsea – who are set to bring RB Leipzig's Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge – are apparently nowhere near matching Leverkusen's asking price.

- The Independent reports Dortmund are set to beat United to Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. The 16-year-old is coveted by Dortmund and United, however, the Bundesliga side are viewed as the more attractive option to give the wonderkid game time.

- Could Dries Mertens leave Napoli for Barcelona? Mertens' contract is set to expire, though the Belgium forward has been tipped to sign an extension. Het Nieuwsblad says Barca could turn to the Napoli star if they are unable to prise Lautaro Martinez from Inter.

Chelsea believe Champions League football will convince Leicester City's Ben Chilwell to snub Manchester City for the London club, according to the Daily Mail. Chelsea have been linked to another full-back – France Football claims the Blues are eyeing Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, who is available on a free transfer and wanted by the likes of Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter.

- Tuttosport says Inter are targeting Nice centre-back Malang Sarr. The 21-year-old has also been linked to Pep Guardiola's City.

- According to The Telegraph, Barca are prepared to pay a portion of Philippe Coutinho's wage to help the Brazilian leave Camp Nou. Tottenham and Newcastle United are possible destinations.

Liverpool are eyeing a double transfer raid on Wolves for stars Ruben Neves and Adama Traore, says The Sun.

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  • Mourinho: I wanted to make 11 substitutions at half-time Mourinho: I wanted to make 11 substitutions at half-time

    Jose Mourinho says he wanted to make 11 changes at half-time in Tottenham's 1-0 Europa League defeat to Royal Antwerp, conceding that his side were deservedly beaten.

    Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn, Carlos Vinicius and Dele Alli, making his first start in over a month, were all taken off at the interval with Tottenham trailing to Lior Refaelov's first-half strike.

    Gareth Bale was next to make way on the hour-mark but the introduction of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane made little difference.

    And on the back of the chastening defeat in Belgium, Mourinho insists his fringe players can have no complaints about being overlooked for bigger matches.

    "I would have liked to make 11," he said of his decision to make a quadruple change at the break. "I didn't make five because I was afraid of a long 45 minutes without any changes to make. 

    "There's only one person to blame, and it is me. I had chosen the players to start. At half-time I tried to improve the situation. But it was not enough. The dynamic of the first half was there, the mentality was there and it's difficult to change. 

    "In the first half the game was very easy to play, lots of space. In the second half, we improved but then they played in a completely different way. It was very difficult. In the end, Antwerp got what they deserved and we also got what we deserved. 

    "It's a fair result. I'm always calm with it. The best team won and the worst team lost."

    Mourinho made five changes to Tottenham's starting line-up for the Group J clash ahead of a Premier League encounter with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

    Asked if any players put forward their case to start more regularly, Mourinho said: "Look, you know what our best team is. You know the same thing that I know and that everybody knows. 

    "But I think that the players, they deserve an opportunity. We have a big squad with lots of good players. It's my responsibility to give them opportunities. It's their responsibility to ask for more. 

    "Tonight, my future choices are going to be very easy. But again, there is only one responsible, not the players, it's my responsibility."

    Alli in particular struggled to get involved in the game during his 45 minutes on the field, losing possession 11 times, failing to muster any shots and attempting only 15 passes in the opposition half.

    "I don't want to analyse individually," Mourinho replied when asked about Alli's performance. "I don't like to do that, especially with you [the media]. 

    "It's fair to say that players with bad performances, they influence the team. But also a team influences individual performances. So it's not for me to individualise, and to bring some names to the table. 

    "You prefer to do that than myself. You always ask me why this player is not playing, why this player is not selected. Maybe now, you don't ask me that because you have the answer.

    "When you are a player with ambitions to be a first choice, and play in the most important matches, you have to show it.

    "That is an obvious thing. Everybody works the same, trains the same, learns the same, of course I expect. It's my entire responsibility."

    Tottenham did not manage a single attempt on target when chasing a goal in the second half, with the Belgian Pro League leaders holding on for a famous victory.

    "It's disappointing because I keep saying the team has to be a state of mind and you have to keep always every match to play well and to win," Mourinho said. "It's as simple as that. 

    "But it is more complicated, because you have to keep a certain motivational level. You have to be consistent. On Monday [against Burnley], we needed everything from every player. Of course it's frustrating we come here tonight and don't do the same."

  • AEK Athens 1-2 Leicester City: In-form Vardy strikes in Europa League victory AEK Athens 1-2 Leicester City: In-form Vardy strikes in Europa League victory

    Jamie Vardy continued his prolific goalscoring streak as Leicester City claimed a gritty 2-1 win over AEK Athens in Europa League Group G on Thursday.

    Vardy put Leicester ahead from the penalty spot with his 11th goal from his last 12 appearances in all competitions.

    Hamza Choudhury put the Foxes two up before the interval with a crisp finish before Muamer Tankovic got one back early in the second half.

    However, AEK were unable to muster an equaliser as Leicester chalked up only their third ever away victory in Europe.

    Leicester were awarded a penalty when Vardy went to ground following a touch by AEK goalkeeper Panagiotis Tsintotas after being put through by James Maddison.

    Tsintotas almost made amends when he got a hand to Vardy's spot-kick after he guessed correctly and dived to his right, but the ferocity of the strike saw it squeeze over the line.

    The alert Tsintotas then made a smart save at his near post shortly afterwards to deny Cengiz Under a goal on his first start for the Foxes.

    Brendan Rodgers' side were almost punished for some sloppy play at the back as first Kasper Schmeichel saved from Marko Livaja's header and then moments later the Croatian striker dragged a shot wide.

    However, the Foxes added a second shortly before half-time when AEK allowed a Maddison corner to bounce in the box and the unmarked Choudhury adjusted his body at the back post to stylishly whip the ball home.

    AEK pulled one back three minutes into the second half with a goal of equal quality through substitute Tankovic, who beat the Leicester offside trap and struck a low first-time shot beyond Schmeichel.

    Tankovic found himself in a similar position a couple of minutes later but this time he sent his effort over the crossbar leaving Schmeichel furious with his defence.

    His words had an impact as Leicester tightened up from that point and saw out the rest of the contest without further trouble.

  • Royal Antwerp 1-0 Tottenham: Alli and Bale hooked as sloppy Spurs suffer setback Royal Antwerp 1-0 Tottenham: Alli and Bale hooked as sloppy Spurs suffer setback

    Jose Mourinho's big-name substitutes failed to save Tottenham from a 1-0 Europa League defeat at Royal Antwerp on Thursday.

    Dele Alli and Gareth Bale both came into the Spurs side but neither lasted an hour, the former withdrawn among four half-time changes as Mourinho's men trailed to Lior Refaelov's 29th-minute strike.

    The visiting coach turned first to Son Heung-min and then to Harry Kane - replacing Bale 13 minutes later - yet the in-form pair could not come up with a leveller despite a slightly improved second-half showing.

    Again the pre-match optimism prompted by beating Burnley on Monday dissipated, with Tottenham too often this season following big victories with inexplicable setbacks.

    While Spurs toiled from the outset, the Belgian Pro League leaders seized the biggest opportunity of the first half as Dieumerci Mbokani ripped the ball away from Ben Davies, raced towards goal and squared for Refaelov to control and lash into the net.

    Despite the raft of Mourinho changes, Antwerp twice could have increased their advantage early in the second half.

    More slack play - this time from Harry Winks - let Refaelov in, prompting a sublime recovery tackle from Davinson Sanchez, before Mbokani somehow missed the target when found by Koji Miyoshi with the goal at his mercy.

    Pressure increased on the Antwerp goal, but they were soon in again on the counter, only for Simen Juklerod to fire high into the stands with only Hugo Lloris to beat.

    Although that miss kept Tottenham in the match, they could not create a presentable opportunity for Son or Kane as Mourinho lost for the first time in 16 Europa League matches - including qualifiers.

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