Rumour Has It: Chelsea target Haaland, Man Utd and City circle Grealish

By Sports Desk December 23, 2020

Erling Haaland is Chelsea's number one transfer target, while a pair of Premier League giants are lining up January bids for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has netted 23 goals in 23 games since moving to the Bundesliga in January, leading to him reportedly being installed as Frank Lampard's top target for the off-season.

Will Haaland make the move to Chelsea?


TOP STORIES – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been identified as Chelsea's top transfer target along with West Ham's Declan Rice, according to Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante.

Haaland has been linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

But Haaland is wanted in London as Chelsea prepare for a clear-out, with seven players being made available – Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses.

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  • European Super League: Breakaway competition appears to crumble as Chelsea, Man City lead reported exodus European Super League: Breakaway competition appears to crumble as Chelsea, Man City lead reported exodus

    The European Super League seems to have crumbled before it started, with four of the 12 teams reportedly set to withdraw.

    News broke on Tuesday evening, European time, that Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were preparing to pull out of the breakaway competition, which was announced amid much furore on Sunday. 

    The Premier League's "big six" plus sides from Italy and Spain confirmed their intention to form a new tournament, which would not feature promotion or relegation. 

    It is a move that has drawn widespread criticism from across the game and beyond, with governing bodies, governments, fellow football clubs, players and managers condemning the action.

    After huge protests outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their game against Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea were reportedly the first team to crack, with rumours of their imminent withdrawal appearing in several credible publications.

    The scheduled 20:15 GMT kick-off of Chelsea v Brighton was then put back by 15 minutes.

    Similar reports followed regarding City, whose manager Pep Guardiola confirmed his opposition to the proposal while previewing Wednesday's meeting with Aston Villa.

    Meanwhile, reports in Spain suggested LaLiga giants Barca and Atleti had also informed organisers of their intention to leave the competition, within 24 hours of Real Madrid supremo Florentino Perez giving an extensive interview in defence of the Super League that in hindsight looks to have done little to help its cause.

    It remains to be seen if any punishment will be handed out to the clubs. UEFA, with the backing of FIFA, vowed to deal harsh sanctions to the teams involved, while in England, the Premier League promised to do "everything in its power" to stop the breakaway from coming to fruition. 

  • European Super League: Trezeguet says domestic leagues 'will lose their charm' European Super League: Trezeguet says domestic leagues 'will lose their charm'

    David Trezeguet believes domestic leagues will "lose their charm" and suffer huge damage as a result of the European Super League.

    The 12 founding clubs of the breakaway competition have indicated they want to remain in their domestic leagues, despite threats of severe punishments.

    But World Cup winner Trezeguet, whose former club Juventus are among the group, thinks the excitement will disappear from the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A.

    He also fears for the Champions League's lustre should UEFA attempt to continue with it if the European Super League is ultimately launched.

    Trezeguet said to Stats Perform News: "From an emotional side it is nice to conquer your right to play in the Champions League and Europa League on the pitch. 

    "At the moment in Italy we discuss if Juventus can qualify, if Napoli can overtake them, if Lazio can get closer. 

    "All these everyday chats will be lost because with the Super League you already know those three clubs [Juventus, Inter and Milan] will be in and maybe somebody else will be added.

    "Although they clearly stated they would go on, domestic leagues will lose their charm.

    "You lose the charm of understanding clubs' goals... who aims at Champions League? Who at the Europa League? And other goals.

    "And the Champions League will lose these 12 big clubs who boast a big enchantment on marketing and fans." 

    But Trezeguet understands why top clubs would be tempted by the huge financial rewards on offer after the coronavirus pandemic.

    He added: "Read the economic value of the Super League and what Florentino Perez said [about huge financial losses]. If these are the losses, they are huge and they are due to the pandemic. 

    "My opinion is divided. They even said they don't want to give up on other [clubs] - this is yet to be verified. 

    "If you read those figures, you see a big leap in quality [of finances] for these 12 clubs but whether they will help the others is yet to be seen. 

    "But from an emotional point of view I don't agree because you lose the principle of qualifying on the pitch. 

    "We all know for sure that football has become a big business but lest we forget the sporting side of this game. 

    "Earning your titles, playing a high-level season that makes you qualify for European cups - this is a job well done. 

    "I know these big clubs are used to playing at such levels.

    "But from an emotional viewpoint I am perplexed because you already know these three clubs [in Italy or Spain] will be automatically qualified regardless of their seasonal path in the league."

    Trezeguet foresees a lengthy political battle ahead and is unsure whether players and fans will ultimately be listened to.

    He added: "It will be a long bureaucratic clash and it is not a surprise. The Super League on one hand and the UEFA on the other have been very clear. 

    "They have both their ideas and formats and the economic part should not be forgotten since these figures [for losses] are huge.

    "First we have to see if they will be able to do the Super League as I was watching Leeds v Liverpool and already you can see fans were emotional. 

    "And the UEFA president gave a speech that was more emotional than concrete about treason, wrong ideas, phone calls unreturned.

    "But it is true that we are entering in a critical moment. UEFA and FIFA were straightforward on this from a sporting point of view. 

    "Politicians in very important football countries like France, Germany and England have opposed the Super League. 

    "Even in Italy and Spain the prime minister and the ministers have backed UEFA rather than the Super League. Now it is politics.

    "The players will be the least listened to - this Super League has been decided without even consulting the players or the fans. 

    "What has struck me is fans and players coming forward very clearly against it. Will it go on regardless? We'll see."

  • European Super League: Chelsea reportedly considering U-turn as Cech pleads with protesting fans European Super League: Chelsea reportedly considering U-turn as Cech pleads with protesting fans

    Reports on Tuesday claimed Chelsea are set to withdraw from the breakaway European Super League as fans protested outside Stamford Bridge.

    The Blues were among 12 clubs – six of them from the Premier League – to announce their involvement in a lucrative new competition on Sunday.

    The launch of the Super League would see Chelsea and their allies no longer enter the Champions League, instead guaranteed a place in the alternative tournament.

    Proposals have brought condemnation from many in the football world due to their anti-competitive nature, with only limited spaces for rival teams regardless of the performances of the 12 founding clubs.

    The 14 Premier League teams not invited to the Super League voted "unanimously and vigorously" against the plans on Tuesday.

    Super League clubs have so far publicly remained resolute in their pursuit of the competition, but widespread reports have claimed Chelsea are preparing a request to withdraw from it.

    Those stories came as club great Petr Cech sought to negotiate with supporters blocking the Chelsea team's access to Stamford Bridge.

    Fans descended on the stadium ahead of the league match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

    The crowd held banners and chanted in opposition of the Super League, before the arriving team bus found its path to the stadium blocked.

    Former goalkeeper Cech, now the technical and performance advisor, approached fans in a bid to clear space and was filmed calling for calm.

    "Let people sort this out," he could be heard saying. "This is not okay. You are harming the team.

    "Let the people in. Let the bus go in."

    Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel was asked about the Super League on Monday and said: "I am part of this club and I trust this club to make the right decisions."

    Rivals Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have both made clear they are against the proposals.

    Liverpool midfielder James Milner said bluntly after Monday's draw at Leeds United: "I don't like it and hopefully it doesn't happen."

     

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