David Moyes admitted he would be "interested" in any player he believes could improve West Ham, though he stopped short of confirming reported interest in Ross Barkley.

England international Barkley has been linked with a January loan move to the Hammers, who missed out on Gedson Fernandes after he joined rivals Tottenham on Wednesday.

Midfield is an area of need for West Ham given Jack Wilshere continues to be beset by injury problems and Barkley is thought to be of interest to Moyes.

Former Everton boss Moyes handed a 17-year-old Barkley his Premier League debut back in 2011 and was asked about the two linking up again at London Stadium.

"One thing I won't do is not talk about players at other clubs," Moyes said at a news conference.

"Anything which we think will improve our side I will be interested to bring in."

Barkley played 27 times in the Premier League for Chelsea last season under Maurizio Sarri but has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge since Frank Lampard's arrival.

He started Lampard's first Premier League game in charge, a 4-0 loss to Manchester United in August, but has made only five further starts in the top flight.

A foot injury suffered in October kept Barkley out for nearly two months, while the midfielder was also criticised by Lampard after two videos emerged - one of him arguing with a taxi driver in Liverpool and another of him dancing topless in a Dubai nightclub.

On the field, Barkley scored four goals in six appearances for England in Euro 2020 qualifiers.

On the prospect of signing British players, Moyes added: "It's not easy to get British players.

"[It is] maybe easier to get a Premier League player or from abroad but still trying to get the right ones in is important.

"We are working on two or three things at the moment, but we are not close to anything."

RB Leipzig star Timo Werner admits he considers the Premier League to be "the most interesting" of the major top flights in Europe.

The striker has been linked with a move away from Leipzig in 2020, such has been his form for the Bundesliga leaders.

Werner has scored 18 goals in 17 league games for Julian Nagelsmann's side, prompting talk of interest from a host of foreign clubs as well as domestic champions Bayern Munich.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are two of the most prominent sides said to be considering a bid for the 23-year-old, who reportedly has a release clause that could be activated in January.

While Werner has no desire to push through a move before the end of the season, he has suggested the Premier League could be tempting, as could following in the footsteps of former Madrid midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.

"The Premier League is certainly the most interesting league, you have to say," he told Bild. "There is a certain flair to watching the English league and playing there.

"But many Germans have also been very successful in Spain, such as Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil.

"As of now, I have no desire to look for a move elsewhere."

Leipzig are two points ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach at the top of the table ahead of the second half of the Bundesliga season, which gets underway this weekend.

They host Union Berlin on Saturday in their next match.

Mauricio Pochettino has suggested his next coaching position will be in Spain or England as LaLiga and the Premier League are "the two best leagues in the world".

The former Tottenham boss, who was sacked in November and replaced by Jose Mourinho, was linked with the Barcelona job before Quique Setien was named Ernesto Valverde's successor.

Pochettino has been heavily linked with Manchester United during what has been an inconsistent season for the Red Devils under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 47-year-old certainly appears prepared to take another job in England's top flight, although he also admires LaLiga, where he began his senior coaching career with Espanyol.

He said at a LaLiga TV event: "For me, I was so lucky to start my career as a manager at Espanyol in Barcelona and then to come to the Premier League to learn a different language and culture and I am a better person today.

"I have more knowledge and had a great experience. The Premier League is the Premier League. Football was born here in England but I think LaLiga has amazing football and amazing coaches."

He added: "England and Spain are the two best leagues in the world."

Pochettino is reported to have been approached about the Barcelona job despite insisting previously he could never take charge at Camp Nou due to his ties with city rivals Espanyol.

With Setien now installed on a contract until June 2022, Pochettino admits he will be very interested to follow the former Real Betis coach's efforts.

"Barcelona, of course, are one of the greatest teams in the world. Of course, now with the new manager, everyone is expecting him to continue the same philosophy," he said.

"Valverde did a fantastic job in LaLiga and with Barcelona and it's a massive challenge for Quique Setien. He showed unbelievable love for Johan Cruyff and the style of football of Barcelona.

"I think it's a great opportunity for him to live his dream and it's so amazing to follow what's going to happen."

Liverpool are racing clear at the top of the table and it will surely take a miracle for the Reds not to win their first Premier League title.

Jurgen Klopp's side face old rivals Manchester United on Sunday at Anfield, with the Red Devils the only team to have taken points off Liverpool so far this season.

Unbeaten in 38 Premier League matches, Liverpool are overwhelming favourites, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer oversaw a 4-0 win over struggling Norwich City on Saturday.

Can United stall Liverpool's procession, or will Klopp's men continue their stroll towards Premier League glory?

Mikel Arteta will cancel Arsenal's mid-season trip to Dubai if the club deem it unsafe to travel to the Middle East.

With the introduction of a break in the Premier League schedule in 2019-20, Arsenal had been set for a four-day training camp ahead of the February 16 Premier League match against Newcastle United.

But top-flight rivals Manchester United have scrapped plans for their own possible Qatar break due to political tensions in the region.

Arsenal will assess the safety of a potential trip before deciding whether to follow suit, head coach Arteta told reporters.

"The security decision will be the priority," Arteta said. "If we are advised by the club and the people making those decisions that it's not safe, we won't be going anywhere.

"We talked about different options in this break to go away and live together in a different environment with better weather conditions and a little bit away from here.

"We still have a few things to look after from a club perspective, and when we know all that, we will confirm what we are doing. At the moment, we have two or three different options."

The Gunners play Burnley on February 2, two weeks before Newcastle's visit, although any need for a replay against Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round would cut into that lay-off.

Manchester United will do "everything" to ensure Marcus Rashford is fit to face Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

Rashford came on in United's 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over Wolves at Old Trafford, but he lasted only 16 minutes before being replaced having sustained a blow to the back following a challenge from Matt Doherty on Wednesday.

Though Rashford was on the field when Juan Mata scored the winner, Solskjaer conceded the decision to bring him on "backfired" as he sustained an injury four days before the trip to Anfield.

Rashford has scored 14 goals for United in the Premier League this term and Solskjaer said the club would do all they could to get the 22-year-old fit for the weekend.

"He's a quick healer and he'll play through some pain, definitely, if he's capable, if it's not a bad, bad injury," Solskjaer told reporters at a news conference.

"But we've seen that he's struggled lately - but more when he's been tired. 

"He wasn't on long enough to be tired so I think it might have been something that just happened there and then.

"He's been absolutely top this season so we'll do everything we can to get him fit for Sunday.

"If he's not then we'll play without him."

Rashford himself tweeted after the match to reveal he attempted to carry on, while congratulating his team-mates on booking a fourth-round tie with either Watford or Tranmere Rovers.

"Never want to feel like I’ve let my team-mates, the club and most importantly the fans down so did my very best to carry on tonight and was gutted to come off," he said.

"Top work from the lads to get into the next round"

United were already without key midfield duo Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, as well as defenders Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw on Wednesday, yet Solskjaer was not about to bemoan an increasing casualty list.

"It's football, I'll never ever complain about all the injuries we've got," he added.

"That's just part and parcel of it and at the moment that's Marcus. He's been available and fit all season so you can't complain."

Liverpool are storming towards a maiden Premier League title having taken 61 points from a possible 63.

The only points they dropped came at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign when Rashford scored in a 1-1 draw in October.

Solskjaer is therefore confident his team will have a gameplan to make life difficult for Jurgen Klopp's Reds.

"Of course it's hard but I've had Liverpool here twice and we've drawn both," said the Norwegian.

"Of course we want to win those but I think we've found a nice way of playing against them and we've deserved the points in both of them."

Mikel Arteta has claimed there is "no truth" in speculation linking Arsenal with a move for Manchester City defender John Stones.

Injuries to Sead Kolasinac, Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin have left Arsenal short of numbers at the back.

Reports casting doubt over Stones' future at City have also emerged, with Arteta having been linked with a move for the England international, who he worked with for three-and-a-half years at City.

However, Arteta insisted there is little truth behind the speculation, despite acknowledging his admiration for Stones, who has not been a regular starter for City this season.

"Bad news for you guys I have nothing to say," Arteta told a news conference when asked if Arsenal were expecting any immediate incomings in the January transfer window.

"No, no truth at all," he added when pressed on the Stones reports, while the Gunners' coach also dismissed links with Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

"John is a player I really like. When I look at centre-backs he's got many attributes I like but I'm not looking at him."

Arteta did, however, confirm Arsenal are keen to bolster their squad this window if the right opportunity arises.

"It has to be the right player, in the right context, that financially, we can do and attract," he said. "All these factors, we put them together, it's not easy in this market. I have a [wishlist] yes. 

"We have a lot of injuries, it can happen, between December and January it's very common. We have to live with the situation, it's what we have. We have to put 11 players out on the pitch on Saturday. They will try their best and I will try my best to select the ones which are the best fit."

Arsenal will be without leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Saturday's clash with Sheffield United and subsequent meetings with Chelsea and Bournemouth – in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively – after the striker's three-match suspension for a red card against Crystal Palace was upheld.

It means much of the goal-scoring burden will be on Alexandre Lacazette, who has not found the net in a Premier League match since December 5.

"It's a concern for me if he is concerned about not scoring," said Arteta of Lacazette. "In terms of his performances, I'm really happy.

"You can give him confidence but the ball has to end up in the net. That's the best medicine."

Arsenal will be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for three matches after Mikel Arteta confirmed their appeal to have the striker's red card overturned was unsuccessful.

Aubameyang was sent off midway through the second half of Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday after lunging in on Max Meyer.

The Arsenal captain was initially booked for his challenge, but VAR directed referee Paul Tierney to change his decision to a straight red.

Arsenal appealed the red card, but – in his news conference to preview Saturday's clash with Sheffield United – Arteta revealed Aubameyang will have to serve his suspension.

"That has been confirmed that he will be suspended for three games, so we are not going to have him for three fixtures," Arteta told reporters.

"It is a big shame, it is a big loss for us because as well, we know it was not his intention. But he mistimed the tackle, made the decision and we have to accept it.

"He was very sad after the game, disappointed he left the team with 10 men. It was an action which was completely accidental in my opinion.

"For me he has been superb, working so hard, scoring goals and probably has been the most important player of the team so to lose him is really bad news for us."

Aubameyang, who will miss Saturday's match with the Blades, a derby clash with Chelsea and an FA Cup tie against Bournemouth, scored the opener at Selhurst Park before Jordan Ayew drew Palace level.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker – who shared the Premier League Golden Boot along with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah last season – has scored 14 times in the top flight so far this term.

Jose Mourinho was a major factor in Gedson Fernandes' decision to join Tottenham, the Benfica loanee has revealed.

Fernandes moved to Spurs for an initial 18-month stint on Wednesday, becoming Mourinho's first signing for the London club.

There is an option for the deal to be made permanent for a reported €50 million (£42.8m).

For now, though, Portugal international Fernandes is relishing the prospect of working with compatriot Mourinho and playing in the Premier League for the first time.

"All young players want to work with Jose Mourinho because he's one of the best – all of us as players want to stay near the best, so it's fantastic to work with him," the 21-year-old told Tottenham's official website.

"The Premier League is a different competition – every player in the world wants to play in the Premier League. For me, it's one more motivation because I always dreamed of playing in this league and now let's make my dream come true. 

"I think we're going to do fantastic things because this is a fantastic club.

"I'm very happy to be here – I make my dream a reality.

"I will try to give my best for the club every day, in every training session and in every game and I will try to help the team wherever I can, working hard every day for this shirt."

Spurs, who progressed to the FA Cup fourth round with a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Tuesday, travel to Watford in the league on Saturday.

 

 

Jose Mourinho has secured his first signing as Tottenham head coach, with midfielder Gedson Fernandes joining on an initial 18-month loan from Benfica.

The deal includes an option for the Premier League club to make the move permanent for a reported €50 million (£42.8m).

Fernandes, 21, came through Benfica's famed academy and established himself in the first-team squad in 2018, going on to make 22 Primeira Liga appearances last term.

His form early last season saw Fernandes earn a two Portugal caps, but he fell out of favour at Benfica at the start of last year.

Only one of his 11 Primeira Liga starts last term came in 2019, while he has also lined up just twice in 2019-20 prior to joining Spurs.

A technically gifted and creative midfielder, Fernandes was also rumoured to have interested West Ham, but Spurs managed to complete his capture to ease their midfield issues.

Moussa Sissoko is facing a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a knee injury, Tanguy NDombele has struggled with niggling fitness issues and Christian Eriksen's form is a cause for concern, with the Dane seemingly set to leave the club before the start of next season.

Fernandes could make his debut at resurgent Watford this Saturday.

 

Jose Mourinho has secured his first signing as Tottenham head coach, with midfielder Gedson Fernandes joining on an initial 18-month loan from Benfica.

Harry Kane may have suffered an untimely injury, but England boss Gareth Southgate could well be blessed with a wealth of attacking options heading into Euro 2020.

Kane's hamstring injury should not see him miss the European Championship, but it has handed plenty of England hopefuls the chance to prove their worth.

And it seems as though this season, the Premier League belongs to homegrown forwards.

Jamie Vardy – who has retired from international duty – leads the way with 17 goals, ahead of three players sharing second place in the scoring charts with 14: Danny Ings, Marcus Rashford and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal striker Aubameyang is one of only four non-English players to take their place in the Premier League's list of leading scorers as things stand, along with Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Raheem Sterling, Tammy Abraham and Kane complete the top 10 and, using Opta data, we assess whether the 2019-20 Premier League campaign is an anomaly or the start of something new.

SIX OF THE BEST

Vardy's incredible form has been key to propelling Leicester City up the league, with Brendan Rodgers' side currently sitting third. 

The 33-year-old has 17 league goals to his name this season, though it is another Englishman who has been making the headlines recently – one who downed the Foxes last time out. 

Southampton's Ings has scored 10 goals in his past 11 top-flight appearances and is already the highest-scoring Southampton player in a single season since Jay Rodriguez in 2013-14. 

Level with Ings is Manchester United's Rashford, who seems to have finally taken up the mantle as the Red Devils' talisman and has scored 19 times across all competitions, one less than England team-mate Sterling, who has 11 league goals. 

Chelsea's transfer ban in the off season handed Abraham the chance to shine, and shine he has, scoring 13 times in the top flight, two more than England captain Kane. 

It should also be noted the six leading English scorers all represent different clubs, showing that homegrown talent is shared across the league. 

THE NEXT GENERATION

Of the English players leading the way this season, two – Rashford and Abraham – are 22, while City sensation Sterling is only just 25.  

Indeed, only Vardy, of the English forwards in the top 10, is above the age of 30. 

After overcoming a glut of injury issues, Ings is finally hitting his stride once more, with Southampton the benefactors.  

But, with the 27-year-old averaging a goal every 109.8 minutes in the league – a figure bettered only by Vardy among the other English players – Ings must be in serious contention for a place in Southgate's squad for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and Denmark. 

There is also plenty of potential for the future outside of the players in the top 10. After Sterling and Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the highest-scoring English player and the 22-year-old seems to be coming into his own for Everton. 

He has scored eight league goals and 10 in total across all competitions, while United's Mason Greenwood is the highest-scoring teenager in the competition. 

Away from the Premier League, Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho has been lighting up the Bundesliga since his move from City in 2017.

HISTORY SAYS...

Only twice in the past nine Premier League seasons has an English forward won the Golden Boot, with Tottenham star Kane doing so in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Last season, the award was shared between Mane, Salah and Aubameyang, though each only managed 22 goals – the lowest amount since Carlos Teves finished top of the charts with 20 in 2010-11.

Since the start of the previous decade there has been a steady increase in the number of English players finishing in double figures for the season, with five last term being the most. But with six players inside the top 10 – and Calvert-Lewin not far away – this season, 2019-20 is proving the best season for homegrown strikers in that timeframe.

With Euro 2020 on the horizon, it appears this could well be the season that kick-starts a new wave of English talent starring in the big time.

Christian Eriksen appears set to get his move away from Tottenham.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Eriksen has been keen to test himself elsewhere after moving to Spurs in 2013.

Inter look poised to bring the Denmark playmaker to Milan…

 

TOP STORY – INTER IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH SPURS OVER ERIKSEN

Inter have offered €10million (£8.5m) plus bonuses to Tottenham after agreeing personal terms with Spurs star Eriksen, claims Sky Sport Italia.

With Inter head coach Antonio Conte keen for midfield reinforcements and soon-to-be free agent Eriksen eyeing a new club, a transfer is reportedly on the horizon.

However, The Mirror reports that Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are ready to rival Inter for Eriksen.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Sky Sports Germany, Paul Pogba is likely to leave Manchester United at the end of the season. Recovering from ankle surgery, Pogba continues to be linked with LaLiga giants Real Madrid and former club Juventus.

Manchester City will reject any bids for centre-back John Stones as Premier League rivals Arsenal circle, says the Daily Mail.

- Corriere dello Sport reports Matteo Politano and Leonardo Spinazzola are set to swap clubs. Inter winger Politano will join Roma, while full-back Spinazzola will move to the Nerazzurri.

- According to Gianluca Di Marzio and Tuttomercatoweb, PSV are prepared to pay €6m for Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez.

- Globoesporte says LaLiga champions Barcelona are close to signing Palmeiras midfielder Matheus Fernandes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United cannot take the FA Cup for granted while a Premier League title bid is unrealistic.

United welcome Wolves to Old Trafford on Wednesday for their FA Cup third-round replay as the Red Devils sit 27 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool in the Premier League.

With United languishing in fifth and struggling for consistency, manager Solskjaer is aware the club cannot afford to disregard the FA Cup.

"Supporters and the club alike aren't happy with not challenging for the top position in the league," said Solskjaer.

"That's where we feel we should be and many of today's supporters have lived that period where we won the league consistently.

"At the moment we don't have that type of team, because in time we've been a bit behind the top ones.

"It might be that we start with winning a cup and then these players will get that taste. But that's not what we want to be.

"We want to be challenging for the league and the Champions League."

Meanwhile, Solskjaer confirmed United have scrapped plans to travel to the Middle East for a training camp due to political tensions in the region.

Qatar was a potential location for United, who have 15 days off between Premier League fixtures against Wolves (February 1) and Chelsea (February 17) next month.

However, the Premier League giants opted against the trip, with Solskjaer telling reporters: "I'm going to give them a few days off, I don't know where the players will scatter around but we will stay in Europe.

"Yep [we changed our mind]. If there is one thing that worries me, it is not on the football pitch. There are things that will worry me more than the football.

"We were looking at the Middle East but that is definitely not going to happen."

Watford have signed Argentine winger Ignacio Pussetto from Udinese for a fee reported to be in the region of £7million (€8m).

Pussetto, 24, joined the Serie A outfit from Huracan in 2018 and scored five times in 50 appearances - including one during last month's 3-1 defeat to Juventus, although he has been used predominantly as a substitute this term.

Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo is the father of Watford owner Gino Pozzo and transfer business between the clubs has been frequent over recent years.

The Hornets' scheduled FA Cup third-round replay at Tranmere Rovers was postponed due to heavy rainfall on Tuesday.

Recently appointed head coach Nigel Pearson has overseen a sharp upturn in form at Vicarage Road, with four wins from their past five matches lifting them out of the Premier League relegation zone.

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