Phil Foden is hopeful of breaking into the England senior squad in time for Euro 2020 after playing a starring role in Manchester City's EFL Cup triumph on Sunday.

Foden, 19, was the best player on the pitch as City claimed a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, winning the Man of the Match award as Pep Guardiola's men retained the trophy at Wembley.

The playmaker, who came through City's academy, teed up Sergio Aguero for the opening goal in the final, before generally impressing in his role from the right flank.

England manager Gareth Southgate namechecked Foden in the past, adamant it is only a matter of time before the teenager forces his way into the squad, and the youngster hopes he can do that before this year's tournament.

"I want to be there [at the Euros], obviously, but it's very difficult with the players that we have there," he told reporters.

"But hopefully Gareth was watching, and hopefully he saw things that he liked.

"That is all I can do, just show what I can do every time I play and see where it takes me."

Guardiola has not been shy about previously dubbing Foden as David Silva's heir at City, and such comments fill the England Under-21 international with confidence rather than pressure.

"If the manager says something like that it gives you a lot of belief and courage to keep playing and doing well," he added. "That gives me a lot of confidence on the pitch.

"Not many young players like myself could play in a team like this, so it just shows the belief of the manager and the players, that they have in me which is really nice.

"When you are growing up you dream about playing at Wembley for City on a big stage, and that's a dream come true for me now.

"My dream came true [on Sunday] for me, playing in a final, and obviously to win it is even better."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it is "touch and go" if Marcus Rashford plays again for Manchester United this season and cast doubt on his availability for England at Euro 2020.

Rashford has not featured for United since the FA Cup third-round replay against Wolves on January 15 due to a stress fracture in his back.

Originally, Rashford was expected to miss around six weeks and it was hoped he may return to action around April.

However, speaking prior to the Red Devils' Europa League clash at Club Brugge, Solskjaer said Rashford's injury was worse than first thought.

"He had a scan and it was maybe more severe than what we hoped and expected. He felt fine a few days before that," he said.

"I didn't know it takes that time to recover. When it heals he will be stronger for it so it's important we don't rush it.

"I would hope he's playing again this season it will just be touch and go towards the end. 

"Hopefully we can get through this tournament [Europa League] and prolong the season. 

"It takes time, I'm not a doctor but obviously I was hoping he'd recover quicker than it actually looks like he's going to be out for, another few months definitely."

England's first Euro 2020 fixture is against Croatia at Wembley on June 14 but, when asked if Rashford would be fit for the Three Lions, Solskjaer was non-committal. 

"I would hope he plays before then but if he's not fit enough he won't go," he added.

United made a move to replace Rashford in the short term with the loan signing of Odion Ighalo in the January transfer window.

Solskjaer's Norwegian compatriot Erling Haaland was another tipped to move to Old Trafford before he opted to join Borussia Dortmund from Salzburg.

Haaland has proven an instant hit at Signal Iduna Park, scoring 11 goals in just seven appearances, and Solskjaer is delighted to see the 19-year-old impressing.

"I normally never comment but since I have had Erling I'm delighted for him," Solskjaer said of the striker he coached at Molde.

"He's a top boy I want the best for and he's started fantastically for Dortmund. For Norway it's brilliant we have a striker who can score again."

Santi Cazorla admits he is excited by the prospect of an unforeseen shot at tournament glory with Spain as he targets a third European Championship triumph.

The days of Cazorla patrolling midfield with the national team looked to have ended when his Arsenal career stuttered to a sorry and injury-hit end.

Serious Achilles and ankle trouble led to gangrene and worries that Cazorla might even need a foot amputation, and he left Arsenal at the end of the 2017-18 season with doubts over what would be left of his playing days.

Cazorla snatched the chance to train with Villarreal and has not looked back, impressing last season before stepping up a level this term, scoring 12 goals from midfield already.

And Spain have come calling again, unable to resist the revitalised playmaker who has got Villarreal ticking after almost four years in the international wilderness.

After helping Spain to their Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 victories, Cazorla incredibly has another chance of silverware, and of adding to his 81 caps.

The 35-year-old is philosophical, though, about his chances and said he would not be disappointed to miss out on the tournament if Luis Enrique struggles to accommodate him.

"Not disappointing because I know my age and I know the players that are there. But yes, it's true that I've got excited about being there," Cazorla said.

"It was something that I'd written off when I returned to football; even the day that they called me up again I knew it was a reward and without too many expectations of staying in the squad.

"But I've kept playing at Villarreal and the national coaches have confidence in me and this has excited me."

Cazorla sees Spain as contenders for Euro 2020, although the days of their dominance have passed. The halcyon era of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and co belongs in Spain's history, yet Cazorla remains very much in the team's present.

He sees no need to pitch teams from one era against those from another.

"We always have to compare in this country and that's a mistake because any national team is losing [in that debate]," Cazorla told Marca.

"We have to leave people alone because players are coming through with promising futures. I think that this summer, there are options to compete to win the Euros because it's very even between various teams and Spain are there."

Cazorla said leaving Arsenal in the way he did, without being able to sign off in style on the pitch, stuck in his craw, describing that as "a big regret that I don't know if I will get over".

He is relieved to be playing again, but wary his body has limits, saying he has yet to consider his club future beyond this season with his contract up for renewal.

"Right now, I'm happy," he said, "but I notice my age; the injury is there and it's getting more difficult. I'm not planning anything right now, but it's clear that playing in Europe is a plus for any player. I will decide in the summer."

Ousmane Dembele will be out for around six months after having hamstring surgery, Barcelona confirmed.

The injury-plagued Frenchman will miss the rest of the season and is unlikely to return in time for France's Euro 2020 campaign, which begins in June.

Barca confirmed on February 6 that Dembele was due to go under the knife in Finland, with the winger having suffered a ruptured tendon in his proximal hamstring in his right thigh.

Following the procedure on Tuesday, Barca expect the former Borussia Dortmund talent to be out until August.

Dembele has endured an injury nightmare at Barca, suffering several serious problems since arriving at Camp Nou for an initial €105million in August 2017.

This term he has been limited to just nine appearances across all competitions, the last coming against former club Dortmund on November 27.

Barca are expected to be granted special dispensation to sign a replacement for Dembele, though regulations will limit them to a free agent or a domestic player.

The injury is also sure to impact France's preparations for Euro 2020.

Dembele has been a regular for the world champions ever since making his debut in 2016, but he will now likely play no part in the European Championship.

Ousmane Dembele will be out for around six months after having hamstring surgery, Barcelona confirmed.

Thomas Muller says he is "not interested" in returning to the Germany squad after Joachim Low rated his chances of a recall as "relatively low".

Head coach Low shocked German football in March 2019 when he announced World Cup-winning stalwarts Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng were no longer in his plans.

Muller, who has 100 caps for Germany, said at the time he was "totally dumbfounded by this decision out of the blue".

The 30-year-old has been in fine form since the turn of the year, scoring in four consecutive games for Bayern before Sunday's 0-0 draw with Bundesliga title rivals RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena.

Some had suggested this could be enough to persuade Low to reconsider his position on Muller, but the Germany coach told Sky on Sunday: "The probability [of a recall] is relatively low if everyone is fit.

"Thomas has scored a few times in the second half of the season. I am pleased, but I said we would go with the young players. That is what we have to maintain.

"However, if things should happen that you do not expect, it is clear you will have to look again."

Speaking after the draw with Leipzig, Muller said: "I'm not interested in it at all. I care about this team [Bayern] and winning trophies with them, ideally three."

Sunday's result means Bayern remain one point ahead of Leipzig at the Bundesliga summit.

Jose Mourinho believes Harry Kane will not return to action for Tottenham until at least May, in a blow for both club and country.

Spurs striker Kane sustained a hamstring injury on New Year's Day in a defeat to Southampton and has been out of action since, having undergone surgery.

Initially, it was expected Kane would be out until April and the 26-year-old has already begun his rehabilitation process.

However, Mourinho has cast doubt on that prognosis, revealing he does not expect England captain Kane to be able to play again until at least May 9-10, with Spurs scheduled to face Leicester City in their penultimate match of the season, with Crystal Palace their final league opponents on May 17.

"The Leicester match," said Mourinho, whose side face Southampton in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday, when he was asked about Kane's return.

"Maybe we need that match for something. To be fourth, to be fifth, to be sixth. Maybe he can help us in this match. I hope. Is that the best-case scenario at the moment? Yes, I think so."

If Mourinho's prediction proves correct, it means Kane will only be able to play in two league fixtures prior to joining up with Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2020.

England are in action in two warm-up fixtures in early June - against Austria and Romania respectively - before facing Croatia in their opening Euro 2020 fixture on June 14.

The national team's issues are of little concern to Mourinho, however.

"It's a problem for [Gareth] Southgate and for [the England assistant manager] Steve Holland, not for me," he added. "How would I feel if I were England manager? I don't know. I'm not."

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel is thrilled by Kylian Mbappe's ambition to win a "triple-whammy" of the Champions League, Euro 2020 and the Olympics football tournament this year.

Mbappe, 21, has already won nine trophies in senior football, including the 2018 World Cup, in which the striker scored four times.

PSG again look on track to dominate French football this season, as they lead Ligue 1 and remain in the hunt in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.

But the trophy that has continued to elude them since Qatar Sports Investments took over as majority shareholders in 2011 is the Champions League, and Mbappe wants to finally end that wait this season, before then going on to enjoy Euro 2020 and Olympics success with his country.

While this ambition is not new to Tuchel, the German feels such belief will stand him in good stead.

"Well, okay, that is good," Tuchel told reporters when asked about Mbappe's declaration. "It means that we can work, it is a great challenge, three great challenges and goals.

"But with him, it's always like that. He is convinced of that and I think it's a good thing because it means he is very confident and you need confidence to achieve such goals.

"I hope, at least for PSG, that he will be able to achieve the first [the Champions League] and then the second and third for France."

Since initially joining on loan from Monaco in 2017, Mbappe has scored 59 goals in 70 Ligue 1 matches and forged an impressive partnership with Neymar, who boasts a haul of 45 from 49 outings across the same period.

The pair appear to have an impressive understanding of each other on the pitch, though Tuchel insists PSG do not train in an attempt to improve Neymar and Mbappe, but rather learn how best to capitalise on their brilliance.

"We always work with the positions during training, and together they train during possession games, for example," Tuchel said. "They like to play alongside each other. They are very smooth in their movements and there is a great partnership between the two of them.

"But it's not on us to improve them because they have the quality to do that. We have to find spaces and create a structure and the formation where both are free to attack.

"Maybe we have to create an understanding of when and where they can take risks or when and where they have to be more careful, but both are brilliant."

PSG travel to Reims in the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals on Wednesday, with Mbappe and Neymar expected to feature after being rested during Sunday's 1-0 Coupe de France victory over Ligue 2's Lorient.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes a 400 or 500-day year would be required for Champions League expansion because Premier League clubs already play too many games.

The European Club Association (ECA) and UEFA are said to be in talks about adding another four matchdays to the Champions League schedule, which would result in finalists playing 17 games.

However, with City's trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday their eighth game in the past three and a half weeks, Guardiola is an advocate of taking a scythe to the gruelling schedule in England.

"I think the solution is you have to make a year of 400 days, that is a solution, 400 or 500, more or less. After that we can book another competition. Maybe UEFA or FIFA can talk about it. We have few days a year, that's the problem," said Guardiola.

Champions League expansion would likely have negative ramifications for the EFL Cup.

After stating the EFL Cup "wouldn't be interesting" if Premier League sides withdrew in order to lighten their loads, the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona offered a more ruthless alternative.

"Eliminate competitions. Take them out completely - so less games," he said.

"Less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity. The people are going enjoy it. The people are going to go to the theatre, to the cinema, restaurants, to watch the fireworks. That is what they would do."

At the crux of Guardiola's argument is a desire to reduce the physical workload on players.

He said: "There are less games [in Germany in Spain], much less than here. In the Bundesliga there are 18 teams not 20, one cup not two. They have a break, in Spain they have a break.Tthe cup is run with one game, not two. So it's a big difference.

"It's just to protect the players … For them they'd enjoy it more, the people too. People say they can't live without football, they can live without football for a while. It's too much, honestly."

The City boss suggested serious injuries sustained by Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford since the turn of the year were a result of the excessive demands.

Kane's hamstring problem and Rashford's back issue were a blow to Gareth Southgate ahead of Euro 2020, but Guardiola feels those in charge of the game in England cannot be surprised.

"It's a big blow for Gareth, for the national team. Kane and Rashford are incredibly important players for them. Hopefully there isn't another one who does that and they can recover," he said.

"It's an incredible amount of games. Now we're talking about it because they are [injured], but looking back at the injuries Newcastle have had, we have had, all the teams. That is normal. With that number of games, sooner or later the players break down.

"I'm not really surprised. I’m so sorry for them, but with this amount of games it happens. The big administration people cannot complain because it's normal this happens.

"Of course it is [too much to expect]. They arrive in the Euros, playing with the national teams trying their best, then [back here] after no more than 20 days because the business, the show, must go on. It's unsustainable.

"Sooner or later the players fall down. It's too much. I'm so sorry for Kane and Rashford because they are incredible and good for the league, but we demand a lot from the players, it's too much.

"They should reflect [on] it but all the managers complained about it and they don't care. Now Boxing Day is over, another season, and prepare for the next one. A distance of two or three days again and again.

"The players in the end suffer. They want to do well and the clubs have a lot of pressure to win titles or qualify for the Champions League, the players want to do well. We push them and we are being pushed.

"At some moment the body says stop, it's enough."

Marcus Rashford has suffered a double stress fracture in his back and faces at least six weeks out, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed.

England international Rashford hobbled out of the midweek FA Cup win against Wolves, having come on as a substitute.

Solskjaer revealed after the match his striker had already been dealing with a back problem, although he was initially hopeful Rashford would play against Liverpool on Sunday.

Rashford missed the 2-0 defeat and is now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, dealing a blow to both fifth-placed United, as their topscorer, and England ahead of Euro 2020.

"He's suffered a bad injury," Solskjaer told Sky Sports after the loss at Anfield.

"It's a stress fracture that happened against Wolverhampton, and it's not something that has happened before. It was there and then.

"It's unlucky for Marcus. He'll be out for a while for us. He won't be back until after the mid-season break [in mid-February].

"I don't know how long it is - I'm not a doctor - but normally a stress fracture is six weeks to heal and then he needs some rehab after that probably."

Solskjaer acknowledged United may now have to consider a loan move to bring in cover for Rashford, who has 14 Premier League goals to his name.

"We've had many, many injuries for big players for us this season," he said.

"Now Marcus, Anthony [Martial] has been out for months, Paul [Pogba] has been out for more than half the season, Scott [McTominay] has been out for months. It's just an unfortunate situation we're in.

"Because the window is open, we might look at some short-term deals as well. That could take us through until the summer.

"Desperately [need a signing]? Not desperately. Of course, we're looking at numbers as well. We've had many injuries.

"If the right one's there and it fits for us, we can buy. If there's loans available, it might be possible. But I've got players here as well who are chomping at the bit."

Jurgen Klopp believes Harry Kane's injury could alert England's authorities to the dangers of too much football if the striker is ruled out of Gareth Southgate's Euro 2020 plans.

The Tottenham striker and England captain suffered a hamstring injury in his club's New Year's Day defeat at Southampton and has undergone surgery.

Tottenham have indicated Kane should be able to resume training in April, but it could be a slow road back to full match fitness.

Liverpool manager Klopp made mention of Kane in a lengthy explanation about his concerns that too many demands are placed on players in the modern game.

Klopp is known to often point to the heavy burden on players, caused by domestic league and cup games, European matches and international commitments.

Given his important role with club and country, Kane is sure to be missed by both, and Klopp suggested the Spurs star's problem may have been caused by his own busy schedule.

"I feel massively for Harry Kane," Klopp said. "Now I've heard maybe he's not in the Euros, for the first time some English people in the FA will start thinking, 'Too many games maybe'.

"Always something has to happen so that we start really thinking about it."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tempered the excitement surrounding Manchester United talent Mason Greenwood, adamant it is too early to be thinking of potential England involvement at Euro 2020.

United academy product Greenwood has enjoyed a breakout season, making 17 Premier League appearances – all but two of them from the bench – after being introduced to the first-team fold by Solskjaer last term.

The 18-year-old has four goals in the league this season, plus another five across the EFL Cup and Europa League, in which only four players have scored more.

With Harry Kane a doubt for the Euros after suffering a torn hamstring that required surgery and Jamie Vardy unavailable for selection following his international retirement, Greenwood has emerged as an option for England manager Gareth Southgate.

Greenwood made four appearances for the England Under-21s last year and for the time being Solskjaer thinks he should be allowed to focus on United and Young Lions duty.

"I think Mason will have a top and long career," Solskjaer said ahead of Wednesday's FA Cup third-round replay with Wolves.

"Let the boy settle in now first, before we talk about England and the Euros.

"His focus has to be on playing more for us and improving, and when he plays more for us, that [and England call-up] will happen by itself.

"He's just been picked for the England Under-21s, so he's focusing on his football."

Greenwood is just one of three forward thriving at United this season, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also enjoying strong campaigns.

Rashford already has 19 goals from 30 matches across all competitions, while Martial has 11 in 22 outings – but Solskjaer does not think he deserves a pat on the back for their respective improvements.

"I don't want credit for getting more out of them," he said. "They're working hard to improve their game, I think they've all done well.

"Of course, Mason is in his first season, so to have nine goals is fantastic. Marcus is really growing and improving all the time, and Anthony has missed about six-to-eight weeks.

"I'm impressed by them. They're working well, working on their finishing patterns, we want consistency and I think we'll see more and more of them as they're still very young."

Merih Demiral is expected to miss the rest of Juventus' season and is a major doubt for Euro 2020 after suffering an ACL injury that will require surgery.

The Juve defender had recently displaced Matthijs de Ligt in the starting line-up and scored a third-minute opener during the 2-1 away win over Roma on Sunday.

But Demiral suffered the injury in an awkward landing shortly afterwards and was replaced by De Ligt 19 minutes into the contest.

The Turkey international, 21, joined the Italian champions from Sassuolo in an €18million move in July and looks unlikely to play again until next season after Juve provided an update on his condition.

"During the game last night [Sunday], Merih Demiral sustained a sprain to his left knee," a Juve statement read on Monday.

"The diagnostic tests carried out at J Medical this morning revealed injury to the anterior cruciate ligament along with associated injury to the meniscus.

"Surgical intervention will be required in the coming days."

Juve are two points clear of Inter at the top of Serie A after 19 matches this season.

Nicolo Zaniolo is set to miss Italy's Euro 2020 campaign after Roma confirmed he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Juventus.

Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini was looking on from the stands at the Stadio Olimpico when Zaniolo was withdrawn in the 36th minute in obvious pain after a challenge from Juve defender Matthijs de Ligt.

The attacking midfielder beat four Juve players during a brilliant run that started near his own penalty area, but De Ligt - himself on for the injured Merih Demiral - stepped out and brought him down with a body check that earned a booking.

After the Serie A match, Roma tweeted to confirm Zaniolo would require surgery.

"Following the injury suffered during tonight’s game, Nicolo Zaniolo underwent medical assessments that confirmed the rupture of the ACL in his right knee, along with some damage to the meniscus," the statement read.

"Zaniolo will undergo surgery on Monday."

The 20-year-old made his debut for Italy last March and opened his international account with a brace in the 9-1 rout of Armenia two months ago.

Zaniolo scored four times in 18 Serie A outings this season, along with two further strikes during the group stage of the Europa League.

 

Nicolo Zaniolo is set to miss Italy's Euro 2020 campaign after Roma confirmed he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Juventus.

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