It is crunch time in the Champions League as the group stage enters the penultimate round of fixtures.

Sevilla and Chelsea are already assured of football in Europe's top club competition in the new year, as are Juventus and Barcelona, but there is still plenty to be decided as teams jostle for position and players – including Cristiano Ronaldo – chase down individual records.

Paris Saint-Germain are among those whose fate hangs in the balance, while matchday five opponents Manchester United are still in need of a point.

We break down Wednesday's key matchday fixtures with the use of Opta data.

 

Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain: Tuchel's men seeking win at fortress Old Trafford

PSG are in desperate need of a positive result at Old Trafford and the omens are good for Thomas Tuchel's charges, with the away team winning all three previous European games between the sides.

However, Group H leaders United have won their last seven home matches in continental competiiton, scoring 24 goals and conceding only two – their best return since a run of 12 wins in a row ending in April 2008.

Ligue 1 champions PSG scored in 38 of their 39 matches since the start of 2016-17, netting an average of 2.4 goals per game, with Bayern Munich the only team to stop them scoring during that run in last season's final.

Sevilla v Chelsea: Blues out to end Spain pain

Sevilla and Chelsea have already qualified for the last 16 but a win for one of these sides will see them secure top spot in Group E. The hosts have not advanced as group winners since 2009-10 while Chelsea last did so in 2015-16.

Frank Lampard's side have won only one of their last 10 games against Spanish opponents in the Champions League and are winless in six such matches. Sevilla, meanwhile, are unbeaten in seven against English sides in European competition – they beat United in the Europa League semi-finals last term.

Sevilla are also without defeat after four group matches for the third time in the Champions League, having previously done so in 2009-10 and 2016-17, but never before have they begun a campaign with five unbeaten games.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Lazio: Sancho seeking another European goal

Anything other than defeat will send Dortmund through to the knockouts and history suggests there is a good chance of that happening.

In the three previous encounters between these sides in major European competition, the home side has always come out on top.

Lazio have won only one of their previous seven encounters away to German opposition – a 2-0 win against Stuttgart in the 2012-13 Europa League – while Dortmund are unbeaten in their last eight home Champions League group games.

Jadon Sancho has scored in his last two Champions League games and, at the age of 20 years and 252 days, he could become the second-youngest Englishman to score in three successive games in the competition after Alan Smith with Leeds United in 2000-01 (20y, 158d).

Ferencvaros v Barcelona: Koeman's men hungry for a clean sweep

A place in the last 16 already assured, Barcelona are now seeking a fifth straight win to begin a group-stage campaign for the first time since 2002-03, when they won six from six.

Barca have won all five of their previous encounters with Hungarian opposition, including a 5-1 victory in the reverse fixture, which was notable for being the only Champions League match ever to see two players aged under 18 to score (Ansu Fati and Pedri).

Fati has since been ruled out with a long-term injury, though Martin Braithwaite profited with two goals on his first start in the competition against Dynamo Kiev – not since David Villa in 2010 has a Barca player scored in their first two Champions League starts.

 

Juventus v Dynamo Kiev: Down-and-out Dynamo out to avoid Ronaldo repeat

Third place is the best Dynamo can hope for and they enter this match with just one win to their name in 12 Champions League games, losing the last two of those. Not since 2007-08 have they lost three or more on the spin.

Juve are battling with Barca for top spot and have lost only two of their 26 home group-stage matches, albeit with that defeat coming against the Catalan giants in October.

Ronaldo has scored three goals in two previous meetings with Dynamo in UEFA's flagship competition.

Should he score on Wednesday it will be 13 years and 25 days after his last goal against them, in 2007 – the longest gap between goals for one player against a single side.

Other fixtures:

Krasnodar v Rennes

1 – This will be Rennes' first away game against Russian opponents in European competition. Krasnodar have hosted French side twice previously, drawing 1-1 with Lille and beating Nice 5-2, both in the Europa League.

24 – The visitors have used 24 different players in the Champions League this season – only Barca (25) have used more – yet only one of them has registered a goal in their first four matches.


Club Brugge v Zenit

2 – Brugge won the reverse fixture against Zenit 2-1 but have only won home and away against the same opponent twice before in the group stage – against CSKA Moscow in 1992-93 and Rapid Vienna in 2005-06.

12 – The Belgian side are winless in their last 12 Champions League home games. Only Basel, who have failed to win any of their last 13, have a worse such record.


Istanbul Basaksehir v RB Leipzig 

1 – German teams have lost only one of their last 14 games against Turkish opposition in major European competition. However, that solitary loss was inflicted on Leipzig by Besiktas in their only previous such match in the Champions League.

5 – Leipzig have been awarded five penalties in the competition since the start of last season, behind only Chelsea (7). All five have been converted.

Jude Bellingham described star Borussia Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland as "a joke" after breaking a Champions League record.

Haaland became the quickest player to 15 Champions League goals in the competition's history after opening the scoring in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Club Brugge.

The 2020 Golden Boy winner, who already set a similar record for the five- and 10-goal marks, finished with a brace as he took his tally to 16 through 12 games in the Champions League, surpassing Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roberto Soldado with seven matches to spare.

"The guy is incredible. Six goals in his last two games and I'm sure many more before that," Dortmund midfielder Bellingham said via UEFA.com.

"He's a joke. Right now he's one of the best strikers in the world and he's fantastic to play with."

Jadon Sancho teed up Haaland's 18th-minute opener before the Norway forward – who netted four times in the 5-2 Bundesliga rout of Hertha Berlin – claimed his second of the Group F fixture on the hour-mark.

Haaland has 10 goals through seven Bundesliga matches this season, and 17 across all competitions in 2020-21 – including a Champions League-high six strikes.

Sancho struck in between Haaland's double, becoming the first Englishman to score a direct free-kick in the Champions League while playing for a non-English side since David Beckham for Real Madrid in 2005.

"I'm just happy to be playing with him," Sancho said. "He's an incredible player. He contributes greatly on the pitch and I was happy to assist him today.

"Recently he got the Golden Boy award and I'm very happy for him because he deserves it for how hard he works. He’s a fantastic player."

Dortmund – who recorded their 200th, 201st and 202nd goals in the Champions League, making them the 13th club to record the milestone – top Group F through four matchdays, a point ahead of Lazio.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre is confident Jadon Sancho will recapture his best form after scoring in Tuesday's win over Club Brugge.

Sancho became the first Englishman to score a direct free-kick in the Champions League while playing for a non-English side since David Beckham for Real Madrid in 2005.

The forward has been unable to live up to the standards he set last season, when he scored 20 goals and provided 19 assists in 44 games in all competitions.

Sancho's goal against Brugge was his third of the campaign, to go with four assists, in 10 games.

Favre was happy to see the 20-year-old – who was heavily linked with Manchester United during the previous transfer window – on the scoresheet and believes he will get back to his best.

"Of course, I'm really happy that he scored again. A very beautiful goal from a direct free-kick. We have a few players who can do that. He did it really, really well," he told a news conference.

"His goal has relieved us. A two-goal cushion coming one minute from the break was important, that was good for all of us.

"All over, he played really well, ran a lot. But I repeat, it is normal, a player cannot always be in his best shape. Sometimes it's like this, then like that."

Favre added: "I stayed very calm, just like my colleagues. We know what our players are like.

"Sometimes I say that they cannot be in their best form all year. That’s impossible. Last season was special for Jadon. Of course, he should digest that. But he will come back bit by bit."

Erling Haaland scored either side of Sancho's free-kick as Dortmund moved onto nine points, enough to sit top of Group F.

Haaland scored his 15th and 16th Champions League goals in only his 12th appearance, the fewest it has taken for a player to reach 15 goals in the competition.

England warmed up for their upcoming Nations League double-header by cruising to a 3-0 friendly win over the Republic of Ireland at Wembley.

Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho were on target in the first half of Thursday's encounter, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin's emphatic penalty completing a routine outing after the break.

Manager Gareth Southgate will now have plenty to think about after a strong showing from a number of England's fringe players prior to matches with Belgium and Iceland.

The visitors' hopes of earning a first ever Wembley win were dealt a blow when John Egan was forced off early on after taking a bang to the head.

Ireland probed with a couple of dangerous low crosses but England hit the front from a corner that resulted from Darren Randolph saving smartly from Bukayo Saka following an initial poor punch.

Harry Winks picked up the first clearance and stood up a cross for Maguire to power home with his head.

Calvert-Lewin then went close at the end of a slick move and Randolph saved from Maguire before the lively Jack Grealish fed Sancho, who lashed home England's second through the legs of Jeff Hendrick.

England picked up where they left off in the second half, pressing Ireland high before Saka was tripped in the box by Cyrus Christie.

And Calvert-Lewin made no mistake from the spot, hammering the ball into the top corner for the second goal of his short international career.

With the hosts in complete control late on, Southgate introduced Jude Bellingham from the bench, making him the third youngest England player of all-time.


What does it mean? Southgate given headache

The wisdom of playing these international friendlies has been questioned in recent weeks, but there is no doubt that Southgate learned more about the depth at his disposal this evening.

There is nothing better for a manager than to see fringe players stepping up in the absence of key men and that is exactly what happened for England here. Southgate is facing a very welcome headache.

Grealish makes case once again

It once felt like there was nothing Grealish could do to get into the England squad, but just two caps in he already looks a dead cert for inclusion in the Euros squad next summer. 

The Aston Villa man was influential again here, taking 50 touches, completing 88.9% of passes in the opposition half, and making two key passes - including the assist for Sancho's goal.

Idah isolated up top

Starting up front for the visitors at Wembley, Adam Idah would have hoped to make much more of an impact before his withdrawal in the 71st minute.

The 19-year-old touched the ball just 18 times, and won only one of his five duels.

What's next?

England travel to Belgium for a Nations League fixture on Sunday, while Ireland's next outing in the same competition sees them face Wales away from home.

Could Cristiano Ronaldo's time in Turin be coming to an end?

Ronaldo is contracted to Juventus until 2022 but the Italian giants are believed to be willing to part with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Neymar could be his direct replacement.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO OUT, NEYMAR IN?

Juventus are keen to swap Cristiano Ronaldo for Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.

Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from Serie A champions Juve, while Neymar's future has often dominated headlines amid speculation over a Barcelona return.

But the superstar pair could be involved in a blockbuster swap deal as both players are on similar contracts.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca claims Athletic Bilbao are eyeing former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, with the future of current head coach Gaizka Garitano uncertain. Pochettino has been linked to Manchester United.

Milan are targeting a January move for Schalke defender and Liverpool target Ozan Kabak, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Hellas Verona's Matteo Lovato is an alternative, while the Rossoneri are also eyeing Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram. The French forward has been linked to the likes of Juve, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City.

- Zinedine Zidane remains determined to bring Eduardo Camavinga to Madrid, however, Mundo Deportivo says the France sensation will not leave Rennes for below €100million.

- According to Manchester Evening News, United could rekindle their interest in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish amid his dazzling form. Grealish and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho were both linked with Old Trafford moves during the previous transfer window.

Jadon Sancho remained at Borussia Dortmund for this season, but things are not quite going to plan for the England man.

This year's blockbuster 'will he, won't he' transfer saga saw Manchester United repeatedly linked with a €120million swoop for the winger, only for no such move to materialise.

Instead, Sancho was expected to star again in the Bundesliga ahead of more speculation in the coming windows.

But while Dortmund have started well in 2020-21 and are level on points with leaders Bayern Munich ahead of this week's Klassiker, Sancho has not been so impressive.

He has played five of BVB's six league games but is yet to score and has supplied just two assists in a disappointing early return.

We assess the Opta data in a bid to find out just what has happened to the 20-year-old.
 

WHAT'S CHANGED?

Clearly, Sancho is less productive than in seasons past. He had 17 goals and 16 assists in the Bundesliga last term, registering a goal involvement every 69 minutes and creating 69 chances in total (2.7 per 90 minutes)

This term, he scores or assists once every 192 minutes and has played only nine key passes (2.1 per 90), although four of these have created a big chance. Only Thomas Muller (six) has set up more in the Bundesliga.

Sancho is averaging more touches (82.5) and touches in the opposition box (5.6) per 90 in the new season but is now less involved in the key moments of the match. He has been involved in only two sequences leading to a goal, having played a part in 41 in 2019-20 - behind only Robert Lewandowski (45).

By some measures, however, it appears Sancho has actually improved in 2020-21, he is still attempting 6.1 dribbles per 90 but now completing 69 per cent of these runs - up from 50 per cent.

The former Manchester City prospect is also now attempting a shot 2.6 times per 90 (11 in total), an increase from 2.0, but that is a cause for concern given his failure to find the net.
 

HEAD TURNED? OR GETTING GREEDY?

Dortmund coach Lucien Favre floated one explanation for Sancho's downturn in form last week as he suggested the links to United had been unhelpful.

"Every player has slow periods," Favre said. "There was a lot of talk about Jadon in the summer, something like that can also have an impact."

In terms of the numbers, though, it is that shooting statistic that might worry Favre.

Only three of his 11 shots have hit the target, with six blocked, and their combined Expected Goals (xG) is a meagre 0.8, suggesting Sancho is looking for goals from positions where a pass might be the better option, further explaining the decrease in his creativity.

Muller has also had 11 attempts yet has netted four times.
 

COMPARED WITH BAYERN'S BEST

It is not just record-breaker Muller who Sancho is struggling to match up to so far this term. Bayern have two very different styles of starting winger in Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane, yet both are outperforming Sancho.

Gnabry does not have a single assist and has created just nine chances, like Sancho, but he has scored four goals.

The ex-Arsenal man is less concerned about dribbles, attempting nine and completing just two, and instead prefers to take up goalscoring positions far more effectively than the BVB wide man. Seven of Gnabry's 13 shots have hit the target, while he has already had 40 touches in the opposition box - way beyond Sancho's 24.

On the other hand, Sane, who tries 5.1 dribbles per 90, perhaps provides a greater direct comparison with Sancho, but he has two goals and two assists, despite playing just four games, and creates 3.1 chances per 90.

Bayern's new signing has been involved in a goal every 58 minutes, ranking fourth in the league among those to play 100 minutes or more.

Indeed, while so off colour, Sancho is not even Dortmund's leading man.

Gio Reyna played in the one league game his team-mate missed - BVB's 4-0 win over Freiburg, their biggest of the season - and supplied a hat-trick of assists, while the teenager is also off the mark in terms of goals.

Jadon Sancho's recent dip in form could have been caused by the incessant transfer speculation surrounding him during pre-season, according to Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre. 

Sancho was the subject of intense transfer rumours in the close-season as Manchester United reportedly attempted to prise the England international away. 

Dortmund maintained early on that Sancho was not for sale once an August deadline passed, and they successfully resisted United's apparent attempts to make a deal happen. 

But, while no move transpired, Favre suggests it was not a case of no harm being done. 

Sancho has only had a hand in two goals (two assists) in four Bundesliga matches at the start of 2020-21, a somewhat disappointing figure by his usual standards.

Favre believes the pre-season saga could have affected him. 

"Every player has slow periods," he said ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Zenit. 

"There was a lot of talk about Jadon in the summer, something like that can also have an impact. 

"But no player is consistently in top form for an entire year, that's impossible. You have to accept that." 

Last season, Sancho created a total of 69 goal-scoring chances in the Bundesliga, ultimately leading to 16 assists. He also scored 17 times, meaning he was involved in 33 goals in 32 games. 

While his key pass frequency was 2.71 per 90 minutes in 2019-20, that has only decreased slightly to 2.04 this term, therefore he is still creating opportunities. 

Nevertheless, Sancho is already behind in regards to his overall productivity in comparison to the previous season.

Fabian Ruiz continues to attract interest from his native Spain.

The former Real Betis midfielder joined Napoli in 2018 and he has starred for the Italian club.

Real Madrid are reportedly keen to bring Fabian back to Spain.

 

TOP STORY – FABIAN TOPS MADRID'S LIST

Real Madrid have renewed their interest in Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to Calciomercato.

Fabian, who is contracted to Serie A outfit Napoli until 2023, has been linked with Madrid, LaLiga rivals Barcelona and Manchester City previously.

The Spain international continues to impress Zinedine Zidane's Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United remain hopeful of signing Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland, claims The Athletic. United tried to sign Haaland before the Norwegian opted to join Dortmund from Salzburg in January. Haaland's €75million (£68m) release clause becomes active in 2022 and United are prepared to wait amid reported interest from the likes of Madrid and Juventus.

- The Athletic also says United are still trying to prise Jadon Sancho from Dortmund after failing to land the England star during the previous transfer window. Sancho has also been linked to Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Madrid and Barcelona.

- AS reports Milan are weighing up a January move for PSG striker Mauro Icardi. The former Inter captain completed a permanent transfer from the Nerazzurri at the start of the season.

- With doubts over Thomas Tuchel's future in Paris, Le10 Sport says the PSG head coach has received approaches from several Premier League clubs. Tuchel is out of contract at the end of the season and sporting director Leonardo is reportedly looking to move on from the German.

Adama Traore is reportedly set to snub Barcelona and Liverpool to extend his stay at Wolves.

Traore has been linked with a move away from Wolves, where he arrived from Middlesbrough in 2018.

But the winger is seemingly happy at the Premier League club.

 

TOP STORY – TRAORE TO EXTEND WOLVES STAY DESPITE BARCELONA, LIVERPOOL INTEREST

Traore is set for a pay rise and is close to agreeing to a four-year deal with Wolves despite interest from Barcelona and Liverpool, according to The Sun.

The three-time Spain international is reportedly set for the new contract despite having a deal until 2023.

Barcelona and Liverpool have been linked with Traore previously.

 

ROUND-UP

- Paulo Dybala's Juventus future is again a talking point. An unused substitute against Crotone on Saturday, Dybala reportedly clashed with Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A champions are preparing for Dybala to exit amid links to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and they are eyeing Salzburg teenager Luka Susic.

- Manchester United missed out on Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho during the close season, but there is a belief the Premier League giants will target the attacker again in January or next year, according to the Daily Star.

- Marcelo Brozovic could be set for an Inter exit. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A club are prepared to sell the midfielder in January, with interest from Tottenham and Monaco.

- As he continues to impress at Salzburg, Dominik Szoboszlai is linked with a move. Football.london says the Hungary international is a target for Arsenal.

- Compared to Portugal great Luis Figo, Sporting CP teenager Luis Gomes is a target for Manchester United, according to the Mirror.

Jadon Sancho did not leave Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United because the Red Devils "misjudged" the situation, according to Hans-Joachim Watzke.

England winger Sancho was said to be United's number one target during the transfer window but Dortmund refused to budge from a reported €120million asking price.

The failed lengthy pursuit led to renewed criticism of United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and his dealings in the market.

After the deadline, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc admitted Sancho would have been allowed to depart Signal Iduna Park had the club's demands been met.

CEO Watzke further expanded on Dortmund's position, though did not specifically name United when discussing what occurred.

"[They] misjudged the situation. We would be more willing to compromise. We had a clear line and will continue to do so next summer," Watzke told ZDF Sports.

"In this industry, you can never say that a player is completely unsellable." 

United are already rumoured to be planning a fresh move for Sancho in the January window when big-money moves are generally harder to strike.

Watzke was asked if he felt Sancho would have left amid rumours he was keen for a switch to Old Trafford.

"I heard and read everywhere in the spring that Sancho was gone. But he's here," he added.

"We had an agreement with him and it didn't look like that." 

What does the future hold for Kylian Mbappe?

The Paris Saint-Germain and France forward is not short of options as Europe's elite eye a blockbuster transfer.

But Real Madrid are believed to be Mbappe's preference.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS MADRID MOVE  

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is only thinking about joining Real Madrid amid interest from Barcelona and Liverpool, according to the front page of Friday's AS.

Mbappe is reportedly unwilling to extend his PSG contract, which expires in 2022.

Madrid are eyeing a 2021 swoop for Mbappe, and while LaLiga rivals Barca and Premier League champions Liverpool are also interested, the French forward wants to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona have already agreed to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay in January. The report says Barca are now trying to reduce salaries at the club as they look to resolve the futures of Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite. Dembele was linked with a deadline-day move to Manchester United.

Juventus are set to reignite their interest in Lyon star Houssem Aouar, reports Calciomercato. Aouar was heavily linked to Arsenal before the transfer window closed, while PSG have also been credited with an interest.

Milan and Serie A rivals Juve will go head-to-head to sign Salzburg midfielder Luka Sucic, says Calciomercato. The 18-year-old has only made two league appearances for the Austrian champions.

West Ham are set to confirm the signing of Brentford star Said Benrahma, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano and widespread reports. Benrahma is reportedly going to cost the Hammers £30million.

- Bild reports Borussia Dortmund sensation Giovanni Reyna is set for a new lucrative contract in Germany. The American teenager has been linked with Liverpool and Madrid.

Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Ansu Fati headline the final 20-name shortlist for the 2020 Golden Boy award.

The prize, presented by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and won by Joao Felix last year, is given to the best player aged 21 or under from a top-tier league in Europe.

Haaland is a leading contender for the accolade after scoring 44 goals across all competitions in 2019-20 – 16 of those coming in 18 appearances after a mid-season move from Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund.

Among all Bundesliga players last season to have scored at least 10 goals, only Robert Lewandowski (81.2) had a better minutes-per-goal record than Haaland (81.7).

His Dortmund team-mate Sancho finished the 2019-20 league campaign with 17 goals and 16 assists, making him the first player since Opta began detailed data collection (2004-05) to register at least 15 in both categories in the same Bundesliga campaign.

The England international's prolific campaign saw him become the youngest player (20 years, two months and six days old) in the history of Germany's top flight to reach 30 career goals.

Despite their impressive numbers, Haaland and Sancho face stiff competition from Fati, who became the third-youngest player (16 years, 304 days old) to find the net in LaLiga history and the youngest of all time in the Champions League (17 years, 40 days).

He finished the season with eight goals in all competitions and has continued his rise this term, netting three times in as many LaLiga games and becoming the youngest player to score for Spain.

Alphonso Davies will also be in contention after establishing himself as one of the top left-backs in the game during Bayern Munich's treble-winning season.

The full 20-man shortlist:

Mitchel Bakker (Paris Saint-Germain), Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), Jonathan David (Lille), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Sergino Dest (Barcelona), Fabio Silva (Wolves), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Dominik Szoboszlai (Salzburg), Sandro Tonali (Milan), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

Borussia Dortmund held onto Jadon Sancho during the previous transfer window – and they have no plans to sell the star in January.

Sancho was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, but the England international ended up staying at the Bundesliga club.

If United are planning another move in January, it seems it is destined to fail again.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND WON'T SELL MAN UTD TARGET SANCHO IN JANUARY

Borussia Dortmund will not sell Sancho in January, according to Bild.

Sancho, 20, has continued to be linked to Manchester United, while Liverpool and Bayern Munich have also been credited with an interest.

The attacker has scored one goal and provided two assists in three games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- As he recovers from another serious knee injury, Nicolo Zaniolo is set to stay at Roma. Corriere della Sera reports Roma will extend the Italy international's contract – which expires in 2024 – until 2025.

- Staying in the Italian capital and Corriere dello Sport says Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac has been offered to Roma, who are preparing for the January transfer window.

- West Ham appear set to land Brentford forward Said Benrahma. BBC reports the Premier League club are set to sign Benrahma for £30million, with £25m of that being paid up front.

- As Harry Wilson prepares for another loan move from Liverpool, the Premier League champions want a £1m fee as part of a deal, according to The Sun. Swansea City reportedly lead the race for Wilson.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are apparently looking at Swansea City attacker Andre Ayew. However, The Sun reports Ayew's high wages could see him miss out on a move to the Premier League club.

- West Brom appear set to strengthen. Sky Sports reports they have agreed a fee worth around £15m for Huddersfield Town striker Karlan Grant. Grant scored 19 Championship goals last season.

Jadon Sancho and Tammy Abraham are back in England contention again after missing the friendly win over Wales due to breaching coronavirus protocols.

Sancho, Abraham and Ben Chilwell were left out of the squad for Thursday's 3-0 victory after it emerged earlier in the week they had attended a party last Saturday.

The trio were at a surprise birthday party thrown for Chelsea striker Abraham, who insisted he had no prior knowledge of it and subsequently apologised.

British tabloid The Sun claimed approximately 20 people were at the event despite United Kingdom regulations prohibiting meetings of more than six people in social situations.

Sancho also took responsibility for his actions in an apology posted to his official Instagram account, with Southgate confirming the players would be missing for at least the Wales friendly.

Southgate said their availability to face Belgium in Sunday's Nations League encounter depended on them passing UEFA-mandated coronavirus tests two days before, and they were given the go-ahead to return to training on Saturday.

"Tammy and Jadon both trained this morning, so everyone is available," Southgate told reporters.

"They've obviously missed a bit of training, so that's a bit of a concern in terms of their load through the week but no, it [the punishment] is done, that situation is done.

"They are back with the group and we move forward."

Chilwell remains a doubt for Sunday's match, however, as he was unable to take the UEFA test on Friday due to a non-coronavirus related illness.

"So, Ben will be tested today and we have to wait for the results of that test tomorrow and then we can make a decision from there medically on that," Southgate added.

A player who impressed in Sancho's absence on Thursday was Jack Grealish, who set up Dominic Calvert-Lewin's opener on his first England start.

But Southgate was eager to calm comparisons between Aston Villa playmaker Grealish and Three Lions great Paul Gascoigne.

"I'm very conscious, I don't want to be dampening the enthusiasm for Jack, I always answer honestly about people, but when you talk about Gascoigne, there's not a player in English history at that level, in my opinion," he said.

"But I don't want that to be seen as a criticism of Jack. In many ways, Gascoigne was unique, such an incredible player, it's a bit like talking about Bobby Moore.

"I think what we have to say is, young players who come through, we shouldn't burden them with comparing them to someone else, their own talents are unique.

"I kind of understood some of the comparison, but I think Gascoigne was on another level to anyone else I played with."

Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell will miss England's friendly against Wales on Thursday, manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed.

The Football Association (FA) launched an investigation after the trio allegedly broke coronavirus protocols by attending a party, which reportedly was held to celebrate Abraham's 23rd birthday and took place at the Chelsea striker's London flat on Saturday.

Coronavirus regulations in the United Kingdom currently prohibit meetings of more than six people in social situations, but British tabloid The Sun claimed approximately 20 people were at the party.

The FA delayed Sancho, Abraham and Chilwell from joining the team while they looked into the incident and it has now been confirmed they will not take part against Wales.

Southgate added that they will not be in contention for Sunday's Nations League meeting with Belgium either if they are not able to join the squad on Friday.

"I think the players have already accepted they were in the wrong. They had broken those lockdown guidelines that were there," Southgate said on Wednesday.

"I have to be careful being on my moral high horse about things that happen when we aren't in camp with the team.

"We do have an issue in terms of the COVID guidelines and making sure any player that comes in is as lower risk as possible to the group. We are having to monitor the players, they are being tested today and tomorrow, we have to check for further symptoms.

"They obviously miss the game with Wales. If they are not able to be with us by Friday morning, they will miss the game with Belgium.

"We just have to make sure to protect the whole group - that is key. The timelines on the incubation period are really complex and we have to manage that as best we can."

Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were sent home during the previous international break for breaching coronavirus protocols in Iceland and Southgate has reminded the players of their responsibilities.

"I don't think we can attribute what happens when they are the responsibility of their clubs to England," said Southgate.

"At the beginning of the week we had a good meeting with the players and spoke about the responsibility of being an England Player and how the spotlight is different.

"When the [Sancho, Abraham and Chilwell] story broke, there was no mention of their clubs. Whether they have one cap or 50 caps, it takes a lot of energy and time away from the team. The players in camp are 100 per cent focused on the game.

"If you are going into major tournament and it happens, then they can derail you. That did not happen in Russia and it allowed us to focus on our football.

"I have also talked about the connection of the fans and we have 10 with us who were in Russia. They have done good work with their clubs and communities, but some of the young ones have not done that and they need to prove themselves.

"They need to remember it is an honour to play for England. We have all made errors, I had nights out as player, but we are living in unique times with COVID. Politicians, businessmen have erred within the field.

"Fighting the virus, we need to work to pull together. There is a lot of disharmony now when before we saw people clapping the NHS and doing shopping for their neighbours."

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