There is never a good time to face the current Liverpool team but Jose Mourinho's beleaguered Tottenham team could well do without meeting the Premier League leaders on this particular weekend.

Spurs are winless in their last three games in all competitions and have won just one of their last four in the top flight, leaving them sixth and a staggering 28 points behind the Reds after 21 games.

Liverpool, in stark contrast, can rack up their 12th consecutive Premier League win if they triumph at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and will be well rested having fielded a team largely made up of fringe players in their 1-0 FA Cup victory over Everton.

At their best Liverpool look unstoppable, but Tottenham have only lost one league home game in four months and Mourinho would love nothing more than to put his side's season back on track by putting a speedbump under the Anfield juggernaut.

 

ACID TEST FOR SPURS' POUROUS DEFENCE

Since Mourinho's arrival, Spurs have kept just one clean sheet and any Tottenham fans anticipating a more miserly rearguard action under the Portuguese have been disappointed thus far.

Defensive fragility has been Tottenham's Achilles heel all season, and their record of two domestic clean sheets this term is bettered by every top-flight club except stragglers Norwich City.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have scored in their last 29 top-flight matches and are steaming towards Manchester United's record of finding the net in 36 consecutive Premier League games, which the Red Devils set in November 2008.

Stopping Liverpool means stopping Sadio Mane, who has been involved in 11 goals in his last nine Premier League appearances, scoring six goals and assisting five.

Mane picked up the African Player of the Year award earlier in the week and will no doubt be in the mood to celebrate with a goal in North London.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: JAN VERTONGHEN v VIRGIL VAN DIJK

Among those tasked with stopping Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino et al will be Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen, who has started in 14 of Spurs' 21 league games this season.

The Belgium international's contract is up at the end of the season and his lacklustre performance in Tottenham's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Middlesbrough prompted calls for him to be let go by sections of the club's support.

But in answering his critics Vertonghen might point to his duel success rate of 74.02 per cent this season, which stands up well against the imperious Virgil van Dijk who has won 75.58 per cent of his Premier League duels this season.

Van Dijk has been successful in 64.29 per cent of his tackles this term, while Vertonghen has won 58.82 per cent of his, and Van Dijk's nine blocks put him just one ahead of his Tottenham counterpart.

Van Dijk dramatically outshines Vertonghen in the air, winning 101 aerial balls compared to the Belgian's 42, and the Dutchman can boast seven league clean sheets this season.

Perhaps most worrying for Mourinho is that the 32-year-old Vertonghen has been dribbled past on 10 occasions across the course of the campaign - seven more times than Van Dijk, who so rarely gets beaten on the ground or in the air.

FORM GUIDE

Liverpool have scored seven goals without reply in their last two Premier League away games, which extended their winning streak on the road to four consecutive games.

But Spurs do have an omen in their favour: in their last 10 home league games against sides starting the day top of the table, Tottenham have won six (D1 L3).

That said, getting a result against Liverpool requires Spurs to break down the Premier League's meanest defence, and they will have to do so without the injured Harry Kane.

Tottenham have won just two of their last 12 games in all competitions without Kane (D4 L6) and when the England striker has been missing this season his team-mates have failed to win at all (D3 L1).

HISTORY SAYS

Recent meetings with Liverpool have not gone well for Tottenham, who have won just one of their last 14 Premier League games against the Reds (D4 L9), winning 4-1 at Wembley in October 2017.

It was not always this way: Liverpool lost five consecutive games at Tottenham between 2008 and 2012, but in their last six league visits they have claimed three wins and two draws.

Victory on Saturday would mark Liverpool's fourth consecutive win in London - a feat they have not achieved since October 1989.

Liverpool's tally of 58 points from 20 Premier League games this season has already eclipsed their totals from the entirety of the 2011-12 and 1998-99 campaigns, and their charge towards the title will take some stopping at Spurs.

Jose Mourinho selected Christian Eriksen from the start for Tottenham's FA Cup match at Middlesbrough despite reports of interest from Inter.

Eriksen is out of contract at the end of the season and has long been linked with a move away from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Manchester United and Real Madrid mooted as suitors in the past.

Sunday's FA Cup clash at the Riverside came amid fresh talk of a transfer, as Inter were said to be willing to part with £20million for the midfielder in January.

The visitors were captained by Jan Vertonghen, who is also in the final months of his Spurs deal.

Tottenham were without Harry Kane - their previous stand-in skipper - following his hamstring tear against Southampton on Wednesday but could call again on Son Heung-min, who was suspended for their past three games after a red card at home to Chelsea before Christmas.

Real Madrid are said to be close to signing yet another rising Brazilian star.

Zinedine Zidane's side have reportedly agreed a fee for Flamengo's Reinier, who could move to Spain this month.

Chelsea, meanwhile, may have to wait until after the season has finished until their top targets become available.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID TO SIGN REINIER FOR €30M

According to widespread reports, Real Madrid are close to finalising a deal to sign Flamengo's Reinier.

The 17-year-old could move to the Spanish capital in January and spend the rest of the season with Raul's Castilla team.

Reinier, who turns 18 on January 19 and will therefore become an easier deal to complete, will apparently cost €30m plus potential add-ons.

ROUND-UP

 - Chelsea want to sign Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner, but the Premier League club know they are likely to have to wait until the end of the season to complete the deals, according to Goal.

- Elsewhere in London, Sky Sports say West Ham have held talks with Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes, a reported target for Manchester United. David Moyes said of the club's interest: "He is a name mentioned alongside many."

Inter are the latest team to be interested in Christian Eriksen, say Tuttomercatoweb. Directors Giuseppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio want to close the deal quickly but Tottenham's £30m asking price is a problem.

Nikola Kalinic has been offered to Newcastle United as he has struggled for football since joining Roma on loan from Atletico Madrid, say Marca.

- Still with Marca, Real Madrid have apparently earmarked three Lille players as potential signings for 2020: Boubakary Soumare, Victor Osimhen and Gabriel.

- Sky Sports claim Jan Vertonghen is now more likely to join Napoli from Tottenham this month, as Ajax have apparently cooled their interest in their former defender.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami are set to appoint a new coach in the form of Anthony Pulis, the son of ex-Stoke City boss Tony. Pulis will work as assistant to Diego Alonso, say The Telegraph.

Neymar is reportedly preparing a fresh strategy in his bid to return to Barcelona.

The Paris Saint-Germain star was linked heavily with a move back to Camp Nou during the close season but ended up staying with the Ligue 1 giants.

However, Neymar seemingly still has his eyes set on a return to LaLiga's reigning champions.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR PREPARES FRESH BARCELONA RETURN BID

Neymar is preparing a legal strategy to return to Barcelona, according to Sport.

The 27-year-old wants to make the move and let FIFA impose the compensation he will have to pay to PSG to be released, the report says.

Neymar has scored nine goals in 12 games this season, having struggled with injuries.

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen is wanted by several European heavyweights. Inter have expressed an interest in the Tottenham midfielder, according to the Daily Mail. Manchester United, PSG and Juventus have also been linked to the Denmark international, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at Spurs, Napoli and Ajax are preparing to move for Jan Vertonghen, according to The Telegraph. Vertonghen is also out of contract at the end of the season.

- After missing out on Dejan Kulusevski to Juventus, Inter are setting up to land two major transfers ahead of 2020-21. La Gazzetta dello Sport believes the Nerazzurri  will try to sign Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- While they are eyeing Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, Inter will try to make Stefano Sensi's move from Sassuolo a permanent one in January, reports CalcioMercato. Sensi arrived on loan in July last year with an option to buy at the end of the season.

- Daniel Sturridge could be set for a return to the Premier League. The Sun claims Aston Villa could be set to offer the former Liverpool forward, who is playing for Trabzonspor, a return to England.

Jose Mourinho wants to see both Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen commit their futures to Tottenham after Toby Alderweireld signed a new contract on Friday.

Alderweireld had been out of contract at the end of this season but extended his deal until 2023.

Vertonghen and Eriksen continue to edge towards free agency, though, and the Denmark playmaker has been repeatedly linked with moves to Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy suggested this week the club would be open to selling Eriksen to a direct rival in January, but Mourinho is still hoping to keep the player.

"The only thing I tell you about Christian is that I would like him to sign a new contract," Mourinho told reporters. "Apart from that, I don't tell you anything else."

Asked if he wanted Vertonghen to follow Alderweireld's lead too, the head coach said: "Yes.

"I think a player will sign a contract when the club wants. I am the club. Mr Levy is the club. When the club wants, when the player wants, when the family wants, when the agent wants...

"If one of these parts doesn't want, it's very, very difficult to happen, unless the player changes agent and gets an agent that also wants. So, when everybody wants.

"But again, the most important thing is what Toby said: 'I couldn't be happier in another place'. Amazing."

After securing the contracts of key men, Mourinho's next task will be to turn Tottenham from an "almost" team into winners.

Spurs have repeatedly finished in the top four of the Premier League, seriously competing for the title in 2015-16, and reached the Champions League final last term.

But their last piece of silverware came under Juande Ramos in the 2007-08 EFL Cup, beating Sunday's opponents and Mourinho's former club Chelsea in the final.

"It's better to be close than be far. If you don't win, it's better to be close to winning than far from winning," Mourinho said.

"Tottenham was close to winning the league when Leicester City won, was close to winning the Champions League last year, was close to winning some cups I played the final of, the [EFL] Cup.

"We are going to try, of course we are going to try. That's not my DNA, to be comfortable with 'almost'. I never liked very much the 'almost'. But in terms of progression, 'almost' is better than 'far from'."

Tottenham are "not scared" of selling Christian Eriksen to a Premier League rival, according to chairman Daniel Levy.

The 27-year-old is due to be out of contract at the end of the season and has been strongly linked with a move away ahead of the January transfer window.

Manchester United are among the clubs rumoured to be interested in signing Eriksen, who has started just one game in all competitions since Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month.

Tottenham risk losing the Denmark international for nothing in six months' time, so Levy is not ruling out a mid-season exit.

"We are honestly not scared to trade with our rivals," he told the Evening Standard when asked if he would sanction a sale to a fellow Premier League club.

Defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are also into the final year of their contracts, though both players are reportedly interested in signing new deals.

"My view is really simple. For a player to sign a new contract, not only have the conditions got to be right but the player has got to want to do it," Levy said.

"It is up to those players whether they want to stay at Tottenham, and we'll see. I don't want to comment on ­individual players too much. I actually think it is unfair. 

"Every circumstance is different. There may be a player who wants to stay, there may be a player we don't want to stay."

Eriksen came off the bench to set up Vertonghen's late goal in his side's 2-1 win at Wolves on Sunday.

Tottenham have made a positive start to life under Mourinho, who has previously ruled out the prospect of making any new signings in the January window - a stance Levy is expecting to remain the same.

"Jose is on record as saying what we need now is to get the players playing better, which is what they are doing," he said.

"He's made it clear he is not looking for new players in January. He is happy with what he's got and that's why he said that."

Points were dropped by several Premier League sides with top-six aspirations on a weekend when leaders Liverpool were rescued by Mohamed Salah's finishing as they extended their winning streak and their cushion at the top.

The Reds beat Watford 2-0 at Anfield to move 10 points clear of Leicester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home by struggling Norwich City.

There was also frustration for a top-four side at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea failed to score for the second time in three Premier League home games as they succumbed 1-0 to Bournemouth.

Manchester City suffered no such slip-up when they travelled to Arsenal on Sunday, as a 3-0 win for the third-placed defending champions moved them to 14 points behind Liverpool.

Tottenham nudged up to fifth after beating Wolves 2-1 to offer further evidence that Jose Mourinho has addressed some of the problems his side faced on the road under Mauricio Pochettino.

Take a deep dive into the big stories of the weekend in our Premier League Data Diary.

REDS STREAK RANKS THIRD AFTER TRICKY HORNETS TEST

Goals from Mohamed Salah and some wayward Watford finishing ensured Liverpool claimed a 2-0 win at Anfield to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 34 games.

Only Arsenal (49 between May 2003 and October 2004) and Chelsea (40 between October 2004 and October 2005) can boast longer undefeated sequences in the competition, and the Reds have won their last 16 league games at Anfield.

Five more consecutive home wins would see Jurgen Klopp's men match the record (21) set by Bill Shankly's title-winning Liverpool side between January and December 1972.

Salah's double takes his goal tally to 84 in 126 appearances for Liverpool, eclipsing Luis Suarez's record of 82 goals in 133 games for the Reds.

Watford have taken just nine points from 17 league games this season, and the omens for them are not good: all of the nine teams to accumulate nine points or fewer after 17 Premier League matches have been eventually relegated.

 

HONEYMOON PERIOD A DISTANT MEMORY FOR LAMPARD

After seeing Chelsea lose just two of his first 12 Premier League games in charge, Frank Lampard watched his charges slip to a fourth defeat in five against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The 1-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge came courtesy of Dan Gosling's first league goal since April and left the Blues with just one fewer home defeat (five) in all competitions this season than they suffered in 62 games over 2017-18 and 2018-19 combined.

Chelsea have lost two of their last three top-flight home games, as many as they had in their previous 28 at Stamford Bridge, and failed to score in both of those defeats.

Since their promotion in 2015, no side has won more Premier League away game at Chelsea than Bournemouth (three, level with Liverpool).

 

MOURINHO'S MEN MAKE PROGRESS ON THE ROAD

Prior to Jose Mourinho's arrival as Tottenham boss, Spurs had failed to win a Premier League away game this season. But since he took charge they have won two out of three in the league on the road.

Lucas Moura's spectacular solo goal gave them the lead at Molineux and the Brazilian has now scored three goals in five top-flight appearances under Mourinho.

Wolves pulled level after 67 minutes of a scintillating game, Adama Traore scoring his fourth goal in 26 appearances in all competitions this season - twice as many goals as he scored in his previous 82 matches.

But Jan Vertonghen restored Tottenham's lead in second-half stoppage-time, inflicting a third home league defeat for Wolves in 2019 while extending Mourinho's record of not losing Premier League games when his side score first to 54 games since October 2015.

 

CHAMPIONS CRUISE AGAINST SHOT-SHY GUNNERS

Arsenal shipped three goals in 40 first-half minutes as they lost 3-0 at home to Manchester City, which left the Gunners with one win from their last nine Premier League matches.

Freddie Ljungberg's men are without a win at home in six games across all competitions - the club's longest such run since an eight-game streak between December 1994 and February 1995.

Kevin De Bruyne produced a masterclass at the Emirates, scoring either side of Raheem Sterling's tap-in, which he set up, to take his goal involvement tally to 19 in the league this season (seven goals and 12 assists).

Sterling's effort was his seventh away goal in the league this season - his joint-highest return on the road in a single campaign (also seven in 2017-18).

While City were prolific, Arsenal mustered just one shot on target all game - their joint-fewest in a Premier League game at Emirates Stadium (one v Everton in 2010, and v Chelsea in 2015 and 2016).

Jan Vertonghen praised the turnaround Tottenham have made under Jose Mourinho after his late header earned a 2-1 Premier League win at Wolves.

Adama Traore, who gave Vertonghen a tough match at Molineux on Sunday, had struck to cancel out Lucas Moura's early effort in wet conditions.

But Vertonghen headed home a Christian Eriksen corner in the first minute of added time to give Mourinho's men their fourth win in five league games since the Portuguese replaced Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs are now within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who they host next weekend, with Vertonghen hailing the improvement made by his side in recent weeks.

"It was a very difficult game. We know how good Wolves are," said the defender.

"People talk about the top six but they're very close. They show it in the league every week. They're a very good side.

"It was very difficult playing against one of the quickest guys in the league [Traore].

"When he [Mourinho] came in, he was very clear that he wanted to be in the top four.

"We were 11 points off when he came in, now we are three away.

"Things are looking different for us now, we are in the next round of the Champions League too."

While there was joy at a late winner for Spurs it was a painful end to the game for Wolves, whose 11-match unbeaten run in the Premier League is over.

"I'm distraught," said captain Conor Coady. "I thought we were fantastic. We nullified them.

"We've got to manage the game better. We dominated them from start to finish. We have to pick ourselves up.

"We shouldn't have conceded the last one. We dominated a top team like Tottenham."

Jan Vertonghen's late header earned Tottenham a 2-1 win at Wolves that moves Jose Mourinho's side within three points of the Premier League's top four.

Spurs seemed set to be held to a 1-1 draw at a wet Molineux after an early Lucas Moura strike was cancelled out by Adama Traore's drive midway through the second half.

But in the first minute of added time, Vertonghen stooped to direct Christian Eriksen's right-wing corner past Rui Patricio to seal a fourth win in five league games for Mourinho.

Wolves. for whom Diogo Jota lashed wide at the death, slip below Tottenham in the Premier League table after seeing their 11-game unbeaten run in the league come to an unfortunate end.

 

Tottenham have rested Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier for their Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho announced after the 5-0 victory over Burnley on Saturday that star striker Kane would not be making the trip to the Allianz Arena for a dead rubber in Group B.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Alli, Vertonghen and Aurier will also remain in the United Kingdom ahead of a trip to Wolves on Sunday.

Troy Parrott is reportedly set to lead the line in Munich for Tottenham, who are guaranteed to finish second behind leaders Bayern.

Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Erik Lamela, Tanguy Ndombele, Michel Vorm and Harry Winks are still sidelined.

Kai Havertz is reportedly wanted by seven of Europe's biggest clubs.

The Germany and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has impressed in the Bundesliga, sparking interest from numerous clubs.

Havertz, 20, is contracted at Leverkusen until 2022, but that does not seem to be stopping Europe's best and biggest.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, MADRID AMONG SEVEN CLUBS WHO WANT HAVERTZ

LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of seven clubs who want Kai Havertz, according to Sport Bild.

Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are the other clubs interested in Havertz.

Havertz made his senior debut at Leverkusen in 2016 and has already amassed 121 appearances for the club.

ROUND-UP

- Talks between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Milan are continuing. Sport Mediaset reports the striker wants €3million net until June, while Milan are offering €2m, with Ibrahimovic hoping to arrive at his next club by mid-December.

- Arsenal have started looking at potential replacements for under-fire head coach Unai Emery, according to The Daily Telegraph. Emery is under pressure after a run of six games without a win at Arsenal. Mauricio Pochettino, Massimiliano Allegri and Nuno Espirito Santo are reported candidates.

- Edinson Cavani is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and the Uruguayan could be set for an MLS move. Cavani's representatives met with LA Galaxy last week regarding a potential switch, according to Le10Sport.

- Arsenal and Lyon are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, reports Tuttomercatoweb. The 26-year-old France international has made just three LaLiga appearances this season after dealing with injuries.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Jan Vertonghen is keen to discuss a new deal with Tottenham, according to Sky Sports News. The centre-back is reportedly a target for Roma and Bayer Leverkusen.

- Inter Miami are still eyeing their first coach ahead of their inaugural MLS season in 2020. The Telegraph reports David Beckham is lining up Nice boss Patrick Vieira.

Jose Mourinho seemingly has Gareth Bale in his Tottenham plans, but he will have to wait until before the start of next season.

Mourinho was named Spurs head coach on Wednesday, a day after the Premier League club sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of talk around his potential movements in the transfer market – including a Tottenham return for Bale.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO EYES BALE, BUT CAN'T SPEND IN JANUARY

Mourinho's arrival at Tottenham offers Bale the perfect escape route from Real Madrid, according to AS.

The star attacker left Spurs for Madrid in 2013, but is set to leave the LaLiga giants at season's end, the report says.

Marca reports Madrid have ruled out a January exit for Bale. That would suit Mourinho, who has been told there is no money to spend in the January window, according to The Guardian.

ROUND-UP

- Mourinho has more pressing matters at Spurs. The Mirror reports Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, who are out of contract at season's end, are intrigued by the prospect of working under Mourinho and are open minded about their futures.

- It could have been different for Spurs. According to the Daily Mail, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers was Tottenham's first choice before they turned to Mourinho.

- Meanwhile, the sacked Pochettino may not be out of management for too long. Barcelona and Bayern Munich are ready to pounce for the former Spurs manager, according to The Sun. Ernesto Valverde is under pressure at Camp Nou, while interim boss Hansi Flick will coach Bayern until at least the end of the year.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be getting closer to sorting out his future. Sky Sport reports AC Milan spoke to the departing LA Galaxy striker's agent Mino Raiola on Wednesday about the possibility of a return to San Siro.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in no rush to renew his Arsenal contract and with good reason. Sport reports the forward is waiting to find out how serious Barcelona's interest in him is before extending a deal that runs until 2021.

- Needing a striker, Manchester United are considering a January move for Roma's Edin Dzeko, according to ESPN FC. Dzeko has scored five goals in 12 Serie A games this season, and United are looking to finally bolster their attack after losing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez in the close season.

- Olivier Giroud has made just one Premier League start for Chelsea this season and the striker could be set for a January exit. La Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are considering a move for Giroud in January as they look for a back-up for Lukaku.

Roberto Martinez has confirmed neither Thomas Meunier nor Jan Vertonghen are fit for international duty, but Kevin De Bruyne has returned to the Belgium squad.

The Red Devils, who have already qualified for Euro 2020, have limited defensive options for upcoming matches against Russia and Cyprus.

Wing-back Meunier suffered a thigh strain in Champions League action for Paris Saint-Germain against Club Brugge last month and is yet to return.

Meanwhile, Tottenham defender Vertonghen, who has struggled for form this season, was last seen on the bench at Liverpool at the end of October.

Vissel Kobe's Thomas Vermaelen is included but will be assessed as he deals with his own fitness issues, while Jason Denayer is brought in.

Anderlecht left-back Elias Cobbaut also profits from the various injuries, earning a first senior call-up.

"[Goalkeeper] Koen Casteels, Meunier and Vertonghen are injured," explained Martinez. "We are not sure if Vermaelen will be available. He will be assessed on Monday.

"Cobbaut has had a good transition with Johan Walem and the under-21s. The European Under-21 Championship last season was a key moment for him. For his club, he shows that he is growing all the time."

The return of De Bruyne is a boost, meanwhile, having last played for his country against Scotland in September due to a subsequent groin strain.

Brighton and Hove Albion forward Leandro Trossard is also fit again and in the squad.


Belgium squad in full: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Hendrik Van Crombrugge (Anderlecht), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Matz Sels (Strasbourg); Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin), Elias Cobbaut (Anderlecht), Jason Denayer (Lyon), Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge), Thomas Vermaelen (Vissel Kobe); Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Timothy Castagne (Atalanta), Nacer Chadli (Anderlecht), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Leander Dendoncker (Wolves), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund), Dennis Praet (Leicester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund); Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Maxime Lestienne (Standard Liege), Romelu Lukaku (Inter), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Divock Origi (Liverpool), Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht).

The Gareth Bale transfer saga continues to roll on as he remains frozen out at Spanish giants Real Madrid with seemingly no way back.

The 30-year-old was linked with a move to China in the summer but the move did not materialise and Bale has since continued to find himself out of favour with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

All is not lost for Bale though with three Premier League clubs battling for the Welshman's signature in January, as he builds towards a possible Euro 2020 campaign with Wales next June.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE TRIO KEEN TO SIGN BALE IN JANUARY

Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked with a January swoop for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, according to AS.

The three Premier League giants are seeking solutions to solve inconsistent starts to their respective seasons and believe the Welshman could provide a timely boost leading into 2020.

Bale is seen as the perfect fit for a return to Premier League football, having maintained his good reputation from time spent with Southampton and Spurs, but it remains to be seen whether Madrid's asking price or the player's wage demands will be met. 

Marca believe Bale could revisit a potential move to China, however, with the player's agent believed to be in talks with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter Milan are hopeful of signing Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen on a free transfer this summer, according to The Guardian.

- Sky Italia say Inter are also considering a move for out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, which would see the Serbian reunite with Antonio Conte.

- Staying in Serie A and Corriere dello Sport claim Roma have rejected the opportunity to sign former Sunderland flop Jack Rodwell on a free transfer.

- Corriere dello Sport also believe Napoli have pulled the plug on a potential move for Salzburg star Erling Braut Haaland as they expect the 19-year-old to join Manchester United in January.

- Manchester City will replace Leroy Sane with Real Sociedad playmaker Mikel Oyarzabal should the Germany winger get his move to Bayern Munich, according to Sky Sports.

- Turkish news outlet Takvim claim Besiktas are keen to cancel their two-year loan agreement with Liverpool for goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Christian Eriksen concedes he is going through the toughest spell of his Tottenham career but insists it has nothing to do with the rumours that surrounded his future during the transfer window.

Spurs headed into the international break on the back of a dismal week in which a 3-0 Premier League defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion followed an embarrassing 7-2 home loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Tottenham are already 13 points adrift of leaders Liverpool after eight matches and questions have been raised about the long-term future of boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Eriksen was one of several Spurs stars linked with a move away from the club during the window, with Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all having been tipped to head for the exit door.

The Denmark international is adamant such talk has no effect on a player's performances on the pitch, though.

"It doesn't matter at all. Everyone is professional and in all clubs there is talk of players going away," Eriksen told Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet.

"That side of the matter has no bearing on how we have performed so far this season.

"If I, as a football player, took all the rumours to me, I would float on a cloud. But I know that it can't all be true. It does not affect me what is written."

Eriksen says Tottenham, Champions League finalists last term, are dealing with different expectation levels than they were when he joined from Ajax in 2013.

"It's definitely my hardest time right now at Tottenham," he added. "The first year when I came was probably a bit up and down, but since Pochettino came in 2014 it has been a success story.

"Expectations for us are at a completely different level now. We have to win every time and it's the same feeling we have as players as well.

"We as players must try to keep all the negative things completely out. But the reason for our results is actually hard to answer. We can't close the matches, even though we are ahead. But we have also been unlucky."

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.