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

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

Will Haaland make the move to Chelsea?


TOP STORIES – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

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

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

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

Thomas Tuchel warned such a demanding schedule will "kill the players" after Paris Saint-Germain suffered another three injuries in a goalless Ligue 1 draw with Lille.

Tuchel already had to contend with a lengthy list of absentees before facing fellow title hopefuls Lille at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, with Neymar and Mauro Icardi among the stars to be sidelined.

Kylian Mbappe is also not fully fit and was restricted to a late substitute appearance on his 22nd birthday as the champions missed a chance to go top at the expense of their opponents.

PSG then lost Presnel Kimpembe, Alessandro Florenzi and Layvin Kurzawa in Sunday's clash, so they face the prospect of being even more depleted when they take on Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Tuchel hit out over the fixture list following a stalemate that leaves his side a point behind leaders Lille and second-placed Lyon.

He told Telefoot after PSG's first goalless Ligue 1 draw since he took over: "You already know my opinion, we are going to kill the players.

"We are always allowed to play at nine o'clock [in the evening]. We lack the rhythm to eat, sleep, recover. But it will continue like this.

"Today, we miss Neymar, Kylian, Mauro, Juan (Bernat). Are we surprised? No. Three new players are injured now. Well done."

A positive was the return of captain Marquinhos from a hip injury and the defender knows PSG must be more ruthless after just one of their eight shots was on target, Moise Kean particularly wasteful.

"We were able to control the match but we could have been more dangerous," the skipper told Telefoot. "We had to be well organised. 

"This is an important point for us, but if we are always looking for victory."

Wasteful Paris Saint-Germain missed the chance to go top of Ligue 1 as they were held to a goalless draw by Lille on Sunday.

Moise Kean wasted several opportunities in a stalemate at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where the champions ought to have consigned Lille to a first home defeat of the season in the top flight.

Kylian Mbappe was introduced just 13 minutes from time after being named as a substitute on his 22nd birthday and the striker did not have enough time to grab the winner.

The draw instead moved Lille back above Lyon at the summit on goal difference, with PSG only a point off the pace.

Thilo Kehrer headed just wide and Rafinha nodded Angel Di Maria's cross into the side-netting as PSG warmed to the task after a frantic start.

Idrissa Gueye came to the rescue with a great block after Kehrer gave the ball away inside his own penalty area as PSG tried to play out from the back, but Thomas Tuchel's men continued to pose a bigger threat.

Kean was denied by Mike Maignan when he tried to flick home a cross from Di Maria, whose dangerous free-kick was almost turned into his own net by Jose Fonte at the back post but Lille's goalkeeper made another save to keep his side on level terms.

Kean poked Layvin Kurzawa's inviting cross wide of the near post early in the second half and Yusuf Yazici strayed offside before he found the back of the net at the other end.

Di Maria was proving to be a real threat on his return to the starting line-up and his cross from the left flashed across the face of the goal as PSG continued to dominate with no reward.

Burak Yilmaz's long-range drive was tipped around the post by Keylor Navas before Mbappe was finally introduced just prior to Presnel Kimpembe making a brilliant last-ditch tackle when Lille hit PSG on the break.

Kimpembe limped off due to the damage done in that challenge and neither side could grab a late winner.

Neymar will not play again for Paris Saint-Germain this year but should be back in action in January after his ankle injury scare.

There were fears the Brazilian had suffered a break when he had to be carried off on a stretcher in last Sunday's Ligue 1 match against Lyon.

Neymar was tackled by Lyon's Thiago Mendes, who was sent off following a VAR review, but concerns for the striker's well-being were eased when the injury was diagnosed as a sprain.

He missed the match against Lorient on Wednesday and will now play no part in Sunday's clash at Lille or the home game three days later against Strasbourg.

The former Barcelona forward was named in a PSG medical bulletin on Saturday, with the club stating: "Following the sprain to his left ankle, there is some bruising to the bone and he continues to undergo treatment at the training ground.

"He is expected to make his return in January."

Coach Thomas Tuchel previously expressed hope that Neymar could be involved before the short winter break; however, the trip to Saint-Etienne on January 6 now appears to be the earliest point at which he might return to action.

PSG also said midfielder Danilo Pereira, hit by a hamstring blow, should be back on first-team duty in January, while Neymar's fellow striker Mauro Icardi is set to return from an adductor problem "in the coming days".

Thomas Tuchel does not believe Paris Saint-Germain have lost their fear factor but feels fatigue has made them less of a force ahead of a top-of-the-table clash with Lille.

PSG head to Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday looking to consign the leaders to a first home defeat of the season in Ligue 1.

Lille are a point ahead of the champions with just one defeat in 15 games in the French top flight in the 2021-21 campaign.

Under-pressure PSG coach Tuchel, who is without the likes of Neymar due to injury, says a hectic schedule has taken a toll on the Parisian giants, who have lost four times in Ligue 1 this season.

He said in a press conference on Saturday: "I'm not sure about other teams being less scared [of PSG], but I think that we are a bit tired both physically and mentally, and that that gives them a chance to fight with us.

"We have lots of injuries and players missing, we had a situation after the Champions League, that's how it is, so we do feel mentally tired. It’s not an excuse, just the reality. That's a problem and it’s why we've lost too many points.

"Now the situation is one that we have to adapt to, to accept. We have another big challenge because Lille are a very strong team and it’s a very big challenge to play them, particularly away from home.

"You can also see in other leagues that there isn’t one team winning every game like we have done in previous years and with a 10-point lead, it's not happening, it is tighter this year, we have to accept it and not see it as too big of a problem.

"We have to be more consistent and battle more and more, we have two games coming up and it will be very difficult. We have done well in training, shown good quality and the right mindset.

"I also think that [former PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi] Buffon explained in an interview this week that in big competitions such as the World Cup or Champions League there is a general fatigue – that is the reality.

"This applies here as well. It is more demanding than usual, and without the fans pushing us forward, giving us that energy, it’s difficult. It’s not impossible, but is more difficult."

Tuchel expects his side to come back refreshed in 2021 and ready to battle for more trophies.

He added: "I'm convinced that we won’t lose the title now. I think January and February will be the decisive months, because after the short break and no Champions League games, it will be easier to focus purely on Ligue 1.

"We have many games to play in January and February, just before the Champions League returns, so I think that will be a key period. There are no matches on Boxing Day, which is good, because we need a bit of a break."

Paul Pogba may be about to experience a case of deja vu as he drifts towards the Manchester United exit door.

When the mercurial midfielder waved goodbye to Old Trafford in 2012, the Frenchman headed to the bright lights of Turin to make his name at Juventus.

Fast forward eight years and it seems the 27-year-old Pogba is edging closer towards retracing his own footsteps in an attempt to relaunch his career.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS 'OPEN TALKS' WITH POGBA'S AGENT

Manchester United star Paul Pogba is a "top target" for Juventus in 2021, according to journalist Carlo Garganese.

Serie A champions Juve have already began talks with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola, and a deal could be done as soon as January.

Raiola claimed Pogba's United career was over in an interview with Italian outlet Tuttosport last week, prompting links to Juve, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

If an agreement cannot be reached in January, the player United paid £89million for four years ago could be set for a Serie A return in the off-season.

 

ROUND-UP

- United will have to wait until the end of the season to bring in any new recruits, according to the Manchester Evening News. But reports from Todo Fichajes in Spain suggest the Red Devils are set to reignite their interest in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez as a potential Pogba replacement. United are said to be preparing a £63m (€70m) offer for the Spaniard.

- With Liverpool and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum still yet to come to agreement on the terms of a new contract, Le10Sport reports that the Reds are lining up Lille's former Bayern Munich and Swansea man Renato Sanches to come in and fill the Dutchman's shoes.

- Liverpool are shopping for centre-back reinforcements after losing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries. Barcelona seemed primed to sign Manchester City fringe player Eric Garcia but Spanish outlet Diario AS says Liverpool are ready to swoop for the summer free agent.

- Arsenal are eying a move for Porto midfielder Fabio Viera, who has a £27m (€29.9m) release fee in his contract, according to Record. Meanwhile, Defensa Central are reporting that Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has put Lyon's Houssem Aouar and Madrid's Isco on his January wish list.

- One of Europe's brightest young prospects, Hungarian attacker Dominik Szoboszlai, will complete his move from Salzburg to RB Leipzig after a medical on Thursday, Fabrizio Romano reports. Arsenal, Madrid and Bayern Munich had shown interest in the 20-year-old.

David Turnbull scored his first Celtic goal as the Hoops overcame Lille 3-2 to end their Europa League campaign on a high note and ease some of the pressure on Neil Lennon.

A dismal run of form has piled the pressure on Celtic boss Lennon and, despite a spirited display from his youthful side, it looked as though they would be extending their winless run to six matches.

Timothy Weah's maiden Lille goal – a fantastic volley from just inside the area – had made it 2-2, cancelling out Callum McGregor's first-half penalty, which came at the end of a frenetic seven-minute flurry in which Christopher Jullien and Jonathan Ikone also netted.

Lille looked well placed to push on and seal a win which would have seen them top Group H when Weah, son of Liberia legend George, struck against his former club, yet Turnbull's neat finish in his first European appearance secured a hard-fought Celtic triumph.

Celtic had the lead after 21 minutes – Julien heading in from Turnbull's fantastic left-wing corner.

Yet their advantage lasted under three minutes, with Yusuf Yazici taking advantage of McGregor's mistake by squaring for Ikone to tuck in.

Domagoj Bradaric's clumsy tackle on birthday boy Jeremie Frimpong gifted Celtic the opportunity to restore their lead, though, as McGregor atoned for his error with a composed finish.

McGregor got lucky when he diverted Cheikh Niasse's cross off Conor Hazard's left-hand post, before Turnbull saw a close-range shot deflected wide at the other end.

But Lille had a second equaliser when Celtic failed to clear a free-kick and Weah lashed in on the volley.

Celtic did not let their heads drop, though, and Turnbull was on hand to sweep home from Kristoffer Ajer's cross with 15 minutes remaining – Isaac Lihadji subsequently squandering a golden chance to snatch a point for Lille.

 

What does it mean? Lille miss out on top spot, Hoops avoid club-low

Celtic, who avoided losing a fourth straight home match in continental competition for the first time, finish bottom of Group H, but with four points – one more than their lowest tally in a European group.

Lille, meanwhile, have to settle for second place, with Milan having overcome Sparta Prague 1-0 to clinch top spot, and potentially an easier draw in the knockout stage.

Turnbull turns on the style

Former Motherwell midfielder Turnbull had stayed on the bench for all five of Celtic’s Europa League matches before Thursday’s clash, but he gave Lennon plenty of food for thought with a superb performance.

Playing in a free role off the striker, Turnbull had four attempts in total and created a joint team-high three chances.

Birthday blues for injured Frimpong

It was a 20th birthday spent in the wars for the versatile Frimpong. After clattering into the hoardings early on and taking a nasty blow to the head, he had to be withdrawn after sustaining an injury while drawing the foul which led to Celtic's penalty.

In his 30 minutes on the pitch, Frimpong had 12 touches, attempted five passes and lost possession six times.

What's next?

Celtic take on Kilmarnock as they aim to get their domestic form back on track, while Lille host Bordeaux in Ligue 1.

Daniele Bonera felt Milan showed their team spirit is strong even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic after their Europa League draw with Lille on Thursday.

The Rossoneri took the lead in France through Samu Castillejo but were pegged back through a goal from Jonathan Bamba 19 minutes later.

The Serie A leaders, beaten 3-0 by Lille in the previous Group H game, restricted the hosts to just 42 per cent of the ball only to concede from their only shot on target of the second half.

Similarly, Milan found the net with their one effort on goal in the 90 minutes, as the absence of the injured Ibrahimovic appeared to take its toll.

The 39-year-old, who sustained a hamstring injury after scoring a double in the 3-1 win at Napoli, has scored 12 goals in as many games in all competitions this season.

Still, Milan have won six and drawn four of their 10 games without Ibrahimovic in 2020, and Bonera says that level of resolve was once again apparent against Lille.

"This is the strong identity we now have in all of us. We're happy with the work the boys do every day. It's just a shame about the result tonight," said the assistant coach, who is deputising for head coach Stefano Pioli while he self-isolates after a positive coronavirus test.

"We showed even before this match that the group was able to make up for his absence. He is such an important player, but the spirit of this team is always the same, with or without Ibra."

Young playmaker Sandro Tonali was also frustrated Milan could not hold onto three points, but he said they proved they could play well without their main striker.

"We deserved to take the lead. We didn't dominate but we held onto the ball like a great team, and that's our biggest regret – not being able to win," he said.

"Playing with Ibra certainly helps; with a champion like him, it's always easier. But we have to play well even without him and we've shown we can play as a great team."

The result leaves Milan second in the group after four games, a point behind leaders Lille and one ahead of Sparta Prague.

Jonathan Bamba's strike kept Lille top of Europa League Group H as sloppy Milan had to settle for a 1-1 draw with at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Second-placed Milan made the trip to France in search of revenge after Yusuf Yazici's hat-trick gave Lille a 3-0 victory at San Siro earlier this month, the Serie A leaders' first defeat since March.

Samu Castillejo put the Rossoneri in front just after half-time, but Bamba capitalised on some poor defending to keep the Ligue 1 high-fliers a point clear of Milan at the top of the group with two games remaining.

Stand-in Milan boss Daniele Bonera, who was without injured talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, could not have any complaints as Lille deserved at least a point.

Milan were intent on playing out from the back and Sandro Tonali almost gifted Lille an opening goal when he was robbed in possession by Benjamin Andre before Yazici fired wide early on after the two sides paid tribute to Diego Maradona with a minute's silence.

The Rossoneri ought to have been in front 24 minutes in, but Jens Petter Hauge - making his full debut - inexplicably failed to pull the ball back to set Ante Rebic up for a tap-in.

Lille looked increasingly dangerous and the lively Luiz Araujo was twice denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma, the second a brilliant stop diving to his right.

It was Milan who drew first blood less than a minute into the second half, though, Tonali sending Rebic clear and the Croatia forward unselfishly squaring for Castillejo to tuck home from close range.

Yazici was withdrawn just after the hour-mark and Lille were level soon after, with Milan paying the price for some slack defending.

Milan only had themselves to blame when they were caught napping from a quick throw-in and Jonathan David set up Bamba, who fired home from inside the penalty area.

Both sides pushed for a winner but neither had the quality to secure maximum points.

Paris Saint-Germain are dealing well with their injury crisis and criticism of their form is "insane", according to Lille coach Christophe Galtier.

PSG are top of Ligue 1, leading Lille by five points, but Thomas Tuchel and his side have been scrutinised due to some difficult results.

The champions lost their opening two league games and have been beaten in two of their three Champions League matches.

But Tuchel has been battling numerous selection issues, robbed of key men by a combination of injuries, suspensions and positive coronavirus tests.

PSG have only been able to name Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in their starting XI for two of their 10 Ligue 1 games this term, winning on both occasions while scoring a combined eight goals.

Neymar has made just four league appearances but has created 15 chances, trailing only Pablo Sarabia and Angel Di Maria (both 16) among PSG team-mates. Di Maria has himself played a mere five times.

Meanwhile, Mbappe is the team's top scorer with seven goals from six matches (five starts), well clear of second-placed Moise Kean's three.

Given the regular absence of such key men, rival Galtier is stunned by the discussion of PSG's performances.

"There are criticisms today of PSG that seem insane to me," Galtier told L'Equipe. "We are hard on them.

"They have been playing for a few weeks with a second team, which would be a good Ligue 1 team but which would not be champions. They are performing despite an incredible injury list.

"It's more difficult in the Champions League, but when you have players like Mbappe and Neymar who are absent, it is normal that the team is less efficient.

"Against Rennes, a team that plays Champions League, a very, very diminished Paris managed to win 3-0 without trembling too much.

"I'm not here to defend Thomas, but it's tough. They have 10 or 11 out with this sequence of matches.

"If we had 10 out, come back in two months and tell me what has happened in the meantime.

"Besides, we are going to be faced with [an injury crisis]. We have Renato [Sanches] injured, Zeki [Celik] injured, two players who keep playing.

"It happens with this incredible schedule."

Barcelona's finances are reportedly precarious amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wage cuts have been flagged, but the LaLiga powerhouse are also eyeing further sales.

Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti could be among the players to depart Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE AND CO. HEADING FOR EXIT

Barcelona are ready to sell five players during the January transfer window, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Carles Alena, Martin Braithwaite and Junior Firpo are the quintet up for sale as embattled LaLiga giants Barca look to raise funds.

Dembele was linked with Manchester United before the previous window closed.

 

ROUND-UP

- Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has twice snubbed Barca as he eyes the United job amid speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future, says the Daily Star.

Barcelona have been linked with a move for Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram, according to Bild. Thuram's father, Lilian, played for Barca and Juventus, who are believed to be eyeing the Frenchman. Real Madrid have also been linked.

- OK Diario claims Madrid are interested in Rennes teenager Jeremy Doku. The 18-year-old has caught the eye of Madrid, who have also made Eduardo Camavinga one of their top targets.

- Staying at the Santiago Bernabeu and OK Diario says soon-to-be free agent and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba must lower his wage demands if he wants to play for Madrid. The Austria international has also been linked with PSGManchester City and Barca.

- Tuttosport says Antonio Conte wants Chelsea trio Olivier Giroud, Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso at Inter.

- Lille star Renato Sanches is wanted in Italy. Calciomercato reports Serie A champions Juventus, Milan, Inter, Napoli and Roma are monitoring the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

- Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai is a serious January target for Arsenal, according to Index. The Hungarian has emerged as an alternative to Lyon star Houssem Aouar.

Stefano Pioli believes Milan created their own problems as they slipped to a 3-0 home defeat against Lille in the Europa League.

Yusuf Yazici scored a hat-trick – the first time any visiting player has netted three goals against Milan since Rivaldo for Barcelona in October 2000 – as Lille ended the Rossoneri's 24-match unbeaten run.

The French outfit became the first side to beat Milan since Genoa in March, prior to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

Their success also marked the first time Milan have lost by a three-goal margin at home in European competition.

Yazici opened the scoring from the penalty spot following Alessio Romagnoli's foul, before two goals in the space of three second-half minutes from the Turkey international sealed the points for Lille.

The 23-year-old became the first player in the history of UEFA's European club competitions to net two away hat-tricks in the same season, having also grabbed a treble against Sparta Prague in October.

Pioli pinned the defeat on Milan's mistakes but insisted he would not go overboard with criticism after suffering a first defeat of the campaign.

"We were up against a strong team and we made life difficult for ourselves," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"We hadn't started badly, but I thought we'd be more dangerous in attack and we weren't able to create enough chances.

"With such a strong counter-attacking side, once we went behind, inevitably it opened up spaces and that played into their hands.

"We evaluate the positives and negatives, as always. For the first time in a long while, we have more negatives than positives to look at.

"We weren't ourselves and made mistakes in the wrong game, because Lille are a team who will take advantage of those errors.

"I am very happy here, there is a united atmosphere, a club that supports us and we have everything in place to do our work as well as possible."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's eight goals in all competitions have inspired Serie A leaders Milan this term, though he was taken off after 62 minutes despite the Rossoneri needing a goal.

The 39-year-old had two of Milan's four shots on target, though neither of his attempts truly tested Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

Pioli left Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic out of his starting side, with both coming on – the latter replacing Ibrahimovic – though Milan's coach believes he made the right call with the initial XI.

"I thought this was the best starting XI for the circumstances, it was balanced and competitive," Pioli added.

"Aside from the penalty, I felt we actually did well in the first half, but our movements and finishing in the final third weren't at the usual level.

"Obviously, as time went on and we conceded two goals in quick succession with our opponents making the most of those spaces opening up, we were punished constantly."

Milan's unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt after 11 games as Yusuf Yazici's hat-trick secured an emphatic 3-0 victory for Lille in the Europa League.

Inspired by the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who already has eight goals to his name – Stefano Pioli's side have made a wonderful start to 2020-21.

But Ibrahimovic, who was subbed off in the 62nd minute, failed to lift the Rossoneri in a dismal showing at San Siro, with Yazici running the show.

The 23-year-old Turkey international opened the scoring from the spot 21 minutes in, before becoming the first player to score a hat-trick against Milan in all competitions since Rivaldo in October 2000 with quickfire strikes early in the second half to move Lille one point clear at the top of Group H.

Ibrahimovic crafted the game's first chance, teeing up Theo Hernandez to shoot from a tight angle, with his effort deflected wide. 

Yet Lille had the lead two minutes later – Yazici drilling home from the penalty spot after drawing a clumsy foul from Alessio Romagnoli.

Along with former Lille forward Rafael Leao, Hakan Calhanoglu was introduced at the break, yet it was the latter's compatriot Yazici who delivered a second blow to Milan when Gianluigi Donnarumma failed to keep out his dipping effort.

Milan were all at sea and Lille took full advantage, Yazici curling in his third with a brilliant first-time finish at the culmination of a fast break.

Pioli made the surprising decision to take Ibrahimovic off moments later, though the change nearly paid dividends as his replacement Ante Rebic drew a smart stop from Mike Maignan.

Donnarumma made slight amends for his earlier mistake with a brilliant save to deny Yazici a fourth, but the damage was already done as Lille won consecutive away games in the Europa League for the first time.

Stefano Pioli is planning to make changes to his line-up as Milan look to continue their magnificent recent form against Lille. 

Building on their momentum from the end of the 2019-20 season, Milan - unbeaten in 24 matches across all competitions - have made a spectacular start to the new campaign. 

They sit top of Serie A with 16 points from a possible 18, having earned comfortable victories over Celtic and Sparta Prague in Europa League Group H. 

Milan host Lille on Thursday before welcoming Hellas Verona to San Siro on Sunday, with Pioli planning on rotating to keep his squad fresh.  

"We need the team to be energetic and fresh from a mental and physical point of view," he said. 

"So Wednesday's final training session will be important [to the team selection] but there will be some changes. 

"We know we have had a lot of games recently, now on Thursday we have an important match against a strong team.  

"We are focused only on continuing our path to the best of our ability. We are working well together. We started a journey but we are only at the beginning. 

"I have always believed in my players. We try to win every game but we are just at the start of our project. We are young, we have not won anything and therefore we still have much more work to do. 

"Lille are a good team. We have started well in the group and want to continue in this manner."

Milan defender Simon Kjaer was with Pioli at the pre-match news conference and is hoping to play against his former club despite the head coach's plan. 

Kjaer, an ever-present in Serie A this season, said: "I like playing, I feel better when I’m on the pitch than when I stay on the sidelines. 

"It has been a fantastic journey [with Milan]. We have improved so much. We have so many qualities everywhere. 

"This is a young team with huge potential. We are happy with where we are, though we do not talk about where we could be in six months." 

Reflecting on facing Lille, who he played for between 2013 and 2015, the Denmark international added: "I had a great spell there, I improved up a lot in two years.  

"It was a new beginning for me, after a period in Germany. It was a beautiful time and my first son was born when I was in France. 

"We had a very strong team. It has changed completely now, but Lille players are always strong and the club is really well organised. It is always a pleasure to play against them."

Mohamed Elyounoussi's first-half double was not enough for Celtic as they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Lille in Thursday's Europa League Group H clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Celtic attacker Elyounoussi went some way to easing the growing pressure on boss Neil Lennon with his brace in the space of four minutes against the in-form hosts, who are now unbeaten in 10 games this season.

Scott Bain kept out Jonathan David's penalty and Sven Botman hit the crossbar before the interval in what was looking like being a frustrating day for Lille.

But a first victory away at French opposition in nine attempts since 1966 ultimately eluded Lennon's men as Zeki Celik and Jonathan Ikone struck in the second half to snatch a point for the Ligue 1 club.

Elyounoussi pulled the strings for Celtic from the early stages, setting up Albian Ajeti for a goal that was disallowed for offside and another chance that his team-mate skied over.

But the Norway international took matters into his own hands by firing the visitors ahead with a fine curling effort from 25 yards that left Mike Maignan stranded.

The finish for Elyounoussi's second was just as crisp as he guided a first-time shot away from Maignan into the bottom-left corner after being spotted by Jeremie Frimpong.

David was denied by Bain from the penalty spot after being felled by Shane Duffy and Botman clipped the top of the crossbar with a shot as Lille pushed for a way back into the game.

And they were given a lifeline through unmarked Celik's finish at the back post, the full-back bundling the ball past Bain after a corner was flicked into his path.

Celtic were under siege and a second goal followed eight minutes later as Yusuf Yazici's mishit shot fell kindly for Ikone to spin and fire past Bain, ensuring the points were shared.

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