Frank Lampard's position as Chelsea head coach is under threat, while Tottenham have started talks to extend Harry Kane's deal.

Lampard is under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge after just one win in their past six Premier League games.

Sunday's 3-1 loss to Manchester City has only put further pressure on the Chelsea boss.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD'S POSITION AS CHELSEA BOSS UNDER THREAT

Lampard's job as Chelsea head coach is under serious threat, according to The Athletic.

The report says the Premier League club, who are eighth in the table, have started looking at replacements.

Lampard took charge of Chelsea in July 2019, but they sit seven points behind Liverpool and Manchester United – who have both played one game fewer – despite spending heavily in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- Kane's impressive form for Tottenham has seen him linked with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The Independent reports Spurs have started talks with the forward, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, over a contract extension, even though his current deal runs until 2024.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined with long-term injuries, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. But The Athletic reports the Premier League champions are not considering a move for Lille defender Sven Botman.

- Struggling for game time at Tottenham, Dele Alli is linked with a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. Foot Mercato reports Pochettino has spoken with Alli, who is open to a move.

- Staying at PSG and Sky Sports reports the Ligue 1 giants are in negotiations with Everton to sign Moise Kean on a permanent deal worth around €34.6million (£31m). Kean has scored nine goals in 16 games in all competitions on loan at PSG.

- Samuel Umtiti's Barcelona future is uncertain. Todofichajes reports Nice have a strong interest in the defender on an initial loan deal.

- Patrick Bamford has scored 10 Premier League goals this season and the Leeds United forward is out of contract next year. The Sun reports Leeds are set to reward the 27-year-old with a lucrative new deal.

Mario Balotelli has signed a contract with Serie B club Monza for the remainder of the season.

The 30-year-old Italian striker had been a free agent since his contract with Brescia was terminated following their relegation from Serie A last season.

Balotelli had been training with Serie D side Franciacorta to maintain his fitness and was linked with a surprise move to Championship club Barnsley.

Monza are co-owned by Silvio Berlusconi, who was previously the owner of Milan between 1986 and 2017, where Balotelli also had two spells as a player.

Balotelli began his career with Lumezzane and also played for Milan's city rivals Inter as well as Manchester City, Liverpool, Nice and Marseille.

A statement from Monza, who are ninth in Serie B, said: "Mario Balotelli comes to reinforce Monza and has signed a contract until June 30, 2021.

"Balotelli is one of only seven footballers who from January 1, 2000, has scored at least 20 goals in three of the top five European Leagues. Welcome Mario!"

Balottelli has scored 14 goals for Italy and won the last of his 36 international caps against Poland in July 2018.

He has been given the number 45 shirt at Monza and could be in line to make his debut in their Serie B clash away at Venezia on Friday.

Patrick Vieira has been sacked by Ligue 1 side Nice following a five-match losing run.

The 44-year-old had been in charge at the Allianz Riviera since June 2018, his second head coach job following two seasons in MLS with New York City FC.

He was due to be out of contract at the end of the campaign but Nice have taken the decision to terminate the former Arsenal star’s deal early.

The decision was made following Thursday's 3-2 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, which was overshadowed by protests before kick-off with supporters demanding Vieira step aside.

That defeat ensures Nice can no longer advance to the Europa League knockouts and they are 11th in Ligue 1 after going more than a month without picking up a point.

Nice confirmed the news on their official website on Friday and announced Adrian Ursea will step up from his previous role as assistant boss to take temporary charge of the first team.

"In a meeting conducted after last night's match, the Nice board informed Patrick Vieira of their decision to end their collaboration," Nice said in a statement.

"The Rouge et Noir has decided to appoint Adrian Ursea as head coach of the club's professional first team, as of today."

Vieira guided Nice to seventh place in his first season at the helm and improved on that by finishing fifth in last term's curtailed campaign on a points-per-game basis. 

"Patrick put all his heart and professionalism into his service for OGC Nice over the last two and a half years of their collaboration," the statement added.

"The Nice board sincerely thanks the former France international for his commitment and dedication to the development of the club and wishes him every future success in his coaching career."

First up for Ursea, who has also worked alongside Lucien Favre in the Nice dugout, is a league trip to Reims on Sunday.

The Ligue 1 clash between Marseille and Nice on Saturday has been postponed after over 10 players from Patrick Vieira's squad tested positive for coronavirus.

Fourth-placed Marseille and Nice, who occupy eighth spot, were due to return to action at Stade Velodrome this weekend following the international break.

The fixture will instead be staged later in the season due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the club from the Cote d'Azur.

A statement released by Ligue 1 on Tuesday said: "Following the advice of the National COVID FFF Commission, which noted the unavailability of more than ten players on OGC Nice's 30-man squad list - due to positive RT-PCR tests - for the Round 11 Ligue 1 match against Olympique de Marseille, the LFP's Competitions Commission, acting under article 2. 4.2.2 of the protocol for the organisation of matches for the 2020-21 season, has decided to postpone the match, initially scheduled for Saturday 21 November 2020 at 21:00, to a date yet to be determined."

Meanwhile, the French Football Federation (FFF) has postponed the eighth round and last-32 Coupe de France matches due to be staged next month and in January due to the pandemic.

The decision came following the suspension of amateur competitions on October 29 and the FFF is working with regional leagues to come up with alternative dates for the ties to be played.

Neymar will be back in action for Paris Saint-Germain at Reims on Sunday, much to the delight of coach Thomas Tuchel.

The Brazil forward returns after a two-game suspension following his dismissal in a controversial clash with Marseille earlier this month, when five players saw red.

PSG have won both Ligue 1 games in his absence, with fellow forward Kylian Mbappe having made a goalscoring comeback in the 3-0 win over Nice last Sunday after completing his period of isolation following a positive test for coronavirus.

Tuchel said having the duo available would transform the way his side can play.

"Yes, when Kylian and Neymar play it changes everything for us," he said.

"If both play for us, it's harder [for the opposition] to defend and easier for us to attack.

"We found solutions without both. We started the last Champions League, the group stage, with matches without them.

"It [missing Mbappe and Neymar] is not the best thing. They are there to make the difference. They will start together, that's for sure."

Leandro Paredes, sent off in the same game as Neymar, is also back in the frame along with Abdou Diallo, who got his marching orders in the win over Metz.

But one player still missing is Angel Di Maria, who is serving a four-match ban for spitting at Alvaro Gonzalez in that contentious Classique contest.

While Tuchel accepts Di Maria's sanction was deserved, he vented his frustration at the fact PSG have seemingly suffered significantly greater suspensions than Marseille in the aftermath of that game.

"I can understand the sanction of Di Maria," Tuchel said. "He had a reaction that we don't like.

"[But] we have suspensions that equate to 14 matches, the other team [Marseille] has four matches. There is a big difference in the number of suspensions.

"I do not accept it but I have to and I do not understand. We have the impression that we are the only ones responsible for this situation."

Thomas Tuchel lauded Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria's powers of recovery after they inspired Paris Saint-Germain's 3-0 win at Nice on Sunday.

France forward Mbappe made his first PSG appearance of the season following a positive coronavirus test.

His return heralded by far PSG's most convincing display of their title defence to date, following back-to-back losses against Lens and Marseille before the last-gasp 1-0 victory over Metz in midweek.

Di Maria also tested positive for COVID-19 but has managed to play three games since his return despite minimal time on the training pitch.

The Argentina winger scored from the rebound in first-half stoppage time when Mbappe's shot was saved, with the ex-Monaco man having won and converted a penalty to open the scoring.

Captain Marquinhos made sure of the points with a 66th-minute header from Di Maria's free-kick.

"I'm not surprised no, but it's impressive," Tuchel told a post-match news conference when asked about Mbappe's display.

"What Di Maria did is not easy. Angel has played three games in a row starting after just one practice.

"He always shows that he is capable of doing extraordinary things. It's the same with Kylian

"He had a very good game. He has shown again that he can make the difference with his confidence and his hunger to score.

"He helped us a lot, that's clear. I am very happy. I saw a lot of effort from the team. It is a deserved victory, but it was not easy because Keylor Navas had a great game too.

"We now have a week to prepare for the next match."

Tuchel is glad of the seven days to recuperate before next Sunday's trip to Reims, his squad still beset by fitness and suspension issues due to the respective challenges of coronavirus and four red cards across the Marseille and Metz matches.

"We suffer a lot. I see we are really tired after this game," he added.

"But it's something important and it shows in our performance. I see that we haven't lost our state of mind. We are always ready to suffer and to work together. It's a great victory."

Kylian Mbappe impressed on his return to action as he helped Paris Saint-Germain to a 3-0 away Ligue 1 win over Nice.

The forward was making his first club appearance of the new season on Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus while on international duty with France.

Mbappe scored a penalty that he won himself and then saw his saved shot converted by Angel Di Maria on the rebound as two PSG goals towards the end of the first half proved pivotal.

Nice were not at full strength themselves due the impact of COVID-19 but Patrick Vieira's men were occasionally threatening until PSG captain Marquinhos headed in after the break to seal the win.

After Walter Benitez saved Di Maria's volley, the visitors lost Idrissa Gueye to injury midway through the half, with Ander Herrera replacing him shortly before a golden opportunity for Mbappe to open the scoring.

The France international looked sure to score after a wonderful passing move involving Mitchel Bakker and Mauro Icardi, only to fire over with a left-footed effort.

Presnel Kimpembe was somehow unable to get on the end of a Di Maria corner and later miscued another effort, before Mbappe atoned for his miss.

Seven minutes before the break, Mbappe confidently sent Benitez the wrong way from the penalty spot after a purposeful run into the box had seen him fouled by Khephren Thuram.

Herrera almost made it two but Andy Pelmard deflected his shot onto the post, before lively Nice winger Rony Lopes – who had earlier curled just wide – forced Navas into a key save after a great one-two with Amine Gouiri.

But PSG moved firmly into control one minute into first-half stoppage time, Mbappe's magnificent run and shot forcing Benitez to parry, with Di Maria on hand to power in on the follow-up.

Navas was impressively at full stretch to make a fingertip save from Youcef Atal after the break, while Benitez had to rush out to deny Icardi with his legs at the other end, with the former Inter striker hitting the post from close range soon after.

It was game over after 66 minutes, though, Marquinhos heading in a superb in-swinging free-kick from Di Maria.

A second Mbappe goal was ruled out for offside, while Navas saved well from Evann Guessand late on to preserve PSG's clean sheet.

Chelsea have completed the signing of French youngster Malang Sarr on a free transfer after the defender left Ligue 1 club Nice.

Sarr, a 21-year-old capable of playing in the centre of defence or at left-back, chose to move on from Nice at the end of the 2019-20 season following the expiration of his contract.

He has now joined Frank Lampard's side on a five-year deal, though he will spend the 2020-21 season out on loan.

"The opportunity to sign Malang was one we could not miss," Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia told the club's official website.

"He is a tremendous prospect and we will be monitoring him closely during his loan period, hoping he will soon be back at Chelsea. We are very happy to welcome him to the club today."

Sarr, who has represented France at every level from under-16 through to under-21, featured 119 times for Nice across all competitions, scoring three goals.

The defender becomes Chelsea's fourth signing of the current transfer window, following on from Ben Chilwell – who arrived from Leicester City on Wednesday – Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

Brazil stalwart Thiago Silva is expected to complete his move to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in the coming days, while the Blues are also reportedly close to signing Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

Rony Lopes has returned to Ligue 1, joining Nice on a season-long loan from Sevilla.

The two-time Portugal international, 24, left Monaco for Sevilla last year, but made just 14 appearances for the LaLiga side in 2019-20.

Sevilla announced on Wednesday that Lopes was joining Nice, who have an option to buy the attacker at the end of the loan.

Lopes signed a five-year deal at Sevilla when he arrived in 2019.

Paris Saint-Germain will begin their Ligue 1 title defence at home to Metz after the French Professional Football League (LFP) announced its 2020-21 top-flight schedule.

The first round of matches will take place on the weekend of August 22-23, with the season set to conclude on May 23 next year.

PSG were awarded their seventh top-flight title in eight seasons after the 2019-20 campaign was abandoned and decided on a point-per-game basis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The abandonment move has since been questioned amid other elite divisions in Europe successfully resuming their seasons behind closed doors.

An LFP vote sealed Amiens and Toulouse's relegation, with Lorient and Lens promoted from Ligue 2 in their place.

Lorient host Strasbourg on the opening weekend, while Lens are on the road at Nice.

The first Classique of the season comes in the third round of fixtures, with PSG welcoming Marseille to the Parc des Princes in mid-September. The return is billed for February 7.

Marseille start at home to Saint-Etienne, with Bordeaux and Lille hosting Nantes and Rennes respectively.

Lyon begin on the road at Montpellier, with the first of their always feisty clashes against Marseille coming at Groupama Stadium on October 4. The rivalry is then scheduled to resume at the Stade Velodrome on February 28.

Ligue 1 2020-21 – Opening weekend fixtures in full:

Lorient v Strasbourg
Nimes v Brest
Dijon v Angers
Bordeaux v Nantes
Monaco v Reims
Montpellier v Lyon
Nice v Lens
Lille v Rennes
Marseille v Saint-Etienne
PSG v Metz

Everton have confirmed the departure of Morgan Schneiderlin to Ligue 1 club Nice for an undisclosed fee.

Schneiderlin, 30, signed for Everton in January 2017, joining the Toffees from Manchester United in a deal reportedly worth up to £24million.

The former Southampton midfielder initially impressed at Goodison Park under Ronald Koeman, but struggled to keep up that form and found himself a bit-part player under Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti.

He will now join Patrick Vieira's Nice, who finished fifth in the shortened Ligue 1 season in 2019-20, following the official opening of the international transfer window.

Manchester United could be edging closer to landing Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa.

Chiesa, 22, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Serie A club, where he came through the youth system.

And the Italy international could be on his way to the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD GETTING CLOSER TO CHIESA

Manchester United are pushing for Chiesa and their latest offer could be enough to start proper negotiations, according to La Nazione.

Chiesa has also been linked with Juventus and Inter with his contract in Florence running until 2022.

A 17-time Italy international, Chiesa has scored seven goals and provided three assists in 26 games this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Joao Felix has yet to hit top form at Atletico Madrid. Goal reports the LaLiga club turned down a £135million (€150m) offer from a Premier League side earlier this season.

- Chelsea could yet strengthen further. The Daily Express says they are in talks to sign Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell, who is said to be valued at £80m. Chelsea will have Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arrive at the club ahead of next season.

- David Luiz's future at Arsenal remains uncertain following his horror show against Manchester City on Wednesday. According to the Daily Mail, the Brazilian defender wants a two-year deal, rather than the one being offered. Luiz is coming out of contract at the end of the month.

- Could Edin Dzeko's time at Roma be coming to an end? Corriere dello Sport reports Roma need to qualify for the Champions League to keep the striker at the club. Dzeko is contracted until 2022, while Roma are three points behind fourth-placed Atalanta in Serie A.

- Morgan Schneiderlin is set to return to France. RMC Sport says the midfielder will leave Everton to join Nice, returning to Ligue 1 for the first time since 2008.

- Staying at Goodison Park and Everton have joined the race for Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu, according to the Mirror.

Jadon Sancho's future could be resolved sooner rather than later.

The England international is tipped to return to his homeland after leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Premier League leaders Liverpool are reportedly at the front of the queue for the 20-year-old attacker.

 

TOP STORY – REDS IN POLE POSITION FOR SANCHO

Liverpool are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho is a player in demand, the former Manchester City youngster linked with a return to England via Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested, but Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool appear to be favourites to land the England international if Sadio Mane leaves Anfield.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims United are considering a move for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile. The Italy international has scored a Serie A-high 27 goals this season amid links to Liverpool and Napoli.

Chelsea are not close to reaching an agreement over Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, says The Athletic. Chelsea have emerged as favourites to sign Havertz, who is also reportedly wanted by United, Liverpool, Madrid and Barcelona. But Chelsea – who are set to bring RB Leipzig's Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge – are apparently nowhere near matching Leverkusen's asking price.

- The Independent reports Dortmund are set to beat United to Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. The 16-year-old is coveted by Dortmund and United, however, the Bundesliga side are viewed as the more attractive option to give the wonderkid game time.

- Could Dries Mertens leave Napoli for Barcelona? Mertens' contract is set to expire, though the Belgium forward has been tipped to sign an extension. Het Nieuwsblad says Barca could turn to the Napoli star if they are unable to prise Lautaro Martinez from Inter.

Chelsea believe Champions League football will convince Leicester City's Ben Chilwell to snub Manchester City for the London club, according to the Daily Mail. Chelsea have been linked to another full-back – France Football claims the Blues are eyeing Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, who is available on a free transfer and wanted by the likes of Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Inter.

- Tuttosport says Inter are targeting Nice centre-back Malang Sarr. The 21-year-old has also been linked to Pep Guardiola's City.

- According to The Telegraph, Barca are prepared to pay a portion of Philippe Coutinho's wage to help the Brazilian leave Camp Nou. Tottenham and Newcastle United are possible destinations.

Liverpool are eyeing a double transfer raid on Wolves for stars Ruben Neves and Adama Traore, says The Sun.

Arsene Wenger has warned about the motives of foreign investors in French football, suggesting a commission should be set up to ensure they are not solely seeking to make money. 

Former Arsenal boss Wegner, who now works as FIFA's chief of global football development, believes an increase in purchases from overseas sources can have a negative effect on the game if not monitored closely. 

Marseille, Bordeaux and Le Havre all have American owners, while Toulouse – who were relegated to Ligue 2 following the decision to abandon the 2019-20 top-flight campaign – are in talks with an investment firm out of the United States. 

In the Premier League, Newcastle United are expected to be purchased by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium. 

Wenger believes a process needs to be implemented to ensure "football culture" is not eroded away by those with eyes only on finances. 

"Unfortunately, I think today we are witnessing a reverse phenomenon," Wenger told beIN SPORTS. 

"For example, if you take French clubs, they gradually fall into the hands of people who are not real builders for the future of the club, but rather investors who seek to earn money very quickly. 

"We can see in France today there are a lot of problems at this level because the clubs are dissatisfied, the supporters feel that the primary goal is not to build a good team but to achieve financial game. 

"Perhaps we should create a Club Purchasing Ethics Commission to see what the real intentions of the people who buy our clubs are. 

"You can't squander a country's football culture just for financial reasons."

Patrick Vieira praised Mikel Arteta's impact on Arsenal, saying the head coach had brought energy back to the club.

Arteta has been praised since taking the helm in December last year, having lost just two of 15 games in charge.

Former Arsenal captain Vieira, who was also linked to the job, hailed Arteta for his work so far at Emirates Stadium.

"When you're a Gunner, always a Gunner, so I'm watching them all the time, I watch their games," the Nice head coach told Ian Wright in an interview for Adidas.

"What is really interesting with Arteta is that he brings the energy back and it looks like they are playing for the club, but for the manager as well, and I think that is really important."

Vieira has been at the helm of Nice since 2018, and was linked with a return to Arsenal after Unai Emery was sacked last year.

The Frenchman said he wanted to manage a big club, but he is happy at Nice.

"I really don't know what the future will be, but doing this job it was like being a player," Vieira said.

"I wanted to play at a high level, I wanted to play for the national team, I wanted to go to the World Cup, I wanted to play with the best players and there is no doubt as a coach I have the same kind of ambition.

"I would want to manage a team that will have a chance to win the Champions League, to play the Champions League competition.

"But at the moment, honestly, right here at Nice I am in the perfect place, perfect place because I can fulfil my ambitions, the club is really ambitious and the club give me the tools to grow as a manager, but to be a part of a winning team and to play good competitions as well.

"The team is growing up really fast, really quick and hopefully I can get my ambitions with OGC Nice."

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