The Premier League has confirmed away fans will not be allowed to attend fixtures staged in the final two rounds of the 2020-21 season.

With a further relaxing of coronavirus restrictions scheduled in the United Kingdom on May 17, up to 10,000 supporters will be allowed inside grounds to watch games again.

The penultimate set of top-flight fixtures had been pushed back to midweek dates as a result, thereby making sure all clubs have one home outing under the new guidelines.

However, visiting fans will not be permitted inside the stadiums, a decision taken to make sure there is consistency across the board for all 20 teams.

"The Premier League last week confirmed fixtures have been rescheduled to provide an opportunity for each club to host one home game with supporters before the end of the season," a statement from the governing body said.

"Match round 37 will now be played on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 May with the final matches of the season kicking off at 16:00 BST on Sunday 23 May, as planned.

"Following consultation with clubs, it was agreed matches would not be open to away supporters due to varying operational challenges across the league and the need to deliver a consistent approach, while maximising the opportunity for home-fan attendance.

"The safety and security of supporters is of paramount importance. Clubs have a proven track record of providing Covid-safe environments and have operational plans in place ready to safely welcome supporters back to their stadiums.

"Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and this marks a key step towards full stadiums, including away fans, from the start of the 2021-22 season."

A week on from the drama, controversy and anger surrounding the European Super League, it felt like football – rather than its potential ruin – was at the front of the agenda this weekend.

However, the spectre of the Super League continued to loom over much of the action, with many of the so-called "big six" seeing it used as a stick to beat them with as they largely stuttered to underwhelming results.

Of those in league action over the weekend (Manchester City beat Tottenham in the EFL Cup final), only Chelsea emerged victorious, as Manchester United and Liverpool were held, while Arsenal lost at home to Everton.

Using Opta data, we look at some of the quirky facts from the latest Premier League matches…

Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United: Reds to join exclusive list?

It was another underwhelming weekend for defending champions Liverpool, as their 1-1 draw at home to struggling Newcastle United saw them lose further ground in the fight for Champions League places.

Jurgen Klopp's men are four points adrift of Chelsea in fourth, after the Blues beat top-four rivals West Ham 1-0 at the London Stadium.

Liverpool have five matches to close the gap otherwise they face the prospect of an ignominious achievement.

Only five times before have the reigning Premier League champions failed to qualify for the Champions League the season after winning the title.

Manchester United were the first in 1994-95, also doing so in 2013-14. The other teams do this were Blackburn Rovers (1995-96), Chelsea (2015-16) and Leicester City (2016-17).

Wolves 0-4 Burnley: Wood and New Zealand join the United Nations of hat-tricks

Chris Wood enjoyed a weekend to remember as he netted his first Premier League hat-trick in Burnley's 4-0 win over Wolves.

In doing so, he became the first New Zealand national to score a treble in the competition, meaning there have been hat-tricks scored by 46 countries in the Premier League.

New Zealand has joined Gabon, South Korea, Venezuela, DR Congo, Japan, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Paraguay, Iceland, Sweden, Costa Rica and Serbia on one.

England, unsurprisingly, leads the way with 154 hat-tricks from 69 individuals. Joint second with 18 each are Netherlands and Argentina, while France (17) and Spain (11) are the only other countries into double figures.

Leeds United 0-0 Manchester United: 'Boring, boring Man United'

Fans expecting a repeat of Manchester United's 6-2 thrashing of Leeds United will have been sorely disappointed, not just with the 0-0 draw, but also given it was a fairly drab encounter.

Sure, United have excited on occasion this season, that previous win over Leeds and the 9-0 demolition of Southampton immediately coming to mind.

But Sunday's stalemate was United's seventh 0-0 draw of the season, more than any other team in the Premier League.

On top of that, 2020-21 has now seen United play out more goalless draws than any other Premier League season.

They previously played out six in 2004-05 and 2016-17, but 2020-21 now leads the way.

West Ham 0-1 Chelsea: Tuchel's at home on the road

Thomas Tuchel has made a fine impression at Chelsea since replacing Frank Lampard in January. The achievements seem to be piling up.

Chelsea's latest win saw them leave London rivals West Ham with a 1-0 win that moved them back into the top four at the expense of David Moyes' boys.

As such, he became the first Chelsea manager to avoid defeat in his first 10 away games across all competitions.

The previous club record was set by William Lewis over 100 years ago in 1906-07, when they went nine unbeaten on the road.

Tuchel also matched the record set by Luiz Felipe Scolari for the number of clean sheets (10) in his first 14 Premier League matches.

What's even more impressive about that is it's a league record, rather than just relevant to Chelsea.

It was a Premier League weekend in which the Premier League seemed to take a back seat, with Sunday's emergence of a European Super League blowing everything else out of the water.

However, Monday's sacking of Jose Mourinho did at least serve to remind us that, yes, Tottenham did play on Friday and were typically flaky, letting a lead slip again even if they did get a leveller to tie with Everton.

Against the same Super League backdrop, Arsenal added more fuel to the burning question of why they're involved in it at all, given they required a 97th-minute equaliser to draw with Fulham, who now look doomed to relegation with Sheffield United.

And a week on from emulating Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood levelled a record held by Wayne Rooney.

Using Opta data, we look at some of the quirky facts from the latest Premier League matches.

Everton 2-2 Tottenham: Mourinho pays the price for Spurs' mentality issues

Given what's happened in the time since, it's easy to forget Spurs' draw at Everton was as long ago as Friday.

But it proved to be Mourinho's final game in charge of Spurs nonetheless, with Tottenham's Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread – good job they've secured themselves a spot in a closed competition!

There will be many theories about Mourinho's demise, but perhaps the most pertinent with respect to his Spurs team relates to concerns over mentality.

After all, the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park saw them drop points from a winning position yet again. That's 20 points they've thrown away in 2020-21 – no team has a worse record.

Even Harry Kane's heroics weren't enough, as he twice punished defensive errors and became only the fourth player to score 20 or more goals in at least five Premier League seasons.

Who knows, maybe he'll soon follow Mourinho out the door…

Wolves 1-0 Sheffield United: Blades among the Premier League's worst ever teams?

Now, obviously it depends on how you determine the "worst" teams – everyone will likely have their own point of view.

Derby County of course hold the record for the lowest ever points total of 11, which the Blades have already surpassed, but their 1-0 defeat at Wolves consigned them to relegation.

It means they suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, along with Derby (2007-08), Ipswich Town (1994-95) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19).

Certainly, United are party to one of the biggest drop-offs in a relegation season, as no team had finished as high as ninth one campaign and then been relegated the next since Birmingham City in 2010-11.

But here's the kicker – it was their 26th defeat of the season, equalling a club record. They could yet surpass the 29 suffered by Sunderland and Derby.

Arsenal 1-1 Fulham: Gunners' late equaliser highlights lack of progress against Super League backdrop

The rumours relating to the European Super League had emerged prior to Arsenal's Sunday clash with struggling Fulham. It provided a timely reminder of the competition's nonsensical premise.

Eddie Nketiah scored an equaliser deep into second-half stoppage to spare Arsenal's blushes – actually, if anything it probably accentuated their blushes given Fulham's failing battle against relegation.

The point means Arsenal have the exact same number of points (46) after 32 games as they did last term.

The last time they amassed fewer at this stage of a season was 1994-95 – it's hardly a show of progress.

On this evidence, Arsenal might be better off performing a Super League U-turn to avoid humiliation.

Manchester United 3-1 Burnley: Greenwood finding his groove again to match Rooney

It's not been the easiest of seasons for Greenwood. From getting booted out of an England camp to struggling badly for goals, it's fair to say a few have questioned whether they were right to believe the hype.

Thankfully the youngster has rediscovered his scoring touch lately and appears transformed, attacking defenders with confidence and purpose once again.

His brace against Burnley took him to 15 Premier League goals for United, levelling a record set by Wayne Rooney for the most goals scored by a teenager for United.

Greenwood will surely overtake Rooney in this regard as well, given he doesn't turn 20 until October 1.

On a similar note, his second effort on Sunday meant he has scored more top-flight goals as a teenager than any other player in the top five European leagues since the start of 2019-20.

But has he left this surge too late for a Euro 2020 call-up?

Sheffield United's relegation from the Premier League was confirmed following a 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Saturday.

Willian Jose turned home Adama Traore's delivery in the 59th minute at Molineux to condemn the Blades to a return to the Championship with six games remaining this season.

No side has been relegated from the Premier League with more matches left to play – Ipswich Town (1994-95), Derby County (2007-08) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19) also went down with six games outstanding.

In March the Blades sacked Chris Wilder, who led them from League One to a ninth-placed finish last season, and interim boss Paul Heckingbottom was unable to guide them to safety.

The defeat to Wolves was their 26th of the campaign – they have only lost as many in a single league season twice before.

"It's about results isn't it," Heckingbottom told Sky Sports after the defeat to Wolves left them with just 14 points from 32 games.

"The only thing we can control is the performance. We have to go out with our head held high. I think we should have certainly got something from the game. It probably typifies our season.

"You only have to look at the physical data from the Premier League this season. It's not through a lack of effort. They will give everything and you saw it again tonight.

"It was that one moment. We gave Wolves their best chances. We got into too many good positions not to score. We were on top. Everyone could see that in the second half.

"We created our best moment then 20 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net. This season has got away from the team and that is why we have suffered. It's those moments. The little bit of quality that needs to be there to win games.

"At the other end, being a little too open and being able to shut those chances out. Those are the moments Sheffield United have been really strong [in the past].

"But if you pick a game to typify this season, it was that. We were on top, missed chances and this league won't give you a second chance."

Harry Kane continues to be linked with a move away from Tottenham and, after last week's defeat to Manchester United, his Spurs future looks little brighter.

Still, the England star has rarely allowed off-field rumours to influence his form, and he happens to be preparing to face one of his favourite opponents in Everton.

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota is another forward we are encouraging Fantasy Football players to select for this week, as the champions get ready for a tricky test at Leeds United.

Is there anyone else who offers good value for this week, we hear you ask? Read on for a handful of suggested picks, as powered by Opta data...

 

RUI PATRICIO

Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio has kept five clean sheets in his most recent 13 Premier League games. That might not sound like a lot, but he went 12 matches before there without keeping the ball out of the net.

Those shut-outs have come against some strong opposition, too: Chelsea, Leicester City, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Fulham have all failed to find a way past the Portugal international.

Given Sheffield United have failed to score in 17 league matches this term, the highest number in the division, Patricio is an ideal man for the number-one spot.

PABLO MARI

Backing Arsenal defensively is rarely the safest of bets, but they do have a strong record against promoted teams in the top flight, having kept four clean sheets in their most recent six meetings with such opposition.

Of their four main centre-backs, Pablo Mari has the best rate for minutes per goal conceded: one every 103.

Having helped the Gunners ease past Sheffield United last week, he could be in line for another outing against struggling Fulham.

 

ANTONIO RUDIGER

Antonio Rudiger has only started 14 games in the league this season, but Chelsea have kept clean sheets in nine of those matches, including in five of the most recent seven.

In the most recent game in which the Germany defender did not start, the Blues shipped five goals at home to a West Brom side who were made to look like peak Barcelona.

After their FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City, Chelsea resume league duties against Brighton and Hove Albion – a team with a frustrating habit of failing to turn promising play into goals.

 

DIOGO JOTA

Liverpool might have fallen from the lofty heights of last season, but few could blame their decline on close-season signing Diogo Jota.

The Portugal forward has averaged a goal every 103 minutes in the league this term, the best rate of any Liverpool player. He has also netted in each of his past three away games.

With Leeds United boasting an expected goals against figure of 48.94, the fourth-worst in the division, Jota will fancy his chances at Elland Road.

ALLAN SAINT-MAXIMIN

With a goal and an assist off the bench against Burnley last week, Allan Saint-Maximin proved just how valuable he could be to Newcastle United's survival hopes.

The winger has been involved in five goals (two scored, three assisted) in his previous six league matches, as many as he managed in 19 before then.

The Magpies face tough opponents in West Ham, but David Moyes' men have conceded nine goals in three league games - and each time after going 3-0 up.

 

HARRY KANE

Harry Kane cut a disconsolate figure after Spurs' loss to Manchester United, but this weekend could offer the chance for a pick-me-up.

Kane has scored nine goals in his past seven games against Everton in all competitions, including five in just three appearances at Goodison Park.

He also just one short of reaching 20 in the top flight in a single season for the fifth time.

KELECHI IHEANACHO

His two goals at West Ham were not quite enough to mount a comeback, but they did underline the red-hot form of Kelechi Iheanacho.

The striker has hit seven goals in five league games, as many as he managed in 63 previous appearances in the competition.

With eight league goals to his name in 2020-21, Iheanacho is just one short of his best ever return for a Premier League season. Next up for Leicester after their FA Cup final? Relegation-threatened West Brom.

Pedro Neto will miss the rest of the Premier League season for Wolves, with knee surgery placing the Portugal forward's Euro 2020 participation in doubt.

Neto was substituted during Wolves' 1-0 win at Fulham last Friday and visited a specialist in London to assess the extent of the damage to his knee cap.

The 21-year-old winger will require surgery, planned for later this week, that is expected to see him play no further part for Nuno Espirito Santos' men this term.

He scored five goals and supplied six assists in 31 Premier League appearances, having started all but one of Wolves' top-flight games in 2020-21 and featured in each of them.

Neto made his senior international breakthrough with Portugal this season, scoring on his debut against Andorra last November before winning caps in last month's World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.

Another of Wolves' Portugal contingent, Ruben Neves, is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19.

Nuno's side are 12th in the table and take on bottom club Sheffield United this weekend.

Portugal begin their campaign at the rescheduled Euro 2020 versus Hungary on June 15 and the holders must navigate a tough group alongside world champions France and Germany.

Could Manchester United turn to a Wolves star?

United have long been linked with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

But the Red Devils are reportedly interested in Pedro Neto.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED PLAN NETO SWOOP

Manchester United are considering a £50million move for Wolves star Pedro Neto , according to The Sun.

Borussia Dortmund's  Jadon Sancho  has topped United's list of attacking targets – the Premier League giants almost signed the England international at the start of the season.

But United see Portuguese winger Neto as an alternative at Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun reports Serie A leaders Inter have joined the chase for Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero , who is out of contract at season's end. City's all-time leading goalscorer has been linked with Barcelona , Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea . The Nerazzurri are also reportedly monitoring Edinson Cavani 's situation. The United forward, who signed a one-year deal at the start of the season, is rumoured to be talking to Boca Juniors .

Real Madrid will pay David Alaba , his father and agent €20m if he arrives from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, claims Mundo Deportivo. Alaba's contract will expire at the end of the season and the Austria international has been tipped to move to the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Barca , Liverpool and PSG have also been linked.

- Calciomercato says Roma , Inter and Milan are interested in Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso .

Milan are considering a move for CSKA Moscow star Nikola Vlasic  should Hakan Calhanoglu leave on a free transfer, reports Calciomercato. While the Croatia international has a €35m release clause for foreign clubs, Russian giants CSKA could settle for €28-30m.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has defended his decision to call up Rui Patricio for this month's World Cup qualifiers.

The Wolves goalkeeper suffered a sickening blow to the head after colliding with team-mate Conor Coady during Monday's 1-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool.

He was taken off on a stretcher after a lengthy delay to the match, but Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed after the match that Patricio had avoided serious injury.

The 33-year-old was named as part of the Portugal squad on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming games against Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg.

Santos told reporters: "He's been called up because, from the moment it happened, we tried to find out everything that was going on.

"We talked to him and the medical department. He's stable. He has a protocol to follow but they said there was no hindrance."

Alongside established stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias, Santos granted recalls to striker Andre Silva and Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares.

There were also debut call-ups to Sporting CP full-back Nuno Mendes and his midfield team-mate Joao Palhinha.

Santos said he had given Palhinha "a positive assessment, otherwise he wouldn't be here", adding: "There were other options.

"He's had very positive form. It's important for him to come at this moment because there isn't a very long international break and it's important for me to evaluate him more closely."

Portugal squad:

Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Rui Patricio (Wolves), Rui Silva (Granada); Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Cedric Soares (Arsenal), Domingos Duarte (Granada), Pepe (Porto), Jose Fonte (Lille), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP); Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain), Joao Palhinha (Sporting CP), Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho (both Wolves), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Renato Sanches (Lille), Sergio Oliveira (Porto); Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Roberto Firmino may miss a third straight game through injury as Liverpool prepare to face Wolves on Monday.

Firmino has missed Liverpool's last two games - defeat to Fulham and victory over RB Leipzig - with a knock.

He will be assessed ahead of the meeting at Molineux, with the Reds out to arrest a slide in form that has significantly dented their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Liverpool have lost six of their last seven games in the Premier League and have suffered defeat in a club-record six consecutive home league games.

That run left them seven points adrift of the top four going into Saturday's fixtures, with winning the Champions League looking like their best shot of qualifying for next season's competition after their last-16 triumph over RB Leipzig.

Asked about Firmino in his pre-match media conference: "We will see. Bobby was not with us, that means he couldn't play.

"Now we have a few more days and later on, we have the medical meeting actually after the press conference – sorry! – so they will give me more information about that. We will see, two more days, hopefully.

"[It] looks like in the moment [everybody else is fit]."

Liverpool beat Leipzig 2-0 in each leg of their tie in Budapest, and Klopp is keen for his side - which has been ravaged by injuries in defence - to show the same kind of consistency domestically.

He added: "What we have to show now is consistency, the consistency in, in a performance way, in a defending way, and then obviously where we are, we have one foot in the game already if we can do that and if we can build on that then we have a chance to win a football game.

"Obviously, that's the target for the next game."

Wolves have lost their last eight Premier League games against Liverpool since a 1-0 victory at Anfield in December 2010. 

Their season has been significantly impacted by the loss of striker Raul Jimenez to a fractured skull in November, with Nuno Espirito Santo's side firmly in mid-table in 12th.

"I have a lot of sympathy with what Nuno is doing, he's doing an incredible job, this is just a strange year," said Kiopp. 

"You cannot replace one to one a player with the quality of Jimenez. It's clear they did quite well, they've had their struggles like everybody else, but meanwhile they look again really settled, it's whole again, it's a proper defending side and that's what we will face."

Arsenal were dealt a blow by Granit Xhaka's dreadful mistake against Burnley, while Southampton ended a nine-match Premier League winless streak on Saturday.

Xhaka hit an attempted clearance straight at Chris Wood in the early kick-off at Turf Moor, ultimately costing Mikel Arteta's side a point.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's team then dispatched lowly Sheffield United 2-0 to finally rediscover some form, with Aston Villa and Wolves later playing out a goalless draw.

Leicester City beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 in the late kick-off, and we took a look at the best Opta facts from Saturday's action.
 

Burnley 1-1 Arsenal: X-rated error costs Arteta

Arsenal could have closed the gap between themselves and Tottenham to just two points ahead of next week's north London derby, yet had to settle for a point against Burnley, who have now won just one game in 10 in all competitions.

The Gunners took the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the sixth minute. Arsenal's captain has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley (eight) than against any other club, while he only has a better record against Hamburg (nine) in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

However, they were hindered by Xhaka's error. The midfielder attempted to play his way out of a tight spot in Arsenal's area, only for his clearance to strike Chris Wood and bobble in.

Since the start of 2016-17, Xhaka has made eight errors leading to goals in the top flight, which is more than any other outfield Premier League player.

Arsenal have now kept only one clean sheet in their past 11 games in all competitions (0-0 v Manchester United in January), after keeping five in a row directly before that.

Burnley, on the other hand, have drawn five consecutive home league games for the third time in their history, after a run of six games ending in April 1936 and a run of five ending in October 1997.

Sheffield United 0-2 Southampton: Adams blunts his former club as Saints buck the trend

Che Adams scored a stunning goal to condemn his former team Sheffield United to another defeat, while simultaneously helping Southampton end their dismal run of form.

Southampton had lost eight of their past nine league matches heading into Saturday's meeting at Bramall Lane, having not won since beating Liverpool on January 4.

Captain James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring from the penalty spot; he has been directly involved in 26 Premier League goals under Hasenhuttl (18 goals, eight assists), twice as many as under any other Southampton manager.

It also moved Ward-Prowse onto seven goals in all competitions, his joint-best return in a single campaign. Six of these seven goals have come from dead ball situations (five direct free-kicks, one penalty).

Southampton had been hit by an early injury to Danny Ings, yet his replacement Adams stepped up, slamming in a spectacular half-volley to make it 2-0 shortly after half-time.

Adams has scored four goals in his four Premier League appearances against the Blades, accounting for 44 per cent of his total goals in the competition, while Chris Wilder's men have become only the second English top-flight team to lose 22 of their first 28 games in a season after Sunderland in 2005-06.

Aston Villa 0-0 Wolves: Grealish absence continues to hit home

There was no winner in Saturday's local derby as Wolves extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League at Villa Park to five matches (W2 D3).

Villa have failed to score in each of their past four home Premier League games against Wolves – only against Chelsea (a run of five between October 1995 and January 2000) and Manchester United (a run of five between March 2003 and December 2006) have they had a longer run of games without scoring against a specific opponent at Villa Park in the competition.

Jack Grealish was again absent through injury and, under Dean Smith, Villa have won just two of their 12 home league games without the playmaker (D5 L5).

On the plus side for Villa, they have kept 14 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, their highest tally in a single top-flight campaign since 2009-10 (15), with only Manchester City (15) having kept more this term.

Wolves, meanwhile, have won just one of their past 10 away Premier League games (D4 L5), with that victory coming at Southampton in February.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-2 Leicester City: Amartey late show gets Foxes back on track

Daniel Amartey proved the unlikely hero for Leicester as they got back on track in their bid to consolidate their place in the top four with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Brighton.

Graham Potter's side took the lead through Adam Lallana's maiden Brighton goal, and his first in 503 days and 32 appearances in the competition since netting for Liverpool against Manchester United in October 2019.

However, Brighton have now dropped 17 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, their most in a single campaign in the competition. Only Southampton (18) have dropped more than the Seagulls in 2020-21.

Kelechi Iheanacho restored parity and has scored in each of his past two Premier League appearances, having netted in just one of his previous 17 in the competition.

Brighton thought they might come away with a point when Jamie Vardy had a penalty appeal turned down, but Amartey popped up with the winner from the following corner.

It was just his second Premier League goal, and his first since he scored against Stoke City in December 2016.

Will Kalidou Koulibaly leave Serie A's Napoli?

Koulibaly is one of Europe's finest defenders and the 29-year-old has attracted interest from across Europe.

Bayern Munich are reportedly eyeing the Senegal international.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN FRONTRUNNERS FOR NAPOLI STAR

Bayern Munich are leading the race to sign Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Il Mattino.

Koulibaly has long been linked with a move away from Napoli, though the club's valuation has deterred suitors.

But Koulibaly's asking price has reportedly dropped to €45million (£39m), alerting Bayern, as well as Manchester United and Liverpool.

Bild, however, claims Bundesliga champions Bayern have not made an offer for the Napoli star.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bild reports Manchester City are favourites to sign Erling Haaland if Borussia Dortmund sanction an off-season exit. Haaland has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Liverpool, ChelseaUnited and Bayern.

- As City target Haaland, Sport Mediaset says Serie A champions Juve are considering a move for veteran forward Sergio Aguero. The Argentina international is out of contract at season's end.

Barca have been offered Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba, claims Sport. Tapsoba is valued at around €40m.

- Wolves are open to selling Adama Traore at a reduced price, according to the Daily Mail. Barca, Liverpool and City have been linked with Traore previously.

- The Sun reports United are considering the sale of star goalkeeper David de Gea. It comes as Dean Henderson expects to become number one next season. The Transfer Window podcast, meanwhile, says United are seeking a new number one amid links to Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Chelsea remain interested in RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, according to Bild. Konate is not short of admirers, linked to the likes of United and Arsenal.

United have not contacted Eintracht Frankfurt's Andre Silva as an alternative to Haaland, claims Bild.

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City will not be considered the Premier League's best-ever team until they complete a clean sweep of trophies including the Champions League, according to Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta.

City equalled their club record unbeaten run of 28 matches when they beat Wolves 4-1 on Tuesday, which was also their 21st successive win across all competitions.

This remarkable form has seen them open up a gaping 15-point lead over second-placed Manchester United, whom they play this weekend – though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men can reduce that slightly when they play Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, City are romping clear and only a monumental collapse will prevent them from retaking the crown from Liverpool, with Stats Perform's AI team giving Guardiola's men a 99.9 per cent likelihood of eventually being champions ahead of win over Wolves.

But as the latter stages of the season approaches, debates – as they often do – have started to turn towards comparisons with other great Premier League teams. Alex Ferguson's treble-winning United team of 1998-99 and Arsene Wenger's Arsenal 'Invincibles', who went the entire 2003-04 season unbeaten, are generally held up as standard-bearers.

Current Gunners boss Arteta, a former assistant to Guardiola at City prior to taking up his post at the Emirates Stadium, thinks the runaway leaders still have work to do to be mentioned in the same breath.

"With the maturity that they've shown and the way the team has evolved in recent years, I would say that in this moment it's the best," Arteta told reporters on Wednesday.

"To say they're the best ever means they have to win everything like that team did a few years ago when they won the four domestic competitions [City's 2018-19 domestic treble, plus that season's Community Shield].

"If you add to that the Champions League, then there is no question because nobody's done it."

When it was put to Arteta if City had already eclipsed the 'Invincibles', Arteta stressed he saw no value in making such comparisons but went on to applaud City for the consistency they have found, with Guardiola's men just one of three teams from Europe's big five leagues to win more than 20 consecutive games.

"I don't think we need to compare. I think what City's doing under Pep is phenomenal, not just this season but every season they've been together," he said.

"To sustain that level of perfection, to sustain that hunger and the way they play football is a joy to watch. We have to be grateful that in this country we have the joy of experiencing something like that.

"It's not about the way they play, it's the character that the team shows, the spirit it shows, the hunger - and not just with the ball.

"The best example is that these players, with the ability they have, chase the ball down when they lose it. That's remarkable and Pep has done that at every club."

Pep Guardiola lavished praise on his Manchester City players after they extended their "more than remarkable" winning run to 21 matches with a 4-1 Premier League defeat of Wolves.

Leander Dendoncker's own goal put runaway leaders City in front, but Conor Coady headed in his first top-flight goal after the hour-mark to bring Wolves level on Tuesday.

City defender Aymeric Laporte had a goal ruled out when he was deemed to be marginally offside just before half-time, but Gabriel Jesus put the hosts back in front 10 minutes from time at the Etihad Stadium.

Riyad Mahrez added a third late on before Jesus struck again right at the end as City matched a club record of 28 games unbeaten to go 15 points clear of second-placed neighbours Manchester United, who they face in a derby on Sunday.

Guardiola hailed the exploits his side have achieved but stressed the Premier League title race is not over.

"The record we will talk about in the future. In winter time in England it's hell and in that time we did something incredible," Guardiola told Match of the Day

"It's more than remarkable. The players have all my compliments but Liverpool have the crown. To win the Premier League we need those points."

Guardiola was impressed with the persistence his players showed after Wolves responded to a slow start by taking a far more positive approach in the second half.

"We were little bit anxious after 1-1 but we reacted really well after we scored the goals," the former Barcelona boss said.

"It was well deserved - we played really good. The games are tight and in the last minutes we win the game comfortably.

"After 1-1, they were dangerous but we continued to take the ball and we didn’t give up and that's a good lesson for us, the little details.

"When you see the performance we were really good. I felt this morning that we were together and we were ready to try again.

"It's a short calendar this season. We didn't have one long week - there are so many games and playing Wolves with their physicality and mentality; I’m more than pleased with what we’ve done so far and we can enjoy tonight, rest and prepare for the next one."

Guardiola is relishing the derby showdown at home to United this weekend.

"We got better results at Old Trafford than here [in recent seasons]," Guardiola added. "We have one or two days to rest and I realise how strong they are. It's an incredible opportunity to make a huge step and we are going to try."

Gabriel Jesus scored a late double as Manchester City landed a 21st straight win and matched their club-record unbeaten run with a 4-1 defeat of Wolves at the Etihad Stadium.

Conor Coady's first Premier League goal brought Wolves level just after the hour mark, with Leander Dendoncker's own goal having given City an early lead.

Aymeric Laporte had a goal ruled out for offside, but Jesus struck 10 minutes from time and Riyad Mahrez added a third in stoppage time.

Jesus netted his second right at the end following a VAR check for offside as City took another stride towards regaining the title, going 15 points clear of second-placed Manchester United ahead of the derby on Sunday. They are unbeaten in 28 games now, equalling a run set in 2017, and a cut above all the rest.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo went with five at the back in a bid to frustrate City, but the leaders were in front in the 14th minute.

Rodri picked out Mahrez with a sublime raking pass and although Dendoncker got to the winger's driven cross ahead of Raheem Sterling, the Belgium international could only turn the ball into his own net.

City continued to zip the ball around with purpose and Laporte thought he had doubled their lead when he prodded in from close range but was adjudged to be fractionally offside following a VAR check, before Rui Patricio superbly out Bernardo Silva's header on the stroke of half-time.

Patricio produced another sharp diving save when Kevin De Bruyne's left-footed strike looked destined for the far corner as City remained on the front foot early in the second half.

Nuno replaced Jonny with Fabio Silva in a positive tactical switch and Wolves were level from out of the blue on the hour, when Coady nodded in Joao Moutinho's inviting free-kick.

Patricio was called into action once again to brilliantly thwart Jesus from a tight angle, and at the other end Adama Traore wasted two good chances with Wolves posing a much bigger threat.

Sterling's deft flick flashed wide of the far post as Pep Guardiola's men applied the pressure that paid off when Jesus fired in a loose ball after a cross from Kyle Walker, with the VAR check this time going in City's favour.

Mahrez added a third by sweeping home after Owen Otasowie gave the ball away cheaply, and Jesus completed a double right at the end after he had initially been given offside when he swept home after Ilkay Gundogan's shot was saved.

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias says the mentality within the squad is like nothing he has ever experienced before, ominously pointing to an "infinite ambition" to win. 

City are 12 points clear in the Premier League title race, while they are also still alive in the Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup as they pursue a possible four trophies in 2020-21. 

Portugal international Dias, 23, joined City from Benfica in September and has been a key figure in their outstanding campaign, making 32 appearances in all competitions and scoring in Saturday's 2-1 win over West Ham. 

"What makes the team is all of us," Dias said. 

"Everyone brings a special attribute, but the team survives because all of us are good and have the right mentality. 

"We have that infinite ambition of all of us wanting to win. I have never seen this in any team or club like I am experiencing now. 

"This desire of everyone wanting to be a part of it and wanting to be on this top level and win more and more and more, that is what makes this team."

He also pointed to the influence of manager Pep Guardiola, who has revived City this season after an underwhelming 2019-20 campaign where they were Premier League runners-up and won only the EFL Cup.

Dias said Guardiola's experience and knowledge had helped instil City's winning mentality.

"Pep is definitely one of the most important roles in all of this," Dias said.

"The way he makes us believe in each game, the solutions he gives us so we can achieve more than our opponents and that will always be a turning point; the quality of the players in our team, if they are smart enough to understand what he is saying, what he wants.

"But major credit to him and to see what he sees in our opponents to give us the way through."

City are at home to Wolves in the Premier League on Tuesday.

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