Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admits Ross Barkley's injury "looks a bit nasty" but he is waiting for a doctor's assessment on Sunday.

Barkley was forced off after 43 minutes of Saturday's 1-0 Premier League defeat of Newcastle United, hobbling off the pitch with an ankle problem to be replaced by Mateo Kovacic.

The England international, who started in place of the injured N'Golo Kante, is now expected to have tests ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to face Ajax.

Cesar Azpilicueta also suffered a knock in the closing stages, but Lampard is hopeful the defender has not sustained any serious damage.

Speaking after the match, which was settled by Marcos Alonso's 73rd-minute strike, Lampard told reporters: "I think Azpi was alright, he didn't say anything when he came off.

"Ross turned his ankle. It looks a bit nasty at first glance, but the doctor wants to have a look at it tomorrow. I have no more on that."

When asked if he could be fit to face Ajax, Lampard replied: "I genuinely don't know. We will assess tomorrow."

Chelsea's win, their fifth in a row in all competitions, means they are fourth in the Premier League after nine matches.

With Edinson Cavani's contract set to expire, a move away from the French capital has been mooted.

The Paris Saint-Germain veteran has been linked to David Beckham's incoming MLS expansion franchise Inter Miami.

However, Cavani reportedly wants a return to Serie A and the titleholders stand out.

 

TOP STORY – CAVANI EYES JUVE SWITCH

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani wants to join Serie A champions Juventus, according to Calciomercato.

Cavani – who has become PSG's all-time leading goalscorer since arriving from Napoli in 2013 – is out of contract at season's end.

With limited progress on a renewal, the 32-year-old's representatives have reportedly reached out to Juve over a return to Italy.

 

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- According to Sky Sport in Germany, Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng is eyeing a move to Serie A or LaLiga. The 31-year-old was linked with PSG during the last transfer window.

- Former France and PSG head coach Laurent Blanc is keen on a job in the Premier League, reports in France say. Blanc was linked to the Lyon vacancy but the Ligue 1 strugglers have opted for ex-Marseille boss Rudi Garcia.

- Passione Inter claims Crystal Palace are looking to sign Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa. The 23-year-old Brazilian is starring on loan at Flamengo, having struggled to establish himself with Inter.

Inter and AC Milan are both interested in Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil, Calciomercato says.

- Calciomercato reports Manchester United are competing with Milan for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Where will Fabian Ruiz be playing by the end of January?

Napoli will be hoping Fabian remains at Stadio San Paolo.

However, LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are determined to bring the former Real Betis midfielder back to Spain.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SURPASS BARCA IN BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Madrid have moved ahead of Barca in the race for Napoli star Fabian and want to sign the midfielder in January, according to Marca.

Fabian has attracted plenty of interest since swapping Betis for Serie A side Napoli, where the Spaniard has starred since his €30milion arrival in 2018.

Barca have been keeping tabs on the 23-year-old, but rivals Madrid have reportedly jumped to the front of the queue.

 

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- While Fabian is of interest, Tuttosport says Barca are eyeing Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who has a €111m release clause.

- There is plenty happening at Camp Nou. Mundo Deportivo reports Barca are willing to let Ivan Rakitic and Carles Alena leave in January. Barca are also reportedly not interested in signing a new centre-back as they trust Jean-Clair Todibo or Ronald Araujo, with Marca saying right-back is an area they are looking to strengthen.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Fiorentina are targeting in-demand Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old has been linked to Juventus and Manchester United.

- AS claims Madrid are considering a move for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen in January, before his contract expires at the end of the season.

Hakan Calhanoglu's time at AC Milan could be coming to an end, with Calciomercato reporting the struggling Serie A side may sell the 25-year-old. Calhanoglu has struggled for consistency since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017.

Barca are lining up an approach for PSV sensation Donyell Malen, according to Sport. It comes as AS reports Ernesto Valverde's side are set to hand contract extensions to Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Nelson Semedo.

Petr Cech got his ice hockey career off to a winning start as his crucial save saw Guildford Phoenix overcome Swindon Wildcats II in overtime.

Former Premier League goalkeeper Cech – a technical advisor at Chelsea after he left Arsenal at the end of last season – officially signed for Guildford on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old made his debut on the ice on Sunday, starting in net for Guildford against the Wildcats and, ultimately, proved decisive in clinching the victory.

Cech had little to do until the Wildcats struck to make it 1-1 after hosts Guildford had gone ahead, with the visiting side then taking a 2-1 lead.

The Phoenix hit back to force overtime and penalties, with Cech coming out on top in the shoot-out.

Swindon's penalty taker attempted to thread a low shot under the ex-Chelsea star, but Cech displayed plenty of experience, albeit from a different sport, to stand his ground and make an instinctive, match-winning stop with his pads.

Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema are the wrong side of 30 and could soon be looking over their shoulders.

LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid are planning for the future and have reportedly identified ideal long-term successors to their respective strikers.

Meanwhile, two Premier League rivals could be about to do battle for the signature of a highly rated defender.


TOP STORY – ENEMIES EYE REINFORCEMENTS

AS claim Spanish champions Barca have identified Donyell Malen as the man to replace star striker Suarez, now 32.

The PSV forward scored on his international debut for Netherlands in September and has netted 10 goals in nine Eredivisie games this term.

Inter's Lautaro Martinez and Rafael Leao of AC Milan are also in the Blaugrana's sights.

Madrid, meanwhile, are considering an approach for Salzburg teenager Erling Haaland, AS adds.

Luka Jovic is yet to make much of an impression in the Spanish capital and Haaland, the scorer of four goals in two Champions League games, could prove a more useful option behind Benzema.


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- Kai Havertz insists the decision on his next move will be his alone. Barca and Madrid have been linked with the in-demand Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, who told a news conference he is ready to take control of his future.

- Manchester City are preparing to hijack Manchester United's move for Ruben Dias. According to The Sun, the Premier League champions see the Benfica centre-back as the solution to their defensive crisis.

- In a second blow to the under-pressure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Daily Mail claims United medical staff fear the injured Paul Pogba will spend the rest of October on the sideline. Pogba is in Dubai for warm-weather training as he battles to overcome a foot problem, but is in doubt for the blockbuster clash with leaders Liverpool in just over a week.

- Chelsea are weighing up whether to recall Ethan Ampadu from his RB Leipzig loan spell when the transfer window reopens in January, the Daily Express reports. Wales international Ampadu has not registered a single appearance for the Bundesliga outfit.

- Steven Gerrard's success in turning Rangers into genuine Scottish Premiership title contenders has garnered unexpected interest in his services. The Sun says Turkish giants Besiktas see the former Liverpool and England midfielder as a good fit to replace Abdullah Avci, should the incumbent boss fail to improve their Super Lig fortunes.

Kepa Arrizabalaga claims he would like to return to Athletic Bilbao one day.

The Spain international left the Basque club in 2018 to join Chelsea, which ended a 14-year spell with the club after he joined the youth ranks of at age nine.

Kepa, 25, commanded a record transfer fee for a goalkeeper at the time, and has since become first choice goalkeeper for Spain head coach Robert Moreno, but admits a return to the Rojiblancos is a possibility.

"Of course I would like to return to Athletic (Bilbao)," he told Spanish football show El Chiringuito.

"I don’t know when or how or what, but playing at Athletic obviously I’d like that. I have great memories."

The Chelsea stopper also reflected on the heavy speculation that saw him come close to joining Real Madrid in January 2018.

Kepa eventually re-signed with Bilbao in that window with the intention of staying at the club, before departing to Chelsea the following summer.

"For several months my grandma saw more of me in the newspapers than in the flesh," he said.

"There was a lot of talk about me. I was also injured for a while so it wasn't a good moment for me.

"My contract was due to expire and from January onwards I was able to start talking to other clubs.

"I couldn’t see myself joining [another] club. I ended up renewing my contract with the idea of staying, but six months later I left. That was the only contraction."

Spain continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign away in Norway on Saturday.

Another day, another rumour about Christian Eriksen.

The soon-to-be free agent Eriksen wants a new challenge after flagging his intent during the previous transfer window.

A move to LaLiga appeals and a Spanish giant from the capital are reportedly ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID EYE ERIKSEN 

AS and Marca claim Real Madrid are ready to make a move for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in January.

Eriksen is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Spurs star has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Inter.

However, Madrid are reportedly unwilling to wait until season's end as they look to strengthen their midfield.

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Inter are eyeing Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, says FC Inter News. Matic has found himself out of favour under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a switch to Serie A could be on the cards for the Serbia international, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to Calciomercato, Serie A champions Juventus are looking to sign Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri. The Italy international worked with Maurizio Sarri during the former Chelsea boss' time at Stamford Bridge.

Massimiliano Allegri has handed United a "deadline" for him to be given the job at Old Trafford, says La Gazzetta dello Sport. Solskjaer is under growing pressure, with the Red Devils enduring a difficult season and former Juventus boss Allegri has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil fears he has played his last game for the Gunners, according to the Mirror. Ozil has struggled to establish himself since Unai Emery's arrival and the former Germany international has been linked to MLS outfit DC United and Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- Le10Sport claims former Chile, Sevilla and Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is on the shortlist to fill the Lyon vacancy following Sylvinho's sacking. Sampaoli is in charge of Brazilian side Santos.

- Gianluca Di Marzio reports Claudio Ranieri is in the mix to take over at Sampdoria, who sacked Eusebio Di Francesco prior to the international break. Ranieri – who sensationally led Leicester City to Premier League glory in 2015-16 – last oversaw Roma on a temporary basis last term. Ex-AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reportedly turned down the job.

- Manchester United are among the admirers of rising Mexico star Sebastian Cordova, reports Record. The 22-year-old America playmaker made his international debut for El Tri last week. The attacking third and midfield are areas of concern for United, who have also been linked to Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has signed for ice hockey team Guildford Phoenix.

The 37-year-old ended his football career after making his final appearance as the Gunners lost the Europa League final 4-1 to Chelsea in May.

Cech has wasted little time in getting back into competitive sport, though, having agreed a deal to turn out for Guildford Phoenix in his debut season.

Speaking to his new side's official website, Cech said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get match experience.

"I hope I can help this young team to achieve their goals for the season and try to win as many games as possible when I have the chance to play.

"After 20 years of professional football, this is going to be a wonderful experience for me to play the game I loved to watch and play as a kid."

Head coach Andy Hemmings added: "The signing of Petr is massive for the Phoenix. He is a great guy who trains hard and I cannot wait to see him make his debut."

A four-time Premier League champion and a Champions League winner with Chelsea, Cech is the most-capped player in the Czech Republic's history, with 124 senior appearances.

He won the FA Cup with Arsenal after spending four years with the Gunners following his exit from Stamford Bridge.

Cech rejoined Chelsea after his retirement to take up the role of Technical Advisor.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be concerned that one more significant defeat could see him sacked as Manchester United manager.

Although Ed Woodward has given his backing to the former striker and insisted the club has faith in their longer-term plan, it seems the loss to Newcastle United on Sunday has caused particular concern.

AC Milan, meanwhile, could make a change in the dugout on Tuesday, while Real Madrid are considering a Chelsea midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – SOLKSJAER FACING SACK IF UNITED LOSE HANDSOMELY TO LIVERPOOL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not survive at Manchester United if they suffer a significant defeat to Liverpool.

The Daily Mail and the Mirror claim executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was very concerned by the manner of the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, despite giving the manager public support.

It is suggested Woodward could choose to dismiss Solskjaer if United are beaten heavily by league leaders Liverpool on October 20 - much as Jose Mourinho was sacked after a 3-1 loss at Anfield last year.

 

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- United are in desperate need of goals but one of their targets, Moussa Dembele, could be stolen away from Lyon by Everton for £40million in January, according to Football Insider.

AC Milan are another major club ready to make a change in the dugout. Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Rossoneri could replace Marco Giampaolo with former Inter boss Stefano Pioli as early as Tuesday.

- Inter, meanwhile, are plotting a bid for out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to Calciomercato.com.

Real Madrid appear to have turned a corner under Zinedine Zidane but the former France star still wants a new midfielder. Sport say he has sanctioned a possible January bid for Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

- In France, Sylvinho paid the price for Lyon's poor form - particularly Sunday's derby defeat to Saint-Etienne - and the Ligue 1 side are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino as his replacement, according to Soccer Link.

Marco Giampaolo's time at AC Milan could already be over and the Serie A giants are considering replacements.

Milan overcame Genoa for their third win in seven league games this season, but they are still struggling in 13th in the table.

Giampaolo's stint at the helm at San Siro may be over already after just over three months in charge.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN CONSIDER GIAMPAOLO'S FUTURE WITH PIOLI, SPALLETTI FAVOURITES

Milan are leaning towards sacking Giampaolo despite the win over Genoa, according to CalcioMercato.

SempreMilan reports the club almost sacked Giampaolo at half-time, when the side were trailing before fighting back.

According to Sky Sport, former Inter coaches Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti are favourites for the Milan job.

 

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- Looking to strengthen in January, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Lyon forward Moussa Dembele against Saint-Etienne on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Dembele came off the bench for struggling Lyon in the 1-0 loss.

- Juventus and Inter look set to battle for the Serie A title and they could be fighting elsewhere too. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian giants are set to fight to sign Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- Leicester City are looking for a replacement for Ben Chilwell as they prepare for clubs to bid for the left-back, according to The Sun, which links Manchester City and Chelsea with £50million moves for the England international.

- Out to improve their defence, Arsenal are targeting Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to The Sun. A France youth international, Boly joined Wolves from Porto, initially on loan before the move was made permanent last year.

- Newcastle United could make a move for Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall in January, The Sun reports. Worrall, 22, is coming out of contract at season's end and the Premier League club could land him on the cheap in early 2020.

Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella claimed he is prepared to die for Antonio Conte as the Serie A leaders focus on a top-of-the-table clash with Juventus.

San Siro will be the setting for a blockbuster Derby d'Italia when the league's two outstanding teams battle for top spot going into the international break.

Though edged out by Barcelona on Wednesday, Inter have been transformed under Conte this season and take a perfect domestic record into Sunday's game.

Barella's fine form since arriving from Cagliari has aided the Nerazzurri's rise, but the Italy international directed all plaudits to his head coach.

"He has a different attitude, a way of talking to you that gives you something new," Barella told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"For him, I would get myself killed. That applies to all his players and that makes the difference.

"Have you seen how Conte's teams run? It is not just because they are well prepared. It is because of the message he puts in your head."

Barella has appeared in all six of Inter's Serie A matches this term and scored a vital late equaliser in the Champions League draw with Slavia Prague in September.

Yet the 22-year-old might not have joined the club had he pursued an offer to link up with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea last season.

Juve boss Sarri was in charge at Stamford Bridge at the time but failed to convince his target to abandon Cagliari as they battled relegation.

"Yes, Chelsea wanted me in January," Barella said.

"But it was not an easy time for Cagliari. I said I would stay and make a decision at the end of the season."

Neymar may not have secured his return to Barcelona, but the Paris Saint-Germain star's future continues to make headlines.

The Brazil forward was keen on making a Barca comeback, two years after his world-record transfer to the French capital.

But as Antoine Griezmann struggles to settle in at Camp Nou, the Frenchman could see himself shipped out to make way for Neymar.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR & GRIEZMANN IN SWAP DEAL

Barcelona are considering the possibility of sending Griezmann to Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar, claims Le10Sport.

Neymar was unable to secure a return to Barca during the transfer window following his €222million exit in 2017.

But as Griezmann – who only arrived from LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in the off-season – finds it difficult to settle and develop a relationship with Lionel Messi, the Barca recruit is being talked about as a possible makeweight.

 

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City star James Maddison is Tottenham's number one target to replace soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen, according to the Daily Star. Maddison has also been linked to Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Real Madrid could trigger Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak's €120m release clause as Thibaut Courtois struggles at the Santiago Bernabeu, according to ElDesmarque.

- The front page of Corriere dello Sport says Lazio have signed star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to a new contract until 2024. The deal, worked out in secret for another season, appears to end speculation of a move to the likes of InterUnited, Real Madrid, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain.

Gennaro Gattuso could make a sensational return to AC Milan, but only in an unlikely scenario. Amid mounting pressure on coach Marco Giampaolo, El Corriere claims Gattuso – who stepped down at the end of 2018-19 – would make his way back to San Siro if directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban quit.

- The Express says Chelsea will offer Willian a new contract amid links to LaLiga champions Barcelona. It comes as the Evening Standard reports the Blues will reward Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori with fresh deals.

- Could Carlo Ancelotti leave Napoli at the end of the season? Corriere dello Sport suggests the Italian head coach could depart if results do not improve. Napoli are already six points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter.

- Marca says Manchester United are keeping an eye on Mexico international Jose Juan Macias. The 20-year-old Leon forward scored his first international goal on debut for El Tri on Wednesday.

- Ernesto Valverde's future as Barcelona boss is far from certain and with that in mind, TNT Sport reports that River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo is the club's first choice.

Frank Lampard says Chelsea's young guns will get a chance to make a first-team breakthrough regardless of nationality if their attitude is right but revelled in the "nice story" of England call-ups for academy graduates Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori.

Lampard starred for Chelsea and England in an esteemed playing career and is now forging pathways for a new generation of youngsters at Stamford Bridge, partially aided by a transfer ban.

The Blues have promoted Mount, Abraham and Tomori to the first team this season and all three have impressed, earning call-ups to the senior England team for the coming international break.

Chelsea have been criticised in the past for not granting opportunities to players from their impressive academy, meaning Lampard appreciates the early success of the trio.

"There's two things. I really like it, the affiliation with the academy, and the fans love it," he told reporters. "That's one - and I do like that side of it.

"But the other 50 per cent is that I don't care where they come from as long as they play trying to do the right things.

"It doesn't matter if you're an English 20-year-old, a French 20-year-old, et cetera. If the ethics are right and you deserve your place in the team, you'll get your place in the team.

"Yes, it's obviously a nice story because fans really do enjoy seeing the young English boys coming through and they all have an affiliation with the club.

"But if you look below them slightly, we have Ian Maatsen, a young Dutch boy who's a really good young player, and if he comes through, I'll feel exactly the same. It's nice to see."

Mount and Abraham have both played for England at senior level previously, but Tomori is a new name in Gareth Southgate's squad.

Lampard considers the defender "a project" but also believes he has set a standard with his recent performances that he now must continue to keep.

"To play so well against Liverpool and Mo Salah, as he did, and against the really quick Lille strikers in a European away game, now I want to make sure he switches straight back on - like he did against Brighton - like he hopefully will against Southampton," Lampard said.

"Those are the standards now. The consistency levels will be the tester. The only way I know that you can guard against anything negative happening is how you apply yourself daily."

Roma have confirmed Chelsea loanee Davide Zappacosta has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The 27-year-old sustained the injury during a training session on Friday and will now face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Zappacosta has managed just 12 minutes of football for Roma since joining on an initial six-month deal from Chelsea in August due to a calf problem.

A statement on the Italian club's official website read: "During Friday's training session, defender Davide Zappacosta suffered a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, in a non-contact incident.

"The club would like to offer its sincerest sympathies to the player and wishes him a quick and full recovery."

Zappacosta signed a contract extension with Chelsea through to June 2022 prior to linking up with Roma.

Frank Lampard backed Tammy Abraham to score goals for England after the Chelsea striker was called up for the Three Lions' forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

England boss Gareth Southgate named Abraham along with Blues team-mates Fikayo Tomori and Ross Barkley in his squad and Lampard said all three players "have big smiles on their faces" after impressing for Chelsea.

Abraham has scored seven goals in seven Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season and also found the net in his side's 2-1 win at Lille in the Champions League.

Lampard, who scored 29 goals in 106 appearances for England, tipped the 22-year-old forward – who has two caps for the Three Lions – for success at international level, saying of his call-up: "I think it is well deserved.

"[He has been] scoring goals regularly for us and everybody knows that his form is very good. I think he has been in the equation for Gareth all season with the way that he has played.

"It is a natural progression for him. So I'm delighted. He is a proud lad, as he should be, proud to get a call up.

"I don't want to put too much on his shoulders, but step by step he has shown that he can score goals in the Championship twice, now in the Premier League.

"Naturally when he goes to the England squad he has the attributes to go there and be successful. It is another step for him but I am sure that he has the attitude to take that challenge of being a goalscorer for England."

Abraham is expected to start as Chelsea's Premier League campaign resumes at Southampton on Sunday, where Lampard's men hope to secure back-to-back top-flight victories for the first time this season.

Lampard said the club would monitor the progress of N'Golo Kante ahead of the match as the midfielder continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Kante played all 90 minutes of Chelsea's win at Lille in midweek but he has been restricted to just two Premier League starts during a disjointed season so far.

The Chelsea manager indicated Kante's place against the Saints is not guaranteed, saying: "That's something we will have to watch over the next 24 or 48 hours to make sure he is still on a semi-recovery, as they all are from the trip to Lille and the game.

"The fact he hasn't played much obviously. In terms of the injury, he is fine. There is no fall out from that from the game.

"It is just making sure he is fit and ready and that's a call for myself."

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