Chelsea have reportedly joined the race for Erling Haaland as Manchester United consider their options.

Haaland, 20, has been heavily linked with a move after starring for Borussia Dortmund.

Europe's biggest clubs are lining up to sign the forward, and Chelsea are apparently among them, while United may look elsewhere.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA JOIN RACE FOR HAALAND

Chelsea are ready to enter the race for Dortmund star Haaland, according to 90min.

Manchester City are also reportedly heavily interested in the Norway international, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Haaland has scored 33 goals in 32 games for Dortmund since arriving at the Bundesliga club from Salzburg in January.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United, meanwhile, may look elsewhere. The Mirror reports the Premier League giants may be unable to sign Haaland due to their "sour relationship" with his agent, Mino Raiola. The report says United see Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin as an alternative.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez still sidelined, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. Todofichajes.com reports the Premier League leaders are interested in Real Madrid centre-back Eder Militao. Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo says the club are in talks with Celta Vigo over 16-year-old defender Stefan Bajcetic.

- Struggling in the Premier League, Arsenal are expected to strengthen in January. The Daily Star reports the Gunners are considering a loan move for Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior next month.

- After just one Premier League appearance for Chelsea this season, Antonio Rudiger has been linked with a move away. Le Parisien reports Paris Saint-Germain want the defender in January.

- Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard is apparently attracting interest from elsewhere. CalcioMercato reports Juventus and Milan are interested in the 22-year-old.

- Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig is set to leave Camp Nou following repeated criticism from Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman. Manchester City and Bayern Munich are both keen on the 21-year-old, according to Fichajes.

Thomas Tuchel enjoys the challenge of managing Paris Saint-Germain and insists he was mistranslated when suggesting the job is more about politics than coaching.

PSG rounded off 2020 with a routine 4-0 win over Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Wednesday through goals from Timothee Pembele, Kylian Mbappe, Idrissa Gueye and Moise Kean.

A few hours ahead of the match, an interview with Tuchel was published by SPORT1 in which the German opened up on the demands of managing such a big club.

The 47-year-old said it can be difficult keeping players such as Neymar and Mbappe happy, while also admitting he is "sad" his achievements are often played down.

Tuchel was also quoted as saying he felt more like "a sports politician or sports minister than a coach" during his first season in the French capital.

However, Tuchel attempted to clarify the comments when questioned in the aftermath of his side's win against Strasbourg.

"I didn't say it's more about politics than sport, nor that I lost the fun of training. This is not true," he told Canal+. "It is possible they translated incorrectly.

"Watch the video interview. I just said that PSG are unique and that it's a big challenge for me. It's always been like that. I like this challenge and nothing has changed."

Asked again about the interview at his post-match news conference, Tuchel added: "I gave a video interview to a journalist who told me to do a story about German coaches.

"It is not an interview for him. It is not allowed.

"I was making a joke in German. The translation is not correct. We cannot translate word for word. It was a joke while we were talking and it is not allowed."

PSG enter the mid-season break sitting third in Ligue 1, one point behind Lyon and Lille following their victories over Nantes and Montpellier respectively.

The reigning champions took the lead inside 18 minutes through Pembele but had to wait until 11 minutes from time for Mbappe to add a second from close range.

Two more goals from substitutes Gueye and Kean followed late on in a game the home side bossed, seeing 69 per cent of the ball and managing eight shots on target to their opponents' two.

"It was a strong performance from us," Tuchel said. "And this after a very demanding first half to the season. I'm very happy today because it was a win we deserved.

"We were again missing a lot of players due to injury but were serious and disciplined with our play. That is a big compliment to the team.

"Our ranking in the table is what it is, but we know why we're here. It would have been more difficult to take if we didn't know the reasons.

"I am happy because the team has shown in the last two games we can play well."

Pembele's sliding finish was his first goal for PSG on just his fifth appearance, the teenage defender scoring from one of his rare forays forward.

He was fielded at right wing-back and played fewer passes in the opposition half (16) than any outfield PSG starter, but he showed good instincts to bag a goal that he dedicated to his parents.

"It's a great emotion for me tonight," he said. "I played in a position where I had to attack and follow all the balls. I scored my first professional goal and I'm very happy with it.

"It's a very nice Christmas present for my parents. The coach told me when there is room to attack. It was difficult since they had five at the back.

"But we were able to get the ball rolling and find ways to score. It's hard to find a place in the side, but we have a lot of games and there are also five substitutions."

Kylian Mbappe was among the scorers as Paris Saint-Germain brushed aside Strasbourg 4-0 in their final Ligue 1 outing of 2020.

The reigning champions were held to a goalless draw by Lille last time out and struggled to find their stride again in Wednesday's clash at the Parc des Princes prior to a late flurry of goals.

Timothee Pembele's first strike for the club in his fifth appearance got PSG off the mark after 18 minutes, but it took until 11 minutes from time for Mbappe to add a second from a few yards out.

Substitutes Idrissa Gueye and Moise Kean then joined the scoring as Thomas Tuchel's men picked up a third league win in seven outings, although they end the year in third place a point behind Lyon and Lille, who both won elsewhere.

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

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

Will Haaland make the move to Chelsea?


TOP STORIES – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

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

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

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

Kylian Mbappe's fitness struggles are causing a headache for Thomas Tuchel ahead of injury-hit Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 clash with Strasbourg on Wednesday.

The rapid France striker has been struggling with his left adductors since PSG defeated Lorient 2-0 last week and his status to feature against Strasbourg remains in doubt.

Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa (both hamstring) and Alessandro Florenzi (ankle) have added to a PSG injury list that sits at 10 players, while the absence of Mbappe would make it 11.

Asked at a pre-match news conference how he plans to manage the situation, head coach Tuchel replied: "I don't know what to do for tomorrow, I haven't decided yet in terms of who is going to play.

"Some guys are at risk with their injuries, I haven't decided yet, I still need to talk to the doctor and to the physio about players and wait for the training session later."

With a lengthy list of absentees and the January transfer window just around the corner, Tuchel was asked if the situation will enhance the need for reinforcements.

"The situation is as it is right now, we don't know what we will do in the transfer window, I haven't thought about it too much to be honest," he replied.

"We always need to adapt to the current situation, we had a spell in the Champions League and the group phase was difficult, I couldn't think about anything else.

"The most important thing is to have fewer injuries. That's my focus right now."

Manchester City and Manchester United are set to battle it out for the signature of Bayern Munich's star defender David Alaba.

Alaba's Bayern contract expires in June 2021 and both Manchester clubs have made approaches for the 75-cap Austria international.

Pep Guardiola coached the 28-year-old during his time in the Bundesliga, but City may face further competition for the two-time Champions League winner.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY SET FOR TUG-OF-WAR OVER ALABA

Manchester City and Manchester United have each made formal contact with Alaba 's agent Pini Zahavi, reports Spanish media outlet AS.

Bayern's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accepted the European champions can do nothing to keep Alaba, despite trying "everything" to convince the nine-time German league champion to stay.

But the Manchester rivals are not the only interested parties, with Real Madrid the favourites to land Alaba, according to the Daily Mail.  Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also in the race.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton left-back  Lucas Digne  is another player on Guardiola's wish list, say the Daily Mail. The Toffees are set to offer the France international a bumper new contract to ward off  City 's advances, according to the Times.

PSG  are lining up a bid for Atletico Madrid's wantaway goalkeeper  Jan Oblak , say the Daily Mail. The Ligue 1 champions see 27-year-old Oblak, who wants a new challenge, as the successor to 34-year-old gloveman Keylor Navas in the French capital.

Neymar is welcome to reunite with Lionel Messi but first he must ask for forgiveness following his acrimonious Camp Nou exit three years ago, Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Farre has insisted.

The Brazil international spent four trophy-laden seasons in Catalonia, forming a formidable partnership alongside Messi and Luiz Suarez, before joining Paris Saint-Germain for a record €222million in 2017 after his release clause was triggered.

Neymar has scored 50 times in 59 Ligue 1 outings since arriving at PSG and assisted a further 29 - only team-mate Kylian Mbappe (99) has been directly involved in more goals in the competition in that time.

During his time with Barca, meanwhile, he was directly involved in 164 goals in 186 appearances, helping the club to eight trophies.

He left Barca under a cloud and has since been embroiled in a court battle with his former club over an alleged breach of contract and unpaid loyalty payments.

However, the superstar forward caused a stir earlier this month when saying he wants nothing more than to link up with Messi again next year.

PSG are rumoured to be readying an offer for soon-to-be free agent Messi, but Farre - in the running to succeed Josep Maria Bartomeu as the LaLiga giants' next president in January's elections - has suggested the pair could play together at Barca.

"Neymar will be welcome but the first thing he has to do is withdraw his demands and ask for forgiveness," he told RAC1. 

"We have spoken to his people and they have told us about 'going home'.

"Who doesn't want the third-best player in the world on their team? There is an option of a transfer request, which would see him come for €40-45m."

Messi failed in an attempt to engineer a move away from Barcelona in the close season but is due to be out of contract at the end of the campaign, meaning he is able to open talks with other clubs from next month.

Manchester City and Inter have been linked with the Argentina international, but reports from Spain last week suggested PSG are the frontrunners for Messi's signature, although his father and agent Jorge has since labelled that speculation "false".

Farre hopes he can persuade the six-time Ballon d'Or winner to stay on, albeit on a reduced salary as Barca adjust to the crippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Messi and Neymar can play together at Barca next year. I am sure Messi does not want to leave," he said.

"I have talked to his people and, while we have not made any progress, he has told me he wants to stay. But he wants to be part of a winning project.

"My proposal to him is that he renews year after year, then we create a joint brand between Messi and Barca, and that he goes on to become the club's honorary president.

"But he will have to adapt to the current conditions of the club."

Messi scored in Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend to notch his 643rd goal for the Blaugrana, equalling Santos great Pele's one-club goals record.

Real Madrid are still eyeing Kylian Mbappe next year.

Mbappe, 22, has been heavily linked with the LaLiga giants with his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expiring in 2022.

Madrid may be looking to make a move in 2021.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CONFIDENT OVER MBAPPE IN 2021

Real Madrid are very confident of completing a deal for PSG star Mbappe next year, according to 90min.

Mbappe has developed into one of the world's best forwards at PSG, where he has scored 13 goals in 17 games this season.

The France international is admired by Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona may be active in January. Sport reports Ronald Koeman is insisting on signings to begin 2021, with Lyon star Memphis Depay said to be available for just €5million. It also says Barca will negotiate with Manchester City for Eric Garcia.

- Staying at Manchester City and the Premier League giants have been boosted by John Stones' form. The Telegraph reports the defender is poised for a contract extension, with his current deal running until 2022.

- Yves Bissouma is seemingly attracting plenty of interest after his form for Brighton and Hove Albion. The Daily Express reports Manchester United have joined the race for the midfielder, who has also been linked to Liverpool and Arsenal.

- Yet to play for Napoli this season, Arkadiusz Milik is set for an exit. CalcioMercato reports Tottenham have given up on trying to sign the striker, who is also apparently a target for Juventus, Inter and Roma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are confident over a move for Lionel Messi, while Mohamed Salah is eyeing Real Madrid.

Messi sensationally requested to leave Barcelona during the close season, but ended up staying with the LaLiga giants.

While the star made more history on Saturday, his contract expires at the end of the season – and two European giants think he is ready to make a move.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY, PSG CONFIDENT OVER MESSI

Manchester City and PSG are confident Messi is prepared to leave Barcelona in 2021, according to 90min.

The big-spending European giants have been among the most heavily linked with a move for Messi, who is out of contract at Barca next year.

Messi equalled Pele's record of 643 goals for one club with his header against Valencia in LaLiga on Saturday.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool star Salah discussed a potential move to Real Madrid or Barcelona in an interview with Diario AS on Saturday – and the forward apparently has a club in mind. DefensaCentral reports the Egypt international wants a move to Madrid, who have apparently maintained close contact.

- Barcelona could be set for good news in January. L'Equipe reports Lyon are prepared to sell Memphis Depay – who has been linked with the LaLiga giants and is out of contract at the end of the season – for €5million.

- Manchester City are prepared to listen to offers for Oleksandr Zinchenko in January, according to 90min. Zinchenko has played just 12 minutes in the Premier League this season.

- Struggling for game time this season, Daniel James has been linked with a move away from Manchester United. However, the Manchester Evening News reports James is committed to staying with the Premier League giants beyond January.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laurent Blanc is back in football as head coach of Qatari side Al Rayyan, four and a half years after he left Paris Saint-Germain.

The appointment was announced on Saturday, with 55-year-old Blanc described by his nickname 'Le President' as the Qatar Stars League welcomed its newest import. 

"Laurent Blanc arrives," the club said on their social media channels. There was no detail immediately available about his contract.

A 1998 World Cup winner as a player with France, Blanc later coached the national team after a spell in charge at Bordeaux.

He then spent three seasons as PSG boss before departing at the end of the 2015-16 campaign, despite leading the Parc des Princes giants to two domestic trebles and a double.

PSG's Qatari owners decided that a failure to mount a serious challenge for Champions League glory meant Blanc should depart.

At Al Rayyan he succeeds Uruguayan coach Diego Aguirre, with the team sitting sixth in the 12-team league after nine rounds of games.

Blanc's appointment comes two years ahead of Qatar hosting the World Cup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marcus Rashford is contracted to Manchester United until 2023.

But the Red Devils are still planning to renew Rashford's deal in Manchester.

Pay rise anyone?

 

TOP STORY – RASHFORD IN LINE FOR BUMPER DEAL

Manchester United are set to hand Marcus Rashford a lucrative new contract, according to the Daily Star.

Rashford has impressed on and off the pitch at Old Trafford since making his United debut in 2015.

The 23-year-old – contracted until 2023 – is in line to be rewarded with a bumper £300,000 deal.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS reports Rennes and France sensation Eduardo Camavinga is edging closer to a transfer to LaLiga champions Real Madrid. The 18-year-old midfielder has also been linked to United and Paris Saint-Germain, but Madrid – also a possible destination for Juventus target Paul Pogba – are tipped to prise the Frenchman to the Spanish capital. 

Barcelona are willing to sell Philippe Coutinho, claims ARA. It comes amid the club's financial issues due to the coronavirus pandemic.

- Corriere dello Sport says Fiorentina want Napoli outcast and soon-to-be free agent Arkadiusz Milik. The Poland international has also been linked to Roma, Atletico Madrid and Juventus.

- Parma's Gervinho and Udinese star Rodrigo De Paul are among the players wanted by Inter, according to Tuttosport.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.