Thomas Tuchel is convinced Chelsea will remain focused on winning trophies at the highest level under the club's next ownership.

The deadline for bids passed on Friday, and there were reportedly at least 30 offers submitted to US merchant bank the Raine Group, which is overseeing the sale.

Chelsea's long-time owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government on the basis of connections to Russia's president, Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich has denied having close ties to Putin, the leader who ordered the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

However, the sanctions imposed mean Abramovich, whose assets have been frozen, will not be allowed to profit from the sale of Chelsea. For now, the club continues to operate on a special licence, unable to sell match tickets or merchandise.

Tuchel believes the scale of investment that it will take to buy Chelsea will mean the next owner must make success on the pitch a priority.

The German head coach said: "If somebody buys a club for this amount of money then it's about challenging on the highest kind of level, then it's about trophies, then it's about winning, and then it's about being the best you can.

"It's not about developing a project, it's not about making money with the club.

"I don't know the ideas behind buying a club or any organisation for this amount of money because I cannot afford it and I will never be able to.

"But that's what I hope and what I think. I think Chelsea as a club and a structure and an organisation has an awful to offer, and that's why the price is like it is."

Chelsea have won the Champions League and Club World Cup over the past 12 months, asserting their place at the top of the global game.

The Blues were due in FA Cup action against Middlesbrough on Saturday evening, having received permission to fly north for the game.

Restrictions imposed on the club after Abramovich's sanctioning meant Chelsea looked like having to take a long bus trip to the Riverside Stadium in order to fall within spending limits, but UK newspaper reports indicate an exemption was secured for the quarter-final game.

Abramovich is said to have valued the club, which he bought in 2003, at £3billion. Any funds are due to be directed to a charitable organisation or into a frozen account.

One interested party is a consortium headed by British property developer and Chelsea supporter Nick Candy. The Ricketts family, owners of MLB's Chicago Cubs and backed by hedge fund entrepreneur Ken Griffin, are another party to have officially made a bid.

Martin Broughton, the ex-Liverpool chairman, and Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, are heading up a consortium, with another led by Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and American businessman Todd Boehly, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder believes FA Cup rivals Chelsea will believe "the world's against them" after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.

An FA Cup quarter-final at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday evening sees Chelsea go up against a Championship team who have knocked Manchester United and Tottenham out of the competition already.

Wilder, who previously managed in the Premier League with Sheffield United, will have Middlesbrough's players geed up for the occasion.

But he suspects Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea will also be determined to deliver a big performance, suggesting they have developed a "siege mentality" since the club sank into crisis.

He also believes the London club as a whole have woken up to the reality of their situation, having been roundly mocked for suggesting the Middlesbrough game be played behind closed doors.

On the pitch, Chelsea's players have shown focus since the club's crisis surfaced, beating Norwich City, Newcastle United and Lille in consecutive games.

"I've not taken too much notice about all the stuff that's happened over the last week and a half. This is an outstanding team in every aspect of the game. A squad I would imagine is worth about a billion pounds," Wilder told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"They've got world-class players and a world-class manager, regardless of all the stuff that's been going on. They are still in the hunt for a top-three finish and in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the FA Cup.

"Their mentality I imagine should have been strengthened, with a little bit more of a siege mentality, that the world's against them, and they will certainly want to progress in the cup."

Chelsea were set to travel north by bus, rather than taking a private jet, with belt-tightening measures having been drawn up since the club was placed in special measures.

Abramovich has been sanctioned over links to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, and the club have been barred from selling tickets or merchandise.

When Chelsea requested that the Middlesbrough game be played without spectators for the sake of "sporting integrity", the London club faced ridicule and soon backed down.

Wilder was baffled too, saying: "I think like 99.99 per cent of people who love the game, [I thought] 'What is going on?'," he said.

"A bit of head scratching at the time. It was a decision that was met universally with displeasure. I don't know another word to use, it was baffling.

"There was a quick turnaround in terms of what they wanted to happen, maybe checking themselves a little bit, getting a grip of themselves and saying, 'Well really this shouldn't happen', and coming to a sensible conclusion."

Since recording back-to-back Premier League wins over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in February and August 2006, early in the Abramovich era, Middlesbrough have lost each of their last eight matches with the Blues in all competitions without scoring a single goal.

Middlesbrough will be appearing in their first FA Cup quarter-final since 2016-17, when they lost 2-0 at home to Manchester City. They have been eliminated at this stage on each of the last four occasions they have reached the final eight, since making the semi-finals in 2005-06 under Steve McClaren.

Wilder suggests Middlesbrough have only "a puncher's chance" ahead of the visit of the third-placed team in the Premier League.

"But we want to give it a good go," he said. "It wouldn't be the biggest upset in cup history, but we are certainly up against it."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been heavily linked with an early exit from Manchester United this season.

The Red Devils are out of the Premier League title race and struggling to make the top four.

There is said to be tension surrounding Ronaldo due to Ralf Rangnick's appointment as interim manager.

TOP STORY - RONALDO RE-COMMITS TO MAN UTD

Ronaldo will stay with United next season with interim manager Rangnick set to depart, reports AS.

The 37-year-old forward has committed to United, whom he joined in August on a two-year deal with the option for a third season, as he is confident they will show their ambition by making a major appointment with their new permanent manager.

United were eliminated from the Champions League this week by Atletico Madrid and are struggling to reach next season's edition, sitting fifth in the Premier League.

ROUND-UP

- Jesse Lingard has been offered to Italian clubs Milan and Roma as he prepares to leave United as a free agent, reports Nicolo Schira. West Ham  and Newcastle United are also interested in the 29-year-old England international.

- Benfica have slapped a £67million price tag on striker  Darwin Nunez , who is being pursued by Manchester United , Arsenal , Liverpool and Newcastle ,   according to The Mirror.

- Foot Mercato reports  Arsenal will enter the race to sign Real Madrid winger  Eden Hazard , with Chelsea previously linked to their former player.

- Fichajes claims  Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Athletic Bilbao head coach Marcelino should Diego Simeone opt to leave the Spanish champions.

Thomas Tuchel says he wants Chelsea to be the side that everyone aims to avoid heading into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The reigning champions kept their title defence on track on Wednesday by advancing to the last eight with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Lille.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago, Tuchel's side fell behind at Stade Pierre-Mauroy to a Burak Yilmaz penalty.

However, Christian Pulisic responded in first-half stoppage time, before Cesar Azpilicueta completed the turnaround with 19 minutes remaining.

Tuchel is hopeful his side will have the fear factor in the quarter-final draw, which takes place on Friday.

The head coach also heaped praise on skipper Azpilicueta, whose last Champions League goal also came against Lille back in December 2019.

"I want us to be the team nobody wants to play," Tuchel said. "That's the role we want to see ourselves in this last eight.

"[Azpilicueta] is maybe the perfect example to describe a person as a leader. He is doing it in good times and bad times, if he is a regular starter or not. 

"If he is playing a wing-back, which is maybe not his best position, he is there. We do not need extra, extra at the moment; we just need reliable teamwork and reliable spirit.

"I don't know if Azpi is talking to the players; I just know he is doing what he normally does."

Chelsea are back in action on Sunday, when they travel to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The build-up to the tie was dominated by the club requesting that home supporters also be blocked from attending the Riverside, after restrictions imposed following the sanctioning of owner Roman Abramovich rendered them unable to sell any tickets beyond the 600 already sold from their away allocation.

The Blues subsequently withdrew the request, which had been met with widespread ridicule and opposition, with Tuchel also welcoming that decision.

"We love to play in front of spectators and I don't think the spectators of our opponents should suffer from the consequences," he added. "We love to play in front of spectators. 

"Me and the team were not involved in this decision. We were happy it was withdrawn."

Chelsea have withdrawn their request for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors to "protect sporting integrity" after they were banned from selling tickets.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but Chelsea have been granted a special licence to continue operating.

As part of the restrictions placed on Chelsea, they were unable to sell any tickets beyond the 600 they had already sold from their away allocation for the Riverside Stadium, meaning there will be a limited number of away fans in attendance for the quarter-final.

Chelsea lodged a request to the Football Association (FA) on Tuesday pushing for home supporters to also be blocked from attending, which was met with widespread ridicule and opposition.

Boro responded by making a stance that the Blues' "bizarre" demands were "ironic in the extreme", and the reigning European champions have since removed their request

The FA confirmed the decision in a statement that said: "After constructive talks between The FA and Chelsea, the club has agreed to remove their request for the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie against Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors.

"The FA remains in ongoing discussions with Chelsea, the Premier League and the government to find a solution that would enable both Chelsea fans to attend games and away fans to attend Stamford Bridge, whilst ensuring sanctions are respected."

Chelsea must head to Lille on Wednesday before travelling to Boro, who have already eliminated Manchester United and Tottenham from this season's FA Cup.

Middlesbrough have offered a strong response to Chelsea's request to have their FA Cup quarter-final at the Riverside played behind closed doors.

Chelsea visit Boro on Saturday for the latest match of a sequence that has been overshadowed by sanctions imposed on club owner Roman Abramovich due to his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

With Abramovich unable to make any money from his ownership of Chelsea, the club are under strict measures, unable to negotiate contracts but also restricted in sales of tickets and merchandise.

Tickets have only been released in the case they were purchased prior to the sanctions – such as season tickets – meaning Premier League games against Norwich City and Newcastle United were unaffected.

But the cup tie at Boro, which has only recently been confirmed, is set to go ahead without Chelsea fans in attendance.

The Blues therefore argued no supporters from either side should be present "for matters of sporting integrity" – a stance that was met on Tuesday with widespread criticism and ridicule, including from opponents Boro.

A Boro statement read: "We are aware of Chelsea's request to have Saturday's Emirates FA Cup sixth round tie played behind closed doors and find their suggestion both bizarre and without any merit whatsoever.

"All concerned are well aware of the reasons Chelsea have been sanctioned and that this has nothing to do with Middlesbrough Football Club.

"To suggest as result that MFC and our fans should be penalised is not only grossly unfair but without any foundation.

"Given the reasons for these sanctions, for Chelsea to seek to invoke sporting 'integrity' as reason for the game being played behind closed doors is ironic in the extreme.

"We currently await formal notification from the FA of the next steps but rest assured MFC will resist Chelsea's actions in the strongest terms."

Chelsea must play away at Lille on Wednesday before heading north to meet Boro, who have already eliminated Manchester United and Tottenham from this season's FA Cup.

Chelsea have called for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors to "protect sporting integrity" after they were banned from selling tickets.

The Blues have been granted a special licence to continue operating after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom government.

However, as part of the restrictions placed on Chelsea, they are not allowed to sell any tickets that had not already been purchased prior to last week's announcement.

With no away fans in attendance for next weekend's quarter-final at the Riverside Stadium, Chelsea are pushing for home supporters to also be blocked from attending.

The Premier League club provided an update in a statement published on their official website on Tuesday.

It read: "Despite engaging in extensive discussions with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the deadline to purchase away tickets has passed without appropriate amendments being made to the government licence which would allow a full allocation of Chelsea supporters to attend. 

"Executives at Middlesbrough had been kind enough to extend their deadline for ticket sales and stadium allocation from 7.30pm last night until 9.30am this morning.

"It is important for the competition that the match against Middlesbrough goes ahead, however it is with extreme reluctance that we are asking the FA board to direct that the game be played behind closed doors for matters of sporting integrity. 

"Chelsea recognise that such an outcome would have a huge impact on Middlesbrough and its supporters, as well as our own fans who have already bought the limited number of tickets that were sold before the licence was imposed, but we believe this is the fairest way of proceeding in the current circumstances.

"We will continue to discuss the issue of ticket sales with OFSI as there are a number of fixtures still to be played this season and we hope to reach a resolution."

Second-tier Middlesbrough, who eliminated Manchester United and Tottenham in the previous two rounds, have already sold out their allocation of tickets for the last-eight tie.

Chelsea are only permitted to spend around £20,000 on travelling to and from games, meaning that they will make the near-10 hour round journey to Middlesbrough via coach. 

The Blues can fly to France for Wednesday's Champions League tie with Lille due to the travel arrangements already having been put in place.

Romelu Lukaku's Chelsea return has not gone to plan – and it may well be that the striker departs after just one season back at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgium international has 11 goals in 31 matches and is struggling to nail down a spot in Thomas Tuchel's starting line-up.

With Chelsea's problems growing off the field, they may now face a big decision regarding their record signing.


TOP STORY – LUKAKU WANTS INTER RETURN AT ALL COSTS

According to Calciomercato, Lukaku is doing everything in his power to push through a return to Inter ahead of next season after departing the Serie A champions in August.

The Italian outlet claims that Lukaku accepts he made a big mistake in departing San Siro and, amid a breakdown in his relationship with Chelsea fans, he is desperate to return.

However, while the 28-year-old is said to be willing to take a pay cut, Inter are unable to finance a permanent transfer and may instead look to purchase him on an initial loan. 

Chelsea would also have to be cleared to sell the player following the heavy sanctions placed upon owner Roman Abramovich by the United Kingdom government this week.

ROUND-UP

- Those sanctions cast doubt over Chelsea's ability to sell or recruit players in the next transfer window, but that has not stopped the Blues being linked with more players. The Mirror reports that they remain hopeful of signing Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid on a permanent deal.

- Should they be allowed to offload players in the coming months, Tuttosport suggests that Juventus will attempt to sign Jorginho from Chelsea. The Italian club are also reported to be in the mix to land wing-back Emerson Palmieri.

- With Harry Maguire struggling, Fichajes reports that Manchester United are targeting versatile Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez. However, United may face competition from LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid.

- According to The Sun, United are ready to offer Juan Mata a coaching role should the midfielder call time on his playing career. Mata has played just four games all season, starting two of those, and is due to be out of contract at the end of the season.

- The Daily Mail reports that mega-rich Newcastle United intend to move for Leeds United's in-demand midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who has also been linked with ambitious Aston Villa. Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea is another supposed target for the Magpies.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is one of seven Russian oligarchs whose names have been added to a list of sanctions by the United Kingdom government.

Abramovich has had his assets frozen and cannot pursue his bid to sell the Blues, with the decision made in the wake of Russia's ongoing invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

Chelsea have been granted a special sporting licence to be able to continue trading as a football club, but measures have been placed upon the club including a ban on selling tickets, with only season-ticket holders permitted to attend matches.

A statement from the UK government added: "Given the significant impact that today's sanctions would have on Chelsea Football Club and the potential knock-on effects of this, the government has this morning published a licence which authorises a number of football-related activities to continue at Chelsea.

"This includes permissions for the club to continue playing matches and other football-related activity which will in turn protect the Premier League, the wider football pyramid, loyal fans and other clubs.

"This licence will only allow certain explicitly named actions to ensure the designated individual is not able to circumvent UK sanctions.

"The licence will be kept under constant review and we will work closely with the football authorities."

Antonio Rudiger's future at Chelsea has been the topic of plenty of speculation.

The 29-year-old centre-back has been with the Blues since 2017 when he joined on a five-year deal.

Rudiger is yet to extend his contract with Chelsea, with plenty of interest in the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE AND MAN UTD IN FOR RUDIGER

Newcastle United are ready to compete in the race to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, claims the Telegraph.

The Germany international has drawn interest from Real Madrid while the Express reports that Manchester United are also considering a move for the defender.

Rudiger's contract with Chelsea expires at the end of this season, although he has not ruled out staying at Stamford Bridge.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Express claims Harry Kane has informed his Tottenham team-mates that he will remain with the club should they clinch a top-four spot and Champions League football.

Arsenal may move to re-sign Serge Gnabry from Bayern Munich, who previously spent four years with the Gunners, according to Football.London. Gnabry is valued at €75million (£63m).

Arsenal, along with Leicester City, have sent scouts to track Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi, according to Nicolo Schira. The Italians are asking for €30m for their club captain, with interest from Napoli and Milan also.

- FootMercato claims Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are considering moves for Manchester City's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez.

Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United may be coming to a premature end.

The Portuguese forward has struggled since Ralf Rangnick's arrival as interim manager in December.

United are also battling to finish in the Premier League's top four.

TOP STORY - RONALDO COURTS MOVE TO MESSI'S PSG

FootballTransfers claims that Ronaldo has decided that he will leave Manchester United if they do not qualify for the Champions League, with a move to join Lionel Messi at Paris Saint-Germain on his agenda.

Speculation about Ronaldo's future at Old Trafford ramped up after he missed Sunday's Manchester derby due to a hip flexor injury and flew to Portugal.

The report that claims that Ronaldo returning to Juventus has been ruled out, along with his original Portuguese club Sporting CP, with the five-time Ballon d'Or courting a move to Paris.

 

ROUND-UP

- Defensa Central reports that Newcastle United have commenced talks with Real Madrid over a move for 31-year-old ex-Chelsea forward Eden Hazard who has had an underwhelming spell with Los Blancos.

- Manchester United's Marcus Rashford has a list of clubs circling for his services with Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham all interested, according to 90Min.

- The Mail claims that PSG will make a move for Rashford too, should Kylian Mbappe leave the French capital to join Madrid.

- Manchester City and Madrid are in the lead to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland ahead of Bayern Munich and Barcelona claims The Athletic.

- RB Leipzig midfielder Christopher Nkunku is being tracked by Chelsea and Man City according to FootMercato.

Manchester United's search for a new manager continues after axing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.

The Red Devils are taking their time with the appointment, with Ralf Rangnick in an interim role until the end of the season.

United hope the next man in can turn their fortunes around, having struggled to be Premier League contenders since Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.

TOP STORY – UNITED SHORTLIST HASENHUTTL

Manchester United have added Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl to their shortlist, according to The Mirror.

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag remain the front-runners, but United face a battle to persuade either to head to Old Trafford.

Current United interim manager Ralf Rangnick worked with Hasenhuttl at RB Leipzig and the club are admirers of the Austrian.

ROUND-UP

- Atletico Madrid are considering making a move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, reports Mundo Deportivo. Wijnaldum is weighing up his future at PSG despite moving to France only last year.

- Fabrizio Romano claims Chelsea's Andreas Christensen has turned down offers from other Premier League clubs and is on the verge of agreeing to a deal with Barcelona.

Lazio could make a loan move for Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, with manager Maurizio Sarri keen to be reunited with the Spain international, reports Corriere dello Sport.

- The Sun claims West Ham are plotting a move for Lille's 20-year-old midfielder Amadou Onana, who is valued at £20m by the French club.

Crystal Palace have joined the pursuit for Marseille's out-of-contract midfielder Boubacar Kamara, alongside Newcastle United and West Ham, according to the Sun.

Liverpool closed the gap on leaders Manchester City with victory over West Ham, while Chelsea tightened their grip on third place in Saturday's Premier League action.

The Blues saw off Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor, a scoreline that was matched by Aston Villa in their statement victory against Southampton.

Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Brentford also picked up wins, but it was a bad start to life under new management for Leeds in their early kick-off against Leicester City.

Following another eventful day of Premier League action, Stats Perform delves into the key Opta facts from each of the games.

Leeds United 0-1 Leicester City: New manager, same Leeds

Jesse Marsch's first game as Leeds boss ended in defeat to Leicester as United fell to a fifth successive league loss for the first time since April 2015, when they were in the Championship.

Leeds have failed to score in three straight league matches for the first time in a year, this despite registering 19 shots in their latest blank against Leicester.

United's expected goals (xG) return of 1.95 is their highest without scoring in a league game since June 2020, and the familiar failings were also on show at the other end.

Harvey Barnes' second-half winner means Leeds have gone 13 league games without a clean sheet, their longest-such run since 14 without a shutout ending in August 2016.

This was the fifth straight league game Barnes has scored against Leeds – four of those while playing for Leicester and one for West Brom, making them his favourite opponent.

 

Aston Villa 4-0 Southampton: Coutinho's home comforts

Villa are firmly back on track after registering back-to-back victories under Steven Gerrard for the first time since his opening two games in charge in November.

The Villans put four unanswered goals past Southampton at Villa Park for their biggest Premier League win since thrashing Liverpool 7-2 in October 2020.

Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho once again played a big part in the victory by scoring one and assisting another for Douglas Luiz.

Coutinho has now been directly involved in six goals in his first four home league games for Villa, scoring three of his own and setting up as many.

Ollie Watkins had earlier opened the scoring with his 21st Premier League strike since the start of the 2020-21 season, while Danny Ings added to his two assists with Villa's fourth goal.

 

Newcastle United 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Fraser helps end Magpies' duck against Seagulls

For a while things looked incredibly bleak for Newcastle, even after their big-money takeover, but they now find themselves seven points above the relegation zone.

The Magpies held off Brighton to make it eight Premier League games without defeat – no team is on a better such run – with five of those matches ending in victory.

Ryan Fraser opened the scoring to make it two goals in five Premier League outings, matching his tally from his previous 70 appearances, before setting up Fabian Schar.

That was the earliest United have scored twice in a Premier League home game since January 2007 and, despite Lewis Dunk's header, Eddie Howe's side saw out the win.

It marks the first time Newcastle have defeated Brighton in the Premier League in their 10th such encounter, having previously failed to so much as score against them at home.

 

Norwich City 1-3 Brentford: Bees buzzing thanks to Toney treble

After a run of eight Premier League games without a win, Brentford bolstered their survival ambitions with a well-earned victory away at bottom side Norwich.

Ivan Toney was the hero for the Bees with three goals, two of those from the penalty spot, making Brentford the 40th different team to boast a hat-trick scorer.

The Brentford striker now has nine Premier League goals for the season, each of those coming via his right foot.

Teemu Pukki scored a consolation but it was another miserable day for Norwich, whose goal difference of -42 is the worst at this stage since Derby County in 2007-08 (-44).

Not that it will matter a great deal in the grand scheme of things, but Brentford are the first team Pukki has scored home and away against in a single Premier League season.

 

Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace: Shaky Wanderers lose again

Wolves' European hopes suffered another blow as they fell to a third successive Premier League defeat, as many as they lost in their previous 13.

Bruno Lage's out-of-form side have now conceded six goals in their last four league games, after shipping just five in 12 before that.

Jean-Philippe Mateta came up with the breakthrough from close range for his fourth goal in eight Premier League starts, and Wilfried Zaha doubled Palace's lead from the penalty spot.

Ivory Coast international Zaha has now been directly involved in 83 goals in the competition, the joint-ninth best total for an African player, level with Nwankwo Kanu.

With this latest loss, it is the first time Wolves have lost three games in a row against Palace in their entire league history.

 

Burnley 0-4 Chelsea: Blues cruise at Turf Moor

It was business as usual for Chelsea as they won for a third Premier League game running without conceding in what proved to be a straightforward victory at lowly Burnley.

The Blues scored all four of their goals in the second half as they enjoyed their biggest away league win since October 2018 when also beating Burnley by the same scoreline.

This was the biggest margin of victory for an away side in a game that was goalless at half-time since Tottenham beat Aston Villa 4-0 in December 2012.

Reece James started the scoring and in the process became the first defender from Europe's top five leagues to both score and assist five goals this term in all competitions.

Kai Havertz also netted twice before Christian Pulisic added some gloss to the scoreline – his fourth goal at Turf Moor, matching a record for an away player set by Tottenham's Harry Kane.

 

Liverpool 1-0 West Ham: Reds roll on thanks to Mane

Sadio Mane's first-half goal made it seven wins in a row for Liverpool in the Premier League, their best such streak since a run of 18 when they claimed the title two years ago.

That close-range finish was Mane's 12th of the season in the league, nine of those coming at Anfield – no player has scored more home goals in the division this season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold played the ball into the box for Mane's goal for his 16th assist in all competitions this term, more than he has ever registered in a single campaign.

Liverpool were not at their best and that was particularly true of Mohamed Salah, who failed to score from six shots – only against Stoke in April 2018 (seven) has he fared worse.

Incredibly, Virgil van Dijk has never been on the losing side for Liverpool in 60 Premier League home games at Anfield, setting a new record in that regard.

 

Manchester United's search for a permanent manager continues to take up plenty of column inches, with a new name now entering the mix.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax chief Erik ten Hag have long been considered the two frontrunners to take over at Old Trafford.

But a somewhat surprise candidate is now reportedly being considered to succeed interim manager Ralf Rangnick on a short-term basis at the end of the campaign.


TOP STORY – ANCELOTTI A CONTENDER FOR UNITED

According to ESPN, United may look to appoint Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti as they explore contingency plans in their pursuit of a new manager.

While Pochettino and Ten Hag remain on the Red Devils' managerial shortlist, Ancelotti is said to be seen as an ideal short-term fix thanks to his vast experience.

The Italian has previously spent time in English football with Everton and Chelsea, winning a Premier League and FA Cup with the latter in 2009-10.

Ancelotti is currently in his second spell with Madrid and has another two seasons to run on his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.


ROUND-UP

- PSG have offered Kylian Mbappe a contract worth €50million a year to fend off interest from rival clubs, according to Le Parisian. Madrid are the strong favourites to sign the France international should he depart the Parc des Princes as a free agent in July.

- Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are also set to be out of contract at Chelsea in the next few months and are not short of potential suitors. Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona are confident of signing the pair, while Ajax's Noussair Mazraoui and Jose Gaya of Valencia are also targets.

- Madrid are hoping to replace Dani Carvajal at right-back ahead of next season and have a few potential options already lined up. That is according to El Nacional, with Man Utd's Diogo Dalot, Norwich City's Max Aarons and Pedro Porro of Sporting CP all mentioned.

- Sport claims that Barcelona are on course to wrap up contract extensions for Ronald Araujo and Gavi before the end of the month. Rising star Gavi will supposedly be offered a five-year deal that will include a mammoth release clause to ensure he stays at Camp Nou for the long term.

- Former Germany international Julian Weigl is nearing the end of his time at Benfica and has been offered to teams across the continent, according to Calciomercato. The Italian outlet suggests than Milan would prefer to sign Renato Sanches, potentially giving Roma a clear run for the €35m-rated midfielder.

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