Manchester United face the prospect of losing key midfielder Paul Pogba on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

The France international is into the final four months of his existing deal and there are few indications that he is prepared to extend his terms at Old Trafford.

And in a further blow for United, they could see Pogba head to one of their domestic top-flight rivals.


TOP STORY – POGBA OPEN TO PREMIER LEAGUE STAY

The Telegraph reports that Pogba, who rejoined United from Juventus in a big-money deal in 2016, is prepared to wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future.

Signing a new deal with United is said to remain an option, but Pogba will not be short of options should he become available to sign on a free – albeit with big wages to factor in.

The report indicates that the 28-year-old will weigh up any interest from fellow Premier League clubs, with Chelsea and Manchester City having previously been linked.


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- It is shaping up to be a busy transfer window for United as a number of other players are also out of contract. According to Ekrem Konur, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata are attracting strong interest from clubs in the Middle East.

- Jesse Lingard is another who could be on his way out of Old Trafford, though The Express claims that the England international is not considering a free transfer to Tottenham. Lingard would reportedly prefer to move abroad ahead of next season.

- Arsenal have joined Everton and Wolves in the race to sign Rafael Leao from Milan, according to La Repubblica. The 22-year-old is enjoying his best campaign to date at San Siro, having registered double figures for goals.

- Italian outlet Tuttosport suggests that Juventus are pushing ahead with plans to sign Nicolo Zaniolo from Serie A rivals Roma, who are supposedly prepared to accept an offer in the region of €40million for a player with two years to run on his deal.

- Leeds United's in-demand winger Raphinha is holding off talks over a new contract at Elland Road, suggests GOAL. The Brazil international has previously been touted as a target for Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United's inability to take their chances came back to bite them once more as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton on Saturday.

Che Adams struck early in the second half to cancel out Jadon Sancho's opener at Old Trafford.

In the 3pm GMT kick-offs, Everton ended a six-match winless streak in the Premier League as Frank Lampard oversaw a vital 3-0 win over Leeds United at Goodison Park, while Watford were beaten by Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace.

Later, league leaders Manchester City moved 12 points clear at the top with a 4-0 thrashing of strugglers Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Manchester United 1-1 Southampton: Rangnick's right, but that won't get the Red Devils points

Ralf Rangnick may have risked the wrath of some pundits after bringing up expected goals in his post-match comments, but the interim manager is correct – his side are creating plenty of chances without putting them away.

United finished the game with 12 shots to Southampton's 13, but an xG of 2.6 to the visitors' 0.9.

 

Nevertheless, for only the second time in their Premier League history, United have failed to win back-to-back matches despite being ahead at half-time in both, having last done so in December 1998.

Across their 10 top-flight games under Rangnick, meanwhile, they have averaged fewer goals per game than they have under any other manager in Premier League history (1.4).

United are at least unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games against Southampton (W5 D7) since a 1-0 home loss in January 2016, while having only scored two goals in his first 23 appearances for the club in all competitions, Sancho has since netted two in his last three.

Brentford 0-0 Crystal Palace: Bees stop the rot

Brentford ended a run of five straight Premier League defeats and registered a clean sheet for the first time in 12 top-flight games (since a 1-0 win over Everton on November 28), as they drew with Palace.

It was a match of few clear chances (there were only 15 shots in total), though Wilfried Zaha was convinced he should have been awarded a late penalty.

Zaha was making his 250th Premier League appearance for Crystal Palace, just the third African player to hit that milestone for a single club in the competition, after Shola Ameobi (294 for Newcastle) and Didier Drogba (254 for Chelsea).

Everton 3-0 Leeds United: Lampard up and running

Lampard claimed his first league win as Everton manager in style, as the Toffees snapped a four-match losing streak in the competition with an emphatic 3-0 win over Leeds.

Everton went 2-0 up before half-time through Seamus Coleman's first league goal in 69 games, since May 2019, and Michael Keane's 10th goal in the top flight for the club.

 

Both of those were headers and no team have now scored more headed Premier League goals than Everton, who are level with United on 336.

It was the first time Everton scored twice before half-time in 40 Premier League games, last doing so one year and nine days earlier against, coincidentally, Leeds at Elland Road.

Anthony Gordon diverted in Richarlison's shot to seal Everton's biggest Premier League win since a 5-2 victory over West Brom in September 2020.

Watford 0-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: No home comforts for the Hornets

Watford have now lost six consecutive home league games for the first time since August to October 1990, a run which also included a defeat to Brighton.

Neal Maupay and Adam Webster got the goals for Brighton, who have lost just one of their past 12 away games in the Premier League, all coming in 2021-22 (W4 D7) – no side has lost fewer away games in the top flight this term than the Seagulls.

Watford have not kept a clean sheet in any of their past 17 home Premier League matches, equalling the competition's record run without a home shut-out.

Roy Hodgson has taken on a big job, and Watford will want a favour from Aston Villa against Newcastle United on Sunday to remain within three points of safety.

Norwich City 0-4 Manchester City: Perfect Sterling hat-trick sees leaders storm on

City lost on their previous league trip to Carrow Road, but there appeared little danger of a shock this time around as Raheem Sterling's perfect hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 win.

Sterling became the third City player to score a perfect hat-trick in the Premier League, after Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero (twice). Meanwhile, no player has scored more away hat-tricks for the club in the competition than Sterling, with each of his last three coming on the road.

 

The ex-Liverpool attacker became the sixth City player to score as many as 10 headed goals in the Premier League, with only Aguero (19) and Niall Quinn (13) netting more.

City scored at least four goals in a Premier League away game for the 21st time under Pep Guardiola, at least eight more than any other side since the Catalan coach joined the club.

Norwich, meanwhile, have conceded 50 goals in their 24 Premier League games this season – only in 1938-39 (21) and 1946-47 (19) have they shipped 50 in fewer games in a single league campaign.

Wayne Rooney insisted his focus remains on Derby County but acknowledged he would "love" to manage Manchester United or Everton in future.

Rooney has overseen a tumultuous period at the Championship club, who were docked 21 points earlier this season due to financial mismanagement.

In the challenging circumstances at Pride Park, Rooney has excelled and the Rams are now just four points away from escaping the relegation zone with 16 games left.

Derby's survival hopes were boosted after both Peterborough United and Reading lost on Wednesday, while the former England striker was attending the premiere of his Amazon documentary, 'Rooney'.

His progress has already been noted by those at Goodison Park, with the 36-year-old claiming he turned down the opportunity to interview for the Everton manager's job last month as he did not want to walk away from Derby.

But Rooney would be open to joining one of his former clubs after he has navigated his current challenge with Derby.

"I didn't go to the [Everton] interview, which I was asked to go to," Rooney said on the red carpet at his film premiere. "I've always been one who likes a challenge and is willing to put the work in and fight.

"I've stood in front of my players and told them, 'I'm with you, trust me, I'm fighting with you'... what type of person would I be if, at the first opportunity, I left them?

"True to my word, I am fighting for the club. I am trying to get us out.

"And then Everton, Manchester United – two clubs close to my heart. Of course, one day I'd love to manage either of them clubs."

Derby cruised to a 3-1 victory over Hull City on Tuesday and next visit Middlesbrough, with Rooney believing his side's performances are resonating with the unwavering Rams support.

While he was overseeing yet another Championship victory, United were held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Burnley, but Rooney called for patience at his former club.

"I obviously haven't seen the [United] game – we [Derby] were playing. But I've seen the result and I think they're going through a tough period," he added.

"And you can see a few things off the pitch. It's a tough one. I think it's been going on for a while, if I'm being honest. These are things I brought up in 2010.

"They've tried everything. They've tried very experienced managers in Louis van Gaal. They've tried Jose Mourinho, David Moyes, Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] – one of their own – and now they've tried more of the 'professor' type in the new manager.

"I really think they need to bring someone in and give them time. Give them the opportunity to build the squad, let them compete and get back to the levels we all think they should be at."

Pressed on potentially becoming the United manager, Rooney replied: "As I've said before, Manchester United and Everton are both clubs I'd love to manage one day, but I've got a commitment to Derby County.

"I'm fighting for them, so my focus has to be on Derby."

Newcastle United versus Everton may have been ringed on the calendar back in August, but not for the same reasons it is now the source of such intrigue.

Tuesday's fixture could have seen Rafael Benitez return to St James' Park for the first time since quitting as Newcastle manager back in 2019.

However, Benitez is out at Everton – as, at Newcastle, is Steve Bruce, his successor on Tyneside.

Instead, Frank Lampard heads north for his Premier League bow as Everton boss, set to take on Eddie Howe's Magpies in a match neither can afford to lose.

Newcastle remain in the bottom three yet can close to within a point of their opponents with a win that would surely drag Lampard's men into the relegation battle.

Ahead of a mammoth encounter, Stats Perform's Ben Spratt and Patric Ridge examine the issues that have brought the two teams to this point and consider how they can each hope to kick clear of the danger – starting at Gallowgate.

Why Newcastle are in trouble – BS

This has felt like a relegation campaign right from the outset, with Newcastle's positive performances going unrewarded and their poorer displays being ruthlessly punished.

Newcastle led within five minutes at home to West Ham on the opening day, as Bruce attempted to deliver a more exciting, attacking brand of football. He succeeded only in leaving a hapless defence hopelessly exposed.

They lost 4-2 to the Hammers, the first three of 21 points dropped from winning positions, the first four of 43 goals conceded – 10 of which have been a result of errors leading to goals (four), penalty goals (five) or own goals (one).

Those mistakes have continued under Howe, who has also quickly grown tired of a consistent trend of contentious refereeing decisions going against his side at both ends of the pitch.

The assumption from those not watching this luckless outfit on a weekly basis has been that January spending would lift Newcastle to safety. That theory is about to be put to the test, however, with the neutral perhaps anticipating more ambitious targets than Chris Wood and Dan Burn.

Why Everton are in trouble – PR

Benitez was never the right choice at Goodison Park – but not only due to his Liverpool connections. While his disciplined, organised Newcastle side appeared to play to a clear plan, his Everton team were, largely, shocking.

After a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in October, Everton had 14 points from their seven Premier League games – their best start since 2004-05 (16 points), when they finished fourth – but the underlying level of performances always suggested that if injuries hit, which they did, the Toffees may struggle. And struggle they have.

Benitez – who cannot be blamed for all of Everton's issues, it has to be stressed – wanted to play on the counter-attack, yet his team could not defend. Across 19 league games in charge, they shipped 34 goals – including 11 from set-pieces, a problem that persists.

But Everton's issues have not been restricted to one area of the pitch.

From a 1-0 defeat to West Ham on October 17 to Benitez's final match in charge against Norwich City on January 15, Everton ranked 18th for goals (11), 16th for shots on target (46/139) and 12th for touches in the opposition box (259), as well as having the third-worst defence (27 goals conceded), with 20.6 expected goals against the fourth-worst in the division. Their position is in no way false.

Why Newcastle can survive – BS

Newcastle's £90million January outlay – the largest in world football – may not have brought a host of superstars to Tyneside, immediately guaranteeing survival, but their five signings could yet transform the way Howe's side play.

Kieran Trippier, Burn, Matt Targett and Bruno Guimaraes have all been recruited from teams who are used to having the ball – which cannot be said for Newcastle, despite their coach's footballing philosophy. No team in the Premier League have had a lower average share of possession (37.8 per cent), with just Burnley, who have two games in hand, completing fewer passes (4,962).

If Newcastle are now able to move the ball out from the back with greater confidence, their costly mistakes in possession should start to subside.

This has, after all, been a season of such fine margins. The Magpies have not lost to any of the other eight teams in the bottom nine; crucially, however, they have only beaten two of them. A new style of play, operating further away from their own goal (only Wolves have a deeper average starting position than Newcastle), should mean more opportunities created in attack and fewer conceded in defence.

Newcastle have been working towards this Everton game for more than two weeks, although only Trippier of the new faces went on the "team bonding" trip to Saudi Arabia. How quickly and effectively the rest of the signings have settled should be evident in Newcastle's approach – and, perhaps, the result.

Why Everton can survive – PR

Had they carried on with Benitez for much longer, or perhaps even left Duncan Ferguson in caretaker charge, Everton's survival chances may have been slim.

Yet that should change under Lampard – and seemingly already has. A clip of the new Toffees manager instructing his players to "enjoy the ball" during a training session last week came as a breath of fresh air to supporters who, under a succession of managers, have become accustomed to their team surrendering possession far too easily.

Evidence of Lampard's impact was there to see in the 4-1 FA Cup win over Brentford on Saturday. Even though Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek were cup-tied and Dominic Calvert-Lewin was out injured, Everton scored four goals in a game for the first time since Carlo Ancelotti oversaw a 5-4 win over Tottenham last February.

Everton had 55.8 per cent of the possession, a share they were only twice able to better under Benitez (both in defeats), with Lampard placing more of an emphasis on his defenders playing into midfield. A duel success rate of 63.1 per cent (53/84) was their best in any game across all competitions this season, as the Toffees noticeably looked to engage higher up the pitch.

Given Newcastle preferred to invest in their defence, Everton – between Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Demarai Gray – should have the strongest attack of those in relegation trouble. With Alli and Van de Beek also to come into the midfield and Abdoulaye Doucoure to return from injury, Lampard's more attacking, intense approach should suit the Toffees moving forward.

Middlesbrough's reward for knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup is a home tie with Tottenham in the fifth round.

Chris Wilder's Boro eliminated the Red Devils on Friday on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford and will now face Antonio Conte's Spurs, who beat Brighton 3-1 on Saturday.

Only one guaranteed all-Premier League tie was drawn for the fifth round with Southampton hosting West Ham after David Moyes' side survived a scare at National League North outfit Kidderminster Harriers.

Among the Premier League elite, Chelsea will travel to Luton Town,  Manchester City are away to Peterborough United, and Liverpool will welcome Norwich City to Anfield should they get past Cardiff City on Sunday.

Cup holders Leicester will be at home to Huddersfield Town if they beat Nottingham Forest, while Stoke City travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace.

Frank Lampard's Everton will play either Bournemouth or Boreham Wood at Goodison Park, where the former Chelsea boss got off to a tremendous start with a 4-1 win over Brentford on Saturday.

FA Cup fifth-round draw in full:

Luton Town v Chelsea, Crystal Palace v Stoke City, Peterborough United v Manchester City, Liverpool or Cardiff City v Norwich City, Southampton v West Ham, Middlesbrough v Tottenham, Nottingham Forest or Leicester City v Huddersfield Town, Everton v Bournemouth or Boreham Wood.

Ties will be played week commencing February 28.

Wayne Rooney believes he is already capable of managing a "top club" in the Premier League after his experiences at Derby County.

Rooney has been Derby boss since 2020 in a tumultuous period for the Championship club, who face financial difficulties that have put their future at risk.

In testing circumstances, former Manchester United and England captain Rooney has excelled.

Despite starting the 2021-22 season with a limited squad and then suffering a 21-point deduction, Derby retain survival hopes, now within seven points of safety.

Rooney was linked to the Everton job before Frank Lampard was appointed, but the former Goodison Park favourite rejected an approach to stay at Derby.

Even so, the 36-year-old foresees a big future for himself as a top-flight coach.

"Everything that has happened at Derby has made me think even more that I can have a good career in management," Rooney told the Daily Mail.

"I believe that 100 per cent. I believe we will stay up. I think I could go into the Premier League and manage at a top club now. I have no worries about that.

"I know what my strengths are and, more importantly, I know what my weaknesses are."

Rooney revealed his late-career stint in MLS with DC United was "almost training" to adapt to the standard of the Championship, "to almost get to understand that level of player more".

It is an approach that has paid off, although the situation at Derby has presented additional challenges.

"I was a bit disappointed because I saw Neil Warnock say I wouldn't get an easier job because there's no pressure," Rooney said. "If he came in here, he'd drive in, have a look around and drive straight back out."

Comparing the emotions of leading a team from the sidelines rather than on the pitch, Rooney added: "When you lose as a manager, it's worse than when you lose as a player, because you're making all the decisions.

"You think: 'Should I have played this player, should I have done this?' There's a lot going through your mind.

"But when you win a game as manager, it's better than when you won as a player."

Sweden striker Alexander Isak's reputation continues to grow at Real Sociedad.

The 22-year-old has netted eight goals in all competitions this season after 17 strikes in LaLiga last term.

Isak is contracted with Sociedad until 2026, meaning they are under no pressure to cash him in.

However, there appears to be plenty of interest among clubs who want to test La Real's resolve to keep him.

TOP STORY – BLUES AND RED DEVILS ENTER ISAK RACE

Chelsea and Manchester United have both joined the race to sign Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak, according to The Mirror.

Arsenal have been keen on the 22-year-old Sweden international, who has a £75million buyout clause in his contract.

United are said to view Isak as an ideal replacement for veteran forward Cristiano Ronaldo whose future at Old Trafford is unclear.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus are bullish that they can beat Tottenham in the race to sign Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Bianconeri view Zaniolo as a replacement for Paulo Dybala, whose contract is running down.

Manchester United and Liverpool have joined Real Madrid and Barcelona in keeping tabs on Serge Gnabry's contract situation at Bayern Munich, reports The Mirror. According to Sky Germany, Bayern and Gnabry are having a stand-off in discussions over an extension.

Liverpool's deal to land Fulham's Fabio Carvalho is not dead, says Football Insider, with the two parties set for new talks with a view to an off-season switch. Calciomercato claims that Milan have also reached out to Carvalho's representatives.

- The Sun reports that Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea are monitoring 16-year-old Blackburn Rovers defender Ashley Phillips, with Everton and Tottenham also keeping tabs on the teenager.

Frank Lampard acknowledged he allowed himself to get "caught up in the emotion" of Everton beating Brentford 4-1 in his first match in charge.

Lampard was appointed as Rafael Benitez's successor on Monday, with Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek also arriving at Goodison Park.

And in stark contrast to the end of the ill-fated Benitez era, the positive momentum continued with an emphatic win in the FA Cup on Saturday, as Everton took their place in round five thanks to goals from Yerry Mina, Richarlison, Mason Holgate and Andros Townsend.

Albeit his new signings were not available, Lampard's impact on Everton's play was evident.

They had 55.77 per cent possession, a total they were only able to better twice under Benitez (both in defeats, to Brentford and Watford respectively), while on only six occasions this season have they played fewer long passes, with Lampard placing more of an emphasis on his defenders playing it into midfield.

Lampard will want an improvement on the 19 touches Everton had in Brentford's box, though Everton's duel success rate of 63.1 per cent (53/84) was their best in any game across all competitions this season, with the Toffees noticeably looking to engage higher up the pitch than they did under their former manager or interim boss Duncan Ferguson.

 

Everton also scored four goals in a game for the first time in 42 matches, since they did so in a 5-4 win over Tottenham in the fifth round of last season's FA Cup.

"It's been brilliant this week, very special," Lampard told a news conference.

"It's a day that I'll never forget. It's only the start in terms of my time here but I can't help but get caught up in the emotion of the moment. The way the players approached the game meant that the fans bought into it straight away. It was a very special day for me.

"I want to be the best I can be, and if the fans can see it all well and good. They want to see their manager giving everything and that's just how I work.

"I want to be there to support the players when they make passes or play through lines, or make tackles, covering distance.

"Those things are special and what we work towards. As a manager today I was proud of the performance and it did get me excited. Now I need to calm down and work towards the league games but we saw hopefully some nice signs that we can take forward."

Lampard now faces two huge Premier League games, with a trip to Newcastle United coming up on Tuesday before a home match against Leeds United. Everton sit 16th with 19 points.

Everton manager Frank Lampard is excited to get to work with Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli, adamant the latter can rekindle his best form.

Alli signed for Everton from Tottenham on Monday, with official confirmation coming just under 12 hours after Lampard himself was revealed as their new manager, while Van de Beek arrived on loan from Manchester United having struggled for game time at Old Trafford.

England midfielder Alli has signed on what is initially a free transfer, though the fee will rise to £10million after 20 appearances and perhaps as high as £40m based on performance-related add-ons. He told Sky Sports he just wanted to be "happy playing football again" after a difficult end to his Spurs career.

Alli burst onto the scene under Mauricio Pochettino in 2015-16 and then scored 22 goals across all competitions the following season.

He averaged a goal every 182 minutes that campaign, following that up with 29 direct goal involvements (14 goals, 15 assists) in 2017-18.

Alli has netted only three times since the start of 2020-21, though that does not perturb Lampard.

"Dele and Donny are separate cases. I just look at the player and they're both very talented," he told a news conference. "They're both fantastic.

"I've gone up against them in different ways in the past and was very impressed. It's sometimes good to get a player who has a point to prove, they come here with a good hunger to try and show themselves, I trust in their talents and them as people.

"I watched Dele come through, fantastic player. He's had difficult times, I would make no bones about that, nor would he, but there can be so many reasons for that and my job now is to start with a fresh slate, have him in an environment that suits and supports him, but to push him and extract that player that we know is there.

"All the attributes, talent and technique are still there, and I think we're much more aware that there are many factors that can effect in life, sport, how happy you are or why it might not work in the right way.

"I just have to find the best environment for Dele. It's harder when he's such a big name and top player to do it quietly but our job is just to allow him to express his talent."

Alli emphasised that working under Lampard – Chelsea's record goalscorer – was a major draw in his move to Everton. 

"I think we're different, it's an easy comparison in terms of goalscoring midfielders," Lampard replied when asked if he saw similarities in Alli's playing style to how he played.

"I think I started a bit deeper whereas Dele started in a slightly higher position, particularly in his early years [playing] off Harry Kane, but I do think he's versatile. I'm very interested to work closely with him to try and bring out the talents he has."

Neither Alli nor Van de Beek can feature for Everton in the FA Cup on Saturday, though Lampard stressed there is a clear idea of how to use both players, who both are at their best in more attacking roles.

He added: "Donny is someone who can link play, receive the ball in intelligent areas, has the confidence to receive, play and move the ball, it's a different profile of player.

"Dele also has his own versatility but we highlighted it as an area where we need an uplift. But they're players, particularly Dele as he's a permanent [signing], that we see a big future for. We had a clear idea of why we brought them both in."

Frank Lampard knows he is facing a big challenge at Everton but believes he can turn their fortunes around.

Lampard, who was dismissed by Chelsea just over a year ago, was appointed as Everton's manager on Monday.

The Toffees parted ways with Rafael Benitez in January, after an ill-fated 200-day spell in charge for the former Liverpool boss, who won just one of his last 13 league games.

Indeed, Everton earned just 19 points in 19 Premier League matches under the Spaniard, their lowest tally at the halfway stage of a season since 2005-06.

A 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, under the temporary stewardship of Duncan Ferguson, saw Everton drop to 16th in the Premier League, four points above the relegation zone.

Lampard is under no illusions as to the scale of the task at hand, and recalled a phrase coined by David Moyes, who dubbed Everton "the people's club" back in 2002.

"In footballing terms, we're in a position that the club doesn't want to be in," Lampard told a news conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Brentford.

"I've got a lot of belief in the squad, I've been watching their games closely from the outside, so I'm under no illusions. I feel that we have a squad that can improve quickly. It starts with work on the training ground, with the mindset of the group.

"I understand that in the short term the job is to improve our league position. In the long term, it's clear that it’s a club with huge ambition, history, a huge fan base and a joint desire to improve towards the new stadium.

"There's a lot of work to be done, but I'm very proud to be given this opportunity.

"I've had really positive conversations with the owner, the board and the club in general from the first moment we started to speak.

"Bill Kenwright was fantastic in those conversations as well, and I can see why people hold this club in such regard, because it's the people's club."

After hosting Brentford, Everton face two huge games in quick succession, taking on Newcastle United away and Leeds United at home next week.

Lampard is thrilled at the support he has received so far from Everton's fanbase, but knows results have to pick up.

"I don't expect universal support, but I hope that people will see how I have a work ethic and how I'm going to embrace this job in terms of everything I do," he said.

"I think if they see a reaction on the pitch, which is my job, then I hope that support will continue. We'll be defined this season by the work we put in on the training ground and how we can be united between players, club and fans.

"There's 18 games to play. Nobody is happy with the run we've been on, but I have to bring an element of calm to the players and club and look at ourselves and say there's huge amounts of talent. If I didn't believe in that, I wouldn't be here."

 

Lampard, whose win percentage with Chelsea in the Premier League was 52.4 per cent, better than any Everton manager has achieved in the competition, was also asked what lessons he has learned from his spell in charge at Stamford Bridge being cut short.

"At Chelsea in reflection I had a really enjoyable 17 months," he said.

"You look at the small details, could you have done this and that better, so hopefully I can bring those experiences of my career so far. I want to get better, and make the players better and this club better, and that’s all I have to look for. Rather than looking back, look forward at what I can do here."

Everton have confirmed that Frank Lampard's former Chelsea and England team-mate Ashley Cole has joined the club's coaching set-up.

Lampard was officially appointed as Everton's new manager on Monday, just over two weeks after Rafael Benitez was sacked following a dismal run of results.

Everton swiftly made moves to back Lampard, bringing in midfielders Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli.

However, Lampard has also brought with him a significant amount of experience in the form of an array of coaching staff.

Benitez's departure capped a turbulent period at Everton, who parted ways with their director of football Marcel Brands, and the majority of the recruitment department, in December. Dan Donachie, the club's director of medical services, had left the previous month.

Duncan Ferguson took interim charge for Everton's defeat to Aston Villa last month and was assisted by goalkeeper coach Alan Kelley and academy coaches Leighton Baines and John Ebbrell.

While Ferguson and Kelley have both stayed on to assist Lampard, Baines and Ebbrell have returned to their academy roles, with Paul Clement, a long-time assistant to former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, Joe Edwards, who left Chelsea to join Lampard as assistant manager, and Chris Jones, the new head of performance, all appointed.

They have now been joined by former Arsenal, Chelsea and England defender Cole as a first-team coach.

"I'm delighted to add Ashley into my backroom team. Everyone knows about his superb playing career and what he has achieved in the game," said Lampard.

Cole finished his playing career at Derby County under Lampard, and moved into a coaching role with the Rams before following his former manager to Stamford Bridge in October 2019. Last year, he became assistant to Lee Carsley within England's Under-21s set-up.

Cole said: "I was thrilled when Frank asked me to join him at Everton. 

"The chance to link up again with Frank was another huge draw. He is an excellent manager and leader. With the rest of the staff here, we have everything in place for what we want to achieve together."

Everton face Brentford in the FA Cup on Saturday in Lampard's first game in charge, before taking on Newcastle United in a crucial clash at the bottom of the Premier League.

Manchester United's search for a new full-time manager continues.

Ralf Rangnick has been in interim charge at Old Trafford since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal in November.

English powerhouse United have failed to win any silverware since 2017

 

TOP STORY - MAN UTD CONFIDENT ON LANDING POCHETTINO

Manchester United have renewed confidence that they will land Paris Saint-Germain head coach Pochettino as their new boss, claims The Mirror.

The Argentine is understood to be United's number one candidate for the permanent role.

Footmercato claims Pochettino is tired of the constant criticism he has received at PSG and will not stay beyond this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City are on verge of tabling an offer to Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to make him one of the highest paid players in the Premier League, according to Todofichajes.

- The Sun reports that Arsenal are planning for a £180 million off-season spend, with Real Sociedad's Alexander Isak, Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Wolves' Ruben Neves among their targets. However, this is dependent on Arsenal finishing top four.

- Chelsea will open pre-contract agreement talks with Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele after he failed to make a deadline day move, claims Sky Sports. 

- Chelsea are also eyeing a move for Real Madrid defender Eder Militao as they plan for the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, according to AS.

- Juventus and Milan are leading the race to land Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo reports Sky Italia. Roma are looking to cash in Zaniolo in the off-season, with Tottenham also interested.

 

Dele Alli made the right decision to leave Tottenham for Everton and can return to his very best at Goodison Park, according to former Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate.

Alli's seven-year spell at Tottenham came to an end on Monday, leaving for Merseyside in what is said to be an initial free transfer.

Everton will reportedly be obliged to pay £10million for the midfielder after he makes 20 appearances, with subsequent performance-based add-ons that may take the eventual figure as high as £40m.

After signing for Spurs in January 2015, but initially staying at MK Dons on loan, Alli swiftly became a key player under Mauricio Pochettino.

He has failed to maintain that form in recent seasons, though, and Woodgate, who played for Tottenham between 2008 and 2011, believes Alli can return to the peak of his powers under new Toffees boss Frank Lampard.

"I think he needed to get out of Spurs, to be honest with you," Woodgate exclusively told Stats Perform. "I think in the Pochettino era, he was one of the best players in the Premier League. He was in the England squad regularly and sometimes it's just that manager that really believes in you and gives you that confidence to play well.

"I mean, you don't turn into a bad player overnight. Dele Alli will be good again at Everton, no doubt about that, and with the right manager it'll give him more confidence and put him on a platform to put him in the right position for him to go and do what we know he can do.

"Because at Tottenham, he was scoring goals for fun, he was running forward, he was assisting, he moved a bit like a Rolls Royce-type player. He always had time on the ball, but something hasn't gone right from the last few managers. [Jose] Mourinho, [Antonio] Conte and [Nuno Espirito] Santo. In the Pochettino era, he was absolutely outstanding."

Woodgate also weighed in on Harry Kane's failed move to Manchester City in the early weeks of the season, saying he understood the striker's stance.

Having expressed his desire to leave Spurs at the end of last season, the England captain was strongly linked with a record-breaking transfer to the Premier League champions during the transfer window.

But despite City boss Pep Guardiola publicly stating his interest in Kane, a move failed to materialise with Spurs refusing to negotiate.

Kane was heavily criticised by supporters for his position, but Woodgate believes it is only natural he would look elsewhere to get his hands on some silverware.

"I think everyone was surprised at the time," he added. "I think everyone really was because no one envisaged him coming out in the middle of the season saying that he wanted to really leave and go and move on.

"I can see his point because he wants to win the Premier League. Who wouldn't want to win the Premier League? Is he going to do that with Spurs? Not at the minute because they haven't got that calibre of player.

"They've got the right manager in but they need more players like Kane and like Son [Heung-min] to really have a go at the league. But they've got some progression to do. We've got to climb huge steps to get anywhere near the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City at the minute."

Everton new boy Dele Alli has issued a message of gratitude to former club Tottenham after making a deadline day move to Goodison Park – and made special mention of former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Alli's seven-year spell at Tottenham came to an end on Monday, leaving for Merseyside in what is said to be an initial free transfer.

Everton will reportedly be obliged to pay £10million for the midfielder after he makes 20 appearances, with subsequent performance-based add-ons that may take the eventual figure as high as £40m.

The 25-year-old recorded 67 goals and 55 assists in 269 games for Spurs, having moved to White Hart Lane from MK Dons in 2015.

Alli took to social media on Tuesday to thank his former club, saying they will "always" be in his heart.

"It's the end of a chapter but not the book," he wrote. "Thank you for all the messages. I've had an incredible seven years at Tottenham and have made some lifelong friends that now feel like family! I want to wish my brothers all the best for the rest of the season and more. 

"To the fans I want to say thank you. We've had some incredible moments together that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I will never forget the amazing support you have given me. Playing for you was a dream come true and you will always be in my heart.

"I want to give a special mention to Mauricio [Pochettino] and his staff for their trust and guidance in the early part of my career at Spurs, which gave me the confidence and platform to show what I can do. 

"I love you all and wish you the best for the future!"

Everton have completed the signing of Dele Alli from Tottenham, with the England midfielder becoming Frank Lampard's second acquisition as Toffees manager.

Lampard was only officially confirmed as Everton's manager on Monday, though the club have moved quickly to back the former Chelsea boss, whose initial task is to guide the Merseysiders away from the Premier League relegation scrap.

Donny van de Beek came in as Lampard's first signing, with the Netherlands midfielder joining on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season.

And Everton have further bolstered their midfield options by bringing in Alli, who has endured another frustrating season at Tottenham.

The transfer was not confirmed until more than an hour after the 23:00 GMT cut-off point for deals to go through in the Premier League, with Everton being granted extra time to finalise a deal after requesting permission.

It has been reported that the 25-year-old, who has agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park, could cost Everton up to £40million should various clauses be triggered.

"I'm delighted to have signed for Everton, a huge club with a great fanbase and history," Alli said. "I'm eager to get started and can't wait for my first game in an Everton shirt.

"I'm looking forward to helping the team and the opportunity to work with the new manager Frank Lampard."

One of the brightest talents in the Premier League when he burst onto the scene under Mauricio Pochettino in 2015-16, Alli's influence at Spurs has faded in recent seasons.

Alli scored 10 top-flight goals in his first season at Spurs, and improved that tally to 18 in 2016-17. He has not managed double figures in the league since, however, and went the entirety of last season without finding the net in the competition.

He was utilised in a three-man midfield by Nuno Espirito Santo at the start of the season, and scored from the penalty spot in a win over Wolves in August, though that is the only league goal he has managed in 657 minutes of action, and he has not featured regularly under Antonio Conte.

Yet Lampard is seemingly confident he can reinvigorate the former MK Dons player, who has also lost his place in Gareth Southgate's England set up in recent seasons.

Alli joins an Everton side sitting in 16th place, just four points above the relegation places. Like Van de Beek, he is cup-tied for Lampard's first match in charge against Brentford in the FA Cup on Saturday, but his debut could come against fellow strugglers Newcastle United on February 8.

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