Manchester City came from two goals to draw 2-2 with West Ham but Premier League title rivals Liverpool were handed hope thanks to Riyad Mahrez's late missed penalty.

The Reds celebrated an FA Cup triumph on Saturday and their chances of an unprecedented quadruple looked very much alive after Jarrod Bowen's double put West Ham 2-0 up at the break.

Yet Jack Grealish pulled one back for City who, despite more shaky defending, drew level when Vladimir Coufal headed into his own goal.

The stage looked set for Mahrez to seal a brilliant comeback win when Craig Dawson's foul on Gabriel Jesus was spotted by VAR, but Lukasz Fabianski made a strong save to keep Liverpool, who are four points back with a game in hand, in the title hunt.

City had control of possession early on but West Ham were dangerous on the counter and that tactic paid dividends in the 24th minute when Bowen beat the offside trap, rounded Ederson and coolly squeezed home.

A shocked City initially struggled to respond, though Jesus' dipping shot almost found the bottom-left corner in the 36th minute.

Yet West Ham struck again before the interval – Bowen engineering space on the edge of the box and drilling a crisp finish beyond Ederson.

City's response came inside four minutes of the restart, Grealish's volley deflecting in off Dawson.

Grealish brilliantly teed up a chance for Bernardo Silva that drew a superb stop from Fabianski, though shambolic defending might have cost City had Bowen or Michail Antonio being more clinical.

West Ham were made to pay with 21 minutes left – Coufal heading Mahrez's free-kick beyond Fabianski.

Aymeric Laporte diverted a goal-bound Bowen shot wide before City were awarded a golden opportunity to win it when Dawson brought down Jesus.

Mahrez stepped up but Fabianski guessed the right way, much to Pep Guardiola's frustration.


What does it mean? Going down to the wire

City would have moved six points clear with a win, and though Liverpool have two games remaining, they would have required a significant swing in goal difference.

As it is, Liverpool – who face Southampton on Tuesday – might well be relying on an old Anfield hero, as Steven Gerrard takes his Aston Villa side to the Etihad Stadium on the final day of the season.

West Ham, who said goodbye to Mark Noble as he came on for his final home appearance in the second half, are now sure of seventh place and European football next season and could still pip Manchester United to sixth.

Brilliant Bowen forever blowing bubbles

Bowen is the fourth West Ham player to score 10+ home goals in a single Premier League campaign after Tony Cottee in 1994-95, John Hartson in 1997-98, and Paolo Di Canio in 1999-00, while only Harry Kane (26) has scored more goals in all competitions amongst Englishmen in the Premier League this season than the Hammers' winger (18).

Mahrez fluffs his lines

Mahrez has been reliable from the penalty spot this season and is enjoying a fine campaign, but in a clutch moment the Algeria winger failed to deliver. His penalty was struck hard, but too close to Fabianski, who did react well to make the save to his left.

What's next?

City round off their season against Villa, while West Ham visit Brighton and Hove Albion in their final game.

Harry Kane's first-half penalty was the difference as Tottenham did just enough to beat Burnley 1-0 in the Premier League and increase the heat on Arsenal in the race for fourth.

Spurs' 3-0 north London derby victory over the Gunners on Thursday left just a one-point gap between the two rivals in the table and, while Antonio Conte's men disappointed during the visit of Burnley, Kane secured the desired result.

The relegation-battling Clarets initially did a fine job of keeping Spurs at bay until conceding what they felt was a harsh penalty, with Kane converting his 23rd successive spot-kick for Tottenham.

Burnley then enjoyed encouraging spells after the interval, with Ashley Barnes hitting the post, but Spurs – who saw Son Heung-min denied twice by Nick Pope – managed to cling onto another important win.

A dominant Spurs start did not yield many clear-cut chances, with Kane and Emerson Royal going closest when forcing straightforward saves from Pope.

Burnley grew as an attacking presence themselves and should have taken the lead when Maxwel Cornet shot straight at Hugo Lloris in a one-on-one situation.

Kane fired wide as Spurs looked to be heading into the break frustrated, but a VAR review subsequently spotted a handball by Barnes in the build-up to that chance, and Spurs' talismanic striker was clinical from 12 yards.

Spurs' start to the second half was sloppy, however, and Burnley almost capitalised.

Josh Brownhill headed agonisingly wide, before Barnes smashed against the post from 25 yards just past the hour.

Son twice looked destined to finish Burnley off in the final 25 minutes, but Pope produced a fine save down low and then made a reaction stop to deny him late on – not that it mattered for Spurs.

Antonio Rudiger said the sanctions placed on Chelsea by the UK government were not the reason behind his decision to leave the club.

Germany defender Rudiger has been a crucial player for Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea but has not agreed to a new contract.

The former Roma centre-back will therefore leave at the end of the season on a free transfer, with Real Madrid his likely destination.

Rudiger has helped Chelsea to four FA Cup finals, winning one, and a Champions League success since joining in 2017. The UEFA Super Cup, Europa League and FIFA Club World Cup are also included in his honours.

When confirming that Rudiger had asked to leave Chelsea in April, Tuchel suggested that the sanctions placed on the club's owner Roman Abramovic in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine meant the Blues were unable to match the 29-year-old's financial demands.

Rudiger, however, insisted that the sanctions had no impact on his decision.

"I don’t want to go too deep into things," he told reporters at Wembley on Saturday, after Chelsea lost 6-5 on penalties to Liverpool in the FA Cup final, their third consecutive defeat in the competition's showpiece.

"There was a chance but sanctions were not the problem.

"It’s been five years with ups and downs as normal. There were a lot of positive things, but that's why I'm even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending.

"It's about both sides. Chelsea have been great to me and I have been great for Chelsea. I am very, very thankful, both me and my family.

"I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London, and especially Chelsea, will always be special to me."

Chelsea have become the first side since Newcastle United (1974, 1998 and 1999) to lose on three consecutive FA Cup final appearances, while the Blues are the first team since Middlesbrough in 1996-97 to lose both of England's domestic cup finals in the same campaign, after their penalty shoot-out loss to Liverpool in the EFL Cup final in February.

"I think it was a good game just like the EFL Cup final. We had chances, they had chances," reflected Rudiger.

"But at the end of the day we know that penalties are always a lottery and we lost.

"It's about winning, it's not about next season. The game was about today and it was there to take. Unfortunately we didn't win.

"It's always difficult to say whether we are lucky or unlucky. For myself it's the third time [I have lost an FA Cup final] so you can't always say unlucky, unlucky, unlucky."

Rudiger has two games left before he leaves Chelsea, with the Blues hosting Leicester City on Thursday before closing out their season against Watford.

Manchester United's midfield has long been an area of dysfunction, even in relative terms at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have not been able to find balance with the likes of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred.

As a result, Erik ten Hag's rebuild at United could mean a big-name signing to rejuvenate their play in the centre of the pitch.


TOP STORY – KANTE TARGETED BY 

New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag wants N'Golo Kante to form the basis of his rebuild at Old Trafford, according to the Mirror.

The 31-year-old has one year left on his contract at Chelsea and Ten Hag is reportedly confident in Kante's sustained ability to perform at the highest level.

Kante is believed to be an attainable target if Todd Boehly's takeover at Stamford Bridge is rubber-stamped, giving Thomas Tuchel a sizeable transfer budget to work with.

United are no guarantee to even play in the Europa League, sitting three points ahead of West Ham, who have a game in hand.

ROUND-UP

- The Sun is reporting Frenkie de Jong is prepared to waive €7million of unpaid wages by Barcelona in order to move to Manchester City.

- Arsenal have agreed on a fee of up to €25m with Bologna for Scotland international Aaron Hickey, according to Calciomercato.

- Robert Lewandowski is set to leave Bayern Munich and join Barcelona on a three-year deal, the Sun reports.

- Ousmane Dembele might be moving in the other direction to join Bayern when his contract expires at the end of the season, per Sky Sports.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he has "no regrets" about his team's performance in the FA Cup final against Liverpool, despite defeat.

The Blues were beaten by Jurgen Klopp's side for the second time at Wembley – having also lost the EFL Cup final in February – and again it was on penalties.

After a goalless 120 minutes, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount failed to score from the spot, and though Edouard Mendy saved from Sadio Mane, Kostas Tsimikas won it for Liverpool with his effort from 12 yards.

It was another tight contest between Chelsea and Liverpool, having drawn both league games against one another this season, but Tuchel was not in the mood to be too downtrodden by events, despite disappointment at missing out on another cup to his German counterpart.

"Like in the last final, no regrets," the former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain head coach said in his post-match media conference. 

"I told the team I was proud. I was happy before the match to arrive with this group. We were competitive, we made life difficult for them. We struggled in the first 15 minutes, then we were excellent through whole match.

"Disappointed of course, sad, but at same time proud. I was sure we would win today, unfortunately I was not right. We have to keep going, that's life in sports."

Tuchel also cleared up some questions around players, with Kai Havertz not making the squad and Timo Werner saying he could not play despite being named on the bench.

"Kai did not train yesterday because of hamstring problems," Tuchel said. "We tried everything but it was not better."

On Werner, the German confirmed it was a hamstring issue, and added: "Timo felt uncomfortable during the warm-up and said he can not play."

Chelsea became the first team in the history of the FA Cup to lose the final in three consecutive years (2020 vs Arsenal, 2021 vs Leicester, 2022 vs Liverpool), but the 48-year-old outlined how he feels his team can close the gap on rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, with the Blues sitting 16 points behind the second-placed Reds in the Premier League.

"I think we have proved we can play with peak performances against them," he insisted. "The difference at the moment is they can do it [consistently] but we struggle to do that. They came here with just Fabinho missing, we have had a number of players out… That is where the gap comes from.

"I think we have what it takes to win trophies. We won the Club World Cup and Super Cup, so it is not a trophy-less season.

"Good in the Champions League and did well in both domestic cups. We are capable of peak performances, but Man City and Liverpool showed you need to be on top of your game all the time."

Jurgen Klopp has become only the second manager to win the European Cup, EFL Cup, the top-flight title and the FA Cup with the same English club, joining Alex Ferguson.

Klopp's Liverpool side triumphed on penalties over Chelsea for the second time this season on Saturday, as they won 6-5 in the shoot-out after a 0-0 draw to seal the club's first FA Cup success since 2006.

While Chelsea were left to reflect on a third straight FA Cup final defeat, after losses in 2020 and last year to Arsenal and Leicester City respectively, Liverpool's hunt for an unprecedented quadruple continues.

The victory means Klopp has now won the Champions League (2018-19), the Premier League (2019-20) and both of England's domestic cup competitions during his time at Liverpool.

Only Manchester United's managerial great Ferguson, who retired in 2013, had managed that feat with the same English club before.

In a good omen for Liverpool ahead of their clash with Real Madrid in Paris on May 28, they have won both of England's domestic cup tournaments for the first time since 2001, when they also went on to win a European trophy.

Only United (12) and Arsenal (14) have won the FA Cup on more occasions than the Reds (eight).

Liverpool were dealt a huge blow in the first half of their FA Cup final clash with Chelsea as Mohamed Salah limped off injured. 

The Egypt forward suddenly sat down inside the Blues half 33 minutes into the contest, walking off gingerly to be replaced by Diogo Jota after receiving attention from the Reds' medical team.

Salah's exit marks just the second time he has been substituted during the first half of a Liverpool match, with the first also coming in a major final when he was infamously injured by Sergio Ramos' challenge in a 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in 2018.

Should the 29-year-old's injury prove serious, it would represent a monumental blow to Liverpool's hopes of adding to February's EFL Cup win over the coming weeks, with two Premier League matches and a Champions League final rematch with Los Blancos on the horizon.

Salah declared earlier this month that "everyone" at Anfield wanted to face Madrid in that contest, and will be desperate to be fit to feature in Paris after saying the team has a "score to settle" with Carlo Ancelotti's men. 

The attacker has scored 30 goals and provided 15 assists in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp's side, and was recently nominated for the Premier League's Player of the Season award, having scored the most goals (22) and recorded the most assists (13) in the competition so far this term.

Mikel Arteta is keen to focus on the future rather than Arsenal's midweek defeat to rivals Tottenham, although that match has left him with a real problem at centre-back.

Arsenal went down 3-0 to Spurs on Thursday, increasing the pressure on Arteta's side, who are one point ahead of their fifth-placed neighbours in the top four with two Premier League games remaining.

The first of those is away to Newcastle United on Monday, by which point Tottenham will have played Burnley and could be fourth.

And Arsenal may head into that match without a single senior centre-back. Rob Holding was sent off at Spurs and is suspended, while Gabriel Magalhaes went off injured. Ben White, on the bench last time out, was not considered fit enough to bring on.

Speaking on Saturday, Arteta acknowledged any decision on Gabriel and White would have to go to the wire.

"We will have to modify certain positions to try to make it work because we don't have more defenders," he said.

"And even though we have academy players, they haven't experienced those positions a lot because they are not specified central defenders. It's something we'll try to find a way [to solve]."

Arteta added: "Tomorrow [Sunday] will be the day when we will have better answers [on Gabriel and White] – probably not the answers that we want on matchday, but hopefully better answers.

"We'll probably know more tomorrow, so we wanted to extend this period as much as possible to understand how they are recovering, how they are feeling, assess them, and tomorrow we'll probably know more about how they are."

Meanwhile, Arteta was not interested in entertaining discussion of the Tottenham defeat.

"Forwards," he said. "I said it after the [post-match] press conference, I just look forward."

Even mention of Antonio Conte's claims Arteta complains too much did not prompt a response from the Arsenal manager.

Asked what he would tell Conte, Arteta replied: "That I'm fully focused on Newcastle."

Despite his clear anger at how that match played out, the Gunners boss is looking to lift his players, reminding them their performances have put them in pole position ahead of Spurs.

"That [result] was a possibility," Arteta said, "and we knew that to get into the position that we are in today, a lot has happened in the past.

"We've been through it, we have experienced it, and hopefully that can help us again on Monday."

Mateo Kovacic has recovered from an ankle injury to start Saturday's FA Cup final for Chelsea against Liverpool, while N'Golo Kante is on the bench.

Kovacic suffered a knock in the 3-0 win over Leeds United on Wednesday in the challenge that saw Daniel James sent off at Elland Road, but the Croatian will take his place from the start at Wembley Stadium.

Kante has not played since April's 1-1 draw at Manchester United, but is back in the squad for the final.

Kai Havertz has not been named at all, with Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic keeping their places in attack.

The only change made by Thomas Tuchel from the midweek victory sees Thiago Silva coming in for Andreas Christensen.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson looks set to play the six role for Jurgen Klopp's side after Fabinho was ruled out with a hamstring strain he sustained in Tuesday's win at Aston Villa.

Mohamed Salah returns to the starting line-up having come off the bench at Villa Park looking to score just his fourth goal in his 17th appearance since Liverpool beat Chelsea in the EFL Cup final in February.

The Egyptian is partnered by Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane in attack, while Andrew Robertson also comes back in for Kostas Tsimikas at left back.

Ibrahima Konate partners Virgil van Dijk in defence, while Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita join Henderson in a three-man midfield.

Xavi insisted age would not be a barrier when Barcelona rebuild in the close season as the Catalan giants continue to be linked with 33-year-old Robert Lewandowski.

The Barcelona head coach said he had not concluded discussions with club power-brokers over transfer plans, and had not spoken to the team's current players about plans.

Bayern Munich frontman Lewandowski is reportedly keen on joining Barcelona, while Xavi did not rule out an exit for Frenkie de Jong, who has been linked with Manchester United.

Uncertainty lingers over whether Barcelona will have much financial clout in the transfer window, as they attempt to come through an economic crisis that has hit Camp Nou hard.

It may be that the likes of De Jong – in what should be their prime years, at the top of their market value – have to be sacrificed in order to bring in the quick-fix solution that a player such as veteran goal-getter Lewandowski might provide.

Xavi told a news conference: "The circumstances of the club are what rule. I have an important part in decision-making. From here on, we depend on the economic situation.

"In a few days we should know where we are in order to plan for next season. The economic situation keeps us at bay, it is obvious that marks the present and the future of the club."

Asked about Dutch midfielder De Jong, Xavi said: "For me, he is a very important player. He has been a starter almost always, except when he has been rotated.

"He is a fundamental footballer, but then there is the financial situation of the club. He is a player that I like very much, but we are going to see how the situation is."

Xavi said Barcelona have "untouchables" in their ranks who must not be transferred, and although he did not name such players, the growing number of youngsters coming through the ranks such as Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi likely fall into that category.

Lewandowski, who has scored 49 goals in 45 games for Bayern this season, could be the player that allows Barcelona to bridge the gap to Real Madrid next season. Barcelona have moved far closer to Madrid's standards since Xavi was appointed in November, after a dismal start to the campaign under Ronald Koeman, but Los Blancos have carried off the LaLiga title with a comfortable cushion.

In light of the Lewandowski reports, Xavi was asked whether he could sign veteran players and was adamant he would, contingent on whether such stars kept themselves in good shape.

"I signed Dani Alves at 38," Xavi said. "It's not age, it's performance. Players take care of themselves so much and every year they are more professional.

"Ibrahimovic, Modric, Dani Alves, they all have a very high performance at important clubs. Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi too. Age is not a priority. If it improves us, that's the important thing."

Xavi declined to say whether Barcelona would be targeting a goalscorer, declaring it was "not the time to talk about this".

However, he said: "The club knows what we need to be competitive. The board will demand titles from us, and we have to improve."

Xavi, whose side face Getafe in LaLiga on Sunday, explained: "We're talking a lot about players for next year, but we still haven't met the goal of finishing second. There are two games left to finish with a good feeling. Then we'll plan and decide."

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has agreed with Mohamed Salah that the Liverpool star is the best player in the world in his position.

Ancelotti's Madrid face Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 28 in Paris, with two contenders for the Ballon d'Or lining up against each other in Salah and Karim Benzema.

Salah has been in fine domestic scoring form once again this season, on course for the Premier League's Golden Boot award with 22 strikes, while he has been directly involved in 35 goals in 34 league games.

The Egypt international, speaking after winning the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year in England, declared himself as the best forward in the world at present.

"If you compare me with any player in my position, not only in my team but in the world, you will find that I am the best," he told BeIN SPORTS.

"I always focus on my work and do my best, and my numbers are the best proof of my words."

Indeed, only five players – Ciro Immobile (156), Kylian Mbappe (167), Cristiano Ronaldo (169), Lionel Messi (174) and Robert Lewandowski (232) – have scored more than Salah (154) since his Liverpool debut in August 2017 across Europe's top five leagues in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Lewandowski (49), Benzema (44), Mbappe (35), Christopher Nkunku (34) and Immobile (32) are the only players from the same group to outscore Salah (30) this season.

The debate continues over who should win the next Ballon d'Or with Benzema, who could deliver World Cup glory for France in Qatar to aid his cause, and Salah among the front-runners for the personal accolade.

Ancelotti, addressing a pre-match news conference ahead of a LaLiga clash at Cadiz on Sunday, admitted that no player comes close to Salah in his position at the minute.

"Salah has said that in his position he is the best in the world and I think he is right," Ancelotti told reporters.

"I agree with him. In his position, yes, he is the best in the world."

Son Heung-min labelled Tottenham's Premier League schedule as "madness" but bemoaned the decision to substitute him against Arsenal as he chases the Golden Boot award.

Antonio Conte's side were cruising at 3-0 up against Arsenal on Thursday after a Harry Kane double and strike from Son, who was removed in the 72nd minute for Steven Bergwijn after adding to his impressive tally.

Son has scored 21 non-penalty goals in the Premier League this season, with only Harry Kane ever netting more goals, excluding penalties, in a single season in the competition for Spurs.

Meanwhile, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, who has managed 22 goals, has scored more times than Son in the English top flight this term, teeing up a hotly contested race for the Golden Boot.

The South Korea international admitted he was frustrated to be taken off as he chases the personal accolade, but understands why given the short turnaround to face Burnley on Sunday.

"To be honest looking at the schedule, it is madness," Son said. "We are playing Thursday night and Sunday with a really early kick-off.

"It is a really quick turnaround, we need to do everything to recover: good food, good sleep and get ready to go again.

"It would always be good to have a [later] kick-off [on Sunday], but if you win the early kick-off it is always good. It feels like you wake up and you go to play the game.

"Especially Thursday to Sunday is a really quick turnaround. But this is the schedule, we can't change it and we need to be ready for every situation which we will do.

"I will try my best to sleep. But if I struggle what can I do? If I am struggling I still have to try my best to recover. For me sleep is one of the most important things to recover and I’ll do my best."

As for being brought off, Son is more interested in how the team does as Tottenham sit one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal with two games to play.

"I am always not happy at coming off because I want to be on the pitch because I love playing football and I want to help the team," he added.

"I can understand afterwards but at the moment you are not angry but frustrated because you are passionate on the pitch. I can understand why because we have a really quick game on Sunday.

"I can't promise I will score but I will do my best and I will do my best for the team and if I don't score I will do my best.

"[The Golden Boot] would be nice but for us it is important for us to finish in the top four. Against Arsenal, performance-wise it was fantastic and I am very proud for the lads and well deserved.

"Obviously it’s a good thing that you are racing for the Golden Boot, but I have said a few times that it is important to finish in the top four than anything else.

"So 100 per cent I would be happy [if we qualify but I don’t score]."

Conte masterminded Spurs' biggest league win over fierce rivals Arsenal since April 1983 (5-0) and Son was quick to credit the Italian manager.

"He has been fantastic, some of the players have already spoken about this," Son continued. "Before he arrived we couldn't believe we could arrive in the Champions League spot.

"What he brought to the club was incredible, the passion, the energy, the positivity. Look, he has brought so many things. It is only 10 more days left, we have to give what we can, we have to squeeze all that we have.

"It has been really tough, especially in the Premier League because everyone is playing for the title and the top four and every game is really tough.

"When you qualify it is really tough but the way to qualify is really tough. The last two games we just want to make sure we qualify for the Champions League."

Cristiano Ronaldo has declared Erik ten Hag must be given time and freedom to rebuild Manchester United when the Dutchman steps into the Old Trafford top job.

Much is expected of new manager Ten Hag, who will replace interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.

The Dutchman has been a high achiever in the Netherlands with Ajax and fended off strong competition to land the United post.

Reports have claimed Mauricio Pochettino and Julen Lopetegui were also keen on joining the Red Devils, but United plumped for Ten Hag.

Veteran striker Ronaldo looks set to be a key figure when the new regime get down to work, having scored 24 goals so far for United in the first season of his second spell at the club.

The 37-year-old, who won the Premier League's Player of the Month award for April, says Ten Hag must be afforded the authority to implement whatever changes he considers necessary.

"What I know about him is he did a fantastic job for Ajax, that he's an experienced coach," Ronaldo said. "But we need to give him time.

"Things need to change the way he wants.

"I hope we have success, of course, because, if you have success, all of Manchester is going to have success as well. I wish him the best."

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo, quoted on United's official website, said the appointment should fill everyone involved with the club with optimism.

This season has been a largely dismal one for United, who have missed out on a Champions League place and finished without a major trophy for a fifth successive campaign.

Ten Hag, by contrast, is coming off a championship-winning season in the Dutch Eredivisie.

"We are happy and excited, not only as players, but the supporters as well," Ronaldo said of 52-year-old Ten Hag's arrival.

"I wish him the best and let's believe that, next year, we are going to win trophies."

Robert Lewandowski has told Bayern Munich he wishes to leave the club and head to Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window – and manager Julian Nagelsmann will reportedly not stand in his way.

Lewandowski, 33, is in the midst of a historic season, averaging more than a goal per game in both the Bundesliga and Champions League. He has 34 goals and three assists in 33 league fixtures, and 13 goals with three assists in his 10 Champions League games.

With his contract set to expire in just over 12 months, there was a feeling Bayern would prefer to hold on to the Polish star to boost their chances in the Champions League instead of cashing in, but that may not be the case.

 

TOP STORY – LEWANDOWSKI PUSHES FOR BARCA MOVE

Crowned The Best FIFA Men's Player two years in a row, and coming off his third consecutive season with at least 34 league goals, Lewandowski's time in Munich appears to be over as Sport reports he has his heart set on a Barcelona move.

Whether motivated by cashing in while the club still can, or simply honouring the wishes of one of the greatest players to ever wear the badge, Nagelsmann is said to be on board with Lewandowski's decision and will try to facilitate the transfer.

The report includes a note that it may be a difficult move for the Spanish giants to pull off financially, although he is likely central to their off-season plans, meaning the club will do everything in their power to prioritise making it happen.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting Real Madrid are "more confident than ever" in landing Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe

– According to Mediaset, Chelsea have reached an agreement with Inter's Ivan Perisic to bring the Croatian over on a free transfer, although Fabrizio Romano insists that Perisic has not made up his mind yet.

– Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong will reject any advances from Manchester United and his former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, according to the Daily Star.

– Calciomercato claims Paulo Dybala's agent is reportedly in London weighing up offers of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.

Jude Bellingham will remain with Borussia Dortmund for next season, despite interest from Liverpool and United, according to the Daily Star.

Jurgen Klopp labelled the Nations League as "one of the most ridiculous ideas in the world of football" amid arguments with UEFA over Champions League final ticket allocations.

Liverpool manager Klopp took aim at UEFA after it was announced fewer than 20,000 tickets apiece will be allocated to Reds and Real Madrid fans for the final in Paris on May 28.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin responded by stating that the system works as he explained tickets were split between the market, fans and sponsorship partners.

Ceferin also said he had shared a conversation with a manager from Madrid or Liverpool to discuss the matters, which was clear to be Klopp after he voiced his discontent.

Klopp again expressed his disappointment on Friday, speaking before the FA Cup final with Chelsea on Saturday, as he hit out at the Nations League and detailed his exchanges with Ceferin.

The German accepted Ceferin's explanation on the Champions League but implored UEFA to take more revenue from the competition as long as it meant his players did not have to play in the Nations League.

"We didn't speak, he texted me. I obviously said that there should be more tickets for supporters and then I think the same explanation [he gave me] he gave publicly," Klopp told reporters.

"What is it? 93 per cent of the Champions League money goes to the clubs and UEFA only get a few euros and I replied and said 'okay, this is one of those situations where you should have more information before you give answers' but I cannot constantly be prepared for these kinds of things, but I still have an opinion.

"So it's fine, I will try to clarify that here that obviously I didn't know enough about it. But I said as well in this conversation, I have said now that he spoke to me, that the reason I am not in such a good mood when I speak about UEFA is because of the Nations League.

"I still think it is one of the most ridiculous ideas in the world of football because now we finish a season where [some] players have played more than 70 games, easily – club games 63 or 64, plus internationals – and then go direct to 75, which is pretty mad.

"We continue with Nations League games because we have to play them [when] there is no tournament, who cares we play four, five or six games with the national teams.

"So that is the reason because I would prefer UEFA take more money from the Champions League final and kick out the Nations League again. That would be my preferred solution and more tickets for the people anyway.

"That is my personal opinion. I read about it but maybe I don't have all the information, but it is still my opinion." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.