Tanguy Ndombele was on target as Lyon held 10-man West Ham United to a 1-1 draw in their Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Ndombele – on loan from Tottenham – opened his account for the Ligue 1 side; equalising midway through the second half at the London Stadium on Thursday.

Jarrod Bowen had broken the deadlock early in the second half as David Moyes' side capitalised on sloppy defending by the visitors.

The Hammers played the entire second period with 10 men after Aaron Cresswell was controversially shown a straight red card just before the break.

Unbeaten in six European matches against English opposition, including their elimination of Manchester City in the 2019-20 Champions League quarter-finals, Lyon had the first sight on goal after 10 minutes.

The in-form Moussa Dembele lost Declan Rice at the near post, but was unable to direct Lucas Paqueta's inviting cross towards the target.

Said Benrahma latched onto Craig Dawson's long ball over the top of the defence at the other end before he was denied by Antony Lopes from a tight angle.

The Hammers suffered a big blow when they were reduced to 10 men just before half-time; Cresswell shown a straight red card after dragging back Dembele when he was deemed to be the last defender.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts took the lead seven minutes after the restart. Pablo Fornals won possession high up the field and after a couple of fortunate ricochets, Bowen's goal=bound effort deflected up and over Lopes via Jerome Boateng.

Lyon responded 14 minutes later as Ndombele tucked away after the Hammers failed to deal with Tete’s initial cross – leaving the tie finely poised heading into the second leg at the Groupama Stadium next week.

Antonio Conte has urged Tottenham to be more careful in the transfer market after suggesting the club was guilty of making "mistakes in the past".

Spurs allowed Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil all leave the club on loan in January, while Dele Alli joined Everton on a permanent deal.

Alli undoubtedly flourished for a time at Spurs, but Lo Celso and Ndombele have so far proven to be expensive flops since joining in 2019.

Lo Celso, signed for an initial £27.8million (€32m) from Real Betis, was shipped off to Villarreal with a purchase option, while Ndombele – a club-record signing at £55m (€63m) – was sent back to Lyon, who retain the right to buy him for a reported €65m (£54m).

Spurs do at least appear to retain hope for Spain international winger Bryan, 20, whose temporary switch to Valencia does not include any purchase clauses or obligations.

However, Conte's general appraisal of the situation does not reflect especially well on any of them, nor those in charge of transfers at Spurs.

"Usually you buy players to reinforce your team," Conte told reporters on Friday. "But if you send on loan after two or three years, it is strange.

"It means that maybe in the past you have to see what you did and maybe to understand that there were some mistakes in the past.

"We have to pay more attention in the future when we go into the market. It becomes a fundamental importance if we want to enforce the team, otherwise you drop the quality of your team."

Tottenham were active with incomings as well, with Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski joining from Juventus. Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici previously signed both players during his spell in charge of the Bianconeri.

While neither player ultimately fitted the bill in Turin, Conte appeared excited by their respective arrivals in north London.

"We are talking about two players who are the right prospects for the club's philosophy, young players, talented players to develop and improve to then become important players in the future," he said.

"They have the right experience, Bentancur, for sure, has played many games for Juventus, Kulusevski as well. To be able to sign these two players was good, because they complete our squad.

"We needed to add another player in the midfield. We played with only three midfielders – [Pierre-Emil] Hojbjerg, Winksy [Harry Winks], [Oliver] Skipp.

"We needed to add another player, and we added a good player. Not only to add one player, but a good player.

"Rodrigo has a lot of space for improvement, he played for his national team, 200 games [for Juve and Boca Juniors] despite his age; he's only 24 years old. He's won in Italy. Yes, a good signing for us."

Winger Kulusevski had previously been tipped for a big future at Juve when initially signed from Atalanta amid a breakthrough loan spell with Parma in 2019-20, the year he was named Serie A's Young Player of the Season.

Conte is confident Kulusevski's versatility will be an asset, and he is even confident the wide attacker could operate effectively as a wing-back.

"Dejan has the characteristic to play, in my mind, behind the striker, one of the two number 10s we have behind our striker. At the same time, he has the capacity to play as a wing-back, on the right. He also likes to do this because physically, he's very strong, he has good quality," Conte said.

Conte was said to want to use Adama Traore, another winger, as a wing-back before he chose Barcelona over Tottenham.

Tanguy Ndombele has not tried to shift the blame for his underwhelming Tottenham performances as he accepts he is risking his career by returning to Lyon on loan.

Ndombele was a £55.5million (€62m) signing for Spurs in 2019 but re-joined former club Lyon on Monday in a temporary move that could become permanent for €65m.

The midfielder failed to show in England why Tottenham had invested so heavily in his services.

After creating 47 chances and laying on seven assists in his final season in Ligue 1, Ndombele played only 30 key passes and contributed five assists in two and a half years in the Premier League.

There were mitigating factors, with Ndombele signed by Mauricio Pochettino, who soon left to be replaced by Jose Mourinho. Nuno Espirito Santo and then Antonio Conte followed.

But the 25-year-old said on Wednesday: "It's not the fault of coaches if I had a little trouble at Tottenham.

"It's the right time for me [to return to Lyon]. For my adaptation, coming back here is the best. I hesitated: I went out through the front door, and coming back I'm taking a risk.

"If I had thought about [it hurting my pride], I wouldn't have come back. I saw the project in front of me, I saw that it was interesting for me, and for the club, too.

"But I don't think that's the easiest option. If there wasn't a good team, I don't think I would have taken that risk."

 

Lyon hope Ndombele is not the only player to return from north London this year, with out-of-contract Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette – who scored exactly 100 Ligue 1 goals for the club, at a rate of one every 150 minutes – a target.

He was one of several former Lyon men referenced as potential signings by Jean-Michel Aulas when presenting Ndombele to the media.

"In our context, [Lacazette] is more affordable than Benzema," Aulas said. "We have to try to see if we can do it as a free player, but we won't be alone."

Aulas also discussed outgoing transfers, with Ndombele set to replace star man Bruno Guimaraes, who departed for Newcastle United.

"Newcastle's first request for Bruno, we refused it," Aulas said. "It seemed logical to us.

"Events made us think differently then. We're happy with the deal, coming out of a difficult pandemic period for all clubs. We turned a weakness into an opportunity."

Arsenal cancelled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract to pave the way for the striker to join Barcelona, while Ousmane Dembele remains at Camp Nou following an eventful transfer day across Europe.

Aubameyang had five months to run on his Emirates Stadium deal but was told he could join Barca on a free transfer, which is set to be announced by the LaLiga giants on Tuesday.

Despite some confirmed interest from at least one club in England, and the threat of not playing for the rest of the season, Dembele opted to stay put in Catalonia until at least the end of the season.

Those players were discussed heavily throughout deadline day, but arguably the most remarkable transfer happened early on Monday when Christian Eriksen officially joined Brentford.

It marks a return to the Premier League – and indeed a football pitch – for Eriksen, just seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020 and subsequently being fitted with a heart-starting device.

Newcastle live up to big-spending billing

In their first transfer window under their new ownership, Newcastle United spent more than any side on the continent and rounded things off by bringing in some much-needed defensive options in Dan Burn and Matt Targett.

Boyhood Newcastle fan Burn joined from Brighton and Hove Albion in a reported £13million deal, while left-back Targett will spend the rest of the season at St James' Park on loan from Aston Villa.

But it was not all good news for the Magpies as they missed out on a deal for France Under-20s striker Hugo Ekitike, who is reported to have had second thoughts and decided to remain at Reims. There was also no move for Jesse Lingard.


Tottenham and Juventus the busiest clubs

Antonio Conte was backed by the Tottenham board on deadline day with the arrivals of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski as part of a double deal with Juventus.

Bentancur is reported to have cost Spurs an initial £15.9m (€19m) on a deal that will run through until the end of the 2025-26 season, and he will be joined in north London by Kulusevski on an initial 18-month loan with the option to buy.

It was not all about incoming activity for Tottenham in the final stages of the window, though, as club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele was returned to Lyon for the rest of the season and Bryan Gil and Giovanni Lo Celso were loaned out to LaLiga sides Valencia and Villarreal respectively.

And in a deal that went through more than an hour after the 23:00 GMT cut-off point, Dele Alli joined Everton in a transfer that could potentially earn Spurs £40m should various clauses be triggered.

Having offloaded Bentancur and Kulusevski, meanwhile, Juve further trimmed their squad by allowing Aaron Ramsey to sign for Rangers until the end of the campaign, with those deals offset by the arrival of Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.


Big boys quiet

Manchester City got a deal over the line for Argentina international Julian Alvarez before loaning the young forward straight back to River Plate, but it was otherwise a relatively quiet day for Europe's elite clubs.

Manchester United's only piece of business on Monday was allowing midfield outcast Donny van de Beek join Everton on loan, while Liverpool let Nat Phillips head to Bournemouth for the rest of 2021-22. The second-tier Cherries also signed Todd Cantwell, recently a target for Liverpool, to bolster their promotion ambitions.

Liverpool had hoped to bring in highly rated youngster Fabio Carvalho from Fulham, but a deal is reported to have fallen through shortly before the cut-off point after terms had already been agreed.

There was no such activity for fellow Premier League heavyweights Chelsea, as was the case for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain – despite links with Dembele – Bayern Munich, Inter, Milan and Real Madrid.

But reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid did manage to strengthen at left-back by bringing in Reinildo Mandava from French champions Lille.


Other notable deals...

Unsurprisingly, Premier League clubs flexed their financial muscles in a final attempt to strengthen before the deadline.

Crystal Palace turned striker Jean-Philippe Mateta's loan from Mainz into a permanent deal and Burnley signed Wout Weghorst from Wolfsburg, who moved quickly to bring in FC Copenhagen striker Jonas Wind as a replacement.

Elsewhere, Deniz Undav put pen to paper with Brighton before being loaned back to Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. The Seagulls also signed Benicio Baker-Boaitey on loan from Porto with a view to a permanent move.

Tanguy Ndombele has returned to former club Lyon on loan until the end of the season after another frustrating season at Tottenham. 

The midfielder signed for Spurs from Lyon for a reported £63million (€75.8m) in 2019 but has rarely been able to show the quality he produced in France prior to the move.

Ndombele – who was also linked with Paris Saint-Germain – was recently booed off the pitch by his own fans after a disappointing performance against third-tier Morecambe in the FA Cup third round.

The 25-year-old impressed Spurs enough to break their transfer record after a solid 2018-19 season in Ligue 1, when he completed 63 out of his 92 attempted dribbles (68 per cent), more than anyone in Europe's top five leagues who had attempted as many.

Only five midfielders in Ligue 1 made more assists than Ndombele's seven that year, while he also had the 12th best passing accuracy (89.09 per cent) of midfielders who had played more than five games.

However, Ndombele's career at Spurs has never got going, though he did register nine goals and nine assists in his 86 appearances in all competitions for the club.

Lyon have confirmed they will pay a loan fee to Spurs of €1.42m (£1.18m), while there is also an option to buy Ndombele at the end of the loan deal.

The French outfit also announced the signing of attacking midfielder Romain Faivre from Brest earlier on Monday on a four-and-a-half year deal for a fee of around €15m.

Lyon sold midfielder Bruno Guimaraes to Newcastle on Sunday for a fee worth £35m (€42.1m), with bonuses potentially boosting the amount to £41.7m (€50.1m).

Dusan Vlahovic has drawn interest from Juventus, Arsenal and Tottenham among others.

The 21-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract and Fiorentina are keen to maximise their profit on him.

Vlahovic has netted 38 goals in the past 18 months in Serie A.

TOP STORY – FRESH TALKS ON VLAHOVIC DEAL

Juventus are set for fresh talks on Thursday on a deal to sign Fiorentina's Vlahovic, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Serbia striker has attracted plenty of interest but an agreement between the Bianconeri and Fiorentina is in place.

The stumbling block is Vlahovic's final contract and agent's fees, with a deal potentially set to trigger Alvaro Morata's exit to Barcelona, although Romano claims there are no new talks on that.

 

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- Goal claims that Barcelona are working on a plan to raise €100million (£83m) in funds to lure Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to the Catalan club. The Blaugrana are determined to win the race to sign Haaland despite interest from wealthy giants Real MadridManchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Bayern Munich's 32-year-old forward Thomas Muller has drawn interest from Newcastle United and Everton as he approaches the final year of his contract, claims Sport Bild.

- L'Equipe claims that Bruno Guimaraes had told Lyon he wants to join Newcastle after the Magpies tabled a bid.

- The Sun reports that Manchester United have put their search for a new manager on hold as they consider whether to make Ralf Rangnick's stay permanent.

- Staying at United, numerous reports in England suggest Jesse Lingard is angry with the club as their demands have put off Newcastle's attempt to sign the player on loan.

- Ousmane Dembele wants to stay at Barcelona after all, according to Sport. The France international's representatives met with Barca boss Xavi this week.

- Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele is set to join Valencia on loan, reports Telefoot.

Mauricio Pochettino declared Paris Saint-Germain are ready to do business before the transfer window closes – but refused to discuss Tanguy Ndombele.

Tottenham midfielder Ndombele is thought to be a target for the Ligue 1 leaders, with reports that a loan deal is being discussed between the clubs.

Pochettino brought Ndombele to Spurs in 2019 and thinks highly of the former Lyon playmaker, but a move back to France is not yet a formality.

The Argentine head coach declined to explain PSG's apparent interest in the 25-year-old when his name was mentioned in a news conference on Saturday.

"I don't like speaking about rumours or players who are at other clubs," said Pochettino. "We have a squad with enormous quality. The club made a huge effort in the summer to put together the best possible squad with the right balance.

"The transfer window is open now. It also depends on the players who are not getting many chances here. Or for whatever reasons it is that they want to leave.

"The window is open, and the club is always open. Not just to listen but also to see what is happening in the transfer market. I am pleased with the squad that I have. We will deal with individual matters as they come up."

Lionel Messi is poised for his first appearance of the year as Pochettino's team tackle Reims on Sunday, with Kylian Mbappe also set to feature after recovering from an adductor problem.

Messi made his PSG debut as a substitute when PSG and Reims met in August, with a double from Mbappe earning a 2-0 away win amid a whirlwind of global interest in the game.

"It will definitely be a different match to the first one we played against them," Pochettino said.

Messi is fit after a brush with COVID-19, and Pochettino added: "Leo Messi has trained this week. We are pleased with how he is coming along. He is going to be in the squad tomorrow.

"It is always good news when players who have been out for a while are able to return and be back in the squad to help the team."

Mbappe scored in last weekend's 2-0 win against Brest, before a midweek medical bulletin pointed to an injury.

"We are happy to see the way that his problem has evolved," Pochettino said. "He trained with us in the last two sessions. He is going to be in the squad tomorrow. We will decide tomorrow if he starts or is on the bench."

Messi has not scored in his last five domestic matches for PSG and has just six goals across all competitions since arriving from Barcelona.

He has hit the woodwork more than anybody in the French top flight this season (six) – more times than the entire Reims squad (five).

PSG have won each of their last three meetings with Reims in Ligue 1 without conceding a goal, achieving as many clean sheets in this sequence as in the first 11 between the two clubs in the 21st century.

Reims will clearly do well to take anything from Sunday's game, having not scored in their last two Ligue 1 games and with PSG having won 12 and drawn one of their last 13 home games in the competition.

Ousmane Dembele's future with Barcelona has been unclear for months.

The 24-year-old has snubbed a fresh contract extension offer at Barca.

On Thursday, it was confirmed the Blaugrana have subsequently put him up for sale in January.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA READY FOR DEMBELE MOVE

Chelsea are ready to make a January move for Barcelona's Dembele, claims The Sun.

France winger Dembele is out of contract at the end of this season and Barca now want him to leave this month.

Chelsea have interest in Dembele, although it is unclear if they want to sign him on loan or permanently.

 

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- Roma are prepared to offer Jordan Veretout in exchange for Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. Goal and The Athletic claim that Paris Saint-Germain  are in talks with Spurs and Ndombele over a loan move.

- The Telegraph claims Tottenham are ready to make a January swoop for Milan's Franck Kessie, whose contract expires at the end of this season.

- Sevilla are still keen to sign Manchester United forward Anthony Martial on loan, according to Marca. The Spanish club had an initial offer rejected and could move for Lyon's Moussa Dembele as an alternative.

- Real Betis want to sign Manchester City full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko this month, with the lure of regular football, claims The Sun.

- Crystal Palace have pulled out of the race to sign Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey, reports the Daily Mail. Ramsey has had interest from Newcastle United, Wolves and Burnley.

Erling Haaland is the hottest property in football right now.

It is expected that Haaland will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season although that is not confirmed.

The 21-year-old Norwegian forward is being chased by several big clubs.

TOP STORY – HAALAND SET TO DECIDE ON CLUB FUTURE

AS claims that Haaland is set to make a definitive call on his future as several top clubs circle for his signature.

Borussia Dortmund are set to meet with Haaland's representatives next week to discuss his plans according to Marca.

Haaland is being pursued by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

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- Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has reached out to Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele about a potential switch to Italy, claims Telefoot. Mourinho worked with Ndombele during his time at Spurs.

- Football Insider reports PSG midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has no interest in a move to cashed-up Newcastle United having been linked with his former club.

- The Telegraph reports that Burnley's New Zealand international forward Chris Wood will undergo a medical with Newcastle on Wednesday ahead of a move to the Magpies.

- Tottenham have contacted Jesse Lingard's representatives to discuss a free agency move in the off-season from Manchester United, claims Football London.

- Sevilla's interest in signing Manchester United's Anthony Martial is fading given the Red Devils' demands for the French forward, reports Marca.

- The Mail claims that Marcus Rashford and Manchester United are set to open talks before the end of the season on a new contract.

Arsenal have fallen out of the Premier League's top tier in recent years.

But the Gunners are determined to re-emerge under manager Mikel Arteta.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to leave, Arsenal are ready to spend.

TOP STORY – ARSENAL DETERMINED TO LAND VLAHOVIC

Arsenal are determined to land Dusan Vlahovic despite the Serbian wanting £300,000 (€360,000) a week in wages, says the Daily Mail.

The Fiorentina forward is being chased by a host of clubs but the Gunners are ready to sign him despite a transfer bill around £150 million (€180m), with La Viola asking for a £58m (€70m) fee.

Juventus, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been linked with the 21-year-old.

 

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- Manchester City could make a move for Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric claims El Nacional. The Croatian is not happy with the terms offered by Madrid on a new deal with his current contract set to expire at the end of this season.

- Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger prefers a move to Real Madrid over Paris Saint-Germain when his current contract expires according to Football London. Both clubs have offered deals to the Germany international.

- The Mirror reports that Edinson Cavani has committed to Manchester United for the remainder of the season after discussions with interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

- Barcelona have approached former Chelsea midfielder Oscar about joining the Catalans, claims TNT Sports Brasil. Oscar is currently contracted with Chinese club Shanghai Port.

- Tottenham are ready to sell record signing Tanguy Ndombele during the January transfer window, reports the Daily Mail. PSG, Milan, Roma, Lyon, Barcelona and Newcastle United are among the clubs interested in Ndombele according to the Star.

Romelu Lukaku cast his Chelsea future in doubt with a recent interview – and the unsettled striker may now be offered a route out of Stamford Bridge by Paris Saint-Germain.

The 28-year-old revealed his regret at leaving Inter for Chelsea and questioned boss Thomas Tuchel's tactics, leading to him being dropped for the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Lukaku has returned for the Blues' two matches since, but doubts remain over whether he will still be a Chelsea player come the start of next season.

TOP STORY – LUKAKU LINED UP AS MBAPPE REPLACEMENT?

PSG look certain to lose Kylian Mbappe at the end of the campaign as the Real Madrid target fast approaches the end of his contract at the Parc des Princes.

The Ligue 1 giants are on the lookout for possible replacements and, according to El Nacional, Lukaku is one of those being considered by the club's wealthy backers.

The report suggests PSG are willing to pay €90million (£75.1m) to persuade Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to part ways with the club's all-time record signing.

Lukaku, who apologised for giving the explosive interview in December, has scored eight goals in 20 appearances since returning to west London five months ago.

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– Tottenham have decided to sell Steven Bergwijn this month amid interest from several clubs, according to Fabrizio Romano. Ajax are said to be among the sides to have already made an offer for the Netherlands international.

– Anthony Martial wants to leave Manchester United and has been touted as a possible target for Barcelona. But Spanish outlet Sport claims that, while Barca are eager to strengthen in the final third, Martial is not on their radar in this window.

– Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is wanted by a number of Europe's heavyweight clubs. According to Foot Mercato, PSG are prepared to pay more than the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, but the latter remains the Germany international's preferred choice.

– A rumoured target for Chelsea and Bayern, Sergino Dest's Barcelona future may become clearer in the coming days. El Nacional claims the defender's representatives are set to hold talks with the Catalan giants.

– After being jeered off the pitch by his own supporters in Tottenham's 3-1 FA Cup win over Morecambe on Sunday, The Athletic reports that club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele is hopeful of ending his tumultuous spell in north London this month.

– The Athletic also reports Aston Villa are now the favourites to sign Everton full-back Lucas Digne, despite previous interest from Chelsea. Newcastle United have also been linked, but Digne is apparently not considering a move to the relegation-threatened side.

Antonio Conte wants Harry Kane to reproduce his "world-class" England form in a Tottenham shirt and believes the striker's World Cup qualifying feats were just the boost he needed.

A desperate start to the Premier League season by Kane has seen the striker net just once in 10 games for Spurs, and provide only a single assist.

After last season's 23 goals from 35 games, which he complemented with a career-high 14 assists, it marks a drastic waning in fortunes for the England captain.

The most widely advanced theory among those questioning that decline is that Kane is fatigued, not only from his exertions with England at Euro 2020 but from a drawn-out saga concerning his own future.

Kane was widely expected to be a Manchester City player by now, but that did not come to pass, with Tottenham resistant to efforts to take their star man.

He failed to deliver in the league for Nuno Espirito Santo during the Portuguese's short-lived spell as Tottenham boss, but new head coach Conte will expect Kane to produce talismanic performances.

After firing a hat-trick against Albania last Friday, followed by four against San Marino, Kane reached 16 goals in the calendar year for England, a new record for the team.

"To score is never easy. I'm happy for him, the national team. England are now ready to play in the World Cup in Qatar," Conte said.

"It's a good achievement. I am happy for Harry because he broke the record with England. We are talking about a world-class striker, an important player for us.

"For sure to score is a boost for him. I am very happy, I have the possibility to get to know him much more.

"He is a top player, he wants to train very hard and improve. It's fantastic for me because my first task is to try and improve the players, bring them to another level. I think in this team, many players can do this."

Kane has managed a minimum of 17 goals in each of the last seven Premier League seasons, but he has serious work to do to threaten that mark this term.

After 10 games last season, he had seven goals and nine assists, clicking sensationally with Son Heung-min as Tottenham made a flying start that saw them lead the table in early December.

Jose Mourinho and his players could not convert that into a sustained title challenge, and Tottenham are already so far back this term that a push for the Premier League trophy is almost a non-starter. They sit ninth heading into the weekend, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

For the home game against Leeds United on Sunday, they will be without the injured Cristian Romero, and Conte has a doubt over Giovani Lo Celso after his return from Argentina duty.

Conte says everyone at Tottenham must "feel important" and have "a sense of belonging".

"You must work with your heart, passion," said the former Inter, Chelsea, Italy and Juventus boss. "This is the right way to improve and extend the sense of belonging to our supporters and our players during the game."

He hopes Tanguy Ndombele, Tottenham's blissfully talented midfielder, feels that way. According to Conte, Ndombele "has to work much more than the others".

The French playmaker endured a poor 2020-21 season, with his contributions nosediving. In a host of departments, his numbers slumped.

Per 90 minutes played in the Premier League, his performances slipped from a promising 2019-20 effort, with goals per 90 falling (0.18 to 0.13), assists going the same way (0.18 to 0.09), along with chances created (1.07 to 0.6), tackles won (1.43 to 0.85) and successful passes ending in the final third (14.39 to 10.64).

Conte said: "I have seen many managers struggle with his position. He has the quality. He has to understand it is a team, and he has to play into the team.

"It is important to do what the position asks you to do. We are working very hard. He has to work much more than the others.

"He has talent, but he has to put it into the team for the team, not for the single player. Every single player has to know what he has to do. If every player just runs around the pitch, it will be a mess."

After their lucrative takeover, Newcastle United are set to make a transfer splash in January.

The Magpies are winless and second last in the Premier League table this season.

Newcastle remain without a manager, following Steve Bruce's dismissal a fortnight ago.

 

TOP STORY – MAGPIES IN FOR COUTINHO LOAN DEAL

Newcastle United look set to make a move for Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho in January, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

Financially embattled LaLiga giants Barca are said to be keen to offload the former Liverpool forward, who arrived at Camp Nou from the Reds in 2018.

Barcelona are reportedly ready to accept a loan deal that includes a mandatory option to buy with Newcastle.

ROUND-UP

Barcelona are bullish about signing up Ousmane Dembele to a fresh three-year deal with the option for a further season, claims Mundo Deportivo. Dembele has been linked with LiverpoolManchester United and Juventus.

- Barca are also considering a move to sign Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele on loan, reports Sport. Ndombele has made nine appearances this season.

- Brazilian club Palmeiras have entered the race to sign Manchester United's Edinson Cavani, claims the Daily Express. The Uruguayan signed a one-year contract extension in May.

- Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho wants to bring Spurs midfielder Harry Winks and Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Roma, reports Corriere dello Sport.

- Sky Sports reports ex-Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca is still interested in the vacant Newcastle managerial role. Fonseca nearly took over at Tottenham in the off-season. Magpies candidate Unai Emery announced he was staying with Villarreal on Wednesday.

- La Nazione says Tottenham are firmly in the race to sign Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, who has also been linked with Manchester City, Inter, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Juve.

Erling Haaland has his pick of Europe's elite.

The Borussia Dortmund and Norway star is wanted by the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.

But Premier League champions City are one particular club looking to prise Haaland from Germany if the rumours are to be believed.

 

TOP STORY – CITY HOPING TO CAPITALISE ON PUMA PARTNERSHIP

Manchester City are hoping their Puma sponsorship and a looming boot deal can help land Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to the Daily Star.

City's kits are manufactured by Puma, while Haaland is reportedly poised to sign a boot deal with the German giants.

Haaland has been linked with City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus.

 

ROUND-UP

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juve are planning an approach to bring United midfielder Paul Pogba back to Turin. Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and while United are keen for a renewal, the Frenchman has been linked with Madrid and PSG also.

- United captain and England defender Harry Maguire is poised for a new bumper contract at Old Trafford, reports the Mirror.

Liverpool are considering a move for Barca's Ousmane Dembele with Juve unwilling to part with Federico Chiesa, says Team Talk.

- According to Football Insider, Newcastle United have made star Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly a priority signing in January. It comes after Newcastle's blockbuster takeover.

PSG are targeting Napoli's soon-to-be free agent Lorenzo Insigne, per Le10 Sport. Insigne has also been linked with Inter and Milan.

- Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek is wanted by Serie A powerhouse Juve, claims Corriere dello Sport. Van de Beek was in talks over an Everton switch during the previous window.

- Milan star Franck Kessie is among Barca's midfielder targets for the January window, says Diario Sport. Van de Beek, Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele and Marcelo Brozovic of Inter are also options.

Paul Pogba has been the subject of constant speculation over the past 12 months.

Manchester United's French midfielder is into the final year of his contract.

Pogba has been in excellent early season form, with seven assists in the league already.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID MOVE LOOMS FOR POGBA

Real Madrid are Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba's most likely destination at the end of this season, claims El Nacional.

The France international is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of this season and could leave on a free transfer.

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola is trying to persuade Pogba to join Madrid, despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool target Karim Adeyemi is being chased by German pair Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg, reports Sport Bild. RB Leipzig are also monitoring the 19-year-old Salzburg striker.

Marco Asensio appears destined to leave Madrid given his current role, with Sevilla hoping to sign the midfielder, according to El Gol Digital.

– Fichajes reports that Milan are plotting a January move for out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek.

– The Sun claims that Tottenham have revived their interest in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as they seek a successor to Hugo Lloris.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho wants to reunite with Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele by signing him, reports Calciomercato.

– Marca claims that Manchester City are considering tabling an offer to sign Villareal forward Pau Torres .

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