Robbie Keane expects Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte's future to be resolved "in the next few days".

Conte is facing the sack after an extraordinary outburst following a 3-3 Premier League draw at Southampton last weekend.

The Italian accused his players of being "selfish", having "no heart" and not wanting to "play under stress" after they dropped points against the struggling Saints.

Conte has returned to his homeland during the international break amid reports he could be shown the door before his contract expires at the end of this season.

Spurs bowed out of the Champions League with a whimper at the hands of Milan and are fourth in the Premier League.

Former Tottenham striker Keane thinks uncertainty over Conte's position will be ended early next week.

Asked about Spurs' season, he told Stats Perform: "I would say inconsistent if you look where they are. If they finish in the top four, is that a fantastic, successful season? I would say probably yes.

"With just 10 games to go, I think they're in a good position. Of course, the situation with Conte is not helpful. But nothing has come out yet in terms of the club or Conte saying that he's going to leave or he's going to stay.

"I'm sure that will be sorted out in the next few days, definitely before Monday or Tuesday because the lads are back in training, but it's not unusual for Conte to go home.

"He's been doing this since he's been at the club when the lads are on international break. He goes home and spends time with his family. So that's normal because I think we have three first-team players that are there.

"Ryan Mason and other first-team coaches take it. So that's not unusual. I think everybody, every Tottenham fan, would probably need a bit of clarity, certainly in the next few days."

Tottenham, who have been tipped to move for sacked Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann, face Everton on their return to Premier League action a week on Monday.

Julian Nagelsmann was sensationally sacked as Bayern Munich boss on Friday and replaced almost immediately by Thomas Tuchel.

The 35-year-old German had guided the Bavarians to last season's Bundesliga title.

And Bayern have looked good in reaching the Champions League quarter-finals this term.

Nagelsmann previously led RB Leipzig, guiding the side to the Champions League and the 2021 DFB-Pokal final, before moving to Bayern in 2021.


TOP STORY – SPURS MAKE MOVE FOR NAGELSMANN

Sky Sports claims Julian Nagelsmann is open to Tottenham's advances as they seek talks following his dismissal as Bayern Munich boss.

Spurs may be in the market for a new manager with uncertainty over Antonio Conte's future. Football Insider claims Nagelsmann is Spurs' number one priority if Conte departs.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was also considering Nagelsmann in 2019 when he replaced Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho.


ROUND UP

- Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are all circling for PSV midfielder Ibrahima Sangare, reports 90min. According to the report, the player's representatives have spoken to several Premier League clubs and he could be available for around £32million.

- Manchester United have joined the race for Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic , who is being courted by Manchester City and Liverpool, according to Football.London.

- 90min claims Newcastle United have held talks with Marcus Thuram's representatives about a free agent move from Borussia Monchengladbach in the offseason. Thuram has already declared he will leave Gladbach when he contract expires at the end of the season, with Inter among a host of clubs interested.

- Chelsea are interested in signing ex-Leeds United man Raphinha from Barcelona, claims journalist Simon Phillips. The Blaugrana may be forced to sell players due to financial fair play regulations.

It's fair to say Harry Kane was something of a late bloomer on the international stage, at least in comparison to the man he has surpassed as England's all-time leading goalscorer.

While Wayne Rooney was named in Euro 2004's Team of the Tournament at the age of 18, Kane was 22 by the time he first appeared at a major international competition.

Despite Rooney's head start, the prospect of Kane beating his record of 53 England goals has seemed inevitable for some time after the Tottenham striker took on a talismanic role for Gareth Southgate's side. 

Kane could have broken the record at last the 2022 World Cup. He had already scored one penalty in the quarter-final against France and, with England 2-1 down, he stepped up to take another at Al Bayt Stadium.

Yet his effort soared over, England's chances of World Cup success crashing down around their captain.

Fitting, then, that it was from the penalty spot that Kane broke Rooney's record by netting his 54th England goal, as he put the Three Lions 2-0 up ahead Italy in their first match of 2023.

He has now cemented his place in the pantheon of England greats.

With Kane assuming his place as the country's greatest goalscorer, Stats Perform looks at the legacy he has built on the international stage.

Stepping out of Rooney's shadow and repaying Southgate's faith

Kane wasted no time in introducing himself on the international stage.

Having replaced Rooney as a substitute against Lithuania in March 2015, the Tottenham striker needed just 79 seconds to net in a 4-0 win.

Since 1872, Kane is one of just six players to score inside two minutes on his England debut, while that strike made him the first to do so since Gerry Hitchens in 1961.

 

However, after England's dismal Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland, Kane had scored only five goals in 17 international appearances. Retrospectively, it wasn't quite the flying start one may have expected from a future great.

While Kane entered that tournament having won the Premier League's Golden Boot, he was uninspired as Roy Hodgson sought to find space for both Rooney and Daniel Sturridge in an unbalanced team. 

That stunning defeat in Nice, as well as a corruption scandal that later led to the departure of Sam Allardyce after just one game at the helm, made 2016 a year to forget for England.

However, the appointment of Southgate that November, coupled with the new manager's decision to drop a declining Rooney the following March, set the stage for a dramatic improvement from the Three Lions' new talisman.  

All but five of Kane's 54 international goals have been scored under Southgate, the highest tally scored by any England player under a particular manager by some distance – Gary Lineker is second with 35 goals under Bobby Robson.

The man for the big occasion 

The idea that the England shirt can weigh heavily upon those who regularly star at club level has been a common theme for decades.

Of Rooney's 53 international goals, for instance, only one was scored at a World Cup – an ultimately inconsequential effort in 2014's decisive 2-1 loss to Uruguay in Sao Paulo.

The Manchester United great may have hit the net seven times across his six major tournaments, but four came in his remarkable breakout campaign at Euro 2004, and he was continually criticised for failing to carry his club form onto the international stage.

Rooney is not the only England star to suffer that fate. Frank Lampard scored three times at Euro 2004 but did not net at another major tournament. Fellow midfielder Steven Gerrard hit 21 goals for Three Lions, but just three came at tournaments. 

Despite arriving at the 2018 World Cup having plundered 30 goals across the 2017-18 Premier League season – his most prolific campaign in the competition – Kane was seemingly open to the same criticisms, but a Golden Boot-winning tournament changed perceptions.

 

Kane as England's tournament specialist

While defeats to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Italy in the Euro 2020 final have left Southgate battling accusations of underachievement, England's very presence in some of the biggest international fixtures has owed much to Kane.

Kane's total of six goals in Russia was enough to see off the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Kylian Mbappe for the Golden Boot, and only Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick (both five) bettered his tally of four strikes as England went agonisingly close to Euro 2020 glory.

Having netted against Senegal and France at Qatar 2022, Kane's tally of 12 goals at major tournaments is an outright England record, beating Lineker's total of 10, which came exclusively at World Cups.

With Kane now having eight World Cup goals to his name and looking likely to participate in at least one more edition, the 29-year-old could also claim Lineker's status as England's top marksman in FIFA's flagship tournament.

Nevertheless, some might accuse him of "stat padding" against weak opponents. After all, Kane has scored more international goals against San Marino (five) than any other nation.

However, he has also often been the scourge of the world's elite, as England's old rivals Germany – the opponents for four of Kane's England goals – will attest. 

 

Cementing Kane's legacy: Does more history await in 2026? 

Brazil great Ronaldo, Miroslav Klose, Mario Kempes, Gerd Muller and Eusebio are among the legends to have claimed the honour of top-scoring at a World Cup. None of them – nor any other player – has done so at two separate tournaments.

Kane ultimately could not repeat his 2018 exploits in Qatar. But in terms of other records and future success, age is – just about – on his side. The Spurs striker will be 33 when the 2026 World Cup rolls around. He will likely have set a daunting target for any future England strikers to chase.

Troubling Klose's all-time record of 16 World Cup goals may be unrealistic but claiming a spot in the top five of that list – and beating Pele's tally of 12 – appears a plausible target. 

While Kane's England legacy may be chiefly judged on whether he can inspire the team to bring football home for the first time since 1966, his international goalscoring feats are worthy of lofty praise regardless.

If Kane wins a major trophy during his England career or not, his contribution on the big stage means he should be remembered as one of his country's best ever.

Chelsea seem to have resigned themselves to making a major loss on Romelu Lukaku, who has only netted five times on loan at Inter this term.

According to a Football Insider report, the Blues are ready to move him on in at the end of the season, with Inter unlikely to try to extend his stay in Milan.

Chelsea spent £97.5milion to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge in August 2021, but they are unlikely to get anywhere near that now.

TOP STORY – GERMAN CHAMPIONS LINE UP SHOCK LUKAKU MOVE

Bayern Munich are lining up a shock move for Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku to bolster their attacking options, claims Fichajes.

The report claims Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is an admirer of the Belgium striker, who he believes is one of the world's best forwards if injury free.

Bayern will not commence negotiations with Chelsea until the end of the season. The German champions had been linked with Harry Kane as they look for someone to replace Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona last year.

Calciomercato reports that Chelsea may try to land a deal with Roma with a swap deal involving Tammy Abraham.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min claims Manchester City have reignited their interest in signing 19-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz following a long-term knee injury which forced him to miss the 2022 World Cup. Fabrizio Romano claims Real Madrid will compete for the German's services too.

Tottenham are interested in Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, reports ESPN. Henderson is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from United, who could use Spurs' interest as leverage in a deal for Harry Kane, per the report

– Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto is drawing interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, while 90min claims Juventus and Napoli are among a list of Italian clubs tracking him too.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Barcelona on the cusp of agreeing to a deal with Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez to join the Blaugrana on a free transfer in the off-season.

– Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to let Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches exit amid interest from Milan along with Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Wolves, reports 90min.

– Football London reports Arsenal are ready to ramp up their interest in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi with a bid to come in the coming months, although he has a €60m release clause in his contract.

With Antonio Conte expected to leave Tottenham by the end of the week, attention is already turning to who might be next to try their hand at what continues to look a near-impossible job.

Spurs are a big club with a fabulous stadium, passionate fanbase and talented squad.

Despite the relative success of Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino in the last two decades, as well as investing in high-profile bosses Jose Mourinho and Conte, none have been able to bring silverware to the north London club.

The only trophy Spurs have claimed since the turn of the century was the EFL Cup in 2007-08, and any new manager/head coach will be tasked with ending that drought as soon as possible, as well as ensuring another season of Champions League football.

Stats Perform looks at some of the early favourites, with Conte seemingly on the brink.

Mauricio Pochettino

The Argentinian was a very popular figure during his time at White Hart Lane – and subsequently Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pochettino may not have won a trophy, but he presided over two title challenges and the run to the 2019 Champions League final, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

He mostly got the best out of his players, too, and took many of them to another level.

His five-year reign included 113 wins from 202 Premier League games, a points-per-game (PPG) average of 1.89, very slightly higher than Conte's 1.88 (32 wins from 56 games).

Pochettino was eventually dismissed by chairman Daniel Levy after appearing to take the club as far as he could, so going back to him when still looking someone to take them to the next level might be a little backwards.

He would likely be a popular choice with the fans, though, and should at the very least provide some stability. Perhaps crucially, he might also be their best bet in convincing Harry Kane to stay.

Ryan Mason

It wouldn't technically be a return for Mason as he never actually left, taking on a first-team coach role after the end of his interim spell at the helm following the sacking of Mourinho in April 2021.

His second game in charge was a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the EFL Cup final, but Mason arguably did well considering his lack of experience.

Given he only took charge of six matches, it seems a little pointless to stake a claim for Mason based on his own PPG record (2.0).

But the former Spurs midfielder is the heavy favourite for the job, even if only on a short-term basis again.

Similarly to Pochettino, the thinking behind that choice would most likely be stability and that decision makers at the club may feel the players are likely to respond positively to someone they already know.

Unless he performs spectacularly, appointing Mason would probably be followed by a full-time hire at the end of the season.

Thomas Tuchel

While Tuchel would be yet another former Chelsea boss taking the reins, following in the footsteps of Glenn Hoddle, Andre Villas-Boas, Mourinho and Conte, it's hard to argue with his credentials.

The German won 35 of 63 Premier League games with the Blues, a PPG average of 1.94, as well as winning the Champions League in 2021.

Considering Spurs are eager to win a first trophy since 2008, the fact Tuchel guided Chelsea to five finals – including the 2021 Club World Cup – in less than two years will no doubt appeal, even if he did lose three of them.

Tuchel reportedly left Stamford Bridge partly due to a disagreement on transfers with owner Todd Boehly, which may not bode well given Conte's consistent complaining about the way Spurs work in the market.

Either way, the man who shared a furious handshake with Conte earlier this season could well be the same person to replace the Italian in the Spurs dugout.

 

Luis Enrique

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona player most recently won 27 of 48 games as Spain head coach, but international football can be a different world to the top-level club game.

Luis Enrique was very successful in his last club job at Barca, though it admittedly helped having a front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all at their peak.

He won two LaLiga titles, three Copa del Rey crowns, a Supercopa de Espana, a European Super Cup and a Club World Cup, as well as the 2014-15 Champions League as part of a historic treble.

Overall, Luis Enrique won 87 of his 114 LaLiga games (2.4 PPG), but it is difficult to compare this to counterparts at Spurs given Barca's relative dominance in Spain.

His record at Roma earlier in his career could be a better barometer, winning 16 of his 38 Serie A games in charge of the Giallorossi (1.5 PPG), before winning 14 of 38 LaLiga matches as head coach of Celta Vigo (1.3 PPG) before heading to Camp Nou. But how relevant are these spells now given he left Balaidos nine years ago?

Similarly, the fact he's not had a club job since 2017 might be seen as problematic by some fans, while it could also be argued he underachieved with Spain.

Roberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi has made his mark on the Premier League very quickly since replacing Graham Potter at Brighton and Hove Albion in September.

Brighton have thrived and find themselves in a genuine fight for Europe, with a top-four finish not out of the question at this stage as they sit seven points behind fourth-placed Spurs with three games in hand.

De Zerbi has won eight of his 19 Premier League games, while the Seagulls rank second in the Premier League for passing accuracy (86.9 per cent), average possession (62.1 per cent) and passes per sequence (4.5). They are also third for goals (35) and fifth for passes played into the opposition's box since his first game, highlighting an attack-minded approach that would certainly be appreciated by a frustrated Spurs fanbase.

Getting him out of Brighton will be easier said than done, however, having already lost one head coach this season, not to mention their renown for getting a good deal – Potter reportedly cost Chelsea £21.5million.

Spurs will almost certainly have to pay through the nose or look elsewhere.

Oliver Glasner

A surprise name that has emerged in recent days is that of Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner, who impressed so many by leading the Bundesliga club to Europa League success last season.

Glasner made a promising start to his coaching career in his native Austria with Ried and LASK, before guiding Wolfsburg to seventh and fourth-placed finishes in the German top-flight.

He then made the switch to Eintracht ahead of the 2021-22 season. He could only guide them to 11th in the Bundesliga, winning just three of their 17 games in the second half of the campaign, but this came amid the backdrop of Europa League glory, eliminating Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham before beating Rangers in the final on penalties.

Some reports suggest Levy has already contacted Glasner, whose contract expires in 2024.

This season, Eintracht sit sixth in the league and were recently knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Napoli.

Dejan Kulusevski did not take offence to Antonio Conte's criticism of his Tottenham side and is still happy to play under the Spurs coach.

Conte labelled his players "selfish" after Tottenham drew 3-3 with Southampton, despite leading 3-1 with 15 minutes to go.

It came just two weeks after Tottenham, who are fourth in the Premier League, exited both the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of a week.

Conte is widely expected to be sacked, but Kulusevski, when asked if he was offended by the coach's comments, said: "No, because I know what I bring to the team every day.

"I know that I prepare myself to do as good as I can, and that's why I can always look myself in the mirror.

“Sometimes I know I don't play good enough, and I can take responsibility for that, but what he said is for him, that's his word.

“I respect him, and he helped me a lot during my career. So, he's still a very important man in our club and in my work.”

Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg suggested Conte needed to be "a little more precise" with his words, but Kulusevski believes the players can have few complaints after a poor run of form.

"He was very disappointed, as were us players, and we have to accept that," said the winger.

"We lost all the cups, we went out in Champions League also. So, I know that sometimes we have to be sad and angry, and that's how he took it.

"Somebody else will take another way; we just have to respect his words.”

As unlikely as it now seems, Kulusevski was then asked if he would still be happy to play under Conte and replied: "Yeah, absolutely.”

Matt Doherty believes Tottenham must stick with Antonio Conte despite his inflammatory outburst in the wake of Spurs' 3-3 draw at Southampton.

Conte lashed out at his players, as well as Tottenham's ownership, after his team surrendered a two-goal lead in the closing stages of Saturday's trip to St Mary's Stadium.

Spurs are now expected to part ways with the former Inter, Chelsea and Juventus coach during the international break.

However, Doherty – who left Spurs to join Atletico Madrid in January – has urged the club to stand by Conte, who he labelled as "one of the best managers of all time".

In a press conference, the Republic of Ireland defender said: "I hope he stays for a long time at Tottenham.

"He's an unbelievable coach, an unbelievable manager. He won't say anything in the press that he won't say to his players, he's completely honest with his players, has the passion for the whole club.

"I hope Tottenham stick by him and hold onto him for as long as possible, he's one of the best managers of all time."

Doherty's seemingly comments contrast with those of his former team-mate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who asked his coach to "elaborate" on the comments the Italian made after the Southampton game.

Hojbjerg said: "I understand that if you want to be successful as a team, you need 11 men who are committed to a project and a culture. But I think he has to elaborate on how he feels before you as a player can start measuring and weighing.

"The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I will take with me.

"You do what you can to please him. What I do know about myself is that I am an honest player. I am a player who always gives 100 per cent of myself for the team."

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg told Antonio Conte to "elaborate" on the remarkable outburst that has left him on the brink of being sacked as Tottenham manager.

The fiery Italian boss said he saw "selfish players" who "do not want to play under pressure" after his side were pegged back in a 3-3 Premier League draw by Southampton on Saturday.

Conte also seemingly took aim at the club's hierarchy when he said: "20 years there is the owner and they never won something. Why?"

Spurs are now expected to wield the axe during the international break. Hojbjerg said he can understand Conte's frustration given disappointing exits in the FA Cup and Champions League to Sheffield United and Milan respectively but thinks there should be a clearer message to help the team get to where they want to be.

"We've all seen it," Hojbjerg told reporters while on Denmark duty. 

"[It was a] very honest and very open press conference he gave. It is because he is not satisfied. You don't do that if you've reached the quarter-final of the Champions League and if you're in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

"It comes from the fact that, unfortunately, we did not get the results we as a team and club wanted. We are still where we want and need to be in the Premier League. But yes, it's hard, I should say.

"I understand that if you want to be successful as a team, you need 11 men who are committed to a project and a culture. But I think he has to elaborate on how he feels before you as a player can start measuring and weighing.

"The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I will take with me. You do what you can to please him. What I do know about myself is that I am an honest player. I am a player who always gives 100 per cent of myself for the team."

When asked if he felt Conte was right to take the course of action he did, Hojbjerg replied: "Fortunately, I am not the one to judge it.

"If that's how he sees it, then you have to be a little more precise in order for you as a player to take it to heart."

He did confirm, though, that Conte did not give his players prior warning of the tirade that was to come.

"He didn't tell us what he wanted to say at the press conference," he said.

"But it is clear that you work with each other every day, you want the best for each other and you want to be successful together. And sometimes the waves go high in football."

Spurs are fourth in the table but each of Newcastle United, Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion own games in hand in a congested fight for Champions League football.

They return to action at home to Everton on April 3.

Former Arsenal and Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has announced his retirement at the age of 39.

The ex-Togo international also had spells with Real Madrid, Tottenham and Crystal Palace during a professional career that started in 2001 with Metz.

Adebayor departed Metz for Monaco in 2003 and it was there where he caught the eye of legendary Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who brought him to the Premier League in January 2006.

City forked out a reported £25million fee for his services in July 2009 and he famously sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate a goal in front of the Gunners' supporters in September that year.

He joined Real Madrid for a short loan spell in January 2011 after falling out of favour under Roberto Mancini and then moved to Tottenham – initially on loan – in August that year.

After having his contract terminated by mutual consent in September 2015, Adebayor had a nomadic end to his career, featuring for Palace, Istanbul Basaksehir, Kayserispor and Olimpia before returning to Togo with Semassi in July 2021.

Announcing his retirement with a video on Instagram, Adebayor wrote: "SEA, from the highs to the lows, my career as a professional athlete has been an incredible journey. 

"Thank you to my fans for being there every step of the way. I'm feeling so grateful for everything, and excited for what's to come!"

Tottenham and Antonio Conte appears set to part ways imminently following the Italian's explosive rant after their 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday.

Conte's Spurs contract is due to expire at the end of this season and he has been linked with a return to Italy to be closer to his family.

Spurs have been eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup but remain firmly in the race to finish in the Premier League's top four, currently sitting fourth but fifth-placed Newcastle United are two points behind with two games in hand.

TOP STORY – SPURS TURN TO EINTRACHT BOSS IN SHOCK MOVE

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is looking to Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte, according to Bild.

The report claims Spurs have already made contact with the Austrian's representatives about the surprise move.

Glasner is yet to sign an extension on his deal from Frankfurt which expires in 2024. Tottenham have Glasner in their sights, having led the Germans to the Europa League title last season.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United and Newcastle United will battle it out to land the signature of Roma forward Paulo Dybala, reports Calciomercatoweb. The Argentinian is set to be available for a bargain price, given he has a release clause for overseas clubs to sign him for just £10.6million (€12m).

– Relevo claims Chelsea are working behind the scenes to make Joao Felix's loan stay at Stamford Bridge permanent beyond this season. The Portuguese joined the Blues in January on a six-month loan from Atletico Madrid, for whom he penned an extension until 2027 on the eve of that move.

– The Times claims Tottenham will demand £100m upfront for captain and star striker Harry Kane, who is out of contract in 2024. Manchester United have been linked with Kane, while Bayern Munich previously showed an interest, although that has reportedly waned.

Juventus' pursuit of Chelsea's midfielder N'Golo Kante has been dealt a blow, with the Frenchman unlikely to leave Stamford Bridge, reports Tuttomercatoweb.

– Football Transfers claims Arsenal will look to tie down Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard on a long-term deal until 2030. His deal expires in 2025.

Arsenal are interested in Salzburg's 22-year-old forward Noah Okafor, claims The Daily Mail. Tottenham and Milan are also keen on the Swiss talent.

Marcus Rashford and Nick Pope have withdrawn from England's squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine after sustaining injuries.

As confirmed by Chelsea head coach Graham Potter last week, Mason Mount has also pulled out through injury.

Pope reported an injury following Newcastle United's 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Friday, while Rashford suffered a knock during Manchester United's 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final victory against Fulham on Sunday.

Tottenham's Fraser Forster has been called up to replace Pope, though England boss Gareth Southgate has decided not to bring in cover for Rashford or Mount.

Veteran goalkeeper Forster has been getting game-time for Tottenham since Hugo Lloris' injury in February.

The 35-year-old has played 13 times for Spurs this season, keeping five clean sheets with a save percentage of 68.8.

Losing Rashford will be a particular blow for Southgate, with the United forward in the form of his life having scored 27 goals in 44 appearances for his club this season.

England play Italy at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on March 23 before hosting Ukraine at Wembley Stadium three days later.

Liverpool are reportedly the most likely landing spot for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the upcoming transfer window.

Milinkovic-Savic, 28, is in his eighth season at Lazio after arriving from Belgian side Genk ahead of the 2015-16 campaign. He has since racked up 330 appearances and 64 goals in all competitions.

A Serbia international with 39 senior caps, the central midfielder has been named Lazio's Player of the Season two years running but his only silverware to show from his stint in Italy is the 2019 Coppa Italia and a pair of Supercoppa Italiana victories in 2017 and 2019.

Milinkovic-Savic is expected to seek a new home next season at a regular Champions League contender, and compared to other in-demand central midfielders he will reportedly be available for an affordable fee.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL LEAD THE RACE FOR MILINKOVIC-SAVIC

According to Calciomercato, Milinkovic-Savic will be available in the off season for a fee in the range of €50million (£44m).

There is only one more year remaining on his current deal, meaning Lazio would likely be on board with a sale if they cannot agree on an extension.

Liverpool are named as the main club with both the interest and the capabilities to facilitate a deal – having been open about their desire to reinforce their midfield – while he is also a "dream" for Serie A rivals Juventus.

 

ROUND-UP

– Todo Fichajes are reporting Aston Villa are interested in making a move for Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku at the end of the season, as he is not expected to return to Stamford Bridge following his stint at Inter.

– According to Football Insider, Chelsea would like to bring in 23-year-old Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier to compete for the starting job with Kepa Arrizabalaga, and they are said to be more willing to meet the £30m asking price than fellow interested clubs Tottenham and Manchester United.

United will look to part ways with club captain Harry Maguire and fellow defender Victor Lindelof after the season to make room and raise funds for incoming transfers, per Football Insider.

– Calciomercato are reporting Juventus and Inter are investigating the possibility of adding 32-year-old out-of-favour Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard.

– According to journalist Ekrem Konur, 27-year-old RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner could be heading back to the Premier League next season amid interest from unnamed clubs.

Gareth Southgate saw no need to lift Harry Kane after the striker's penalty miss sent England out of the World Cup.

Kane missed a spot-kick late on against France in the quarter-finals, having previously beaten his Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris from 12 yards in a thrilling clash that Les Bleus won 2-1.

Yet that failure has not seemed to disrupt Kane's fine season with Tottenham. The 29-year-old has scored 10 goals since the season resumed, with his latest coming against Southampton on Saturday.

And Southgate never felt he had to "pick up the phone" to his captain, who matched Wayne Rooney as England's record goalscorer with his successful penalty against France.

"I don't think it's a big hurdle really," Southgate said of Kane, who has been named in England's squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.

"I had a good chat with him while we were away. I sent him a message before he went back to his club and then I took a step back and had a look at how it was, and I haven't really felt the need to pick the phone up.

"It is there in his performances for Spurs. Sometimes you can busy yourself and look for a pat on the back by getting in touch with a player but I can't take any credit for what he's done."

Kane became Spurs' leading goalscorer in the club's history when he netted against Manchester City in February, surpassing the great Jimmy Greaves.

"What I've observed is a player still super-confident, still ready to perform, still hungry to score goals," Southgate continued.

"He's obviously gone through the personal landmark with Spurs and then there's this one that he's going to nail with us at some point.

"I actually spoke to him earlier this week, but I've been able to take a step back and let him get on with it. Sometimes there's no need to interfere."

Other players who have overcome a setback while on England duty to thrive at club level this season are Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford.

Both enjoyed strong World Cups, having failed to score from the spot in the penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.

Saka has scored 10 goals and assisted a further nine in the Premier League for leaders Arsenal, while Rashford has netted 27 times for United.

"[He] makes me smile. You feel a warmth," Southgate said of Saka.

"You feel a fabulous human being who has broken his way into the team at Arsenal at a time they weren't playing so well – and excelled. Now here they are pushing for the title – and he's excelling again.

"He's recovered from the obvious setback with us. He has the warmth of the fans with him who can see what he's about, can see the genuine nature of his personality.

"He's a top player. He's more and more of a goal threat, he's creating chances, he is totally reliable without the ball. He's a proper team player. I can't speak highly enough of him."

On Rashford, Southgate enthused: "You can see the confidence. He is benefiting from the environment at the club.

"He's in that flow that every player and athlete wants to be in. You can't remain in it forever and you have to try to get back into it when you are out of it, but he is definitely in that moment and he must feel super-confident."

Leeds United, Everton, Southampton and Leicester City all earned big results on Saturday in their efforts to beat the drop.

The Premier League's struggling sides were the big winners from the five matches to take place.

Leeds beat fellow relegation candidates Wolves 4-2, while Everton pegged back Chelsea twice at Stamford Bridge and Southampton came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Tottenham.

Leicester, meanwhile, snatched a draw at Brentford, though 19th-placed Bournemouth lost 3-0 at Aston Villa.

Wolves 2-4 Leeds United: Six-goal thriller and two reds at Molineux

Leeds came out on top in an enthralling encounter at Molineux, with Javi Gracia's side claiming what could be a vital three points in their bid to survive this season.

Jack Harrison put them ahead early on, and he has now been directly involved in four goals (two goals, two assists) in his four Premier League games under Gracia, just one fewer than in his previous 21 matches under Jesse Marsch and Michael Skubala this season (five).

Luke Ayling netted his first league goal since doing so against Wolves exactly a year ago (March 18, 2022) to make it 2-0, with Rasmus Kristensen putting Leeds three ahead.

Their hopes of a comfortable win were dashed when Illan Meslier, on the day he became the youngest goalkeeper in Premier League history to reach 100 appearances, made a mistake that Jonny pounced on, volleying in from 41 yards. That is the furthest distance a player has scored from in the top flight since Wayne Rooney's 58-yard strike for Everton against West Ham in November 2017.

A deflected Matheus Cunha strike gave Wolves hope, but Jonny became the first Wolves player to both score and be sent off in any league game since September 2008. 

Julen Lopetegui was fuming that Wolves were not awarded a first-half penalty and that a foul was not given in the build-up to Rodrigo's late effort for Leeds, with Matheus Nunes then sent off even though he was on the substitutes' bench.

"I'm not waiting for [further apologies]. I just want them [the officials] to do their job," Lopetegui said.

Southampton 3-3 Tottenham: Conte left seething after Ward-Prowse seals comeback

Southampton came from two goals down to avoid defeat for a second time in the Premier League this season, with only Manchester City (P3 W2 D1) avoiding defeat having fallen two goals behind on more occasions this term.

Tottenham, who took the lead through Pedro Porro but saw it cancelled out by Che Adams, restored their advantage through Harry Kane – he has now scored nine headers in the league this season, equalling Duncan Ferguson's single-season record in the competition from 1997-98.

Ivan Perisic took Spurs' tally of Premier League scorers to 162, with only West Ham (164) having more different scorers in the competition's history, yet Theo Walcott pulled one back for Saints. The former Arsenal winger has more top-flight goal involvements (12) and goals (seven) against Tottenham than he does against any other opponent.

Yet Spurs conceded a 14th goal since the season restarted when Pape Sarr was deemed to have fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and James Ward-Prowse converted the penalty. He has been involved in more Premier League goals against Tottenham than he has any other opponent (nine – five goals, four assists).

Brentford 1-1 Leicester City: Barnes holds the Bees

Brentford remain without a win against Leicester in the Premier League (P4 D2 L2). The Bees have not beaten the Foxes in the league since March 1953 (P8 D3 L5 since).

Leicester ended a run of four consecutive defeats in the Premier League but this was just the eighth point they have picked up in 2023 (P10 W2 D2 L6). Only Crystal Palace (five) have picked up fewer points since the turn of the year, while only Everton and Bournemouth (20 and 18 respectively) have conceded more goals in the competition this calendar year than Leicester's 17.

Only Ivan Toney (eight) has scored more home goals for Brentford in the Premier League this season than Mathias Jensen (five), whose goal was the Bees' 19th from a set-piece this term – more than any other side in the division.

Leicester scored from their only shot on target of the game. Harvey Barnes' goal was his ninth of the season – his joint-most in a single Premier League campaign (also nine in 2020-21).

Chelsea 2-2 Everton: Simms snatches huge point

Substitute Ellis Simms scored his first goal for Everton as Sean Dyche's team drew 2-2 at Stamford Bridge, twice coming from behind.

 

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 28 Premier League home games against Everton (W15 D13), but the Toffees can take plenty of confidence from this result.

Joao Felix put Chelsea ahead with his first home goal for the Blues, but Abdoulaye Doucoure equalised from a corner; four of Everton's seven goals under Dyche have come from set-pieces.

Kai Havertz converted a spot-kick to restore Chelsea's lead. He has scored in three consecutive games for the Blues for the second time, previously doing so in March 2022.

However, Simms came on from the bench to earn a point for Everton. The Toffees have now had 13 different goalscorers in the competition this season, with only Arsenal, Chelsea and Leeds (14 each) having more.

Antonio Conte did not hold back as he hit out at Tottenham's players following Saturday's 3-3 draw with Premier League strugglers Southampton.

Spurs led 3-1 in the closing stages at St Mary's Stadium, after Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic netted in quick succession.

Yet Theo Walcott pulled one back for Saints before James Ward-Prowse slammed home a contentiously-awarded penalty deep in stoppage time.

Tottenham have won just one of their last five league away games, and while they sit fourth, they are only two points ahead of Newcastle United having played two games more.

Conte, whose future at Spurs is far from certain, did not mix his words in his post-match media duties, labelling his players as "selfish" and accusing them of lacking fight.

He told reporters: "The problem is we have shown we are not a team. We are 11 players.

"I see selfish players. I see players that don’t want to help each other, that don't play with heart."

Conte suggested the issue in his squad is something that has plagued Spurs since long before he arrived.

"The players don't want to play under pressure, don't want to play under stress. Tottenham's story is this – 20 years and they never won something. Why?" he asked.

"The fault is only the club or every manager that comes here? Until now I try to hide the situation. But there are 10 games to go.

"People think we can fight? Fight for what? With this attitude, this spirit, this commitment. For seventh? Eighth place? I am really upset."

 

Conte reiterated this sentiment when speaking to BBC Sport, saying: "We are winning 3-1 [with] 15 minutes to go and I think you have to win. 

"I don't want to talk about the technical aspect, the spirit is missing. We are not a team. We are a team where everyone is thinking of himself.

"When you are in this way that can happen, you lose against Sheffield United and drop [out of] the FA Cup and with Milan [in the Champions League]. I don't see the sense of responsibility of the players.

"Now it's difficult – we are working hard with this group and to move in the right direction. We are going behind, I see a lot of negative situations and a lot of selfish situations and players that I don't like.

"I know the way to beat teams, in the past I beat a lot of teams, winning teams. I have great frustration about this because me and the staff stay every day to think of a way to improve.

"Honestly, it's time I have to take responsibility for me, the staff, the club but also the players. The players go onto the pitch, I'm the coach, OK I take the responsibility, the players have to take some.

"What happened in the last period is unacceptable and I tried every moment to speak to try to improve the situation and to transfer the importance to be a team and to help each other, but I'm not seeing this."

Conte concluded with a blunt summary of Spurs' campaign.

"In a process where you want to build something, the tactical aspect is important, but the spirit is important," he said.

"The mind has to stay focused and despite one and a half years, I saw much more last season.

"This season, we are going backwards."

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