Barcelona 'tracking' Chelsea's Azpilicueta, Tottenham Covid postponements LATEST, Newcastle target Elneny – updates

TOTTENHAM'S Premier League clash at Brighton on Sunday is OFF as Spurs Covid crisis grows.

Eight Spurs stars and five staff members have tested positive, leaving boss Antonio Conte with only 11 fit players and a fixture headache.

Thursday night's Europa Conference League tie at Rennes was postponed 24 hours before kick-off.

And on Thursday Tottenham said in a statement: "We can confirm that our Premier League fixture at Brighton & Hove Albion, on Sunday, December 12 at 2pm, has been postponed following a Premier League Board meeting this afternoon (Thursday)."

Elsewhere, Eddie Howe is eyeing up Stoke striker Tyrese Campbell as his first signing at Newcastle.

The son of former Everton forward Kevin Campbell, Tyrese has scored twice in nine games for the Potters this season.

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Get all the latest football news, updates and transfer gossip below…

  • Kostas Lianos

    GINI OUT

    Arsenal have been linked with former Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum, who is “not completely happy” at Paris Saint-Germain.

    According to Sky Sports, Wijnaldum would be interested in a loan move back to the Premier League after struggling for minutes at PSG.

    And Arsenal need midfield reinforcements, especially as Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny head to the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

    Wijnaldum said two months ago: “I can’t say I’m completely happy because the situation is not what I wanted.

    “But that’s football and I’ll have to learn to deal with that. I’m a fighter.

    “I have to stay positive and work hard to turn it around.

    “I was really looking forward to the new step and then this happens. It is very difficult”

  • Kostas Lianos

    GERRARD ON SALAH

    Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is set for an emotional return to Anfield on Saturday to face his beloved Liverpool.

    Gerrard spent 17 years with the Reds and won nine major titles, including the 2005 Champions League.

    The Villa boss has been watching the MEerseysiders and has immense praise for Mohamed Salah.

    Gerrard said: "Mohamed Salah is 100 per cent the best player in the world now"

  • Kostas Lianos

    AZPI UPDATE

    Chelsea are concerned that captain Cesar Azpilicueta could leave as a free agent this summer.

    That is according to ESPN, who report that players and staff fear Azpilicueta won't sign a new deal with the Blues.

    The full-back's contract expires this summer and the club is trying to convince him to stay.

    However, the Spain international is being "watched" by Barcelona in the meantime

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    PERFECT TEN

    Manchester City and Manchester United look set for a bidding war over Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.

    That is according to the Telegraph, who claim Ten Hag’s has attracted the attention of City after manager Pep Guardiola announced last summer that he intends to leave the club in 2023 when his contract expires.

    Guardiola claimed he wants to take a break from club football and try his luck in the international scene at the end of next season.

    But rivals United are also keeping tabs on the former Utrecht manager shortly after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Rangnick has replaced Solskjaer as interim boss and will then take on a role as a consultant for the next two years.

    Some claim this temporary arrangement was made in order to try and lure Ten Hag in May.

  • Kostas Lianos

    ELNENY REMINDER

    Arsenal ace Mohamed Eleny is being targeted by Newcastle ahead of the January transfer window.

    That is according to the Mirror, who report Magpies boss Eddie Howe is targeting Elneny in his bid to save the mega rich club from the drop.

    The midfielder’s contract runs out in June, but the Toon want to land him six months earlier for a low fee.

    The Egypt international is one of five players Howe is understood to have included on his wishlist

  • Kostas Lianos

    MAR-CHING ORDER

    Anthony Martial’s agent has confirmed his client wishes to depart from Manchester United in January.

    Martial is not pleased with the amount of minutes he has had this season and wishes to consider other clubs’ offers.

    The forward’s representative Philippe Lamboley told Sky Sports News: “Anthony wishes to leave the club in January.

    “He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon”

  • Kostas Lianos

    HAALAND CLAUSE

    Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola confirmed no decision will be made regarding his client’s future in the winter and remained coy about his reported £64million bargain release clause.

    Haaland has been previously linked with a move to Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

    Raiola told SPORT 1″We will tell BVB [Borussia Dortmund] what our idea is and BVB will tell us their ideas. But no decision will be made in the winter.

    “He is someone who wants to develop, who is looking for new challenges. And of course it’s also a question of the alternative. You only change if you have a better alternative.”

    “Whatever is in a contract is in a contract. That remains between me and the player.

    “There are only two parties who are allowed to say something to the outside world – the club and the player. I never talk about details. We and Dortmund know exactly what has to happen. We have structured it very clearly.

    “Contract or not, we always have very open communication with [Hans-Joachim] Watzke, [Michael] Zorc and now [Sebastian] Kehl. We deal with each other honestly. That is much more important than anything written on paper.

    “Paper is only there if something goes wrong, then you need that. But not otherwise”

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    “BIG CHANCE”

    Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola has revealed there is a “big chance” his client will leave Borussia Dortmund this summer.

    Raiola admitted that Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester City and even cash-strapped Barcelona are the clubs Haaland could join.

    Manchester United have also been previously linked with the star striker but his representative hinted that he favours City because they won the title “much more” times than the Red Devils.

    Chelsea have also been monitoring the Norway international, just like Juventus.

    The super agent told SPORT1: “Maybe this summer, maybe the summer after. But there is a big chance that Erling will leave this summer. We will see.

    “He can and will take the next step. Bayern, Real, Barcelona, City – these are the big clubs he can go to. City have won the championship five times in the last few years, much more than United.

    “We all knew when we moved to Dortmund that this step would come”

  • Kostas Lianos

    ARSENAL-SOUTHAMPTON PREVIEW

    Arsenal host Southampton in a Premier League clash at the Emirates on Saturday.

    Gunners boss Mikel Arteta received an injury boost against Everton on Monday when he welcomed Granit Xhaka back.

    But Arteta received a fresh blow when Gabriel Martinelli limped off with a hamstring issue.

    Martinelli joins Sead Kolasinac (ankle) on the sidelines, while second-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno remains a doubt.

    But the Spanish head coach is hopeful of welcoming Emile Smith Rowe back to the team after he missed the game at Goodison Park.

    Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, on the other hand, will be without suspended duo Oriol Romeu and Mohamed Salisu.

    But Ibrahima Diallo and Jack Stephens are ready to deputise for the Saints pair.

    Stuart Armstrong and Jan Bednarek continue to nurse a calf injury, while goalkeepers Fraser Forster and Alex McCarthy are both out of contention.

    That means new signing Willy Caballero could make his debut at the age of 40

  • Kostas Lianos

    STERLING BLOW

    Arsenal have been dealt with a transfer blow amid their reported interest in Manchester City star Raheem Sterling.

    According to El Nacional, Barcelona boss Xavi is willing to make Sterling an ‘undisputed starter’ at Camp Nou, something City manager Pep Guardiola is not offering at the Etihad.

    But the cash-strapped Barca don’t have the £60million the Citizens want for the winger.

    A January loan move has been touted, although the club can only afford half of his £300k-a-week salary.

    The Blaugrana did offer a swap deal involving Ousmane Dembele in the summer, but Guardiola only has eyes for Pedri

  • Kostas Lianos

    CAN LIV WITH THAT 

    Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips is ready to snub Manchester United for Liverpool in the summer, reports SunSport’s Jon Boon.

    United are desperate to boost their midfield, especially with Paul Pogba’s contract coming up in the summer, and Phillips is a top target.

    The Reds are also interested in the England international, who was outstanding at Euro 2020.

    However, the 26-year-old’s loyalty towards his current employers has made him wary of a move to the Yorkshire side’s rivals.

    SunSport has learned Phillips is unwilling to upset Leeds supporters and harm his status at the club by making a switch to Old Trafford.

    He believes they would, instead, be much more accepting of a move to Anfield if he looks to progress his career

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    EUR OUT

    Rennes are demanding the cancellation of their Europa Conference League match with Tottenham after confirmation of the game's postponement.

    Spurs and the Rennais were scheduled to meet last night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for their final group stage match but the hosts have been stricken by a coronavirus outbreak with a reported 17 cases — eight players and nine members of staff.

    According to the Daily Mail, Rennes have told Uefa they will not be accepting the new date and are furious with Tottenham, as they had already travelled to London.

    According to Ouest France, the Prem outfit has proposed that the match could be moved to next Wednesday

  • Kostas Lianos

    NEW RESTRICTIONS

    Premier league clubs are involved in another ruck with top-flight chiefs over who refunds fans who miss matches because of the latest Covid-19 restrictions.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the introduction of the Government’s Plan B against the Omicron variant in Downing Street.

    That will see “vaccine passports” introduced for entry to all sporting events with crowds of more than 10,000, starting from Wednesday.

    Initially, fans will have to show they are double vaccinated or proof of a negative test within 24 hours of a game to be allowed in.

    It is not clear if that means every supporter being checked or a continuation of spot tests, with the Government weighing up whether it should delegate decisions to local Safety Advisory Groups to make a final call.

    But a number of Premier League clubs fear that fans may want rebates on their match or season tickets if they feel the restrictions are too onerous.

    And the teams are urging Prem chiefs to stump up the money rather than seeing their funds take another Covid hit.

  • William Pugh

    GOOD MORNING FOOTY FANS

    Tottenham’s Premier League clash at Brighton on Sunday is off as their Covid crisis mounts.

    Eight Spurs players and five staff members have tested positive, leaving boss Antonio Conte with only 11 fit stars.

    Thursday night's Europa Conference League tie at Rennes was also postponed 24 hours before kick-off.

    The French side are now demanding the game be cancelled entirely, and are furious with Tottenham as they had already travelled to London.

    The Ligue 1 side claim the North Londoners refused to reveal the number of players affected by Covid-19 when competition rules dictate a game must be played if the team has at least 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper.

    And there are some serious questions being raised about when the match can actually take place, given Uefa’s rule stating all group fixtures must be completed by December 31.

    Meanwhile, Barcelona will reportedly place a number of players on the transfer list ahead of the January window.

    According to Gerard Romero, Frenkie de Jong, Sergino Dest and Marc Andre Ter-Stegen are set to be replaced next year as Xavi looks to overhaul the squad.

    The decision comes after Barcelona crashed out their Champions League group.

    And Premier League clubs are set to be on red alert for any bargains available this winter.

    Finally, Newcastle have been told to look elsewhere for a director of football after Arsenal legend Marc Overmars signed a contract extension at Ajax.

    The Dutch icon has put pen to paper on a new deal to keep him at the Johan Cruyff Arena until June 2026.

    Overmars said: “I still feel very excited by my work and get a lot of satisfaction out of it.

    “I have a feeling that my work at Ajax is not done yet, so I would like to continue here.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    TIMO TIME

    Timo Werner revealed he has never struggled so much to get back on track after a knock.

    He said: “After my injury, it was difficult to come back after one month. I never had something like that before.

    "It was important to come back in shape and the two goals helped me get back to a level to what I had before the injury.

    “But in the end, you play as a team and when you don’t win you are disappointed.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    KAL THE DOCTOR

    Kalvin Phillips is being lined-up for surgery on the shoulder injury which almost wrecked his Euro 2020 dream.

    The England star, who is wanted by both Manchester United and Liverpool, is out until February with a serious hamstring problem.

    And Leeds are looking for ways to fit in a separate operation during his two-month spell on the sidelines.

    Phillips suffered a nasty dislocation against West Brom in the final game of last season which he initially feared would rule him out of last summer’s European Championship.

    The 28-year-old postponed surgery to play a major role in England’s march to the final and Leeds now are considering whether to use this lay-off for their key midfielder to go under the knife.

  • Anthony Chapman

    EXCLUSIVE BY DAN CUTTS

    Man Utd have been handed a boost with Raphael Varane set to return to full training on Friday.

    The 28-year-old defender has been struggling since late October after picking up a groin injury while away with France.

    He has been recovering in the gym before returning to the training pitch within the last ten days.

    And SunSport understands Varane has now been given the all-clear to join in with full contact first-team action.

    The ex-Real Madrid man could even be back on the bench when United travel to Norwich on Saturday night.

    But it is more likely he will return against Brentford next Tuesday, with more fitness under his belt.

  • Anthony Chapman

    ROSE ABOVE

    Danny Rose has been told he is not fit enough by Watford boss Claudio Ranieri.

    The Hornets boss declared: “I am very confident with him but he has to improve more.

    “I remember Danny when he played at Tottenham and the England national team and I need this Danny.

    “I think it is more fitness than a confidence issue. When he came he was down on fitness and now he has improved a lot but he needs to improve more.

    “It is difficult though to say how long that will take.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    DON IN THE DUMPS

    Donny van de Beek blames himself for Young Boys' shock 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

    He said: "For me, lost the ball in the middle, maybe I should kick the ball away.

    "I didn't do that. I take responsibility for that. And after that I think it was a little bit difficult. 

    "I think we didn't get enough pressure on them, with the ball as well we lost too many balls and it's really difficult to command the game.

    "I think first 30 minutes was okay.

    "We [scored] a good goal from Mason, after that we have a few chances to make it 2-0 or 3-0.

    'We didn't do that. I think if we'd done that it would have been much easier."

  • Anthony Chapman

    SLICE OF THE ACTION

    Antonio Conte popped out for pizza as Spurs were hit by a Covid crisis.

    The Italian manager enjoyed a taste of home as he enjoyed a few slices in London.

    Tottenham’s Europa League game against Rennes on Thursday was axed due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club.

    And now their weekend Premier League clash with Brighton has also been postponed as the fixtures begin to pile up.

  • Anthony Chapman

    DRAW UP PLANS

    Liverpool and Man City are both in the bag for Monday's Champions League draw.

    Let's take a look at their potential opponents…

  • Anthony Chapman

    LEICEST WE FORGET

    Hundreds of Leicester fans were 20 minutes late for their Europa League clash with Napoli after police led their coaches the WRONG WAY.

    Away supporters complained on social media about delays to shuttle buses to the Maradona Stadium.

    And up to 600 of them are understood to have been made late to the game after their coaches took a wrong turn.

    Fan Sam_Lambert7 wrote on Twitter: “2 hours on a bus to the ground and still over an hour away. Only bonus is it’ll mean I miss us going 2-0 down after 10.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    PARTY’S OVER

    Newcastle have been told to look elsewhere for a director of football after Arsenal legend Marc Overmars signed a contract extension at Ajax.

    The Dutch icon has put pen to paper on a new deal to keep him at the Johan Cruyff Arena until June 2026.

    Overmars said: “I still feel very excited by my work and get a lot of satisfaction out of it.

    “I have a feeling that my work at Ajax is not done yet, so I would like to continue here.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    NAPOLI 3 LEICESTER 2

    Brendan Rodgers' Foxes have been dumped out of the Europa League after defeat in Italy.

    Leicester battle back from two goals down to level the game but couldn't stop Napoli from eventually winning.

    And after Legia Warsaw were beaten 1-0 by Spartak Moscow, the Foxes have dropped into the Conference League.

  • Anthony Chapman

    BRIGHT IDEA

    Tottenham’s Premier League clash at Brighton on Sunday is off as their Covid crisis mounts.

    Eight Spurs players and five staff members have tested positive, leaving boss Antonio Conte with only 11 fit players.

    Thursday night's Europa Conference League tie at Rennes was also postponed 24 hours before kick-off.

    Source: Read Full Article