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Transfer news LIVE: Haaland and Sancho to Man United, Arsenal Ozil talks, Bale Tottenham debut, Messi latest

Guendouzi: I needed game time to express myself

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi insists a loan move to Hertha Berlin was necessary in order to express himself once more. 

Speaking following France U21’s 5-0 win over Liechtenstein, he was asked whether he still had a future at Arsenal. 

“It is not that, I just really needed to play this year, a new challenge,” he said, as per The Mirror. “That was the most important thing for me. I am still young, I am only 21, so playing time was the top priority for me.

Photo: Getty

“I know that by going to Hertha Berlin, I’ll be able to really express myself in a great league, so everything is perfect.

“They’re a very good German club, with great ambition, so I’ve gone on loan for a year over there.

“I’m going to give everything for this club. I needed game time, to enjoy myself on the pitch and that’s what I’m going to do this year.”

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Thiago Silva reveals he joined Chelsea on free transfer after Lampard gave him vote of confidence despite turning 36

THIAGO SILVA claims he joined Chelsea after being given the vote of confidence by Frank Lampard despite turning 36 tomorrow.

The legendary Brazilian centre-back completed a stunning free transfer to Stamford Bridge last month after an eight-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain.

Thiago Silva admits he joined Chelsea due to his admiration for Frank Lampard


Thiago Silva admits he joined Chelsea due to his admiration for Frank LampardCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Lampard had no qualms about signing Silva despite his advancing years


Lampard had no qualms about signing Silva despite his advancing yearsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Silva penned a one-year contract with the option to extend it for another season.

And Chelsea fans will be praying he can improve their leaky defence following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Ex-AC Milan star Silva has done it all during a glistening career that’s seen him rack up an incredible 741 appearances.

He has eight league titles to his name and led Brazil to glory at last year’s Copa America.

However, some have questioned whether Silva has the legs to deal with the pace of English football.

But the veteran is confident of earning his keep in west London.

And Silva claims the confidence shown in him by Lampard during talks was enough to seal a deal with Chelsea over the summer.

Silva told the club’s official website: “First and foremost, I came because Chelsea is an amazing team and one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“It helps when you’re welcomed so warmly, particularly by a coach who played until relatively recently, because in football there are very strong preconceptions regarding the age of players. 

“But I know about his experience when he first arrived at Manchester City, theoretically at the end of his career. He endured the same sort of thing as I’ve gone through.

“So even from the outside, without knowing me personally, he knows how hard I work to remain at the highest level. The confidence that he showed in me – that was all it took. 

“For me, that confidence was the single most important factor. To hear that he believed in me, that he thought that I could come here and make a positive contribution. 

“With our young group, as well as some more experienced players like our captain [Cesar] Azpilicueta, we’ve got all it takes for a great season.

“You can be sure that I’ll do everything I can to repay that confidence out on the pitch. We’ve signed some top players and we’ve got a squad capable of putting together a great season so that’s what we’re going to try and do.”

Silva also reflected on the time he played against Lampard in 2013 during a 2-2 draw between England and Brazil.

Silva added: “It was a long time ago now, so it’s hard to talk about that particular game but I could see his quality whenever I saw him playing for England or Chelsea. 

“He stood out for his technique, for the quality of his long and short passing, and his exceptional mid- and long-range shooting. Those are qualities that fans of great football will always notice. 

“Quality players stick in your mind and you need that to be the captain of England, not just leadership. Actually, the two go hand-in-hand – you need the quality as a player to be able to lead the group and that’s what he had.

“He had the necessary qualities to be a captain because people saw what a great player he was.”

Fikayo Tomori talks about his football beginnings at Chelsea football club

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Transfer news LIVE: Lionel Messi latest, Arsenal and Liverpool battle for Thiago Alcantara, and Chelsea close in on Thiago Silva

The Independent employs reporters around the world to bring you truly independent journalism. To support us, please consider a contribution.

After Bayern Munich defeated Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final, now the attention turns to the transfer market, with developments set to ramp up, including Lionel Messi, with Paris Saint-Germain openly revealing that he would “welcome” the player, even though he expects the Argentine to stay at the Nou Camp.

The surprise news on Sunday was that Arsenal have joined Liverpool in the race to sign Thiago Alcantara, who was sublime in the Lisbon final, with Hansi Flick admitting he does not know where his future lies. Jadon Sancho remains at Borussia Dortmund too, with Manchester United close to walking away from talks.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s move for Ben Chilwell may have hit the rocks after appearing to be close to completion, while Thiago Silva looks close to agreeing a one-year deal – all that and more in Monday’s transfer live blog:

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Arsenal appear to be one of the most busy sides in Europe with Gabriel Magalhaes close to finalising a deal to link up with Mikel Arteta.

Leicester are targeting Ajax’s Nico Tagliafico as Ben Chilwell’s replacement. While the Blues could battle it out with the Gunners and Barcelona for Malang Sarr, who is available on a free transfer.

Speaking of the Catalan club, Lionel Messi‘s future remains in doubt and the Blaugrana are now preparing a response should the Argentine hand in a transfer request.

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Paul Pogba lifts lid on his initial response to Bruno Fernandes transfer

Manchester United star Paul Pogba has hit the ground running alongside Bruno Fernandes – and he insists that is no co-incidence.

The signing of midfielder Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in a big-money January move led to questions over Pogba’s future at Old Trafford.

But the Frenchman, who was sidelined after ankle surgery at the time, has now opened up on his initial response to the news.

And he says his first reaction was to gain an understanding of his new team-mate and analyse his game so they could strike up an instant chemistry on the pitch.

It certainly appears to have done the trick, with the pair being the driving force behind a stunning run of form since the Premier League restart.

Bruno Fernandes joining Man Utd in January led to questions over Paul Pogba’s future

“When Bruno arrived, I get that I need to understand him straight away,” Pogba told BT Sport.

“I didn’t want one month to adapt to his game so I watched him, watched his position, how he used the ball, what he’s good at so when I came back we could do well together.

“Straight away when I get to him [Bruno], I know ‘I can make this run’, ‘I know I have to pass him the ball there because he is dangerous there’.

“I try to analyse how he plays with the team, how to improve my positioning and stuff like that.”

The two superstars have flourished in the same line-up together

Speaking last month, Pogba outlined how he is enjoying playing alongside Fernandes and the rest of United’s attacking talent.

“From behind I just enjoy it,” he told United’s website.

“I’m enjoying just watching Bruno, Rashford, Martial and Mason, who all played the last game, and seeing them score goals.

“You just keep applauding, it’s beautiful – they make me enjoy football every time.”

Fernandes also addressed his on-field relationship with Pogba after they beat Brighton but insisted the focus should be on their team-mates.

Pogba closely analysed his new team-mate and it has seemingly paid off

Fernandes said: ”Paul is an amazing player but I don’t want to talk too much about me and Paul. It is not fair enough on the other team-mates.

“Of course Paul has such good qualities and is so much important for us and I think we can combine together.

“We have qualities and we can play together, but also we know we have some team-mates who can do very well when we are out.

“I think it’s not fair on the other guys if we talk just about me and Paul.

“There are so many good players here. Look at the work of Scotty [McTominay], Nemanja [Matic]… these guys have done so well. Then you have Juan [Mata] and Jesse [Lingard] all excellent players, great No. 10s.”

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Sancho terms ‘AGREED’, Bruno Fernandes and Pogba INJURED, Grealish transfer ‘DONE’ – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED host Bournemouth this afternoon as they aim to extend their winning run to an incredible 16 matches.

And Jack Grealish has reportedly all but agreed to join the Red Devils while defensive target Kalidou Koulibaly’s asking price has been slashed to £64m.

Follow ALL of the latest United news here…

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Emile Heskey sends warning to James Maddison over Man Utd transfer

Maddison has impressed during his two seasons in the top flight (Picture: Getty Images)

Emile Heskey has advised James Maddison not to rush a move to a ‘bigger club’ like Manchester United and instead stay at Leicester City for another ‘two or three years’.

The 23-year-old has emerged as one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top priority targets for the next transfer window, with the Norwegian boss aiming to add another creative midfielder to his squad.

Maddison has been instrumental in the Foxes’ push for the Champions League places, registering six goals and three assists in the Premier League this season.

However, former Leicester striker Heskey warned the midfielder that although a move to a top club is on the horizon, he still has room to grow under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers.

Speaking exclusively to 888sport, he said: ‘Maddison has to look at himself and find out where his pathway lies. He is still a young lad with many years ahead of him and a lot of learning still to do.

‘He has a great teacher in Brendan Rodgers, but at some stage he will be wondering what his next path will be.

‘That he has taken it so far at Leicester and now what is the next path, so at some stage he will be looking to move to a bigger club.

‘Right now though I don’t see why he can’t stay for another two or three years, that will still only take him to 25.’

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is another midfield target for Solskjaer (Picture: Getty Images)

Northern Irish boss Rodgers has turned the Midlands club’s fortunes around since taking over from Claude Puel in February 2019, and Heskey isn’t surprised he is being linked with big clubs.

‘I just think Brendan Rodgers is a very good football coach and they have bought into his philosophy,’ he added.

‘He’s got a great philosophy that he implemented at Swansea, Liverpool and Celtic and he got results.

‘Now he’s doing the same at Leicester and he’s still getting good results. Now everyone is being linked to so-called bigger clubs, that’s how you know how well he is doing.

More: Manchester United FC

‘I think Leicester are a little bit away from being a top four club consistently, that’s because I don’t think Spurs, Chelsea, and Arsenal will have another bad season as they’ve had.

‘So top four no. But top six, one hundred per cent. I don’t think top four is Leicester’s priority right now.

‘Their priority is taking things one step at a time and cementing themselves in the top eight and then saying, “Okay, where’s the next one? Top six. Right, let’s move up to that one”. You can’t just jump into the top four.’

Read the full 888sport interview with Emile Heskey here.

MORE: Gary Neville reveals the real reason Ravel Morrison didn’t make it at Manchester United

MORE: Paul Ince claims ‘diabolical’ Paul Pogba has been shown up by Manchester United new boy Bruno Fernandes

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For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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Jadon Sancho ‘unofficially confirms Old Trafford transfer’, Saul eyed as Pogba replacement – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED fans may have to wait until JULY to see their team play in the Premier League again.

But despite the top-flight’s return date still not confirmed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is focusing on a big summer overhaul.

We’ve got updates on the futures of Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba, who looks set to leave with Aaron Ramsey or Saul Niguez joining in his place.

Follow all the latest gossip and news from Old Trafford below…

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Man Utd ‘have shirt number ready’ if they seal Jadon Sancho transfer

Manchester United reportedly have a shirt number ready for Jadon Sancho if the Borussia Dortmund winger signs for them this summer.

United are confident they can lure Sancho to Old Trafford this summer – despite the coronavirus pandemic having halted negotiations with the 20-year-old.

There is a feeling at United that if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side secure Champions League football, they will beat the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and PSG to Sancho’s signature.

And in a bid to convince him star he can have a great future with United, club chiefs are ready to offer him the iconic number seven shirt, according to the Evening Standard.

Sancho would be following in the footsteps of United legends George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo by wearing seven.

Jadon Sancho is Manchester United’s top target this summer

The current incumbent, Alexis Sanchez, has been less successful than his predecessors in the shirt and was shipped out to Inter Milan on loan last summer.

United hope to sell the Chilean this summer, but if they fail to do so they could strip him of the seven shirt anyway and hand it to Sancho, according to Metro.

Sancho has been in superb form again this season, with the player scoring 17 goals and creating 17 assists in all competitions for the Bundesliga side.

It is thought Dortmund would be willing to let him go if they receive an offer they can’t refuse, and they value the 20-year-old at around £130m.

United are set to offer Sancho the iconic number seven shirt worn by Cristiano Ronaldo

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United and PSG could therefore be set for a bidding war for Sancho, who is one of the most highly-sought after young players in the world.

Liverpool have also been linked with a swoop for Sancho in recent months, but it is understood Jurgen Klopp is prioritising a move for RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

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Arsenal transfer news: Granit Xhaka’s agent addresses midfielder’s future

Granit Xhaka‘s agent has admitted that the midfielder wants to leave Arsenal in January.

Jose Noguera told Swiss publication BLICK that Xhaka has agreed personal terms with Hertha Berlin and that Arsenal have been informed of his desire to leave when the transfer window opens next month.

The Swiss international’s future has been in doubt ever since he swore at Arsenal’s supporters after being substituted against Crystal Palace at the end of September. Xhaka was subsequently stripped of the captaincy and dropped by then manager Unai Emery.

“Look, I will say it frankly and honestly: we are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin,” Noguera said.

“That’s what we said Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu Gaspar – as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.”

The news comes just hours after Mikel Arteta claimed Xhaka still had a future at Arsenal and revealed Manchester City had considered signing the player in July 2016.

“When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list,” Arteta said. “This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.

“He has done some really good things and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that, I think, was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded. But I have been amazed as well by how this relationship is starting to come back a little bit and I think the fans have been very, very positive about him. Obviously it is difficult to change completely the scenario from where he was to a magnificent one. But I think we are in the right direction with him.”

Click here for our guide on how to watch all Amazon Prime Premier League fixtures for free, on 26 and 27 of December.

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