Football news LIVE: Chelsea BLOW in Christoph Freund hunt, Leicester pricing up cost of Rodgers sacking… – The Sun

  • September 20, 2022

MANCHESTER UNITED and Tottenham target Memphis Depay has revealed that he snubbed a Premier League move to fight for his spot at Barcelona.
Depay was offered to various clubs in England's top-flight football but the Dutchman has told ESPN that he 'loves competition' and he doesn't 'walk away from it'.
Meanwhile, RB Salzburg CEO Stephan Reiter has denied Chelsea are close to hiring Christoph Freund as sporting director.
The transfer guru, 45, was reported to have held talks with the Blues as Todd Boehly looks to hire a sporting director.
How to get free bets on football – the 17 best bookies to claim rewards and bonuses
Stay up to date with all the latest from around the grounds…
Toney slams ‘cringey’ Arsenal 
Ivan Toney branded Arsenal “cringey” for their Twitter jibes.
The England new boy enraged the Gunners by posting “Nice kickabout with the boys” after his Brentford side beat them 2-0 last season.
That tweet was repeated by Alexandre Lacazette when Arsenal defeated the Bees at the Emirates last term — and again by Gabriel when his team won 3-0 at Brentford on Sunday.
But striker Toney — called up by England for the first time before Friday’s clash with Italy — said: “Once was funny but the second time was a bit cringey.
“I bit my tongue, I wanted to reply, I wanted to nibble.
“But fair play to them, they played very well. They are a different Arsenal side to what we played before. They are doing well.”
World Cup beer drinking catch
England fans can drink beer during matches at the World Cup in Qatar – as long as it’s non-alcoholic Budweiser Zero.
The news comes after it was revealed alcoholic lager will cost around £13-a-pint when the event starts in 60 days.
Ticket holders will be able to buy pricey pints within the stadium perimeter before and after matches.
But while the match is in progress and at half-time, Budweiser Zero will be the only beer on sale for around £6-a-pint.
But thirsty Three Lions fans have been warned not to sup alcohol outside designated areas – and not to attempt to smuggle their own booze into the Muslim country – risking fines and deportation if they do so.
A FIFA spokesman said its goal was “catering for those who wish to enjoy an alcoholic drink while being respectful towards the local culture”.
Malacia not ‘stressed’ by Shaw competition
Manchester United summer signing Tyrell Malacia was not “stressed” about competing with Luke Shaw for the starting left-back spot.
The 23-year-old says he knew what his “qualities are” and knew his time would come.
And when he was called upon by Erik ten Hag, he took it.
Malacia told Rijnmond: “I wasn’t stressed then. I know what my qualities are.
“I knew that, in the end, I would be a good competitor for that position.
“If I got that one chance, I would have to grab it.
“It didn’t work out (in the first two games), so then the manager made the choice to let me start against Liverpool.
“Then you have to turn up.”
Forest secure 23RD summer transfer 
Steve Cooper has made goalkeeper Adnan Kanuric his 23rd summer signing for big-spending Nottingham Forest.
The 22-year-old has been training with the Reds' first team after his contract with FK Sarajevo expired in July and he has impressed enough to earn a contract.
Forest issued a short statement to confirm they had signed the Bosnia and Herzegovina Under-21 keeper, who is expected to challenge third-choice Jordan Smith for his Under-21 shirt.
It stated: "Nottingham Forest is pleased to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Adnan Kanuric. Welcome to The Reds, Adnan!"
Austrian-born Kanuric will want to target Forest's experienced back-up keeper Wayne Hennessey who signed a two-year-deal in July.
Depay reveals WHY he snubbed transfer
Manchester United and Tottenham target Memphis Depay claims he snubbed summer moves as he relished fighting for his place at Barcelona.
Depay was reportedly offered to Chelsea BEFORE they signed fellow Barca frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Holland star told ESPN: “Other clubs came and then you just look at your options. I decided to fight for my chance here.
“I was the top scorer of Barca with Aubameyang. I love competition and I don’t walk away from it. I enjoy being at Barca.”
Freund CONFIRMS he has snubbed Blues
Transfer guru Christoph Freund has confirmed he's snubbed Chelsea to stay at RB Salzburg.
The RB sporting director says he was "proud" to hold talks with the Blues about a similar role but leaving his Austrian club was "out of the question".
Freund said: "Yes, it's true that Chelsea wanted me and we had talks.
"When such a big club asks it not only honours me and the work of Salzburg.
"It is of course a circumstance that entails personal considerations. 
"But I've come to the conclusion I'm in the best hands with Salzburg and that a change is out of the question for me."
But he admitted: "I was thinking about the Chelsea director job as I have been proud of the interest shown by such a top club."
Gunners eye Lindstrom
Arsenal are interested in Eintracht Frankfurt’s Jesper Lindstrom, according to reports.
The 22-year-old helped the German side win the Europa League last term.
According to 90min, Arsenal are keen on the versatile midfielder to bolster their options in the middle of the park.
The Denmark international, who scored five goals across all comps last term, has a market value of £15million.
Wanda Nara’s spending revealed
Mauro Icardi and wife Wanda Nara splurged £440,000 PER MONTH as they lived the high life in Paris.
That is according to Argentine journalist Augusto Tartufoli, who revealed details of the couple's mindboggling spending habits.
He said: "They were used to a standard of living in which Wanda spent approximately 400,000 to 500,000 euros to live.
"Her entourage explains that this money goes towards the house in Milan, the international schools their children attend and so on."
Tartufoli went on to explain that Icardi earned almost £9m per year while with Paris Saint-Germain.
However, the pair will be forced to tighten their belts following Icardi's move to Turkey.
Pochettino open to Nice
Ex-Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is open to joining Nice, according to reports.
The Argentine was let go by the Parisians in the summer following a poor European campaign.
And according to Foot Mercato, Pochettino could be returning to management with Nice.
Poch would like a move back to England but he is open to taking over Nice's project.
The French club will meet with the manager today.
England set for Euro 2024 nightmare
England must pull off a Nations League rescue job over the next week to stay in the top tier for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifying draw.
Uefa confirmed the 53 remaining nations – Germany qualify as hosts while Russia have been banned – will be placed in two groups of either five or six teams, with the top two qualifying automatically.
But the seeding groups will be determined by the final standings in the Nations League, with Gareth Southgate’s side facing relegation after two draws and two defeats in June.
It means the Three Lions probably have to beat both Italy and Germany to get into the top 10 in the standings and stay as first seeds, although the penalty for being a second seed is not likely to be too severe.
Carlos ‘agreed’ Chelsea transfer
Legendary full-back Roberto Carlos has revealed that he came "very close" to joining Chelsea in 2007.
The Brazilian icon's glittering Real Madrid career was coming to an end after 527 appearances and 13 trophies – but at 34 many people still thought he had something to offer.
And it turns out that Jose Mourinho, then in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, was one of them.
Speaking to Goal in 2020, he said: "I had two proposals, Fenerbahce and Chelsea. Chelsea didn't work out so I signed for Fenerbahce.
"But, with Chelsea, it got very close. It was literally agreed and I just had to go there and sign the contract.
"It was just a week before I signed for Fenerbahce and I had been to Paris to meet both Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon.
"Unfortunately, in the final moments something didn't work out just before finalising, which happens a lot in football. There was an issue with the lawyer.
"It was all agreed, though, and I am 100 per cent sure I would have done well in the Premier League and it would have suited my characteristics."
Russia BOOTED out of Euro 2024
Russia have been booted OUT of the next European Championships because of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Uefa’s ruling executive committee agreed to exclude Russia from next month’s qualifying draw as a direct response to the continuing invasion of their neighbouring state.
It comes after Russia were also kicked out of the World Cup play-offs, when Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all refused to play against them in protest.
All Russian sides have been banned from European club competitions this season as Europe unites against Vladimir Putin’s regime.
And now Uefa has made its most significant decision by confirming Russia’s name will not be alongside the other 53 European nations – Germany qualify automatically as hosts – when the qualifying draw is made in Frankfurt on October 9.
In a statement, Uefa confirmed: “All Russian teams are currently suspended following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee of 28 February 2022 which has further been confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 15 July 2022. 
“Russia is therefore not included in the UEFA European Football Championship 2022-24 qualifying draw.”
Murphy on West Ham's woes
Ex-Premier League footballer Danny Murphy has weighed in on West Ham's poor start to the season.
Murphy says after acquiring big names in the summer transfer window, boss David Moyes must release the handbrake if he's to get the best out of his squad.
The Hammers have just one league win from seven, falling to defeat five times and playing out a draw against Tottenham.
Murphy told talkSPORT: "The way West Ham play, which has been consistent and has got them success, has to involve if he wants to integrate new people like Paqueta, because he needs the ball.
"He’s not particularly someone you are going to see the best of if he plays in a side that drops off teams and plays counter and sits deep because they went to Everton and they gave them too much respect.
“I know they are hard to beat and I know they work off a good foundation, he [Moyes] always has, so you can’t throw that out of the window, but there are certain games against certain opposition where you can be a bit more on the front foot.
"If you’re going to sign Cornet, Paqueta, people like Scamacca, I think they have to be a little bit more adventurous and try and play a little bit more on the front foot.
“Last season, what they did was phenomenal, but they were a bit of a surprise package for everyone. I don’t think too many people expected them to do as well as they did.
"I think other teams have now as always, seen the way they play and adapted when they now play West Ham, give them a bit more respect.
"I think that doesn’t help the situation because it’s a change when you are coming up against opposition who are now giving you respect.”
Does Nwaneri get paid?
Ethan Nwaneri made his professional debut for Arsenal at the weekend in the 3-0 win over Brentford.
However, the 15-year-old’s meteoric rise has led to questions over how much he is paid.
Players cannot sign a professional contract until they turn 17.
Nwaneri is yet to even leave school, with his GCSE exams scheduled for next year when he will be 16.
He is unable to earn a weekly salary while in education, according to The Mirror.
Once he leaves school Nwaneri will be able to sign scholarship forms.
Arsenal interested in Locatelli
Arsenal have renewed their interest in Juventus star Manuel Locatelli.
According to CalcioMercato, the Gunners have renewed their interest in Locatelli after failing to sign a central midfielder over the summer.
Mikel Arteta’s side saw a trio of deadline day bids rejected for Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz, while interest in Leicester ace Youri Tielemans never materialised into a bid.
Massiliano Allegri and Juve have lost patience with the 24-year-old Italian and are now consequently prepared to offload him
Knighton's United takeover latest
Potential Manchester United buyer Michael Knighton revealed his aim to submit a bid is "moving forward as planned".
Knighton tweeted: "Thank you ALL for the wonderful messages of support. There is much going on behind the scenes.
"Things are moving forward as planned.
"I apologise I can't be on this platform more, just bogged down in meetings.
"God bless & every good wish to all of you. Yr support is greatly appreciated"
Tielemans addresses transfer speculation
Leicester star Youri Tielemans doesn't regret staying despite interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.
Tielemans said: “I’m not going to speak too much about my contract situation at the moment.
“I didn’t leave Leicester in the summer as I always said the project had to be the right one.
“Just because things are getting worse now at Leicester doesn’t mean I should regret [staying]”
PSV open to selling Gakpo
PSV Eindhoven have admitted they would be open to selling Cody Gakpo if the right offer arrived.
Gakpo was linked with a move to Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton, Leeds and Southampton during the summer transfer window.
PSV’s director of football told Voetbal International: “I can say with my hand on my heart that there has been no offer for Cody to which the management or the supervisory board have said: ‘We must do this’.
“We did state that if there were certain offers, we would have to sell.
“Not only from a financial point of view, but also because agreements were made with the Gakpo camp before my time”
January transfer disagreements
Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold is not keen on more additions in the January transfer window.
United boss Erik ten Hag, on the other hand, wants more additions in the winter.
That is according to The Athletic, who report that Arnold wants to wait until summer for further business.
The Red Devils were busy in the summer transfer window after Ten Hag took over at the helm
Fernandes’ Tottenham admission
Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has admitted he was fuming after a switch to Tottenham collapsed before moving to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon.
Fernandes told The Atheltic: “Obviously I wanted to go to the Premier League.
“The manager, Mauricio Pochettino, was the one who wanted me there [Tottenham]. It was a good offer but Sporting tried their best to keep me.
“The president [Frederico Varandas] spoke with me but he spoke with me on the wrong day. It was the day after they decided to refuse the offer from Tottenham and I was really angry.
“Luckily for me, the manager [Marcel Keizer] was the right one at the right time”
Chelsea to hijack David Luiz
Chelsea are looking to hijack a deal for Aston Villa ace and Arsenal target Douglas Luiz in the January transfer window.
According to the BirminghamMail, Chelsea have also shown interest in Luiz.
The midfielder’s contract runs out in June 2023 and it will be difficult for Villa to demand a high asking price with clubs eligible to begin pre-contract talks in January.
The Blues joined in amid uncertainty surrounding N’Golo Kante and Jorginho’s future
De Zerbi class
New Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has proven he can handle unreal levels of pressure.
De Zerbi previously worked at Shakhtar Donetsk and twice refused offers to get himself and his staff out of Ukraine and back to Italy after Russia's invasion.
The Italian refused to leave the Ukrainian capital before all his overseas players had been taken care of and found their way across a border.
With commercial flights grounded, federations scrapped for plans to evacuate players and finally managed to arrange coaches and a train to Romania for his aces.
De Zerbi waited until all his players, their partners, children and parents were en route to safety before arranging his own return to Italy
Man Utd’s Rash decision
Manchester United are in talks to extend Marcus Rashford’s deal at Old Trafford.
The move comes amid transfer interest in Rashford from Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
Transfer expert Pedro Almeida claims United now entered talks with the striker’s reps over extending his contract.
The England international’s current contract expires next summer, although there is an option to automatically renew it until 2024
Nwaneri's former suitors
Arsenal record man Ethan Nwaneri attracted plenty of suitors before making Premier League history.
According to The Times, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City all “tracked” Nwaneri.
The youngster, aged just 15 years and 181 days, became the Premier League’s youngest ever player on Sunday against Brentford.
The attacking midfielder came on during the dying minutes as a substitute
Pav a look at that
Bayern Munich ace Benjamin Pavard has hinted he could be interested in a move amid interest from the Premier League.
Pavard was persuaded to stay at Bayern despite interest from Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Juventus.
Speaking to Telefoot, Pavard said: “I questioned myself, I had calls from different clubs with my agent. Afterwards, I had the Bayern coach with whom we spoke and with whom we have a good relationship.
“He made me understand that I was in his plans, that I was important for the team. Maybe one day I will go to one of these clubs, you never know what the future holds.
“I’m still a year at Bayern Munich. Afterwards, we have time to project ourselves.”
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