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  • October 29, 2022

ARSENAL and Monza defender Pablo Mari has spoken for the first time since being stabbed in Milan.
The Spaniard was amongst those taken to hospital after an attack on five people in a supermarket.
Monza CEO Adriano Galliani has since confirmed that the defender will make a full recovery and has spoken to him since the incident.
Elsewhere, Prince William will not travel to watch England in the World Cup amid growing concerns over Qatar's human rights record.
As President of the FA, the royal was expected to attend games but it has now been confirmed that he has no plans to travel to the Middle East next month for the tournament.
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Reece James is refusing to give up on his World Cup dream and will try everything to make the winter tournament.
The England and Chelsea right-back is sidelined with a knee injury and still in a brace and on crutches.
James, 22, knows he is chasing a miracle to deliver a quicker-than-expected return as he hobbles around the Blues’ Cobham training ground.
But he will keep fighting until November 10, the day Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is set to name his 26-man squad for Qatar.
The defender, who suffered the injury against AC Milan in the Champions League on October 11, said: “I need to keep working hard over the next few weeks and see where I am on call-up day.
"I will try and not rule myself out. It is still slow and in the early stages.
"I have been in rehab for two weeks, so I am still taking it day-by-day.
“The Chelsea medical staff have not given me a percentage of my chance of being back for the World Cup.
"It is down to how I feel closer to the time and how stable it is."
'Pep Guardiola warned that he is hearing the sound of sabre-rattling within Old Trafford.
And, for him, that means there could be two teams from Manchester fighting for this season’s Premier League title.
Legend Sir Alex Ferguson described United’s Etihad rivals as "noisy neighbours" — before they soon began dominating English football.
And it was Fergie who guided the red half of the city to their last title way back in 2013 before he retired.
Yet Guardiola is watching very closely what is now happening under a new boss — and he declared: “I have a feeling that United is coming. Finally, United is coming.”
Those words are probably the biggest compliment yet paid to Old Trafford gaffer Erik ten Hag since he began his extensive and expensive reconstruction work in the summer.
Guardiola revealed he watched United’s impressive 3–0 Europa League win over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday — and also the Red Devils’ 1-1 Premier League clash with Chelsea.
And the City chief said: "I saw yesterday and Chelsea the first half. I thought, ‘I like it’ what I see from United just now.
"There will be a lot of teams, that is why you have to fight for the Champions League and fight for the title."
Chelsea target Arsen Zakharyan has confirmed he wants the move and is determined to nail a first-team spot.
The Blues were believed to be closing in on the 19-year-old Dynamo Moscow midfielder. over the summer.
However, a £12.6million transfer was BLOCKED by British sanctions placed on Russia.
Unai Emery will inherit a high-end Aston Villa squad capable of delivering the European football he craves – rather than a bunch of relegation dodgers.
Interim boss Aaron Danks, the brains behind Villa's sensational 4-0 thrashing of Brentford, says there is enough talent at his disposal to bow out with a bang against in-form Newcastle United before handing over to his Spanish successor.
Work permit regulations mean former Arsenal boss Emery won't be at St James's Park to watch Villa in the flesh this afternoon.
Instead, the 51-year-old will scrutinise his new squad on screen before meeting and greeting his players for the first time on Tuesday on his first full day as Villa boss.
And Danks is convinced the four-times Europa League winner will be pleasantly surprised at the quality he has inherited despite Villa being just three points above the relegation zone.
"For the club moving forward, we know the talent we have in the building," said the 39-year-old coach, who was formerly Vincent Kompany's No.2 at Anderlecht..
"It's really exciting. We just need to get the best out of the players we have and get the club moving in the direction it needs to move in."
Graham Potter has a unique way to cope with the stresses of Premier League management – watching bloody Viking TV dramas!
Chelsea boss Potter was in a relaxed, reflective mood ahead of his return today to Brighton where he managed for three years.
The 47-year-old spoke about the mental health demands on those in top-flight dugouts and the enormous pressures they face – also giving a rare insight into life at home.
Potter, who used to coach in Sweden, said: “I’ve friends but I don’t really socialise that much to be honest.
“I don’t go out of my house, I just come here, do my work, go home. Then, I see my family. It’s a boring life!
“My kids, I’ve seven-year-old twins and a 12-year-old, they’re fun. They give you perspective. You have got these problems and then you speak to a seven-year-old and everything becomes a little bit simpler.
“My young family, they give me energy, they give me perspective. I like to go for a walk, occasional bit of exercise though looking at me you wouldn’t think that.
“A little bit of reading now and again but not too much. A podcast here and there. Sometimes a brain dump watching a Netflix series.
“The last thing I watched? Vikings: Valhalla. My Mrs went mad because it was just blood and guts…”
Brendan Rodgers admits he is braced for a January raid on his brilliant Belgian Youri Tielemans once the dust settles on the Qatar world cup.
Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with Tielemans since it became clear the 25-year-old playmaker had declined to sign a bumper new contract.
Only foreign clubs can enter negotiations or sign Tielemans for free on a pre-contract in January once he enters the final six months of his contract, due to FA rules.
However, any move from the continent might trigger a reaction from Arsenal who could dangle a financial carrot in front of Leicester in a bid to land Tielemans for a knockdown fee in January, to fund Rodgers’ own moves in the transfer market.
Rodgers said: “We have a number of players out of contract come the end of the season. 
“My focus has been on working with him and getting out of the situation we found ourselves in. 
“We had a number of long chats in the summer because there’s no doubt, even a young guy who is clearly focused like Youri – and very professional – can be impacted by it.
“But he has been fully focused and doesn’t let that affect him.
“All he can do is give his very best and his recent performances have been excellent. You know with Youri you’re always going to get 100% effort.”
Antonio Conte says it is not just the players who are going through the wringer in this exhausting season – but managers too, writes TOM BARCLAY.
Games have come thicker and faster than ever before this term due to the maiden winter World Cup in Qatar.
Tottenham have been playing twice a week since the start of September, barring the international break.
The hectic schedule is taking its toll on their squad with injuries and fatigue, but Conte says the effects are being felt by him as well.
He explained: “We talk a lot about the welfare of the players, but also the welfare of the managers because in this way we put a serious risk to the welfare of the players and the manager. 
“We don’t play but the stress that we are under before every game, every two days for game after game. Analysis, video, to speak to the players. It’s fatigue. 
“(But) it’s OK and it’s the same for everybody. I’m not complaining.”
Conte has had a stressful ten days after back-to-back defeats to Manchester United and Newcastle in the league, before being denied what would have been a vital win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League when VAR ruled out Harry Kane’s last-gasp goal.
Arsenal have been told that Lazio star and transfer target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is not for sale.
That’s according to the Serie A giants’ president Claudio Lotito, who insists that Milinkovic-Savic’s value increases with every game.
Responding to the ongoing rumours linking the impressive 27-year-old with a move to the Premier League, Lotito told Il Messaggero: “I’m not gonna sell Sergej, it’s not in my plans. I will offer him a new long term deal.
“Milinkovic-Savic is worth €120m, and then every month the price increases”
Jurgen Klopp says his snarling face cost him £30,000.
The FA fined the Liverpool boss for his wild outburst during the 1-0 win over Manchester City almost two weeks ago.
He escaped a ban despite being sent off after bellowing in the linesman’s face for not flagging a foul on Mo Salah by Bernardo Silva.
Klopp said: “I know what I said and I know saying that from a further distance with a different face, it would have been completely fine.
“Because I said, ‘How can you not?! How?!’.
“So it’s the most expensive face, I’m not sure in the world but here.
“It’s a lot of money but I heard it will be invested in something good, so that’s fine.
“Should I have got a ban? I don’t know.
“I haven’t followed other coaches who got shown a red card and what they got.”
Chelsea star Jorginho has made a transfer commitment to Barcelona and it is said the midfielder will refuse everything until he hears the offer from the Nou Camp.
The Italy international is currently set to become a free agent in the summer when his contract expires.
According to Sport, the 30-year-old is determined to hold back on making any decisions so he can assess the possibility of heading to Barca.
However, the Italian wants his future all sorted by January but will have a month off in three weeks due to Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup
Chelsea target Arsen Zakharyan has confirmed he wants the move and is determined to nail a first-team spot.
The Blues were believed to be closing in on the 19-year-old Dynamo Moscow midfielder. over the summer.
However, a £12.6million transfer was BLOCKED by British sanctions placed on Russia.
There was also the expected difficulty in obtaining a work permit for Zakharyan from the Home Office.
Despite this, Zakharyan is determined to seal a dream transfer to Chelsea and break into the first-team.
Zakharyan told Russia’s Comment Show: “My agents and my club have told me that a request has come from Chelsea. I have directly said my position is that I want to join Chelsea.
“I know that there is a good competition in my position with Mount, Havertz, Gallagher, so I don’t mind going on loan to adapt to the European league.
“I was stressed because I wanted this transfer.
“Right now I have Chelsea and I want to go to Chelsea. I know that other clubs are interested in me, I am proud of that but I want to go to Chelsea.”
Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back Evan Ndicka is reportedly on Arsenal's radar for next summer.
It's claimed the Gunners are making plans in case Gabriel Magalhaes decides to move on.
And the Express say uncapped Frenchman Ndickia, 23, is a prime option.
Lisandro Martinez is said to have been Mikel Arteta's top defensive target last summer.
But the Ajax and Argentina star followed club boss Erik ten Hag to Manchester United.
Manchester United are rated favourites ahead of Arsenal to land Cody Gakpo – for £40million.
The PSV winger has already bagged 13 goals and 14 assists in 21 games this season.
And reports tonight suggest Premier League giants are circling to make bids in January.
Manchester United have been told they will not be able to sign Victor Osimhen.
Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli warned clubs interested in the Nigerian forward that the club were not looking to change their squad in January.
As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, he said: “We are currently not focused on the market – and we’re not planning to do anything in January.
“We want to keep this squad.”
And such an idea makes sense considering Napoli sit three points clear at the top of Serie A and top of their Champions League group going into the final game.
Osimhen himself has been a big part of this success, scoring five goals in nine games.
This includes strikes in each of his last three games after returning from an injury lay-off.
The 23-year-old has previously been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham, plus United. A fee for the striker is expected to be up to £102million.
Chelsea target Arsen Zakharyan has confirmed he wants the move and is determined to make his nail a first-team spot.
The Blues were believed to be closing in on the 19-year-old Dynamo Moscow midfielder. over the summer.
However, a £12.6million transfer was BLOCKED by British sanctions placed on Russia.
There was also the expected difficulty in obtaining a work permit for Zakharyan from the Home Office.
Despite this, Zakharyan is determined to seal a dream transfer to Chelsea and break into the first-team.
Zakharyan told Russia’s Comment Show: "My agents and my club have told me that a request has come from Chelsea. I have directly said my position is that I want to join Chelsea.
"I know that there is a good competition in my position with Mount, Havertz, Gallagher, so I don’t mind going on loan to adapt to the European league.
"I was stressed because I wanted this transfer.
"Right now I have Chelsea and I want to go to Chelsea. I know that other clubs are interested in me, I am proud of that but I want to go to Chelsea."
Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Leeds midfielder Tyler Adams.
The USA star, 23, has missed just one Prem game since arriving from RB Leipzig in the summer.
And Football Insider say Old Trafford scouts have been impressed with how quickly he has adapted to English football.
Barcelona have put Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay up for sale, according to sensational reports this afternoon.
Manchester United target de Jong and ex-old Trafford attacker Depay, who has been linked with Chelsea and Arsenal, could be sold as Barca’s Champions League exit deepened the Spaniards’ financial woes.
Sport suggest five senior players could be made available.
De Jong was United boss Erik ten Hag’s summer transfer priority and the Red Devils even had a £71.5million bid accepted.
Chelsea joined the race too – but the midfielder was never convinced about moving.
Meanwhile, his Holland team-mate Depay opted to stay to fight for more regular football.
Instead it appears they could both move in one of the next two transfer windows.
Arsenal's flowing football is "the major problem" for Tottenham chief Antonio Conte this season.
So says Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher as the Gunners top the Prem, two places and five points above Spurs.
Pundit Carra believes Tottenham fans are desperate to see more exciting tactics.
And he wrote in The Telegraph: "Conte has a major problem… It is called Arsenal.
"One team in North London is generating headlines for playing with a youthful, energetic swagger. The other is seen as more pragmatic and counter-attacking.
"Neither side is 'right' or 'better' in their approach… but Tottenham supporters are looking at their rivals and craving similar edge-of-the-seat football."
But Carragher pointed out that Conte is already a proven winner, whereas Arsenal chief Mikel Arteta is waiting to add to his 2020 FA Cup triumph
He added: "I get that one team in London is currently flying with an exciting brand of football.
"But for all the praise of Arteta this season – and I agree with it – there is an irony that he would consider his career a success if wins half as much as Conte already has."
England boss Gareth Southgate  faces a dilemma over Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips as they fight to make the plane to Qatar, writes KEN LAWRENCE.
Walker is recovering from groin surgery while Phillips also needed an op after dislocating his shoulder three games into his £50M summer move from Leeds United.
Both, insists Pep Guardiola, are making progress but not fast enough to be guaranteed places in Southgate’s World Cup 26 – man squad due to be announced on November 13.
Manchester City boss Pep believes holding midfielder Phillipps could have “some minutes”
Before the Prem season shuts down.
But he won’t be starting City games and neither will right back Walker, Guardiola stressing : “I think they are getting better, Kalvin especially, but they are out.
“Until after the World Cup, they will not be ready.
“They are positive, optimistic, they are in touch with Gareth.
“I don't know, hopefully they can be ready to be selected.
“Kalvinfeels really well, his mobility in his shoulder is perfect.
“He has to avoid contact with his teammates at the moment.
“If he is fit and I believe he can play then maybe he can make some minutes.
“They are getting better, Kalvin especially, but they are both out.”
The Tottenham midfielder was just 17 and breaking into the Bayern Munich first team when he had to look after his dad Christian who had been diagnosed with cancer. 
His old man moved over from Denmark to Germany, where he received chemotherapy treatment, to be with his teenage son but passed away in 2014.
Speaking to the BBC's Football Focus, Hojbjerg, now 27, said: “My father would always take care of me, then suddenly I had to take care of him.
"I was cooking for him, I was putting him in bed, making sure that he got his medication and all of these things. These things scar you a bit. 
“It didn't go as we hoped, he passed away in April [2014]. I finished the season, I played the cup final, I got my national team debut. 
"From a sports perspective the season really finished on a high, but from a life perspective it really finished on a low. 
"I had difficulty to motivate myself. It's the first time actually that I have spoken about it like this."
Tunisia could be EXCLUDED from next month's World Cup if their government interferes in footballing matters, FIFA have revealed.
The member federations within Fifa are required to be free from legal and political interference.
But, according to BBC Sport, football's world governing body have become concerned by comments from Tunisia's Youth and Sports Minister, Kamel Deguiche, who has spoken about the idea of "dissolving federal bureaux".
And a letter from Kenny Jean-Marie, Fifa's director of member associations, to FTF general secretary Wajdi Aouadi, clarified the possible repercussions for Tunisia.
It read: "Any failure to comply with these obligations may result in the imposition of penalties under the Fifa laws, including suspension of the relevant association."
It adds that all members of Fifa are "legally obligated to conduct their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties", with Jean-Marie also calling for an explanation regarding Aouardi's recent comments.
Manchester United have been working on a new long-term contract for academy starlet Alejandro Garnacho, according to reports.
The 18-year-old Argentine made his first start for the Red Devils on Thursday in the 3-0 win against Sheriff in the Europa League.
He played 79 minutes and earned rave reviews for his directness.
In fact, Garnacho impressed so much that fans are calling for him to be handed a start against West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday, or at the very least some good minutes on the pitch.
Garnacho has been in and around the first-team since last season and his contract expires in 2025.
However, according to Fabrizio Romano, Man Utd are keen to address the winger's contract situation and hand him a new five-year contract, securing his long-term future.
Negotiations have been ongoing for a month and a proposal for Garnacho has been ready since June.
Garnacho signing a new deal would warn off any interest from Spanish and European champions Real Madrid.
Los Blancos showed an interest in the player in the summer and are said to be watching his progress "very closely".
Antonio Conte has mocked the suggestion that Tottenham's rivals are "in transition".
Chelsea and Manchester United are two of the clubs chasing down Spurs in the Premier League after the North London side's impressive start to the season.
Whereas both of them appointed new managers over the last few month, Conte is approaching his first anniversary as boss at Tottenham after a rollercoaster 12 months.
But the Italian manager, without a win in his last three, has rubbished suggestions that the clubs Tottenham are ahead of are works-in-progress.
When asked if Spurs could take advantage of the two clubs this season, Conte said: "If Chelsea are in transition after they won the Champions League two years ago and last season they won the World Cup, United two years ago finished second.
"If these clubs that can invest a lot of money are in transition, I don’t know who are the title contenders?
"In November, we were ninth. We were playing Conference League, and you think United and Chelsea are in transition? With [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Raphael] Varane, [Jadon] Sancho, in transition? I hope to be in transition this way."
Arsenal and Manchester United legend Robin van Persie has hailed Gunners' target Cody Gakpo as 'always dangerous'.
RVP's assessment shows why PSV winger Gakpo, 23, is on the radar of several Prem clubs, including Newcastle and Leeds.
He's already bagged nine goals and nine assists in the Dutch top flight – also impressing against Arsenal in PSV's 2-0 Europa League win on Thursday night.
And former Holland attacker Van Persie told BT Sport: "He is a good player.
"He always finds a way in most games to have an influence, in terms of making an assist or a goal, he’s always dangerous.
"He is not really an out-and-out striker. He can play as a No.10, he can play on the wing, or as a false striker, he can play in those four positions in front.
"He has a good physique, he is strong, fast, he can dribble. He is an all-round player."
Rangers have been urged to sign Manchester United's third-choice stopper Tom Heaton to serve their goalkeeping dilemma.
Boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst recently went back on his call to make Jon McLaughlin number one amid strong criticism from the Ibrox faithful, instead recalling 40-year-old Allan McGregor.
But ex-England and Spurs No1 Paul Robinson told Football Insider: "If they can get him out of Man United, Tom would be an excellent option.
"Tom is somebody who has a lot of unfinished business. He got injured at Aston Villa and never won his place back because (Emiliano) Martinez came in.
“He has not been given a fair chance at Man United.
“Tom is far better than being number three goalkeeper. He is not at that stage of his career yet. He has so much to give.
“A move to a club like Rangers would be very good for him. It would be great for Rangers as well because he is a top-class goalkeeper.
"Tom is hungry. He would be a fantastic acquisition for any club.”
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