Newcastle 'want Martial and Dzeko double transfer', Chelsea 'back in for discounted Kounde and Lautaro Martinez'

NEWCASTLE are keen on a striker after reportedly making a shock £85m transfer bid for Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.

The in-form Serb has refused to sign a new contract with the Italian side and has been a target for Tottenham, Arsenal and Man City among others.

The struggling Magpies are also said to be keen to bring Anthony Martial and Edin Dzeko to Tyneside as the club's Saudi owners look to splash the cash.

Meanwhile Chelsea are said to be keen to rekindle Lautaro Martinez's partnership with Romelu Lukaku.

The two fired Inter Milan to the Serie A title last season before Lukaku headed to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are also reported to be ready to rekindle their interest in Jules Kounde, with Seville said to be ready to drop their £68m asking price for the defender.

Get all the latest transfer news, gossip and updates here…

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  • Kostas Lianos

    Newcastle's Vlahovic interest

    Newcastle have joined the bidding war for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic.

    That is according to CalcioMercato, who report that the Toon have launched a staggering €100million (£85m) bid for Vlahovic.

    That would make the centre-forward the fourth-most expensive signing in Premier League history.

    Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham are also keeping tabs on the Serbia international

  • Kostas Lianos

    Kounde price

    Sevilla are willing to sell Jules Kounde for a price in the region of £42.5million-£51m.

    Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with Kounde ahead of the January transfer window.

    The Blues failed in their attempts to land the centre-back after they didn’t meet his valuation last summer.

    According to ESPN, the Andalusians are willing to agree to bring the France international’s price down in the coming months

  • Kostas Lianos

    Lautaro Martinez interest

    Chelsea are still keen on landing Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez.

    That is according to Fichajes, who report that the Blues may be set to reignite their interest in Lautaro in the summer transfer window.

    When the Argentina international was available for the right price this year, and in 2020, none of the interested clubs met Inter's asking price.

    However, the west Londoners may have to make some room in their squad first before contemplating a potential deal involving the 24-year-old ace

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  • Etienne Fermie

    MORNING FOOTBALL FANS

    A Leeds fan has been arrested after allegedly aiming racist abuse at Arsenal's bench.

    Gunners substitute Rob Holding alerted the fourth official John Brooks just after the half-hour mark of Arsenal’s 4-1 victory at Elland Road.

    The Premier League confirmed the incident was reported by the North London club.

    And West Yorkshire Police were seen speaking to Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe, who was on the bench at the time of the alleged abuse, after the final whistle.

    The Athletic report the players targeted were Nicolas Pepe and Nuno Tavares.

    Meanwhile, Burnley owner Alan Pace has told Prem stars who refuse Covid jabs to find a new job.
    He said: “It worries me for a number of different reasons but these are personal choices for people.

    “It can’t be, though, that you put everybody else at risk. If they choose not to get vaccinated, then they may have to choose a different career.

    “Freedom to choose something different doesn’t mean you get the same rights and opportunities given to you if you choose to do something that’s not in the best interests of everyone else.”

  • Dylan Terry

    Arteta on top four challenge

    "I am very, very happy with the performance and the result, the week that we had and the direction that this team is moving forwards in.

    "We are there now [in the top four], but it's still a long, long season to go ahead with a lot of unpredictable things probably that are going to happen, but we are there.

    "We want to continue that and we want to continue improving and playing better and better and then let's see where we get."

  • Dylan Terry

    Newcastle eye Man Utd's Martial

    Newcastle want to make Anthony Martial their first big-name arrival next month.

    And they are willing to pay a hefty loan fee of around £6million to tempt the Manchester United striker to St James’ Park.

    Martial knows he must leave Old Trafford to get regular action, and Juventus had shown an interest in taking him for the rest of the season.

    But the Toon hope to blow Juve out of the water by paying over £1m a month to get him for the remaining five months of the campaign.

    Newcastle have money to burn after the takeover but know they will struggle to tempt any player into a permanent move while their Prem future hangs in the balance.

    That leaves loan signings as their only serious chance of bringing in the sort of top-level talent they want when the window opens.

  • Dylan Terry

    Odegaard similar to David Silva

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has commented on the similarities between Martin Odegaard and Manchester City legend David Silva.

    He said: "That's a big name. My opinion is David is the best I've seen playing between the lines for the last 20 years.

    "Martin has got a tremendous quality and the capacity to unlock situations and put players through to generate open spaces in tight areas.

    "I'm really happy and now he's improving in his goal threat as well so we have a big player there that is very willing to become one of the best, but it's still very early."

  • Dylan Terry

    Ronaldo open to Madrid return?

    Real Madrid are looking to bring Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo back to the Bernabeu, according to reports.

    Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 games for Real during his nine-year spell at the club.

    And according to Football Insider, Real could look to bring the 36-year-old back to Madrid just three-and-a-half years after he left for Juventus.

    The report states that Ralf Rangnick's arrival at United has potentially opened the door to a winter return to Spain.

    There are still concerns over whether Ronaldo will suit Rangnick's high-energy pressing game.

  • Dylan Terry

    Saints hunt Angers forward Cho

    Southampton are setting up a surprise raid for French super kid Mohamed-Ali Cho — who is already in the £20million bracket.

    Saints plan to be first in the queue for Cho, 17, who is starring for Angers and has become the talk of Ligue 1 for his quick and skilful displays.

    Cho was previously with the Everton and Paris Saint-Germain academies because his family was based in both England and France.

    And he even represented the Three Lions at under-16 level, before electing to play for France's U21s.

    He has been watched by many Prem clubs, including Chelsea, whose scouting analysts have been pleased with the player’s performances.

    However, Southampton believe they can jump to the front of the queue.

    And, if their long-awaited takeover happens soon, Saints could offer him a quick route into their team.

  • Dylan Terry

    Arsenal ratings after Leeds win

    Arsenal put aside their dismal away record with an emphatic win on the road.

    After three straight away league defeats, they blew past an injury-ravaged Leeds in the first half with three goals to settle this one and strengthen their grip on the top four ahead of Christmas.

    Gabriel Martinelli scored twice with two classy finishes before Bukayo Saka grabbed a third.

    Ben White gave his former side a lifeline by diving in for the penalty but it was too little too late for the hosts as sub Emile Smith Rowe smashed in a fourth moments after coming on.

    Here's how SunSport's Joshua Jones rated Mikel Arteta's men…

  • Dylan Terry

    PSG set to hijack Rudiger

    PSG have reportedly launched an audacious attempt to steal Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger from under Real Madrid's nose.

    Rudiger's contract with The Blues is up next summer and it's looking increasingly unlikely that he'll remain at Stamford Bridge.

    The Germany international has allegedly already turned down a whopping £140,000-a-week contract from his current side and held positive talks with Real about joining them.

    Reports had even suggested that Rudiger had reached an 'informal agreement' to join Los Blancos with official talks allowed between the parties to take place in the New Year.

    However, PSG are attempting to stage a coup and land Rudiger themselves in January, according to Diario AS via the Daily Mail.

  • Dylan Terry

    Longstaff wanted by Nottingham Forest

    Nottingham Forest are looking into a surprise loan swoop for Newcastle’s forgotten midfielder Sean Longstaff.

    Longstaff, 24, is on the fringes at the Toon and Steve Cooper can add players as Forest chiefs think they have a chance of promotion.

    Everton were also interested in Longstaff in September.

    The Toffees were considering a January move which means Forest could face competition.

    Longstaff's chances of game time are only likely to get slimmer in the new year.

    He can't get into the struggling Magpies' team at the moment and the Toon are set to add more players during the next transfer window.

    They are already said to have made contact with Jesse Lingard.

  • Dylan Terry

    Arteta's Arsenal break Prem record

    Arsenal broke a Premier League record in their 4-1 thrashing of Leeds at Elland Road.

    Leeds could not live with the Gunners in the first half and Mikel Arteta's side led 3-0 at half-time.

    But it could have been even worse for Leeds if not for Illan Meslier, who kept out Alexandre Lacazette twice from close range.

    The Frenchman also kept out efforts from Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard with Arsenal producing a record-breaking 11 shots on target in the first half.

    It is the most shots on goal in a first half since Opta records began in 2003.

  • Dylan Terry

    De Jong to move on?

    Barcelona could sell Frenkie de Jong next summer, according to reports.

    The Catalan giants are still struggling financially and need to offload players if they are to make signings.

    De Jong, 24, was previously considered untouchable but his decline in form means Barcelona may be more open to a sale, report Fichajes. And given the Dutchman is one of the highest earners in the squad, selling him would open up a large chunk of the wage bill.

    Barca also believe they could sell De Jong for a considerable fee having arrived at the Nou Camp for £65million just two years ago.

    And given there are a number of potential suitors, Barcelona could use that interest to drive up their asking price.

    Manchester United have been linked with a move for the midfielder who could serve as a replacement for Paul Pogba.

  • Dylan Terry

    Newcastle interested in Brighton's Ashworth

    Newcastle have put Brighton’s Dan Ashworth high up their list to become director of football, writes SunSport's Alan Nixon.

    He is currently with Albion as technical director after making his name at West Brom and the FA.

    Now the Magpies have Ashworth in their sights as they look to build a long-term team behind the scenes, helped by a headhunting organisation.

    Newcastle’s new owners have taken their time filling the role despite the transfer window coming up soon.

    Other names mentioned include Frank McParland — a close adviser to Toon director Amanda Staveley, who has worked at Liverpool, Brentford, Rangers and Nottingham Forest.

    And Leeds’ Spanish director of football Victor Orta.

  • Dylan Terry

    Bristol City kick out fan

    Bristol City ejected a fan and handed them to the police after objects were thrown at Huddersfield stars on Saturday.

    A Terriers player was peppered with objects – including bottles – as they attempted to take a corner during their 3-2 win and the home side were forced to take action.

    Bristol fans launched items at the playing surface with around 20 minutes to go in the second-half.

    It happened as Huddersfield tried to take a corner and the officials were forced to call a temporary halt to proceedings.

    Play eventually resumed with Huddersfield securing their first away win since September.

    But the home side took swift action and kicked a supporter out before handing them over to cops.

  • Dylan Terry

    History made by young Gunners

    Bit of history made by Arsenal tonight.

    As reported by Opta, in Gabriel Martinelli (20), Bukayo Saka (20) and Emile Smith Rowe (21), Arsenal have had three different players aged 21 or younger score for them in a single Premier League game for the very first time (excluding own goals).

  • Dylan Terry

    Neville hails Arsenal forward Martinelli

    Gary Neville waxed lyrical as Gabriel Martinelli put Leeds to the sword, hailing the Arsenal star as ‘really, really good’.

    Neville said: "Martinelli is just really really good. Leeds once again give it away in such a poor area.

    "What a pass from Granit Xhaka and you think Martinelli's touch has probably cost him early on.

    "But he sometimes gets it out and recovers. Cody Dramah is trying to get back – if he tackles him, it's a penalty, a sending off, all sorts of things can happen.

    "His finish is class. The on-rushing goalkeeper has no chance.

    "A Premier League game is never over at 2-0, but Arsenal would have to do a lot from wrong here."

  • Dylan Terry

    Superb Arsenal thrash dismal Leeds

    Arsenal cemented their place in the top four with an impressive 4-1 win at Leeds.

    Gabriel Martinelli scored twice as he filled in for axed captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    And Bukayo Saka also got on the score sheet at Elland Road, with Emile Smith Rowe netting from off the bench.

    But the game was overshadowed by allegations of racism aimed by home supporters at the Arsenal bench.

  • Dylan Terry

    Leeds 1-4 Arsenal

    It's four! Emile Smith Rowe starts and finishes the move and that is well and truly game, set, match.

    Smith Rowe nicks possession and gives it to Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian drives at the heart of the Leeds defence before delicately dinking a through ball for Smith Rowe to latch onto and thrash home.

    Lovely move from the Gunners.

  • Dylan Terry

    Leeds 1-3 Arsenal

    Ben White has given away a penalty and simultaneously Leeds a lifeline!

    The former Brighton man recklessly hauled down Joe Gelhardt and Raphinha stepped up to pick out the top corner from the spot.

    Game on?

  • Dylan Terry

    Leeds 0-3 Arsenal

    It remains 3-0 at Elland Road. Leeds have had a couple of decent chances but on the whole Arsenal are keeping them at arms length.

    Saka set up Martinelli for a glorious chance to clinch his hat-trick but it wasn't to be for the 20-year-old talent.

    Processional stuff for the Gunners at the moment.

  • Dylan Terry

    Shocking scenes at Elland Road

    Bukayo Saka and his Arsenal team-mates were reprimanded by referee Andre Marriner for CELEBRATING against Leeds.

    The England star, 20, scored to put the Gunners 3-0 up at Elland Road.

    Saka starred and proved a constant threat and was rewarded with a goal – his effort deflected of a Leeds defender to put Arsenal in a commanding half-time lead.

    But instead of being allowed to celebrate freely in the corner flag, Marriner waved the Arsenal players away from the irate Leeds fans.

    The referee was clearly trying to prevent further unsavoury scenes as the goal came not long after an incident between home fans and the Arsenal bench.

    Arsenal substitute Rob Holding ran across to the fourth official claiming a Leeds fan had racially abused the Gunners bench.

  • Dylan Terry

    Match of the Day decimated

    Gary Lineker poked fun at Match of the Day’s sparse running order with Leeds’ clash with Arsenal the only Prem duel that has gone ahead today.

    A spate of Covid-19 cases has been causing chaos with fixtures this weekend with FIVE out of six Prem matches called off.

    In a video message shared via his Twitter account, Lineker, 61, said: "Hello there, I've got the Match of the Day running order for you. As usual, I will probably give some scores away.

    "Well, there's only one game… so I'll give the score away. But that game's not kicked off yet.

    "I know it's unusual to give the running order before all the games have been played but there's only one game.

    “So, we're going to start Match of the Day this week with Leeds United versus Arsenal.”

  • Dylan Terry

    Hazard set for Madrid return

    Real Madrid outcast Eden Hazard will make his first start since September against Cadiz on Sunday.

    Carlo Ancelotti has drafted in the winger with his first-team squad struck down by Covid.

    Six stars will be absent for Los Blancos including Luka Modric, Andriy Luni, Marcelo and wingers Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale and Rodrygo.

    Speaking about Hazard's inclusion, Ancelotti said: "He will start but not because of the players that won't be available. He worked well, did not change his mentality.

    "He kept his motivation, trained well and deserves to play. The first part of the season has been bad for him because it has been a very good for Vinicius Jr and (Karim) Benzema.

    "And I preferred to have (Marco) Asensio and Rodrygo on the right up front (and) interchange between them."

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