🚨 HUGE blow for Arsenal, Zlatan's comeback, BAD news for Liverpool, El Ghazi's contract terminated, Casemiro out for WEEKS and more
Today's Briefing, featuring AC Milan, Chelsea, Liverpool, and much more!
Good morning everyone and welcome to another Daily Briefing - thanks as always for reading and hope you enjoy today’s updates!
Today’s top stories:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be in line for a sensational return to AC Milan. Manager, Stefano Pioli, commented on a potential comeback for the Swede - to help staff/management: "We're structured to support the manager and the players... and you know how much I love Zlatan. There would be no problems, no issues at all in case Zlatan decides to return here."
AC Milan are advancing in talks to sign 2006 born Serbian talent Matija Popović from Partizan as a free agent in January. There are multiple clubs interested but Milan are leading the race and are confident of getting a deal done soon.
Mikel Arteta on Emile Smith-Rowe: “He will be out for weeks, it's a big blow because he was getting some momentum. We were starting to get the Emile that we needed. Unfortunately, though he's going to be out again.”
Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Ben White ahead of his 100th appearance [Footage courtesy of Hayters]
📰 Premier League manager says he would “never manage Arsenal” [Hayters]
Leo Messi won the Ballon d’Or over Erling Haaland by 105 points. It wasn’t even close!
After Barcelona lost El Clásico, Ilkay Gündogan went public with his condemnation of some of his team-mates attitudes. Barca director, Deco, has now commented, saying: "The situation with Ilkay Gundogan has been discussed and resolved in the dressing room. It's all good. There are no issues.
That stance was echoed by Xavi in his pre-match press conference before the Real Sociedad game: “There’s no internal issue with Gündogan’s words. He just wanted to clarify that with the squad, we’re all on the same page. It’s a winning mentality. Pedri is back, he feels 100% and we’re happy to have him back.”
Bayern’s board had a preconception about Thomas Tuchel, and Christian Falk has the exclusive story as to what’s behind it right here.
Thomas Tuchel has spoken out regarding the perceived tension between him and the team: “Everything is good internally, otherwise we wouldn't be able to continue this season the way we are currently doing. It's important to keep calm and stick together. I am part of a team and a big club… New rumours on Jerome Boateng after de Ligt injury? That's not a topic at the moment. There are currently no plans to change anything. Now we're nursing Upamecano back to health very quickly. It's obviously bitter for Matthijs de Ligt to get injured again."
It’s clear that Thomas Frank doesn’t want to lose his star striker: “I hope Ivan Toney doesn’t leave in January, I want him to stay and Ivan is happy to stay. He is happy at the club. What happens in the future is impossible to guess — but I’d love to have Toney here forever.”
No doubt in Mauricio Pochettino’s mind that Tottenham are title contenders this season [Footage courtesy of Hayters]
Pochettino: “I said the only teams I would never manage are Arsenal and Barcelona. It is a strange feeling to come back to Spurs after four years but it’s going to be a happy day. I feel Spurs can really win the league, they’re doing an excellent job… I didn’t receive a proposal from Spurs to return in the last year, it was never discussed. After we finished our relationship with PSG, we wanted to be one year away from football. We got contacted by Chelsea and we decided to move here… The history of Chelsea is to win big things. Chelsea in the last 15 years won a lot of titles. Now we are building for the future. No doubt that in the future, Chelsea will be in the same position as before. I am not worried. We know what we are doing."
Fabrizio Romano exclusively reveals why Aaron Ramsdale is not currently on Chelsea’s list as a new goalkeeper.
Reece James is still on Real Madrid’s radar, and Fabrizio Romano has some exclusive developments in this story.
Cole Palmer has settled in well at Chelsea. Luke Rushbrook takes an exclusive look at some insane stats and numbers since his arrival.
📰 Arsenal and Chelsea dealt blow in race to sign Ivan Toney [Metro]
Chelsea’s official injury updates: Mykhailo Mudryk returns to full team training. Armando Broja – continuing to receive treatment for irritation on the knee. Trevoh Chalobah – continuing rehabilitation. Ben Chilwell – continuing rehabilitation.
Official: Abdoulaye Doucouré has signed a new deal at Everton until June 2025 with an option to extend for one more season.
📰 Everton in discussions with Tottenham over transfer agreement for English star [Mirror]
What’s the latest on Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Joao Palhinha? German football expert Christian Falk has all the details.
📰 Fulham must pay well over £50m for 22-year-old [TeamTalk]
Juventus talent Matias Soulé had a shock in store for Italian national team coach, Luciano Spalletti: “I have talked to Spalletti, I told him the truth,” he said. “Italy want to call me up but the reality is that I feel Argentinian. I thanked him because he wanted me but I'm waiting for Argentina, my heart always tells me Argentina.”
What a magnificent win for Leeds United at Championship leaders Leicester City. Daniel Farke’s side ensured that the Foxes lost for only the second time season thanks to Georginio Rutter’s goal in a 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium [Footage courtesy of Sky Sports]
Bad news for Liverpool as they scout Mo Salah’s successor. Find out exclusively from Christian Falk why that is here.
Luis Diaz’s father has still not been rescued, and Jurgen Klopp is happy for the player to make a decision whether to play this weekend or not: “Luis Diaz is back in training. We have to see how he is, and go from there. Anything that gives us, a little bit of hope is good, we are waiting for good news. It's all about him, and if he makes himself available or not.”
It’s a recurring theme in press conferences, and Jurgen Klopp had to once again answer questions on Mo Salah and Saudi: “He never came to me and said he wanted to go. I never thought for a second about it. I don't know anything about an offer but it's not important. Mo is here. You can see he's here, he enjoys the team a lot. There’s nothing else.”
📰 Liverpool optimistic over surprise move for Kylian Mbappé [L’Equipe]
Mainz officially terminated Anwar El Ghazi’s contract with immediate effect. He was suspended, then re-included in the squad but mentioned again that he does not regret showing support for Palestine.
Which Bayer Leverkusen ace are Man City interested in acquiring and is it likely to happen? Christian Falk has the latest.
Kalvin Phillips has been linked again with Bayern Munich. How realistic is a January move? Find out exclusively.
📰 Big blow for Man City as hefty release clause set to be added to transfer target’s new contract [talkSPORT]
Pep Guardiola had some advice for Erling Haaland if he wants to win the Ballon d’Or in future [Footage courtesy of Hayters]
Nottingham Forest ace, Anthony Elanga, had some nice words to say about a former team-mate: "Kobbie Mainoo will be the next star. He is one of my close friends that I still speak to at Man United. His talent is unreal.”
Man Utd confirm Casemiro’s hamstring injury. “An assessment has revealed a strain that will keep him out for number of weeks.”
Erik ten Hag: “Varane is ready to play, he will travel with the squad. Victor Lindelof has some illness and we'll have to see if he's ready... We have to win. I don’t walk away from that. The players are positive. They want to put this right, we know the standards here. We’ve to match them every day, we'll fight back. The dressing room is strong, the staff are strong, this manager is strong… I have a good squad. I'm convinced about the players in the dressing room. We saw these players last year, they can do a lot better, but that's up to me to let them play better. I have to take the responsibility and I will put every effort into getting this done.”
📰 The reason why Erik ten Hag is on borrowed time revealed [Stan Collymore]
Ruben Amorim on Man United links: “I’m not here to comment about links with United now. I have my idea on my future but I’m not going to tell you now, I’ll tell you at the end of the season.”
Fabrizio Romano has more on the incredible new investment into Man United from Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Ten Hag on Rashford partying after 0-3 derby defeat: “I am aware of it and spoke with him about it. It’s unacceptable. Marcus apologised, that’s it. It’s an internal matter. He is very motivated to put things right. He made a mistake but he’s totally with us, all good.”
Raphael Varane to Saudi? Fabrizio Romano has the truth behind the rumours.
Newcastle United director Dan Ashworth spoke about the Sandro Tonali case saying: “What Milan knew at the point of the deal? It’s really difficult for me to get into what other clubs do or don’t know. All we can do is look at our own internal investigation and internal process.”
Statement from AC Milan to Craig Hope of the Daily Mail regarding Sandro Tonali: “We first learnt about Tonali's gambling addiction through media reports. What we know is only what we read, we don't know anything else.”
Ashworth also talked about whether the club could recruit from the clubs in the Saudi Pro League that the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) own: “The current rules and regulations say there is nothing to stop it. But there is a potential that the various different organisations will look at things across related-parties, and what you can do to acquire players at a fair market value, which have already been in place for quite a while.”
📰 Why are FIFA and UEFA so passive at dealing with addiction? [Stan Collymore]
📰 Newcastle man nowhere near return from injury [Shields Gazette]
Fabrizio Romano has the exclusive on rumours that Real Madrid have made a €60m offer for Sporting’s highly-rated centre-back, Gonçalo Inacio.
📰 Kylian Mbappé already has a number set aside for him at Real Madrid [El Chiringuito]
Yaya Touré leaves Standard Liége with immediate effect. He joins Roberto Mancini’s coaching staff on the Saudi Arabian national team.
Douglas Costa has now landed in Saudi Arabia as he’s training there while negotiations continue with 3 Saudi clubs over a potential free move. He’s still waiting for Juventus as he’d love to return there but there’s no green light at this stage.
📰 Tottenham title talk is ridiculous and down to one demographic in particular [Stan Collymore]