Manchester United begin their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday. Here’s our match preview from Jamie Jackson, who tips Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood to start, with new midfield recruit Donny van de Beek on the bench.
A little more on that potential Liverpool move for Diogo Jota. The clubs are reportedly close to agreeing a fee in the region of £35m-40m, but teenage defender Ki-Jana Hoever is poised to head the other way for £10m as part of the deal.
There’s been plenty of transfer activity in the last 24 hours, with Gonzalo Higuaín, Conor Gallagher, Lewis Baker and plenty more on the move:
Liverpool take on Chelsea on Sunday; here’s both managers’ thoughts on a rivalry that boiled over at Anfield last season.
Liverpool have unveiled Thiago Alcântara this afternoon, but they’re still making moves with another forward next on the agenda. Our man in the know reckons a surprise move for Wolves’ Diogo Jota is in the works:
A Women’s World Cup every two years could be coming soon, according to Gianni Infantino:
We don’t want to copy what the men are doing. We want something specific for the women’s game. We need to think about different suggestions.
Does that work for you?
A reminder of where we are with the Bale deal:
And some more reading:
That’s all from me today. Thanks all for following and here is the Fiver.
Still no news from Gareth Bale at Hotspur Way. Let’s hope that Dan Levy has managed to tear him away from the TV. We’ll keep the blog rolling in the hope of a relatively imminent completion.
Some interesting news from Sid Lowe in Spain. In light of Lionel Messi’s attempts to leave Barcelona and all the dysfunction that led up to it, over 20,000 club members signed in support of a vote of no confidence for Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu. He will now have to face a vote on his future by November.
From Peter Oh:
I assume Gareth Bale’s unveiling will take place at one of Spurs’ facilities and not on a golf green?
Considering it has been over 3 hours since Bale arrived at Hotspur Way, I will be shocked and dismayed if the video doesn’t involve him playing at least 9 holes of golf.
Here is Louise Taylor’s initial piece on Thiago’s £20m signing for Liverpool. He will be on a four year contract.
Jurgen Klopp on what Thiago brings to Liverpool (via liverpoolfc.com).
He can demand rhythm, that’s how it is. He can obviously create and use space for other players, all these kinds of things. First touch incredible; vision incredible; passing pretty good! But is quick as well. Work-rate great. His numbers were absolutely special last year in Germany as well, most steals, ball recoveries and all these kinds of things; most passes. But we don’t play like Bayern, so that still will need some time to get settled and nobody should expect – and I don’t expect – the special things immediately, first game, let’s see. It’s a long-term project and we have a good team, so we can give time. But, of course, we want to use him on the pitch, that’s clear. So the work can start now.
Klopp also noted how hard it is to attract a player like Thiago: “a player like Thiago – settled that much at Bayern – is usually out of reach for pretty much everybody. If the player doesn’t want [to move] massively then you have no chance.”
Thiago Alcantara on his move from the Liverpool website:
“I think it’s an amazing feeling. I was waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very, very happy to be here.
“When the years are passing, you are trying to win as much as you can – and when you win, you want to win more. I think this club describes what I am as well; I want to achieve all of the goals, win as many trophies as possible.
“It also [has] this kind of family [feeling] that I need because we [like to] have a very close relationship with the club and I think I will feel this, I will have this feeling, with this club as well.”
He will wear #6.
Nick Ames was on The Fiver duty today:
Having spent most of his time at Spurs moaning that he doesn’t have enough players, José Mourinho reckons he has “too many” now Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilón are in town. “I don’t like the number of players I have in my squad. It is very, very difficult to manage,” he honked. Oh José!
Ralph Halsenhuttl on rumours about Danny Ings leaving Southampton:
The only thing I want to say for these rumors is that there is absolutely zero interest from Danny to go anywhere. He is 100% happy to be here and for us it’s 100% not discussable. He is one of the best players in Europe, one of the best strikers in Europe. Any rumors about that are absolutely nonsense and I think hopefully this is the last time we speak about this.
Everton captain Seamus Coleman will make his 250th league start for the club against West Bromwich Albion, boosted by his manager’s confidence that he can carry on playing until he is 40.
“Seamus will be playing, so the congratulations can start,” Carlo Ancelotti said. “We are very lucky to have him as a captain and he is still young at 31. I’m sure he will still be playing when he is 40.”
Ancelotti also confirmed that Everton will be looking to pick up a centre-back on loan before the transfer window closes, with both Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite out injured for at least a month. Holgate could be out for another six weeks with a foot problem, while 18-year-old Branthwaite damaged his ankle in the Carabao Cup win over Salford in midweek and faces a month on the sidelines. “At the moment we only have Yerry Mina and Michael Keane for the centre-back positions, so we will have to look and see if the market has anything to offer,” Ancelotti said.
Here is Nick Ames reporting on Mikel Arteta’s press conference. Arteta talked about finally convincing Aubameyang to stay.
Chelsea news: Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic, Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech will all miss the Liverpool game. Timo Werner is fit.
The view on Gareth Bale from two former players he competed against who now manage his biggest London rivals.
Gareth Bale is an incredible player. Incredible individual talent who is remembered very well from his Premier League days at Tottenham. We’ve seen from afar the incredible success he’s had at Real Madrid and if he does come to Tottenham, which I keep seeing is virtually gonna happen soon, then I think he’s gonna be a big addition to their squad. They’re gonna be a team that will be expected to challenge for around the Champions League places and above. And they have fantastic individuals. If they get Gareth Bale then they have one, for sure. He’s one of the best players in the world in the last 4 or 5 seasons.
“The Premier League in its history has always had the best players in the world. I think Gareth has been one of the most significant names that left the Premier League years ago to go to Spain, so I think it’s really positive to bring really important players back to the league and it will be a challenge because we know at his best what he can do.”
Across the Atlantic, David Beckham’s Inter Miami have signed Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo rejoices.
Frank Lampard followed up Jurgen Klopp’s fair comments about him with some nice words about the German.
“I just reiterate what Jurgen Klopp said on his part. I have huge amount of respect for him as a manager, I always have done. What he’s done at Liverpool in the course of the time that he’s been there has been incredible. That’s on him as the focal point of that club and the individuals that they have in that squad that they’ve brought in. So, there’s nothing in it for me. The competitive nature of the 90 minutes can always slightly boil over in different directions. The respect that I have for Jurgen Klopp would never change.”
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti on what has impressed him most about his Everton team so far.
“They’re good guys and they played their first game. It was really important. The game gave us a lot of confidence for the next game, for tomorrow. That is where we are focused. Just try to repeat the performance that we had against Tottenham. Every game has difficulties and so the spirit in this moment is good and we want to keep with a good result, this spirit.”
(He didn’t really respond to the question. It happens.)
Mikel Arteta on his decision to allow Emiliano Martinez to leave the club for Aston Villa despite how well he performed at the end of last season in the absence of Bernd Leno. Martinez was sold for £20m:
“Well, at the end of the day we have to find some balance between what we want to achieve with our squad and our finances – and it gets to the point where if you want to achieve certain things, you need to sacrifice others. Time will tell whether we are weaker or not and obviously the recruitment we are planning to do to try and get our second goalkeeper, they will hopefully bring a really good performance level. We can see Emi being successful at Villa and we are all happy for him.”
Pep Guardiola was asked about his rumoured pursuit of Lionel Messi and Phil Foden’s recent ejection from the England squad after breaking COVID-19 regulations. He did not have much to say:
Leo explained, I think, quite well his feelings and what happened. He is a football player for Barcelona, for the club I love, and nothing more to say.
He’s well. The time I saw him, these three/four days we were together, he knows he made a mistake and that’s all.
Good afternoon. Tumaini Carayol here again after lunch and I have returned just in time to hear that Tottenham fans have been perfecting their predictable Spurs > Golf > Wales chant outside the club training ground. Only time will tell if that chant is actually accurate.
The Sweden defender and Chelsea captain, Magdalena Eriksson, has hit back at criticism the Swedish national team received for taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before their Euro qualifier against Hungary on Thursday night. In a strong statement she said:
To take a knee was never close to being a hard decision for us. This was always the right thing to do. We know what we stand for and believe in. Yesterday we took a knee to show that we are against racism and discrimination in any way. This is not about politics or a political act. This is about humanity and the fact that we believe everyone is equal and no one should ever be treated differently because the colour of their skin, their race, sexuality, gender or anything at all.
Read the full story here:
Tumaini is back from lunch now so I’ll hand back to him. Thanks.
Sergio Agüero has been ruled out of Manchester City’s Premier League opener against Wolves on Monday. Pep Guardiola confirmed the club’s record goalscorer has still not fully recovered from knee surgery at the end of last season. “He still did not make one training session with us,” said City’s manager. Agüero is not getting any younger. Is this the season that Gabriel Jesus becomes City’s regular No 9?
Everton have only played one league game and yet Carlo Ancelotti has an injury crisis in defence. The Italian has been left with just two fit centre-backs after Jarrad Branthwaite was ruled out with an ankle injury. With Mason Holgate already ruled out until possibly the end of October, Ancelotti reckons he will need to dip into the transfer market.
Honestly, we are looking for a centre-back. We are looking, if the market offers something I think we can have one. Now we are only with Yerry Mina and Michael Keane, but we are looking for another one.
Gareth Bale appears to have been taken from Luton Airport to Tottenham’s Enfield training ground in double-quick time. Pictures have just emerged of the Real Madrid forward arriving to a rapturous welcome on Hotspur Way. I think somebody might be getting a speeding ticket. That windscreen needs a wash too.
Hello, Gregg here. I’ll be keeping things ticking over while Tumaini grabs some lunch. As local lockdowns are implemented in various parts of northern England the Preston manager, Alex Neil, appeared less than certain it was a good idea for the EFL to go ahead with trials to bring small numbers of fans back to EFL games this weekend. He had this to say to the Lancashire Evening Post before Preston face Norwich at Carrow Road in front of 1,000 supporters:
I have been one of the advocates of wanting to get fans back in as soon as possible. However, things are changing in normal life, there seems to be a bit of a spike again and I’m actually quite surprised they are continuing with introducing fans. But we would all like it back to normal as quickly as possible, providing it is safe to do so.
Mikel Arteta has spoken ahead of Arsenal’s fixture against West Ham United.
On Aubameyang: “Obviously I knew what was coming so I was bit more relaxed, but I am really pleased to have convinced Auba to stay at our club as well in the terms that we have done, and with the passion and determination that him and the people around him showed to stay at our club, how happy they are with what we have achieved and as well really pleased to see the reaction of everyone, firstly here at Colney at our club and as well our fans, to keep him.”
Thiago Alcantara has arrived at Liverpool’s training ground ahead of his move. There are currently Liverpool fans climbing on their car to peer over the fence.
“You can almost hear the conversation.” You really can’t.
Gareth Bale has arrived in London. Sky Sports News just showed camera shots of the plane landing at London Stansted airport. Maybe this is a bit much.
Still quite a surreal sight.