• Liverpool are convinced they can bring Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham to Anfield later in the year.
• I cannot make out why we are regarding Leicester’s James Maddison’s move to Newcastle possible. I contacted both clubs but received contradictory answers.
Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Khan was hoping to lure Harry Kane away from Tottenham this summer or at Christmas to replace Roberto Lewandowski and partner Sadio Mane.
In a complete turnaround, Harry has now committed his future to Tottenham because he truly believes that Antonio Conte will deliver trophies to White Hart Lane and that means more to the striker than anything else.
He has been impressed this summer with Conte’s ambition and now chairman Daniel Levy has backed his manager by bringing in Richarlison, Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma.
Kane is already talking excitedly about contesting the Champions League this season after Tottenham finished in the top four under Conte. I am told he is also talking about extending his contract until retirement in five years. Such is his faith in Conte.
Liverpool working on Bellingham
Liverpool are convinced they can bring Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham to Anfield later in the year. The German giants will sell Bellingham in the summer.
However, Liverpool are working on a plan to bring him to the Premier League as early as just after Christmas. Behind the scenes at Liverpool, I am told the club is prepared to wait until next summer but they are beginning to put pressure on Dortmund and Bellingham’s agent.
The club is experienced in these long-term signing projects and they announced they had signed Naby Keita from RB Leipzig in August 2017 when he did not actually appear at Anfield until July 2018.
The Anfield team specialising in bringing in high-profile players are convinced, along with Jurgen Klopp, that Bellingham can become their new midfield general capable of taking them forward in the next few years.
Tuchel admits exhaustion
I am concerned about Thomas Tuchel’s negativity as we go into the Premier League’s first 2022/23 matches this weekend. Tuchel says Chelsea are not ready but is now complaining that their pre-season tour was too exhausting and his players are tired.
The Blues were away for two weeks in America. They just beat a Club America side, lost on penalties to Charlotte FC and were then soundly beaten by Arsenal before returning to Europe for two games against Udinese which they won.
Tuchel said: “It was a pretty long pre-season. Tiring and exhausting…and having to travel. There is a lot of positive stuff but we need to improve. We are not ready yet.”
Draxler to Newcastle as Maddison stalls?
I cannot make out why we are regarding Leicester’s James Maddison’s move to Newcastle possible. I contacted both clubs but received contradictory answers.
Newcastle say they are determined to buy him and Leicester say he is not going anywhere — unless the Baggies are prepared to pay £60m — which is a long way from their opening offer of £35m. Maddison says he is willing to consider a move. Newcastle’s most expensive player is Joelinton who signed for £39.6m.
As negotiations stall, the Baggies have turned their attention to what would be their biggest signing of the season if they can do a deal. Paris Saint-Germain star Julian Draxler is their new target and the club are talking to the French giants, hoping to do a deal. Draxler had difficulties playing under sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino last season and is known to be open to a move.
Crazy offside flags to be phased out
I think we can all agree that most of us have felt angry when a goalscoring chance is wasted when the linesman delays raising his offside flag.
Players on a run towards goal are often allowed to progress only to be flagged offside very late and often when the ball is in the net. The FA have seen sense and instructed assistant referees to be more decisive and if they think there is an offside infringement to raise the flag immediately and not allow play to continue for another few seconds.
The new rule will allow linesmen to delay only in cases when there is a). A clear goalscoring opportunity b). The offside decision is very marginal.
If a goalscoring opportunity is not clear or the ball is passed out to the wing for instance, the assistant will flag immediately. Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson said in response: “When there is a clear and obvious offside by three or four yards, what is the point of playing on and the flag raised later?”
Spurs bring in stars to run academy
If you want to bring on your youngsters, then hire the best in the football to teach them. Spurs have done just that and brought in ex-Manchester City powerhouse Yaya Toure and Jermain Defoe to join their academy coaching staff. Toure will be in charge of the 16-year-olds but will also assist with the 18-year-olds.
Jota is in for the long term
With Sadio Mane now at Bayern Munich, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is planning to rely more on Diogo Jota along with Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez as his striking force. The club is already negotiating to extend Jota’s five-year contract, signed in 2020.
Arrizabalaga to end nightmare
It looks like Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will finally end his disappointing stay at Stamford Bridge. Talks are advanced for him to join Italian side Napoli. As the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, Kepa is unhappy being back-up to Edouard Mendy, who has established himself as Thomas Tuchel’s number one. I understand that if the 27 year-old does join Napoli, Chelsea would pay a large amount of his £170k-a-week wages.
Fulham have to wait for signings
Promoted Fulham have bid to sign Chelsea’s Malang Sarr and West Ham’s Issa Diop. Chelsea have put negotiations on hold until they sign a new centre-back and West Ham manager David Moyes is reluctant to let Diop go since his new signing, Nayef Aguerd, is injured.
But I am expecting things to progress for both players. Fulham have also agreed terms to bring in goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Arsenal for £8million.