Man Utd and Liverpool scrap for Raphinha, Haaland to Chelsea UPDATE, Neil Lennon QUITS Celtic, Tottenham transfer news

ERLING HAALAND's future remains a hot topic with Chelsea reportedly looking to sign the Dortmund star 'at any cost'.

North of the border, Neil Lennon has left Celtic with cross-town rivals Rangers closing in on the Scottish Premiership title.

And we've the very latest on Andre Silva after SunSport revealed exclusively on Tuesday that he could switch to Man Utd for just £30million.

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Read our live blog below to get the latest from around the clubs…

  • Josh Graham

    BAN SHAME

    An unnamed 16-year-old Premier League footballer has been slapped with a nine-month ban for possession of a growth hormone.

    The starlet – who was 15 at the time at the offence last year – was found to be in possession of a pen-type dispenser containing somatropin.

    The substance – that is used to treat growth failure – is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and is prohibited at all times.

    A four-year ban was on the table for the teenager with the FA seeking a long punishment after the player was also charged with using somatropin.

    However in the ban that was issued last month, an independent regulatory commission failed to prove that claim.

    The player – whose name and club cannot be revealed due to his age – was subsequently handed a nine-month ban.

    However his suspension will conclude on May 7 after consideration was given to the time he was suspended.

  • Josh Graham

    REF WATCH

    FA chiefs want ALL Prem academy kids to take refereeing courses – to make them respect officials more.

    Wembley director of professional game relations Andy Ambler is urging clubs to adopt the idea amid concern that abuse handed out to officials both on and off the pitch could impact the next generation of whistlers coming through the grass roots game.

    Ambler said: “If every 16 or 17 year old at an academy was made to go through a refereeing course it would help them have empathy and understanding of the Laws of the game.

    “I would go further, and make them referee games to see what it is like and to make refereeing courses for young players mandatory.

    “It would be a step forward and it is something that I’d like to discuss with the Premier League and the clubs over how we could do it.”

  • Josh Graham

    HAA MUCH?

    Manchester United have reportedly been told that they can sign Erling Haaland this summer, but only for £150million.

    The Norwegian striker is among the hottest property in European football, having scored 43 goals in 43 games since joining Borussia Dortmund 13 months ago.

    Haaland, 20, possesses a £65million release clause in his contract, which will become active in 2022.

    A number of clubs, including United, Manchester City and Chelsea are interested in getting a deal done sooner – but it'll cost them dearly.

    According to the Star, Dortmund are braced for interest but will hold out for £150m this summer – more than double his future release clause.

    Asked yesterday about Haaland, who he managed at Molde, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to rule out a move for his compatriot.

  • Josh Graham

    JUST DO IT

    Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is set to be at the centre of a fight between numerous sportswear giants.

    The 23-year-old's deal with Nike is set to come to an end soon, with Puma said to be interested in stealing him away from the American tycoon.

    And, according to The Mail, several other major organisations are also thought to be interested in him becoming one of the faces of their company.

    Puma are looking to coax Rashford away from his sponsorship relationship with Nike, which he has had for 12 years.

    However, Nike do have the right to match any offer put forward to Rashford and there is no indication he wants to leave when his deal expires.

  • Josh Graham

    EURO VISION

    UEFA’S pandemic expert has promised Euro 2020 WILL definitely go ahead.

    And Dr Daniel Koch believes it is possible that fans will be able to travel across the continent in a response to the Covid vaccine roll-out.

    Koch spent most of the past year battling the pandemic in his previous role as head of communicable diseases at Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health.

    He said: “There is no way the Euros will not happen. They will happen.

    “There is no worst case scenario. There are realistic scenarios and best-case scenarios.”

    Uefa will confirm the structure of the tournament in early April, with insiders at headquarters in Nyon still suggesting the planned 12 host city format is likely to remain.

  • Josh Graham

    LACA BOSS

    Arsenal star Alexandre Lacazette has shown off his new Despicable Me style 'MinionzetteS' football boots.

    The Frenchman's new kicks are predominantly a 'tie-dye' blue, inspired by the colour of the Gunners' current third kit.

    Alexandre Lacazette's new Minion bootsCredit: Instagram @swithadot
    Lacazette has worn the boots in Gunners trainingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Josh Graham

    RAPH-LE TICKET

    Leeds star Raphinha could become the subject of a transfer battle between Manchester United and Liverpool, according to reports.

    After leaving Rennes for Yorkshire in October, the Brazilian winger has been a key man at Elland Road.

    His form has alerted the likes of United and Liverpool, among others ahead of the summer transfer market.

    SportItalia report on the interest, with Leeds ready to fight to keep hold of the 24-year-old.

    The Whites forked out £17million for Raphinha last year following a single season in France.

  • Josh Graham

    'NEVER LET THEM BREATHE'

    Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has paid tribute to his side for making Atletico Madrid 'suffer' during their 1-0 win on Tuesday night.

    Olivier Giroud's stunning overhead kick gave the Blues a precious away goal to take back to Stamford Bridge for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash.

    On BT Sport, Tuchel said: "Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well deserved.

    "We wanted to dominate in the opponents' half, to never lose concentration, not to do any easy mistakes and always be aware of quick counter-attacks for all their quality.

    "It was a very disciplined performance – a deserved shut-out. This is the hard work, a team effort – the basis for a big win. We knew it [Atletico packing their defence] could happen.

    "We told the guys if it happens maybe it's our quality and the respect. We wanted to be brave and play in their half. We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box. The intention was to keep the intensity high.

    "This is what we did very good. We never let them breathe or come out for counter-attacks. We have a big reward with this result. This is one of the toughest challenges to open a defence like Atletico."

  • Josh Graham

    WHAT A MES

    Mesut Ozil's 'dream' move to Fenerbahce has begun in nightmare fashion.

    The ex-Arsenal superstar arrived at the Turkish giants last month to great fanfare, after finally ending his North London nightmare.

    Mesut Ozil's Fenerbahce career is stutteringCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Ozil, 32, pitched up at a club sitting pretty at the top of the league, chasing its first title since 2014.

    Since debuting against Hatayspor, Ozil has lost three of his first five outings with his new side, as Fenerbahce have surrendered top spot and fallen to third place.

    Fener have also crashed out of the Turkish domestic cup, losing 2-1 to Basaksehir at home after extra time.

    Despite winning games against Hatayspor and Karagumruk, Ozil is yet to score or assist for his new club.

  • Josh Graham

    GREAT DANE

    Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has compared young star Dane Scarlett to Marcus Rashford after his impressive display in the Europa League.

    Scarlett, 16, set up Carlos Vinicius' second goal in Spurs' 4-1 victory over Wolfsberger on Wednesday evening.

    Jose Mourinho compared Dane Scarlett to Marcus RashfordCredit: PA:Press Association

    Mourinho said: "I do not want to say too much because his academy manager will kill me.

    “But he is 17 next month — and next season I want him training with the first-team squad.

    “He is a diamond, a kid with incredible potential. He has worked many times with the first team and that gives him a different personality.

    “He is still 16, 17 soon, and I believe next season he will be a first-team player — because he has a lot of talent.

    “He is a striker, a No 9. But I have been playing him from the sides — similar to Marcus Rashford — and he is already very clever.”

  • Josh Graham

    REDS TRAGEDY

    The father of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has died after his body was found in a lake near the family home.

    Local police have told Brazilian media that Jose Agostinho Becker, 57, is believed to have drowned after disappearing near a dam.

    Jose is understood to have gone for a swim near his property in Lavras do Sul, in southern Brazil.

    After he was declared missing, a friend of his and an employee of the family estate discovered the body on Wednesday evening.

    Police arrived on the scene and his death is being treated as an accident.

    Like his two sons, Liverpool's Alisson, 28, and Fluminense's Muriel, 34, Jose was a goalkeeper.

    He played in amateur leagues in Brazil, as did Alisson's grandfather, and has been described as a huge influence on his sons' careers.

  • Josh Graham

    BAD MARKS

    Mark Wright has joked that he will 'switch to Pro Evo' after receiving the WORST rating in FIFA 21.

    The popular EA Sports game added the reality TV star, 34, to its line-up after he signed for Crawley.

    But the left-back, who had previously enjoyed spells in non-league before his television fame, was awarded a measly rating of 47 out of 100.

    With just two stars out of five for 'skill moves', Wright also possesses a one-star weak foot and a 'low' work-rate in defence and attack.

    After hearing of the news via Twitter, the Essex lad remarked that he was ready to switch to FIFA rival Pro Evo, which he doesn't appear in.

    With two laughing face emojis, Wright joked: "RUDE – I’m switching back to Pro Evo."

  • Marc Mayo

    GOOD MORNING FOOTY FANS

    Man City put one foot in the Champions League quarters with a 2-0 win in the first leg of their last-16 tie with Gladbach.

    Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus bagged the vital away goals in a dominant win for the Premier League leaders.

    The other Champions League game saw Real Madrid beat Atalanta 1-0, Ferland Mendy score an 86th minute winner against the Italians, who were reduced to ten men after 17 minutes.

    In the Europa League, Spurs booked their place in the last 16 with a 4-0 win against Wolfsberger.

    Carlos Vinicius scored twice, with Dele Alli and Gareth Bale also netting for an 8-1 aggregate victory.

    Meanwhile, the Champions League final could be held in New York in Uefa’s dramatic revamp.

    European chiefs want to agree the new 36-team model for their biggest prize will run for at least nine seasons from 2024.

    And as part of the pitch to potential sponsors, Uefa is suggesting that the showpiece event could take ‘Old Big Ears’ to the Big Apple.

    Finally, Tammy Abraham is not interested in negotiating a new Chelsea deal while the club plot a blockbuster move for Erling Haaland, according to the Athletic.

    Chelsea have made the prolific Norwegian striker a priority signing which could imply 23-year-old Abraham – who has two years left on his deal – can not be certain of his long-term future at the club.

    The report states Abraham wants to lead the line for club and country and is already in competition with Olivier Giroud for a spot in the starting XI.

  • Anthony Chapman

    ART OF THE MATTER

    Mikel Arteta has warned that Arsenal can no longer take their place among Europe’s elite for granted if they lose to Benfica.

    He said: “It’s absolutely huge for this club to be represented in Europe but the competition in England is now so big that a few teams took it for granted for many years.

    “It’s very difficult to convince supporters that the Europa League is like the Champions League, because it isn’t.

    “The history of this club has been built on winning titles and playing in the Champions League.

    “But knowing the difficulties we’ve been through in the past years, the Europa League becomes a really important competition for us and if we manage to do something important in it this season we’re all going to be happy about that.

    “If you see the way this competition has evolved in the last four or five years and the teams that are involved, you would say that it’s another huge competition even if people don’t treat it that way.

    “So for us it’s vital to remain in this competition because it’s an opportunity to win a trophy and also to get access back into the Champions League, which is where we want to be.”

    Mikel Areta has warned Arsenal not to underestimate the Europa League
  • Anthony Chapman

    JUMP FOR HOOPS

    Former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and Scotland manager Steve Clarke have emerged as early favourites to replace Neil Lennon as Celtic manager.

    Ex-Chelsea star Dan Petrescu, former Huddersfield boss David Wagner and Granada chief Diego Martinez are also possibilities.

    But Clarke is the bookies’ 6/4 favourite to replace him, despite Frank Lampard, Rafa Benitez and Roberto Martinez being linked.

    Interim boss John Kennedy took training on Wednesday with first-team coach Gavin Strachan.

    And the duo will be in charge for Saturday’s Premiership home clash against Aberdeen.

    Eddie Howe and Steve Clarke are in the running for the Celtic job
  • Anthony Chapman

    EXCLUSIVE BY ANDY DILLON

    Alan Pardew took the plunge into Bulgarian football because for once he fancied fighting for silverware instead of survival.

    The CSKA Sofia boss told SunSport: “I’ve been to cup finals as a player and a manager but by and large I’ve always been either fighting to stay in the Premier League or fighting to get out of the Championship.

    “In Holland my job was to keep them in the top division, which I did but for once it’s really nice not to be fighting against everything. I’m fighting for something.

    “We have three points to make up on Ludogorets — we have lost one game this season, they have lost two.”

    Alan Pardew is enjoying life challenging for trophies with CSKA Sofia
  • Anthony Chapman

    GETTING SHIRTY

    Lionel Messi left Elche goalkeeper Edgar Badia in shock following Wednesday night's LaLiga clash – by asking for his shirt.

    The Argentine legend scored twice in the second-half to give Barcelona a comfortable 3-0 win at the Nou Camp.

    After the game, Badia approached Messi and asked him for his shirt.

    As he was given the iconic Barcelona No10 jersey, Badia was left visibly perplexed as Messi asked for his in return.

    A mixture of sheepish and giddy, the Elche stopper ripped off his top and handed it to Messi.

    The pair shared a laugh, shook hands and went their separate ways.

    Lionel Messi left Elche goalie Edgar Badia stunned after asking for his jersey
  • Anthony Chapman

    ON THE MEND

    Real Madrid left it late as an 86th minute strike from Ferland Mendy sealed victory over Atalanta.

    The Italians were reduced to ten men after just 17 minutes.

    But they held firm until Mendy popped up late on to secure a 1-0 win for Real in the Champions League last-16 first-leg tie.

    READ OUR FULL MATCH REPORT HERE

  • Anthony Chapman

    SILVA LINING

    Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus fired Man City to a 2-0 win over Gladbach this evening.

    Pep Guardiola's men now have one foot in the Champions League quarters after tonight's last-16 first-leg away win.

    READ OUR FULL MATCH REPORT HERE

  • Anthony Chapman

    EURO STARS

    Atletico Madrid captain Koke claims his side WILL beat Chelsea in the return leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

    Koke said: "It was a play that had no danger and we have conceded a great goal,

    "In this competition, you have to take the maximum care of details.

    "We are still in the same position, we are top in the league, in the Champions League Round of 16 and we are going to win there."

    Koke is adamant Atletico Madrid will still reach the Champions League quartersCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Anthony Chapman

    FROM SUNSPORT’S MARTIN LIPTON

    The Champions League final could be held in New York in Uefa’s dramatic revamp.

    European chiefs want to agree the new 36-team model for their biggest prize will run for at least nine seasons from 2024.

    And as part of the pitch to potential sponsors, Uefa is suggesting that the showpiece event could take 'Old Big Ears' to the Big Apple.

    President Aleksander Ceferin floated the prospect of the Champions League final being taken out of Europe shortly after his election in 2016.

    He said: “I think it might be an idea in the future but we have to speak about it.

    “To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan, for example, is almost the same as if you go to New York. For the fans it’s no problem.”

    The Champions League final could take place in New York in a major overhaul from Uefa
  • Anthony Chapman

    FAN’S VIEW

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was Arsenal's hero in last season's FA Cup final with two goals, before leaving fans waiting anxiously for him to sign a new contract.

    But after famously avoiding another Robin van Persie-type situation, supporters are already left wondering: Has he already lost his edge?

    Are we really to believe Aubameyang has gone from world-class to past his best in just six months?

    READ THE REST OF THE FAN’S VIEW HERE

    Pierre-Emerick Aubamaeyang will have to adapt his style of play at Arsenal
  • Anthony Chapman

    CROWN JULES

    Man Utd reportedly remain keen on signing Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde.

    But they are refusing to match his £68million release clause, according to the Mail.

    They state that the Premier League side are mindful of paying inflated prices during the coronavirus crisis, and hope to bring him in for cheaper.

    Sevilla know they may have to sell to raise funds by offloading Kounde after losing money due to Covid, but are refusing to let him go for less than his market value.

    Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde is believed to be a target for Manchester United
  • Anthony Chapman

    GO ON MY SON

    Etienne Eto’o has become the latest footballer looking to emulate the success of their father after he scored on his Cameroon U-20 debut.

    And he is just one of a number of current footballers that will be trying to make a name for themselves instead of living of their famous father's reputation.

    Here, SunSport has made a 3-5-2 formation of a best XI of youngsters looking to forge a career for themselves.

    READ MORE ABOUT THEM HERE

  • Anthony Chapman

    NO PEP TALK

    RB Leipzig left-back Angelino claims Pep Guardiola ‘killed me and my self-confidence’ in a massive blast at the Manchester City boss.

    He said: “After my move from Eindhoven back to City, he had already judged me after two preparatory games and didn't give me a real chance afterwards. 

    "So I was happy that I joined to Leipzig and that I am now an integral part of the club.

    “One of them (Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann) gave me confidence and let me play. The other one just doesn't. "

    RB Leipzig defender Angelino has hit out at Pep Guardiola

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