Yves Bissouma ‘requests Brighton exit this summer’ alerting Liverpool and Arsenal

Yves Bissouma ‘requests Brighton exit this summer’ putting Liverpool and Arsenal on red alert – with Jurgen Klopp having ‘researched player’s character’ to determine if he can replace Georginio Wijnaldum

  • Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma is set to be a man in demand this summer 
  • The Mali international has reported asked to be allowed to leave the club 
  • Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City are said to have be placed on alert 
  • It is claimed Jurgen Klopp has already done background research on Bissouma 

Brighton star Yves Bissouma has reportedly asked to be allowed to leave the club this summer, amid rising interest from a host of Premier League giants.

The Mali international has had a sublime season at the AMEX and has emerged as one of the top flight’s most consistent performers.

Now, with a host of suitors queuing up, 24-year-old Bissouma has requested to depart at the end of the season in order to further his career, according to the Times.

Yves Bissouma has reportedly requested to leave Brighton amid Liverpool and Arsenal interest

It is claimed that Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have all already inquired about the availability of the Mali star as they seek to strengthen in midfield ahead of the coming campaign.

French giants Marseille are also said to have shown a willingness to bring Bissouma back to Ligue 1.

Liverpool have emerged as one of the side's monitoring Bissouma after a sublime season

Liverpool have emerged as one of the side’s monitoring Bissouma after a sublime season

According to the Times, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ‘spent time personally researching Bissouma’s character and off-field behaviour in order to assess whether the player would be a good fit for his Anfield squad.’

Widespread reports have linked Bissouma to Merseyside for some time, with the midfielder tipped as a potential long-term replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum.

The Dutchman is set to leave Anfield at the end of the campaign as a free agent, after failing to agree a new contract with the Reds.

Barcelona and Bayern Munich are touted as the most likely destinations for Wijnaldum to move on to.

Jurgen Klopp is reported to have already been checking out the character of Bissouma

Jurgen Klopp is reported to have already been checking out the character of Bissouma

Bissouma however is said to have a preference to join a Champions League side, with Klopp’s Liverpool struggling to nail down a top four finish and Arsenal poised to miss out on European competition completely.

City’s interest in Bissouma is less intense, according to the Times, who state any possible summer move will ‘depend on pricing of alternative options and the potential extension of Fernandinho’s contract.’

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Sam Allardyce set for crunch talks with West Brom hierarchy to decide if he will stay next season

Sam Allardyce set for crunch talks with West Bromwich Albion hierarchy to decide if he will stay next season – after Arsenal loss confirms their relegation to the Championship

  • The Baggies’ demotion to the second tier was rubber-stamped after a 3-1 defeat 
  • Allardyce has admitted he would stay if given the tools to come straight back up 
  • But the 66-year-old remained tight-lipped over his future straight after the game

Sam Allardyce will meet with the West Brom hierarchy this week as they move towards a decision over whether he will lead the club in the Championship after his first relegation from the Premier League as a manager.

West Brom’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal confirmed their departure from the top flight, despite an upturn since Allardyce’s appointment in December.

The 18-month deal he signed on his arrival included a break clause that either party is able to activate at the end of this campaign, and Allardyce has indicated he would be open to staying if he is given the tools to compete for an immediate return.

Sam Allardyce is set for crunch talks with West Bromwich Albion this week to decide his future

The Baggies’ relegation to the Championship was confirmed after a 3-1 loss against Arsenal

But he was tight-lipped in the wake of defeat at the Emirates Stadium. He said: ‘It’s too early to consider or talk about it.’

The 66-year-old added: ‘I am not going to answer the question of whether I am staying or not. I don’t want to waste your time. I will talk about the game.’

On his first relegation from the Premier League, Allardyce said: ‘Words can’t describe it. We have to accept that tonight and over the season we have not been quite good enough.

Allardyce, 66, remained tight-lipped on his immediate future when speaking after the match

Allardyce, 66, remained tight-lipped on his immediate future when speaking after the match

‘If we were to go down I wanted it to be the last game of the season but that hasn’t happened.’

The win kept alive Arsenal’s faint hopes of a top-six finish after blowing their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal on Thursday.

Manager Mikel Arteta, whose position has been under scrutiny in a desperately underwhelming season, said: ‘We will try to win every match and see where we finish. The only thing we can do is win our games.

‘We needed that win tonight. It has been a while since we won at home. We scored three fantastic goals and we had some great spells in the game. When we conceded the goal we did look nervy.’

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Martin Keown backs Arsenal fans’ protests as he admits new owners could be the ‘catalyst’ for change

‘The club is going backwards and they have to arrest that slide’: Martin Keown backs Arsenal fans’ protests as he admits new owners could be the ‘catalyst’ for change at the Emirates… as Joe Cole defends Mikel Arteta because he ‘joined a sinking ship’

  • Arsenal disastrous season effectively came to an end on Thursday evening
  • The Gunners were knocked out of the Europa League after a draw with Villarreal
  • Fans have been protesting in recent weeks and want a change in ownership 
  • Mikel Arteta is under huge pressure and it remains to be seen if he will stay 

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has had his say on the state of affairs at his old club, saying they are going backwards and something must be done to stop that.

The Gunners’ season effrectivelky came to an end on Thursday as they were dumped out of the Europa League following a desperately disappointing 0-0 draw with Villarreal.

Speaking on BT Sport ahead of Sunday’s clash against West Brom, Keown said: ‘the fans need to have their say. The club is becoming stagnated. There’s a lack of investment. 

‘The Kroenkes – do they really love the club? They need to spend massively. Leno wont’ sign a new contract. Luiz is leaving. Bellerin isn’t signing a new contract. There’s a remarkable amount of players that are uncertain of their futures. 

‘Arteta needs to take some responsibility. He’s outsmarted himself. He needs to keep it simple. I do believe he’s an outstanding coach, he needs to prove he’s an outstanding manager. It’s going to be difficult to back him if he loses again.

‘It’s about results. He’s been here 18 months and he’s won an FA Cup, but when we look at league form it’s fallen away. The football club is going backwards and they have to arrest that slide. How much of the problem is about the manager and how much is about the squad? The manager is concerning me because he always blames the players. massive expenditure is needed. new owners could be the catalyst.’

Fellow pundit Joe Cole expressed some sympathy for, saying he had an almost impossible job.

‘I feel for Mikel, he joined a sinking ship. The club had been on a steady decline, eyebrows were raised when he took it – it’s a massive job to take. H

‘He needs to take some responsibility, hopefully he does that privately. This is where Arsenal are at and the fans need to understand that. It’s going to take a few years to turn it around. There are good young players and that’s where the direction needs to be.’

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Brighton striker Neal Maupay is sent off AFTER the final whistle following defeat by Wolves

Neal Maupay loses his cool as Brighton striker is sent off AFTER the final whistle following agonising defeat by Wolves for using foul and abusive language towards referee Jon Moss

  • Neal Maupay made his way to referee Jon Moss after Brighton lost 2-1 at Wolves
  • The seething striker received a red card for shouting and pointing at the official
  • Teammates Pascal Gross and Adam Webster were seen trying to usher him away
  • Lewis Dunk was sent off in the second half before Albion lost to a last-gasp goal 

Brighton striker Neal Maupay had to be restrained by his teammates and coaches as the striker was sent off for hurling abuse at referee Jon Moss in the immediate aftermath of the Seagulls’ Premier League defeat at Wolves.

Fiery forward Maupay, who was embroiled in controversy last year when he claimed Arsenal defender Matteo Guendouzi had taunted him over wages during an on-pitch flashpoint, was dismissed for foul and abusive language after the final whistle.

Brighton’s top scorer was seen striding towards Moss in the centre circle, pointing his finger and shouting angrily as midfielder Pascal Gross tried to stop him from approaching the official.

The striker was sent off for foul and abusive language

Brighton’s Neal Maupay (left) was sent off for abusing Jon Moss after Brighton’s loss at Wolves

Maupay was mysteriously infuriated after the visitors lost to a last-minute winner at Molineux

Maupay was mysteriously infuriated after the visitors lost to a last-minute winner at Molineux

Assistant boss Billy Reid and defender Adam Webster also held Maupay back as he reacted furiously following the late 2-1 defeat at Molineux, with Wolves scoring twice after Albion captain Lewis Dunk was sent off for hauling back Fabio Silva when the youngster was through on goal. 

Fans were mystified by Maupay’s rage after a performance by Moss offering few controversies, and there was little for Dunk or his teammates to complain about when he was dismissed for a clear pull on Silva’s shirt.

The Frenchman could have been riled by the agonising manner of his side’s defeat, inflicted by Adama Traore’s 76th-minute equaliser and a last-gasp Morgan Gibbs-White goal. 

Lewis Dunk had already seen red during the second half before the Seagulls spurned a lead

Lewis Dunk had already seen red during the second half before the Seagulls spurned a lead

Assistant manager Billy Reid (left) persuades Maupay to leave the pitch after he lost his temper

Assistant manager Billy Reid (left) persuades Maupay to leave the pitch after he lost his temper

One of Maupay’s former strike partners at Albion, Glenn Murray, told BBC Sport: ‘I don’t think it will have been about anything in particular.

‘It’s just frustration on the afternoon – to be so dominant in the first half and then to lose towards the end. It’s frustration.’  

Dunk’s 13th-minute header had given Brighton a lead they held for more than an hour, but the skipper and Maupay will now face bans from helping a side who are still not safe from relegation during a tough run-in that includes clashes with West Ham, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas said: ‘What’s he doing? They’ve now lost him as well [as Dunk]. Where’s the discipline?’

Albion boss Graham Potter revealed Maupay had ‘crossed a line’ after he was abruptly dropped from his squad for their trip to Tottenham in November. 

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Brighton striker Neal Maupay is sent off AFTER the final whistle following defeat by Wolves

Neal Maupay loses his cool as Brighton striker is sent off AFTER the final whistle following agonising defeat by Wolves for using foul and abusive language towards referee Jon Moss

  • Neal Maupay made his way to referee Jon Moss after Brighton lost 2-1 at Wolves
  • The seething striker received a red card for shouting and pointing at the official
  • Teammates Pascal Gross and Adam Webster were seen trying to usher him away
  • Lewis Dunk was sent off in the second half before Albion lost to a last-gasp goal 

Brighton striker Neal Maupay had to be restrained by his teammates and coaches as the striker was sent off for hurling abuse at referee Jon Moss in the immediate aftermath of the Seagulls’ Premier League defeat at Wolves.

Fiery forward Maupay, who was embroiled in controversy last year when he claimed Arsenal defender Matteo Guendouzi had taunted him over wages during an on-pitch flashpoint, was dismissed for foul and abusive language after the final whistle.

Brighton’s top scorer was seen striding towards Moss in the centre circle, pointing his finger and shouting angrily as midfielder Pascal Gross tried to stop him from approaching the official.

The striker was sent off for foul and abusive language

Brighton’s Neal Maupay (left) was sent off for abusing Jon Moss after Brighton’s loss at Wolves

Maupay was mysteriously infuriated after the visitors lost to a last-minute winner at Molineux

Maupay was mysteriously infuriated after the visitors lost to a last-minute winner at Molineux

Assistant boss Billy Reid and defender Adam Webster also held Maupay back as he reacted furiously following the late 2-1 defeat at Molineux, with Wolves scoring twice after Albion captain Lewis Dunk was sent off for hauling back Fabio Silva when the youngster was through on goal. 

Fans were mystified by Maupay’s rage after a performance by Moss offering few controversies, and there was little for Dunk or his teammates to complain about when he was dismissed for a clear pull on Silva’s shirt.

The Frenchman could have been riled by the agonising manner of his side’s defeat, inflicted by Adama Traore’s 76th-minute equaliser and a last-gasp Morgan Gibbs-White goal. 

Lewis Dunk had already seen red during the second half before the Seagulls spurned a lead

Lewis Dunk had already seen red during the second half before the Seagulls spurned a lead

Assistant manager Billy Reid (left) persuades Maupay to leave the pitch after he lost his temper

Assistant manager Billy Reid (left) persuades Maupay to leave the pitch after he lost his temper

One of Maupay’s former strike partners at Albion, Glenn Murray, told BBC Sport: ‘I don’t think it will have been about anything in particular.

‘It’s just frustration on the afternoon – to be so dominant in the first half and then to lose towards the end. It’s frustration.’  

Dunk’s 13th-minute header had given Brighton a lead they held for more than an hour, but the skipper and Maupay will now face bans from helping a side who are still not safe from relegation during a tough run-in that includes clashes with West Ham, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas said: ‘What’s he doing? They’ve now lost him as well [as Dunk]. Where’s the discipline?’

Albion boss Graham Potter revealed Maupay had ‘crossed a line’ after he was abruptly dropped from his squad for their trip to Tottenham in November. 

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Former Nice manager Patrick Vieira ‘being considered for Lyon hotseat’ in potential Ligue 1 return

Former Nice manager Patrick Vieira ‘being considered for Lyon hotseat’ with Ligue 1 outfit seeking successor to outgoing boss Rudi Garcia at the end of the season

  • Patrick Vieira is reportedly a candidate for the imminent vacancy at Ligue 1 Lyon
  • Boss Rudi Garcia will leave the third-placed French club at the end of this season
  • France legend Vieira left Nice in December following their Europa League failure
  • The Premier League icon led New York City before two-and-a-half years at Nice 

Patrick Vieira could return to management by succeeding outgoing boss Rudi Garcia at French giants Lyon, according to reports in France.

Arsenal legend Vieira was axed by Nice in December after a poor run of form and the club’s Europa League departure, and the 44-year-old is now thought to be one of four candidates to take over from Garcia when he departs at the end of this season.

Lyon’s board are said to be increasingly receptive to the idea of appointing Vieira because he would be immediately available for no pay-off, according to L’Equipe.

Patrick Vieira is said to be a candidate to succeed Garcia

Patrick Vieira (right) is said to be in the frame to succeed boss Rudi Garcia when he leaves Lyon

Vieira is looking for his first managerial role since leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Nice in December

Vieira is looking for his first managerial role since leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Nice in December

Les Gones are also keen on Christophe Galtier, who is closing in on the Ligue 1 crown with Lille in a tight title race ahead of PSG and Lyon, and Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi.

Ukrainian heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk have also been strongly linked with De Zerbi, while Marcelo Gallardo, the other name in the reckoning, is understood to want to stay in Argentina with River Plate until the end of the calendar year.

The difficulties of pursuing managers already under contract could push Vieira to the top of the list, potentially handing him his first taste of Champions League football since he played for Inter Milan during their treble-winning 2009/10 campaign.

Lyon could also appoint Sporting Director Juninho, although that could land them penalties from the league as the former Brazil international does not currently hold the required qualifications to lead a team in the French top flight.

The 1998 World Cup and three-time Premier League winner is yet to win a trophy as a manager

The 1998 World Cup and three-time Premier League winner is yet to win a trophy as a manager

Vieira has never won a trophy as a manager, winning 35 and losing 32 of his 89 games in charge of Nice from June 2018.

The three-time Premier League winner left his first job in France after a dismal European campaign in which Nice lost five games out of six in the group stage, including home defeats to Slavia Prague and Bayer Leverkusen.

Nice lured him from New York City, where he had guided the Major League Soccer side to their first ever playoff appearance during a reign that began at the start of 2016.

Manchester City gave him a development role following his retirement in 2011, and Newcastle interviewed Vieira for their managerial vacancy in May 2015.

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Aston Villa boss Dean Smith expects home advantage to return when fans are back in the ground

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith expects home advantage to return when fans are back in the ground ahead of his side’s clash with Manchester United who are unbeaten away this campaign

  • Aston Villa have won more games away than at Villa Park so far this season 
  • Their opponents have gone the season unbeaten away from Old Trafford
  • Dean Smith expects home advantage to return when fans are in the grounds
  • He has also confirmed they hope to keep goalkeeper Tom Heaton next season 

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith believes the traditional concept of home advantage will return next season when fans are back in the stadium.

Villa have won only six times at their own ground this season compared to eight away victories and it’s a pattern repeated throughout the league with today’s opponents Manchester United unbeaten away despite losing four times at Old Trafford. Only three previous teams have been unbeaten away through a top-flight season – Preston (1889) and Arsenal (2002 and 2004).

‘This season has been like other. There is a neutrality of every venue,’ said Smith. ‘As much as we want to make Villa Park our home, without supporters in it’s not.

Aston Villa have won more games away than at Villa Park in the Premier League this season

Dean Smith says he expects home advantage will return when fans are back in the grounds

Dean Smith says he expects home advantage will return when fans are back in the grounds

‘It’s the same elsewhere. For example, I certainly believe Sheffield United have suffered an awful lot not having fans in their stadium. That has been seen across the board.

‘Once the fans are in, it’ll change. I have been there as a fan sucking the ball into the Holte End. I know how important it can be.’

Before this weekend’s fixtures there had been 126 away wins in the Premier League this season compared to 120 at home – the first time there has ever been that imbalance.

Smith will be hoping for better luck with VAR today than their last meeting against United when Bruno Fernandes scored the opening goal from the penalty spot after appearing to trip himself up when challenged by Ezri Konsa.

‘We have had two poor decisions go against us with United and I think they cost us results,’ he said. ‘In the last game, we’d just hit the post when they got the first goal from a very disputed penalty before they ended up battering us 3-0.’

Villa’s No2 goalkeeper Tom Heaton has been linked with a move back to United where he started his career but Smith confirmed his club are in talks to try and keep him.

Manchester United could become the first team since 2004 to go a season unbeaten away from home

Manchester United could become the first team since 2004 to go a season unbeaten away from home

‘Tom’s contract is up at the end of the season and our sporting director is dealing with that at the moment,’ said Smith.

‘I give my feelings to the board about the players and then they go and deal with that. 

‘Tom won’t want to be seen as a number two. It is a challenge we have at the club because we have two high-class goalkeepers. Emi Martinez also wants to play every game.’

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Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge ‘targeted by Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa’

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge ‘targeted by Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa’ with in-demand star’s release clause ‘dropping to £35m’ after Blades’ top-flight relegation

  • A number of Premier League clubs are keen on Sheffield United’s Sander Berge 
  • Berge has caught the eye this season and his release clause stands at £35million 
  • Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa have all been tipped to attempts swoops soon 
  • United will struggle to keep Berge after his price dropped following relegation 

A host of Premier League clubs are eyeing up a swoop for highly-rated Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge, according to reports.

The 23-year-old has been absent through injury since the turn of the year but has managed to catch the eye – and his release clause now stands at £35million, a drop of £10m as a result of United’s relegation to the Championship.

Berge’s reasonable price tag, which has been revealed by Yorkshire Live, may spark a bidding war this summer with Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa among the teams who might make a move.

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge’s release clause is £35m as a number of clubs circle

It was initially reported by Sky Sports on Friday that Berge, who returned to action last weekend after a four-month spell on the treatment table, is in demand. 

Mikel Arteta has been touted to reinforce his Arsenal squad during the transfer window with the midfield a particular area potentially identified for improvement.

Villa, meanwhile, have been labelled as ‘long-term suitors’ for Berge. Everton could also lodge an offer. 

Berge may attract a bidding war this summer and the midfielder looks set to exit Bramall Lane

Berge may attract a bidding war this summer and the midfielder looks set to exit Bramall Lane

It is likely United will struggle to keep Berge beyond this ill-fated campaign despite their wish to have a crack at immediate promotion with roughly the same team.

The Bramall Lane outfit will not be able to command an exorbitant figure for him, however, with the release clause leaving them vulnerable. 

Yorkshire Live also say that Berge has not actively pushed for a move away but his future, in comparison to some of his team-mates, is in doubt.

The versatile former Genk man, who is capable of playing all manner of midfield roles, arrived last January for £22m.

Mikel Arteta could swoop for Berge to strengthen his midfield at Arsenal

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton have also recently been touted to try and sign Berge

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (left) and Everton’s Carlo Ancelotti (right) may both swoop for Berge

Berge was introduced off the bench in the chastening 4-0 defeat at Tottenham last weekend but is now in line to make his first start after recovering from injury against Crystal Palace today.

Sky have claimed that Berge is a popular figure at the club and content there, but the Norway international believes his future lies away from the strugglers.

Also linked to Berge are, sensationally, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Berge caught the eye despite having been ruled out through injury since the turn of the year

Berge caught the eye despite having been ruled out through injury since the turn of the year

The two heavyweights are reportedly ready to make a surprise move for him, with City having identified him as a potential replacement for Fernandinho, according to Voetbal24 in Belgium.

City’s veteran captain, 35, may leave the Etihad when his deal runs down.

As for Liverpool, Eurosport say they are weighing up a switch for Berge as the club look to also add to their options in midfield.

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Big Six ‘to be handed significant additional fines by the Premier League on top of UEFA sanctions’

England’s Big Six ‘to be handed significant additional fines by the Premier League to go with UEFA’s sanctions’ that included a combined £13m goodwill gesture to grassroots charities and five per cent of one European season revenue

  • The ‘Big Six’ were given financial sanctions by UEFA for the Super League plans 
  • Clubs are to pay £13m to grassroots charities and give some European revenue
  • Nine out of the 12 clubs signed a ‘Club Commitment Declaration’ to UEFA
  • The six English clubs will also be punished by the Premier League, say reports 

The ‘Big Six’ Premier League clubs will be handed additional fines from the Premier League for their role European Super League project, according to reports. 

On Friday, the 12 rebel clubs were told by UEFA to make a combined donation of £13million to grassroots charities and also hand over five per cent of their European competition revenue for one season start from the 2023-24 season. 

The English sides – consisting of London sides Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool – also pledged allegiance to UEFA and the European Club Association along with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

The ‘Big Six’ clubs will receive more Super League fines from the Premier League, say reports

UEFA handed out financial sanctions to the breakaway clubs on Friday as part of an agreement

UEFA handed out financial sanctions to the breakaway clubs on Friday as part of an agreement

But according to the Daily Telegraph, the Premier League will continue to provide financial sanctions on the Big Six sides, who all removed themselves from the project 48 hours after signing up last month. 

UEFA have already threatened the nine English sides who have agreed to the governing body’s demands with a £86million fine should they attempt a similar breakaway league-style project again.

Speaking about the deal with the nine European sides, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: ‘It takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake, especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that.

The Premier League will reportedly come down harshly on the six breakaway English clubs

The Premier League will reportedly come down harshly on the six breakaway English clubs

‘In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, Uefa wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit.

‘These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.

‘The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called Super League and Uefa will deal with those clubs subsequently.’

The ownerships at Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham have all made public declarations stating that those running the clubs will be responsible for any financial sanctions, and that the money will not come out of the club itself. 

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin oversaw a Club Commitment Declaration on Friday

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin oversaw a Club Commitment Declaration on Friday

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke, who helps the running of the club with his father Stan of Kroenke Sports Enterintament, said in a fans forum last month: ‘To confirm, KSE are covering all outside costs related to the ESL.’

‘Leadership is about recognising when you are wrong, correcting and apologising. It was never our intention to harm English football, we can talk Financial Fair Play, about racism, but for football pyramid stability we need to ensure we are maximising revenue. But we went about it the wrong way on this occasion.’ 

Tottenham, meanwhile, issued a statement that read: ‘Any fines will be the responsibility of the owners.’ 

Only three clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – have failed to both renounce the Super League and come to the same agreement with UEFA, who are expected to punish the European trio ‘appropriately’. 

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Joe Willock has been ‘knocking on the door’ of Steve Bruce to start before Newcastle’s Leicester win

Joe Willock reveals he’s been ‘knocking on the door’ of Steve Bruce to get a starting spot as midfielder repays his manager’s faith to score for FOURTH match in a row in Newcastle’s 4-2 win over Leicester

  • Joe Willock has been urging manager Steve Bruce to give him a starting spot
  • The midfielder rewarded his boss with a goal for the fourth match in a row
  • Willock scored his side’s first in a superb 4-2 away victory over Leicester
  • The result effectively secures Newcastle’s Premier League safety this season 

Joe Willock revealed he has been putting pressure on Newcastle manager Steve Bruce to give him a starting spot and it paid off in the Magpies’ 4-2 win away to Leicester.

The midfielder, on loan from Arsenal, scored his side’s first goal and has now netted in each of his last four appearances for Newcastle.

The first three of those came from cameos off the bench, and Willock was grateful to get the chance to make an impact from the start against Leicester. 

Joe Willock scored for the four match in a row in Newcastle’s impressive 4-2 win over Leicester

The midfielder revealed he has been knocking on Steve Bruce's door to try and get a start

The midfielder revealed he has been knocking on Steve Bruce’s door to try and get a start

‘We knew we had to get something out of today’s game,’ Willock told Sky Sports. ‘To come here and do it so convincingly is brilliant.

‘I’ve come off the bench a few times and scored. So I was knocking on the door and I told the manager I needed to start and he believed in me and put me in and hopefully I repaid him.’  

After Willock’s opener, a Paul Dummett header and a second-half brace from Callum Wilson put the visitors four goals up.

Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho halved the deficit to set up a slightly nervy finish, but Newcastle held on for a deserved win.

The result effectively confirms the club’s Premier League survival, and Willock was proud of how clinical his side were on the break as they stuck to their gameplan.

Callum Wilson scored a second-half brace as the visitors tore Leicester apart on the counter

Callum Wilson scored a second-half brace as the visitors tore Leicester apart on the counter

‘They are a top side, fighting for the Champions League,’ Willock said.

‘We had to defend well and knew we had more than enough pace on the counter to get the goals like we did today. That was not how we wanted to finish. We wanted to stay on top.

‘All week we have been trying to stay compact and when we get behind them be ruthless. I am happy Callum [Wilson] is back on the scoresheet and that will give him confidence.’

Newcastle host Manchester City and Sheffield United in their next two matches, before travelling to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on the last day of the season.

Paul Dummett rose well to nod in Newcastle' second goal and send them on their way in win

Paul Dummett rose well to nod in Newcastle’ second goal and send them on their way in win

The win effectively secured Newcastle's Premier League safety with three matches remaining

The win effectively secured Newcastle’s Premier League safety with three matches remaining

That match had the potential to be a relegation decider, but with Steve Bruce’s side now in 13th and 12 points ahead of Fulham, they look certain to be playing top-flight football once again next season.

Paul Dummett was full of praise for Willock after the match, and for the performance the whole team produced.

‘We stayed solid and hit them on the break quite a lot’ Dummett said. ‘It is going to be tough for teams to catch us now. It is a massive step in the right direction.

”Joe Willock has energy and always arrives in the box at the right time. He has given us a great lift.’

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