Erling Haaland remains tight-lipped on his plans for his future.

The 21-year-old Norway forward has drawn widespread interest after two outstanding years at Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland appears destined to exit BVB later this year but has a decision to make.

TOP STORY – BARCELONA LOOMS AS HAALAND'S PREFERRED MOVE

Haaland is holding off on a decision on his club future to see if Barcelona can raise the required €360million to put together a package for the striker, reports the Daily Star.

The report claims Borussia Dortmund representatives believe Barcelona is Haaland's preferred destination.

The 21-year-old also has interest from Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea .

 

ROUND-UP

- CBS Sports claims Saudi Arabia's  Al Nassr  have lodged a final bid for Arsenal outcast  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang , with the deal matching his Gunners salary and including a break clause after 12 months that would allow him to return to Europe. Gerard Romero claims  Barcelona have reached an agreement with Arsenal to sign Aubameyang, although the Blaugrana must offload Ousmane Dembele  first.

- Atletico Madrid are unwilling to allow Alvaro Morata to join rivals Barcelona ,   claims Sport. Morata is on loan at Juventus from Atletico amid talk of a switch to the Blaugrana, with Arsenal , Newcastle United and Tottenham also linked to the Spain striker.

Dejan Kulusevski  is set to be loaned from Juventus to  Tottenham ,   with the two clubs in advanced talks on a deal, according to Fabrizio Romano. The deal would include an option to buy.

- The Daily Star reports likely new Everton manager Frank Lampard will block  Dominic Calvert-Lewin 's proposed move to  Arsenal .

- Goal claims top-four hopefuls  West Ham  have made dual bids for Leeds United pair  Kalvin Phillips  and  Raphinha . The Sun claims the Hammers' bid for Phillips is worth £50m.

Wayne Rooney turned down an interview for the manager job at Everton in order to commit to Derby County's bid for Championship survival.

The former Manchester United and England captain said there was an approach from his boyhood club to his agent asking if he would discuss the prospect of taking over at Goodison Park.

The Toffees, who sacked Rafael Benitez after just over six months in charge two weeks ago, have yet to appoint a permanent successor.

Although Rooney is convinced he will manage in the Premier League in future, he took the "difficult decision" to decline talks with Everton as he wants to see through Derby's attempt to avoid relegation to the third tier.

"Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the vacant job, which I turned down," he said on Friday.

"They got in touch with my agent, my agent let the administrators know as well, and yes of course it was a difficult decision for me [to turn it down].

"I believe I will be a Premier League manager. I believe I'm ready for that, 100 per cent. And if that is with Everton one day in the future, that would be absolutely great. But I've got a job here that I'm doing at Derby County, which is an important job to me."

Rooney, who progressed through Everton's academy and rejoined the club in 2017 after 15 years at United, initially took on a player-coach role at Derby after Phillip Cocu was sacked in November 2020, with the club bottom of the Championship. He retired from playing to take on the permanent manager job in January last year and steered them to survival on the final day of the season.

Derby were hit with a 21-point deduction for 2021-22 after going into administration and admitting a breach of English Football League accounting rules, but while the future of the club remains uncertain, Rooney has overseen an almost miraculous battle against relegation, with eight wins and 11 draws from 27 matches leaving them a relatively modest eight points from safety.

Everton dismissed Benitez following a defeat to Norwich City left them six points above the Premier League drop zone. According to reports, their final three candidates are caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson, former Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard and ex-Porto and Fenerbahce boss Vitor Pereira.

Dusan Vlahovic has drawn interest from Juventus, Arsenal and Tottenham among others.

The 21-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract and Fiorentina are keen to maximise their profit on him.

Vlahovic has netted 38 goals in the past 18 months in Serie A.

TOP STORY – FRESH TALKS ON VLAHOVIC DEAL

Juventus are set for fresh talks on Thursday on a deal to sign Fiorentina's Vlahovic, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Serbia striker has attracted plenty of interest but an agreement between the Bianconeri and Fiorentina is in place.

The stumbling block is Vlahovic's final contract and agent's fees, with a deal potentially set to trigger Alvaro Morata's exit to Barcelona, although Romano claims there are no new talks on that.

 

ROUND-UP

- Goal claims that Barcelona are working on a plan to raise €100million (£83m) in funds to lure Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to the Catalan club. The Blaugrana are determined to win the race to sign Haaland despite interest from wealthy giants Real MadridManchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Bayern Munich's 32-year-old forward Thomas Muller has drawn interest from Newcastle United and Everton as he approaches the final year of his contract, claims Sport Bild.

- L'Equipe claims that Bruno Guimaraes had told Lyon he wants to join Newcastle after the Magpies tabled a bid.

- The Sun reports that Manchester United have put their search for a new manager on hold as they consider whether to make Ralf Rangnick's stay permanent.

- Staying at United, numerous reports in England suggest Jesse Lingard is angry with the club as their demands have put off Newcastle's attempt to sign the player on loan.

- Ousmane Dembele wants to stay at Barcelona after all, according to Sport. The France international's representatives met with Barca boss Xavi this week.

- Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele is set to join Valencia on loan, reports Telefoot.

Vitor Pereira has confirmed he has been interviewed by Everton over the vacant managerial position and declared: "If they want me, they must call me."

Everton sacked Rafael Benitez earlier in January after a dismal run of one win in 13 league games left them six points above the relegation zone.

That cushion has now been reduced to four points after Everton lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, with Duncan Ferguson having taken interim charge.

A host of names have been linked with the job, though all with vastly different profiles. Former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, sacked in 2016, was an initial candidate, but the Belgian FA rebuffed Everton's approach.

Fabio Cannavaro is also said to have been interviewed, similarly Frank Lampard. Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, confirmed last Friday that no approach had yet been made to Derby County's administrators.

However, widespread reports on Monday claimed that Pereira was the favoured choice of owner Farhad Moshiri, whose running of the club has come under scrutiny from fans. 

Those reports were met with some outcry, with a photo spread via social media on Tuesday showing graffiti at Goodison Park reading: "Pereira out. Lampard in."

With suggestions on Wednesday that Everton were still weighing up options, Pereira – who was dismissed from a second spell in charge of Fenerbahce in December – took the somewhat surprising decision to speak to Sky Sports.

"The club asked me to come for a meeting. I had a few interviews, not just one, with different people at the club, the board. We discussed everything, and I gave them my point of view about the club, the team," Pereira explained.

"I think they were enthusiastic to what I proposed. An intense game, pressing, possession. We need to give confidence to the players, to the team and the fantastic supporters. This is what I proposed to them. What I felt in the meetings was that they were positive."

Asked if he had been informed whether he would be getting the job, Pereira said: "They have other candidates and this is a time for decisions.

"No, [they have not told me]. Just to wait for the decision, be calm, and they are grateful for the interviews, that's all.

"What I want to tell you is that all of my career, I worked under pressure. About the decision? It's something I can't control.

"I built my career with passion, organisation, competence. This is what I can offer to the club. I give 100 per cent of me, football for me is 24 hours. This is my life, my passion. 

"I will move forward with my life. If they want me, they must call me. That's all."

In response to the graffiti, Pereira said: "This is the first time in my career that I see this kind of thing. My CV speaks for itself. The club is not in a good position and the supporters have passion, this passion is the power of this club.

"[Critics] don't know me very well, they don’t know my work, know me as a person. I worked in a lot of countries, different clubs, different levels, got several titles.

"I don't take this as a personal attack."

Pereira has won four league titles across spells in charge of Porto, Olympiacos and Shanghai SIPG.

Christian Eriksen had his contract terminated with Inter last month.

The Danish midfielder has been training with Ajax in recent weeks.

But the 29-year-old former Tottenham star is set to return to England.

 

TOP STORY – ERIKSEN SET TO COMPLETE BEES DEAL

Former Inter midfielder Eriksen is set to complete a deal to join Brentford in the next 72 hours according to the Mirror.

Ex-Tottenham star Eriksen has agreed terms but needs to pass a medical with the Bees to seal the imminent deal.

The Denmark international, who suffered a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, was unable to play for Inter this season due to Italian football regulations.

 

ROUND-UP

- Newcastle United will open new talks with Brighton as they move to sign Yves Bissouma, claims the Daily Mail. The Magpies are also pondering an offer for Tottenham's Dele Alli.

- The Sun reports that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola may be lured away with by the offer to take over as the Netherlands national team boss. The Dutch deal would start in 2023 when his current contract expires.

- West Ham will make a bumper move for Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin claims The Sun. The deal would be worth £60million.

- Mundo Deportivo claims that ex-Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj is set to extend his current deal with Real Sociedad .

- Diego Carlos' representatives are trying to convince Sevilla to sell him to Newcastle with a £60m deal on the table according to 90min.

Everton have confirmed that a supporter has been arrested after Aston Villa pair Matty Cash and Lucas Digne were struck by a bottle during Saturday's Premier League clash.

The incident occurred in first-half stoppage time at Goodison Park as Villa's players celebrated Emi Buendia's headed opener, which proved to be the only goal of the game.

Villa's players celebrated the goal in the corner in front of Everton fans and several drinks bottles were thrown in their direction

One of those objects hit Cash and Digne, the latter of whom spent three and a half years with Everton before joining Villa last week after falling out with former boss Rafael Benitez.

Both players fell to the turf and held their heads, but they were able to continue.

Everton confirmed shortly after the 1-0 loss that they had identified the supporter and the matter is now being dealt with by Merseyside Police.

"Police have arrested a supporter at Goodison Park for throwing a missile onto the pitch during today's Premier League match against Aston Villa," a club statement read.

"Everton security staff and Merseyside Police identified the supporter using CCTV footage.

"Several objects were thrown towards the pitch following Aston Villa’s goal at the end of the first half, with one missile appearing to strike two opposition players.

"Investigations in conjunction with the police are ongoing, and the club will issue bans to any fans identified throwing objects."

Duncan Ferguson hailed the work Wayne Rooney has done at Derby County as the former England captain acknowledged he is "flattered" by reports of Everton's interest.

Rooney, England's record goalscorer who had two spells at boyhood club Everton either side his trophy-laden stint at Manchester United, moved into management in 2020 at Derby, where he played out his final year as a player.

In his first half season at the club, Rooney kept Derby up on the final day. However, the Championship club's financial woes came to a head in September when they filed for administration, which was subsequently followed by a 12-point deduction and then a further nine-point penalty.

Yet against the odds, Rooney has Derby off the foot of the table and eight points from safety. 

Everton, meanwhile, sacked Rafael Benitez on Sunday after a defeat to lowly Norwich City capped a dismal run of just one win in 13 Premier League games. They sit 16th, six points above the relegation zone.

 

Ferguson, as he did in 2019 before Carlo Ancelotti arrived, has taken interim charge and will oversee Saturday's clash with Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa, but Rooney – along with Frank Lampard and Fabio Cannavaro – is a reported candidate, with Belgium having rebuffed an approach for Roberto Martinez.

Asked about the rumours during Friday's media conference ahead of Derby's contest with rivals Nottingham Forest, Rooney said: "I'm the same as everyone else. I see the speculation on social media and in the papers.

"Of course, Everton is a club I grew up supporting and I'm flattered to be brought up in those conversations. But I know Everton will know for them to have any communication with me, they have to go through the administrators.

"I think it's all hearsay as there has been no approach. My focus is on Derby."

Rooney was brought up in Ferguson's own media conference, and the Scot said: "I'm not going to drag on too many names who would be a good fit, but certainly Wayne's done very well at Derby, he's an Evertonian.

"He could be one candidate of many and he's proved himself as a very good manager."

 

Ferguson – who revealed Real Madrid manager Ancelotti had contacted him this week to offer advice – was pressed on whether he would like the opportunity to manage Everton.

"Maybe, down the line, one day – I always dream about becoming Everton manager – but I've not quite got that experience," he answered.

"My job at the moment is to take the upcoming games, steady the ship and the club will go through a process of identifying the new manager. 

"You never know in football, but my job at the moment is to focus on the next game and that's it. 

"We need a winning manager. A manager who can come and win games of football, build something and get us back up the league."

Everton have taken just five points in their last 12 Premier League matches (W1 D2 L9), the fewest in a 12-game span since earning four points between August and October 1994, and asked about Benitez's departure, Ferguson replied: "I think the results weren't there, we weren't too surprised, I don't think Rafa would be too surprised."

Saturday's game with Villa has plenty of side stories. Liverpool great Gerrard was on the winning side against Everton more often than he was against any other opponent in the Premier League (16), while Lucas Digne is returning to Goodison Park just over a week after he left due to a falling out with Benitez.

Jose Mourinho has reiterated his commitment to Roma saying he could not be happier at the Italian club.

The former Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham manager has been linked with the vacant Everton job following Rafael Benitez's dismissal on Sunday.

Mourinho was appointed Roma head coach on a three-year contract in May, with Giallorossi currently seventh in Serie A.

Roma qualified for the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Thursday with a 3-1 win over Lecce, with Mourinho pressed on his future after the game.

“In terms of emotion, passion, empathy, of being happy working with Roma, I say I am 11 out of 10," Mourinho told Sport Mediaset.

"I am truly, very, very happy to be at a club where I feel the people trust me. I couldn’t be happier than this.

“In football terms, playing to finish between fourth and eighth place is obviously not what I want, but this is a moment of a different project for me and we will be better off next season.

“I won’t deny in the first half I did feel frustrated, as our performance was horrible. Having said that, I am happy right now and would not change this Roma project for any other.

“I gave my word for these three years and I will not leave before the three years are up. This is my project too."

Roma have been drawn against Italian champions Inter in the Coppa Italia last-eight.

"There’s a long way to go, we have a few more games and for me there’s no doubt Inter are the strongest team and overall squad of the league and the Coppa Italia," Mourinho said.

"We therefore got the worst possible draw, but we will go there and try to cause a surprise. We’ll see if it’s possible."

Everton have bought themselves time while they pursue a successor to Rafael Benitez by appointing club legend Duncan Ferguson as caretaker manager.

A run of three defeats in four top-flight games resulted in former Liverpool boss Benitez being sacked at the weekend, with Everton plummeting worryingly close to the Premier League drop zone.

Reports have indicated 16th-placed Everton, who have never been relegated from the Premier League, could interview Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard as they hunt their next boss.

Lampard did well in his first management job at Derby County before experiencing mixed fortunes as Chelsea boss, while Rooney is catching the eye in difficult circumstances at Derby this season.

Former Everton manager Roberto Martinez has also been linked with a return to the role.

Ferguson, who was already on the Everton staff as assistant manager, may also come into contention. Everton said he has been installed for their "upcoming games", suggesting a permanent appointment is considered quite some way off. The Toffees said an announcement would come "in due course".

Everton revealed Ferguson's short-term role on their official website, after the former striker took first-team training on Tuesday.

It is his second stint as caretaker, having filled in between the sacking of Marco Silva and the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in December 2019. The fiery Scot led Everton to a win over Chelsea and draws with Manchester United and Arsenal to give the club a lift ahead of Ancelotti coming in.

His first game of this spell in charge will be the home clash with Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa on Saturday.

Everton then do not have a game scheduled for two weeks, with their next assignment due to be an FA Cup home game against Brentford on February 5, followed by a Premier League trip to Newcastle United three days later.

Former Everton players John Ebbrell and Leighton Baines will work alongside Ferguson, as will ex-Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Alan Kelly.

The irony of Everton sacking Rafael Benitez on the day Carlo Ancelotti won the first trophy of his second Real Madrid stint was not lost on the Goodison Park faithful.

Ancelotti stunned Everton in June by leaving to return to Madrid. While there can be no comparison between Los Blancos when it comes to allure, it cut deep that a manager who seemed committed to a long-term project on Merseyside, had left at the first opportunity.

Not that Ancelotti's 18 months at Everton had been a roaring success. His final game was a 5-0 drubbing at Manchester City – the heaviest defeat of the Italian's managerial career, in his 1,167th match.

That result condemned Everton to a 10th-placed finish. Just City and Manchester United won more away games last term in the Premier League, yet the Toffees suffered nine home defeats, with only the three relegated sides losing more on their own turf.

But there was a feeling that Everton might have enough to push on under Ancelotti, should reinforcements arrive.

Instead, it was former Liverpool boss Benitez, who had replaced Ancelotti for an ill-fated spell at Madrid in 2015, who arrived at Goodison.

An unpopular pick among the fanbase, the Spaniard was always starting from behind the eight-ball.

As was inevitable, the experiment failed. Benitez was sacked on Sunday after defeat at lowly Norwich City with Everton lingering six points above the bottom three after a run of one win in 13 league games (the club's joint-worst Premier League run) and facing the prospect of hiring a sixth permanent manager since 2016-17.

False promises

From Benitez's first news conference, it was clear that Everton, lavish spenders in recent years, were going to be cutting their cloth in line with tight financial limitations.

"You have to work in the context of having a director of football, the board, and financial restrictions," he said after becoming only the second manager to take over Everton and Liverpool. "Talk the talk and walk the walk? I prefer to walk the walk."

Only £1.7million was spent, but Everton started the league campaign brightly. Indeed, ahead of a September 13 game with Burnley, they had scored seven times, as many as they had in their last 10 games last term.

After a 1-1 draw with United on October 2, Everton had 14 points from their seven Premier League games, the most since they had gone on to secure a fourth-place finish in the competition in 2004-05 (16). 

Was that optimism built on solid foundations, though?

Benitez's system was based on counter-attacking, with Everton happy to surrender possession. Only once before October had they had more than 50 per cent of the ball (51.71 v Burnley).

It is a trend that has continued, with Everton – who have had more possession than only three top-flight teams across the season – only seeing more of the ball than their opponents on three further occasions. In each of those games, they lost.

However, to be a counter-attacking team you must be solid, and Everton are not. They have shipped 34 goals, with only four teams having weaker defences, while 11 goals have been conceded from set-pieces, the second-worst figure in the league (Ancelotti's team only allowed 10 from dead-ball situations in 2020-21).

But since Everton's woeful run started with a 1-0 defeat to West Ham on October 17, they have taken the lead just once – in a 5-2 home defeat to Watford. It is hard to sit back and play on the break if you are constantly chasing a game.

In total, the Toffees have spent 36 per cent of games losing this season (when the ball has been in play), and only 12 per cent of the time ahead. West Ham (12) are the sole team to have gained more points from a losing position than Everton (11), so at least Benitez's men showed resolve on occasion.

From October 17, Everton rank 18th for goals (11), 16th for shots on target (46/139), 12th for touches in the opposition box (259), 15th for chances created (93) and have the third-worst defence (27 goals conceded). They have an expected goals against (xGA) of 20.6 in that timeframe, the fourth-worst in the division. Their position is in no way false.

Everton did play forward under Benitez (41.6 per cent of their passes were in an attacking direction, up from 32.9 per cent last season) but on only 86 occasions have they strung together a move of 10 passes or more, which ranks them 18th in the league, while their 490 passes/crosses is the fifth-lowest total.

The bright sparks in that run have come from moments of inspiration. Demarai Gray's stunning winner against Arsenal or Richarlison's overhead kick at Norwich. Gray has been a standout performer, scoring five league goals from an xG of only 2.7, but it felt like there has been too much onus on the winger in recent weeks.

Though injuries to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Abdoulaye Doucoure must be taken into account, Benitez's mantra became "I know what the fans want", but he appeared to be talking the talk rather than walking the walk. 

Falling outs

With Everton craving stability and unity, it is odd that owner Farhad Moshiri (more on him later) turned to Benitez, who was never the right pick to unite the fanbase or stabilise the club.

He has fallen out with owners, sporting directors and high-profile players at previous clubs and, indeed, his time at Everton proved no different.

Director of football Marcel Brands, who signed a contract extension in April, was moved on when Everton fans protested over the running of the club back in December, following a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool. 

Evertonians' worst nightmare had played out, their rivals singing Benitez's name at Goodison after a humiliating defeat. It was the first time the Reds scored four goals in an away league derby since a 5-0 win in 1982, and Brands paid the price. His recruitment department followed, with director of medical services Dan Donachie having already left.

Everton offered their full backing to Benitez and five days later, claimed a vital win over Arsenal. But a cloud hung over that victory.

Since his arrival at Everton, Lucas Digne was second only to Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold for chances created by a Premier League defender (211). The France international had spoken openly of having been asked to play a more defensive role under Benitez, though behind the scenes matters appeared to boil over in a reported training-ground row.

Digne was dropped and did not return bar, for reasons known only to Benitez himself, to take a seat on the bench in a 3-2 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion. The full-back received applause from the crowd when he warmed up, but did not come on despite Everton needing an equaliser late on in a game in which they only made two changes.

Last week, Digne was sold to Aston Villa. The sale eases the financial issues but leaves Everton without their third-most creative player (22 key passes) in the league this term. Indeed, only Andros Townsend (2.13) has crafted more opportunities for them this season than Digne (1.69) per 90 minutes.

With Digne and James Rodriguez, who left for Qatar in September, gone and Gylfi Sigurdsson not involved, Everton are without all three of their leading creators from 2020-21.

Moshiri mayhem

Benitez leaves with a 26.3 win percentage from 19 league games. Only Mike Walker performed worse in the Premier League era. His dismissal should have come sooner, it seemed pointless delaying the inevitable.

But for his faults, he is not the root cause of Everton's issues and owner Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright must look in the mirror.

Since Moshiri took over in 2016, Everton have recorded 1.37 points per game, ranking them 10th in the league, but a vast amount of investment has been made. So, what next?

Roberto Martinez, who was sacked in 2016, is reportedly a leading candidate. The Belgium boss won 21 Premier League games in his first season in charge at Everton, guiding them to a record points total of 72, but he won just 22 games combined across the next two years.

Lucien Favre has also been mooted. He averaged 2.08 points per game at Borussia Dortmund, a figure bettered by only Thomas Tuchel (2.09) and new boss Marco Rose (2.11), while the Swiss led the club to their third-best Bundesliga points tally in 2017-18. He could provide experience and a modern approach.

Graham Potter seems to have ruled himself out. Wayne Rooney is doing terrific work at Derby County, might he be an option?

For now though, Everton's immediate focus must be on avoiding a relegation scrap. 

Assistant Duncan Ferguson, who remained unbeaten in the league in his spell in charge prior to Ancelotti's arrival, seems a logical pick to take over on a temporary basis, with Villa visiting Goodison on Saturday, to perhaps provide some of the spark missing during Benitez's doomed tenure and buy Everton time to make the right choice.

With just 19 points from the first half of the season, their lowest tally at the halfway stage of a season since 2005-06 (17), Everton cannot afford to get this appointment wrong, too.

Real Madrid's squad is already packed with a magnitude of talent – and it could become even stronger should Erling Haaland arrive from Borussia Dortmund later this year.

Haaland has scored 78 goals in his two years with Dortmund – only Robert Lewandowski (107) has more in Europe's top five leagues – and would be a major coup for Madrid.

But while the Spanish giants remain confident of bringing in the in-demand striker from Dortmund, it could have a negative knock-on effect.


TOP STORY - HAALAND IN, BENZEMA OUT?

Karim Benzema is a much-loved figure at the Santiago Bernabeu and is enjoying another impressive campaign, but El Nacional claims that Madrid risk losing the Frenchman.

The report suggests that Benzema does not like the fact that president Florentino Perez is so fixated on bringing in a new player to lead Los Blancos' attack from next season.

While the 34-year is not currently seeking an exit, that could change should Madrid reach a pre-contract agreement with Haaland in the coming weeks, as has been suggested.

Benzema would not feel the need to move on should Kylian Mbappe join, though, as he considers that case to be different given the PSG striker is set to become a free agent.


ROUND-UP

Barcelona accept that it is increasingly likely Ousmane Dembele will leave Camp Nou as a free agent at the end of the season. According to Sport, Manchester United and Juventus have held talks with the player's camp, while Chelsea and Bayern Munich have an outside shot of signing the forward.

Arsenal have made their first move to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina, with Corriere Della Sera reporting that the Gunners have tabled an offer of £50million (€60m) plus Lucas Torreira, who is currently on loan with the Serie A side.

Chelsea are interested in signing Layvin Kurzawa on loan as they look to bolster their full-back ranks. However, Fabrizio Romano claims that the Blues have not yet officially opened talks with PSG.

– Calciomercato reports that Man Utd forward Anthony Martial has emerged as a January target for Juventus. The France international has struggled for games this season and has openly admitted he wants to find a new club this month.

Everton are on the lookout for a new manager after parting company with Rafael Benitez on Sunday and hope to make a swift appointment. According to ESPN, former boss Roberto Martinez – now in charge of the Belgium national team – is the leading candidate to take over.

Newcastle United have already brought in Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood this window, but The Telegraph reports that they have been knocked back in their bid to bring in Donny van de Beek on loan. The Man Utd midfielder is said to have been put off by the Magpies' position in the Premier League.

Rafael Benitez said he did not realise the "magnitude of the task" at Everton after he was dismissed on Sunday following a run of just two wins in 14 games across all competitions.

The Toffees announced Benitez's departure a day on from losing 2-1 to bottom side Norwich City.

Former Liverpool boss Benitez was a divisive appointment at Everton when he was drafted in to replace Carlo Ancelotti in July.

They started the season well, winning three of their first four league matches, yet injuries to key players and a dreadful loss of form has seen them slide down the table.

A win over Hull City in the FA Cup third round offered Benitez a brief reprieve, but defeat to lowly Norwich on Saturday marked a new nadir, and Everton decided to act.

Benitez cited injuries as a significant factor in their dismal form, and believed they would improve in the second half of the campaign. 

"We knew it wouldn't be easy, and that it was a big challenge, both emotionally and in terms of sport," he said in a statement posted on his official website.

"My love for this city, for Merseyside and its people, made me accept this challenge, but it is only when you are inside that you realise the magnitude of the task.

"From the very first day, my staff and myself worked as we always do, with commitment and full dedication, we didn't only have to get results, but we also had to win over people's hearts.

"However, the financial situation and then the injuries that followed made things even harder. I am convinced that we would have been better once the injured players were back and with the arrival of the new signings.

"The road to success isn't easy and sadly, nowadays in football there is a search for immediate results and there is always less and less patience; unfortunately circumstances have determined the results and it won't be possible to continue this project."

Benitez left the club after a mere 200 days, giving him the third-shortest reign of any Toffees manager in the Premier League with 40 or more days in charge. Only Sam Allardyce (167) and Dave Watson (60) were at the helm for fewer days.

It was his fourth time in charge of a Premier League club and he departed with comfortably the worst win percentage ratio during his time in England.

He won just seven of his 22 games in charge, leaving him with a win ratio of 31.8 per cent – significantly behind his records at Liverpool (55.4 per cent), Chelsea (58.3) and Newcastle United (42.5).

Rafael Benitez's dismal tenure as Everton manager was brought to an end on Sunday after a run of just two wins in 14 games across all competitions.

Former Liverpool boss Benitez was a divisive appointment at Everton when he was drafted in to replace Carlo Ancelotti in July after the Italian left for Real Madrid.

Everton started the season well, winning three of their first four league matches, yet injuries to key players and a dreadful loss of form has seen them slide down the table.

A win over Hull City in the FA Cup third round offered Benitez a reprieve, but defeat to lowly Norwich City on Saturday marked a new nadir, and Everton have decided to make a change.

Here, Stats Perform looks at the data behind Benitez's miserable spell at Goodison Park.

A torrid tenure cut short

Despite not being a popular appointment, Benitez's success at the likes of Valencia and Liverpool at least gave sceptical fans hope that he might be able to reverse the recent fortunes of the club.

To say it did not turn out that way would be something of an understatement.

He left the club after a mere 200 days, giving him the third-shortest reign of any Toffees manager in the Premier League with 40 or more days in charge. Only Sam Allardyce (167) and Dave Watson (60) were at the helm for fewer days.

Top of the pile by a comfortable distance is David Moyes, who oversaw the team for a whopping 4101 days between 2002 and 2013.

Wins hard to come by

Everton was Benitez's fourth time at the helm of a Premier League club and he departed with comfortably the worst win percentage ratio during his time in England.

He won just seven of his 22 games in charge, leaving him with a win ratio of 31.8 per cent – significantly behind his records at Liverpool (55.4 per cent), Chelsea (58.3) and Newcastle United (42.5).

Surprisingly, it is only the fourth-lowest win ratio in his managerial career, with his spells at Real Valladolid (17.2), Osasuna (27.3) and Dalian (31.6) all bringing about worse records in that department. 

The best win ratio in his career? That came during a 25-game stint as Real Madrid boss when he won 68 per cent of his games in charge.

Rafael Benitez has been sacked by Everton after a run of just two wins in 14 games across all competitions. 

The Premier League side announced Benitez's departure on their official website on Sunday, a day on from losing 2-1 to bottom side Norwich City.

"Everton Football Club can confirm the departure of Rafael Benitez as first team manager," the statement read. 

"An update on a permanent replacement will be made in due course."

Former Liverpool boss Benitez was a largely divisive appointment at Everton when he was drafted in to replace Carlo Ancelotti in the close-season after the Italian left for Real Madrid.

Hampered by financial restrictions, Benitez was only able to spend a reported £1.7million in his first transfer window at the club, bringing in Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, Asmir Begovic, Andy Lonergan and Salomon Rondon, while star player James Rodriguez left the club in September.

Everton nevertheless started the season well, winning three of their first four league matches, yet injuries to key players and a dreadful loss of form has seen them slide down the table.

A 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool in December resulted in director of football Marcel Brands leaving the club, with a fan protest against the board taking place in the following match against Arsenal

Gray's late stunner sealed a 2-1 win over the Gunners, yet that is the only victory Everton have claimed in the league since they defeated Norwich on September 25.

A win over Hull City in the FA Cup third round offered Benitez a reprieve, but defeat to lowly Norwich – who had lost their previous six top-flight matches without scoring – marked a new nadir, and Everton have decided to make a change.

It was the Toffees' first away defeat against a team starting the day bottom of the Premier League table since May 2004.

Benitez, who signed a three-year contract, was the club's fifth permanent manager during the ownership of Farhad Moshiri, who bought a majority share of Everton in 2016.

He leaves with Everton in the lower reaches of the division with 19 points from as many games, just six clear of the relegation places.

Everton are back in action next Saturday with a home match against Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa.

The futures of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, arguably the two most sought-after players in world football, could be determined by the end of the January transfer window.

While the forwards look set to stay at Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain respectively this month, moves away at the end of the campaign look increasingly likely.

And despite intense competition from fellow heavyweight clubs, Real Madrid are determined to win the race for both players.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID TO PUT ASIDE €350m FOR HAALAND

Madrid had two bids knocked back for Mbappe last year but, according to Marca, they remain in pole position to sign the France international in six months' time.

Landing Haaland could prove to be a little more complicated, though, given he will still have two years to run on his contract at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

However, the Spanish publication reports that Madrid are willing to spend big on the prolific striker, who is thought to have a €75million release clause in his deal.

On top of triggering that, it is claimed that Los Blancos will have to set aside cash for Haaland's father, agent Mino Raiola and a hefty salary for the player himself, which could total around €350m.

 

ROUND-UP

- Madrid may be considered the frontrunners to sign Mbappe and Haaland, but they already have a back-up plan in place should either of those moves fail to materialise. According to El Nacional, Fiorentina's in-demand Dusan Vlahovic is also on the Spanish giants' radar.

- CalcioMercato reports that Milan have joined the queue to sign Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen. Christensen, who comes out of contract at the end of this season, is being chased by Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

- Newcastle United could beat Manchester United in the race for RB Leipzig's Amadou Haidara, with The Mirror reporting that the newly-rich Magpies are set to make an offer.

- The Everton board got together on Saturday to discuss manager Rafael Benitez's future in the job, according to Sky Sports. Everton have won one of their past 13 league games and lost to bottom club Norwich City 2-1 on Saturday.

- PSG, Bayern and Madrid are among Kalvin Phillips' suitors. El Nacional reports that Leeds United have a battle on their hands fending off interest in the midfielder, who has been capped 19 times by England.

- The Mirror reports that Chelsea are considering a move for Inter's Ivan Perisic. The Blues are in the market for a versatile player who can play at left-back while Ben Chilwell recovers from a long-term injury.

 

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