Build-up to weekend’s Premier League matches plus transfer news

Read Time: 9 minutes
  1. Enjoy your weekendThat’s all from us guys today then. Thanks for joining us for a busy day of news conferences and transfer chatter.We’ll be back with live text commentary on Saturday’s six Premier League games, from 11:00 GMT right through to around 22:45. Until then, any breaking transfer news will be right here on the website. We’ll leave you with some of the top stories right now:
  2. content caption: Ex-Liverpool striker’s Premier League highs, 10 years after he arrived at AnfieldEx-Liverpool striker’s Premier League highs, 10 years after he arrived at AnfieldArticle Reactions
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  4. Posted at 14:5414:54Ibrahimovic & Lukaku given one-match bans after Coppa Italia clashZlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku have been given a one-match ban following Tuesday’s Milan derby.AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic was given the ban after being shown two yellow cards, one of them for a confrontation with Inter striker Lukaku.Lukaku was also booked and is banned because it was his second yellow card in this season’s Coppa Italia.Ibrahimovic denied using racist language in the clash, which could yet be the subject of an investigation.Article Reactions
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  5. Posted at 14:5114:51Mourinho won’t use Bale as Kane replacement up frontTottenham HotspurTottenham boss Jose Mourinho says Gareth Bale’s season has reached a “crucial moment”, but he will not use him as a striker despite the loss of the “irreplaceable” Harry Kane.Kane suffered injuries to both ankles in Spurs’ 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Thursday. Bale has been used as a striker by Wales, but Mourinho says that role is not under consideration for his club.”I don’t think Gareth is a striker, I don’t think he likes to play as a striker,” he said.Mourinho says Bale, who is on a season loan from Real Madrid, has made clear that he prefers to play on the right wing.”It was something that we spoke about when he joined us, he was very objective with me, by saying he doesn’t feel he is a left winger like he was before, he doesn’t feel like he is a number 10 like he was before, too,” he said.”The position that he likes to play is the position where we are playing him every minute we give him, which is the right side of the attack. So when Gareth plays starting or coming from the bench, that’s his position in our game.”Article Reactions
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  6. Posted at 14:4714:47’I’m quite happy with our position – but it could be better’Everton v Newcastle United (Sat, 12:30 GMT)EvertonEverton go into Saturday’s game seventh in the Premier League while Steve Bruce’s Newcastle are 16th after failing to win in 11 games.”It’s an important game for both teams for different reasons,” said Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti. “For us it’s important because we have a possibility to go up in the table and it’s good motivation for the second half of the season.”I am quite happy with our position in the table. It could be better, but we can improve and we have to improve the position because there is a lot of competition. Every game is so complicated and difficult, but we have the possibility to improve our style.”[Newcastle] have had difficulties and they will come with all their energy and motivation,” added the Italian.”I have a lot of sympathy for Steve. I like him as a man, his attitude as a good manager. But who is not under pressure? We are under pressure all the time so it’s not news. I think that Steve has the experience and the knowledge to move quickly from the situation.”Article Reactions
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  7. Posted at 14:4114:41Amad Diallo ready for Man Utd bowSimon StoneBBC SportManchester United’s £19m new-boy Amad Diallo is set to make his first appearance for the club in tomorrow’s Under-23 game against Liverpool.Diallo has been training hard since his arrival from Serie A outfit Atalanta earlier this month but the game at Liverpool’s academy training ground will provide a useful guide about the Ivorian’s prospects of breaking into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team squad soon.Article
  8. Posted at 14:3914:39Team newsCrystal Palace v Wolves (Sat, 15:00 GMT) WolvesWolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo says he has more injury concerns.They have been without key players during the season, including striker Raul Jimenez.“We still have problems – big problems,” he said. “Unfortunately, during the game against Chelsea we lost [wing back] Rayan Ait Nouri. He is out and unfortunately, he will not be available for the match. He still has to do a scan and an MRI, so he’s not available for the game.“We still have some more problems, but I don’t want to give details because I want to keep it among us.“Morgan [Gibbs-White] has re-joined us today after he was in quarantine due to the contraction of the virus. He tested positive two weeks ago, but he had his own individual sessions. Because he tested negative yesterday, he was available today and clear to join the group.”Article Reactions
  9. Posted at 14:3414:34’We have to be realistic’ – Moyes on top four chancesWest Ham v Liverpool (Sun,16:30 GMT)West Ham UnitedAnd here’s Moyes on his side’s chances of finishing in the top four. How remarkable would that be Hammers fans?!”I am reluctant because I saw two really good teams last night [Tottenham and Liverpool]. I don’t think we are at that level. We are doing really well, but we have to be realistic.”The four clubs at the top will beat most teams on their day. No given result. Sheffield United against Man United shows you what a season we have got. If we can make the most of it that would be great.”Article Reactions
  10. Posted at 14:3114:31Moyes on Lingard’s imminent loan signingWest Ham v Liverpool (Sun, 16:30 GMT)est Ham UnitedThe Scot is set to add to his attack.The Manchester United winger has had/is having a medical.”If the deal goes through, he’ll give us more attacking options,” said Moyes. “He can play in all the positions along the front line and as a midfield player as well.”He added that West Ham had been looking to sign a striker.Article Reactions
  11. Posted at 14:3014:30Will Mbappe leave PSG for Real Madrid?Kylian MbappeReutersCopyright: ReutersParis St-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe has been linked to Real Madrid for most of his professional career, but could he sign a new contract to commit his future to the French club?Real tried to sign the France striker, now 22, from Monaco back in 2017. He went to PSG instead, on a loan deal which became a £165m transfer, and is already their all-time fourth top scorer with 106 goals.Mbappe is in contract talks with PSG – he only has 18 months left on his deal.After scoring twice last Friday in a 4-0 win over Montpellier he said: “I am thinking about it [the new deal], because if I sign, it will be in order to invest myself in the long term.”The question is whether Real Madrid, like everyone else affected by the coronavirus pandemic, could afford to prise him away from his hometown club. Here we weigh up what the future may hold for Mbappe.Article Reactions
  12. Posted at 14:2714:27Get Involved – Should Liverpool sign a defender?#bbcfootball or text 81111 (UK only)FullyChargedDan: Because LFC’s 97 and 99 pt seasons were largely founded on a midfield 3 of Fabinho-Hendo-Wijnaldum. They’ve played a total of 7 mins together in midfield in the league this season. And that was matchday 1 against Leeds if you’re interested.Article Reactions
  13. Posted at 14:2514:25A new name at St Mary’s?Southampton v Aston Villa (Sat, 20:00 GMT)SouthamptonHere’s more from Hasenhuttl – is he suggesting it could be Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles?”Still possible [we could get someone in].” he said.”We have a few days to go. We hope we get another signing – maybe on loan.”Article Reactions
  14. Posted at 14:2414:24Ancelotti yet to make decision on goalkeeperEverton v Newcastle United (Sat, 12:30 GMT) EvertonCarlo Ancelotti says he is still considering whether to play goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after his error against Leicester.The Everton boss admits Pickford made a mistake but doesn’t change confidence in him and says that he’s benefitted from having competition from Robin Olsen, who has come in for two Premier League starts so far this season.”Pickford didn’t play against Newcastle due to normal rotation in this period because we have a lot of games,” said Ancelotti. “We have a lot of games and Jordan will be rotated like the other players.”He did a mistake and I think that we can say this, but this doesn’t change for me, for his team-mates, the confidence that we have. He did fantastic saves in the past and if the team is solid, it’s also because Pickford was better in the last period than he was before. I think there is absolutely no problem and no doubt on his quality and on his motivation.”There is a good competition there,” added the Italian. “I think that the signing of Olsen helped him to be more motivated and also with less pressure.
  15. Posted at 14:2114:21Team newsSouthampton v Aston Villa (Sat, 20:00 GMT)
  16. SouthamptonSaints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has Oriol Romeu and Moussa Djenepo back from injury while Nathan Redmond is set to feature again having come on as a sub in the 3-1 defeat by Arsenal.Article Reactions
  17. Posted at 14:1814:18I saw a team that’s alive – GuardiolaMan City v Sheff Utd (Sat, 15:00 GMT)
  18. Manchester CitySheffield United return to Manchester three days after upsetting Manchester United to claim just their second league win of the season and stop the Red Devils going back above Manchester City at the top of the table.”One of the special things about the Premier League is that anything can happen, nothing is guaranteed,” said City boss Pep Guardiola.“What I saw of Sheffield [United] is a team that’s alive, with the body language. It is not easy with the season they have had. That speaks incredibly well about Chris [Wilder], his staff and his players.”The result at [Manchester] United speaks for itself. Everyone knows how hard it is to win at Old Trafford. What [Sheffield United] do and the reason they are together and still alive is because they have been together a long time and they believe in each other a lot.
  19. Posted at 14:1614:16Rodgers may look for midfielder in transfer marletLeicester v Leeds (Sun, 14:00 GMT)
  20. Leicester CityLeicester boss Rodgers thinks his side might be short of midfielders at the moment.He said: ” Dennis Praet being injured is a blow to us, and it leaves a gap to us. My first look is within our youth and we don’t have anybody there who can step up for us, so we have to look to the market.”Article Reactions
  21. Posted at 14:1314:13Choudhury to Newcastle?Leicester v Leeds (Sun, 14:00 GMT)
  22. Leicester CityEarlier, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce suggested he would be interested in signing Foxes midfielder Hamza Choudhury on loan.Here’s what Rodgers said: “I’ve spoken to Steve on Hamza. I think for me it’s a case of us needing a more attacking player in. That’s something if we can do that, that could give a possibility of Hamza going out. We can’t afford to lose anyone.”.Posted at 14:1014:10Ndidi out for more than a week; Vardy progressLeicester v Leeds (Sun, 14:00 GMT) Leicester CityLeicester boss Brendan Rodgers has provided an update on defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.He said: “He’s just got a slight tear, so he will be out for eight to 10 days. Sometimes those can be a lot longer than that, so we’re fortunate.”Striker Jamie Vardy will be out for a while having recently had hernia surgery – here’s an update:“He’s six days post operation. Having been sore initially, I saw him in the gym today and he’s starting to run. He’s progressing really well. He’s on schedule. We’ll look to get him training after 10 days following the operation and we’re on course for that.”.
  23. Posted at 14:0714:07’When we have the ball, we run less’ – Man City’s transformationMan City v Sheff Utd (Sat, 15:00 GMT) Manchester CityManchester City boss Pep Guardiola has also explained how he changed the team’s tactics to guide the Blues to the top of the table.”I didn’t like the way we were playing,” he said. “In previous seasons, the wingers were wider and higher, so we came back to our principles. For many reasons, we had to adapt to the quality we had and the players we had in that moment.”That is the reason I tried to find the way. In the end, I felt having the wingers wide and high helped us to be more stable and the quality of the players do the rest. When we have the ball, we run less.”When things don’t go well, managers have the feeling we don’t fight or have the spirit. The reason we didn’t play well was because when we had the ball we ran too much. When we have the ball we need to walk. When we don’t have the ball you have to run with your life.”Now I think we are calmer. To play Sheffield [United] is always uncomfortable for us. That system – the 5-3-2 – is difficult to attack. I am a little bit concerned about the game tomorrow (Saturday).
  24. Posted at 14:0414:04Potter’s men set for Spurs testBrighton v Tottenham (Sun, 19:15 GMT) Brighton & Hove AlbionSeagulls boss Graham Potter is looking forward to facing Jose Mourinho.”It’s a privilege to be able to test ourselves against the best, but it’s always about trying to win the game,” he said.”It is great to be able to learn and keep improving against some great colleagues in this division.”Article Reactions
  25. Posted at 14:0214:02Lamptey set for February returnBrighton v Tottenham (Sun, 19:15 GMT) Brighton & Hove AlbionWing back Tariq Lamptey is still two or three weeks away still, forward Danny Welbeck is making good progress will the club hopes will be training next week with the group..

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