This year’s Premier league is almost done and dusted.
Chelsea have already sealed the title and we know which three teams are going down, with just the not-so-small matter of European qualification to be decided.
Liverpool and Manchester City are in the box seat, but Arsenal’s good run of form has them well-placed to take advantage of any last-minute jitters from the north west pair.
The race for the top four will have a huge impact on the summer sales, with clubs desperate to use the Champions League as a selling point to attract new talent.
We’re set for another busy summer of wheeling and dealing as Chelsea’s rivals look to bridge the gap on Antonio Conte’s side and gear up for the challenges that the new season will bring.
So stay tuned for all the latest ahead of the summer sales.
Cotterill rejects Blues offer
Steve Cotterill has turned down the offer to continue as assistant to manager Harry Redknapp at Birmingham.
Cotterill, 52, and Paul Groves were drafted in as first-team assistants by Redknapp, who was appointed temporary boss following the resignation of Gianfranco Zola last month.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Cotterill told the club’s official website. “I have given it a lot of thought. But I have decided to turn down the club’s offer of being assistant manager.
“The club made me a good offer and my decision was solely based on being a number two, whereas really I have been a manager for a long time in my own right.
“Harry Redknapp asked me to come in and help for three weeks and I believe that’s what I firmly did.”
Manchester United summer transfer target
Manchester United enter this summer at a crucial stage of Jose Mourinho’s tenure, with a title challenge fully expected for his second season at Old Trafford.
Evidently there’s money to spend with the likes of Antoine Griezmann and James Rodriguez being heavily linked with the Red Devils.
Despite already having two windows to work with his squad, Mourinho has plenty of holes left to fill.
Lacazette given green light to quit Lyon
Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has indicated that star striker Alexandre Lacazette will be allowed to leave the club this summer if the deal is right for Les Gones.
Lacazette has been the subject of transfer speculation for the past several seasons, and this summer the 25-year-old – a product of Lyon’s academy – has been linked with Atletico Madrid and Arsenal amongst others.
“Alex had a good option with a club that is in his heart,” Aulas said.
“If the club of his heart is able to match our demands – as Barcelona did last season for Sam Umtiti – then things will go well. Otherwise, it will depend on our other business.”
Inter step up Conte chase
Inter Milan are refusing to admit defeat in their pursuit of Antonio Conte with the son of the Chinese owner claiming: “Anything is possible”.
Walter Sabbatini has been appointed as sporting director with the task of luring the former Juventus head coach back to Italy.
Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Luciano Spalletti of Roma are back-up options.
But Inter director Steven Zhang Jr, son of Suning owner Zhang Jindong, told Sportmediaset: “Conte? Everything is possible – a coach is important for team, like the right players. You need to have patience and trust in the club.
“I know that the fans love the club with all their hearts. Football in Europe is like a religion, people are crazy. Certainly, we are trying to do our best and we will do it step by step.
“Obviously the coach is very important to the team, but we need people, players and managers who will be here and play for the club with heart and spirit, As with the company, we need the best employees. I am not thinking too much about plans for next season, but where this club can go in the next three, five, ten years.”
Chelsea agree to sell Christian Atsu
Newcastle have agreed a deal to sign Christian Atsu from Chelsea on a four-year contract.
Atsu impressed on loan at St James’ Park as they clinched promotion back to the Premier League.
The Ghanaian leaves Stamford Bridge without making a first-team appearance.
Puel committed to Saints
Claude Puel admits he finds speculation over his job as Southampton manager “strange” ahead of their Premier League clash against Manchester United on Wednesday.
Puel’s future at St Mary’s is uncertain despite reaching the EFL Cup final in February and leading one of the league’s youngest sides to a potential top-eight finish.
“I think it’s strange because someone asked me about speculation and all of the questions about how I will improve the club,” Puel said.
“It’s strange, it’s not a question of being proud of my work, with my staff it’s good to develop young players for the future.
“I hope for Southampton that we will see this for next season but of course it will be interesting to continue this work because I think it’s important to improve.”
Canaries consider Imps boss
Norwich have considered Lincoln boss Danny Cowley as they continue their search for a new manager.
The managerless Canaries have been impressed with Cowley and his brother Nick, who is assistant at Sincil Bank, Press Association Sport understands.
The duo have been on the club’s radar but the jump from the Imps to the Championship is thought to be too soon this time.
The brothers guided Lincoln back into the EFL following the Imps’ National League title triumph last month, with Grimsby and Nottingham Forest previously interested in their services.
Monaco reject £68m Mbappe bid
Kylian Mbappe is a target of just about any club in Europe with deep pockets but as they well know the Monaco forward won’t be going anywhere on the cheap.
With his side on the verge of lifting the Ligue 1 title, offers are said to be flooding in for the 18-year-old.
And £68million (€80m) isn’t enough, claims French radio station RMC, who says Monaco have turned down a bid for that amount.
The outlet doesn’t name which club has made that offer, but Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea are all keen on the teenager.
Sanchez tipped for Man United move
Alexis Sanchez has the right stuff for Manchester United, claims Old Trafford legend Ryan Giggs.
The contract stalemate between the Chilean and the Gunners has led to him being connected with top clubs around Europe.
Giggs reckons he’s be a good fit at United with his work rate and winning mentality.
“Yeah. Jose Mourinho bought [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic because he is a winner,” he is quoted by the Express.
“He’d won everywhere he’d gone. Not only the effect on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
“You can just feel that Sanchez would give his team-mates a lift.”
Gremio chief cool on Luan talk
Luan is hotly tipped to be making his way to Anfield from Gremio, but for now the striker’s club president says there is no offer on the table.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has spent the last year trying to team up the striker branded the ‘new Ronaldinho’ with his Samba stars Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Lucas.
But after Gremio’s 2-0 win over Botafogo, club chief Romildo Bolzan said as far as he’s concerned he’s going nowhere.
“Luan is a player who said he would have proposals but so far none have come, except for one about three years ago when he was on a different level,” Bolzan said.
“We have no approach, no official proposal (from Liverpool). We have absolutely no concrete proposal.”
Terry considering retirement
John Terry says he could retire when his Chelsea career comes to an end this summer, but Antonio Conte has urged the defender to play on elsewhere.
The 36-year-old defender will leave Chelsea this summer after 22 years and is also expected to play on Sunday against Sunderland when he will lift a fifth championship title and 15th major honour.
Former England captain Terry is contemplating quitting altogether when he leaves the club where he has spent his entire career.
“I’ve still not ruled out Sunday being my last game and retiring from football,” Terry told Sky Sports 1.
“It depends, if the right offer comes along I will sit down and consider it with my family – whether that’s here, abroad, or wherever that may be. Genuinely I haven’t made any decisions of yet and I’m evaluating all my options at the moment.”
United plotting ambitious move for Real duo?
Real Madrid stars James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale have been linked to Manchester United.
And one report believes an audacious bid for both of them could be made by Jose Mourinho’s money men.
Colombian Rodriguez’s drawn out exit from Real’s La Liga match on Sunday night against Sevilla has plenty thinking he is leaving.
Bale’s injury woes are also testing the patience of those at the Bernabeu.
Spanish gossip outlet Madrid-Barcelona (via Daily Star) claim United are willing to fork out £127.6m in a double deal.
Daniel Sturridge has “no worries” about Liverpool future
Daniel Sturridge maybe have had another season of injury woes – having started just six league games – but is not worried about his Liverpool future.
The striker returned to the Reds starting XI for the first time since January 2 on Sunday against West Ham before finding the net.
The England man has been linked with a summer exit from Anfield despite his current contract running until 2019, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.
“The manager has shown faith in me and we have a good relationship as well,” Sturridge said.
“The fans have been different class. I don’t have any worries about next season.
“I am looking forward to this last game. We need the three points of course and then we’ll be in the Champions League.”
Edinson Cavani welcomes Alexis Sanchez to PSG
Edinson Cavani is ready to unravel the red carpet to welcome Alexis Sanchez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Paris Saint Germain.
Arsenal rebel Sanchez has been linked with a summer move to the French capital with his current contract with the Gunners running out at the end of next season.
And Cavani would welcome the Chile international to the Parc de Princes.
Alli fails to rule out move away from Spurs
The England midfielder, 21, has shone for Mauricio Pochettino’s men since his arrival from MK Dons in 2015, winning back-to-back PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
Alli has scored 21 goals in 47 games in all competitions this season and has been linked with a mega-money move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Alli has signed three contracts since moving to Spurs, such has been his remarkable rise to prominence in north London.
But while his current deal doesn’t expire until 2022, he’s wary of looking too far ahead, and is very much living in the here and now.
Cavani wants to land Sanchez
The arrival at Paris Saint-Germain of Alexis Sanchez would be an intimidating prospect for any striker keen on keeping their place in the side.
But not Edinson Cavani.
The PSG marksman says he would welcome the Arsenal forward to France should his club’s bean counters beat the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal, should he stay, to the Chilean’s signature.
Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also being talked about at PSG. Again, Cavani isn’t bothered.
”If they come, they are welcome,” he told Canal Football Club.
“We always hope that new players complete the team with their qualities.
“As for what the club is missing, I will never tell you.
“For me, my team-mates are the best.”
Coutinho has ‘heard nothing’ about Barca
Philippe Coutinho has ‘heard nothing’ yet from Barcelona about the Spanish giants huge interest in luring him to the Nou Camp.
The Liverpool ace scored twice in their 4-0 thrashing of West Ham on Sunday and appears happy to be working under Jurgen Klopp, yet the rumours remain stronger than ever.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil , Coutinho admitted he was ‘happy’ to have attracted attention from one of the biggest clubs in the world but insisted his focus remains on finishing the season with the Reds and securing Champions League football.
“Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world, so far, nothing has come to me, because if anything comes, it comes to my manager, what I have to do is focus on the pitch,” Coutinho told.
“I have a contract with Liverpool, there are two games, there are a lot of chances for us to be in the Champions League next year.
“What I have to do is focus on football and those things are resolved by the business people.
“I’m happy to know that a great club has an interest, it’s cool, for the recognition of their work, what I have to do is keep working hard.”