As we mentioned earlier, Pep Guardiola has admitted Bernardo Silva could leave Manchester City amid reports Barcelona are pushing to sign the Portugal international.
“What happens will happen, and if he stays it is perfect and in the end if he has to leave it is because football is like this,” Guardiola said.
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The Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has not ruled out dipping into the transfer market to alleviate his current injury problems but admits it is not the solution to a “four-week problem”.
Centre-back Ibrahima Konate injured a knee in the friendly against Strasbourg on Sunday which Klopp admits will see the defender out “for a while”. He joins an injury list which already includes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring), Diogo Jota (thigh), Curtis Jones (calf), second-choice goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher (groin) and Kostas Tsimikas, with Naby Keita set to resume training on Friday after almost a week out with illness.
“We have too many injuries, that’s true,” said the Reds boss. “But in the moment nothing has changed (in terms of new signings). A lot of unlucky situations. Started with Caoimh and Diogo, pretty much one was injured and one had a re-injury. In a few weeks’ time they will be back, but they’ve missed pre-season and that’s not cool.
“Ibou in a challenge in the game against Strasbourg, what happened there we have to see how long it will take but he’s out for a while. But we cannot solve a problem we have for four weeks with a transfer for a full year. That makes at the moment no sense to us. The transfer window is still open and we will see but the plans are not to go in that direction.” (PA Media)
As the Chelsea gaffer Tommy Tuchel mentioned a few minutes ago, the deal for Cucurella means Levi Colwill is free to go on loan … and he’s off to Brighton, as evidenced by the Seagulls’ recent tweet:
It’s official! Marc Cucurella is a Chelsea player, and we can all finally move on.
The deal is worth an eye-watering £62million including add-ons – here is the story from Fabrizio Romano:
Thanks Tom. Hello everyone. Following that mention of Shane Duffy’s loan move to Fulham, the kind people at the Press Association have done a little story:
Republic of Ireland defender Shane Duffy has joined Fulham on a season-long loan from Brighton. Duffy, 30, had previously spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan in Scotland with Celtic, making 27 appearances before returning to the Amex Stadium last term and running out for the Seagulls 20 times.
“I am delighted that is it is done, it is a really exciting challenge for me and the club,” Duffy told the Fulham website. “It happened really quickly, but I didn’t really have time to think about it at all, as soon as they came in for me, I just knew it was right for me. I spoke to the manager and it was the same both ways, so I am really excited.”
Seagulls head coach Graham Potter is confident Duffy will benefit from regular game time with the Cottagers. “Shane has been an outstanding servant to this club, and is rightly held in high esteem by everyone here,” Potter told Brighton’s website. “There was no pressure on him to leave, but typically he wanted to play regular football, and while he was still part of our wider squad, we could not guarantee him that. This move will give him that opportunity, which is really important to him as the captain of the Republic of Ireland, and Fulham are getting a player who has great experience at this level.”
And with that, I’ll hand you over to Luke McLaughlin for a bit. See you later.
Thomas Tuchel speaks:
On the Marc Cucurella deal: “The paperwork is in process and hopefully we can get it finished before noon and Marc is our player. He is a fantastic young player. Hungry, mobile, very intelligent player. Can play several positions in our system, that’s why we hope the transfer goes through and then if it goes through, it opens some options like for Levi Colwill to maybe find some more game time elsewhere.”
On the World Cup the splitting season into two:
“Hopefully not (another mid-season World Cup again) after. It does not make so much sense. You feel it. The players are very focused on this World Cup already, which is a good thing because they come in shape and take care about themselves. It is also a bad thing. They are focused on the World Cup and not here. A part of them, I have a feeling, is already thinking about November. We will see how it influences the players and the performances in October when it gets closer, then it will be for me a huge impact emotionally and physically on the guys that go to the World Cup. They will come back drained physically but also mentally with big success, big emotions, positive or huge disappointment, you never know. Then, right away, four or five days later, we have Boxing Day. Let’s see. Nobody did it before. We feel already and the talks with the players, the excitement, which is normal and a good thing. We try to turn it around and use it for us but I am a bit uncertain of all this.”
It’s official. Chelsea have confirmed the signing of the Brighton left-back on a six-year deal for £55m plus a potential £7m in add-ons. He might even be able to play at Everton tomorrow. Cucurella told the Chelsea website: “I’m really happy. It’s a big opportunity for me to join one of the best clubs in the world and I’m going to work hard to be happy here and help the team.”
And a club-record wedge heading Brighton’s way:
Some Brighton-fan reaction from BTL, care of cavelier5: “Re Cucurella selling someone for £55m 11 months after signing him for a 5th of that is a no-brainer. Brilliant bit of business and you have to admire the way they held out for the right price. Bissouma will be the harder one to replace I think.”
In his first presser as a Premier League manager, Steve Cooper batted away talk about his contract situation as he enters the final 12 months of his Nottingham Forest contract.
“I don’t really think about it to be honest, not something that enters my mind,” he said. “I’m more interested in the team and trying to deliver the right training sessions and I’m just not interested in personal stuff.
“Am I happy? Yeah, double happy. Every day it’s an honour and a privilege to be here. It’s not something I spend too much time thinking about.”
Forest visit Newcastle tomorrow where the outspoken Dean Henderson will play, but Omar Richards (leg) and Ryan Yates (knee) are out.
Our final Premier League pre-season preview has dropped, in which John Brewin discusses the prospects of one of the league’s “enigma” teams, Wolves:
Martin Tyler has apologised over his Hillsborough remarks:
“There is no connection at all between the Hillsborough disaster and hooliganism – I know that, and I was not implying that there was. I apologise sincerely and wholeheartedly for any misunderstanding.”
By the way there is, I think, a side-debate to be had about another thing Tyler said earlier – “You have got to remember football was in a bit of a crisis at that time [of the Premier League’s creation].” Was football really in crisis in 1992? After six consecutive seasons of rising attendances, hooliganism on the wane, and the game already surfing a post-Italia 90 wave? It fits a neat Premier League narrative but the reality was more complex.
So what of Spurs this season? Their squad has had major surgery since Antonio Conte arrived last season, and David Hytner divines what long-term signings such as Djed Spence mean for the ambitions of Conte and Tottenham here:
Nottingham Forest have been charged by the FA over the unruly pitch invasion at the end of their playoff semi-final win over Sheffield United in May. Here’s PA Media’s story:
Nottingham Forest have been charged by the Football Association after their fans invaded the pitch following their Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final win over Sheffield United last season.
Forest beat the Blades on penalties after the two-legged tie ended 3-3 on aggregate to book their place at Wembley but there were unsavoury scenes as fans poured on to the pitch, with one of them headbutting United skipper Billy Sharp.
Forest season ticket holder Robert Biggs was sent to jail after his attack and other United players were involved in exchanges with Forest fans.
Oli McBurnie will stand trial in December after denying a charge of assault by beating after an alleged incident while Rhian Brewster had the same charge against him dropped last week.
The FA has now charged Forest with a breach of Rule E20.
An FA statement read: “Nottingham Forest has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20 following their EFL Championship fixture against Sheffield United FC on Tuesday 17 May 2022.
“It is alleged that Nottingham Forest FC failed to ensure that its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using threatening and/or violent behaviour whilst encroaching onto the pitch area, following the completion of the fixture.”
Loan news: Fulham have signed Shane Duffy on a season-long loan from Brighton. Not all our writers are convinced:
It’s a busy old morning for transfer news – would be interested to see how Brighton fans feel about the likely loss of Cucurella to Chelsea, and how it impacts their prospects after such an enjoyable 2021-22 campaign.
More transfer news: Amadou Onana is having a medical at Everton after a deal was agreed to sign the Lille midfielder, pipping West Ham, who’d also been keen on Onana. And Bourneouth have agreed a deal for the Barcelona goalkeeper Neto
On that subject, here’s a roundup of the latest transfer tittle-tattle, stuff and nonsense from the Rumour Mill:
Jürgen Klopp’s been talking about Liverpool’s trip to Fulham, whom he praises for the manner of their promotion last season. “Getting promoted through playing football is one of the hardest things to do,” he said, “and that’s what Fulham did, they’re a really good team … it’ll be tough, but I’m happy that we played the City game [in the Community Shield] to be honest it gave us a hint of where we are.” Klopp pours cold water on the idea of additional signings at the moment, adding: “We have too many injuries at the moment thats true but at the moment nothing changes.”
“You might have an article today with Sky Sports bigging themselves up in comparison to BT Sport,” writes Colin Stevens. “But that still doesn’t stop individuals in their team making horrendous gaffes. See this tweet from the supreme Ms Shelagh Fogarty
It would be great to get some response from Mr Tyler, Sky Sports & the Today programme.”
An insensitive gaffe indeed. One expects more from Tyler.
Our latest Premier League pre-season preview spotlights West Ham, looking to build on a season full of fun and frolics in 2021-22, even if there was a sense they were falling away towards the end of the season. It could be tough living up to raised expectations, reckons Jacob Steinberg, who asks whether David Moyes’s side might have gone a bit stale:
Newcastle haven’t been as free-spending in this transfer window as many predicted, but their search for new recruits continues. But Eddie Howe has insisted the club will operate under spending restrictions for “years” despite all that Saudi cash behind them.
“Financial Fair Play will impact us, will continue to impact us, I think, for a number of years,” said the Newastle manager. “We haven’t got the free rein, the free hand that maybe has been perceived in the media, that we can go and sign whoever we want and pay extortionate fees and wages.
“We’re not in that position and I don’t think we will be for some period of time. We’re having to be creative and smart and try to make the right additions with the financial restraints that we have.”
Chelsea are on the verge of securing the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton, according to Sky Sports News. The full-back, one of the most impressive players in the top flight last season, has of course been gossiped about as a Manchester City target all summer.
In the WSL, champions Chelsea have signed the Sweden winger Johanna Rytting Kaneryd on a three-year deal.
Manchester City may have recruited a stunningly gifted and efficient robo-striker in Erling Haaland but might they be about to lose the artistic talents of Bernardo Silva? “What happens will happen,” said Pep Guardiola, “and if he stays it is perfect and in the end if he has to leave it is because football is like this; the player has a desire. I will not be a person to stop a desire for the people. When you are a football player it is so short, you don’t realise and it is nearly over. The player will have to talk to the club and I have never ever been involved in that.”
Jamie Jackson has the story:
And here’s a spot more eve-of-season reading, from Barney Ronay on the strangeness of a season to be abruptly interrupted by the most controversial of World Cups:
And here’s David Hills on some other things we’ll have to get used to, such as five subs, a new official ball and some out-there new kits:
Morning everyone. Yes, the great Premier League juggernaut is back, and though observations that the football season seems to start earlier each year – like those about police officers and football managers looking younger these days – have begun to seem weary and cliched, this season really has ambushed us early (EFL games in July, I ask you!).
England has at least had a week to bask in the unfamiliar sensation of Euro 2022 glory, before the more familiar sensations of the top flight’s big kick-off are upon us. And it starts, as last year’s did, with Arsenal facing a testing away game in London against opponents who can raise their game against them. Selhurst Park should be lively tonight as Patrick Vieira seeks to inflict another bruising defeat on his old club, who nonetheless go in to the new season with optimism (cautiously) higher than it has been for a while.
The defending champions, Manchester City, face a testing start at West Ham in one of the more intriguing fixtures of the weekend, while their closest challengers in 2021-22, Liverpool visit a Fulham side hoping to step off the alternating promotion/relegation merry-go-round.
We’ll have all the latest team news, media conference tidbits and random gossip and comment through the day. And to start us all off, here’s 10 things to look out for this weekend: