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Liverpool rescue win over Fulham as Mohamed Salah stutters once again

LONDON: Liverpool jumped above Manchester City to take top spot in the Premier League but needed a James Milner penalty nine minutes from time to see off lowly Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday.The on-form Sadio Mane put the visitors in front midway through the first half, but a rare defensive mix-up between Virgil van…

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Liverpool rescue win over Fulham as Mohamed Salah stutters once again

LONDON: Liverpool jumped above Manchester City to take top spot in the Premier League but needed a James Milner penalty nine minutes from time to see off lowly Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday.The on-form Sadio Mane put the visitors in front midway through the first half, but a rare defensive mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker allowed Ryan Babel to give his former club a huge scare 16 minutes from time.Fulham’s awful defending all season is the reason they are heading back to the Championship after just one season back in the top flight, and the hosts gave Jurgen Klopp’s men a much-needed gift when goalkeeper Sergio Rico bundled over Mane and Milner secured all three points from the spot.Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah’s goal drought continued as the Egyptian has scored just once now in his last 10 games, but it was his shot that Rico spilled before the Spaniard unnecessarily pulled down Mane.Salah should have got a much-needed confidence boost when released clean through by Mane during the second half, but Rico saved low to his left.The Egyptian striker has suffered from a poor run of form in recent weeks.Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “It was (exactly) like how we are at the moment — we started really well, did a lot of good things and then lost the rhythm a little bit.“I’m not the most experienced manager but I’ve had similar problems after Champions League games — the first-half was a bit rusty. We could’ve finished it off in the second-half but if you don’t kill the game at 1-0 up, it’s clear something like that can happen.“I have no doubt about my players’ nerves. I always want perfection but it’s rare that you get it. People will say we should be more convincing in games like this but this is us, we are in the middle of a development, not at the end. How the boys dealt with it was brilliant.“(It was an) average game, sensational result,” Klopp added.“City don’t look like they will drop a lot of points, so we have to win and win and win. That’s our job to do.”Fulham boss Scott Parker, who replaced Claudio Ranieri as the boss at Craven Cottage was looking for the positives after another damaging defeat for the west Londoners.
”The back end of the game we came strong and caused Liverpool some problems. It was pleasing, but we have lost (but have) some positives to take from the game.“These players have been working really well for the two weeks I’ve been here. But you need to stay in the game against Liverpool. First half we did that. We changed things around a little bit and were in the ascendancy. The goal was what we deserved. We were in a position then to get the right side of it.“I have seen some massive positives. I stand here two weeks on from being involved and these players are working to a maximum. The attitude and passion that comes with that means this club will be in a better place.”

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Saturday’s gossip column

Manchester United have agreed terms with Porto full-back Alex Telles and the 27-year-old Brazil international could now sign a five-year deal. (RMC Sport – via Mirror)external-linkSections of the Real Madrid dressing room are said to be relieved that Wales forward Gareth Bale has made a loan move to Tottenham. (AS – in Spanish)external-linkRennes want Chelsea…

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Saturday’s gossip column

Manchester United have agreed terms with Porto full-back Alex Telles and the 27-year-old Brazil international could now sign a five-year deal. (RMC Sport – via Mirror)external-linkSections of the Real Madrid dressing room are said to be relieved that Wales forward Gareth Bale has made a loan move to Tottenham. (AS – in Spanish)external-linkRennes want Chelsea to include two players in any deal for Senegal international goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, 28. England defender Fikayo Tomori, 22, is one of those the French club want. (Football Insider)external-linkLiverpool have asked about a possible loan deal for France and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, 23. (Sport)external-linkSheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the club have held talks with Liverpool over a loan move for English striker Rhian Brewster, 20. (Yorkshire Live)external-linkBut Crystal Palace also want to sign Brewster from the champions on a permanent deal. (90Min)external-linkManchester City are considering a deal for Sevilla’s French centre-back Jules Kounde, 21. The move could see Argentina international Nicolas Otamendi, 32, move in the opposite direction. (Telegraph)external-linkCrystal Palace’s potential sale of 24-year-old Norway international striker Alexander Sorloth to RB Leipzig will fund a move for Brentford’s Algeria international forward Said Benrahma, 25. (Guardian)external-linkAny move away from Southampton for striker Danny Ings, 28, is “100% not discussable” according to manager Ralph Hasenhuttl. (Daily Echo)external-linkLeeds are still keen on signing Argentina international midfielder Rodrigo de Paul, 26, from Udinese. (Fabrizio Romano)external-linkAmerican defender DeAndre Yedlin, 27, looks set to leave Newcastle for Besiktas. (NBC)external-linkArsenal, Leeds and Wolves are all keen on 18-year-old Reading midfielder Michael Olise. (Football League World)external-linkAston Villa remain poised to sign 25-year-old Burkina Faso winger Bertrand Traore from Lyon. (Sky Sports)external-linkGossip: Could Odsonne Edouard join Jack Grealish at Aston Villa?Newcastle are close to signing Peru playmaker Rodrigo Vilca, 21, from Deportivo Municipal. (Mail)external-linkBurnley manager Sean Dyche has described the club’s way of working in the transfer market as “last minute” and “tricky”. (Mail)external-linkFormer Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says it’s “a dream” of his to coach Real Madrid. (Cadena Cope Radio – via ESPN)external-linkLeicester manager Brendan Rodgers says winger Demarai Gray has a decision to make over his future and that the 24-year-old will ultimately decide when he leaves the club. (Leicester Mercury)external-linkLyon could offer 26-year-old Dutch forward Memphis Depay to AC Milan in a swap deal which would see the French club sign 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta. (Di Marzio – in Italian)external-link The Guardian and most other papers lead on Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham Extinction: The Facts: Sir David Attenborough on biodiversity crisisBattlestar Galactica: Binge all episodes of sci-fi classic
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Friday’s gossip column

Liverpool have enquired about Ismaila Sarr and discussed his situation with Watford, who want £36m for the 22-year-old Senegal striker. (Mail) external-linkSarr has been identified by Manchester United as an alternative option if their move for Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho fails. (Independent)external-linkManchester United are considering moves for Inter Milan’s Croatia winger Ivan…

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Friday’s gossip column

Liverpool have enquired about Ismaila Sarr and discussed his situation with Watford, who want £36m for the 22-year-old Senegal striker. (Mail) external-linkSarr has been identified by Manchester United as an alternative option if their move for Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho fails. (Independent)external-linkManchester United are considering moves for Inter Milan’s Croatia winger Ivan Perisic, 31, Bayern Munich’s France winger Kingsley Coman, 24, and 30-year-old Brazil winger Douglas Costa from Juventus. (ESPN)external-linkManchester United are also targeting Germany midfielder Sami Khedira, 33, when his contract expires at Juventus. (Sun)external-linkA deal has been agreed for 28-year-old Rennes and Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to join Chelsea, says his agent. (Stades via Star)external-linkGossip: Could Odsonne Edouard join Jack Grealish at Aston Villa?Chelsea are set to bid for West Ham’s England midfielder Declan Rice, 21, as the final act of their summer spending. (Simon Phillips via Express) external-linkA Manchester United bid for Porto’s 27-year-old Brazilian defender Alex Telles is imminent, according to his agent. (Star)external-linkBrentford have rejected a bid of about £10m from Arsenal for 25-year-old Spanish goalkeeper David Raya. (Telegraph)external-linkSouthampton have told Tottenham that striker Danny Ings, 28, is not for sale at any price. (Mail)external-linkLeicester City are closing in on the loan signing of 23-year-old Turkey striker Cengiz Under from Roma, while Burnley’s England defender James Tarkowski, 27, is still a target for Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers. (Sky Sports)external-linkWest Ham have changed the structure of their latest bid for Tarkowski but the offer has still been declined by Burnley. (Sky Sports)external-linkWest Brom are trying to sign Aston Villa’s 27-year-old Tanzania striker Mbwana Samatta before he completes a move to Fenerbahce. (Sun)external-linkEnglish former Liverpool defender and free agent Nathaniel Clyne, 29, is training with Crystal Palace and could earn a contract. (Standard)external-linkEdin Dzeko is set to join Juventus from Roma on a two-year deal. The 34-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina striker’s move will mean Luis Suarez’s hopes of a move from Barcelona to the Serie A champions will likely end. (Goal)external-linkArsenal have agreed personal terms with Lyon’s 22-year-old French midfielder Houssem Aouar. (Star)external-linkTottenham and England midfielder Dele Alli, 24, has emerged as a target for Paris St-Germain and Inter Milan. (Mail)external-linkSerbia striker Luka Jovic, 22, is keen to leave Real Madrid. (Marca)external-linkGenoa have reached an agreement with Chelsea to sign 28-year-old right-back Davide Zappacosta on loan. (DiMarzio – Twitter)external-linkJuventus have confirmed Gonzalo Higuain’s departure. The 32-year-old Argentina striker is expected to sign for MLS club Inter Miami. (Goal)external-link Gareth Bale’s move to Tottenham features on several back pages Extinction: The Facts: Sir David Attenborough on biodiversity crisisBattlestar Galactica: Binge all episodes of sci-fi classic
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Barca president set to face referendum

Lionel Messi (right) has had a public falling out with Bartomeu (left)Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to face a vote of no-confidence after a campaign seeking his removal gained the necessary backing.A motion to remove Bartomeu was filed the day after Messi’s transfer request.A total of 20,731 signatures have now backed the motion,…

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Barca president set to face referendum

Lionel Messi (right) has had a public falling out with Bartomeu (left)Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to face a vote of no-confidence after a campaign seeking his removal gained the necessary backing.A motion to remove Bartomeu was filed the day after Messi’s transfer request.A total of 20,731 signatures have now backed the motion, meaning Bartomeu should face a vote over his position.Some 16,500 signatures were needed and as long as that number is cleared when the signed documents are verified, 57-year-old Bartomeu will be the subject of a referendum within three months.The potential referendum will be undertaken by the club’s 150,000 members and if 66.5% of them vote against him his time at the club will come to a premature end.Bartomeu is due to step down in March, having served the maximum two terms as club president.But he looks set to become only the third president to face a vote of no-confidence after Josep Lluis Nunez in 1998 and Joan Laporta in 2008, though both survived the subsequent referendums.Messi has agreed to stay at the club but resentment against Bartomeu has been growing in the past year due to worsening finances and the team’s decline on the pitch, which saw them lift no major silverware last season.Meanwhile, former manager Quique Setien and three of his assistants also announced on Thursday that they are suing the club for failing to fulfil the terms of their contracts after being sacked last month.They claim they only received written notice of their contracts being terminated on 16 September, despite his sacking taking place on 17 August. Setien said he had not received any compensation and that a letter sent to him by the club on Wednesday “revealed the clear intention from the club to not comply with contracts we signed on 14 January 2020.”
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