Havertz to ´embrace´ advice from Low amid links to Barcelona and Real Madrid

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz insists he will have the final say on his next career move after being linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2018-19, scoring 17 Bundesliga goals as he helped Leverkusen qualify for the Champions League.

Havertz scored his first international goal for Germany in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Argentina and reports in Spain suggest LaLiga heavyweights Madrid and Barcelona are interested in the player.

While open to advice on his future, including from national boss Joachim Low, Havertz – who is under contract at BayArena until 2022 – will make a choice that is right for him.

Speaking at a Germany news conference on Friday, he said: “I listen to many people but in the end it will be my decision. 

“I will embrace any advice Low will give me because he has a lot experience – it wouldn’t be smart to not listen to him.”

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller confirmed in August that Bayern Munich have previously showed an interest in Havertz, who is in line to feature for his country in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday.

Mancini warns Kean after red card in Italy Under-21 game

Italy boss Roberto Mancini has told Moise Kean to “be more careful” after the striker was sent off in a European Under-21 Championship qualifier.

Kean was dismissed for pushing Republic of Ireland striker Troy Parrott in the chest. Tottenham player Parrott also saw red following the clash.

It is not the first disciplinary issue Kean has faced this year, the 19-year-old having been left out at this year’s European Under-21 Championship finals by coach Luigi Di Biagio after repeated breaches of team rules.

Kean was then omitted from Mancini’s senior Italy squad for this international break having struggled to make an impact in the Premier League for Everton, the club he joined from Juventus in August.

“I’m sorry for yesterday’s expulsion,” Mancini told reporters on Friday. “He was also unlucky. But he is always involved, he must be more careful.”

Brescia teenager Sandro Tonali played in the same team as Kean in Dublin on Thursday, and the midfielder, uncapped at senior level, has been brought into Mancini’s squad for Saturday’s home game against Greece.

The Azzurri are closing in on qualification for Euro 2020 having recorded a perfect six wins out of six games in Group J, and while victory against John van ‘t Schip’s side would be enough to secure a place at the finals, Mancini is taking nothing for granted.

“We have to think about qualifying, this match will not be easy,” Mancini added. “I don’t know how they will play, but we always want to have our footprint and we want to win.

“Qualification is certainly not a sure thing, we have a serious opponent tomorrow night, who we must beat.

“Now comes the Euros as it’s the first competition we’ll have to face. Then, certainly, we’ll turn our attentions to the [2022] World Cup in Qatar.”

Fellaini: Manchester United sacked Mourinho too soon

Marouane Fellaini believes Manchester United were rash in their decision to sack Jose Mourinho and feels his former club lack long-term vision.

United parted company with Mourinho in December 2018 after two and a half years in charge of the club.

Mourinho was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, initially on a caretaker basis and then full-time – the Red Devils’ fourth permanent appointment since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho have all tried and ultimately failed to emulate the success of Ferguson, but Fellaini – who played under each of those bosses – wonders whether they could have been given more time.

“They brought in Moyes – they didn’t give him time,” said Fellaini, according to several English newspapers. “They brought in Van Gaal – they gave him two years and we started to do some things, he won the cup, but after that they sacked the manager because they want to win quickly.

“For me the club were too quick to sack Jose because a manager like that comes and he needs a lot of players to do his own philosophy.

“He wanted to build his team but after two years and a half they decided to sack him because the results were not there.

“That’s the problem – they have to find a solution together. A manager like Van Gaal tactically is very strong and a lot of experience and they sacked him.”

Mourinho won the EFL Cup and Europa League in his first season at Old Trafford, but a trophyless second campaign preceded a poor start to 2018-19, leading to his sacking.

“It’s not easy to build a team in that time – you need more than two years,” said Fellaini, who left United for Shandong Luneng in February.

“They brought in one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho, he wanted to build a team and they sacked him.

“I don’t know what they will do with Ole. Mourinho, for the first season, he did amazingly, he improved the team, won things.

“OK the second season was a bit more difficult, but he tried and did his best to help the team.”

United have changed philosophy under Solskjaer, who has favoured using young and hungry players during his 10 months at the helm.

Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were signed during the close season, along with the more widely travelled Harry Maguire, but United have made a poor start to the campaign and Fellaini fears a lack of experienced options is holding them back.

“Now you have a new manager, they wanted young players and that’s what happens when you play with just young players – they will be up and down, up and down, that’s football,” Fellaini said.

“Of course, in football you can’t play with just young players, you need a mix. I think to win games, to win titles, to win big games you need experience. Of course you can win with young players but not every game.”

Man United left squad short – Robson

Manchester United left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad short due to the club’s dealings in the transfer market, says Bryan Robson.

Defeat away to Newcastle United last time out left the Red Devils 12th in the Premier League table, two points above the relegation zone.

Solskjaer has overseen a poor run of form since his March appointment on a permanent basis, a period in which United have taken 17 points from 16 league games.

His squad was bolstered by Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but senior players including Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera and Chris Smalling have departed.

Robson, who captained the club and won two Premier League titles with United, feels the transfer business was inadequate but, asked if United should stick with Solskjaer, he said: “Yes, I do.

“Because everyone went with the policy that they want to encourage the young boys coming through the ranks. That’s exactly what United have done.

“I think they’ve maybe allowed too many good, experienced players to leave the club without replacing them. That’s why it’s left them a little bit short.”

United have particularly struggled for goals since a 4-0 home win against Chelsea on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

England striker Marcus Rashford netted twice in that victory but he has only scored once for club and country since, a run that has seemingly hit his confidence.

Robson, speaking at a Football Writers’ Association dinner sponsored by William Hill, feels there are aspects of his game where the 21-year-old must develop.

“I think he has still got a little bit of knowledge to know about being a centre-forward,” Robson added. “I think it’s a natural game for him coming off the left side but the right side as well.

“But I think going through the middle of the park, I think Marcus needs to know the game that little bit better where it’s not always about running through, it’s about build up play and bringing midfield players into the game.

“That’s where Marcus can maybe improve his game a little bit.”

Muller must be shown respect, says Gnabry

Serge Gnabry feels team-mate Thomas Muller deserves to be shown some respect amid reports he could be on his way out of Bayern Munich in January.

The 30-year-old has spent his entire club career at Bayern but has been linked with a move away after being reduced to a peripheral role this season.

Muller has started the German champions’ last five matches on the bench and admitted earlier this week he is not happy with the current situation.

Manchester United have been tipped to move for the versatile attacker, but Gnabry claims it is wrong to speculate over his future and cannot envisage life at the Allianz Arena without his compatriot.

“Normally I shouldn’t say anything about it,” he said at a Germany news conference on Friday. “But when a player has been with one club since his childhood, then a Bayern Munich without Thomas Muller is difficult to imagine. 

“It is easy to relate with every player who does not play and who is angry about that. This is normal. You don’t have to make the whole thing bigger than it is. 

“Thomas has got his qualities and has won everything. You have to have respect for him and must not ask stupid questions or spread negative news about him.”

Muller, along with Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, has also been overlooked at the international level since March after being told he will no longer be picked by Joachim Low.

Gnabry has more than helped to fill the void by scoring 10 goals in 11 appearances for the senior side, and the former Arsenal winger intends to keep impressing.

“I’m having a great run right now,” he said. “It takes a lot of work, the right attitude. You cannot rest. The good environment here helps me a lot. The mood is relaxed-casual.

“I want to do my best in every game. You have to prove yourself again and again. 

“If I were to play three games, surely someone else would get my playing time. That’s why I’m trying to focus on maintaining my performance.”

Real willing to pay £25m for Eriksen

According to a recent report from Marca, Real Madrid are willing to pay a fee of around £25 million in order to sign Christian Eriksen from Tottenham Hotspur during the January transfer window. The belief is that they don’t want to risk the Danish star signing a brand new contract with Spurs during the second half of the campaign, which could give Mauricio Pochettino the opportunity to include some kind of buyout clause in his contract.

At this rate it wouldn’t be all too shocking to see the Argentine manager join Eriksen at Real sooner rather than later, but in terms of the immediate future, it seems as if there are a lot of plates spinning around right now regarding what Eriksen is going to do.

He clearly thinks that a move away from Tottenham is going to be best for the development of his career, but even with that being the case, there seems to be a lot of red tape preventing it from happening.

Everton have no plans to sack Silva

According to a recent report from Sky Sports News, Premier League side Everton currently have no immediate plans to sack manager Marco Silva. The Toffees have made a poor start to the new campaign, with many fans believing that they could be in for a relegation battle if they aren’t able to turn things around. At this point the club’s bosses are said to be very anxious to see a turnaround in results, but for now, Silva seems to be keeping his job as he attempts to cause a shift in his momentum at Goodison Park.

Everton came into this campaign believing that they had the potential to finish in the European places, but it’s certainly gone downhill fairly quickly.

There’s a clear disconnect between the fans, players and the manager, and it seems as if it’s going to take something drastic for that dynamic to change in any way, shape or form.

Schalke to offer Nubel a new contract

According to a recent report from Kicker, Schalke could offer goalkeeper Alexander Nubel a new £60,000 per week contract, which will include a buyout clause, in order to try and convince him to remain at the club. Nubel is believed to be interested in exploring a potential move to fellow Bundesliga side Bayern Munich, although up to this point, it’s not yet known how far long in the process he officially is.

His current contract is set to expire next summer and while Schalke could wait until closer to the time, they clearly aren’t interested in taking any chances. The 23 year old has been catching a lot of attention for some of his performances of late, although any type of potential move could depend on whether or not Manuel Neuer leaves Bayern around the same time.

Either way, Nubel seems to have a pretty bright future in the world of German football.

Rumour Has It: Manchester United planning spending spree

Manchester United are in crisis – and the Red Devils might try to spend their way out of trouble.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 12th in the Premier League and only two points off the relegation zone, additions to the squad seem inevitable in January.

The latest transfer rumours suggest a raft of players could be heading to Old Trafford in a bid to stop the rot.

TOP STORY – FOXES DUO ON UNITED’S RADAR

Harry Maguire has already made the move from Leicester City to Manchester United and, according to the Sun, the Red Devils want to raid the club again in January. The UK newspaper claims a £130million double swoop is being lined up for Ben Chilwell and James Maddison.

Goal reports West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly are also targets for United, regardless of Solskjaer’s future. United also continue to be linked with striker Mario Mandzukic, who is struggling for minutes under new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.

ROUND-UP

– United are struggling but Everton have been even worse, with the Toffees in the relegation zone after eight games of the new season. According to a report in UK tabloid the Daily Star, Marco Silva has been given three games to save his job. Unfortunately for Silva, the third game of that run is against his old club Watford in the EFL Cup. The Hornets surely would love to push Silva towards the sack.

England boss Gareth Southgate will hand Chelsea starlet Mason Mount his first international start when the Three Lions take on the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, reports Sky Sports. Mount has impressed for the Blues this season, scoring four goals in eight Premier League starts.

– The forward has spent his whole career at Bayern Munich, but Thomas Muller could be moving on. The ex-Germany international has slipped out of favour under Niko Kovac and is not content to play a back-up role. According to Bild, Muller will seek a move in January.

Sampdoria are closing in on an agreement with Claudio Ranieri to become their new coach. Bottom of Serie A, Samp are seeking a replacement for the sacked Eusebio Di Francesco. According to various Italian outlets including Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Samp could pay Ranieri – who led Leicester City to the Premier League title – €1million a year. Ranieri also replaced Di Francesco after he was sacked by Roma last season.

– Right-back Elseid Hysaj could leave Napoli during the January transfer window, his agent Mario Giuffredi has told Rete Sport. Hysaj was previously linked with Manchester United and Juventus, but Giuffredi indicated Roma would be his client’s preferred destination. A fee of around €30m has been mooted for the Albania international.

Kepa Arrizabalaga open to Athletic Bilbao return

Kepa Arrizabalaga claims he would like to return to Athletic Bilbao one day.

The Spain international left the Basque club in 2018 to join Chelsea, which ended a 14-year spell with the club after he joined the youth ranks of at age nine.

Kepa, 25, commanded a record transfer fee for a goalkeeper at the time, and has since become first choice goalkeeper for Spain head coach Robert Moreno, but admits a return to the Rojiblancos is a possibility.

“Of course I would like to return to Athletic (Bilbao),” he told Spanish football show El Chiringuito.

“I don’t know when or how or what, but playing at Athletic obviously I’d like that. I have great memories.”

The Chelsea stopper also reflected on the heavy speculation that saw him come close to joining Real Madrid in January 2018.

Kepa eventually re-signed with Bilbao in that window with the intention of staying at the club, before departing to Chelsea the following summer.

“For several months my grandma saw more of me in the newspapers than in the flesh,” he said.

“There was a lot of talk about me. I was also injured for a while so it wasn’t a good moment for me.

“My contract was due to expire and from January onwards I was able to start talking to other clubs.

“I couldn’t see myself joining [another] club. I ended up renewing my contract with the idea of staying, but six months later I left. That was the only contraction.”

Spain continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign away in Norway on Saturday.