Kane at Manchester City? Conte has to fight to keep the Spurs striker; Barca’s Xavi lays down the law

Antonio Conte may have to fight to keep Harry Kane from Manchester City – ESPN’s Insider Notebook has the latest. MORE: How Xavi is already making his mark at Barcelona.

Jump to: Xavi lays down the law | Sterling exit blocked | City derby destruction against United | The chaotic search for managers in Newcastle | The manager sees red with the player

Man City revive interest in Kane

Manchester City are ready to launch a new offer for Harry Kane in the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN, in what could be Antonio Conte’s first major battle as Tottenham Hotspur boss.

City remain in the market for a striker who missed out on Kane in the summer. The England captain has made it clear he wants a new challenge away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, to pledge his immediate future to Spurs towards the end of the window.

He has struggled so far this season, scoring just once in the Premier League, and some Tottenham fans have shown frustration with the 28-year-old, especially during a lackluster performance in defeat 3 -0 against Manchester United.

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It was hoped this would cause Chairman Daniel Levy to soften his stance ahead of the January window, but that was before he replaced Nuno Espirito Santo with Conte. Sources said Kane was impressed with the appointment of the former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss, who has already won silverware in England and Italy – something the striker said this summer of which he dreamed.

City are said to be ready to test Spurs’ resolve to keep Kane if they are encouraged to agree a deal is possible. Kane has a contract at Tottenham until 2024 and Levy has always valued the striker at over £150million – a fee City are unwilling to pay.

Sources have told ESPN that prior to taking charge, Conte received assurances that he could expect to include Kane in his plans moving forward. But a source suggests a huge offer could still force Levy to rethink given how badly the club have been financially hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but Spurs have privately been resolute in their determination to keep Kane at least until at the end of the season. His relationship with Conte in the weeks and months to come will be another key factor in the situation.

Manchester City are also interested in the Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland with strong interest from a number of top European sides, including United and Real Madrid, expected next summer. –Rob Dawson and James Olley

Xavi rules the roost in Barcelona

New Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has imposed a series of rules which he hopes will help the club regain their form on the pitch, sources have told ESPN.

Xavi, 41, replaced Ronald Koeman as Barca coach last week and said during his presentation on Monday that he would “restore order” to the club, which are currently ninth in La Liga.

Sources have explained that Xavi has reintroduced the fines system which has not been used since Ernesto Valverde replaced Luis Enrique in 2017. Players will pay financial penalties if they breach any of the guidelines in place, repeat offenders to pay more.

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The rules state that players should arrive at least 90 minutes in advance for training to allow time to properly prepare for the sessions and, if necessary, for individual interviews with the coaching staff. Barca’s squad will once again be invited to eat at the training ground, another habit that has been lost in recent seasons. Xavi has also installed a midnight curfew within 48 hours of a game and will review players’ commitments off the pitch, including preventing them from participating in any activity considered a risk of injury, such as surfing or driving an electric scooter. .

Consequently, the defender Gerard pricks has already had to pull out of a late night talk show appearance in Spain next week. Pique was due to discuss the Davis Cup, which he is hosting, on El Hormiguero. –Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens



Pep Guardiola insists Xavi is ready for Barcelona and talks about handling his 200th Premier League game.

City to block Sterling exit in January

Manchester City will resist any approach from Barcelona to sign Rahim Sterling in January, sources told ESPN. The Spanish giants have been linked with a move for Sterling, who has said he would be open to a move abroad if he cannot find regular football at the Etihad Stadium.

However, sources have told ESPN that City will not consider any offers for the 26-year-old – either permanent or on loan – during the January window as he remains a key part of Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Sterling has suspended contract talks with City until he is sure he will play a prominent role for the club in the future. His existing contract expires in 2023. The England winger has been in and out of Guardiola’s squad this season and is reluctant to sign a new long-term deal if it means spending a lot of time on the bench.

If new terms cannot be agreed by next summer, City would be left with a decision to make on whether to sanction a departure for Sterling or risk letting him into the final year of his contract. .

The former Liverpool man, who won three Premier League titles at the Etihad, would be available as a free agent in 2023, when he would still be just 28. -Rob Dawson



Gab and Juls debate whether Eddie Howe should be involved in Newcastle’s search for a director of football.

City derby destroy United with Pep rocket

Manchester City’s dominating derby against Manchester United was inspired by a wrap by manager Pep Guardiola after the Champions League win over Club Brugge three days earlier, sources have told ESPN.

City were imperious at Old Trafford, winning 2-0 and limiting United to just four touches in their penalty area and a single shot on target. But the performance only came after Guardiola expressed his frustration during and after their win over Brugge.

The players were reprimanded by Guardiola at half-time in the Brugge game with the score 1-1 and even after three second-half goals earned the hosts a comfortable 4-1 victory, the City boss was not still not satisfied with the sources. telling ESPN he told the team after the final whistle he had “enough” before walking out of a stunned locker room.

Guardiola’s mood did not improve during his post-match media demands and gave a series of thorny interviews to broadcasters and print reporters.

However, he got the response he wanted with sources telling ESPN that Guardiola and his coaching staff were delighted with the intensity of training in the build-up to the trip to Old Trafford and the controlled performance against United that brought him back. City in second place in the Premier League table, three points behind leaders Chelsea. -Rob Dawson

howe Newcastle’s move for a boss ended in chaos

Newcastle’s lengthy managerial search has been a confusing process that has left several candidates baffled by the club’s lack of clarity on their future plans, sources have told ESPN.

Former Bournemouth and Burnley boss Eddie Howe was finally appointed on Tuesday, handed over a two-and-a-half-year contract that ended a nearly three-week process that saw a series of interviewees and work officially offered to Unai Emery.

Sources close to more than one candidate involved have claimed there are competing voices within the Newcastle hierarchy over how to transform the club from relegation-fighting to Premier League title challengers after the takeover. control of £305 million by Saudi Arabia. This has delayed the identification of a clear first choice with directors Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi leading the process with a third director, Jamie Reuben, who is also one of many other prominent voices in the talks.

Which players could Howe target in January?.

Sources also told ESPN that at a relatively late stage in the process, senior Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund officials sought advice from Citibank financiers on who to target for various senior positions, including first-team manager. and the director of football.

Emery’s decision to stay at Villarreal was partly based on mixed messages about how to take the club forward. Howe’s job will therefore be to help provide a clear vision in the boardroom as well as in the field. –James Olley

Manager won’t apologize for sideline clash with own player

A coach in Spanish football’s third tier has refused to apologize after being sent off for a touchline altercation with one of his own players.

Extremadura UD coach Manuel Mosquera was shown a red card in Sunday’s 2-1 home loss to DUX Internacional Madrid. The 53-year-old reacted angrily to what he saw as a lack of enthusiasm from substitute Musa Drammeh as he waited to come on in the 90th minute.

The referee’s report said Mosquera “faced one of his players on the bench, saying ‘go find another team’ while grabbing him by the shirt and shaking him, having to be pulled away by coaching staff”. Mosquera rejected the opportunity to apologize for his actions at a post-match press conference, saying “I don’t regret it”.

“I didn’t like his attitude,” he said. noted. “I didn’t insult him, but I was aggressive with him… He’s a 19-year-old kid, but you can’t enter the pitch like that. The referee said he had heard an insult, but it wasn’t me. Why would I insult my own player?

“He looked like he didn’t want to play,” Mosquera continued. “He had his tracksuit on, then he took it off at the speed of a turtle… There are times when you have to say things. I can’t be otherwise. If you look like don’t want to play, I’ll call you on it. More aggressively than usual, maybe… but I did what I had to do.

Extremadura, who are in the Group One relegation zone of the Primera RFEF, did not respond to a request from ESPN for comment.

The club have faced significant problems off the pitch in recent months with players’ salaries not being paid, and they were one of ten lower league teams raided by Spanish police and tax inspectors on Wednesday for allegations of social security fraud. –Alex Kirkland

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