Xavi to be Barcelona boss, Howe 'to be announced Newcastle boss', Spurs win over Vitesse reaction, Chelsea transfer news

XAVI is set to take over as manager of Barcelona after leaving Qatari club Al Saad.

The Nou Camp icon, 41, won every single honour in the sport and is rightly considered one of the greatest midfielders ever.

And after getting a public backing from Pep Guardiola, he will land back in Catalunya as boss of Barca.

Tottenham have won their first game under Antonio Conte, a wild 3-2 win over Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League.

And West Ham played out a 2-2 draw at Genk as one fan lost his FINGER celebrating a Hammers strike.

Meanwhile, Leicester drew 1-1 against Spartak Moscow with former Chelsea star Victor Moses grabbing the equaliser for the visitors.

Gareth Southgate has announced his England squad for the upcoming internationals against Albania and San Marino.

But there is no place in the 25-man list for Man Utd trio Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Jesse Lingard.

Meanwhile Erling Haaland could be out until Christmas as the Dortmund forward continues to struggle with a hip problem.

And we've the very latest from St James Park as talks progress between Newcastle and Eddie Howe, with reports suggesting a two-year deal has been struck.

Get all the latest football news, updates and transfer gossip below…

  • Tristan Barclay


    Barcelona are set to announce Ronald Koeman's replacement seven days after sacking the Dutch legend.

    Xavi is due to take over after the Spanish giants agreed a compensation deal with his current employers Al Sadd.

  • Tristan Barclay


    Real Madrid are preparing to offload four star players as they look to bring in Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger at the end of the season.

    Carlo Ancelotti has relied on David Alaba and Eder Militao as his first choice central defensive pairing for much of the 2021-22 campaign so far.

    Antonio Rudiger is out of contract at Chelsea next seasonCredit: Getty

    But he is still keen to strengthen in that area of his squad and has identified Chelsea's German stalwart as a potential target.

    Rudiger's contract comes to an end at Stamford Bridge in the summer.

    This means he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club as early as January.

    And, according to AS, Real could be in a position to offer him a £200,000 a week deal because of the absence of a transfer fee.

  • Tristan Barclay


    With all the talk over yesterday’s England squad, here’s a story about a player ruling himself out of contention.

    Ademola Lookman wants to switch international allegiance from England to Nigeria.

    Ademola Lookman is on loan at Leicester from RB LeipzigCredit: Reuters

    But the on-loan Leicester winger will need to win over the head coach Gernot Rohr to avoid being frozen out.

    The 24-year-old came through the youth ranks with England from Under-19s through to U21s.

    The wideman previously turned down three official approaches from the Nigeria Football Federation to represent the African nation instead.

    But as reported by BBC Sport, Lookman has now decided to make the transition as he appears unlikely to force his way into the England set-up.

  • Tristan Barclay


    TOTTENHAM have been dealt a major transfer blow as Inter Milan insisted no players will leave to be reunited with Antonio Conte in January.

    Conte led the Italians to the Serie A crown last season in their first title since 2009-10 – but then upped sticks and left as soon as the trophy was secured.

    Antonio Conte took the Spurs job this weekCredit: AP

    After returning to management by taking the Spurs job this week, plenty expected Conte to try and raid his old club to refresh the squad with his proven winners

    But Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio – who sold Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea – had ruled out any January sales.

    He told Sky Italy: “I’m not worried about Antonio Conte and our players. In January we won’t consider any possible exit.”

    Conte has already admitted the squad needs an update – because it is trailing behind the standards of the state-of-the-art stadium and training ground.

    And he is unlikely to have been convinced otherwise after Thursday's performance, when Spurs very nearly squandered a three-goal lead at home to Europa Conference League minnows Vitesse Arnhem.

  • Tristan Barclay


    How about this for some vintage Jose Mourinho antics?

    The Roma boss has been caught in the act trying to goad a reporter into criticising the referee after his side's Europa Conference League draw with minnows Bodo/Glimt.

    Jose Mourinho was up to his old tricks on Thursday

    Mou was furious with ref Anastasios Papapetrou for failing to award a penalty as Roma were held 2-2 at the Stadio Olimpico.

    But the wily Special One made sure he was not the man to slam the officials directly. Instead, he attempted to lure interviewer Jan Age Fjortoft into doing the dirty work for him.

    Here's a snippet:

    Interviewer: "How do you explain the game today here at the Stadio Olimpico?

    Mourinho: "Look, the referee has to explain but they don't speak.

    Interviewer: "What did the referee do wrong?"

    Mourinho: "Did you watch the game?"

    Interviewer: "Yes, of course, but I want it from you. What did you see from your point of view?"

    Mourinho: "You tell…"

    What followed was a vintage game of cat and mouse between Mourinho and the reporter as the Portuguese tactician laid his trap.

  • Alex Terrell


    Transfer target Alexander Isak has revealed it 'would be nice' to play in the Premier League one day.

    The Gunners have been eyeing the Real Sociedad and Sweden striker as a possible replacement for Alexandre Lacazette, whose contract is up at the end of the season.

    And Isak has now boosted the Gunners' hopes of signing him by suggesting he would be open to a move to England.

    Speaking to The Independent, he said: "I am in a good place at the moment, I am very happy, but one day it would be nice to play in England as well.

    "They have six or seven of the biggest clubs in the world, it is a very high level, and of course one day it would be an alternative.

    "Every player wants to be the best version of themselves and reach the highest possible level.

    "People will always count the goals, I want to score, but I want to be a modern striker. I love playing football and that means being involved as much as possible. I think that is why Spain has suited me very well."

  • Alex Terrell


    The Italian added: "I know that I have to be patient. Because is a situation that we don't have too much time to work.

    "For sure, this club has great potential. I was enthusiastic about the stadium, about the training ground, maybe in the world I don't know if another club has this.

    "I think it was one of the reasons I accepted them to come here. Because I know that here, I can work in the way that I like.

    "And the club is a top club. And I want to repay the club. About the trust that they showed me. And for sure now in this moment, we have to focus on the pitch, on the football aspect.

    "To try to bring at the same level is very difficult. I think the club with the stadium, with the training ground is for me the best in the world maybe.

    "I have never seen this type of situation. The players and I, we should work, we should work a lot, we want to improve the football aspect."

  • Alex Terrell


    Antonio Conte has called for patience as he tries to take Tottenham back to the top table of English football, following their 3-2 win over Vitesse.

    He said: "We need time. We need time to work. We need time to work.

    "This is the only aspect that, not I'm afraid, but I'd like to have time to work.

    "This time and I, we need to work together to bring them my idea of football and to work tactical aspects, physical aspects, to know them, much better than now.

    "This is the only aspect that I am a bit scared, a bit afraid.

    "But I know that there is this type of situation, and for this reason, we need a bit of patience."

  • Alex Terrell


    A West Ham fan lost his FINGER in a gruesome accident in Genk.

    Footage emerged showing the supporter’s digit on the floor during the Hammers’ 2-2 Europa League draw in Belgium.

    The video shows the end of the finger on the other side of a railing in the away end, with the apparent victim nowhere to be seen.

    Fellow fans were heard urging stewards to put it on ice – with some claiming it took up to ten minutes for them to act.

    It is understood the unhappy Hammer is now receiving medical attention.

    West Ham fans had been enjoying their club’s second away game in Europe since midday and there are sure to be plenty of sore heads in the morning.

    But that will be nothing compared to one man, with witnesses in the away end believing the horror incident happened after Said Benrahma had scored the second goal on 82 minutes.

    GRAPHIC WARNING: See the image of the gruesome severed finger in our article.

  • Joshua Jones


    Newcastle are expected to confirm the appointment of Eddie Howe as their new manager today.

    The former Bournemouth chief is due to put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year contract after agreeing the deal in principle yesterday.

    The Toon have been looking for a new boss since sacking Steve Bruce last month.

    Club director Amanda Staveley has been working overtime to get Howe in place after the club's attempts to recruit Villarreal boss Unai Emery fell through.

    Interim boss Graeme Jones is expected to speak at today's press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton and will be part of Howe's backroom staff.

    News about Howe agreeing the deal broke while three Prem sides were getting underway in European action last night.

    It was all the fun of the fair as Antonio Conte's reign at Spurs started with a Europa Conference League win over Vitesse – but only just.

    Strikes from Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura and an own-goal from Jacob Rasmussen had Spurs 3-0 up but the Dutch side reduced arrears to 3-2.

    As if that was exciting enough Tottenham finished the match with ten men following Cristian Romero's dismissal, and the Dutch side with nine men after skipper Danilho Doekhi and keeper Markus Schubert walked.

    Said Benrahma’s second-half double had West Ham on course for a Europa League win but a late own goal from Tomas Soucek meant they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Genk.

    Leicester talisman Jamie Vardy saw a second-half penalty saved as they were held 1-1 in a Europa League clash with Spartak Moscow.

    And all that European action came on the back of Gareth Southgate announcing his latest England squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

    All the Three Lions talk was more about who was left out rather than who was called up with out-of-form Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho among those to miss the cut.

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    It sounds like in-coming Newcastle manager Eddie Howe might have a new top-draw keeper available to him in January.

    That is because the Toon have reportedly made Barcelona star Marc-Andre ter Stegen their number one transfer target.

    The Magpies could have a war chest of up to £150million available to spend in the January transfer window.

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    Confirmation of Eddie Howe's appointment as the new Newcastle manager is expected tomorrow.

    Toon director Amanda Staveley has moved swiftly to reach an agreement with 43-year-old and he could be in charge of the team for Saturday's Prem trip to Brighton.

    Howe could be in charge of Newcastle at Brighton on Saturday
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    In the Europa League, Celtic held off a late rally from Ferencvaros to hang on for 3-2 win, while Jamie Vardy's saved penalty means Leicester had to settle for a 1-1 at home to Spartak Moscow.

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    It was far from straight forward by the new Spurs era under Antonio Conte has started with a 3-2 win over Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.

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    Ferencvaros have pulled one back through Myrto Uzuni to reduce Celtic's lead to 3-2 in the closing stages of their Europa League match.

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    Now the Dutch side are down to NINE men after their keeper Markus Schubert is sent off.

    It means ten-man Spurs lead the Europa Conference League match 3-2 with a couple of minutes of the 90 left to play.

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    Vitesse's Danilho Doekhi has been sent off after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Harry Kane.

    The means it is ten men on either side after Tottenham's Cristian Romero got a second booking after an hour of the Europa Conference League clash.

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    Jamie Vardy has seen his penalty saved against Spartak Moscow as Leicester missed the chance to go in front in their Europa League clash.

    The kick was awarded after Victor Moses fouled Ademola Lookman but sub Vardy was denied. It is still 1-1 as the match moves into the final stages.

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    Celtic look in control of their Europa League clash with Ferencvaros after Liel Abada extended their lead to 3-1 on the hour mark.

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    Daniel Amartey has headed in from close range to draw Leicester level at 1-1 with Spartak Moscow the Europa League.

    Former Chelsea star Victor Moses had given the Russians the lead.

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    Former Chelsea star Victor Moses has given Spartak Moscow the lead in their Europa League clash with Leicester.

    The Nigerian striker headed in six minutes after the restart.

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    No British sides currently in European action this evening are losing at half-time.

    That said, Spurs have let a commanding 3-0 lead slip and Vitesse have rallied to pull it back to 3-2 at the interval in their Europa Conference League clash.

    Celtic were pegged by to 1-1 Europa League clash with Ferencvaros but have retaken the lead to lead 2-1, and Leicester are goalless at home to Spartak Moscow in the same competition.

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    Vitesse have scored another to make it 3-2 at Spurs in their Europa Conference League clash.

    This time Matus Bero was on target for the Dutch side, who had trailed 3-0 inside half-an-hour.

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    Vitesse's Jacob Rasmussen has headed home from a corner against Spurs to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

    The goal came minutes after Rasmussen's own goal had put the hosts 3-0 up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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    A Jacob Rasmussen own goal has put Spurs 3-0 up before the half-hour mark of their Europa Conference League clash with Vitesse.

    Goals from Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura had already put Antonio Conte's firmly in control at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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