Kretinsky £650m West Ham takeover option, Barcelona 'want Cavani', Spurs stunned by Mura, Chelsea, Newcastle – updates

DANIEL KRETINSKY is in line for a £650million West Ham takeover after signing a deal for an optional buy out.

The Czech tycoon, 46, could push through a full takeover by 2023 with David Sullivan and David Gold agree to the sale.

Kretinsky is already on the board after buying a 27 per cent stake at the board, has an Olympian showjumping girlfriend and has been branded the 'Czech Sphinx'.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham were stunned by Mura in the Europa Conference League.

Harry Kane was on the scoresheet again, but Ryan Sessegnon saw red in the first half and Spurs lost with the final kick of the game.

West Ham won 2-0 away to Rapid Vienna and Leicester beat Legia Warsaw 3-1 at King Power Stadium as police were forced to get involved with the away fans.

There were mixed fortunes for the Old Firm clubs as Celtic crashed out of Europe with a 3-2 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen while Rangers won 2-0 at home to Sparta Prague, ensuring their path to the next round.

Meanwhile, Chelsea could be in for £84million Federico Chiesa, with the Juventus star on the Blues' radar.

Thomas Tuchel's side qualified for the Champions League last 16 following their win and are in the hat for the draw on December 13.

In other news, Erling Haaland could be given a new contract at Borussia Dortmund, which would double the Norwegian's wages.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are all interested in signing the goalscoring machine, 21.

And Newcastle have reportedly joined the race to sign £70m Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic.

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

  • Justin Lawrence

    BREAKING 

    Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has signed a deal to complete a full takeover of West Ham.

    Kretinsky forked out £150million to buy a 27 per cent stake in the Hammers earlier this month and joined co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold on the board.

    At the time it was thought there was a belief the businessman would take his time getting used to life in the Premier League before upping his interest.

    But documents lodged at Companies House show a deal has already been signed by Kretinsky and Sullivan to buy a controlling stake at an already agreed rate – valuing the London club around £650m.

    The ‘Put and Call’ agreement is mentioned several times in new articles of association lodged by the club’s parent company WH Holding Ltd on November 23.

    It shows the terms of a takeover are already sealed, with 46-year-old Kretinsky having an unspecified time to complete the deal before it expires.

  • Justin Lawrence

    ‘WELCOME ZIZOU’ 

    The pieces appear to be falling into place in Manchester United’s pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino.

    A well-connected member of the Qatari royal family has announced Zinedine Zidane WILL take over at the Parc des Princes.

    That would free up Pochettino to head to Old Trafford on a long-term appointment following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani has links to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund that bankrolls PSG.

    He is also reported to be the brother of the French giants’ principal owner and has previously spoken out over Kylian Mbappe’s future at the club.

    And the royal figure took to Twitter to confirm ex-Real Madrid boss Zidane has accepted an offer from the Ligue 1 leaders.

    He tweeted: “Things are settled. It will be announced soon. Welcome Zezo.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    HOWE DO YOU DO?

    Newcastle have confirmed that Eddie Howe WILL return to the dugout for tomorrow’s clash with Arsenal.

    The new Toon boss, 43, was forced to watch his first game in charge last week from his hotel room after testing positive for Covid-19.

    Jason Tindall was on the touchline as Newcastle drew a thriller with Brentford 3-3 at St James’ Park.

    But after returning a negative Covid-19 test this morning, Howe will be back in the technical area at the Emirates as the Magpies continue their hunt for a first win of the season.

  • Justin Lawrence

    ERL OF MANCHESTER

    Ralf Ragnick's Manchester United appointment may just give the Red Devils the edge over the rest of Europe when it comes to signing Erling Haaland.

    Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland has been linked with a host of clubs, but United will now feel confident they can win the race.

    That's because Rangnick is the man responsible for signing Haaland while he was director of football at RB Salzburg.

    And his relationship with the 22-year-old could be a deciding factor in luring the striker to Old Trafford.

    Spanish outlet AS are claiming Manchester United's appointment of Rangnick is 'decisive' in the battle to sign Haaland.

    Rangnick signed Haaland from Norwegian club Molde in 2019 for just £7million.

  • Justin Lawrence

    CRIS CROSS

    A fuming Cristiano Ronaldo blasts former Juventus team-mates in extraordinary behind-the-scenes footage.

    The Portuguese great lost his cool at half-time during Juve’s Champions League last-16 encounter with Porto last season.

    Juventus were clear favourites to progress to the quarter-finals but found themselves 1-0 down at half-time in the second-leg.

    That made it a 3-1 aggregate advantage to Porto and then-Juve striker Ronaldo wasn’t having any of it.

    The new documentary ‘All or Nothing: Juventus’ captured a fascinating clash between CR7 and Juan Cuadrado at Allianz Stadium.

    Ronaldo screamed: "We have to work harder. What the f***! We didn't play at all! Nothing!"

    Cuadrado then replied: "Don't worry"

    Ronaldo: "We played s***, always!"

  • Justin Lawrence

    JOSE'S JIBE 

    Frank Lampard has revealed Jose Mourinho's hilarious tongue-in-cheek quip following his sacking as Chelsea manager.

    Lamps, 43, was given the axe by Roman Abramovich in January with the worst points-per-game ratio of any manager in the Russian's era.

    Thomas Tuchel replaced him and won the Champions League while the former midfielder remains out of work.

    And Lampard was given a morale boost by his former boss Mourinho.

    The Special One knows exactly how it feels to be sacked by Chelsea – having been through it twice.

    And the then-Tottenham boss joked Lampard can now class himself as a 'real manager'.

  • Justin Lawrence

    ZAK HIM UP

    Manchester United are reportedly keen on a move for Switzerland international Denis Zakaria in a bid to bolster their midfield.

    The 25-year-old is out of contract at Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the season and could be on his way to the Premier League.

    But the Red Devils are set to face stiff competition when it comes to signing Zakaria.

    Barcelona, Juventus and Roma are all eager to sign the midfielder, according to journalist Nicolo Schira.

    Zakaria has rejected Gladbach's offers of a new contract and seems destined to move on.

    And Manchester United's current midfield pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay have been the subject of intense criticism this campaign.

    So a move for Zakaria would give incoming interim boss Ralf Rangnick another option in the middle of the park.

  • Alex Terrell

    O'NO

    Four Tottenham players should never wear a Spurs shirt again following their humiliating 2-1 defeat to NS Mura in the Europa Conference League, according to ex-player Jamie O'Hara.

    O'Hara, who played 56 times for Spurs, did not hold back as he singled out Matt Doherty, Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Davinson Sanchez for their indefendible displays.

    Speaking on Sky Sports, he said: "These are a Slovenian top-flight side that I would expect a National League side to give a game.

    "It has been a disgrace and some of the players – and I’ll name them as well – (Matt) Doherty, (Tanguy) Ndombele, Dele Alli, Davinson Sanchez were absolutely shocking, they shouldn't wear a Spurs shirt again some of them in my opinion.

    "This is a European game you need to win and go out an impress a new manager in Antonio Conte.

    "You've got to go out there and give everything you’ve got and put in an unbelievable performance for yourself to say 'I want to be part of this group and part of this Conte era' – and not one player on that pitch deserves any credit from that game.

    "It was a shocking performance. These players are strolling around the park like they’re dismissing this game as if they think they’re too good to play in it."

  • Alex Terrell

    'SECURITY REASONS'

    BT Sport have defiantly backed Chris Sutton after he again was denied accreditation to work at Ibrox last night.

    The broadcasters will instead cover both matches featuring Celtic and Rangers from a studio at an empty Parkhead.

    It read: "We have a presentation team who reflect all angles and experiences in Scottish football but who were not all provided with the necessary accreditation at Ibrox today.

    "We will not be forced to split a team of professionals behind and in front of screen.

    "The only way to provide viewers with the continuity of coverage across tonight’s two matches featuring Celtic and Rangers was to set up a studio elsewhere."

    Currie then welcomed studio guest Stiliyan Petrov before welcoming "the elephant in the room, Chris Sutton."

    It follows Sutton being denied access to the ground alongside ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon for 'security reasons' earlier in the campaign.

  • Joshua Jones

    GOOD MORNING FOOTY FANS

    Tottenham embarrassed themselves on the European stage, falling to a 2-1 defeat at Slovenian side Mura.

    The European minnows netted an added-time winner to shock the Premier League giants.

    Elsewhere in Europe, both West Ham and Leicester secured wins.

    The Hammers will finish top of their group no matter what the result is against Dynamo Zagreb next month, and they skip the Round of 32 stage.

    German football mastermind Ralf Rangnick is set to become Man Utd's interim manager.

    The 63-year-old will take over for six months whilst United look for a permanent fix, and once the right man is found, Rangnick will move up to a 'consultancy' role.

    Nicknamed ‘The Professor’, he was one of the pioneers of Gegenpressing, a style of play where teams immediately press the opposition after losing possession of the ball.

    His influence has been felt in the modern game, with many teams adopting his philosophy.

    Liverpool and Juventus sent scouts to watch Olympiacos wonderkid Aguibou Camara in action against Fenerbahce.

    The Greek champions beat the Turkish outfit last night at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in a crucial encounter and Camara played the full 90 minutes for Pedro Martins’ side.

    According to Greek journalist and editor of Sportime Giannis Chorianopoulos, the Reds sent a representative to Athens to keep tabs on the talented attacking midfielder.

    Gareth Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett has lashed out at Real Madrid fans who abused his client last week.

    Bale was leaving Real’s Valdebebas training facility on Friday when one furious supporter appeared to throw a marker pen at his car window with cries of ‘F*** you’ heard.

    Barnett was furious with that incident and branded that small group of yobs as “disgusting” when he landed in Madrid.

    He told El Chiringuito when asked if he considers the opinion of Real fans: “I don’t, why should I care?

    “I think they’ve been disgusting to Gareth Bale.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    ROARING DRAGONS

    Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have been tipped to deliver World Cup play-off glory for Wales.

    The Dragons will find out their opponents for March's home semi-final in today's Zurich draw.

    Ex-Wales striker Earnshaw said: "Whoever we play we have to be positive in our approach because we have some very good players.

    "It's different from a normal game because you know the prize at the end of it is huge. When you go into the play-offs you have to make sure you handle everything. The pressure is big.

    "It's great we have the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey because they are two people who are great footballers but the one thing that doesn't get highlighted is the amount of pressure and weight of the nation on their shoulders always but they deliver consistently.

    "To qualify for a World Cup would be amazing and unbelievable for the whole country."

  • Kealan Hughes

    CONTE BELIEVE IT

    Angry Antonio Conte saw his Spurs flops produce the biggest Euro horror show in the club’s history and said: “I am not a magician.”

    he was given a reality shock in the defeat to Mura and acknowledged there is a lot of work to do to improve the side.

    After the match he said: “After three weeks I am starting to understand the situation. It is not simple.

    "At this moment the level at Tottenham is not so high.

    "I am happy to stay here but we have to work a lot to improve the quality of the squad. We are Tottenham but there is an important gap with the top teams but I am not scared.

    "I want to reduce the time to try and win something. The situation now is starting to be very clear in my mind.

    “I like to win, I play to win in every competition that we have to play. This must be the same for my players.”

    Antonio Conte says the level at Tottenham isn’t so high after 2-1 defeat against NS Mura

  • Kealan Hughes

    FAN TROUBLE

    Ugly scenes broke out in Leicester's Europa League game with Legia Warsaw as away fans attacked police.

    The Foxes were leading the game 3-1 when the travelling supporters clashed with security and police.

    Flares were set off as they attempted to storm the home stands where Leicester fans were sitting and threw objects.

  • Joshua Mbu

    3 PINTS FOR A WIN

    Footie fans could be allowed to drink during games again for the first time in 36 years, writes NATASHA CLARK and NICHOLAS GUTTERIDGE.

    The law banning booze in stands could be axed as part of a wide-ranging review of the sport.

    Among recommendations is a test scheme for fans to be able to drink alcohol during matches at League Two and National League clubs.

    Ministers have welcomed the move, part of a fan-led review headed by ex-sports minister Tracey Crouch.

    She said a “small scale and limited pilot” on the sale of alcohol “in sight of the pitch” would help struggling clubs rake in extra cash.

    Ms Crouch added yesterday: “This is about the financial sustainability of the lowest parts of the league — such a small change would make a huge difference.”

    Research suggests an average League Two club loses around £184,000 a season by not being able to sell booze to fans watching matches.

  • Joshua Mbu

    NOT SHAW

    Ralf Rangnick raised concern over Manchester United star Luke Shaw in an interview in 2020, writes KEALAN HUGHES.

    The coach, 63, is set to take over as interim boss after agreeing a deal with the club.

    And he could be keen to improve the defence judging by an answer he gave in regard to where the Red Devils need to improve.

    “I think on the market there are a few young central defenders.

    “They (United) could do with a left-back.

    “I know they have Luke Shaw but I’m not so sure if he’s still on the same kind of level you need for a club like Manchester United.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    IRON GRIP

    West Ham got the job done with victory over Rapid to seal top spot in qualifying and a place in the last 16 of the Europa League, DUNCAN WRIGHT.

    Two goals late in the first half set the Hammers on course for the win which ensured they topped Group H and avoided a play-off tie against a Champions League team.

    With Borussia Dortmund already dropping down and the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid also in danger, safe passage is a major boost for the London club.

    And it ensures boss David Moyes has the luxury of resting all his big players in the final match next month with the club in the middle of a hectic run of fixtures through to the new year.

    It takes their run to four wins and one draw in Europea – not bad for a club enjoying their first experience in the group stages of the competition.

  • Joshua Mbu

    EUROPEAN SCORES

    Tottenham have just lost 2-1 to Slovenian side NS Mura in the Europa Conference League……

    Here's the scores from the Europa League:

    • Crvena Zvezda 1-0 Ludogorets FT
    • Rapid Wien 0-2 West Ham FT
    • Midtjylland 3-2 Braga FT
    • Lokomotiv Moscow 0-3 Lazio FT
    • Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Genk FT
    • Real Betis 2-0 Ferencvaros FT
    • Galatasaray 4-2 Marseille FT
    • Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Celtic FT
    • Olympiacos vs Fenerbahce 8PM
    • PSV vs Sturm Graz 8PM
    • Rangers vs Sparta Prague 8PM
    • Leicester City vs Legia Warsaw 8PM
    • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Antwerp 8PM
    • Monaco vs Real Sociedad 8PM
    • Brondby vs Lyon 8PM

    And the only real relevant result in the Europa Conference League:

    • Mura 2-1 Tottenham FT

    WRECK IT RALF

    Should Man Utd land Ralf Rangnick and line him up for a future 'consultancy' role supporting a top class manager, it might just be the best bit of business the club has done since Fergie left.

    SESSPITT

    Ryan Sessegnon suffered a nightmare on his big chance to impress new Tottenham boss Antonio Conte, writes GARY STONEHOUSE.

    The 21-year-old was handed an opportunity to shine when he was named in the starting line-up for the Europa Conference League clash away to Slovenian minnows NS Mura.

    But the former Fulham star's night was over after just half an hour after he was given his marching orders.

    Sessegnon was firstly booked after only 11 minutes for a mistimed tackle.

    The wing-back was then sent-off for a second booking 20 minutes later.

    POCH CHASE

    Manchester United are still ‘in pursuit’ of Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino despite reaching an agreement with Ralf Rangnick to become interim boss, writes GARY STONEHOUSE.

    The German, 63, will sign a six-month contract with the Red Devils, after the club sacked Norwegian boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    The veteran is understood to have initially rejected United, but after new terms were offered, he has now accepted the deal to step into the dug-out until May.

    After that he is expected to take on a consultancy role at Old Trafford for the following two years.

    Rangnick is currently the head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow.

    That means, due to work permit issues, he will not be in charge for Sunday’s clash at Chelsea.

    Rangnick left RB Leipzig last year and joined Lokomotiv in the summer.

    However, despite his impending arrival, The MEN states United ‘are still very much in pursuit’ of Pochettino with regards to him joining at the end of the season.

    HAMMERS WONT SPEND BIG

    Daniel Kretinsky may have purchased 27 per cent of West Ham, but he has warned fans big money won't be spent in the transfer market yet.

    He told the Evening Standard: “Our investment will bring a positive improvement to the club’s capital structure, initially enabling a reduction of its long-term debt and increasing the ability to further direct funds generated into key areas.

    “I hope our business acumen and experience of football will also prove beneficial to West Ham United.

    “We have come to support the club but – so as to manage supporters’ expectations – that doesn’t mean big spending in the January transfer window.

    “I’m hugely impressed by the work of David Moyes and his team who have improved results over a long period of time.

    “This gradual evolution is, in my opinion, the most healthy way to build a strong club on a firm basis and with the right attitudes and culture.

    “I speak from experience. We tried to rush the development of Sparta Prague a couple of years ago and the results were disappointing.

    “Improving the quality of the squad is great, of course. But we prefer a gradual way that preserves and protects the ethos of the club and its values. Including team spirit.”

    • Joshua Mbu

      RED ALERT

      Liverpool and Juventus have sent scouts to watch Olympiacos wonderkid Aguibou Camara in action against Fenerbahce, writes KOSTAS LIANOS.

      The Greek champions take on the Turkish outfit tonight at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in a crucial encounter and Camara is set to start for Pedro Martins' side.

      According to Greek journalist and editor of Sportime Giannis Chorianopoulos, the Reds have sent a representative to Athens to keep tabs on the talented attacking midfielder.

      SunSport revealed recently that the Merseysiders are interested in signing the versatile midfielder, who can also play as a winger.

      However, Liverpool look set for an intense bidding war as fellow Premier League clubs Leicester and Newcastle are also eyeing the Guinea international.

      Sources have told SunSport the Prem trio have made contact with the player's agent.

    • Justin Lawrence

      RON WORRY

      Some Manchester United fans are fearing for legend Cristiano Ronaldo after it emerged Ralf Rangnick is set to become interim manager.

      The German, 63, will sign a six-month contract with the Red Devils, after the club sacked Norwegian boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

      However, the news that Rangnick is set to arrive at United has led to many wondering where the 36-year-old Ronaldo would fit in under the new man.

      Especially after Rangnick labelled the Portuguese icon as ‘too old’ five years ago while he was RB Leipzig.

      Back then he asked whether he would ever consider signing Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.

      And he replied: “It would be absurd to think that it could work with them here. They are both too old and too expensive.”

    • Justin Lawrence

      'DISGUSTING' 

      Gareth Bale agent Jonathan Barnett has lashed out at Real Madrid fans who abused his client last week.

      Bale was leaving Real's Valdebebas training facility on Friday when one furious supporter appeared to throw a marker pen at his car window with cries of 'F**k you' heard.

      Barnett was furious with that incident and branded that small group of yobs as "disgusting" when he landed in Madrid.

      He told El Chiringuito when asked if he considers the opinion of Real fans: "I don't, why should I care?

      "I think they've been disgusting to Gareth Bale."

    • Justin Lawrence

      RED FACED

      Jurgen Klopp was left red-faced after being called out by a furious reporter for his recent comments about the African Cup of Nations.

      Klopp was forced to clarify his comments after he previously referred to AFCON as 'a little tournament', which he claimed was ironic and taken out of context.

      But the description still landed him in hot water, with Ojora Babatunde of OJB Sports demanding an apology from Klopp in a heated exchange via Zoom.

      Babatunde said: "Hi Jurgen, during your last pre-match presser, you deliberately regarded the Africa Cup of Nations as a 'little tournament'.

      "I think it's an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the people, an insult to the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology."

      Klopp, who was visibly stunned, replied: "I didn't mean it like that. I didn't mean it like that, I don't know why you understand it like that to be honest…"

      The two then proceeded to interrupt each other before Klopp allowed the reporter to get his point across.

      Babatunde then pressed Klopp further, saying: "That was what you said, I listened to the presser and you said the continent in Africa [is little], that is what you said."

      The pair then went back and forth over the issue with neither party backing down from their point of view.

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