Owen Hargreaves makes Timo Werner and Fernando Torres comparison

Owen Hargreaves believes Timo Werner will be looking at how Liverpool star Fernando Torres flopped at Chelsea when he's deciding on whether his future lies at Anfield or Stamford Bridge.

Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard are expected to become embroiled in a £52million arm wrestle for RB Leipzig's coveted striker in the summer.

And former Bayern Munich, Manchester United and England midfielder Hargreaves says Werner must choose the best fit.

Hargreaves, now a pundit for BT Sport recalled how Torres failed to hit the heights after swapping Liverpool for Chelsea in a £50million deal in 2011.

He said: “I think Timo Werner is going to score goals wherever he goes, but I believe his decision will come down to personnel.

“Timo will now be doing his homework on who will be a good fit for his game.

“We saw this with Fernando Torres when he left Liverpool. The way they played – an incredibly defensive team with Stevie Gerrard playing those balls through the middle.

“It was a match made in heaven.

“Then Torres went to Chelsea, a team that had a lot of slow possession and there was no space for him to run into.

“In the end, that’s not a great fit. Fernando was a super player and Chelsea were a super team – but you have got to play to a player's strengths.

“I think Timo Werner is that type, the Fernando Torres type, where he is super explosive. He will run away from anyone.

“Having that ability to run in behind and into that space, it would suit his game – and Liverpool can do that.

“They counter and transition better than anyone. He would suit Liverpool.”

Werner, 24, has scored 28 goals for club and country this season.

Leipzig are once again on course for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga and are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time after destroying Tottenham.

The German club have said they will not stand in the striker's way if he wants to leave – and Werner is known to be a huge admirer of Klopp.

Hargreaves added: “Timo Werner is a goalscorer – and he will score goals in the Premier League.

“He has just got to make sure that he gets the right club.

“I am sure that is what he is doing now, making sure he makes the move that is right for him.”

Werner began his career with hometown club Stuttgart – and became the club's youngest-ever goalscorer when he found the target in a Europa League qualifier against Botev Plovdiv at the age of 17 years and 23 days in August 2013.

He played more than 100 games for Stuttgart before Leipzig tempted him away in a club-record £9million deal in 2016.

Werner was the youngest player to make 50, 100, 150 and 200 appearances in the Bundesliga

He has represented Germany at every level from Under-15s, with his 29 senior international appearances bringing him 11 goals.

There have been suggestions that the financial implications of the covid-19 pandemic on the transfer market may force Liverpool to hold off on making a move for the striker for another 12 months.

That would open the door for Chelsea.

Lampard has bemoaned his young team's lack of firepower this season and signing the man who scored three goals to win the Golden Boot at the 2017 Confederations Cup would address that issue.

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Man Utd plans to increase Old Trafford capacity ‘on hold’ due to coronavirus

Manchester United's plans to increase Old Trafford's capacity have been postponed by the coronavirus outbreak until the end of next season.

The Red Devils had been due to explore ways they could add seats in areas of the ground this summer.

Old Trafford is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom but capacity has recently fallen due to the introduction of new areas for disabled supporters.

Capacity was more than 76,000 at its height in 2006, though this has dropped to around 73,300 after the introduction of 300 positions for disabled fans in line with Premier League guidelines.

United had hoped to reconfigure some existing seating arrangements in order to increase capacity with their latest plans.

But the Daily Mail report those plans will now have to wait until the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

The news comes a week after United's rivals Liverpool were forced to delay the expansion of their Anfield Road stand.

The Reds had hoped to start the 18-month redevelopment this December and finish it in time for the 2022-23 season.

However, the league-leaders now aim to start work in December 2021 and finish it in the summer of 2023.

The Anfield Road expansion aims to increase Anfield's capacity from 54,000 to just over 61,000 – in line with other 'big six' rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool FC’s chief operating officer, Andy Hughes, told the club's website : “We have experienced a number of delays to the planned project as a direct result of the COVID-19 lockdown.

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James Maddison drops hint over his future amid Man Utd transfer link

James Maddison has indicated that his future is with Leicester City rather than at Manchester United, who have been heavily linked with the midfielder.

Maddison has shone for the Foxes this season, scoring nine goals and providing three assists in his 35 appearances to catch the eye of the Red Devils.

At only 23 years old, the England international is an attractive prospect and his future at the King Power Stadium has been uncertain amid transfer speculation.

However, Maddison has dropped the biggest hint yet that he will be remaining with Leicester beyond this season, claiming he feels “right at home” with the club.

“If I think back four years ago, I was on loan at Aberdeen from Norwich and now I’m playing every week in the Premier League and that’s all I always wanted to do,” Maddison told LCFC TV.

"Sometimes stuff like this [the coronavirus outbreak] can make you really reflect and be proud of myself that I’ve got to this level and obviously look forward now.

"It’s not ideal, but this will give us time to reflect on what’s happened, whereas normally you can only think about what’s forward because it’s the next game… where are the next points coming from?

"It’s been a whirlwind two years and I’ve loved every second of it. I feel right at home at Leicester. I feel like part of the furniture already and I love it here.


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Bruno Fernandes lists the qualities needed by future Man Utd transfer signings

Bruno Fernandes has urged future Manchester United signings to possess the same hunger for success as he does.

Fernandes has been a revelation since joining United in January, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side unbeaten since the midfielder's arrival from Sporting Lisbon.

The Red Devils were on an 11-game unbeaten run when the football season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Fernandes having played in nine of those games and contributed three goals and four assists.

Indeed, Fernandes has revealed his extensive list of targets – and believes his teammates must have a similar hunger if the club are to achieve success.

Asked what those targets were, Fernandes said: “Two targets, no! Four. I want four because we have league, Champions League, Carabao and FA Cup. I want to win everything. I'm hungry to win everything.

"I told this before in some interview: I came to Manchester to win, to win titles, league, Champions League, everything.

"We know the potential Manchester have, because we are a young team, young players, but we've a lot of quality.

"Doesn't matter if we're young and the others have more experience than us because we have also experienced players who can help the youngest."


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Wolves captain Conor Coady calls for ‘finger-pointing’ to stop after #PlayersTogether launch

Wolves captain Conor Coady called for the finger-pointing to stop and everybody to come together after the launch of the #PlayersTogether initiative raising vital funds for the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

As the country continues to grapple with the awful Covid-19 situation, footballers found themselves in the crossfire and facing accusations over a supposed lack of support.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock called on players to do more and doubled down on that assertion on Sunday, despite news filtering out that top-flight captains were working on a joint fund.

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#PlayersTogether was launched on Wednesday, with a flood of social media messages outlining the group’s aims of raising funds for NHS charities and distributing them “where they are needed most” in partnership with NHS Charities Together.

Coady has been working with all other Premier League captains to get the initiative to this point, with the Wolves skipper saying footballers were always going to do their bit during this terrible time.

“Footballers are good people,” Coady said. “There are lots of good people within football and (this is) something where everybody wants to try and make a difference as much as possible

“Now, we’ve got to that point where we can do that at the minute, so we want to try and help the right people at the right times, to make sure that people are getting the best possible care. It’s a horrible, horrible time we’re in.

“It’s about everybody coming together, not trying to point fingers at certain people within the world and trying to say they’re not doing enough.

“I think it is important we come together. No matter what people do, that we come together because the time we’re in now is absolutely horrible.”

Coady praised “absolutely brilliant” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson for driving an initiative that has been in the works for “quite a while”.

The Wolves captain feels the difficulties in getting the right support and outcomes were perhaps underestimated, with the players knowing it would be stronger if “everybody was doing it and looking in the same direction”.

“We understand, as human beings as well as footballers, how tragic it is at the minute,” Coady said. “It’s a horrible time.

“I think I speak for everybody in the world when I say that we want to get back to normal as soon as possible.

“I think everybody wants normality back. They want to be able to go out and do their own things and be free.

“It was not a hard thing at all. Jordan was brilliant in terms of setting up and taking the initiative and moving forward with it and then getting in contact with everybody. As soon as he did, everybody was on board straight away. So it’s a brilliant, brilliant thing that he’s set up and something that’ll affect a lot of people.”

Coady, like all Premier League skippers, took the proposal back to his dressing room after a meeting on Friday and said “every single player at Wolves wanted to be” part of it.

That fundraising is on top of the work the Molineux club were already planning in the community, with the first-team squad, manager and technical staff making a six-figure donation to the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to aid the city’s efforts against Covid-19.

“We’ve been speaking about that for a few weeks,” Coady added. “It’s something that as soon as this happened we spoke about it as a team and as one together, as Wolverhampton Wanderers, in terms of management staff as well.

“It’s important that we done something because this thing with Jordan has been fantastic, but I think in terms of Wolverhampton itself it’s important that we try and help as much as possible because the support we get from the people of Wolverhampton, the supporters.

“Wolves is a massive part of that city and we know that as players.

“The gratitude we have for all them people is massive, so ever since this first started we’ve been speaking about it as a team and people were telling us to just to wait a little bit just to see obviously what was happening. We’ve come to the point now where it was important that we got it done as quickly as possible.

“Now we’ve done it, it’s brilliant but it’s only to help the people who need it and the people who deserve it because that’s all what we want to do. Help as many people as possible, really.”

PA

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Tottenham fans’ group send desperate plea to Daniel Levy over furlough decision

A Tottenham fans' group has called on chairman Daniel Levy to rethink the decision to furlough non-playing staff after Liverpool's U-turn on the controversy.

Fans and former players rounded on Spurs and Liverpool after the Premier League clubs announced plans to use the Government's job retention scheme to pay staff 80% of their wages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool announced on Monday they would not be furloughing staff, having been heavily criticised by former Reds stars such as Jamie Carragher, Stan Collymore and Dietmar Hamann.

And now Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust has urged Levy to follow Liverpool's lead and avoid using the scheme to pay 550 non-playing employees.

The fans' group took to Twitter to tell Spurs to listen to their supporters and avoid damaging their reputation any further by using funds which were intended to help struggling businesses to support employees.

The club had been slammed by former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker, among others, over the plans.

"We have been saying consistently @SpursOfficial – pause and rethink," the Trust tweeted. "We are now saying it clearly and in public – do not further damage the Club’s reputation, listen to your fans."

Tottenham and Liverpool were among five Premier League clubs who were planning to use the furlough scheme, along with Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bournemouth.

The news attracted criticism as many fans and pundits felt that profitable Premier League clubs should not be using taxpayers' cash to pay staff 80% of their wages, while players continue to be paid in full by the clubs.

Levy had announced that all non-playing staff, including himself, would be taking a 20% pay cut during the affected period.

Liverpool, meanwhile, said they would furlough staff but pay the 20% shortfall so that workers continued to receive full pay.

But now the Reds – who in February announced pre-tax profits of £42million for 2018-19 – have decided against using furlough, stating the club will find "alternative means" to cover the cost of wages.

A statement from the club read: “Our intentions were, and still are, to ensure the entire workforce is given as much protection as possible from redundancy and/or loss of earnings during this unprecedented period.


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Jadon Sancho ‘privately confirms’ Man Utd transfer is on the cards

Manchester United's top transfer target Jadon Sancho is said to have 'unofficially confirmed' a move to the club.

The Borussia Dortmund flyer is attracting interest from a host of European heavyweights following his fine form in Germany.

But the Irish Independent report United are set to win the race for the player's signature, beating the likes of Premier League Chelsea and Liverpool.

The publication writes that Sancho, who came through the ranks at Manchester City, has unofficially confirmed a return to the city with United.

The Etihad outfit have first refusal on the player who they flogged for just £8m back in 2017.

But with a host of elite wide players at Pep Guardiola's disposal, Sancho won't be making a return to his former club.

However, City will receive a 15 per cent sell-on fee whenever the player departs Dortmund.

Meanwhile, United remain increasingly confident they can fight off main rivals Chelsea in the fight for the 20-year-old's signature.

Red Devils chief Ed Woodward and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are in agreement over the potential signing.

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And it is reported United have no qualms over Dortmund's £120m valuation.

That fee would make Sancho the most expensive British signing of all-time, and would set a Premier League record, surpassing the £89m United paid for Paul Pogba in 2016.

The player enjoys good relationships with a host of current United stars, including Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.

The youngster celebrated his 20th birthday last week and also enjoyed a video chat Lingard on Monday evening, sending United fans into raptures.

To add, Old Trafford duo Angel Gomes and Timothy Fosu-Mensah were spotted commenting on the Instagram livestream moments later.

Fans of Solskjaer's side took to social media to float the theory Lingard was set to persuade Sancho to join.

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