Eddie Howe Newcastle contract EXCLUSIVE, Villa SACK Smith, Neymar nets 400th career goal, Chelsea transfer news LATEST

EDDIE HOWE is set to be named as Newcastle manager after travelling North East to finalise his contract, SunSport can exclusively reveal.

Former Bournemouth and Burnley manager Howe, 43, will replace Steve Bruce at the helm after spending most of his career as a player and boss on the South Coast.

Aston Villa have parted ways with manager Dean Smith after a run of five defeats on the spin.

Meanwhile, Brazilian superstar Neymar reached the landmark of 400 career goals as PSG overcame Bordeaux 3-2 on Saturday night.

The striker now has an impressive 88 goals in 126 appearances for the Ligue 1 giants, as well as 70 international strikes to his name.

Back in the Premier League, Daniel Farke watched Norwich beat Brentford for their first win of the campaign – but the German was axed just hours after the victory.

We've also the very latest from Chelsea who are eyeing a swoop for Attila Szalai in January.

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

  • Justin Lawrence


    Paris Saint-Germain chief Leonardo has spoken of his frustration at Argentina calling up Lionel Messi despite his knee injury.

    The 34-year-old, who hasn't featured for Les Parisiens since October 29, has been named in Lionel Scaloni's squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil.

    And Leonardo has hit out at the South American nation, while also voicing his displeasure at a clause in Messi's contract that allows him to prioritise international games over club fixtures.

    Much to the 52-year-old's annoyance, PSG are not able to block Messi from participating in national team matches.

    Leonardo said: "We do not agree to let a player go by selection who, for us, is not in physical condition or who is in the rehabilitation phase.

    “It is not logical, and these types of situations deserve a real agreement with FIFA.”

  • Justin Lawrence


    Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is in pole position to replace Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to bookmakers Coral.

    Solskajer’s job is under threat following a string of poor results and Coral reckon the Norwegian is on borrowed time, with Rodgers being lined up to take his place.

    Coral have got Rodgers odds on at 10-11 to unseat Solskjaer, and they’ve got the United boss odds on at 4-7 to get the sack from his role.

    Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: “With five managers having been sacked already this season we are headed into record number territory and Ole remains in a perilous position.

    “He is odds on to be the next Premier League boss to go and in turn, Brendan Rodgers is odds on to replace him.”

  • Justin Lawrence


    Steven Gerrard is now the favourite to replace Dean Smith as Aston Villa boss according to bookmakers Coral.

    The Rangers manager's odds have been slashed from 7-4 when the firm first opened betting to evens.

    Speaking on Gerrard's odds, Coral's Harry Aitkenhead said: "Steven Gerrard was linked with the Newcastle job but punters never truly got behind the idea, however for the Villa job he is now the firm favourite after strong support inside the first 24 hours our market has been open.

    "He is the clear market leader to be Dean Smith's replacement."

  • Justin Lawrence


    Eddie Howe is set to be named the new Newcastle boss TODAY.

    The former Bournemouth manager is travelling up to Tyneside to sign his contract, officially replacing Steve Bruce.

    Howe's arrival spells the end of Newcastle's manager search.

    The Magpies tried to lure Europa League-winning specialist Unai Emery back to England.

    But the Spaniard rejected the newly mega-rich side in favour of a stay at Villarreal.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Birmingham boss Lee Bowyer wants Manchester United to allow his club to stop making their loan payments on crocked star Tahith Chong.

    Chong returned to United after suffering a groin injury to get treatment, putting a halt to his loan switch to the Midlands.

    And Bowyer thinks its only right that United allow the Blues to stop paying for Chong’s services until he recovers and returns to them.

    He said: “That’s a conversation between the two clubs because Chong is supposed to be here until the end of the season.

    “The two clubs need to make a decision and an agreement regarding that conversation.

    “Hopefully they can come to an agreement that suits us and then we can maybe use that money somewhere else. That would be helpful.

    I’m not just turning my back saying that’s it, wipe him aside.

    “Hopefully we can come to an agreement with Man Utd, where we can stop the payments until he is fit, and then take them back on when he is fit.“

  • Justin Lawrence


    Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has refused to publicly back boss Mauricio Pochettino.

    Pochettino's PSG job has come under scrutiny by critics this season who feel the Ligue 1 giants aren't playing well with the Argentine at the helm.

    But when Mbappe was asked if Poch should remain in charge, he said: "I'm not the person who should be talking about that and whether there's time or not."

    "It's the president, Leonardo and the directors who need to say that."

  • Justin Lawrence


    Tottenham defender Ben Davies has revealed his teammates are desperate to impress new boss Antonio Conte.

    Conte came in to replace Nuno Espirito Santo last week and has led the club to a win and a draw so far.

    And Davies admitted Spurs still have a long way to go, but will do their best to get it right with Conte at the helm.

    He said: “We’ve got a lot to work on.

    “We’ve got a lot to improve on but I think he’s a world-class manager who is going to bring his ideas in.

    “He is going to work us hard to make sure we do it right. As players, we’re desperate to get going with him now.”

  • Justin Lawrence


    Michail Antonio twisted the knife into irate Jurgen Klopp by insisting West Ham knew EXACTLY how to beat Liverpool – after Reds boss let rip at match officials.

    The Hammers scored a controversial opener as Liverpool keeper Alisson flapped a corner into his own net under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna.

    Alisson was also at fault for the other two goals Liverpool conceded, with Antonio claiming it was thanks to their plan to 'keep it away from Virgil van Dijk'.

    And Antonio claimed the Hammers had targeted Alisson, revealing: “The whole plan was stick it in straight on the keeper and we’ll challenge.

    “We saw they struggle with the ball coming in — all we had to do is keep it away from Virgil van Dijk.”

  • Justin Lawrence


    John Terry dubbed West Ham's Declan Rice the 'best in his position' after a masterclass against Liverpool.

    The defensive midfielder captained his side to a 3-2 win over Liverpool, which took them up to third.

    Rice's role next to Tomas Soucek in front of the back four proved pivotal in breaking down attacks and then hitting on the counter.

    And the England international won praise of the highest order in Chelsea icon Terry, who has only just joined Twitter.

    He tweeted: "Decland (sic) Rice is the best in his position in world football. What a player."

  • Justin Lawrence


    Steven Gerrard and Roberto Martinez top Aston Villa’s wishlist to replace axed Dean Smith.

    Villa’s owners pulled the plug on Smith yesterday after an alarming slide down the table following five straight Prem defeats.

    Chief exec Christian Purslow sacked Smith in a face-to-face meeting in the wake of Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton.

    Saints chief Ralph Hasenhuttl and Danish national team coach Kasper Hjulmand are also on Villa’s radar.

    They are seen as ambitious bosses who can help stop the rot — and fulfil the owners’ dream of returning Villa to the European stage.

    But John Terry’s lack of experience will prevent Smith’s former No 2 making a return to Villa Park as his replacement.

  • The Sun


    Declan Rice put in another commanding midfield display in West Ham's 3-2 victory over Liverpool at the Olympic Stadium this afternoon.

    Rice has played every minute of West Ham's 11 Premier League games so far this season and has also captained them in Mark Noble's absence.

    The Hammers have won five of their last six in the league and now find themselves third, level on points with Man City and three behind Chelsea.

    They have also won three out of their four Europa League games, all of which Rice has also started in midfield.

    The 22-year-old, who also had a fantastic Euro 2020 with England, is rapidly establishing himself as one of the Premier League's best midfielders.

    And given team's new-found success under David Moyes, it would take an absurd bid to prize him away from the Olympic Stadium next summer.

    Manchester United are thought to be the frontrunners for Rice's signature, but Chelsea are also reportedly keen.

    Though as it stands, the player has shown no interest in leaving and appears to be fully focused on achieving as much as possible with West Ham this season.

  • The Sun


    Jamie Carragher claims Aaron Cresswell should have been sent off for his challenge on Jordan Henderson in the first half.

    "As soon as I saw the challenge, I just thought 'no, West Ham have got a problem here'.

    "We've spoken this season about a higher threshold in certain situations, but certainly not that.

    "That tackle is a tackle from our day, where you win the ball and you follow through and you saw 'well, I got the ball first'.

    "That is out of control, that is endangering an opponent and that is a red card."

    But Jack Wilshire disagreed, saying: "If you slow things down like that, it always looks worse.

    "I didn't think it was and I still don't think it is."

    Jamie Redknapp added: "When you go off your feet like that, you're endangering an opponent and it makes it so difficult."

    West Ham went on to win the game 3-2, inflicting Liverpool's first defeat of the season.

    And boss Jurgen Klopp was furious with the officials for their decision making throughout the game.

  • The Sun


    One in four of the incumbent Premier League managers when the season began has already lost their job.

    Watford's Xisco Munoz was the first to go after losing his job at the start of October after less than a year in the job – being replaced by Claudio Ranieri.

    Newcastle's Steve Bruno quickly followed after just over two years in charge at St. James' Park, with his side winless and in the relegation zone after 8 games.

    Former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe close to being appointed as his replacement and was spotted alongside Toon owner Amanda Staveley watching on as they drew 1-1 with Brighton yesterday.

    Nuno Espirito Santo has been replaced at Tottenham by former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who took charge of his first Spurs league game in a 0-0 draw with Everton today.

    Daniel Farke and Dean Smith were also managerial casualties this weekend, with both their sides in poor form and their respective owners deciding now is the right time to make a change.

    Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has been linked with the Aston Villa job, as well as former Roma and Everton managers Paulo Fonseca and Roberto Martinez.

  • The Sun


    Barcelona reportedly refused to play Philippe Coutinho against Celta Vigo because of his 'poor attitude' during his warm-up.

    The Brazilian was summoned from the bench and looked set to replace the injured Ansu Fati but was eventually snubbed by stand-in boss Sergi Barjuan.

    Fati went down injured just before half-time and Barjuan signalled to the former Liverpool man to get ready.

    But the cameras caught the 29-year-old's somewhat lackadaisical approach to the warm-up which angered his temporary boss, according to Sport.

    The Spanish outlet described Coutinho's approach as 'excessive laziness' as he slumped down the line.

    And it certainly didn't do him any favours as he ended up remaining on the bench for the rest of the game, with Alejandro Balde came on instead.

    After the game, Barjuan denied the incident had any bearing on his decision.

    He said: "I didn’t focus on any of that, I was watching the game, which was very demanding. In 10 days I’ve felt everyone gets along with me.

    "It’s clear that with those who haven’t played it’s harder. I’ve had to take decisions and he did not play today.”

    Barca are reportedly ready to accept an offer from Newcastle for Coutinho, which is rumoured to be an initial loan move with an obligation to buy.

    He is expected to be one of the first players through the door in January following Newcastle's £305m takeover last month.

    Credit: Getty
  • The Sun


    Rangeros boss Steven Gerrard is among Aston Villa's top targets to replace Dean Smith at the helm, reports suggest.

    Smith was sacked following five successive defeats that saw Villa dropping to 16th place in the Premier League table.

    And Liverpool legend Gerrard is high on their list thanks to his impressive work in the Scottish Premiership, according to the Daily Telegraph.

    The 41-year-old won the title last season, which ended rivals Celtic's nine-year reign as Scottish champions.

    The legendary midfielder also took Rangers to the Europa League's Round of 16 last term and has them top of the league so far this campaign.

    But the former England international is not the only candidate for the hot seat at Villa Park.

    Reports suggest Villa are also keeping tabs on Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who issued the final blow on Friday with a 1-0 victory at St Mary's that led to Smith's dismissal.

    The Claret & Blue are also said to be monitoring Brentford's Thomas Frank and Denmark's Kasper Hjulmand.

  • The Sun


    According to reports in Italy, Antonio Conte is a big admirer of £17m-rated Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie and is keen to bring him to Tottenham in January.

    Spurs' sporting director Fabio Paratici, 49, also rates McKennie highly, having initially signed him for Juventus on loan in August 2020.

    But McKennie, 23, has struggled to establish himself as a regular starter under Juve boss Max Allegri and has been in and out of the team of late.

    The Bianconeri were prepared to let him leave in the summer for a fee upwards of £20m, despite having only made his loan permanent in March.

    But they were unable to find a suitable buyer, so McKennie stayed at the Allianz Stadium and has since battled for a place in the team.

    Juve had a hugely disappointing season last time out under the management of club legend Andrea Pirlo, who was sacked in May.

    They finished fourth in Serie A, their lowest league position since 2010-11, and were eliminated in the Champions League round of 16.

    And despite McKennie making 46 appearances for them last season, Juve remain unconvinced and are prepared to let him leave for the right fee.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Real Madrid are set to offer Vinicius Jr. a new seven-year contract, according to reports.

    The Brazilian's current deal does not expire until 2025.

    But Los Blancos are determined to secure his long-term future and prevent any other club from sniffing around the attacker.

    A massive release clause of £940million, according to ABC Spain, shows how highly they rate and value the 21-year-old.

    In fact, if Vinicius signs the contract it will be the highest release clause fee in world football.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Graeme Souness and Micah Richards engaged in a heated debate in the Sky Sports studio on who was at fault for Bernardo Silva's goal in Saturday's Manchester Derby.

    A lacklustre Manchester United were beaten 2-0 – with Souness and Richards providing plenty of full-time entertainment.

    The Sky panel were discussing the second goal after the game which saw Bernardo ghost behind Luke Shaw at the back post to turn home a Joao Cancelo cross.

    But Liverpool legend Souness believed the cross should have stopped at source – with Aaron Wan-Bissaka at fault.

    He fumed: "He [Wan-Bissaka] should be sprinting out and stopping the cross."

    But Richards hit out by saying Bruno Fernandes should have helped track back to stop the cross.

    The ex-City man fired back at Souness: "He's scared, he knows he hasn't got help from Fernandes."

    That didn't go down well with Scotsman Souness, who scoffed: "Try to forget everything you've just said."

  • Justin Lawrence


    Olivier Giroud believes that Karim Benzema's France return at Euro 2020 caused an 'imbalance' in the team.

    Giroud, 35, led the line for Didier Deschamps' side as they won the World Cup in 2018 during Benzema's international exile.

    But Les Bleus boss Deschamps decided to bring the Real Madrid striker back into the fold, with Giroud losing his place in the process.

    The AC Milan forward stressed that he has no personal issues with Benzema – but doesn't believe that his return was a success during the Euros.

    He told L'Equipe: "I found out [about Benzema's return] when the coach announced it,.

    "It was Deschamps' will. I understand it, but I would have liked to have been warned sooner.

    "I have nothing against Karim, but his return to the national team created a tactical imbalance and in our way of playing.

    "It was something evident in some games, which luckily could be fixed quickly, as could be seen in the Nations League. However, it took time.

    "I had no problems with Karim at the European Championship. He has changed and evolved. We ate every day at the same table."

  • Justin Lawrence


    Liverpool have identified former Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino as an alternative transfer to Jude Bellingham, reports say.

    The 25-year-old Real Sociedad ace is enjoying his football in Spain.

    The Reds are planning for the future, with key midfield names such as Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and James Milner all in their 30s.

    And according to Fichajes.net, Liverpool are interested in Merino because of his 'versatility and dominant physique'.

    The Spaniard also covers a lot of ground, something Klopp likes his players to be able to do.

    Borussia Dortmund's Bellingham was another name on the list, but the youngster could prove impossible to sign due to his price.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Barcelona reportedly refused to play Philippe Coutinho against Celta Vigo because of his 'poor attitude' during his warm-up.

    The Brazilian was summoned from the bench and looked set to replace the injured Ansu Fati but was eventually snubbed by stand-in boss Sergi Barjuan.

    Fati went down injured just before half-time and Barjuan signalled to the former Liverpool man to get ready.

    But the cameras caught the 29-year-old's somewhat lackadaisical approach to the warm-up which angered his temporary boss, according to Sport.

    The Spanish outlet described Coutinho's approach as 'excessive laziness' as he slumped down the line.

    And it certainly didn't do him any favours as he ended up remaining on the bench for the rest of the game.

    Alejandro Balde came on to replace Fati instead.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Ajax have reportedly reached a settlement with Abdelhak Nouri's family after his tragic collapse four years ago.

    The former midfielder, 24, suffered brain damage and requires 24/7 care after he suffered a cardiac arrest in a friendly match against Werder Bremen.

    As a result, Nouri's family had been in talks with Ajax and the club's lawyers over a compensation package.

    But after that produced no results the family was forced to open an arbitration case.

    That has now been closed after the family finally reached an agreement with Ajax, report Dutch outlet NOS.

    The compensation agreement has reportedly taken into account the costs of Nouri's care, the loss of his earning capacity and compensation for immaterial damage in the form of compensation.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Serie A strugglers Genoa have appointed former Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko as their manager on a deal until 2024.

    The 45-year-old former AC Milan and Chelsea striker replaces Davide Ballardini who was sacked on Saturday.

    Shevchenko led Ukraine to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, where they were beaten 4-0 by England in Rome, but left his role in August.

    Genoa are currently 18th in Serie A after 12 games, having picked up one win all season.

    Shevchenko, who retired from playing in 2012, is Ukraine's all-time record goalscorer with 48 goals in 111 games.

  • Jim Sheridan


    Dean Smith has been sacked by Aston Villa.

    The Villans lost their fifth match in a row at Southampton on Friday night and sit 15th in the Premier League table, just two points above the relegation zone.

    As revealed by SunSport, Denmark’s national coach Kasper Hjulmand is on their ‘watch list’ of replacements.

    Lifelong fan Smith took over at Villa Park in October 2018 and earned promotion via the play-offs in his first season.

    He then kept the club in the Premier League for two seasons but struggled to get his team finding form this season following the £100million sale of star man Jack Grealish.

    The former captain, now at Manchester City, retweeted Villa's five-minute highlights reel of Smith's best bits at Villa Park and wrote: "No1 will ever compare – the real goat," with a series of red and blue hearts.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Tottenham fans aren't happy by Antonio Conte's team selection for his first Premier League outing in charge of the North London club.

    The Italian has named an unchanged starting XI to the Spurs side that narrowly overcame Vitesse in the Europa League on Thursday.

    Reacting to the news of Conte's first Premier League selection, one fan wrote: "Did he (Conte) not see what we saw on Thursday night… Dier and Davies."

    Another wrote: "(Japhet) Tanganga and Davinson (Sanchez) on the bench as well but we start Dier and Benjamin Davies."

    While one fumed: "The same terrible lineup (as) against Vitesse."

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