TUESDAY'S BIG STORIES

It’s (almost) transfer time

Old photos of Erling Haaland in Manchester City tops and blurry photos of Kylian Mbappe in Madrid – that can only mean one thing. Sound the transfer klaxon.
Premier League
All change at Chelsea as Boehly takes control of transfers - The Warm-Up
23/06/2022 AT 06:46
It’s Marmite for football fans. For some it means muting all manner of buzz words, phrases and hashtags on Twitter (such as here we go, fraud, second medical, advanced talks, war chest, reaches agreement, done deal, spree, spotted, private jet, unveiled, hijacks, raid, stumbling block, saga, speculation, wantaway, free agent, announce) but for others the spate of predicted XI articles, photoshop edits and discussions comparing net spend is undoubtedly the highlight of the footballing year.
And so, either scroll down a tad or continue reading here. Take your pick, as we talk transfers, briefly… First, it would appear world football’s most-wanted forwards are on the verge of completing their respective moves, with Haaland reportedly passing his City medical in a package deal worth £213m.
“This transfer will set new levels,” Jurgen Klopp acknowledged, knowing full well his side’s greatest rivals are on the brink of adding what could and should be the final piece to their Champions League Quest puzzle.
Don’t expect Pep Guardiola to be as forthcoming, however, when addressing the press today ahead of City’s match against Wolves tomorrow – you can rest assured he’ll face three or four questions on Haaland but insist the game is his main concern, as will be the concern of how they cope without Ruben Dias.
Away from Manchester, Mbappe was seen pottering around Madrid yesterday ahead of an expected move to Real. Achraf Hakimi was also in the Spanish capital, but the local press hardly cared about him, as the fact Mbappe was *wearing white* meant it was basically a done (don’t say it) deal.
On a manic Monday where the transfer talk really seemed to ramp up, there were also reports linking Sadio Mane with Bayern Munich, and Arsenal with (deep breath) Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Jonathan David, Darwin Nunez, Patrik Schick and Tammy Abraham. Yes, really.

Lol Klopp

Ahead of their 59th match of the season, Klopp headed into his 59th pre-match press conference of the season yesterday. Add to that the 58 post-match press conferences this season, the multiple interviews with broadcasters pre- and post-match throughout the season, as well as fulfilling his duties with Liverpool’s own media team before, during and after the season, then you realise he talks, like, a lot.
And so it’s no surprise to see him going a little delirious from time to time. He couldn’t stop laughing as a reporter read out Guardiola’s ‘everybody loves Liverpool’ (or close enough) assessment from the weekend, and happily batted it away when acknowledging that things are said A. in the heat of the moment and B. (he didn’t say this bit) when you are asked to give your opinion on any day that ends in y.
He was referring not only to Guardiola’s comments, but his own about Antonio Conte’s Tottenham. He had stated his dislike for “this kind of football” after Spurs dared to draw at Liverpool on Saturday, but Klopp clarified on Monday: “We are massively influenced by the game, the situation, I said - would I say it again, no - after the game 'they play like they play and are still only fifth'. It was just my feeling in that moment and I couldn't respect Antonio more and what he's doing.”

Klopp on 'backhanded compliments' from Guardiola and giving them to Conte

On the way back up?

“This is by no means job done,” Bailey Wright insisted, as Sunderland still have a play-off final to prepare for after seeing off Sheffield Wednesday in the semis last night.
In a battle of two former Premier League sides hoping to return to the Championship, it was Sunderland who edged the tie 2-1, and they will now face Wycombe at Wembley on May 21.
It means hiring Alex Neil could well prove to be a masterstroke. The Black Cats have lost just once since he took charge in February.
"Alex Neil has been class and the results speak for themselves,” Wright added. “He has brought a culture to the club and we have a real togetherness. He doesn't leave anything untouched and works hard to give us the best platform to perform."

IN OTHER NEWS

Oleksandr Zinchenko inviting a 10-year-old Ukrainian refugee to Manchester City training.
“This is Andrew,” Zinchenko said on Instragram. “Today he is safe. Like most Ukrainians, he and his family were forced to flee their homes because of the war. 75 days ago, this boy dreamed of becoming a footballer and trained carefree with his team. Today he dreams of only one thing - peace in our country…”

IN THE CHANNELS

Yeah, this’ll do…

RETRO CORNER

One of the great forgotten Premier League wondergoals this, scored by Tiago at Old Trafford on this day 17 years ago – after Chelsea had already wrapped up their first league title for 50 years.

COMING UP

Big one for Liverpool tonight at Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa™ - follow that one live on our blog, while over in La Liga, Barcelona host Celta Vigo.
Transfers
Arsenal submit bid to Man City for Jesus – reports
16/06/2022 AT 12:30
Transfers
Ramsay agrees to join Liverpool from Aberdeen – reports
16/06/2022 AT 12:19