DEAN SMITH'S appointment has been confirmed by Norwich as the former Aston Villa boss walks straight back into a job.

The Canaries fired Daniel Farke despite him beating Brentford and they have made a move for Smith on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Jules Kounde has opened up on his failed move to Chelsea last summer.

The Sevilla centre-back, 23, told French TV: "Has my failed transfer to Chelsea this summer affected me?

"Yes, a little bit, but now it's digested."

Meanwhile Conor Gallagher has been called up to the England squad for the first time.

The Crystal Palace midfielder, 21, is on loan at Selhurst Park from Chelsea and has scored four goals with two assists this season.

Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish have left the squad.

Wales are gearing up for their final World Cup qualifier against Belgium with Robert Page's side needing just a point to get into the playoffs.

Meanwhile Harry Kane's future at Tottenham is still in doubt with the England star a major target for Manchester City.

Gareth Southgate's side can secure their spot in Qatar if they draw with minnows San Marino.

We've also got all the latest on a potential transfer for Declan Rice as well as updates from Chelsea, who are eyeing a swoop for Attila Szalai in January.

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

  • Joshua Mbu

    JUVE GOT TO GO

    Aaron Ramsey is reportedly eyeing a Premier League return in January, writes ETIENNE FERMIE.

    The Welshman left Arsenal to join Juventus on a free transfer in 2019.

    ut it hasn’t worked out for the midfielder in Turin, with Ramsey having struggled to become a regular under Maurizio Sarri, Andrea Pirlo and now Massimiliano Allegri.

    The 30-year-old is thought to be unhappy with Juve’s training methods, and reckons they are a key factor why he has sustained so many injuries.

    According to the Mail, Ramsey wants to have returned to England by the time Wales potentially enter the World Cup qualifying play-offs in March.

    He won’t be short of suitors in the Premier League.

    But they add that he will need to agree to a substantial wage cut from a reported £400,000-a-week at Juve.

  • Joshua Mbu

    NOR BLIMEY

    Norwich have confirmed the appointment of Dean Smith on a two-and-a-half year contract, writes ETIENNE FERMIE.

    The Canaries have moved quickly to snap up Smith after the 50-year-old was sacked by boyhood club Aston Villa last week.

    After being announced as Daniel Farke's replacement, the former Villa boss admitted it has been a 'whirlwind week'.

    Smith will be joined the dugout by No2 Craig Shakespeare, after the pair were selected by Canaries sporting director Stuart Webber to lead their battle against the drop.

  • Joshua Mbu

    DEEP END

    Alternatively, Conor Gallagher – who was called up for the game due to England's injury crisis – could be thrown in at the deep end.

    But the midfielder has proved at Crystal Palace this season that he doesn't shy away from the big occasions. Just ask Pep Guardiola. 

    Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady are Southgate's reliable back-up centre-backs and they could be handed a start.

  • Joshua Mbu

    YOUNG LIONS

    England could book their place at next year's World Cup by playing their youngest team in 62 years against San Marino today, writes JOSHUA MBU.

    Boss Gareth Southgate has limited players to pick from with a number of key stars missing through injury or illness.

    Jack Grealish and Jordan Henderson are two of the latest casualties who are likely to miss Monday's game.

    But the injuries could pave the way for England to field their youngest team in 62 years. 

    The average age of SunSport's 'likely' XI is 23 years and 243 days.

    Should Southgate pick that line-up, it will be the Three Lions' youngest since November 1959 when they took on Northern Ireland. 

    And the average age of that line-up was just 23 years and 59 days.

  • Alex Terrell

    ‘BROX CLEVER

    Rangers should consider having Michael Carrick as their next manager, says Charlie Adam.

    The defending Scottish champions are currently searching for a replacement boss after Steven Gerrard’s dramatic exit to Aston Villa.

    Carrick, 40, is currently working as a first-team coach at Manchester United.

    After retiring from a glittering playing career in Manchester, the five-time Premier League winner became a key member of the backroom staff.

    Talking to BBC Radio Scotland, ex-Rangers and Liverpool man Adam advised Rangers to think about Carrick.

    He said: “I’ll throw a name in the hat. Michael Carrick – he has been at Man United, a big club, good coach.

    “It was a gamble with Steven.

    “Will they go down that same route? Will they go for an experienced name? There will only be three or four people that know.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    FOOTBALL ROUND-UP

    Harry Kane and Harry Maguire are itching to play at San Marino tonight as England aim to seal their World Cup qualification with an emphatic win.

    Striker Kane is one short of George Hilsdon's 12-goal calendar record for the Three Lions, set in 1908.

    And centre-back Maguire wants to bury even deeper his recent struggles with Manchester United after heading the opener in England's 5-0 win over Albania on Friday night.

    But with the Three Lions needing just a point against the 210th and worst-ranked international team, boss Gareth Southgate seems sure to make changes. 

    Southgate said: “We  set a very high standard of performance the other night and we have got to continue that.

    “We want to make sure the team we start with is a statement that we’re here to do business, that we’re taking this seriously.

    "No matter what the opponent, we are thinking about having the right  balance and leadership."

    On the transfer front, Chelsea are reportedly targeting Juventus central defender Matthijs De Ligt, 22, Manchester United defensive target Jules Kounde, 23, and Napoli frontman Lorenzo Insigne, 30.

    Wolves face a fight to keep forward Hwang Hee-Chan, with Liverpool and Manchester City tracking the South Korean hero who is on loan from RB Leipzig.

    Finally, Italy hero Gianluigi Donnarumma is ‘hurt’ and ‘disturbed’ at struggling to displace Keylor Navas as PSG No1. 

  • Ian Tuckey

    £140bn QATAR WORLD CUP LIKE NO OTHER

    IMAGINE a World Cup that took place in the distance between Selhurst Park and Kenilworth Road, writes MARTIN LIPTON.

    That is exactly what will happen when the 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar on November 21 next year.

    Eight stadiums all within the space of 41 miles, the distance between Crystal Palace and Luton’s football grounds.

    One hour along the four-lane motorways from the Bedouin Tent design of Al Bayt in the north to the 40,000-capacity Al Janoub in the south.

    Seven of the eight grounds are accessible in 50 minutes or so by Doha’s new £26billion Metro system.

    All in a city that has grown from nothing to a teeming metropolis in barely two decades, funded by the world’s third-largest natural gas field and ensuring the most compact World Cup ever.

    Many England fans, who are contemplating a journey to the Gulf to cheer on Gareth Southgate’s players, will have deep scepticism over why the world’s most eagerly anticipated sports event is taking place in a country half the size of Wales.

    That will never go away. Nor will the questions over what has happened since that vote by the 22 members of Fifa’s executive committee in December 2010.

    READ OUR FULL SPECIAL REPORT HERE

  • Ian Tuckey

    RON’S WORLD CUP SPOT IN DOUBT

    Cristiano Ronaldo is in danger of missing out on what could be his last World Cup after Portugal dropped into the play-offs.

    The Euro 2016 winners were stunned by Serbia in Lisbon as the visitors came back from behind to win 2-1 to finish top of Group A and seal their place in Qatar next year.

    Manchester United star Ronaldo was reduced to tears after the full-time with the 36-year-old to potentially fail to play in a fifth World Cup.

    He remarked in 2016: “I expect Qatar could be my final World Cup.

    “I often go on holidays there, to Qatar as well as Dubai. I am happy because for sure it will be [my] last international tournament.”

    Fernando Santos’ side went into Sunday night’s match needing only a point to qualify, but fell to a dramatic stoppage time goal from Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

    Portugal got off to the perfect start at the Estadio da Luz after Renato Sanches broke the deadlock in the second minute.

    But Serbia equalised just after the half-hour mark through Dusan Tadic after his deflected effort squirmed through the hands of Rui Patricio.

    And Mitrovic sparked wild scenes in the 90th minute after he nodded home Tadic’s corner in what was his 44th goal on the international stage.

    A huge bundle occurred by the corner flag as players and staff celebrated in style as Serbia beat their opponents for the first time in their history.

    The result is Portugal’s first loss of their World Cup qualifying campaign, while Serbia failed to taste defeat in their eight fixtures.

    Portugal will now have to win in their play-off tie in March to book their place in next year’s global tournament.

    As it stands, only Sweden, Scotland, Russia and North Macedonia have secured a play-off spot alongside Portugal.

  • Ian Tuckey

    TWO HARRYS DESPERATE TO PLAY

    Gareth Southgate can live with the yapping from his two Harrys.

    Stars Harry Kane and Harry Maguire telling him how much they want to play against San Marino will be music to the ears of a manager who prides himself on the Three Lions culture he has built.

    Southgate said: “Without doubt, we should never take qualification for granted.

    “You are quite right. Portugal have an important game on Sunday that could go either way, the same for Spain.

    “Italy are not confirmed, Holland could still go out.

    “There hasn’t been a lot of margin for error — but we dealt really well with the games in Warsaw and Budapest, which were probably the key ones in terms of qualification.

    “We have responded well to every hurdle that has been thrown at us, across a  calendar year in which we have had total contrast in  the quality of opponents we have played. The mentality has been good. That is why in 90 minutes and extra-time, we haven’t been beaten — and that is a record we want to keep building on.

    “We have got the best defensive record in Europe, in terms of goals to games.

    “We are fifth in terms of goals scored and chances created. It is a good challenge to try and improve on it.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    ANTONIO IDEAL FOR ARSENAL

    Kevin Campbell says West Ham star Michail Antonio would make a ‘real difference’ to Arsenal’s frontline.

    The retired Gunners striker, 51, discussed several forwards who might improve Mikel Arteta’s side on the Highbury Squad YouTube channel.

    Antonio, 31, has made an impressive start to the season for the Hammers with seven goals and four assists.

    The former full-back has evolved into one of the Prem’s most feared strikers and made his international debut for Jamaica in September.

    And Campbell, who gained a reputation as handful up front while bagging 46 goals for Arsenal in the early 1990s, says the powerful Hammers star could give their current side a new dimension.

    Campbell said: “He could make a real difference but West Ham would never sell him. They would be crazy to sell him.”

    Campbell also said it would be best to send 20-year-old Gunners prospect Folarin Balogun out on loan in January so that he can ‘learn his trade’.

    And he believes there is ‘mileage’ in rumours linking unsettled Manchester City star Raheem Sterling with a move to the Emirates.

  • Ian Tuckey

    VLAHOVIC WILL BE A ‘GREAT’

    Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has backed Arsenal and Tottenham target Dusan Vlahovic to become ‘one of the greats’.

    The 21-year-old striker has banged in ten goals in 13 games for Fiorentina this season, while also scoring five goals for Serbia on the international stage.

    His fine form has led to a number of potential suitors, with the Gunners and rivals Spurs keeping close tabs on the player ahead of a possible January swoop.

    It has been claimed that Arsenal are willing to meet the Serie A side’s asking price, but Vlahovic isn’t convinced by their proposal.

    Meanwhile Juventus have made signing the £70million-rated ex-Partizan ace their top priority having failed to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer.

    And Vlahovic’s Serbian team-mate Milinkovic-Savic told Fifa: “Good? He’s not good, he’s outstanding.

    “I’m quite certain the stats would back that up, considering his age.

    “However, I think he’s the type of player who still gets annoyed when he doesn’t play well.

    “So he’s definitely going to get better and get the world talking about him, which is something I like about him.

    “In both training and matches, he never takes it lightly when he misses a chance, so he has a hunger for scoring goals and winning.

    “I like how he wants to prove himself, so I think he’s bound to become one of the greats.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    UTD TARGET KOUNDE ON 3-MAN CHELSEA LIST

    Chelsea are looking to strengthen their table-topping squad with even more talent.

    Transfer chief Marina Granovskaia has written up a wish list topped by Matthijs De Ligt, 22, Manchester |United target Jules Kounde, 23, and Lorenzo Insigne, 30.

    Reported by Spanish news outlet Marca, Chelsea are building Thomas Tuchel a dream XI.

    Both Andreas Christensen, 25, and Antonio Rudiger, 28, have expiring contracts in 2022 and the Blues are looking to cover their backs.

    Juventus are said to be keen to shift De Ligt's £280,000-a-week wages off the books and would sell to Chelsea knowing they're desperate to bring in defensive reinforcements.

    Agent Mino Raiola has already held talks with the club over a potential move for the Dutch international.

    The West London side previously attempted to sign Kounde from Sevilla in the summer – but failed.

  • Ian Tuckey

    TOO KEANE

    Gabby Agbonlahor thinks Roy Keane is bullying Harry Maguire.

    Keane’s been vocal in his criticism of Maguire’s Manchester United displays recently.

    And the Irishman laid into Maguire once again this week when the United captain scored for England and celebrated by covering his ears – an alleged response to Keane.

    But Agbonlahor reckons Keane’s being harsh on Maguire when he doesn’t need to be.

    He told talkSPORT: “I’ve seen the quotes and the video of it from Roy Keane and I think Roy Keane’s being a bit of a bully there,” Agbonlahor

    “I think he’s bullying him because Harry Maguire’s been under a lot of pressure, some not very good performances for Manchester United.

    “The next game to prove you’re a good centre-half, yes it’s Albania, but still he had a job to do, he scores, the excitement of scoring you’re going to celebrate.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    AINSLEY ‘CAN LAND NEW ARSENAL DEAL’

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been backed to receive a new Arsenal contract by club icon Kevin Campbell if he continues his fine form.

    The 24-year-old put in a man of the match display in the 1-0 win against Watford at the Emirates last week after returning to the starting XI.

    Capable playing as a central midfielder or right-back, the five-cap England international starred in the middle of the pitch alongside Albert Sambi Lokonga.

    It was just his second Premier League start of the season – two months after being named in the line-up against Norwich.

    In total, Maitland-Niles has featured in ten games in all competitions this campaign.

    Mikel Arteta has been full of praise for the ex-West Brom loanee’s recent performances, as he labelled him a “different player”.

    And Campbell, who won the First Division title with Arsenal in 1991, has claimed that Maitland-Niles could be in line to be rewarded with a new contract in the future.

    His current deal in North London expires in 2023.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ALI CATTY

    Liverpool keeper Alisson has aimed a thinly-veiled dig at Premier League referees after conceding a contentious goal against West Ham.

    Alisson was left raging after he felt he had been impeded at the corner which led to West Ham’s opening goal against Liverpool.

    Pablo Fornals’ inswinging corner was flapped at by Alisson as the ball found its way into the back of the net.

    The Brazilian felt he had been blocked by Angelo Ogbonna, but ref Craig Pawson was unmoved.

    And now he appears to have referenced the decision following Brazil‘s win over Colombia.

    Speaking on Instagram alongside a picture of him claiming a ball in the air, he said: “When you can use your hands, the job it’s not so hard.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    JULES SUFFERED FROM THE BLUES

    Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde admits his failed move to Chelsea over the summer has affected his form.

    The 23-year-old took part in France's 8-0 demolition of Kazakhstan in Saturday's World Cup Qualifier.

    And he told French television channel, TF1: "Has my failed transfer to Chelsea this summer affected me? Yes, a little bit, but now it's digested."

    The Sun reported the blocked transfer move to Chelsea in the summer, which angered Kounde, but he bounced back after his initial disappointment.

    Sevilla sit in third place in La Liga and are equal on points with Spanish giants Real Madrid.

  • Ian Tuckey

    DONNARUMMA 'HURT, DISTURBED' TO NOT BE PSG NO1

    Italy hero Gianluigi Donnarumma is 'hurt' and 'disturbed' at failing to displace Keylor Navas as PSG No1.

    The Euro 2020 winner was expected to be first-choice for the French giants after arriving in the summer as an AC Milan legend.

    But instead he has played just five of the leaders' 13 Ligue 1 games, plus two of their four Champions League matches.

    Donnarumma told TNT Sports: "It has no effect on my performances, but it disturbs me.

    "It's not easy, because I was used to always starting and sometimes it hurts to be on the bench.

    "But I'm sure the situation will be resolved."

    Costa Rica's 99-cap star Navas, 34, signed a new PSG contract in April until 2024.

    And although boss Mauricio Pochettino has been keen to alternate keepers, Navas still has the edge.

    But Donnarumma scoffed at suggestions he could chase a move.

    The 22-year-old said: "I'm happy at PSG and I laugh when I read all this nonsense about me."

  • Ian Tuckey

    DONNY CAN STRENGTHEN GUNNERS

    Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has urged the club to bring Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek to the Emirates.

    The Dutch midfielder has been a peripheral figure under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, having been limited to just 16 minutes of Premier League football spread over two games.

    Van de Beek has failed to establish himself as a key first team player since arriving at Old Trafford from Ajax last year.

    And there have been rumours that he would be willing to depart the Theatre of Dreams in January in search of regular game time as he looks to be named in Holland’s World Cup squad.

    Commenting on his future, Gunners icon Campbell believes the 23-year-old would be a great addition to Mikel Arteta‘s squad.

    He told The Highbury Squad: “He was at Ajax, he was unbelievable at Ajax. Gets signed by Manchester United and they won’t play him. I don’t know, I’m just saying it’s a rumour.

    “I only want what’s best for Arsenal and I believe that Van de Beek can play if given the opportunity. The boy can play.

    “He wants out. You never know, maybe they might [loan him to Arsenal].

    “I think this young man has got super ability, has got a great attitude, but he needs to play.

    “He can play anywhere around that midfield, he can play holding, eight and attacking. So again, we’ve got someone who’s versatile.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    SOUTHGATE BACKS MAGUIRE OVER KEANE OUTBURST

    Gareth Southgate claims Roy Keane was trying to ‘stay relevant’ when he slammed Harry Maguire’s England goal celebration.

    Manchester United legend Keane branded the Red Devils captain a ‘disgrace’ and ’embarrassing’ for cupping his ears as if to silence critics and doing a knee-slide after heading the opener in Friday’s 5-0 win over Albania.

    Maguire denied he was sending a message to his critics.

    And England boss Southgate said: “Some channels or forums require headlines, some channels or forums require a certain type of approach so it’s different, I understand that.

    “To stay relevant in those fields you need to be more quotable and lifted now used from the live broadcasts for next days headlines, everyone in those shows knows how it works and it fills a different part of our industry.

    “That’s where we’re at. Personally, as a manager I get it, so be it. But I’m sure for the players they may feel different, they’re younger, they may not have experienced those fields perhaps I’ve got.

    “They’re probably thinking there were players who surely remember how difficult it was to play thinking they didn’t like it when they were criticised to step over the white line was the most difficult thing.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    JOSE TO ‘STEP UP HUNT FOR DALOT’

    Jose Mourinho is reportedly stepping up Roma’s pursuit of Manchester United right-back Diogo Dalot in January.

    Ex-Old Trafford boss Mourinho has been eyeing his fellow Portuguese, 22, for a reunion.

    And it’s claimed he has told Roma chiefs the sixth-placed Serie A club must strengthen in the next transfer window if they want to qualify for the Champions League.

    Credit: Getty
  • Ian Tuckey

    GERRARD 'EYES GERS ACE KENT'

    Ryan Kent is tipped to be Steven Gerrard's main January target as the new Aston Villa boss eyes star names at his old club Rangers.

    Winger Kent is likely to cost £20million-plus after Leeds reportedly had a bid of £15m rejected last summer.

    But lowly Villa are keen to finally replace main man Jack Grealish down the left after his £100m exit to Manchester City in the last transfer window.

    Former Liverpool starlet Kent, 25, has transformed his career since joining the Gers three years ago.

    His pace and finishing have led to calls for an England squad place over the past 12 months.

    And the Scottish champions will find it harder to keep him as he enters the final 18 months of his contract.

    The Mail say Gerrard has identified Kent as a major option for boosting Villa's attacking potency.

  • Ian Tuckey

    PEP SOMETIMES 'FORGETS' TO NAME CITY TEAM

    Kevin De Bruyne has revealed Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola sometimes FORGETS to name his team during his pre-match team talks.

    The Spanish coach has won the Premier League title in three of his five seasons since arriving at the Etihad in 2016.

    Yet De Bruyne insists sometimes Guardiola's enthusiasm for his side's attacking style supersedes his team selection.

    Speaking to the MIDMID podcast, he said: "We always have a meeting before a match and Guardiola will then say 'we are going to do this and this and that. Let's go!'

    "And then we say: 'Hey, Pep, who is playing?' He forgets sometimes. For him winning is important. But his philosophy is even more important.

    "Many people don't understand this. Pep would rather lose with his football principles than get a win from counter-attacking tactics.

    "He loves attacking football so much."

    De Bruyne has struggled at the start of the 2021-22 season, scoring just three and assisting one in 14 games.

  • Ian Tuckey

    RUDI WON'T GET MOODY

    Antonio Rudiger has declared he owes Chelsea his unwavering focus during their contract discussions.

    The defender has been embroiled in contract talks with the Blues which seemed to have hit a brick wall.

    However, when asked about his future, Rudiger refused to speak about a possible move elsewhere out of respect for Chelsea.

    Rudiger told Welt am Sonntag: “For now I am only concentrating on what is happening right now. I owe that to the club, the coach and the team.

    But despite his commitment to the Blues, Rudiger wouldn’t rule out a future transfer.

    He added: “I’m currently only focused on Chelsea. We’ll see what happens.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    'GARETH IS A ROLE MODEL'

    Tottenham defender Ben Davies has hailed Welsh team-mate Gareth Bale a role model for attaining 100 caps for the country.

    Bale gained his centurion cap for Wales as they trounced Belarus 5-1 on Saturday, becoming only the second Welsh star to do so in the process.

    And Davies thinks he and the rest of the Welsh squad can learn alot from the Real Madrid star.

    He said: “For all the commitment he has shown to Wales over the years, the determination to reach this milestone, it is nothing more than he deserves.

    “What he has done for Welsh football has been incredible.

    “To reach the 100 mark, which I know he has really been pushing for a while, is amazing.

    “For us as a squad, what a role model we have in him.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    KEANE FOR ATTENTION

    England boss Gareth Southgate has suggested Roy Keane’s harsh jibes towards Harry Maguire were made to stay relevant.

    Keane’s been blasting Maguire’s performances for Manchester United and then he verbally took aim at the Red Devils captain once again after his controversial goal celebration for England this week.

    However, Southgate doesn’t think Keane’s got a personal problem with Maguire, but thinks he makes outlandish comments to remain in the headlines.

    Southgate said: “To stay relevant in those fields you need to be more quotable and lifted now used from the live broadcasts for next days headlines,

    “Everyone in those shows knows how it works and it fills a different part of our industry.

    ‘That’s where we’re at. Personally, as a manager I get it, so be it.

    “But I’m sure for the players they may feel different, they’re younger, they may not have experienced those fields perhaps I’ve got.”

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